Sunday, March 11, 2012


We have wanted to take the boys skiing/snowboarding this winter, but just never had a chance to. There is actually a homeschool group that gets great discounts at some of the NC slopes (like $20 per person for a whole day, including lift tickets, rentals and a lesson!), but whenever we had a free day, it was just too warm. Finally, last week, on the last day of the season for the homeschool discount, Darren was able to take Z, Melaku, Alex and Justin. Z and Melaku took lessons, and then had a great day on the slopes. Melaku had a harder time, because he wanted to snowboard, even though we told him it would be easier to start with skiing; but he still enjoyed it. Hopefully next year we can all go for a little bit longer.

Monday, February 6, 2012

25 Years...and a Dolphin Kiss

Darren and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary on January 31st (yay!) with almost a week in Cozumel, Mexico It's near Cancun, where we spent the second half of our honeymoon 25 years ago, so that was cool. It was so nice to be just the two of us together, relaxing and having fun.

A couple of my favorite things -- this guy serenading us with "Besame Mucho" --

And getting to play and interact with two sweet dolphins -- kissing, dancing, hugging, getting pulled along by hanging on to their dorsal fins, and getting pushed up in the air with one under each foot -- so awesome!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

First tournament

The boys are really enjoying playing soccer here; they are both on classic teams now. Melaku played in his first soccer tournament this past weekend, in Fayetteville. The team played well, but didn't make it to the finals -- they lost the first game 3-1, then tied 2-2 and 0-0. Melaku scored both goals in the second game. :)

Z's team was supposed to play at the tournament too, but their fields got rained out. They did get to play in a scrimmage with another rained-out team on Saturday here, and they won that game.

So, we enter the travel soccer world, with a bit of trepidation...

Monday, January 9, 2012


The boys got to meet Darren's mom (Jammie to her grandkids) for the first time last week, and it was a special time. They gave her a little concert too -- Trevor and Alex played some, Z played and sang "You Are My Sunshine," and Melaku sang his favorite song, "Baby Baby" by Justin Bieber, while Alex played and Trevor rapped. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oath of Allegiance

Because he's over 14 (the "age of understanding" according to U.S. Immigration, I guess), Z was required to go to the Immigration office in Charlotte today to swear an oath of allegiance to the United States before he could receive his Certificate of Citizenship. He officially became a citizen when our plane touched down back in July; he just didn't receive the certificate.

This is the oath he had to swear:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

I thought it was interesting that they use such difficult words, when this is an oath that usually non-native English speakers have to say to become a citizen. I asked the officer about it; she said yes, it's hard for most people. She said they had a Chinese guy there today that didn't speak any English, and they had to have him repeat it one word at a time (with no understanding, obviously).

Anyway, yay Z!

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I took some pictures of Melaku for a headshot, because he wants to try acting, like his big brothers. He is very motivated to earn money right now -- Justin took him for a ride on his motorcycle, and Melaku immediately decided he wants/needs a dirt bike. I told him they are pretty expensive, and he would have to be at least 13 before he could get one. So, he is counting down the months until he is 13 (conveniently not hearing the "at least" part of my statement), and trying to find as much work as he can. When he heard how much Justin, Trevor and Alex sometimes were able to make acting, he was sold on the career.

He is also trolling for work all over our neighborhood. He cleaned all my baseboards and windows, then went to our neighbor's house and cleaned her windows, and he pet-sat a guinea pig over Christmas for some other neighbors. He pretty much asks me on a daily basis if I have any jobs for him, if he can go knock on some other neighbors' doors and ask them for work, and if anyone has responded to the email I sent out about pet-sitting. He is a hard worker, and extremely persistent, I will give him that. :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just Dance

We got the Wii game "Just Dance 3" today, and Justin, Z, Melaku, and Justin's friend, Justin, tried it out. It was extremely entertaining for me, watching these big guys shaking their booties. :)