Monday, September 26, 2016


So, my "Spring" post appears under a Sept date. Oh well, just a peek back into our lives several months ago. Slightly scrambled. Sounds about right. 


It's Spring and I love the weather, and life is busy and some of our children are struggling and I am so thankful for a faithful, powerful, God. He knows I am not enough on my own, and graciously gives me more patience and love and perseverance than I actually have. 

Luke's soccer team won the latest tournament and I caught this picture of a tired soccer player and  an adoring brother/fan.

Sam has just a few weeks left of his awesome pre-school that I have loved and been so thankful for. I will try not to cry all over his teachers on the last day! Ha! 

Boys on bikes! 

Kaiser is nearly 15 months and 91lb. He has passed his Star Puppy, Beginner 1 and just passed Beginner 2 yesterday! The next class is CGC, Canine Good Citizen, but I think I will have to take a break with him as I have terrible tennis elbow and need to let it rest. 

I think we are going to try something new and have Nathan take his beloved Finn to a class this Summer. The dog outweighs him but they have a very tight bond and I think it could be something special for them to try. I'll be right there to assist, regardless. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Helping Trip

We left in a rush when we got a call that my Dad had been taken by ambulance to hospital and would be having open heart, triple bypass surgery soon. John and the boys (plus Kaiser) stayed at my parents' home to care for the garden and their little dog, while I stayed in Toronto with my Mom so we could be with Dad every day before, during and after surgery.

My Mom with the boys and me at a rest stop

Hanging out in isolation 

John and the boys drove to visit me at the hospital for my birthday. ❤️

I got to see my sister! She and her husband also opened up their home to John and the boys while I was away and they all had a great visits each evening. 

The guys took a day trip to Bon Echo Park.

My Dad prefers not to have hospital pictures online but, after over two weeks in the hospital, he was able to go home with a wonderfully working heart! He is still in recovery mode but good times are ahead. 

Here he is with my Mom. ❤️

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pony Summer

Our family likes animals. We have lots in our home and sometimes we take care of the neighbor's too. 
This week we've been taking care of some ponies and I can see that Nathan is still amazing with them, like he was as a pre-schooler. He just has a quiet way with them and they respond. I love to watch it happen. 

Here he is at maybe age four....

Sam seems to really like them too.

It's beautiful. 

Friday, June 17, 2016


John grew up farming and now is able to pass that on to our kiddos. He includes the boys as much as possible with the soy bean crop and all it entails. He is such a good Dad! ❤️

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Family Hike

We went hiking on the New River Trail in VA. It seems like something good happens when we go to the woods, at least for me anyway. We leave all screens behind and just enjoy nature and each other's company. 

We took time for snacks and pictures, of course. John caught this crazy picture of Kaiser. 

We hiked maybe 5-6 miles and Sam happily walked every step all on his own. He has grown so much stronger this past year.

Nathan, with Finn & Kaiser, post-hike

Sometimes the boys don't want to stop & pose for pics. I insist, but they respond with silly expressions! I think they're cute anyway. 

Daddy, the leader of the pack, with oldest and youngest. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


My beautiful boy, my first born, turned 14 yesterday! He is growing up so quickly and, of course, we are proud of him. Mark loves the outdoors...hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, gardening...loves all of it. He has a determined personality and is a natural leader. He is great at working with our dogs that need a firmer hand.

I took this picture yesterday with our new foster GSD, Cam.

Older shot


Thursday, March 31, 2016


This was a busy month for us and we packed in some fun things like a trip to the beach for a soccer tourney (Luke's team won the whole thing! Whoot! Whoot!) as well as a "Boys Only Trip" to ND for John and our three oldest sons. We also have been sick, so lots of lying around and temperature-taking has also happened. 

Oh, it's easier to just use pictures....

The guys went to ND to help celebrate John's Dad's 80th b day. That's him with some, but not all, of his Grandkids! John tries to take a "Guy Trip" with the boys once a year or so and I think it's excellent. I love that they are getting that time together. 

Our new foster dog is Cam. He has been through a lot of tough things in his life so we are taking time to help him relax and to get to know him well so we can help match him to the right home. 

Luke and Sam and I went out on Easter Saturday to spread some cheer with some simple & yummy gifts and invitations to come out for an Easter church service. We wanted people to know that they were welcome and wanted and that Easter was for them too, and of course, that they are loved. 💗 

Sam lost another tooth! He is so cute with two missing on top and one on the bottom.
His pre-school went to an egg hunt hosted by a senior's home. Isn't that a wonderful idea to bring the Seniors and the Littles together? 

I found this print and adore it! I want it on my wall! It's a good question too, right?
So, what do I want to do with my wild and precious life? I think making a list is a great exercise and it helps to make it specific, I think. How about you? 

I want to...

Take the time to play with play dough with my youngest (I find it hard to stop and just play!) 
Listen carefully as my oldest explains his Legos
Bring a meal to a family that is hurting
Take in sick, scared and scarred foster dogs
Walk barefoot in sand...often! 
Sew! Create art! Be adventourous with decorating my home.
Listen for the still, small voice of my precious Creator (no mysticism here...I mean Jesus! 💗)
Rest when I need to (regardless of what a mess the house is)
Care about others even if it hurts (it will) 
Listen to different points of view
Keep my sense of humor
Eat delicious food
Never, never, never stop loving and taking action to relieve suffering whenever and however I can
Be brave
Speak the truth even if my voice shakes
Be kind
Use fun polish colors with sparkles on my nails
See, really see people
Never forget that life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

No Time To Match Socks!

So, we have been doing more important things than sock matching! Our house may be a mess but we are living all-out the best way we know how. 

Sam lost a tooth! He was so excited because he pulled it out all by himself with lots of "helpful" coaching from his older brothers. 

We are taking down our barn. It's an amazing 70+ year old mule barn with so much character, the kind of place I would have adored to play in as a child. It's not on our property though, so we are moving it piece by piece. We plan to rebuild a smaller version and are selling some of the wood as part of our adoption fund raising. Yep, we are prayerfully prepping to adopt again! 

We play a lot. It's what little boys do! 

We got a new foster pup. Sugar is as sweet as her name implies and she is going to her amazing forever home this week! I love seeing the transition from often homeless and needy, to safe and healing in foster care, to a really well matched forever home. Redemption...irresistible to me in all it's forms. ❤️

On a less serious note, I want these stickers! 🤓

Friday, January 8, 2016


It has been a wonderful Winter. We had a simple family Christmas and it was just right. Completely not perfect, but good anyway.  Sam asked what the Christmas lights were for and I explained they were for Jesus' birthday so everywhere we went that had lights he would YELL "Jesus". It might have been misunderstood by some, but I knew he was exactly right. 

It's been a horrible Winter. We got the results of Major's biopsy and found out he has rare thyroid cancer. It's terminal. He is on meds to keep him comfortable and that is that. 

It's been a Winter of hoping, as I have opened up my Etsy shop to sell my sewing again as an adoption fundraiser. We are hoping to adopt more treasures (kiddos!). ❤️❤️❤️

It's been a happy Winter. Luke turned 12 and loved his presents. He is growing up to be an AWESOME kid and we are so proud of him! 

There have also been some times of acute pain this Winter. Times I will not be discussing publicly but that have happened all the same. Deep LOVE and deep HOPE sometimes bring pain. I KNOW they are still worth it though. 


Isn't life just like that? There are so many ups and downs. I can honestly say that the only way I keep my balance in it all is through my and relationship with Jesus. I know no other way to avoid completely freaking out! He is my balance. 

Three Girls

There are three girls who live in my heart. Girls, I thought I might be the Mom of one day, ached I would be, was scared to hope I might be, and hoped anyway. 

I am not their Mom. I do not tuck them in at night or tell them how precious they are, or kiss their boo boos. But I love them and I pray for them and they each have a place of residence in my heart.

I want them to know ( and I hope that they DO know) that they are valuable and beautiful and deserving of love and tenderness. I want them to have fun and to feel safe and to giggle and play. I want them to be able to dream big and to dance and to look in the mirror and see a girl who knows she is loved. 

Oh little girls, you will always have a place in my heart and I will always be praying for you.