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2013-08-03 20.37.17

Well, we are nearing the end of the summer, and more importantly, summer vacation!  My favorite commercial ever is the Staples commercial, with the mom and dad gloriously tossing school supplies into the basket while their sullen children look on…its funny because it’s so accurate!   Not that I want to get rid of my kids (no, no, of course not!).  But the school year brings routine and structure , two things that I love but struggle to implement, left to my own devices.  I confess that I have loved the going back to school thing even as a child.  I’m now revealing my inner nerd!  J

In the last four weeks, we have had our ups and downs.  Actually, a more accurate statement would be, in the last hour, we have had our ups and downs.  At this very moment, I only have three out of five of my children speaking to me.  Sahye informed me yesterday, “No like “theez”  family!”   (I was ridiculous enough to suggest she brush her teeth before she could have gum.)  Our Ipad has mysteriously cracked and is no longer working.  I have, at a minimum, one too many co-parents at any given moment (Jake and Em are just a tad bossy), giving instructions that I have to counter balance with grace and compassion or negate all together.  I have yet to find the one magical fruit that the entire family likes.  Saminas attempted to teach Emilie a bad word when she asked how to say “Sit down” in Amharic.  How do I know it’s a bad word?  Because the other two were laughing in that embarrassed but hysterically silly way that all moms recognize as problematic, as he repeated the word over and over for Emilie to learn.    (If anyone can translate “botatay”, I’d be so grateful!!)  Oh, and the other night at the park, Saminas found a bush and took care of business—serious business—before I had any idea what had happened!  This may be Potty Etiquette 101 in Ethiopia, but in America, if your dog does that and you don’t clean up, you’re in big trouble!  Can’t imagine the laws on 4 year olds!

Oh no…it looks like I’m sharing all the downs!  We have had lots of “ups” as well, and I’d be remiss to not to share those details as well!

Jake has made great gains in all his relationships with the kids, but most notably with Sahye.  He took my advice to heart (“Quit parenting her—that’s my job!”) and has won her over with his gentle teasing .  We left him home yesterday to run some errands, and as we were walking out the door, she said “No good bye Jacob!”  This is a vast improvement from “No like Jacob”, which we heard often  last week!

When Emilie goes to bed at night, she hugs and says “good night” and “I love you” to each of her siblings, even Jacob, which is new.   They don’t always say it back, but she is determined, and her reward will be great when they do.

Sahye and Emilie recently spent the weekend with my mom and dad and that went extremely well.  They girls did great together, and Rob and I got to talk on the phone with Sahye for the first time, which was really fun.  She was very sweet, with the limited English she had!  And Em got to receive some extra attention from doting grandparents.

The new kids are learning the names of the people in our lives and interacting with them in wonderfully healthy, confident ways.  They are observing all kinds of things….like today in the car, Barsisa said “Mom, go fast.  Daddy, no fast!”. (Apparently Mom has a bit of a lead foot).  They have a wonderful work ethic.  I have to actually turn off the vacuum and tell them “All done”!  (Don’t worry kiddos, I promise there will be more dirt tomorrow!!)  And, yee-haw, the seating situation in the Suburban seems to have been resolved (read my last email/post for full appreciation of this!).   What’s interesting, is that it only took one kid (which one, I don’t remember!) offering to trade places with someone who was upset to turn around the seating culture.  Now there’s a surprising sense of fairness and flexibility that I had very little to do with.  I was ready to strap them all to the top, Romney-style!  Just goes to show that God’s mercies truly are new every morning.

Just uploaded some pictures from our trip to Ethiopia—be sure to check them out!  More pics of our summer at home will be posted soon!

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