Quick Visit With Peter, Eileen and Allison

Allison under pressure

Our friends from Lincoln, California remain close in our hearts even though we don’t get together often enough.  This January, Allison had a hockey tournament in Portland, Oregon the same weekend that the boys had a basketball tournament in nearby Longview, Washington.  We headed down to Portland early since Allison’s game was at 8:00 am.  We had a great time watching her game and then spending a bit of time with them.

Click the picture to see more.

Christmas Day!

Celebrating the Lord coming to save us is always THE highlight of the year.  We love to get together with family, eat, open gifts, eat, visit, eat, watch football, eat, play games and, occasionally, eat.  This year was special for a number of reasons, including Sarah & Kyle joining us AND it was Ermias’ first Christmas in America!  We always take a lot of pictures and video.  This year, I organized the video into gift opening and other highlights.  I tried to cut it down to the essentials, but we had so much fun that I just couldn’t cut it too far.  Click on the photo above and enjoy both videos below.

More highlights:

Christmas Eve 2013

Missing Janel & Ryan

Sarah and Kyle were home for Christmas, which made it extra special. We enjoyed great food and fellowship at Richard & Margie’s home. We put some of the video together for your enjoyment. Sarah & Kyle bought Daniel & David a fart gun from the movie, Despicable Me, which provided a fair amount of (disgusting) entertainment throughout the evening (and way beyond). Caio (Kyle & Sarah’s awesome exchange student) got to handle a crab for the first time. Enjoy the pictures and the video.

Early Christmas

Sarah managed to get 4 tickets for the Seahawks game being played the Sunday before Christmas.  She was taking all the boys – Daniel, David and Caio (who has become a big Seahawks fan during his stay).  Caio’s cousin also came over from Bremerton on the fairy and joined them for the game.

So we bought jerseys for all of them (and Sary-Jo and Randy).  Of course they needed to be opened before the game.  Both the tickets and the jerseys were huge hits!  Click the picture to see a few more.  They captured the whole experience including hair and makeup.

Click the picture below to see pictures of their game experience.

Daniel’s First Wresting Season

Daniel is always adventurous.  One of the things we admire about him is his willingness – actually – to try new things.  If those things are athletic in nature, he is virtually certain to sign on.  This year he tried wresting.  Sary-Jo made it to most of his meets, and Randy made a few.  We’ve included a sampling of pictures and some video.  As you can tell on the video, Sary-Jo is a pretty excitable mom when her son is on the wrestling mat!  I don’t know exactly what Daniel’s record was, but he won more than he lost.  More important, he gained some additional confidence and was part of a different team.  We’re very proud of him.  Click on the picture to see more.  Enjoy the video below.

Thanksgiving

Chris, Paul, Steve, Carrie and Nicole came for Thanksgiving this year (along with the kids).  Dinner and conversation were great – so great, in fact, that we didn’t take many pictures.

Visiting with Tigist

Randy’s sister Julie & Cindy, Grammy and MacKenzie, traveled to Ethiopia to bring newly-adopted Ermias home.  Ever the adventurer, Julie set her mind to tracking down Daniel’s and David’s older sister Tigist.  Despite having virtually no shared language or contact information other than “somewhere in or near Adama,” they set out.  Naturally, they had no problem locating her and arranging to meet her at a hotel with WiFi.  Those who know Julie understand.

It was time to introduce Tigist to Skype and to give her a first-hand visual look at how her brothers are doing!  What an amazing time we had (although it was about 2:00 in the morning our time on a school day).  The only thing that could have made it better would be if the boys could communicate in Amharic which, unfortunately, they don’t remember.  But with Julie’s host as a translator, all the messages got through just fine.  There were plenty of tears on both continents as we visited.  Tigist had never heard of Skype and was probably wondering how we fit her brothers into that little thing called an iPad.

We also got to see Tigist’s son Naol.  What an adorable little boy!   Tigist is doing well, and showed our family to her home.  There, they met her husband and brother (yes, that makes him Daniel’s & David’s half-brother also).  Additionally, Julie was able to take pictures of some of Tigist’s pictures.  So we now have baby pictures!!!  And pictures of the boys’ mother and father.  This visit was such a blessing to all of us; we can’t thank you enough, Julie (and the rest of the traveling crew).

We posted a few of the pictures.  Click on the one shown and take your time enjoying these pictures.  We still look at them often.

Nice Visit

We love getting together with friends in a relaxed setting – typically at our home.  We enjoyed a nice, (relatively) quiet evening with our friends, Andrew and Gretchen and their five kids.  All the kids enjoyed themselves, and I think all the parents appreciated a bit of relative down time.  We took a few pictures; click on the one shown to see some more.  Sary-Jo especially enjoyed having some little girls in the house for a while.

Birthday Party

David and Daniel

The boys’ annual birthday party / fundraiser was held at Bradley Lake Park.  What amazing weather!  It was a beautiful day and many friends joined us for the event.  As usual, the kids spent the bulk of the time playing soccer and other active games, while the parents visited with each other and enjoyed the food.  We continued the tradition of inviting our family and friends to honor Daniel and David by contributing to the Adoption Ministry campaign.  Funds used go to support the orphanage in Ethiopia.  We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support, with the financial contribution exceeding $1,500!  Thank you.

The party did experience one mishap, with Andrew on the receiving end of a large bump from a collision with David.  The size of the bump gave us serious concern for a while, but he recovered nicely.

Click on the picture to see more.