Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I must say that prior to becoming a mom, one of my favorite activities was sitting at Starbucks sipping my latte and people watching. There was something comforting watching people come and go, going to a place where "everybody knows your name" and coffee, and the big comfy leather chair. I liked to watch the stroller mama group come in after their morning walk. The business men in suits order triple lattes and wraps. The couple that looked like they had been married forty years, that knew what it's like to just sit in silence with a good cup of coffee. Silence can be comforting if you are sitting with the one you love.

It was a perfect way to start my day, then I would be off to work with ten year olds. The caffeine was the added pick me up needed to get me through the day.

But now, my favorite cup of coffee is the one I make in my jammies while making breakfast for the boys. Instead of people watching, I talk. I talk to my sons about dreams, geography, games, what's happening today. I love it. The coffee isn't as good but the company makes up for it. Nothing better than sitting in a place where "everybody knows your name."

Last weeks pics.

First Taco... He ate it like a sandwich
Morning in the snow...
Evening at the beach. It's official, they are So Cal kids now.

Night in the spa.
All Day in the pool. They love the water.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too Freakin Cute

Okay today it snowed, so we drove up just a bit so they could play in it...

And this was the statement Sintayehu made in the bath yesterday. He did this on his own and had no clue why we were laughing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bad day update

The day got much better. We had a long talk about whining and fairness. I dont know how much was understood. But the day got better. We went to the lake and had lunch. The boys got to feed the ducks and make some yellow snow. So maybe we can't rewind but we can make a concious effort to be better.

Possible Rewind

Do you ever have a morning you wish you could rewind? Today is one in the Crain Household. The children woke up very early in funky moods. I wish I could redo my responses at breakfast.

They boys need everything to be exactly the same. I thought the amount of milk was the same. We put them next to eachother and they were even to the millimeter. Well, Sintayehu didn't think so. He started whining and yelling at me. This is when I got frustrated, FYI there were already three or four fights prior to breakfast. I then picked up Sintayehu's milk and drank it all and set the empty cup in front and said now you have none. I immediately regretted the very stupid move and told him when he stopped yelling he could fill his own glass.

Man, oh man!!! Where is that rewind button when you really need it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Best part of parenting

I have been asked many times what the best parts of becoming a parent has been. I think it is all of the little things.

I love it when the boys come in EARLY in the morning and crawl in bed with me. They snuggle like they won't let go. We talk, pray, and discuss what the day will look like.
I love the little phrases the boys repeat.
Dawit says, "mommy Scummin" translation: mommy come on or mommy is.
"small or Too big": small or big one?
"Swim" : bath.
"Silly Boy" to anyoneone being silly.
"Look at jew" : look at you when he is showing off one of his photos.
Sintayehu says, "Wow Wow Wow" when he learns something new.
"Can have I some Computer puh-lease?"
"Where go today" apparently we go somewhere everyday.
"Dawit very very disturbed" when Dawit is being silly or naughty.
" Oh Mommy No" when he doesn't believe me.
I love that they both turn to see where we are if they are on their bikes.
I love that Sintayehu wants to be hugged at least twice every hour.
I love playing games with them. at the moment, They are addicted to Monopoly Junior.
I love that Dawit won't take his helmet off.
I love the pride and respect Sintayehu has for his country. (Most 10 year olds don't)
I love watching them in the water whether it be sprinklers, pool or bath.
I love that Sintayehu hugs everyone he is introduced to and Dawit gets shy and burries his head in my shoulder.
I love watching Nick bond manly kind of bonding with the boys.
I love that the boys notice how Nick treats me well.
I love that they like to clean their room if we help.
I love that even after a time out or melt down they want to cuddle and follow the "ikerta" (sorry) with a kiss and a long hug.
I love watching them play nicely together when they don't know we are watching.
I love that they break out in dance or song at random times.

I love it!!! We have awesome kids. God has blessed us thousand fold. I don't know why it was so hard to trust that our family would be complete. Through every trial, there were A LOT, even in ET, God was true to his promise.

I recently spoke at church about God's plan and God being victorious. Nick and my plan was simple. God's was much grander. I truly think it took many of the trials to ready us to parent these boys. If the boys were ready when we first thought about starting a family, we would not have been ready for them. It truly was God's perfect timing. Thank you God.

Here are some recent photos:

First Slurpees Coke and Banana MMMMM...

Play date with an old friend from Ethiopia. They were re-united on Monday and ask about him every day. We will be getting together again soon. We all went for a walk, well almost all of us. Sintayehu wanted to be pulled in the wagon.

Meeting their Great Grandparents. We had a great time visiting and the trip was complete with swimming and all.

Grandma made them each an apron for helping in the kitchen. No more towels :)

I love this kid so much. He is one of God's children, no doubt.

And this one takes my breath away several times a day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I would like to say this is a proud momma moment; but realistically I was just honored to learn the way of my oldest son. He has ten years of life experience that has nothing to do with the Crains. This boy know Jesus. If he could give his testimony in church; there would be no way that a non-believer would not start believing. I am humbled and honored to be his mother.

Here is a glimpse into his heart.

Mommy: "Why do you want to be a journalist?"
Sintayehu: "I want to help Ethiopia."
Mommy: "I believe you can do that. Do you have any ideas of how this could happen?"
Sintayehu: "If I write about the HIV infection; and tell people how to not get it, I could save lives"
Mommy: "Wow. You are right."
Sintayehu: "And if more people live, there won't be as many orphanages in Ethiopia."
Mommy (with tears in eyes): "Did you know any one with HIV?"
Sintayehu: "Yes. two kids from the orphanage. And many many of their parents died"
Mommy: "I think Jesus would be proud of you and want you to follow your dreams."
Sintayehu: "Jesus would heal them first then take the children with him"
Mommy: "Maybe, or he sent you to help them. It sounds like you have a mission from God."
Sintayehu: "That's why my mommy died and I came to America"
Mommy "What?"
Sintayehu: "So I can be a journalist and go back."
Mommy: "Jesus uses bad times to make better ones"

He is a gift from God. And it is a privilege to be his new mommy.

A week of firsts

Well, Nick went back to work on Monday. The boys handled it a little too well. We went out to visit him for lunch. The boys were able to see Nick's office and try out the haz mat gear.
Sintayehu with the mask on.

Tuesday was a relaxing day. We stayed in our pajamas for a while and then went to the park to ride bikes and scooters. Dawit love riding around. Sintayehu on the other hand said too much exercise after about 10 minutes of riding his scooter on the basketball court. I feel bad for him. I think, since he is almost 11 years old and trying all of the physical stuff for the first time, it is much harder for him. His brother seems to be going in circles around him and then he gives up. Poor Guy.

Then on Wednesday, we met Grandma Kathy in Menifee to paint ceramics. The boys whined the whole way, saying they didn't want to paint. I can't figure this out. They have never done something and have many preconceived notions about the fun level. And they complain the whole time. Well once we got there, they were excited and had a very fun time painting their banks.

It was warm on Wednesday so the boys ran around in the sprinklers. After a few minutes, they wanted to use their new snorkeling gear. So they ran around the yard with a snorkel and mask looking so goofy. I loved it.

And Thursday they went swimming for the first time ever. Grandma's pool is all of 60 degrees. IT was COLD!!! I got in like a good mom and froze my booty off. They had so much fun.

Friday, we took them fishing for the first time. They were very distracted and there was nothing biting. But they looked pretty cute. And there was a giant playground and bike trail; so they had a blast.

And today, we took them to the movie theater. We went to the $2.00 theater. Our whole family cost a whopping $8.00 to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: the sqeakwall. It was really funny to watch their reactions to the movie. Dawit loved the music. He was bouncing his head and feet to the beat; which relieved me because I was worried about their rhythm :) And Sintayehu laughed so hard throughout the whole thing. Quite a week we had.
Looking forward to a play date with a friend of Sintayehu. As God would plan it, there is another boy from the HOH that lives near us. He has been asking since we told him and showed him their family's blog. So, we are going to their house tomorrow. And the boys are very excited.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Joys of being a Mommy!!!

I trapped the tickling culprit.
Daddy showing them how to do it right.

And by special request... Dawit and his helmet

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!!!

What a joyous day. We got to celebrate our triumphant King with our complete family. How great is it that our God is true to his word? And that our Savior conquered death? What else can we fear? I was able to speak of God's plan and promises through our trials at church today. It was awesome to tell our story. Lord knows it was not our plan or our way but His way and how much greater it is than our own. Thank you Jesus.

The boys are adjusting so fast. We did the Easter Egg hunt this morning. It was the first morning that they were sleeping past six and we had to wake them at 6:45 in order to do baskets and get ready for church. It was really fun to watch them find eggs. The Easter Bunny brought the boys fishing poles, a tackle box, a movie and candy. Plus, all of the grandparents handed out major loot. I don't think they know what to do with it all. We had a lovely day and the boys are in the bath right now.

Funny phrases....
1. I told Sintayehu that his stomach hurt because he ate too much. He replied, "Not two much Mommy, only one much."
2. We have been working on saying No Thank You. Today Dawit said "No Thank You" when Grandma handed him his coat. Grandma tried to explain just Thank You. After three rounds of incorrectly saying it, he finally replied "Your Welcome"
3. Sintayehu said, "I see the Easter Bunny at Tenya (Sleep)" That's right the child who is scared of the Easter Bunny is seeing her in his sleep.

Here are some pictures of Egg dying and Easter.

Most of the eggs looked kinda brown by the end.
Daddy Helping Out
We had a hard time not eating the eggs
Twister Anyone?
Happy Easter - Urkle Style

Grandpa and Dawit fishing in the pool.

Family Photo Time. It only took 100 different pics to get one good one

Check out all that loot!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Boys will be boys!!!

Thank God I had a brother growing up. I think if it was just my sister and myself I think I would have been ill prepared for parenting two school age boys. There have been non-stop nerf wars for the last three days.

We had to take the boys back to the doctors for additional vaccinations and drawing blood on Thursday. This was not something I was looking forward to. We told them we were going back and there was a look of panic on Dawit's face. We explained that it would only be one more shot in the leg and one in the arm. We also bribed them. We told them if they were good they could each pick out one 10.00 toy at Target when we were done; we were taking them clothes shopping anyways. Oh My Goodness!!! They did so well for the shots. I don't know if it was the bribe or the knowing ahead of time what would be happening but there were no tears from Sintayehu and small whimpering from Dawit.

Well after lunch we went to Target where I was expecting complete meltdowns because the limit was low. Again, totally surprised. I was even able to go off and do some Easter Basket shopping. After much consideration they both decided to get nerf shot guns. (Sintayehu really wanted a car that made sounds but decided that eventually the batteries would die so he went with the nerf gun. How's that for logical thinking?) Daddy got a nerf gun as well. The moment they got home they have been shooting each other. Nick came into our bedroom saying "I love having Boys!!!" It was so cute.

Today we took them to the park again. We go like every other day. Dawit is riding his bike so well. He is quite the Dare Devil. He decided to go down the hills instead of the paths. It made me nervous but I got over it. He then proceeded to fall of the slide. Luckily the kid doesn't take off his helmet so that saved his noggin. Last night I realized I haven't taken any photos of them lately so after their bath I got some good ones.