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, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving and Beyond

 The last two years, I have done some Thanksgiving crafts with the kids on Thanksgiving morning. They enjoy it and it makes me feel like a crafty Mom.

They were pretty pleased with their turkeys and owls.


Selah and Elijah
 We had a pretty quiet Thanksgiving dinner at home with just two extra people. After hosting a cast party and baby shower the week before, it was nice to have it all low pressure. 

Normally, we head out early, early the next morning for Black Friday shopping. Since most sales start on Thanksgiving now and I'm not going out shopping on Thursday, there didn't seem to be enough left to be worth the trip "to town". I did, however, order several Christmas presents online. Since I really had not started Christmas shopping for my dozen until today and I love online shopping, the UPS man is going to be at our house EVERY day from now until Christmas!

Since I was home for the first time in many, many years on Black Friday, we went ahead and put up the Christmas tree; it's early for us, but since we are traveling before Christmas, we needed to get it done early to make it worth our while.

Tori's wearing the goofy  hat is because she was mid hair-do.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two of This Week's Three Big Events

 Alyssa performed in a local drama this year for the first time; we were thouroughly impressed with how talented the youth were! It was based on the story of a persecuted Christian in the Roman times. She made a lovely Roman.

Not sure what is going on with Julia's belly in this picture - it doesn't really look like that!
 Last night, we hosted the cast party for the production. The reality of that was the little guys got to watch a movie and eat popcorn in the master retreat while the teens took over the basement and fire pit outside.

We actually enjoy having large groups of teens at our house and the basement works great for it!

 Tuesday was our final day of Classical Conversations for Elijah, Bella and I until after Christmas. I'm not sure if I would have signed up to be a tutor if I had known the challenges we were going to face this fall, but I'm glad I committed before I would have made that decision. I have had to dump some other things I wanted to do, but CC has really taught me a lot and I'm pretty fond of my little class of eight. I wanted to show a class picture, but don't want to put them online without permission, so I'm showing our final project on the human body instead. 

The last six weeks we have made body parts while we learned about the human body. On Tuesday we assembled their paper counterparts. Unfortunately, Bella's femur bone got lost between school and home. 

We have another super exciting event coming on Sunday - I'll be back with that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Always Joy

I have to agree that I think the greatest pain and the greatest joy are both experienced in parenting. We are working through some rough roads with one of our children. While the burden is heavy there, in enters little Elijah who constantly tells me that "I'm the bestest mommy in the world." Sunday he bought me flowers (with his daddy's help) and told me that we could take turns holding them. 

Please no one tell him that bestest isn't a word - it sounds so much more impressive than just best!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


 We had a lovely party for Moriah and Emily last weekend. There are some good pictures on Facebook courtesy of their friends, but I sure didn't take many.

 The weather was rather cold and rainy, but it cleared up for a nice campfire later in the evening.

I am looking at the schedule from now until we travel for Christmas and there are major events on most weekends. Since I also have to fit in shopping, packing and corn-rowing four heads of hair, it looks far from calm and relaxing. I'm just taking it one day at a time, one demand at a time, and lately, one crisis at a time. I hope and pray that our first Christmas away in 12 years will be more enjoyable than stressful. Either way, it will be worth it to see Gabriel and Alayna!

I took my kids to the library this week - small thing for most people but it seemed like a big accomplishment to me with all that we have going on right now!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Party Party

 Today is Moriah and her friend Emily's birthday party here; there is 60% chance of rain but we are hoping for the best! We should have the energy to finish preparing, however, fueled by last night's candy stash. 

Moriah worked an almost 10 hour shift yesterday at Sheetz; Alei and Alyssa dressed up as bank robbers to stand in line at Chipotle and get $3 burritos. 

The rest of us headed to our church's Harvest Party with the usual fun bounce house and hay-ride. 

I'm off to clean...