Because of a few generous friends, Carl was able to take 5 kids plus 1 friend skiing today. It was a super warm 55 degree day but they had fun together. He spent the afternoon with his mini-me adventure kid.  


It’s a process. Lydia is the master designer around here. She helped Jack with his deer, gave Adie pointers and made pretty cute unicorn herself. 

Max and I worked on his together. 

Hanna Andersson 

We have so many pairs of Hanna pj’s around this house. Tonight we had to document that I put mine on. 

Full House

Carl and Max drive to Bismarck, ND today to pick up the rest of the tribe. Max was a road warrior today. He couldn’t wait to see his brother and sisters. Max is a big feeler. He loves big, just like his Daddy. 

When Jack came home, he gave me a huge hug and said, “This is the first time I’ve touched you in 10 days!” I think his love language is physical touch. 

Silas quote

A couple of weeks ago Silas was mumbling to himself …

“School, work, go to bed

   School, work, go to bed ..

     What a horrible life!”

Quiet week

With only three kids here this week because Carl took Silas on a business trip to Waco, TX, I am feeling quite rested.  We have slept in until 7:30 or 8:00 am, played games, read books and even went to a morning matinee of the movie Sing.

I have been working on the “honey do list,” which means upstairs doorknobs where on the list.  I will save you a time and trouble from a Pinterest idea…don’t spray paint door knobs.  It doesn’t work unless you never touch the knob.  I had been saving cash so that I could replace the knobs upstairs because my bronze paint was coming off and it looked horrible.

A couple of days ago I took the knob off the master bedroom door but I couldn’t get it to stay latched.  I was hoping Carl could help me figure it out, but then time ran out and he left for Waco.  I had to figure this out.  Thank you Google.  Move the strike plate down and BOOM  it latches.  I was feeling quite accomplished that I went on to the kids bathroom.  First knob went in perfectly. As I opening the little bag with screws for the second knob, it was that moment where everything went in slow motion.  Nooooo!  The screws flew everywhere with one landing perfectly in the sink and down the drain.

Crap.  I was getting a little prideful with my doorknob changing skills and was brought down a couple of notches.

Down to the garage to find the big adjustable wrench.  I am sure there is some fancy name that I never learned while growing up on the farm. With six boys and myself, cooking and cleaning were my forte.

Back upstairs, I cleared out the cupboard and got to work taking the drain apart.  Man, oh, man the water in the trap stunk, but I got the screw!

I have to laugh because I did get the doorknob on but when I went to the girls’ room, I couldn’t get the pieces to fit together.  I realized after trying for 15 minutes that the knob was defective.  While I was working on the door, Ava was very quick to point out that this was taking me a very long time and I should hurry because she was hungry.

I still have a few knobs left upstairs…here’s to today’s “to do list.”



Grace, Lydia, Adie and Jack at the ranch. 

Titus and Ava at friends’ house

That leaves Max and Silas home. 

We told them not to wake us in the morning and to go watch cartoons. 

It’s going to be a great Saturday.  


He won’t be little forever. 

Off to the ranch

I sent these beautiful kids off to the ranch with Nana.  It was a bit of a frenzy because we didn’t know that Adie and Lydia would be able to go. They made it into the play Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and rehearsal start this week. I called the director and he gave them a pass for the first rehearsal, so at the last minute they were able to go. There were tears of joy! 

March for Life – Washington DC

Carl and I had the privilege of being able to attend the 44th March for Life in Washington D.C. last Friday.  It was such an honor to walk among hundreds of thousands of people all rallying for the same thing – Life!

When Carl and I talk about our legacy, we want to teach our children a comprehensive view of life from conception to death.  This means loving our neighbors well.

Who is my neighbor?

It is the exchange student who has lived here in St. Cloud  for years and never been in an American home.

It is the single Dad asking us to help raise his daughter.

It is the single mom who has nowhere to take her children for Christmas Eve.

It is the Vietnam Vet who needs a listening ear in the middle of the night.

It is mom who just had a baby and needs encouragement.

It is helping my friends who adopted out of the foster care system.

It is college students needing to feel connected with something bigger than themselves.

It is working super hard as a family at the Calvary Orphan Ministry Garage Sale in order to send that money to local and international organizations to help support adoption and prevent orphans.

and the list could on and on and it will continue to go on and on as we press into hard places.

This has taken intentionality on our part.  It takes listening to the Holy Spirit and acting on it. I want to live with a world view that loves the Lord my God with all my heart and loves my neighbor as myself.

Will I do this perfectly? No, of course not.  But God’s grace is bigger than my failings and I am grateful for my Father’s lavish love.