So thank you for the reminder to renew my blog site! I think I forget every year. Well, it’s on auto-renew now! That’s probably really good since my brain is full. I have to let things go to remember new things- so any help I get is good news.

Well, I wasn’t planning on writing today, so this will be short. But in case you hadn’t heard… it’s a BOY! Yep- 11 kids, boys win. Adrian & Tristan, J’onn & Cory, Israel & ______ (this baby with no name yet)- all in pairs. How cute is that?!


Boy  Boy

Girl   Girl   Girl

Boy  Boy


Boy  Boy

So…. following the pattern means the next 3 would be girls. But I never want to be pregnant with a girl again (so much harder on me than boys). So I’m thinking…Quit while I’m ahead. Do you hear that, Lord? I’m old now. (When he’s born in July, I’ll have just turned 43.) They call it an elderly pregnancy when you are as old as I am and your uterus is for some reason still good to go (downgraded from ancient- thanks so much).

Anyway… We are remodeling things right now. This week our upstairs bathroom is out of commission. I know it’ll be worth it in the end,  but seeing that we are down to one bathroom- downstairs- and I have to pee at least 3 times each night- it’s been a long week.

New kitchen, bathroom & laundry room cabinets will arrive later this month- that’s a whole other mess. But seeing that none of my kitchen drawers close all the way and only one of five open (almost) correctly… it needs it. Presley fell off the bathroom vanity and broke the drawers in January- so they wouldn’t close anyway, and the cupboard under the sink had a crack in the door being held together by packing tape. So nothing closed in the bathroom, and Israel would continually pull everything out of the bottom drawer. It’s definitely time.

Israel turns 1 this month. He’s been walking well for several weeks now, yet you still can’t trust him on a bed or sofa. He’s usually super happy- although he did get Hand, Foot & Mouth in February. That was the sickest kid I’ve had outside a hospital. In fact, I was packed and ready to go when he finally peed a tiny bit (it had been 48 hours since he last peed and he was out of tears and running out of drool). He had scabs covering his body and you can still see the red marks they left a month later.

We got “hardwood” (laminate) floors upstairs- thank goodness because Madeline will scoot across the floor with a flooded diaper and after a while you just can’t clean that out of carpet. I told J’onn he needed to be the Sweeper as soon as they finished eating, or the bits of food on the floor in the kitchen would get kicked all the way to my room. As he grabbed the broom he asked, “Do I have to do this forever?” “No,” I said, “But for a while.” His reply? “Thank goodness we are living in the last days.” Amen, brother!

Ok- if I’m going to go to Bible Study tonight, I have to have a nap- the older I get, the more energy these babies suck out of me.

Until next time.








Happy 2017

Well it has been quite some time since I have taken time to write. What is nice is that it doesn’t plague me as a burden so I don’t feel guilty, I just don’t have time. But today I decided it was the day- mostly because we have a break from our home fix-up projects because my husband has what he calls “some African virus” (I would call it a cold). At least we know it’s not Ebola- blood is not oozing from all his orifices…yet. The way he’s handled it, you’d think it was Ebola.

As we speak, Adrian III is taking his national EMT certification test. He passed all the practice exams, and ALERT requires a higher passing test grade than NREMT does, so I think he’ll do well. He leaves for Texas this Saturday, and assuming there are no injuries, he won’t be home until May.

Hailey and Mike are the ever happy newlywed couple. Mike has been working for us on home improvement projects with Adrian III while applying for new jobs. Funny, we’ve seen Hailey more lately. Hmmm. We’ve been bugging them for a grandchild, but their standard answer is, “Well, you’d better pray!” To which I always reply, “Oh, I have been!” They feel outnumbered. Feel free to outnumber them with me.

So, according to our Christmas card announcement, we are expecting baby 11 in July. A bit sooner than I would have picked, but a blessing none the less. Israel and this baby will be 16 months apart (J’onn & Cory are the closest- 15 months apart). I’m always open to the Lord’s will in my life for babies, but I kind of have to blame Israel on this one. He refused to nurse past six months. As in- screamed like I was torturing him when I tried to nurse him. It definitely hurt my feelings! 😉 Well, it didn’t take long after I stopped nursing him to make him an older brother.

People ask if I feel like I know what sex it is. All I can say is that I have been “boy sick” rather than “girl sick.” For example, Israel was the first baby since Tristan that I didn’t “know” what I was having when I went in for the 20 week ultrasound. He was either the sickest boy pregnancy or a mildly sick girl pregnancy, but he was in that gray area and I just didn’t know. With this one, I have actually only thrown up once- due to a smell (which I have been very sensitive to), and I did have a stomach virus (which after realizing it was a virus and my morning sickness wasn’t getting worse, I was so thankful!), but eating consistently and the miracle of Zofran keeps the nausea under control. But there is no remedy for the exhaustion. How did Sarah do this at over twice my age??? The OCD in me hopes for a boy only because I have had all my boys in pairs between all the other girls. So keeping up with that pattern makes sense to my brain, but I realize that could be broken any time.

Anyway… Last night, My husband, Adrian & Mike were painting the kitchen and I was sitting at the table watching and talking when I told Adrian that earlier that day, Cory came in and asked me if he looks cooler than Adrian. I said, “Of course,” and he looked rather confused. I immediately modified my answer to, “Well, I mean, Adrian is really cool, but today you look cooler than him.” And he skipped away with a big grin on his face. With this information in hand, we started calling the kids in.

J’onn was first. Adrian asked him, “Who is the coolest guy in this room? Me, Adrian or Mike?”  We explained that there were no right or wrong answers, just his opinion, and after nervously laughing, he pointed to Adrian. Then Adrian asked him who the strongest guy in the room was. He said, “If there was a bad guy in your room downstairs and you had to go in there, which one of us would you take to fight them off?” J’onn then pointed to Mike.

Score: Adrian- 1, Mike- 1, Dad- 0.

Cory was next. When asked who the coolest guy in the room was he quickly replied, “Me.” (like, duh?!) OK. So we then asked who the second coolest guy in the room was and he said, “Mike.” Then we explained the bad guy scenario, and the strong guy Cory would take downstairs would be: Adrian.

Score: Adrian-2, Mike- 2, Dad- 0.

Next was Presley. She tends to be politically correct, and later tried to change her answers with explanations, but we told her that her original answers were the right ones and they were fine. Coolest= Mike. Strongest= Adrian.

Score: Adrian-3, Mike-3, Dad-0.

Eva was asleep so I later asked her the same questions. Her answers: Adrian was the strongest. Mike the coolest. (Coolest defined to a three-year-old as someone you would want to be like.)

Score: Adrian-4, Mike-4, Dad-0.

Dad had to tell the winners last night not to take it personally, but he was going to have to hurt one of them just to prove a point. I think he can live with not being the coolest, but not being the strongest? Not being the one to rescue them from a bad guy? Well that was just too much. But we did get quite the laugh.

So what else…. We had our car stolen off our front lawn before Christmas. We did get it back, but it is in the shop being fixed due to some serious joy riding. The person responsible was a newly released felon who had been picked up for a different infraction at the same time new renters found our Expedition in their backyard as they were moving in. The key fob the thief was carrying, along with Adrian’s boots he was wearing and Adrian’s backpack with his personal items inside connects him to the car. Unfortunately, Adrian had some Christmas gifts he was hiding from me in the car (think Dyson), and some camping equipment that was all sold in the 4 days time he was enjoying our car.

Adrian flew to the Bay Area to pick up my new van/bus. Whatever. It reminds me of a UPS truck. 15 seats plus cargo (9 ft tall, 22 ft long). I am fine driving it, parking it- everything- except the attention it brings. People are always staring and talking to me about it. It’s obvious from their questions they think it is a lot more money that what we paid for it. So that kind of attention makes me uncomfortable, but I am thankful and appreciative… here it is:

IMG_4631.JPG (Couldn’t even fit it all in the pic)

img_0507 (inside pic)

vehicle(Online pic)


We took our first real family vacation since Tristan’s Make-A-Wish trip 9 years ago. We drove to San Jose for Thanksgiving (nice and comfortably in my new van/ Space Shuttle Transport vehicle). Adrian III flew in from Texas a few days earlier and met us there. We even picked up Hailey, Mike and Shauna from the airport Thanksgiving morning. Friday we drove to Carlsbad- Legoland. The Hotel was just as much fun as the park. I think our favorite thing was riding on the elevators:

The Kids’ Dance Club in the hotel each night was a big hit. The Jester DJ and the pirates and princesses made it a lot of fun. And… if you go… the food at the Bricks restaurant (buffet) is amazing. Free at breakfast (yum!! Oh- and 2 chocolate muffins fit nicely in a coffee to-go cup for later!), expensive at dinner- but worth it. Basically all you can eat prime rib (delicious) and things like that- with a kids’ station, too!


J’onn was chosen to be in an audience-participation play, which he loved:


The fact that the rooms are themed (we stayed in pirate rooms) is super fun. Here are some pics of us at the park:

img_0443img_0341img_0357img_0456img_0397img_0392img_0449img_0370img_0493Madeline’s favorite part of the trip- she was communicating with the Jester- it was amazing!

We loved seeing our family (it had been over 12 years since I had been to San Jose)- many of whom we had not seen in 8 years. But the best part of the trip was unplanned. After we were already on the road, we found out that some friends of ours were heading to Pleasanton (about an hour north of our first destination). We ended up meeting up with them in Bend, Oregon for dinner and swimming at the hotel. We also headed home on the same day so we met in Bend once more. That was such a blessing. We love the Pfening family so much!

img_0237They have 3 kids: Christian, Colin and Maggie. Our kids LOVE them! Joe is hilarious, and people confuse Allie and I all the time. (Two blonde Allies the same age, same church… It’s a lot of fun.) We actually do have a lot in common, and the fellowship with them is always a blessing. Actually, we just went to the Wandering Table restaurant with them- what a treat! This is what awaited Adrian upon our arrival:

img_0800How Joe talked McDonald’s into letting him borrow a tray is beyond me. But Joe and Allie treated us to a Chef’s Special- where you get course after course of the Chef’s choice. That was amazing. In fact, it’s in my top 5 best food experiences! (Del Monicos, The Cut, Capitol Grill, Churchills & this night!) Our meal consisted of: (Yes, I wrote this down to remember!) Bacon Maple Deviled eggs (OMG!) and a citrus salad for Adrian (who said he wouldn’t eat mayo or fish), a yummy quinoa salad (first quinoa I have liked) A Meat, Cheese, Crackers tray with pickled jalapeños, olives, garlic, candied walnuts on it, Halibut with pear sauce and blueberries (pork belly for Adrian), Steak Tartare (I skipped that one being pregnant), Flank steak with cheese topped potatoes, roasted half quails (I tried it, but it looked like a baby, so while it tasted good, I mentally couldn’t do it and Adrian finished mine), Basalmic Braised Spare Ribs followed by a dessert tray with Applewood Creme Brûlée, Purple (Huckleberry? Blueberry?) Coconut ice cream, brownies topped with iced milk, apple slices with caramel drizzled on top, and cinnamon covered donut balls on a pumpkin spread. It was a fabulous four hours, time always flies with Joe and Allie, and we loved it.

We went to the American Childhood Cancer Christmas party and J’onn brought the house down singing his all-time favorite song. The college kids he’d been befriending were screaming his name- it was fun. (Worth watching until the end):

After this song, I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas) started and the MC just handed J’onn the microphone and walked away. (Here’s a small clip of that):

Then we had a nice Christmas: we went to church, came home and opened gifts. The kids’ main gifts this year was Legoland. I did, however, do some awesome “stockings” in pillowcase -like  Christmas bags with drawstrings- which is how I think we’ll continue Christmas- no wrapping!!! Eva did ask after EACH item she pulled out of her bag, “Is this mine?” From each little Playdoh to her Superhero Girl dolls. “Is this mine?” “Yes, Everything in that bag is yours! Yes, yes, yes!” But it was fun.

Ok, well I’m almost a month late taking Adrian III to his birthday lunch, and he is on his way home from the test so I have to go. Maybe we’ll talk soon! Happy 2017 to all!



Family Fun

So last time I mentioned that Eva likes to yell at airplanes flying above to come and get her. It’s only gotten worse. Yesterday it was a helicopter and she screamed at the top of her lungs, “Come and get me!” Just kinda wondering what she needs rescued from….

She loves the hymn Jesus Paid it All sung by Kings Kaleidoscope. At the end of the song they repeat over and over: “O Praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead.” That’s her favorite part. I couldn’t figure out why she calls it the “Take care of my Dad” song- until I heard her singing: “Oh Praise the One who pays my Dad…”

She just turned three. This morning I asked her how old she is. She answered,”7.” I started tickling her to get the right answer. “49!” So really she’s just a math genius, whose next answer would probably have been 2401. (And MAYBE I used a calculator to multiply 49×49…MAYBE.)

Israel is getting so big. No, really… SO BIG. He only nurses at night- little stinker- so if he does want to eat, which I recognize by his restlessness, I gladly feed him. The other night, every time he wanted to eat, he growled like a bear. EVERY TIME- which happened to be many more times than usual. And not like a cute little bear cub. LIKE A FULL GROWN GRIZZLY FIGHTING FOR A DEER CARCASS! Lovely. That’s what I’ve been reduced to, a carcass for food that he growls over. So male.

Madeline was watching the Wiggles the other day. Captain Feathersword was singing with some pirates and she asked me, “WhaDah?”I told her, “It’s a pirate. Say Pirate.” She said “Papawanna.” I laughed and said, “Papawanna?! Goosey, you’re so funny!” She said, in typical 14 year old fashion, “Maaawwwmmmm!” It was so cute.

Wanting some Corn on the Cob for dinner, and Clara being in charge of side dishes, I told her to go get the corn cooking. Her reply? “Aw shucks.” Yes that really happened.

She was telling me some Batman jokes the other day. Funny in a twisted sort of way. But that also describes her, so here they are:

What did one orphan say to the other orphan?

Robin, get in the Batmobile!

Riddler was talking to Batman and said: What do you call something with several holes in it in an alley?

Batman: (Sobbing) My parents!

Riddler: NO- I’m sorry! A Bowling Ball!!!

Still makes me laugh.

Everyone has been asking me how Hailey & Mike’s honeymoon went. Which is so sweet that they are interested, but really… what do you want me to say? “They had a great time! I mean they REALLY enjoyed it.” Or, “It rained a lot (true), so they stayed indoors…and still had a REALLY good time” ? Just wondering. Um…”They enjoyed walking around Whitefish.” Yes. I know that to be true. She told me the God is so good and faithful, and I then I asked her to stop, that I have no need for any further details. You’re welcome, Mike.

Hailey has been addicted to Famous Dave’s pickle chips, which started on her honeymoon when she took Mike to Famous Dave’s (his type of restaurant). She texted me the other day and said they taste great on a PB & J sandwich. I texted back: “Gross. Take a pregnancy test.” Her reply: “NO!NO!NO!” So besides the fact that she’s NOT pregnant, I’m pretty sure it’s not on their to-do list any time soon.

Adrian left for Texas early Monday after the wedding. He is finishing up Diving and is starting EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) training in a week or so. The boys really loved having him back even though it was only for a few days. They got some of their wrestling out of them. Shauna also loved having him back, but hopefully not for the same reason.

We had our annual day at my cousin’s place on Priest lake recently. Rockie & Dave are always so enjoyable to be around. Lunch time came and they were making sandwiches when Cory said- “That’s not Dave’s bread.” (OMG- Really?!) Due to HORROR, the rest is a little jumbled in my mind, but I picture it happening like this: I said “Yes, it is,” and Rockie said, “This is Dave,” and Dave continued, “And this is my bread.” Problem solved.

Just after that visit, we had our first Ray family reunion. It was so great to see everyone. It was held at my Uncle Mark’s mansion with an indoor pool with several glass sliding doors that opened to the outside where there were multiple inflatable bouncy castles and slides, snow cones, and all kinds of fun. So when I told Clara to grab a floatie for Eva to swim with (we have 7 or 8 around here), she grabbed a pink one that has white duct tape around the back of one of the arms. Yup, every family has a little trash.

IMG_1177Eva without the Duct Tape Floatie on, eating a snow cone out of a McDonald’s cup- what else!

FullSizeRender (8)All the Corys at the Reunion: My Dad, Son, Brother, his son, and Rockie’s daughter.

A few days after that, Rockie and family were headed to a “Breakfast” for her engaged son, Nick, and his fiancee, Claire (and her family who came to town). This is what they saw when they arrived:

IMG_1184 I told Hailey she really dropped the ball on this one. What an ingenious idea.

A few days after that…our neighbor graciously invited us to swim at her house. When finding out we were going swimming, Eva said excitedly, “At Uncle Mark’s house!”  I’m pretty sure she’s ruined for life.

While at the family reunion, I told Clara to walk around and take some pics. I meant pics of ALL THE PEOPLE I RARELY EVER GET TO SEE! This is the one pic I got with someone in it:

FullSizeRender (9)

The rest looked something like this:


REALLY? *Sigh*

So Presley insisted that Eva sleep with her the other night. We gladly accepted her offer. Even though she’s in a toddler bed in our room, by morning she’s usually snuggling with her dad. When Presley brought her up in the morning, she looked haggard. She said, “Well I hope at least YOU got some sleep.” How many moms have said that before? She gets it.

IMG_3856 (1)IMG_3857

(I took these pics about a year ago. One right before bed when I told her I liked her ringlets. The other, when she woke up in the morning- those ringlets had…transformed. )

I took J’onn to the Eye Dr. the other day to get his glasses fixed. He was wearing his spares (perfect condition) and the band on the ends wouldn’t come off for the assistant to size them. I said, “Here, I’ll take the band off the back…woah, that’s on tight…” And then we hear a “SNAP!” Yup, I broke the back-ups. Thankfully the ones that were broken when we first arrived were just missing a screw so they fixed those and ordered a new pair. Nice job, mom.

As a side note: Signs of the Times anyone? I highly suggest watching Amir Tsarfati speaking at JD’s church. Click Here to Watch

Until next time, enjoy the rest of your summer!



“Come and get me!”

Well, I do have a few tidbits to relate to you. I hope you enjoy them!

Eva has gone from fearful to jumpy whenever a loud airplane flies overhead. Today we were on the front porch and I heard a plane so before she could get scared I said, “Look, Eva, a plane!” She looked up and yelled, “Come and get me!” Okayyy. At least it wasn’t a UFO.

We are in the midst of wedding planning- 32 days and counting. Seeing all the packages arriving in the mail, all the talk about chocolate fountains and pretty dresses, Eva was intrigued, but just didn’t understand what was going on. So, seeing that her third birthday is three days after the wedding, I told her it was for her birthday party. So, every day for weeks now, she excitedly tells people that she’s going to have a chocolate mountain at her birthday party and we can all wear dresses and go on the bouncy castle. (Yes, there’ll be a Frozen bouncy castle at the reception Eva’s party.)

So I warned Mike that he’s blog fodder now, and he gave me a good one. You know when you are saying something (over and over) and it’s just the wrong word, but you don’t realize it? Well Hailey and Mike were talking about the suspenders for the groomsmen and how he thinks they look really good. The only problem- he wasn’t saying suspenders, he was saying overalls. Hailey just couldn’t figure out why he was wanting to wear overalls! True, the wedding theme is rustic, but that’s a little too far!

I turned 42 last month. It was fun and I got great stuff from most of my kids. Clara however…. I took the tissue paper out of my bag to reveal a bunch of fun stuff. I was so excited that there were 2 candles that I like and was surprised she found them because they are often out of stock.I later found out she took them from my closet. Huge bummer. Way to shop, dear.

Eva, again. I was on my knees and elbows talking to Israel and she climbed on my back and yelled, “Go, pig!” “Ummm…no,” I said. She replied, “Go horse?” Yup…. Still a no. I felt a lot better after she climbed on Adrian’s back and said the same thing.

I let her put on some lipstick, and she does that by pursing her lips so she’s actually coloring the skin around them rather than puckering to color her actual lips. Adrian saw the result and was wiping some lipstick off her cheek. She was not happy he was doing this, so he was explaining why he was “helping” her. As soon as he finished, she turned to me and said, “Mom, dad talk too much.” I couldn’t agree more.






Happy Independence Day…

…I hope it’s not our nation’s last.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – God governs in the affairs of men, and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid?” And so it follows that a government cannot continue without the continual aid of the Creator. I could write for hours about the voluntary relinquishment and Executive thievery of our freedoms as Americans. But I think the more important issue is to realize we are deep into the end times when the Lord will return for his church at any time. So I hope, as I do every year, it is my last Independence Day- as I wait in expectation of the Rapture.

Did you know that the first SEVEN translations of the Bible translated 2 Thessalonians 2:3 differently than the King James translators (who were making a political statement against the Pope with their translation)? Here is the NIV version:

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

That word rebellion was originally the Greek noun apostiasia. We commonly refer to this word now as apostasy, or the abandonment of a religious belief. But the first SEVEN translations? Departure. They all defined it as departure- not a departure from a belief, but a physical departure. Reread it in it’s original context. Does that not give you hope? As 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says:

 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

So even in the midst of the deterioration of our once great and Godly nation, we can encourage each other knowing that the Lord has not forgotten us. He will come for us soon, even if there are desperate times prior to that day.

And we should remember that the lives sacrificed by the true friends of liberty were not wasted, as God has used our nation mightily for His purposes because of their sacrifice. We are grateful to them as we thank God we are here, in America, for such a time as this.

Be in the battle (you already are whether you know it or not).

To learn more about the meaning of departure in 2 Thessalonians, see Thomas Ice’s explanation at this link.



To my faithful followers (as few as you may be)

OK, LaDonna, this one’s for you (and Rose, who is apparently the only other person besides you to follow me!)

I have been swamped lately. That’s my continual excuse for not writing. Not writing here, that is. I did just write a “2500 word or less memoir” and submitted it in a contest. Don’t expect a follow up on that! 🙂

Actually, with baby Israel projectiling half of everything he eats on to me, my mother-in-law’s recent visit, HAILEY’S ENGAGEMENT (!), and a plethora of random appointments, I really have been swamped.

Wait- did I mention HAILEY’S ENGAGEMENT? My girls have been begging for her room since she met her husband-to-be (Mike Lindell- sorry, it’s official so you, Mike, are officially blog material now!) last October! These lovebirds can’t wait to exchange their first kiss (ever!) at the altar, so no long engagement here! 11 weeks (9 now) and busily counting down! In all truthfulness, I believe the Lord brought these two together and they are a great match for each other. But we all know what that means (all three of us married ladies that is, LaDonna and Rose!)…as iron sharpens iron! Growth hurts, even with the person you love the most in the world- let the good times begin!

Adrian leaves for ALERT in 3 weeks. If he wasn’t flying home for the wedding, we wouldn’t see him until mid-November. Fortunately, he will be able to fly home to be in the wedding so we’ll get a couple of days with him. His first class is SCUBA Career Diving. How do I feel about Adrian diving 150 feet into black water with God only knows what creatures, relying on oxygen in his tanks HE has calculated the appropriate of dive time and depth for? Let’s put it this way: When the kids went on their yearly trip with my parents, I told them (about 100 times) “DO NOT FALL AND DIE IN CRATER LAKE! I would much rather have had you fall and die in the Grand Canyon a few years ago, but don’t die in deep water!” That about says it all.

OK, so just some quick tidbits:

How is it possible that precious, tiny baby boy has MAN GAS?! I was sitting on the floor last night with Israel between my legs talking to Mike & Hailey. The next thing we hear is Israel erupting ferociously! (How that does not hurt his body is beyond me.) My only comment was that I wish he wouldn’t do that with his booty less than a foot from me. Like anyone who didn’t know him would think those noises came from that precious little thing!

So this wedding thing is a lot of work. Hailey always wanted a small wedding, so we are trying hard to grant her that wish. Mike’s list of family and friends has about 70 people on it. SO HOW IS OUR GUEST COUNT AT 250??? I went with them to register at a few stores. It gave me an idea about how to extract information from supposed terrorists. Send them shopping with ga-ga eyed, indecisive, can’t let-go-of-your-hand-so-we’ll-have-to-pick-up-this-crystal-vase-together twenty-somethings. In no time we will have the names and addresses of every terrorist cell in the U.S. because the torture is cruel beyond measurement. Enough said on that.

image image

(Mike & Hailey)

I was looking at some old notes on my phone the other day and found a sweet story I think I’ll insert at this point. On April 9, 2014 (Presley would have been 7 1/2), Clara and Presley had got in trouble for playing the “blame game” over who lost a DVD they wanted to watch (which happens way too often in this house- losing the DVD not the arguing- I hope). Presley came to me sobbing, telling me that she didn’t want to have sin in her heart. I was busy, so I told her to go pray, that talking to God in a quiet place was just like talking to me. “Do it in a quiet place, and He will hear you,” I said. Well, I quickly forgot because I became engrossed in whatever had me occupied before she came in. About a ten minutes later, she came in and stood next to me. When I realized she had returned from a specific mission, I stopped and asked her, “Well, what did He say?” She replied, “He told me to do what I know is right.” And that was it. So matter-of-fact that it took me by surprise. I wish I would get such clear answers in ten minutes!

So Little Adrian and J’onn are salty not sweet people. I mean that a literal sense (no, I have not licked either one lately- or ever- I hope), I just mean they prefer to eat those flavors. Because I had brought the little kids some candy, I also brought J’onn a Push Pop- the only candy he’ll eat. For those of you who don’t know, a Push Pop looks like this:

 and the sucker inside pops up to be slathered on by drippy, sticky tongues. Well, Eva (still two-years-old) had finished her Goobers, and apparently that was not enough for her. She came into my school room and grabbed a glue stick, that looks very similar in shape and size to her brother’s Push Pop. As I turned and realized what was happening, she took the first lick. Needless to say we had a discussion about glue and why we shouldn’t eat it. Yum.

Speaking of snacks…

Madeline is hilarious. She’s been speaking in sentences lately. Kind-of. Today we were in the car and she spoke a new sentence. I’m guessing she picked up on something from her toddler Sunday School class because she said (while signing the word for EAT): “Ga-Gan ga Gan ga nak.” I understood her instantly (which often doesn’t happen). Wait- how sad is it that I speak Ga-Gan? Anyway, it was obvious she said “It’s time to have a snack.” So we laughed as I told her, Goosey, it’s time to have a snack,” and she would relpy “Ga-Gan ga Gan ga nak!” It became even more funny when I SPOKE Ga-Gan to her: “Goosey! Ga-Gan ga Gan ga nak!” (Major laughter…followed by) “Mom! “Ga-Gan ga Gan ga nak!” Eventually we went through the DQ drive-thru and I let her finish my snack:

I would have shown you the video of her speaking Ga-gan to me, but I DIDN’T press the video button to record it UNTIL I was done, when I ended up recording my hand as I put my phone down. Oh well, you know the old saying- “Don’t drive and do videography at the same time.”

I wish that writing, surfing the web, and online shopping was conducive to weight loss. Unfortunately I think it has the opposite effect, especially since I like to snack while “working” on my computer. Why would they deceptively call it surfing then? Like Marcia’s delicious taco salad, or my mother-in-law’s strawberry salad- neither encourage weight in the right direction as salads should, but both are so yummy! My excuse for that right now is, “I just had my tenth kid!” I figure I can say that until he turns two. I’ll have to come up with something else at that point. And the only other thing I have to say about that is, “Nice timing for wedding photos, Hailey & Mike. Thanks!”

Ok, well I actually have “real” work to do here, so I need to go. I hope this was enough for now, my two adoring fans. 😉










Hello Strangers

Well, looking back I can see that I have not written anything for about 3 months. My kids have been bugging me to write something new. While there has been plenty to write, writing time has been in short supply.

I’ll start by announcing that Israel Arrow Tristan was born at 5:52 pm on March 14, 2016! He was 7 pounds, 7 ounces (my smallest boy), 19 3/4″, with plenty of blonde hair. He’s very sweet and pretty easy overall. Here are some proud mommy pics:


Israel little bro tee

IMG_7757 (2)


So now he is 3 1/2 weeks old- and time flies! There are already precious outfits he has grown out of. Adrian has been talking about having another one. Hmmm…. The scale tells me to wait a bit, I’d feel better if I lost this baby weight first! But having him reminds me that life’s greatest blessings are in no way material, or financial. In fact, our “standard of living” takes a hit each time we have a baby! But they are worth every penny.

Q. “So, are you done?

A. The “agony” of pregnancy is worth every limp I take, every Zofran I pop so as not to throw up (Thank you, Lord, for providing medical assistance as our DNA deteriorates!), every sleepless night because my hips hurt so bad, each horrible Tums I choke down every time I lay down to ease the heartburn. Motherhood is a sacrifice from day one of pregnancy, one that the Lord has yet to tell me to proactively prohibit. So even though responses are not always positive (“What were you thinking?”), it’s nobody else’s business, and is determined by God, and my obedience to what God has instructed us to do; not by what I, or Adrian, or anyone else thinks is best, no matter the justifications. Am I done? Well, He has yet to limit my ability to carry a baby. So am I done? The article I read yesterday about motherhood was entitled: “Is 50 the new 40?” I have 9+ years to go to reach 50. So then, am I done? The bottom line is this: I am done if the Lord returns soon (Maranatha!). If He tarries, well, I just don’t know, but I am available for whatever the Lord chooses.

My friend, Amber, shared a blog article that I appreciated. It’s not long, and it is worth your time. [A side note to the article: I agree with it 100%, my only caveat is that people should be walking with the Lord, meaning also raising their kids unto the Lord as well. Many are not (even “Christians”), and therefore may not be ready to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). I highly recommend the book, The Faithful Parent, by Peace & Scott to understand Ephesians 6:4 on a deeper level.]

God Created Birth Control

What else…

J’onn likes to wink. If I tell him “Thank you” for something, he’ll turn and give me a wink that says, “No problem, Mom, anything for you!” He winked at Clara the other day, and the wink was follow by: “That’s how I get all the girls.” Not quite sure how to address that one.

Eva is still so much fun. The opposite of being jealous of the baby, she thinks she’s his other mom. She really wants to breastfeed him, it has yet to work how she wants it to. The few times she has brought him to me, he’s been in the upright position (phew!). She gets bugged with me that I control bath time, but as a responsible parent I don’t see letting that one go. It is precious to see how much she loves “baby Israel.”

The other day I bought a new fruit basket- two tiered- for the kitchen table. And then I actually bought fruit to put in it. I mixed the fruit up and it looked great. Then it was Presley’s turn to clean the kitchen. After her true fashion, the next time I saw the fruit it was an lovely rows, organized by type, lined up like soldiers. I could not help but think of Hailey. But, Hailey would have probably put each kind in separate Ziplocks before putting them in the basket.

Clara just turned 13. I have nothing more to say about that because my fear overwhelms me.

Tristan’s birthday was March 23. He’d be 17 now. I am thankful he is with Jesus, but my heart still hurts, and I miss him terribly. I’m sure it will until Jesus wipes all my tears away some day. There is an obvious hole in my heart and in our family that I am thankful for. I am thankful that the hole reminds me of my boy. It reminds me that he is healed and with his risen Savior. It reminds me that this world is not my home, and my goal is to go to where T already is. So as much as this hole in my heart and in my family hurts, it is a blessing as well.

Speaking of Tristan…. Sometimes I am surprised he and Cory have never met. Cory got in trouble the other day and reported to our room wearing four pairs of shorts under his pajama pants. Tristan did that once, too. All I can do is laugh.

The older kids are well. They are so busy. Hailey works A LOT, and manages to keep a social life (yes, Mike is still in the picture!), so I rarely see her. Adrian went back to Texas in February/March to finish ERT at ALERT. He goes back in June for Diving and EMT-Basic. Right now he is working at McD’s and Spokane Gymnastics. Madeline is the same (no news is good news for her!).

Regarding my comment about Clara….

I’m not actually scared of her teenage years. Satan has filled our heads that teenagers are supposed to rebel and act out, etc…. Clara loves Jesus and is growing in Him. Rebellion is as of the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23), and my kids know this fact. Maturing and becoming more independent is one thing, rebellion for the sake of rebellion, or self-centeredness, or pride, is sin. Sin is something that needs rooted out of all our lives, not justified (“because they’re in those teen years”), or coddled. I know that if she is seeking God’s will for her life, Clara will be just fine.

I am racking my scattered brain to remember some of the funny things the kids have done lately. After each one occurred, I thought, “I need to put that on my blog.” And now I can’t remember. Maybe after a nap….

Big as a Rhino

When my older kids were younger and we were reading through Psalms in school, we always had a laugh. Presley (9 now, probably 3 or 4 back then), would thoroughly entertain us without her even knowing it. At the time, she’d just be playing while we were singing and reading, but I always knew she was paying attention. For example, Psalm 3:

O Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    there is no salvation for him in God. Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
    I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
    who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord!
    Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
    your blessing be on your people! Selah

I would read verse 2, “… there is no salvation for him in God. Selah,” and we would hear Pressy’s little voice yell, “LAA!” Every time I said Selah, she would yell “Laa,” and we would all stifle laughs because it was so cute.

So I am not a cook. I don’t like to cook, in fact just writing this down stresses me out. I understand part of my job is to provide food- mashed together into meals- for my family. But I did not grow up with that influence, and have learned very little of the art of cooking as an adult. That means I start to get anxious daily- every time I realize I have to make dinner (especially on nights we have church things going on where my time is limited).

Apparently dinner is very important to Cory (5 1/2). For the last several weeks, every day, he tells me “Mom, it’s 4:40,” or, “Mom, it’s 4:29.” It’s always 4-something. He follows this declaration by informing me it’s almost dinner time. (Apparently he picked up somewhere that dinner time should be 5:00- although that’s a little early for us usually.) If I don’t respond as immediately or as enthusiastically as he would like, he asks me, “So what are you going to make?” Ughh!

As innocent as his inquiry is, it stresses me out! His dad, however, knowing full well about my cooking aversion, is terribly proud of him, and since I pointed the routine out to him, has done nothing but encourage it. And it’s not like he’s hungry (snacks are readily available in this house)- he’s just into dinner. I need to stop writing about this, I’m getting stressed out!

Ok, so last night, Eva (2 1/3) and I Googled images of baby African animals. She loved to look at them and talk about them (her vocabulary and speaking skills are off the chart). But she fell in love with this picture:

mom n baby rhino

She would not stop saying this:

“Look, Mom, it’s me (and she’d point to the baby)! and it’s you (and she’d point to the mommy rhino)! That’s all fine and well except how perfectly it fits. Eva is a little tank- just like this baby rhino. She came out that way. I am almost 32 weeks pregnant with my 10th baby. I am also a tank- one comparable to an adult rhino. I don’t need the visual reminder from my two-year-old about my largeness!

The other picture she liked was of a mommy and baby cheetah:

baby cheetah

Once she could no longer laugh, she fake-laughed at this picture. Even now she just said “Oh, that’s me! That’s you! I’m on your head!” I definitely prefer this picture to the rhino one. It’s fairly accurate as well, I’m pretty much a jungle gym for Eva.

The last thing I’m going to update is about this little baby, Israel. He was breech at my 20 week ultrasound, and he hasn’t moved since. I’ve never had a baby breech this long. So in a month they’ll do another ultrasound to see if he’s decided to move. If not, I’ll be in the hospital at 37 weeks to try and move him manually. (They do it in the hospital because occasionally it stresses the baby out and they need to do an emergency C-Section). So, that’s new for me. Anyway, we’ll see what happens I guess.

I hope you enjoyed the holidays. We did, but as always, I am glad they are over and things are back to “normal”- whatever that means in a household of this size.

Seahawks and Santas- Rated PG-13

Well, it’s been a while. Now that Thanksgiving is over and the even busier weekend following that is winding down, I thought I’d post before Christmas totally kicks in.

A while ago, J’onn and I were walking into Target. While in the parking lot he saw some “sea hawks.” I told him yes, we call them seagulls. “Oh. Well if they were at a bay, they’d be bagels!” And he cracked up. I had to agree and laugh as well. His brain is so funny sometimes.

The following is the PG-13 part:

Last night, Cory came into the school room where I was working at my desk. He, with a very puzzled look on his furrowed brow exclaimed, very intensely,”Mom, Santa’s not really real is he?” “Well,” I replied, “He was real. He was a real person who lived a long time ago. He did so many nice things for kids that ever since then, grown-ups have bought their kids presents and pretended they are from the real Santa.”

At that point, his face melted into relief and he said, “Right! So you just order them from Santa!”

“Ok, sure.”- apparently he was not as ready for that conversation as I thought. It is revealing about how impressed we are by our culture though. Santa has never delivered presents at my house (why would I give him credit for giving my kids joy?), but they still know he should come.

Spokane recently experienced one of its worst storms ever. This wind storm downed trees and power poles causing over 180,000 people to lose power and it took many 10 days to regain it. We scraped by, never losing power, with shingles blown off our shop roof and an incredibly dirty house (the wind plastered dirt everywhere- the car wash lines were amazing). During this time, our restaurant was super busy, because no one had heat or food- or a way to heat up what food they did have.

OK, so, that’s what’s been going on in our house. I’d write about Hailey’s boyfriend, but I don’t think she’d like that. The whole experience of “courting” has really thrown her for a loop- it goes against her anti-change mantra. But I will say it has been fun to see her stretched and growing, as agonizing as it may be for her.

If I do not log back on, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. As I tell my kids, we give gifts to remember the Greatest Gift of all – God’s gift of Jesus to a sinful world that we can be reconciled to Him through His Son.