Monday, December 17, 2012

Saving Malachi

It's a busy time of year but I want to take the time to tell you about Malachi. Last week I heard about a senior Boxer in great need of a family and immediate medical care. I LOVE Boxers & I LOVE Seniors! He was in a small rural shelter. As I asked questions about him via FB, some generous volunteers came forward to help me out. They offered to pay his pull-fee as well as to help with some vet bills. The boys & I drove out to the shelter to meet him on Thursday am.
We found a humble little shelter with the sweetest staff lady. Malachi was old and in rough shape. He had bad, chronic- looking pressure sores on his legs, he was emaciated, someone had cut odd looking notches into both of his soft ears. Oh my heart!
He was sweet! I temperament tested him thoroughly - lifted up each of his feet, petted him all over, tugged on his leash, stuck my fingers into his mouth. He had no food agression and was OK with my kids (who ran around screaming b/c I asked them to - to see how he'd do) and with other dogs & cats.
We took him home.
He rested a lot. He snored! Loudly! :)
He watched me carefully with his big, soulful eyes that could only see just a little still.
I took him to my vet early the next morning. I was concerned about some obvious health problems he had that I thought might be serious.
They were.
I found out that he had a large, cancerous and untreatable internal  tumor, as well as nerve damage. He was in pain and we couldn't cure him.
I took him home. He went for car rides (he loved them!), the boys & I fed him (A LOT!), he rested, he went for walks and sniffed lots of neat trees & bushes, he got kissed and snuggled, he gave kisses.
And then I took him back to my vet, at the end of the day and let him go to sleep forever with his head cradled on my lap. It was so sad, so difficult and yet so right - he got to be rescued, loved, and cared for and then he got to go to sleep.
I miss him a lot today but I'm so glad I got to love on him, if only for a little while.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 12:12:12 Update

Things are better. Thanks so very much for praying for us.
 But please don't stop! :)
We so don't want to live a casual Christian life but sometimes we get tired & discouraged.

*My computer died - I have very limited access online access right now

*Our beloved senior dog is really failing - John's building him a ramp tonight to help him get up & down our stairs. (Yeah, my husband is the best guy in the world for me!) Poor old Jake, the Boxer, just can't navigate stairs anymore. I'm taking him to our vet on Friday for an update.

*I've been stressed out lately wondering how in the world we will ever get an addition built and how we will ever get another adoption paid for and that the need is insanely urgent for so many children, I'm not getting any younger...etc etc.

Then I read Proverbs 3:5&6.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him & He will direct your paths."
I have it memorized so you would think I'd apply it better to my own life. But anyway, sometimes I need reminders.

So, as I re-read these verses I realized how very much I have been leaning on my own understanding & trying to figure out how I can solve problems that quite honestly, are God-Sized Problems. We will do our best but the rest (pretty much all of it!!) is up to God. I can't think of any other way to process it that makes any sense & gives me any peace.

Does that resonate with anyone else? It's what's on my mind lately...and we're all doing better. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012


I have been discouraged lately.

I am trying my absolute best to be a good mom, wife, home maker, home schooler, follower of Christ, friend, dog owner, house keeper, adoption fund-raiser, pet-sitter etc. etc. but my best falls so very short of what I hope for and what others might sometimes expect.

House messy despite hours/days of cleaning efforts = check
Meals sporadic despite trying= check
Home schooling ho-hum = check
Appearance  ho-hum = check
Wardrobe ho-hum at best = check
Returning phone calls non-promptly = check
You get the idea..
Etc. etc.

It is so disappointing to do your best and still not hit the mark you were aiming for. I am thinking maybe some of you can relate?

Last weekend we were treated (by my honey's employer) to a wonderful Christmas concert by the Tommy Coombs band. They talked and sang about how Jesus's parents did not have a lot of money, were tired, probably not just a little bit grimy, and were even looked down on because Mary had become pregnant out of wedlock. Then, their baby, my precious Savior Jesus was born in a stinky, dirty stable. There was nothing fancy or sparkly about any of it. There was no "wow-factor" and perhaps Mary & Joseph felt VERY short of the mark they hoped for and wanted for their family.

And out of that terribly un-remarkable, humble situation, God did His biggest, best and most utterly beautiful work. His own dear Son, His rescue- plan for the entire world was born. Doesn't that encourage you? It has meant MUCH to me!

So, I'm giving my Lord my non-perfect home, all my miss-the-mark efforts, and all that I am and have. And I am believing He can do something beautiful with it.


Ahhhh.... :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Body Yogurt

Luke: "Nathan has body yogurt!

Mom: "It's "body odor".

Nathan: "Well, anyways it's good because it scares bad guys away!"

Monday, November 26, 2012

"All Better Now" Update

I'm very thankful to report that John got back from Kenya, we all got better from a crummy virus/infection, and we had a good Thanksgiving all together, just the five of us.
Thank You Lord!
So, I've been reading on Facebook about friends who are already completely finished with their Christmas shopping, have their homes all decorated, and ....who are exercising regularly and losing weight.
That is just not me. :(
If that is not you either, maybe this update will encourage you:
What we have been doing:
*home schooling
*kissing slightly incontinent, but totally loveable elderly Boxers
 (as above pic shows!)
*taking care of stray kittens that poop about every 45 minutes
*trying to prep. a house to put on the market so we can build a bigger one & have room for more kiddos - hopefully LOTS more kiddos
 (and yes, this prep. process is taking forever, and no, I am not getting any younger, and yes, it is crazy, ridiculously hard and expensive, and yes, we have counted the cost and we think adopting more kiddos is completely worth it and extremely important, but man, we SURE DO appreciate all encouragement, support & prayer, and we need it too! A lot.)
*playing little boy "war" outside in the back yard with Nerf Guns
*having camp fires
*listening to Christmas music
*Christmas shopping = not even started
*Christmas cards = photos not even taken
*decorating = not even started
*continuing to be entirely imperfect people but relying on a completely perfect, trustworthy, loving Heavenly Father

Friday, November 16, 2012


I like to keep things positive in my blog, so here goes....
I am positively weary, weary, weary!
The boys and I have been sick for one week. Really sick.
John has been away working in Kenya for two weeks.
(He is home now - Thank You God!!!)
I took the boys to the Dr. today and they are all now on a Z-pac. Nathan is the worst with bronchitis and two infected ears. Ouch! I love Nathan's cute little ears and hate that they are hurting! (Although he says he is just fine! My boys are so stoic that way. Not sure why?)
 I feel crummy too. Trying to avoid another Drs. apt....hmmmm....might need to go too...I already go twice every week for shots so I'm kinda overdosed on all that!
We are also trying to get our house on the market so we can build a place with more bedrooms so we can then adopt more kids. I have also done two craft fairs in the last three weeks....I'm thinking I am just a bit over-tired. Yeah.
Thanks for listening to me rant just a bit. I appreciate the free therapy. :)
...because even though others might sometimes think we are some kind of "special" people because we adopt (& it's kinda nice that you do!), we are actually just really normal people most of the time that feel weak just like anyone else (maybe more?). We're just willing. I think that might be the only difference. Anyway, I wouldn't change it for!!! Ugh! Pass the Kleenex...and the Tylenol...and the Coke Zero...and maybe some butter pecan ice cream? :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Longer Homeless

So Mr. Homeless has become "Casanova" and is now a permanent resident.  It's funny how neither John nor I wanted another kitten AT ALL but there he was in the middle of the road at night, thin & scared. So...we took him in and then got the neatest surprise...Casanova has to be the sweetest cat EVER! At first I was worried he might be ill because he was so snuggly & passive but he checked out OK at the vet.  I captured this picture of him listening to music with Mark and I think it shows what a sweet little creature he is. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Etsy Shop

I've been loading up my Etsy Shop with lots of fun Christmas ornament and gift ideas. If you don't see what you're looking for, feel free to message me and I'll see what I can do. I have lots of owl ornaments that aren't listed, for instance.
As always, these felties are helping our adoption fund grow! Yeah! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012


Nathan U-8
Mark U-12
coached by John
Luke U-10
We have had so much fun with soccer this season and just have a few more weekends to go before we all take a much deserved & welcome break. (At least John & I welcome it!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Little Mr. Homeless



When I said I wanted to adopt again, I should have been more specific. I meant children NOT cats! Driving home last night, I came apon what looked like a dead kitten lying in the middle of the road right on the yellow line, but it was this guy. He's smart & knew how to stop my car!
So, "Mr. Remains Nameless" although I think he should be named "Casanova" because he's such a snuggle-bug needs a family (NOT mine!)
He appears to be a "he", is thin & scrawny but seems otherwise healthy, and is VERY outgoing & friendly. He was literally reaching out to the camera as I tried to take these pictures!
I'd like him to go to an indoor home or to a place away from a busy road. He's a sweet little guy!
Please spread the word & help us find him a great home. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For John...

Happy Birthday to my husband, my favorite person
in all the world!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Forever Family Day #3

Today is our third "Forever Family Day" - three years since the five of us became a family forever! We are partying today (tomorrow too!) and thanking God for all He has done for us! Believe me, adoption is HARD and there is NO WAY we could have done it without Him!
This picture was taken a few seconds after the four of us met for the very first time! I remember thinking how tiny Luke & Nathan were and how perfectly "right" they felt on my lap, my precious sons! Mark was so excited - I love his expression!
Two weeks later, I was able to introduce John to his two new little sons - such an amazing joy!
This picture was our very first family photo - taken on the day John and Luke & Nathan met each other.
These pictures are so very precious to me! They represent so many answered prayers in my life.
And so, I am (we are!) praying that God will enlarge our family AGAIN through adoption. We are preparing and looking forward to falling in love with more precious little lives!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Sunday Afternoon Hike

One our favorite family activities is a simple walk in the woods.
Little Brother pokes Bog Brother with stick
Big Brother has plans to poke him back. (When camera isn't on him!)
Juneau keeps an eye on everyone.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nathan's Little Friend

age seven

Nathan cares about little creatures and how they may be feeling. I love that about him! Once we get all re-settled (and I have no idea how long that's going to take!), I think I'm going to get him a few show bunnies to care for, snuggle with, and show at the fair. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Fair - Entries


Nathan's aquarium
Mark's Bunny in Egg (felt)
Nathan's Christmas Entry (felt)
Luke's Torn Paper Entry
We are busy with last minute Fair Entries. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Supposedly it is Fall now even though it is still nice & warm here (just the way I like it!). We are keeping busy with three soccer teams, home school and preparing all of our fair entries. The boys always enter in many categories and John & I are going to compete this year too.

We are missing Romeo, enjoying our new kitten (we call her "Princess Poo Poo" - hope that little problem of hers improves soon! Aaak!) and continuing to work on our home to prep it for sale. We have so many questions still  re. trying to sell, moving to? for a temporary place to live, building, home study, adoption....and sometimes it is very overwhelming. But, we continue on & look forward to the future, especially the opportunity to adopt more precious little Princes or Princesses. I feel so ready for more children - cannot wait to welcome them into our family & our hearts forever! It is HARD to be patient and to wait! There are children that are desperately hoping for families to belong to NOW! The need is great!

Moving forward ...the best we by day....

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Look who showed up mewing for help on the road in front of our house.
I was NOT looking for a second cat but the timing just might have been perfect.
Little Jewel on Mark's lap

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good Byes

We said our final good byes to our much-loved Romeo today.
Sad, sad times.
This is him at about 12 weeks.
This is a really funny memory we have of him when he got caught getting into the cat litter box again!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Trying... cope the best we can here. John & I are going to go meet with our wonderful, tender hearted Vet one more time today, to consult re. Romeo. I doubt it will change the end result, but I think it will increase our understanding & peace of mind, which is so valuable.

John commented the other day that he was so glad that it is not one of our kids that is so sick & that is for sure! But, it still hurts and that's OK. Love is always the right choice even if it hurts. So much better to love & hurt than to never love at all.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Last year, at about this time, we all drove to Iowa and back (which is an 18 hour drive maybe? each way) to get this darling little pup. We named him Romeo or Royalair's This I Know for "fancy". We hoped he would eventually be my next TDI dog (licensed therapy dog) and a wonderful family pet. And he was. But he had several health problems, none were severe, but they kept appearing, until this past month when they got serious. He apparently has a mysterious immune system disorder that causes  all kinds of bad things & is 100% resistant to even aggressive treatments, which we have tried. Yesterday, my wonderful vet performed another exam of Romeo along with blood tests. Then we had a meeting.

The reality is that Romeo is basically dying - the immune system disorder has been causing him to lose weight, coat becoming dull and he has to be in some discomfort although it is not at all obvious as he remains his happy, silly self. Another major concern is that the illness seems to be reaching his brain and is causing some odd behaviors which are made more serious because of his size - he is 100 lb +.

So, are facing a very rough week of having to say good bye to our sweet, gorgeous and only one year old dog.

Note: Our vet does not think that the breeder we got Romeo from is at fault at all. We have been impressed with Royalair German Shepherds in the 15 plus years we've known them.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mercy Project - Addressing Child Slavery in Ghana

This is a relatively new ministry that I was asked to blog about, and after learning more about it, I was very willing to do so! It seems respectful of the Ghanaian culture- of the village leaders - and offers a creative way to help end child slavery in Ghana.

As I understand it, what this ministry does, is go into the villages that depend on fishing to survive. They are the ones that have child slaves to hep them on their boats. The Mercy Project workers begin to meet with the village leaders and, over time, introduce them to the idea of farming fish - that is, raising the fish in enclosures. This method yields better harvests for the fishermen and eliminates the need for the child slaves.

Once there is no need for the slaves, Mercy Project takes custody of the children & brings them to a safe place where they can recieve medical care & counselling. Efforts are also made to reunite the children with their families.

I have tried  & tried to load an excellent video that explains the project better than I have, but it just isn't working for me. Grrrr! I did manage to get it posted on my FB page though, so if you are on FB, please go check it out. It is NOT graphic, but I could barely manage to watch it as the little boys pictured could so easily have been my precious sons (also from Ghana). These are real children. Real needs. Let's learn more & and ask God how we might be involved. There are so many things we can do. Get the word out! Not everyone is aware that child slavery is alive & well today. Pray! Support financially! Go and help out hands-on in Ghana or in other parts of the world! Why not?

Here are few pics of precious little boys that are slaves in Ghana.... (pics provided by Mercy Project)

You can learn much more at

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On the Verge of Courage? Craziness? Obedience? Adventure!

We need courage. And discernment. All the time! But especially these days!

See, we are going to adopt again. How could we not? We are ALL excited about having more kids. Someone told me today that I was a beggar for punishment since I want to adopt again & I totally understand what they meant, BUT I also did tell them that I am actually a beggar for BLESSINGS!!! They really, really are! Our eight year old Luke (who was five when we adopted him) told me the other day that the best day of his life was the day he got adopted. When I was at the orphanage there were children there calling me "Mom" just because they wanted one so much. A darling little girl asked me if I knew if there was a Mommy coming for her too, because, "I don't have a Mommy."  Yeah. If that doesn't put a lump in your throat then I don't know what would.

So, because we are going to have more kids, we need more bedrooms. We don't have an office or a spare room of any kind that we can convert. Again! This happened last time we adopted too, except that, last time we were able to build an addition onto our home. This time it looks like it will be better in several ways if we can sell our home & build another instead...and I mean "we" literally, as we will have to be the ones who do the majority of the building. We're looking at a home plan similar to the Ranch we currently live in, but with a full, partially open to the sunlight basement.

So far, things look like they might be falling into place. It looks like there is a piece of land we can purchase that would be WONDERFUL, especially for our children & our animals! We "practiced" building when we built the addition so we know we can build a home. (John has amazing skills!) There is just the detail about where we will live while building (6 months to one year) that is a big issue. We can't rent (at least I don't think we can - I certainly wouldn't blame a land lord for refusing us!) since we have three large house dogs, three kiddos & a cat (...and 10 chickens...but they live outside at least! Ha! ) Also, we really need all available funds to go towards home building & the adoption fees so we can't spend too much on temporary housing. We are praying for great ideas that are creative & we are willing to be flexible. So, this issue seems to be one of the "biggies" for us right now. Oh, and also the whole adventure of seeing if our house sells...that too! :)

We are praying for clear discernment, wisdom, peace & courage to do whatever we think God is leading us to do. We know He can provide for all of our needs & that we can trust Him. Someone told me today that concrete floors (which I was considering as one of our possible temporary housing choices) would be hard on my ankles & they are probably right but I need to balance that thought with the fact that being parentless & vulnerable is also not too great for children! Balance. It's not always so easy to achieve, is it?

Anyway, I just wanted to share what is going on in our lives & what we need prayer for. I am being vulnerable here, so please be kind if you have a different point of view & definitely feel free to encourage & pray! We need that! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Dinos....

I'm still making felt toys for the Etsy Shop, whenever I have time. All proceeds go to our adoption fund & so far I've made almost $1000 so that's been encouraging. I'm also taking part in a big Christmas Craft Fair this Fall so am hoping that will be a big boost for our fund.

Here are a few of my brand new dinos...

Mama (or Papa!) & Baby Tie-dye
Gotta love polka-dots

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nathan's Butterfly

Nathan had a little butterfly friend that landed on his hand and just stayed there for hours. Nathan LOVED it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We are into soccer season. Or maybe that should be "Soccer Season"? We have three boys in three different teams. That means we have three nights a week for practice and up to a possible 6+ games on the weekends (but usually 3-4). Our van is often full of happy little boys in their sweaty T's, shin guards and cleats.

All of that means....I NEED to buy a car air freshener TODAY!

Friday, August 10, 2012

To Love Another: Chad!

To Love Another: Chad!: This is a post written by Daneille. Her blog is the Wonder of boys! Chad needs a family. Please help us spread the word or maybe he's your s...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Sewing Machine & I "Make Friends"

John & the boys gave me a sewing machine for my birthday. I loved it but was a bit scared to get started since machines of all kinds hate me. (It's true!) But, I have summoned up my courage & so far, it's been OK. I even was able to make a simple bunny. Ta Da! :)

There are so many things I want to make - curtains, storage boxes, skirts, tote bags, aprons, pretty dish towels....anyone know any super great sewing blogs for beginners like me?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Good Bye to Ramona

I said good bye to Ramona on Sunday. It was so, so hard. Not because her new family wasn't amazing (because they are!) but because she & I had formed such a strong connection. I LOVE that little girl - she's SO special!

But I did it & it was hard but OK. I could definitely feel God helping me to have peace about it all. (If you think that's odd, trust me, God cares about us, even in details like a tiny Chihuahua!) Her new family posted lots of pics the very next morning so I could see how happy she was & how well she was doing. (I told you they were awesome!) That was so helpful for me!

Here she is in her new home with her buddy Biscuit.
Aren't they cute together?

If I can do it with my Ramona-girl, I know I can do it again! So, I look forward to the next time I get to foster another little sweetie, knowing it will be both wonderful & hard but worth it.

And I still have three great dogs of my own to enjoy, including our amazing, hilarious & entirely loveable Old Jake....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Many Faces of Luke

....and all are CUTE!

How we love that boy!