Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scavenger hunt....

One place I frequently stop into is Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. They sell used items for rock bottom prices, a gallon of pain can be less than $5 sometimes I go there, I look through the paint aisles and if I find a color I like, I buy it and save it for a project. I have about 15 gallons of paint in varying colors in the basement. This week it came in handy. We have been saving every last penny for our traveling expenses, while it is Christmas Time and everyone else is out shopping and adorning their home with the latest styles, we are scheming, planning and enjoying a simplified Christmas. I am pretty sure it is the nesting instinct, even though Peter is already here with us, it is nerves from the upcoming events that are causing me to stress, worry ad fidget. So Last week I called in the helpers and on Monday we painted, for 10 hours straight, and then this week I painted solo some more... I am so happy that I had these paint colors stashed away for this time, when I had the energy and desire to "DO SOMETHING" but I needed to limit my resources! What fun it was to paint the 'projector screen' onto the wall, and then the boys room got a little wains-coat type accent color, in all, i feel accomplished. and now i go back to planning our global journey!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The joy & the Pain

Being a mother has brought immense JOY... First smiles, First Tooth, blowing kisses, snuggles throughout the morning, Watching them discover their reflection in a mirror.
So many fun, happy moments.... Then the opposite can be said as well, Sick babies, emergency rooms, 31 days in ICU, disappointments, postpartum depression, sneaking out (teens), ornery neighbors that seem hell-bent on torturing your children ;)
what do we focus on? Where do we linger?
Natural man tendency is to linger on the negative. Which then creates a stronger memory of that negativity. We as mother's need to fight the impulse to linger in the mire. We need to take out those happy moments like a treasured photo and bask in that glorious memory. To look at it from every angle.
It is this method of noticing the GREAT times, the GOOD deeds, and the HAPPY moments that we will then be led to smile more.... and ENJOY our journey of Motherhood. I pray that you will make a list of all the finest moments in your recollection as a Mother. Go ahead. Right now. Bask.....
red heads, new teeth, warm newborn breath, nursing sounds, First coo, the first moment you held your babe, giggles, crawling, fascination with ceiling fans, first outings, park days, first words, mama, dadda, creativity, hard work,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so abundantly blessed. We decided that the Holidays would be dismal if we were not able to break bread with our close friends (might as well be family) So we saved our pennies, and packed our car, and drove 10+ hours I WILL say I did not enjoy the drive, I was already stressed by the time we hit the road, and my energy has been depleted since I had walking Pneumonia last month. It took all I had just to ensure everyone had clean clothes and undies. But persevere we did, and we arrived last night at 2:39 a.m. Tuesday. (ugh) All the Grove kids were awake and awaiting for our arrival....we hugged, squealed, and promptly sent all the littles to bed.... Today was a typical day of relaxing, and energizing at once. the Wonderful Daddy's took all but 2 kids to Timbertown play area while Sasha and I visited on the couch and Madi & Jolie made pies.... We couldn't ask for a better afternoon. (OK massages and a shopping spree would have been fun...BUT) Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we have more food than many 3rd world nations see in a month on the menu. We are so very blessed. Food to eat. Family to enjoy it with. Warm and safe beds to rest. Freedoms. Testimony. Love. Hope.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A little slice of Heaven

I have 4 Amazing, Beautiful, Creative and Awesome Daughters, They are my best friends, and my biggest helpers.

My wonderful husband took my oldest daughter on a "Father & Sons" Camp-out in Payson in 2001 and was asked NOT to repeat his appearance sans sons.

So for all these years my girls have missed out on camp outs with their daddy. Party it is my fault, as I have a "Honey-do-list" lone enough to keep 4 handy-men working full time year round. (Yes I know I am demanding)
So I need to take a chill-pill once a year and let him take his kids camping.

This year, My Wesley has 3 SONS!  and none are newborns!!

He was able to attend the Father & Sons campout with no guilt and worry!

So I took my lovely daughters out last night for a GNO, and we had A BLAST! Shopping, lunch  Dinner, Swimming at an indoor water park....then chasing cookies and movies until we were all too tired to stay awake.

We came home this afternoon to see Daddy & the Boys prepare and leave for their first ever campout. (without mom)

Not only did my amazing husband take our 3 boys. he also volunteered (honestly with NO prompting from me!) to take our Sweet friends' 2 boys while THEIR amazing father is off in Idaho training for his new job.


Man I snagged a great guy~!

So tonight, my 16 year old is at the Home coming game, She took her 14 year old sister, my 12 year old is entertaining a friend and my 9 Year old is playing at her friends' house.....

While I sit here, with a clean house, a full fridge, and nobody to tend to!


This is a little slice of heaven, knowing my boys are doing what boys love most, (playing in the dirt and camp fire) and my girls were utterly spoiled rotten and content, I feel accomplished, sincerely accomplished, like I have done all I can do in life to succeed.
(Plus I rode my bike 4 miles so I get bonus points eh??)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

How did we get here?

I wanted to share a story, one that spans over 13 years.

in the summer of 1998 I lived in Orem, Utah and attended the best ward (church ) that ever existed, the entire congregation was so focused on service and love, that no one was ever left to feel alone. We were all so connected and I mourned leaving that area many years later.

I was pregnant with my second child, and had seen a beautiful young black girl attending church occasionally, who was equally extended in pregnancy as I was. She was so quiet and shy, at first I thought she did not speak English.  I was a bit self absorbed in my pregnancy and did not take the time to reach out to her.

I gave birth on September 16th 1998 to a fat little cherub that was immediately diagnosed with having a heart defect. I was on a constant circuit to doctors and specialty clinics to figure out exactly what her ailment was.

She screamed 24/7 and was NOT an easy, enjoyable newborn. ;)

10 days after she was born, I received a phone call from Bryce Chamberlain (who I am assuming was the ward mission leader at the time?) He told me of this young, sweet girl without a family, that had given birth that morning and could use someone to reach out and support her. He asked that I make a trip to the hospital and introduce myself.

I was nervous, I did not even know her name, and remember, I honestly thought she did not speak English, so I was afraid the meeting would be a total disaster.

I approached her assigned room in the Maternity ward, and knocked on her door, she was sitting up in her bad, alone in a dark room. I told her who I was, and asked a few questions.

She had given birth early in the morning, and by the time I had arrived it was close to lunch hour. She had been left alone since the birth, and no one, not even the nurses had taken the time to explain to her what was happening. The most shocking part, she had NO idea where her baby was, She had not seen nor held him and she was patiently waiting for someone to bring him to her.  Her older brother had dropped in and brought her a lunch, but otherwise she was utterly alone.

I was enraged! Being that I too had just given birth to a baby (at a different hospital) and this hospital had a reputation for being cruel to unwed mothers (they would shame them, or ignore them as in this situation)
I immediately approached the nurses station and asked where Claudine's Son was?

They had admitted him to the NICU and had not shared any of those details with this new delicate, scared mom. I immediately escorted her via wheelchair to the NICU where I was witness to the first time she was able to see and hold her new baby boy. He had aspirated and was on oxygen, but she was able to hold him.

My mothers instinct took over and I began asking questions, of who was there to help her, who was she going home with, did she had a crib, car-seat, clothes, diapers, and did she have any idea what to expect for this stage in life.

She was totally naive, she had nothing for this new baby, not one thing, no bottles, no diapers, no bed, not one single thing. I was overcome with the desire to protect and aid this sweet, soft spoken young girl who was left utterly alone in her weakest hour.

I left the hospital after she had spent time with her new son, (which she asked my help in naming, Dante Christopher)
and I immediately went to work, I called in my Visiting Teachers, and the Relief Society president, and together we urgently put together a baby shower, hosted by another ward sister (maybe Leslie Louw?)

We were able to arrange for the baby shower the day Dante was released from the hospital. Claudine, Abigel, and I spent a few hours in the NICU nursery spending time with the new baby boy, as well as teaching Claudine how to pump her milk (since none on the staffing had taken the time to put the baby to her breast, and had already given him a bottle...grrr....)

It was a major struggle to overcome that hurdle, but together the 3 of us became inseparable.
When Dante was released and brought home, Claudine spent most of her days at our home, she 'lived' with a 2nd cousin in a house less than a block from me, however they had several children and felt that she was a serious burden, the mother of the house also felt like Claudine should be punished for her teen pregnancy and therefore refused to assist of nurture her in any way.

I was honored to assist, nurture, love, teach and coach this impressionable young girl, she was only 8 years younger than I, but she was so very innocent as the ways of life, and especially parenting (her mother had died in Haiti when she was a very young girl)

For the next 5 years Claudine lived with us off and on, she would get an apartment, and work really hard (while we kept Dante for her school, or work schedule) Dante & Abigel shared a crib for the first 2 years, and then shared a friendship for the 3 after that.

in 2004 When our family moved to Alaska, Claudine sadly stayed behind in Utah.

And we lost contact, with her moving around and not keeping the same phone numbers, I had no way of finding her, I attempted many times to contact her 2nd Cousins family, but they were dead-set on tormenting this young girl, and would like to me telling me they did not know a "Claudine"

For years I would have dreams tormenting me, not knowing where she was, or how they were doing, it was the most heart breaking separation I have ever endured.

3 years ago I got the most wonderful gift.

Through facebook, we were able to reconnect and be reunited. Claudine had become a wife, and had given birth to 2 more sons! She lived in Atlanta where her husband works at Lowes, and they have built a life.

I spent a week with Claudine last summer at my home in Missouri, where we reminisced and rekindled the loving relationship not seeing each-other for 8 years was HELL.

Being able to connect through email,phone and our yearly visits has been such a blessing!

Claudine has now given life to a beautiful new baby girl, she has allowed me to come stay in her home and love on all her babies.

Here is the odd part,  I feel a maternal connection to her deeper than anything i can describe, the pride and joy that she and her babies bring me are overwhelming, so even though we are only 8 years different, I feel a motherly love and protection over her.

and a pride that can not be described, she has raised 3 little boys to be obedient, orderly, intelligent, compassionate, clean, respectful, honorable, everything you would ever want in your children and grand children. She has accomplished. she and her husband Simon are loving, attentive and give instruction and guidance to these kids, they could NOT be better parents!

I could NOT be more proud of the job she has done, knowing how little she knew about babies, and how much we went over during those first years of Dantes life, and how AMAZING she has been for these 4 kids.

I am bursting at the seams seeing her, and knowing these kids. They are so wonderful! So beautiful. So precious. So perfect.

I am so grateful for the phone call i got almost 14 years ago, inviting me to meet and support a young, scared, unwed, innocent, naive little girl.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to reunite and maintain our family connection.

What an honor  it is to see this woman, and be privileged to love on her and these babies.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

World's Ugliest Cake

Baked by My lovely daughter. OK I know it may sound rude to say it, but this cake was ugly.

Really ugly.

As ugly as ALL the cakes i have attempted to make..... but you want to know the most beautiful thing about this cake?
Gracie. Yep she is the most beautiful part of this cake, let me explain.

Gracie turned 12 this past week, she and I had a great fun afternoon of shopping and one-on-one time, I let her choose the shops, and her gifts, you would think that a 12 year old girl would beg for clothes, jewelry, make-up etc.....

Not this one.

She is a gem.

She wanted only one thing for her birthday, supplies to bake.

So we bought cookie cutters, and measuring cups, spoons, Cupcake papers, decorations, sprinkles, recipe books, magazines, and ingredients. We bought it all. and then for HER birthday she baked us cupcakes, and every day since she has been learning new recipes, and teaching herself how to frost, how to get a layered cake to release from the pan......that is the lesson for today.

How to get the cake to come out of the pan in one piece.

and so we ate the ugliest cake. It was also by the way the most moist, fluffy, scrumptious cake i have ever eaten. and yes, I ate a sugar laden baked treat. (by the way the only fake sugar in it was the frosting, everything else was a natural sugar)

but a mom's got to do the tough jobs, and tasting this cake was a real sacrifice. It. was. amazing. Ugly, but amazing!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reflection & Epiphany

I do believe I have come full circle in the past 24 months. In May of 2011 I attended a Humanitarian Medical trip to the Dominican Republic. It was a beautiful, awakening time. It brought out the fierce passion I have for serving and being active.
It woke within me a greater desire to be in the community and SERVE. I am ALIVE when I am serving.

I then came home with such a PASSION for service, and a desire to make a DIFFERENCE in the world.

I moved from midwifery when it was creating such a conflict within my family, I dive into things and give it 110%. the time it was requiring of me was taking its toll on my sweet family, my youngest children especially were struggling. So I took a back burner to midwifery and threw myself into other activities. One of which was business coaching, I absolutely LOVE encouraging and planning, helping others to find ways to make their dreams come true.

I met some incredible people during this adventure and gave of myself once again 110%.

Unfortunately the businesses or individual who NEED my service were the exact ones who were not able to PAY for that service, and part of me is OK with that, Part of me just loves to GIVE. but when I have given ALL of my time (and gas money) to others, and there is a pile of bills waiting for me at home, and a neglected home, car and farm, then the reality that I can NOT afford to give 110%  hits me square in the purse.

I look forward to finding others who will benefit from my passion and drive, I look forward to meeting the associates that can see VALUE in my service.

Here is the epiphany.

the ones who I am IRREPLACEABLE to....are the ones under my very own roof.

I may be great at marketing (because I enjoy it) and I may be Wonderful at research & development, (cause I am)

BUT I am IRREPLACEABLE to my children, and to my husband.  NO ONE can do what I can do in my own home.

The VALUE of MY time invested into my babies, toddlers and teens is worth more than any job, investment or dividend can offer.

In my heart I know this, always have, but in my ego I seek out the public appreciation for my God-Given gifts.

I KNOW the Spirit put into my heart that I am to be a MISSIONARY in the MARKET PLACE. what better way to do this than to RAISE my children in Righteousness and Obedience.

I resolve to devote ALL my talents to this temporary state, and to teach, nurture and enable MY CHILDREN to SHINE where ever they may be that WE may GLORIFY our Father in Heaven.

I have not given up. I am working just as hard as always, you just may not see the fruits of MY Labors for a long, long time.

I has resolved to continue to encourage ALL MOTHERS to learn HOW to enjoy their divine role as MOTHER, and what SKILLS they can use to magnify this Godly role.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Today is Peter's Birthday!

He turns 5 and we are throwing a party! We have invited our friends local to us and we are so excited to see them and enjoy an evening together!

We had Peter open his gifts before the party, there is a cute video of the family singing happy birthday to him on Facebook.

The kids have been having so much fun prepping for this party, Gracie has planned some fun games, Abi and Madi made decorations, and Rubi is the coordinator for everything.

This morning at 5:30 Peter and I got ready and left for Children's Mercy, Peter had an appointment to get a sedated MRI done, this is to evaluate his hearing loss as well as his brain development.

He was such a good boy, he was tired, hungry and had little understanding of what exactly was happening. But he cooperated (even when he didn't want to) and endured the IV needle, he rolled off for the procedure with our sweet nurse, then an hour later, I was reunited with him while we waited for his sedation to wear off.

Now we are heading out the door once again.... more photos of the PARTAY later!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chores & keeping order

Keeping our home in order is a full time job!

The kids each have daily chores that must be done before they can have free-time.

Then they have extra chores that are not assigned daily, but need to be done periodically.

When I saw this idea on Pinterest. I KNEW it was going to make me a happy momma!

I take tours through each of the kids' rooms daily, typically if I find something that belongs to them out of place, i toss it out. Yep, I throw it away!

This new Concept has me in a win/win situation.

I get to put all those extra chores that must be done every day in the envelope, and put all the extra stuff I normally toss out into the bin! I will give the kids 3 days to retrieve the item, and if it is not claimed through an extra chore, it will meet its demise into the circular file!

I chose a CLEAR bin so that everyone could see exactly what was inside the box, I also laminated all the chores so that I can use them over & over. Here is the box completed. ( I laminated the envelope too, then carefully cut it open.)

Here is the jpg of the chores and the poster pasted to the bin.
Of course if you do not have chickens, or the jobs are not fitting for your family, you will get to create your own files! ;) Already tonight I have several items in the bin, including a pair of my 13 year olds' jeans :)
I'm doing the happy dance, since I get to have my walls scrubbed and the chicken coop cleaned without a fuss! :D

Oh, one caveat I made, you MUST take the job you draw out....No picking & Choosing!!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Blessings and Prayers

I have known of this family for at least 8 years, the Whicker family have adopted many special needs kids, and from a few different countries.

They are such a sweet family!

I wish them ALL the LUCK!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Life back to Normal.

We raised butcher chickens for the freezer. Back in March we got our order of 50 Chicks and with the help of our dear friend, Rebecca we had 36 ready to butcher this week.


Wes and I are  pioneers, we are constantly striving for the skills and practice in being self reliant. One of those skills is knowing what it takes to raise, kill and prepare our own food. (whether it be vegetables , or animals)

In the past we have raised chickens for eggs, beef cows, milk cows, goats for milk & meat.

This was our first attempt to raise broiler chickens.

There are certainly things we will do differently next  time, but each experience is growth and knowledge.

So here are some photos of the butchering day. (that turned into more than one day, since it took longer than we hoped!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Being as vulnerable as i am during this fundraising time, I have gone through a huge fluctuating emotional roller coaster. I hate asking for help, only because it hurts so deeply to be denied help when i finally do ask. 
I would much rather not ask, suffer or go without than ask, and be ignored.

When we were little children and people would ask, "What do you want for your birthday?" and I hesitated, it was only because it felt like such a gamble to be honest, and then not receive the desired object.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, I do not believe in holding back my feelings, but it has taken me many years to learn to hold back my many thoughts.

My thoughts and or beliefs are hard for most people to swallow.
While studying about adoption attachment and learning how it is an issue,and what can be done to begin the healing process, I have found something. It is hard for me to admit, but the more time i spend studying this issue, the more I realize this is what I suffer(ed) from in my childhood especially.

I am not sure if it is due to not having a father in my life, or due to the many moves and required hardships of being raised by a single mother, or if it started later, when I was old enough to realize that most people love CONDITIONALLY, and that my mannerisms and personality are pretty hard for most folks to handle.

I am so grateful for my grandparents, who adopted me not only into their family, but into their hearts, I can honestly say i was never treated better than they treated me. We lived next door to them for many years, and that time was the time i felt the safest in my life.
Clara & Arvid were such amazing people, i  know there were times i disappointed them,  but I honestly NEVER FELT IT.

They never withdrew their affection for me, even when i went through my ugly phase. I never hesitated to visit them, call them or reach out to them, they made it crystal clear that they would always and forever accept and love me.

I will forever attempt to emulate this quality for my growing clan.  I will forever remember how wonderful it was to bask in their adoration.

I will take this memory and build my future on the knowledge that even when I make mistakes, I am still lovable.
I hope I can carry on this legacy, although flawed, and help my children feel my infinite love for them.
Each and every one of them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Madi- Moo!! turns 16

HOLY COW! My baby girl turns 16 on Fathers day (today)

I have loved every second of being her mommy, and I adore this young lady and who she is growing into!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

All of my love...

All of my time, if not all of my love is consumed in fundraising right now. It is coming to an end. I am so grateful for the small clan that has surrounded me with support and love.

They have been incredible and i owe them so much for all they have done.

The Battle of the Bands was May 26th
Zumbathon June 15th
Car Wash & Bake Sale June 16th

coming up is the GRAND FINALE (for me at least)

The Auction, BBQ, and Raffle Drawing is on June 29th.

After that I may not attempt to raise funds for ANYTHING for a while. ;0)

Here are some shots of where my time has been the past 3 months.....Seems miniscule in comparison to the time it has taken to pull these off!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Roller Coasters & Scary rides....

February 2nd 2012 we got onto a extreme ride....

a roller coaster, dipper-diver scary ride... we had no guarantee that we would come out alive, unlike the rides with safety bars and numerous other safety features, this ride was ollin.

No take-backs.

No do-overs.

and it was going to be FAST and FURIOUS.

we have just 4 weeks left to our departure dates. We have $6,000 to go on our fundraising and all the remainder of the paperwork and legal process have almost been finalized.

It is a risk.

It is a miracle.

It has been life-changing.

When the ride is over, will we ever be the same? I hope not. I hope we have grown, and learned so much more about ourselves. I hope we can be better, not bitter. I pray we are closer and stronger.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rubi Doo!

My baby girl is growing up! She turned 9 and we had such  blast! For fun I scoured my files and found some old photos of her.

Enjoy her..... I know I do!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Will The REAL me, Please step Forward?

Pregnant Pause.

Yes, I am ambitious, I am a DREAMER, and I LOVE to stay BUSY!

I also CRAVE support, I covet Prayers, and I get the GREEN EYED MONSTER.

When some are pandering and wasting their resources like watering our lawns for 3 hours a day in the desert. I get really irritated.

When I see how much waste and I see so much suffering. I want to cry.

I see many spend THOUSANDS and TENS of THOUSANDS on a vacation several times a year when there are children that go to bed each night crying from an cramping, empty belly.

I get irritated when I see youth with SUCH TALENT that waste it away, and buy into the childish selfish mentality of gossip and back-biting. Instead of working on developing and harnessing the energy of youth, and achieving BIG things, they settle for working at McD's, or WalMart, and never challenge themselves to find out what their passions are.

I can only hope that one day, WE GET IT. that we can see the true person, and not the person we think we are.

My dreams of visiting AFRICA have ALWAYS been to serve, and make the lives of others a little less painful. My desire is to be a full-time philanthropist, and GIVE my ALL.

For now I give for my children, and I pray it is enough, I choose to teach them by example how it is better to live on less so that others can sleep with food in their bellies than it is to have the new Phone, iPad, Electronic gadgets, new shiny cars, and exotic vacations.

2.7 billion people were living on less than $2 a day, and 1.1 billion people were living on under $1 a day.  ONE luxurious vacation could feed a village for a year!  Let's get our priorities right!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Wish.

I am not sure when it happened, but at some point in my life, I was convinced that crying is a sign of weakness.  I was bullied in elementary school, for pimples at 3rd grade, wearing a bra in 4th grade, and having 'BO' all throughout elementary.

I was a traumatized child, and I cried every single day of school.

I HATED school, I spent most of my time alone, and I felt weak and vulnerable.

Something happened, and I changed, I think a part of it was meeting a new group of kids (BMW, Missy, Christine A., Kanna) that NEVER made me feel small. These were my first true friends.

Somewhere in between bawling like a baby 24/7  and refusing to shed a tear, I get lost.

This is where I am now, I am VERY sensitive to criticism. Who isn't??  My dear sweet friend Consie taught me to try to sandwich a complaint with two compliments, this way it shows the person you are correcting that you recognize the good they do, and it lessens the blow of the negative/correction.

I am not very good at this, because in LOVE languages, Words of Affirmations are the HARDEST for me to convey. I like to DO something for others to show my love (Acts of Kindness) and words get caught in my throat and I struggle with saying them. I have to think, rethink and think again in order to feel like what I say is accurate or correct.

So as I struggle with TEENAGERS....I am at a loss. this is where I wish.

I wish that instead of getting ANGRY I wish I could cry, cause this is what I WANT to do. I WANT to cry when we have conflict, I want to break down and be soft, and let them see what they say or what they do TRULY gets to me.

Instead, I become hard as Steele and to THEM they think it is unfeeling.

My poor kids.

If only they knew how tender I was/am. If only I was better at letting them see the soft side of me.

If only I did not spend all my energies on protective actions and instead I was able to soften a bit, and let them see me cry.

I wish I could cry.

Cry like I do when I see an orphan, Cry like I do when I see a hallmark special, cry like when I miss my mother, cry like I do when I think of all my regrets.

I wish I could cry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For the Love of Peter!

Please stop by and take a look at the hand made items that have been made & donated at the

For the Love of Peter Etsy store!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Sprint vs Marathon

I started running track in 7th grade, it came very easy for me, and when the 400 yd race progressed, I could look at the end of the race, and KNOW I would make it. It is such a short distance, it is strenuous to run a fast pace, but so encouraging to see the end of the race just yards ahead of you.

 I started training for Cross Country in High School. That was a new ball of wax!!

 That took patience, endurance, and perseverance. IT TOOK so much MORE TRAINING, it did not come natural for me. Loving and serving comes natural for me. Seeing the needs of another, and knowing how I can help is a gift. Sometimes it is hard, but the end is in sight, the task will come to an end, and the training is minimal.

 Fundraising for Peter started out as a 400 yd dash, I could SEE the end, and I KNOW it will be met. But I have found that it is MUCH more like a Marathon, and that is where I am right now.

 I have hit a runners wall. I do not regret accepting the call to LOVE and SERVE my son Peter. but to be perfectly honest, Raising funds WHILE rising SONS is A HUGE commitment! We have had SO MANY helpers, and SO MANY people have sacrificed, I am truly humbled and blessed.

Rather than feeling like they are my cheerleaders, I feel like they are my 400 yd dash relay team. We each do a SPRINT for as LONG as we can, then gracefully pass the baton and the next, refreshed runner takes the baton and runs for their portion. The only difference is..... we are all sprinting at the same time!!

 Susana, Erin, Candace, Lia, Sasha, Alice, Sherri, Angel,Sean, Savannah,Laraine, Deborah, Susannah, Ruth, Sheli, Mindy, Barry, Rebecca, Taft, Heather, and SOOO MANY OTHERS!

I wish I could name you all, I am so humbled by your generous, selfless acts of kindness I hope someone along your path will provide as much support and love.
as you have shown me! Pay it Forward. As the marathon continues, I pray for ongoing support, and understanding, I may have volunteered for this race, but that does not mean I can run it all alone. Just as if I had given birth to a new son, I am exhausted, taxed, worn out, and need a break. Thank you for those helpers who whisk my kids away so I can rest, thank you to those who dry my laundry, and deliver my kids places, and do not judge me for not being able to do it all alone. Thank you to my village for supporters.

Thursday, or is it Saturday?

A M A Z I N G It is amazing to me how many people are willing to help. I have received several $28 donations, checks in the mail, and Paypal. I was able to deposit another $743 into the account ! You bet your bottom dollar I will be changing that thermometer!! We still have a LONG ways to go. But slow & steady wins the race! Peter has been catching up so quickly, he now has a very stable way of communicating his basic needs, as we introduce him to new signs and routines, he seems to enjoy it all. he has a bad habit of beating up on Elijah, and poor little Eli is such a tender heart, all he does it cry and take it. I m praying for a solution to this one, since Elijah would never hurt a flea... he is really struggling with this. We took the entire family to the KC temple open house. I am working on loading photos to share, we have a DINOSAUR of a computer and a digital camera that will ONLY sync with the DINO, so it takes a long time to load the photos. (both camera and computer are over 9 years old... ancient huh? j.k.) Rubi is such a hard worker! She has not been content to sit back and wait for the BIG events for fundraising, so she devised a plan, she baked ALL DAY 3 different types of cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, World famous Chocolate Chip Cookies, and snickerdoodles. Once they were cooled enough, we loaded up 10 plates and I drove her into town. She proudly took them door to door to sell. In 1 hour she made $35! Then today we went out again and she sold 4 more plates! ($20 more ) I AM SO PROUD OF HER! She is such a go-getter 8 year old!! I should have taken photos, I apologize, next time I WILL! Thanks again everyone who has SHARED our story, SHARED the blog, spoken up about our needs, made phone calls to find donations for the auction, yard sale, and the many other events that are going on. In the end, it will all be worth it. When we get to take Peter to the temple and have him sealed to our family for all eternity. Good night. and THANK YOU!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Lesson

I am excited to teach Sharing Time this afternoon. I have been thinking of this lesson all month and planning how I am going to share with the kids all the love and acceptance for others who are different.

I am hopeful the message of love and acceptance will be conveyed, and that the kids will be better prepared for Peter's arrival.

I am SO GRATEFUL for a supportive Primary President and Bishop who are understanding and supportive of my new child and all the uniqueness of his needs.

Wish me luck!!

The kids were wonderful, as I shared with them the analogy of a little seed being a mystery, and how when we look at a seed, we can not tell what it will grow into, but that if we nurture, care for and allow that seed to grow, eventually it will become what it always was!

We are all that tiny seed. We all need nurturing, care, and provisions to grow to our fullest potential.

I also shared with them how important it is to always be on our best behavior as we are constantly teaching others how to behave in a situation, and our behaviors will shape and change others around us. May we ALL allow those little seeds the proper care to germinate into the plan our father in heaven has in mind for them and us!

What is the big deal?

So Peter is an orphan (according to the government of Liberia)

what is the big deal? Someone somewhere will cadre for him...right? The Orphanage (that houses on average 45-75 kids) can feed him, and change him. He will grow up to be let free onto the streets with rudimentary education and experience, to fend for himself and learn on his own what he must do to survive. Most likely, he will become a father at the age of his peers 12-16. And the cycle continues.

Peter was a bed-baby, meaning it was more work to get him out of the bed, and keep track of him then the workers had time for. So he stayed in the bed. He was fed, and occasionally he was attended to.

This by no means is a slight on the orphanage workers, they had 60 other mouths to feed, and by and Large Peter's needs were minuscule in comparison to the many other needs.

Peter had very little language exposure, he was not diagnosed as deaf until in his 3rd year. Most likely it is due to recurrent infections and possibly a herpes virus.

So what is the big deal?

Peter had a severely enlarged spleen that made it so he had to be fed via IV. The hospital is not equipped to keep him overnight, so they would travel by bus with a very sick, lethargic and feverish onto a crowded city bus to travel just to get him the fluids to keep him alive.

The Dr.'s in Liberia knew if he did not get his Malaria attended to, his spleen would not be able to endure more stress, and he would die.

So what is the big deal?

Peter came to the US. he got emergency medical care, he has recovered and is doing well, he eats, plays, runs, and is communicating beautifully with ASL.

Peter was 24 lbs at 3 years old. that is approximately a 12-18 month old size.
Peter got a flu bug in February, and it wiped him out by 7 pounds. He dropped almost a pund a day while he was ill.

So what is the big deal about Peter?

If Peter can not even tolerate a minor illness, such as the flu, how do you think he will handle Malaria again?

He won't.

He is just one child.

His needs are many, but manageable.

So what is the big deal about Peter?

Peter is my son.

Peter is worth fighting for.

Peter, and all the sweet children that come into this world....DESERVE a safe place to grow. They Deserve a family, a bed and all the love that can be dolled out.

Peter will not get these basic necessary needs met if forced to return to Liberia's Orphanage.

Help us, Help Peter.

Better late then.....

I neglected to share the newspaper article on THIS BLOG since I was busy updating THIS OTHER BLOG. phew...it is allot to keep up with (and yes, i am aware that ALLOT is not a real word!)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Power of ONE

I have come to realize, that I can do many things.

Some times I can do them well.

Right now I can not do everything that needs to be done. I need many hands and hearts to reach out, share the message and offer help.

I get many emails or phone calls each day that come from my friends who offer their support with ideas on more ways to raise the funds for the adoption.


But I can not do them. I have my hands full, literally of this adorable sweet boy. My heart is FULL of love and I ENJOY Serving him. But I can not do this alone.

THANK YOU to the dear friends who are organizing the Yard Sale Fundraiser for Peter.

THANK YOU to the friends who have printed off labels, made donation jars and taken them to various retail locations around their homes.

THANK YOU to the many who have donated to our paypal account!

THANK YOU To the Village of Kotzebue for the Bake sale that made us $420!!!




My heart is Full.
My hands are Full.
My life is Full.


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Auction for Peter !

it has been suggested we hold an auction for Peter.

Already we have had a couple of offers to give us the items needed .
In other adoption Auctions I have seen some pretty cool items donated, here is a suggested list.
Art work
Service deals
Carpet installation
Car detailing
Photography sitting
Wedding Services
Massage coupons
Hair style coupons
Hotel packages
Spa Packages
Ski packages
hair Bows
Oil Changes
Restaurant Coupons
Garden Tilling
Landscaping service
Custom Art Design

What can YOU DO?

You can petition local businesses for ONE item that will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on THIS BLOG to support Peter's adoption funds.

YOU can DONATE a service or a purchase to be auctioned off.

YOU can spread the word on the auction and find OTHERS who have an item to donate or would be interested in a purchase.

Please comment on what YOU are able to give/donate to make this a reality!

Friday, April 06, 2012

A generous offer!

In my effort to spread the word on the Pennies for Peter campaign, I got creative :)

I thought of ALL the folks who I know understand the power of referral marketing.

I wrote a letter to some of these contacts and got a lovely response today from on

e.Life Manifestos

I bought a copy of their Family Manifesto in December for my Christmas Present to myself.

I absolutely love it. It takes all the elements of being a family each phrase, word and meaning and put it all together in a beautiful eye catching piece of art.

I took a photo of the framed poster to show of course, the glare from my camera and the angle I had to shoot it do not do it full-justice.

But you can at least get an idea.

The owner & creator of life Manifestos, Stephen Palmer, has offered MORE than I asked for.
he has offered to DONATE $2 of EVERY sale of their YET-To-Be-Released "Leave a Legacy" Manifesto.

if you go to their webpage, and sign up for the newsletter, YOU WILL BE FIRST TO HEAR about this AMAZING, GENEROUS Offer, for a LIMITED TIME.(48 hour time-limited offer)

So first step is to JOIN their mailing list! (which is FULL of uplifting stories, quotes and other helpful advice) and watch for the announcement of which dates and times we will be Favored with their offer.

This is a HUGE deal, this company is BRAND NEW and are not making a huge profit (yet) and the fact they are willing to GIVE to Peter is an HONOR.


It is as simple as entering your email address. Trust me. This newsletter is heartfelt and this family company is awesome.

Do me, Peter and yourself a favor.

Join the newsletter. And pay attention to the dates and times of this limited offer!

THANKS Stephen Palmer & the crew at Life Manifesto!!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Peter has been learning very quickly the dynamics of our family. He was hitting and biting a bunch when he first arrived (as I would too in his situation) but with consistent reminders of what is expected, he has promptly stopped, and instead now seems to follow right along with what is expected.

Friday evening our family was helping with the Simpson Family Fundraiser (they lost their home to a fire on 3/18/2012) we were delivering tables and a trailer to be used for the yard Sale.

It was minimal effort on our part, this family has been close friends since we left Alaska in 2006.

I did not make it far.... I buckled all the kids in the Suburban, loaded up the trailer and pulled out of the driveway. The stop sign at the end or our road is set back from the intersection, and often times we have close calls with oncoming traffic.

This time the oncoming car collided with my suburban.

It totaled both vehicles but luckily none were majorly injured.

We were blessed with safety.

The Good is we are all ok, the bad is we no longer have a vehicle that fits our family of 9, and the ugly is we will be forced to go into debt to purchase a new one.

We have avoided debt since 2005 and we are not thrilled to go back.

but it could have been MUCH worse!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hurdles and Hugs

Peter had a great day today. He has enjoyed the sunshine, and all the fun running around with Zeke & Eli.

Each of the boys had a tick tonight at bed time.....can you imagine me trying to remove a tick from Peters arm-pit...he thought I was simply TORTURING him!!!

But the bath made it all better. He LOVES water, he washes his hands faithfully after every potty trip, just so he can have time in the water. Then he helped Shaun do dishes for nearly an hour....for the pleasure of playing in the water....He is so fun.

He ate 4 HUGE bowls of Baked Ziti for lunch. This boy eats.... Now if only we can get him to start gaining weight. He lost 7 lbs from the flu last month, he is so underweight any little illness just takes it right out of him.

I shudder to think of the worst case scenario, where we are not able to raise enough $$ to finalize his adoption and he is forced to return to Liberia.

Thanks again to everyone who has sent money. The amount we have to save/raise is HUGE and every little bit helps. I never want any one to feel like I am guilt tripping them, I sincerely hope I am not sending that vibe....My cousins near and far and my friends that have sent money to me....I just can't put into words how amazed I am.

Madi's preschool teacher from 1998 gave a paypal donation. Amazing.

Thanks again everyone.

Oh...we took the CUTEST photos of the boys all dressed for church. I will share tomorrow. Even though Peter did not attend church, he sat and watched a session of Conference in ASL with me on the computer!

Pennies for Peter!

Here is a Flyer I created with help from my friend Susanna. What do you think?

Are you willing to print ONE COPY and put it up for display at your local Grocery Store, or Gas station, What about a neighbors restaurant? Someplace like "The Smokehouse" or "Iggy's" or how about "Ernie's Deli" ?

Feedback appreciated!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bonding & Trust

Newborn babes...the smell intoxicating, they are tiny, and sweet and utterly perfect. Not at hing they can do (even scream all night long with gas) can not mar the joy and peace they bring to your home.
When a new mother gives birth, first an influx of congratulations, and Gifts, Meals, and offerings for support and help flood in. Mom's usually have a bit of euphoria.

All is right. All is well.

Within the first three weeks, a mom will nap, snuggle and bundle up her wee one just basking in that babes wonderful spirit.

It is a perfect time. Of course there are struggles, postpartum pains, or the depression that often sets in. But overall the Highs out number the lows.

When a new child is introduced into a family and the child is older. (Say older than 2) The bonding, snuggling, cuddling, and basking are a little more complicated. The Synapses that occurs to a newborn, developing their intellectual capacity, establishing their trust, and safety comprehension.

The fact that the people that WERE caring for this child, are no longer in their life, the damage to trust and safety has already been done. These kids have a battle to overcome. Other wise known as 'attachment issues' having a normal attachment to their caregiver (Mother & Father) is essential to the normal development of relationships throughout their lives. Without this many things are not understood. For example; Authority, accountability, remorse, trust. Can you imagine a life without the capacity for one or each of these?

When a new child is brought into the home in adoption, it is absolutely essential and imperative that people in their surroundings understand something.

Affection and Direction are ONLY appropriate when they come from the Mother & Father.

If others (who are well meaning) Hug, pick-up, snuggle, caress, cuddle or otherwise ANY PHYSICAL affection it Disrupts the Trust & Bonding that adoptive families work SO HARD to establish.

I understand these babies (even if they are 2, 3 or 4) are adorable, and so lovable.

For the first year affection (even hugs) Should be considered a violation of boundaries.

Please do not get offended! Please be supportive during this CRUCIAL time of adjustment and Please respect the parents desires to mend the broken chains of trust, love and affections.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What can I do....Today?

Many who feel like they would like to help, but Adoption is NOT for them, And that is OK. It is not for everyone.

But what CAN you do?

Birthday presents Can be purchased from places like :this:

You can write from the heart encouraging others to Speak, Act, and Move.

You could donate time and encourage others who are working on their own projects like this one

You can support groups in big ways or small. Just do something, the greatest gift you can give back to our Lord is to Serve another.






Thank you "GN"
Thank you "SS"
Thank you "LJ"
Thank you "HS"

My heart is overflowing with gratitude that others near and far would find the way to support our family.

It takes a lot of humility to fundraise and ask for help, and the outpouring has overwhelmed me with gratitude.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What a day.... March 21st 2012

Yesterday was our "Gotcha Day"

The plan started out that Shaun and I had an apt. to get our fingerprints done. (for the 4th time....don't ask)

These apts are only made once a week, and if we did not make it to this, we would have two choices, drive 3 hrs to the next location, or wait a week. I was anxious to get them done, as this is the most essential part of the home-study.
The plan was, as soon as we were done getting that done, we would jet out to the airport and pick up our boy!

On our way to Liberty, Denise called.... She and I understand one-another when we use our 'free flight privileges' they come with many many kinks. Denise had been trying to get out on a flight since Tuesday afternoon. They had been full, and the Wed. flights were not looking any better.

When she called and told me the chances were getting slimmer for an arrival we made a hasty decision to drive and meet each other in the middle somewhere.

So once we finished with our fingerprinting appointment, Shaun and I drove 3.5 hours to Fort Dodge Iowa.

We arrived in Fort Dodge and met up at the McDonald's. Melvin is such a cheerful easy going boy, he happily jumped into our car, got himself buckled and we were on our way.

We arrived at home late last night. the older kids were up waiting to meet their new brother, and after greetings and smiles everywhere, we crashed into bed.

At 7:30 a.m. we got breakfast made and said goodbye to Madi & Shaun who had to go to school. Zeke & Elijah woke up and came for breakfast, Eli was surveying Melvin and was rather unsure of his stance, after lots of hugs, and kisses from mommy reassuring him all was ok, he jumped right into playing and sharing everything with Melvin.

The day is nearly half way over, and I am still in a state of disbelief. The kids are all getting along, everyone has been prepped as much as possible, and we appreciate your prayers to lift us along the way.

Did you see the Fundraiser Thermometer? Did you see we are at $1185.00!?

THANK YOU! and thanks to the many who have volunteered to sell chocolate bars in our behalf as well. (pics to come soon!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Movers & Shakers

I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends who support my crazy life.

This morning I received a call from Susannah. I consider her one of my closest friends. She had a GREAT Suggestion!

Sam's Club Warehouse carries boxes of chocolate candy bars. 52 bars in the box. The boxes COST $20 (apx) The idea is to sell (peddle!) the bars wherever you can, selling them for $1-$2. These bars come with a $1 off coupon for Subway.

If everyone who is willing to pay for any amount of boxes, and sell the bars you could triple the investment! If your kids go to school, and are allowed to sell, they could sell a box in 3 hours easily!

I will create a flyer explaining our needs and you can use that as intro to the pitch.

I love it!

Who is in?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Move your FEET

Most of the time people are supportive, loving and kind. To our face. When I tell the story of our life, or I share the portion of the journey we are currently walking, they say things like "You are so adventurous!" or "Your much braver than I"

Occasionally I get people who are real. and they say exactly what they feel to my face. In one instance someone who I admire greatly asked why in the world i would adopt kids when I was capable of having them biologically (I think she said the easy way)


What do you say? My un-restrained thoughts are "Because God commands us to care for the needy, and an orphan fits that bill"

but my politically correct reply was, "We feel this is our calling"

For those who CAN NOT care for more than they have, you should not feel guilty. Your Quiver is full, and you are fulfilling your role. Please do not think I am referring to that situation.

The frustration comes to me when ADULTS address their concern and or unapproved opinions to my CHILDREN, who then have to defend ME.


if an adult has an issue with another adult, then the grown-up thing to do would be speak to that person, not through their child, or neighbor or friend. Because frankly, if you do not know me well enough to offer friendly advice, then maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself.

I do not judge others who have EXCESS, who can travel the world, buy brand new cars every few years, Pay cash for every whim, fancy or idea. They earned it, and they have a right to spend it how they see fit.

But why do others seem to think it is their place to question, comment or gossip about my choices, goals, life and intentions.

People the commandment is to LOVE one another.

Comfort those that need Comforting

Support the poor, Widowed, needy and Orphaned.

and Love thy NEIGHBOR as THYSELF .

Here is a thought that resonates in my mind.
"If not me....then WHO?"
"If not Now...then WHEN?"
"If not this....Then WHAT?"

Adoption is not convenient, cheap, or easy.

the negative comments that are made about me wasting my potential, or how we must be really wealthy, or I must have super powers that they lack...are not true.

When I see someone with a flat on the side of the road, I can think....."Awe, someone else can take care of their needs"


What can you do?

Who needs your hand?

Who needs your love?

if not adoption...then what
it not you...then who
if not now....then when

MOVE YOUR FEET. Do not judge the path I travel, and in return I will smile and nod as our paths cross.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I have been looking around for ideas on fundraisers.
I have found a place that will DONATE a huge portion of the costs for producing 100 shirts.

These shirts we can sell for $10-15 for the 5k or for people who just want to support the adoption.

So please give me some feedback is it worth SPENDING $250 to get shirts made to then SELL? Or does anyone know of a resource that will be willing to donate 100 shirts?

Thanks for the feedback!

A new day.

Sunday. the Sabbath. the hardest day of the week for mothers.

ahhhh..... How I love late church services. It gives me time to enjoy my children, and get ready for church at a slower pace.

The kids. They crack me up. Some days they beg NOT to attend church. Some days they CRY Their eyes out to go to church. (Same kids, different days)

As I contemplate WHY we attend church and what all the habits and rituals of the Sabbath are, I wonder which of them actually bring the spirit of Peace into our home, and which bring frustration and contention.
Again, depends on the day.
Today I was playing scriptures aloud from www.mormonchannel.org. after we had listened to a few chapters, I turned to a YouTube video with the song "Holding Hands around the World." It has been going through my head as our theme for this adoption. (really every adoption)

When the song had played a few times and I was absent from the room, our son Shaun (18) changed the YouTube channel to one of his choosing.

I of course snapped at him, chastised him and immediately regretted the tone I used to correct him.

When we make mistakes what does our Heavenly Father SHOUT or Yell? I know that when I feel chastised it is a soft pressing upon my heart....A whispering. And then an understanding, of what I have fallen short on, and what I can do to improve.

I am praying today that I can learn these lessons of speaking softly sooner rather than later. that I can correct and teach these Heavenly Children how we are to behave, Do as I Do. To strive to be the Example of a Believer of Christ.

and yes. I will apologize to the child(ren) that I accost in impatience.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thanks again...

The donations are slowly trickling in!
Thank you "SF"
Thank you "LL"

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to our family & friends.

Family & Friends

Each time we add a child to our crew we are humbled and a little bit overwhelmed. This time rather than a pregnancy announcement it is an adoption announcement! Wesley and I are honored to have these sweet spirits in our home and consider it our greatest honor and asset that we are being blessed with more.
Let me tell you a little bit about Melvin. Melvin had a severe medical need when the group from “Global Orphan Outreach” found him and brought him to the USA on an emergency medical visa. He was diagnosed as severely malnourished (24 lbs at 4 yrs old) and had Malaria and other urgent medical issues. Melvin was cared for by a very special family in Minnesota that covered all of his medical needs and physical needs while in their care. Melvin is also deaf, the remainder of his medical needs have been addressed and he is growing stronger.

Here is where our family steps into the picture. We have the privilege to offer respite care (foster care) for Melvin while we paper chase to adopt him from Liberia. In normal adoptions, the family spends time doing the paper work, and then fundraising and finally brings their child home. In our case, we are starting backwards.

The Dr’s who treated Melvin in Minnesota have said it is a death sentence to send him back to Liberia, where malaria is rampant, they felt his body was too weak from his multiple issues to withstand another infection. Melvin’s Medical Visa is being renewed until August, when we as a family must return with him to appear in the courts to petition to adopt him. We have from now until May to raise $8,000.00. Then we will have until August 2012 to raise the remainder of our expenses (including travel ) estimated at $8,000.00 Total fees will be $16,000.00.

This is where you come in!
We have planned several opportunities to participate in a fundraiser, and we appreciate your support. If there is a certain skill or idea YOU have, we appreciate the help in implementing those ideas.

Here is a list of what OUR family is doing to raise the money for his adoption:

-Walk/Run for Melvin: Hosted by Dee Dibal in Lenexa, Kansas (goal is $4500.00)
Each participant will pay $5 to participate and we will have T-shirts designed to sell for $15.00. You need not be a runner/walker to purchase the T-Shirt. (and designs for the shirt welcome and appreciated)

-TUPPERWARE Fundraiser Hosted by Various team leaders (we mean YOU) (Goal is $4000)
April 17th KICK OFF April 27th CLOSING party/event
We have catalogs or web orders available if customers order from the Tupperware fundraising catalog we get 40% of the money, if they order from the full catalog online we get 25-30% of the money. If you are willing and able to be a team leader we will do an orientation on what it takes to help (pass out flyers/catalogs, collect money, and then take shipment of orders in your area).

-Spaghetti dinner & Dance Hosted by Bear’s Aloha Grill (Goal is $5000)
June 8th 6 p.m. suggested donation $8.00 per plate or $50.00 per family
Looking for entertainment for this evening, singers, bands, etc cabaret style. If you have a talent you are willing to share, please volunteer. We also need people; to donate some of the foods, to help arrange a program and of course SPREAD THE WORD.

Of course if you do not feel like you have the skills or time to donate, we also have a PayPal account set up to accept donations. If you go to our family blog : http://gordonfamilyupdates.blogspot.com/ , there is a “donate via PayPal” button . It goes directly to the savings account we have started for Melvin’s adoption.

Please do not feel bad if FUNDS are not available to donate, we are asking for your support as well as donations, there is no way we can pull this off without help, Thanks For EVERYTHING you do!

The road we have started is a long one and has many twists and turns. Already the 6 weeks since we have decided to adopt have been a HUGE roller coaster. We appreciate your SUPPORT and PRAYERS as well as any other ways YOU feel like you can help our efforts. Any POSITIVE feedback appreciated (since we are WELL AWARE of the hurdles we have to face).
Much love and appreciation!
Wesley & Deanna Gordon & Family.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A countdown

We have a date!

Tuesday March 20th Melvin will arrive with his host mom.

I am thrilled, excited, nervous, anxious.


We had thought that we could easily raise the funds for travel and the adoption expenses by August. Now we are being told that we need to have all our necessary documents in Liberia by June. Two months before we were planning.

I am feeling the pressure. Paperwork galore, and the fees that go along with it are adding up quickly.

Seeing his sweet, mischievous face....it is all worth it.

When I met Melvin, I took him to the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America. here is a few photos from our weekend together.

So amazing...

I HAD to adjust the funds thermometer THREE times today! tomorrow I will wait for the end of the day. that way it may seem...more dramatic! ;)

Thank you "S"
Thank you "A"
Thank you "L"

Our First Donation!

So Exciting.

Thanks to those who have responded in support.

I have been trying to think of more ways to help you feel connected. So i figured I would make a running tally of the expenses thus far.....

Trip to Visit Melvin in MN
Gas $250.00
Food $112.00
Museum $55.00

Background Checks
MO State $35.00
AK. State $55.00
FBI$ 48.20(x3)= $144.60

Home study
Home study Fee $1395.00
Travel expenses for Home Study Worker TBD

TO DATE SPENT: $2350.60

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What next...What now?

One year.

What can change in one year? You can gestate a new life in less than one year.

You can build a home in 1 year.

You can change your habits, therefore changing your life, you can create new traditions.

So much potential in a year.
Last year I had a goal, I was intensely focused on, and I was working SO HARD to accomplish my goal to obtain my CPM.

There was a trade off. The hours are brutal and the expenses involved were draining.
I was in love with the women I worked with, considered it an honor to call them my friends & comrades.

I still love these women. they are an inspiration to me.

This year is different.

Change is good.

Life is change.

And for now I re-group, re-assess, and pray that my heart will accept the path that is set before me.

I adore my life, I am in love with my husband, I am honored to parent my wonderful children.
And I accept the challenge to follow this path wherever it takes me, do not pity me, for I choose this path. I accept all that it entails, I know it will not be easy, but that which is easy seldom produces excellence.

The LEAD program I have been developing for years will continue to be developed, I will seek out opportunities to encourage the youth and the downtrodden, i love to see hope ignited in the eyes of those who felt there was no hope.

I enjoy seeing the potential of youth pushing beyond the norm and reaching for that which will bring them freedom, and peace, and their own definition of success!

Success for me is knowing that my children feel loved, supported and challenged.
Success is seeing my husband feel cherished and supported.
Success is knowing I have pleased my Father in Heaven with the work I put forth.
Success is feeling the love of those around me.
Success is sharing my testimony in word, deed and action.

Success is knowing that today I am closer to my goal than yesterday, it may not be as rapid as I originally scheduled, but a step in the right direction is still right.

And so I slow my pace, I evaluate what is Good, what is Better and what is Best.

My best is supporting my family and my Savior.
My best is praying earnestly for the courage to do what is necessary.


I am living, loving, learning to be adaptable, to be obedient, to be humble.

Pray for me. As I pray for you.

Friday, March 02, 2012

One day at a time....

Life and its twists and turns can feel like a violent storm at times.

When I think of all that has waved over me in emotions, thoughts, feelings, and direction, I am in awe. I love waking up with purpose, I love surrounding myself with friends who lift, honor, serve and love others.

It has been almost 9 years since I have struggled with severe debilitating depression.

It has been 9 years since I have vowed to immerse myself in service and love to all those I meet. I may not meet this goal on a daily basis, but I aim to be an encouraging face and a loving friend to all i meet.

This does not mean that I do not have my moments, weaknesses and frustrations overwhelm me at times, and I get down on myself or others.

Then I return to my journals and I evaluate what I am doing and where my energies are being spent, and this helps bring me back into alignment with my life goals.

Thank you for allowing me to express myself and to feel safe around you.

it is always enjoyable to know I can be strong or weak, and feel accepted and loved no matter what i am enduring.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fat Vampire Babies

When I was 10 My mother started having babies again. In the beginning i was a selfish brat and DID NOT want to share her with any one new.

The babies came, and they took their toll on her. My mom was a hard working innovative and determined woman. Never had time for excuses, only solutions. (Must be where I got that from)
She is capable to anything, she can change a tire, change the oil, or build a house.

I know.
She has done it all.

When she brought home my first baby brother, he was the fattest baby I had ever seen (Close to 10 lbs)
It was like a 3 month old, not a newborn. I was not amused, he was not tiny, fragile and innocent in my jaded eyes, he was an intruder, a vampire, that sucked the life-force out of my mom. She was very ill from pregnancy and had a hard time with recovery.

This fat Vampire baby stuck around, in my dreams he would disappear and my vibrant healthy energetic mother would return.

In reality he was never going to leave, and he was only going to get fatter.

When Fat Vampire baby was 2, mom had the next baby, The Golden Child was born, he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but rather he was born with the Midas Touch. He was a charmer from the moment he was born, He spent the first days of life in NICU with pneumonia and from that fragile start he had my heart wrapped around his golden fingers.

less than 18 months later, Baby #3 arrived, It was as if the DNA and all the available parts to create this babe were scraped off the bottom of the barrel, mom was extremely fragile during this pregnancy and recovery, we almost lost her, twice she went back to the hospital for blood clots. IT was a stressful time, I was the perfect age to bond to this scrawny barrel scraper. He was long, lean and very much the opposite of Fat Vampire baby. It was as if he was testing the world out, trying to see if it was a good fit. And We understood one another. he came to Earth not quite knowing how he fit in.

His big blue eyes

His impish smile

The way he needed to be invited and a part of every activity, Fat Vampire Baby never asked, he just took, the time, the attention and the food, Golden Child never needed to ask, everything was his on a platter. and he knew it.

but Barrel Scraper was......unsure. it was as if he wasn't ready to commit to the task of being on earth. His health was not fragile, no he was quick, witty, spry, silly, active.

But his heart longed to be SHOWN how he was important,he was LOVED, he was WANTED and VALUED.

These boys have taught me a lot in preparation for motherhood.

When I first stated having babies, I thought "This is easy, What is everyone complaining about, or warning us about? Babies are cake-walk!"

And my first baby was like Golden Child, she walked, talked, learned, WOW'ed everyone. She was a mold-breaker.

Next came my own version of Fat Vampire Baby. She was medically fragile, but VERY sure of her place in the world. She KNEW who loved her, (everyone) and she KNEW she belonged.

Each of my kids have taught me a lesson. I do not think I could put a title on each lesson, but i can put a jewel in my crown, they are everything to me.

They can take me from the pit of despair, to the heights of the heavens. (and back)

I would do anything for them, and yet, I see the weaknesses that I detest in my life creeping into my parenting. One of my weaknesses is the compulsion for change, I love change, new scenery, new outlook, new challenges, FRESH NEW games.

but this is not what kids need, they need Sameness, stability,
they need to know what to expect, and they grow and learn better in a patterned schedule.
I....The ultimate Gypsy.

So I return to the lessons I learned from my baby brothers.
I need to be in tune with the needs of each of my children, and be willing to put my wants aside for a decade until they are groomed and prepared to find their unique place in the world.

UNIQUE they are.


They are the worth anything.

Even Staying the SAME.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Sitting alone, in a hotel room. The last time I was alone was in 2003 when I stayed in Anchorage with Wesley during ground school. I watched TV, then went shopping. I spent way too much money on the kids, and felt rejuvenated towards my love of homeschooling and parenting in general.

Being alone can be a double edged sword.

All the thoughts and ideas or weaknesses can come to surface and there is no one to distract you from them.

ENTER: Pain.

I listened to an audio book during the 6.5 hr drive, it was "The Peacegiver" by Fray (I think)

It teaches the principles of forgiveness and the atonement. More than anything it helps us to realize how flawed we are in thinking that our weaknesses are justified because of the weaknesses of others.

This is where I am now. I have been hurt so deeply by certain events or relationships, I have since severed the painful relationships, but now I am at a place of reevaluation, What is RIGHT, and what is GOOD.

I know it is GOOD to live without contention, and to live in Peace, however when do bridges need to be mended and relationships opened and reunited.

When is it safe to head back down that path?
We know we only have control over OUR path, OUR actions and OUR reactions. So how can you prepare or allow someone into your life that has not in the past proved to be trustworthy or even capable of admitting fault?

I do not want them to accept all the blame, or to be the one responsible to fix the riff, however I can only accept responsibility for MY actions, and MY REACTIONS right?

I think I have forgiven, I feel ready to move on. I am just at a loss for where that path should take me.

I am DEEPLY Grateful for a husband who is SO HUMBLE and LOVING and willing to accept me for who I am, he truly shows such infinite compassion and love towards me. It is such a blessing to know that I am loved. Without him by my side.....I shudder to think what life would be like. Thank you 'nuggle Bunny' Thank you for helping me through the past pain of these hurtful situations.

Thank you for willingly traveling this path with me. I LOVE YOU.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chicken Soup and Blessings abound

I started to feel a wee bit ill this week, then today I awoke to full-body pain. I do not get sick, partially because I do not have time to get sick.

Today I am taking the time.

stay in bed, sip on home made chicken noodle soup from a dear lovely friend, rest, read a bit, write a little, and reminisce on my life.

How many times have we looked at the life of our friends or neighbors and assumed all was lovely and perfect?

Life is MEANT to challenge us, we can accept the challenge and grow, or we can avoid the challenge and shrink.

In 48 hrs I will be driving to Minnesota, We have a unique opportunity to bring a blessing into our life & family, we are all so excited. It is like a surprise pregnancy, we appreciate the prayers, and as soon as we have confirmed information we will SHARE, do not doubt it!

In the past when I have declared "WE ARE ADOPTING!" We have not been able to proceed, so for now, we move forward with caution and anticipation, we already love this sweet boy, Now we make the plans necessary to bind him into our hearts forever.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

My heart strings.

While of late this blog has taken a philosophical view on life in general, as I work hard to implement the new skills and desires into my daily actions, this is still, after all, my personal blog.

Today, the Sabbath, I write what is in my heart.

I have been so very blessed to have the life I live. It has not always been easy. I spent the better part of my childhood and early adult life depressed. I attempted suicide on 4 separate occasions. No one knew or cared. I spent the entire night on the bathroom floor vomiting and in agony, all I wanted was someone to come slide my sticky hair off my forehead and tell me they loved me. But I stayed there alone, heartbroken, and feeling like a failure.

So lucky and blessed that I was not successful. Because although my life is far from easy, or pain-free, I am abundantly happy & blessed.

I have the privilege to bear 6 children, and the honor to foster/adopt Claudine and her son, Dante. These two, while not of my womb are so tightly knit to my heart. I think of them every day, I pray for them every night and I love them as if they were my own.

I love.

That is what I do, and if I see someone or something that needs loving, I do it.

I spent so many years of my life wondering if anyone loved me, that I make it my mission to leave each child in my home keenly aware that I love them.

I want each child, not matter how big or small to KNOW they are special, they are unique and no one can replace them.

I love.

I open my home, and my heart to those who seek it. I happily give of my resources to 'outsiders' and make them feel like insiders.

Right now I have an extra child in my home. He has a family, a mother who loves him, I do not want to discount what she is to him. He Loves His Mother. But for whatever reason he needs a safe place to land each day. He has slowly come to be a part of our crew. He has his own chore list, and responsibilities, he loves, teases,plays, argues, and annoys just like the rest of them. He has chosen to be a part of our family, even if it is not permanent he is here now. I will give him all I can for as long as he needs it. My heart is attached to him, for we know that when we serve, we love. I love this son, and hope and pray for the best for him whatever direction he takes.

I am thrilled to say we will be having a baptism in our building Feb 9th. 7:30 p.m. Come if you want to see who is taking to the baptismal waters. It is not my announcement to make, I will allow the participants to invite and tell whomever they choose.

For now understand this, my heart is driven to help others, to serve others and to lift others. It is my greatest desire to love.

I know I fall short, I have let my responsibilities slip, and I pray I will have the DEDICATION to choose the best path. Each and every day.

I wear it on my sleeve, and always plan to. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts and feelings. Looking forward to each new adventure as it approaches!