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, August 20, 2021

Baby Hudson

Announcing the exciting arrival of our 4th grandson - Hudson Christopher. He was born on Aug. 11 during the 11:00 hour and weighed 7'11". Moriah went through over 50 hours of labor before Hudson arrived by c-section! He had some struggles with his lungs and spent his first few days in the NICU where I wasn't allowed to even visit. We are all so happy he is home with his mommy and daddy and look forward to each time we stop to visit him. 

Here's the first time I took the kids to meet him and the obligatory picture of everyone holding him (and me talking while I'm holding....no doubt sharing valuable wisdom). 

Tori attempting the bottle - he was required to drink by bottle in the NICU but is now transitioning to breast feeding pretty well. 

You are so loved, Hudson!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday Travel

Last Sunday was major travel for our family. Gabriel left for deployment; I'm sad for him to be away from his family for so long, so say a prayer for him and Alayna and the boys when you think of them. 

He was rerouted for a bit due to storms, but made it to his future home for the next seven months yesterday. 

Alyssa, JP and Oliver hit the beach in Myrtle Beach. I have the cutest video ever of Oliver dancing on the beach, but Blogger doesn't want to upload it for us!

Elijah and I set off for Spartanburg, SC for a week of basketball camp. I have hit the sports big league with this kiddo! The plan was I was going to take Selah and Bella also and we were going to explore the local area, but I am awaiting an MRI for what is likely a herniated disk and walking is quite painful. Instead, I arranged for them to go to friend's houses for four of the five days and they got to swim their last swim meet of the summer. I spent a LOT of time in the hotel room doing school since walking was too painful to go exploring. I got two full weeks of work done in four days and only went a bit stir-crazy. 

Elijah did long days from 7:45 a.m. until 9:15 p.m., except the last night he didn't get out until 11:15. There was 6 hours of classroom basketball and 6 hours of court a day. He starts practices for this winter starting tomorrow night. I didn't see this coming at the beginning, but I really like basketball and I love the families we travel and hang with on this team! 

The last night of basketball around 11:30 p.m. - worn out. 

A huge surprise was the fact that JD's sister, Nancy, moved to Spartanburg area the week before Elijah and my visit. Their daughter and family lives close also, so I was able to go see the one day at their house and then Elijah and I met them on the way out of town on Friday. 

We got home on Friday night in time for Tori and Julia's end of the year ceremony from their summer work on Saturday. It was an awesome ceremony. This is them with Elisha who ran the program. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Happy Campers

It seems every time I book a beach trip, something causes us to cancel it. This year I booked two weekend trips to VA Beach at a nice, quiet camp ground on base. We went on our first trip successfully in May, but the upcoming August one will be cancelled because Moriah and Chris' baby is coming three weeks early! It's a lot better of a reason to cancel than the usual hurricane. Next summer I am planning a whole week in Myrtle Beach with Alyssa and her husband's side of the family.

It's hard to leave all the animals behind. Here are my Amish "barn cats" while I pack. 


Lucca wanted to know if he could come too - 


Here's our happy campers - the two older girls do not enjoy camping and don't generally go with us. 

We had one nice evening and the following day at the beach before a storm and dropping temperatures came in. I enjoy about two days of sun and sand and then I've kind of had enough. I'm generally sun-burnt by that point as well. 


This was one early morning that we headed down first thing to watch the dolphins. There were several of them but one rode the wave in over and over right by us. I love watching them!

While the beach we stay at is nice and quiet, we did venture down to the crowded board walk area and got our obligatory King Neptune picture. 

We also met my friend, Wendy, and her family for dinner one night. 

Good memories!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Chicken Ninny

This is Chicken Ninny. Chicken Ninny came to our house because one morning JD was at Tractor Supply and the worker asked him if anyone could save the baby chick that was going to die if left in the baby chick cage. He called me and I agreed to take him. He had the worst case of splayed leg ever and everything I had done in the past for baby chicks did not work. After about three days of holding him to eat and drink every few hours because he couldn't stand and the leg braces weren't working, Chris and I You-Tubed serious baby chick leg issues and found some videos on therapy jars. 

This is Ninny's first jar. He spent two days in it and since he pooped in his felt chair, he had to be bathed fairly often and have the cloth changed.

Then he moved to a part time therapy jar that forced him to stand, he would get tired and sit down and we would stand him up again. He only spent a few hours a day in there.

And finally, he was able to stand on his own and poop on the floor on his own! Exciting progress for the little chick!

Chicken Ninny is the term Oliver uses for both chicken nuggets at Chick Fil A and baby chicks; it's a good name so we went with it. The issue with Ninny is that he is so much smaller than the other chicken ninnies outside, so they will bully him, so he has to continue to live in the dining room for now!

He appreciates the quality time with Oliver I'm sure!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

A Few More Washington Pictures Before I Try to Catch Up With My Spring....

We had a great trip to WA State. Taking the youngest three together worked out well as all the kids fit in Nathan and Samuel's room, so Nathan enjoyed the giant sleep-overs. Of course we wore the little guy out so he was asleep pretty fast most nights. Diesel and Waffles enjoyed some extra people attention also. 

As I said before, the area is gorgeous. This is the view from the end of their street where we walked to the playground. 

We walked downtown a few times, even to church on Sunday morning. 

Whidbey coffee is a favorite spot downtown also - although the sun was in their eyes for this photo, it was nice of the girl behind us to pose. 

Gabriel played Monopoly with the kids - (this photo refused to get bigger to match the others for some reason). 

Samuel and I made Mimi's chocolate chip cookies - 

Some good entertainment from the trip is the video Elijah took of Selah and I saving a rat trapped at the skate park. For the record, I really hate mice and rats, but I don't like to see anything suffer. So, Selah and I gathered some twigs, meshed them together, and build the rat a bridge out of the deep "pool". I was really shocked how smart it was, because it watched from afar and literally scrambled up it as soon as the bridge was completed. I have video evidence, but it's too long to load, so the still pictures will have to suffice. 

Due to the airlines rearranging our tickets for us, we ended up staying in Seattle both the night we landed and again the night before we flew home, since they were such late and early flights. It kind of shorted us a full day there which was frustrating. Our final night, we went bowling, which was fun for all. 

My closing thoughts - Samuel is the biggest Daddy's boy I have ever seen in a baby or toddler. He still just needs his Daddy full-time and I'm so sad for him when Gabriel deploys!

And here's a cute picture to show that JD and the girls survived at home without me. Our "new" friends (that have almost lived here long enough to not be called new anymore), showed up with dinner and ate with them one night.

Next blog-post will be our next trip -