2009 Photos: A Year in Review or An excuse to post a ton of photos

December 29th, 2009

Here’s our year. It’s not even close to everything that happened this year but it was a good year.


Now that we had our referral and the holidays were over we started to get things ready for Milo’s arrival.

We built new shelves in the closet, put together bunk beds and put up the crib.

Closet Shelves Building Bunkbeds with Papa On the Top

Lexi got a much needed hair cut.

Lexi Pre-Haircut Lexi Post-Haircut

And we got ready for her 3rd birthday -¬† she requested a “W” cake for her party. (In case you’re wondering. This year she wants green circle cakes. Nope, no Elmo birthday cakes for us.)

Licking the Cookie Dough Lexi's Birthday Party


We passed court! Milo was officially, legally, 100% ours. We also got his birth certificate and a travel date.

Playing with a Nanny


We started to get ready for our trip to Ethiopia. We borrowed the three biggest suitcases ever.

Our last photo as a family of 3. About 15 minutes after this was taken we headed off to the airport.

And we were off.

Packing Lexi Family Photo On the Plane

This was the first day we were able to bring Milo back to the Guest House from the Care Center.
Kevin, Abby & Milo!

And headed back home.
A boy from our travel group. We were all waiting for our connecting flight in DC. He held Milo for a while.
And friends we met at the airport. They went through a different agency but live in St. Paul. Our kids are about 2 months apart in age.

Hanging in the Dulles Airport Hanging in the Dulles Airport

And we are officially a family of 4. Lexi met us at the airport.

Meeting Milo


Lexi decides to sleep on the floor. She did this for several weeks. And she and Kevin did a lot of work for Start Seeing Art.

Lexi Asleep on the Floor Front Street Rec Center Mural by Unknown

Our first Easter as a family of 4. And Lexi enjoying being the big sister.

Hendricks Family at Easter 2009 Lexi Holding Milo

Kevin and I (and the kids but they are always barefoot – we’re lucky if they have pants on) went One Day Without Shoes.

One Day without Shoes


I braved it and drove to Green Bay, by myself, with both kids. My sister was there and we took the kids to Bay Beach. Cheapest, greatest summer entertainment for kids under 10. I love this picture because I have the same picture of me at about 3 years old riding the same ride.

Riding the Bugs

Kevin and Lexi wore their Red Wings jerseys to church on Pentecost Sunday. Milo wore his as well.

Red Wings Fans

Kevin’s hair getting longer. In May he challenged people to help him raise $600 for http://www.charitywater.org/. That’s enough clean water for 30 people. If the goal was met by his 30th birthday (a month later) he promised to shave his head. People donated $2300.

How Bad Do I Need a Haircut? Lexi Trying to Carry a Jerry Can

He also walked about 2 miles from the Misissippi River to our house carrying the can Lexi is holding above. The can was full and weighted close to 25 lbs. On a daily basis, people without access to clean water carry these cans close to 3 miles for water. It’s mostly women and children who fetch the water.


We went to White Robin Farm for a family photo shoot. It was a ton of fun. Lexi helped.

Hendricks Family Photo Shoot Hendricks Family Photo Shoot Lexi Taking Picturs

Kevin’s birthday. Before:

Kevin & Kids

And after:

Shaving My Head Bald Kevin

July and August

We took care of 5 kids under 5 for a morning. Two belonged to us and three belonged to a friend. We got out of the house and walked to a park to wear everyone out.

Babysitting Five Kids

But the best part of the year (after bringing Milo home) was flying to Connecticut and visiting our best friends for close to two weeks. We ate out a lot. We played games. Made a lot of popcorn. And just hung out.

The Hendricks & Yenters

Lexi also sat in on one of Uncle Tim’s lectures at Yale.

Tim Teaching at Yale

We saw Times Square and Tim and Nicole took the kids home and Kevin and I saw Stomp.

Visiting Times Square in New York

We met up with other college friends in Amherst and hung out for the day.

More Bethel Picnic Girls Holding Hands

Kevin with two of his college roommates and me with one of my college roommates

The Guys Abby & Rachel

August is also the State Fair. This is Lexi being “State Fair People.”

Lexi in her State Fair Swag


Happy birthday to me.

Abby's Birthday

We also got to meet and hang out with Mark Horvath from InvisiblePeople.tv.

Mark Horath & The Cherry Mark Horvath Ready for Action


Happy 1st birthday, Milo. In case you were wondering, he does like cake and he does like chocolate. Even tried to swipe his sister’s cupcake.

Cupcake Time

Halloween. I cut the jack-o-lantern, per Lexi’s instructions and she decorated it. Lexi was a Green Princess and Milo was a scarecrow. This year, the costumes were made by me.

Lexi's Jack-o-Lantern Ready to Trick or Treat


It was freakishly warm around here in November. This is how warm Lexi had to dress to go rake leaves with her dad.

Raking Leaves with Lexi

Milo became extremely mobile, deciding the quickest path from point A to point B was a straight line, no matter what was along that line.

Milo Scaling a Box

We went to my parents house for Thanksgiving. Every year Joanna and I buy the kids matching Christmas PJ’s and insist on a picture. This year, 3 really excited kids would not sit still so every picture is just a big ball of stripes.

Christmas PJs at Thanksgiving Christmas PJs at Thanksgiving


Kevin tried to teach Lexi to ice skate. She wasn’t a fan.

Skating with Dad

We went to Kevin’s parents’ house for Christmas. Lexi insisted we take this picture after church.

Hendricks Family at Christmas 2009

And of course, present opening.

Christmas MorningGood Use of a Dump Truck

And seeing Papa’s pigeons.

Pigeons with Papa

And hanging out with second cousins. Emelia and Milo were the newest second cousins this year. Emelia is 9 months in this picture and Milo is 14 months.

Second Cousins 2009 Family Christmas

We got back from Kansas to discover there was a lot of shoveling to do.

Helping Daddy Shovel

And on to next year. Here’s to 2010.

Thank You My Friends

March 7th, 2009

When we first started waiting for our referral I signed up for our agencies adoption forum. The group adopting from Ethiopia was huge. And for a while the people there remained as just people in the computer that had some good advice about all things adoption.

But after participating there for several months I started making friends with a group of people going through the exact same thing I was going through. Some of them I’ve met in real life, some of them I’ve only had e-mail contact with and some I still only talk to on the forum.

Yesterday we found out the Milo was sick. He has had acute gastroenteritis since  last week. He was put on 2 different antibiotics and is now showing some improvement. My head told me that this was nothing more than a stomach bug/intestinal thing but my heart went into a total panic about not being able to be with my boy while he is sick.

I posted the message on the forum and within about 45 minutes I had 20+ people e-mailing and responding to either offer their sympathy and prayers or to tell me about how their child went through a similar experience while still at the care center. The reassurance from friends was great but the reassurance from friends who have been there with their kids was exactly what I needed.


November 15th, 2008

Our good friend Pat (known around our house as Uncle Pat) is getting married next month. He and the groomsmen are wearing traditional kilts. They ordered tartans from Scotland (Homeland Security actually held them in customs for a while before they arrived here) and Libby and I are making the kilts. We have six to make. Three groomsmen, 1 groom and 2 ringbearers. We found a site online that has a decent tutorial and we have a pattern that is approved by the Official Scottish Kilt people (yes, they have a more official and respectable sounding name than that but I don’t remember what it is). The nice people at Treadle Yard Goods assured Libby that kilts are easy. The person who wrote the rather humorous tutorial reminded us that it’s a myth that kilts are hard to sew.

Um…yeah. They’re not. They are complicated and time consuming. Libby and I have it figured out and if the little kilts are any indication of how the full size one will look, the guys will be looking pretty good. But these are going to take a while to make. The groom’s kilt has over 8 yards of fabric and the groomsmen have about 5 yards. And about 3/4 of that fabric needs to be hand pleated. That’s going to take some time.

I’m excited to see how these turn out. It’s a big project and the fabric is gorgeous. Pictures will be posted as soon as they are finished.

A quilt for the baby. With a little help from you.

September 14th, 2008

Some of you may have heard that our wait for a referral has had another 3 months added to it. That doesn’t mean it still can’t happen anytime now but it means that more than likely we won’t hear anything until the holidays.

To fill the time I’ve decided to make a quilt for the baby. I made one for Lexi out of her baby clothes and I want to do a special one for the baby as well. So I am undertaking a pretty big project involving lots of people (including you, if you want to participate). I organized a group of about 15 moms who are all adopting from Ethiopia. We are each going to make 15 identical quilt blocks, keep one block for ourselves and then send 1 block to each member of the group. Then once we get all of our blocks we can piece them together however we want. The kids who come home from Ethiopia will all have a quilt with a common theme running through them (just like they are all from Ethiopia) but the quilts will be different in their own way – just like the kids are all different.

15 blocks is only about half of the front of a quilt. To piece mine together I would like help from family and friends. I’m modifying an idea I’ve seen a lot of other adoptive parents do. It’s from a tradition in China called a 100 Good Wishes Quilt. I was originally going to just do a 100 Good Wishes Quilt but I liked the idea of tying in some of Ethiopia as well.

If you want to be a part of the quilt, cut a piece of material (any kind as long as it can be machine washed) into a 12 inch square and send it to me. Pick a material that you like – something that could represent your family, you, your interests, you favorite color, a favorite flannel shirt you never wear anymore- and send it too me. I’d appreciate it if you’d include a note as to why you chose the fabric. I’ll save these and put them in the baby’s life book (side note: A life book is the adopted child’s version of a baby book). I’ll use all the piece I receive as a border for the quilt and to fill in the middle if needed. You don’t have to limit it to “1 per family” either. If you’ve got kids and want to do one for you, one for your spouse, one for each kid, go right ahead. If you want to do one as a family, go right ahead. I’m also planning on creating a page on my blog to post pictures of the squares I get.

If you’re a time line sort of person, I’d like to be able to put the quilt together over my Thanksgiving break, so if you could send it before then, that would be great.

If you need my address, just e-mail me or leave a comment and I’ll send you my address.

**Note: This is an open invitation for anyone who reads my blog. If we’ve never met but you feel like you want to do this, please do.**

We need more glasses.

July 29th, 2008

I realized this weekend (when my parents were in town) that we need more glasses. When we got married we started out with a set of 12. Now, mostly thanks to one of my closest friends (who shall remain nameless) we are down to 5. Now I’m not saying she broke 7 glasses, Kevin and I have broken a couple as well. But I’m pretty sure that she’s broken a glass every time she’s come to our house.

Lexi’s Pal Josh

April 19th, 2008

Lexi is a big fan of our friend, Josh. Which is interesting because (including today) I think Lexi has seen Josh in person about 3 times. She’s seen lots of pictures of him and his family. And he’s made it to the top of her “people to pray for” list. At dinner we usually have to pray for our food and for Josh. It always goes something like this, “Dear God, Pray for Josh. Amen.”

Anyway, today we spent the day at their new house (Yay for friends moving back to Minnesota!) helping move boxes and put together IKEA bookshelves. Needless to say, Lexi was thrilled. She jabbered the whole way there about seeing Josh and Stephanie and Caleb. And while we were there, she would wander around, look for Josh and give us the play by play on what Josh was doing or where he was.

When we were eating dinner, Lexi decided that she should pray for Josh. Very thoughtful of her.

The ride home was also fun. Lexi sang the whole way. Mostly her version of ABC (it goes something like “ABC HIJ Sing with me QUST, WXYZ Now I know next triangle with me.”) But there was also the Wheels on the Bus/This Little Light of Mine/Bob, Larry & Mr. Nezzar/ABC medley.

Update on the Babies

March 16th, 2008

Last September I counted up all of the friends having kids in the near future and (surprise, surprise, the list just keeps growing) I thought I should do a quick update.

Here’s the current list:
Rachel and Jonathan had Hannah back in April.
Harriet and Ben had Lucy in July.
Andy and Anna had Peter in August.
Steph and Josh had Caleb in September.
Kelly and Milo have a boy coming any day now. Peyton arrived in September.
Christy and Imad are expecting a boy in October. They named him Justin.
Amy and her husband are adopting a boy who is due in October. Joseph came home at the beginning of October.
Lance and Tara’s baby is due in November. They named him Malachi.
Brick and Rhiannon are due in January. Milo now has a little sister named Emma.
Laura and Brad are due in January. Another Emma in the world.
Aimee and her husband are due in January. Jack arrived just after the New Year.
Becky is due in January. Wyatt – totally in love with the name.
Mandy is due in February. Jackson showed up on his due date (I think).
Jenny and Matt are due in Febuary (I think). I can’t remember if Isaac was born in February or January.
And we are adopting but we haven’t been matched with a baby yet so it’ll probably be another year – we still don’t have a referral but we do have a time line – it’s about a 3-6 month wait for a referral.

A Trip to the Zoo

July 21st, 2006

Yesterday we went to the Minnesota Zoo . For those of you not living in MN this is the “big zoo”. There is also Como Zoo which is a smaller zoo near our house. Como Zoo is also free (well, free as in donations strongly suggested by the little old lady vlounteer who sits next to the donation box at the entrance.) The Minnesota Zoo is a pretty impressive place. Their outdoor habitats are pretty amazing. Some of them are so big it’s hard to spot the animals. This summer’s big event is the African Savanah. They brought in 5 different animals that co-exsist on the savanah and housed them all in one habitat so people can see how they interact (all though yesterday’s interactions mostly involved sleeping or wandering aimlessly). In the one exhibit there are giraffes, ostrich, wildebeasts, gazelle and zebras. At certain times of the day you can also buy crackers to feed to the giraffes, but we missed that part. The indoor stuff is also very cool. They have coral reefs, dolphins, sharks, tanks holding starfish and small sharks that you can pet, crazy looking sea horses and a whole Tropics Trail which has cool animals like tapir, tree kangaroos, otters, sunbears, lemurs (which we found out are extremely loud when they all start barking/howling at the same time), gibbons, tortoises, slothes, leopards, and other fun rainforest type animals.

So, Tim, Nicole, Kevin and I loaded Amana, Caleb and Lexi (and their strollers, snacks, lunches, waterbottles, diaper bags, and a few random toys) into the mini van and headed down there for the day. The kids seemed to enjoy the day. Lexi liked her stroller ride, Caleb liked people watching and Amana had fun looking at all the animals. Going to the zoo with a three-year old is always fun. There was a never ending stream of questions: why did the animals look like this?, why were they making that noise?, what is this called?, what is that called? but it was fun answer the questions and watch her run from animal to animal. Although I think the highlight of the day for her was running back and forth through a bamboo curtain.

You can see a few pictures of our day here.

Have you seen these people?

June 19th, 2006

Almost a month ago a friend of mine got married. And then he and his new wife apparently joined the witness relocation program because as of this entry, his blog has gone blank and hers has not been updated since May 15. Mutual friends have not heard from them either.

I have several theories on what has happened to them;
1. They are taking the world’s longest honeymoon.
2. While waiting for their plane at the airport to come home from the honeymoon they started chatting with one of those guys who stands outside of airports and hands out flowers and are now also standing around airports handing out flowers.
3. They have moved to a remote island with no phone, internet or mail service.
4. They are contestants on Survivor and are still stuck wherever the plane dropped them off.
5. They started moving into their new apartment, a huge pile of boxes fell on them and they are now trapped.
6. They were abducted by aliens.

Now I am going to see about placing one of those ads on the side of a milk carton.


January 28th, 2005

(I wrote this around 1 or 2 in the morning. I’m not editing it. So it is what it is.)

A friend of mine and her husband are expecting their first baby any day now so the excitement, anticipation and nervousness is starting to build. Last Sunday, she asked me, “What if my baby is ugly?” She said she’d had a dream that her baby was so ugly she didn’t want to look at it. I laughed and told her not to worry, that her baby won’t be ugly.

Now, I keep coming back to that conversation and thinking about how the world views people and how God views people.

My first thought is that this baby about to be born can’t be ugly. It’s made in the image of God, created by the Almighty, it will be beautiful and perfect.

My second thought is how differently we see people compared to how God sees us. I know that sometimes I will look at a person and think,”I wonder what their husband/wife sees in them? They’re not that great looking.” (A rude thought, I know.) But this is how the world sees us – no depth, just judging on appearance alone. Then, I will start to get to know a person and suddenly I can’t understand why I ever had my original thoughts about them.

And I think this is how God sees us. He knows our hearts and can see the beauty in His creation.

So, to my friends expecting their baby, I can’t wait to see how beautiful he or see is.