Sunday, October 4, 2015


Hey!  Good news, mom!  I found a bunch of pictures of you and dad. 

Wasn't this at Uncle Bob and Auntie Sandy's wedding?  
Not too shabby!


it was all downhill from there.

Let's face it, after this we all needed some therapy.

It was probably all dad's fault!
We don't have all those crazy Finn jokes for nothing.

I will admit there were a few normal moments.

But not too many!

Thanks for all your help!
We certainly owe you a lot!

You might be a little off...

but at least we know where the credit is due.

Happy Anniversary to two of the best!
We love you!

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Life is busy for everyone, right?

It seems like this month must have been at least 3x as long as normal.

One thing was puppies.  Nine of them.
We said a reluctant (well, NOT me!) so long to all of them!

My birth certificate and marriage certificate expired while we were waiting for the last of our documents to trickle in.  Yes, I am still alive and married, but the document is no good in the eyes of the Chinese embassy if it's older than six months.  So I ordered them again!  A re-order should automatically come with a straight jacket.  I'm definitely a candidate for needing one.

At long last, ALL the documents were collected, notarized, certified (gotta love the state of Maryland), Great Sealed, taken to the State Department, and should now be at the Chinese Embassy waiting for the final step!   Woohoo!

Hopefully our dossier will be China bound in the next couple of weeks.  

We hope to be China bound ourselves maybe January - April.  

(A farming game our kids made up that is played with coins.  Lots of coins.)

Our homeschool group started up again.  I am president.
Disorganized, stressed, and crabby...I bet they won't do that again.
Beyond that you probably don't want to know.
Fortunately the rest of the committee is superlative!

The county brought us loads of dirt.

The kids and cows love it!

They will all be bummed when the dozer levels it out!

We are enjoying these warm days of sunshine.

Relieved!  That's the word!

Canning is done.
The dossier is done.
Homeschool group is organized for the year.
The puppies all found homes.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


It has been THREE years since this little miracle joined our family.

She's had a lot of hard moments.

She has been totally worth it.

Em came home August 10, 2012 from China.  She had her first episode (that we know of) starting July 30.  With calendar regularity she was puking her guts out for 9 days every 16-19 days.  

Dr. B U K Li  in Milwaukee confirmed her diagnosis of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome in March.
We were told that the medicine is hard on the heart.

On Good Friday we were told that Emily couldn't take the medicine because of a heart problem. 

But later her pediatric cardiologist told us, "Sometimes you have to pick your poison.  This is no way to live."

Emily has been well for 


In October Dr. Li told us that she is only #3 of the calendar vomiters he's seen (#1 doc in the nation for CVS) that he's been able to keep out of the hospital this long.  Usually all he can do is buy kids an extra week.  This would have meant every 4th week in the hospital instead of every third.  

In March her heart check came back high but in the NORMAL range.  That's a first EVER!

Emily's middle name is MeiPan.  It means Beautiful Hope. 
Many times is mocked me and my faith was weak.
Ironic, eh?

God has answered all our prayers for her with YES.  
We are so grateful.  

Praise God! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

July, 2015

July was a busy month for us.

There was a Black and White Show...
and no quarantine interrupted the show this time.  

All the kids showed except Emily.
Jamison took a first in showmanship at the intermediate level.
His dad was pretty excited.  :)

I think Megan took 2nd for showmanship at that level.

Davis didn't have a cow of his own to show, so he showed one of his dad's. 

Kaitlyn showed her first calf, Ruby.
(Well, her first to survive.)

We canned applesauce.  Lots of it.
And this picture must have been staged because the kitchen was a wreck!

We have puppies.
Lots of puppies.
And we're running a special...
Buy one for free, get another for free...and another...and...

We have kids who are pretty happy.

We went to Minnesota for two weeks and the weather

Emily being towed (again) by her faithful cousin Logan.

Tube wars

Tyler and Megan tubing

My crazy sister Kim!

And in the midst of all the fun
we remembered Alex in China and pray that he fills this sweatshirt up sooner
rather than later.

More to come.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


I can’t believe our first born will be 14 on Monday.

I loved him as a baby.

I’m slightly in awe watching him become a man. 

He has started fixing broken things around the house
(Now if he and his siblings would quit breaking them in the first place!)

I know he doesn’t like snakes any better than I do, but while I scream and run, he takes action.

We’re down one employee as of this morning which leaves us in a bit of a spot milking 3 times a day.  Kenton can’t do all three and survive for long so Jamison is helping with the 9:00 p.m. milking by moving cows and cleaning barns with the skid-loader. 

When he’s asked to help with farm work he usually responds with “okay”. 
(He’s a little less enthused with helping around the house.)

Jamison is sincere in his faith and seeks to grow in the Lord.
(Could we ask for more?)

Kenton and I always liked teenagers but weren’t sure how it would be at home.
Turns out it’s even better when he’s ours.

Happy Birthday, Jamison!  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


One of the great things about adoption is meeting the people involved with it and sharing your mutual passion for making a difference in the lives of kids.   

Today we had a chance to catch up with Tim and Hilary.  They were in China adopting Malia (the cutie in the orange shirt) when we got Emily.  In fact, I learned that one night they helped take our kids out for pizza while we were at the hospital with Emily.  They have since gone back for Hannah and we'll head back for Alex...sometime.  They were heading home to Minnesota from D.C. when they stopped by.  Their big kids were with Grandparents, but we had a short time with their little ones.

Several hours later we got more rain...

I get so tired of the flooding.
It's almost impossible to get anything to grow at the base of that waterfall...except weeds and violets.  We have lots and lots of violets...or did anyway. 

After the thunder and lightning had passed, we sent them out.

Nothing like having your own waterpark.

With no one to say, "NO RUNNING!"

They got a little muddy.

And had to wash off under the hose before they were allowed back in.

They must have had a good time because I heard someone wishing for more rain later
so they could do it again.