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.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finally a Family Photo

 Our trip to PA for JDs mother's funeral allowed us to capture a lot of family pictures that we certainly had not had an opportunity to take since Selah and Bella had come home. I love this quick picture I took at a rest stop on the path north with the 10 kids that I was driving.

 We were also able to take this of the immediate family. This is just our family with JDs sister's families (and two cousins tossed in for good measure.)
This is the shot of the 21 grandchildren; since over half are mine, it makes his sisters look like slackers, but we love them anyway. (just kidding Marilyn, Cyndi, Bonnie and Nancy)

I was pretty happy to capture a picture with my 12 children together!!! At Gabriel and Alayna's wedding, Alyssa was on to her mission trip to Africa. The picture I've had on the top of my blog from last Easter was missing Gabriel and Alayna. So, thankfully, I have a complete family picture now.

May 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Same Fun - Just A Different Side of the Country with Different Kids

 We have discussed going to the DC zoo and seeing the baby panda since she was born nine months ago. We ended up taking the boys to the San Diego Zoo on our trip to CA, but we still wanted to take the girls on a panda zoo trip. It turned out that Alyssa, James and Ben went hiking on Memorial Day, so we loaded the younger pack and headed to DC. Elijah was the only child that ended up on both zoo trips, but he sure didn't mind. 

Here's our DC zoo crew -
The baby panda did not disappoint. She played and played for our entertainment.  

Elijah was very excited to see the gorillas because we ran out of time in San Diego and only saw them from the cable cars overhead. In his words, "he LOVES them."

 I'm not sure what happened with Bella's gorilla picture, but here are the rest of the girls. 

Elijah posed in the dinosaur skull. 

It was a nice day but we aren't planning on hitting another zoo until at least fall and it cools off. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weekend Celebration

So, in my current trend of doing things when we are able to do them - we celebrated our traditional Easter this weekend. Since we went to family camp over Easter weekend, and ate Easter dinner at a Mexican restaurant, we booked an at home celebration the first weekend that Aunt Deb and all the kids (except for Gabriel and Alayna) were able to be home. This was the first opportunity. 
Moriah and Dad
Julia and Moriah
I let the kids dye eggs -

And the big kids hid them for the little guys -

We then had our traditional ham dinner.  Gabriel happened to Face time right when we sat down.

It feels good to be settling back into normal life and there is SO MUCH to do outside. The grass was/is severely overgrown and JD spent a few days trying to get the riding mower to run. We have concluded that it is going to have to go in for repair so the boys and I took shifts mowing with the push mower yesterday while JD made the trip back to WV to pick up our Red vehicle that had broken down on the way home from the funeral.

My barn kitties that were dumped at the end of the driveway are going to be six this summer.
After the grass gets under control, we are going to wire the pasture fence for the goats and build a guinea proof chicken fence. 
Hoping that Leia is pregnant!
 We have also started the garden but unfortunately, I'm pretty behind planting this year. 

Chickens love yogurt and keifer by they way.
Continuing my do-it-when-you-can policy, we are having a serious overdue birthday party this weekend.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Last Few Thoughts of San Diego

These are my last few pictures of San Diego. We rode this bad boy across the zoo. You are probably wondering why that is worth noting, but it's because I'm scared enough of heights that I consider it very brave of myself. 

See me in there with Gabriel and Alayna? Now you are impressed, right?

 Our last day included a trip to the USS Midway, which was JD's first ship in his naval career. He was stationed on it in Japan in the 80's. It is now a museum across the water from Gabriel's ship.
Gabriel on the Midway with the USS Ronald Reagan in the background
 Here were the boys on our tour group, including a special friend of Gabriel's that he met in Colorado.

Elijah enjoyed the cockpit visits.

 So did James.

This was a human statue in the shopping area. Elijah didn't get it and was poking at him when we told him that the statue was real. The guy was gracious to move a few robot moves to help convince him. He was pretty impressive - it was HOT out there to stand in that get-up.  Gabriel was very generous to him (with the cash in my purse.)

We finished up our last night there with some super good ice-cream on Coronado island. We posed for a departing picture with the cow. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Back-Track to the Zoo

 I have to go back in time to post a few (very few actually compared to the volume we took) of our San Diego zoo pictures - it was the first time I had been there and it was a very warm day.


By the way, there were animals there also -

Alei's favorites

Alayna's favorite

See the panda back there? He is always my favorite although I am also very fond of the two monkeys in the foreground.

James and the panda

Real size of an adult, male polar bear!

Elijah in a helicopter that showed what is flown into Alaska