In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Big Fun

I didn't remember to post this group shot from the zoo. I have to say the hanging masks add a new element to photography. Any picture of Oliver by an animal statue has him mimicking the animal. It it's teeth or tongue was showing, he showed his. Pretty observant honestly. 

We have some happy kids since our long-awaited go-cart came home yesterday!

I love Oliver's smile in this picture - he was pretty impressed just sitting in it. 

These four were half the dogs at our house yesterday. 

Alyssa's got a good support network when she works her internship this semester. Alei takes home Oliver and the doggies on Thursdays. Reese, the new puppy, rides up front - 

Oliver and Lucca get the backseat - 

And Keanu gets the hatchback. After hours of running the farm, they are all chill on the ride home and Oliver thinks it's normal to have three dogs in the vehicle leaving Mimi's. 


Saturday, October 10, 2020

School These Days

This year Classical Conversations has been held at a local winery, in place of our usual church, since they are closed down due to Corona. The plan was for a just a few weeks, then the church would re-open. So far the church has not reopened and we may be homeless by next month. We have gone from very hot days the first two weeks of the school year to pretty cold at 8 a.m. in the morning. After 10 or so, the weather has been perfect and we have only had rain once. I have a canopy, chairs, blankets, you name it, for school in the field these days and it all just lives in the back of the Yukon. Our poor teacher has her board blown over, the dry-erase markers working poorly on cold mornings, etc, but so far everyone is still learning and won't these days be a crazy story for the next generation! I can hear it now, "did I ever tell you about when I was young and Corona came to town?"

Our "family" table includes our friends and neighbors, as we are around them all the time anyway. Yes, Elijah was cold; he just doesn't have any meat on his bones! I run my laptop off my hot spot and do my own classes, other than Latin time - I pay attention then or I'd have no hope at homework help time!

Our dining room table is just one big school table these days with books and a cat, (a bad cat that shouldn't be on the table) from one end to the other.  

My classes are demanding! I just have to remind myself that it's just one school year, mostly...it will actually be part of next year also. Honestly, the years fly by though so I'm just putting in my long days and getting it done! Oliver is here on Thursdays while Alyssa does her internship. This is his snuggles (taken by Moriah) when he woke up from his nap. Alyssa says she will come and stay with my kids next summer while I do two days a week at my internship! 

Here is my other working spot - the passenger seat at  basketball, the dentist, you name it. I have figured out to move to the passenger side to have more laptop room!

Lastly, Oliver loves books and often when he is missing, he has climbed into the rocking chair with his books. Such a sweet little boy that is just not a baby anymore!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Memphis Trip

Due to the whole Corona mess, my friend, Wendy, and I decided to take a road trip to Memphis to visit my parents and present my mom a birthday kitten. She recently had to have her kitty put to sleep and my Dad was agreeable to my crazy plan to surprise her. 

Just because we really know how to have a good time, we tackled organizing a large walk in closet with my Mom. We started by unloading the whole thing which meant we made a big mess in a few rooms that were nice and clean when we got there. Then we wore my mom out going through items to donate. Finally, we repacked the closet in a nice organized manner. We also did some fun stuff, like to go the Memphis Pyramid and my Mom's bookstore, but I seem to have only taken pictures of the work and the mess we made. 

Look how nice it looked when we were done though - all tidy and organized. 

The last day there we went around with my mom and she shared some baby plants from her yard. That led me to a planting spree when I got home and I'm happy to report that they all are alive and well in Virginia. 

Here is the kitty that relocated from under an old house in VA to the cushy life in Memphis; she is the only one from the litter that survived. One was found dead and another died a few hours after rescuing. Her name is Lori. 

I planted the shade plants in the middle of the driveway circle, then JD fenced them in to keep the dogs from trampling them until they get nice and big.

Then the large circle in between the driveways got top soil dumped, tilled in, the sun plants planted and a load of mulch. Then it all got fenced in also. Everything in that circle is doing well other than the burning bushes that are supposed to surround the flag pole. 

There is actually quite a bit more planted in here now - I'm anxious to see how it all does come spring. 

I had to buy a bit more at Lowes and a local nursery, because it's a pretty big area!

I also planted the first six crape myrtles that I plan on putting down both sides of the driveway. We will add to them in the spring...and end of next summer... and maybe the year after that. It will take several sets of six to make it down our long driveway!                                                                            

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Trip to Natural Bridge

We have done some fun camping weekends with the youngest three kids this summer; Tori and Julia really don't enjoy the experience so we have been leaving them with their big sisters. Our latest trip was to Natural Bridge, VA. We stayed at a Yogi Bear campground, although it wasn't nearly as nice as the one in Luray, VA. We really enjoyed the drive through Safari park! It isn't inexpensive and there is a long line to get in, but it was so worth it. I have no idea how many animals are in there, but so many in nice acreage. 

I was slightly critical of all the feed buckets that it appeared people had thrown on the ground. We found out, however, that it wasn't intentional, it was these large beasts that would take the bucket by force from your car! Quite entertaining. 

The llamas lounging in the shade made me consider getting a few more. Not really, but they probably had 100 llamas and they were super fun to feed and watch. 

I can't remember what these deer variety was, but I thought they were so pretty!

A few more llamas; I like the ones with the "giraffe" spots. 

After the drive through, they have a nice walk around zoo also.

There is a walk through kangaroo area, which is interesting because kangaroos can be a bit mean. These were just lounging in the grass though; we could see some joeys' ears sticking out of the momma's pouches. 

JD got some cool pictures of the tigers playing. 

We also visited the Natural Bridge that the area is named for. It has some interesting history; Thomas Jefferson bought it from King George before America was America for something like $2.60 for many acres and the bridge. 

Next blog (I've quit saying soon since I'm a full time student and home school mom) - my childless road trip. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020


Good news - Buddy, the "garage cat" that I brought home has officially moved inside. After putting a cat door in for him, etc, turns out he doesn't like the great outdoors and prefers the cushy life of hanging out on my bed! Good thing  he has green eyes that match the quilt so well... He also loves his belly rubbed which is bit strange for a cat. Honestly, we have really been enjoying him in here with us. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Williamsburg Weekend

We headed off with the youngest three to Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown this weekend. Tori has a summer job and Julia just didn't want to go...hate it when they get to that age. Alei comes and stays at our house with the dogs and the teens when we leave, my sister takes care of Buddy, the garage cat, and our friends down the road take care of all the barn animals. Life isn't as simple for us as most the campers around us that bring their two kids and one dog!

The historic places just opened two weeks ago and like everywhere in Virginia, we have to wear masks inside any building.

Buffalo Wild Wings did let us take them off to eat...

It was as hot as we feared, but never rained on us like the forecast said it was going to. We walked miles the first day in Williamsburg.

The in-character workers are so impressive.

Governors Palace

The Palace gardens were gorgeous -

The first horse, Michael, didn't want anyone to pet him, but he allowed Selah to a bit; she is amazing with all animals!

The pool was nice to return to after hot days touring - 

We tortured ourselves in the hot sun playing mini-golf; I lost to JD by one point, the closest I've ever come to beating him. Maybe one day! 

 The second day we did Jamestown - it wasn't near the walking as Williamsburg, so was better for the second day. 

The Susan constant - 

I did also crank out a few school assignments poolside -