Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016

Well 2016 is almost over....  It's been quite a ride for our family.  This year started out with me having a large lumpectomy (turned out ok)   Then Jon having his heart attack and open heart surgery(which also turned out ok)! All of that just left us a bit stressed.  We've had many good things happen this year and even in the rough patches God was faithful.....BUT I'm hoping 2017 will be an easier year.  Looking to the future is scary for me- I'll be honest.  But we have no choice-the future is headed our way LOL I'm glad that the same God who has been with us will continue to be with us!

For our Christmas this year we went on a family cruise.  It was a great time to spend with each other with no outside interference.   (no phones!!! except for mine to make sure Selah was ok)   It was great to take a week and eat every meal together and spend alot of quality time together.  We had discussed it and the boys would rather do this over presents.  We got a few little things but this was our big presents.

We went to Hondurans

ok I have issues with petting zoos and zoos in general but these animals were rescues and seemed very content and happy

Mexico two different places

I swear Steve looks like a missionary LOL

We celebrated Sarah's 10th birthday!  she had a new dress :)

Just a few of the over 1,000 pictures we took LOL

Someone loved the food

I actually did not but one thing for our trip.  I wondered if i could do it but i had to buy Shad a pair of shoes.  But other than that-I didn't buy anything not even a toothbrush!    Obviously we did buy a few things at each stop.  I got this picture and a coconut for $15 in Honduras.

We took tours at each stop but independent not using the boat tours.  In Honduras I had a friend's relative that has a tour service and we scheduled with her (if you want her info PM me)  Everywhere else we just picked up someone at the dock.  We were happy with the tours- all between $100-$150 for a several hours tour- just our family in a van.  The cost if we scheduled through the boat would have been around $100 per person!!!  We did the same thing in the Bahamas.  Now we did pay for Steve & Shad to go to the Mayan Ruins in Mexico through a tour through the cruise company.  It was expensive but we really couldn't take the little kids plus both of us have seen Mayan ruins before and we wanted them to see them too.  Plus it was safer since we weren't with them    Of course if you take a boat arranged tour then you have no risk of being left behind at the stop LOL  I've heard of people not making it back for the ship's sailing!  If you take their tours then they promise to wait for you!!!

Anyhow we had a great time, lots of memories-nothing could be sweeter to have time together.  It was alot of work with the little ones but they had a absolute blast.  the waves were high (in my opinion) and Sarah slept so good.  She has issues with not sleeping but every night she fell asleep as soon as we put her to bed.  Shad has his own sleeping issues-occasionally he sleep walks.....he did right out of his cabin!  Luckily he woke up as soon as the door closed.  (they both see a sleep doctor!!!!)   the seas were rough and I had the patch but basically felt like I had vertigo the whole time.  I wasn't quite nauseated, but it was always close at hand.  I loved being on land!    Love cruises for the sake of going to a bunch of new places.  Jon and I  already have another one scheduled for Cuba in 2017!!!   We are getting an inside (no window) room and have a credit so it is only going to be about $200!  I'm excited but hope I don't have vertigo again!!!! 

Selah and her beloved Rose!

Selah is doing great.  She stayed home with her nurses while we were gone and had a really good week.  She remains completely stable.  Her doctors all rave at her condition.  She basically only sees  a pulmonologist and a neurologist and a gastrologist each once a year because she is so stable.  I believe it is mostly due to her team of nurses who care for her as if she were their child or grandchild.  All three have been with her now almost 4 years.  We are very happy with her care.  We know we are blessed with these women.  We appreciate them so very much.

Well I pray all of you have a good 2017!  I pray we do too!!!!  No surprises would be nice and no medical emergencies!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Life 2 Orphans -Operation Christmas Cheer

Life 2 Orphans helped our girls so much!  Can you help them make Christmas a happy day for orphans throughout Ukraine?

Amazing the love that has been spread across the world by so many Life2orphans donors, sponsors, volunteers and other caring individuals. We have a projected $2,479.00 raised for the ‘2016 Christmas Cheer’ program of love!
You can go directly to Life2Orphans link and donate and/or continue to read (any amount is appreciated to reach our goal).
Please read Elaina’s Blog –
and you can receive a Santa’s letter of your choice. You will see the listed orphanages…and the amounts needed and received already. Please contact Elaina or Megan – if you wish to sponsor one or make a donation.
Please give a piece of your heart to the many needy orphans, refugees, sponsored children, graduates program and other needy war torn victims of the on-going war in Ukraine.
It’s Christmas time again this year. I am sure you are pretty busy with preparations for this coming celebration! It is a time of great excitement for our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and we delight in giving to them and we cherish the joy and excitement they feel as they open the presents we spent so much time finding. It is a time of laughter and fun and thanksgiving and probably the greatest joy is the happiness we see in the faces of those we love and cherish, our own family members. And we are blessed!
Across the ocean in the lovely country of Ukraine there are children, many children, who don’t have parents or aunts or uncles or grandparents or friends or neighbors out shopping and planning for them. They have lived their lives as orphans, alone. Their days are full of schedules and caretakers and though the care may be adequate it still lacks the love and traditions and celebrations of a family.
Life2Ophans has, for years, been striving to make a difference in the lives of these children. Life2Oprhans has raised money for every item imaginable for orphanages in need for the past 14 years. And we have also raised money to fund a Christmas celebration for many of Ukraine’s orphanages, shelters, families of refugees (and our Graduate and Sponsor programs). Last year alone, because of the generous gifts of many, we were able to send a total of $8,500, which fully funded Christmas parties in 39 orphanages, shelters and families of refugees.
Imagine the delight in the faces of these children when they wake to their own Christmas celebration. Imagine the witness of love to these precious ones. Imagine the sweet pleasure of being the hand and heart extended to these children by your generous gift.
This year it is still very bad in Ukraine for so many. War has left many with little or nothing. Orphanages have had to welcome even more children and the number of children in each orphanage has risen and so have the costs and needs of the orphanages. It is definitely a year when these children need a little bit of laughter and celebration and a time to remember that love still remains. Your gift of any amount to help us reach $150.00 to $400.00 for each orphanage would fully fund an orphanage Christmas party. Perhaps you aren’t able to do this full amount but you could conduct a little fundraiser and raise this amount for these precious little ones. Your gift will make a HUGE difference in the lives of these children.
Please think of donating and receiving a Santa’s letter to the recipient of your choice.
Bless you all and many thanks for all the years of love you have spread throughout Ukraine!

Some pictures from 2015

Thank you!!

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Early this summer I planted some Elephant ears from our old house....

 Trumpet tree!

Here's my new Square foot Garden done in concrete instead of wood  This time of year i have leettuces and carrots and lots of herbs planted.

We still have these fruit trees and bushes to plant.  It's been hard figuring out exactly where to put them as we are a bit low laying and get alot of water during our raining months.

I think I'll try the blueberry bushes near the pine trees in the back  I'm waiting for Christmas break to plant

Banana trees
we had some at our old house but they ot killed by frost one year.  Even tho we live in a sub tropical state, some plants just can't handle the cold.  I've planted these where they have some cover from other trees and that hsould protect them.

Kiwi trees
I've never tried these and almost killed them.  I'd put them in front and the sun was too harsh.  I took off every burnt leaf, and really almost trashed them but I thought I'd try so I put them in the shade and watered them 2x a day and they came back.  I'm going to plant them with the trellis in the shade.

in all but the green pot I'm trying to grow Honeysuckle from the plant I had at our old house.  I hope to have them ready to plant by next spring.  Honeysuckle is wonderful but it really takes a few years to get going.  Once it does, it'll take over but it's work to get it to grow.

I love plants and trees as you can see.  I grew up with huge gardens and family farms so it's natural to me.  Nothing soothes me more than working in the garden.

Ok now for some family pictures....Jon and I were watching the news, evidently it was NOT interesting to Shad or the cat!

my boy all the way- Pepsi and a book!

A friend of mine gave Sam a light machine.  It's pretty awesome

yes Sam is lying there with his leg crossed.  He did that since he was in the NICU!

The boys and I went to Epcot last week


Love my garden and kiddos!!!