Saturday, July 28, 2012


Ryan and the boys before they left for their rustic camping adventure!  The girls and I met up with them in Traverse City along with the rest of my family.
Ryan fearing drowning while doing the dishes? 

lots of fun times hanging out with aunts, uncles, and cousins...

and of course grama, she is the best story teller, the kids love her stories by the campfire each night!
eating lots of junk!
Playing cards with grampa, is always a fun time!
we went mini golfing...

and rode bikes, this is Anaya's bike which Lucy learned to ride, it helps having pavement, we have none!
Oh and lots of fishing! 
I love how Lucy is keeping her eyes on that fish!
a little shopping on the rainy day...

I think these two were trying to catch raindrops, but one never knows for sure with these guys!
Josiah was thirsty!
look at these guys!  So dirty, and yet so cute! 
this is how they got that way, wallowing in the dirt!
It was all good, but not all clean, fun...
the dirt...
apparently to some,
made it much more fun!
Thankfully they clean up well!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lucy + shopvac =

a trip to the emergency room!
Photo credit goes to Anaya
While I was vacuuming out our vehicle the night before we left for vacation, Luisa decided to check out the shop vac and apparently stuck her hand in the other hose opening.  I heard her screaming so I shut it off and found her standing there with blood running down her hand!  Poor baby!  I took her in to the E.R. because it looked so bad, but she checked out fine and they sent us off with bandaids and antibiotic ointment!

Ryan had just left to do some rustic camping with the boys before we were to meet up in Traverse City the next morning so I had to take Anaya with, but they both did great.  Aside from the difficulty of keeping it clean while camping and hearing her sweet little voice say "hurts bad mom!"  It healed up quickly and her first trip to the E.R. went very well!

It may sound strange since I keep this blog public and most people we know are aware of Luisa's HIV, but I hate to have to tell people that she has HIV.  I guess I just don't know how they will treat her and that makes me uneasy.  I couldn't have been more pleased by the way the Dr. and especially the nurse treated her that day!  In fact the nurse told me about her family member who is adopted and has Hep. B and was so sweet and encouraging.  I have heard stories from other adoptive parents where that is not the case, as appalling as that is, the truth is, sometimes the stigma still remains.  So thankful that was not our experience.  Lucy is such a happy healthy kid, other than having to give her medication 2 times a day, her HIV/AIDs diagnosis is the "big deal" that truly isn't!

Monday, July 9, 2012

landscape before during and after....


 this area proved to be the most challenging, there was a lot of cement that needed to be removed before we could plant anything.

 my cute little helpers early this spring when we started this project...
getting bark, and my dutch man scooping up the bark that the loader dropped!

 all of my hostas came from my sister Jen!  They were getting rid of them and gave them to us!  What a huge blessing!  I am still looking for the right bush or something to hide this big monstrosity! 

 we finally got to the bottom of the cement and found this big chunk with metal which Ryan had to cut out!

I was content with my bushes, and a few flowers on the deck, but a friend offered me her flowers for the rest of the summer as she was leaving for a big vacation.  I had no idea what she had, but said "sure!"  She came and brought me all of these hanging baskets and deck boxes!!  I couldn't believe it!  I have never had a green thumb, ever.  But I am super motivated to keep these babies alive!  Now that it looks so amazing, I am spoiled and am pretty sure I'd like to have at least some of these deck planters again next year!

I have a great little perennial garden thanks to another friend who was downsizing her garden, and yet another friend who gave me some of her split plants!  So thankful for amazing friends and their generosity!

one more before and after shot
It was very difficult for us to sell our property back home, let go of our dream house we were going to build and move up here.  But God has given us this place and we are feeling so incredibly blessed and thankful.  We know we need to hold this place with a open hand and not hold on to the "things" of this world too tightly, it is one of the lessons we have learned.  But, we have also learned that when we are obedient to Him and put His plan above our own, we have had contentment and blessings untold!

Psalm 37:3-4

New International Version (NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.