embrace the camera!

Linking up for the first time with Emily at The Anderson Crew to Embrace the Camera!
9.3.2012 - picking up my son
9.27.2012 - snuggles
9.14.2012 - getting ice cream in downtown plymouth

Join in!


go blue

Our Wolverines are having a mediocre season right now,
but they've never had cuter fans!
LOVE my boys.


a very bonsa birthday

I know what you're thinking.
Another birthday post?!
And to that, I say: Yep. Embrace it.

We celebrated Bo's birthday over the weekend with a combined family party.
My mom & Ethan were in town, and Doug's mom & her husband and our niece & nephew came over.

As soon as we found out we'd be bringing Bo home before his birthday, the wheels started turning.
I figured out pretty quickly that I wanted to do a "coffee themed" party, 
since the coffee ceremony is so integral in Ethiopia.

We incorporated the Ethiopian flag colors, which was great, because they're nice fall colors.
Um, the pumpkins? Well, it's fall!
And of course, we had to do a modified Ethiopian coffee ceremony. With our camping grill.
In Ethiopian culture, the ceremony is performed by a young woman in beautiful Ethiopian attire.
In Michigan... well...
While the beans were roasting, we took some pics of our boy in his traditional clothing.
Um, I don't really think high white socks are part of the traditional garb.
Unfortunately, mama didn't realize she was hiking her poor boy's pants up so high.
Beautiful Grandma & her first grandson.
Zooey oversaw the coffee roasting, while also keeping an eye on the neighborhood.
Starting to get some color!
Part of the tradition is to walk the beans around so each guest can get a waft of the aroma.
Here's Griffin, taking it in.
We wanted a family shot...
The delightful irony is that my poor husband has no sense of smell.
We borrowed a mortar and pestle from our friends, the Schupras. This was used to grind the beans.
Okay, well some of the beans.
We did the rest of them in the electric grinder.
I mean, after all, we are celebrating the merging of cultures here, people.
Once the beans are ground, you put a few tablespoons in that black coffee pot, a jobana,
fill it with water, and put it on the coals to bring the water to a boil.
This took longer than we anticipated, so we went ahead and ate some cake and opened gifts.
The birthday boy had fallen asleep, but we sang to him anyway.
He woke up and was understandably confused.
Probably about why his pants were still hiked so high.
In keeping with the coffee theme, I made Annie's Vanilla Latte Cake.
Oh Annie. You've done it again.
Bo got some help from his cousins opening his gifts.

Finally, the coffee in the jobana was boiling. 
Then you have to let it set for about 10 minutes so the grounds settle to the bottom.
At this point, I had been planning on making some delicious kettle corn, 
because popcorn is always served with the coffee ceremony.
However, I looked at the time and grabbed a bag of good ole Orville Redenbacher.
Again, that celebration of the joining of cultures!
Zooey was very excited about this aspect of the coffee ceremony.
Finally, it was time to serve our coffee.
It was very strong (though still not as strong as the stuff they make in Ethiopia!), 
and overall, we were pleased with how it turned out.
And even though I don't like regular coffee, I had a cup. 
OKAY. I had a few sips.
We had such a fun time experimenting with the coffee ceremony and celebrating Bo!
Next Ethiopian experiment: injera!


bo's birthday [post 800]

I had this great idea of making Bo an "Ethiopia" cake for his 1st birthday.
I mean, it's roughly Ethiopia. Very roughly. Not baked to scale.
I made a key of the important locations in Ethiopia in Bo's first year of life.
I also made a party hat for Bo... he was less than impressed.
Get this off of me.
He was very intrigued with the Ethiopia cake. 
Well, to be honest, he was very intrigued by the candle.
... And mostly just confused by the cake.
Bo has not started solids yet, and he's never eaten with his fingers.
He tentatively poked the cake, then just stared at his chocolaty fingers.
I put some frosting on my finger and put it to his mouth, and he spit it out.
And made a disgusted face. 
At which point I was like, "We have a problem. My child hates chocolate."
But then I gave him a little with a spoon. 
And I think we may have a convert.
However, we couldn't get him to use his fingers to eat more of the cake.
He got mad at us when we tried to make him touch it, actually.
Regardless of my child's strange cake aversion, we had a fun time celebrating little Bo.
And we're excited to celebrate with family this weekend!