Monday, February 10, 2020


Holidays are pretty special around here.
Christmas - tree cutting, fondue, cinnamon rolls, the tradition of it all.
4th of July - the Georgetown parade and fireworks.
Thanksgiving - a Thanksmas dinner at the Stuckys.

Birthdays though are a HUGE deal.
On their birthday, I want my kids to feel like the most important person alive.
Every year, I hang streamers in their rooms and dining room.
The table is decorated with the theme they have chosen.
A homemade cake of their choice serves as the focal point.
They get to choose the entire menu for the day.
Presents.  Balloons.
Activities - parties - friends - outings.

I even started celebrating 1/2 birthdays when they were young.
It began with a 1/2 birthday cake.
After awhile, we grew tired of eating cake, so now, they get to spend $5.00 at Starbucks or at the grocery store buying a treat.

It's been difficult being married to someone who does not have the same commitment to making one feel loved on their birthday.
This year, he simply never got around to buying me a present or planning anything special.
On the evening of February 7, Sawyer told me that "dad didn't get you anything for your birthday."
I fell apart.  Tears.  Heartache.
I hoped he was kidding, but he was not.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time.  There have been other forgotten birthdays and Christmases!

At 7am, Sawyer was up hanging streamers and blowing up balloons for me.
He knew I was heartbroken.  He got it.
Liberty baked a cake for me.
My mom planned dinner and presents at Shawn's
My sister decorated her home for me.

Meanwhile, a day later, an apology has still not been given.
Recognition for his mistake has not been recognized.
While I don't expect him to change, I do hope that one day he will see how his lack of planning and thoughtlessness is so very hurtful.

I love my husband.
I am so very blessed to be married to him.
My great hope is that he will also feel blessed and desire to show those feelings in practical ways!
Another hope is that God will heal this sad heart of mine.
I pray that He will continue to be all that I need and that my identity will genuinely be found in Him.
It doesn't seem too much to hope that my husband will remember my birthday, but that hope has led to great heartache.  I have yet to figure out how to guard against that pain.

Monday, January 6, 2020


As 2019 has drawn to a close and 2020 is now upon us, I thought it would be a good time to start blogging again!  Considering it's been 3 years since I've written ... here we go!

I am thankful to have 2019 behind us.  It was a difficult year for many reasons, but the Lord has been good to us despite the challenges.

Looking ahead, we are praying that the Lord will open the doors to approve our lodging request.  This process has been LONG and tedious.  We first applied in September 2015, only 6 months after we purchased the property.  Unfortunately, we were denied in May 2018.  We put our appeal through in April 2019.  Now, months later, we are on the edge of submitting paperwork.  Once submitted, the hearings will take place relatively quickly.  It is our hope that we will have an answer by our 5th anniversary, April 1st.

There is also much change surrounding our homeschooling journey.  We made a huge change in 2019, as we left CC after 8 years.  It's been a challenging change to say the least.  While we continued with Homeschool Etc., we started doing My Father's World at home.  It is an excellent curriculum, but trying to do work at home 5 days a week is more than this mama is up for!  After much prayerful consideration and many conversations with friends and family, we have decided to enroll all four kids in a 3-day a week private/ homeschool program.  Journey Academy was started by Andie Davidson and Merinda Voorhees, two mamas I love and respect dearly.  The opened their doors in the fall of 2019, after they also left CC.  What is Journey Academy you might ask?
It's a Christ-centered, inquiry based, socratic, and self-governed school.  There are three main elements to the day: morning launch times, involving a socratic discussion, core skills, and afternoon learning quests, where they work as a tribe to complete these quests.  During core skills, students are encouraged to pursue learning paths that interest them, instead of parent directed courses.  My older two will be taking early college classes through Calvary University.

One more huge hurdle we are facing this year is with my sister's health.  She was diagnosed with carcinoid, along with a compromised heart valve: tri-cuspid regurgitation.  While she is receiving treatment for the Carcinoid, a heart surgery is still on the horizon!  Shawn is such a huge blessing in our lives.  We know the Lord's hand is on her life and He knows her future.

It is with a prayerful heart that I enter 2020, trusting that I will draw near to the Lord through all of these changes and challenges!

Friday, December 30, 2016


We have chosen a name.

Attracting others to draw near and encounter the love of our Savior.
Drawing near to our Savior, as He beckons us to come.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -  Hebrews 4:16

We bought the domain name
 - — which is now under construction!
We have a logo.
We are merging our Facebook pages ... and renaming it.

We have our first 2 events on the calendar.
February 10 - a Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Ball
March 4 - Ladies Brunch

The next adoption retreat is scheduled for September 15-17.

I'm super excited about the future of this ministry ...
and the use of the Red Barn to host many events!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christi Whitekettle

Look who came to visit us!

Christi is still working in Rwanda with Azizi Life.
She was up here in Evergreen visiting friends and came over for the day.
It was so nice to see her and catch up!

Although the face of Azizi has changed some, with Tom married, living in Kigali, and expecting baby #2, and the Rwandans stepping up to run and manage the work being done ... it's encouraging to see their growth.

Our conversation gave me more resolve that rebranding is right where God wants us now.
New name.
New direction.
New focus.

I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I know this is right and we will walk in it.

Civil War Ball Dress

Princess Shiloh learned about the Civl War Ball about a year ago.
It's become an obsession, or a dream.
She can't stop talking about it.
I, on the other had, was dreaming about how much a dress would cost!
The registration fee was only $42.
Dresses online, for that era, were about $300.

Then, I had a brilliant idea.
My dear friend, Melanie Hutchinson, used to create costumes.
After living in India for 10 years, she has now moved to Loveland, CO.
In fact, we attended 3 craft shows together this year and have had such fun together.
So, I asked her.
She first came December 12-13 to choose fabric and sew the bodice.

She came back December 26-27 to complete the dress.
Melanie is an artist!  This dress is perfect.
Shiloh looks lovely!
The Ball is January 14th and she's ready to go!

Monday, December 26, 2016


It was a lovely Christmas!
This year, Flatirons held Christmas Eve services.
We had our fondue dinner at 3pm, so we could leave early enough to get to the 6pm candlelight service on time.

Then we came home, and as usual, the kids got to open a couple presents.
And Steve opened up the Santa Tracker ... wow!  That man can fly!  =)

Christmas morning, which was Sunday this year, found us awakens by our little dumplings about 6:45am.

Cinnamon rolls.

Puppies' first Christmas.

Himes arrive about 2pm.

Naturally, there were many toys to be played with, Lego sets to be built, clothes to be worn.
It was a lovely Christmas this year ... with little stress and no conflict!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Scott, Kaitlyn, and Zach

We just got home from Anchorage, Alaska.
We flew out on Friday morning and got home last night.
I wish I could say we went for fun but ...

On Wednesday the 7th, the kids got home from Awana, when Landon came into the kitchen and said that Scott was missing.  Steve was on the phone with Kneil Novak, who was telling him about Scott, Kaitlyn (14), and Zach (13), who were flying from Port Alsworth to Anchorage.  They had left at 10:30am.  When Kneil called, it was 6pm Anchorage time and they had not yet arrived.  Search parties had gone out, with hopes of finding them.

By the 8th, it was assumed that their plane had crashed in the Lake Clark area.
Port Alsworth is a bush village of only 200 residents, 150 miles southwest of Anchorage.
There are no roads that lead in and out.  Airplanes and boats are the only mode of transportation outside of Port Alsworth.
Josh, who is now 19, has been living in Anchorage, attending University of Alaska.
Sam, who is 17, is a senior in high school.  He was playing in a state volleyball tournament.
Scott, Julie, Kaitlyn, and Zach were flying to watch the game.
The plane Scott flew in could only seat four.
With the two kids and the pilot, there was no rom for Julie who ended up on a commercial plane.

The search found three wheels from the plane, a duffle bag, a propane tank, the passenger seat, and Scott's glove.
Eric Wardell was a part of the search.

Although Steve and I have all but lost contact with Scott and Julie, this news was devastating.
I have been crying for days.
It seems unreal.
It seems impossible that they are all three gone.  Forever.

With the celebration service scheduled for Sunday the 18th in Anchorage, my first thought was to have a simultaneous service here in Colorado.
But Steve felt that he needed to go.  If he was going, so was I.
Thanks to my mom, who had points on her credit card for a plane ticket, we only had to buy one ticket for $630.  Dad gave us another $200 to cover meals.

Having dreamed of going to Alaska for longer than I can remember, it was incredibly difficult to be going in the dead of winter for a funeral.
I'm so glad that we went.  We needed to be there.
It was nice to see so many old friends.
We stayed with the Lemans, had breakfast with the Wardells, and dinner with the Anders.
We got to see Mr. and Mrs. Blom, the Lorenzens, Maggie Feldt, and the Novaks were there too.

Steve wrote his thoughts and reflections on Scott's life.
They were certainly good friends back in the day.
It's not easy to say goodbye!

It's been said there are two kinds of people: Takers and Givers. Scott Blom was a giver. And he didn't just give his money or possessions; he gave himself- his time and his heart. And when you were in the company of Scott Blom, the relationship was primary. No doubt he wanted to enjoy whatever the activity was: hunting, fishing, making coffee, smoking a pipe or cigar, taking in a baseball game or joking around, he was all about having fun. But make no mistake relationships were first. His relationship with God, his wife & family, his friends, his ministry, his outdoor surroundings .... he was engaged and living in the moment.
Scott and I met at a Campus Crusade meeting in 1992. Friendships spanning 25 years allow for a lot of memories: bible studies, retreats and conferences, trips to a friend's mountain cabin, Row 20 Seat 10 at the old Mile High stadium for Rockies games, fly fishing near Bozeman, camping near Seattle, being best man at his wedding - and he at mine, ministry at the AFA, ski retreats, conversations over coffee and too many memories to list. All were special and I will cherish each one.