Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Blog Has Moved...

I had good intentions on keeping up with this blog as well as our adoption blog but to be honest I can barely keep up with one so I am basically converging the 2 blogs together for now and for all updates from this year and forward we can be found at Expecting From Ethiopia Please check it out and "follow" along and see what we have been up to for the past year!

The O'Neal Family

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!  
We send all of our love and wish you a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season!
Jason, Joely & Jalen

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Been Awhile

It's been awhile since I last updated on here so here's a brief catching up since August.  Jalen will be turning 2 YEARS OLD in just a couple of weeks and we are starting his celebrations early!  My mom and dad (Bubba and Papa West) will be here on Wednesday and we are having Jalen's 1st party on Saturday at our home followed by trick-or-treating fun!  We have invited Jalen's friends from school and our neighbors and friends to this one so most of the kids will be Jalen's age or close to it.  We are having everyone wear their costumes too so they can go trick-or-treating right after.  Jalen's other b-day party will be held on November 13th and we are still planning this but are thinking about having it at Lazer Zone, an indoor bowling, lazer tag, arcade, bounce house, and more locating just down the street so the bigger kids coming can enjoy themselves more...this party we will invite our work friends, church friends and anyone else that couldn't make it to his 1st party.  Above is the invite I made for his party this weekend:  I love my cupcake hold puncher and you will see it or have already seen it probably on every home-made card I make...it is just so fitting for so many occasions!
We have been very busy with adoption fundraisers, church, work, and family/friends lately and time is just flying.  Since I last posted we have found out we were approved to move forward with our home study in the adoption process ( a big step for us), have taken some classes in international adoption, had a huge garage sale extravaganza at our church and raised $3500 and are in the process of having another t-shirt fundraiser.  We have done A LOT of paperwork in this time and have spent many late nights with all things related.  We have also had a lot of fun with our church and friends from it and got to hang out at a fun farm nearby and play in bounce houses, go to a pumpkin patch, eat good food and play with farm animals (Joely also got kicked by a small horse that left a quite large black bruise on her right calf...this was found to be funny by everyone she works with).
We have continued to make so many good friends since we have been here.  Honestly I cannot even count how many GOOD friends we have here and have only been here 13 mths!  We just had Jason's parent's in town a few weekends ago and  so Jalen got to enjoy quality time with Nana and Boompa O'Neal and they were a HUGE help to us during our crazy adoption garage sale.  I know I'm forgetting some other updates but those are the major ones.  And as for Mr. Jalen, he is almost ready to move to the big kids room at daycare.  He is the second oldest kid in his room but he loves all the babies and everyday when we leave he makes a special attempt to say "bye bye baby!" and wave to every baby in the room.  He also loves his friends there and funny enough if he is in a mood, we start naming his friends (Jacob, Eve, Raelen, Noah, Carter, Ash, Jenna, Max, and others) and he calms down and starts talking about them and repeating their names!  We have started potty training but not religiously.  He did really love it at first but hasn't shown as much interest lately.  We will continue to try though and figure he'll get it when he's ready.  He does have incentive though because his potty chair plays music when he goes and he does like that!  His favorite TV shows right now are Special Agent Oso and Choo Choo Soul and every now and again Handy Manny but we are usually hearing "Oso!  Oso!" when he is in the living room.
Well that is all for now.  Our lil man is growing up before our eyes and is just such a sweetheart.  He loves to give sweet little kisses and has gotten really good at giving hugs and Eskimo Kisses, this is with us and his "sisters" aka dogs (which if you didn't know we have 3...Ali, Laila and Rescue.  Rescue was not supposed to stay but we have yet to find a home for her in a couple months and she fits right in so she may be a permanent fixture here, Jalen loves her so much!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jalen on his laptop

Jalen's Favorite New Chore

This is a short video but he does feed all the girls and makes sure he gets equal amounts in all bowls and then will put the measuring scoop and food away when he is done.

Beautiful Video

As most of you know we are in the process of adoption and a friend of mine found this YouTube video and shared with me...it is just beautiful and pretty much says it all.  The bold print is my favorite and SO true. 

When Love takes You In
By: Steven Curtis Chapman

I know you’ve heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You’ve heard about a place called home
But there doesn’t seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream 

Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in 

And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you 

And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be
When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever
cause this love to lose its hold 
When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart 

When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in it takes you in for good
When love takes you in