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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


Sunday Snapshot

I haven't been around to do a Sunday Snapshot in a over a month.  So, I thought it fitting to put our pup, Moxie, in the mix on a lazy day.  Some days I feel just like she looks!


My Life Lately

It has been sort of busy around here.  Maybe not busy by most standards, but trying to get organized for school for 4 keeps me busy.  We sort of started school?  I figured that since we've been out of school since the beginning of April, I had better get an early start this year.  After 2 days of school, Eva asked for a break.  What?  She'd rather wear her sailor outfit and play.  Seth used to do the same thing; dress up in his fatigues, arise at 5:00 a.m., finish school by 9:00 a.m., play ALL DAY LONG.

Last night, as we were searching frantically for the Angelin@ Ballerin@ movie we rented for the library, I came across this gross scene hidden behind the girls furniture in the bedroom.  I know it may turn your stomach.  Yuck.  Just plain yuck.

It looks like Asian hair, nicely cut on one end with gooey red stuff matted in it.  My first thought was blood.  But, blood wouldn't stay red.  Upon closer examination...putty.  Red putty that is not allowed in the bedroom in the first place.  How did it get behind the furniture?  And who was the culprit?  Well, I am proud to say that the culprit did not lie, but immediately confessed to what she tried to hide from me.  Putty got in her hair.  She tried to hide it by cutting it out.  Then she tossed it behind the dresser, knowing I'd see it in the trash.  Doesn't she know that her deeds will find her out?  By the way, this was the same Chinese girl that gave herself a mullet on one side and cut Joy's hair while I was in China with Ivy.  We found the movie, by the way, under the furniture.

As with Jordan, the girls made a paper chain counting the days until we leave to see Seth graduate from Marine boot camp.

 This chain reaches the ceiling.  It seems like such a long time, but he is half way finished.  He is doing great!  I tell people that his basic training is like the summer camp I never let him attend.  He loves all of the hard work it takes to be a Marine.  He loves to be pushed to his limits.  When he writes letters, he uses a lot of exclamation points to show his excitement about his next phase of training.  Ironically, he seems to be flourishing spiritually.  He met another home schooled recruit that he prays with every evening.

Jordan is finally getting settled in a routine.  She is currently on a base in Florida taking classes for her new job in the Navy.  She seems very excited about her new path in life.  We are very proud of her success and pray for her daily.  Her most recent request?  Her cowboy boots,

nail polish,  perfume, and her sheets.  How did this girl survive boot camp without these items?  She wants her car, but I can't send that one to her just now.  I sure miss her.

So, today is a special day.  It is special because my son, Jack, comes home!  We left him in Illinois with his best bud, David.  He's been living the life of pleasure since then.  It'll be reality again as soon as he walks through the door.  Mike has been in Chicago this week for work, so the 2 of them fly home together this afternoon.

When did he start looking so old?  I'm not sure I'm liking that shadow thing happening around his lip.


Another Sailor

It all started with Jordan's hat. 

Week 2, and we are still going strong.  She has not worn anything else.

She wanted to wear all white like big sis.  She managed to find some winter clothing that fit her desire.

(Her attire while we were out shopping)

Eva even found her dad's black tie (?) and belt from his Navy days.  She goes everywhere dressed like this.  (I did make her wear a dress for church yesterday.)  But, today, she's back in uniform.


Finally Home

When we lost our electricity on June 29th, we thought it would be for a few hours.  Those hours turned to days with no relief in site.  We had to take freezer foods to a friend's house and throw out everything in our fridge.  We had no running water, no air conditioning (it was over 100 degrees during that time), no food.  We decided to "get out of Dodge".  We kenneled the dogs and slowly made our way to Illinois.  I was so relieved to have air conditioning and running water again.  But, most importantly, I was so excited to see Jordan.  It was a crazy time.

Jordan's graduation was on Friday, so we headed to Chicago on Thursday night.  We were excited to see that there was a "Cheesecake Factory" not far from our hotel.

I was in desperate need of greens, and this salad hit the spot.

We were up bright and early Friday morning.  Mike's dad was able to drive in for the Jordan's big day.  This was his 3rd Great Lakes trip to see a graduation, but my first.  The graduation hall filled up rather quickly.

Sailors with the flags of each United States.

The Naval band played music and all was well.  I finally got choked up when the big doors opened right in front of us to this spectacular site, sailors marching to the haunting beat of the drums.  I still get chills when I look at this picture, remembering the emotions it stirred up inside of me.  It was an amazing experience.

Each division came out in order, parading in front of anxious family members.  I searched the faces of Jordan's division, hoping to see my daughter.

I started using my zoom lens, to scan each face.  I finally found her, staring right back at me.  Can you spot her?

There were lots of hugs and kisses after the ceremony.  I wasn't able to get too many pictures.  Jordan needed to head back to her barracks to get a few things so she could leave with us as soon as possible.
While waiting, I snapped a few pictures.

What is up with the scowl on Eva's face?  I was up at 4:30, and the girls got up at 5:30.  It was a long day.

We went back to our hotel room, where Jordan proceeded to take a long shower.  No more 3 minute showers for her!  For dinner, Jordan chose....."Cheesecake Factory".  Thankfully, we didn't have the same waiter.  It was so good to see this face sitting next to me at dinner...

...and this weird face sitting across from me.

After dinner, Jordan had to say good-bye to Grandpa.  It is always hard.

We drove Jordan back to her barracks at 8:00 p.m.  She had to take the bus to the airport at 12:30 a.m. and wait at the airport until her flight left at 7:30 p.m.  She was told she could not leave the airport as she was group leader for 17 sailors.  We were all going to drive to the airport the next day to hang out with her for a few hours.  But, instead, she called us at 3:30 a.m. to tell us she could leave the airport!  Let's just say Jordan was living on adrenaline, and Mike and I were not.  So, Mike drove out to the airport to pick up Jordan.  They stopped on the way to pick up a friend currently at Great Lakes base, who Jordan met locally while waiting to leave for boot camp.  He graduated before Jordan arrived, but is still at the base for his training.  They were all back at our hotel by 6:15 a.m.  

Now, here is the sad part (for me, anyway).  Jordan's friend has a similar look as my son, Seth.  When Joy woke up and saw this young man sitting in the living area, she told her sisters that Seth was here!  She came into the room, walked straight up to him to show him her sailor hat, saying, "Look Seth!"  It broke my heart when she realized that it wasn't her big brother.  Joy quietly climbed into my arms looking a bit confused.  I can't blame her.  I would have loved it if Seth was with us.

Since we were checking out of the hotel and heading home that morning, we had breakfast with Jordan and drove her and and her friend to downtown Chicago to Navy Pier to see the sights.  We said our good-byes right there.  Although we had very little time together, it was a special time with our daughter.

(I can see why Joy thought this young man was her brother)

Jordan arrived at her next destination last night, exhausted.  She is hoping to start her schooling soon.  

Next stop:  Parris Island for Seth's graduation.


Phone Pics

Sometimes the big Cannon is just too much to lug around, especially if we are just heading out for a short bit to ride a horse.  I thought I'd try the camera on my phone.  Because I'm nearly blind without my bi-focals, I never know what the shot looks like until I get home.  Some turned out fine, but others were quite terrible.

 Becky and I...friends for life.

Some of these shots have plenty of "noise" in them.  I'm not sure how to get rid of that with a phone camera.

Tomorrow.  Tomorrow we see Jordan for the first time since May.  I am one excited mom.


A Conversation Overhead

The 4th of July was a hot one.  We headed to a lake in southern Wisconsin to view the fireworks in 100 degree temps.  We met some new friends.  Joy and Audrey immediately hit it off.  By the end of the night they were best pals, BFF as Audrey put it.

As they were sharing a chair waiting on the fireworks to start, I over heard this conversation:

Audrey:  "There are all kinds of Chinese people, some with flat noses."
Joy:  "That would be Ivy.  Eva is just normal."

Oh, the sweetness and innocence of such beautiful children! 



Yes, I've been M.I.A. because it has been H.O.T. and we have no electricity and don't expect any for a week.  We participated in some of that storm that passed through the area on Friday, and we've been sweating ever since, thankful for the kindness of friends who do have running water and air conditioning and food.

So, Friday night I went to the store right before it got dark.  When I was almost there, half of a tree flew across the road right in front of me.  Something definitely was not right.  I won't go into details, but it was an obstacle coarse on the way home.  I arrived home and our electricity was out.  The next morning, our yard looked like this...

...barely missing Jordan's car.

I always disliked this black locust tree.  I just wish the whole thing would have fallen.

After 2 days of working in the yard, the gang has gotten over half of it cleaned up and put in piles around the property.

This was Jack's first time on the mower.  He looks like a pro, doesn't he?

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