Category Archives: Tom

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!!


With school back in session I finally feel like I can breathe…and blog!  It was a whirlwind summer, but our highlight was quite easily our family trip to Montana to visit Tom’s Dad and Stepmom.  J was here for it so it was even more special. :)

First we headed up to Great Falls (where Tom’s parents live) for a one-night stay and to shop for supplies to take up to Glacier Park, where they have a cabin.  Once we arrived in Glacier we settled in, had dinner, and made a campfire (something we could finally enjoy this year since Colorado banned them last time we camped!).  Oh, and we can’t leave out…

Yum, my favorite s’more is made with peanut butter cups instead of chocolate. :)

Here’s some other sweet moments…

E enjoyed some classic games from Tom’s childhood (I SO remember playing with these!)

And C and J enjoyed the “vintage” bike up there…(banana seats!)

View from the cabin. Glorious!

Each time we make it Glacier we take the “Going to the Sun” road up to Logan Pass where there are spectacular views of the mountains, and wildlife.

Yes, that’s a black bear in there!  We actually had one meander through the property and captured some great shots.  I think my hands were shaking so the photos are pretty blurry…but you get the picture! :)

We also made it to Johnson Lake, which was absolutely gorgeous.  I would love to go up there again and stay at the resort which was very “Swiss Chalet” feeling.  Might have to save up for a trip like that though!

That middle picture of J cracks me up, the water was very cold!

The last day we spent the morning at a Ham Radio Expo for Tom and his Dad to check out equipment (fun!), but then rewarded the kids for their patience by going to a fun park where we did go-karts, bumper boats, and a huge (hard) scavenger-hunt-type maze.  I had to stay on the walkways above to guide everyone to the stamping stations, otherwise I think we’d still be there.  It was challenging but the kids had a blast.

One thing Tom has been trying to do for awhile now is get his maternal Grandfather’s 1940’s fire-helmet from his Dad’s house.  There has been some confusion as to whether it had been sent and Tom misplaced it, or if it was still up there.  Lo and behold the guys found it!  The kids had fun trying the hat on and sitting with posing with Grandpa (these are his photos)…

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for a wonderful vacation!

Totally off-subject, but C started his second grade year last week!  Hard to believe he’s been with us almost 5 years now…

He doesn’t look much different than he did last year though! ;)

Also off-subject, we are doing great on the adoption front.  Homestudy is moving along!  We also have had some very generous donations, so a BIG thank you goes out to those who have supported us!!

If you are interested in helping us bring J home, you can find our donation link HERE.  Prayer is also coveted! :)

Things have been going incredibly well with J these past few weeks.  I have actually adjusted to having 3 kids to tend to, and dare I say I’m getting used to it?!  Perhaps a family of 5 is our lucky number. ;)  We’ll see…

I have tons to share about our recent trip to Montana, but first I need to post some stuff from before our vacation.  We have been busy busy bees going from one thing to another in attempts to keep the kids occupied.  Lots of swimming, lots of visits to parks, and lots of time with friends.  It’s been a blast.

One especially noteworthy thing we did was finally visit Tinytown, which is not too far from us.  We did it kind of impromptu after church one Sunday…which explains the kids’ matching shirts.  I’m normally not the type to make my kids matchy matchy.  ;)

Yes, I made them do that. I will take full blame, er, credit.

Afterwards we headed to the famous “Coney Island Boardwalk Diner” for some yummy dogs and fries.  The wait was insane (45 minutes), but they had a bubble machine going in the courtyard so the kids didn’t care!


Tom was baptized at church today! As some of you may know, this was long in coming. ;)  I have to hand it to him, it’s not an easy thing to stand up in front of a large church and to be broadcast on a ginormous screen giving your testimony (mine was when I was 16 at a tiny Baptist church, thank goodness).  But Tom was amazing, and I am so proud of him for publicly acknowledging his faith and obeying God’s call to be baptized.

Tom’s BIG screen debut

“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”   2 Cor. 5:17

Last weekend we enjoyed a visit from Tom’s parents for the 3-day holiday weekend.  They live up in Great Falls, MT, which is a 12 hour drive away.  As a result, we don’t get to see them a lot, so a visit either here or there is always treasured.

On Saturday Grandpa Al, Tom, and C went shooting at a local range.  I am about to post photos, but don’t think for one second I was AOK with C shooting.  I wasn’t, and wound up getting a little upset after the boys returned home.  But, judging from the following photos, Tom and Al were in control and I think C really enjoyed hanging with the guys and doing something so “grown up”.  Ultimately (since we are a gun-owning family) I think it is good for C to know the power of a weapon and how to use it wisely.

Had to get this one in there of Al wearing a Bronco hat.  Being that he is a Patriots fan, I’m sure this was a last resort to freezing to death (at least that’s his story.  I personally think he’s a closet Bronco fan). ;)

On Sunday, we ventured in to old town Littleton for some lunch and picture-taking.  For Christmas gifts I had offered to take some nice photographs of the Grandparents and Grand-kids with a nice 8×10 printed and framed for them.  It was a lot of fun, albeit a little chilly (Tom was the designated coat-carrier while I shot photos).  Here are some of my faves…

Thanks for the fun visit, Grandma & Grandpa Recke!