Thursday, April 29, 2010



Sunday afternoon, around 1:00 pm, Simenesh Rebekkah walked into our house and stole our hearts. This girls is just...amazing.

Whenever I meet any new person the first thing I notice is their eyes/facial expressions (Yes, I am one of those creepy people who like to make eye contact).
Simenesh has WONDERFUL eyes.
After the eye check, as soon as possible, I assess a person's laugh. And my gracious, this girl can laugh. When she is at a loss for words (or is thinks we are horribly mispronouncing her language) she just covers her face and giggles. Language barrier or no language barrier, I already know I will get along with her just fine. I like her. Yup, I like her quite a bit.

A couple more facts about my lovely new sister;

In case you can't tell, she is GORGEOUS. She is tall (5'3" and growing!). She has the hair I only dream of having.

She is SMART. She speaks two Ethiopian languages fluently. While her English is only minimal right now, love bridges the language gap. She is SO affectionate. She hugs and kisses all of us like every 5 minutes.

She is passionate about her faith. She is a WORSHIPER and she loves to sing (Come on, she HAS to be my sister!!!!).

She isn't used to American food (obviously) and the concept of refrigeration is totally new to her. Milk...butter...juice...she is still a little freaked out by things like that.

She loves pineapple. I think she might be an addict. Chocolate has also found its way onto her favorites list.

She loves soccer! She knows a ton about it, plays phenomenally well, and her favorite team is Manchester United! (if that was the only thing we had in common, that would be enough for me) And she is here just in time to go fanatical over the World Cup with me!!!!!

Her (current) favorite article of clothing is the teal sweater (pictured above) I picked for her at H&M. Although, my 11 year old sister's sparkly gold flip flops come in as a close second.

AND SHE CAN BRAID!!!! She is a braiding beast. Shortly after coming home (having been traveling for 18 hours and never having met her new siblings before) she sat me and my 3 younger sisters down, and cornrowed our hair. All four of us in under an hour. She is fast and furious. And I am euphoric, as I now have my own, personal, in-home cornrow-er!

She did all the way down to the ends of my hair, but I ended up taking the bottoms out because all my layers were sticking out like spikes. But I kept the top in from Sunday up until this morning.

Tia won. Her thick hair held those braids together so well that it is Thursday and they are still in. The rest of us got all fuzzy and quit. Always next time!!!

Yesterday, having conquered all the girls (save for the uncooperative baby), she moved onto my 2 brothers. She finds their longish, white boy hair very funny. They pulled the braids out later (apparently it hurt their sensitive little man heads and the braids were also sticking up off their heads making them looks like 2 little triceratops children), but it was sure funny to watch her torture them.
Then after the boys, she and I box-braided my mom's hair. Also very..amusing...

If you cannot tell, we are all enamoured with her. She is absolutely wonderful. The language barrier is annoying, but that will not stop us.
We love her. She loves us. And that is all that really matters.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hello, my name is...

I always introduce myself as Bella. It is not my FULL name, but it is what I go by because... I always have. Thereafter the introducing, I get one of four response.

a) "...LIKE IN TWILIGHT!!!!" (that would be my LEAST favorite and yet most common response.)
b) "Oh that means 'Beautiful,' right?" (Uh, yes. Hello awkward conversation...)
c) "You MUST be Italian." (Yuppers, I am)
d) "Hmm. Is that short for something?" (Yuppers, it is!)

I generally like c and d as responses over a and b, although there should be an all of the above option because sometimes I get all four combined in one.

*Now, before I really get into it here, you have to know I am OBSESSED with names and their meanings. I am a name fanatic. I name absolutely EVERYTHING {car. GPS. other people's cars and GPSes. Nicknames. Instruments. Like...literally everything} and there is always a google search for meaning behind the name that precedes the naming. Etymology fascinates me as well.*

Bella does mean beautiful, in Italian and like a bunch of other languages ( although in Latin it means War and that extreme difference that makes me laugh). And sure, it is a fitting name for me, but when I say "My name is Bella." that is not what I am thinking. I never go by Isabella, save for when my dad is being very serious and wants my full attention, or when my grandmother is hugging/introducing me, but that is what my name IS.
 (*I also answer to Jacky, Jro, Aisling, Ms. Ardent, and whatever else people around decide to call me)

Most people actually don't know my name is anything but Bella. I have shocked a good many. Some people also think that the "Isabella Kiss" thing is just a fanciful sounding pen name. Nope. That's me, for real, for real, and that name is going on the cover's of books someday. My full name is Isabella Kiss *__insert Italian last name_*. No lie.

I used to not really like my name. Isabella sounded girly or like a queen's name. Kiss sounded like a verb and was also emotionally girly. And I am neither of those things. I used to ONLY go by Bella and I would make people take guesses at my 4 letter, starting with a 'k', verb middle name (and I would crack up every time because, without fail, guys would always guess 'KILL' and then 'KICK'). 
But I have come to love my name, even though I still refer to myself as just Bella.

Lets take a little look behind the meaning of it all.

Isabella means CONSECRATED TO GOD.
Kiss is my mom's maiden name.

Long story but I will try and sum it up. When my mom was pregnant my name was going to be 1 of a couple of things. Stori {which would have been SICK!} and Victoria {which would have been...not so sick} were high on the list. Then due to a very complex pregnancy and a whole lot of stuff (like perscribed meds pregnant women shouldn't have been on) came into the picture and doctors told my mom I was likely to have a lot of problems. I was going to be a very UNhealthy kid. They listed a gamut of issues and labeled me with lots of possible problems. Missing limbs, cleft palette, developmental problems, etc, etc.

That is when my name became ISABELLA.

Then and there my parents dedicated me to God. No matter what I ended up like, I was His. They placed me in His hands even before my birth. And I love that. {Kiss came from the fact that my mom's dad, who was 100% Hungarian with a VERY Hungarian last name, died suddenly right before I was born.}

Ps: I was born healthy and totally fine. I was ugly, looked like an alien boy, and had no hair until I was 2, but other than that all was well...

So when I say "Hello, my name is Bella" I am not thinking "Hello, my name is Beautiful." I am ALWAYS thinking "Hello, my name is CONSECRATED" even though I gave Bella and not Isabella as my name. Because that is just who I am.

Today I did a little Bible search for the word consecrated. It pulled up 3 pages of verses containing that word. I learned the Old Testament, Hebrew word for consecrated is QADASH and it means to consecrate, to sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate. (The New Testament Greek word is Hegios)
In the verses I pulled I saw that people such as Jesse and his sons, Aaron and all Levites, places such as the tabernacle or temple, food and sacrifices, and altars were consecrated.

And me. (well, I am not in the Bible, but you get what I am saying)

I am consecrated. From my birth (even before) I was set apart, given to God, destined to walk in His calling on my life. Despite what man said about me. Despite what the world would have told me. I was wholly set apart, dedicated to my God and His plans for me before I had even taken a breath. I LOVE that.

So, what is your name? Do you know what it means? Do you know what your name says about you? You ought to find out!
*and then you should name every possible inanimate, nameless thing around you just for the fun of it*

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Yes, yesterday there should have been a "Quote-able" post, but there was not. I had intended to use a bunch of quotes I had taken down in my notes at Awakening, but I wanted to find someway to tie them all together in a cohesive post where all the quotes linked together.

No such luck was had.

So, you are getting a raw (well...almost) look into some of my notes from the conference. These are just a couple things that REALLY stood out to me personally over the sessions of teaching.
"You will never change the world while you look like it."
"Nothing ever works if you do it half way."  - Jeanne Mayo (Session #1: Beauty and the Beast.)-

"Where ever you go, there you are. ...The problem is YOU, the solution is God." - Jordan Boyce (Session #2: We are Jonah)
"Who you hang with is who you become."  -Adam McCain (Session#4: Four Crazy Friends)

"I don't have time to do stuff that does not matter"-Jonathan Stockstill (Session #5: Grasping Eternity)

Anybody else out there think these couple lines are as cool as I think they are? Passion. Surrender. Friendship. Purpose and Calling. All things that God has really been building into my life more and more in the last year(ish). I hope someone else besides me is provoked by these words!

I'm Isabella Kiss, and I approve these messages.

Monday, April 26, 2010


AWAKENING conference, 2010.
Thursday - Saturday *I was only there Thursday- Friday*.
Couple pictures.
Our youth group, Merge Ahead, did worship for the Friday 9:30 AM and the 2:00 PM sessions. There were around 1,000 kids there, we were on God TV and streaming live on the Web. But strangely enough, up on that stage it didn't feel any different than it did in front of 150, or just me in my room praising God alone. Worship isn't about an audience. Worship is about bringing glory to God and that is just what we did.
(I had intended to get a group picture of all of us together off stage but I forgot) Elijah: lead vocals, guitar. Josh: drums. Quinton: electric. JoJo: Bass. Randy: Keys (I also play keys, but we share.) Rachael: Vocals. Me: Vocals. Chris: sound.
I am so blessed to be able to be on a team with these guys. Not only are they talented musicians, and awesome men/woman of God, but PASSIONATE WORSHIPERS. This whole conference experience was amazing.
Setlist: - 1. Break Free. How He Loves. This is What You Gave (written by our very own, Josh). Second Chance.
2. More Than Anything. Tear Down the Walls. Came to My Rescue. This is What You Gave.
*and no, I am not singing some sort of screamo song... don't know what is up with my face....?
*you can almost see the whole team in this one. Minus sound guy, plus Pastor Jordan Boyce.

Random picture of me outside laying in the church's grass, totally unaware I am being photographed...

*the 4 previous pictures may or may not have been *borrowed* off of the facebook of a girl named Julie... (and for those of you freaking out thinking I have reactivated my dead for 8 months facebook, the answer is NO. I activated it. Stole pictures. Promptly Deactivated again. Facebook is the biggest life sucker ever; JOIN THE REVOLUTION!)

Our large group was too big to eat the pizza we ordered inside the hotel. So, we just ate it out of the back of a van in the hotel parking lot.

Me and my Mopeeps, pizza-ing. (lesson learned here: don't try to smile AND chew pizza at the same time. Looks weird.)

Some lovely Merge ladies eating pizza outside.

Guitarist Quinton, (Youth) Pastor Eric, (Worship) Pastor Mike, eating pizza out of a van, in a parking lot, OFF the very boxes the pizza came in because we ran out of paper plates. This is how we roll...

Sleep deprived me, trying to be artsy while holding my camera in my left hand, laying on muddy grass/asphalt, chewing pizza, and hiding my eyes from the sun.

The whole conference experience was phenomenal. I am so glad that one of my mom's friends came to my rescue and stepped in as child watcher so I could go. *THANKS MICHELE!*

I heard THE Jeanne Mayo preach (whoa that woman dropped the stick on us all). Also heard Adam McCain (who is as awesome to watch as he is to listen to), Jordan Boyce (who says hurricane really funny, and yells a lot) and Marco Debarros (who sang us a rap song). Then to top it all off Deluge Band came and did worship Friday night. That alone would have been enough for me to pay and drive to Rhode Island. So sick. And in case you like them as much as I do and are wondering, YES, they played "Crazy." And they played it TWICE! (video from conference 2009)

Hopefully I get to go back next year and stay for all of it. Maybe we will even do worship again. Either way, it was AMAZING and will have lasting effect wayyyy beyond just the 2 days I was there.
*taken off Ground Zero's flikr

*ps: pictures of my new sister and a bunch of stories to come. She is HOME and she is WONDERFUL. Be patient.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Current Storm Standing...

Hey guys, I'M STILL ALIVE!

Littlest sister is down for a nap, and 4 kiddos went off for a play date for a couple hours, so I am going to take this opportunity, in the midst of the *SILENCE,* to give you an update.

My parents left yesterday around 3:00. Their plan took off at about 11:00, they flew to Dubai, stayed there a bit, and should now be a)flying to Addia Ababa, or b) IN Addis Ababa (with the time change and everything, not sure what is going on right now. Haven't heard from them yet, but they will be emailing once settled into their Ethiopian hotel).

Once they left, everything went well. Couple minor two year old melt downs, (when we have "please see mama" fits, we just go out side and look for airplanes "Oh, she is up flying in the plane to get Simenesh!"...usually works!) but other than that, all smooth. Ate some shrimp pasta for dinner, fed them cookies, watched Chicken Run, and sent them off to bed (and that baby, she slept for 12 hours!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!).

Pictures from yesterday;

This is a little uh...trick... Avi taught herself. It is called "socky hands."

Sock(y)s. On hands. And yes, they were previously on her feet.

And this is the "socky shock face." Cute kid.

Today everyone got up, ate donuts, scrambled eggs and a Clementine, did some school (or watched Bob the Builder, depending on age), and then we moved on to FUN STUFF.


Let me just tell you, when I am someday a REAL mom, my kids will be stinkin' artists by age 3. Art is like the BEST thing you can do with/for kids. "Here, make something." It is an important learning experience. Plus it is fun, it is one of those things you can't really get wrong. Math can be wrong. English can be wrong. But is whatever you make it to be! In our world imagination and creativity are fading from the minds of kids. I am keepin' it alive!

Anyway, we made a "WELCOME HOME" banner for Simenesh.

I had the kids rip and glue paper up in a collage-ish manner, and then I cut out the letters and strung them together. Hung it in the girl's bedroom for when their new sister comes home. Man, I love craft projects!

Other highlights of the day;
Youngest brother looks out the window and yells "THERE IS AN OSTRICH IN OUR YARD!!!!"... only ... it was a TURKEY.

Then I drive them all to our (sort of kind of almost) cousins house. First we encounter 2 more turkeys, IN THE ROAD. Then about a mile later we come to 4 COWS in the road.
*"Are they wild cows?"
"No dude, there aren't any wild cows. They must have escaped from some place."
"Maybe they built a plane, like in Chicken Run."*
After some honking, we k-turned and took a detour for the well being of the bovines. And yeah, I live in the country, but just so you know that is not normal. Very weird drive.
Rest of the day consists of picking up kids again, doing dinner -sausage pizza, more cookies!- with the help of my mom's friend Beth, a lot of showers, some laundry, maybe another movie and then more sleeping! Oh motherhood, you are so glorious!
Now, if you'll excuse me, reality is calling in the form of a crying, just awaking baby...

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm.

In a previous post I told of how my parents would be headed for Ethiopia for 6 days and leaving me home with 6 kids.

That begins TODAY.

This afternoon my parents head for the airport, fly to Dubai for a 12 hour layover, then fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, meet up with my new sister, finalize the adoption on Thursday, and fly back home again on Sunday afternoon.

And I will be HERE, holding down the fort. We have various people scheduled to come and help me keep sane, but still, it is going to be a LONG week. Little brothers are a challenge, little girls don't brush their hair unless I tell them, the newly turned two year old has just realized she is supposed to be 'terrible' at this age, and dog and cats starve if you don't feed them. With all that plus cooking, laundry, and generalized house keeping...yeah, very long week. But it will all be worth it at the end.

And on Thursday.

Thursday afternoon to Friday night I get a little break (Thank you, God.). Someone stepped in to watch the kiddos for that period of time so I could go to a conference in Rhode Island called AWAKENING. Now this conference is going to be sick. Really sick. I don't know if you've heard of Jeanne Mayo, one of the most influential youth pastors in America, but SHE WILL BE THERE. I don't know if you've heard of Jonathan Stockstill, one of the most influential worship leaders in America, and his band Deluge, but THEY WILL BE THERE!

But the most exciting thing is that we (*I'll explain in a minute, keep reading) will be there. And not just in the crowd of thousand.

A while back some guys from the Rhode Island church showed up to Merge (my youth group) to amp up their conference and after hearing our worship team play, they invited us to come and lead morning and afternoon worship on Friday at the conference! This is like... a huge deal! A major surprise blessing and ginormous privilege. We have NEVER done anything on this scale. We are all so excited to be a part of this. Let me remind me that when you are diligent in serving God he hooks you up with FAVOR.

7 kids from a youth group of about 150, glorifying God with the gifting He has given them, and now we are leading at a regional conference with thousands there. But 10 or 10,000, it doesn't matter. We are in this for God.

{My biggest concern is that I still have a voice, come Thursday, with which to sing. I tend to lose it when I am sleep deprived and stressed out. Tea. LOTS of TEA!!!!}

This week is going to be crazy! But I am really excited about it. When I am at the end of myself that is when God can really shine through. His strength is made perfect in weakness. And this week isn't about me.


Maybe pictures to come, maybe some cool stories. But you won't hear much from me by way of blogging for about the next week. By then I will have accomplished mothering of 6, worshipping in Rhode Island, and getting a new sister.

READY, SET, GO. I'm off, full throttle.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Anthro Adventure of Emikel and Jro

Sometimes you just need an adventure.

Since December my best friend, Emily Michael, has been enrolled in Hair Dressing-- or "Cosmetology," as fancy people call it-- school, like absolutely nonstop. I still see her quite a bit, but SO much less than I used to. And though she still lives at home and I see her for youth group related things, I miss her.

Thursday afternoon we had about an hour free before we had to pick up our siblings somewhere, so we went wandering around a nearby shopping plaza. We didn't really have purchasing anything in mind, we just needed to spend some time together. Though it was short it was nice to be able just to HANG OUT again.

We headed over to one of our favorite stores, just to look. Just to talk. Just to be the two of us.

The infamous Anthropologie. Dreamy place, it is. Neither of us are crazy enough to purchase anything in there, save for the occasional $15 book or $12 draw pull, but we both like to look and fantasize.

Emily like to say "If I had money, I'd buy that." or say "This makes me happy." (she says that a lot, because she is good at finding the happinesses of life) (and then she usually begins to sing a song by Nevershoutnever)

And I like to say "WHY is that so expensive!? I could SO make that."

And we both enjoy the atmosphere of it and agree that if we had more free time and a permanent interest in design we'd be visual interns there.

The adorable Emikel, who is intense enough to wear a dress to school, on a random Thursday and is cool enough to sit in a display and pretend like she belongs there.

The less cool me, wishing I had a big orange chair to go with my orange vintage lamp and crazy green couch. Or maybe wishing I lived IN that store...

Awesome little birdhouses made with scrap wood and recycled tin/aluminum stuff. I could care less about decorative birdhouses for...indoor bird nests?...I just liked the concept of the recycled metally things. And the fact I could have made them for less than the $35 dollars they cost.

**We also went in a little store called 'Francesca's.' I bought my mom and I matching luchador key covers for $5. Yes, seriously. My mom and I have an intense love of the movie 'Nacho Libre' so we really appreciate weird little things like luchador heads on a key... Hers is the blue one that looks like Nacho/Ignacio. Mine something? You're jealous. Don't lie, it is a sin.

I am blessed with an awesome best friend. She is just fun. We are totally different, yet SO alike. And we could do anything and have fun. They say that with your real friends you could sit in a room and not talk to each other at all and still have fun...well it is a true story. Except, Emily and I would probably be hanging upside down off furniture or standing on our heads or something weird, because sitting is far too normal for us...

Adventuring on Etsy.

I love Etsy. I have a shop but...there isn't too much shopping going on in that shop currently. If I were trying to make a living that way, I'd be a starving artist. But it is still fun. It gives me a place to showcase what I can do, maybe make some money, and get inspired by other creative people all around the world. Sometimes I do a random search and just browse through people items. I love artsy people and seeing what other people, all across the globe, can do inspires me to create MORE!

Here are a couple current favo(u)rites *I like to PRETEND I'm British. Stick u's in words is a good way for me to fake it. which I find inspiring and/or amusing.

PURPLE AND GREEN (!) Union Jack pillow! Karen Hilton Designs

Pirate-y Shirt. Critter Jitters

Can you tell I like pirate ships? The Koi Pond

Cat in a Hat, anyone? I don't know HOW you get your pet to wear this, but it makes me laugh. And I call my cat Hope 'Moon Bear,' so one of this would suit her. XMoonBlooms

Ohhh, the possibilities of amigurumis! Fyastiko

With God, there is no such thing as impossible. The Love Shop

There is something that I love about this crazy blue/orange vintage leather jacket. Zozatron

Already sold, but I still like it. A bunny, named Isabella, flying on a Raven. DKJ Art

Nevermore t-shirt (also sold). Binary Winter

Inspiring wall art. Letter Happy

While I could keep at this all day, I DO actually have things to do. So if you excuse me, I am going to go do what I love; LIVE.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Piracy runs in the family.

Yesterday I mentioned that we would be adding another kid to my family in the next week. True. In the same week, we will also be adding a cousin!

My Aunt Rachael will be having her second son in just a few days!!!!! Almost 7 years ago she gave birth to her first son, and around the time he was born, so was his "blankey."

When she was expecting, I sewed a blanket for my soon to be cousin; this light blue/yellow duck print cotton on one side and light blue flannel on the other. Simple (I was only 12, so it was quite the project). I was just thinking it would be a nice gift to present to her at her shower. Plenty of other people gave him blankets, and there were other handmade ones, but my cousin became surprisingly attached to MINE, and he STILL sleeps with it to this day. The poor blanket is scarcely in one piece. It is totally threadbare. I wish I had a picture of the thing. (Next project is to make him a cover for it to prolong its life)

With the arrival of son #2 coming, I was commissioned to make yet another blanket (haven't made one since the first, 7 years ago, so that was interesting...). Machine sewing generally makes me angry, but because I love my aunt, uncle and their children, this was TOTALLY worth it! There was some drama involved in the making (little brother sabotaged the sewing machine), but I finally got it finished it! (*Actually, I am still going to sign Love; Bella on the bottom, just so he won't forget that his most awesome cousin made it for him.)

**Now, before I show you the pictures of this AWESOME blanket, you have to understand that my Aunt Rachael married my mom's brother, who is a PIRATE., not literally, but he is a pirate at heart, like me. My love of the piratical (and a good many other things) stems from him. Obviously this love of pirates has to be passed to his own kids.

So, without further ado, the baby blanket for the second pirate cousin.

*the front. Light blue, anchor-patterned cotton. Red, GINORMOUS appliqued skull. I LOVE IT. (and no, this won't scare him. He is a pirate. It is in his blood. Why would he be afraid of his own heritage?!)

*back. Dark blue flannel that reminds me of when the sun hits the ocean. Edged in red silky binding.

Ooooh, I am so excited to give it to the little guy! I hope he loves it as much as his older brother loves blankey! (and if not, my uncle will surely claim it for his own!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stare and see that this is...*US.*

Sorry there hasn't been much blogging going on around here, I've been kind of busy these last few days, but let me just tell you, the busy-ness of this week will hold no comparison to next week.

*warning. This is where this post is going to become very long, painfully straightforward and intensely frank. I am passionate and wholly unapologetic about it. Brace yourself*

Next week I am the "mother of 6."

*you throw your hands up and shriek 'WHAT!?' Chillax, people. Let me s'plain.

Next week, for 6 days, I will be the "mother" of 6 kids-who happen to actually be my younger siblings- because my mother (and my father) are leaving the country. My parents will be in Ethiopia for 6 days. Monday to Sunday. And I will be here, with--and in charge of-- everyone else.

*go ahead, shriek again. Why would they take a 20 hour plane flight across the world and leave me with their children for a week? What could I have done to possibly deserve that?

Simple answer: Because this is my sister.

*and now you are confused. "She sure don't look like your sister...? What is she doing in Ethiopia...?"

This is my sister, Simenesh Rebekkah.

She is waiting for us in Ethiopia. She has lived there her whole life, and has spent the last 5 years in an orphanage, praying for a Christian family to adopt her. And we (or my parents) have to go get her, because she is ours. She belongs in our family. She didn't know it, we didn't know it, but God did and that is enough to make some people in a tiny state in the USA crazy enough to leave their kids for a week, fly across the globe, and a whoooolllle lot of other complicated stuff, to bring her to where she belongs. With us.

Honestly, this confuses a lot of people.
If you haven't noticed already, I have a big family, and the kids don't look like each other. We are a bunch of good looking people, but we happen to just not look...alike. No, it is not faulty genetics, multiple marriages, or any sort of freak accident. God has called my parents, my family, to adoption. Simenesh is the 7th. 8 kids, all but me have been adopted (Including Simenesh, 3 internationally, and 4 through US Foster Care system).

Honestly, a lot of people are still confused, even if I explain. Actually, I often tend to just leave people wondering in their confusion. I don't like to offer an explanation sometimes. I don't feel obligated to. Because people are rude, narrow minded, hurtful, and just refuse to get it no matter what I explain to them.

I have introduced my sister, "This is my sister, so and so..." , and actually have gotten the response, "Are you sure? No she isn't!" Yes. I am sure. Yes, she is.

Or I'll be holding my littlest sister, also from Ethiopia, and people will go "Whose kid is she?" My sister.

Or "I have __*insert ever growing number* __ adopted siblings." "So you technically are still an only child.?" ARE YOU DEAF!???!?

*I'm sorry, people annoy me. I TRY and be gracious in my responses and put a false smile on my face, but... my quick, kind of sarcastic tongue is something God is still working on in me. I apologize.

There are a few who genuinely are impressed, and want to hear more about my wonderful, kid adopting family, but most are so shallow that they cannot even wrap their minds around something as...insignificant... as a shade of skin. Yup. Our skin is different. Who cares?! It is like...they want me to apologize for saying I am related to someone with skin that is a couple (or a lot) shades darker than mine or the fact one of our features don't match up. Like I might actually introduce one of my siblings by saying "Oh, this is my ADOPTED sister ___, I'm sorry her skin is more brown than mine, please don't hold it against us." or "This is my ADOPTED brother/sister, sorry their eyes are blue/hair is blonde/curly/straight/dark etc, etc and mine is not." and that would be...more acceptable.

THAT, MY DEAR CHILDREN, IS CALLED *RACISM,* AND IT IS IN FACT FROWNED UPON IN MOST SOCIETIES! (okay, yes, I stole that from Willy Wonka, took out cannibalism and inserted my own word. But is is fitting.)

Here are the facts: I am (Isa)Bella. I am Italian/Hungarian (and some other stuff), my skin is medium tan and have never really had sunburn. My hair is thick and dark brown. My eyes are deep green. I am 5'3" and just over 100 pounds. But I don't care. Paint me purple and shave my head; all that stuff is meaningless.

More facts: My 7 siblings are adopted. They, more or less, look nothing like me. And I could care less what they look like, because I LIKE THEM THAT WAY. If you think they are somehow less than my FAMILY because of skin tone, or because of DNA, or...something... then you are pretty much a racist. You should work on that, really. 'Tis an issue.

And just by the way, my family with our shades of brown, and totally "unmatching" everything, is more functional, more FAMILY, than most "normal", DNA, same nose, same haired, families that I know.

*okay, before I keep on venting, let me pull this back in.

Fact: I love Simenesh. She is gorgeous. She is funny (we have been blessed by receiving a letter, in English, from her, and she has a great sense of humor). She has an Afro (I am passionate about Afros. I just adore them and wish by some miracle I had one, despite how ridiculous that would be.). Her smile is phenomenal. She speaks 2 languages fluently and is learning English at a rapid rate. She is from Ethiopia, looks nothing like me, and has never met me before, but she is MY SISTER. And she is coming home on Sunday the 25th, and that will make my week of... torturous child watching... bearable. That will make being the "mother of six" worth it.

Because, for the first time in her life, she is coming HOME.

And as is my philosophy for most of my life; "IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, SHUT YOUR EYES AND IT ALL GOES AWAY."

But I like it. I like it all a lot a lot.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

1 week later...

So Easter was last week, in case you forgot. And Easter has two things attached to it that last all throughout the year; the first and most important is the undeserved salvation won for us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, making Easter an event of everyday importance for a believer.
But there is one more thing that sticks around all year, usually beginning at Easter. And that thing is...

image source

Marshmallow peeps.

They show up around Easter and basically last forever after. They start out nasty and progressively get nastier, but they have the ability to somehow survive unendingly. They're invincible. What is one to do with all those little sugar crusted marshmallow buggers?

Some ideas;
The official sight of Peeps. All sorts of crafts and recipes.
(my personal fave would be Peeps with fondue. I don't like chocolate and I definitely don't like Peeps, but I love skewering just about anything.)

You could learn some "fun" facts about them. Cause nothing impresses people like knowledge about marshmallow foul.

You could try and set some NEW Peep world records.

You can make art projects, like this portrait of Obama...? (and infinitely more ????)

Microwaving them is fun, if you like rather intense clean up.

You could have a party, feed them all to your friends so you don't have to eat them. And really, your friends wouldn't so much mind eating all of that sugar horror, if you wore this costume!

There are always the classic games, such as Chubby Bunny. (A game. Here's how to play 1. Stuff some Marshmallows in your mouth. 2. Try to say "Chubby Bunny" 3. Repeat until you can not pronounce Chubby Bunny coherently. -from Urban Dictionary) You may have played with regular old marshmallows, but you haven't lived until you use Peeps. They ooze (it is actually pretty vile...).

And of course, you can 'marsh' them ("Marsh;" a verb. the act of taking a marshmallow and roasting it over open flame. Also not really a word.). Once again, a warning. I've done it. Fun to watch it ooze, but absolutely AWFUL to eat it.

*that WAS a gingerbread man Peep. Poor guy got impaled, melted, and eaten all in one, fateful day in the mountains of New York.

Hopefully that is enough to keep you busy for a while. Have fun, my peeps, doing things with/to all that loot you acquired over the holiday.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beautiful Misery

Spring Flowers Pictures, Images and Photos

Spring time. Pictures, Images and Photos

spring :3 Pictures, Images and Photos

Flowering trees are so pretty; you see them and you just know it is spring. I love driving down the road, windows down, smiling at all the lovely trees that telling me that spring is in full swing.

But I don't actually need to see them to know. I can SMELL them and that is quite enough.

You see, spring and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the beauty and the new life. The bright colors, the warm air, the sounds of birds during the day and little frogs by night.

But spring does not love me. At all.

As soon as things start budding, as soon as flowers start to bloom and all the trees put on a show with their delicate little blossoms, my allergies flip out.

And the trees are the worst offenders. It is like 3 weeks of torture by pollen. Pounding sinus headache so bad that my eyes feel like they are crossing. Can't breath through my nose. Endless sneezing--like 16 times in a row-- non-stop grabbing for Kleenex. So not fun.

Thankfully God took mercy on people like me and gave doctors the smarts to create things like Claretin and Zyrtec. If not, spring probably would have killed me by now.

**photo sources here, here and here


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