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Home Sweet Home

We just got back from vacation late last night. We visited the Pacific Northwest. It was fabulous and a much needed break from the heat. We flew into Portland and spent two days there (the first and the last) and then stayed in Tacoma in a home on a lake. [Aside: We rented it through HomeAway and, let me tell you -- we LOVE Homeaway. You can't believe the deals you can find on rental homes. Plus, given that you can cook your own meals (vs eating out every meal) I think it ends up being cheaper, too. You can also do laundry which means you can pack a lot less.] We also spent time in Seattle.

Today the kids were having a blast playing together. I heard them singing "Happy Birthday" to donkey. I walked in and said, "Since it's donkey's birthday, I think we ought to bake him a birthday cake". They said, "We already did" and pointed to a cardboard block. I said, "No, a real cake." [sidebar: i got this idea from Amanda Soule's book, The Creative Family] They said, "Are you serious?!" 

So we made a dark chocolate cake using this recipe. Here we are lighting the candles. Jude informed me that donkey turned 9 today.

And here are the kids helping donkey blow out the candles:

Happy 9th birthday donkey!!!

I'll post a few pictures from our vacation tomorrow.


  1. just another good word for homeaway! we booked 2 weeks in costa rica for november - 2 different houses. love the idea of more room, ability to cook, privacy, washer/dryer, etc, etc....all for LESS than the cost of a single hotel room. can't wait to see pics of your trip! hope you're feeling better...

  2. Have to check out "Homeaway". Thanks for the tip.

    So sorry you got sick. No fun!

    You are such the mom that I want to be. Love that your impromptu b-day party!

  3. Oscar's lovey is "Little Maisy." We have had several birthday parties for her complete with cupcakes, singing, and all of her stuffed animal friends. Kids are SO cute!

    Yeah..three kids alone in Ethiopia could be HARD!

  4. Glad you guys made it home safe and I hope you are feeling better! I would have to agree that Ethiopia would be hard doing all that alone. But you sure did entertain well for not feeling good...I would have put in a movie or tried convincing everyone to nap. :) What a cute little birthday party for Donkey...that cute little Donkey, getting so old. :)

  5. Wow! Pretty amazing and you'll be in Addis for 6 weeks? I thought my week was pretty tiring with 3 kids 5, 2.5 and 18months!

  6. Lisa,
    No, I have decided not to go to ETH for 6 weeks with the kids. We had considered attending our court date and then staying in country until our visa was ready, allowing us to bring the baby back to the US. That takes approx six weeks. Ultimately, we have decided against this idea.

  7. Thank you for the Homeaway tip; will have to sneak a peek!

    And welcome home! You have been missed!!

    Yucky yucky sickness....I have been there with the clock thing; feels like you have lived 3 days and its been 2 or 3 hours! Ack...being a Mama when sick is hard...being a Mama when sick and your out of your element....horrendous!

    Okay...I need to go peek at the pics.! Hugs!

  8. oops...gosh, I completely understand your Eth. decision too. I was very ill in Kaz. and so was Lauren(this was the last 5 days) it was brutal....I mean one of the happiest times of ours lives to date...but the sickness thing was scary. That was one of our deciding factors about not bringing L to Taiwan. I hated to let fear play into our decision and I think it would have been fine....but....just hated to take the chance. But that was us and truly no sickness in Taiwan, so go figure! LOL



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