Thursday, December 30, 2010

UNTIL NEXT TIME---

(William, Will, me, Augustin & Theogene- my family for 2 weeks)

At the beginning of November, I started my Christmas wishlist. This year, I thought Will and I should get a "family" gift. My thought was a Wii. We had talked about it a couple of times but no decision was made. We were going to think about it because I was going to start working part-time and we didn't want to over extend ourselves.
Fast forward to two and a half weeks later. Will & I were able to host a couple of boys from the Asante Children's Choir. These boys were loving, entertaining, and wonderful. (I have written about them in previous posts.) After hosting these boys & an adult chaperone for 2 weeks, my life was changed. The weekend the boys left, it was very difficult for me. I did not want them to leave. They did get to come back for one night and stayed with us for that one night. What a glorious night it was. It was nice to have the boys back in my home even if it was for just one night. Because of this experience, my Christmas wish list changed. You may be asking, "what could be on her list now"? My new wish was not anything material. My Christmas wish was to visit the boys in the Tri-Cities. That is all I wanted for Christmas.
(When Augustin saw us)
Well, I am happy to say that my husband granted my Christmas wish. We went to the Tri-Cities to see the Asante Children's Choir. It was lovely seeing them once again. We went to a church service in the morning that they were performing at. William (chaperone) was surprised to see us. He thought we were just going to be at the evening perfomance. It was nice to surprise him. We did not let the boys know that we were at the church. Instead we sat in the church service and enjoyed the performance. I then noticed Augustin smile a mile wide. He had noticed us. It was so nice to see that HUGE smile. I missed it so much. After the concert, we helped with the product tables for a bit until the crowd was complete. We were then taken to the room where the children were waiting for lunch. Augustin came running to give both Will and I huge, wonderful hugs. Then, several of the other children came running & gave us hugs as well. Once Theogene saw Will he came running and gave us hugs. We found out later that many of the children recognized us and came running to give hugs and check around the corner. They were looking for their Spokane host families. They thought or at least hoped that they had come too. This made me sad, but I was glad that we could represent the Spokane host families as best we could.

That night, we went to the choirs last performance in the Tri-Cities. It was AMAZING! I loved seeing the choir perform. They did all of their songs. I loved seeing the children perform. I love how each performance is unique. It was a great Christmas present. Hanging out with the boys, even for just a little bit was wonderful. It is a Christmas present that I will cherish forever. It was a present of LOVE!

I was able to hold back my tears this time. I was able to do this because I was thinking that this was not a Goodbye, it was an UNTIL NEXT TIME! Something I believe with all my heart. So, Asante - until next time, keep singing for the LORD!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

I do not want to forget

I do not want to forget....
  • that look in Augustin & Theogene's eyes when they were meeting their host family (me), they had only been in the states for about 2 1/2 weeks at that time.
  • that first snow fall when Augustin was so excited that he initially forgot to put on his shoes before going outside and realizing that snow is cold.
  • that snow touching the skin is like apparently like a "snake bite".
  • the dancing that was happening at all times in the house. Especially when Chris Brown's song "Forever" was on. Michael Jackson was another favorite.
  • Decorating the christmas tree to "Forever" and "Cotton-eyed Joe"- talk about christmas songs. :)
  • The hugs first thing in the morning & when they went to bed. Loved them!!!
  • watching youtube videos with Augustin & Theogene. When they saw themselves they would laugh.
  • The boys were both very ticklish. Just walking by them at times would have them laughing.
  • being called Auntie in the coolest accents.
  • Augustin playing the Wii. Racing cows and always jumping and then his cow would jump too.
  • Theogene playing the Wii. His was boxing and the guy he was against would never stay down. He got tired after a couple of rounds.
  • Parking in the front of the house & the boys getting confused as to where they were at. We always came in the back door.
  • Augustin on the first night going to the restroom without closing the door. This was done throughout his stay. After the first time, it became no big deal.
  • Visiting Eric & Jill's- the boys got to see the police car & Eric's badge. Although, I heard that the motorcycles were apparently cooler than the car at first.
  • The boys and the weights at Eric & Jill's. It was like a fun toy to them.
  • The boys sitting in the hot tub at Eric & Jill's. I heard that they got out & layed in the snow then got back in. Crazy!!
  • Each of the performances that they had. It really doesn't get old either.
  • Their smiles & love that they gave to a stranger, who ended up falling in love & loved them back.
  • The African Invasion at the YMCA. (24 children + 4 adult chaperones.)
  • The looks on the boys faces when I gave them Hersey's Kisses. They had no idea. When they read the little piece of paper that said kisses, they started giggling. Getting "kisses" from a girl was not new to them. :)
  • Gummy worms! Sour ones were their favorites!
  • Helping the Asante Children's Choir & Africa Mission Alliance with child sponsorship and the raising funds of Hope Village.

I thought I had better write some of these things down. I don't ever want to forget them. They are precious memories that came from precious children. I pray that I will be able to add to these memories some day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Missing....











Tonight I am really missing the boys that have touched my heart and have changed my life forever. It is when the house is quiet that I miss them the most. I try no to let the quiet house get to me and I try to distract myself with other things, but it doesn't matter what I do, I miss them terribly. I was able to talk with them for a couple minutes yesterday and that just made my day. It was really good to hear from them & hear the excitement in their voices. It made my day that did not start off well, end on a good note.


Thank you William for giving me a little piece of heaven in a phone call.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Passion or Obsessed?


(Theogene, Auntie, Augustin)

Last night "my boys" were back in Spokane for a performance at Glover Middle School. I was beyond excited! As you may have read in a previous post, I have grown to love these boys and the other children in the choir very much. It was so nice to see them. What was even better was that they got to stay at my house again for the one night they were in town.

This was the first time that I had hosted children in my home that I did not have a previous relationship with and it was good training for what we will go through doing foster care. Let me tell you, this was a learning experience for me and I learned a lot about myself during this process. I really learned that being a foster parent is not for me. I cannot love and then let go without a lot of pain & sorrow. I have made up my mind that I will only adopt through the foster care system because it is the best and least expensive way that I will become a parent. You see, my husband & I do not make a lot of money, but we do enjoy our jobs. I would also love to adopt internationally, but the lack of funds prohibits that at this time. Although, if it is God's will for us to adopt a child from another country, I know he will provide.

During the time that the boys were away, I did a lot of thinking and praying. I asked myself, "What was I passionate about in my life?". I tend to be a follower, not a leader, have stayed in my comfort zone, and have gone about life without a "real" passion for something. I have had & currently have what I would call passion for stuff, but I am really re-evaluating this "passion" that I have currently. I am asking myself if this passion is real or if it is something different all together. These boys and the "Pope" have helped me realize this.

I have always wanted to go to Germany. I love the history of this country and since my husband has family there, it would be a great place to visit. These past couple of weeks this has changed a bit. I still would like to visit Germany, but I now want to go to Rwanda even more. So much so, that at this time, I am trying to soak up all the information I can about Rwanda. I want to give back to the children that I have had the privilege to know and love. They gave so much when they have so little. You know the "thing" they gave the most of....LOVE! These children know how to LOVE! It really doesn't stop with the children either. Auntie Barbara, Auntie Alice, Uncle Ivan, "Pope", and Uncle Henry- they all gave love to you because that is what they have the most of!

The Asante Children's Choir gave me so much and I want to give back to them in some way. Prayer is a given, but I want to give back more than just that. I know that money is needed as well to help build Hope Village, but at this time that is just not something we can do. I do, however, have time & lots of it right now. I am currently working part-time and I have no children at the moment. I think that time is the best "thing" I can give the choir. I have talked to "Pope" about how I can help these children that have given me so much. I talked to him about being a contact person in Spokane for the choir for future trips. Using connections and starting new relationships to help book, help find a Dr. or Dr's that would "donate" medical & dental care for the choir in the future without stepping on someone else's toes, should they make Spokane their "home base". In doing this, I will have to step out of my comfort zone and put myself "out there". It also means that I will really have to start networking. I am willing to do this because I am passionate about this choir, what they stand for, and the love this choir has shown me.

It is amazing what an impact those 2 young boys have had on my life. I want to have that kind of impact on their lives and future choir member's lives. I want to give back to the choir who has given me so much. I am, however, asking myself....is this a new found passion or am I obsessed?


Sunday, November 28, 2010

It was the Best of times & the Worst of times

On November 15th we were able to host 2 AMAZING young boys from Rwanda and an adult chaperone. They are part of a traveling children's choir called Asante. They are here for 3 months traveling Washington, Oregon, and California. Let me tell you it was an amazing experience.



(Augustin & Theogene with the Asante Children's Choir)


Here are the best of times:
Waking up to snow- usually I do not like snow, but since the boys had never even seen it, I was happy that it had snowed. That first snow we woke the boys up and had a snowball fight at 6:30am. It was a blast & the reaction to the snow was priceless. We had a free day on a Friday & I was able to take the day off from work. This allowed me to take the boys to Riverfront Park. They rode the carousel, fed the garbage goat, and played on the Red Wagon. They really had a great time. Here's a photo of the boys.

Augustin & Theogene

Due to the forecast, the boys ended up staying with us for an additional week. I was estatic! It ended up snowing even more and the boys & I had another snowball fight in the back yard. It was a lot of fun & I even learned that snow feels like a "snake bite". The boys also got to spend Thanksgiving with our family. It was nice to have them too!
The boys loved to listen to music & their favorites consisted of Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, and the song Cotton Eyed Joe. They were constantly dancing & listening to the music when they had time or we would let them use our iPods. I ended up making a music folder that had their names so all the songs that they liked were in one playlist.

Here are photos of the boys:
Our dear Augustin! He gave the greatest hugs! What a handsome young man both inside & out!
Our dear Theogene! His laugh was infectious! He too is a handsome young man both inside and out.

The worst of times:
Saturday was, I think the hardest day of my life for me. You see, I have always wanted a little boy and for 2 wonderful weeks God gave me 2. I think the two weeks that Augustin & Theogene were the best weeks!! The laughter & love that they brought to our house is indescribable. Since they have left, the house feels empty, and I am a wreak. I feel like I have a hole in my heart that will never be filled, nor do I want it filled. These boys have touched my heart in a special way. I just hope that someday I will be able to see them again, either in the US or in their home country of Rwanda. I know that these two boys will grow up to be strong, caring, God-fearing men. I know that the hurt will go away at sometime, but for now, I pray that God will protect the 2 boys that I fell in Love with and came to care for as my own.
Our final photo of our Theogene.

Our final photo of our Augustin.


How could you not fall in love with those faces? Auntie will miss you Augustin & Theogene! I will always LOVE you and pray for you both!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What I dislike most......car shopping!

We had to say goodbye to a good car this past week. Sad, I know. The reason is not because of our own actions. It was because we were in a accident. Here is the story...

We were on our way home from a friends birthday dinner last Saturday night. We got to the intersection of Wellesley & Wall and I noticed a vehicle approaching the intersection very quickly. Even though we had the green light, Will did not proceed until that vehicle had slowed down enough that we knew that he was going to stop for the red light he/she had. We then proceeded down Wall St. As we are driving down Wall, I am looking down at my phone (I think I was going to text someone) and all of a sudden -BAM! We were hit! One of my greatest driving fears had almost been realized. I have a fear of being t-boned. Anyway, I digress, someone ran the stop sign at the intersection of Queen & Wall and hit our car on the passenger side. It was enough impact to push the front end of the car over enough to make it so you could not exit the drivers side door. The other vehicle's tire rim also left an impression on our front bumper.
Will got out of the car right away, to make sure that the other driver was alright. She appeared to be. I was fiddling with my phone to call 911 because we are stopped in the middle of the street & are blocking traffic & don't know the car damage. Will finally tells me to get out of the car & I have to get out thru the back seat of the car on the drivers side because I can't get out on the passenger side because the car that hit us is in the way. I then was able to call 911 and they sent a fire engine and the police to the accident scene. As Will is walking around the vehicles, someone goes "Hi Mr. Sleeth." Will looks at the person and says "Anna, is this your car?" to which she replied "yes". Come to find out the person who ran the stop sign and hit us was one of my husband's former students. Makes for an awkward situation. After that realization, we decided it best to let the police exchange the information instead of us, so that something was not said that could be taken the wrong way. Such as blame & fault. That night the police let us drive our car home, since it was about a mile away. I then called and reported the accident to our insurance. Needless to say that was not a great way to end our night.
That night we both did not sleep very well. Sunday morning came & went. We looked at the engine of the car and came to the realization that insurance would probably total our newest car. The car that is no longer ours was a 2005 Ford Taurus. Since our car is no longer, we are looking for a new one & have to find one by the end of the Labor Day weekend. Will & I are so different is what we think is important when looking for a car. I need dependability, crash-ability, and making sure it is something that will be good for transporting Foster children. Will on the other hand is looking at price & mileage. I know that both of those are important too, but if I have a choice between a 2004, 2007, or 2008, I would probably choose between the 2007 or 2008 because they are newer. That is why I dislike car shopping. That & I am not a good negotiator and we always seem to get stuck with the dealers that have personal hygiene or personal space issues.
We haven't made a decision on a car yet, but I think we have it narrowed down to two. Hopefully we can make this decision quickly & not have to go car shopping for a very long time! Wish us luck.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We have done it!!

We finally bit the bullet and sent in our application to become Foster Parents. Let the fun begin!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Washington DC

We just got back from an AMAZING trip with some of the students from Will's school. This photo reflects what I got from the trip. I am thankful for those that have served & currently serve our country. Not only the men & women, but the husbands, wives. children, mothers, fathers, etc. Without them we would not have our freedom. Thank You!
I want to go back, it was simply that cool! It is a trip that everyone should take at least once in their lives. I told Will yesterday, that I actually missed the students & parents that went on the trip. It was simply that great. Let's hope I can go next year!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Goings on:

I have been so busy as of late. However, here I am on a Friday night at home pondering whether or not I should go to bed. I know, I know how to have fun! It is just that I am so tired lately. I have also been having some back pain that is making it difficult to do anything.

Will and I have been doing a lot of talking lately and are now praying about becoming foster parents with the intent to possibly adopt a child that is in the foster care system. I know that it is a difficult process & we are just waiting for God's direction, what ever that may be.

Work has been extremely busy & I am loving every minute of it. It has been nice because the days go by much quicker. It is hard to imagine that in a month we will be in Washington DC. I can not wait to go to the Nation's Capital! This is a trip that I have wanted to go on for a very long time & I am finally going. I am very excited.

With spring comes softball. Will is coaching the church softball team again this year. I am wondering how it is going to go because right now it does not seem like he has enough females to play on the team. Games don't start for another couple of weeks so he has time, but I don't think it is enough time. That is just me though.

Well, that is enough rambling. I am going to bed on a Friday night at 9. Yeah, I know how to party!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You're rooming with...

I am doing the rooming list for our Washington DC/NY trip and it is hard. There are so many different rooming guidelines. They are dependant on how you pay too. It has been made even more difficult because there are students that have not paid & I don't know if they are going on the trip or not. The rooming list is due tomorrow & I still don't know what I am going to do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What is pain?

I had a biopsey done on a couple of spots in my mouth. One on my gums & the other on my tongue. Let me tell you it wasn't too bad the first day, but the second day is PAIN!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happenings:

Boy! What a weekend! I am making my weekend start on Thursday of last week. I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning & the were concerned about some things that they saw and referred me to an oral surgeon. No big deal...so I thought.(more in a bit) I called to make the appointment on Friday & it was scheduled for Monday (today). I then went about my weekend.



I went to the Smucker's Skating Spectacular at the US Figure Skating Championships & was able to see several former Gold Medalists & got to see those skaters representing the USA at the 2010 Olympics. It was very cool! I took my mother-in-law, Marion, to the event. She loved it. She was even surprised that I would take her. It was so good. There is a lot of skating talent and even future olympians that are amazing skaters. Needless to say we had a good time.



Monday (today) arrived and I went to my appointment at the oral surgeon and they are going to be taking biopsies of a spot on my tongue & along my gum line. Fun times! I get to do that tomorrow morning. That means that I have to eat soft foods for a couple days. I have also been told that I will be in a lot of pain. Boy, I am sooo looking forward to that! I will have stitches in both spots they are doing the biopsy from. I am also taking a couple of days off of work because I answer phones & will not be able to do that for a couple of days. Now, I am a bit nervous with anticipation for both the surgery & results. I hope it does not take too long for either. Funny, this is just what is happening to me. Will is a whole different story.

On to Will....
Will had a physical today that went really well until the blood draw. He almost passed out because it was taking so long. They had to give him smelling salts & gave him a soda. They also made him lay-down until he wasn't feeling woozy. They told him that he could come back at a later date for the blood draw, but he told them to try again. This time they told him to lay down and they would draw blood from the other arm. Needless to say it went much better the second time around. They also did an EKG and have scheduled him for a stress test. With family history of heart attacks they just want to be safe and pro-active. I am glad about that. I want him around for a long time. :)

I guess we are just beginning to show our ages. Not sure I like that but it is in God's hands and I think that is where I will leave it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beautiful...

It has been so nice this winter. The weather has been cooperating this yeas as we have not had the snow "dump" that we have had to deal with the past 2 years. It is almost like we are/have already headed into spring. It has been BEAUTIFUL!

Question for the day/week: What else do you find beautiful?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ever had one of those weeks?

It is only Wednesday and I am ready to throw in the towel. It has been one of those weeks. I don't know where to begin. I guess I will just be random. Monday was a very busy day! After having four lovely & wonderful days off, I had to go back to work. I really do love my job, but I was not looking forward to the work load that I was going to have. I am one of those who doesn't like to leave a job half finished at the end of the day. I like to have it completely completed. Hence the stress that I was feeling going to work on Monday. I did get it all done. On Tuesday, I left work feeling ill. The smell of the fresh brewed coffee that someone had brewed made me want to toss my cookies. I knew then that I was not feeling well because I really enjoy the smell of fresh brewed coffee. I am glad my office mate allowed me to go home early. However, I was supposed to have a basketball date with my husband at the school he teaches at. I was very sad that I was going to miss it because I was not feeling well. Which brings me to the reason I am sad about having to break my date.

I miss my husband! He has been sleeping in our downstairs guest room because he has been having severe anxiety issues that do not allow him to sleep. This is not the first time that this has happened. It happened 2 summers ago as well. Ever since then he has had issues sleeping. Even taking a prescription sleeping aide does not help. We have tried lots of natural remedies as well. It has been very frustrating for me and especially him. I mean there are days that he will function on just an hour of sleep sometimes. He has chosen to sleep downstairs so that he will not disturb my sleep, which is nice but I still miss him. I just hope that he will be able to somewhat sleep again someday.

I have also been very frustrated about a computer at work & apparently my inability to add our office printer to it. I have been working on this issue for the past 2 days on & off and I am getting very frustrated that it is not working. GRR!

I also have been trying to keep up with my niece's latest hospital stay. She apparently had an abscessed tooth that got up into her sinuses & she was admitted into the hospital because of the infection. The poor thing had to have an IV and the hospital couldn't get one started. So, she was basically a pin cushion. She is now doing better and hopefully will be released from the hospital tomorrow.

See, I am having one of those weeks!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Movie Date


I just got back from the movie The Blind Side. What a GREAT movie. I loved the fact that it is based off of a true story. Those I think are some of the best movies. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is a must see!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year, a New Blog....

Well 2009 is done and gone! I am not sure what to think of 2009, but I know that I am sort of excited to see what 2010 brings. Since it is the start of a new year, I thought that I would try my hand at blogging. I am not sure blogging is for me, but it is worth a try.
I am not sure what direction this blog will take but that is alright. It could just be a place for me to reflect on life, relationships, and other stuff that is on my mind at the time.
What's on my mind right now is, what is in store for me in 2010? That is the question of the day.