Monthly Archives: January 2014

Garden/Gardening Tips – Write planting date on seed packages


I love buying and trying new seeds… When I buy them, normally in bulk, I always write my outdoor date on the package. It is easier for later planting is you know exactly when they can go in the ground in your area!

Mazy’s is carrying First Family Seed Buckets too!!! CLICK HERE.


Yes, it's only January, but we are already working in our garden!

This last weekend, I got all of the kiddlings outside (that’s 16 hands to help me plus Larry) And we had to devise a way to gopher proof our garden. Chicken wire it was and we were making out raised beds TALLER. After battling a plethora of black widow spiders, pill bugs and lizards who were trying to hibernate, we as a family cleaned out the greenhouse, and Rowan, Trystan, and a munchkin planted kale and spinach in the the greenhouse while the bigs moved12 railroad ties. Berlyn told me that we were building a fortress and wanted to keep going higher with the wood… 16 shoveled loads of compost and manure later, we have just about got the bed to where we want for the February 2 planting here in northern Arizona.  Welcome to Peas, Radishes and all of my leafy greens!! I can’t wait for REAL PRODUCE again!

garden 2014




Living with Autism

In all honesty, can you say that you know all about autism? Living with a child who is high functioning autistic can prove to be a challenge at times.

Berlyn gets overwhelmed at times and when asked why he is yelling of pulling on his ears, he replies that he is trying to stop all of the noise in his head. It allows him to express what he needs in his own way. We are a fortunate family to have a high-functioning autistic child who has learned to communicate and function in everyday life, albeit difficult at times for him. I fully believe that Berlyn can not turn his brain off and we see this a lot at bed time. I know that there are times when I have so much going on that I can not sleep and I think that he goes through the same, but every day!

Yesterday, he came home from school on the first day back to school after Christmas break just spitting nails. 2nd grade is proving to be harder and harder for him this year.

I am a tough mom. A mom who will not ever see Autism as a disability. Do I want people to understand WHY he yells and has tantrums in public? YES. Do I want them to treat him any differently than other kids? NO! I totally feel that he is not only going to thrive as an adult, but is a brilliant individual who will one day change the world..

Berlyn has a way about him. A way to whittle himself into you. He thinks differently and for that I am grateful to God for teaching me that not all children can fit into a single box. He is our “Autist” and he paints our world with his color.


Berlyn, the cat whisperer.
Berlyn, the cat whisperer.

2013 for adoption and our continued story


2013 came in as a whirlwind for our family. We knew on January 1, 2013, that we were going to be the adoptive parents of our 2 little boys who we got in foster care that July. They got to change their names and really feel a part of the family. They continued therapy and we slowly got them to be at ease with their past and to understand that they were not at fault for being beaten by their birth father and his girlfriend.

In May, we had an official adoption day. YEA! We celebrated as they have never know, renting bouncy castles, hosting a BBQ and invited 100 of our family and friends.

June came with some perils as their birth dad was bailed out of jail by his mother and jumped bail. As I sat in the court house, stunned and crying as they issues a federal bench warrant with no clue as to his whereabouts. We opted to close the adoption after the grandmother bailed out their dad, knowing that we would have issues. She has tried to get information on them, calling CPS, Breckin’s school and even their current therapist.  We discovered that Trystan is gluten intolerant. So beginning in June, We started changing how we ate (yet again) in our home. Gluten-free pasta is surprisingly tasty!

We are thrilled to have such an amazing support system in place. Trystan started Kindergarten and Breckin is in 2nd grade with Berlyn and are all doing amazingly well ( Trystan’s exception is days that he decided to steal (or share) food that he is not allowed to eat.0  They continue to progress into fantastic children, slowly forgetting the horrors of their past. Shelby and Griffen are both enrolled into public school this last semester and are doing quite well. El and Ro are continuing at home and love all of the mommy one on one attention.

We attempted to contact the boys’ birth mom with several emails and to several different email addresses that we had for her but have yet to hear anything.  We finally got their birth certificates and Social Security cards in December. They are officially ours! On December 24th, we received an message that one of their step-moms heard that birth dad was arrested. On December 26, he was booked back into the local jail house waiting a pre-trial. So… their story doesn’t end quite yet. Larry and I will be at all future court hearings to finish this out.

Where do we go from here? We are back on the list for foster/adopt for a little girl too. We hope to adopt again in the future and know that if it is in God’s plan, then we shall again.