Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Better late than never :o)

We did not dress up as pumpkins until November. We try to do this every October. But we had just returned home from vacation Oct. 3rd and hit the ground running with appointments. No down time till November.
Only Mercy refuses to dress up with us. :o(

 The "4" (teens) took these pictures. They started placing each brother in a seating order, so you can flip through the photos and it looks like a movie! :o) They are getting so creative with their photography!

                      Noah (front left) always up for anything.
Poor Noah his hat falls over his eyes no matter what we try!

Am I not BLESSED to the moon and back with these lovely gentlemen?
L to R Jacob 11, Julius 9, Samson 21, Noah 13, Pauly 9, Mosie 11.
My cup overflows!

The news on Noah's surgery is frustrating. He is too small for the procedure they prefer to use on young teens. But there is no guarantee he'll grow tall enough for that preferred procedure. He already has over 50% curvature of the spine and he is a candidate for "a" surgery. He has had a huge growth spurt in 4 years since coming home. But recently he's just been filling out into a more masculine teenager :o) Not growing taller. They want to wait and see. :o(
So today he will drive with Dad 70 miles south to endure 5 hours of fitting for a back brace that he will wear 17 hours a day. :o(
This is going to be hard. How do you explain this to him?

(Noah in the middle) He is going to be quite restricted in the brace. This is not what we expected. We wanted him to start a new kind of walking therapy. This brace could stop that.

Even Bug was dressed as a pumpkin! He borrowed our cat Violet's pumpkin outfit. Violet was more than happy to let Bug wear it for her! LOL!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


This morning was the 27th of the month. I only had days to fulfill my personal promise to God.
In my Thanksgiving to God I was still praying for an answer of where to donate this month.
I repeatedly asked this month for Him to show me where. I was getting worried!

There are always 2 worthy causes close to my heart I save to send money to. Both I've posted about on my blogs. Both I support as God allows.

And then I read a Dear Sister in Christ's blog post about this!


Please check them out.

I was delighted to read this~

We are going to try to donate to each Country as God allows.

PRAISE God for Brett and Jaelle answering His call!
In this season of giving- lets shower the people living on Trash Mountain with God's LOVE!!

Thank You!!
God Bless! ((((((BIG HUGS))))))

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scoliosis surgery

Noah in his sister Mercy's room looking for trouble- LOL!

Early October, much to our great sadness, we came home. We had had the best vacation ever- 7 weeks in the Woods.
Once home our calendar was FULL, physical appointments, dentist visits and scheduling our PT and OT appointments. For 14 of us!

This was going to be the year Noah walked with some kind of assisted device. That was our goal. He's bigger, stronger and ready! We've tried everything we know of to help him. So now we're going to set up a network online (from his OT/PT) for suggestions from other Children's Clinics.

 Silly boy rocks in bed and his hair is permanently "fuzzed" out from it. Try as we might to keep it long and cute! (here chewing on little sister Mercy's fave toy! yikes!)

We had noticed something about Noah's back over the summer. We've had other kids with crooked spines and Scoliosis. But this did not look like anything we'd seen before. And since his last growth spurt after turning 13, this was something we were concerned about.

 Holding hands and "walking" with sister Kitty who is 2 weeks younger than him! :o)

We were right to be concerned. It's Scoliosis. Its quite severe and will require several surgeries. :o( Noah is not going to like this.

Walking will be on hold indefinitely.

Noah climbing into the chair on his own.

He will be 70 miles away with Dad. And he will want to come home.

 Oh sweet boy, if only I could fix this for you. So that you wouldn't have to go through all of the things you won't understand.

I'm not sure why he likes this toy up-side-down??

 He's grown quite a bit. Size 7 to 8 shirts. Size 7 pants. He's a teenager. He even has a teen attitude. :o)

He loves loves loves his life. Smiling, laughing. He is interested in anything he sees. He never meets a stranger.
Four years ago we could not have imagined the blessing he is to our family!
Please pray for Noah.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Happy Campers :o)

I have been painting 6- 8 hours a day. I want to finish painting the floor above and the outside of the building before we leave. It has rained a lot, I think I'm just going to make it! The last of my building painting is on the back where there are no lights. Of course it rained today.

The boys with Mercy in two groups of three, explore and have fun, as I paint.

The builders finally finished the interior of the cabin enough that we could work on our part of the cabin. We had  hoped to finish our part this week. Their delay stopped that. Then we thought we'd stay an extra week or 2 but the kids caught a bad cold. So we'll only finish the painting. Next Spring we'll resume where we left off Lord Willing.

We brought the 6 youngest in  to "see" their new cabin!
Julius (with Kitty doing school work) above was thrilled!

Mercy says "This is the life!"  LOL! Running in big circles and throwing duplo legos in the air. Her two favorite things- running/escaping and throwing!

Moses loves that his cars can drive 10' or more before hitting something or someone! :o)
He prefers more furniture tho! And he loves windows. You'll always find him looking out a window or door!

Jacob is not impressed. But then he prefers to be off on his own more than enjoying things with us as a family. I've mentioned before he is our contrarian! But whether he likes it or not, this is good for him! :o)

Noah was sick here. They all caught a horrible cold. Boogies, bad coughs. He will enjoy it more when he feels better. The extra "rocking" (from not feeling good) at bed time makes for a little mess of hair that needs to be cut when we get home.

Pauly with his Autism was horrified and completely freaked out. It was not familiar anymore and he did not like it. We settled him in a chair and he chewed a sensory chewy. Eventually he realized it was all o.k. and we were not leaving him. He tolerated it for us. Afterwards he was happy to go back in the trailer.

MA without her glasses she looks younger than her years. Her heart is sweeter and more vulnerable. Her and SP are so fragile now. MA and SP did not catch the cold, an advantage from having their own space!

More rain. This side painted, without new window molding yet. Next year 5 sets of bunk beds will be set up. And 5 hide a beds. God is Good!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

They keep us on our toes!

From the moment these two wake up, till the moment we fall asleep, we are at these lovely Ladies beck and call.
Both have limited mobility now. So we assist with everything they want/ask of us.

When we started coming to this area with them, MA and SP were very mobile and we went everywhere! That was 29 years ago.

Now we have to pick and choose activities carefully. We don't want to stress them. They get sick easily.

These are their "sun" hats! At the Lake there was a lot of direct sun light, here in the woods it is more to keep the mosquitoes at bay! :o)
Tom bent the hat brims up because they had pulled them over their faces. :o)

This is taken on their new little deck with the wheel chair ramp. They love it.
No more difficult steps out of the 5th wheel trailer! It's a perfect spot to rest as we get the wheel chair for them!

I love these 2 women with every ounce of my being.
Legally, technically we are nothing to them.
The State/County hired us to provide services for them.
But after 27 and 29 years with us; I have to say they are completely woven into and around my heart and life. We had a 3rd gal Susie that was with us 16 years. Until she died. We still miss her. Other clients have come and gone.

There are adult children who were raised here who walked away and never visited either of the gals again. They don't ask how they are. They no longer exist to them. They come to the blog to "see" if they have "gone" (died) yet. How sad.

These two women have loved every child that comes through our doors. I owe them. They owe us nothing. We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never re-pay them. When MA was able to remember things more easily she would proudly tell people "I have my own camping place!" She owned the Lake property and now the Woods property with us, because we used the money we earned from her to pay for it! :o) It has always been theirs and ours. Without them we would not be able to vacation like this.

We can never Thank them enough. But they know. :o) They know how we love them.

We just don't get enough pictures of them here because they keep us so busy! LOL!! And then when we sit and rest we just don't think of it!

 We realized so many hopes and dreams when this little boy learned to walk and even RUN!! And yet the very thing that makes him such an active, on the go sweet boy, makes him super hard to photograph! LOL! Chasing after him all day, he rarely sits long enough for a picture unless we ask! LOL! Here he is on Isaiah's bunk bed looking out the window.

                                                        Sweet adorable Gift from God!
We had a scare this last week. Moses developed a rash and fever. Tom was gone picking up supplies. And I was so worried. It almost looked like Measles? or German Measles? But he has had all his shots! Praise the Lord it was a 24 hour virus. He's back to normal!

                                                                          Silly boy Noah.
He doesn't sleep well here.
He actually doesn't sleep well anywhere. He just doesn't understand "sleep". He fights to stay awake night and day.
We thought he'd wear himself out. He's quite active and busy.
But he fights going to sleep.
We give him medication to help him sleep at night. It lasts till 4 a.m. and he's up again. :o(
At home that's not a problem. Here in the trailer where we all sleep close together, he wakes me up. There's lots of shh-ing from me and I tun him to his side so he doesn't shake the trailer. He rocks very hard if he's on his back.
Thankfully everyone else sleeps thru my grumblings and Noah's noisiness! ;o)

Jacob (above) and Pauly hate their pictures taken. Jacob hides when he sees the camera.

These boys/Mercy are on the go in different directions every minute of every day! LOL! We split them up into two groups of 3 to go outside for wagon rides and to ride their plastic riding toys. They move through their activities non stop, so no time for pictures! Hopefully before we go home I can get some action shots!!

                                                           Julius always ready for a picture!
                                                       These pictures were taken before bed.

                                                                        Miss Mercy
And no she does not allow hair brushing without a fight.
So here in the woods we let it go.
However she loves her hair washed up here! We use buckets and well water to wash hair. She plays in the water as we wash her hair. :o)

                                                                      Pauly precious.
Pauly has a bug bite he itched into a bruise under his eye. The boys have fewer bug bites now that the weather is finally cooler.
When we first got here we were all bitten more than we have been in 2 years! LOL!

Two years ago the boys did not "itch" their bug bites.
Now they do. :o(
Noah and Jacob itched everyone of theirs into little scabs. The other 3 boys and Mercy picked a select few to itch that bad.

At first each bite Moses had swelled up kind of like an allergic reaction.  His poor head look lumpy. We have to be careful with bug spray on the 6 youngest because they are very sensitive to the ingredients.

They are getting used to all the new things here in the woods. Hopefully next year they'll remember coming here. Right now they really miss their house and their beds and their homeschool, PT/OT schedule!

Samson tells us "not now" when he sees the camera! (he says that because I say "no" to pictures :o) So we did not get a picture! LOL! Samson's very busy "helping". Today it is weed whacking with Dad.
We Thank God for this precious time that is flying by way too fast! God is good!

Monday, September 5, 2016

He's not heavy, he's my brother

Yesterday  Isaiah came over to give me a kiss and hug yesterday. He's very thoughtful that way and it always makes my day. Then Isaiah sat down in the swivel rocking chair. 

The swivel rocking chair happens to be Moses' favorite chair. But Moses can't get it to swivel because his arms and legs aren't long enough! When he tries I tell him no, even tho he can't! ;o) So when Moses saw Isaiah sit down he ran over to climb into the chair with him. (yes they spin in it together when I'm not looking!)

Moses tried to climb over the chair arm on the side, and as he did he puckered his lips and leaned over as far as he could to give Isaiah a kiss!! It was so cute because he had just seen Isaiah kiss me, and he adores his brother, so rather than kiss me!! LOL!! He ran to kiss Isaiah! It was adorable!

The boys don't give kisses unless we ask. This was another example of how smart this tiny boy is!

These photos are after Isaiah put Moses' sleep sack on. We love sleep sacks because they are one size fits them all, and they can never keep a blanket on!

They need hair cuts, but hey we're in the woods!

Friday, September 2, 2016

We had a Bear sighting!

                                               Yes! There are bears here in the woods!!

Last night at 1 a.m. I "hooted" to the Barred Owl. I am always answered if I respond to their call. They are very curious and come close to "see" this crazy person! But if I "hoot" first they never answer!! We had a Barred Owl family at the lake the last 10 years we were there. We feel honored to have one here very near to us in the woods now too!

                                                                                   Silly Bear!!
This hat was Isaiah's when he was a toddler and he pretended to be our bear! Now its Julius' turn!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A vacation 5th wheel for two special ladies :o)

 This 5th wheel used to be at the lake. It slept 7 of us. The rest of us, including our lovely ladies slept in the bunkhouse. This trailer is now exclusively for the 2 ladies we love. We are hoping to get their wheel chair ramp next Monday.
We are daily updating it with things they want and need.

                   Welcome!!! C'mon in!! Here is Faith sitting on SP's bed, keeping the ladies company.

 In the green shirt (back) is MA busy with her very important "stuff"!
SP is in the navy blue sweat shirt. They are watching Shrek.

For 29 years MA has blessed our family. :o) Only 3 years ago we nearly lost her to pneumonia. Every day she lives is a gift from God.

MA is busy busy busy! Tonight MA and SP shared pepperoni pizza, And chocolate cake with hot cocoa!
The potty behind MA is so they don't have to climb the steps in or out, or up the to the top level of the 5th wheel. (There is a curtain for privacy.)

 Isaiah took this standing in the back, the "potty" room. MA wants to know what he's doing back there! LOL! Straight ahead leads up steps to the bathroom that is too tiny and difficult for them to use.

Storm clouds and rain threatened all day. For many years MA and SP trekked to the outhouse in the rain. Not any more! Now they stay dry!

 SP looking as pretty as one can look while they are on vacation in the woods roughing it! :o)
We have been blessed having SP in our family for 27 years now. I'm not at liberty to share, but SP also has a life threatening health condition that makes every day we have together a gift from God.

SP turned 60 last December and MA turns 60 this December! :o)

The younger boys are playing in the cabin side of our building. (more pics on the other blog :o)
We bought a different brand of indoor/outdoor rugs to lay on the floor temporarily. We thought they were like the one we purchased for out dining room, but they aren't as nice at all. :o(

We've been so busy. Every day it looks more like our new home! God is good!
Wonderful weather, wonderful people, beautiful northern MN woods! Thank You Lord!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Happy Birthday and a wagon ride

 It was hot. Really hot 90 degrees. Thank goodness for the breeze! Mosie was getting stir crazy in the trailer. So he wet out for a wagon ride! We have 2 children wagons, but Isaiah decided to try pulling him in our wagon we use to bring in our groceries and supplies. Mosie wasn't so sure!

The good thing is by 9 p.m. the temperature drops down to around 60 and we do most of our moving and lifting then.

In a couple of days we are supposed to be getting a nice cool down in weather.
Then I can turn the oven on in the cabin to bake Samson a Birthday cake! (In the mean time I make snack cakes in the toaster oven in the trailer) Our friends at Sweets and Such have a little frozen (ice cream) surprise for him. Today it's hot enough to drink ice cream. We can't transport it the 8 miles from the shop in our hot van now!
To the left of Samson is the Builder's trailers and supplies. He's watching the subfloor put in.

Stopping near the raspberry bushes for a snack. We have quite a few huge bushes. And Blackberries too! yum!

So far educationally Moses is exceeding his brothers in comprehension. We knew Noah may never understand a lot of what we do, due to his combination of 9 years in a crib and FAS. (not his DS) But Moses has been a HUGE surprise in a small package. Even Julius who understands a lot can not learn as easily due to his constant attention seeking behavior. Which is a bigger handicap than DS.

DS as always is the least of our worries with our boys. In fact DS partially makes our boys kinder, more patient and more forgiving. Something that little boys without DS would understandably not be, if they have gone through the same deprivation.

Trust is a different issue. I don't think Julius, Moses, or Jacob will ever trust anyone again. Which is understandable but hurts our hearts.

This is week 2. So much more to do!