Fourth of July Weekend

The Tractor-pulled Ferris wheel, a highlight of the Independence Day party.

Our trip to Ethiopia is growing closer. We’ve begun to gather donations for AHOPE as well as other people in Ethiopia, making it all more real. I got two packages in the mail today, one was a small computer for the kids at AHOPE and the other was some vitamins for Hanna, an Ethiopian friend who has taken in a number of orphaned girls.

Our Fourth of July was a regular day for Russ who is working hard to complete some projects before we leave for Ethiopia. We spent the evening at a party that was great fun. Russ and I had planned to leave with the little ones once it got dark, but we were having such a good time and the kids were doing so well that we stayed until after the big fireworks show. One of the highlights of the evening was a unique tractor-pulled ferris wheel. I had never seen anything like it! My friend’s neighbor patiently made laps around the neighborhood picking up and dropping off children along the way. You’ve got to love small-ish town life.

Little Man and Ladybug with a friend.

Saturday we headed up to Russ’ parents’ place on the river where we ate good food, rested, and played in the cold, cold water. Actually, Russ and I watched the kids play in the cold, cold water while we sat in the sun. Russ also grilled his famous Cornell Chicken, a family favorite from our Ithaca days. One day I’ll post the recipe here.

Ladybug brought a friend along.

Boo liked rowing the raft, even if it was only on the lawn.

Dimples practiced new tricks taught to her by her brothers.
I love the expression on Little Man’s face. How cute can one child be?

And this is what I got when I said, “Dimples – smile for me!”

Thank you to everyone who has purchased an AHOPE t-shirt. We are already adding some additional colors and a woman’s style shirt which you will find in our store along with a brand new shopping cart system that will make purchasing them easier. Rusty is typing his fingers to the bone to try to get our new system launched soon. Until then, you can still order from the original site.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Adrielle
    July 8, 2008

    “How cute can one child be?” I ask myself this all day long! 🙂

  2. Amber
    July 8, 2008

    Looks like fun!

  3. Bradshaws
    July 8, 2008

    That is the coolest thing Ive ever seen!!! How fun for the kids!!

  4. Anonymous
    July 9, 2008

    I love all the pictures!!! I miss those kids so much…I can’t wait to get home and give them all a big hug. 🙂


    P.S. Feel free to steal photos/videos/whatever from Devil’s Causeway and stuff…


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