Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy 1 Year Home!!!

The 27th marked our 1 year anniversary as a family of 6!!! I know everyone says this, but I truly can't believe it has already been a year! It seems like just yesterday we were in Ethiopia! I got to talk to my friend Joy who travelled with us this week and it was so great talking to her, just like we talked everyday! And I'm so blessed to have another family close to us, the Sykora's!!! Love it! And I love my travel group!

To celebrate our family went to an Ethiopian restaurant called the Blue Nile Cafe. It was so yummy! It so fun seeing the other members of our family try the food! Ade dug right in. He LOVED it. And it made me really sad because I could smell the spices on his breath and it reminded me so much of Ethiopia! I can't wait to go back. I so wish I could see his family when I return in March.

This year has been such an awesome year. It has been such a blessed year. I can't even imagine our life without Ade. He is so funny and sweet and spunky. It has been awesome to watch little by little and see his personality come out. He really is a silly kid. He adores his family and he fits right in. It is awesome to me that God designed him to be a Freudenthal! He truly is just like us! Only he has beautiful brown skin! He does have my coarse curly hair though!:)

This adoption has been such a journey. I have grown so much in the last year and a half. God has shown me so many things. New ways to love, He has given us a passion and He has given us a focus for the future! And we couldn't be happier!

Ade is just such a bright light wherever we go. People are drawn to him. He is not only absolutely gorgeous, he is also charming. I pray one day he will have a passion for the Lord and get to tell his amazing story all over the world!

Here are a few things/thoughts about the past year:

-Ade is learning to potty on the big potty!
-He says all of his siblings names!
-He loves to dance and sing(Justin Bieber!)
-He is starting to be his silly self around others and not just us.
-He is a very obedient child.
-He is always very repentant when he hurts someone!
-He does NOT like the dr or barber. Not happy at all when we go and yells at them to "Just stop"!!!
-He is starting to say, "I wub you Mom!" I mean melt my heart!
-He loves his Papa.
-He knows how to annoy Joe and does it just to be annoying! Cracks me up! He's just like his mamma!
-Tonight he was outside playing and pulled down his undies and just went potty on his own!
-He eats just about anything.
-He still has his bottle and probably will start kindergarten with it because it is just so dang cute!
-He has us pretty much wrapped around his little finger!
-He talks so much now.
-He knows how to work any and all Apple products!
-He LOVES Yo Gabba Gabba and we are seeing them live in November!
-He gets attention everywhere we go!
-He loves being outside.
-He loves to go bye bye!
-He rides a mean scooter!
-He has the most adorable big buns I've ever seen!(Their wheat buns!)
-His lips are the best ever. Big wet and soft!

I could go on and on, but I think I will end it here. Basically Ade has been one of the 4 biggest blessings in Joe and I's life. We have 4 of the greatest kids in the world and we blessed beyond measure. I often wonder how we got so lucky and then I look up to the Lord and thank Him! One line I read in a book and it is the title as well, is "There is no me without you." And that is sooooo true!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hi everyone,

Below is a message from my friend, Shonda, who is currently in the process of adopting her second child from Ethiopia. She asked me if I would post a message from her on my blog and I said, Sure!! So, here it is:

Hi friends,

This is Shonda from God Will Add.  Ali has kindly let me take over her blog to tell you about an awesome Baby Shower like none other.  A couple of my friends have teamed up and we're trying to raise funds for an organization called FOVC.  They help provide aid and hope to the immediate areas where our kiddos are from, an area that has been hit hard by this horrible famine.

Shameless plug:  Will you hop on over to my shower?  I promise I won't make you smell mystery diapers and  no I won't let you wrap toilet paper around my abdomen.

For $13 FOVC can feed one starving child for one month.  So far, this shower has raised $710.  If you're amazing at math like myself, you know that 54 kids who didn't have food today, will have food tomorrow and for the next month because of the generosity of a select few.  Wow!  Can we make it 100 kids?  Will you please help me spread the word? 


Of all the great charities out there, why have I chose to rally behind FOVC?  A few simple reasons:

1) There are a lot of other great charities that are working to fight this famine, and I (despite my cynicism of big organizations) have supported them.  But FOVC is the only NGO working directly in the areas my boys are from, and where their first families still live.  Even if I liked nothing else about FOVC, this one simple fact would make me want to support them.  Thankfully, there are lots of other things I like about them:

2) They are a very small grassroots organization and very conservative with their money.  All their workers are volunteers, and they do all their traveling on their own dime, which means all the money we give goes directly to feeding the kids and helping their community fight poverty with long-term goals in mind.

3) I have a close friend who has done aid work with them in Ethiopia (and is on her way back in a few weeks), knows many personal details about how they operate and spend their money.  She's a Dave Ramsey fiscal conservative like myself, and she fully endorses them.  They have an independent bookkeeper who verifies that over 96% of the funds go directly to Ethiopia.

4) Directly from the president of FOVC:  "We have an amazing team of volunteers! Our board members and officers (if I do say so myself) are doing outstanding work! We spend a lot of time and effort educating ourselves on best practices of economic development (it's what my husband does!) and strive to implement every program using best practices. This means we empower, not enable. Every effort we undertake is aimed at offering long-term sustainability, success...and HOPE

Have I convinced you they're great?

Click here and support them:

And then (this part is optional), click here and tell MB how excited you are about his arrival into our family.

Happy Gotcha Day Ade!!!

Tody is Ade's Gotcha Day! I can't 1 year ago today we were at the Embassy making it official! Ade Joseph Tariku Freudenthal, I can't even begin to put into words what you have meant to our family! You have brought so much joy, laughter, sadness and love! You have opened our eyes and our hearts to so many things! You have given us a passion for the lowly, the oppressed, the orphaned and the widowed!!!

I thought I would reflect on some of my thoughts last year at this time. I remember taking him out of the orphanage over to the hotel and just crying! You could tell he hadn't been outside in sooooo long! It was here, I had him, this baby was finally MINE!!!(and Joe's of course!) I could wait to get him out of his too small girl pjs and his pink and green crocs and put him in some brand new GAP jammies!!! And the first thing I did was bathe him and change him! Joe and I laughed the entire time because he just had the funniest little body!!! Totally distended tummy and his eyes just looked so sick and lost!:( I do however remember the smell of their laundry detergent and I LOVE IT!!! I still smell Ade's clothes from the orphanage and it brings me back to that wonderful county, Ethiopia!!!

So the first night went great, he slept awesome and looked stunning in his new jammies! We woke the next morning to go to our embassy appointment and I dressed him up sooooo cute!!! He looked so handsome. He was terrified of the van ride and totally freaked out the entire time. The way back was better though. He was ours, now we were just waiting to go home and let him meet the rest of his family!

In this year Ade has changed so much. He is healthy, he has grown so much, he has had tubes in his ears. He talks, he sings, he dances, he is going potty on the big potty! He is just all together amazing! He loves his family so much it melts my heart!

Adopting Ade has opened up so many doors for Joe and I. God has given us such a clear plan that we can't wait to get started! Thank you Jesus for laying adoption on our hearts and thank you for choosing Ade to be ours!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Traumatic Morning Indeed!!!

WHOA!!! Was this morning ever crazy. I really feel like I could write a book about our crazy lives. So it was storming like CRAZY this morning when we got the kids up for school. They kept asking if they had to go to school because it was so bad out. I was like guys, it's just a storm, it is fine. Shortly after that, the lights flickered a few times and Ella's phone let a short ring and then the fire alarms started going off. I yelled at the kids to go downstairs and had Ella get Ade out of his bed and run to the garage. Mind you it is pouring down rain and totally storming!!! In the meantime I run downstairs to tell Joe that the alarms are going off because he is in the shower, apparently our roof has had ANOTHER leak!(that's a whole other story!) the hallway was soaked I fell onto my back, hit my head and jarred everything and somehow managed to really hurt my knee. I can't put pressure on it. Also have a small cut on my elbow. Joe jumps out of the shower and tells me to get everyone in the car and get out of the house. So I do that and apparently he did the same thing I did when he came running out the room. He fell on the same water and has a nasty cut on his elbow and hit his hip and wrist. Max also slipped on the same spot.

The kids and I are out of the house in the car on the other side of the street and Joe calls 911. My children are frantic. Except for Max, I was so proud of him he acted like a man. He was telling everyone to stay calm and stop crying. 45 minutes later the fire dept. shows up. We are in a volunteer fire area! I'm so glad the house wasn't on fire or it would have burnt to the ground!

Thankfully the Lord was watching over our house and there was no fire, and we are all "basically" alright!:) My mom took me to the dr. to have an x-ray on my knee and I may have a slight concussion, the eyes are dilated a bit and I am super tired!!! And a bit sick to my stomach. So please pray for us crazy Freudenthal's!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An important date!!!

1 year ago today we were on a plane to go get our baby boy!!! I can't even believe it has been a year. Such a great year it has been, this time last year I was so excited to actually see him. I hadn't even seen him yet. I was STILL on a plane! 1 year ago today, my kids started their first day of school and we were not there when they got home. They survived! Grandma did a great job!

Fast forward to today, I sent my baby girl to Kindergarten! Is it sad that she was hugging me and patting me on the back telling me it was going to be OK? Those first 5 years of her life just flooded my head. Where did the time go? My little girl who is seriously stuck to me like velcro was starting school and going to be away from me all day. There were times I would wish she was in school, I would give anything to have that time back because the years just keep on flying by faster and faster!

Ella started 5th grade and I can't believe that either and Max started 2nd. So far they have had good days. It is sooo quiet around my house. I think Ade is totally bored. I took him this morning and we had his picture taken at Krug Park and then we came home and he kept asking for "Mymy, Mackie and Edda"!!! So sweet. But when they came home he was really weepy! He took a 3 hour nap today and so I am hoping he isn't coming down with something. Although I did see his tube making it's way out of his ear, hopefully that doesn't mean more ear infections again!

Ade has been going potty on the big potty for about 3 weeks now. He is doing really well. He has only gone poopy once though! I am praying he will get that quickly. He is such a funny little guy! He cheers for all of us when we go! Well, I need to head to bed!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Busy Little Freudenthal's

We have been busy here the past few days. School starts tomorrow. It seems like this summer has just flown by! Where has the time gone? We had a great summer and did some really fun things, but mostly it was a summer with just the family. Just us at home hanging out. And it was great. We went to Florida, Branson and the Omaha Zoo. We had a couple of play dates with friends. We did some swimming and we spent a lot of time together. I feel like it was a great summer.

Yesterday was Back to School night and the kids had a great time. They are so excited to start school tomorrow. Maya starts on Thursday, I can't imagine having the 3 older kids gone all day! What will Ade and I do? He will be so bored with me! He is rocking on the potty training by the way. I am praying that by the end of the month he will be going both 1 and 2 on the potty! He is so funny! When we make a crazy face or something at him he says, "eeeeeck" which is sick, in this drawn out voice, so cute. He is repeating everything. It is adorable.

Tonight Maya said, "Dora is attracting me", she meant to say "distracting"!!! So cute and funny.

We went to WM today and picked out lunch stuff which the kiddos loved. And then I came home and went through all of their school uniforms. I guess I should've tried them on before the first day of school because Max's pants are all too small! OOOPS!!! Have to send them back and get a bigger size I guess. Got a lot of laundry done today, cleaning out of things and putting clothes away. It was a good day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Day in the Life.....

I thought I would give a sneak peak into a day in the life with 4 kids at home! It is not very detailed as far as the exact times, but here it goes!

Wake up- get Ade out of bed, take him potty, apply all lotions and hair products and get him dressed. Run to Maya's room get her dressed and do her hair, apply her antibiotic cream to the interesting fungus on her face! Move on to Ella and do her hair. Do Max's hair and instruct everyone to make their bed.

Head downstairs and wipe down the island, sweep up the floor and put dishes in the dishwasher, head to the laundry room fold a load and start another load. Clean up living room and into my room to get ready.

Do the things I need to do to get ready, wash face, brush teeth and hair, put a little makeup on, get dressed. Make my bed and head to the kitchen to get breakfast. Make everyone breakfast and clean up all their messes. While they are eating I pack a bag for Ade since we are running some errands. They finish, I clean up the kitchen for the 2nd time and it's only 9:30.

Load the kids up after I change over the load of laundry. Forget something, run back into the house. Get in the car, rock out to some Justin Bieber! And head to Sonic for my liquid sanity. From Sonic I go to Visions to get 3 haircuts for kids and 5 feathers for the girls! That took almost 2 hours. In those 2 hours I took Ade potty 4 times, referred, gave a spank and played with kids!

After hair we went to the Dollar Tree because Max felt like he needed something since the girls got feathers, I am tired and too weak to fight the battle so I take him. We drive through McDonald's and head home for rest time. Kids eat in the car. They talk to me the whole time in the car, thus I don't get to listen to Colbie Calliat!

Get home, unload car. Switch laundry again, take Ade potty make him a bottle and put him down for his nap. Get the other 3 situated and I sit on the screened in porch and do my quiet time and pray. Tell, the kids to stop being loud about 900 times and then I lay down to rest. Get up from resting and do more laundry and more cleaning.

Ade wakes up and we take him potty have a snack and head over to Grammy's for a swim. I sit while they swim which was wonderful, the weather was beautiful! Get loaded up come home eat dinner give baths give snacks and off to bed they go or something like that!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wow, time flies!!!

I have been reading through all my posts from last year at this time. Last year at this time I had so many questions through my mind. I was preparing to leave for 10 days to go get Ade Joseph Tariku! I was so nervous yet happy and ready. We were preparing for a super long flight.

As I look back on those thoughts, I can see how awesome God is and how He answered so many of my prayers! Ade DID have an instant connection with us. He was a very easy baby and we had a super easy transition! I am so very thankful tonight that God laid it on our hearts to adopt this precious, spunky ornery gift!!! We love you AJ!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ade's First Trip to the Zoo and Potty Training!!!

So this week Ade has been rocking on potty training! He has never had an accident with me and has been in undies! He had a couple at Mom's Day Out because they were asking him if he had to go and he said NO and they didn't take him anyway, so I told them to take him and he had no other accidents! Good boy! He goes every time I put him on the potty! It is so great. He has yet to go #2 on there, but he has got the potty down. Now today at church I sent Ella in with him because he has bitten once and I wanted her to take him potty. She said he went every time she took him but he also went 3 times in his pants!!! AHHHHH.... I guess it is just his first week though so he is doing really well. And Denise, we did get the "gabby gabby" undies and he LOVES them!

Yesterday we met our good friends Ed, Laura and Jax at the Omaha Zoo. They were in our travel group and Jax and Ade were at the orphanage together. We LOVE them. They live in Omaha so they met us there. The kids had a blast. They LOVE the zoo. Jax was sooo cute, he LOVED Ella. He wanted her to carry him and hold his hand everywhere. Which was a nice break for her since he weighs a lot less than Ade.

I remember last year when we went to the zoo we were leaving in like a week to go get Ade. I remember saying, "next year we will have a toddler with us!" And boy was he ever with us. I took him in his undies and he did so good. I am really proud of him. He was quite fond of the monkey's. He kept pounding on the glass yelling "monkey". He is a hoot of a guy. Our kids love the zoo so much. Max had a great time, he was really into the aquarium. It's all about sharks here people, so he was in heaven.

This is our last week home before school starts. We better make it a good one. My kids started bickering so bad last week. We had a great summer until last week. Now they have been around each other TOOOOOO much! OK, I need to hit the sack, headed so spin in the morning. I can't figure out how to put pics on here from the zoo, so you can go check them out on my facebook page!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Power Thoughts

I have soooo much swirling around in my mind at this time. I have really felt convicted about some of the things that I think and that come out of my mouth. It seems like the past 7 years I have been a lot more critical and I am so hard on myself. I think all sorts of negative things and basically I feel like I pretty much suck at everything I do! I know it is ridiculous to think like that and I used to always take control of my thoughts and words and I have just let Satan in that door.

The Lord is really showing me I need to put on the armor of God every morning when I wake and change my attitude. I just started reading Joyce Meyer's Power Thoughts book and it is great so far. I'm not too far into it but I can see if I let it and if I allow God to work in me then it is going to be a life changing book. So my prayer is that I have an open heart and mind while reading this book.

One of the things she said in the book was "your mind can be a junkyard or a treasure chest, and you alone have the ability to choose what it will be." WOW, how good is that? I want a treasure chest!!! All of the junk needs to go. I need to remember who I am in Christ and that I am in His image. I don't want those "loser" thoughts to take root in my mind or heart anymore! It is time for me to start arming myself with His word and take control of my own thoughts! I need to not worry about what everyone else is doing and be concerned with myself and my own life. I alone can't change, but with the help of God I will change!

Ephesians 6:11- put on God's whole armor.... that you may be able successfully to stand up against all the strategies and deceits of the devil.