I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer projects

If you have read this blog for very long it will come as no surprise to you that we love to garden. My husband's mother has the same love and grows more than she could ever eat or share.

My sister-in-law had a great idea for her to put out a little produce stand by the road to sell the extras inexpensively to off set costs.

Steve had to have surgery to repair his shoulder again so he did more of the instructing and Nathaniel did most of the building.

I wish we had her reaction when we took it to her house. She was more than thrilled and we think it turned out pretty cute.

There are 4 tubs on the top shelf for filling with produce and we used some extra cube "walls" from an organizer set for the bottom shelf. It will make for easy hosing off of the leaves and stems. The stand is complete with cashbox, bag holder and a chalkboard to write prices and information. We were able to use scraps and old vinyl tablecloth for the roof making this project just $15 for paint and bag holder. Anyone want some produce???

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Patience, young one

Almost two years ago our old hot tub died. We have missed it ever since and decided that this year we would cash out a little of Steve's vacation time and purchase another used hot tub.

You may remember about three years ago Steve fell down the stairs and injured his shoulder requiring surgery. We found the hot tub to be largely helpful in his recovery. Muscles all over are affected when something like that happens.

The hot tub was purchased and we were very excited but that excitement was short lived. We had a few problems which then produced more problems.

Weeks upon weeks through the literal snow, sleet, rain and sun my guys worked on the problems and prepared the new location. They were doing all of this during a time when Steve was again in tremendous pain from a new "injury".

We now know that he has two discs in his neck that are bulging. The pain has subsided for the most part the last couple of weeks baffling the neurologist who said he should be in a lot of pain. The numbness and weakness in his right arm is still very much cause for concern. Having a hot tub helps so much with those issues as well as the arthritis he deals with in his hips and back.

Nathaniel did a huge amount of work with his dad's direction. Steve could only do some here and there with his arm the way it is. They were determined to get this thing working and in place.

On Saturday, a few things occurred to Steve and within an hour of starting and by the grace of God, it works!!! Oh, sweet relief. We have been in it every day since as you can see Ellie enjoying it the one evening. Several of us are sleeping so much better as a result of using it right before bed. So far, it has been worth every penny and struggle to get it going.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break: Edition Get Organized

Do you have a drawer like this? If so, I feel your pain. I am married to an IT guy which means we have a lot of gadgets. With gadgets come cords to charge said gadgets.

They had become a tangled mess of cords so I decided to tackle them this during our break. Well, truth be told, Steve tackled the cords and I tackled the drawer.


I picked up some clearance baskets at our local big box store for a whopping $3 total.


I dug out some scrapbook paper that I got a great deal on and had put away for a rainy day.


Five to ten minutes later I had a drawer full of pretty baskets waiting to be filled.

Voila! It is very full and you can't see the paper very well but I am pleased. Everything has a place and each cord is easy to find. That is success in my book.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Will you marry me?

It was a sunny day recently when instead of waiting for Steve to come in from the car after work, I decided to greet him on the front step. Imagine my surprise when I was greeted with not only my husband of almost 15 years but also with this lovely bouquet of flowers. What was the occasion?

It was the anniversary of the day he proposed 15 years ago. Not only does he remember our anniversary every year but also the day he made the decision to ask me to marry him. What a guy!

This picture was taken a couple of years ago by on of our kids at the very spot he asked.

He said that he asked from this lookout because it was symbolic of the meeting of our two lives. From this place you can see the ocean for miles that he loves as well as the mountains that I love.

I don't need flowers to know he loves me but this gesture meant so much to me, was the best surprise and made me smile all week long.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beach Trip

We love going to the beach in the winter. Our beaches in the NW never really get warm and there is something really fun about being out there for a good storm.

Recently, we went out for 4 days. We enjoyed some great storming and heavy rains but on Saturday the clouds parted and the sun came out. 

We made our way out to the beach as quickly as we could. Around here the weather can change rather fast.

It was an absolutely gorgrous day and one of our favorite memories in recent history.

We have visited this same beach each year for most of these kids' lives. So many memories have been made and I can't believe how grown up they all look this year. The house we have used all of these years may not be available after this year so we tried to make the very best of every moment we had there.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us to you!

 I have been a tad MIA through the holiday season. It was the first time in a long time that we were the most prepared and relaxed as ever.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed their new pajamas, stockings and gifts as you can tell in the above picture. We have a Christmas Eve tradition of coming home from the church service to open our new pajamas. We then change into the new pjs, make hot chocolate and cider and drive around town looking at Christmas lights.

The pictures this year have made me very aware of how fast time really is going. 

Just look at those kids. They are looking so grown up!

I'm not sure my heart can take it.

I hope you and yours had a blessed Christmas season. Happy New Year!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011


It can be a challenge to teach five kids at four different grade levels. I am always looking for ways to streamline so this year I decided to choose a History curriculum that would work for multiple grade levels.

This is our supplies basket. We have clips, pencils, colored pencils, scissors and sometimes glue or other items depending on what we are working on. It works well having this in the middle of the table during work time.

This particular day the kids were working on maps of the area we had been reading about. We are currently studying the Middle Ages.

It is fascinating for me to study history as an adult. I feel like I am learning as much as the kids are learning.


Teaching multiple ages groups has its challenges but it also has some advantages. I have noticed that my youngers are mastering skills earlier than the older ones did. They really are sponges soaking up everything going on around them.

I love that they all are learning the same thing and it makes for some fun discussions around the house.


This girl loves to do anything that involves color. Can you see that smile? If it resembles art, she is in.

If you are interested we are using Story of the World, Volume 2. We read the current section, answer comprehension questions, do a narration exercise and then we choose activities from the corresponding activity book to keep things interesting. History, Geography, Writing and Art all in on place. I love it!