Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry day after Christmas!

AJ Lock did a fine job getting us back into our van this morning...

Guy did that scary fast...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Melly Clismaaaa!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I just gave them blanket permission

While we were down and out with the flu this weekend, Noah was listening to a Winnie the Pooh book on tape, when I overheard this...

Really?  Really?

I told Noah I hereby gave him permission to climb any tree, without having to ask me first.


What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The Geminid meteor shower hit its peak last night. For whatever reason, I got the itch to see some meteors. So I loaded up some blankets and a lawn chair and headed away from the city lights at 2 AM. At least, a little ways away.

I saw a bunch of meteors. Watched for about an hour before I got cold (I know... wuss) and saw probably 50 of them.

I attempted to get pictures. With a 15 second exposure, I figured I could at least capture something.  But after 47 photos, all I got was this...

Oh wait.  That was a semi truck full of smelly livestock.  Different kind of meteor.

I actually got a whole bunch of this...
Multiple times when I triggered the camera, meteors would fall all around the field of view (but not in it.)  Then just as I heard the click inidcating it was done taking that exposure, a huge one would go streaking right through were I was aiming.

The show is still supposed to be going on tonight if you want to head out in the wee hours!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Answered Prayer

So today we received our much awaited court date!  You may have heard me audibly scream out in joy as I checked my email, for the 1 millionth time this month, to find our date.  We are scheduled for court on February 28, 2011.  That is now one of my favorite days of the year! 

Now the planning of travel and childcare can finally get under way.  Now we have a date and can make plans.  Ahh, that feels so good.

No, we do not know when we will bring her home.  That will be the next and final great wait.  Just let me enjoy this moment of being able to make plans to go and meet my daughter.  Ahh, that feels so good.  :)

(Yup, her hand.  All we dare post right now.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

For "cousin" Hannah

After our cousins came to visit, Ella and Hannah agreed to write letters.  Hannah held up her end of the bargain, and we soon got a cute little card.  It has since disappeared, but I believe it said something about the northern Addink cousins growing pumpkins.

So here's a picture for Hannah, to show that we southern cousins can do the same.  Not that we really put much effort into it.


Not that I am certain those really are pumpkins.  They could be poison ivy for all this city slicker knows (my wife says it isn't.  I'll take her word.)  I'm just guessing pumpkins since all the Halloween leftovers went in the compost bin, and a short time later things started growing out the sides of it, unprovoked by us.

Which leads perfectly into a quote from C.S. Lewis that our pastor read today...

"The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. . . .

In the Christian story God descends to re-ascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity.… But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders. Or one may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down through green and warm water into black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the deathlike region of ooze and slime and old decay; then up again, back to colour and light, his lungs almost bursting, till suddenly he breaks surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing that he went down to recover. He and it are both coloured now that they have come up into the light: down below, where it lay colourless in the dark, he lost his colour too.

In this descent and re-ascent everyone will recognise a familiar pattern: a thing written all over the world. It is the pattern of all vegetable life. It must belittle itself into something hard, small and deathlike, it must fall into the ground: thence the new life re-ascends. It is the pattern of all animal generation too. There is descent from the full and perfect organisms into the spermatozoon and ovum, and in the dark womb … the slow ascent to the perfect embryo, to the living, conscious baby, and finally to the adult. So it is also in our moral and emotional life. The first innocent and spontaneous desires have to submit to the deathlike process of control or total denial: but from that there is a re-ascent to fully formed character in which the strength of the original material all operates but in a new way. Death and Re-birth—go down to go up—it is a key principle. Through this bottleneck, this belittlement, the highroad nearly always lies.

The doctrine of the Incarnation, if accepted, puts this principle even more emphatically at the centre. The pattern is there in Nature because it was first there in God. All the instances of it which I have mentioned turn out to be but transpositions of the Divine theme into a minor key. I am not now referring simply to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. The total pattern, of which they are only the turning point, is the real Death and Re-birth: for certainly no seed ever fell from so fair a tree into so dark and cold a soil as would furnish more than a faint analogy to this huge descent and re-ascension in which God dredged the salt and oozy bottom of Creation."
C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 112, 115-17.

What am I going to do with this kid?

Levi wanted to mail a letter to his aunt, so we had to walk down to the mailbox.

Since it is at the end of the block, we had to put on shoes.

I suppose I did just say "put on shoes" and didn't specfically spell out that they should be your own shoes, and not your sister's fancy girly shoes. I generally assume such things are just understood.

Perhaps I should assume less, and spell out more...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Please pray!

This past week new information from Ethiopia was handed out to families in our agency. We were thrilled to get a "new" update of our precious daughter and the best part is always new pictures. She is just as cute as day one! We love her dearly and are still praying that whatever mountains, that seem to be standing in the way, can be cleared and that Sophie can come home. I must admit I had another sleepless night praying and begging God all night long to spare her life and bring her home, SOON.

The news in the updates is always two months old. So we found out that in the beginning of October she was pretty sick and had to be put on an antibiotic. At the end of October when the report was written, she weighed in at 11lbs 7.5 oz. She weighed at 5 months old what Ella weighed at 7 weeks! My heart is aching for her. I have no way to help her. It is a miserable feeling. I am hoping that she is better now and gaining weight, but I have no way of knowing.

This coming week she will turn 7 months old. Please, please, pray. She needs lots of prayer.

Pray for her health and safety.
Pray for her to grow!
Pray that her parents (that us!) get a court date sooner rather than later.
Pray that she is being cared for durring her sickness and knows what love feels like.
Pray that our adoption will move forward without glitches.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grab bag

I’ve been too busy at work to actually blog anything.  So instead you get a bunch of little tiny posts, all rolled into one.


First of all, no, we don't have any more info about our munchkin.  Our agency told us we would have a court date before the end of the year.  Possibly he meant next year, cause it sure doesn't look like it will be in the next two weeks.  We are hearing from other people who got referrals around the same time we did that court dates are out in February.  And hearing from other people that the process in Ethiopia is really slowing down.  Note that both of those we heard from "other people."  As in... not from our agency.  We expected to be frustrated by the wait time, but the utter lack of communication from our agency is by far the most frustrating thing about the whole process.

We did, however, get another medical update, which included new pictures and some details that I sooo wish we could share with you.  But we can't, at least until this is all legal.  Which we are really praying doesn't take another 11 months...


We took our kids on a big ol' bike ride the other day.  First we headed over to the park, where the kids practiced their tree climbing.

Then we rode over to Sonic for a late lunch.  Paige found a wounded little bird on the side of the road and had to stop to rescue him.  He rode with Luke in his trailer.  At least there is no doubt where Levi gets his love of all little woodland creatures (since there is no way I would stop to help a bird.  Creepy little suckers that peck your eyes out!)

The kids are getting pretty good at their bikes.

Of course, that was on the way back from Sonic.  On the way there, we had this...

Paige thinks I am a mean 'ol dad for posting this.  However, I'm merely interested in the physics.  And fairly impressed that Noah went down that hard and walked away with only a beat up finger and a scraped chin.  And then got right back on the bike and rode the rest of the way to Sonic.  With his eyes fixed firmly ahead.

And I'm impressed that I managed to get off my bike and to Noah in 3.2 seconds, without dropping my iPhone.

Noah's finger, the worst of the damage (he excitedly told me today that the scab fell off!)

By the time we got home Luke was pooped.

And the little rescued bird?  Nowhere to be seen.  Guess he didn't want to be saved.


Speaking of Luke, he has now learned how to crawl in and out of his crib.  So I took the side rail off his crib.  Paige wanted to wait until we had a bedrail to put along the side, since she was sure he would fall out and injure himself.  But since he was already dropping 3 feet down the side of the crib, I figured a roll out the 1 foot side wouldn't hurt him.

And no, this post doesn't end with some story of how I was wrong and we ended up in the ER.  Just a cute picture of Luke, almost falling out of his bed.


Our church home group leaders live right across the street.  The other day, their youngest daughter was selling lemonade (yes, you can sell lemonade on the sidewalk in December in Phoenix.)  Ella walked over to get some, and shortly came back.

"Dad, I need five dollars."

"For what!?!?  Are you buying the whole pitcher?"

"No.  Just one glass."

Aye carrumba!  Their daughter has certainly got the whole profit margin thing down, but possibly not the supply and demand part yet.  And my daughter was totally willing to fork over $5 for a single glass of lemonade.  Later that night, we saw this sign posted at the end of the street:

Ahhhh, too funny!

The other week we went to Chunky Cheese to celebrate a birthday with friends.  Yes, our kids call it ChuNky Cheese, no matter how many times we tell them the cheese isn't chunky.

Observation #1:  We may have been the only white people there.  Since when did Chucky Cheese become an all minority thing.  Very weird.

Observation #2:  Levi and Noah have somehow picked up admirable boat steering skills.  I'm not exactly sure how, but I was impressed.

Observation #3:  Luke does not like to share his video game with anyone.


Back to bike riding.

After Noah's big wipeout, Levi decided five days later that he didn't need training wheels.  Not sure what possessed him, but he got Paige to take them off.  And then, without missing a beat, he rode down the street.  He was so excited, he had to take his bike out for a nightime ride to show me when I got home.

And then the next day, Noah decided he could do it too.


Our HOA had a big Christmas party in the park at the end of the street.  This was as close as our kids would get to Santa (Luke was home napping, but likely would have stayed even further away.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey day snapshots

The feast.

The beasts.  They started the afternoon with a good ol' dirt kicking fight.

The carcass of my iPod.  Or more accurately, what used to be my iPod.  I attempted to repair the screen, which ended with a broken ribbon cable, and a broken screen.  Not sure that one is salvageable.

Poor uncle Steve.  Guy just can't handle his liquor any more in his old age.  One bottle of wine, and he was down for the count.  Or, he made the mistake of falling asleep right in the family room, with his mischievous nephews around to strategically place a wine bottle and photograph.  Ella rescued him by waking him up before we could find any more props.

It's official

We've got a nephew (and cousin) on the Addink side!

We woke up all four kids bright and early, for a healthy breakfast of Dunkin Donut(holes) and Jamba Juice, while watching cartoons.

Then we packed 'em all up, and headed down to the courthouse to meet up with a whole bunch of the rest of the clan.

Obviously this is also the courthouse that hears the cases of juvenile delinquents, as evidenced by the benches outside the courtrooms.  One would think that possibly the courthouse bench outside the chamber of the judge who will hear your case isn't the best spot to carve your initials.

Asher, the star of the show.

With his proud parents (almost.)

He even learned to walk for the big day.

Making it all official.

My sister and brother-in-law officially adopted Asher last week, so they are now "mom" and "dad" by law, not just by function and their love for this little munchkin.  They did it on National Adoption Day, along with around 330 other children.  And since this was a big event, there were a bunch of games outside for all the kids to celebrate.

Luke getting his bi-monthly bath in the bubble machine.

My cousins helpfully teaching my boys how to shoot a basket (since I've got no clue how.)

Then the very next day they had Asher baptized.

After the "baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"... Asher actually turned to the congregation and clapped.  If he isn't related by blood to my sister, he certainly has some of the same personality traits.

Congratulations guys!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grumpy old man cleaning implement

This is turning out to be a mighty handy tool, more useful in the playroom than in the back yard.

Generally weilded by a man muttering about how if he had left all his toys out like this as a kid, it would have taken 6 weeks for the skin on my rear end to regenerate (not really true.) And that if he finds these toys out one more time, he might just have himself a bonfire (not really true either.)

Fairly soon I'll be asking Jonathan if I can borrow his gas powered lawn vacuum.

Please... no more toys for Christmas.  College funds, people, college funds.  Either that, or a life supply of Prozac (for me, not the rugrats.)

Just because I like it so much

From almost exactly 3 years ago, when they were Luke's age (2-1/2.)  Man, have they grown up a lot already...

A post in which we attempt to get our children to pose for a nice picture

Paige purchased a bunch of Groupn deals for Canvas on Demand.  She gave all of them away as gifts, except one, which she saved for us.  Which means that we had to come up with a picture of our kids worthy of being printed on a 27" x 18" canvas.

You have met our children, right?

For lack of a better place to go, we headed to the railroad tracks around sunset so I could do my best impersonation of a photographer.

"Ella, turn around.  Levi, quit bugging your sister."

"Ella.  Turn.  a.  round."

Hey, one decent one out of 22 attempts.  Not sure it is exactly what we are looking for though.

Ok.  Telling them to make monster faces may not have been the best approach.

Aaaaannnd, now they won't stop making monster faces.

"Ok, everybody walk down the tracks, like little tiny hobos"

Here we go.  Everybody sit on this filthy log, stare into the sun, and hope a train doesn't come by.

"Everybody.  sit.  still.  And Luke, quit throwing rocks."

Levi is apparently lost in the wonder that is his fingernail dirt collection.

"Everybody.  look.  at.  the camera.  And Luke, quit. throwing. rocks."

"Ella and Noah, hands down!  And Ella, what happened to your shoes?  And Luke... do not pick up that rock to throw!"

"Ok, how about this?  Everybody just turn around, and wait patiently for a train to come by.  Ahhhhhh, there we go.  A nice, peaceful, serene set of well behaved children."

(This was the one we ordered, after 116 pictures, and a little post editing)

Actually, they did pretty well.  I only exaggerate their misbehavior a little.  Canvas shows up in a few days.  Hope it looks good!

Those SLC Mormons aren't the only ones who know how to throw a parade!

We throw a pretty mean Veteran's Day parade out here in Gilbert as well.  But come to think of it, since Gilbert is known for having a whole bucket load 'o Mormons, maybe they were behind this one as well?

Well, at a minimum I can try to compete with that Utah Bakker guy's attempt at choking the blogspot servers with random parade pictures!

What better way to celebrate veterans than by recycling!

This poor girl nearly got thrown off her skitterish (is that the right farm lingo?) horse before her mother wisely got her off the crazy beast.

No celebration of  'murica is complete without a biker gang...

...annnnd inappropriately dressed dancing girls.  Levi and Noah were, however, mesmerized.  While their father did his best grumpy old man imitation, muttering about kids these days.  But seriously... zebra shorts, leopard print tops, and red fishnet stockings?  Even Paige commented about it, so I know it wasn't just me.

Darn right...

More dancing girls.  And more mesmerization.  At least these are dressed slightly more appropriately.

The lone tractor in the parade, just for the Utah Bakker guy.  Apparently we aren't as proud of our tractors out here in Gilbert.

And again with the dancing girls.  And back to inappropriate.  And mesmerized.

Spotted my next vehicle.  Not sure what exactly it had to do with a veterans day parade though.

I think this guy just got lost on his way to a furniture delivery, and got stuck in the parade.

Ahhhhh, Levi.  That kid just makes me smile, always with a song in his heart and a spring in his step.  Unfortunately for him, this was the only marching band.  He said his favorite was the trombone (there might be hope yet mom.)

Ummmm, no comment.

The other tractor, but considering what it was scooping in the bucket, it wasn't exactly on display in the parade.

Some guys with some seriously crazy bikes.  Hopefully Levi and Noah filed away some ideas on these so we can build one when they get a little older.

The Wells Fargo stage coach.

Not all of us enjoyed every moment of the parade.  Not sure what the issue even was, but Noah got to spend a few minutes not watching the parade.

While Levi enjoyed more dancing girls.  Seriously???

A whole group of military restoration guys rumbled through with a ton of old (and very cool) vehicles.

(Pretty sure this one ain't exactly regulation.)

 And what parade would be complete without some inappropriately dressed dancing girls?  Wait, I think we already saw some of these...

A bunch of rockcrawlers were in the parade as well.  Unbelievable machines.  You could hear these guys coming a from the staging area of the parade.  While everyone else drove smoothly down the center of the road, these guys were doing full throttle four wheel burnouts down the parade route.  And then stacking their trucks all over each other.  I heard one old lady say "I thought they just had a wreck!"  No ma'am, they are just having fun.

I found them all later hanging out at Campbell Enterprise's shop down the street (and talked to them about putting a cage in my Bronco.)  See here and here and here for the kinds of things these rigs can really do.  Amazing.

And finally, the reason we were really at the parade in the first place.  Ella got a call the night before to see if she wanted to be on the Gilbert Christian School float.

And of course, she was on the opposite side from us, so I had to run across the parade route just to wave and get a picture.

Levi said when he grows up, he wants to be inside the bounce house in the parade.  Don't we all buddy.  Don't. we. all...

And finally, no parade would be complete without the old men with funny hats in tiny little cars, bringing up the rear.

Fun times for all!