Here we go again

It’s that time.  I love having my kids home, no bed time, late dinners, and freedom that summer allows, but I also love the delightful schedule of school.


Yesterday was the first day of the 2014/15 school year.  We had four kids to get up and get ready.  My three are used to the craziness of morning, but our exchange student (K) hates mornings.  He said he loves sleep more than breakfast.  I totally get where he’s coming from.  I love sleep too.  But, a teenage boy needs food so he still has to get up.

My children generally eat toast with peanut butter on it (or pop tarts if I happen to find them on a good sale) for breakfast.  Yesterday, K was late getting up so something from the toaster was his only option.  He chose toast.  After one bite he was not impressed and decided not to eat it.  I felt like a failure.  I’m positive he eats lots of things he doesn’t love just because he’s in America and we eat lots of things he’s not used to.  So, today we made him get up and gave him eggs (we knew he liked them) and lots of fresh fruit (which we knew he liked too).  My kids were weirded out by cooked breakfast. HAHA  That’s great parenting right there.

I dropped all the kids off in the morning.  K was very nervous.  The twins shouted “bye” as the car slowed and I didn’t see them again.  They were a little nervous about their lockers but apparently managed just fine.  T waited with K to get his updated schedule which I appreciated. (I found out later from a new mom he also introduced himself to some new students and welcomed them.  I love his heart).

I’d agreed to have the fan stand open after school for the first day so I showed up early and got it set up.  When I saw Tr he informed me that 6th grade is SO MUCH BETTER than 5th grade.  C apparently had matched a couple people’s outfits. K only ate his sandwich out of his lunch and had to go directly to swim team.  T said the day was great, but no time to talk as he headed to football.

It was a successful first day.  K did fall asleep on the way home.  I’m glad he’s comfortable enough to do that.



Good report

We took a quick trip to Sacramento today to check in with our girl’s neurologist.

Two and a half years ago she had her first seizure. We were terrified & worried for what it meant for our sweet girl.

We laid it at Jesus’ feet and have had so many friends and our families join us in prayer for her.

Today the neurologist gave us good news! Her blood tests look great and she hasn’t had a seizure since they changed up her meds at our last appointment.

So, now our next goal is to reach two years seizure free. We are currently at nine months free. Please join us in prayer that the meds will continue to control the seizures.

The doctor told us originally he believed she would outgrow her epilepsy, and today he reiterated that there is still an excellent chance she could completely outgrow it! Praise the Lord!!

We are so thankful that her epilepsy can be managed & that it doesn’t affect too much of her every day life. We are blessed!

Ending Summer with a bang

We’re back from our whirlwind vacation.


We hit very little traffic on our way (glorious) and arrived in just over the 3 hours google told us the trip would take. It probably would have been exact, but I’m a terrible traveler & always have to stop. My husband has a bladder of steal & never needs to pull over. Needless to say, he is generally displeased with the kids and my inability to ‘just hold it’.

We arrived at the amazing home we were staying in, unloaded the car, & immediately went swimming. The weather was 30 degrees cooler than we’re used to & the pool was heated. It felt perfect!



Then, we went for a picnic. There was a lovely redwood area with a park. We got to relax, eat, and enjoy wandering around.




We went back & the boys played basketball while the girls swam. The house had an amazing basketball court & hoop. My boys were impressed!



We finished the night with dinner, more swimming & Mama had some margaritas. 😊


The rest of the weekend we hung out with various friends, laid by the pool, ate more than we should, played cards, and just relaxed!



We did take a quick trip to the beach. It was a little too cool for most of us to get in, but we still had fun.

This was the first vacation that we have been on where I didn’t try to fill every waking moment with something to do. I am a doer. I want to be doing something all the time. Something about doing things calms & relaxes me. My daughter is the same. She loves a good plan just like her mom. But, my husband and sons are not doers. They like to pause & just be. This trip was the first we had time to just be. It turned out wonderful. And, truth be told I feel pretty relaxed from just hanging out too.



Now, all three kids leave for a few days with my mother in law. They arrive back in time to go to my company picnic. Then, two days later Cora & I have a trip to the neurologist we are doing our best to make into a girlie trip. Our exchange student arrives soon after that. I’m so very thankful we got to spend just a few days relaxing before we end this summer with a bang!







We are leaving for vacation. I’m thrilled. It will be a short trip, but I’ve been longing for a get-away for months.

The thing about vacations is that it takes a lot of effort to get there. There is the getting everything at the office ready so I can leave without clients suffering, the packing of everyone’s bags, the general stress of cars, finances, and so much more.

But, it’s all worth it for just a few short days to spend together. A few hours at the beach, laughter, shell collecting, sand in our clothes, and thousands of small moments that help bind us together are certainly worth the stresses that preceded our departure.

So, I sat folding clothes & packing toothbrushes last night after everyone went to bed. This morning we got up early & had the usual errands to run before we could leave. Everything took just a bit longer than anticipated and so, of course, we left later than planned. But, WE ARE ON OUR WAY! Goodbye for a few days 108 degree weather, laundry, and mopping! Hello, sitting too close in the car, 100,000 bathroom stops, & uninterrupted family time! These are the tried and true experiences that build families! I’m sure we will soon hear the usual conversations of ‘are we there yet?’, ‘he’s touching me’, ‘she won’t stop talking’, and ‘when are we eating!?!’ Don’t be jealous. 😊


My sister is a genius photographer.  You can see tons of her work here.  Her name is Betsey Walton.

Right now two of her photos are in a contest for the cover of Enjoy Magazine.

Please vote for her photos.  The one with the cute little boy and his cardboard rocket ship has the most votes so probably voting for that one is best.  You can vote here!!

Thanks friends!!

Did you ever wish?

Yesterday I was feeling nostalgic.  My mind kept drifting to the last time I was alone with my mom while she could still sit up and talk.

Alone time with my mom has always been rare. When you have a large family you don’t expect to spend much time alone with anyone.  And, when you get to you cherish it.  You soak in those moments that are just the two of you.  A week and a half before my mom passed I was alone with her.  Just the two of us. And, we actually got to chat.  We talked about the kids, we talked about siblings, and we talked about life.  After the usual conversations sort of came to a halt she sat quietly for a moment.  She was very good at being calm and quiet without making it feel weird to be there.

After a little bit of quiet she said “Have you ever wished we didn’t adopt you?”

I was surprised to hear that question from her.  She had never asked it before.  She’d never even acted like the thought had occurred to her.  Maybe it hadn’t.  Maybe it was only occurring to her because she knew it might be the last time she had to ask it.

A thousand thoughts went through my head at once.  How can someone explain a heart to someone else who can’t see it and all the feelings mixed up in it?  I have always been a happy person.  I have always believed that no matter where I am, I am blessed, and truthfully someone else has it much worse than me.  I looked at her and said, “No, I’ve never wished that.  I have loved being your daughter and loved being in this family.”  There was more to the conversation, but it really got me thinking about all the emotions and feelings that surround adoption for me.

I’ve continued to think about this conversation for the past four months.  I am sure it’s partly because it’s such a sweet memory and partly because being adopted makes me a little more sensitive to such conversations.   I can honestly say I’ve never wished I wasn’t adopted.  That’s never even been a question.  But, sometimes I wonder just exactly how other adopted people feel and if they have the same questions I sometimes do.  Do they sometimes look at their family and wonder if they really fit in?  Does their heart get a little sad when they realize that so many things are genetic and they will never share that with their siblings and that will always separate them just a little bit?  And, I wonder if those thoughts and feelings are the same if the family has only adopted children as opposed to mixing biological and adopted children?  I don’t know.  I haven’t ever asked anyone I know who is adopted.  I’m sure each family is different and each circumstance is different.   I do know that when all the chips have fallen I don’t first think about the fact that I’m adopted.  And, I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.