Sunday, October 31, 2010

The night where we all attempt to pretend our kids have manners

A few nights before, caving pumpkins.  Ella obviously feels the exact same way I do about handling nasty pumpkin guts.

All the kids at the pre-trick-or-treat party at our friends' house.

Lousy cell phone pic, but the only one I got of all our kids.  You've got a mouse (Minnie), a gorilla, an elephant, and a turkey.

All the neighbors got swarmed by our 14 combined kids.  While we kept saying "don't forget to say thank you!" and "quit walking through people's yards!"  Levi actually ran back up to a few people (after making it back out to the driveway) in order to say thank you.  Maybe we are finally having an effect!

Then we were accosted by some strange person on the street who asked the kids in a gruff voice "Hey kids, will you share some of your candy with me?"

Their eyes were wide as saucers, and Levi actually ran over to grab his mom's leg... until they realized it was Grandma who stopped by for a surprise visit.

Happy Halloween!

Goin' to the chapel (or Desert Boanical Gardens)

Last weekend my baby sister got married.

But not before I had a chance to shoot her future husband.

With paintballs...

(I didn't realize how ridiculous that tiny little chest protector look until I just saw this picture.)

Paige got me a paintball gift from Groupon for Father's Day. Who better to shoot than my brother-in-law, my future brother-in-law, and his brother! We all headed down to Westworld on Friday afternoon and spent the afternoon pelting each other with high velocity paint. For some reason they were not busy at all, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Tons of fun.

The next day we tried to hide the welts and headed to the Desert Botanical Gardens for the wedding.  We rode the trolley in.

Notice a little something extra on his shirt?

 We learned from Ron and Mandi's wedding, and came prepared with a bag of candy to keep little hands and mouths occupied, so that we could actually watch the wedding and not be dragging kids out to the van in the parking lot (where there are no witnesses.)

The downside of having your wedding here... it's like these people had never seen a wedding before!

Ella was the flower girl and pulled her screaming cousin down in a wagon.  He was not a happy camper (and the rosiola didn't help.)

The bride.

The ceremony.

Annnnnnd, the exit (exactly 7 minutes and 50 seconds after the entrance.  Barely enough time to finish a giant sucker!)

While we waited for the reception to begin, we checked out the butterfly exhibit.

Once at the reception, I think our kids each ate an entire jar of honey.  Thanks Aunt Angie!  We love honey around our house!

Luke then promptly converted the honey into kinetic energy, specifically that of rocks thrown into the botatanicals at the Desert Botanical Garden.  Hope they didn't have security cameras.

Then it was home again home again.  Ella was terrified I was going to trip and fall, and that she would crash.  I told her I would land on my face to cushion her fall.

"You would die for me dad?"

"Sure would kiddo."

She still wanted down though...

Congratulations Angela and Peter.

It smells like...

I taught Ella how to change the oil yesterday, so that someday she won't have to bat her eyelashes at some college boy down the hall to get him to do it for her. It took a while to convince her that the car wasn't going to suddenly fall off its wheels and that she could safely crawl under it. Once she got over that fear she had fun.

"Mmmmmm, Dad. This oil smells good! Like dandelions!"

Great. Now she won't be asking any boys to change her oil... she'll be popular with all the guys in shop class because she can change her own oil!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flap... flap... flap...

It's like Scott Adams lives in my head.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What are those things called?

Noah had a horrible, no good, very bad day yesterday.  Missed breakfast, rode to school without shoes, almost got left standing and crying in the driveway kind of day.

We also had to pick up a coworker to bring his car in to the shop on the way to school, so he got to witness the loveliness that is Noah in full on anger management mode.  So much so, that when my coworker asked if they were twins, Noah disowned his own brother.

"No, we are not twins.  And we are not identical!"

The next morning we had to pick up my coworker again, this time to get his car from the shop.  I asked Noah if he was going to be nicer today...

Noah:  "Yes."

Me:  "Are you going to be a brother today?"

Noah:  "Yes.  But we aren't identical!"

Me:  "What do you mean?  You are identical twins."

Noah:  "No, we are not.  I have two...       Dad, what are those things called that hold your toenails?"

Me:  "Ummmmm, toes???"

Noah:  "Yeah, toes!  Dad, I have two toes that are stuck together.  Levi doesn't.  So we aren't identical!"

Sure enough buddy.  You do indeed have two of those things that hold your toenails stuck together...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paige's Rambling Thoughts For The Day

I pick Levi and Noah up from kindergarten at 2:30 each and every day.  Then we make the drive over to Ella's school to pick her up at 3:15.  We often get to Ella's school a little early, hop in the car pick up line (or the drive through as the boys call it) and then sit and wait.  Many a deep conversation about the day, life, or the universe takes place as we wait for Ella to appear and join us in the van.  Today was no different, but the conversation is worth sharing.

It went something like this:

Noah: "Mom, how do you know if a person is married?"
Me: "Well, you can ask them, or you could look to see if they are wearing a wedding ring."
Levi: "But people don't know who you are married to if they see a ring.  What if they think you are married to someone else?"
Me:  "Well, then you just tell them that is my husband over there."
Noah:  "Oh, and they know because you love them.  I am going to marry Chloe because I love her."
Levi:  "I will marry you mom."
Noah:  "You can't Leev, she is already part of our family, you have to find someone else."
Levi: "Yeah. Mom, I think you will be a goner by the time I am a grown up anyway."

In other news...

(picture above of Toukoul Orphanage, from Panoramio)

Today I am overwhelmed by the idea of Sophie.  My friend Sabrina just got her referral this past week and I was emailing her today telling her how I long for Sophie.  I explained it like this.  Its kinda like sending your kids overnight to Grandma's house.  You wonder the whole time what they are doing, how they are doing, is grandma getting them to bed on time, feeding them anything but sugar, and will they miss you in the night.  Only its worse!  Way worse, because she doesn't have Grandma there.  Its a very helpless feeling, knowing you are in control of nothing that is happening to your child.

That being said, when Jason got home from work today he had the mail from the past week.  (Checking the mailbox is no longer a daily occurrence around here).  There in the pile of mail was so much love for our Sophie and our family that I am moved to tears.  There in our mail box were letters of encouragement and prayers from several friends and family members along with formula checks, formula, coupons, and money for our Sophie.  It is love for someone they have never met (and neither have we) and I am deeply moved.  Gifts from high school friends that I have not seen or spoken to since high school.  Gifts from relatives I just met for the very first time.  Amazing, humble, generous gift of love.  Thank you.

Tomorrow I am headed to the post office to send our daughter a care package.  I know it sounds a little cheesy sending a package to a 5 month old, but I just so badly want her to know she is loved.  I want her nannies to know she is loved and wanted very badly by a crazy family in Gilbert, Arizona.  I want her to see our faces and learn to recognize us so that some day we won't be strangers to one another.  I want to shower her with love.

So this is what a 5 month old gets (because I know you are all very curious).  First of all she gets a blankie.  Everyone in this family has a blankie.  EVERYONE.  :)  So Sophie gets one too.  Next is a pair of apple jammies (her Ethiopian name means apple) that her Aunt Erin and Uncle Julio bought for her.  It was my first baby gift for Sophie and I want her to wear it before she out grows it.  Then, she has two toys that have our pictures on them.  One is a photo album with pictures, mirrors, and crinkly pages.  The other is a rattle tree with our pictures on the leaves.  Hopefully we don't scare the poor kid with faces on all her toys.  And last of all in the package is a disposable camera, that we hope her nannies will use to take some pictures as she grows and changes without us. 

Thank you again to all who have prayed, and donated to the formula cause.  I think we have met our goal for formula.  I will have to write another post on that another day, and share more details.  We are so blessed.
Please continue to pray.  Pray that Sophie is safe, healthy, and loved until she can come home.  Please pray that our court date comes soon so the process can move forward.

And thank you for the love that came on a day when I needed it.  Levi claims I will be a goner soon, so your love came just in time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Speaking of reproduction (and other topics)

I'd highly recommend watching this interview of Randy Alcorn by Mark Driscoll.

I'll just say that the topic starting at 21 minutes was highly convicting for me a while back.  Mark Driscoll preached on the same topic, and published a bunch of notes based partly on Randy Alcorn's research.  It changed the way we did things around here.

Worth watching, and considering...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Space travel and reproduction

Tonight Levi and Noah entertained themselves for quite a while on Google Earth. They visited Ethiopia, discovered islands, dove under the sea, and flew around the earth. Then I showed then that there is even a Google Moon.

That blew their mind.

They wanted to see videos of astronauts jumping on the moon, and then jumping from the moon back to earth. When I explained you couldn't jump down off the moon to earth, they wanted to know how the astronauts got back. So we had to look up videos of lunar ascent modules launching off the surface of the moon.

This lead to further questioning about physics, science, and engineering.

Instead of the typical Dr. Suess or Curious George bedtime story, we ended up in their room with the lights off, a flashlight perched on the edge of the dresser, a half illuminated globe, and an orbiting inflatable soccer ball moon.

And Dad totally geeked out that his kids are actually interested in science, explaining the rotation of the earth, sunrise, and solar eclipses.

My poor boys will be on their own when it comes to throwing a spiral football, or learning what on earth the infield fly rule means (I still don't get it.) But I'll gladly keep them up way past bedtime attempting to explain gravity, orbits, and rocket power.

"Dad, what happens if the rockets run out of flaming stuff before they get to space?"

"What happens if you walk to the edge of the earth? Do you fall off?"

"How do you hang on if you walk to the bottom of the earth?"

"What happens if the rocket explodes?"

"If you took your helmet off in space, would you die?"

"What are these big mountains from Alaska to Arizona?"

"Look, my toes are making an eclipse!"

"Dad, what kinds of stars do you know about?"

"Is Pluto the coldest planet?"

"Is God bigger than a red giant star?"

And then the conversation took an unexpected turn...

"Would you burn up if you flew into the sun?"

Yup. You would light up in flames. But you couldn't get to the sun, because it would take too long to get there.

"What do you mean?"

Well, light takes 8 minutes, and it goes way faster than you could. So it would probably take, ohhhh... six lifetimes to get to the sun.

"Six lifetimes? What do you mean?"

Well, you would have to get on a spaceship and start toward the sun. Then you would have to grow up and have babies, and then they would grow up and have babies, until six babies later they would get to the sun.

Slight pause while they consider this. Followed by nervous giggles from Noah in the top bunk, who exclaims...

"They would all have to be girl babies, cause only girls can have babies! He he he he!"

Well, actually, it takes boys and girls to make... (Dad just kind of trails off here.)

All three of them, now giggling full bore...

"It takes BOYS to make babies!?!?!?!?"

Uhhhhhh, yup. So, any more questions about the sun?!?!?

Luckily their amusement was short lived, and they were quickly back to asking about the multitude of ways they could find to die due to physics.

"What if the sun burned out? What if we lived on Pluto? What if your spaceship got stuck halfway between the moon and earth?"

Dad dodged a nearly premature conversation on that one. Although knowing our kids, they will let that one rattle around for several days or weeks, and out of nowhere will come a "Dad said it takes boys to make babies. Is that right?"

Hopefully they ask their mother. Who was at the store when all this was occurring. And returned, around 9:00 or so, to find the kids still going at it in their room...

And I quote... "I hold you fully responsible for filling their minds with space travel and reproduction before bed. That could keep a little boy occupied for days!"

They didn't stop until we put them all in separate rooms to fall asleep.

Maybe there is a happy little bunny that lives right here

Yes, we buy in bulk

Especially at $.49 a box.  And since Levi could literally eat it for three meals a day, this is probably only a one month supply.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

They only share 1.562% of their genes?

My second cousin Nate, his wife Bet, and their kids came to visit on their way back from a wedding in LA.  We still aren't sure why someone would spend time and money to come visit us, but they claimed it was to see if the Addink kids lived up to the portrayal they get on the blog.  And we wanted to see if their kids lived up to their reputation.

Nate is my second cousin.  That makes our kids third cousins.  And since our dads are actually double first cousins, I think that makes our kids double third cousins.  Follow that?  Yeah, neither did I.  I just hope none of the branches in the family tree cross anywhere in there.

But since they are Addinks too, and have four kids, that means we had every seat in the short bus filled with an Addink. Scary, huh?

They only spent an afternoon here as a layover on their flight home, but we managed to get out to the park and have some fun before they close the splashpad down for the season.

Noah loved his baby double third cousin Tamos.

Mmmmmmm, sanitary!

Ella and Hannah.

Paige and double second cousin once removed, Navayah.

Eli had fun in the splashpad.  The 1.562% shared genetics explains some of this.

But I think it is mostly just the Y chromosome generally shared with Levi.

I'd like to move to Alaska just to vote for this guy

And then there is Grover.

I am on a horse... cow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Help Wanted

We Addinks want your help.  And we want it in two ways.

#1:  Prayer.  We know that our God can move mountains and so that is what we are asking him to do.  There are so many things to pray for and about but here are the top few.  We would be very grateful if you joined us in bringing them before the Lord over and over again.

-Pray that we get a court date ASAP.  We are praying fervently that we can travel in as little as 4 weeks for court.  The sooner we can go to court the sooner we can bring our daughter home.

-Pray that our sweet baby stays healthy and strong.  That she is loved on, played with, and fed what she needs until we arrive.

#2:  Donations.  We would like to bring 100 pounds of formula to the orphanage when we travel for court.
That's a lot of formula, and if you have had babies recently you know that it is very costly.  So we are asking friends, family, and blog readers if they would be willing to donate formula, money, or formula coupons to the cause.  Any brand, (generic is cheaper, stretches the dollar, and is just as nutritional), any size or amount (no soy).  Jason and I will hand deliver all the donations to the orphanage where our daughter is living.  You can help feed her and all the other babies waiting for families!

Dang technological advantage

My mom passed down my Lego sets from when I was a kid to our boys. I didn't have many Legos as a kid, but the castle complete with knights and bowmen and horses was pretty cool. And I had one jet pack equipped astronaut.

Thus began today the epic Lego battle of 10/10/10.

Sides were chosen.  Dad was, of course, immediately deemed "the bad guy."

Noah wisely chose the technologically advanced astronaut as his avatar.

Levi began quietly assembling a multi-headed monster as his.

I took the more traditional route, a triple axe wielding warrior mounted on his valiant steed.

Who was promptly thrashed by the advanced technology of the jet pack astronaut.  The astronaut had some sort of axe deflecting apparatus constructed on his head, according to Noah, which rendered my superior battle tactics useless.

Oh, and the astronaut apparently dismembers his enemies.

At this point in the battle, Levi's multi-headed (and multi-legged) demon was seeking an opponent.

I reassembled my axe wielding hero, thinking this might be his moment for glory and renown on the battlefield.

Alas, I was not aware that (according to Levi) having seven heads endows you with superpowers, such as the ability to fly.  And to crush all your enemies.

My axe man died a second bloody death.

The astronaut was ready for battle again.  And had an additional five heads, armor, an axe, and a horse.  Obviously the talents of my villain would have to grow equally.  I constructed a triple team of a mounted axeman with two shielded archers trailing behind his horse.

I was not aware, however, that four heads on an astronaut renders him impervious to arrows, according to Noah.  Silly me.

At the end of the day, the superior technology of the astronaut allowed him to rain death and destruction on all his foes, leaving him to survey the carnage he had wrought.

Life lessons imparted:
  • Always choose to be the good guy in battles with Dad.  That way he has to let you win.
  • Bizarre technological inventions, like helmets that bounce arrows back at your enemies, always trump brute force.
  • Dad is much easier to beat up when he is a Lego guy.
  • Seven heads are better than one.

Sweet dreams

After jabbering, giggling, and playing rock-paper-scissors for hours after we put them in bed, this is how we found them when we headed upstairs.

Not sure where they expected us to sleep. Maybe in their bunk beds?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dear Mr. Bakker (the senior)

Thank you so much for sending our dad this cool video...

We were inspired by the daring of this man, and hope to someday follow in his footsteps. In fact, we started practicing tonight after we watched the video. Our dad took some pictures below for you.

PS: Can that guy shoot while he is flying? Cause that would be even better!

Levi and Noah



Ella joined in too

Maybe couch pillows will help pad the landing

Or maybe not.  How many Gs do you think his belly is pulling in this picture???

Levi even concocted his own flying suit.

And survived.

Then Ella attempted to get fancy and do a trick off the climber. Not the best idea...

"Owwwwwwwww" she said, after landing on just one leg and crashing to the ground.

That's it for jumping off climbers for the night!

And yes, they really did ask if that guy could shoot while he was flying.  I can't imagine where they get such things from...