Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

So much to be grateful for...

Intense concentration!

Is he mocking me????

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One year ago...

...we were landing in the Missoula airport with our beautiful, oh-so-sick, silent, scared, amazing daughter.

Tonight we celebrate our beautiful, absolutely healthy, oh-so-noisy, fearless, amazing daughter.

This is our referral photograph!

This is Sylvie-Aganoti today!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


That's her first name?

That's her last name?

That's who took pictures of our readoption. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Making News

Our local newspaper printed an article on the readoption of three children in Missoula.

Sylvie-Aganoti was one of them. Her photo made the paper. Click the link below to see...

We were the last of the three readoptions. When our names were announced, Sylvie took off like a rocket for the front of the room, yelling, "My turn. My turn right now!" She was very excited and called the whole event "my party".

Nope, stage fright does not appear to be an issue. How fitting that the event took place at the Missoula Children's Theatre!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Readoption Today!

Which means, we adopted S-A in Ethiopia almost one year ago. So hard to believe...

Much has changed this last year. In our crazy, busy lives we often forget to slow down enough to appreciate all that is well and wonderful.

Today we pause to celebrate our family, our Sylvie-Aganoti.

Today, we celebrate life!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A few more pictures...

Minutes before she stripped down into her birthday suit. I'll spare you those pictures!
This handsome guy got his braces off. Wahoooo!!
Meet "Orange Blossom", S.A.'s sidekick. When Sylvie says her name it sounds like "Large Bosom". That makes everyone giggle a little!
New jammies--size 3T.
Spirit Day. You are getting a one-time look at Super Spartan Man.
Going for a walk in the gully behind our house.
Simon hiked around with us. He would "hide" and we would seek. We could hear giggling long before we would find him.
Yep, still sporting the wings. A LOT!!! Could it be an identiy crisis? Was she a butterfly in another life? Does she lean toward theatre? ...only time will tell.
Ta-daaa! Look at this awesome quilt made by Clark's family--it has a storybook theme. Clark's mom, Teresa, started the tradition of making a quilt for the firstborn of each family. What a treasure for Sylvie to have.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009


There has been some coughing in our house. And achy muscles and joints. And headaches. And sore throats. And stuffy noses. And fevers.

And some throwing up.

Today Simon emerges from the bathroom looking devestated. "I just threw up. I threw up in the sink because I felt so bad I couldn't make it to the toilet. Can I have a carrot? I'm hungry."

"No, Simon. No, you may not have a carrot."


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oink! Oink!

Two down...

...with the swine flu.

Liam and Simon. Keeping a keen eye on Sylvie-Aganoti!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why were the high school kids screaming?

A few weeks ago we had a day filled with running errands.


A trip to the Dr.'s office for Sylvie-Aganoti's fungus. A chunk of time dedicated to the pharmacy. An oil change. Additional school supplies for the boys. Some much-needed household items. Groceries. You know the drill...

As we zip around town, S-A falls asleep in the car. While sleeping, she has an accident. No big deal; she is wearing a dress over her jeans. I whip the jeans and panties off and we are good to go. I am a little worried about pee-pants sitting in the warm car but, with four kids, our car has seen worse.

At the end of our list is a swing by Jake's high school to take his class photo and get his student ID. While there,
S-A is being her silly, crowd-crazy self. LOVING the attention from hundreds of Jake's peers. LOVING the admiration from the photography team.

Jake, by the way, does not appreciate the ruckus she is causing...

The head photographer comes over to say how beautiful she is. He offers to take her picture, promising a pint-sized activity card. I explain that she hates to get her picture taken. How it takes tricks and dozens of tries to get a good one. He laughs me off and boasts about all the pictures he's taken of hesitant children.

Good luck buddy.

Mr. Photography scoots us to the front of the line. You can imagine high school students' response to being cut by a TWO-YEAR-OLD and her embarrassed brother.

He takes his time, arranging a kiddie stand so Sylvie-Aganoti is the appropriate height to his camera. Again, picture those not-so-patient teens waiting their turn. Scathing stares. Eye rolls. Sighs. Huffs. Arms crossed. Whispers.

And Jake, thinking this can not possibly be over soon enough.

Mr. Photography asks me to position S-A on the stand, directly on his red X.

Right! This kid hates getting her picture taken. She is not going to stand on his red X with a camera the size of a small car pointed at her!!!

Amazingly, she stands on the X.

And SMILES!!! Maybe Mr. Photography knows what he's talking about?


...she grabs the hem of her dress and lifts it up, way up, over her head. Baring her oh-so-naked behind to all of those angry high school students.

A chorus of boys shout, "Oh my God!" A symphony of girls shrilly squeal and laugh. The room reverberates with sounds of shock. Mr. Photography's jaw hits the floor.

And then there is Jake. Poor, poor Jake. Who utters, "Sometimes having a sister is absolutely the pits."

That, my friends, is why the high school kids were screaming...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It is confirmed. We are unusual.

I got a survey phone call yesterday. She was asking about our television-viewing preferences. I explained that we do not watch television.

Long pause...

She, "At all?"

Me, "Nope."

She, "What do you do for entertainment?"

Me, "We read books, spend time outside, work puzzles, play boardgames..."

Longer pause...

She, "Well, if you were to turn the television on, what would you watch?"

Me, "Our television does not receive channels. We do not watch it."

Longest pause yet...

She, "Can I send you a form to fill out? It is very unusual to find a family that does not watch television and we would like your feedback."

Turns out we are a rare find!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

As Red as a Lobster

This weekend Liam had a soccer tournament in Sandpoint Idaho. Sandpoint is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!

On the way home from our crazy, soccer-filled weekend, we decide to treat ourselves to Red Lobster. We've never been and have great expectations. Well... know how that goes.

We are not off to a good start, as the couple being seated in front of us, when asked their seating preference, say with snotty looks cast in our direction, "We would not like to be seated by children." I am offended. Our kids are being good. Really good. No screaming. No whining. Quietly, politely waiting our turn.

What is the deal with people like that?!?

So, I am feeling protective of our kids and cranky at this woman. Clark appears nervous. The kids are totally missing the boat.

When asked our seating preference, I quip, as I hold Sylvie-Aganoti and am surrounded by a variety of young boys, "We would not like to be seated by children."

Funny, right?


Turns out, we have a different hostess than the one who seated the snotty couple. Turns out, our hostess might think I am saying Clark and I would like to not sit by our own children. Turns out, she also might think I am asking her to watch our children while we enjoy lobster.

Plus, the kids are wondering why I suddenly do not want to sit with them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Totally, totally embarrassing.

Have I mentioned that I've been asked to consider teaching some parenting classes in Missoula?

I am sure you are racing each other to sign up right now!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Life is busy!

Back to work. Back to highschool, middleschool, elementary school & daycare. Back to soccer. Back to blogging.

As promised, here are pictures from this summer...

S-A's 4th of July dress!
After looking for the right home for our Ent for years, he is finally settled in our backyard.
A great picture of my dad.
Liam waiting for his soccer ball to drop from the air.
Sylvie-Aganoti and Olivia Rose.
Liam, Jake & Simon at the Pacific Science Center.
Clark got a great picture of this b-fly and its shadow.
Mmmmm, I love this baby.
Jake in a HUGE guitar.
Clark riding a bike two stories up. Yikes!
A day's never complete unless you touch a brain.
Clark and boys "rock climbing".
This is one of my favorites!
Clark and Casey doing a little golfing...
The bordello!

Beautiful Grandma Benny.
Eating her Grandpa's yummy sourdough pancakes.
Daddy and "The Sylv", as Simon likes to call her.
My mom and MaryAnne.
Sauna time, followed by a quick plunge in the lake!
Sylvie and her co-pilot, Margaux.
Remi, the super-sized puppy!

She was insistent on driving the boat!
Jason, my childhood friend, meets S-A.
Fabulous Simon!
Jake and the girls.
Fantastic Liam!
Very corny! We are at the Twilight shop in Port Angeles...
Even cornier!
Some lunch-time closeups!

This girl melts our hearts...