Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

I’ve started reading Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of our Daily Lives. In the introduction she tackles the concept of justice as meant in the Bible vs. our common conception of justice. It is more about freeing the oppressed than punishing the wrong. “Justice: the practical result of loving God and loving others.” She referenced a passage from Isaiah that I just wanted to share.

Isaiah 58: 9-12 (The Message)

If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places–firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

Officially Done

Nancy with the boys

We are done with the adoption process.  As part of the process we were required to have three post placement visits by our social worker.  (Technically we still have to send yearly report to Ethiopia, but I am not counting those as part of the process.)  We had our last visit last Friday and the report and several pictures will be off to Ethiopia shortly.  Post placement visits are easy, they just want to know where the kids are developmentally, what they are eating, what they like to do, and some things they like to play with.  They are also a chance for the parents to obtain any resource information they may need, have any questions answered, and hear from someone else that they haven’t totally screwed up their kids (yet).  We are happy to be done, but I will admit it does feel weird, when you start the process it feels never ending, and then all of the sudden you are done.


Yesterday we dedicated the boys at church. They looked super cute in their Ethiopian outfits.


The Family





As you can see the boys were a “little” interested in the stage behind us and all the instruments up there.

After church we came back to our house for a lunch and a little fun.

abby, ezra & ethan

Ezra and Ethan giggling together.



michelle & noah

Michelle attacking Noah

camera ezra

Ez with Grandpa’s camera

booty shakin’

For some reason, the boys really love to get down and dance, but only to specific songs. They do it pretty much on their own. Last night Beastie Boys came on the radio, and within seconds we had two booty shakin boys. They love almost every Beastie Boys song. Probably because its the only CD I have the car for emergency radio replacement.

Photo Friday – 04.16.2010

Ez in a cabinet
Mom Ez is stuck in the cabinet.
What is on my hands?
Sock hands are super cool.
That's a hat!
Climbing the solar oven, because that's why it's there.
Love the tongue.
Seriously concerned. Trust me they were going at a snail's pace.
Pretty much sums up a three toddler photo shoot, just do your own thing kids.
The thing they found most interesting at the park.
Almost caught them together.
Ez pondering
Noah pondering


Portobello Mushroom and Bell Pepper Sloppy Joes

I made this recipe tonight and Matt and I loved it, the boys didn’t care, but lately they haven’t liked dinner at all, not even old favorites.

Portobello Mushroom and Bell Pepper Sloppy Joes

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 each small green and red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 yellow onion thinly sliced

1 pound portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, black gills scraped out and discarded, and thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

1 cup tomato sauce

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (I didn’t have)

1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (didn’t have, so I used Louisiana hot sauce)

4 whole wheat hamburger buns

1.  Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skilled over medium-high heat.  Add garlic, bell peppers, and onion; cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add rest of oil and mushrooms; toss well.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

2. Reduce heat to medium.  Add tomato sauce and paste, Worcestershire, oregano, Tabasco, and 3/4 cup water; stir well.  Cook, stirring often, to thicken, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

3.  Spoon mixture inside hamburger buns.

When life gives you beans make hummus.

What you’re not familiar with that saying?  This morning I woke up ready to can black beans for the first time.  You see we eat a lot of beans around here and I am concerned about feeding too much BPA to my little cuties.  I am sure in very small amounts our bodies could rid us of BPA, but it seems to be found in more and more stuff, so I try to eliminate when possible.  I cook from scratch for the most part, but having a can of beans on hand is so convenient, easy way to add protein and so yummy.  I own a pressure canner, so I thought why not?  Its actually not that difficult but when you make a few mistakes (like someone did this morning) it can be more of a task than anticipated.

Mistake #1

Assumed my children would sleep to their normal wake-up time and I would have the beans in the canner before hearing a peep from them.

Being entertained in their highchairs by whisks.  I was moving a pot of boiling water and didn’t want to risk an accident.

Mistake #2

Left beans on stove (waiting to boil) and went and dressed two adorable little boys.  I came back to the biggest boil over I have ever had, my entire stove-top was covered.  I guess I am lucky that I got there before it started running down the sides.

Mistake #3

Not reading my pressure canner instructions before starting.  Yes I have used it before and get most of it.  The mistake I made, I just KNEW it fit 7 quart sized jars, reality it fits 5 quart sized jars.  (meaning I had about 4 store bought cans too many of beans to can)

Mistake #4

I did an extra step, yep more work than necessary.  I sterilized my jars, but for pressure canning you only have to wash not sterilize.

My giant mess, see my water bath canner on the left?  Totally unnecessary, I only got it out to sterilize the jars.

Despite all my mishaps, I am still happy with the results.  I now have 5 quart sized jars of canned beans (equal to 10 cans) and a large batch of this hummus and an idea for dinner.  I chose quart for black beans because most recipes I use call for two cans.

The finished product!

Ez using my apron as a cape.  Wouldn’t you want to protect these cuties?

Photo Friday – 04.09.2010

Apple Cider Vinegar anyone?

Noah took him up on the offer and licked the little the spilled off the floor, and then giggled.

Getting so big.

Dancing bucket head and his brother

Ez is really into sharing food and drink right now, and apparently the grapevine looked thirsty.

Why is my child purple?  I used California Baby sunblock on him.

Noah climbed up on the couch all by himself last night, he was so proud.

Giggly boys.

The real reason I didn’t want them climbing on the couch, they are obsessed with the side tables and lamps.

Filling up his water table.

Admiring the hose.

Noah and the hose.

One Day *Edited

Ez and my toes
Noah and my toes

Today we went barefoot all day. We did it for One Day Without Shoes. Sadly we didn’t have any plans and I didn’t feel like making any so we just went barefoot around the neighborhood. We went for a walk, did our chores, and played outside. I tried my best to avoid walking across the rocks, but had to do it a few times.

Here’s some facts on why we went barefoot to raise awareness:

  • In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to school, clean water and to seek medical help.
  • Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
  • Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
  • In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
  • Podoconiosis is 100% preventable with basic foot hygiene and wearing shoes.

I decided to count my pairs of shoes in honor of the day and confess how many I had, 26 pairs.  Made me sad I had so many shoes and so many in the world have none.  So I gave away a few more pairs, 8 and am down to 18.  I would still like to give more away, but I am a former shoe addict and I did the best I could today.  I am pledging that from now on whenever I buy a pair of shoes, whether new or used, I will donate the exact same amount to a charity that gives shoes to those who need them.  It will help me think about how much I really “need” those shoes and it will help a few people who need some shoes.

*Thanks to Melissa for her comment, here is a charity some might be interested in: http://www.soles4souls.org/ If you know of any others please feel free to add them in the comments.


The other night Noah was still in his high chair practicing his fork skills, because he is obsessed, and Ez was done.  So Ez decided to tickle his brother.  It was super adorable.  We, of course, tried to capture the moment on video, but toddlers have some sixth sense when it comes to video cameras.  Anyway I caught two short snippets of the giggling fun.

MVI 6992 from Stephanie Adams on Vimeo.

MVI 6991 from Stephanie Adams on Vimeo.