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.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A Bit of Catch-Up

 We had a great visit with Gabriel, Alayna and Nathan in spite of the high temps and broken AC. Here is Nathan being a ninja at the hotel breakfast on the way. 

Nathan sleeping on the long ride (yes, they drove this time). 

A quick dip in the hotel pool and delivering coffee to his momma - 

I let Selah and Bella go to church camp with a friend and her daughter at the local church that they attend Awana at. They left the day before Nathan, and while he smiled for this picture, he sobbed when he realized they were leaving him. He kept crying that "they left me" - it broke my heart. 

During Nathan's visit, Butte had a baby girl. This baby is full llama and looks like her momma. She is soft and snuggly; not sure I can sell her!

The hot days are not pleasant for the llamas; this day, standing in the pool wasn't enough for Butte. I need to get them a larger pool!

Thankfully our AC is fixed now, but it was down 8 weeks! We are dealing with a basement mold issue now also from the high humidity and lack of air circulation. This picture was taken at the ribbon cutting ceremony for our community food pantry, but it was just so hot and miserable that afternoon!

 The new office and entry way are almost done, but I've also decided to paint the entire basement as I deal with mold areas; it just needs to be done before I focus anymore on the upstairs. 

It's been a very, very busy summer but we are having some fun. We have season passes to Kings Dominion and have gone several times. The kids are old enough that I easily take them when JD is unavailable and we have several friends with passes also. 

Here is a lousy picture of Julia's friend, Julia, me and Tori on the Dominator. Elijah and his friend were right behind us. 

We have also had several days of pool and lake fun; here's Elijah at a birthday party at the lake with fun cup-cakes. 

 We only have two more weeks of swim team until finals also!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


 The good news? My Colorado kids and grand-baby came to visit! The bad news? It's HOT and our AC is not working!!! We are on round two of no AC this summer due to the slowness of the warranty and ordering parts for a geo-thermal unit. The first round was 2.5 weeks and this round we are at 3.5 weeks. We obviously are not going to be able to count on them for timely repairs, but are just trapped this round until the part comes in and it's fixed. I won't even go into the long version of the story, but my "favorite" is when the lady told me I wasn't a priority because it was 82 degrees the day I spoke to her, never mind it was 97 just a few days before that when it was out. 

At this point, we have installed a larger window unit in the living room and have a few smaller units about the house, but the kids still all sleep on the living room floor and the Coloradians are sleeping in the nice AC of the camper.

Yesterday, Gabriel and I hit the pool with the kids - Nathan turned 3 in February and his new baby brother is due in September. 

sometimes the suit creeps down in the back but snacks should still be the focus

I will get some pictures today of us in our red, white and blue, but I must head out early to tend to the animals and garden. Yesterday I managed to be rather sun-sick by evening; apparently I didn't drink enough water to compensate for my time in the sun. 

Don't forget to fill your llama's wading pool - it's hot!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Weekend

 JD went to Ghana for work last week; if you are wondering where that it, it is in West Africa. Ghana, unlike Liberia, has escaped devastating civil war, so JD had power and AC! Ironically, our AC here is America is BROKEN and we are waiting on our home warranty company to do its job (which they aren't, but that is a separate post). 

Here he is snacking on a coconut.

The day he came home, we hit two days of King's Fest, where Christian artists perform at King's Dominion. My older kids had gone, but this was a first for our younger crowd.

We heard several big name artist, including Toby Mac, King and Country, Crowder, Zach Williams and Big Daddy Weave. 

It was hot and rained on us the first night, but stayed cool and relatively clear the second night.  

Tori and I won backstage passes to meet King and Country, and we missed it by 5 minutes because I didn't answer my phone during another concert. I think I was more disappointed than she was. 

They walked through the crowd though, Selah got to high-five them both. 

Saturday JD and attended a "teach the Bible" conference in DC. Then Sunday we celebrated Alyssa's birthday about a week late. She is 19!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Happy Summer

 It's been a great summer thus far. Last week I completed my three days of CC tutor training at the beginning of the week and then hit the state home school convention at the end of the week. There are many things going on around the house on top of daily swim team, but they are all exciting progress. 

This is the extent we have gotten on JD's new home office. When we built the house, it was a "sun room" turned bedroom, with a wall and regular door built here and a armoire instead of a closet. When we took the door down, we loved the natural light, so the office got as much glass as possible while still sealing it off for working. When we came out with the new flooring into the entry area, there was a lite by the front door leaking water that has grown mold on the sub flooring.I ordered a new front door (with more glass!) five weeks ago and it still isn't in. I need to call about that...

The background of JD needing a serious home office is that he left the defense industry and his new job is working from home more than the DC office. He moved all his Navy memorabilia home from a previous local and DC office and it is also waiting for a home. This office should accommodate him with enough room for visitors to come meet with him, etc, out of the traffic flow of the rest of our home. 

See the new floor? One day it will cover the entire downstairs.

 The garage apartment has had some progress, but nothing impressive enough for pictures yet. In the meantime, we had a landscaper finish the retaining wall and circle in the front.

 It's a pretty large area; not sure what we should put in there other than the flagpole JD has picked out.

I make four trips to and from the pool every weekday morning, which means I stop and move a lot of turtles off the road. This large snapper didn't get my usual courtesy; he got left right where we was, which fortunately was close to the side of the road. 

 Luke's four baby chicks are doing great and are able to fly to the top of the coop to roost now.

 We have not been to the neighborhood pool even once yet, but have spent many hours at the lake. The other night I took the kids, picked up pizza and got some work done at the picnic table while they played. We had the place completely to ourselves part of the time. 

I have to show a few humorous gifts JD got from his children for Father's Day. Read the shirt, then read it again with the grey lines. 

Fine Trump mug from another daughter -

 And Alei bought me this fine new unicorn mug - it says, "me? crazy? I should get down off this unicorn and slap you!" Gotta love my unicorn mug collection!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

And The Crazy Animals too

We are wrapping up school and swim team has started - I feel like this Facebook post sums me up pretty well! 

 Things are always moving. Yesterday, the garage crew came to work on the garage and apartment. The retaining wall builders also showed up to work on the wall. I remembered at the last minute, before I was even dressed, that the bug man was coming to spray for our ant invasion. I also had a call in with the  eye-tracking Dr. to find out if my phone or home calendar had the correct time for Julia's appointment. At 9:30, they called to say I needed to be there at 10, so I had less than five minutes to shower and get out the door. It left JD to do the last two pool runs before he had to make a garage supply run. I texted a friend to bring Bella home from swimming since she said she is willing anytime and Bella is done swimming an hour after Elijah and Selah. Once my friend texted back that she didn't go to the pool that day and couldn't bring Bella home, we were all long gone. Thankfully, I have good supportive friends, so a few frantic texts later, I had a pick up person for Bella. 

After two long hours at the eye doctor, I picked up pizza to feed the kids and rushed home for our usual Friday afternoon frantic clean, because we host home group at our home each and every Friday evening! 

A shot through the living room window yesterday morning - one day we won't have a construction zone out front. One day....

The animals have been really fun this spring and I am really enjoying Butte and Glacier, the llama and "lapaca". I'm glad we got them. We had a coyote stalking the goats one evening when Tori was in the barn, so it gives me comfort to have big Butte in there. We also recently had a fox snag a rooster at the edge of the barn while we were cleaning it out on Memorial Day. James chased it into the woods, across the road, and into the woods on the other side before it dropped the rooster. The rooster came home missing most his feathers but alive and well.

(On a side note, the fox came back the very next day and I wouldn't let JD shoot it, as the neighbor saw it's den of fox pups; and I'm not killing the mom of anything, even if it snags a rooster here or there...). I have some family members that think my logic is flawed, but then I remind them that I will bring home the fox pups and we will raise them and they stop talking. 

Here's some of my animals - 

Bella and her friend with the goats
Last week, Montana hurt her paw and didn't put any weight on it for three days. She appreciated all the extra attention it got her!

On Memorial Day, I paid James and his friend to rake and dig out all the animal hay and poop out of the barn from the long winter. It was deep and took most of the day. While they worked downstairs, I cleaned the loft. Duke and Hans hung out up there with me. It was funny was how they parked themselves in the hay shoot and watched me work.

This is our last baby goat, Barley; her twin brother, Banjo, left for the Berry Farm to join our other three little boys this week. I was trying to be tough and sell all the babies this year instead of increasing my numbers, but I have to keep Barley!

Duke has totally figured out that the electric wire on the fence isn't on, so when he is in the pasture, he escapes all the time. The girls never follow which is funny.

My five "teenager" chickens are nicely tame and fly onto my arm when I'm in the coop. They aren't smart enough to come in at dusk though, so I have to tuck them all in every evening.

Next blog for real....new JD office and a future wedding!


Friday, May 25, 2018


We did it! My friend, Wendy, drove over three hours to participate in our first annual llama sheer! Honestly, we had JD on stand-by to tie them down if necessary, since that is what the majority of people do when they sheer. Neither of them spat or kicked even once though, although they did clearly did not enjoy it. 

Glacier, who is half alpaca and half llama, had about three times the fur that Butte had; I can tell the difference now between a llama and alpaca beyond size. 

I didn't get pictures of Butte; we did her first and were in full concentration mode. Glacier got her one side trimmed on this side of the stall -

And then we moved her across the stall to get an area to stand again to trim the other side!

Raking the pile -

Bagging the pile - 

Butte, who is much more out-going, hung out in the next stall and watched all of Glacier's trim time. Glacier was more than happy to hit the pasture when we released her!

 They are feeling so much better in the heat! I'm down to one yappy Pomeranian that needs her summer cut.