Our Family

Our Family
Our Family, December 2013

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Launching My 2nd-Born

This guy leaves for college, today.  He's attending The University of Nebraska-Kearney, majoring in computer "stuff." He'll live in a dorm room with a guy he's never met before. He'll start every school day with an 8 a.m. calculus class. He's joining a frat. He knows one person on his dorm floor and another couple in the entire school. He was up by 7:45 a.m. this morning after sleeping most of the morning away for the rest of the summer. He's excited. I'm excited for him.  It's time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Graduation. Thank you, Pinterest!

Last Sunday, Chase graduated from high school.  That could be a blog post all on its own. Decorum at graduations has gone WAY downhill.  And I'm not talking about the kids. Come on, parents. Air horns and cowbells?  Enough about that, for now.  This post is actually about the ideas I grabbed from Pinterest and used through the week leading up to "the big day." This will also give my far-away friends an idea of what his grad party was like.
The above photo was the first Pinterest idea I incorporated.  Chase is holding his preschool graduation picture.

Three things were sources of the most comments at the party: 1. the potato casserole (Thanks to Hy-Vee catering!); 2. the popcorn (I'll comment on that later.) and 3. The Oreo Cake.
This was SO simple, and SO much less-expensive than buying a cake or decorated cupcakes.  I stacked Oreos until it was the desired height, then used canned frosting to adhere the number candles to the top. I used Mint Oreos for the middle layers as green/silver are LSW school colors. I made it the day before, and CAREFULLY placed it on the kitchen counter, covered with a large trash bag.  I had two large bowls of Oreos on our serving table, and only a few people removed cookies from the actual cake.  I would have been mortified if it had toppled mid-party.
This photo collage came from an idea I found on Pinterest, but we made it our own.  We found a wooden screen door on clearance at our local home improvement big box store ($7.25), stripped the screen off, spray painted the frame, replaced the screen with chicken wire (which my husband stapled on the back), covered the stapled edge with cute Washi tape, and my daughter arranged the photos onto the board using tiny, wooden clothes pins (also found at a local big box store).  This is probably my favorite idea from the party.

Our front entry table looked like this.  See the banner that says "cards?" That is a chalkboard canvas I bought at the Haymarket Farmer's Market.  

Our computer table held the guest book (Chase's copy of Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom), assorted photos, and a slideshow running on the computer screen.

I wish I had a better picture of this idea.  I bought canning jars in three sizes, put a photo and a battery-powered tea light in each, and arranged the throughout the house, porch, and deck.

Chase has requested Raising Canes' chicken strips/sauce, and I also had potato casserole and fruit. None of that makes for exciting pictures, however.  So, my last grad party picture shows how the dessert table was set up.  I borrowed the "big bowl" from our children's ministry department at church.  The "big bowl" is legendary. It is huge (Those are 5X7 photo frames.), and so much fun to have on the table.  A few months ago, I was introduced to the Perfection Mix of popcorn at We B Poppin', and it ruined me for all other brands of gourmet popcorn.  If you live in Lincoln, you should head there. Now. It's at 14th and Pine Lake, across the street from LSW.  Just handy enough to be very dangerous!
I had 5X7's of his class pictures on different levels.  I used unopened reams of copy paper to provide a stable base for the Oreo cake, etc.
We had a great time, had way too much food left over... "luckily" Whitney as having 22 girls spend the night on Friday.  What was I thinking scheduling both those events, 24-hours apart???
Some of our gorgeous 2014/15 Ambience girlies

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Pictures

The actual family Christmas picture

The rejected, but closer-to-the-truth family Christmas picture
Christmas is two weeks from yesterday.  I'm working hard this year at being spiritually and emotionally ready, but that doesn't make me "gift prepared." 
Whitney and Chase each want one, specific thing.  Both have asked for reasonable, useable things, but they aren't cheap things, naturally!  Dennis and I have talked about not buying for each other and being frugal with Daniel, who won't notice, anyway.  He'll be thrilled with the used WWE X-Box 360 games that are already wrapped and under the tree.  (Don't tell!)
Sunday night is our church Children's Christmas program.  Daniel has practice Saturday morning at 10:30.  He helped me write that on our kitchen message board so we wouldn't forget.  Forgetting isn't likely as he has told me "Saturday at 10:30" once a day for about a week.  The Christmas program is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  Our church does a great job of letting the kids know that God has wired them with gifts and talents that build the church, and this is one way to use those gifts to shine a light on Jesus.  Plus, who doesn't love little girls in frilly, twirly dresses and little boys in ties and shiny shoes??? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthday Boy

It's this guy's 8th birthday on Saturday.  He's just a little excited.  He begins each morning by counting from "today" until Saturday just to make sure he knows exactly how many days it is until his birthday. 
Last year he didn't really get the concept of celebrating a birthday.  That wasn't part of his past experience.  We went to the Ethiopian restaurant here in Lincoln, had a cake, and kept the day pretty low-key. 
Since then he's been invited to several birthday parties, so he has a better understanding of how things could be done.  He went back and forth on whether or not he wanted a party.  In the end, he decided to take one friend to Omaha to The Amazing Pizza Machine.  Sort of a "mini-party." 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


October is my favorite month of the year.  This year it has come with a little bit of this:

We jumped off the cliff into the world of team sports.  I use the cliff analogy because it's a move from which it is difficult to back away.  We did begin with a relatively small step: YMCA Micro Soccer - a 25-minute practice followed by a 25-minute game, all on the same day. 
Daniel thoroughly enjoyed his soccer team experience.  He found it strange that everyone got a medal, but I think a lot of people find that strange, so he's in good company.
Fall has also come with a little bit of this:
Hayden (dead center) is in his fourth year on the UNL drumline.  This year he is the cymbal rank leader, and boy, can I see his influence in their drill.  You kind of have to see it to understand.

And some of this:
Whitney decided to go "all in" on the homecoming dress, pictures and dinner while foregoing the drama of the dance. 

I wish I could include a picture of Chase's college planning, but that isn't quite as photograph-able, is it?  Currently he's thinking computer programming.  He's re-taking the ACT next Saturday.

It's been since May that I last posted.  I guess that's because we're motoring along busily, as most people I know, and also with a sense of "normal" that doesn't seem very blog-worthy.  Normal can be very, very good!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Yesterday Hayden, Dennis, Daniel and I went to the Lancaster County Courthouse (Nebraska; not Pennsylvania) to appear before a judge to finalize in the U.S. our adoption of Daniel.  At the same time, we officially changed his name from the Ethiopian Court-ordered "Daniel Dennis Florom" to our choice of  "Daniel Tarik Florom." Picking a middle name was a months-long process.  We settled on Tarik after considering and discarding several other options.  Tarik means History, and is a form of Tariku, which means He has a story to tell.  We thought this was appropriate since he lived the first 7 years of his life in Ethiopia.  He definitely has a story to tell.  Sometimes he's in the mood to give us large glimpses of his life in Abi Adi.  Last week he told me he could pretty much sleep wherever he wanted to as long as it wasn't in the place where they parked the cars because the guy who guards that will hit you with a baseball bat.
At other times he acts like he doesn't remember a thing.  Storytelling is on his terms.
As he grows, I hope his story will include us, a family that dearly loves him and loves getting to know him, and also Jesus who knows his story from beginning to end. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Early Spring Happenings

 Daniel celebrated his first Easter in America.  This picture sums up his cousin's and his thoughts on waiting for the little kids to hunt for eggs.  Once egg hunting began for these two, they perked up.
 Easter, for decades, has been a huge event in my family.  On the weekend we celebrate Christ's amazing, demonstrating-the-power-of-God resurrection, the Lackey clan gets together, and we do it right.  We've gone through two generations of Easter egg-hunting kids.  Now my kids are the hiders along with their grandparents.
Years ago dad began something that he may wish he hadn't.  He organizes and writes the clues for a scavenger hunt on the property of wherever we're celebrating.  He divides the family into three teams, dividing spouses and same-family adult children. (This year my team was Tyler, Chase, and we threw in Daniel, too.) We run, as a team, around the property collecting clues, this year nine clues.  Then we sort the clues to spell out a phrase. (This year: Empty Tomb)  The team that does it first wins the biggest prize and so on in descending value.  We act like kids and love it.  I hope my parents are able to help us celebrate Easter for years to come.
This is Daniel in farmer gear.  At the end of the farm unit in kindergarten, they were asked to dress like a farmer for show & tell.  Note also his new watch which he bought with his own money.  Daniel is funny about dressing up for school. We noticed this on Book Parade day, also.  He doesn't want to be the only one dressed up.  He asked if his hat would fit in his backpack, you know, just in case.

Ahh, prom.  Whit, never one to miss a photo opportunity, dressed up a little to have some pictures with Chase.

Adoption Timeline

  • 5/14/13 - Adoption finalized in Nebraska
  • 6/15/12 - Together in Nebraska
  • 6/5/12 - Birthparent Embassy appointment
  • 5/14/12 - Submitted to Embassy
  • 4/18/12 - Passed Court in Addis Ababa
  • 2/2/12 - Referral finalized with AGCI
  • 2/1/12 - Acceptance of Referral documents shipped to AGCI
  • 1/27/12 - Verbal acceptance of referral
  • 1/17/12 - D. comes to Hannah's Hope
  • 9/12/11 - Notice of Favorable Determination (FDL)
  • 9/8/11 - Fingerprinting Appt. at the Department of Homeland Security in Omaha
  • 7/12/11 - Homestudy documents received from Lutheran Family Services
  • 4/19/11 - Entered contract with AGCI for an Ethiopian Adoption
  • 2/9/11 - Adoption Application sent to AGCI