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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



I consider myself to be patriotic, at least emotionally.  I cry at the sight of our military men and women.  I get choked up over the lives sacrificed for my freedom.  I love my country and the principles it was founded upon.  I love life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  I love my religious freedoms.  When I teach my children about the Revolutionary War my voice shakes.  I think I am not brave enough to ever say "I regret that I have only one life to lose for my country." (Nathan Hale before being hanged) Or Patrick Henry's famous quote "Give me liberty or give me death!"

So, with the upcoming presidential election, I think about where we are as a country and the direction we are heading.  I grew up with a hard working father and a stay-at-home mom.  We did not have much, but I do remember my dad, at times, working 3 jobs to support his family of 6.  We never had the latest and the greatest, and we lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment outside of Cleveland.  We were happy.  I never once remember my parents or grandparents expecting the government to provide for them.  When things got hard, we managed.  We went without some things.  You'd be surprised at a kid's creativity when you have little.  I want my children to know that work is good.  It creates character.  So, when Jordan showed me a short story, I thought it spoke volumes, and may help someone understand what the all too familiar term "fair share" looks like.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little..
The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.
Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
— with Bill Essmann


New Hair Accessory?

Joy came to me today looking like this.

Apparently, she wanted to "curl" her hair.  It took me about 15 minutes to get this mess fixed.

She also lost a pretty wad of hair.  Now I know why my mom kept my hair short when I was little.



So, I decided to cut my hair.  I decided to go short.  It has been many, many years since I had short hair.  My hair just looked blah, fuzzy, and difficult to work with.  So, this was today.

Once I got to my appointment, the lady talked me into keeping my long hair.  I really did not want to cut it, but something needed to be done.  And she did it.  But, when I took a photo of myself, I did not notice my hair, but instead, noticed those imperfections.  I do not spend much time in front of the mirror.  I don't have that much time on my hands.  There are many days of the week that a pony tail and no make up suffice.  I know...not good for the husband.

So, here is my new do.  I like it.  She did a great job.  But, look how my jaw sticks out when I smile.  I wonder if Mike ever noticed that?  And that smaller eye?  Again, when I smile.  I've always had that...even in school pictures.'s okay.  My kids love me.  My husband still loves me despite the weird way I look.

I'll just hide the weird jaws with my hair.  I couldn't have done that if I cut all my hair off.


Winter Weather

I took this picture today, after noticing my hyacinths coming up?  In January?  Well, it was 60 degrees today.  We've received no more than a flew flurries here and there.  It is making me wish for spring instead of some winter weather.  But, when warm weather gets here, that means my firstborn and her brother will be leaving the nest.  I'm in no hurry.


A Quarter of a Century

I married a sailor 25 years ago in March.  He was young, handsome, kind.  He wasn't perfect, but his mother and father did a great job raising him.  We met in September; married in March.  It was a whirlwind 5 1/2 months courtship.  He was home for a few weeks, out to sea for a couple of weeks.  I could barely contain myself when I knew his ship was pulling into port on a certain day.  I hovered by my phone at work, waiting to hear his voice greet me on the other end.  On date night, I'd peek out my apartment window looking for the familiar round headlights from his jeep.  Butterflies never failed to follow.

He never really asked me to marry him.  It was more of a mutual agreement during a phone call from a port in Puerto Rico.  I didn't know if he was serious, but soon found out when he was once again home, and we were purchasing the rings.  It was a quick wedding at his apartment.  His sailor roommates had long since moved out, and I moved in just a few days before the big day.  Except for our close friends, no one knew of our plans to marry.  He arrived home on a Wednesday, we married on a Thursday, he left on a Monday.

It wasn't hard being married to a sailor.  I found it rather exciting.  Our time together was limited, so we wasted no time on petty arguments.  I just loved being with him every second he was home.  Life was good.

Now it is 25 years later.  Five jobs later.  Three children later.  Four lost children later.  Four houses later.  Three adoptions later.  Many sorrows later.  Many joys later.  Many mistakes later.  I'm sure we both have many regrets.  How could we not?  But, I love my sailor.  And my sailor loves me.

I always wondered how we would celebrate 25 years together.  I'm still wondering.  We're too poor for my wish of spending 2 weeks on a South Pacific Island.  Yet, I feel the need to be alone with my husband.  To reconnect.  To talk.  To just have fun together without concern for our children.  We've spent so many years being "mom and dad" that we've unconsciously neglected being "husband and wife".



I just knew those @K47 shell casings were good for something!  Today I over heard this from Joy:

 "Three plus three
 plus three..
 equals 9!"
She was quite happy with herself.  Maybe I wasted my money buying math blocks.  Apparently, anything works.


New Diet, New Friend

So, I've been feeling a little blah lately.  My body had aches and pains all over.  My legs and back would ache when I went to bed at night.  I started feeling my age, maybe even older.  My diet was not great.  I enjoyed chocolate way too much.  Wheat/gluten caused rashes on my hands, legs, and arms.  Although I had the gluten thing under control, sometimes I slipped with a few Christmas cookies.  Then my arms itched.

I know a few people who do the juicing thing.  They all look and seem healthy and happy.  Two people I know use it as part of their cancer treatment.  Obviously, raw fruits and vegetables are very healthy, with many nutrients.  So, I started reading more about it.  With 40+ years under my belt, I'm a skeptic of many things.  Juicing was one of them.  I considered it just another fad making its rounds.  I caved and bought my first juicer, the Breville Juice Fountain, my new friend.

I like it.  It is very easy to use and clean.  So, I have been juicing 2 times a day.  I usually eat a breakfast of gluten free peanut butter toast and fruit.  Around 10 a.m. I have my first juice of the day.

So, this was my treat:  apple, ginger, peeled lemon, carrots, kale, and celery.  You may be thinking it sounds terrible, but the lemon and ginger really make this taste great.

There is such a variety of veggies you can throw in the juicer.  The difficult part is probably keeping them on hand.  Mike and I have enjoyed the one with beets.  I would never enjoy beets before.  Now I love them in this juicer.

So, you may ask how I'm feeling?  Well, I've not gone to bed with an ice or heat pack for about 4 days now.  I don't ache like before, I have more energy, I sleep better.  And one strange side effect is on my face.  It actually looks healthier.  I don't have pics to prove that one, but my skin just looks better.  Oh, and it doesn't hurt that I've lost a few pounds doing this.  I don't crave the junk that I used to crave, and I am actually always content with no hunger pains.  I sound like a commercial, don't I?  FYI, Breville did not pay me to write up this post.

Skeptic no more?



Jordan told me today that I needed to update my blog.  But, I have nothing at all to share.  Life is just going on.  No one wants to hear about the daily activities of school, laundry, dinner, baths, etc..  The only thing remotely interesting is an evening on some friends' property, shooting guns, eating hot dogs and smores.  So, to prove that we are still alive:

The girls were preparing for the bonfire after taking a long walk on the property.  They actually loved playing in the fire.  They weren't actually in it, but enjoyed throwing sticks in it, and catching their own long sticks on fire.  Fortunately, no forest fires occurred due to their curiosity.

Now that Ivy has her braces on, she is starting to give me smiles with her teeth showing.  I think she was embarrassed by her cleft.  It seems most of her pictures are with a closed mouth.  For her sake, I'll be glad when she gets her lip/nose revision surgery.

Besides this lovely feather, Eva collected 42 casings, which she still carries around the house in a red plastic bag.  She's my pack rat.  She knows it.  It controls her.  She cannot help it.  I've pulled rocks from my washer and dryer because of this girl.

Seth and his friend, Anica.  They spent the day clearing and burning brush and riding the 4-wheeler.  Tough day for these 2 kids, I mean young adults.

See.  I told you nothing was going on here in Virginia.


The Trolley

Our "town" has a Trolley.  I've seen it, but never made use of it.  After all, we live in the country, and the Trolley runs a limited run to the downtown area.  So, back in the fall, Ivy, Seth, and I were at a cleft appointment, getting Ivy's braces on her teeth.  As soon as we headed out of the building, the Trolley was there...waiting on us.  So, we hopped on for the ride downtown and back. 

So, shortly before Christmas, the girls and I headed on a trolley ride downtown to look around and do some Christmas shopping.  They were all excited!  It was cool and drizzling rain, but they did not care.

There are so many things in our area that I've failed to take advantage of.  Our state of packed full of history and outdoor adventure.  Maybe when the girls are older, they'll enjoy museums as much as Jordan and I do.  I sure hope so.  By the time they get older, I'll be too old to do anything else adventurous!

I loved the mosaic tiles near the Farmer's Market.  Lots of little shops and restaurants.  Ivy has an appointment next week to adjust her braces.  Eva has already asked for a Trolley ride downtown.

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