Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Summer 2016

It has been a pretty busy summer so far. Can’t believe it is nearly to the end. But honestly, I’m ready to get back to school time routine. Typically we school year round with a break in June and December. We haven’t done much at all since May. I feel behind, but then remind myself that with homeschooling we are never behind because life is school as well.

We got our well repaired. Dug down another 120 feet. Put in a more powerful pump. So nice! We were without water for about 10 days. The kids will forever have stories to share with their kids.

Both our new mommies are having boys. Matthew Tyler and Jaxon Cain. Mommies and babies are doing well.

Ashley is still here with us. Boyfriend still isn’t working and preparing to take care of our daughter and grandson. I think she is beginning to get a real eye opener.

I feel totally extra blessed this summer. Both our older boys and families are coming for a visit. Travis’ wife and girls have been up here since May. Visiting between us and her mom. Travis is getting out of the Army and unfortunately, they are also getting a divorce Crying face Breaks my heart but probably best at this point. The girls are 13 and 11. Tender years but they are strong. Travis will be up here from Georgia Saturday for about 8 1/2 days. Then back to work. So excited to see him.

Jason was here from Kansas the end of July. He spent a few days here with his family. Then a few days with her family. Then back here as they passed thru headed home. It was sooo good to see him (he just returned from Iraq….3rd tour).

Since Travis’ girls are already up here, all nine grandkids could hangout while Jason and family were here. Slumber parties. Dinners. Swimming. Hiking. They had a blast! The first time in 4 1/2 years that all nine grandkids have been together.


(Grandkids in chronological order. 15, 14, 13, 13, 13, 11, 11, 11, and 10).

We have made it to two camping trips this year. Hoping for a third next week but with the big fires going on here, it may just be too smoky up in our camping area. Kind of scary too knowing the fires are up that way.

School will resume here pretty soon. I will only have 13 kids in school this year as Nehemiah will graduate in September. I’ve also decided to try something different this fifteenth year of our school. We are putting six of the students in the K12 program. Tiffany, Adam, and Cody will be in high school. Stephanie, Hailey, and Megan will be in 8th grade.

1) it is something different.

2) the computer experience will come in handy. I have realized how computer illiterate some of the older kids are.

3) Brandy is putting her kids in public high school. Doing the K12 will give them the experience of meeting someone else’s schedule for school work. A bit more intense on getting work done in a timely matter which will prepare them for public school next year.

4) I will be able to focus more on the younger crowd without all the big kids hogging all the school attention. Logan will be seven next month and we haven’t even begun any formal school with him yet. Although I don’t believe he was really ready until now anyway. Jeremiah is 5 1/2 and I will throw him in there too. So I will still have five elementary aged kids plus Tawny and then Austin.

Austin had an MRI done yesterday. I don’t know what these “episodes” are that he is going through now and again but we need answers. I can deal with them but he is 17. His future needs answers. I have shared our experiences with others and three people have said he is acting just like so-and-so and they had a brain tumor. Scary!!! So, I pushed the Dr. to do more than just refer us to psychological testing but to also rule out a tumor with an MRI. We are told we should be hearing from the Dr. today.

Austin also wants to look into Job Corps. He has autistic like tendencies (no label) so college may be out of the question for him and Job Corps may be the answer. We will go to an orientation thing this Thursday and get more info.

Donald came home from basic training and AIT in June. Austin and I flew out to Virginia for his graduation. We visited a couple history sites including Colonial Williamsburg. Donald changed his MOS (job) to Military Chef. Since he is in the Idaho Army National Guard, he has been looking for work. He is thinking to use his GI Bill next year and go to culinary school to become a master chef.


That’s the scoop for now. It has been a really good summer. It has gone by very quickly. But like I said, I’m ready to get back to some sort of routine. We have had company in and out since May…which I’m OK with. I love seeing my older kids and the grandkids. But, back to routine after Travis leaves.

God’s Blessings,


Monday, May 2, 2016

No water!!!!

Yesterday, our well decided to just stop. I mean, one minute it is fine. Then 45 minutes later, bam! No water at all! Nothing! Kaput!

With 12 kids still at home, five grandkids that are here this week. Seventeen kids total….nine of which are girls…..being without water is going to be an adventure.

No laundry can get done. Laundry-mat here we come.

Dishes are being done the old-fashioned way. Heat the water on the stove and pour in the sink. Plus we will be using more paper products to make things easier.

I will have to make plans to go to our oldest daughter, Brandy’s house for showers. Her hot water tank won’t allow us all to take showers in one evening. Need to figure out a schedule and take shifts.

The well guy says we need a new motor (or is it a pump??). Impellers (propellers ???) are breaking because it is sitting on the bottom of the well and beginning to suck sludge with the water. So we need to dig deeper (nearly 500 feet now). Some pipes are corroding….need new pipe. While there, we may as well put in a new pump or whatever it is that is not broken but still just as old as the rest of it is. Plus labor….all this to the tune of $11,000-$12,000!!!

We didn’t win Saturday’s lottery. Now I have to find a source for other monies. Trying for a loan now. Please pray it comes through and that we can get water back up and running SOON!!!

Life is never dull around here. Apparently never cheap either.

God’s Blessings!


Monday, April 4, 2016


All babies are blessings from God no matter the circumstances of their conception and birth.

With that….we will be welcoming two new grandbabies this year.  These two girls will be mommies! (I will have to add an updated photo of them now).


One is due October 31st. The other November 5th. The race is on to see who will give Dave a birthday present on November 1st!

We have a granddaughter born on my birthday…..he thinks it would be cool to have a grandbaby born on his birthday too. Who knows….maybe he’ll get two.

Although I won’t mind having two the same day, one is traveling to the big city for appointments and birth (45 miles away) and the other will be here in town. I have about seven months to figure out how to clone myself just in case.

Ashley is the one who told us first. Her and her boyfriend broke up and he moved six hours away to live with his Aunt. A couple weeks later she found out she was pregnant. Silly boy thought we’d be more than happy to give our blessings for Ashley to move up there with him and his Aunt (and cousin) would take care of her too. We said as Christians, we can’t condone that. And as her parents, we won’t condone that either. Then he worked on secretly trying to figure out how to sneak her out of here. She refused to do that…praise the Lord. So she will stay here. He will work on getting a job  (news of baby hasn’t pushed him any harder in this area) and maintaining that for 9-12 months plus housing, before we will give our blessing for marriage. Since their relationship was pretty volatile, they have some major work to do there too if marriage will be a success. We would rather see her be a single mom vs being divorced in less than a year.

Jaime is our other new mommy. She moved out of the house last May. Her boyfriend moved in with her a couple months later. He feels they need to date and get to know each other for at least two years before marriage and baby hasn’t changed his plan in that area. Breaks my heart that he thinks my daughter is good enough to move in with, to sleep with, to make a baby with but not to marry. He also doesn’t like us talking about the baby in front of him. I get that he is scared….this is a guy that said he never ever wanted kids….but, the deed is done. Reality check. You play, you pay. And he will have to deal with proud grandparents Smile

Both girls are 10 weeks this week. From the heartbeats I’d say Ashley is having a boy (name currently chosen is Matthew Tyler) and Jaime is having a girl (name currently chosen is Christina Marie).

I’m excited for new grandbabies (currently the youngest will be 10 in June). I’m not pleased with the circumstances on why they are on the way. But the deed is done, they are on their way. I will love ‘em up for sure!

Please keep my girls and their relationships as well as their pregnancies in your prayers.

God’s Blessings!!!


Monday, February 15, 2016

My 2016 Goals

I’ve been meaning to write this for a month now. But I guess goals are still goals no matter when you write them.

I don’t make a list of New Year’s Resolutions. I figure resolutions are those things I might “try” and do but if I do … that’s good, if not…..eh, who cares.

Goals on the otherhand are things I DO want to accomplish. Basically my to-do list for the year, but things that will take more than a day to accomplish.

In no particular order:

1. I would like to get all my credit card debt paid off by the end of the year. I focus on one card with minimum payments on the rest. When that one is paid off, I will move on to the next.

2. My girls know the basic sewing techniques but I want them all sewing proficiently. My dilemma there is we have to clear up all our projects for meals and such. Makes it kind of tough to be able to leave it out. Lazy me would rather not get it out if that is the case.

3. Have Nicole (21) and Austin (17) cooking. Maybe not Thanksgiving type meals yet, but enough to survive if they had too. These are my two kids that their brains don’t think with a lot of common sense. If the recipe says 350* for 20 minutes then 500* for 2 hours “just in case” should be better. Or “I will put it in the oven now but I won’t turn on the timer until I am done sweeping the kitchen and dining room”. Yeah! That is what I have to deal with.

Nicole has on her goal sheet to move out this year. She is far from ready. Not due to my fault but the way her brain functions. Her goals include getting her driver’s license and moving out. She will “worry about a job later”. (She has a job that is only 1-2 hours @ $13/hour on Sundays. She believes that should be sufficient to support herself.)

4. Put Adam (15) in driver’s ed. I’m slowly losing my drivers as they graduate and move on. I have a couple older than Adam (Nicole, Austin,  Tiffany (16) that don’t have their licenses but having them get theirs scares the crap out of me! You see the cooking part….behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound vehicle just doesn’t sound like my kind of fun. They can barely do 4-wheelers.

5. We are hoping to be able to attend Donald’s graduation from AIT and while there see Travis and family who is only 2 hours or so from there.

6. Vacations will include at the minimum three camping trips. I’d like to travel to see Jason and family but Jason is in Iraq (prayers for his safety would be appreciated). So maybe we will put that one off until next year when he will be home.

7. Finish an afghan project I’ve had going for more than two years. I need that done by Christmas. Plus I want to crochet myself a Christmas sweater jacket.

8. I’ve been wanting to start a little business of selling Baptism gowns. Both crocheted and fabric one. I’m not getting any younger so I had best get started. There are so many cute ones I’d like to make but no one to give them to so now I have an excuse to make them. No new grandkids on the way for a long while.

9. We need to paint all the trim work in the house from our projects over the past couple of years. Fortunately it is all white. Shouldn’t be too bad. Just needs to get done.

10. I’d really like a new front porch, not that we use that door much anyway but the whole curb appeal ya know. Although we are a mile from any main hiway. LOL

11. Nehemiah is hoping to graduate this year. He doubled up on school so he can. May be the end of the summer instead of the May but that is OK.

12. I really really need to get the carpets steam cleaned. Especially the family room where the main traffic is. What were we thinking to put in gray carpet!

13. I need to purge all my filing cabinets.

14. Of course the goal every year of losing weight. When I get depressed I gain weight. I have found that huge stress factors will do it too. I am not a stress eater…. in fact I’m more apt to hardly eat. Even though I may not feel under stress, the scale says differently. But I can tell you every depression time of my adult life. During those times I gain 20-30 pounds and it does NOT come back off. No matter what I’ve done. I just can’t allow myself to get depressed or too stressed.

15. I am going to clean out, purge, and organize all three storage sheds. One sprung a roof leak but it is way to muddy outside to go through everything.

16. We are also going to grow a garden. Harvest and can the fruits of our labors. We haven’t had a garden in four or five years. It is time!

17. Have Dennis, Sofia, and Max reading chapter books. We are off to a good start there.

That is pretty much it. Plugging away at a couple of them and I need to be intentional with the others.

What is your major goal/s for 2016?

Have a blessed year!


Friday, January 15, 2016

2015 in Review

Life has been busy.

Kids are growing up, moving on, moving out. Doing their own things.

In May, Jaime moved out. She’s doing well. Thanks for the prayers. They’ve worked. She has a boyfriend and he’s kept her on track. Not too happy they’ve moved in together, but we really like Zach.

Ashley enlisted in the Army in June. Left for Basic Training some 2000 miles away ten days later on Father’s Day. It was an emotional good-bye but she was ready. She is another one that was causing some stress in the house. So our summer was more peaceful. She injured herself so much that they ended up sending her home in September for medical. She could re-enlist in six months but has decided not too. She got a job last week. Doing well.

We went camping in July. Had a blast! Can’t wait to go again this summer. Praying more often than just once.

Donald had enlisted in the Army National Guard back in March. He left for Basic Training in August. The same base where Ashley was at. That was a hard good-bye too. He’s been my right hand man for so long….but we’ve survived. He graduated Basic the first part of November and went on to AIT to be an IT guy. He got to come home for Christmas for two weeks. That didn’t go so well. Some how I made him mad and he ended up staying with Jaime most of the time he was home. Pretty stressful. He went back to AIT and will graduate in April. Dave and I are wanting to go for graduation. We will see…if he will ever get us a for sure date so we can book airline tickets.

Ashley met a guy while at basic. He also ended up being sent home for medical. He is from the south. After he got home, he began texting and calling Ashley. After about six weeks of that, he decided to make the big 2000 mile journey up this way to visit for a couple of weeks. He has since decided to stay up here and began looking for a job. He also started working in the same place Ashley is and will be looking for his own place this next week with his first paycheck. He’s a good kid. They want to get married but we won’t give our blessing yet. They both have some growing up to do. But it took a lot of courage for him to leave everything behind to come up here and get to know Ashley better and now doesn’t want to leave her.

I got sick right after Thanksgiving. Was sick for a good  2 1/2 weeks. So homeschool got put on hold sooner than is typical. Then Dave got it during my second week. He still has a cough even today.

I ended up armchair shopping for the majority of Christmas. That was kind of fun! Easier to window shop. I didn’t have to leave the kids often and stress out the little ones even more. They don’t handle me leaving for long lengths of time too often.

We started school back up this week. Hard to get back into the swing of things after six weeks or so but we are trudging along. The kids are thriving better with a routine.

Donald, Nehemiah, Jaime, and Ashley all got boy/girlfriends this year. Adam did too but they broke up just before Thanksgiving. All pretty much got their other halves the first week of June (except Ashley). Kind of wild. All are thinking / planning marriage as well. Good thing we like their new other halves really well. Lots of weddings in our future. Possibly starting in 2017.

Nicole is 21 and doing well. All of a sudden had a mental growth spurt. Don’t know where it came from but has grown and matured greatly the past few months.

Jaime is 20. Her update above.

Ashley is 19. Her update is above. Ashley’s boyfriend is also adopted.

Donald is 19. His update is above.

Nehemiah is 17. He was on the swim team this past year too. He was the second fastest on the swim team. First only about two seconds faster. He does a pretty pretty butterfly. Love it! He has a girlfriend who is also adopted. His girlfriend is Donald’s girlfriend’s cousin. So when the boys get married they will be bro-sins I guess. LOL

Austin is 17. He’s also had a mental growth spurt like Nicole. Not sure what got in the water but hey, I’ll take it.

Tiffany is 15. She is still plugging along. Nothing extra going on with her. She needs the same mental maturity growth spurt we’ve seen in Nicole and Austin. I guess she needs to drink more “water”. Maybe soon.

Adam is 15. He had a girlfriend for awhile. She wanted the relationship to move faster than he was comfortable with and he didn’t want to break any rules her parents had set. She wasn’t happy with that and said he had too many “issues” and broke it off. He still has somewhat of a protective wall around himself from his bio and foster are time. He’s broken it down around Dave and I but not around having a love interest and others. Adam was also on the swim team. He did very well.

Cody is 15. He has had a huge growth spurt in height. I thought he’d never grow. He’s been looking like a 10-year-old for so long. Now he’s passed Tiffany up in height. He needs to drink more “water” though. Cody was also on the swim team.

Stephanie is 13 as of December. She was also on the swim team and did very very well. She is getting tall too. She will pass Tiffany up here pretty soon too. She’s begun some teenage girl sass. I have to keep on her.

Tawny is 12. Down Syndrome has not slowed her down any. She keeps up with the best of them.

Dennis is 10. He is growing in his education. Reading is beginning to make sense to him. He is behind in math but catching up. He has started multiplication this week. So far he’s doing well.

Sofia is 8. She has passed Dennis up in math and reading. She’s pretty much on target. She began division this week.

Logan is 6. Still not quite ready to listen to school lessons in bookwork. Everything is still a game with him when I try teaching him. So we will continue with the living skills activities in learning for now.

The same for 4-year-old Jeremiah. He’s a little stinker. He spends quite a bit of time in time-out yet. Can’t quite figure out why he still insists on challenging the rules, but he does. I got him a set of PJs for Christmas that say, “Big trouble in a little body”. Fits him for sure.

Our business has had a superb year. Praising the Lord for all He has given and provided for us in 2015. All the glory goes to Him.

So that’s my quick update in a nutshell ….. large nutshell to get through everyone. I guess I didn’t cover the three bio kids did I? Maybe that will be another post. I didn’t want to make this one too terribly long.

A very blessed 2016 to each of you!