Friday, October 31, 2014

Really boring post except for some good pictures:)

some days I have problems coming up with a post and with a title....I thought this title says it all!  LOL

Well Steve and I went shopping for his birthday party that will be tomorrow night and came rushing home just in time for him and Shad to leave to go meet friends for a football game and trick or treating.  For the first time in my life as a mom I did not get a picture of my kids!  Shad couldn't find any of his costumes so he went as a hunter with his small bow He said he'd leave the arrows at home LOL~ we were so busy getting them out the door that I forgot to take a picture!

Yes we go "trick or treating".  Jon and I figured that we both did while growing up and neither of us are devil worshippers now......   Some years we have gone to "Fall Festivals" which is the same thing as celebrating Halloween-it just has a "Christian" name on it.  It's not a big deal to us either way. Last year we went to a costume party which was lots of fun. Jon and I even dressed up:)

These are from last year....

Red Riding Hood without her hood.  I liked this because it looks Ukrainian

Batman took out the little Indian who was getting upset

The Green Hornet and Wonder Woman!
Shad and some friends.  He was a Star Wars guy

Indian and Star Wars

Today has just been a busy day.  We interviewed and oriented a new nurse who will be working on the weekends.  She seems great and I think she will fit in well around here. 

We are having really cool weather for us.  Living in Florida means anything under 70 degrees is WINTER!  The gossip is that Sunday morning it will be in the 40's!  But not to worry, we will be back in the 80's by next week.   That's just how it is here.  But I did rush to buy Sarah some new leggings, I had gone through her clothes and she no longer wears the same size she did last winter, she is up to a size 6 so everything else got given away!  Sam also got a couple of pairs of long pants :)  We live in shorts most of the time around here.

The boys went by to feed the dogs but the dogs were not there.  We are hoping someone took them home with them.  They went ahead and put out feed just in case they were running in the woods.  They did manage to tell us that they think the slab is on the complete floor of the house!  Neither were 100% sure...MEN!  Never notice details!   Hopefully the slab is down - that would mean the walls can go UP! 

Hope you all have a great start to your weekend!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Girls

 Selah goes on a car ride to the new house to feed the dogs

the hand splints are on for a few hours at a time to keep her hand open.  

she sat so good, the seat reclines just a little but she did good holding her head up

DON'T worry we did NOT leave the strap like that on her, we were packing up the car and trying not to annoy her when this  picture was taken I don't need to get pointers on seat belt safety! I actually unstrapped her altogether as we were waiting as it seemed to bother her and didn't strap her in till everyone was ready to go! 

She is old and big enough to not ride in a car seat in Florida (by several years and several pounds)

doesn't she look good??
Later Sarah fell asleep in my arms.
it's been just about 3 years since we learned of her.....
it took her awhile before she'd fall asleep with me holding her, now I can't keep her off me LOL
but it never gets old!

we were laying in the bean bag
you can see how she snuggles in.....

Uh-ho she woke up!


So have you seen what the "wonderful" nurse I included in my last blog is doing?  She is so disrespectful I feel her nursing license should be revoked.  I clicked on a few different news organizations websites just to see what the comment sections was uniformly AGAINST her behavior.  I clicked on a conservative news source in the south and a liberal one in California and the comments ALL were running against her rebellious behavior.   I'm seeing on conservative news that she works for the CDC......and I was told that she has a lawyer connected with the Obama White House.....makes you wonder doesn't it???  What a mess we have in this country right one is in authority.....there is no common sense..... 

Even if this nurse does not carry Ebola, we need to have a plan in place that is across the board for anyone coming in from an affected area.  The risk is too high.  So what if we act very conservatively and no one gets Ebola.....  sure some will say we did "all that" for nothing but HEY if we can stop Ebola....let's do it!  We do a lot of things to PREVENT other things from happening.....

Personally I'm so tired of idiots.....

There are days when I want an anonymous blog where I can really say what I mean LOL!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pictures Galore!

Pictures Galore! 
Still trying to find a home for the dogs!  Here is the black Lab, she is so sweet. We went out to feed her tonight and she cared more about being loved on than the food!  We'd love to keep her but.....our old Lab could not handle it.

Here is her friend the pit bull.  Steve petted him tonight- that scared me.  The dog wagged his tail when he saw us.  He's never acted mean around us, just scared but one of the workers said the dog had growled at him but the worker might have scared the dog.  Still he is a pit.    I love all kinds of animals but realize I don't know how this dog has been raised/abused.  I'm not going to take a chance with it around my little kids.  But maybe someone would like to adopt him and show him love.
this picture was so cute of Steve and  Sarah last night

This is Sam with Sarah's personalized bear.  Sam has a green boy bear.  He likes Sarah's is Sarah's!  LOL

Our nurse gave Selah a shower and then tried curlers on her hair.  Selah did not like the one next to her eye. I had to keep moving it away from her eye or she'd give me a frown.
the hair style looked good, can't see most of it from this view


This is one of Steve's birthday presents, it is a large canvas picture of Times Square in NYC.  The funny thing about it is in the middle, you can see the McDonald's sign.  That is the McDonalds Jon and I ate at one day then later I got horribly sick....I was SURE I had food poisoning and even called and complained to the manager.  He told me that no one else had complained about food poisoning symptoms, well I guess not!  Turns out the suspected case of food poisoning is now 19 years old LOL!!!!! 

Well I had a picture of everyone but Shad....didn't have any new ones on my phone of him but he is doing great and is already half way through his sixth grade work  (remember he is only in fifth grade!) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My two cents and more

You know I think the world has gone absolutely common sense anywhere.....

I've resisted writing about Ebola....Honestly I'm much more afraid of the "new virus" that is going around than I am of Ebola but it could become very serious as we live in a global community.

I was not in agreement to bring patients to the US for treatment.  That sounds harsh but when we adopted Shad, the swine flu was really BIG.  I was told if he or myself had a fever, we would not be allowed to return to the US on a plane.  I went KNOWING I was taking a chance....  So I've faced a similar type situation in my own life.  The flu was scary, almost everyone in China was wearing face masks in public, it was serious.   I made a commitment knowing what lay at stake.  Surely a doctor/nurse understands it even more.

Personally I have no problems with limiting travel to and from the affected countries.  Quarantines work....take it from a mom that separates kids as soon as one shows any signs of contagious illness.  Quarantines have been used successfully for years in various situations.

And if someone comes back from an affected country, I have no problem with that person being quarantined for 21 days.  I LOVE medical missions and organizations like "Doctors without Borders"  I applaud all that they do but just as they are working to save lives overseas in an exciting and romantic way.....they also need to work to protect lives here just in case of transmission.    We certainly know there can be transmissions, the last statistic I heard was that over 200 people working  as health care workers have died in Africa. 

I have no sympathy for whiners....and I feel like I hear it too much on tv.  This nurse who was quarantined  in NJ is the biggest whiner of them all.  Grant it I have no idea WHY she was put in a tent, all that sounded a bit nutty BUT come one, she just got back from Africa, surely she put up with some inconvenience there????  I've never traveled to a foreign country (except Canada LOL) where I didn't face some inconveniences.  Now I'm not saying put the folks in tents BUT what is wrong with them being quarantined for the nation's safety?   If a person choses to do something where there is danger of catching some disease, they must realize that the USA should err on the side of caution. 

It was widely reported she had a fever when she returned.  Then I heard her explanation of why she had a fever...she said it was because she got upset...  Oh my, I'd have a fever of 104 degrees some days if I were like that!!!!  LOL   Now someone said, she never had a fever....who knows....

Anyhow, lets use some common sense, let's do good for others, but at the same time be careful for our own country.  At least the army has gotten it right on their own......

And don't get me started on the "Ebola Czar"  LOL.....  And why do we need Czars in America?????

Just my two cents...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Steve!

Happy 19th Birthday to Steve!  How in the world did 19 years go by so fast????  It seems like he should be about 10 or so....NOT 19!   I've enjoyed each and every day-month- year with him.  from the day he was born, till today, he has brought us so much happiness.  As a young mom, I'd have people tell me "oh just wait  till he is ......(terrible two, in school, a teenager....etc....) then it will be HARD!   But you know what,  I've enjoyed each and every passage of his life.  Of course he is NOT perfect but the thing I love about Steve is he is quick to let go of anger and ask for forgiveness if he needs to do so.  We've always had a close relationship and I'm thankful for that as he grows older and faces new things.  He's done well in college thus far, but does not think he wants to get a BA.  He really wants to apply at the prison now that he is 19 years old and can be considered for a job.   We are fine with whatever he does, although I do hope he goes at least one more semester so he has the first year done, if he ever wants to go back.  But it is up to him at this point, we just support him which ever way he goes.  Both have drawbacks and both have positives.

I cooked a big lunch for him when he got home from school and made brownies too!  We went out as a family yesterday since Jon is teaching a class in Riverview tonight.  Steve has his party scheduled for this weekend:)  So he is happy.

Today during church band practice, me and my friend put together the Christmas play for our church.  It is going to be simple and sweet.  All of my kids (except Steve LOL) will be in it.  Years ago SOMEWHERE I saw the sweetest play.  I can not remember where I saw it done but I've always wanted to do it.

It's very basic, the children will act out the Christmas story as Jon reads it.  We will stop at various points and as a congregation we will sing corresponding Christmas carols.  I will tell you that Selah will be an angel:) It is going to be lovely and yet simple.  (to me simple is LOVELY!)  Also our band will be playing some songs.  I'm really excited to do this.  I'm also very happy that we won't have to do much practicing!!! 

It's a beautiful day here in Florida- the kind of day that makes up for the long, very hot days of summer.  Hope you all have had a good start to your week!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Walk in the Woods!

Here is one of the dogs that has decided to live at our new house.  She is a sweet black Lab mix.  We'd bring her home with us but our old dog Brownie gets too upset with other dogs.  We may end up trying to bring her home if we can't find a home for her.  There is also a male liver & white pit bull that stays with her.  He is shy but one of the workers said the dog growled at him.  We have put out food for them.  Yesterday when we drove up, the dogs were INSIDE the fence, sleeping on the slab of the house LOL.  We just started laughing.  It would seem we've been adopted by them!
So if anyone wants a black lab OR the Pit, get in touch with me  you will have to have a background check by me if I don't know you!  LOL

We had a great walk out in the Upper Hillsborough River Basin yesterday afternoon before Steve went off with his friends.


Me and my mountain man!  Sometimes Jon takes some goofy pictures!

Nature lesson
3 turtles/gopher turtles and a few deer
didn't get a picture of the deer

I have my Ukraine/Poland shirt on from the soccer match in 2012.  We saw the stadiums where they would play in the summer of 2012.  the stadium in Donetsk was recently attacked and portions were destroyed

Here are the kids,  Sarah actually wore Jon's hat for awhile
I LOVE Pine trees!!!!

Hope you all are having a great weekend~!  It's absolutely beautiful weather here in Florida, the kind of weather that causes people to move to Florida LOL Then once we get them, we hit them with 100 degree temps with 100% humidity!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tampa Trib News Article

In the Tampa Trib there is a news article about Habitat for Humanity and our family!

(there were a few details not quite right with this story.  We were in Rochester for Sam's yearly eye exam and to see if Sarah was eligible for the corneal eye implant  I think it is so easy for people to mix up the kids' names since they all begin with S)

Today is a beautiful perfect Florida day, the windows are open and we are all getting ready to go to the woods for a walk.  Right now Jon has Sam and Sarah on the swings, Selah is outside with her nurse, Steve is doing the PowerPoint for Sunday and Shad is helping him.  I made a great Italian lunch so everyone is happy and full:)  We also plan on riding by the house, there was another group from RaceTrack gas station there yesterday working and we can't wait to see what has been done.  We didn't think we'd have another group till next week since the slab wasn't complete but things moved faster!!!  It is exciting!

Well this is short and sweet.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

To the UK mom with the 47 year old son with Down's syndrome

Have you read what this mom said in an interview ?    She is a mom in the UK with a 47 year old son with Down's syndrome. 

She said:
Perhaps you'd expect me to say that, over time, I grew to accept my son's disability. That now, looking back on that day 47 years later, none of us could imagine life without him, and that I'm grateful I was never given the option to abort.
However, you'd be wrong. Because, while I do love my son, and am fiercely protective of him, I know our lives would have been happier and far less complicated if he had never been born. I do wish I'd had an abortion. I wish it every day.
If he had not been born, I'd have probably gone on to have another baby, we would have had a normal family life and Andrew would have the comfort, rather than the responsibility, of a sibling, after we're gone.
Instead, Stephen - who struggles to speak and function in the modern world - has
brought a great deal of stress and heartache into our lives.
That is why I want to speak in support of the 92 per cent of women who choose to abort their babies after discovering they have Down's Syndrome. Mothers like Suzanne Treussard who bravely told her story in the Daily Mail two weeks ago.
Suzanne, who was offered a termination at 15 weeks, braved a backlash of criticism and vitriol from some readers.
But I'd challenge any one of them to walk a mile in the shoes of mothers like me, saddled for life as I am, with a needy, difficult, exasperating child who will never grow up, before they judge us.
They should experience how it feels to parent a grown man, who is no more able to care for himself than a toddler - and at a time of life when your children should, all things being equal, be taking care of you.
They should know how it feels to live every single day under a crushing weight of guilt.
They should know how it feels to watch Stephen's constant suffering and witness the almost daily destruction wreaked on all our lives.
Dear "mom",
As a mom with a biological son with more special needs than your son, I have to tell you- I LOVE his life!  I am also an adopted mom to three other children all with some special needs.  I love them in a way I never knew I could love.  Yes I have a very different life than most of my friends...."all things equal" most of my friends are watching their remaining kids go off to college, get married and some have grandkids that they occasionally take care of.  Their lives are filled with time for themselves, time with their husbands....most of them are NOT feeding kids and changing diapers still!  In fact I have no friends who have kids in diapers but me.....
But the difference is I truly feel it is a privilege to be Sam's mom.  He has brought more to our lives and to the lives of others than could ever be measured.  If it had not been for Sam and all the unique things he brought to our lives, we would never have had the courage to adopt Shad, Sarah and Selah. 
Sam certainly brought us some stress and heartaches, we were so afraid of losing his sweet little life when he was younger and so sick.  It was hard, not because we were afraid we'd have to take care of him our whole lives, but because we were afraid we wouldn't have him to take care of! 
Dealing with cornea transplants and rejections and then corneal implants was hard.  But we managed....
Then we adopted our other three children and have dealt with some major issues since then as one of our adopted daughters who already had special needs was in a near drowning and is now in a comatose status in our home with 24 hour nursing.  So we've dealt with a few things!
This line makes me the maddest.....
They should know how it feels to watch Stephen's constant suffering and witness the almost daily destruction wreaked on all our lives.
To the best of my knowledge, Down's doesn't cause any suffering or physical pain in and of itself. 
And as far as the "daily destruction" give me a break!   Somebody needs to take a course on learning to CHILL OUT!
I use Sam as an example because he is our biological child....he came to us with all his issues that we had no idea that he had!  We didn't do testing even tho I was of  "advanced maternal age".  I wanted to do testing just so I'd know if there was anything to be concerned about but my doctor said it wasn't worth the risk and he knew I'd never abort.  With Peter's it would have not shown up on the testing that was done at that time so we would have thought we had nothing to worry about. 
With Shad, Sarah and Selah our adopted kids with special needs....we accepted them AS IS and knew what to expect to some degree.  With Shad we were told he was completely blind and mentally retarded.  Well....he is only blind in one eye and basically a genius.....    With Sarah and Selah they were similar to the diagnosis given but then of course things changed after the accident for Selah.  That didn't make us love her any less....and we didn't resent her.  We are just as committed to making her life as good as it possibly can be as we were the day we walked out of the orphanage with her. 

***As far as our "normal biological son" Steve goes....he is an Unspoiled, caring, responsible young man.   Being the oldest to the other four has been the BEST thing that ever happened to his character in my opinion.  He has experienced things that most 18 year olds have not, some things have been gut wrenching sad, but he has reached inside himself and grew in situations.  He has seen the "silver lining" in the clouds of life. 

Our adopted "normal" son Shad also has a heart that has learned to love, he has seen commitment acted out in front of him   I believe that seeing how we love our kids makes him a more secure child and will help him as an adult.  He has seen the lengths we have had to go to at times to take care of the kids and I believe that lets him know what we would do for him if it were necessary.

Steve & Shad will have different responsibilities as they grow older because of the three younger children but is that such a bad thing?  I think NOT!  I think some of the problems of the world today is lack of commitment when times get tough.....
As angry as reading this makes me, I can only think that you have no Hope in life.  You must believe this is IT-there is no eternal life, there is no reward for faithfulness.  I feel sorry for your son, without a doubt I'm sure he feels the lack of his parents' love. 
You know we are not promised a perfect life.  No one is born with a "get out of jail" card in their hand.  We have no guarantees-Life doesn't come with guarantees.   A person can be normal, have a great life and fall down and hit their head and be mentally impaired the rest of his/her life.   A person with a great life and future can be driving down the road and be hit by a drunk driver and everything changes forever....
I've learned to trust God through situations.  And I'm going to make the best of a situation.  There is no reason to wish for things to be different, if there is no way to change the situation.  Sure I cried some tears when Sam was diagnosed with various issues.    There was a grieving time.  I grieved that he wouldn't have a "normal" life.  Now, honestly, I look back and think I needed some chill pills!  I'm not saying there is anything wrong in grieving that a child will have a different life that what was envisioned for him but a person can't wallow in that grief.  I think the love I had for Sam helped me to see what was so special about Sam. 
Now I don't grieve about things being different for Sam.  We just enjoy and accept Sam for who he is!  And we accept and enjoy our other children. 
I've grieved the hardest over our daughter Selah who was in a near drowning accident.  But even in the grief, I don't wish her dead.  I want her back to where she was (where she was, was lower functioning than your son) and I miss her but we are so very committed to her.  Her life does not bring us agony or bitterness.  We rejoice in her life. 
So all I can say is it is sad that you don't see the beauty in your son's life, so sorry that you can't focus on the positives he brings to your life, rather than focusing on things perceived as negative.  Your writing is so bitter and I'm sure it will scare many who may find out their unborn child is not "perfect" but it doesn't scare me.  I have THREE special needs children with much more medical and physical needs than your son.  All three are basically non verbal, all three are in diapers, all three have to be fed, only one can walk unassisted, all three have visional impairments.  Two of the three, have major medical issues.  I think I am qualified to address you..... 
Most people will not find themselves in my position and that's ok.  It's not the easiest in some ways, but in other ways it is so easy.  My life is fuller, richer and sweeter since I became a "special needs mom" and I have no regrets.  My children are happy and accepted.  And this may sound "hokey" but  I feel we've been entrusted to raise this special little soul and privileged to adopt our other children. 
Your interview made me very angry on many levels.  I don't feel sorry for you or for your situation.  But it sounds as if you have some big needs in your soul.  I can't fix that and neither can you.  All I can tell you is that God can bring you peace.  He is the One who has walked with me through all we've been through the past 11 years and He is the One who has given me the strength & who helps me to keep things in perspective.  He is the One who gives me Hope for my future and for my kids futures.  I believe that there is an eternal life coming where all will be made right.  My Hope and Faith is in Jesus Christ.  He is the One who gives me peace.  He is the one who whispers in my heart when fears arise.  He can give you a future and a hope. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Devil

Have you ever heard things like "I'm doing God's will and the devil is after me"?   I hear things like that ALL the time but I'm just not sure that is biblical.

In the adoption world, everyone says that they start their adoptions and THEN the devil comes after them, their family, their dog, their car their name it and the devil is after it.

We never had that experience or maybe we didn't assume the devil was after us..... when we were in the process of adopting Shad we had some really good things happen like Jon accepting the church, receiving grants for Shad's adoption and Sam getting cleared for Medicaid as a secondary insurance.  We also had some bad things, Sam was in the hospital ALOT and he was diagnosed as having some brain damage and we were told that he would be mentally retarded.  (yes I used the R word as a medical diagnosis-which does not bother me) I also had a terrible attack of colitis and was in the hospital for awhile-I thought I was dying!   So was the devil fighting us or was it just life happening around us???

With the girls' adoption we saw great financial miracles for their adoption but we did struggle with our own finances, Jon's car died....we made do with one van and then right before we left to go get them, someone blessed us with a brand new van!  Of course we had some drama in the paperwork and somethings that happened but all in all it worked out.....

THEN of course once we got home and three months later the accident happened.....   some have suggested to me that was the "devil's fault".  Well in the very broad sense I guess it was as death and disease came into this world through the fall of man in the garden, who listened to the devil......but in the real sense, it was just a horrible accident.  We don't feel like the devil pushed the stroller into the canal......Jon looked away for 4 seconds, probably one of the kids moved wondering what was going on....the stroller was an expensive jogging stroller that we saved to buy so we could take all the kids out with us everywhere (we had a single jogging stroller just like the double one)  and it moved very very easily.......anyhow in those 4 seconds ( the cops measured the time) the stroller went into the canal.  Things happen.....BUT the one thing I am so thankful for is God was always with us, even in those dire moments. 

So am I afraid of what the devil can do? 

I believe there is  a real literal devil with demons.....and a real hell..... 

But I believe much more strongly in a REAL God who sits on the throne, who sent His Son and his Holy Spirit.  I believe in angels (ok I do NOT believe in a lot of the silly tales of angels but I do believe in them) 

I do not know everything (I'm sure that statement is a shock to some who think that I think I know everything LOL)  but I do think that LIFE just happens in most cases. 

This is something that is often said in ministry circles too.  Or my "favorite" "When God starts to blessing, the devil starts to messing"  Of course you will have trouble in this world, Jesus promised that in one of his last statements.  We live in a fallen again it can go back to "original sin" When sin and death entered into the world through the fall of man, paradise was lost.  Bad things happen....all the time....

There are scriptures that seem to indicate that there is a war going the book of Daniel, Daniel wrote that he fasted and prayed for 21 days before his answer came.  When his answer came, along with an angel, the angel told him that he (the angel) was kept from coming to him as he was fighting the evil forces in that area.   Then in the New Testament, Paul reminds us we do not fight against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities in the air.  So obviously there are things going on that we do not see or know about.....but does that mean everything that happens bad to us if from the devil directly?

I have had some odd experiences.  To be honest, I do not share them much as I have no desire to glorify the devil or demons!

As a small child I "knew" about 8 or 9 years old, I'd hear my name being called as I played outside.  So I'd run to the back door and ask my aunt what she wanted.  It was never her that called me.  Over the years, I just shrugged it off. 

As I became a teenager, I would know more things.  I knew my uncle was going to die soon, even though no one knew he was sick.  While all that was going on, I was really reaching out to God.  Every service, I was at church....   

Things began to get worse as I got older.  There were times I'd wake up & "something" was times I was scratched by something, long claw marks on my neck one time....  (wasn't me- I always bit my nails back then)   We'd hear noises in our home, one time my aunt even called the police, believing someone had broken into our back porch because we heard yelling and pounding.  However when the police got there, nothing was disturbed.  There are numerous things that happened over a course of some years.

So I went to our pastor, he told me to put a bible next to my bed....well that didn't work.....things continued for awhile....    We got a new pastor and I shared all of this with him and he told me to
"take authority" over this demonic attack.  I did and it stopped!!!!!!

So that is my personal experience.  Honestly it doesn't quite fit my theology LOL....  but it is what happened to me.  I was not involved in any type of black magic or demonic things.  The only thing I can think of is, within my family there were some who practiced "white magic" 

Anyhow I asked God to take ALL of that from me, I didn't want anything in my life, including "knowing things" ahead of time.  He took it from me. 

So do I sound like I believe both ways now and am double minded ???

I guess I try to find balance in everything.....

It's interesting I wrote this yesterday while still at the conference......Last night I noticed our son had DVRed  a very demonic movie.  He is 18 and we are not as strict on him as we were when he was younger.  We feel he has to make some decisions and find his own values.  But I DID kid him and tell him if he brought any demons into our house and they woke me up....I was going to tell them where to find him!  LOL  Of course we wouldn't let Shad watch something like that so Steve watched it after we'd gone to bed....I think he was sorry he did so LOL!!!!!   (btw we have our tv set so only shows that are PG-13 or less can be seen without a code that no one knows - including ME!  At some point I knew the code, now it is gone forever LOL)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Past or Future?

Well my last post before heading home to my kids!   To be quite honest, I have had a whole lot better time than I thought I would!  Don't get me wrong, I like spending time with my husband but it is hard for me to be away from the kids.  However I seem to have gotten over that!  I'm thinking it probably won't take me 16 years to go alone to another conference or vacation!  It helps that I trust Steve and our nurses to care for the children.  Of course please know I OWE Steve and will OWE him forever & ever.....he already has his weekend (that he believes will start on Thursday) planned out!  And it includes my car and my debit card!  I can guarantee that we won't be seeing him much!!!!  LOL

Last night we went to a bookstore and I loaded up on mysteries!  I bought the new Rhys Bowen's "Heirs & Grace"  I love her books, funny, yet a little scary-set in the 1930s  England.  I also got "Tippy toe Murder" by Leslie Meier and a Carolyn Hart book "Dead by Midnight"  I like all three of the authors and have read all their books.  I couldn't believe there were one of each of them that I hadn't read!!!   After that we went to supper at Olive Garden.  Woohoo our wild night on the town:)

I also got a little something "Dr Who" for Steve who is a Dr Who fan.  I've started liking the show, I think it is the British accents that I like LOL!

If you had a time machine would you go forward into the future or back into the past???   I'd go back to the past.  I'd love to experience life during certain times in history.     From about the end of the civil war through 1960 is interesting to me.  Of course I'm a huge WWII buff so that whole time period is most interesting to me.  But I couldn't be like the people in Dr Who, I'd tried to change the past so everything would be perfect for everyone.  I'm too big of a fixer:)

The future is so unknown to me, well and to everyone else too for that matter.  But I have no desire to see the future.  Last night we passed a psychic store and were talking about that very thing.  Personally I do not want to know the future.  I'm good with going day by day! 

Well I do know my near future will consist of many baby hugs:)  I foresee that Sarah will want me to hold her and Sam will give me kisses!  Steve will run out the door and Shad will tell us a blow by blow description of all that happened (told in the best light possible!) 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NO on amendment 2!!!

Listen I could get used to living in a hotel!   Nothing sooths my soul like QUIET!  I don't indulge in it very often as I have too many people needing me all of the time but I LOVE being alone.  Jon got out of his seminar early and I guess I offended him when he walked in so he got changed and went for a jog LOL  I have missed being ALONE for a long time.  And take out has become my friend! 

There were things I worked on today.....
We have some friends in Ukraine who are interested in emigrating to the USA.  They pastored a Pentecostal church.  I have made probably a billizion phone calls today, leaving messages on various numbers...  If YOU have ANY contacts with Ukrainian Pentecostal churches in the USA would you please contact me at    Thank you!!!  I saw this article today of damage done to the soccer stadium in Donetsk.  We drove by their several times and by coincidence I am wearing my 2012 Championship Tshirt today .... how odd is that?

I was going to save this for closer to the election but......NO on amendment 2!!!  

This is a rant from John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan-a law firm.  He is the Chairman of the "Yes on 2" the amendment to legalize "medical" marijuana use in Florida.  He had just finished a debate with Grady Judd the sheriff of Polk county.  THIS is the man who wants us to have "medical marijuana"  Does it look like it is aimed at sick folks????   Does it look like they want to legalize it so that the dying can have some relief?????  No, of course not.  That is not what legalizing pot is about.  BTW if I ever have an automobile accident I will not be calling Morgan & Morgan....

So if you are wondering how we will vote on Amendment 2 on election will be NO!!!!!

For way too many years Jon and I have worked with people who took that very first step into drug use by smoking pot.  I do not believe I've ever met a cocaine, heroin, meth or any other kind of drug user who did not FIRST start with pot (and usually alcohol too) Now I think I have the authority to say that marijuana is NOT something to be used lightly.  I know all the sob stories and how it "might" help someone.  It might help a dying person but the video....not too many dying folks on it (actually they are but don't know or understand it)    That's the folks who will use it.  And the way the amendment is written, it is very very lax.  Not good for Florida!
this little girl is a waiting child with several grants on her.  please contact them if interested!!!!!

Well tomorrow we are back to our reality!  No one cleaning the bathroom and making our beds!  LOL

Monday, October 20, 2014

Life is short!

So to set a record....Jon and I went by ourselves to a conference this week in Orlando!  This is what greeted us when we drove up to the resort.....Gosh we could have just stayed home and visited some relatives to see this....LOL JUST KIDDING FAMILY!

Then the gorgeous view of I-4 from our room......

the "Upside Down House" from a distance

At least the garden is nice.

it's a conference Jon has to attend.  I have to say it is a step up from the last one we went to about 8 years ago.  That one was held in a dusty old church conference camp.  It was in February and I was freezing the whole time.  I had all the kids with me all day in the little dirty room.  I was TICKED off to say the least.  I'm not sure if I'm over that trip yet! 
I don't do conference very good.  I'm not a "rah rah" person who wants to be a part of the big group.  I'm the one sitting in the back rolling my eyes out of my head.  So...we don't do many conferences.  I came this time for Jon's sake, for some reason he likes to go alone with no kids LOL.  I'm not required or even wanted at any of the meetings and that is good for me!
When we first got here (after I finished laughing at the toilet) I really thought about going home for the kids. They would enjoy this place.   A few weekends ago was the first time we'd gone anywhere without them for over 16 years.  So this makes TWO times in one month.  The anniversary trip was ok for me, since I felt like it was good for us.  This trip is also good for us and is relaxing for me but I feel guilty even tho we'll only be gone for a little over 48 hours from the kids. 
It's the hardest for me to leave Sarah, she is a "mama's girl" and gets upset if she doesn't have me!  Can I admit that makes me happy:)   But since she doesn't understand when I'm not there, it's hard for me to leave her.  Steve promised me he'd put her next to him the WHOLE time he watches tv....she should be ok!  But somedays if I'm busy and don't' sit with her during the day, she calls out for me with a little noise that has a question mark sound on the end.  She doesn't say "Mama" -she uses that for me sometimes when I hold her- but it's a sound like "where's my mama?" and when she does that, I drop whatever I'm doing and hold her for a little bit.  Sarah is such an easy child, and asks so little that I really try and meet her emotional needs when she shares them.   So it's hard for me to be away from her!  Obviously Steve and Shad are good to go and probably like it a bit too much and Sam is happy as long as he has Steve....and FOOD!  I bought  enough food to survive a Zombie Apocalypse! 
Today as I was walking about, waiting on some take out (all by myself) I checked FB and say that a ministry friend who just lost her husband to cancer, now has lost her son.  She had posted a beautiful picture of her husband embracing their son at some airport.  It was heartbreaking beautiful ....and in the caption she wrote how Steve her husband was welcoming their son home.   I can not even imagine how close heaven is to her today....  Please pray for the Hill family.  They have been faithful to God in ministry for many years.  They will continue to be faithful, of that I have no doubt but please pray for God's grace.
After reading that, it impacted me in several ways.  One thing I thought of is how short life is and how long eternity is....   Life seems so chaotic right now in so many ways, it's easy to forget that we are only passing through.....  Secondly I thought how so many times it is easy to look at a family, a couple, a ministry and think "boy I wish I was where they are".....Just remember, everyone has mountains and valleys.   Don't wish to be in anyone else's shoes, as you do not know what the future holds for them and what God will require them to walk through.   Third, I though "I hope our children are prepared to meet God" 
Yesterday our friend preached & his three points ( I LOVE 3 point sermons) were
No Reserves
No Retreats
No Regrets! 
That's how I want to live my life
no reserves (nothing but GOD to fall back on)
No retreats-not going back
NO regrets!
He said there was a study done with a group of elderly folks and the one thing they wished they could change about their lives were that they did not take enough risks!  I want to be a risk taker for God.  Life is short.....

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Last night we joined some friends and church members for the Annual banquet for the Zephyrhills Pregnancy Center.  I've always thought highly of the director and of this ministry but never knew to what extent it reaches our community.  Loved hearing the stories and talking to some of the families last night.  It's great to be PRO life- but being pro life is so much more than just being ANTI abortion.  Pregnancy Centers provide support, training education and counseling for families for Years!  Several of the moms there had  been involved with the Center for five years or more.  This center provides GED classes, parenting classes, clothing and all kinds of assistance.  It was a good night!

This morning one of our "old" friends preached in our church.  TJ is a college friend and actually used to be the youth pastor at our church years ago-before our time.  He is now Doctor Kimball and is a Christian counselor as well as an advocate for special needs families.  He and his wife, Liz, have three boys, one who has Down's Syndrome.  They have a ministry called Joshua's Friends  to help other parents and have many plans to expand that ministry.


 Jon and TJ have been good friends for over 20 years.
There is one thing about being in the ministry, that is hard.  We have close friends all across the nation and overseas that we only get to see in passing.   Some we went to college together, some we've worked with in various ministries, some we've met briefly and just "clicked with".....we get just a few hours here and there to see each other and then it's back to our places of ministry  Since college, we've only had a chance to see the Kimballs a few times.  We have so many dear friends like thing I think about is that ONE day heaven will be so sweet when we get to spend time together and share how God brought us through life....

After church I just had to take some pictures of my ballerina before she changed.  Is she just precious or what???   Sarah dances on her knees during church, she ONLY responses to Christian music, Sesame Street does not interest her.  What is so beautiful, to see, sometimes Sarah will clap her hands as if in agreement with a specific song or a part of a song.  It always is so appropriate  when she does it.  I don't know what she understands but when she does her little dancing twirling, I believe she is giving praise to God.  (and I'm not big on dancing in church LOL)


Hope you all had a great weekend!  It was busy here, but good! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Walls are UP!

The first walls are up!!!!
This morning the Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers from Florida Hospital Zephyrhills met to start the work on the house!
We were able to be there, along with all the kids.  We started with a word of prayer that Jon was asked to give, then Habitat's director shared a little history and the philosophy of HH...
then the work started!

Sarah didn't like getting ups so early! Neither did Selah!

About 2pm the work was finished for the day.  The room that will be our storage room had the walls up!  Here is the "after" picture!

(we are in the middle I've got on the Capri jeans) 

This past week there has been lots of rain and the main part of the house does not yet have its' foundation.  Work will start on that this week:)

We stayed out there for a little while, then took the kids home.  After I cooked and fed everyone a "brunch", Jon and I went back out to work.  Jon turned out to be a good nailer.  Me?  Not so good.  All two of my nails had to be taken out LOL.  It is harder than it looks! 

We got to meet and talk with the volunteers from Florida Hospital Zephyrhills.  It was great to get to know them.  Jon was just at a community workshop yesterday with some of them, he didn't know they'd be working on our house the next day!

Today was a FUN day~ so exciting to see the house being built.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Tomorrow is the big day-the walls go up on our new home.  We will have a ceremony at 8 am with the Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers.  How exciting for our family.  We plan on having the whole family there, maybe even Selah.  If you want to help work on the house or give towards the materials, you can click on here to sign up

I got an update on the baby boy- the mom decided to keep him, her family is supporting the decision.  In the domestic adoption world, things like that sometimes happen.  There is an older special need child that is being placed, if you are interested contact Janna for more details.

Here is the little girl Angela who we sponsor through Life2Orphans  This picture was taken over the summer at Druz Orphanage (the one we raised money for their well)  She is STANDING!!!!!!

Here is me and Angela while she was in Torez Mental Institution.  We had just started sponsoring her while we were in the process of adopting Sarah and Selah.  Both of my girls had a sponsor for which I was eternally grateful.  So I had asked L2O if there was a child we could sponsor to "pay it back".  they told me about Angela and that is who we picked.  Getting to meet her was very emotional for me.  I cried for her.  Even with a sponsor it was a hard place to be. 

I was able to play with her on several occasions.  She was brought out to us.  We bought her some toys before we left. 
Many people sponsor kids and never get the chance to meet them.  We were lucky but it was very hard emotionally to meet her.  I felt guilty for not adopting her also but at the time, we felt she had so many needs that we could not take care of her.  She was not mobile and it was doubtful she could ever walk.  We felt like we could not adopt a child that could never walk.  We knew Sarah couldn't and Selah didn't walk good but we thought both would improve.  Now, we know we could take care of a child that can not walk.  Who day if the war ends over there......  In the meanwhile we support her and her caregiver and we are raising funds for the orphanage during their time of crises.  Pray that God will protect this sweet little girl!!!!
here is where you can donate to this wonderful project to help the children of Ukraine.  We are still working on the Druz project,  to help pay for beds for the kids.   Still need about $3000 to buy the beds and mattresses for all the extra children who have been brought in from other orphanages. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My World....

In my happy little world, things are good.  Selah is on top of everything and is becoming the most consistently responsive than ever!  She looks great and is happy.  We can tell if she is happy, because she makes faces when she is not:)   The schedule/nurse change has worked out really good for her. 

Right now the other four are outside in this beautiful late summer day ( can't call 80 degrees Fall-even in Florida)  Sam and Sarah are on the swing set, Steve is watching them, listening to music and Shad is playing.  My husband is at the prison, doing a job he loves.  I'm getting ready to cook supper and look forward to another night together with my family, watching something on TV.......but that is just in MY little world.

But in America, we have another Ebola patient, one who was on a airplane less than 24 hours before becoming sick....   We have a CDC who refuses to close our borders, when we can not even keep the few patients we've had from infecting others. 

For the record, all three of our adoptive kids HAD to be tested for TB BEFORE being allowed a visa to come to the USA!  I've heard of families, that their newly adopted kids tested positive and the families were stuck in the countries they adopted from while the child was getting treatment.    When you adopted internationally after you finished with that countries paperwork THEN you go to the American Embassy and the child has a physical including a TB test, if there is a reaction, then the child has further testing, if truly positive, the child is NOT allowed into the USA.  

When we adopted Shad the Bird Flu was rampant in Asia.  Many people wore masks.  I was told before I left that if I got sick I would not be allowed on an airplane to come home.....  We were screened at the airports.

Why am I telling you all of this?  I feel our borders need to be closed from admitting people in the affected areas.  Give humanitarian aid but close our borders.  Already England and France have stopped commercial flights to the affected countries.  WHY don't we follow?  It is not about being cruel or's about stopping the spread of this disease as best we can.  Quarantine has always been used to try and halt the advance of disease. 

Now we are having "mysterious" diseases that hit children.  A boy died last week just a country over from us and there still has not been a clear diagnosis.

Also have you heard about what is happening in Houston Texas?
Five pastors who have spoken publically about a new law that would allow men and women to use the same restrooms at the same time's really about much more than that but it's been called the Bathroom Bill" have now had their sermon notes, emails etc subpoenaed.  Clearly a separation of church and state....where the state is trying to control what the pastors say....

Then I think of the border problem we had BEFORE Ebola....and all the many issues and scandals rocking our government within this country. 

Then there are all the dangers from without....
North Korea.......

Outside of my little world, there is so much going on~some of these things could soon affect my world. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thoughts on Many Things.....

Just could NOT come up with a title, since this blog is about all kinds of things!

Today has been a progressively rainy day as a "cold" front has moved through Florida.  I know I say this all the time but I just love rain.  And I also like Mondays....LOL   I can't sing the Carpenter's song "Rainy Days & Mondays always get me down" because they don't :)

Sarah and Selah got their braces today.  Sarah got a short ankle brace that she tolerated much better than we anticipated.  The only shoes that work with it are Sam's tennis shoes -Only our therapist would find them for Sarah.  We keep our most frequently worn shoes by the front door on a tiered stand, so she tried all the little ones shoes with the brace until she found one that worked.  Sarah and I will be going shoe shopping this week!  she has to have pretty shoes:)  right now we are just using the brace for 30 minutes at a time.

Selah got new hand braces, that are really comfy looking.  she also got knee braces and got her regular foot braces back!  She also tolerated it all very well.  I took pictures but for some reason the laptop won't let me load them!   The new hand brace is to help her thumbs not to curl up into her hand, some days this is more bothersome than others for her.  The knee brace is help her get range of motion back in her knees, since her hip surgery & recovery time she lost some range of motion ROM, that our therapist believes can be gotten back with a little more work.  Her feet braces, were too tight so now they've been made to fit better.  

Sarah has been in the "I love Mommy & want her to hold me all day" mode :)  She used to be content with me just holding her, it helped me to get a lot of reading done.  BUT now she wants to play the "Up" game where she pulls up on my hands, pushed them away, stands for a few seconds and then sometimes takes a step into my lap.  No reading can be done while we do that for hours......  Oh but it is ok with Mommy too. 

Last night I read another mom's facebook post about her daughter also adopted from the same mental institution as my girls.....  Her daughter can speak and has given us some awful but not surprising details of life in the institution.  It hurts so bad to hear, but when I hear it, and my heart hurts, I feel like I am entering into my daughters' and the other children's suffering. I get so angry to think caregivers can be so mean to helpless children, but I know it happens.  Not all caregivers were bad, but the ones who were, were very bad. 

I have friends who don't watch the news, don't want to hear about the reality of life because life can be so sad and hard.  It can be, no lie.....  but we can also share each other's burdens.  I can pray for the children I know (and the ones I don't know) who are left behind in orphanages all over the world.

This article caught my attention....Mom Regrets Not Aborting Disabled Baby: I Would’ve Killed My Son if I Had the Chance

Unreal....Basically this couple was told their son had a small defect with his arm, turned out that he had much more wrong with him.  "Dylan was born with severe micrognathia, a condition that causes acute breathing problems and an undersized jaw. Iain said, “We made it clear to the doctors that we didn’t want a child who wasn’t going to be able to ride a bike and do things that normal children do.” Now, Dylan has a permanent tracheotomy, has a deformed arm, slurred speech and must be feed nutrient-rich milk through his stomach"  Despite his physical problems it seems he is normal mentally and his mother plans on telling him that had she known how disabled he was, she would have aborted him.  Wow that should make for a great relationship.......

The article goes on to say "Unfortunately, because of the extensive care Dylan needed, both Iain and Jill were forced to leave their jobs and were declared bankrupt. Eventually, they even lost their home"  This is a family from England where they have universal health care, so they shouldn't have had any medical bills right?  I don't understand why both parents felt forced to leave their jobs.  I know when Sam was born, I did leave my job, and he was very medically unstable but we had medical bills galore! 

Sam changed our lives......even from the beginning I was grateful for his life despite my fears for his future.  Oh I cried, some silly tears now that I look back on them.  I worried about things like him not riding a bike or playing a video game....   But the things that looked so upsetting and scary back then, are just vague memories now. 

Just like there is a commitment in marriage, there is a commitment to your children.  What if that family's "normal" daughter was in an accident?  A near drowning?  Would they still love her and take care of her.  What if the husband gets ill and is unable to walk, would the wife leave because he was now disabled?   I don't know about you but I wouldn't that husband or wife on MY "next of kin" list!!!!

This whole article is just so outside of where I live that it is hard to fathom thinking like that.....

Oh we have had some hard times financially, especially after having Sam but what is that?  I can very easily remember having to pay hospital bills so that Sam could have another surgery and wondering how we were going to make it.  Really I do not know how we did it BUT for the help of God!  We made some choices, totally changed our lifestyle (not that we were big spenders before LOL), and we made it.  We moved from the beautiful home we'd leased for years to live in a trailer ON the prison grounds, that was hard but necessary for us to do.  I only cried once about it, I was too busy taking care of Sam and we were in and out of the hospital so much, I was just glad when we were all together.  I grew to "love" that trailer at the prison so much that I was very sad to move from it to the church parsonage!  It had good memories of the four of us together.....

Obviously this women, has no idea of God.  That is pretty clear.  When one has a proper perspective of God & His ways, then I think a peace comes over every situation.  Contentment in whatever situation is really "great gain" just like the Bible says it is!   Once I learned contentment in every situation, things changed in my heart. 

I'm excited about the new house, it will make life so much easier for our family and our nurses but you know we are happy now.  We have fun now.  My little house is comfortable and the place I feel the happiest in.......because my family is there.  It's home.  We aren't waiting to move into the new house to be happy.   When Selah was in the hospital for all those long 5 months in NY, that room in the Ronald McD House with the six of us sleeping in there every night was home.  I did not pine for our little house here in Florida, I was content with the place we were at....together. 

So what I'm saying is LIFE does not have to be perfect to be good!   LIFE can be good in some of the hardest situations.  Life can be good-even when there is pain.

Selah's accident has broken my heart more than anything else ever has done.  I thought losing the twins was the absolute worse thing and it was bad.  But the accident has been far worse in so many ways, I knew Selah, I'd felt her little chubby arms around me, I'd held her hand, heard her babble, fed her supper, taught her how to drink from a cup, played with her, took her to the beach....all those precious memories.... BUT the difference between losing the twins and Selah's accident is I just gave (and give) the pain to God.  I do not "charge God foolishly" I put my trust in Him.  What a difference the outcomes have been personally.  Oh it's been hard, I've had a few panic attacks, I have had many tears....but I am trusting God through this valley.  And even if we never come out of the valley, I am content. 

My prayers are for that little boy, I doubt he feels accepted by his family.  How horrible.......

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary!

Where has Yvonne been???   Celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary:)  I fought temptation and did not take my laptop with me and since being home we have just had a crazy busy time!

For the first time in 16 years, Jon and I went on a short vacation-JUST the two of us!  We went to St Pete beach and had a great time.  It was a little odd not to have any child with us...but we had a really nice time. 

These are HAPPY feet!
the beach just makes me HAPPY! 
I'm a beach girl!

We walked down the beach and  ate lunch Friday at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel

But we stayed at a much economical hotel!  

this was our room.  

I'd recommend it, comfy bed, good shower and right on the beach -it fits my criteria!  

After lunch we swam all afternoon.  Usually when I'm at the beach, I'm holding kids, watching kids etc...  I swam so much that I was aching by the time I went to bed!  I had to take some advil:) 



We watched the sunset

this is the back of the hotel

We just stayed one night and then came home on Saturday.  I have to admit, I was glad to see my little people, all my kids but my little people were glad to see me!  I had planned on surprising Jon with a DVD set to music for our actual anniversary on the 12th (Sunday) so I had scanned all the pictures and given the disc to my friend, she then put it to music for us.  She sent it to me via FB and we had to figure out how to download it so we could play it at church Sunday.  That involved going to Staples and one of the guys there helping me!  I was able to download it to my computer after much work but could never get it off my laptop.  Luckily we were able to connect the laptop to the church's system to play it Sunday morning.  I really wish I could down load it to the blog.  Maybe one of the boys in our church can figure it out, we have a genius, who is only 15 who has more common sense than most 50 year olds:)   No one else has been able to figure out how to do it, it really got complicated!   Anyhow our pictures are set to the music "Still the One" by Orleans and the other song "Still the One" by Shania Twain - totally separate songs but meaningful to us!  Everyone had some good laughs at some of my hairdo's....I took BIG hair to some extremes at times in the early 90's!

So anyhow we get that all squared away, as well as getting clothes out for Sunday....the nurse calls me to tell me something had happened to Selah's elbow.....   the nurse was changing her out of her day clothes into her nightgown and she started crying.   Her elbow was a little red and sore.  So we called the ambulance, not wanting to try and move her ourselves if something was broken.  The ambulance crew was wonderful, we went to the local hospital HOPING they would allow her to be seen there (sometimes the smaller hospitals don't want to deal with a complicated case)  But since this was just an x-ray, they worked with us, did the x-ray.  First they told us that there was no fracture or break, but then someone thought there could be a tiny bit of bone that was off the elbow.  I could see it in the picture but they couldn't tell if that was new or old.  By that time, she didn't seem bothered by the arm/elbow, there was no redness, swelling  or problems.  To be on the safe side, they put her in a sling and we will see her orthopedic doctor next week.  I talked to him today and he wasn't worried since she does not seem to be in pain, even if it is a small fracture, this sling is all he would do for it. 

Then we all watched Jurassic Park III & dream of dinosaurs LOL!  

Sunday morning we get up early, I rushed Jon out of the house so I could run to the store and pick up the cake and food for our party.  (it was also a surprise for him)    Get to the van, and it's DEAD!  Luckily I was able to borrow the nurse's brand new sports car-so hard to do LOL and was got everything, arranged it in the Fellowship  Hall and got everyone ready....WHEW!

Our cake!

we cut it
NO we did not feed each other LOL

   I should have taken more pictures some of our folks had already gone and all the food was gone LOL
After everyone left, Jon and I went out to see the work on the house, he hadn't been out since the foundation was put in. 

This is the foundation for the car port and the storage room to the right.  

 I'm standing in what will be the kitchen & Jon is standing in what will be our room

the big part in front is the front porch

this is taken from the back of the property....see the Pine Trees?  I LOVE Pines!  And well I should since I come from the Pine Tree Capital of the South!

We'll be doing some cleaning out!

Love this big tall Pine.
Even like the Pine needles on the ground!

Today Shad had COLUMBUS DAY off.  He finished up the cake from our little party.  This picture was NOT staged which is what made it so funny!

And whether it is PC or not, YEAH for good old Christopher Columbus, when I was a child, he was respected.  Now it's all about being politically correct.  I saw "phooey" on that!
So that's been our Wedding Anniversary weekend.
I have to finish this blog by saying how very blessed I have been these last 25 years.  Believe me, we had NO idea all that was before us when we said "I do"!  Many people would look at our life and think we've had a hard/sad life.  Yes there have been hard times.....but we've learned to trust God and each other.  But really most of it has been good times, the good times, have taken the edge off of the harder times.  We've certainly have grown in our faith in ways we could have never imagined back 25 years ago, done things that weren't even things we could not even comprehend back then- on our wedding day, we would have never dreamed we would have a son from China or two daughters from Ukraine......  We would have never imagined having a son born blind, or almost losing a daughter in a near drowning....or losing the twins.....
BUT we also could not have imagined all the blessings and joys we would have either! Those blessings and joys have far out weighed those hard times.
Jon is a wonderful man to be married to, he is real, what you see in public is what you see in private.  He loves our kids 100%.  He is committed to them and to me. 
When we eloped after only knowing each other a month.....people thought we'd lost our minds.  Many people thought we'd never make it, some said it to our faces, some behind our backs....but we're still here.  We've had some rough times, times but God brought us through!  I've found it's not the fancy wedding, big gifts, all the proper steps, the big house etc that makes a MARRIAGE....marriage is made daily-it's walked out daily......   A marriage is more than a wedding.....