Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday's Menu and Mishmash

First of all, happy birthday to our precious niece, Gracie! Here she is with her Uncle Luke and cousin Bethany last week at a shower for her new cousin Minte. She looks so grown up! How quickly they go from the little girl on the left to the grown up girl on the right. Time flies!! Gracie, your smile and your spirit bless us all (and you can catch fish like nobody's business!) We can't wait to celebrate with you tonight at Peter Piper Pizza! We love you!

So, I haven't posted a menu or, well, anything at all in the past few weeks. As I always say, sometimes I'm too busy living it to blog about it! I haven't stopped menu planning, though, as it is always a sanity-saver for me.

This morning we are having these awesome waffles and homemade syrup. Yum!

Here's the rest of our week:

Monday: Pizza
Tuesday: baked potato soup, salad, bread
Wednesday: pan-fried tilapia, stir-fried vegetables, pasta, salad
Thursday: Bar-b-cups, green beans, corn
Friday: leftovers

For more menus and some GREAT organizing tips (perfect for this time of year!) visit Laura at


Okay, on with the "mishmash." I looked up that word earlier to make sure it was a word. Yes, I am a geek that way. Here's what it means: "n. A collection or mixture of unrelated things; a hodgepodge." That's exactly what this post is!

First of all, a Minte update.

Our case worker has been in Ethiopia for the past couple of weeks. Before she left, we put together another photo album and a folder of notes that we and some of our friends and family had written to Minte. I printed the notes and emails on colored paper and put them in page protectors, then decorated a folder with his name on it. Of course the notes will have to be translated or read to him, but we wanted him to know he has a whole group of folks here waiting for him! We also sent him some black soccer shorts and a bag of dum-dum suckers. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

A few days after she arrived, she sent us a couple of pictures and an email update:

"Most importantly, Minte is doing GREAT! Is so excited about ya'll coming. He has watched your dvd over and over again. He sends his love and is very interested in getting to know you. I have asked him the questions you had for him on video. BTW he likes to be called Minte. What a wonderful kid! He is a natural leader. All the children look up to him, even the babies. He is very good with the kids and is a good example for the children. He is silly, like we thought but can be serious when necessary. He loves history. He was so excited about the picture/letter book you sent and his shorts and he made sure to share his candy with everyone. You are very blessed! He can't wait to meet Bethany and Kyle."

Just LOOK at this picture! I LOVE IT!!!

I love seeing him holding what we sent him. I have pictures of him, and pictures of the stuff, and there are he and the stuff together! (Maybe that's weird, but I get a kick out of that.) I also think it is SO cool to see him holding a picture of us holding a picture of him! (The picture in the photo is here.) And, he looks so grown up. Oh my goodness!

And here is that fabulous smile I have come to love. SO fun.

Our caseworker is back this week, and she has the video of him finding out about us, as well as a video of him answering a whole page of questions I sent. We are SOOO ready to meet with her and get those videos!! Those will be gold to us! She also has his clothing sizes (I asked her to trace his feet on paper so I can cut around them and fit them into shoes to take to him) as well as his school books and report card. I am beyond excited to get all of that this week... I'll feel that much closer to him!

We had an itinerary reserved to travel on the 29th, but there's a small glitch with one of our papers at the US Embassy, so until that is resolved we did not book it. We had to let that itinerary go on Friday, so our next reservation is to leave on Sept. 5th. Please pray that the matter at the embassy is resolved and we can have a Sept. 9th embassy appointment! (For those of you who speak "international adoption", the glitch is that our 171 still reflects that we are adopting a child up to 5 years of age, they need the addendum that states that he is over 5. We don't have to be "re-approved" or submit a new 171, they just need to update the one we have. And they can do that electronically. If the immigration office here checks their email. Because you can't talk to them in person about it. No sirree.) SO, we've gone from 4 inches of papers away, to one paper away, to an email away. We're still getting closer and God is sovereign over it ALL.


We recently went to dinner at a fabulous Ethiopian restaurant with two other couples who are adopting from Ethiopia through our agency. It was so much fun! A. had made the most beautiful Ethiopia-shaped cookies for each of us (including all 3 of our children!) using cookie cutters that she got here. I forgot to take a picture before we ate ours. Luke and I shared one, and Bethany and Kyle shared one. The other 3 are in the freezer for the kids to share when Minte gets here. (That'll be an even better picture!)

These two couples are so precious to us, and we feel so blessed to be walking this road together.


Last week some dear friends gave us a "shower" for Minte. It was so much fun! So many generous family and friends gave us gift cards so that we can buy some clothing and some of the other things he needs. We are taking some things with us, but I look forward to taking him shopping sometime after he gets home and letting him choose what he likes to wear. I was looking at a picture of him recently in which he was wearing a donated "Grand Ole Opry" shirt and bright pink flip-flops, thinking that I bet he's never really chosen what *he* likes. He's always been given clothes (which is a blessing) but by age 10, certainly he has preferences. I can't wait to stand in Target with him and watch him decide which jacket or pants he wants. So, thank you to all of our friends who gave us gift cards and will be part of that day for him.

Isn't this fun? It's the Ethiopian flag made out of cupcakes! And and star made out of M & M's... "M" for "Minte" of course.

They had a big basket of popcorn from a wonderful gourmet popcorn shop in town. Someone told them that popcorn is popular in Ethiopia, and it must be because there was a recipe for spiced popcorn in the "Foods of Ethiopia" book I recently ordered. I have begun buying things that have the word "family" on it... picture frames, wooden signs, etc. because I want that to be one of the first English words he learns. I loved how Kristin used this as a centerpiece. It was very meaningful to me.

Everyone brought a photo of their family and a note to go in a book for him. Kristin had printed out the email update (from above) and framed it so everyone could read how he is doing. She also decoupaged a couple of photos of him onto canvases, and they perfectly match our decor in our house. What a treasure!

Many precious people came, and it was so moving to see so many people come who are excited to meet Minte. Luke made a wonderful video of him that played throughout the party, so everyone could see him, watching him sing and play with his friends. I would post pictures of the people, but in every one of them either my mouth is open or my eyes are closed. (Maybe that's vain, but hey... this is my blog, LOL.) I thought we got a picture with the hostesses, two of my very favorite people in this world, but it must have been on someone else's camera. **(Edit: Here it is!)

It was a very special day that meant the world to our family. Thank you to all of you who were there!


The week before that we had my brother and his family staying with us. We had such a fun visit! They have three precious kiddos and we had fun going to Chuck E Cheese, Hawaiian Falls, blowing bubbles, making snow cones, playing with the toys, and laughing and LOTS of eating. They recently moved out of the area, so this was the first time we had a "visit" where they stayed for a few nights.

Helen Montellin

Kyle and Thomas in the tube at Chuck E Cheese

Bethany making snowcones for everyone

Enjoying snow cones and time together!

It was a blast! We have decided to make this an annual event!


Last but not least in this Monday Mishmash... how about those Olympics??? Wow! We have had so much fun watching them, especially the gymnastics!

This banner is hanging above our TV right now. It's from China and it's what they would wave when the torch came by. Bethany brought it home from China a few weeks ago because we are Olympic NUTS around here. (That actual banner was waving as the actual Olympic torch went by on the actual street where Bethany actually stood about a week later. A brush with greatness.) The kids and I even have the Olympic music on the iPod we listen to in the car, and listen to it even in non-Olympic years. Did I mention that we LOVE the Olympics?? We will be sad when they're over, but at least we'll get to bed at a decent hour!

Well, if you've hung in here for this entire post, thank you! I can't believe I haven't posted all month long, but I've not been on the computer as much. SO much to do. And it's all wonderful.

God has shown me that He is a God of preparation. There are so many scriptures with the word "prepare" in them. I have found that as I prepare... meals, clothing, schoolwork for the year, Awana, everything for Minte's arrival, learning some Amharic words and phrases... He has been broadening the path under my feet and enabling me to do it. He has actually seemed to multiply my time and make it enough, IF I'm careful to be doing what I know I need to do. Which most days involves less time on the computer, at least for now. I feel like so much of what I'm trying to do is over my head, but I remind myself that it's ALL under His feet.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our sweet son and for our upcoming union with him. (I almost typed "reunion" because it feels like we've been with him before!) I'll post more about him after our meeting with our case worker this week. Yey!

Have a great week!


Mindy said...

Glad to read the update!
I was wondering about you all and have been praying for you.
Will continue to pray for everyone while you wait on Minte to come home.
Hope your trip to Etheopia is perfect!
in HIM -

D said...

Such a fun update! Cannot wait until we get to meet Minte! Enjoyed dinner so much! I am excited and praying!

Linda said...

I know people always say things like this, but it's true - I had you on my mind for a couple of days and had decided I needed to email you today to see how things were going. And here you are!
I am getting so excited for you. What a precious boy. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you actually meet him in person. It is going to be so wonderful.
We were with Scott and Susan last week to help with the move to Dallas. They are actually living in Wylie. I hope that isn't far from you because I would dearly love to meet some time when we are there visiting. They are getting settled in - feeling kind of lonely right now. Once they get started with the homeschool group and find a church they will all be happier.
I will be praying that the last little bit of paperwork is all taken care of very soon. I'm also praying that the Father will knit your hearts together long before you actually get to hold your new son in your arms. I think he's already doing that.
Have a blessed week sweet girl. It was so good to catch up on all your "doins".
We're nuts for the Olympics too - and sleep deprived!

The Lloyd Family said...

I cannot imagine the anticipation as you get closer and closer to Minte's homecoming! How exciting!

Glad you finally updated. I know you're busy but GOSH .... I was starting to go through withdrawal!