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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


Guys in Ties

The last time Seth wore a tie was in 2001.  And it was a clip-on.

So, when Seth decided he was going to the Ball, he needed to take some lessons from his dad in tie tying.

This isn't so difficult, is it?

The finished product.  I'm not sure that Seth actually learned how to tie the tie, though.

So, last night, he went to the Vintage Ball with his friends.

Since his soccer team's color was purple, some of the players decided that purple and black would be their thing.  They look pretty good.  I think about 5 guys from the soccer team dressed this way.  Fun times, fun memories.

My kids all chipped in (some did not know they chipped in) and bought me this sweet necklace from the Vintage Pearl.  This may be my favorite gift.

And just a few days before Christmas, I found these cute slippers for Jordan from Lands End.  Since she has joined the US Navy, I thought the nautical theme was so cute.  Since she is so hard to buy for, I was so pleased that she loved them.

On another note...thanks to everyone who commented and sent emails regarding my parenting posts.  Your prayers are much appreciated as well as your kind words.  Parenting is tough.  Parenting a rebellious child is 1000 times tougher.  But, this I know.  God knew what we were going to go through with Seth.  He did not give us the obedient son like our friends have.  He did not give us the mild-mannered boy across the street.  He gave us Seth.  And for that, I am so thankful.  He knows it all from the beginning to the end.

Happy New Year!


Christmas 2011

I have to say that we had a very pleasant Christmas. Mostly, I thought about this being our last Christmas where we are all together.  But, maybe not.  A lot can change in a year.  So, I savored every moment.  On Christmas Eve, the girls made chocolate covered marshmallows for hot-chocolate dipping.  They enjoyed that very much.

Considering we are a family of 8, things were quite calm at our house.  The girls are generally mellow.  When there is chaos in our home, it is usually because of Seth; but that is a whole 'nother post.

 Opening stockings.

 We had to satisfy Joy's sensory needs.

Jack always tries to keep himself from smiling.  But, he can only hold back for a short bit.  He's a tough one to buy for.  He's not fashionable, doesn't like reading.  We bought him clothes and books anyway.  But, he did get a DS. 

And since Jordan had not showered yet, she wouldn't let me take her picture.  So, this is the closest you'll get to seeing her right after getting up.  She really doesn't look badly, but I wouldn't let you see me either.

So, what do you get your son who needs nothing and is ready to be a Marine?  A money box!

I don't think he would have been too happy if they were all ones.  But, since he's unemployed at the moment, he'll take what he gets.

And keeping with our new-found tradition, the gang headed out for a movie.  The guys and Jordan saw Tin Tin, which they really liked.  Jack received the books as a Christmas gift from Grandma.  I think the movie pricked his interest to read.  The girls and I stayed home, since there was not an appropriate movie for the younger ones.  Once I got them to bed, I stayed up too late watching Emma.



I remember a lot of details about this day 13 years ago.  Life was so good.  I just gave birth to my 3rd child, Jack.  Jordan, Seth, Jack, and I were heading out for a busy, fun-filled day.  We started off going to Jordan's ceramics class, where she and Seth made some messy-looking snowmen.  Next, we bought some last minute Christmas gifts and had lunch in town.  We lived in Illinois at the time, so it was cold and snowy.  Our family was staying home for Christmas, but planned on heading to my parent's house after the New Year in West Virginia.

But, our plans drastically changed that afternoon.  Instead of enjoying the evening as a family, we headed out to West Virginia.  My father died suddenly that afternoon on a warm, winter day.  He had been out washing the car with his grandson, ran some errands, and then died.

I often think about what his life was like that morning.  Did he even have a suspicion that something was not right?  Did he suffer much?  His death was a complete shock to all of us.  I was not prepared.  No one was.  I spent the next 2 months in a daze.  My nights were filled with vivid dreams of my dad.  Mostly, the dreams were of me trying to resuscitate him or that he was alive again.  Oh, to have him with me right now!  What wisdom he had and could share with me.  I know I did not spend enough time gleaning all that I could from him.  I wish I could have one more day with my kind, compassionate, gentle Dad.  The 30 some years I knew him was not enough.


After Nine Months...

..we finally received Ivy's and Joy's birth certificates. 

After completing Joy's last post placement visits in 2008, we never contacted the attorney to apply for her birth certificate.  The post placement expired.  Once Ivy came home, we updated Joy's paperwork, completed Ivy's post placement reports, and sent it all in to the attorney.  Technically, we did not have to apply for a birth certificate.  The adoptions were finalized in China.  The girls would not have a US birth certificate, though.  Even though it costs quite a bit to do a re-adoption in Virginia, it is well worth it to have that piece of paper.  It will make things in their life much easier years from now.  Finally, after 6 years of adoption-related paperwork, we are all done.  All done. 

But, we will have 2 empty beds in the house after Jordan and Seth leave, won't we?  No.  All done.


Two Christmases Ago

Two Christmases ago, Ivy had never even seen a piano.  Tonight, she played at her second piano recital without a twinge of anxiety. 

Two Christmases ago, she had no family.  Now she has 3 sisters, 2 brothers, a mom and dad, and 2 dogs.

Two Christmases ago, she never knew that she had a Savior who created her, loved her, and died for her.  Now she does.

She has a home.  She has security.  She is loved.  She has all she needs.  And so do we.


Peppermint Pinwheels

Several people have contacted me asking for the Pinwheel recipe.  I've never personally made it before.  Jordan first tried it out a few years ago and got terribly frustrated.  But, that was during her trial and error years.  She's since perfected the recipe with no problems rolling out the dough.  And the sprinkles on the sides were just added this year.  You can use any type of sugar crystals to roll the dough in.

3/4 C softened butter
3/4 C sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp red food coloring

1.  In bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Divide dough in 1/2; add extract and food coloring to one portion.

2.  Roll out each portion of dough between waxed paper into 16 x 10 rectangle.  Remove wax paper.  Place red dough over plain dough and roll up tightly starting with long side.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnite.  I think this is the point where Jordan rolled the dough in crystals.

3.  Unwrap dough and cut into 1/4 in. slices.  Place 2 inches apart and bake @ 350 for around 14 minutes.

And, to get you in the mood, here are some more yummy cookies from this year.

Cut outs.  Everyone loves them.

Everyone loves biting the heads, arms, and feet off these poor gingerbread.  These are my favorite.

Toffee squares.  Mike really likes these because they are his mom's recipe.  The rest of the family likes them, too.  I think Joy passes on these.

Snowballs.  Mike, Jordan, and I are the ones usually eating these.  They go great with a cup of coffee.  These are the ones that usually hang around until Christmas.  The other cookies get eaten mostly by a young man in this house without self control.  I wake up in the morning to find sugar crystals spilled all in the freezer where the tin stays.  Shame on him.


It's Feeling Like Christmas

This week, it finally got cold.  Well, cold considering our temps have been around 60 for quite some time.  Sunday was in the low 40's, and today was mid 40's.  So, it was time to split the wood and build a fire.

These are the reasons for having boys.  Their brute strength comes in handy.

And these are the reasons for having girls!  Although Mike seems to be hovering around the cookie makers for some reason.

I can't remember the last time I baked Christmas cookies.  I'll be baking again next year, since Jordan will be gone ::sniff::

Joy thinks the candy cane cookie cutter is a "J".

I'm trying to stay away from them all, but it is tough.


I Could Have Cried...

..when Seth walked out of the bedroom after taking the clippers to his head.  I just don't like the bald look on Seth until he is actually in the military.

He's still handsome in my book, but I prefer the long locks of curls he used to have.

It is definitely better than this.


Tree Hunting

Everyone was home this morning, so we headed out to find the perfect Christmas tree.  We found a place close by that had one.

Kind of tall?  Looks good!

I hope this is not our last tree-picking Christmas with our older 2.  I cannot imagine them not being with us next Christmas, but it is very likely they will not.  Jordan always does a good job decorating and baking cookies.  Seth is always good for brute strength.

Joy is still small enough to carry around.  How old is she?  5 1/2!

The Line-Up.  I am never in a picture with Jack.  I couldn't resist.  He, obviously, is not real pleased to have his picture taken.  Never likes it.  It is torture.  Agony.  That is why I can never get him to smile..too often.

The finished, decorated tree, compliments to Jordan.  She always does a great job.  I think this is the tallest tree we've had.

This is a little off topic, but as I'm typing this, I hear this conversation going on in front of the tree.

Eva:  Dad, when Moxie dies, are we going to eat her?

Mike:  No.

Just for your information, we do not eat our pets when they die.  I have no idea where she got such a thought.


False Alarm

Last Tuesday, Seth got a call from his recruiter that there was possibly an opening to leave for boot camp 6 days later (would have made it Monday).  Did Seth want to give it a try?  Oh yeah!  Monday morning came around, and he still did not know anything.  Then he got a call that said to show up at the office asap.  He did.  So, while he was gone for 2 days, I cleaned out his drawers, organized his stuff, threw other things away.

He traveled to the MEPS station with high hopes of leaving for book camp on Tuesday.  But, he did not go.  He was on stand-by that whole time.  So, he is still on the wait list...still hoping.  My feelings are very mixed.  I'm glad to still have him with me, driving me crazy, but I know how badly he is ready to leave.


I Don't Want To Wear A Dress

When I came home with her in 2006, I thought for sure I had a girly girl.  She spoke in a small, sweet, voice.  There was nothing loud or obnoxious about Eva. 

Her room was pink.  Her bedding was floral.  Her closet was full of dresses. She loved all things shiny.  She even loved her princess shoes.

She enjoyed her girly movies and Barbie's The Princess and the Pauper.  Now, she informed me that her favorite movie is the exciting one called The Buccaneer, starring Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston!
She hated bugs and getting dirty.  She was a girly!  Or so I thought.  Today before church, she informed me, "I don't want to wear a dress."  What?  Today, she wore brown pants with a white butterfly shirt.  At least it was a butterfly.  That is still kind of girly.  But, then again, it is a bug.  Almost like these that she carried around in her pockets, dead or alive.

And these.

Oh, well.  I tried.  She's not as girly as I thought.  But, my oh my, how I love my non-girly girl.


An Early Christmas Present

Jordan gave Seth an early Christmas gift (just in case he leaves on Monday...but that's another post).  Can you guess what this is?

I thought it looked like an egg beater.  Any guesses?
It is a head scratcher.  Ivy, Eva, and Joy were all scratching Seth's head one day, so Jordan thought it would be the perfect gift.  Jordan and I actually walked around the store scratching our heads with this thing.  It feels incredibly good.  I cannot even describe the sensation.  I used it so much I got a terribly knot in my hair.


Just Because I Have These Pictures

Last night, Jordan's Navy recruiter came over for some official document signing.  It was a good time with questions asked and answered.  Less than 6 months until Jordan leaves for the Navy.

She is very, very excited.  That is really an understatement.  She'll have boot camp in Illinois then head to school in Pensacola.  Not too shabby.  I'm sure we will be heading down to enjoy some time with her after she's been at school for a while.  After school?  Who knows?  Her job is usually shore duty, not on a ship.  She is really hoping for somewhere in another country.

And, we have this guy, Seth. 

He is not scheduled to leave until August, but he is in a holding pattern at the moment.  He is on a wait list to ship out.  It is possible the Marines can call one day, and he leave the next.  There is a lot on his mind.  And mine. 

So, I'm finished talking about my kids leaving.  That is, until they actually leave.

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