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, September 21, 2013

Mr. Mom Wants His Old Job Back

Mr. Mom has permission to blog on the true blogger's website, while she safari adventures in Ethiopia. No matter how one may reflect back on the events near the home front this day, please know it can never go so well as to be a great day without the presence of my wife. That said, my Jenny gave me the option of packing as many kids in the van as I could to go to the 6th Annual Caledon State Park Youth Outdoor Day. I had my reservations, but all of the youngest seven kids had a great day and their dad (Mr. Mom) did, too. Although I have often warned Jenny about too many pictures on a single day's blog, I hope you will join me and agree that today's festivities warrant an exception.

So, here we go, the first demonstration was our county and our neighboring county's SWAT Team and their equipment. We have some senior and junior candidates below:

  Ben and his warrior face.

Tori and her "come here and I'll tickle you" face.

Elijah leaned his head forward because of the weight of the helmet.

The next station was the Our local school's NJROTC Air Rifle Club, which is a very successfully competitive team. They were so patient with the little kids to let them shoot suckers off a stand. Fortunately, even with misses, participants were blessed with a fresh sucker. You might be able to begin to see why I was having such a great day with my kids, if the SWAT Team vests didn't already give it away.

Bella was a natural.

Elijah spotting his hits on the suckers.

Julia and Selah get some shots in, too.

After the first two events we took a break at the playground, waiting for the hay ride to take us down to the river to collect and throw rocks into the Potomac River. While that may not sound to exciting to an adult, it is the bomb for kids.

Elijah has got his groove on.

Selah has no fear.

Bella has some fear.

We were waiting for the hay ride when we were told that the Sheriff K-9 Deputies had a demo to give, along with the Conservation Police Officer's (fancy name for Game Warden) wildlife dog, and would only be giving them one time.. Both were very entertaining, although not highly interactive with the kids (it was good to watch their skills at a distance, behind a fence, and thus need no photo attention on this post).

In typical ADD fashion, I was distracted further away from the hay ride with the archery range down in the hollow from the rest of the events. We had some natural archery shooters today. Some needed assistance and others did not.

  James told him he had shot before, needed no help and hit the target twice.

 Ben had great form and with some practice will become a skilled archer.

Elijah hit the target three times and was pretty stoked.

 Selah scored the only "Bulls-eye" of the bunch. Great job, Selah!
Julia had a blast at everything. You can see by the smile she was happy to shoot. 
Hitting the target would be a consolation.

Then we got on the last hay ride. Actually, the guy finished on the one before, but with a large family of nine standing in line, then a couple smaller add-ons, he thought about ten families wanted to ride and couldn't refuse us. It was a good haul down to the river, but worth it.

Choosing smooth stones...

Casting them into the river...what fun!

If that wasn't enough, my wonderful daughter Alyssa and her Geema surprised me with an awesome birthday dinner and my traditional favorite cake. Geema made a chicken pot pie in a casserole pan and Alyssa made (from scratch) cornbread, and ice-tea for "Dad," which doesn't happen often (no sugar). They also did a great job of replicating the cake my wife has made for me probably every one of our 23 years together.

You can see here that Alyssa and Elijah thought for sure their old-Dad would need help blowing the candles out. I'll leave it to you to figure out how many years it has been. The "4" gives away the decade, but you might be more challenged to count the remaining candles. So, while my wife is greatly missed, we had a great day, and her mother and daughter did a phenomenal job at making it a memorable one. But, I can't wait until you're back home Jenny, This Mr. Mom thing, though I may have made it appear easy today, is not my cup of tea. Come home!


  1. Hello,

    My name is Allison, I am a mom of 14. I've recently re-picked up blogging. I found your blog through Mama D at http://www.ourjourneyoffaith.net/. I'm looking to connect with other adoptive families as I know we can provide each other understanding, love and support that others cannot fully understand. If you ever need an ear or someone to pray for you please know that I am here.

    Many Blessings,

  2. What fun and what a wonderful time everyone had! Great job, Mr. Mom!! And glad you had a very Happy Birthday which will be even happier and easier when Jenny and Alei return!!!

  3. WOW JD, you're doing a great job. My hubby doesn't venture out much with kids...they hibernate at home if I have to be gone. You're a brave man=)
    Happy Birthday

  4. Great post! Keep up the good work on the home front!

    mama of 12