About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

CHINA SAYS.......YES!!!!!

Woohoo!!! I'm so excited! I received the phone call today that I have been waiting for....we have preliminary acceptance to adopt our little girl from China! It was actually approved on Christmas Eve but since our agency was on break, we were just notified today! Isn't that great??

I'm not sure exactly what the time frame is yet, but I would say within a year, our little girl should be home, Lord willing!!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

What a beautiful Christmas we had! On Christmas Eve, we went to the church we were married in and enjoyed a beautiful service....the highlight for me was hearing "Oh Holy Night" sung by an incredibly gifted man! We go every year and every year "David" sings that wonderful song. Last year I cried...this year I just marveled at God's Wonderful Grace as those words were sung.

Christmas morning was kind of more sedate...we were missing some kids....Marci and her husband live in Seattle and my Jennie is visiting England this year. We were able to Skype with her and talk to Marci on the phone. Israel enjoyed his presents and so did Becca and Gideon.

Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to have our Christmas get-together with the other grown kids and their families. I can't wait to see them all together!

I hope your Christmas holiday was just as precious as ours were!!

Roger still continues to have some health concerns...he is getting over his cellulitis but has surgery in the New Year yet to face and some other issues as well. I would appreciate your prayers for this wonderful, precious, best friend, husband of mine......

Blessings to you all,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lots of Silent Nights around here....

It has been a really long time since I blogged anything...there were good reasons. It has been a really difficult month but God has shown his Grace upon us and things are looking up!
About a month ago today, we were waiting for my hubby to bring pizza home for supper when my neighbor knocked on the door. She gave me the horrible news that my dear dog Annie had pulled loose from her tie out and was just hit and killed on the road. I was devastated...to say the least. I was just about to bring her in  for the night. She truly loved being outside, too. She was my dear friend in a way that I just can't explain.

While I cried and sobbed all that night, my sweet husband was getting very very sick. We thought it was the flu but by early the next morning (Saturday), we realized it was much more than that and rushed him to the Emergency Room in Indianapolis. He has cellulitis again, but this time it was much worse than ever before. They started him on several powerful antibiotics and within a few days, he started having signs of kidney failure. They immediately stopped those antibiotics and put him on different meds. His right leg was so infected, swollen, and hot. He had huge huge blisters longer than my hand on the front and back of his legs and was in incredible pain. He continued to get worse but by Wednesday or Thursday, I noticed a marked improvement in him. All this time, Israel and I tried to stay in the hospital with him as much as possible. All the nurses got a good dose of  what homeschool "on the road" looks like. Roger stayed in the hospital for a total of 10 days but he came home on an IV medication that I have learned to give to him daily and I took care of the wounds on his leg.  He has stayed flat  on his back with his bad leg elevated for most of two weeks. He has gone back to work this week...starting out slowly and has tried to be there most of the working day. Yesterday his IV was removed and has been given another kind of antibiotic that he can take orally.

In the midst of this, I was still just so sad losing my best four legged friend. I couldn't even think about her without breaking down and crying. I was never angry at God for allowing all of this to happen but I did ask Him "WHY?"
"Why, Lord, would you take from me something that was precious, pure and good? Why would you take something from me that only wanted to please me, loved me unconditionally, enjoyed spending time with me, and was truly saddened when she was disobedient to me? She gave me such JOY!!"

 That was when a small, quiet voice spoke to me.

"THAT, my child, is what I want from you. I gave you that relationship so that you would know what kind of love and devotion I want from you. I want that kind of a relationship with my child... "

I was humbled. I knew that I haven't been that kind of  a loyal friend to God...my God, who died for me. I don't know how to be what I need to be, but I am making the effort to learn more about Him and to truly make the decision to LOVE Him the way that I should. Now when I think about my Annie, I smile...sadly, but I do enjoy her memory...a reminder of what I should be to my Savior. If a DOG can show ME what kind of unconditional love she gave to me, what more should MY love be to my Heavenly Father?

I knew that I would never ever replace my Annie but I did get little lap dog...Annie was a black lab who THOUGHT she was a lap dog...my sweetie.....

"Sherlock" is a pomeranian/sheltie mix (Or at least the vet thinks so...) He is so pretty and so rotten already. He loves me and it makes my heart ache less. I still miss my Annie but I do love him as well.

Thanksgiving was a shortened version with all the turmoil going on with Roger's illness...I even forgot to make the sweet potatoes! I didn't realize it until the next day! But it was still nice and we enjoyed the time we spent with our large family!

As crazy as it seems, I was also in the midst of filling out the paperwork to apply to adopt that precious little girl waiting for a family in China. This DOES seem the worst possible time to embark on this endeavor...now with huge medical bills looming for us...but we feel that if this is God's will, He will make a way. He never promised that things would be easy...just that He would be there before us. He is and will continue to be our Rock and our Comforter at the same time.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


We are humbled and excited that we feel that our Heavenly Father has set us out on the "adoption road" once again. We have been accepted by our adoption agency to start the process to adopt "Haoren"...an adorable little girl from China. Now our information needs to be sent to China to have them accept us. Then we can be "matched" with our little Asian Angel and then just get all of our dossier ready to be sent to China. Of course, there is a lot of fundraising to get done as well!

I have felt that I needed to do something to help fund this adoption and I have prayed about this. God has opened the door just a "crack" and I have become a Lia Sophia Adviser. (Lia Sophia sells jewelry.) I don't expect to become rich but if I can help with some of the costs of her adoption, then I will be happy!

I have also been making jelly and I've sold some already! I've made nearly $60! I know that's not a lot but it does help pay for some services we need to adopt again.

On another note, we spent a wonderful weekend in Chicago this weekend! We dropped daughter Jennie off at the airport for her to fly off to England until January. Yes, JANUARY! So that means I will be without my little girl for the holidays. But on the brighter side, JENNIE will spend the holidays with the young man she loves and his family! Isn't that awesome? Imagine spending Christmas in England! She is also planning to make the family a Thanksgiving Feast since they don't have Thanksgiving in England. Hmmmm....I wonder how that will turn out!! Haha....She's a cutie!!

That's about all that's going on around here. The leaves are falling and it's so pretty here in central Indiana!
Blessings to you!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Application turned in!!

Whew....after literally weeks of struggling with the application process, we have just faxed our application to adopt to the adoption agency. I had been doing the online application but had trouble with it working. Then, I faxed it last Thursday but they didn't receive it. THEN, we emailed it yesterday but again, it was not received. So today Roger faxed it from his office and they finally got it!!

This is the start of a very long process of this precious child's adoption. We have to be approved by the agency and then the agency in China needs to ok us before we can be "matched" with this little angel.
I am simply crazy about her. She seems to be so motivated and strong.

She has mild cerebral palsy which is only affecting her legs but she is learning to walk. I'm already so proud of her...just like I'm so proud of Israel for overcoming all that he overcame in his past.


We would love prayers regarding this adoption...for the process, for her health and our health, and for the funds to be able to do this. This is a leap of faith right now.....

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Canning Jelly and an adoption update....

What a beautiful day it is here in central Indiana. I'm about ready to tell Israel that we need to work on school OUTSIDE!!
Right now, he is coloring pictures at the kitchen table, giving me a constant stream of chatter to keep me company.
I am making jelly! I bought 100% juice at the store a few days ago to make it with and I am planning to make some for ourselves and for gift giving. I bought a blueberry/pomegranate blend. I hope it's good!

A few months back, I told you our plan to adopt a little girl from Uganda. That didn't work out for us for various reasons, especially timing. The good news is that another family here in the States IS adopting her!!! Hurray for her!!

Now the big news ....again.....is that we are working on paperwork to adopt from the special needs adoption in China. We have picked out a precious little girl....I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE with her already. I hope it works out for us. If it does, we could have her home with us in 8 to 12 months!! She is about six years old....perfect to fit in with Israel!  He would love being a big brother by only one year! Her special needs are called "mild"....but they are still definite needs that will have to be addressed...she spends much of her time in a wheelchair.  She is beautiful, adorable, sweet, well tempered, and smart! I sound like her Mommy already, don't I?

I took my daughters out to eat at a Chinese restaurant in our nearby town lately and I spoke to the woman who owns it. She is from Hong Kong and she told me that if this little girl is not adopted, her life will be very bad...."she will have no chance at life" she said, to quote her. "There are so many poor there already, and to have a girl without family and in a wheel chair....." she just shook her head. I cried.

Would you pray for us as we make this long journey again? It is a difficult, costly, and emotionally draining one but it is one that I feel God has called us to make. We are trying to scrape together all the available money to get the process started. She is worth it.....

Have a lovely fall day!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Dumpster Dive in One Easy Lesson....

Ok...I admit it. I like to dumpster dive. My hubby and I really get into it. Now....just to set the record straight, I don't actually GET IN the dumpster....that's what I have my DH for. In fact, on our first anniversary, we were all dressed up and we drove through a new neighborhood of mansions. I'd say "Mini Mansions" but there was nothing mini about any of them.
There was some pretty usable pieces of wood in the dumpsters so we proceeded to check them out. We hit the jackpot. While the wood was not usable for us, we DID find some pretty incredible ROCKS in the dumpster. We spent the next 15 minutes or so digging them out....with Roger inside the dumpster (With his nice navy blue suit on!) and me outside, making trips to load our tiny car with someone else's "trash rocks." We made QUITE a nice flower bed out of those rocks.......

We get all kinds of things from other people's trash. One time we got an entire wicker set with four chairs and a table...there was nothing wrong with them! We got a beautiful lamp shade (stained glass....pretty old!) and a huge mirror other times.

Lately, we have been looking through Costco for some really nice thrown away items. We got all the cardboard for the bottom of our raised garden beds by going through the trash. Israel has been with us for all of these foragings. We are teaching this little boy well....

However, my all time FAVORITE thing to dumpster dive for in Costco are the nice plastic containers they throw away after giving people samples. (Animal crackers, candy, etc. usually come in these handy dandy containers.)  I take them home, sanitize them, and fill them with things that usually clutter up the inside of my cabinets. I have made cute little "hats" to cover the lids and line them up on the top of my cabinets near the ceiling. Usually they look pretty cute. Right now, they need to be straightened.....

So anyway, my whole point of telling you all this stuff was to tell you about Israel's reaction to his learning to "Dumpster Dive." When I notice that they are giving samples away from something that had come in a nice plastic container, I say that we need to check the trash. Last Saturday, after his soccer game (which he played with MUCH enthusiasm!!) we once again went to Costco.  He RUSHED over to the trash container, peered over the edge and with a huge grin on his face, retrieved a very nice plastic container for me. He ran back to our shopping cart with the smile plastered on his face from ear to ear....and just to "save face", he announced to me...

"Gosh Mom!! You sure are EMBARRASSING!"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A LITTLE BIT OF QUIET TIME (and a little bit of chicken zombies)

I was quietly working in the garden yesterday when Israel sweetly asked, "Hey Mom....do you want me to help you pick the beans?"
"No, that's ok....sometimes I just like to work alone and think."
"Ohhh....are you MAD?" he worried.
"Nope." I said, "Sometimes I just like to think...and I like to have some quiet time. But thank you anyway." I smiled.
"Ok...you just want some quiet time?"
"And just some time to yourself?"
"Oh...Hey Mom?" he started again. "Can we go to my big brother Aaron's house 'cause I have never been there."
"Now Israel....that just isn't the truth. You have been there a lot of times." I scolded.
"Oh. Well, I was teasing." he excused himself.
I looked up from my "quiet" task. "Do you know that sometimes teasing can sound like a fib? Do you know about the Ten Commandments?"
"Yep! That's when the Apostle Paul went up to the mountain and God wrote the Ten Commandments."
"Well..." I corrected. "That was Moses."
"Oh yeah....Paul was the one who couldn't go to the Promised Land."
"Nope, that was Moses, too." I said, throwing another handful of beans into the basket.
"Oh...Hey Mom....Do you know that our chickens are Zombies and I'm shooting them?" He changed the subject.
The chickens were running loose in the yard and I quickly glanced around and saw that he had an empty Nerf gun in his hand. I was relieved when I realized that the gun has NEVER had any "bullets" since we had just purchased it from Goodwill.
"WOW! Chicken Zombies!" I laughed.
"Hey Mom? Are you sure you don't need some help? I hate for you to be working all ALONE!"
"Nope," I sighed. "SOMETIMES being alone is kinda nice...."
At that point, Israel's G.I.Joe...who..."in this episode" was playing the part of Indiana Jones, started "singing" to  an unknown and unseen love interest (possibly the zombie chickens?) "HEY BABY....BABY, HEY BABY...BABY...."
"HEY MOM?" Israel, not Indiana Jones, asked.
"Did you know that Moses spent 40 days on the mountain and when he came down he wanted to kill all the people because of the idol and then he broke all the Ten Commandments?"
"Wwwell....he broke the stone tablet that the Commandments were written on." I explained.
"Yeah....that's why he couldn't go to the Promised Land, 'cause he broke the Ten Commandments."
"No..." I started to explain. "It was because he HIT the big rock God was going to have water come from. God had told him to just speak to the rock."
He looked at the stick he held in his OTHER hand...the one without G.I.Joe/Indiana Jones.
"Oooohhh....HEY MOM?"
"Yep?" I said once more.
"Where did he sleep?" Israel wondered.
"Wwwhat?" At this point I was getting a bit confused.
"When Paul....I mean MOSES was on the mountain for 40 days....where did he sleep?"
"I don't know...." I started hesitatingly..."I don't think the Bible says. Maybe God made him not have to sleep. After all, he was WITH God. God is pretty miraculous!!"
Another question...."What does Miraculous mean? Amazing?"
"It means that God can do anything...He can work miracles."
"Oh." At this point, he, Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones' friends, the big stick AND the zombie gun jumped down from the seat near the garden and ran to the picnic table where the fight between good and evil continued.
"Where's your daddy?" I wondered....
"Ummm...ummm...he's ummmm....he's in the house, straightening the clothes....and making them HOT."
"That's unusual...I wonder exactly what THAT means.." I thought to myself. I had several scenarios run through my head before I realized what Israel must have meant.
"Is he IRONING his clothes for church?" I deduced.
"YES!!!" Israel grinned. "THAT'S IT!"
I was done picking beans. My "quiet time" was over for the day.
"Israel?" I called.
"Yes, Mom?"
"Are the chickens still zombies?" I feigned fear.
"No...I shot them and made them not zombies anymore."
"Oh good." I said, as I opened the garden gate.
"But don't let one of them peck you....'cause if you do, you're in TROUBLE!"
Evidently they still had a LITTLE bit of zombiness left.

Friday, August 16, 2013

What's In the Canner?

These days are getting busier and busier with the garden produce coming in! I'm planning to can green beans today. It is amazing that  I pick and pick and pick green beans and then snap them ALL....but I never have as much as I think I do to fill a canner! I think that our green beans must be just about the most expensive green beans in the world...IF you count the hours that I have put into them! They had better taste GREAT!! I think that part of the reason it is taking me a long time is that I have stringed beans instead of stringless. However, they are producing way more than the stringless bed is producing and I am grateful for what God is providing. I am sure I didn't appreciate the hard work my Mom did all the time I was growing up as she was canning so much food for her less appreciative family. I certainly didn't make it easy for her when she told me to help with the green beans!!
After I get the green beans in the canner, I am planning to can some more tomatoes. The jars are in our dishwasher now. I went out to the mini barn to get out some more jars and I find that a little mousy or two have visited them....yuck. So I scrubbed them and am now disinfecting them further in the dishwasher. I don't know WHY I thought it was necessary to share that with you.....but I did!!

Becca started her homeschool classes this week at the big church her classes are held. She is a junior in high school this year AND she is also getting college credit for what she is taking! So far she loves it and is also taking a Photography class that she is really going to enjoy.

Israel is still homeschooled as well and is doing a good job, especially in Math. He still struggles with Reading but I keep telling him that he has only learned the English language 3 years ago and had gone from home to home until he finally got to us, his forever home. He is about a year behind in Reading. But since he is at home learning, it doesn't really matter, does it? He had SEVERE lead poisoning in Africa and it may have affected his attention a little bit. He should have been really been disabled with the conditions in which he lived but as always, God is good and protected His Israel.

We have been telling Israel about the story of Joseph in the Old Testament and that at one point he told his brothers that they meant what they did to him for evil but God meant it for good. So we have paralleled it with his life. God meant for all the bad things that happened to him for good. It wasn't easy to see that but it has worked out for good. Now every time I have something unfortunate happen to me or us, Israel says to me, "God meant it for good."
Soooo....for instance,  we were driving home from an exhausting camping trip/wedding where we were making the wedding cake and the outside wedding was interrupted by a HUGE storm.. I lost my cellphone IN THE STORM. As we were heading home on a Sunday evening, the camper we were pulling had a flat tire and of course, we had no spare....God meant it for good? Of course He did!!  I don't know God's Mind but He had a reason for that to happen to us. Maybe He was saving us from an accident that would have happened if we were not delayed. Maybe He was teaching us to be better prepared the next time. Maybe He wanted me to be able to spend time with my adult nephews, sister, and brother in law who "happened" to come along at that time.  Maybe THEY needed to spend time with us....????

That was all for free....I don't know why I wrote that but now that I have, you're stuck with it.

I have had to get rid of four of my "chickens"....who turned out to be very good crowers. I gave two of them to a cousin and her neighbor and then I found on Craig's List a lady who wanted some for her property. I drove about an hour and 1/2 to deliver them but not before one of those feisty roosters grabbed hold of my arm and would not let go. I thought I was literally going to kill him before he released his nasty and sharp beak.That rooster is about the size of a young turkey. He is huge!!  I have a lovely bruise. (I'm trying to figure out how God meant it for good....but I haven't quite got an answer yet. I guess I don't need to know, right? Maybe He was telling me to wear gloves and long sleeves when handling a "honked off " rooster.....) Anyway, I drove to the area where my son is a police officer and truly enjoyed seeing our old town/hills again. I think I wouldn't mind moving back in a few years. Give me a little cabin in the woods anyday, right??

My green beans and 'maters are calling me and I am blessed to be planning to babysit two of my grandsons tonight so I have a lot to get done today! Blessings to you!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Time to Catch Up

Wow. I had no idea that it has been since May that I have posted anything. My days are incredibly full, it seems....just like everyone's! My garden is doing beautifully and I have been busy canning and dehydrating produce that the Lord has been good to give us.

My chickens are betting big! However, the six expensive and beautiful hens I purchased at the end of April are a story in themselves. I have been babying these hens and they have been following me around all over the place. I've given them good food and all along I was excitedly thinking about the good eggs they would all lay. However, it is difficult....if not impossible....to get eggs from roosters. Yep! Believe it or not, Roosters are NOT good layers. Five of my "hens" started crowing. I keep telling them if they just put their little bird brained mind to it, they could do it!!!! But they refuse and instead, most of them try to peck me. That's gratitude for you.

I have given two of my beautiful "hens" away....they are happily married now to other chickens.

I have one favorite rooster in with my little hens....I am beginning to fear that one of my baby hens may turn on me and become a rooster as well. Turncoat.....
The other two roosters are just beautiful but they are being kept away from the rest of the flock. I don't need to see anymore fights between the roosters! They are looking for new homes but I don't think they are trying very hard....

On a very sad and serious note, the terrible church bus accident was in our city. We live in the country but the accident site is on my husband's way to work. The church that the bus was from is amazing and if I ever decide to put our little Israel into school instead of homeschooling him, that is my first choice....they have a good Christian school. We have extended family members who attend there and I have often wanted to attend there myself. I am amazed at the testimony the pastor and his wife, and his late daughter in law's parents had at their press conference. Our local news channel 8 was equally amazing as they covered it. They talked about faith and Jesus, etc. It is a horrible thing to happen but the Lord is getting a lot of glory through this and if people can come to faith through it, it is a good thing. Our little Israel always tells me "God meant it for good...." anytime something bad happens. Out of the mouth of babes....
I feel so sorry for the family who lost their wife/mother. She had five children and was on the trip to be with her Down's Syndrome child while at camp. Very sad....such a hole left where she was......

Back on fun topics....I have tomatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, and yellow squash in the canner right now. I think I will use it for vegetable soup this fall or winter. I have never canned that before but I think it will be good! A few days ago I canned salsa and also some green beans. I have figured out that I won't have enough to can for our entire winter's worth of vegetables, but I can make a dent in our budget this way. Hopefully next year I can plant even more. I should have enough tomatoes or tomato juice for the winter though, my 'maters are growing like crazy!!

Well, blessings to you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gardening, Canning, and the Chicken Whisperer

The raised bed garden has been growing very well on our little "homestead"....can you actually call our little place a Homestead since it is a little less than an acre? Well, it's what God has graciously given us and I LOVE IT!! Our house is teeny compared to what we used to have when we thought we had to have "more." (about 2000 square feet smaller...)
But our yard is wonderful and backs up to a gorgeous woods. Just to the east of the woods is a huge farm field and across the road from us is more farmland. It is lovely and we have beautiful mature trees!!

I have built and filled 8 raised beds and they are pretty full of growing things. I have around 30 tomato plants and more to plant yet. I had started some from seeds and they are very slow growing...so hopefully I can plant them somewhere once they take off and we can still have some wonderful tomatoes in the fall.

I planted beans, beans, and more beans. I have 3 4X8 beds full of them!  I think I have....don't start laughing...around 860 bean plants. I'm gonna be in trouble in the summer. I think I MIGHT need some more canning jars.....square foot gardening MIGHT be the death of me!! Haha...Seriously.

We also have onions, rhubarb, lots of peppers, yellow squash, spinach, cucumbers, and a lot of herbs. I may have bitten off more than I can chew this year....since it is our first year for this. Well, I can always share.

Speaking of canning, I have canned more chicken breast. It is sooo easy! I buy it when it's on sale and then just can it. It is way more convenient than freezing and doesn't take up our limited freezer space. We have a big freezer in the garage but the electricity isn't sufficient to run the freezer. Hopefully we can get that taken care of soon! Harvesting would be a lot simpler IF I had the freezer space. Fresh then frozen green beans would be nice as well as having a lot, (and by a lot I mean a LOT) of beans canned.

Our little chickens are really growing up! We have six of them that are about 11 weeks old...one or two might be a rooster. OR we have a pullet that is really confused. We had to move them back to the back of our property in their runs. Originally we had them close to the house but we decided that we would just admire them from a bit farther away.....yeah, you get the picture. I might end up planting more garden in the area...after all, it is now already fertilized. Yuck.

Our other six chickens that I bought as tiny little chicks are getting big too! They're probably about 5 or 6 weeks old. They are pretty tame.

I've been letting them all out to roam around our yard. I have to let them out in two different groups because the bigger ones bully the tiny ones. Sibling rivalry.
If I walk past the group to go to the house or the garden or wherever, I turn around and see all those little chickens following me. I'M NOT EVEN WEARING A CHICKEN SUIT! If I plop down in the yard, pretty soon, I have a group of chickens around me. So, instead of being called the Mother Hen, I prefer to call myself the Chicken Whisperer. That's a little bit more up to date...kinda. Or I could be the Pied Piper of Chickens....

One of my poor little chickens, a Plymouth Black Barred, had a nasty run in with the bad black puppy. "Annie", the black lab mix is doing very well after her near death experience just after we got her. Evidently, she wanted to share the near death experience with one of the chickens.

It was really hot here the other day and I had been working in the garden. I decided to go in an cool off a little bit. So I let Annie off her chain and we started to go in when Annie noticed that we had left the gate to the chicken run open!! Before I knew it, she was in the little house and had a squawking terrified chicken in her mouth. Feathers were everywhere. It was awful. I had no idea that this chubby mommy/grammy could run as fast as I did but I got there just in time.  The poor chicken is ok....a little "plucked" but she is just fine. Whew!! Bad Annie...she's so cute!! She knows she did a bad thing but I don't think she really has a repentant heart yet... Have you ever seen a chicken pant before?? She just stood in the corner of the house and panted...poor little dumb chicken....Oh, wait, maybe that was me.....

Sunday afternoon we went to a relative's house to celebrate her high school graduation. The Mom also gave me some tips about graduating from homeschooling...something we will be facing in a few years. Anyway, we stayed quite a while and visited with them and all their farm critters. When we were about to leave, we were given a bunch of crackers and bread to give to our chickens. (The chickens loved it, by the way...) The crackers had been displayed circling the chicken salad so they were not able to be kept. They asked if we wanted to give the chicken salad to them, too....but I thought that was a little bit warped.....and passed on the offer. Cannibalism is not a pretty thing.

Well, that's the update. As soon as I get the area around my little garden mowed again I will try to take some pictures to post!

Have a wonderful day....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trying Times....

Good Grief, it has been a rough few weeks around here. God is still Good and looks out for us but we have had some trials come our way lately!
(Some of this may make you laugh....so bear with me.....)

A few weeks ago, I decided NOT to share a "roundabout" with another car and ended up denting my precious "Denim"...my new to me Ford Flex....I WAS there first, after all, and I preferred using BOTH lanes!!

A week ago, Roger (a.k.a. precious Hubby...) decided to become sidetracked and disregard a red traffic light, thus rendering his little car and the unfortunate recipient of his accidental blunder, undrivable...(I don't think that's a word?? Spellcheck doesn't like it....) Roger's car is totaled.

That gave Roger a broken hand and a torn muscle in his hand and lots of discomfort. We spent most of Wednesday afternoon and evening in the ER.

Friday Roger became violently ill....he was shaking so hard that I thought he was having a seizure. We assumed it was just the horrible stomach flu going around....thus I avoided him like the plague as soon as I could.....(I know....that wasn't very nice and I DID bath his poor little head with a cold cloth and emptied what needed to be emptied...if you know what I mean....but then I escaped into another room......SO I'M NOT FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE!!!)

Saturday was much the same and since my dear older sister had asked me out for lunch for my big birthday (turning 30 is rough! I'm a liar, too....)....I happily took her up on the offer...a.k.a....fled the scene......I really thought it was the flu!! Stop being so judgmental, ok????

Sunday morning, very early, Dear One woke me up and told me that he thinks he needs to go to the E.R.....he has the symptoms of cellulitis which has afflicted him several times in the past, always making him go to the hospital. Sooo....as I felt incredibly guilty, I took him to the hospital and they prescribed meds and I took him home.

Today, Wednesday, he got feeling worse and I suggested I take him to the hospital right away...so we did.
He is now in the hospital and I have just come home.

I came home to an incredibly incredibly incredibly stinking house. (This is the funny part....)

We have never had baby chickens live in our kitchen before, so I thought that the somewhat nasty odor was just the little chicks and their "residue"....although I have been cleaning the cage out daily.
The girls have had two or three candles burning to make the place bearable and the chicks and the cage were outside!!
STILL....stinky stinky, stinky!!!!!
Something had to be wrong.
Then it dawned on me that while all this other crazy stuff was going on in our lives this week, I had needed to can some ground beef and onions that I had bought on superduper sale! I had no room in our freezer so I had to can it. I had 15 pounds of it....So I did that Sunday afternoon. All that was good except that one jar exploded when it was being processed. I washed all the jars and put them away and thought I had done a pretty good job! Someone else.....I have no idea which of the five other people in this house did this.....removed my canner from the stove, replaced the lid....and I thought that that nice wonderful person had cleaned the canner out!! OH BUT I WAS MISTAKEN.......

You can imagine the rest.
Are you laughing? I am, because laughing is better than crying...and we are all fine and comfortable, usually happy, and alive. We are blessed. As soon as my hubby gets home, we will be even better.

I am writing this because I spoke to my ex husband today...who has also been in the hospital .  I called him because I am kind of a nice person sometimes....and I told him I hoped he felt better, etc....he knew what had been happening with us and I said, "Oh, it's ok, it could be worse!"
He said, "But it could be alot better, too."
And I said, "But we are fine, we are blessed, we could have lots more problems than we do and I prefer to look at it in this way."
And HE SAID, "AAALLRIGHT............." in kind of a nasty tone....(yes, I know, I didn't need to say that but sometimes....................)

It DOES make a big difference how you look at things! I think having our little Israel in our lives opens our eyes to just exactly what our lives COULD be like! He was starving....and now God has blessed him AND us.

So, there you go. More information than you really wanted to know but somehow I just wanted to say it and to praise our Savior through it....even though I can be a catty, selfish person from time to time...our Savior still loves and provides for us!

Blessings....I hope your week goes better than ours has!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Busy Days and Chickens!

Wow....central Indiana, particularly the county in which I live, received a tremendous amount of rain yesterday, last night and into this morning. The county road in front of us was completely flooded and our front yard, up to and surrounding our house, was also flooded. It was up to knee height in some areas. I'm not sure if the water got into the cars or not, the water was up to the hub cabs at about 2 a.m. when I remembered that we keep one of our doggies in the crate in the garage. I ran out there barefooted (because I couldn't find my rainboots at 2 a.m....) and rescued poor little Bella who was standing in about 2 inches of very cold water. She is a pug/beagle mix. She spent the night very happily tucked into her crate in our living room close to Annie puppy (who has never had a sleep over before!) and an irritated Precious (over 15 years old....and not in the mood for a sleep over....). OH....she's a dog, not a kid.

We didn't get any water in our house, thank the Lord, but we were really worried about the girls' bedroom that used to be the attached garage. Our neighbors got a few inches in their house/converted attached garage.

The rainwater is slowly subsiding but the public schools here have closed for the day. Unfortunately for Israel and Becca, no such luck for our homeschool academy....

Sooo....I am baking cupcakes for the "end of the homeschool co-op" school year celebration tonight (which I can't go to because I am hosting a wedding shower for my niece Heidi.) I'm also making cupcakes for the shower.

But first, before the shower and celebration night, we are going to go get our chickens!! They will be black and white....but I can't remember the exact name of them. I will have to write it down from the breeder so that I can tell you what they are.....Anyway, we are getting six, I think, to start with. We are keeping them for pets and for eggs! I can't wait!! All of my adult life (and it has been a fairly long time at this point....especially with a very big birthday coming up on Monday.......ahem......old age.....) and I just can't wait to get them! They are about 7 weeks old.

So, busy busy day today and I need to go get things done!

Beth Bower
p.s.....does anyone have an ark???? But perhaps the rain has stopped for the day???

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Last night, 20 year old Jennie (who has recently returned from England from a 2 month visit with her boyfriend and his family...) supposedly took birthday girl Becca (whose 16th birthday is today!!) out to eat and for shopping. I called and asked if I could meet them in the next town for frozen yogurt. "YES!" they both agreed!

So...about 1/2 hour or so later, I walked in and over to them. We chatted for a moment when I realized that there was a little bit of commotion behind me........

THERE, WALKING TOWARD ME, WITH A GRIN FROM EAR TO EAR......WAS MY DAUGHTER, MARCI AND HER HUSBAND, BEN!! They moved to Seattle in early August. This whole thing had been planned for months and no one gave up the secret!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Jennie had even driven to the airport and through rush hour traffic around Indianapolis to pick them up. THAT in itself is a miracle or at the very least, a true act of love. Jennie hates to drive. She absolutely despises to drive,  especially in traffic!!

I was so surprised and excited!! I was also filmed....oh what a dork I looked like!! But it was ok...my kids were there and I was sooo happy!! The yogurt place will never be the same. It was really crowded and everyone was staring. But soon the whole room was filled with smiling faces as they figured out what was going on.

We are going to go together to look at wedding dresses for a wedding that will very likely occur in the fall/winter??? Jennie and her man Chris will most likely marry and she will eventually move to England.
I had JUST talked to Marci yesterday about how sad I felt that she could not go with us to look at dresses. She supposedly was in Target in Seattle but she was actually in the Chicago airport.

I HAVE RAISED A FAMILY OF LIARS.  VERY NICE LIARS, BUT LIARS ALL THE SAME! I JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW THEY ALL GOT SO GOOD!!  Everyone in our family except the younger kids and Roger and I knew about the surprise. Even my parents knew.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Saturday evening, Roger, Israel and I came home after our usual afternoon of  our Costco "Date."
Israel....and Roger.....think it is just the best thing to get to sample different food there...AND from a "recovering" orphan's point of view, after all those early years of starvation, anywhere they give you FREE samples of yummy food HAS to be good! I'm not sure what Roger and my excuse is....
ANYWAY, when I got home, I got on the computer to check my email. Most of the time, I don't open general email newsletters from the original adoption agency we had first started with. But this time I did.

After the usual requests for donations for their African Children's Homes, there was a list of waiting children.
In that list.....a year later.....remains the little girl we were referred at the same time was said YES to Israel's adoption. It was one of the hardest things ever to know that in accepting Israel, we were denying this little girl a chance to have a home with Christian parents who would love her. It would have been nearly impossible at the time to have taken her...as much as we wanted to. We still had that big house to sell that had that equally big mortgage and upkeep on it. We didn't have the money. We would also NOT have gotten Israel....one of the best little people in the world! (To his Mommy, anyway!) We knew it was God's will...we had to pray that God would show us what to do. We are happy/thrilled that we have Israel but that little girl has remained in my thoughts EVERY day for a year now. I kept telling myself that someone had adopted her...she was happily placed in a loving home...but sadly, that has not been the case.

She had been abandoned at the home of a Ugandan official and nothing is really known about her. She is approximately 4 years old now...and "chubby." JUST THINK OF IT!! ISRAEL WAS 4 WHEN HE CAME TO THE UNITED STATES AND ONLY WEIGHED 22 POUNDS! This little girl is being passed over now because she is 4 and CHUBBY! What a blessing that she is being cared for and has had plenty to eat! Her little brain has all the needed fats to develop properly! She is considered "too old" as well. I think a four year old little girl is just perfect. (I'm too old for a little baby. I like my sleep.........) Besides, I'M CHUBBY!!! I DO CHUBBY REALLY WELL!!

So anyway, we are in the process of figuring out just what needs to be done to get her. I have contacted the agency who is in charge of her and have called the agency who did our homestudy to adopt Israel. We do need to start from the beginning for parts of the paperwork.
I'm going to start working on grants and loans and looking into fundraisers. Israel's adoption was really fairly inexpensive since he was already in the United States by the time we "found" him.

We have absolutely no way of paying for this and we realize that IF God wants us to get her, it has to be done by Him. He is pretty "weird" sometimes, by our perspective. (And I say that in the utmost respect...but really, He works things out in strange and weird ways sometimes, doesn't He?)
I think we are going to move forward on this. We have no guarantees that we can adopt her and it is possible that someone may adopt her before we do...which would still be wonderful for her, except that I want her to learn about Jesus from her family. If God wants this, He will make a way. We just have to have some faith. Oh.....did I tell you??? Her name is .... Faith.


Monday, March 11, 2013

I was so happy to be able to spend time with 4 of our 6 grandkids this past weekend. Aaron, my oldest child, and his gorgeous wife Holly, asked if our little guy, Israel, could spend the weekend with them! Israel was just thrilled! I did go to their house to babysit on Saturday night because they had a fund raiser/awareness event to go to about human trafficking. Anyway, then Israel stayed all night again and we went to their church to pick him up. I LOVED seeing the family! I get to see Holly and Brody a little bit more during the week since I babysit Brody on Tuesdays and that is always nice!

After church I drove a few more miles and visited policeman Dan and his adorable family, Erin, Liam, and Parker. I got a quick hug from Danny as he headed out for his shift as Mr. Policeman but could spend a little more time with his pretty wife and adorable boys!
I was, as always, so impressed at the cleanliness of my two daughters in law's homes! They are not big or fancy, but so comfortable and pleasant! Everything was just as tidy as it could be! It puts me to shame!

One thing I have noticed is that they are very good at eliminating clutter. Without lots of clutter around, it is much easier to maintain their homes! We are overwhelmed with clutter in our home!

Why must we have so much STUFF???? I really want to have a simpler lifestyle but it just seems like our STUFF gets in the way!

This is something we really want to work on this year...eliminating so much STUFF!!

Yesterday was a warm day here in central Indiana and my hubby Roger and I walked around our little "Homestead" planning out our gardens, a chicken coop, and a little goat shed and fence. (He STILL is under the impression that I am going to milk the goats....poor Roger........so naive.....I keep telling him that it is very unlikely that I am going to be milking the goats! Maybe we just shouldn't have goats????)
I'm going to call a landscape company and order some compost to be delivered SOON!! OH WOW I AM EXCITED!

I'll post some pictures as soon as I can figure out where they were stored on my computer. Sometimes I really hate being so dum.  I mean, dumb.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What do you do when one of your precious ones begins to doubt/wonder about Christianity? I am here with a heavy heart today.

I feel like such a failure yet I know that many young people need to "find their way" instead of just following the faith of their parents. It is a struggle for me right now...wondering what I did wrong, what could I have done differently, how much of this is my fault, did I push too hard??

Don't get me wrong, this person is still just as wonderful and obedient as ever...just being honest about struggling with faith and it makes me sad and worried.

I remember myself as a young person just wanting God to "leave me alone"....and I am so happy that He didn't. My life could have turned out differently though, if I had heeded His voice all along. I am grateful that He came after me and brought me back to Him.

I know that He has promised that He won't leave a lamb who strays alone. I just hope He holds my little lamb very close.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Money Saving Ideas!

As a Mom of nine kids....six of them mine and three of the step-children, I have a LOT of people to buy for at Christmas time. Four of those 9 are married, three have children. One has a VERY significant young man in her life. We are up to six grandkids now!
So, at Christmas time, it is REALLY difficult to actually buy for everyone on our list. That is something we both want to do...continue to give something fairly nice to each of our loved ones.

I always buy early for the next year, starting in January. This year, I have MOST of it done already and it is just February! What a blessing it is to me to know that I have nice gifts for everyone already! If I have to stop now and buy no more, it will be ok! I have been able to go to Kohl's Department store and buy things on clearance sale. They ALSO often have "Kohl's Cash" that they give when you spend a certain amount of money. I was able to buy clearance, I had a 30% off coupon AND I got Kohl's Cash to spend THIS week.
My receipt said that I saved nearly $1000 and I spend about $200...and got $40 in Kohls Cash.

I have come across another money saving idea though, last week. Target has promotions that if you buy a certain product, or sets of products, you get a gift card in return! I only buy the things that are really on sale...not just a gimmick sale... So far, I have six $5 gift cards just waiting for a time closer to Christmas to finish buying Christmas presents! I will continue to watch for those deals and then just save them until I can use them for toys for the grandkids, Israel, and things for our teenagers.
Last week, they had a promotion that if you buy 10 selected items from Mexican or Italian foods, you got a gift card.(Everything was on sale as well....) So I figured out which items I had coupons for (Ragu), and bought them. Then, I figured which items would be the least expensive (pasta) and bought ten of them. They also had taco shells at a really good price....bought some of those as well! THEN....over in the cereal department, they had certain General Mills cereals on sale for $2.50. I had to buy five of those and got the $5.00 gift card. (I had coupons...of course...) Our teenagers eat a LOT of cereal, pasta, etc....so it makes sense to go ahead and buy them to have on hand. If I don't get a really good deal, I then can go to Aldi's to make those purchases...
Having enough storage space DOES become a problem...we may have to have a few things sitting on counters for a little while...but we are used to that!

There are also ideas bouncing around in my head for home made Christmas presents. I'm trying to get a head start on them so that I don't feel overwhelmed in December. I know, I'm kind of strange...I think about Christmas 12 months of the year!

Anyway, I just wanted to give a few examples of ways to save money AND get a good deal in return.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pictures and Stuff like that!!

Our little puppy Annie continues to do very well after near death from parvo. Goodness...it was so bad and that little black wiggly thing almost died. The vet really didn't know if she would make it or not but she is BACK........MORE wiggly than ever and rotten....rotten...rotten!!! (But still wonderful and believe it or not, relatively obedient for a 14 week old puppy!) We are teaching her new tricks...the newest one is to "leave it"....she has to sit or lay and we put a treat about 4 or 5 inches away and she has to "leave it" until we tell her to take it. (Even then, she doesn't take it and actually waits until we hand it to her!) Someone should do that to me with brownies...only don't ever tell me I can take it....that might help me a bit.

Wow...it is suddenly snowing really hard and heavy. It is coming straight down down like rain!! It would be nice if it would stick a little bit! I have a few "snowy days" stories I would like to read to Israel and having snow on the ground would make it even better! (See the pictures BELOW...taken after I started this post...)

Speaking of stories, I have recently come across "Five in a Row" materials. I can't believe that I have been involved in homeschooling for several years now and I have never known about it!
For anyone who has never heard of it, the parent/teacher reads a childhood classic to the student for 5 days in a row...thus the name "Five in a Row." Each day, you concentrate on a different aspect of the story. For instance, we have been reading "Madeline" this week. Israel is happy with the rhyme and repetition of that story and the illustrations are interesting as well. From that book, we have then studied Paris, France, the buildings in Paris, "order and symmetry", being "unique", compassion, the flag of France, the continent of Europe, etc.......

Israel is really interested in these books and this style of learning. For each book we read and study, he is making a kind of  lapbook and putting them in a binder. ( I have notebook dividers that I found in our stash of stuff and I have had him use two of these to make each story's "lapbook." Some stories we have added a vertical piece of stiff paper to the dividers and taping it at the top so that it can flip up for additional work/fun!)

He is learning so much and we are both enjoying this. (We had been doing First Grade History with a well known Christian publisher and we were both incredibly bored! What freedom and fun this has brought to our homeschool!)

I highly recommend Five in a Row if you know of anyone who could use it!

 This was our rapid snowfall....and then it ended as soon as it started! Israel, Annie, and "Foxy"-Annie's toy all went for a walk in the snow in the front yard.
 This is just a cool picture (I thought) of an old wagon wheel and a bush on the side of our house with a light layer of snow.
 Baby Annie!!! It is REALLY hard to get this little puppy to hold still for a picture! Doesn't she look like a black baby bear?
 These are our two raised bed that I have been babying along this fall and winter! Every time it is a fairly nice day, I try to add some more "ingredients" to the soil. I have been layering composted cow manure, some soil, and decomposing yard waste. It looks pretty good now but I guess the real test will be during growing season, right?
This is kinda funny....kinda. See that old roll of fencing between Israel and the raised bed? That fence has so far cost me $510.  You see...I was on my way to buy that old grungy fence that it's previous owner did not want. I was buying it for $10 and it is my plan to fence in the garden area...to keep out the deer that may venture out of the woods behind our house..... Then....the deer with the death wish ran into my new car. After the deductible, that old nasty fence will have cost us $510. Ok...go ahead, laugh.  This is the story of my life! EVERY TIME  I think, "I am NOT going to pay a professional to do such and such....I can do it myself!"...it ends up costing me more in the long run. Don't even ask me about the wedding dress I was making for myself...the ONLY part of the wedding dress that ended up in our wedding was a tiny bit of lace that I wrapped around our Unity candle!! HAHA!!! I ended up buying a pretty suit dress from JCPenney instead! (I looked like a fat blue mermaid in the dress I was trying to make! SERIOUSLY!!)

Have a lovely day...take care!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Update on our Puppy!

Little Miss Annie is doing well!! I was able to see her for a few minutes yesterday and she whined when she heard my voice. She was able to sit up and she ate a little bit of food for me!

If all continues to go well, I can bring her home tomorrow! Of course, this is a terrible illness and things can go backwards as well...but I'm having faith that she will continue to recover.

PLEASE...if you haven't had your kitties or doggies vaccinated, please do so. We were planning to get it done a.s.a.p....but most likely she had already been exposed to parvo.  We have a wonderful clinic in downtown Indianapolis that has reduced costs for spaying and shots but we just hadn't gotten it done yet.

If Annie lives, we will be posting some pictures of the most adorable little puppy ever!

Thanks for your thoughts, ladies...even though I have never met you, you are ALL so important to me. It's strange, isn't it?? I look forward to your words when I have time to get on the computer!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sick Puppy

It is amazing how quickly a cute, black, wiggly puppy can get into your heart. We've had our Annie less than two weeks and yet I love that little dog so much.
She is now critically ill. She threw up on Monday night...I thought she was just overly excited because I had been gone most of the day and she was soooo very happy to have me back home. But the next morning, we couldn't get her to get out of her crate...she wouldn't eat and would barely drink. She then got even sicker, intestinally
My sister in law, who is a wonderful  breeder of  champion Australian Shepherds, facebooked us and told us to get her to the vet's right away.
She feared the worst and she was right...Annie has parvo, a deadly virus that attacks the intestines and bone marrow. Since we had only had her a little while, we hadn't gotten her to the clinic to get her shots. It wouldn't have mattered at this point anyway because the incubation period started, most likely, before we even got her.

I had to make the hard decision to either let Annie die or to invest LOTS of money into trying to get her well.
That is something that we really can't afford right now...but I did it anyway.

She is currently in the animal hospital...holding her own...but dreadfully sick.

She is such a good little girl. I have high hopes of her living a long and good life being adored by all of us.
I'm going to go see her as soon as we get done with our homeschooling today. Hopefully she will be a little bit better.

Could you offer a prayer to our God for our little puppy? I know it may sound silly but I do think that the Lord cares about what we care about...and we really care about our puppy...


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Strangely True Story...Or..."It Would Only Happen to Me."

Friday evening, Israel and I were on our way home from the beautiful western part of Indiana's Amish area. We had tried to go to a quaint little out of the way Amish market where we buy a lot of dry goods but they had just closed. Hmmm...if we had just been a few minutes earlier...or if they had JUST stayed open a little while longer, the "strange but true" story would never have happened....or at least...not to US.

I love making the trip to that area...seeing the beautiful scenery and the homes and carts of the Amish. I really am interested in their lifestyle so I always consider it an adventure! I had never been there in the winter months and it still held the same fascination to me. So when I drove up to the market and realized that they had closed just fifteen minutes earlier, I wasn't really disheartened. After all, Israel and I had enjoyed the trip and we had talked and talked....everything from Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation to Martin Luther King. (Heavy stuff for a six year old, right?)

Anyway, it had been a long, somewhat snowy drive and we were finally headed home...a different and more "direct way this time, through the little towns nearby and over to the "Main Road." We had decided that, as soon as we could, we would need to stop and take a "potty" break...and maybe grab a much needed snack. (After all. we HAD missed out on the Amish Woopie Pies, homemade bread and candy, right?)

Happily, we drove up to a little nondescript gas station on the side of the road in nowhere, Indiana.  This was the kind of place that they look at you oddly when you walk in...we were strangers....a chubby white lady, driving a beautiful Ford Flex...with the undeniable imprint of a dead deer in the side, holding the hand of an African little boy....decidedly not from that area. Yeah, we looked strange. Can you say...an "easy mark...a push over...a sap...a schmuck?"

So, there we were, potty break taken, Butterfinger bar chosen, KitKat ready to be devoured, heading to the cashier, when I turned and there was this lady holding the very embodiment of allurement, fascination.....enchantment in her very hands.......a sweet, precious, little black puppy.

"Awww...." I smiled, feeling my heart melting all over my shoes...."Can we pet it?"

"Sure!" she eagerly...possibly TOO eagerly... said. (Does this remind you somewhat of "The Twilight Zone?")

"This is exactly the kind of puppy my husband has wanted." I divulged. (Beth should learn not to talk so much...) I rubbed my hands over the silky little black head and relished the little pink tongue flickering out to lick my fingers...

The lady took one look at me...then over to Israel....HANDED HIM THE LEASH....and said,

"HERE, SHE'S ALL YOURS!"  she declared emphatically!!

"Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness..." I kept saying in a stupor...while the life that I then knew flashed before my eyes....

I was thinking, "What do I do? What will Israel do if I don't? What will my HUSBAND do if I DO...???"

During the temporary loss of my senses, I vaguely remember whispering a feeble "ok"...then, in somewhat of a rush, as she made for the exit, the lady said, "She hasn't had any shots and she still pees in the house..." and she disappeared out the door.

So, there you go. We have a puppy....or more exactly, she has US. Her name is "Annie"....as in "Indi-Annie"....I survived my husband's...ummmm.....uuhhhh..........how do you say...........well....I survived.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I just posted on my facebook page that the punishment for loving my new Ford Flex way too much was a deer at 50 miles an hour. Yep. It happened about three hours ago. The driver's side doors are probably going to have to be replaced as well as the side mirror. It was horrible seeing that poor little deer....

But God protected Becca, Israel, and myself. If the deer had hit just a few inches higher, it would have gone through the window and probably have killed at least me.

God is good. Very Good...and I am exhausted right now.....Vegetable soup is on the stove and dirty dishes are still in the sink...they may have to wait...


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Once Upon a Time Five Years Ago.....

Once upon a time, five years ago, there was a couple with a very large NEWLY blended family. The somewhat crazy lady of the couple had been praying and thinking about adoption for a very long time but was very hesitant to suggest this crazy notion to her new husband. After all....they were dealing with 8 children in their newly blended family, some married already. When she finally decided it was time to approach Mr. Wonderful with the idea, she was thrilled beyond belief that he also had been thinking and praying about adoption! God had been at work in BOTH of their hearts. So, the journey began.

First, there was a family vacation.....and if they had judged from "the not so wonderful family vacation taking so many blended family children on vacation at one time".....they would have discarded the idea of adoption immediately. But God triumphed....and in a little tshirt shop, the crazy lady decided to buy a tshirt for their "Not yet adopted child so he would know how long and how badly he was wanted."

So....there it is. Israel and his Florida Tshirt purchased almost five years ago. I think it fits him to a "T"...don't you???


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Busy Saturday!!

What a busy day we have had! We started out kinda lazy but then realized that Becca's homeschool friend's party was just an hour away and we had to HURRY!
We all jumped into the (still clean!!) car and drove for 45 minutes or so and dropped her off, then dropped off LOTS of stuff at Goodwill (NO, I didn't stop to SHOP there!! Amazing, huh??? It CAN be Done...)
Then off to Costco we went. That has become our fun place to go on Saturdays with just me, Roger, and Israel. Israel loves the trial samples they give out all the time! We only needed a few things but it is still fun to do! While there, I found LOTS of BIG pieces of cardboard in their trash. I didn't actually dumpster dive THIS time...they were in the bin for the boxes you take your items home in. Anyway, They are about 4'X4' and will be perfect for my new gardening project! I'm using them to line the bottom of my raised beds and then adding new soil/much/cow manure on top. That's how some of the gardening sites are recommending it to be done so I thought I'd give it a try!

Israel was teasing me as I was dragging those big cardboard pieces out of the trash and said, "These boxes aren't GOLD, you know!" (He must have judged from my frenzy in getting all those huge pieces of cardboard in our shopping cart that I was pretty dog gone excited about them!!)
I told him that when he tastes all that wonderful produce that our garden puts out this year, he'll think they were better than gold.
He just laughed....I don't think I convinced him very well. After all, there are no "hamburger or steak" seeds that are going to be growing in that garden....the little kid LOVES meat!!

So right now, I'm canning chicken breasts. Yum yum!! I've canned chicken, ground beef, and vegetable soup so far. I found bone in chicken breasts for .88 cents a pound this past week! WOW!!! I also got hamburger on clearance sale and I bought a big ham for something like .63 cents a pound...already cooked. We're gonna be doing a LOT of canning this next week....I'm planning to can soup beans and ham!! I think I'm also going to can chicken broth. We waste so much of the things we buy...like chicken stock once you've cooked the chicken. I've frozen it before but I think canning it will be much better.

I'm having a good time learning different ways to save money. After all, I've got to figure out some way to "save" all that money I spent on my new pressure canner!!

Blessings to you!

Friday, January 18, 2013


I can't believe that it has been six months since we drove to Wisconsin (5 miles from Canada) to pick up our little Israel. HALF A YEAR! Wow...so much has changed in six months. So much has changed in a year! One year ago this month, he left his prior adoption placement to live in a foster home. We first heard about him a month or two later. I was in the depths of despair, really thinking that maybe God was leading me on and that we would never find THE CHILD that we were supposed to adopt. Then God made it clear that Israel was our little boy.

Later, when we said YES to the adoption agency...and they said YES to us....our attorney told us..."No."

He told us that most likely we would never be able to adopt him legally due to some issues between the two states involved. Again we were saddened but we KNEW that God was giving us the go ahead....and we pressed on. "THIS IS OUR CHILD!" I emphatically told our attorney. I was getting the impression that he was asking us to just find another orphan but ISRAEL was THE ONE....I knew it!! It was all figured out...it never turns out the way we think it is going to but it turned out pretty well! (Probably better than if it had turned out the way I had it planned to!)

All in all...after the months of uncertainty (is ANY adoption really an easy thing, after all??) he finally came home. I was scared, I'm sure Roger was, and little Israel had to be the most nervous of all.

We've had some rough times, surrounded by some marvelous moments and days...and it has been wonderful!

To see the changes in this little boy is amazing....to watch his uncertainty and his fears disappear little by little...to notice his "play" time becoming more and more mild and "sweet"....to WATCH THIS KID EAT AND OUTGROW his clothes!!! Good Grief!! We need to go buy some more jeans...I just bought him some two months ago....

God is good. I am amazed at this marvelous journey that our even MORE marvelous God has started us on. I am humbled and thrilled that...with all my perfections (and I have PLENTY)...He has chosen ME to be the Mother of this little special boy.....

Blessings to you and your home,
Beth...by Grace.....

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Yep, I'm pushing it a bit but I have already purchased some of our garden seed for the Spring! I built two small raised beds in the late fall and I'm planning to make some more gardening space this Spring. I'm not sure I can really put more money into the wood for the raised beds so that part may have to wait. I don't want to go without enough garden just because I prefer the raised bed look!

Here he is...Mr. Cutie Pie! Israel really enjoyed his first Christmas with us and he was thrilled with his remote control car...he was so surprised by it! He had accidentally found a remote control vehicle that I had bought at Goodwill and he thought that was what he was getting. He was very happy with it and was just shocked that I had purchased a new one as well!! The hat was a Christmas gift from big sister Becca. He loves it as well and has worn it to church....

We spent some days right after Christmas in Nashville visiting our good friend Joe. He took us to the Opryland Hotel to walk around. IT WAS AMAZING!! There were waterfalls and streams running all though it! These two pictures were taken inside the hotel! (Me and Israel)

Daddy Roger and Israel....I'm not sure what the facial expressions indicate......you can think whatever you want to...I think maybe they were sick of posing....and why were they leaning??????

This is the front of the hotel...there were beautiful white Nativity figures all over the front yards! (I think they were life size or larger...)

Guess what? We bought a new to us car! It's a blue Ford Flex and she is gorgeous. It's almost a sin how much I like this new vehicle. I've been driving a car that even the gas gage didn't work anymore and the electrical always had issues. The back wiper motor was broken and so were the window motors.  I appreciate it so much. It has to truly be a gift from God. It's exactly what I would have picked out if I could have ordered it. We were on our way (hours before we left for Nashville...none of our other vehicles would make it that far...) to buy a different van and we came across the Flex. I have promised to keep her very clean and nice. Her name is Miss Denim. She loves me.....
I called Roger one day and told him that I know it is difficult to believe but the car likes me more than she likes him. He asked how I knew that...I told him, when I walk toward the car, she keeps flashing her sparkly eyes at me and blinking. He said, "BETH, are you pushing her buttons?"
I said, "Yes, I am...however, when YOU tell me that I am pushing YOUR buttons, you don't wink at ME!!"

Yep...she likes me best. She even talks to us (really....there is a voice control thingy on it! And I thought my 1997 Ford Econoline Homeschool van was nice!!!)  Now if I can just figure out how to change her "voice" to a wonderful male English accent or a sweet southern drawl......then the car would be named Mr. Denim....and I don't think Roger would mind a BIT if He like ME best.......


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Good grief....I can't believe its been nearly a month since I've blogged....We had a wonderful Christmas...Israel's first Christmas with us!!
I've been spending a LOT of time thinking and planning our little "homestead" here in Indiana. I mean, I'm working on planning our garden and thinking where we'll put our chickens, etc.
Believe it or not, I have already bought some vegetable seeds! Then, I ordered a pressure canner from Walmart, bought some really cute canning lids on clearnance, and a new canning book! I have lots of cans already. Some from years ago and some I have purchased at Goodwill or Salvation Army.

I've already put my canner to use. It was kind of scary but it all turned out ok! I remember my mother used to can all the time and she always scared me to death by telling me to stay away from the canner in case it exploded! Geesh!!!! No wonder I have waited all this time before trying it out!!

My first effort at pressure canning has been...believe it or not...canning ground beef and onions. Yeah, it's kinda weird, who'da thunk of canning hamburger?? But, really it is quite handy to have it ready to go. I got a BUNCH on clearance sale at the grocery store and THEN I came upon chicken breasts for $1.71 a pound! (Or something like that...pretty cheap....) So, I decided to try to can them and I did! One of the quarts of chicken did not seal so I immediately put it in the refrigerator. I'm going to try again tomorrow....I'm canning "Vegetable soup starters" and I will just use the chicken in the vegetable soup. I have LOTS and LOTS of cabbage that I bought for 25 and 33 cents a pound and I'm planning to add veggies to it until I have a nice "starter" to vegetable soup. How nice it will be when I just open a can or two, add some left over vegetables to it and have a healthful and inexpensive meal for us!

I'm trying to get used to living on less before we actually HAVE to...in two years, our income will be cut in half when our blended family of children no longer receive child support or social security. That's a big reason we decided to sell the "Big Fancy House In Town..." (And because we wanted to adopt!!)

I think it's kinda fun, actually...living frugally. It's almost like a game that I plan to win. "Let's see how much money I DON'T spend at the grocery store or department store...."

I got some awesome denim skirts at Goodwill for myself the other day! (I'm a skirt lady....) I was just thinking that I wished I had a skirt that would match my new fancy $13 shirt from Walmart and low and behold....there they were! Soooo cute and chunky....like me!! Well, I didn't mean I was CUTE...I meant that I was CHUNKY....these skirts would probably have been at least $35 new...and they are LIKE NEW!! WooHoo!!!! God really blessed me with these!!

I made my newly married daughter, Marci....and her hubby, Ben....a rag quilt for Christmas and shipped it to Seattle. She cried....I think she likes it. I'm going to try to do some more of that in the coming year. Rag quilting, I mean....not making my Marci cry......Geesh....I have lots of fabric and I bought some more....on clearance of course...at Hobby Lobby last week. Hopefully I can get my little sewing machine to work well and then I'm gonna get sewing!

I did some Christmas shopping yesterday...for next year....

I'm a sicko. I admit it. But the deals were incredible!!!!!!!!!!  I got the four littlest grandsons matching pajamas and camo fleece pants. SOOO cute! I got our little grand daughter a night gown and an outfit. I also got chunky little Parker an Old Navy outfit....SOOOO CUTE!! (Parker, I mean....but also his new outfit.)  I also got them some stocking stuffers. The problem is.....where to store them all while I wait until next Christmas. (Because I didn't stop there....I got probably 12 jar candles for the ladies for Christmas and some cute critters for all the kids for Valentine's day. ) Roger doesn't know all about them....so don't tell him yet...Ok??? He doesn't need to know about the depth of my "sicko-ness".  One of these days....he will thank me....yeah. I keep telling myself that.......:) He'll find out soon enough......

Blessings to you all!