Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Garrett!!!!

Garrett celebrated his 4th birthday on December 29th. He is (in his own words) "a big boy now!". He had a Diego themed party and was thrilled with his cake and presents. His favorite was a new Diego bike! I still need to buy him a helmet, but then he'll be all set.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Garrett finally got a haircut, too (see Colton's post). He looks so different and such a big boy! He had fun on Christmas. He got a firetruck, remote control beast and Katie got him a flashlight from the dollar store. He gets alot of celebration in one week as his 4th birthday is on December 29th. I can't believe my little boy is growing up so fast!!!!

Gifts galore

Colton, my chef, got his own set of spices. He finally got a hair cut (after Christmas), too. The pile of hair on the floor looked like Cousin It.

More Christmas pictures....

Carlina has a huge collection of Littlest Pet Shop animals. They are so cute. I am so proud of her. She saved her birthday money and work money for a long time and was able to buy an ipod right before Christmas. She loves it!!!

More outdoor pictures!!

We love Florida in December. The weather is perfect!!!!

Nature Girl

Katie is my little nature girl. She loves bugs, trees, flowers and science experiments! I really think she will be a scientist when she grows up. Florida has beautiful flora and fauna which we can enjoy year around.

Christmas day

We were so blessed to have a wonderful Christmas day together. Everyone was thrilled with their gifts. We had some very generous relatives, who without them we wouldn't have had presents. We also had a delicious turkey dinner. This is only our 2nd Christmas in Florida (although our 4th year)--and it has rained both times, although mild temps. We are so thankful that Jesus was born!! What a wonderful event to celebrate!! Here are just a few photos from that day. More to come.

Nursing home performance

Julia and Alicia performed at the Village Oaks Retirement Center with other Dance Connection dancers in December. Julia danced two dances, Alicia one and they both danced in the finale (Rocking Around the Christmas Tree). They are dancing to the Nutcracker Suite for their ballet number. Their tutus are so pretty!! Julia has 4 different costumes for the recital and competitions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Busy week and misc musings

For some reason I scheduled dental appointments and my wic appointment in this week, the busy week before Christmas. I have been very low key this year. Done minimal baking and gift buying due to minor funds:) Tomorrow is Katie's Christmas party at school and I will be attending that. Her teacher lost her husband this week suddenly, very sad! Katie has been officially diagnosed with a reading or learning disability and will get further testing. Her teacher raves that she is so bright and especially loves science (I can attest to that, she is a mad scientist!) and is mad about bugs. It is just the reading that she has a problem with. I haven't decided what to do next year, if I will homeschool her or not. She will probably repeat 1st grade in public school. Alicia really likes public school and wants to go to 5th grade in Lawton. Construction is going on full-bore around us with the church and our landlord both working on their own projects. Well baby is crying, so good night!

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 7, 2007

My little sweetie

Carlina's 14th Birthday

Carlina turned 14 on December 4th!!! We had a quiet party at home with her favorite dinner, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and chocolate cake. She got some classical music cd's, game for her ds, warm socks and a cute tee shirt.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Famous Daves

We ate here while in Sioux City with Deb. Jesse says that it has the best ribs that he has ever tasted. After he had finished his 4 rib lunch portion, the waitress even brought him 4 more for free. The beef brisket isn't so bad either...yum yum!!!! Here is the link to their website so you can see if one is in your area:

Have you read Captivating?

It is a wonderful book by John and Staci Elderedge for women. I get a daily reading sent into my email from their ministry Here is one that particularly struck me recently:

An Irreplaceable Role in a Great Adventure

When I was little girl, I used to love World War II movies. I imagined myself being in them. I dreamed of growing up, keeping my hair long, putting it in braids and then tucking them up under my helmet. I planned to disguise my gender so that I could join in. I sensed that the men in these movies were part of something heroic, valiant and worthy. I longed to be a part of it, too. In the depths of my soul, I longed to be a part of something large and good; something that required all of me; something dangerous and worth dying for.

There is something fierce in the heart of a woman. Simply insult her children, her man, or her best friend and you’ll get a taste of it. A woman is a warrior, too. (You ought to see Stasi at laser tag. It cracks me up. I mean, she gets intense about it.) But she is meant to be a warrior in a uniquely feminine way. Sometime before the sorrows of life did their best to kill it in us, most young women wanted to be a part of something grand, something important. Before doubt and accusation take hold, most little girls sense that they have a vital role to play; they want to believe there is something in them that is needed and needed desperately.

Think of Sarah from Sarah Plain and Tall . She is needed; their world is not right until she becomes a part of it. She brings her courage and her creativity to the West and helps to tame it. We are awed by the nurses in Pearl Harbor, how in the midst of a horrifying assault they bring their courage and strength to rescue the lives of hundreds of men. The women in The Lord of the Rings trilogy are valiant and beautiful – women like Arwen, Galadriel and Eowen bring change the fate of Middle Earth. And what about women like Esther and Mary and Ruth, biblical characters who had irreplaceable roles in a Great Story.

(Captivating, 11)

From The Ransomed Heart, by John Eldredge, reading 333
Ransomed Heart Ministries

Thomas, 17 months

Thomas kept very busy playing with all the toys and watching all of his siblings and cousins. He was a good little boy and did well on the trip.

More Iowa Fun

We spent lots of time in front of Grandma's toast warm fire. Aurora also celebrated her 4th birthday while we were there. Garrett is looking forward to celebrating his in about a month!

My loss

Sadly, I started bleeding while in Iowa and it was the beginnings of another miscarriage. This baby was to be due in June and will be sorely missed. I really had the feeling that this was a little girl and I had named her Susannah Faith. Now she is in the arms of the Lord. God knows best and I am trusting Him for healing and comfort. I turned 38 on November 13th and as I get older the feeling of wanting another child has not lessened its hold on me. Will it ever?

Daddy...king of the chair!

Jesse enjoyed his vacation in Iowa. He got to see all of his siblings..Jamey, Deb, Joe & Lori. They had not all been together since last Christmas.

Poor Alicia!

She was sick practically the whole time we were in Iowa and missed Thanksgiving dinner!

Katie and cousin, Jewel

Katie had a wonderful time playing with her cousins. Besides Jewel (5), the kids also got to see Ariel (8), Aurora (4), Connor (9), Mariah (16), Sarah (18) and Leah (19). The only cousins we didn't get to see were Jake & Matt.

Bakers supreme

The girls did a lot of baking at Grandma's. The smell of freshly baked cookies was often found wafting through the house.

Coat clad kids....20 degrees in Iowa!

It was very cold and took some getting used to! The kids played outside but didn't last too long:)

Picture from Grandma's hill in Iowa

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving in Iowa

The kids were thrilled to be able to go back to Iowa for Thanksgiving and see their Grandma, Aunts, Uncles & cousins. Since our van wouldn't make it the first 200 miles (understatement), we rented one. The trip is 24 hours/1500 miles! Nashville, Tennessee is half-way. It was cold and windy in Iowa but no snow to speak of, just a few flurries. We enjoyed seeing all of Jesse's siblings and most of their kids, too. Grandpa was in Albuquerque, NM visiting his sister, so we didn't see him. We spent most of the time eating, playing games and watching movies in front of a roaring fire. Some of the kids were under the weather (Katie, Alicia especially) so didn't do much. I was able to go visit my good friend, Jodi, and see her new baby, Genna (born Oct 22). She is so sweet! The trip back was harder as we ran into delays in Atlanta putting us way behind schedule. We did have fun getting off of the interstate in the mountains of Tennessee and seeing some beautiful scenery and picturesque towns...Bell Buckle and Wartrace to name a few. It was like being in the twilight zone to come home to 80 degree weather after being in the cold zone. It feels like summer down here and it is hard to get in the spirit of putting up Christmas decorations!!! Gotta love Florida!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bad hair day

Ever have one of those days?

Hiking in the woods..

We had a wonderful time on Sunday picnicking and hiking at Lake Mills Park. They have a gorgeous raised walking trail through a cypress swamp, right beside the lake. The weather was perfect. You cannot beat Florida in November. On another note, Colton is out visiting my mom in Washington state and enduring some cold weather. I think he is having fun though. He will be gone a month!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thanksgiving and other musings

It is just around the corner!! It has always been my favorite Holiday! I do miss having extended family close to celebrate it with. This year, Jesse is taking the whole week off! We are going to be camping in Ft. Wilderness down at Disney on Monday and Tuesday night. We were given a new tent by one of Jesse's customers and we have used it once, camping at Ft. Mills park, which is nearby. The kids love it! Colton is flying out to Colville, Washington on Saturday to spend a month with my mom and her husband. He will get to have a taste of very cold weather. The only heat they have is wood heat and Colton will be sleeping upstairs, which is really frigid! I am hoping it will broaden his horizons; he loves to travel. He will miss Thanksgiving with us for the first time ever. We plan to have turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, pistachio fluff, pumpkin pie, apple pie for sure. Yum yum!!!

Pointe Shoes

Julia finally turned 12 and was able to buy her long awaited pointe shoes. She has been working for a friend, once a week, helping take care of her two toddlers and do some housework to earn money. She endured a 45 minute long fitting and tried on about 20 pairs of shoes before the right ones were chosen by the dance shoe specialist. Julia has bunyons so it is essential that her shoes fit just right. She got to dance with them on Thurs for the first time, but only at barre. Eventually she will be able to do floor work when she gets more experienced. Julia didn't become interested in dance until she was 10 years old and I am very proud that she has worked so hard to reach this level! I will post a picture of Julia and her shoes as soon as I can.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm back...

and will try and do better!!! November is here and we are getting ready for our Homeschool Co-op's Thanksgiving Feast on Monday. We are having a lunch at Red Bug Lake Park, along with some fun games. I am the one facilitating this event, so hopefully all will go well. Plus, cooler weather is here!! YAY! Jesse lit a big bonfire in the backyard (which I think is illegal!). Hopefully we won't wake up to our house burning down in the night. Katie and Garrett have had so much fun playing outside since it has turned cooler. They are having mud fights and building mud castles...resulting in multiple baths in a day. My camera is out now so as soon as I get it going I will post more pictures.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


We have had a Grandma staying with us now for 3 weeks. My mom (from Washington) left yesterday, she was here for a week. Jesse's mom (from Iowa) stayed for 2 weeks. The kids have loved having them here and both have helped so much with the move and getting settled into our new place. Garrett was really sad to see them both leave. After my mom left he said "When is the next Grandma coming?". Thank God for wonderful mothers/grandmothers who are so loving, kind and giving. We are so blessed.

My mountain....

The Bible says in Mark 11:22 that we must speak to our mountains in faith....this means saying to our barriers, our doubts, whatever stands in our way things from the Word of God and believe. What is your particular mountain today? I have many things that seem to block my path lately. Instead of feeling discouraged and wanting to hide, I need to make sure that I pray, forgive, am obedient, and constantly have faith. Then nothing can block my way in Jesus. I can ask Him what he wants me to accomplish and trust that no mountain will block me from doing so.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We've moved!!!

Not to Washington like we initially thought. We are living close to where dh works, about 20 miles from where we were before. It is an old farmhouse with 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom!!!! Also, Katie and Alicia are now enrolled in elementary school!! Katie decided that she wanted to go and Alicia decided to join her. I am still homeschooling Colton, Carlina & Julia. So lots of big changes for all of us! Here are some first day of school pictures of Alicia (9) and Katie (6).

Monday, July 16, 2007


We are ready to get out of the Sunshine state and head for quieter and more rural territory:) Hopefully we will be moving out by my mom in Washington State at the end of the summer/early Fall! Yay! So much to do, moving is such a pain, but it will be so nice to be close to my mom again. Hopefully we will eventually be able to get some land and have some animals in the near future. I am not really looking forward to winters again, but will be nice to have the seasons, esp. Autumn.

Friday, July 13, 2007


We sold our camper today. We've lived in Florida for three years and only used it once during that time, so thought it should go. Plus, we can't afford it keep it any longer. We got it in November of 1999. We took a road trip to the factory in Amish country of Indiana to save $600. I remember how brillantly cold and snowy it was but the Amish buggies were out in full force. Brrrr! We pulled it back to Iowa and looked forward to many adventures! I think our first trip was to Texas in February of 2000. We went with Jesse's Mom and Dad (they pulled their camper, too), and made stops in Oklahoma, East Texas, Austin (to see friends) and Galveston (where we camped on the beach!). What a fun trip. We had four kids at that time and they fit perfectly in the four bunks. We also took the camper to Florida for a vacation in July of 2000 and camped at Ft. Wilderness in Disney and then went on the Mississippi to see relatives. Our longest trip was out to Washington in August of 2003 to see my Mom and her new husband. So beautiful going through the mountains and we got to see Yellowstone, too. My favorite trips were not long ones though but times we spent camping in beautiful places around NW Iowa. Fowlers Preserve in Smithland, Stone State Park in Sioux City, to name a few. So many good memories from those times. Once during a Spring thaw in January, we took the camper out to Nebraska to a little campground in a small town (out in the boonies!). We saw a movie that night in quonset hut theatre from the WWII era! Here is a photo of our very last camping trip. We took it to Ocala State Park in December of 2005. I was still suffering from Morning sickness (being pg with Thomas). It rained the whole time and we brought our crazy dog, Charlie. It was kind of a miserable trip all in all. Oh, well!!! Fair adieu to our dear camper who brought our family closer through the years and carried us on many grand adventures.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Et tu, Brute?

I am teaching a class on Julius Caesar to Colton and two other boys his age, thus I have been reading the book, Cliff notes, etc. I never studied Julius Caesar in school, so it is interesting to read it and understand all the underlying thing that I have learned from reading is that humans and human nature does not change, no matter the century. Praise God for our Lord, Jesus Christ who brings salvation and eventually will usher in a new world!!! I can't wait!!! Will keep you posted on how the class goes.

Lots of birthdays!!!!

We celebrated Thomas's birthday on June 26th....he is one!!!! YAY!!!! A year ago on that day I walked into Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida 9 months and 10 days pg....7 hours later I was holding little Thomas Levi in my arms....8 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches of him. He is a darling little boy, so active and fun. We all love him so much and are so blessed by him being in our family. We had a little party with a Jay-Jay the jet plane theme. He slept through most of his party, but it was enjoyed by everyone else.

15 years ago on July 2nd I gave birth to my firstborn, Colton James, in Sioux City, Iowa. That was a wonderful, scary experience.....amazing that those years have passed so quickly. Colton has a strong personality with a mind of his own. He is interested in being a film maker and is very opinionated!!! We got him a paintball gun for his birthday so he could play paintball with his friends, he has had to borrow a gun in the past.

Happy Birthday to my two beloved sons!!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007


We enjoyed a trip to the zoo yesterday with my sil Debbie and her dd, Jewel. The Brevard zoo is nice...small and nothing compared to the zoo in Omaha but really fun because it has a place where you can feed the giraffes at their level. I love going to the zoo. It is a quirky reminder of God's sense of humor and incredible love for me:) Why else would he come up with such amazing creatures, such a variety. The anteater looked like something out of a Star Wars came right up to the fence and sniffed us. The little monkey looked like a wise old man. Jesse handed the spider monkey a stick that it reached for with its tail and quickly dropped as it wasn't food. The pythons lazed around on little cots with heating 90 degree weather! The train was out of order so Garrett was disappointed but he had fun running up and down the paths.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Julia has four friends that she spends time with. She met each of them different ways... one in the neighborhood, one in school, one through dance and one in our homeschool group. She has had a really difficult time with these friendships and had many ups and downs. Only one of these little girls is a born-again Christian and she doesn't see her very often. As we haven't settled in a church yet she just hasn't had the opportunity to make many Christian friends her age. She has several things in common with each of these girls but doesn't consider any of them to be a best friend. I am constantly talking to her about trying to be a good example to her non-Christian friends and always doing what is right. I just have to praise God that I am homeschooling her as I know what goes 0n in the schools...starting in 3rd grade (maybe earlier, but this is when it started for her) she began to be pressured to have a boyfriend and focus on boys..etc. Now that is not a concern. Julia is a mature 11 year old and always a big help to me around the house. She is also an emotional child and moody which sometimes can be very trying to me. She has many goals and plans. She loves making candles and especially loves dancing. I think God has much in store for her.

Birthday Party

Today we went to Jesse's co-worker's dd's 2nd birthday party. Garrett and Thomas also got to come and were entertained by a lady dressed up as Ariel the Mermaid. She did face painting (Garrett wanted nothing to do with that!), puppets, games and balloon animals. It was fun but hot, as we sat out on their screen porch. Garrett wanted to open the birthday presents himself but was thrilled when Tara, the birthday girl, opened our gift, a Belle doll. He clapped and cheered. Thomas enjoyed playing with the balloons and balls and crawled around getting into mischief. The grand finale was when a huge power wheels (4-wheeler) was rolled out. Garrett was beside himself. He got to try it out for a bit and was devastated when he had to let Tara take it over. A power wheel gator was also brought out and Garrett had fun trucking around in that. All in all he was carried out crying. He went down for his nap murmuring about buying a John Deere and woke up saying the same....

Finally a tooth!!!

Thomas's first tooth poked through last night!!! YAY!! He is a bit over 11 months and has been seriously envying other babies his age with 4, 5 even 9 teeth!!! Having no teeth has not stopped him from wanting to eat everything under the sun. He is a gummy chewing monster! I will miss that little gummy smile but a toothy one is just as adorable. I guess walking will be the next milestone...wahhhhh! Where did my little baby go?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dance Recital

Ahhh! It's that time of year. Costumes, makeup, cameras, etc. Julia has three costumes this year! Not to mention shoes, tights $$$$!! You get the picture. All for their 2 minutes of fame. They all love it. Julia is into her second year of dancing and is very good! She is in 4 numbers in the recital and has 3 costumes!!! Alicia is good too. She is taking ballet and will be dancing to Sleeping Beauty's theme. Katie is dancing to Colors of the Wind in her Pocahontas outfit. CUUUUTE!!! Katie will not be dancing next year as that is really not her thing. She is going to do Brownies instead. But if we have the money, the other two will be dancing and there will be quite a few more recitals in our future!

Saturday, May 5, 2007


C is my firstborn. He will be 15 years old in July...what??!! That doesn't seem possible. I am OLD! He was born causing trouble and lives to continue to do so...LOL! He was a very difficult baby, never dad used to love to stir him up about his pacifier...he'd yell "NO GRANDPA!". Right now his interests are youtube (posting videos) and legos. He loves to stir up controversy where ever he goes...just ask him about time travel or Islam!! He spends alot of time with his friend "B". They are working on a science project right now but according to him it is a failure. He is dreadfully incited if anyone clicks their tongue or whistles, it seems to drive him mad! I think he wants to work movie special effects when he is old but that may change. He spends alot of time on the computer. He is not mechanical like his daddy and is very lazy when it comes to helping him! C inherited mom's curly hair, poor dude! Right now it needs cut as it is growing straight up to the ceiling and out out out! I know the feeling..or used to before my hair died:( My pet peeve about C is that he pats me on the back like I'm a dog. He does that to really bug me. My prayer for him is that he has a relationship with Jesus and lets Him lead throughout his life, that and only that will bring peace and happiness!!


Sleep was one thing that was never precious to me as a child....I didn't like to sleep, I never wanted to miss anything. As a friend used to say "When you are sleeping you can hear a pin drop!". That was then, this is now! Seven kids later I am severely sleep deprived! I daydream about sleep, crave the beast! None of my kids have ever been great sleepers as a baby. Currently baby T is teething...he wakes up about midnight and won't go back to sleep in his crib. I take him into bed with me and he tosses, turns, cries, writhing this way and that. I gave him Tylenol last night but it didn't seem to I am TIRED today! What does sleep deprivation do to a person over time? Perhaps makes them mentally unable to function...hey, that describes me exactly! Besides that, my 3 year old also sleeps with us and I usually have a foot or elbow in my rib or head. My dear hubby snores like a diesel locomotive and we have a queen sized bed for the 4 or us! A king sized bed all to myself is the stuff that dreams are made of!

Friday, May 4, 2007

A good book...

I can't be without one! I don't feel like life is complete or worth living (haha) unless one is in hand! They are hard to come by! In fact I have had to many times fall back on my good old standbys....Little House on the Prairie, Ann of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, or Chronicles of Narnia...can I count how many times I have read those Also, anything by the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Agatha Christie...I am swooning with joy!I love children's books...currently reading Gregor the Underlander series...I don't get any nasty violent or sexual surprises with those! I am not a fan of trash although I do read some best sellers that may be constituted as such (no offense!)...Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Crighton (sp?), Jodi Picoult, etc. Even...gasp...Harry Potter!! Sheer escapism! Know of a good book?? Send it my way..please!


My husband, son and I have become addicted to the t.v. show "24". We don't watch it on real-time t.v. but rent it, usually a season or two behind. Right now we are watching season 5. The action is non-stop and Jack Bauer can do no wrong saving the country in a million various ways...does this sounds like a t.v. guide review? Fun to rent it as we don't have to see any commercials. My friend and I were laughing about getting hooked on a show like that or Alias, as she was watching. You tend to get mixed up in the real world sometimes and start looking over your shoulder thinking someone is following you or maybe the checkout lady at the grocery store is really a secret agent from Khazikstan??!! All in good fun....

Golden friends

My dear friend since kindergarten came by for a visit today. We live in the same town but have a difficult time getting together sometimes. She has two little girls, ages 2 and 9 months. It is great to meet new people and make new friends on life's journey but nothing beats an old friend who has been with you through so many things. We reminised about our parents, grandparents, school and many other topics. Her older daughter had fun playing and I got to hold her baby while she fed her. We have been friends now for 32 years...that doesn't seem possible! One day we will be 80 year old grandmothers visiting about life, that will be interesting indeed. "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."