Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We just a little surprise family party/BBQ for my mother-in-law. We usually group birthday celebrations together since the family is growing by leaps and bounds, but we thought Kim deserved a little party of her own. Among many other things (such as raising an amazing man like my husband) she often watches Beniam for when we have appointments, dates or just because. Benam loves, loves, loves going to her house -it is one of his favorite places. So here are some pictures...

Strawberries from Ma's garden

Our favorite little boy who is almost TWO!

Chris doing one of his favorite things - grilling Corralitos sausages


Isaiah's masterpiece

Sweet girl in her favorite place, in the Baby Bjorn with Mama

Beautiful blue eyes

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Good News

So I am sure most of you have heard the news that our "good news" has arrived in a sweet, blue-eyed, 8 lb 6 ounce, 20.5 inch package. Evangeline Rose Reno made her appearance right "on time" at 10:32 pm on July 22nd (my due date). That makes her 3 weeks old today!

This won't a huge, long, thoughtful post, because (1) I am still reeling a little from life with 2 sweet chillins' and (2) there is a pile of laundry or rather a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded. So I will leave with some pictures of our two little olive shoots - praise be to God for them!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

I had never really given the whole idea of nature versus nurture any thought, at least in regards to my own children. Nurture is definitely winning out in our family, at least right now. B is quickly becoming a little Ethiopian version of his dada and with Chris being home during the summer, this is becoming even more obvious. Some of the most recent loves that Chris has been cultivating in our little B include Petra (personally, I'm not a huge fan, but my guys love them), The Karate Kid (just the first one and especially the final scene), fried rice, watermelon juice and ribs (actually meat in almost any form).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Growing Up

Once again, I am woefully overdue in updating our blog. Summer is almost halfway over and baby Reno #2 is due in just 2 weeks. How did that happen? In the midst of our nesting, Beniam had been turning into quite the little boy, climbing bookcases, sleeping in a big boy bed, collecting rocks and change, etc, etc. We just watched the videos from our Ethiopia trip to bring him home. What a blessing to have a video camera! Thank you again to the Baers(x2)! Our little peanut has suddenly morphed into a walking, running, climbing, talking, singing little boy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Birthday Sonnet

Every year my sweet husband writes me a birthday sonnet. Can I just say that he really does have a gift with words? Writing a sonnet is no easy task. Anyway, here is this year's (one of my favorites so far...). I love it, love it, love it!

Wifey Birthday Sonnet Number -4-

The Holy Wind to Abyssinia bore
Us on the back of steel eagle's wings
To land us in the orphan's desert for
A royal orphan son from Judah's King.
This fertile continent - heavy with child -
Bore for us our beloved Beniam boy.
Oh, Africa - womb of our son's womb - wild
The Land where Spirit hovered for our joy.
The angel bard once likened childed womb
To sails big-bellied blown by wanton wind.
Your grace-filled fabric taut, a watery room,
Now harbors holy gift, a sacrament.
As Africa once bulged with right hand seed,
Inspired your belly is with 'Vangeline.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It really did happen...

My husband read this poem to his 10th grade English class. It is a poignant reminder that Christ's resurrection was indeed a real, scientific event. He really did die, soul and body, and He really did come back to life. All of this so we could be truly free (in the truest sense of the word - not according to our culture's individualistic definition) and truly reconciled and at peace with our Creator.

As a science-minded person, I love it. I love that we serve a God who can do this.

Seven Stanzas at Easter

By John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

Telephone Poles and Other Poems © 1961 by John Updike. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Inc.

**A little disclaimer - I have not read Updike's other work, but my husband said he can be a bit odd, as in just beware if you decide to do further reading.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Adventures in Ethiopian Food

I love Ethiopian food. Love it. When it is made by Ethiopian people. But since our little prince is from Ethiopia I thought I should probably try my hand at making Ethiopian food. So I ordered some necessary spices:

And made:
  • Niter Kebbeh (spiced clarified butter) - this turned out great! We used it in the Kitfo, greens and the Shiro sauce

  • Kitfo - minced beef - yes, we cooked it, it is traditionally served raw but I doubt our weak American stomachs could handle that - this turned out so-so
  • Shiro sauce - made from powered chickpeas, garlic, onion, berbere, and water - this was also very yummy!
  • Greens - kale with onions and peppers
  • Iab - a white curd cheese - I made a variation from yogurt, cottage cheese, lemon and herbs - turned out pretty good
  • Injera - a flatbread made from Teff flour - I normally love injera but mine (as seen below before it sat overnight) was nasty, nasty, nasty. And I don't know why! I followed the directions...if anyone has successfully made injera, please clue me in! For some odd reason, Beniam loved my first try at injera. Sweet boy.

Our first homemade Ethiopian meal (with rice instead of injera) sweet husband really enjoyed it...and he wasn't just being nice (although he is very considerate like that - he just can't hide not liking something from me) ...

Monday, March 1, 2010

One year ago...

One year ago yesterday B landed on U.S. soil in SF with a very tired Mama and Dada, met family and friends who had been praying for several years for his arrival and slept in his home for the first time.

Yes, these "first times" are a big deal in our house! God desires us to celebrate His goodness and having our little boy home has provided many, many opportunities to look back and remember what He has done.

Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!

Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth...

1 Chronicles 16:11-2

I will remember the works of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.

Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?

Psalm 77:11-13

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh and did we mention...

....that one year ago yesterday we met our sweet little B? We celebrated by making Ethiopian food, some of which was quite tasty, some not so much. But praise the Lord that we have our yummy little Ethiopian Reno here with us. God is good!

CTBR with Mama, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 23rd 2009

CTBR enjoying Mama's injera, at home, February 23rd 2010

B loves his Dada

Chris finally had the chance to fish this last weekend and so he had all of his fly-fishing gear out. Of course, B was very curious...Dada gave him a little lesson in how to reel in the big ones (and the little ones - we're not picky)...

B also loves putting on Dada's glasses...

...and tickle time is always lotsa fun...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A year of firsts

Happy New Year from the Reno family!

Obviously 2009 was a year of many firsts for us. Welcoming our precious little boy into our family is an obvious one.

And what a whirlwind it all has been! Thank the Lord for digital cameras and video cameras or I am not sure how much I would remember, although there are many things that stand out in my memory distinctly:
  • Meeting Beniam for the first time, his belly laugh as he was brought out to us
  • Watching him do his funny little fall asleep kick for the first time on our hotel bed
  • His blowout diaper in front of our congregation right as he was about to be baptized (and I was wearing a white skirt...somehow we managed to get through without anyone noticing)
  • His first word "buh-bye"
  • And...jumping up and down in the kitchen crying with my husband as I held our first POSITIVE pregnancy test. Yeah, that was crazy. After 5 years of trying to get pregnant, all of the sudden we were! God in His wisdom waited until Beniam was firmly established in our little family before opening my womb. His ways are so above our ways. Praise Him for that!
So yes, it has been eventful year and the next year looks to be an adventure as well as we add an unexpected but most welcome olive shoot to the Reno clan.