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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ABCs of Ethiopia

Look what an awesome book I found? A fellow-adoptive family posted about this awesome book on an email list I belong to.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gifts that Give Back

Here are some of the wonderful programs and items that have real holiday 'meaning'


Wonderful site with so much to offer: Global Goods Partners
This site has gifts as low as $15, for him and for her, for baby and pets and for the house. All items are fair trade from Cambodia, Bolivia,Colombia, India, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Peru, Thailand

Many items on the new "World of Good" Ebay- green site

There are so many sellers who focus on a variety if different green and sustainable ideas and concepts.


These are just some of the many organizations that are focused on giving back this holiday season, and any season for that matter:)
I am excited about some forth coming Sole-rebel shoes for me and my kids and will also be buying several items via the Global Goods Partners site!
Happy shopping and happy world changing :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving and new beginnings

Usually new beginnings happen with the new year- but for us we have some new beginnings happening in November. John began a new job this month, as several people from his old company are now finding themselves in need of a job. Which ever executive genius decided December was a good time to shut down, in the midst of insurance ending and the holiday season, should be give a real "special holiday bonus" in my book. I am sure other families are dealing with this difficulty in more drastic ways. We are just happy john found a place back at a company he liked (he worked with a few of these people 6 years ago when he lived in Rock Hill) and that he is able to work with people he likes/respects. Our dossier and all paperwork for adoption of our little K was finalized in November, another new beginning. We had a great meeting with a medical/social work team at our PID clinic, they are a wonderful team and are super happy about all the positive medical reports for K. We also have two new beginnings we didnt expect. One is a super sweet new doggy named Ruby. If Megan had not wished to adopt her, i never would have met her. And although this puppy adoption did not work out for Megan, Ruby has fit right in here. She loves her doggy and human family and is just blossoming with our dogs and kids. The second new beginning is somewhat under wraps and if it pans out well- i will discuss it at a later time.
We are prepping for Christmas and Sam will be getting a great big kitchen set with food and a buggy I found on Craigslist. I am most likely getting Gabe some second hand fencing gear. My goal is to not buy anything brand new for Xmas. If i do buy "new " items then it will be from an organization that gives back to some sort of social issue. No Walmart, no Target....none of that. I may condone some crafty first-hand made items from Etsy. I may have to seek out some tools at Homedepot for John, but that is not set in stone as of yet either. We are looking at repurposed fencing (actual structural fencing) material and other used household items. The dogs need "new" dog-lounge furniture. They have their own 2nd and 3rd hand furniture so they do not sit on ours :)

My job focuses on sustainability and our heavily material-focused society is not self-sustaining in any way. I am trying to prep my self for a mighty new years resolution of a "buy nothing new except food/soap/hygiene items/gas" for the whole year. I would most certainly take a hiatus from this resolution when in Ethiopia, so that i may buy new cultural items for K and Sam....but other than that i would ideally like it to be a very minimally consumer-focused year. Which means i may have to buy any essential new items in December to head off any new 2013 purchases hehehe...lets see how it goes.

On different sustainability note- Gabe and I went to a youth convention for the Unitarian Universalist church at the Mountain Retreat Center last week. We loved it. It was a little taste of summer camps but with a suitable presence of chaperones. The amazing thing is that I, along with my other youth adivisors, did not have to lead any activities! There were awesome PALs for that. I loved it. Gabe has already asked me several times to attend summer camp there next year- which i think will be a big possibility. He is ready, we are ready, the Mountain is ready :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Because it seems another blogger with two beautiful little boys from Ethiopia, and other awesome kids, was in my mind regarding her reflections on the Month of Thankfulness and how we often start this and then it goes awry- I am right there with you. I have so much to be thankful for!
I am up late (late for me is past 10:15), with a weird case of heartburn that has stemmed from this afternoons lunch with my husband. He is playing with his new Samsung Galaxy phone that he got today- right before our lunch celebrating his new job, and his move from the technological dark ages (he has a flip phone, ya'll) to the realm of the modern "smart phone" which will most likely bring weeks of frustration before he learns how to use it properly. He has already found nerdy engineering apps to install- which may have been the cause of my heart burn.
So yes, John begins a new job in the next few weeks- which we are super thankful for. Sam is doing well with school, as is Gabe. I am holding my own, but not over exerting myself, as per usual. I am partially done with one final paper, and have yet to start on the other. Lets see what i can do with the next two weeks.
We have been in the waiting game for dossier news, that it has been approved and is on its way to Ethiopia. Our placement agreement, more immigration forms, dossier and the last big a$$ check has all been sent and received- exciting. I have received some travel documents from our agency and need to contemplate how we will do our visas. We are still hoping for a late January court date. Maybe by Valentines day? Anyhow, we need to make a photo book for K and to complete one for Sam - about his first year home. Shutterfly and i have had an estranged relationship and i must rekindle it! Ok sleep time.....tomorrow is a big day- Gabe and I will be going to the Mountain retreat center with the UUCC ! Yay Youth Con!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

At peace

our democracy is broken and is not a true every person/every vote system...the electoral college really is antiquated and needs revisions or to be done away with. All that said, i am still so thankful to see our voting at work, our sputtering democracy still puttering along. I believe in our president. I believe that I, as an educator and a mom to a special needs child- matter more to my president than i would have mattered to the 'other guy'. I am at peace with the outcome and yet i know there are still challenges that need to be addressed. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Busy crazy and still waiting

well our dossier still sits here all prepared to be sent off and we *still* are waiting for two documents from our i am not the happiest regarding the adoption front- but i have tons of things to side track my "antsy waiting- impatient" mode. One of my dear friends is getting married this Saturday- i will be a brides maid :) So i am leaving at 4:00 to travel a bit and get to the rehearsal dinner. Before that i have some volunteering i would like to do, a few things to take care of for work/school and a late lunch event for work....also i should probably pack and make sure i dont forget my dress. Gabe has a fencing clinic this weekend that i hope and pray goes ok since John and I will be away at the wedding and Gabe will be going with his friend. I am not sure he has done 5 hours of intensive anything let along an athletic activity.
On the home front- Halloween came and went like a blur. We went all out with our yard and the kids did several events as per usual- zoo, art museum, trick or treating with the senior center and then the traditional stuff. Other home front issues- John is still interviewing with several companies locally and hopefully will be given an offer of some sort in the next week or two. I may begin tutoring again soon- the main adoption expense is travel and the kids passports....not cheap.