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, May 21, 2022

A Spot of Gatlinburg

The next Gatlinburg shots are from the girls and my trip up the mountain to a cool village on top called Anakeesta. I was quite nervous on the ride up in cable cars as I'm super scared of heights. That is me in the middle focusing on the top of the mountain. On the way down, I insisted that I needed an enclosed car (there were a few), but when I got there at 8:00, it was a 40 minute wait and a 0 minute wait for the open car....so there I was again heading down the mountain since Elijah had a 9:00 p.m. basketball game. I would have not missed those games for anything, that's proof. 

A view from the top - 

My girls and I - 

The girls with their friend - 

Anakeesta had these cool bridges between the mountain ranges; we walked all of them. 

Birthday ice-cream - 

I love all the carved bears of Gatlinburg - 


Monday, May 16, 2022

Gatlinburg - Part 1

Our Gatlinburg week was a full and fun week. We visited the Gatlinburg Aquarium the first day - 

While Elijah was at practices or hanging out with his basketball team, the girls and JD and I went on different outings. This was a hike to a waterfall at the state park.

The basketball games were exciting! After taking second in the state tournament, Elijah and his team played their hearts out. They ended up winning 3rd, but only lost one game by 2 points. It happened to be to the same team that beat them in state. 

That's Elijah with the ball - #30. 

Basket - more Gatlinburg to come. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Four Weekends in a Row

In March, I was out of town four weekends in a row. The first was a "glorious" five day stay in Baltimore with Alei. She doesn't want to talk about the details, but we had one fun day there, in spite of her being on a liquid diet, exploring the city before our stay at Johns Hopkins Hospital. 

A cool area of the city we spent most of our first day at -

We walked up and down a few streets looking for "the twin sisters" which was a historic home I wanted to see - when I realized this was it, it made it easier to understand why I had missed it.

This was the view from my hotel room; it was a nice area, but I moved to my cousin's guest room after a few days due to its high bill.

This was the view from Alei's hospital room; although it was lovely, we were happy to pack up and leave it after five days!

The following weekend, I went to the eastern shore of Maryland to an adoptive mom's conference. It was so, so good and at a beautiful location and I took only a few pictures to prove it, but none worth posting. 

The weekend after that, we packed up the youngest three kids and headed to Gatlinburg, TN for a full week for Elijah's national basketball conference. We had such a great week and Gatlinburg deserves it's own post. This was the view from our two balconies; I loved the rushing water sound!

More Gatlinburg next post - 


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

So Behind.....GRANDson Catch-up

I have spent some time analyzing why I am such a blogger slacker these days (like eight months slacker). No doubt it was partially me going back to school fulltime, but even more so is how much I dislike social media most of the time. That has made me post less and less as I avoid social media more and more. While we all know that social media generally presents a unfair portrayal of daily life, we are still prone to consider ourselves inadequate compared to the next person's post. My goal for attempting to catch up with some blog posts is so I can print them into a book like I have created in the past for the kids to read in the future. A side benefit is my friends and family that are not on social media. 

While I have some trips, etc, that I'm going to post about, my greatest joy these days in the GRANDsons - we have four now. Nathan and Samuel are 7 and 3 and unfortunately live across the country. We are hoping they move back our direction. They did come for a fun visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas, allowing us to have pictures of all 4 boys together. 

The grandsons local are Oliver and Hudson, who are cousins. Oliver just turned 3 and Hudson is 8 months. We see them one to two days per week. I have to post some pictures of the boys from the last many months in no particular order. 

Oliver and Hudson in their farm overalls - 

My favorite picture ever - look at Hudson's eyebrows as he contemplates his arrangement out in the cold wind, held by a child, with yelling toddlers on each side! 

I insisted on a Granddad and I picture with the boys before the older two headed back to the airport - 

We have about 20 pictures of Oliver with this bear in my bathroom. He generally says, "I love this bear, get a picture of me with this bear." 

Selah and Hudson - 

Julia with Hudson - 

Bella and the local boys - 

Elijah and Samuel - 

Frozen Oliver - 

Smore time - 

I taught Oliver to enjoy morning hot tea when he stayed with my last November for a few days - 

This was watching two large trees being chopped down - 

Chore time - Oliver is good help with the animals these days. 

Elijah and Hudson - 

More to come...

Friday, August 20, 2021

Baby Hudson

Announcing the exciting arrival of our 4th grandson - Hudson Christopher. He was born on Aug. 11 during the 11:00 hour and weighed 7'11". Moriah went through over 50 hours of labor before Hudson arrived by c-section! He had some struggles with his lungs and spent his first few days in the NICU where I wasn't allowed to even visit. We are all so happy he is home with his mommy and daddy and look forward to each time we stop to visit him. 

Here's the first time I took the kids to meet him and the obligatory picture of everyone holding him (and me talking while I'm holding....no doubt sharing valuable wisdom). 

Tori attempting the bottle - he was required to drink by bottle in the NICU but is now transitioning to breast feeding pretty well. 

You are so loved, Hudson!