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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Canvas Choices

These are the pictures that I ordered canvases of, other than the large family picture, and they arrived yesterday. I love Oliver's smile in this one as he was walking towards the photographer while we all attempted to arrange dogs! 

Me and all seven of my daughters - 

Elijah and Oliver - 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

30 Years!

To get the full value of joy you must have someone to DIVIDE it with - 

 30 years has brought the best of times as well as the hardest. We have raised, and are still raising, 11 children, many which took an abundance of difficulty to bring across the ocean. We also did several foster children before them. We have built a house and a hobby farm and have an abundance of animals on our acres. 

I remember taking to heart a quote that I heard young that more people regret the things they didn't do, than the things they did; we have lived with that to heart. 

Now we get the enjoyment of the grandparent stage; it really is more fun than parenting and I only hope that my west coast kids move east in the next few years! 

Hoping for another 30 years!

A good marriage isn't something you find, it's something you make, and you have to keep on making it.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas 2020

We had a fabulous Christmas this year! While we were not all together, we had all the Virginia members under one roof. My sister was able to make a trip to Memphis to visit my parents and yet make it back for a second round of Christmas dinner. We enjoyed a Christmas left-over brunch this morning before my sister's guest left town. 

We attended Christmas Eve service together and came back for the usual Christmas Eve sibling secret Santa gift exchange. 

After the younger crowd went to bed, we brought out the presents and stuffed the stockings. The house was quiet and calm and only a few creatures were stirring; Winnie was dreaming of Christmas turkey the next day since his momma is a vegetarian. 

No one young is allowed up until 7:00 a.m. and the adults have to get up at 7:00. We put in the cinnamon rolls in the oven, made coffee and tea and began present opening. 

Montana crammed herself in between the couch and coffee table and napped on our feet. 

I got new chairs for Christmas - although people sat right down on the plastic. 

Joseph, Alyssa and Oliver came over after doing their own Christmas at their house. 

We got Alei and Alyssa bikes; everyone is going to be riding this spring! 

Oliver was excellent help with anyone who needed some opening assistance. 

We were very happy that James made it home for Christmas; it had been a bit since we had seen him!

I'm pretty happy with the shirts I got the grandboys - 

At the end of the long, fun day, I drug the dog beds out and tucked everyone in. We have so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas is Coming

Last Christmas arrived just as the workers were wrapping up our remodel, however, there were a few lingering things that we had to finish. The one that lingered for a full year was the wood stove. Finally, I kind of demanded that it be finished as the whole area really required it to appear finished. JD started on the project, but was rather discouraged about the stones. He did the one downstairs successfully years ago, but I was more than happy to bring in Francisco and relieve him of the chore. Francisco has done a ton of stuff for us the last few years, including the whole apartment over the garage and our house remodel. We have also referred him for many jobs and friends' homes. He sent a husband and wife team over for the stones.

They worked a long day, but got all the rocks in place and were very pleasant to have, so have won the job to also do the front of the garage in the spring. 

It was glorious to have done as we were already a month into the wood stove parked in the middle of the dining room floor area!

After they were done, JD finished up the tile under the stove. 

He also cut and installed the Amish mantle we had made and then reinstalled the wood stove. It was finished for Thanksgiving. 

Now I have hung the barn collection above it and decorated for Christmas. I'm making the last missing touch in the next week or so, which will hang on the top left.  

I'm very happy to have this last piece of the remodel finished! This year I was able to decorate more than last year. I really love my Nativity sets!

I also like greenery and lights  - 

A few more festive areas - 

JD's dad made these one Christmas - there are seven of them and they are among our most treasured Christmas decorations!

This smaller tree is for the benefit of viewing from the window as you come up the driveway, but it's providing a good wrapping and present staging area. 

This years wrapping elves in training were hard at work when Alaska decided he really needed to nap on this particular rug. Since there was no room for him, he just stood in the way like a horse!

Lastly, our Christmas cards will go out tomorrow, then I will be able to put the family pictures on the blog also. Spoiler alert, some made it to Facebook before the Christmas cards!

Merry Christmas to all if I don't make it back before Christmas Day! I actually may, as I have a month break from classes, so life is feeling rather leisurely! 

Friday, December 4, 2020


The only cat that didn't get any recognition on the cat blog was Boots, our only grand-cat. Boots is a pretty special kitty, he was part of my first rescue litter this spring and was taken home by Alyssa and JP. Now he is the best friend of Oliver. It takes something special in a kitty to be a 1 year old's BFF; not all kitties are willing to be carried around by a 1.5 year old, as well as sit in the booster with them!

And a lot of hugs and kisses! He isn't willing to just kiss the top of Boot's head either, he makes sure he gets him right off the face, as shown in the this picture!

My newest kitties, George and Martha were napping in the screened in porch today and Oliver made several attempts to show them how much he liked them, but they only took about one hug to make sure they moved fast when they saw him heading their direction!

I am attempting to add this video that is Oliver saying "Boots" - hope it will work.