Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Internet

We've had no/VERY limited internet for the last week. I've chosen to spend my time over here blogging for my sister-in-law who is picking up my niece as we speak. So sue me.


We went to Chicago this weekend, Zach and I, without kids (thanks Frank and Terre). It was great.

I have a sinus infection and double ear infections (because apparently I'm 2 years old). It's not fun.

Life is still good.

When I get more internet I'll tell you why.

Until then,

go here and see something that needs your support. Go here too. Love these groups.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


This weekend Zach and I will be heading with my family to Chicago. Because of that, we celebrated Easter a bit early so the kids could have a good old fashioned egg hunt.

Tomas and Binyam thoroughly enjoyed their first egg hunt, as did the other three who were old hat at it by then.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Last Friday my sister watched the littles so I could go on a field trip with Trysten's 2nd grade class. The class was going to the expo center where they were going to learn about earth day events. I like earth day events, I love Trysten, so I thought this would be a good one to volunteer for. 

I was in charge of Trysten and his friend, Anthony. Once in the expo center we just got to run around and do things at our own pace. These two were such great kids, they made what was honestly a very boring field trip decent.

Then yesterday Trysten brought home thank you notes from the pair of them. 

From Trysten:

"Thank you mom for coming with us. I do not know what I would do without you." Love, Trysten Klipsch

From Anthony:

"Dear Mrs. Klipsch, thank you for going to the Earth day fair. My favorite part was when we made the plates. Your friend, Anthony."

A couple of sweeties.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Love and Marriage

Saturday one of our favorite couples had their wedding reception in town. Zach had been in their wedding (in Sioux Falls, SD) just 6 months ago but the kids and I weren't able to go for various reasons. I was so excited to toast to the pair of them. Kyle (the groom) was actually a groomsmen in our wedding and I fell in love with Bonnie (the bride) about 3 years ago when I met her for the first time. They are just perfect for each other. (Sidenote: I tried to get a picture off their Facebook from their wedding to show you their awesome style but it's not working)

The kids were excited too...only after I told them there would be lots of dancing and sugar.

The sugar. Ai yi yi

Right when we got there Ansley (niece of the groom and a friend of Trysten's since they were in diapers) came and said "hi" to Trysten. The rest of the night she and her friends would come around the boys giggling. Oy. Trysten would just keep doing his word search, Tariku would smile and wave and Tomas would do this:

Subtle, real subtle Tomas.

And the dancing...Zach and I had to teach them a few moves, they tend to get caught in the robot for songs on end. Zach's home is the bootyshake, my home is the finger snapping shimmy.

We have together. What great ages they are for things like this!


Last Thursday the Y had their annual dinner and my babes were asked to say grace before dinner. They were beautiful. This one, I just couldn't stop messing with. Adding pearls, make up, oh my!

I didn't have a great angle on their super precious prayer but that could've been the tears that were making my vision a tad blurry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Weekend

Was Father/son weekend at camp. I wrote more about it here. It was such an awesome time for my boys.

It was a truly beautiful weekend, unseasonably warm for mid-April in Iowa. I could honestly get used to this. And so could my babes.

Getting a good picture of this boy's true smile is like pulling teeth. Beautiful anyway.

The birdfeeders they made during the father/son camp.

Zach let Dailah and me sneak up to camp for dinner. I found Papa Smurf grilling with a sweatshirt on. He was sweet enough to even grill Zach and me some veggie burgers!

Tariku said they were the best hot dogs ever. I like to think it's because Papa put lots of extra love...and sweat into them. :)

Zach checked out the garden, sprouting some goodies already. I can't say it's a coincidence that I'm always taking pictures of Zach when he's bent over. It's like the camera is drawn to his backside...maybe it's just me.

Trysten went to his first party without us. One of his best friends. I dropped him off and found myself checking the smoke alarms, the exits and the neighborhood. Took everything in me to drive away. He survived (so did I) and to celebrate we went for ice cream.

She looks so old in this picture. :(

I love this picture. Each kid's personality is perfectly on display here. And Zach, well he's clearly obliging me.

Sunday we went to one of our favorite restaurants (Woodfire Grill) to celebrate my sister-in-law, Kait. She's moving to Japan tomorrow. We are so proud of her and love her so much. Both excited and sad about her leaving but mostly just tremendously honored to count her among us.

Have I mentioned my kids love each other? I mean, they really love each other.

Monday, April 11, 2011

3 Years Ago

We landed. Home. With Tariku.

To rewind a bit...the first time we saw him.

Saying good bye to Ethiopia.

After coming home. Dailah has been absolutely in love with Tariku from the beginning. That's about how long he's been an amazing brother too.

Family picture about 3 years ago.

My only boys then.

First time in snow.

Best friends, absolutely.

3 years ago I had no idea the tiny little boy on my lap would become the large, beautiful bundle of energy he now is.

I had no idea the boy who could sometimes unnerve me more than anyone else would be the boy who saved me.

I had no idea there would be days when I craved a hug from Tariku. No idea there would be moments when the only thing that could save me from my personal darkness would be a smile from Tariku or a laugh from Tariku.

If there is anyone who can take credit for anything good I've done in the last 3 years it's Tariku. It's the adoption of this amazing little boy, the trip to Ethiopia to pick him up, the introduction to his special people. It's all.about.him.

I had no idea 3 years from that moment I saw his face, I would be a completely different person.

But here we are. He's in my blood, he's in my cells, he's imbedded himself into the deepest recesses of my persons and I'm better for it.

He is an angel. He is a blessing. He is my son.

And I am praising God for that today.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Hail and Beauty

Hail from last night, about 1 inch (ain't the size that counts, am I right ladies? No but seriously, it was crazy loud.)

And then this. How did I get so lucky?

These two had worked their butts off (and cleaned up numerous people's dog poop) to save up enough money to buy their own DS. Probably couldn't have been more excited.

I know you can't see my face, but I hope you can tell how happy I am by the sway of my backside. Seriously, even my boo-tay is happy. ;)

Sunday, April 03, 2011


or "a few of the gazillinon reasons I love my kids".

Today I had to extract a splinter from Dailah's foot. It was tiny but was lodged in a little deep. I sat her up on the table so I could get better light.

She whimpered when I glazed her foot (no drama there).

The boys literally jumped out of their chairs and came running to her side. Tariku and Tomas each grabbed a hand, Binyam started rubbing her other foot. Trysten asked her what she needed, when she kept crying he turned to me and asked me what I needed to help her.

I tease that it's no wonder she's convinced herself she really is a princess, but in all actuality I'm so thankful they get a long so well. And truly so inspired by their love of each other. There was no "getting to know you" stage. They met, recognized each other's humanity, focused on the ways in which they were alike and gave each other grace when their differences threatened to drive a wedge between them...I want to be a bit more like that in my relationships. They are amazing tiny humans, my kids.

In related news, yesterday Trysten said he was going to try out this vegetarian thing too. Today he says,

"Mom, do you know why I want to be a vegetarian? One of the reasons is because I don't like what people do to animals but the main reason is I don't want you to have to give up prime rib by yourself. It's our favorite food, maybe we can do it better together."

Yeah, I think so.

Today was their last day of spring break (they get 2 weeks because they are on a balanced calendar). I am going to miss them more than I can possibly relate to you right now.

They are the reason I think I could have more...they are also the reason Zach thinks we are good where we're at. ;)

Touche I say.

Either way, love them.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Live Without

You all know I'm passionate about water. You all know I love Water for Christmas. I told you on World Water Day that the Colorado contingency has been up to lots of good lately.

They have started the "Live Without" campaign.

Go here to read exactly what it is. It's genius, it really is.

Now, if you're like me and don't actually spend money on-say-coffee during the month (the only time we buy coffee from Starbucks and the like is if we have a gift card!) then don't look at it that way.

To be quite honest, our budget doesn't have a lot of wiggle room.


And that's a big "but".

There's always room. Always room to shrug off some of our first world problems and budget spending and give to an actual problem. And water, well water is a very big problem for a large portion of the world (1 billion people don't have access to clean drinking water).

So join us! If you have any questions about the movement, the monthly giving or Water for Christmas feel free to email me as well.

The Why

Probably I should've had this in my last blog...that's what I get for trying to blog while drinking a totie or two and watching some juicy DVRd shows.


Zach and I talk about the health and wellness of ourselves, our planet, our family a lot. I know we're not alone in this.

Zach is the kind of guy who likes to try new things all the time. He'll just randomly fast just to see if he can, he'll typically try anything that will challenge his mind at least once (don't ask about the time that we tried drinking sugar water and vegetable oil. Blech). He's kind of crazy like that.

About a month ago Zach told me he was going to try the Paleo diet. Two days later he read the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and decided he'd try vegetarianism instead. So his reasons aren't to lose weight, isn't for any of that other than he no longer turns a blind eye to the food industry that constantly pumps out really crappy and potentially harmful products.

Since he started that we've talked a lot about it, for obvious reasons, and I decided I'd give it a shot. My reasons are not nearly as noble as his are, my main reason is because we're already making 2 meals (we are, as of now, not forcing our kids to give up the delicious, deliciouss meat) I might as well try out the vegetarian option. I love veggies, I love fruit, love complex carbs, it'll be fine.

For those that don't know, I work in the health field. I'm a fitness instructor and a personal trainer. I know a bit about nutrition, etc, so I know all the details on meat. I should also mention that we buy our meat from local farmers (mostly). If it's not local farmers then I'm paying lots of money for the grass fed beef at the market. I really, really, really believe in the locovore movement and try to show that support by buying as much as feasibly possible from our local farmer's market.

I think that's probably why I'm not completely sold on the idea of me being a vegetarian. That said, I have started to realize that by me eating meat in restaurants I am still contributing to the mass meat market frenzy. As of right now, when I think about the future of my eating habits I can see how I would be more picky about my meat (not just beef, but chicken, turkey, all my animal friends). Perhaps eating my local meat at home and bring it with me to BBQs (because I just can't get any more pretentious) and then choosing to not eat meat at restaurants. This I see as feasible.

We are fairly healthy people. Our pantry is pretty bare of highly processed foods. Rarely will you find high fructose corn syrup gracing our shelves. So again, this isn't necessarily for health. It's not an attempt to lose weight. It's merely unhappiness with how our country treats our food-and by definition-us. Perhaps it's our little stand against "the man"?

Thank you for all of your comments on the last one. I know that's why I blogged about it, even though it's a personal decision and I in no way am trying to convince other people of giving it a go, I just like hearing the discussion, I like being part of the debate about our food system. So feel free to comment, feel free to email. I don't know much, but I know I love you.