Saturday, December 5, 2015

Casey & Major

I started fostering for a German Shepherd Rescue last Summer.

 My first foster was Casey. I LOVED her! She was a pleasure to have in our home every single day. She was sweet, obedient, great with our kids, quirky and just easy to love. She was also a senior girl with health issues and four months after she arrived, I had to say a final goodbye to her (kidney failure) with the help of my vet. She went to sleep with her face cradled in my hands, loved and cared for. Tears.

 I will always miss Casey. That's just how it is. ❤️
But ....there are many, many more that need help too! 

Major arrived almost two weeks ago. His story is painful. He stil wants to trust though and he is coming alive and becoming HAPPY here.  I love seeing his tail wag and his doggie-smile. He is deaf and I am teaching him sign language. He has already learned "sit" and "good job" and "come". 

❤️ Casey
❤️ Major

Friday, December 4, 2015


I actually didn't even remember the date. Facebook reminded me that one year ago, on Dec 3, our sweet little son was in PICU. It's hard to believe this was only one year ago because Sam has had a wonderful year full of good health and "firsts", like the first time being on a soccer team, first time going to pre-school four days a week, first time going to Sunday School without Mom or Dad, first time  being able to speak so many words, first time camping out in a tent...

Dec 3, 2015

First time dressing up as a tough police man...

First time receiving a soccer trophy...

Being dedicated at church...

Fist time sleeping in a tent...

First time helping the Swim Team...

First time riding a wild bronco...

First time at the farm in ND...

We're thankful for every moment! ❤️

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sam the Soccer Player

Sam played soccer for the first time this year & it was amazing! Just two years ago, this little boy could barely run at all and fell often, even when walking. He could only walk short distances and spent many outings in a stroller. 

He started the season needing his Mom to walk through practices with him and ended it doing it all on his own and being so happy and proud. It was a JOY to see! Thank You God! 

 Here he is at the far right, so delighted with his end of season trophy. Be still my heart! ❤️

Friday, October 30, 2015


We've been getting used to our school and sports schedule and trying some new is waaaaaay less TV. Overall, it has been a great success and the boys are getting more creative with how they spend their free time. 

I found this apple licking a beater on a mountain of Jenja blocks the other day...creative! 

I'm finding surprise selfies on my cell phone, that's got to count for creativity somehow! 

Anyway...we're happy to have fired the TV (at least most of us are...meaning, the parents!) 

Saturday, September 12, 2015


We have been trying to adjust to the new school schedule...phew!!! 

Two of the boys are doing home school with quite a lot of co-op work with other teachers, one is just homeschooling with me, and one is in public school with an IEP. Then there is soccer and more soccer as well as PE classes and swim team. I am NOT superwoman so I keep a day timer and take breaks whenever I can. 

My four favorite boys in the universe, hiking between soccer games

Big brother letting little brother "help" him wash dishes

Kaiser acting as a pillow for Nathan 

A soccer friend took this photo of Nathan today. He had his camera ready to capture the moment the dragonfly landed on his hair. The hamburger stuffed into his cheek just makes it real! ❤️

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Boys & Dogs

I LOVE boys and dogs! 

My house is full of them and that's how I like it. 

It's amazing how good they are for each other, all kinds of good therapy-type things happen. (Supervision is necessary of course!) 

Here's a sweet moment that happened son, Nathan, reading with our six month old German Shepherd, Kaiser....

An aside...I weighed Kaiser today. He is 76 lb at six months. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Twenty Years!

I can hardly believe John and I have now been married for twenty years. It went by so quickly which perhaps sounds cliche but is true, nonetheless. 


I knew when I got married that I was making a huge decision, but as the years go by, I realize it so much more seriously, deeply, solemnly, and in our case, with an utterly thankful heart. This man, my husband, is the best man I know. ❤️

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fostering for German Shepherd Rescue

I have become a foster volunteer for a great GSD rescue group! This is something I've considered doing for a long time and it just came together this Summer. The dogs are brought to us and we care  for them, get to know them, train them and love them for a minimum of two weeks. If we think they are ready for a forever family at that point, I post their pics and bio on the rescue website, Southeast German Shepherd Rescue.  

Our first foster girl arrived last week.

Casey, on her transport to our home

Some of the fur we removed as we worked on her long neglected coat, which is now beautiful. 

Casey and me. She's a good girl and is longing for a forever family of her own! 

Monday, July 6, 2015


We went camping in VA at the Grayson Highlands campground. I always feel like some kind of "magic" happens in a family when they go camping. Maybe it's the trimming down of our normal excess or the cramped quarters or just being outdoors the whole time? Something good happens though, even if it rains a lot and the dogs whine, and it's a long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

Kaiser was king of the pic nic table. The mist was so beautiful. 

Sam wasn't sure about staying in the tent all night and told me he wanted to go home a few times at first, but he learned that camping is fun! If getting dirty and grimy is a sign of a good time, then Sam had a fabulous one! 

We took a hike in a stunning area, walking under a canopy of blooming Rhododendron, but it rained us out about two miles in. It actually rained a great deal of the time we were there. 

Me. ☺️

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Summer has begun for us. It's my favorite Season. I love the relaxed pace, warm weather and sunshine, time at the pool, no school. There's no down-side for me. 

We've been taking a few days trips. 

Sam was a bit nervous on this "horse" but loved it after Nathan got on up behind him. I love that they can enjoy such simple pleasures.

We're back to swim team four nights a week. It's a lot of work but I think it's worth it. The boys are very good swimmers and have a lot of fun too. (Nathan and his buddy)

My heart has been really hurting over the Charleston shooting and for our broken world in general. Jesus is our only hope for wholeness, healing, joy...and He is enough. He really is. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wedding Celebration

We went to a gorgeous stable yesterday for a wedding. From start to finish, it was full of love and fun and sincere sweetness and even Chic-fil-A for the reception! Sam loved the candy bags! If John and I were going have a renewing of our vows, I would want to have it there. It was perfect. 

Forever Family Day

We celebrated Sam's "Forever Family Day" yesterday! It's been two years since we got to bring him home forever! What a joy he is to our family! He is sweet and funny, sensitive and curious, smart and creative...and CUTE as can be! 

This was the first family pic we did with all six of us. Sam was two. 

This was taken this year, when we finally discovered where the missing baby Jesus (from crèche scene) had gone! 

Daddy and Sam in ND in April

Monday, April 20, 2015


7 1/2 - 8 weeks, about 15 lbs.

Bites everything! 
Follows us all around like a little shadow.
Had a serious "battle" with a lemonade bottle.
Handles the chaos of our home like he was born for it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

To North Dakota and Back Again

We covered nearly 4000 miles in two weeks, visited many nieces and nephews, Aunts, Uncles and dear friends, and John and Nathan even delivered a baby goat! 

Sam and our much-loved friend, Laura

Lots of driving! 

We came back with a puppy from Iowa! (This was planned ahead of time!) "Kaiser" is now 7 1/2 weeks and nearly 15 lb. and a sassy, cute, bossy, cute pup! 

Mark celebrated his 13 th b day at his Grandparents's farm.

Sam got to meet the farm and vice versa.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Simple Joys at the Beach

We went to the SC coast for the weekend for Luke's soccer tourney.  The team had a rough go of it but we sure did have fun relaxing and playing as a family. My favorite part was our long walk on the beach. Not to sound corny, but it was like a healing balm to my soul...something about the surf, shells, sand, sea birds and my five fave people in the world...the beach is just a very good place for me. 

The look on Sam's face is so funny!

Handsome Nathan...about to turn 10 years old! We had a mini party for him while we were there.

Sweet Sam drawing his favorite Veggie Tales characters, Bob & Larry, in the sand