Wednesday, February 10, 2016

With An Open Heart - Book Review

a true story
of love, loss and
unexpected blessings...

written by 
Lisa Murphy
and Marilyn Murray Willison


Oh My Goodness,
I loved this book!

I had no idea what the story was about when I was asked 
to read the book 
and write a review.


In the beginning it took me back to our adoption journeys 
and brought back many, many fond memories.
 I could identify with everything the author was saying and I loved it!


And then...
I could see what was coming...
Oh no...
and I began to pray
as if I could actually change the past...

PLEASE NO, GOD!
I did not want this to happen because
I grew quite fond of this child and this family...


The middle of the book...
was hard...


BUT the end was triumphant!
And that was my favorite part!

All glory was given to God!
And God,
in his infinite wisdom
put all of the pieces back together
so that somehow
we could make sense out of something
that doesn't make sense to us...

So much so.
that I felt answers to
our prayers and direction,
 along with encouragement
from our Heavenly Father.


Oh, dear beautiful child...
what a blessing you have been to everyone that met you
and to all that hear your story!

You have truly blessed me...
thank you!


It's a beautiful, emotional, spiritual GOD journey!
Click on the link and it will take you to Amazon!

This book is encouraging and affirming to all parents,
both birth and adoptive.
It is much more than an adoption story.
It is a journey of the Holy Spirit!

Thank you Lisa Murphy,
 for sharing your son and HIS story!

go to




Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our Favorite Room in The House!


We love our porch!
It's our favorite room in the whole house!
In the evening Hubby and I sit down to visit. 
We update each other on our day, make future plans (for the next day, the next week, etc) 
and share our thoughts. 

One by one the children come in and join us!
It is so much fun talking to them and hearing their thoughts!
We always end up laughing!

Last night we were downloading music onto Mia and Sarah's ipod 
that they got for Christmas.
I am not good with computer things but we managed to figure it out.

The girls picked out some of their favorite Christian Music and
the rest of the sisters sang along and helped them out!
There was a lot of excitement and we stayed up later than usual!
Our boys had already gone upstairs to bed- they were tired.
Hubby may have taken a short snooze while we were working on 
downloading the music.
He decided to pop up for the pic!


Hubby and I also have correcting parties in the evening.
Oh my, we have a lot of school work to correct!
We do our best to get it done... in a timely fashion.
We have a new respect for teachers with 30 students.


Our kitties often join us in the porch. They love their cat tree!
During the day they like to look out the window and 
watch the bird, the squirrels and anything that moves.


When Hubby has to work late the kids and I have a movie night!
We love our movie nights!
Sometimes I get a shoulder rub!
Thank you Ellie, Anna and Melissa!


We got a sleep comfort bed and we LOVE it!
No more morning aches, pains or stiffness!
We really didn't think we would love it as much as we do!


We often see eagles soaring in the sky!
The kids run in the house to let me know!
They are such a majestic bird!
This guy decided to land in one of our trees!

We love seeing Eagles and have been blessed to see many of them this winter!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

An OverDue Visit!


Oh my goodness...
It has been way too long since we have seen these two... 
our oldest, Matt and our daughter in love, Caitlin! 
It's been since June...

Matt has been writing his thesis for his masters in biostatistic,
from mid summer until mid December!
And
now
he
is
DONE!

Alleluia!
Praise GOD!

He needed peace and quiet and space to get the job done.
And since we are kind of loud, energetic and a bit of a crowd,
we stayed in MN until he was finished!


Billy and Johnny got out to Colorado first
and the boys went skiing together!
Matt loves to ski and he is very good at it!
Billy and Johnny have not skied for 
FOR MANY MANY MANY YEARS!
They had a blast together and both boys improved significantly!


Although our visit was short, 
it was so much fun
and such a blessing spending it with these two!

Matt started his new job in the beginning of January
and is loving it!
No more classes, homework or papers!
Work hard during the day and in the evenings he can actually have a life!

We are so proud of you Matt!
Good job!

WE got to see you two
BUT NOW...
ALL OF THE LITTLES want to see both of you!

Looking forward to your next visit to MN!
Love you guys!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy Birthday Abby!




Our sweet girl turned 10...
I wish I could stop time!
She and the others are growing up so fast... too fast!


We went ice skating again!
I am so happy with how well they are doing in the ice!


We do have a few that say, "Are we done yet?"
We just positively encourage them to keep going
and enjoy the fun outing ;-)
It's all about having a thankful heart and
enjoying the blessings
God has given you!
Thankfully,
most of the children are loving it and want to keep going!


This time Emma wanted to give it a try!
She did a great job!


Hubby wanted to get a pic of me out there on the ice!
Honestly,
I LOVE SKATING!


It has been many years since I skated
and my goal is to
NOT FALL!
I don't care what I look like when I skate, I just don't want to fall!
It hurt many years ago and I know at my age,
 it will hurt
A LOT MORE!
I told the kids, once I fall... I quit!

Hubby stays back with Ben but I am guessing next year they will both be out on the ice!
We have the information for special skates for Ben!
Thank you anyabar1987!

http://www.glidingstars.org/orthotic-ice-skates/ I looked up and found this place that has adaptive skates and this particular one says it was designed for kids and people with Spina Bifida among other development disorders. you can also usually check with an adaptive service provider.


Our front row is growing and one by one they join the back row...
soon enough, they will all be back rowers!
Unless the biggest kids are home or the parents are in the pic!


Whose Birthday is it?

You got it!
It's
ABBY's


She is very excited to open her gifts!


It's torture waiting...
Hang on honey...
one more pic!


This girl is pretty easy to please!
She is excited about everything!
Barbie, Barbie clothes, Barbie closet, Barbie things
were the common theme on her wish list!


The crowd controlled themselves for a short while.
They made their move quite quickly from appropriate personal space to
IN YOUR FACE close!


I think this game will be a hit at our house!
I suppose at some point I will have to play it...
to show everyone...
I actually am a FUN MOM...



And since the temps are frigid cold and nobody can play outside we went out to eat!


The kids were excited to show Joy their favorite restaurant!


Sarah played the drum as we sang
HaPpY BiRtHdAy
to Abby!


Make a wish and blow out your candle!
(I think she forgot the wish in her excitement!)


And then share your dessert
whether you want to or not!
Seriously, the other children acted like they didn't just eat a 5 course meal-
they were all over Abby's dessert
and they devoured it!


The next day was actually her b-day
so we had birthday cake!


And here,
are all
the
photo bombers!


Joy is taking it all in!
She's already planning for her birthday!


Many of my photos were a blur...
these children are constantly moving...


The big kids couldn't join us...
we missed you guys!
Catch ya next time!
(and you know there will be a next time ;-)
The birthday parties NEVER end at our house!


We were considered grouping them together and having
monthly parties but not sure that we can do that...
They have already missed out on so many celebrations...
and it brings them so much joy!


The whole event is just SO MUCH FUN!
So for now, we will continue to celebrate each child!
(Disclaimer - for those that have consecutive b-days, we will just keep the party going!)


Brothers are trouble!
LLuuukkkkee!

Happy Birthday Abby!
Thankful to God for the miracles we have seen
since we have brought this girl home!
It's been nothing short of AMAZING!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

34 Years Together!


I know I have already posted this on FB
BUT
I gotta put it on the blog, too!

I am a very blessed woman-
to be married to the man of my dreams for 34 years!


We were engaged in August and then married in January!
We choose January because... well...
hubby was in school and we needed to plan a time that worked for him!
There aren't many January weddings!
I thought if we waited for the perfect June day... it would be sure to rain.
And July would be too hot and the following August was toooo far away!

Hubby and I look back at our wedding day and laugh!

It was a clear crisp January day!
The sky was the most beautiful blue and the sun shown brightly!

Thank goodness because it was 20 degrees BELOW ZERO!

That's not counting the wind chill!
With the wind chill, I think it was -30!
Yes, records were set that day!
My Dad had a truck in the parking lot to start the cars that wouldn't start (because of the cold)
and a tow truck was ready and waiting to help as needed!
We were missing quite a few guests because of the frigid temps 
but were very thankful for the hardy friends and family that were able to join us!

Over the last 34 years we have had our fair share of challenges
but 
God has been so good and has seen us through the tough times.
It has helped us to grow in our relationship and in our faith.

My hubby is a "glass half full" kinda guy!
He's smart, handsome and has a great sense of humor!

He is a positive thinker and nicest man I know!

I dated a lot of frogs before this guy!
And learned what I didn't want in a relationship.

I tell our daughters to marry someone like Daddy
and our son's to be like Dad!


19 children later...
I am still so much in love with him!
My best friend and my partner for life!

The good news is he feels the same way about me! :-)
(but he doesn't have a blog to declare his love for me ;-)


I remember way back when I was in college, I prayed about
the man that God had planned for my life...
I told God that I trusted HIM and knew HE had a good plan...
(I may have asked God to hurry, too... but I'm not admitting that to anyone!)

And then I met this guy!

Thank you God for answered prayer!


AND
Now that our van is so full with blessings we needed to get
a trailer for our luggage, etc!
Can anyone say
ROAD TRIP!

Only large families would be excited about 
getting this bad boy
for their anniversary!
(ours is a single axel)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nana and Papa Time!


We are so happy to announce the birth of our second grandchild!


Alexandra Jean was born on January 4th, 2016!
She was 7 lbs 6 oz!
And yes, I am more than thrilled that my name is her middle name!
Thank you Andrew and Katie!


 Hubby and I were able to spend a couple days with our grand babies!


It was wonderful meeting Ali for the first time and being with Emily!


Big Sis Emily got to meet Little Sis Ali in the hospital!


Emily is 21 months old!
So the girls are close in age!


She was amazed by her little sister!


It was an exciting Christmas because baby Ali
was almost born 3 weeks early-
yikes!


But then labor calmed down and she ended up arriving only one week early!
Whew!


We just can't get enough of our two baby girls!


The pics are not in any order but
there are
A LOT
of them!


New life is so amazing!


It is a miracle!


We are obviously CRAZY about our grand daughters!


We went on a little outing to the mall
and Papa took Emily for a train ride!
The rest of us got a Starbucks!


We all needed to get out of the house for a little while.
We attempted to go out for lunch...
but silly us!
We forgot we had a 21 month old and
it was just about her nap time
and a new baby!
We took our lunch "to go", instead!
It worked out perfectly!



Raise your hands if you love being a little sister!
It looks like Ali, likes being a little sis!


Yes...
I am in HEAVEN!
This little one is a very peaceful baby (so far)!


And now I am in double HEAVEN!


Emily is quite the personality!
She loved chasing us around the house with the swiffer!


She is active, fearless and loves to have fun!


She is very smart and very coordinated! She likes to climb and run!
Piggy back rides from her Daddy are her favorite thing to do!


She knows what she likes and what she doesn't like!
Playing ball with Papa was on the like list!


Ali's heading home from the hospital outfit!
I say the pants go over the onesie,
Katie says under they go under the onesie -
what do you think?


Emily loves to play Mommy with her dolly
and cook in her kitchen!
She likes her new puzzle and her lamby!
She also knows where the halloween candy is hidden...
and she likes it... a lot, too!
Nana and Papa had to make the candy go bye bye...
(she didn't see us do it...whew!)
We want to be on the liked list!


We think her feet are a bit bigger then Em's.


Papa was a little nervous to hold the baby!
He did a good job!


Until she started to cry!
That's okay Papa, it's time for her to eat!


We are going to need to watch this one
when the baby is in the rocker!


She likes to help push it!
Really really high!


Her Daddy's apple pancakes are on her like list, too!


Emily does not like being cooped up in the house all day long.
She does not like it when she can't have the halloween candy!
And she prefers Disney to CNN!


Katie took some really nice professional photos of the girls!
Don't be fooled!
It took four of us to pull it off!
I had Ali, Papa had Em and Andrew had the chocolate chips f
or bribing a certain someone into this event!
(Safety for everyone was number one!)


I'll post the good pics after Momma Kate gives me permission
and after she posts them!


A family of four!


It's very tiring being a new Dad!


Being a new Mom...
is exhausting!


At the end of our stay we had more
awake time from baby Ali!
She studied our faces and listened to our voices!


 Sisters!
So alike BUT so so different!

So thankful for our time with this sweet family!