Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall is in the air....

Just wanted to do a little (long) peek-a-boo into our busy fall.....

Perhaps one of the most time consuming of all fall activities is the B.O.M.B squad.  Affectionately named for the communities that Joey's boys are from.... Belt Line, Orange Mound and Bethel Grove.  All in close proximity to one another and it seems our house is in the heart of all three.  Mondays are basketball practice and bible study and Saturdays are consumed with games.  As you can see, we're working on practicing.  Can you guess which one we are?  Home or Visitors????  The team grows every week and could really be 3 teams at this point.  Any takers???  Orange Mound is ready for some new neighbors...:)
 Coach and the boys
 Do you see the assistant coach?

Earlier in the month there was big Shenanigans in the Mound with the Heritage Bowl between Jackson State and Tennessee State.  We rode in our wagon to the Orange Mound Parade.  Daddy's clinic had a "float" and Bethany and Dad didn't catch it in time to start with but jumped on during the parade to help throw out candy.
 The Oliphant's came for the fun, too!
 Jackson State band.  JP loved the drums.  The boy can dance and doesn't miss a beat.  Maybe we'll see him on the drum line one day?
 That same weekend we went to the fair.  Do you see the 2 extra kids we now take care of?:)  Danny, in the middle is our Manny, I mean good friend from residency that is now working at Christ Community.  His house in the Mound's not ready so he's living with us:)  Demmerick is our child, I mean neighbor... he does homework, eats, and I some time do his laundry at our house.  Oh and if you're at our house that much, then you also get disciplined too.
Lyds enjoying the little play ground.  What a sweetie... but don't let that smile fool ya.  She's a feisty one she is.
 Best Buddies
 We also meet the Oliphant's here too.  If you don't know yet, the Oliphant's are good friends of ours.  They're new in town and Jason is one of two of the new and very welcomed surgeons in the Christ Community family.
 Next is Thursday Girl's night with our friends.  Our first Orange Mound Girl's night started off the right way, with an ice cream social at Janine's and ended in a very successful win for team 1 (whoot, whoot) of Catch Phrase.  We had about 7 or 8 teenagers and about that many grown girls.....
 Me and Ray Ray, one of Melrose High Schools star soccer players!
 Let the games begin ladies!
 Last weekend was a busy one also.  We had Sister's In Motion 5K.   B-dawg was pumped about her race.  Daddy ran along side her and she ran over a mile without stopping!  You go gurl... Daddy and B before the race lookin relaxed.
 Christ Community was everywhere since the race benefited the new pregnancy and family center.
 Headed to the start line
 And their off...
 This is what we did while they ran....
 She'll be coming 'round that mountain....
 Successful Daddy/Daughter run!

 Then on to the jump house
 And JP and Momma do a little Wobble....
 That Sunday I wanted to create a little memory and family tradition by going to the near by (15 miles near by) Jones Apple Orchard.  I had it all planned to be so much fun and right when we pulled up the clouds rolled in and the sky turned black.  As we were warned by the 15 yr old that it wasn't such I good idea to pick apples in a storm (trees, people!) I made my kids get out any way so I could at least get my pictures!  Every mom wants her pictures.  As soon as our feet hit the ground tornado sirens started going off, buy we picked apples in 2 minutes flat... and I"ve got the pictures to prove it.  Enjoy

Most of our apples were rotten.  The kids were scurrying around picking up apples off the ground.  You can see from the pictures above that it was just a mill house of picking a child up and letting them pick one apple so I could get my picture.  Sad, I know. 

Well, that was an exhausting glimpse into our fall so far.  I still haven't even posted pictures of the Ball from tonight.  It'll have to wait.  Happy fall to you and yours!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy New Year Ethiopia!

Last Monday was the Ethiopian New Year! It is a huge celebration in Ethiopia. Monday came and went and I didn't realize it until late that night. The next day I was at dance with Bethany and was talking to two Ethiopian adoptive parents. We decided to take the kids to the local Ethiopian restaurants, Abyssinia. JP had meet the Ethiopian girl, Ruthie, who happens to go to his school and who is in B's dance and school class. But he had not been able to meet Solomon. Both kids are 3 yrs old and came home as babies.

I decided to dress JP in his traditional Ethiopian outfit. Look how handsome!

The girls also wore their Ethiopian dresses. They all were so cute. It's like JP knew what we were going to do. I kept asking if he wanted to go eat injera and he'd run around with excitement!

We got to the restaurant and he lit up! I think just the smells in there were so familiar. Once the food came he couldn't get enough!

The Ethiopian owner couldn't get enough of him. She thought it was so sweet that he knew how to eat the injera. It is eaten with the hands and Ethiopians are skilled at not making a mess. She was so proud of him! 3 plates later he told me, "Mommy, full".

I just couldn't wait to get him there to see if he'd be able to communicate and use his Amharic with the Ethiopians. Although it wasn't his first language, he still understood everything the Ethiopians were saying. He only spoke a few words and preferred to use his now very good English. Both families were their and the kids had a blast. They started to run around the restaurant and wearing the injera baskets as hats. We decided next time we got together with everyone in the family we'd go to a park! Maybe Abyssinia trips will have to be special time for just the Ethiopian kids.... Here's part of the group picking up. There were 7 kids terrorizing the place!

On the Memphis side of things it's been going really well. On Thursdays we go to the Community Bible Study (CBS) here. I was always a part of it in Greenwood and was thrilled to find that Memphis had a CBS. I was even more thrilled to find that CBS would be studying Revelations!!! The kids love going too. The children's program is like a well run Sunday school. They have lessons and choir and memory verses. This has proved to be a comfort to me since we are doing house church. It's been really hard for me to walk away from the institution of church b/c it was such a wonderful part of my life growing up and has been such a big part of Bethany's life. Bethany and I watched "The Prince of Egypt" today for rest time. She's been learning about Moses at CBS and she mentioned the movie. The Lord knew it was just what I needed to see. Although Memphis has been full of wonderful blessings thus far, I am sometimes "tripped up" in longing to have a comfortable life. Don't get me wrong, we are "comfortable' in the sense of not wanting for anything and having a nice, cozy place to call home. But sometimes being immersed in a different culture and seeing your neighbors deal with really hard and real issues is not easy. Actually, some days just thinking about it is draining. And being in Orange Mound means carrying some of that burden. But as I watched that movie and Moses leading his people through the Red Sea and the waters crushing the Egyptians what really struck me was when they reached dry land it was a desert. They were finally free but all that lay before them was open, hot, dry desert. And knowing the story that they not only lived in the desert but wondered it for forty years and only ate the sweet Manna that God rained down on them. Also, none of the first generation to see the miracles preformed lived to see the Promised Land. And it just hit me. Just because I've been set free with the Blood of Jesus and He's paid my debt for the sin that ensnares me daily doesn't entitle me to comfort and ease. In fact if I looked through the Bible, I would be hard pressed to find one devoted follower that lived a comfortable life. I think of Moses who wondered the desert, Abraham who was called to a foreign land, of Elijah that was suicidal, of Jeremiah who lamented and fought God on being a prophet, of Joseph sold to slavery by his brothers and that's only skimming the Old Testament and not touching the New Testament! I can't even think of one that had an easy existence. "Jesus replied, ' No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'"

Lord, may you keep my hands on the plow and my eyes fixed above. Don't allow my unbelief to cause me not to recieve he promises you have for me. When I start to turn back Lord, remind me of your Words and of your saints.