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, April 28, 2018

Family Camp

We attended our sixth consecutive weekend of family camp last weekend. There were many, many hurdles this year, including JD needing to be out of town and a Saturday funeral, but we still prioritized the weekend away in the mountains with the kids. It's always such a great time for them with good memories. My parents were in town for the week and joined us at camp on Saturday afternoon. We then met them in Charlottesville on Sunday to walk around the old town area and eat over-priced ice-cream. 

I have pictures to prove their presence on Tori's camera; these were just the convenient shots from my phone. 

The boy on the left is Elijah's friend that he enjoys seeing so much each year.

Honestly, I LOVE not having to shop, cook or do dishes for the weekend!
Archery was available again this year, which was nice.

I guess Tori is analyzing the schedule; there were several times that you had to choose what to do as four things were offered at the same time.

Lots of fun yard games. 

 Yep, and that good food that didn't involve me -


This high course was an addition also behind the rock wall. Elijah scaled right up.

Selah was right behind him, heading up as he went across.

Bella stuck with the rock wall, which is scary enough to me!

African drumming - 

We played Bingo one night for some pretty great prizes; Elijah took it seriously.

The day we came home was my birthday. Moriah made us a wonderful, wonderful chicken Parmesan and we had some key-lime pie for dessert.

Not a great picture of any of us, but it's a picture of all of us :)

Alei may have her own puppy these days, but Alaska still appreciates her holding his huge self.

Of course, every time it rains, he ends up like this and then doesn't see why we don't just welcome him in the house.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

New Adventure

We have launched into a new pastime as a family - cheering for Elijah and his team "The Americans" at flag football. It is a rather competitive sport and feels so official since they play on the high-school field. 

Last Sunday, we (JD, I, Tori, Moriah, Chris, Selah and Bella) froze our tooshies off on the bleachers. We had on coats and went back for picnic blankets to try and stay warm.

Elijah - far left

Today it was just Tori and I as the spectators. JD had his annual "Beans and Bullets" church mens group here, Selah and Bella went and toured the battle- fields with friends, Julia went to another friends, etc, etc. Today was 82 degrees - hard to believe only six days after we froze at the first game.

Elijah played so well today - he is a 9 year old on the 9-11 team and his first year AND he removed five flags! It was a pretty exciting game and they won with a handsome lead. We were so proud of our little buddy!

Elijah - far right

I need to do the battle field tour with the other kids, it was pretty impressive  book and route the girls did today to learn about the Civil War. Here they are at the big Confederate Cemetery downtown - 

And even more exciting - Cook Out!



Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

James left this week for his pre-boot camp military program in Virginia Beach, (more on that later). This leaves Elijah with his 7 sisters for Easter. 

Alei got her German Shepherd puppy, Lucca, this week also, bringing our dog total to six dogs. It was our first attempt at a picture with the dogs. Poor old Lincoln is 13 and has always had some emotional challenges so it will take him a few days to recover. 

Getting ready -

Chris came and played football with Elijah.

The best one I guess - (had one child disgruntled and refusing to smile, so this is as good as it gets this year!)