27 febrero 2014

Ma'asalama, Wurood!

Clap!  Clap!  Clap!  Clap!
Hair whipping
Booty shaking
Shik!  Shak!  Shok!

Clap!  Clap!  Clap!  Clap!
Hair whipping
Booty shaking
Shik!  Shak!  Shok!

Enter "the platter."
Pinky covered and wrapped in cash.
"Plop of henna, Everyone?"
An orange smudge said, "Yes!"


Clap!  Clap!  Clap!  Clap!
Hair whipping
Booty shaking
Shik!  Shak!  Shok!

God, please protect her.  Be her friend and her comfort.  Let her know You!

25 febrero 2014

We have been girdled!

-a S.A.D., almost defeated, sigh-

This winter.  Oy!  This winter!  Not only have I endured polar vortex after polar vortex; but now, adding insult to injury, just as I was getting excited by the receding snow in the yarden... BAM!  

Our fruit trees have been girdled!  Whether it is fatal or not remains to be seen, but the prospects do not look good.

O Destroyer* of cambium!  Away with you and your "friends and relations!"

Ode to the probably-dead apricot trees

Fading memories of an edible gift from God
The hand-picked, sun-kissed apricot from Yalta of the Crimea
Firm and sweet yet slightly juicy and tart!  O, watering mouth!
 'Twas what brought the two of you to me.

-This is a work in progress.  It is too painful a subject to dwell on for more than a stanza at a time.-

*In fact, Valient Rob "displaced" the main offender a few weeks ago, but the damage had long been done.

Around here

"Shake, shake, shake.  Shake, shake, shake.  Shake the dressing!  Shake the dressing!"

Crazy Amaryllis!

Ty has been winking at me lately.  He just can't do it without the manual operation.

19 febrero 2014


Do you remember this?  Well, I found out today that God actually decided to pay for the entire ticket.  Thank you, Anonymous Benefactor!  Thank you, Father!

18 febrero 2014


I know that it looks like I don't know how to use the camera correctly, but this is my focus.  The green just isn't strong enough to snap me from my fixation, frozen on the ice.

Around here

Well, let's see...

The Olympics have inspired Girumy for sure: He declared that he wanted to be a skeleton racer a couple of days ago; then those races finished and the bobsled racing started, so now he wants to be a bobsled racer.  Whatever.  Either is fine with me.  He can be Ethiopia's first!  This has set me to thinking about the other kids and what their Olympic aspirations might be.  Tito Jare has chosen the decathlon for Ty, due to his endless energy.  And Mita... well... we've narrowed it down to something that is done sitting, like rowing.  I'll be sure to update as these plans realize or not.

In the mean time, the kids are getting physically fit by pretending to be...
... sled dogs.
Which, has inspired fits of fainting in Mita and Ethan (our corpulent Iraqi bear).  Here you can see PapA and MamA, taking the fainted infirm to the hospital.

In other news, Girumy, today at lunch, said, "MamA, in Ethiopia, I wished they would have named me Opo.  I like how that sounds.  I like that in my mouth.  Opo."  I re-explained the meaning and importance of his name, but decided to call him Opo for the day, to try it out.    

13 febrero 2014

Brotherly love and the opposite

G came to me yesterday, saying, "MamA, look!  I love my brother."  Aw.  Too sweet.

Later in the day, during the rousing rendition of Our Abe Lincoln that I sang to the kids from a library book, however, I had to explain two examples of the opposite of brotherly love: slavery and assassination.  I do not like having to explain such horrors to my children.  But I did, in the most accessible way that I could.  Ever since, they have been asking innumerable questions about both.

I need to get another song book!

The great tempeh experiment of 2014

I have decided to try to make tempeh.  We love it, but it is quite expensive; so if I can make it here, all the better!  I didn't have dry soybeans on hand, so I made a chickpea, brown rice, and barley version.

Here is the little banana-leaf package:
After about 36 hours of incubation, we had:

Mmm... mold.  Just what I was going for!

I'm going to cook it up and we'll have it for lunch.  I, however, have actually already tried a bit: Whenever I make something... alive... I feel like I need to try it in advance, just in case it turns out to be poisonous.  Isn't that ridiculous?  I sampled the raw milk that I used to give G and I always test the kombucha batches before passing it along to the babes. Most people aren't afraid of the seriously poisonous food that they eat; but here I am, nervous, of real food.  So far I feel fine, so I think that it's a go for lunch!

Indoor life

from Sara's bouquet

from Dear Sunu

from Elly's baby shower (?)

from la Chinita... I think that it wants to be an Easter Cactus!


We begin by praying together.  We then go over the days of the week and then move on to the date.  We count up to it, G counts back from it.  And then: one of the twins counts out the date on the abacus; we then practice counting by tens with the abacus; G makes the date with the ones and tens blocks; we trace out the date with the sandpaper numbers; G writes the date on a paper and then we all make the number of the date, tally-style.  We then move on to the month and year and then the time, with our old friend, Owl.  This is followed by singing, always ending with the Doxology, and the Lord's Prayer.  From that, the kids move on to their individual activities.
Making patterns with the abacus.  Tricky!

Measuring and recording the growth of the Amaryllis.  It grew six centimeters in one week!

Post-lesson game time

10 febrero 2014

The gardening has begun!


Lessons from the waterpark

Girumy:  He thinks SO much.  During the past few weeks, he has been very interested in whales, which has prompted conversations about their breathing and how it's different from that of fish, in turn leading to his questions about us and how we breathe and if we can breathe underwater.  SO, with all of that information, the child went to the waterpark today and... he would not go down a waterslide because... "What if water covers me and I can't breathe?  Because I can't breathe underwater.  I'm not like a fish."  Bribes of chocolate and of being allowed to drive MattMatt's fire truck did nothing to encourage him.  He happily got dressed and sat next to me, watching and asking a billion more questions which will probably keep him from doing something else in the future.  Oy!  He may be one smart wallflower!

Mita:  She is a scaredy-cat; HOWEVER, for better and for worse, she can be talked into almost anything.  She loved the waterslides!

Ty:  This son of mine has no fear... for better and for worse!  No thinking.  No hesitation.  I really think that he is going to do something impressive in life... something frighteningly impressive.  I need to be prepared to let go now, I think.  -a deep breath-

09 febrero 2014


We have decided to introduce the kids to the wonderful world of the Olympics... opening up their little minds to dreams of pan-national fraternity and flying through the air on many sorts of machines.

During the Opening Ceremonies, Ty, for a good portion of it, sat on Rob's lap and...
...waved like the most accomplished athlete, who is the son-of-a-once-Bermudan-mother and currently studying in Colorado.  I believed him!

G was quite concerned with why some of the girls had painted their lips and wondered why that man (President Obama, in his interview with pink-eyed Bob Costas (sp?)) kept saying, "And, uh... And, uh..."

I have even gone so far as to allow the kids to eat a special dinner of Tito's popcorn, while sitting on the couch (What?!  Have I lost my mind?!), and watch Slopestyle.
And, Rob's surprisingly accurate Russian accent has gotten quite the air-time, which my sister and I find so, so funny.

It's weird for me to watch these Olympics and hear reports of what may or may not being going on... like that when the Opening Ceremonies aired in Russia, the glitch with the snowflake/Olympic ring had been edited out and replaced with better footage from a dress rehearsal.  I lived in what might as well be Russia for two years and I know.  It makes me laugh and nearly cry simultaneously.  We joke, but it's all too true.  Ach!  (Ooo... the hits on my blog from Russia are going to increase for sure, now!)

What the kids have been saying...

Ty, upon seeing this:

said, in all seriousness, "Mita, you are incredible!"  To which she automatically replied, "Thank you, Ty."

The other day Ty was talking about something that he'll be able to do once he is one hundred years old and Girumy said, "Oh, you'll be dead before you're one hundred, Ty."

03 febrero 2014


We began the afternoon with Mita's post-nap puke.  Ugh.  See, however, how sweet Brother Girum is being to Mita... sitting with her and rubbing her back, waiting for the next wave, which thankfully never came.

Things began to look up with the introduction of the "ga-ween b'loon."  I see a future in volleyball!

We were having a flying-good time!

Whoa, crazy!

And then... as I was happily working away on tonight's falafel feast, I decided to put on some tunes.  Matt and Kim.  Rob was in the room, playing a game with the kids.  As soon as Ty heard the music, he jumped up and began to dance.  My baby!  Seriously, I think that Ty and I should go on a dancing date!

The booty-bump!

A Winter's rainbow