Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nathan's First Christmas

Dear Sweetness,
It was so fun to see you enjoy your first Christmas.

On Christmas Eve morning, I was snuggling with you on the floor in front of the tree and I said, "Today is Christmas Eve.  What does that mean?" and you said, "1 more sleeps 'til Santa comes with toys for Nathan".

Christmas Eve afternoon, Aunt Titi and Collin came by.  You got out some of your favorite toys and shared with Collin (although it did require some coaxing to get you to "take turns" with Collin).  Mama told you that you were a good boy to share.

You've been a bit sick and so you're out of sorts if Mama doesn't stay right on top of your Tylenol.  Around bedtime, you were completely beside yourself - kicking and biting and yelling, "I not go bed".

In an exasperated, not so good Mommy moment I resorted to threats and said, "Well, if you're not asleep then Santa can't come.  Maybe he'll have to take your toys somewhere else."

Your eyes got hugely wide and you said, "But Mama... I take-a-turns wit Tollin!"

Good point... that must count for SOMETHING.

First thing the next morning, before your eyes were fully awake you said to me, "Mama, I take-a-turns wit Tollin, huh?"  You wanted to be sure that was going to outweigh the complete hissy-fit you'd had.  You sweet, sweet little boy.

Sure enough, there were presents under the tree.  We took our time and let you enjoy.  (You're not smiling in the pictures but trust me, you had a blast!)

You would have been happy with one present.  You were pretty overwhelmed with more than one present.  But Mama and Daddy have some missed Christmases to make up for, so you got more than one present.

I love you, Sweetness.

Thank you for making all merry and bright.

Team Hope Book Update

Hi, kids,
For those of you that care, I'm working on the Team Hope book.

The pricing with is such that I'm editing right now to try to cut it back to a reasonable amount.  I ended up with 200 pages and that's nearly $50 per book!  I've looked around at other options and there don't seem to be a lot of choices for "self-published" books with full color photos.

With if you want a copy you can order one.  I don't have to take orders and deal with all that jazz. And if you want hard cover you can do that and pay more - they take care of that.

I'm trying to get it down to under 160 pages (which is $39.95 for a soft cover 8 X 10).  Still a lot, but this is literally a once in a lifetime event.  (and all the money goes to  This isn't a fundraiser, if you were wondering)

I've taken articles and images from the Team Hope blog and added some pictures from Chareyl.  I'm trying to keep enough in there to capture what we were going through back home - not knowing what was happening with our children - and still tell the story of our friends like Harry and Guesno.  Hopefully it will be something you'll treasure.

Hope to have it ready to order soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas... War Is Over Now

Merry First Christmas to Nathan and the ~1,100 other Haitian children that came home after the earthquake this January!

We know now, from one of the older children, that the kids (at least at our orphanage) were told that "Santa doesn't like Haitians".  That's how they explained why there was never a Christmas to the older children.  These children never left the orphanage themselves but they are SMART kids and I'm sure picked up from the conversations of the adults that it was Christmas outside that concrete wall that blocked them from the rest of the world.  I'm sure they asked what this "Christmas" was and what it meant for them.  And, just as adults here in America use the story of Santa to add mystery and magic to the season, the adults in Haiti use the story of Santa to explain why there is no magic and mystery for them or their children.   These kids were essentially told that because of who they were, things could never be wonderful or magical for them.

I know, I know - it's a horrible thing to say to a child, but at the same time, I don't know how one explains to a child why everything in their life was difficult.  I'm also sure that many, many times they feel that God, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the government, and their own parents hate them.  I don't know how else you reconcile the extreme "have nots" in daily life when you're dealing with THAT level of poverty.

Since our first trip to Haiti nearly 3 years ago I've wondered many times exactly how it is that I was born in America and have anything, can be anything, can buy anything, can dream and do anything I want while my brothers and sisters in Haiti and elsewhere in the world have to fight for every crust of bread.

Can you really have dreams for tomorrow when every day seem the same as the one before?

So for these children I say, as the song does, "Happy Christmas.... war is over now".

God bless America, families, and water you don't have to boil.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Angels Among Us

My Dear Miss Jess,
I miss you more right now than I have in all the gaping, missing heartaches I've had since you didn't get to come home.  You should be here with Nathan, being so excited that you have "one more sleeps" until Santa comes to bring you toys.  You should be marveling at the magic that suddenly comes this time of year and dusts the world with lights and scents and wonder.

I wonder so often why we both had to go through this - why we were led to you when we didn't get to keep each other.  I wonder if you remember us like we remember you.  I wonder if your heart aches, wondering why you're still in a situation where you don't get food regularly and you're not safe.

I haven't really posted about you since we found out that you weren't coming home.  Daddy tried again to find you in June when we went down and Harry tried again at the end of July.  We did hear at the first of the month that you're sick and in Haiti's version of the hospital.  I worry, I pray, I wonder.

It seems like you were an angel in our lives... a bright, happy, singing spot of joy that danced across our lives and hearts and then passed by like a comet that only comes every 1000 years and then disappears forever.

We've had tight finances for Bel Haiti this year.  It's a hard economy and it's hard for people to donate.  We're scraping the bottom of the barrel for the org right now.

When I chatted with Harry earlier this week, he said they needed money.  Haiti always needs money.  Sometimes it seems like there will never be enough and that no matter what we try it will never be enough.  Harry was trying to explain how he knows that we're busy with work and things here in America.  Sometimes things are a bit rough in translation.  The way it came out he said, 'I know you forget about us because you're more important than us."

That broke my heart.  I know that's not how he meant it.  I know that he knows we love him.  But on some level, he's right.  I don't do enough.  I get too busy in my day-to-day and days will go by when I haven't tried to do anything for Haiti.

This week, my dear friend  asked me if I'd received his Christmas present.  He said he'd made a donation to Bel Haiti.  When I checked the paypal account for the org, I found that he'd sent a overwhelming sum of money.  The note on it?  It said, "For Jess, with prayers of comfort".

My friend told me that, even though he's not a praying man, he still says a prayer for you every day, Miss Jess.  You changed my life.  You changed others' lives.  You remind me of all that's good in the world.

Maybe that's why we needed you.  Why we lost you.  So that the children left behind in Haiti would have a name, a face, a personality.  So I'd be able to remember that we do this for you.  For Harry.  For Nathan's birth mom.

I miss you today.  I miss you every day.  I wish I was your Mama and I wish you were home.  Instead I pray for your comfort, your health and your future.

I love you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Smosh It

My Dear Baby Boy,
We live about a block from our church.

Yesterday it took the two of us about 20 minutes to walk home.  Even though it was raining.  And even though it was only a block.

You were so excited to find every little spot of snow that the rain hadn't yet melted and "smosh it".  You'd find one and raise your foot over it and then look up at me and say, "Mama, I smosh it!" and then delightedly stomp on the snow.

There was also a small child crying during church. You turned to me and said, 'They not listen to their mother."  I'm so proud of you for realizing that it's good to listen to mommies.

This evening you finally caught on to what I've been telling you about Santa bringing you presents.  You said, "Santa bring me TOYS?  Santa bring Nathan choo-choos?"

I happen to have it on very good authority that yes, dear Nathan, Santa has a choo-choo for you.

You said that Mama should ask Santa for a train, too.  You said, "Mama need train too."  I love it when you say, "Mama, come play with me" and then we zoom your cars around or chase each other or color.

I told you it was just "a few more sleeps" until Christmas and you thought that was pretty cool.  It's so fun to see that you're finally excited about this tradition that has thrilled me my whole life.

I love you, Little Man.  Thank you for bringing the magic to Christmas this year.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

When Skies Are Grape...

My dearest Little Man,

You delight me every day.

Today you wanted to "stay with Mama".  I told you that Mama had to go to work and I said, "So what does that mean for Nathan?"

You sighed, resigned, and said, "I know... Nathan haffa go work at Jessie's" (that's his day care lady).

You sweet, sweet, little boy.

You've made up some of your own words.  For some reason, Divot (our Jack Russell) is a "Poh-la" and you think that's HILARIOUS.  You chase him around the house, yelling, "Stop, Poh-la!" and laughing your head off like a Munchkin on laughing gas.  Only Divot is a Poh-la - no one and nothing else - and Collin also thinks it's hysterically funny.

Sometimes I wonder if you're both cursing in Kreyol and wickedly giggling that we'll never be the wiser.

You also have decided that BobbyJones (our whippet) is a "Poke-lynn" (no idea what either of these mean, but they don't seem to be tied to anything I can find in Kreyol).

If you're having one of those toddler moments where your warp drive goes into meltdown and you're sobbing hysterically, I can usually distract you and get the tears to stop by asking you where your "Poh-la" is.  Your eyes get wide, and you stop and think, and then you say, "Poh-la?  Where Poh-la?" and all is again right in your world.

(And bless Divot's little neurotic heart for putting up with all the chasing and random "Poh-la" yelling.)

Tonight, we were reading "The Polar Express" together.  You love the trains in it.  You're so excited to see the trains in the pictures.  When we get to the point in the book where the little boy is sad because he's lost his gift, you say, "Oh no!  What wrong?  He loss hims bell?" and then you turn to the last page of the book (where there's a picture of the bell) and you happily proclaim, "There it is!"

We never seem to read the pages between the "sad boy" and the "there it is!" and I think it's awesome that you're so concerned about the little boy being sad.

I'm still trying to get you to be excited about Santa.  Tonight when we got to the page in the book where there is a picture of Santa, I asked you who that was and you said, "Santa Clock".

Close enough....

It was a sweet reminder that you're still trying to figure out some of the things we're saying, just like I'm trying to figure out what a "Poh-la" is.

Later tonight, we were singing together and you happily sang, "You make me happ-EE when skies are GRAPE.... Please don't take my sunshine A WAVE."

I couldn't have said it better, Little Man.  Thank you for being my sunshine, my Sweetness, my happy thought, my son.

You do bring me joy... even when the skies are grape.

I love you, son.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself...

Dear Nathan,
The other day you had a sore throat.  Mama couldn't feel swollen glands, but you were holding your spit in your mouth.  I asked you what was wrong and you said, 'Mama, my swallow's broken".

Oh, Sweetness.  I know the feeling.

Glad you're feeling better.
Love, Mama

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey, Look!

Dear Nathan,
I've been trying to get you excited about all the sights and sounds and traditions of Christmas.

You can't figure out why we suddenly have a large tree in the living room.  For the first couple of weeks, each time we turned on the lights you'd say, "Mama!  I think I scared!"

You're not too sure about why anyone should have to endure snow.  You are kind of baffled by Frosty the Snowman.   And so far you could not care less about Santa.

Although, the other day there was a catalog on the counter that had a picture of good ol' Saint Nick on the cover and you said, 'Look, Mama!  It dat guy!"

Yes, sweetheart.  "It dat guy".

One step at a time, I guess.  One step at a time.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mr. Hoity Toity

Dear Nathan,
You love to play and the longer you're home, the more creative you get with your play.  You love to pretend to fly like a dragon and you love it when other things have "wings".

The other day you figured out that you could take a part off of one toy and push them into the sides of your "Thomas the Tank Engine" and it would KINDA be like Thomas had wings.

I thought it was so cute that I asked you to show me how Thomas had wings so I could take a picture.  This is the look you gave me:

I don't think I've ever seen a more "hoity-toity" look on a three year old.  It's like "Professor Nathan will now present his flying train".

I love you , Little Man.  Thank you for always making me laugh.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Don't Need Anything

Dear Nathan,
We had your first Thanksgiving today at Uncle Brian and Aunt Kim's.  You had fun just running around, doing your Nathan thing.

Mama made the mistake of putting gravy on your "masha-tatoes".  This caused a slight meltdown (did I mention you didn't nap today?) and you were insistent that I get you "different masha-tatoes".  You were so miffed, you even climbed off your stool and started for the front door to go get "different masha-tatoes".  Your determination is inspiring, Son.

We resolved the Great "Masha-tatoes" Incident of 2010 and you thoroughly enjoyed the rest of your day.

I think this was your first introduction to "pie", which may be one of the most beautiful words in the English language.  You were quite impressed and I so enjoyed watching you delight in your pie.  Don't worry.  There's more were those came from.

You've changed every thing in my life and I couldn't be more grateful.  As I type this, you're snuggled up next to me on my bed, sleeping soundly.  I'm so happy to be your Mama, Little Man.  I have loved to learn about the world all over again through your eyes these last 10 months.

I've been working on making a book for you and your friends from the O, outlining all the things that happened to get you home.  I've been putting it off, but I figured I'd better get it off to the publishers before Christmas.  Now that you're home, it's so easy for me to forget what we went through to get you onto this soil.  Working on this book this weekend has been a good reminder of all I have to be grateful for.

My thoughts today are also turned to our friends still in Haiti.  The ones who didn't get to come to a place with pie and beds and Mamas.  As I've been assembling this book, I'm looking at the pictures from the news articles we've gathered about the earthquake, and I marvel that anyone is still surviving in that country.  The destruction is horrifying and I'd bet if I were to go there right now circumstances would not be much different than they were 10 months ago.

I'm thinking about Harry today, and how dependent he is on us to get that new orphanage built.  Mama needs to get going on fundraising as Bel Haiti's reserves are pretty drained and Harry still needs money to survive.  We also still need funds to build the new facility.  (They're working on the excavation for the wall right now - but since it's a wall around all 8 acres, that's quite a project.)

We're so blessed, Sweetheart.  We had so many years waiting for you to come into our lives and now you're finally here.  We can give back to help those that still have cause to mourn.

We don't need anything that we don't have, you and I.  We have a house and heat and electricity and water and beds and sewage and roads that are maintained and mail delivery and grocery stores and income and opportunity.  We have pie.  We have hope.  We have a bright future.

And really, that means we have it all.

I love you,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Critic

Dear Nathan,
I am snuggled up next to you right now, watching "Monsters, Inc".  Every time one of the "bad guys" comes on the screen, you say, "Mama, it's a bad guy?"

I say, "Yes, it is."

And then you say, "That not very nice.  He not listen to his mother.  He need timeout."

And I agree with you wholeheartedly.  Bad guys don't listen to their mommies.  And they do need timeout.

Then the scene changes and you can see the next bad guy and you ask the question again.  It's adorable and I want to squeeze your cheeks.

You're also eating Cheerios out of the bag because you realized, when you saw Boo eating cereal, that we had some just like it and you had to get them.  You call them "Cereals", which is pretty much what "Cheerios" sounds like.

You just put one in my mouth and said, "Want one, Mama?  You're welcome."

Thank you for trying to listen to your mother.  And thank you for making me a mommy.

I love you, Little Man.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Dear Nate,
One day this last week, Mama didn't get out the door to work until you and Daddy were leaving.  You walked out the garage door with Daddy.  I heard the door close as I gathered my bags.  Then I heard the garage door open again.

When I looked up, there was your sweet face poking around the door.  You said, "Hey, Mama... jew wanna go wit me?", inviting me to come with you today and to play with you.

You sweet, sweet boy.  There's nothing Mama would like more than to play with you all day.  Sometimes things don't work out the way we want.  (If you've read this blog - A LOT OF TIMES things don't work out the way we want!)

I love to snuggle with you at night and in the morning.  Sometimes we talk about what animals you like and what color they are and where they live.  We play a game where I ask you what color something is and then you point at something (in the dark room) and ask Mama, "what color dat?" and Mama has to guess what you're pointing at and tell you what color it is.

You get your colors correct about 86.5% of the time now.  It's so fun to see you learning and comfortable with your new knowledge.

In Haiti, as soon as it was dark all the children were expected to go to sleep.  (I typed "go to bed" and then had to correct myself.  There were 68 children in that tiny little house and only 3 bunk beds.  I think you slept on the tile most of the time.  I don't think you'll ever remember, so I'll never know for sure what you went through.)

Anyway, the time has changed and it gets darker now.  The first time you realized that it was pretty much "nite-nite" when Mama picked you up from the sitter's, you were very concerned.

You said, "Mama, it nite-nite?"

And I said, 'It's nightTIME.  It's dark, isn't it?"

And you said, "Mama, Nathan not go nite-nite.  Nathan not.  Nathan NOT go nite-nite."

I tried not to laugh as I explained that it wasn't time for nite-nite, but the sun had gone to sleep.  It was, after all, only 5:30 and we still had to go home and eat and play and read books.

You were mollified.

And then Mama remembered what the nite-nite meant for you in Haiti.  I was grateful again that I'll be the one to tuck you in from now until.... well... until you no longer want your Mama to tuck you in.

Maybe we can put that off until you're 25 or so.... what do you think?

I love you, Sweetness.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thoughts on Food

Dear Sweetness,
I love to watch you eat.

For the first 2+ years of your life, food was neither plentiful nor varied.  You had rice and beans and some chicken.  If you were lucky, you got it twice per day.  Most days you weren't that lucky.

You still eat with your hands quite often.  Mama doesn't push it because you're still so "young" in the "eating lots of things" department.  I love it when you get something all over your hands, and then you stretch back in satisfaction and smear food in your hair in the process.

You should have had more of those days.  You should have been born with those days.

Right now, your favorite foods are yogurt (preferably strawberry but definitely not blueberry) and "masha-tatoes".

Today I was giving you some "masha-tatoes" with all the fixings and you started to scoop some onto a plate that was next to you.  I was just about ready to ask you to quit playing with your food when I heard you say, "One for Mama..." and then you turned back to your "masha-tatoes", took another big scoop and said, "One for Nathan" and chomped on it.  What a sweet boy to think of sharing your favorite food.

You're still growing.  The other night you woke up at about 11 PM and were crying that you wanted food.  You were quite insistent, so I finally got up and nuked a frozen waffle for you.  You ended up eating three, there in the middle of the night.  Apparently dinner doesn't hold you over anymore.

I'm so grateful you're home and warm and fed and growing and happy.

I love you, Sweetness.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And You're Only Three...

My dearest Nathan,
The other night, I picked you up from daycare.  In the car on the way home, I asked you how your day was.

From the backseat, I heard, "Mama... Stop talking."

I said, "Nathan, we don't talk to Mama like that.  Do you need a time-out?"

And you said?

"Mama... Nathan already IN the car seat" (in this tone of voice like, "what else are you going to do to me, woman??")

I have to keep reminding myself that you're only three.  That means I'm in much, much bigger trouble down the road when you're, say... thirteen.

I also have to remind myself that it is that spunky spirit, that "100% feisty Haitian" attitude, that kept you alive in the orphanage.  That determination, that fight.... that is what got you through that hell so that I could bring you home.

I'm so grateful you're a fighter, Sweetness.

I love you,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make a Comment and Haitian Roots Gets $2!

This is a fabulous opportunity to raise money for our sister-organization.  Bel Haiti is working with Haitian Roots to build the Children's Village described in this article.

Please take a moment, go to the link, read the article and make a comment.  Make two comments if you have more than one valid email address.

Every dollar helps and we're so grateful to for giving Haitian Roots this opportunity!


Dear Friends of Haitian Roots,

A wonderful, non-profit organization called Six Seeds has made a very generous offer to help Haitian Roots.  Six Seeds is dedicated to helping people and organizations do good things!  They are featuring an article about Haitian Roots on their website and they will donate $2 to us for every comment left after the article!  Each comment has to have a unique email address, but if you have more than one address, you can even comment more than once.  Please take just a moment of your time to go to this article and leave us a comment by clicking here:

To learn more about Six Seeds, click here:

Thanks so much!


The Haitian Roots Team

P.S.  Please pass this along to friends and family, post it to your facebook page, or onto your blog!  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Of Course You Are

Dear Nate,
We had a nice afternoon today for Nov 2nd.  After dinner tonight we went outside so you could ride your trike.

You started making strange faces and movements with your hands.

I said, 'What are you doing, Nate?"

You told me you were a dragon riding a bike.

Of course you are.  How did I miss that?  Your delivery was perfect and I could really feel the anguish of the dragon, trying to steer but yearning to fly.

Or something.

I love you,

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Look With Your Eyes, Not With Your Hands

Dear Sweetness,
The other night we were snuggling together.  You looked up at me and said, "Mama" as you stroked my cheek.  Then you started patting my cheek and saying, "Just a minute.... just a minute".

I was watching you closely, trying to figure out what it was you meant.

That's when you jabbed your pinkie up my right nostril.

Yeah... I didn't see it coming either.

"Whoa!", I said, "What are you doing??"

"Mama," you said, 'I'm just looking... I'm just looking."

No, you're VIOLATING, that's what you're doing.  :)

If your grandma were here, she'd tell you to look with your eyes, not with your hands.  We might have to have a talk about that.

After I stop laughing.

I love you, Sweetness.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It Would Be Creepy if I Didn't Have a Toddler...

Dear Son,
You might have an addiction.

It was darling when you asked for "masha-ta-toes" for breakfast this weekend.  Both days.

It was very cute when you wanted them for dinner as well.

Then there was waking up this morning to a raw red potato on my nightstand.

It had bite marks in it.

And they weren't mine.

I, myself, have been known to order loaded mashed potatoes for BOTH of my sides at restaurant.  If it is an addiction, you probably get it from my side of the family.

I've got the morning off from work anyway.  How about we head out for a breakfast of hashbrowns, just the two of us?

We can ask for a side of mashed, if you want.

I love you,

P.S.  Just wait until you see Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's My Tow-un!

---Found this one in my drafts.  Never got it posted quite....  Should have been posted at the end of August--
It's been busy 'round here at Casa de Nathan.  A week ago we had Nathan's first birthday party - for his third birthday.  Papa grilled burgers and we had 40+ family members over for a little party.  
Our house isn't really designed to hold that many, but we do have a 3 car garage space, where Brent's treated the floor so it isn't "concrete-dusty".  Brent even installed some big fans in the garage to try to keep Nathan's guests cool.  Hopefully everyone had a good time. 

Nathan had a "fun-yata" as he kept calling the "pinata".  I think I like that name better, anyway!  I love to hear him say it's "his tow-un" ("turn") to do something

All Nate's cousins came.  Thank you everyone for supporting us!

Our camera batteries died, so I'm stealing some of these pictures from my sister-in-law's blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Preview

Dear Nathan,
Your sweet Auntie Chris realized that you'd probably be a little freaked out by the whole "costume extravaganza" coming up this weekend, so she had a family Halloween party last weekend for you to get used to people dressing funny in a safe surrounding.

You looked pretty sharp, if I do say so myself.  Daddy picked out your costume.

You hated Momma in a costume with the fires of 1000 suns.  I didn't wear it very long (or put the wig on very well) because you were very unhappy with the whole idea of Mama not looking like Mama.

You had fun with your cousins, though, and loved all the fun treats Chris had made.  And you loved playing on their staircase... particularly laying at the top and pretending you were Toothless the Dragon.

Although for some random reason you started yelling "We quit, Mr. One Man Show" (which is a line from Cars) at all the other kids.  I never did figure out what that must mean to you.

Thanks for a fun afternoon, Auntie Chris (and for the pictures I stole from your FB just now...)

I love sharing these new experiences with you, Nathan.
I love you,


Dear Nathan,
"How to Train Your Dragon" is your current favorite movie.

You like to pretend that you ARE a dragon.  It's very cute to watch you go into "dragon mode".  You crawl around on all four, you narrow your eyes like you're trying to hunt something and you curl your fingers under to be claws.   And you roar to the best of your ability.

I'm always amazed at the details you find in things.

I'm pretty much in love with the way you say the name of your favorite dragon, "Toothless":

I'm grateful every day to be your Mama.

I love you,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rodent Response

Dear Nathan,
I love that when I told you something "would make a mess" you thought I said it "would Mickey Mouse" and were VERY excited to try it.

It's a good reminder of your sweet little Kreyol accent because "meka mess" is how you pronounce "Mickey Mouse" right now.

I love you,

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Are You Doing, Sweetness?

I saw Nathan doing this tonight:

I asked him what he was doing and he said....

"I'm listening for Daddy".

Daddy hadn't come home from work yet, so he was listening for his truck.

I know... makes you want to just eat him up, doesn't it??

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dear Nathan

You've been home for 260 days now and our lives with never, thankfully, be the same.

You turned 3 in August.  We had family over for your party and you had a "fun-yata" (as you called your pinata).  We'd managed to mostly avoid candy up to that point and now you talk about it quite a bit.  I can't wait until you have your first Halloween in a couple of weeks.

You came home at 22-24 lbs and now you're at about 30 lbs.  You've grown an amazing 4 1/2 inches since you've been here.  Mama was right... sometimes you do get taller overnight.  It's amazing what proper nutrition will do.   You've also blown thrown 3 shoe sizes.  If you grown into your feet as an teen, you'll eat us out of house and home.  And I'll love every minute of it.

I'm constantly amazed at you.

Just the last few weeks your language skills have skyrocketed.  The other day, for example, I had picked you up from daycare and we had stopped at a street light.  You were in the car seat in the back.  I was trying to ask you how your day went.  "Did you have fun today, Nate?  Did you play?  What did you do?"  You were looking out the window and seemed not to be listening.  I kept trying, "Nate?  Nathan?  Did you have a good day?  Nate?  Did you have fun?"  Finally, you turned and looked at me and in your most exasperated voice you said, "Ma!  I'm lookin' at the trucks!!" and went back to the looking out the window.  The "Woman! Can you not see I'm BUSY" in your voice made me laugh so hard.  It's a good thing we weren't driving at the time, I guess.

Why is it always THOSE moments when your English is perfect?

I'm so grateful you're home, Little Man.  And so happy to be your Mama.

I love you,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Funny....

It's been a bit since I've posted.  Sometimes it is hard to want to share what's going on.

Thank you to whomever anonymously posted the comment about that org that had taken Jess's picture off our blog and posted her as the lead-in to their "Adopt a Haitian Orphan" program.  It took a few phone calls, but they did take it down.  Thank you for the alert.

In other Jess news... We finally got someone to go back out to where she lives.  Long story short - she's not coming home.  Once again, the birth father wouldn't let them see her.  Our friends in Haiti left a letter from us with a bunch of pictures of us and Jess over the year and a half that we thought she was going to be our daughter.  Harry tells us to continue to pray - and we do continue to pray, but that she's happy and healthy and safe.  We're not praying that she comes home anymore because it would appear this isn't to be her home.

I have no idea why we have been through what we've been through, or why Jess is being left in the situation she's in (because we've been told some not good things about her birth father - besides the fact that he wanted to sell her to us), but it's not in our hands.  We have to trust that the Lord never cheats anyone and continue to move forward.

And yes, I wish we'd broken the law and bought her from him and no, we won't be trying to adopt another child.  I just can't do this anymore.

There's so little in my life that has turned out the way I thought they would.

I guess Nathan will be an only child.

No one likes to read downer posts, so how about some funny Nathan stories, huh???
 In Nathan's world, all insects can be classified as either "ply" or "ladybug".  Several days ago he told me he ate a ladybug. I kept telling him that he didn't eat a ladybug, but he kept talking about it for a few days.  He insisted that he ate a ladybug and that it was "yucky".  He DOES have a vivid imagination - he told me there were elephants in our trees the other day.  Anyway - later in the week, I was standing in the kitchen while he was eating his yogurt for breakfast.  I watched him take a spoonful that had a nice, big blueberry in it.  He put it in his mouth and then started to fake gag and cough and, while pointing at his mouth, said, "ladybug!".   Ahh.... so THAT'S what it is.

He gets that from my side of the family.  My brother doesn't like any kind of cooked fruit and my sister would eat fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, but only if it wasn't stirred and only down to where the fruit was.
Last Sunday Nathan came to me with great big tears streaming down his face.  I asked him what was wrong and he told me that the cars he was playing with weren't being nice to each other and he wanted me to put them on timeout.  Bless his sweet heart for completely not getting the "you're in charge" part of "imagination"!

I did have a little chat with the two offenders and we put them on "timeout" and Nathan made them say they were sorry to the other cars when he decided they were done with timeout.

He's such a sweet, sweet boy.

I guess I'm glad that timeout it the worst thing in his world now.  It's a good feeling.

And finally, I never thought I'd have to edit words on my blog, but here's a story that will need censoring so that my blog doesn't get blocked by filters. Not because it's inappropriate, mind you - it just uses one of "those" words.

I believe that nicknames are great for people and pets, but body parts should be called what they are.  No need to seem like you're ashamed of what God gave you, in my opinion.  That means my son knows that he has a pen*s and he knows that's what it is called.

He's fascinated with his anatomy.  Apparently, when you're two, the world is filled with pen*ses.  He sees them everywhere!  Like the other day, we were watching "Bambi" and the first time the baby deer stood up and tried to walk and you could see his little tail hanging down, Nathan announced that was the baby deer's pen*s.

Goodness, child...

But that's not the best one.

Nathan loves my hair.  He's always running his fingers through it.  He does that while he falls asleep and I think it's adorable.

I tend to pull my hair back in a ponytail a lot.  You guessed it... I picked him up the other day and he immediately reached around my head to start playing with my hair (which was in a ponytail) and he announced, "Mama's pen*s".

Sweet friend... dangling doesn't make something a pen*s!

Do they grow out of this phase??  Can't wait until he announces that one at church!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I've Been Waiting for This Moment for All My Life...

I know... I didn't see the Phil Collins coming either, but what are you going to do?

As of July 19, 2010,  Nathan Brent Rosenlof is official!

Here we are with Grandma Rosenlof, Grandma and Grandpa Olson and Judge Laycock!

Judge Laycock was very funny.  She wanted to make sure we knew that once she signed the papers, it was done.  She said if we changed our minds when he turned 16, she would be retired and "there would be no one to help us".

When she read the official declaration, she said she was granting him all rights, privileges, etc including "inheritance, if there's any money left by the time you die"....

She also admitted that we were lucky that these things didn't happen before a jury because Nathan's so cute one of the jurors might try to run off with him.
Forever, Little Man!  I'm your Mama forever. 

You're stuck with us now. 

And I don't know if anything's ever made me happier!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

Brent has this supplement that's supposed to give you a full day's nutrition from vegetables or something.  It supposedly has a "New Green Apple Flavor" but I think it tastes like DEATH.

He mixed some up the other day and of course, Nathan wanted some because he always wants what you have.  Brent put a bit in a cup and Nathan eagerly slurped it down.

Then he made a face and said, 'That's TERRIBLE".

The only time we've heard him use that word but it was CLASSIC!

 I have this firm foam roller that I use to stretch my back.  It's about the same length as Nathan and 6-8 inches across, maybe.
I usually use it after Nathan's asleep.

The other day he and I were in my room at the same time.  I arched my back, put my lower hand on my back and said to myself, "Man, my back is killing me."

From across the room I heard, "Nathan get it!"  He ran to where I store the roller, pulled it out (even though it's the same size as him) and laid it on the floor.  Then he patted it and said, "For Mama... Right here."

I think I cried just a little bit at how completely sweet and lovely my little boy is.

Nathan's Nursery leaders sing different songs than I do.  The other day after Church I heard him singing to himself, "E-I-E-I-Nathan!"

(He moved on to "E-I-E-I-Mommy" and "E-I-E-I-Grandma"... just that part. I"m not sure what the rest of the song is for him... )

And finally... my mom sent me this link the other day.

The author pretends that the pictures in catalogs are from a real house, inhabited by a couple named Gary and Elaine and she points out how completely ridiculous things would be if you actually tried to LIVE in the "perfect" house.

It's good for a laugh.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010 update, part II

Added a little slideshow to the homepage.

Stop by and check it out, and sign the guest book while you're there.

The pictures of what has to be cleared off the land will make you grateful for whatever flower beds you might be responsible to weed in your own personal yard.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Well, we have a beginning site up for  It's got all the generic pictures that came with our domain host's software, so we'll be updating and adding pictures of the land, the people, etc in the very near future.

Please swing by and sign the guestbook!

Then maybe I can figure out who actually reads this blog.  :D

Monday, July 5, 2010

"My Perfect World Would Be a Whole Lot Perfecter if That Would Work"

I actually heard someone say that the other day.  It made me giggle.  It also made me think of this sweet face:

It's never seemed right that Miss Jess wasn't home.  There were too many miracles that brought us to her in the first place for it to just end with a man taking her and trying to sell her to us.

I received a very sweet letter from our dear friend, Shannon this week.  Shannon is one of the founders of Haitian Roots.  She was in Haiti on the last trip in June to see the property.  She and Chareyl knew that we were hoping to find out SOMETHING about Jessica on that trip.  She told me of a very sweet experience they had in Haiti. 

She told me that at one of the Haitian Roots activities they had on this trip, Brent was introduced to a little girl in the HR program named Viviana and that Brent and Viviana just "fell in love with each other".  (No, we're not adopting Viviana - that's not what this story is about).

She sent me these pictures of Brent with Viviana.

She said that it was just so sweet to watch them together.

Shannon said, "I've been praying for you guys and Jess a lot and going to Haiti I kept thinking, 'It is so sad that Jess can’t be with her family.  But that’s Haiti.  I truly hope that Brent and Lori can at least get some closure from this trip.'"

She said the day after they met Viviana, she was sitting at the restaurant with Brent.  She said she'd been preparing to tell Brent that maybe it was time for the Rosenlofs to "move on" and let Jessica go.  She was prepared to tell him that maybe the experience with Viviana had been a sign that there could be a different little girl out there for the Rosenlofs.

But what she experienced next wasn't what she'd expected.

"As I talked to him about how his little experience with Viviana seemed to be some kind of a message, I was seriously surprised and almost shocked at the waves of the Spirit that kept pouring over me and telling me, 'You were wrong before.  Viviana’s love WAS a message.  They can’t give up hope.  They MUST have hope.'  Even typing that, I am covered in goose bumps again."

She continued, "Why?  What does it mean? I don’t know.  I know I am not to receive revelation for you.  Yet when there is truth, the Spirit will testify of it.  What is that truth?  Should you not give up because she IS STILL COMING TO YOU?  I do NOT know.  But I do know that you still need to have HOPE."

 I agree with Shannon - I know that there have been so many miracles in this process that I couldn't have planned out the way things would turn out to get Nathan home.  I know God knows the beginning, the end and everything in between.  I know that the Spirit is the way the Lord helps us recognize truth, and I know that, through all this or whatever else life throws at us, we have to have HOPE.

The Lord never cheats anyone.  That includes Miss Jess.  That includes the man who has her right now.  That includes us. 

Do I know what's next for us or Jess?  No.  But I know we can keep praying for Miss Jess every day and hope that she can come home soon.  And we can be ready for wherever and whatever the Lord has in store for us. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Songs from the Heart

Some time ago, I posted a video of the little song Brent made up for Mr. Nathan.

Nathan still loves that song.

But Nathan's found his own variations.

Sometimes, he'll come up to me and sing, "Ki se bebe Mommy".  And then he'll go through everyone he knows, including our dogs:

Ki se bebe Grandma,
Ki se bebe BobbyJones
Ki se bebe Daddy

You get the idea.

The words don't make sense - in Kreyol anyway.  But it's Nathan's way of explaining that he knows that we, like that little song Papa made up for him, belong to him.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Email from Homeland Security

I was just cleaning out my email and found this one that I'd saved. I want to put it in Nathan's book so I thought I'd post it here.

Angie is the person on the other end of the generic alias the government gave to all the families.  I spoke to her and emailed her a lot during our saga getting the kids home earlier this year. 

I thought this was very kind of her to send and it is a good reminder about how many people were touched by the events to get the children home from Haiti.

Received March 24, 2010
"Hi Lori,  

I hope this message finds you all doing well and Nathan enjoying his newest adventures.  I received your note and burst into tears when I saw his tiny handprint. Sometimes we get so focused on all the work of making phone calls, sending e-mails all day long, meeting after meeting that I actually lose sight of WHO the work is for. Nathan’s little hand is absolutely the best thank-you I’ve ever received! I proudly display it on the outside of my office (also with pictures of Fabrice) so that everyone on the team gets to share. Actually I know that your letter has been taken down several times and walked around to several offices here at USCIS headquarters in DC.

I’ve been meaning to write but things remain at the same frantic pace for us here – the team is still working 12 to 14 hour days to continue as many evacuations as we can.  Earlier this month the Haitian government began requiring passports for all of the children before they can leave Haiti so that’s caused some additional scrambling for us and adds an additional burden for the parents anxiously waiting here in the U.S.  All in all though the process is still working and it is a good sign that Haiti has recovered so much so quickly. [IBESR is also functional again.]

I just wanted to say hello, and let you know that even though you’re back home, you all are still in our thoughts.

Kindest regards,

Haitian Adoptions Team
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Collin's Official

Tuesday we went with TiTi and Collin to see Collin's adoption finalized.

I figured this was a once in a lifetime shot - Tia as an "Inmate"

Mr Collin has some serious ab muscles... particularly for a 2 year old!
ALL LEGAL!!  Thank you Judge McDade
Amazing how tearful something so serious and formal can make you!

Congrats, Titi and Tollin!!  We love you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Ply! The Ply!

My sweet son is apparently terrified of bugs.  (I think he gets it from his dad.  Brent doesn't "do" spiders.)

There's a house fly here in the office today.  Nathan keeps yelling that the "ply" is going to "get you a Nathan" (get Nathan).

Thanks for being such a sweet little bug, Little Man.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is Nathan's "I'm getting ready to jump off the step" pose...

This is Nathan's "funny face"

And this is what makes every day amazing

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just Being Neighborly....

I've seen this couple riding by in the evenings on their bicycles many times.  I've always thought they were sweet, riding along together so slowly. 

Last night when they came by, Nathan and I were outside, enjoying the evening.

They stopped and asked if they could spray our thistles.  She said if they get them at this time of year, it keeps them from cropping up on their land (which is apparently downwind from us) AND it makes everyone else's property thistle-free.

How awesome are they - riding along, hunting thistles and spraying them for everyone to be spared the prickly madness??

What a good reminder to quietly find ways to serve.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No, Really... He's Not Cursing or Speaking Kreyol...

There's a very wonderful woman in our ward named Jamie that Nathan and I sit by when we go to sacrament meeting. She brings treats for Nathan and always tucks a toy or two into her bag for him.

When I get Nathan dressed for Church, I tell him we're going to go sit by Jamie, and he gets excited.  He really loves Jamie.

The other week, Nathan came to Church in his "Señor Cranky Pants" mode.  He was grumpy and ornery and didn't want to be reverent, thanks for shopping.

So there we were as they're passing the sacrament and Nathan is screaming that he wants Jamie (who wasn't there that week).  What comes out of his mouth (loudly and repeatedly) is:

"No, Mama!  Dam-me!  Dam-me!  Dam-me!"

Interesting looks from the people sitting around us to say the least!

We love you, Jamie!  Thanks for being a great neighbor and friend!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Micro Waves

Tia posted a few days ago about Collin's fear that the big black box on the wall won't give his food back.  He doesn't get why Mama feeds it before she feeds him.

Nathan's pretty much the same.  Doesn't understand the microwave, doesn't want to wait for whatever Mama's waiting for, just wants FOOD and NOW.

I've tried explaining it to him, but well... he's TWO.  Logic and English are lost on him quite often.

I thought we'd finally had a breakthrough, though, last week.   I'd warmed up a bowl of Asian noodles and veggies for him for lunch.   He was eating and playing and playing and eating, but he seemed to really like the noodles.

About 20 minutes later, he gave me the bowl back (which was now mostly just veggies) and pointed at the microwave and very clearly wanted me to put the bowl back in the microwave.

I felt the veggies and they were cool, so I thought, "Wow!  He finally gets it.  He wants them warmed up again!"

I nuked it for a few seconds and handed the bowl back to him.  His excitement as I took the bowl out of the microwave was obvious.

He looked at the bowl, and looked at me, and back at the bowl and said, "Mama... where noodles go?"

Oh, sweet friend...  The box on the wall doesn't magically PUT the NOODLES in the BOWL.  But bless your sweet heart for thinking that it did.

That WOULD be an impressive piece of machinery.

And we're back to square 1 on explaining what the microwave actually does for his food...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Haiti Update

We've been able to talk to Papa every day and check in with him.  They've had a very successful week for the new Children's Village project. 

They were able to meet with the surveyor and find out about the water table.  They were able to make connections with the School of Architecture at the University of Haiti and those students were able to meet with the U of U students that had traveled down on this trip.  Brent said they spent a day driving around and looking at the damaged buildings and determining what was flawed so they'd know what not to do.

They put a sign up on the property      
(we'll have to get Brent to tell us what the sign says, since you can't read it.... it's something about the new children's village and how it's a joint venture with Haitian Roots, the U of U, Common Studios and Bel Haiti.  Brent said the sign is awesome, but the professor from the U said, "But it's BLUE"  ;)   )

He said the people in the village are VERY excited for this new development.

That's just the short list of the things they've done this week.

What they haven't been able to do is spare the driver for several hours to take Brent to where Jessica was last known to be.

However, Brent said that he's made some good contacts - some people that are willing to help us get this sorted out.

It's always bothered me that we had to pay hundreds of dollars to have DNA testing done to prove that Jessica's birth mother was her birth mother and was therefore legally able to relinquish her, but this man can just show up and take her from the orphanage and no one knows that he is the birth father.  Additionally, Jessica has 2 half siblings (one older, one younger) and all three of them have different fathers.  This man did live with Jessica's mother 4 years ago, but Jessica's mom didn't tell him she was pregnant before she left him and didn't tell him he was a father at any point in the last 3 years (I guess I"m trying to say that it's questionable that he's really her father).  The people that Brent's been able to make contact with said that what this man has done isn't legal in Haiti, either.  He's not on her birth certificate.  He doesn't have any legal right to her unless he can prove he actually is her father.  Apparently he was abusive to Jessica's birth mother, so she's afraid of him (even to protect her daughter).  At any rate, there may be things we can do in the legal channel in Haiti to address the fact that he took her and then wanted to sell her to us (yeah.... father of the year material all the way around)

I just wanted to post a quick update so you'd know that we haven't made the progress we'd hoped, but we have made other traction and that there may still be more to come in Jessica's saga.  Thank you for the prayers and support.  We really appreciate it!

Friday, June 4, 2010


one 2 year old screaming that "No! No! No!" he doesn't want to go to daycare
one moment of temporary insanity where it seems like a good idea to attempt to reason with said 2-yr old
attempting to backout of the garage at the same time
you will rip the sideview mirror off the car

It's really simple math when you think about it....

Friday, May 28, 2010

Haiti Update - Request for Prayers

I wanted to make everyone aware that Brent's going to Haiti next week.  He'll be traveling with the other non-profit we've partnered with and with students from the U of U School of Architecture.  They'll be visiting the property that we've purchased and assessing it as well as visiting some other orphanages in the area to find out what works and what doesn't about their buildings.

I haven't talked a lot about what we've found out about Jessica in the last few months.  People don't understand how things work in Haiti and how the culture is there.  Harry tells us that Jessica's birth father is "a devil man" and that he threatened Jessica's birth mother that he would kill Jessica if the birth mother tried to regain custody of Jessica.  We've also been told that the birth father has a sister that has told him she'll send him a monthly support check "as long as he has Jessica".  So our Miss Jess is a cash cow for him.  

Jessica was granted Humanitarian Parole the same day Nathan was, so technically, we'd be able to bring her home if the birth father changes his mind again.  

With that in mind, the other thing we hope to accomplish on this trip is to make contact with Jessica and her birth father.  As wonderful as it has been to finally be parents and to have Nathan home, it still doesn't feel "right".  It doesn't seem like it's supposed to be just Nathan.  It's been a real struggle, particularly for Brent because he saw the conditions she's living in.  It still feels like Miss Jess is our little girl.

We're praying that Brent and Harry are able to find Jessica and her birth father and that they'll find Jessica to be healthy and happy.  We're also praying that we'll at least be able to find peace about this situation if it's truly not meant for Jessica to be part of our family.

We're praying for miracles.

We ask that you join us with your prayers (or at least your positive thoughts if you're not the praying kind) that we'll be able to get some sort of resolution and peace with this trip. 

Thank you for your continued love and support,

Brent and Lori

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"It's Not That I'm a Waffle Racist - I Just Like Mine White"

Heard someone at work say that this last week. And I totally agree. Waffles and cookies shouldn't be crispy (in my opinion).

We've been a bit under the weather all the way around this last bit. I've vacillated between having no voice and doing my best "Marge the Queen of the Trailer Park" impersonation this last week. The funny part is that Nathan's taken to trying to imitate me. He's one funny kid.

He's decided he lives the movie, "Cars". I love to hear him ask for it because when he says "Lightening McQueen" it comes out "Miney All Clean".

He's also slightly obsessed with the "Move It Move It" song from Madagascar. We're quickly approaching the point where we either need to "ruin" the DVD or you'll have to commit Brent and/or me to an instution!

Plus, it's only slightly maddening when you're trying to teach your 2-year old how to be reverent in Church and he keeps yelling, "No, Mama!  I like to move it move it!"

Love my Little Man!  Even more than I love blond waffles.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Crud, Crud, Go Away...

Spent the evening at the Urgent Care. Brent has pneumonia again. He coughed so hard he blacked out in front of the doctor and kinda fell out of the chair.

The doc thought about admitting him to the hospital, but I told him Brent's a stubborn ox.

Nathan has been just awesome and patient with all these doctor/hospital visits lately. He's a very good boy.

Now if we could just get Brent to bed since rest is what he needs right now.

Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sometimes, It's the Little Things

Life has been busy, busy, busy lately and I haven't been very good about staying on top of things.  Plus there's crud going around our house - Brent's hacking like he did when he returned from Haiti this last time and Nathan's nose bubbles a lovely shade of green.

Sometimes you have to remember what's important.  People, feelings, gratitude.  These are important.  Things - not so much.  Sometimes you have to slow down and remember.

My mom sent me an email she received from her cousin, Sherry.  Sherry's mom is my great aunt Lola.  I remember hearing my grandmother talk about them so very many times.  In my head, the name "Wes" is automatically followed by "Lola" because that's how grandma always referred to her brother and his wife.  

I don't remember the last time I saw Sherry, or her parents.  I know Sherry and her dad came to my grandmother's funeral.  

So, needless to say, I was surprised to see this email from Sherry:

"I have to share something with you. I write to my mom and when I do, I also enclose notes and comments I've received from others. This has included e-mails and notes from telephone conversations. I also forwarded all of the newsletters that I received at Christmas. Mom has enjoyed them all!

In a recent letter, I hope you and Lori don't mind, but I copied out her wonderful "El Camino" story and sent it with my letter. I had sent her your Christmas letter and so she knows what Nathan looks like. I also kept her appraised during the earthquake crisis and all that your daughter and her husband were going through.

From what I've heard, she cried when she read the letter and really, really enjoyed the story. She has shown it to EVERYONE who has visited. We have a lady named Coco who we've hired to check on mom several times each week. She also is there when mom's physical therapist is there so she can be mom's voice. She has also helped transport mom to a couple of doctor's appts. when no one in the family could make it. Well, Mom was trying to tell her something and she couldn't get it out; so finally she wrote out the word "Haiti". Then she got the letter out so Coco could read the story again. She asks everyone to read it out loud so she can also hear it again! You have to understand in addition to being aphasic, mom also cannot write. This is something we have been working with her on as well as her speech.

So--please let Lori know how far reaching her story has gone! We now all "know" just how much she loves El Caminos!  :o)"

My mom included these words with her forwarded note:

"I cannot begin to tell you what this means to me, to know that her mom cares about Nathan.  Especially to have her write “Haiti” when they have struggled to get her to write much of anything since her stroke.

Our little man has endless potential for doing good!"

Thank you, Great Aunt Lola, for the reminder that it's the little things that matter.  It's the way we touch each other's lives that matter more than most other things we encounter in this world.  And thanks for the reminder that we ALL have an endless potential for doing good!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FOX 13's story

Part One

Part Two


 Thank you, Sandy.  You did a very nice job.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Todd's Yard Sale!

Saturday was the B98.7 Todd's Yard Sale at the E-Center!

Todd and Erin have been very good to us and they arranged for half of the "booth fee" to be donated to Hope!

We raised $1400 for Hope!

It was a busy, fun day. Here are a few pictures of our adventure:

Believe it or not, there's a little boy in the pile of toys there... that's my Nathan!  And to think I was originally worried about what we'd do to keep him occupied...

Todd can't believe this high-quality genuine particleboard computer desk didn't sell....  (shocker!)

Todd and Erin were just awesome!  Collin played hide-and-seek with Todd - and his mom said he is still runs around the car and says, "Where is he??"

Nathan was DONE by the end of the day!  It was fun, but EXHAUSTING!