Category Archives: Petunia

Last weekend we made our first trip to Grand Lake.  And I am in love.  Maybe it was because we were there for one of the prime leaf-turning weekends of fall, or maybe it was all the wildlife, but whatever it was, I absolutely loved it up there.  We got a really good deal on a cabin rental (on a little lake!), and the big plus was we could bring our dogs.  Since we have recently moved, we don’t want to be too pesky of neighbors asking to have them take care of our animals…although we did have a neighbor watch the chickens (but they also kept all the eggs so they didn’t mind too much).  The kids also had a 4-day weekend for conferences so I took full advantage of probably the last family vacation we will have for this year.  And it was so worth it.

Here’s my photo journaling of the weekend:

The trees were so incredibly brilliant with color! 

It’s rut season so elk were everywhere (and I think Tom was drooling a bit over these bucks).

As much as I loved seeing the elk though, I REALLY wanted to see a moose…and we did!  On the last day there we were shopping in downtown Grand Lake and saw three cows just hanging out and eating the foliage.  Two ran off when a bus rumbled by, but this one stayed and even walked right past us (we were in our vehicle, otherwise this would have been taken at a much safer distance).

This made my day, even though Tom was chastising me for forgetting my camera at the cabin. :(


She was so sweet, just meandered by looking for a yummy tree to eat.

our cabin, from the back.

our cabin, from the back.

morning on the lake (view from the cabin)

The cabin rental included free use of the boats connected at our dock. P was extremely excited about this!


Tom taking full advantage of his minions.

Tom taking full advantage of his minions.

Just the boys, yikes! Fortunately Argish and Tom kept watch...

The boys went alone multiple times (yikes)!  But Argish and Tom kept an eye on them…


Argish even got a turn.

with Argish even getting in on the action.

E didn

E didn’t care AT ALL for the boat (thought there were alligators in the water), so she was happy being on the shore and “fishing”.

We really had a great time, and it was so nice to get away from the plains and see the mountains again. :)

Adoption update:  We are now slated for October 30th for finalization of P’s adoption!  Tom has to fly back to L@tvia on the 27th, stay for court, and fly home.  Short and sweet stay, just enough for him to get some Latvian cuisine back in his system (which I am jealous of)!

We are still raising money to complete this leg of the adoption.  There are some final attorney’s fees to cover and then the two last trips we need to complete…this month and likely in December when both Tom and P go back for embassy appointments and a final visa.  We’re praying everything is complete and DONE by Christmas!

If you would like to contribute to these expenses, we still have a donation account HERE.  We also have a coffee fundraiser going on.  You can buy all sorts of goodies for yourself or as Christmas gifts! :)

Once again, thank you for all of your support!!


just so you know we are alive!  We have been in our new house for a few weeks now and are slowly settling in.  I plan to write a more detailed post a our new home in the near future, but right now I’ll just post some photographic highlights. :)

View from our garage. We see antelope all the time out here, as well as deer, coyotes and rabbits.

Petunia in her “prison”. Her nose gets her into trouble, so the fence is a necessity.

Since moving out here we have had three different snow storms. A snow blower was a purchase we hadn’t planned on, but it has come in quite handy! Next year we’ll likely upgrade to a small tractor or something.

We have chickens! After MUCH cajoling, Tom talked me into getting 8 hens. And guess who is responsible for cleaning their nasty poopy dwelling? Yeah, I’m so lucky. (Hurry up Spring!)

As far as adoption progress, there is not too much to report.  Our dossier landed in Latvia about 4 weeks ago, and we are now waiting on the Orphan Court to clear J for International adoption (a normal occurrence from what I understand).  Once that is done, our petition will be submitted to the ministry who will then offer us the official referral of J.  Travel dates will soon follow, so I am thinking an April/May travel time for the first trip.  I’m ready, I miss my little boy and he always sounds so sad when we call. :*(

that E is getting better at sharing her toys…

I love Petunia’s expression, “help me!”

(and, yes, I am aware that the glass storm door needs cleaning). ;)

Boy, have I been off my blogging mojo lately.  It’s funny, there are months where all I think about is what to blog about…with much of it showcasing recent photos I took.  But for some reason I just haven’t felt the desire.  I suppose just like many things in life it ebbs and flows.

Anyway, can’t believe 2011 is over!  It went fast and was filled with many ups and downs.  I’m mostly proud of how the kids have been developing and growing.  C has really taken to first grade and seems to be learning a lot.  There are struggles associated with his mid-line brain condition, but he is a rock star and pushes through. We’re proud of him.

E is three and I have to say, she is currently trouncing the terrible two’s.  Two’s were a cake walk compared to what we deal with now.  She is quite stubborn and has attitude to spare sometimes.  But she can also be quite sweet and kind as well.  It’s the “Jekyll and Hyde three’s”, I guess.  That’s what I’ll call them.  There is really no other way to describe her.  Love her to pieces though and she is amazing with her vocabulary now.

Tom is doing super well with his inspection business, it is growing by leaps and bounds and we are in awe that this is all happening during a so-called “recession”.  We have been using this blessing to get out of debt and use cash for EVERYTHING.  That means we are not on the bandwagon for ipad’s for the whole family (it boggles my mind that KIDS are receiving $500+ ipads to play games and watch movies…so ridiculous IMHO).  Anyway, we are still living somewhat frugally so that we can start building up a large savings account.  Security is a beautiful thing.

As for me, 2011 has also been about learning lessons.  I am realizing (and treasuring) the genuine friends I have in my life.  It wasn’t an easy year, but it was a revealing one.  For that I thank God for helping me persevere and stay strong, even though at times I wanted to just curl up in bed and never leave my house.  But I did learn a lot about true friendship, and that you can’t “earn” it.  As a generous person, this was a bitter pill for me to swallow.  I think 2012 will find me much more judicious with my generosity so that it doesn’t come back to bite me as it did this past year.  More importantly though, I look forward to knowing the new friends God has (and will) put in my path through church,  bible study, and MOPS.  God is good, all the time. :)

There is another endeavor I am excited about as well…I want to make 2012 the year I go back to work!  But since I am totally spoiled by being a stay-at-home mom, I plan to work from home.  The plan is to slowly immerse myself into the world of professional photography.  I still have much to learn and there are some classes to take, but ultimately I hope that my past design experience transitions into some amazing photographs.  I now own a Canon camera, so I’d like to start saving money for new lenses that I can use for years to come.  I’ll keep you posted!

Oh and I can’t forget our newest family member!  We adopted a Basset Hound named Petunia (funny name at first and even funnier when you hear Tom yelling it when she runs off ) from a local rescue this past November.  We love her and she adores the kids!

Don't be fooled, she's ecstatically happy here...

So here’s to a brand new year…

and I pray that you look ahead with hope, and not behind with regret.