raising monarch butterflies

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I invite you to gaze upon my caterpillar nursery!  I put it together for myself and the family and anyone who comes over to visit. . . . . . .

Year after year, indeed for the last 11 years we have lived on this property (four acres boarding state land), I have kept watch in the later summer days for monarch caterpillars.  (They are only ever on milkweed).  If I see a caterpillar, I collect it and bring it home to raise on the counter in a big jar or a fish tank.  (We used to have a different fish tank but it broke when someone tried putting rocks in it).

We were fortunate to find perhaps 4 caterpillars, and sometimes none at all.  This year, however, this epic summer of 2017, we have found over 20 of them.  If I were more scientific, I would do a precise count, but it is rather difficult and confusing to try to count caterpillars when they are all over the place and in various sizes.

I am a busy mom and wife, it’s a wonder that I have time to sit and watch a caterpillar nursery at all….or write a blog!  But these things give me much needed rest and enjoyment, they are interests that I have……and no matter what your interest and passion is….big or small….it should be pursued and nourished.

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I picked these five off their milkweed (which was almost gone) and put them on the floor of the tank so I could give them fresh food.  They looked so cute all in a row that I had to take a photo of them.

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Every couple of days I replace the leaves from the three small bud vases I have in the tank with fresh milkweed from the garden, which is conveniently right outside the kitchen door.  Caterpillars are naturally very hungry and grow quickly.  It’s fun to watch their little heads go up and down the edges of the milkweed like tiny machines.  I bet if it were quieter in my house I might even hear them chewing.


Can you see the difference in this caterpillar?   Grace and I found two of them on Queen Anne’s lace down by the pond.  We are almost positive that they are the caterpillars of Black Swallowtail Butterflies.


An urge that I have so far neglected this summer is to get out colored pencils and draw these beautiful patterns that I see. . . .(maybe today?)

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I clipped some cut-to-size screen (from an old window) to the top edge of the tank with clothespins.  When the they have eaten their full and are “ready”, the caterpillars go to the screen to “dangle” for a day or two, before bursting their caterpillar skin to reveal a most beautiful green and gold chrysalis beneath.

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This one’s small but they start out even smaller…..

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I have to laugh when I go out to collect fresh food for them because I inevitably end up bringing inside even MORE caterpillar babies.  David says, “Mom, how many do you NEED?”  He is probably the child who is most interested in them and I love to see his face peering into the tank.

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“Oh no this one looks different, what’s wrong with it?”  I watched it closely and realized it was molting.  It was gripped to the leaf with it’s “end” and wriggling the skin down, rather like when you or I take off stockings with our hands, and “stepping out” fresh and clean.


Almost done!

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Ah, it feels so good.

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“fresh and clean”

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An empty chrysalis next to six green ones.


This caterpillar is getting ready to “dangle” by finding the perfect spot on the screen and attaching itself to it with its homemade silk.  The children get nervous if I move the screen, they are afraid the chrysalises might fall off, but they are firmly attached and “just think, outside they would be safe even in the winds and rain”.  So I move the screen in confidence.

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This one had attached itself to a milkweed leaf, which wasn’t a good choice, because eventually the other caterpillars ate the leaf causing the chrysalis to drop down to the bottom of the cage.  I picked it up and dangled it over the edge of the tank.  When I hear the children say, “Mom, one of them is black!” I know that we will soon see a butterfly.

In fact, as I am writing this, a butterfly has newly hatched right in front of our eyes, and three more black ones are ready to come out any minute.

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Why just put milkweed in the tank when you can also add flowers?

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They make lovely strands of silk.  I took a picture right after this caterpillar molted.  You can see its bunched up rag of old skin up at the top of the photo.



They eat so much I wondered what I would do if we ran out of leaves (it won’t happen this year) and then I noticed that where I picked the leaves off, new ones are growing!

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new leaves!!!

I know, this is a simple gardening concept, but I never thought to apply it to my milkweed!  The resilience of growing things is amazing.

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Milkweed grows outside the kitchen door, mingled in with our lilac bush.

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And more milkweed (tall stalks with long oval leaves) is in the side garden.


I had to laugh when I saw a chrysalis outside in the lilac bush, I guess I missed bringing this one inside!!


I can move the chest of drawers around to get a better view, or better lighting for photos.

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It stays like this most of the time.  Better than any TV show.



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It’s fascinating to watch them split, revealing a bright green underneath.

These changes are done so silently and quickly that we miss it most of the time.


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It wriggles in such a strange fashion and the bunch of skin drops to the bottom of the tank.

I did a short video while I was blogging this post.

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They first come out with their body much bigger than their wings.  I always think of origami when I see them emerge……it’s sort of like reverse origami.  Only God could package something up like this and have it come out as beautiful as a butterfly…

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The butterfly hangs and dries, once in a while a drip of fluid will fall.  Once I see them opening their wings for the first time I will take them carefully outside on a stick and put them up on the lilac bush.

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“I look upon a year lived as a year earned; and each year earned means a greater treasury of experience and power laid up against time of need.”  Anna Botsford Comstock

“God created the heavens and the earth to be experienced, not just read about or lectured upon.”  Bob Schultz


the very interesting outdoors


During all these years there existed within me a tendency to follow Nature in her walks.
John James Audubon

Several days ago, after Aunt Colleen and Uncle Roger visited me, I meandered back to the interesting patch of violets we had discovered.  We liked them because of their pale and dainty purple faces.  I took a photo while flat on my tummy and, unsurprisingly, it proved to be a quite comfortable spot for a short rest.  I could hear my two youngest children playing together on the trampoline.  They called to me, “Mom!  Hi, MOM!” and I waved to them and smiled.  I soon heard a beautiful bird song in the trees.  Often I hear bewitching birdsongs but alas, cannot see the bird.  But this time, as I sat and folded my legs up Indian-style, I peered into the trees with my chin high and saw a startling spot of red.  As Colleen and I visited, we had talked of birds and flowers.  I asked her if she ever saw Scarlet Tanagers at her house.  I told her how a few years back I had seen one and would like very much to see another, never expecting that after her visit one would come close enough for me to hear its singing, and see it’s bright red feathered coat.


I watched the Scarlet Tanager until it flew away.  Then I saw a small red thing in the grass next to me.  I picked it very carefully up, expecting it to be a mushroomy fungus type of thing.

But it had legs.


It was so all over red!  Quite fascinating indeed.


dandelions and apple blossoms


planted peas and radishes in the garden

took care of the hens

checked on my toad babies

sat on the front porch to chat with a friend

watched as two turkey vultures landed in the trees by the stream down at the edge where our property meets state land


There is a sense of glorious freedom in the air this week.  In the beginning of the month, for dreary days on end, there was nothing but gray skies and cold rain.  But now, once again, the sun is shining and every plant, bird, animal, and human can’t help but be a little more active, a little more cheerful.

I sat against a pine tree by the pond to watch the vultures.  At first I wondered if I was watching a courtship, since there were only two and they were staying close to each other.  At one point they were both on the same branch, side by side.

But then I saw a rustling in the bushes underneath them.  Jacob and I walked over and looked, but we didn’t see a dying animal.  However, we did not search thoroughly because I, for one, had a very creepy crawly feeling and he kept saying “I have to leave in 10 minutes for school, Mom.”


They are a rather gothic-looking bird, wrapped in long black feathered cloaks.  Red bald heads and a white beak complete the deathly attire.  They are useful but chilling birds, as they are attracted to the scent of dying animals and dumpsters.

They flew away as they sensed that Jacob and I were observing them but they came back at the end of the day while Rich and I were away at a little league game.  Sarah told me later that she saw one up close while she was on the play set.

I feel like there might be more to this story.  I will investigate later on and see if they return today.


I always look for this turtle, as I can usually find it out sunning himself as I walk along the edge of our lawn.  We have a stream that goes along the far side of our property, and the water is always a good location to see a variety of different flowers, birds, and other creatures.

I loved how the turtle had its funny legs hanging loosely out of his shell, soaking up all the warmth of the sun.  His neck was stretched out as far as it could go, to keep an eye on me (his enemy, he thinks, but I would never hurt him).  Soon he slipped back into the dark water.  It was fun to imagine his sweet and simple life.


I want to try to draw these curly, swirly vines with green leaves just popping out.  Wouldn’t they make a nice border for a picture?



Watching fish swim this way and that way is mesmerizing.  Meditation is quite natural while watching them.  There are fish of all sizes in the pond, which I like to think of as our own giant fish tank.  The smallest minnows stayed closer to me and I was able to watch them for a long time.  The way they swim is a marvel.  Smoothly they swim along and then *STOP*– with no hesitation or slowing down, before swimming along again.


Every black speck is a toad tadpole.  Sometimes a bunch of them get stranded on dry land from living too dangerously on the edge of the water.  They die, but if I happen to be walking by I do some life-saving and scrape them back into the pond again.  Their little tails wriggle.  I ring Jacob on my cellphone to tell him to call the dog up to the house.  If Parker the dog is outside he does whatever I do, and a dog watching tadpoles is never a good thing.


rather elegant, wouldn’t you agree?


bits of purple in the woods


what a wonderful way to clear the mind


and dazzle the eyes


with shades of pink



and blossom time




I sat by the stream in the open meadow at the dam and saw a tiny speck of orange.  A Baltimore Oriole!


This sweet little bird wanted me to leave.

It had a nest nearby.

But my seat was soft.  It was moss.


I saw a Solitary Sandpiper next!  Oh what a day for birds.

This bird bobbed up and down as it walked, so very charmingly!  It made me want to hum a song.  A bouncy song.

I love the refection it made of its solitary self as it edged along the calm water of the open stream.


I wanted to get a little closer to it, so I took my seat off the soft moss and climbed up on the rocks.

But then……….




I froze (and so did he).  I considered.  The rocks I was upon were the very best apartment complex for the snake population I ever did see.  Surrounded by water, open sunshine, and many small meals.  But while I admired the wise choices of this snake, I decided not to take another step on those rocks……good bye snake, good bye birds.  I’m going home now.


In my hands I carried a stick covered in ridges and indentations from a bug?or worm?  The bark was off so it was smooth other than the hollow tracking marks.  It looked like a secret message written in another language, if only I could decipher it.  I had a sprig of apple blossoms, two sweet white violets, a marsh marigold (which promptly wilted in the vase at home) and another yellow wild flower.

I revelled in my alone-ness.  It felt so good (nature’s spa treatments) to walk in my flip-flops through marshy cool waters.  I had been prowling about for an hour or so and felt quiet, dirty, rested, and as deliciously solitary as the Sandpiper I had met.  I came out of the woods at the end of the long pond to see that I had company.  The lawn men had arrived, and one of them was busily cursing his weed eater as he worked along the side bank by the pond.

It was very tempting to turn around and go right back in the woods.

a foretaste of spring

Me:  “Caleb, did you like our walk yesterday?”

Caleb:  “What walk?”

Me:  “You know.  The one with the dinosaur hat?”

Caleb:  long long pause.

Caleb:  (sigh)  “No.  Because of the wind.  It was very very windy.”  (another pause as we look at each other)

Caleb:  (coming over for a hug)  “Do you still love me?”

Me:  (laughing and squeezing back) “Of course I still love you!”



On Monday, we had heavy rain all day long, which washed most of the snow away. 

Tuesday morning (yesterday), Grace came downstairs and said, “Do you know what woke me up this morning?  A bird!  Mom, what bird sounds like this?”  (she sang a bird tune)  “I feel like it’s turning into summer!”

I was excited, too.  The sunny outdoors was beckoning and so, ’round about 9:30, we all bundled up in our coats and boots and went outside.  I wanted to go look at the stream, to see how much it had risen with all the rain and melted snow.

But first, we fed the chickens and let them out.  They had a marvelous day, scratching and rolling around on the ground, enjoying the sunshine.  We are getting half a dozen eggs a day now.  David dropped two on the porch yesterday as he was carrying them to me.  oops. 

Then, the children tested the ice on the long pond.  This pond is not deep, so I let them walk on it.  The ice was still solid and wonderfully smooth, except for the very edges.



The chickens got on the ice, against their will.


We stood and watched the stream, after helping Caleb with a tragedy:  he had lost David’s dinosaur.  I hadn’t even known that he had a little toy dinosaur with him.  It proved to be a problem throughout our entire walk.

Grace got on a rock, and was surrounded by fast moving and loud water.  She was still wearing her pajamas and robe. 


We found a little boy’s plastic builder hat, which ended up being the carrying device for the toy dinosaur. 

I missed my Davy.  He was at school, having a wonderful time, but we missed him on our walk.

I was reading a book about marriage this morning, and in it was a man’s wishes for his wife….on the list was, “and take good care of my little ones.”  That one little phrase keeps running sweetly through my mind…..”these are my husband’s little ones, I will take good care of them for him.”


Ethan loves to scoot and shimmy up trees.


Water and ice, and Caleb almost slipped.


I had Sethers (yet another of our nicknames for baby) on my back.  Jacob said I looked round, he laughed at me.  I had a baby in front, a baby in back and Rich’s big coat over all.

Seth is dreaming good dreams and breathing in the cool fresh air from the woods.


Ethan, standing in front of the tall dead grass at the beaver pond (more like a swamp but we call it a pond) in the woods.  Soon this place will be filled with the sound of spring peepers.  I love the look of this picture, with all that nice light brown color, and of course my handsome son.


They got on a big moss covered rock.  Grace promptly took off her boots to feel the softness.  If I coulda, I woulda.

Caleb was guarding that dang dino.  Soon after this picture, it was gone and he was howling.  Thankfully, big brother Jacob found it again and all ended well.



I had Ethan pull us up a nice soft clump of moss off the spongy ground in the woods.  This became a source of great fun.  As we walked back to the house, he noticed moss roots hanging off the bottom of the clump.  “Oh, moss roots!  Can I eat one, Mom?”  (“Sure, okay”)  “Hmm.  It’s hard to bite into……mmmmmm!  It tastes just like carrots!  These are good moss roots.  Grace, do you want a moss root?  Here, have one of mom’s moss roots.”  Grace says, “It tastes like basil and garlic!”  “Jake, we’re eating moss roots!”

I heard the phrase “moss roots” about 50 times.

Ethan and his dirt covered face, from eating, you know, moss roots.


Further discussion on moss roots.


What I did with the moss when we got home.  I bought this big jar at a thrift store this past weekend.


I also brought a stick home.  I thought it was pretty with it’s ruffles of fungus.  Oh it was wonderful to be bringing home nature bits once again!  We had a foretaste of spring and a lovely walk.


I took this picture of Davy-do this morning, as he ate breakfast.  He made his super-hero mask yesterday at school with the help of one of his teachers.


Thank you so much for all the kind congratulations about our baby news.  Jacob says that having a girl will bring a new perspective to the family.  Caleb says, “Where IS the baby?”  Grace wants to go shopping but says, “I won’t get excited until the baby is born.”  Davy just beams, he wanted a girl named Sarah all along.  Rich is now calling me “girls”.  For example, the other night I was asking him to turn off the light so we could sleep and he said, “Girls!  Settle down.”  He is happy and it makes me smile.

Have a great day, my friends!

PS, Please do not eat moss roots.  I have no idea if they are edible.  Ethan says they are, and he is not sick, but I would hate to have someone get sick or die because of this post.

what the boys made



We went out to lunch after church on Sunday and Davy-do couldn’t keep from watching the TV right by our table.  It was a sports broadcast of a snow boarding competition.

He eventually walked over to me (I was on the opposite side of the big round table) and said, “You know, Mom, when I watch that snowboarding, it makes me want to try it.”  I took a look.  What I saw were guys going down these  long ramps and then, as they were airborn for about 30 seconds, they did all kinds of blindingly fast twists and flips before landing back on the solid ground again.  When they landed everyone cheered and clapped.  I could totally understand why David would want to try. (speed, flight, danger, applause)

I looked at my bright eyed son.  “I’m sure you would be VERY GOOD AT IT.”,  said I.

“I need a snowboard, could we get one on our way home?”

“Uh, no, not today.”

Well, we got home from church and I was busy and didn’t even know two of our boys were outside until David came to get me, so I could see what Ethan made him.  It earned Ethan the “number 1 brother award” for that day.

Out of cardboard, duct tape, scissors and spare time, you too could make your very own set of snowboards!

And it would be best if you had a big brother to help you get yours on.





They really did work!  Down the hill they went, and crashed at the bottom.

I cheered and clapped (and took pictures).


I’m a little baby, three months old. . . . .













My name is Seth and my Mama says I’m growing so much these days.  You wouldn’t think that a baby my age would be so busy but I am.  I do like to take my naps but there are other things I like to do, too.  My Papa says I am getting spoiled by all the people in my family holding me so much, but Mama says that I am not held enough, in her opinion.

I like to watch things.  There are fans on the ceiling that go ’round and ’round and I stare at them a lot.  I also like to keep an eye on my dangling friends above my bed and above my swing.  I like it when I can be carried around on my Mama’s shoulder and I can look around at everything.  I can pick my head up strong, but I do wobble it sometimes, too.

My swing is so much fun.  My Mama puts me in it and I go back and forth gently.  My swing plays music for me, or some bird songs or other sounds from nature.

My Mama wants me to love God’s big beautiful world and so I have already been outside a lot.  She takes me to listen to the stream, to watch the trees moving, and to breathe the fresh air.  She says that the sun makes everything grow, including her babies.  When I am in the house, she lays me down in sunbeams.

Everything she does makes me feel so safe, and so I do not cry often.  If my Mama says I am fussy, I do not listen…because if she only knew why I was fussy she would not mind.  Sometimes my tummy hurts, and one time my sister’s bunny scratched me.  Another time I got shots and just the other day my Mama pinched my finger with the nail clippers.  When things like this happen, it can sometimes take me a while to get over it.  

My happiest times are when my Mama is nursing me, or sleeping with me in her big bed.  Whether she is nearby or far away, I can sense it even if I am asleep.  That’s why, when I wake up in the night, I always start to cry.  It’s because I feel so lonely.  I know she doesn’t like to leave me at bedtime.  Sometimes she feels afraid that something might happen to me when I am sleeping.  She talks to God about that, and then I hear her sigh a little and say, “Yes, Father, I trust You to watch over my baby for me when I am asleep.”  And then she looks at me for a little while and touches me softly and then she goes away until I call her to come nurse me at about 3:00 in the morning. 

My other happy times include:  When my Papa comes home and talks to me and hugs me at the end of the day.  He calls me “smalls” and he sometimes lays me down on his bed to bounce me and see me smile big.  My big brothers love me so much.  Jacob calls me “little man”.  My sister sings to me.  My brother David likes to look at me and sometimes poke at me.  Yesterday on the way to church he even pinched my nose shut to see what would happen.  My Mama turned around quick when I made a funny noise.  She thought I was throwing up.  My brother thought it was funny, and when my Mama knew I was okay she laughed, too.

I can chew my fists now.  I can also move around better.  If my Mama props me up on pillows I lean way forward and then fall over on my side.  I just don’t want to lay still like that anymore.  I want to move!

My Mama says I drool too much.  And she is always wiping my chin for me to keep me dry. 

I can laugh now, too.  When she changes my diaper, I get excited and happy and then she tickles me under my chin and I laugh out loud!

She likes to take my picture and I don’t mind.  I can see a little light on her camera and I look at that and wonder.  She sure takes pictures a lot!

Yes, I am growing and changing.  Someday soon I will be able to do other things, too.   My Mama makes sure to enjoy me every day, because soon I will be even bigger!  She takes such good care of me and I hope that my Papa gives her lots of attention on Sunday, May 10, because that is Mother’s day.  I heard my Papa tease her and say he would go away to visit HIS Mama on that day, but he was laughing so I knew he was kidding.  He will give my Mama LOTS of presents, I think.


2 months old

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Sooner or later……a baby decides that those little things attached to the ends of their arms would be such nice things to chew…..

and this baby boy of ours is no exception.

He wonders.  How on earth can he do it?  The elbows don’t seem to bend. 

The fist is so close, yet so far away.  Up there.  Moving around.

He would like to taste one.  It really doesn’t matter which one. 

This one.


Or that one would be fine, as well.


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Oh.  How terribly frustrating.



He missed.


homemaking journal


“This home is the backdrop to simplify life, slow us all down, and  teach our children about stewardship and the traditions that define our family.”

“All beautiful things work well together.”

“Every place I turn here, there is something that makes me smile.”

(quotes from Country Living magazine)

Before I get started on my day, I wanted to share another journal with you.  I started this one about 6 years ago as a way to have all my homemaking inspiration in one spot.  I use old magazines and photos to fill it with quotes, articles, lists, my own thoughts, and ideas.  I add to it every once in a while, when I’m in the mood.  I sit down with a glue stick, a pair of scissors, a pen, a stack of old magazines, and catalogues.  Then I clip, glue, and scribble away!  There are no rules!  It’s all for me!


If you looked in it you would see the things that inspire me to make my house a home.  The front cover is dark green and on it I glued this quote:


If walls could talk, we’ve often thought, what stories they would tell.
But if we’re slow to grasp the message of an open front door,
a clean-scrubbed floor, or a handmade object comfortable
with its age and imperfections, perhaps we’re just not
listening well.  The language of a house is visual.
The soul of a house is memory.  And it speaks to the heart.


(Here’s a peek inside:)

This is an article about the importance of raising kids to love nature.

The photo is of my Dad giving small Ethan and small Jacob a tractor ride.


“What feels like home?”

“As children, we were not busy making money, keeping appointments,
and meeting deadlines.  Memories of our youth may bring to mind places
where we could enjoy simply being.
Bringing these memories to the creative process of design
may help make your house feel like a home—
the place your heart holds dear.”


Creativity and fiestaware!


Windchimes (because our homes extend to the outdoors!)


“Make time for you” 

 I loved the basket idea. . .put a bunch of things in it that appeal to you–journal and pen, stationary, flowers, a book, pretty napkin, etc, and have them ready in a basket, to carry to your special quiet place.


Aprons!  “Every apron tells a story”


Cherry things!


My friends Lea Ann and Joanna know about this journal and they send me articles sometimes.  I love it when they jot little notes on the pages. . .I glue them in my book and a part of them is now included.  It always surprises me how much they know me.  Lea Ann made me laugh when she sent a clipping from a magazine about chicken coops!  Joanna even had this journal at her house for a few months, to look at and add to.   My homemaking journal is something I enjoy and it has helped me fall in love with feathering my nest.  Don’t you think that a beautiful home pleases God?  Homemaking is not a waste of time!

I encourage you to enjoy your HOME today– the smell of a burning candle, the warmth of the sun shining through your windows, the peaceful feeling of a quiet spot (even if you only have one like me, LOL).   Make your home a feast for your senses——

taste (like an inviting bowl of candy), touch (a clean soft blanket draped on the back of the couch), see (photos everywhere), hear (beautiful music and the sound of your loved one’s voices), smell (coffee and bacon). . . . . .



my husband. . . .


My husband and I met in High School.  He pursued me. . .started talking to my brother about me, and then David would come home and tell me about it.  The memory still makes me giggle like a school-girl when I think about it.

Our first date was a double date to the movies, and then to Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut continued to be a favorite place to go~ we always ordered the same thing:

Cheese Lover’s plus with ham and pepperoni.  (!!!!)  I don’t think either of us would be that eager to have a piece of it today! 


I was 17 and he was 19 when we started “going out”. . .I was a senior in H.S.


Two years later, we were married on September 16, 1995.

I was 19 and he was 21.  Our honeymoon was in Virginia.


Our first house was a 3-bedroom ranch.  We lived there for about 3 years.

We moved around for a little bit before finally settling down in our current home.

We have five children:  Jacob, Ethan, Grace, David, and Caleb.  We think having children is fun but hard work.


We are best friends.  We can get each other laughing so so hard. 

Rich is a very hard worker and is good at just about everything he does.  I mean, really, sitting here I can’t think of anything he has failed at.  He as a zest for life–he’s raced cars and played semiprofessional football since we were married.  That was a few years ago.  Now our hobby is our family. 

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He is a great Dad.  I do the little things and he does all the big things with the kids.  He also does some little things, like changing diapers and putting the kids to bed at night.

He’s my rock.  He’s stable.  He balances me and my emotions out so well.  He protects me and loves me.


He is proud of the fact that he is a country boy at heart.  He grew up on the farm and could do all the chores, including driving the tractors, at a young age.


I think the first time I knew he was the one, was on our first date.  He was driving me home and started singing along to the radio–my heart skipped a beat–he had a nice voice and wasn’t afraid to sing!  We are constantly humming/singing/whistling together, in a absent, “don’t really know we’re doing it” sort of way.


He has climbed the corporate ladder aggressively and is now at the point where he is content.  He loves his job, He is the Vice President and chief claims officer of an insurance company.  We don’t have any worries financially but we’ve had many years of living paycheck to paycheck.  He loves being the provider in our family.  He loves being able to spoil me, like when he bought me my piano for Christmas this year.



Our biggest problems result in the fact that we are both firstborn.  We can both be opinionated and I can hold my own in a debate with him.  I admit, it’s fun to banter back and forth at times.  It adds spice to life.  I am very stubborn.  I’m afraid I am not submissive all the time.  But, he doesn’t mind. 

Sometimes I get jealous of his work, and start getting moody about that.  I call his blackberry, “Ms. Blackberry” as a joke.  I miss him during the long days.  If I go for a walk, I think, “I wish Rich was here right now.”  But, I know that he loves us more than any job on earth. . . . .


Rich is a go-getter.  I would be content if things never changed.  He adds so much to my life because he pushes me to get out of my comfort zone at times.  I never dreamed that I would have such a full life!


My favorite outfit on him is his dark jeans and gray sweater.  He also looks really good in a suit and tie.


His favorite meal is pasta.  Spaghetti, lasagna, etc.  He would rather me not make baked goods, because he tries not to eat that stuff~but, he loves my chocolate chip cookies and I always save some of the dough for him, too.


He does a good job instilling a solid work ethic in the kids.  You should see him get the kids to clean the house, it’s amazing.  He has them running all over the place!  And they never seem to mind it.


In the evenings, after the kids go to bed, we like to sit on the couch together and watch tv.  The show we watch most often is the Andy Griffeth show!  LOL  Most of the time he rubs my feet.  The best times for us is at night, when we finally get into bed and snuggle under our fluffy down comforter.  I always smile into the dark and think, “oh, if only I could freeze this moment”.  It’s so warm and safe in his arms.

By the way, he can sleep anytime anywhere and that is something about him that really bugs me.  I’m jealous, actually.  I can only sleep under precise circumstances! 


We’ve been married for 12 years.  I don’t feel worthy of the man God has given me as my husband.  But, I am so grateful and happy.  I love my life, I love being Rich’s wife.



I did this post because I had someone kindly ask about my husband.  I don’t normally write much about him because he is so close to my heart.  Please know that after my relationship w/God, Rich is my “everything else”, I love him so much.  The best part of the day is when he gets home.  The best day of the week is Saturday, because we can spend the entire day together, doing whatever we want. . . . . .



Alright.  So.  I put on make up today.  Which is very very unusual these days.  Joanna suggested bright pink lipstick and sent me a crazy photo of herself wearing some. . .which I can now use as blackmail.   I don’t have bright pink ANYTHING, except for the tank I put under the green shirt I have on today. . . .so, that will have to do.

I came out of my room after applying the make-up, and Jacob looked at me and said, “Where are you going?”  “No where,” I said. 

“You don’t look like Mom with that stuff on your eyes.”

(that was a compliment, he just didn’t know it!)

We took some fun pictures.  I got to use my Christmas tripod again.  What an awesome tool!

And, you know what?  I do feel much happier after doing this!



This was right before Caleb fell off the dresser.  Oops.




I’m thinking about this quote that Joanna sent me years ago:

“When she was in her eighties, she told her

husband that the happiest time in her life was spent sitting at the round

kitchen table in their small house with all her children underfoot.”  ~M. Stoddard


Even though Jacob is 11, he still has his “blue-blanket” and I love that!