Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Pictures


Around here, one can tell it is Fall because the Ferguson's have started storing away firewood for the winter. Like old times (pre-Ruby and Roman), we have finally gotten back to "normalcy" and have been able to either start new projects or finish well as cut one Alder tree down in our pasture (Limbed, cut and stacked the whole tree! Now just the leaves and small branches need to be burned. There are three nice piles ready for a fall bonfire! I can almost smell it now!) Yesterday was simply gorgeous here in the Pacific NW and perfect weather for doing physical labor outside. Since I'm the type of person who would rather do anything outside (mowing the lawn, chopping & stacking wood, weeding, etc.) than anything inside (laundry, mopping, washing dishes), it was a wonderful day! I was reflecting on this yesterday, about how we weren't able to fill our woodshed last fall...there were two main reasons. One, we were still getting used to our new lives with two babies. They had only been walking a short while and were not very steady. Taking them outdoors in the rain was not easy because half the time we were picking them up from falling over. They had to be watched continuously and Roman was still putting everything in his mouth. The second reason was because we had SO MUCH rain! Buying a couple chords of wood just seemed easier, even though we broke the bank just to have enough to get through our cold, drizzly downpour of a season. Bleck!!!!
19 months later after bringing Ruby and Roman home, we are happily back to full blown "normal" and do everything pretty much the way we used to when we were just a family of four. We all have our role, our routine and it's wonderful that there really are no surprises. Because everything is routine, I have to stop and make myself acknowledge how perfect our family is. Please don't think I am being boastful...that's not my intention whatsoever. Merely, I am just in awe at how our God brought this family together in such a magnificent way. His timing, planning and love for us shows in the very children he brought into our lives (all four of them)...Timing truly can be everything!

I also want to talk specifically about my beautiful 14 year old. Our Chloe is a freshman this year! So hard to think about sometimes. Already in her three short weeks of school, she has a full schedule. She plays on the JV Volleyball team with practices every night after school, not to mention when she has games...her day is at least 10 hours long! We drop her off at 8am and pick her up at 6pm. Whew...She plays percussion in the school band and just attended her first Girls Club camp out in central Oregon. Every day she tells me delightful stories about school that day...her group of friends are uplifting, supportive and they all love being together. She has a healthy view about dating and boys and although she tells me that she 'thinks' one boy has a crush on her, she is not ready to date. I love that she has a healthy environment in which to thrive in high school! Attending the same school, 21 years ago (yikes...but it only feels like 5!), I always hoped that my children would find the same encouragement and 'fit'. In a nutshell, this year is off to a fabulous start for this new high schooler!
Knowing how fast the next four years will fly makes me quite melancholy. I am a very upbeat person, usually looking at things positively, even when they seem bleak. But seriously, thinking about my children growing up, making life changing choices and being safe really makes that little gray cloud of doom hover just a bit over my head. I want them to grow up, be happy and make good choices. But that little doom cloud reminds me that this won't always be the case. There will be times they mess up, make choices that I cannot fix and sometimes won't even be able to relate to whatsoever. Ugh. This has weighed on my mind a lot lately. Not because anything has happened to indicate so, but because I know it's inevitable because I've been there. All the nurturing, love and healthy support my mom gave me still did not 'save' me from making my own naive choices. Don't get me wrong, I didn't do drugs whatsoever, have only been flat out drunk once in my whole life and was actually a 'good' kid. But I had no clue how to handle my finances and there were many times I was completely broke, or worse...negative balance. My mom was there to talk to, but she also was a firm believer of not giving handouts. I had made my bed so to speak, so I needed to sleep in it. It always seemed so easy for her to be hard nosed, but now, being a similar type of mom, I know she was doing me a favor and not enabling me...and it was probably very difficult for her to stand by and let me fall. Lessons are hard to learn sometimes, but I am grateful. In 4 years, I will have an 18 year old and I am just a bit blue over that. So much can happen in four years. Weird to think that I was 20 years old when I got married and that is only 5 1/2 years older than Chloe is now. OK!!! With that, it's time to sign off now! Ruby and Roman are napping and there are more chores to do outside...or should I nap, too?!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Elmo vs. Barney

Holy Granoli! I can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged on here! Any computer time seems to be facebooking (yes, I'm's so...what's the right word...instant!) or searching for library books.
My babies are growing way too fast. We've crossed a milestone. Several of them, actually. They are both now two years old and even though at times they are light years away from each other, there are moments when they seem exactly like twins.
Ruby's favorite things are being very bossy to everyone. We often hear her saying "NO! Don't Touch!!" or "Stop It!!" or "Go Away!" or "No, I don't Want It!" favorite is when she tells on daddy for something he's done to her. Oh my...the child is controlling and absolutely beautiful all at once. She continues to mesmerize me and I am in awe of this incredible creature that is my daughter. Ruby also loves anything pink, purple or green. She will point and tell me "That one!" to the pink or purple bowl, sippy cup or utensil. She can count to 10 easily, knows several of her colors and can say many of the alphabet. The girl can also sing just about any tune after hearing it only once or twice. She is a lover of music and like postings before this one, she can still dance up a storm!!
Her favorite character is Barney and she sings the theme song with gusto and soul. Today she said "No more Elmo, mommy...we play Barney again?!"

Roman is so full of energy that I barely know what to do some days. He wakes up incredibly happy and full of character each and every morning. I do not think he has ever awoken on the wrong side of the bed. He's just naturally a "glass half full" type of little guy! Of course, this also leads to him doing a lot of head butting because he thinks that is just part of being full of life! The kids head is made out of concrete, I swear. So, in the morning, when he is showing how awake and happy he is, he does this by crawling over and bonking his head on part of mommy's body...usually my face. I've learned to cover my head with my arms! There is no reasoning with him, he just laughs. Hardly anything makes him cry. Unless it's not getting his mama! Yes, mama's boy he is...and I'm perfectly happy with that, too.
Romy talks all day long. We do not know 99% of what he's saying, but he's chattering away just the same. He can say about 5-8 actual words, although no sentences. I am not concerned yet...well, maybe just a teensy bit...but his pediatrician doesn't seem concerned since Romy is blabbering so much. His hearing is great and normal, so we'll just give him some more time. After all, my mom said I did the same thing until I was 3 1/2 and all of a sudden one day I exclaimed "Whoooo Whooo, look at that cute boy!" (For those who know me well, this should come as no surprise!)
Elmo is Roman's very favorite thing in the whole world, next to mama! He lives, eats and breathes Elmo...that is, if he could. He will communicate that he wants to watch Elmo or Sesame Street by saying "Elmo-mo, Elmo-mo??!!" and pushing me towards the TV. If he does not get his way, he will get cranky and throw a bit of a tantrum. But it never lasts long. There is something about that little red monster that he just LOVES. So, now you can understand why Ruby is sick of red furry monsters and prefers purple dinosaurs!!

The summer simply flew by and we are officially into fall since both older kids have started school. I have a 7th grader who is enjoying his classes, but still prefers to be home and playing on the computer or his Nintendo DS. I also have a freshman!!! Wow...she totally loves her 9th grade year so far and for the first time in her life adores PE! She is on the JV volleyball team and will have her first game soon. I am so excited for her! Both kids have fabulous teachers and I'm looking forward to a happy year.

Andrew is working on an assignment in sunny Southern California. What I wouldn't give to be there, too. I wish we were on vacation to Disneyland...I truly believe it is one of the happiest places on earth. He recently quit his job at Oracle and started working for Optimum Solutions, based out of the Bay area. He is really excited to be starting somewhere else after being in his old position for 10 years. It's a great change, plus better income. Providing for a family of six gets pretty tight...

We have taken the kids off of dairy milk (not cheese or ice cream or yogurts) and switched to Almond milk. It's a delicious and healthier alternative. I've noticed a big change in Ruby's regularity and the shelf life is amazing. Sippy cups no longer go 'bad' in the car all day. Literally! I haven't had a rotten 'milk' cup in months. Just my little .02 cents.

Well, I have so many things I could go on about but it's late and recently Roman has been waking up at 4:30am and thinking it's time to start his day. BLAH!!! To be the best mama I can be, I should go to sleep...NOW!

Not making any promises to write more often, but I SO appreciate those of you who have emailed and wondered where I've been! My kids are all doing great and we are just living life to the fullest every day. Praise God for His many blessings!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our latest family photo session!

New Family Pics

We recently had more family photo's taken. We are very impressed with our local Yuen Liu. For being a studio that doesn't really have a lot of diversity, the price is good and the prints are quality. We were very happy with the results and could barely choose from all the truly good ones that were taken! I hope you all enjoy them!

Ruby is really interested in cows. She thinks all living, breathing, furry creatures bigger than a dog is a cow. Horses are not horses, goats moo, giraffe's must too. Yesterday we had a deer family stop in our pasture and graze. Ruby yelled excitedly to me from the living room "MOM!!! MOM!!! COW! MOM, MAMA, MOM, MAMA, COW!!!! COW!!!" I ran in to see if the neighbors herd had gotten loose (which has never happened)...Ruby is pointing out the front window and exclaiming that there are cows out there! I said "No, those are deer". Ruby answered very sweetly "No Mama, COW!"

Ruby still only has a few teeth. Late bloomer for sure. She turned 2 on the 10th of this month, yet, she only has six teeth. I can feel that her gums are very hard but those teeth can't be seen yet. Preparing foods that she can truly chew is still an ongoing endeavor. That girl will eat cheese for every meal...all cheeses! Just like her big sister, Chloe! If anyone reading this has some recipe's they'd like to share with me, please pass them along. Ruby is picky (except for cheese!) and I'm having a hard time getting her to try things. She will not eat banana's, apples, eggs, cooked carrots, oatmeal (any hot cereals) or potatoes (in any form) to name a few. I'm happy to say she will eat avocado!

Potty training is going really great. Ruby goes pee pee every time she tells us (3-4 x's per day). She does not like to go poop on the toilet yet though. She has twice, but she appears a bit scared when doing so. I believe she would be even further along, but in my old age...being a "been there, done that" mama, I'm not as on the ball as I once was. Chloe was potty trained at 16 months and Elliot was at 2. Roman will not even be ready for a long time. He is just discovering he has something dangly down there! :) Hee hee. But BOY! Does he enjoy running around naked. What boy doesn't?

Ruby's vocabulary is exploding. She will say just about anything after she hears it. Her newest words are Pizza, Miss you!, See You!, Ciao, I love you (but she only whispers this for some reason), Down Kitty kitty!, Daddy bye bye, Daddy work, Chloe, Elliot, cold, hot, balloon, coffee (she can recognize a Starbucks a block away & all mugs are "coffee"!) etc....every day she is saying something new or a new *almost* sentence. She had an entire conversation with my friend Jennifer last night. She told her that "Daddy bye bye, work, Daddy, car". She is putting wooden puzzles together well and she enjoys playing make believe. She will have conversations on anything that she can pretend is a phone and she even holds whatever object of choice on her shoulder while she "multi tasks" on the phone. Another fun thing she likes to do is pretend she is sleeping...snoring and all. Ruby and Roman LOVE playing with pillows from the bed and jumping on them, covering themselves up in them, wrestling on them, etc. These are their newest toys!
For her birthday, she got a toy guitar. Oh, what fun! Ruby loves the guitars from Rock Band, so her daddy got her one of her very own (Fisher Price style). But OH MY, the fighting between her and Roman!!! He wants one, too! They are a very typical brother/sister! Ruby is the most musical toddler I've ever seen. She loves to sing, dance and keep the beat. She can keep the rhythm better than most adults. She will sing and keep rhythm by smacking her leg to whatever she is singing. I'm truly amazed. And DANCE. That girl can dance. She's got moves like crazy.

Roman is my precious little monster. He is not yet taking off in the vocabulary department. He can say Bye Bye, Hello (and he holds his hand up to his ear while doing this usually), bath, dad, daddy, mom, mama, kitty, all done...He still knows what he wants and goes after it, unyielding. Lover of books, he enjoys playing with all of his toys, but books are his favorite. He will sit down next to the basket and "read" all by himself for long periods of time. He also loves the cat. Sometimes he gets the wrong end, but he kisses and hugs that poor cat to death. We always cringe when we see him at the tail end and he's attempting to give kisses. least he is a gentle little guy with critters. He also loves our little dog, Sammy. Romy actually loves the outside dogs, too, but he hasn't been able to play with them yet.

Bath time is really a monsoon in our home with the two little ones taking a bath at the same time. I cover our floor in towels and let them have fun for the most part. They still have to be reminded constantly to sit know...standing in the bath is so much more fun/dangerous. But the splash fest is unbelievable!! I also have to remove all the soaps and shampoo's. Otherwise they would be pumping them into their hands and throwing them out onto the floor! Ruby and Roman both know how to pump the lotion and think they have to be a part of slathering after bath time! I always give them a little bit to rub on their tummies and they think this is THE BEST. Romy does still try to lick it, though. Something about the smell of that cucumber melon baby lotion, I guess! :)

As I write this, it is pushing 11pm and I need my beauty sleep! No kidding! The gray hair is getting thicker and the red is turning apricot. Good thing being a mommy is so grand. I truly have THE BEST job in the world. Andrew and I had our 19th wedding anniversary today...but we actually
celebrated on Saturday night. I planned a date to the local roller derby! What a hoot! It was so much fun. Then dinner at one of our favorite places afterwords. It was wonderful to be out on a date...we don't do it enough...but when I'm back to the daily routine, the reality is no employer, no co-workers, no employees could ever be better than what I get to do every single day with my family! I thank God that He blesses us with a life that I am able to do this and be home with my children.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Chaotic January - Already Busy February

One year ago this month, we arrived back on American soil with Ruby Kalkidan and Roman Abinet Ferguson. It was an amazing journey that will last our life times. We are so over joyed that we heeded the call from God to expand our family through adoption.

January flew past with celebrating three birthdays...Andrew's, mine and then Chloe's. My grandmother passed away on my birthday, she was 99. A couple of weeks before that, my uncle passed away after a long battle with a brain tumor and then on the 16th, my other uncle passed on from a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Our family had the services for all three on the same weekend in Eastern Washington. Whew. What a weekend...celebrating three wonderful and amazing lives as well as connecting to family that we haven't seen in years, even decades. My grandmother was the epitome of the Christ centered life and she was faithful and obedient to the end. Always cheerful and full of spunk! She was a very funny lady who enjoyed making the grandchildren laugh at her silly faces!

I threw Andrew a surprise 40th party at a local retirement home (Whaaaa Ha Ha Haaaa!) and it was a great turn out. We are blessed with many friends, most of whom we do not get to spend enough time with!

My oldest turned 14 (!!!) on the 19th and we had seven teen girls here for a slumber/X-box rock band party. There was colored hair spray glitter all over the bathroom and girls camped all over the living room floor. It was a huge hit. Having a small house, we weren't sure how that would work out, but the next day all the girls were raving about the fun they had. Chloe was concerned that the babies would wake up while the girls were all rocking out. We told her that it was ok. Be as noisy as they was her party and she was only 14 once (it's not like we have this many teens here very often and if we want them to keep coming back, they need to feel comfortable). Besides, Ruby and Roman can sleep through just about anything...And, they did! It is evident we have a teenager. She is going more places and occupying her time with her friends and school functions. It makes me sad...and proud. Next year she will be in high school. Sigh.

Ruby has consistently been going pee pee on the big potty about once per day. We do the potty dance and really whoop it up. She is very proud.

This morning, as the house was quite cold, Ruby pointed to her toes and said "Mom, cold!!" I asked her if she needed some socks on and she nodded her head "yes" and said "Shocks!" She also is saying more and more two and three work sentences. When we get in the truck to leave somewhere, she will ask "Go home?" Or, to pick up the older kids at school she will say "Go Elliot?" She does not say "Chloe" very much, but she can say it.

Roman is just starting to say more words. He now says "Hello" and will say a few other words once or twice before keeping silent again. But his own language prevails. He can carry on a conversation but we don't know what he's saying! :) We'll get there.

Roman runs everywhere. I'm not sure he knows what walking it. He also has discovered climbing and so we've had to baby proof even more than before. I've also noticed he is getting more "snuggly". I am delighted. Usually, he is very happy to play, read and run around like a crazy man and not have too much holding time. So our hugs and cuddles are very precious.

Next week is Valentines...may your heart be filled to the brim with love and kindness.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Life Goes Too Fast!

I can't believe it's been so long since an update. Just shows how busy and full life is. For Christmas, all six of us took a wonderful trip back east. We visited Philadelphia and all it's historical glory. Then off to Washington DC for almost a week. It was really cool to show the kids our nations capitol and the sites. From there we spent our last week in New York City. There is so much to see in each of these cities that two weeks wasn't possibly enough. For Chloe and I, seeing Ellis Island was a highlight. We walked everywhere each day as much as we could to experience the cities. The subway was a new experience and thanks to my husband, the walking GPS navigator, was also a fairly easy way to get around NYC. We'd love to go back when we can spend more time. Plenty we missed, that's for sure!

It's amazing how quickly life speeds by. Ruby will be 2 in March with Roman following closely in July. They are daily doing and saying new things. Ruby can say two and three word sentences and will surprise us with something she's heard and just say it appropriately! Today I handed her cup to her and she said "Thank you" without any prompting whatsoever. She is fascinated with "Pee Pee" and will point to hers and everyone elses! I bought her pull ups so we can start getting serious about the potty department!
Roman says a few new words each week. He is catching up, but slowly. I would not say he is delayed, but he likes to jibber jabber and doesn't really see the need to actually talk. He runs everywhere and rarely walks. This little boy is already fast and has some serious football skills with his zigging and zagging! He has discovered the joys of climbing and is all know what that means. I constantly am taking him down from somewhere he's gotten himself into!

What a joy they both are. It never ceases to amaze me at how joyful, energetic and full of mischief they can be. It keeps me on my toes. Daily I feel ganged up on but wouldn't change it because it's usually full of hilarity, too! They both make me laugh more than anything else. I wish Andrew was home more so he could enjoy the daily life before they grow up. It's happening too fast.

Another thing happening too fast is a 14 year old in the house. Thank goodness she is such a great kid...she'll graduate from 8th grade in June and then next year off to high school. Sigh. She's beautiful and has her head on straight. She is a joy, most of the time...but definitely starting to spread her wings. She hopes to find out this week if she was voted class president. She is still in percussion in band and also continues the piano. Through the winter sports program at school, this is her third year taking snowboarding. She completely loves it!

Elliot is doing a fantastic job in 6th grade. He continues playing the upright bass and piano. He recently scored in the 87th percentile of all 6th graders nationwide in the Iowa Basic tests. He loves to read and snowboard. He is an attentive big brother and is always willing to care and play with his baby brother and sister.

Andrew is still on an assignment in Omaha, Nebraska. We are grateful that he has a job but like I mentioned earlier, it would be nice if he was closer to home now more than ever. Life is changing fast around the Ferguson home.

The question we've been asked a lot (so I'll address it now) is if we have considered adopting from Haiti...I think anyone with a heart probably has considered this since the massive earthquake doubled the orphan population. We pray daily for their safety and peace for this country. If the Lord has more children in mind for us, then it will happen. We will know if this is the case because He will impress it upon our hearts. He will also provide the room we need to bring home more children since the house we live in could not accommodate more now. I don't need to be concerned with that though.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous February so far. It seems like it should be the middle of the month already and not the beginning, though! I guess some things aren't going too fast!

Welcome to our site! We hope you enjoy the information we share during our adoption journey. As we document this wild ride to bringing home our Ethiopian children, we hope you'll fall in love with this beautiful country as we have.

Washington State, USA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa