Several months ago we had Zak undergo some very detailed tests to help us determine how severe his autism is on the spectrum.

I received the results today. I am devastated, as the results are much worse than I had every imagined.

I love him no matter what a piece of paper says; but because I love him I am saddened to know that his entire life will be challenged by a complex disorder not even fully understood by top brain doctors in the field of medicine.

Praying for Wisdom,

Gluten Free Bugs

The goal this week was to have everything pretty much packed so that we could enjoy the last week here at our house without the stress of trying to get it all done. So far, so good.

The kids enjoyed most of Monday outdoors and playing. He has seemed to enjoy playing outside more than normal and I have actually caught him doing 'normal' five year old boy things outside.

One of which, is catching a nice, big, fat, juicy bug. Alive and moving. He talked with his bug, played with his bug and then made an extra special home for his bug. He came in and asked me to come and see his new built bug house.

I was very excited about the prospect of looking at this house made by Zak. Mostly because, normally Zak is just into building one pile of gravel up and then moving that pile to another pile - this he does for hours and hours on end.

The special home was prepared for the bug on the top side of our ice chest. He lifted the red cup that was housing the creature and showed me with pride and love his bug. The bug was attached and eating a nice size Frito - Zak's Frito from lunch to be exact (one of the few treats his special diet allows him). Zak proceeded to tell me that this bug was allergic to gluten; and he was on a soy free, egg free and milk free diet. So there you have it - one nasty looking bug - that lives in Wisconsin - is gluten free.

The bug has gone home - Zak let him go before dinner. "Because he had to go home and tell his Mommy where he was before it got dark."
My little man is asleep in bed for the night - and I am left with smiles. You couldn't pay my enough money in the world to miss these days! I love being a Mom!!


Too Cheap To Eat

In my attempt to be organized and have thing running smoothly around here, I purchased plastic kitchen ware for this next weeks meals.

In my attempt to be frugal, in spite of the plastic purchases, I found plastic silverware that was very cheap. I purchased only one box of the utensils - I figured - "plastic silverware can always be washed."
However, this silverware was TOO CHEAP TO EAT with...


The plastic pieces work fine with cold food; but bring hot food into the picture and well...

The effects of the fork, while stabbing at the hot chicken were similar to the special effects on the movie The Wizard of Oz. In fact, we thought we could hear the fork cackling, "Help, I'm melting..." as we tried in vain to capture the hot piece of meat onto the eating utensil.


We gave in, found the taped up box marked "everyday silverware" and got out the real thing.


Trust you have found laughter around your dinner table. Somehow, family memories are made best with laughter and unexpected moments. Thanks so much for stopping by, I am so glad you did.




For His Glory

We are nearing the end. The house is almost all packed. We should be finished up tomorrow. We will spend Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons cleaning the old place for the last time; as we get it ready for the new owners.
This Sunday was the last Sunday we will drive 2 hours to get to church. We are looking forward to not having to leave for church at 6 in the morning; and even more excited that we will be arriving home long before 11 PM at night! This is the last week!

We are tired. We seem to all want to blink our eyes and open them again to find we are into next week and the move is over and done. (We even tried tonight; but alas,when we opened them we were still here with boxes surrounding us!)

This is the last week. We have decided as a family that we are going to do our best to make sure our attitudes and actions bring honor and glory to the Lord. It would be so easy to let our flesh make this last week discouraging and bad. So easy for our attitudes to grumble and complain. To walk around defeated and depressed because we are so ready to be moved. Yet, as Christians, our lives have a bigger purpose than packing boxes and cleaning houses - our lives are to honor the Lord. The wonderful part about the Christian life is that it has purpose. No matter how hard the task before us, how meaningless and mundane the task we have to do; we can bring honor and glory to God through the hard things.

Extra care has been given to allot enough time for Bible reading and prayer. For Christ must be our focus - this is the last week! His strength will get us to next week victorious. Not just in the move; but in the heart attitudes we had with each other through the move.

This week is our last week here in this house, in this city to bring honor to God. May He, at the end of this week look down on us as we lay in our beds tired from unloading and unpacking a moving truck say, "Well, done thou good and faithful servants..."

"That we may be to the praise of His glory..." -Eph 1:12

Trust your week - your actions - your activities, whatever they may be - bring honor to God. Thanks so much for stopping by - I am so glad you did.


In Need of Pest Control

I am having a nasty summer when it comes to bug bites. Last year I was bitten by spider. Due to an allergic reaction to the bite I almost ended up in the hospital. In the long run, I ended up treating it with medication that cost me more than the hospital stay would have cost. (Insurance would have at least covered the hospital stay!)

So, I ended last summer with a scar on my foot from a nasty bite I do not care to repeat!

This summer I have had insect difficulties too. This year, however, it has not been from spiders; but rather from mosquitoes! Now, have you ever heard of an adult having an allergic reaction to mosquito bites? Yet, I have had 3 different bites bring about intense swelling, redness and pain! I have been thankful that I still had some of the$60.00 cream they gave me last year for the spider bites! I have had to keep Benadryl on hand and take it several times to help manage the reactions.

If it is not one thing, it is another. So, as I pack - I itch and apply expensive cream. Then at night I take the Benadryl and head to bed for a night of deep sleep. Needless to say, I have not been all that eager to step outside after dark - I don't want to get eaten alive - literally.

Trust your summer has been itch free for the most part. If not, I know of some great cream you can get - you will just have to mortgage your house to obtain it!


The New House

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

This Friday I thought I would share with you our newest (ALMOST) possession. Our new home. We close on our new house a week from today and I am so excited. I will share these 'ready to move in' pictures. Then, when we get all moved in and I get it set up and 'homey' I will post another S&T of our new home.
(This is our new house from the outside. It looks similar to the house we live in now!
The picture was taken during the house inspection - thus, the ladders.)

(A picture of the front door and the garage. )

(My new kitchen. I plan on painting the walls and the cabinets. I think the walls will be a cream color and the cabinets will be white. This will be a project for next summer.)

(The dining room right off the kitchen. I love how the windows overlook the back yard, so I can keep an eye on the children while they are playing.)

(This is the enclosed porch. We will use this as our mudroom. Rob will build lockers for the kids and they will put their coats and shoes out here when they come into the house.)
(This is a room right off the front room. It will be my piano studio and the music room. I love the hardwood floors and the wood throughout the entire house. I think the grand piano will look great in this room!)

(This is not a good picture of the front room; but I thought I would share it with you anyway. I love the built in cabinet. I plan on putting Rob's old 'Spurgeon' books in there if he will let me. )
(This is the bedroom upstairs that will be the master bedroom.
It is a 13x12 bedroom - so we will have lots of room!)
(This is the upstairs hallway.
We plan on building up the railing along the staircase so we do not have any falls!
This is project number one for our new house!)
(This is the unfinished attic. We will make this into the girl's room.
We plan on starting this project in the fall and having it completed by Christmas.
I think it will make a cute room!)
(This is a picture of the outbuilding in the back yard. This sets just a few feet from the house. We plan on making this into our writing studio. There are two rooms in there and we will make one room into a bedroom - for visiting guests. I think it will be really cute. We are going to call it the Quiet House. We plan on having this be our summer project and letting the kids help and learn as we do it. Rob is planning on letting James re-roof the Quiet House by himself. I am sure that the girls will remember from last fall and be able to help scrape and paint the outside of our little cottage.)

You will have to stay tuned a couple of weeks to get a S&T of our new HOME. A house and a home are two different things. We have lived in some interesting places throughout our married life; but I have tried to make each place that we lived "Home". My mom always said you can make any place you live into a home - you just have to put forth the effort.

I am busy packing up our house and getting ready for the big moving day next week. We will miss this old house. I really think it has been a wonderful wonderful old home for us to dwell in for the last 6 years. Yet, I am really looking forward to making yet another old house into our home. So, next Thursday we will close the doors to this old house, my children's laughter will not be heard within it's walls ever again; but we will cherish the memories of our years here forever! I will start next Friday in a new town and a new house to make our humble abode 'home'. I am looking forward to the laughter, the tears, the prayers and the memories that we will have there.

Trust you are making your house a home; and building memories that will last forever. Thanks so much for stopping by - I am so glad you did.

Foot Washing Moments

When I think of Jesus Christ I am amazed at His love for me. I read in awe through the gospel accounts of His life here on earth. I am humbled that the God of this universe, the Creator of all, loved me enough to die for me. The greatest act of love and servant hood that Christ showed was dying on the cross for the sins of all mankind. I am amazed at His love and His humility.

There is another story that shows clearly Christ's servant spirit to mankind. That was when he washed the disciples feet. When he stooped to the job of a servant to show His love and compassion for those around him. I feel I would have responded like Peter. "Oh Lord, you can't wash my feet! Not You Lord!" I am also sure that my response would have been the same as Peter's when the Lord told Him if He did not wash his feet Peter would have not part with him. "Please Lord, not just my feet - wash everything!"

I have thought a lot about this story here in the last couple of days. How much Christ showed humility when He served the disciples in this one great act of kindness. I have thought of this in relation to my life. I am to show Christ to those with whom I come in contact. I must be willing to serve in order for them to be able to see Christ. How many times have I passed up opportunities to serve? Perhaps some were passed up because I did not want to do the task at hand. Others perhaps, were passed up because I was too busy with other things to notice the needs of that person near me. Whatever the case may be, I know I could show Christ more; and have been challenged to rise the this endeavor.

I have decided to start looking for these opportunities. To train my eye to see those in need - those that need help - those I can bless. I will look at these as my "foot washing opportunities". Those times when I am able to show Christ to someone. Perhaps, it will be a stranger, or a struggling friend. Perhaps a neighbor or another mother caring for her children. I wonder how many 'foot washing opportunities" I will find right within the very walls of my home - amongst those that I love and care for on a daily basis.

My mission - my passion must be Christ - - to Know Him and to Show Him to those around me.

Trust you find someone to care for - to show Christ. I hope you find the 'foot washing moment' that God brings into your life today.
Blessing to you my Friend,


Moving Plans

The plan is to pack one room of the house each day. Finish on Saturday of this week and have Monday through Wednesday to enjoy the last couple days in our town and to get the house specially cleaned for it's new family.

Here is the schedule if you are interested:

  • August 13 - Pack Front Room *
  • August 14 - Pack Mudroom and Front Hall (including school closet) *

  • August 15 - Pack Dining Room - yet to be done - (I was having an insane day and just did not get to it!)

  • August 16 - 17 - enjoy a weekend with my husband **

  • August 18 - Get all laundry done, prepare menu for week, clean house from weekend gone*

  • August 19 - Pack Boys' Room*, Girls' Room* and Master Bedroom / Take down beds and move frames to the garage/ Make all the meals from Wed to next Thursday and Freeze*.

  • August 20 - Pack Kitchen / Have visit with social worker about our new little one* / Pack dining room after I get home from church

  • August 21 - Pack downstairs pantry / laundry room / take up odds and ends from school room

  • August 22 - Pack up lockers from downstairs/ call about utilities hookups for the new house*

  • August 23 - Pack up Bathroom / Prep to leave for church at 6:00AM in the morning/ be thankful this is the last Sunday with a 2 hour drive proceeding church !!!

(* Means this task has been completed!)

Here is our Menu for the next week. I plan on getting all of this prepared tomorrow afternoon and having it frozen for the week. (I did something similar to this when we got our new little one; and I LOVED it!) I have included for you just the evening meals. We will have cold cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch.

  • Wednesday: Homemade Pizza that has been frozen

  • Thursday: Baked Chicken in the crock pot

  • Friday: Spaghetti

  • Saturday: Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Sunday: Chili (for a fellowship dinner at the church. I will bring it and put it in the crock pot while we are in services. It will be ready for the noon meal. We will have sandwiches for dinner and eat them on the way home that night)

  • Monday: Taco Bake

  • Tuesday: Farmhouse Chicken

  • Wednesday: Egg Bake

  • Thursday - MOVING DAY: Egg Salad Sandwiches (enough for those here helping us move) then for dinner: Sloppy Joe's (also enough for those here helping us move) I also plan on making an extra large batch of Sloppy Joe's that I will have ready for when we get to the new house. I will slip the meat into the crock pot when I get there and it will be heating up while we are unpacking the truck - then when we are all famished we will have dinner waiting!

So - this is the plan. I do know what they say about the best laid plans of men... but I had to do something to try to get this all figured out. I will try to keep pictures and posts going updating the progress here. Let me know if you think of anything I have forgotten.

Oh, I do plan on doing paper plates and glasses and bowls for the meals. (Don't hate me green people - I never purchase paper plates!! We even take our 'normal' plates on picnics and I bring them home to wash.) However, I felt that this was one occasion when I would splurge. I also plan on discontinuing the cloth diapers for our little one after Friday. I will get them washed hung on the line and dried before the weekend. I will try not to think about what all of this paper products is doing to our landfill!!

I will keep you posted!



This past weekend, my husband and I were able to enjoy some time to ourselves. It was a real blessing - as the past several weeks have been filled with so much! We have been together - but not ALONE together.

We spent one night at a motel in the new town where we will be moving. It was absolutely lovely. I loved the view from our room and I regretted that I had not brought the camera to share some view with you. As I looked out my window, I was able to see acres and acres of corn fields. Now, I do not particularly find corn fields to be beautiful; but when they surround the town where we are soon to be moving - it means one thing - we are moving to the country! Our home will be located in a small little town; and as we drove through - I was pretty sure I heard the theme song for the Andy Griffith Show! I am going to LOVE it!

The next day we were able to spend the entire afternoon touring the city of Milwaukee. We walked along the waterfront and sat and watched people coming and going around the art museum. It was so relaxing and enjoyable. We then headed to a street mall and enjoyed a dinner at a Mongolian grill and some shopping at Barnes and Nobel. It was nice to just be together.

So much to talk about as we prepare for the big move next week. I have been so busy planning and packing; and Rob has been so busy getting trained for his new job that we have not enjoyed time together. It was much needed and very much enjoyed.

I am back - and packing again. I will be posting pictures here soon of the sights around the house - boxes - and boxes and then there are more.... boxes.

Till I sign in again - blessing to each of you.

Packing like a Madwoman,

Getting Ready to Move

We are nearing the countdown till moving day. This is the week when things will start to happen. There are rooms to be packed up; beds to be tore down, and dishes to be wrapped and stacked away. There are doctor's appointments to be made, medications o be transferred to the new pharmacy and school material to be ordered.

The home inspection for our new house is tomorrow. We are looking forward to getting that done and getting well on our way to getting all the paperwork done and ready for closing at the end of this month.

We will start school a few weeks later than we normally do; but I am sure that the kids will be learning and working as we unpack boxes and get house set up. We will cut our Christmas vacation shorter this year to make up for the lost days this September.

Our new little one is into copying what everyone else does. She smacks her lips together, makes fish lips and claps her hands. She is the entertainment of the family and a joy to have around. Zak, is having some issues here lately. We think he may be coming down with something - as he usually acts odd right before the onset of a sickness. We will wait and see. It could be the move; but he does not seem to have any anxiety about that at this time.

Just wanted to update you on life here. Trust you are enjoying your last days of summer.



God Answers Prayer

There are times in our lives when all we can do is get down on our knees and beg God for direction. In the past several months there have been more questions than there have been answers. We have prayed as a family - that God would meet our needs, and make His way for us clear.

God answers prayers!! - (We close on our new house August 29. This was the house that I absolutely loved and meets our needs in every way.)

God answers prayers!! - (Rob was hired today and starts his new job as soon as possible. We have been praying that God would provide a job that would help supplement our income until our meeting schedule gets full.)

Rejoicing in His Provisions,


As far back as I can remember I have had a fear of the Ferris wheel. I have never successfully rode a complete ride on the Ferris wheel - I have always gotten off the ride before the ride ever began - all during the loading process. (There is just something about those chairs that makes me a bit too nervous!)

Perhaps, it was reasoned, that with childbirth, child raising and just general maturity - this time would be a bit different ...


I can tell you that I rode the complete ride through the rotations - aren't you proud of me? - (Only because we were the last ones to get loaded onto the ride before it started!)

My husband did not quite see how much trouble I was having until Abbey pointed out to him that it looked like Mom was crying - I was!

Much to my relief - my husband came to my rescue and told the ride operator that one of the people in the blue chair was having "difficulties" - and needed to get off the ride. I was the next one off .

I can never go on one of those again for two reasons. First, I am terrified of the ride - an no matter how much of life I live I will never outlive that fear. Second, because I told the Lord that if He got me off that ride alive I would never get on it again - I mentioned this to Him in heartfelt prayer - at least 8 times while I was going around and around!!

The last picture is a silhouette of Rachel and DAD enjoying the Ferris wheel. Just as things should be!!

Enjoying my life on the ground,


The Blessing of Babies

There is not a day that goes by that I am not amazed at God's goodness to us. He blesses us in so many ways - both seen and unseen. I look at my children and I realize the blessing of each one. I am still in awe that He brought us a baby. My mind wonders off sometimes dreaming about that day coming soon when we will stand in a court room and have her declared officially ours. I hold her as she drinks her bottle and find myself still amazed that God brought me a baby. I just can't believe that we have a baby now!! What a wonderful God we have.

Our newest little one is busy getting around from place to place. She finds the funniest things on the floor as she explores her new little world. There seems to be a growing discontentment to not be able to get up and run with the rest of the children in the house. She is trying to get up on her feet - and I do not thinking her days of toddling around are too far from here! I find every day with her an absolute joy.
The other kids are enjoying God's gift to our family. She is never without a playmate, a giggle or a squeeze. Babies truly bring out the special parts of life. I was talking to Rob the other day and told him that having the younger kids brought to us through adoption is like dinner with dessert! It is rich and enjoyable - special in every way! Our entire family is enjoying having this precious gift from God. Babies have a way of changing the entire atmosphere of the home. You stop a little more and enjoy the small things in life. There are days I will find myself sitting on the couch just watching her explore; taking to heart the wonderfully complex creation that is sitting before me. Yes, babies are a blessing and an absolutely beautiful creation from the Creator of all things. I am in awe as I look at His gift to us!
Trust you are taking time to notice His blessings in your life. What an awesome God we serve!

Abbey - Growing Up!

Each birthday we try to get the kids' new pictures done. All of the kids have celebrated a birthday here recently - and so photo shoots for each of them are in order. Zak got done and finished and now I took Abbey out for her birthday photo shoot. I thought I would share some of the finished product with you. I thought they turned out pretty good.

You know how people will tell you that your kids look like you. I will be honest, and let you know that I always shake my head and agree - but rarely see the look alike. However, while I was taking these pictures - I had a hard time not noticing.

Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was holding my little 4 pound 10 ounce girl in my arms! Such a beautiful gift.