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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Feeding Time

A lot of energy is put into feeding everybody, and every pet, everyday, around here, as you may imagine. Last Sunday, I made a trip to Richmond to pick up the 1/2 of a cow meat that I purchased with my friend, Wendy. As I was leaving from our meat exchange, I stopped for butter and cheese at the local Kroger. Walking in, I was stopped by the sign that said all pumpkins were $4. I don't know if that is more normal, but you can't get a large pumpkin for less than double that around here, so I picked up four. While I was at it, I got some large mums for the same price. I came home to decorate the front of our house, which is a lot more like a large construction zone lately than a home front. I planted the mums and spaced the pumpkins between them.

Within hours, there was a rooster eating the pumpkin and four more waiting in the wings. Obviously the black one is the head rooster because the others weren't even touching the other pumpkins.

The pumpkins are now living in the screened in porch. I do let the chickens eat them eventually, but I like to enjoy them first. See the roosters and the construction zone in front of the garage?

A few days later, Alayna and I, and the children, made a trip to the Amish for apples. I bought 100 pounds for applesauce. Ironically, they sell the apples at the feed store and not the grocery store. The kids got to see the Amish filling the chicken feed bags that we routinely buy.

We made a stop at the Amish farmer's market that they set up in front of the library. We enjoyed some homemade cinnamon rolls before we got back in the van to head to the grocery store to buy 100 pounds of wheat, (100 lbs. seem to be my going amount of everything to buy these days!) 

We bought a few "baby" pumpkins while we were there also; they are happily living with the momma pumpkins on the back porch.

I wish the Amish would sell 100 pound bags of Honey-Nut Cheerios! When they were on sale at Costco, I bought 20 large double boxes; we are down to the last two. It's amazing really.

Monday, September 21, 2015

No Time for Blogging or Fun!

 It's a bit distressing how I don't have time for an assortment of things I would like to do; blogging being one of them. It seems once we start school in the fall, nothing but school gets done. I am currently teaching on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so we are up and out of the house on both of those days. I currently have a multitude of therapy appointments on Friday, so it leaves only Monday and Thursday to cover the majority of the at home school work. We attend home school PE on both of those afternoons as long as we are as far as I like in our work.

Saturday morning puzzles
We do have some extra fun distractions right now. Nathan supports the Classical Conversations work because he likes all the music. It's pretty easy having a baby during school time since his momma takes him when he gets hungry or tired!

Nathan turned seven months old just a few days ago. He is sitting well and now we are going to turn our attention to crawling.

Our newest distraction began as a text from Alei that said, "I have a surprise for you."
I replied, "thank you," figuring that it was something wonderful from CVS.
She sent back a message that said, "you won't thank me once you get it."
At that, Alayna said, "it's alive."
I asked Alei, "canine or feline?"
She said, "feline."
Someone had dumped it by the CVS dumpster and Alei spent a few hours catching it from under the dumpster. She is super sweet and loves to be held. Compared to the feral litter of five I brought home last year, this is no big deal. In fact, she already found a good home for her.

 In the meantime, the kids are enjoying being the kitty's foster home.

I actually spent a bit of time outside this morning. We picked and watered our severely neglected garden as well as a few animal chores.

Next on the list is figuring out what to do about the flies on the cow. It is horrible and my greatest pet peeve; they drive her crazy! We have tried the fly spray, but she is scared of it and runs away. I have also put the fly tags on her and the donkey, but the goats chew them off and they don't seem to work that great anyway. Anyone out there have any advice?  

Ben, Mooster and  a salt lick

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


 I need to get the camera out more while Nathan is here. Today he helped me in the kitchen; he was pretty impressed with all the things around him. His favorite was anytime the food processor or mixer ran - he would freeze and stare at it.

 It's kind of a flash back to seven years ago when Elijah sat on the island and "helped".

Nathan is trying more baby food flavors; he likes most of them.

Here's the sweetest picture I've taken. Alyssa was holding him asleep on the couch, and I asked if she could take him into a bedroom so I could vacuum for company that was on the way. She said she'd just lay down with him for a minute to make sure he stayed asleep; they both got a good nap!

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Look who just boarded the plane on his connecting flight in TX to see his MiMi. Gabriel leaves Tuesday for his South America tour that will conclude around Christmas on the east coast, so Nathan and his momma got a head start east. They will take a trip to Memphis from here at Thanksgiving, but other than that, they will be in Virginia. I do plan on sharing Nathan with his other Grandmothers, but he will love the activity around here.