Sunday, November 30, 2008


We had a jam session during clean up on Thanksgiving. Ella played a few solos on the piano and then we had my brother in law play the sax, Mark on piano, my sisters playing and singing. It was great. At one point Ella was on my lap and started crying. The more I get to know her the more joy I feel in my heart. She is so delightful and naturally funny that I can't seem to get enough of her. So she is really crying and turns to me and says..."My mom tell me before she die...never ever forget this song." I say "what song?" She says "Bingo was his name O"..I said "Really?" she is still crying and cuddling with me...She said "Yes, she say is my favorite song." I want to never forget it...and then Grace came by and smacked her on the head and said "No she didn't lie." And then Ella smacked her back and kicked her and I will never know if their mother really did love BINGO as her favorite song.....

The $6.23 twenty one pound turkey!

I was so excited when our local Harris Teeter grocery store sent out an email notice that for 3 days they were selling their turkey's for .29cents a pound. So I ran to the store and grabbed a 21 pounder. We were having 15 adults and 6 kids. So, since it was frozen solid..I mean really frozen I had to spend practically a week greeting the turkey about 3 times a day in the fridge to poke at it to see if it was defrosted. After 5 days it was still frozen so I tackled the defrosting task with the cold water method and then put it back in the fridge until the following day...I cooked it via a method I learned a few years ago. ...I steamed it in a foiled tent with a little bit of water on the bottom of the pan. I also cooked it breast down...Well I have to say that I was so proud when my brother in law went to carve the turkey and couldn't stop repeating..."This is unbelievable. The turkey is so tender it is falling off of the bone." So, the investment was worth it to say the least. AND then it was the turkey that kept on giving. We had left overs two days in a row and I made pasta with the turkey meat last night and will still have enough for sandwiches. My kids wanted to know why we have thanksgiving...they also all asked me why everyone had to leave. My mother was here for several days and two of my sisters came. My 6 year old nephew was here too...we really enjoyed eachother. THe children love having a full house. Today Ella seemed a little sad because everyone was gone. Yesterday afternoon Jared took a 3 hour nap. He had played with Dominick (superheros) non stop. Last year at this time I was in tears because I found out that our adoption case was kicked out of court for the 4th time. This year we are so grateful to have our family in tact and to be able to watch as the kids learn how to bake pies, make gravy, mash potatoes and eat until you have to unfasten your pants. We are so thankful for our family and friends and pray for those waiting to bring their children home!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Angus Barn!

There is this amazing restaurant here in NC called the Angus Barn. It is mostly a steakhouse. It was built in the 60's and a classic...Mark and I had a gift card and decided to go there for our TWENTY FIRST anniversary dinner. I tell Mark we are finally legal with 21 years behind us.Sam baby sat. The kids freaked out when we left (acting like we were leaving them FOREVER). They really don't even act like that when we go to NYC. So, we went to the Angus Barn which is literally 20 minutes from my house. It was really nice. Our friend Lance Odvody was the waiter...Everytime we say Lance's wife's name we think she sounds like a James Bond babe...Ashley Odvody...It sounds like some gorgeous strange body (like ODD vody) villian....In reality she is not a villian but a gorgeous angel instead. Still we laugh and always have to say both names together with a British Accent ....So we had red wine, steak and an amazing salad and were given southern pound cake for free because it was our anniversary....and then lance (who WAS very evil about bringing out a dessert tray anyhow after the pound cake) asked if we wanted to ORDER dessert...I had already unbuttoned the top button of my pants so declined......Here are some pics of before the dinner and after in front of the Angus barn tree...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Everyday is so entertaining with my family....So the kids love playing this game they call the QUIET GAME...Mark and I love it too because we get some peace then. So, almost every night at dinner they want to play. After the first time we said 'no' because someone would cry or have a tantrum when they lost which defeated the whole purpose for the quiet game....But recently we have been playing again..The winner usually gets to stay up 10 extra minutes and maybe gets an extra piece of Halloween candy. ( method is to immediately take the candy put it in baggies, label them and put them in a basket really high...everyday if they are good they get one piece, while at school I take out numerous pieces and redistribute it (no obama jokes okay..ha) to another baggie and use it as the filler in the christmas stockings)...SO..back to the quiet game. Last night Jared and Grace were the winners. They were quiet for 2 hours. Ethiopian children can be so deadpan forever..i know it isn't just my kids because I have seen it with grown Ethiopian friends of mine...Anyhow, it got to the point where I gave both of them an extra 10 minutes for winning. SO, i know Jared can be quiet for 2 whole hours. Samantha on the other hand was the type of child that we were really worried about. She could not keep her mouth shut for anything. One time Mark and I looked at eachother and we both said "if she was kidnapped and the guy said 'stay quiet or you die' she would still not be able to be quiet"

At school there is the dreaded YELLOW PAPER..You get a YELLOW PAPER sent home if you are bad. Today Jared got the YELLOW PAPER from the music teacher. He has music for 25 minutes a week. The note said "Jared couldn't be quiet for even 3 minutes." Jared was punished and not allowed his one piece of candy and then sat quiet because of his anger for 50 minutes....This just boggles my mind. I am tempted to tell the music teacher to tell Jared she would like to play the quiet game in class....instead he can't stay quiet for 5 minutes in class but he has the ability to win the quiet game and be in silence for 2 hours at home with the reward being just 10 extra minutes awake....

Along the same lines we have had minor colds running from kid to kid..Nothing major..but today Ella woke up and with a hoarse voice said "I LOST MY NOISE"....I kept saying "Your voice?" She yelled hoarse "NO MOM..I LOST MY NOISE." I thought her sentence was appropriate and laughed when she said it....after a few times trying to say ""VA VA VOY SSSSSS" She once again said "NO MOM...MY NOISE...I LOST MY NOISE." Sometimes it is really nice when they lose their noise.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ethiopian Concert!

The concert was really long but fun...I think once I realized that I needed to be on Ethiopian Standard time i settled into the 3 hour concert fine. It started at 6 but no one showed up until 6:45. My Nigerian girlfriend ADEOLA showed up looking fantastic and told me that everyone knows that when the Ethiopians say 6 it means 6:45. I said "I didn't know that ".....So we brought the kids and were lucky to keep the little ones in a nursery. Our songs went well but I didn't wear the ethiopian outfit because my girls nixed it the minute they saw me in it...I don't know why but they did not want me in the outfit and made a point of telling me that I should have something custom made instead. The girls recognized many songs and were even able to understand my amharic after I was tutored....that made me feel better since I was going to be singing "I'll FLY AWAY" amharic style in front of 200 ethiopian people.....I got a few thumbs up but not sure if they were just being polite or were actually serious...anyhow...I now can sing a hymn in amharic and find that a fun little piece of trivia to throw out about myself every now and then. Life is good with the kids. They are settling in so well and Ella was wearing my wig today...i was forced to buy a wig when my girlfriend and fellow singer (who is african american and knows how to fix hair) told me that when we work in FLORIDA or in a hot tent "Honey you must get a wig...your hair looks awful." So I have the wig and Ella found it because she can sniff out hair even if it is buried 30 feet under the ground...she asked if she could wear it to school tomorrow and I said "NO WAY!" she will have to deal with her own hair. If she grows up to be a singer I will let her buy as many FLORIDA (bad hair) wigs as she wants but she won't show up in my RICKY'S NY wig at her elementary school tomorrow...Sometimes a mom has to put her foot down...oh and PS...i discovered bunco last night and I am a total queen at dice...someone should take me to VEGAS.....OH YEAH...Mark and I celebrated our 21st anniversary on Sat...i said to him "hey we are finally legal at 21."

ANDREW the President!

Andrew has been named PRESIDENT of the 5th grade. He was so proud. He actually was elected on election day. We all celebrated even though I wasn't in the greatest mood on 11/4. Anyhow, Andrew told me he picked a girl for his running mate because he was running against a girl and he was trying to steal her votes. Apparently, his strategy worked because he won by a landslide....He really has not duties as president but will plan a party or two....