Today’s Smile

Princess Megan drawn by Megan 12 May 2014

This is beautiful princess Megan.  The writing on the side says “You are the best Mommy in the world. I love you.  Love, Megan.”

I am so glad that I can read three year old writing! It helps a lot that she is willing to help me read what I can not.


Andrea sittingAndrea asked if I could take some pictures for her last week. She had an idea that she wanted to try. After trying her idea, we had fun experimenting.

She is growing into a beautiful young lady. Not only is Andrea sweet and helpful around the house, but she is strong and willing to work hard. She is not afraid to get dirty working with the alpacas or to surprise us with new recipes she found and decides to try.

She is working hard on her reading and is improving.  She loves to read the Lord of the Ring Books or Chronicles of Narnia.  She often snuggles with Megan, reading Dr. Suess books.

I am so thankful that God gave us the gift of Andrea!Andrea leaning



For the last few years, we have been raising butterflies.  We started out with some Painted Ladies that we had ordered. They were fun, but the caterpillar’s food was premade and they were supposed to stay in the little container they came in until they formed chrysalises.

We learned how to raise monarchs and have raised them from eggs for years. Some years we have raised over a hundred while last year we only raised a few because we could not find eggs or caterpillars.

Audrey decided it was time to do more.  Last year she collected any caterpillar she could find and learned what she could about it.  She discovered the Eastern Black Swallowtail.

Butterfly on daffadilWe learned more than expected.  Ichneumon Wasps will lay their eggs in the caterpillar.  They are parasites and will feed on the caterpillar.  You will not discover the problem until you have a wasp emerge instead of a butterfly from the chrysalis.

A much more fun lesson is that these butterflies overwinter. If put in a safe place during the winter, they will emerge in early spring.  Audrey put some in the garage this winter. After bringing them inside in April, they are starting to emerge!




We had a wonderful Easter this year. We had invited family and friends to come celebrate and enjoy the day with us. Thirty people showed up!

At church we were reminded that it does not matter how you celebrate Easter. Easter is about Christ’s redemption of our sins! He died on a cross and come back to life for my sins, and that is why we celebrate!

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Praise and Request

IMG_3735.CD Last night my niece, Esther,  and her fiancée were in a motorcycle accident. They are okay, but got beat up pretty badly. Alan’s motorcycle does not look so nice anymore either.

Please pray for them.  They have been saving money for their wedding, but now have hospital bills and a bike that needs to get fixed up.  They will both miss some work too.  Pray that they heal quickly and that there were no hidden injuries.  The praise though, is that both of them are all right and neither got hurt worse.

Soccer Weekend

Last weekend was full of soccer!  We have had three or four children playing games before in one weekend, but never had we had such a crazy schedule before! With both girls on traveling teams, we do not have a regular schedule, and last week was a full one.

It started out as a normal week.  We had our normal practice nights.  We had been asked to bring snacks for one game and decided to sign up the other kids to bring snacks for the same weekend–before knowing what the week would look like.  I helped Andrea and Audrey make 5 batches of cookies so we would have enough giant cookies to share after games. We froze them and took them out as needed.

SoccerBetween Thursday and Tuesday, Andrea played in four games, half of the regular season games! During Thursday’s game, she twisted her ankle, but got up and continued to play.  She returned home with a swollen and bruised ankle. On Friday, she refused to walk on it but we iced it and wrapped it everyday, and she was able to play in all her weekend games.

Andrea is improving immensely and getting to be a stronger player.  She still has a lot to learn, but you can often hear her laughter while playing the game.

AudreygameAudrey only had three games over the weekend.  She has a lot to learn, but her coach is willing to push her, and Audrey loves the challenge.  She struggles with sprinting, but she is trying and we are seeing improvement.

AdrianOn Saturday, Adrian had his first game.  He surprised us all, including himself, by making the very first goal within minutes of the game starting!  He is hoping to make more goals, and he has improved a lot since last year.  It will be a great season for him.

Thursday night we had a scheduling conflict and Allan took Andrea to a game while I took Audrey to practice. Perhaps Allan and I are crazy, but we went to every other game together!  It was fun to watch the kids try their best.  We had a little time to relax and enjoyed talking with each other too.