Saturday, November 24, 2012

Santa Signs!!

Greetings -
While Kylee (the boys cousin) was in town this week we decided it would be a great time to see Santa! You know all 3 cousins on Santa's lap for the holiday photo.  So off to Gaylord Opryland we went.  And of course the kiddos were thrilled to see the jolly old man himself.  And there were requests for water for my sisters, large transformers and pretty dolls.  But yet there sat Teddy he didn't understand the questions being asked.  He doesn't know the names of the toys he loves.  He has yet to really understand what Christmas is.  But when Santa signed to him his world changed!  His face lit up - this man understands me!!!  Santa can talk to me!!!  And so Teddy told him in his own way about bay blades and transformers and cars!  So I want to thank you Santa for that moment of happiness in my little boys eyes!  That moment that there was no difference in Tariku, Kylee or Teddy.  The moment that allowed ALL 3 of them to be kiddos and believe in your wonderment!

Merry Christmas To ALL!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day ~
(aka a grateful mama)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hammons House Holiday Update

Greetings -
Well the turkey has been stuffed and eaten, the pie whipped and fluffed.  The black friday sales are complete and now we settle back to enjoy our weekend!  This Thanksgiving was not what was originally planned.  Typically we travel to New York City to see my brother and sister in law.  Unfortunately do to circumstances beyond control that just was not able to happen this year.  So instead my parents came to Tennessee with my 7 year old niece.  What a great time is being had by all!  From eating, to swimming, to tennis and shopping these kiddos are doing it all.  And isn't that really the reason for this season?  To be thankful for what we do have!  So today I say how thankful I am for family and friends near and far.  I am thankful to have been blessed with an amazing husband and 2 boys who changed our world.  Let's not forget this feeling of thanksgiving as the year continues on!  Here is a small peek into what our week has looked like so far!

Shrek the Halls @ Gaylord Opryland

Merry Christmas from the cousins

Here comes KYLEE

Why you at my house?

Ready to sleep at nana and papa's hotel

Really?  You are worried about us!

Nana and her kiddos 


We made it!  Breakfast time with Shrek

Puss in Boots was so nice!

Yes we really did eat with a ogre and his princess
Thank you nana and papa!

Want to be a part of our circus

So from all of us here at the Hammons House we wish you a blessed holiday season!  Stop back soon as you know there is always something going on in this house!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day ~

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Carving - Year 2

Greetings -

Well last night we tried again!  Last year the boys would not touch the inside of the pumpkins and so we wondered how it would work this year.  I have to say a year sure makes changes!  Although Teddy was still a bit hesitant he did go ahead and clean out his own pumpkin.  Tariku treated it like he had been doing it for 100 years. And so in a little less than 2 hours we went from this

to this 

and this

and finally ended up with 

Happy Halloween from the HAMMONS House!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Fall Ya'll

Greetings -
The weather here in Middle TN is getting cooler (thank GOD), the leaves are changing, and we are about (okay not quite cause who knows) to pull out sweaters and hot cocoa!  Autumn has always been my most favorite time of the year.  I love the crispness in the air and the sound of leaves rustling outside!  

The boys have been busy this fall with school, swimming and soccer!  And today starts fall break.  My dad is coming down from Wisconsin to spend the weekend with the boys and do all things fall!!  

We here at Hammons House hope you have a most MAGICAL fall season.  Remember to take time and jump in a pile of leaves with your kids, carve pumpkins, inhale the fresh air.  Time passes to quickly and the real reason we are here is right under your nose!

Enjoy some fall photos of the boys!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day ~

Friday, August 17, 2012

New School Year Begins!

WOW oh WOW!  Where did this summer go?  So many things to write about and so much was seen and done and yet there are no posts!!  Leave it to me to keep a list but never actually post!  Sorry about that friends I really do want to be better.  So here is it Aug 17th and the boys have officially been back in school for 1 week!!!  They love school and were so excited to start back - Tariku is getting use to the idea that his classroom friends are different and Teddy is adjusting to a new teacher, new interperter and new hearing teacher!  No homework yet but we are busy with soccer and swimming and of course trips to see Nana and Papa!  Here is a quick photo of the boys in their new classrooms on the 1st day of school!  Enjoy

Wishing you a most MAGICAL Day ~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

1 Year 11 Months and 22 Days in the making

It happened so fast, had I not been right next to him I would have missed it completely.  I had just returned from another weekend away, and while away Kenneth and I had found transformer sheets for Tariku's bed.  And of course bought them on the spot!  When we got home Kenneth headed to Papa Blue's to pick up the boys and I went ahead and placed the new sheets on the beds (Teddy got new CARS sheets) and so I waited, waited for the boys to come home and see their new sheets!  When they entered the house and came up the stairs I had them close their eyes and daddy and I moved them into their room where we showed them their surprise.

Both boys were over the moon but Tariku said something I have been waiting my whole adult life to hear. You see when we picked him up almost 2 years ago - instead of being excited he was nervous, and really had no trust in the situation that was happening so instead of a sweet tender first moment it was a bite to the neck.  Not exactly what one hopes for when meeting their child for the first time!

Fast forward to Sunday July 22nd 2012 - Tariku said I Love You - to me for the 1st time!

Thank you to all my friends and family that have been supportive along this journey of Tariku and I.  For all the late night chats and tears that were shed over the love of this guy!  May he now know that I am his mama forever and love him to the moon and back again!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day~

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Year Gone Another Year Older

Greetings -
So I was downloading photos off the camera today and realized that I never shared the boys birthday party!!  Ooops - so here it is a little late but better than never!

When I asked Tariku and Teddy if they wanted their parties together or separate the decision was a resounding TOGETHER.  Now originally I thought that sounded like a brilliant idea knock out 2 parties in 2 hours what could be better.  OI was I mistaken!!!  Welcome to Hammons House where we do nothing small - our motto go big or go home!  And boy it went BIG!

For months leading up to the big day Tariku had told me time and time again he did not want a home birthday party. - (really - does he know what his mom does for a living) so my hours on pinterest were a waste and back to the drawing board I went!  The boys decided a bowling party was right for them this year and so Kenneth and I said sure (I mean really what is 20 kids at a bowling alley on a Friday night right?) - insert seasoned parent stares NOW!

The invites went out and I was thrilled to see the RSVP's coming in but as they kept coming I started to get nervous and as we passed the 30 mark I thought oh lord what have I gotten myself into and when we fit 40 all I could think was WHAT WAS I THINKING!!  But like everything else in life the time arrived and we survived!  The boys were beyond blessed to have all but 4 of their classmates there to share in a big day for both of them and the Franklin Entertainment Center was easy breezy to work with!

So here are a few of our photos from that evening!

 Many many thanks to my parents for coming down and assisting!  The amazing cakes came to us from Covered with Icing!  Thanks Heather they were out of this world!

So now we move on to a new year and new adventures as 6 and 7 year olds!  Wish us luck!

Wishing you a MAGICAL day ~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's all about PAPA

Greetings -
So growing up I always thought I had a pretty cool dad!  He taught me to downhill snow ski before I could walk!  He was at all my events, he helped me and my brother with math (since he was a math teacher you would have thought his kids would have understood it!!), he walked me down the aisle not once but twice (perfection takes practice!) He held my hand when I told him I couldn't have children, he talked to me on the phone while a hurricane passed over my house as he drove to Utah.  In my eyes he was amazing.  But it wasn't until I had Tariku and Teddy that I realized what a remarkable man he truly was.

You see from day one he never saw a different color, he never saw that they were adopted, all he saw were his grandsons.  When I called him a few weeks ago upset that Teddy was having a hard time not seeing him he called me the next day and said he would be down for the weekend.  When I was struggling with Tariku he called and asked if he needed to come down and talk with him.

For close to 10 years I worked at Walt Disney World and getting my parents into a theme park was worse than a root canal.  Now that there are the boys we have been twice in one year and my dad rides EVERYTHING - which mind you he rode NOTHING with my brother and I EVER!

And so PAPA I want to say thank you!  Thank you for loving my boys like no one else, thank you for teaching them to ride a bike, and soccer, and fish!  Thank you for believing that our family as different as it may be is the right family for you!

Because at the end of the day it is all about PAPA and his boys!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Disowned for the 1st but I am sure it will not be the last time!!!

Greetings -
I know I know I know it has been a long time and you probably think I have fallen off the face of the earth!  Truth is - it seems to me that way to!!!  But we are now back and good to go!  Who knew two kiddos in 5 months would turn this place into a whirlwind!!! (obviously not Kenneth or me) but alas I digress!

So anyone who knows this family knows that we run on a lot of sarcasm!  It is just the way we are but imagine my surprise when the sarcasm caught up to me like it did last Monday. So me and the boys are off to Chuck E Cheese's for a 6 year olds birthday party - (nice quiet place on a Monday by the way!!) The boys had a fabulous time and as we were leaving the women at the door asked to see our hand stamps. So we all show her the stamps and OF COURSE she cannot read mine.  So in her perfectly trained voice she looks at Tariku and says is this the person you came with - already knowing the answer I prepare to leave so IMAGINE my surprise when Tariku looks at her plain as day and says no ma'am she is a stranger.

What's a mom to do!! I look at Tariku and back to the lady and back to Tariku (all the while thinking if he does not fix this now I see a trip to the jail in Franklin in my future) well thankfully he saw the look on my face and realized he still wanted to live in Brentwood with his family so he quickly looked back at the nice lady and said he was kidding and that I was indeed his mama!

Once we stepped outside he looked at me and said I thought I was being funny mom.  And yes sweet Tariku you were but alas as we learned that Monday evening there is a time and a place for everything.

                                                  I mean really you can't see the resemblance?

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day~

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Childs Thought!

Tariku went to his first sleep over last week! He had a great time and Teddy survived without his brother in tow! But I had to share a story that the other mom told me - just because I feel like so often we give our children adult size thoughts and sometimes they really are just children!!

As you know Tariku is in kindergarten this year and so for alot of his classmates it is the first interaction with another culture! So while Tariku was at Hudson's - Hudson told his mom that he liked Tariku alot but he wished he was white. So like any mom she jumped in saying how we are all alike on the inside and so on. Well Hudson finished his thought and it went something like this - yeah well MOM he has a huge advantage at night tag and I wish I had that!

So there you go - the plus to being Ethiopian is that you have a huge advantage at night tag!!!

Oh the thoughts of boys!!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day-


Friday, February 17, 2012

A friend for Teddy

Greetings -
I didn't expect to be writing this! I didn't expect to see what I saw today and yet God showed me once again he is there right where he needs to be. You see I have been dreading today ALL week! It was a half day at school and Tariku was going to go home with a friend and have a sleep over. Well what would that mean for Teddy and how would I ever explain what was happening? And so as I prepared for today I asked a school mate of Teddy's if he wanted to come over after school. And of course the answer was yes but I was still nervous. Nervous for how many times I would be asked where's Tariku and where's tariku - nervous that Teddy would not understand why this class mate was getting off the bus with him and not Tariku. So imagine my surprise when Teddy and Noah hopped off the bus all smiles ready to go! 1st stop lunch at McDonalds!! A favorite for both - and I watched a little boy love my son just for being Teddy. Noah does not see the difference in color or the fact that Teddy is deaf as anything other than normal. And for this mama's heart that is huge.
After lunch it was off to Monkey Joes- and in fact I sit here at Monkey Joes in awe of this friend of Teddy's!!! You see Noah and Teddy have been jumping for 3 solid hours!!! Noah makes sure that when he wants to move on to another bouncie that Teddy is right with him and vice versa. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised maybe I should just trust that someone much bigger than me has a plan for Teddy. But today today I am surprised and in awe and love for this little boy who showed up and reminded me that Teddy really is just a typical kindergartner in so many ways! Thanks Noah for being such a great friend to Teddy!!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day -

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Disney Magical Moment - at least for Kenneth and me

Greetings -

A year ago I would never have believed what I saw happen at Disney's Animal Kingdom on Saturday Jan 14 2012!!  You see for all the sweet gushy times I write about Tariku I never have really written about the Tariku we have every day.  The every day Tariku has seen a whole lot in his short 6 years of life - a lot more than I know about I am sure.  He is a happy child, but he is also a very guarded child - a child that has seen famine, and family die, a child that has seen a lot of loss and has had to learn to take care of himself.  In the year and a half that we have had Tariku he has yet to initiate a hug or say I Love You, he has fallen and ripped his hand to shreds and when I try to help he says mama I am fine I am fine.  So imagine my surprise when at the Festival of the Lion King Show Tariku got up and went on stage and danced and danced and smiled and waved at the few 100 people there!!  Kenneth and I could not have been prouder or happier than at that very moment!  Because for those brief moments we saw Tariku the 6 year old ethiopian - learning to just be a 6yr old!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day~