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catching up

I know that many of you follow along on Facebook and have kept up to date with our family there over the past few months.  Thank you for journeying with me.  For those of you who don’t and have written to ask me for updates and photos, this is for you.  I thought I would share a few photos and happenings in our family over recent months.

It’s been a busy, busy season for us. I cannot even believe that it’s almost May already.  Another school year has flown by and we’re already looking ahead to goals and some changes for the next school year. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that Kael and Hailee are both heading for middle school. Crazy!

Sweetest Kael turned thirteen recently.  He is the sixth teenager in our home.  Kael has grown so much over the past year.  He is ten pounds heavier than he was last summer and has finally outgrown most of his clothes.  What a sweet and priceless blessing this little guy is to our family! His laugh is contagious and he is the most easy going kid around. He goes with the flow and rarely gets upset about anything at all.  On someone’s lap is his most favorite place to be.

Connor is nearing the end of his high school career. This week he presented his senior thesis.  He did so well, and we are so proud of the young man he has become. I am going to miss this guy something awful when he moves on and follows God no matter where He leads. Connor’s still in the process of praying through some tough decisions regarding his future.  Of one thing I am certain…God holds Connor’s future in the palm of His hand and that is enough.

My sweet Hannah-Claire will be celebrating her fifteenth birthday this summer.  She has grown into such a beautiful young lady–on the outside and the inside.  As she completes her first year of high school, we are so proud of her hard work and diligence in everything that she puts her hand to. Hannah-Claire works so hard and never, ever gives up. Precious young lady!

My handsome men. I love these guys more than words can ever say.

Sweet Haven continues to grow and blossom and learn new things.  She has come so far, this beautiful young lady. She is still completely non-verbal and unless God does a miracle in her life, she more than likely always will be.  Haven is so happy and content in her silent world.  She lets us and everyone else in her life know her needs in her own unique way.  And that’s perfectly okay. We go at Haven’s pace and help her to become the best that she can be.  She is fearfully and wonderfully made….just the way she is.

The three littlest darlings of the family are all blossoming in every way!  They have had an incredible school year.  At their recent IEP meetings, I could not help but be a little tearful over just how far they have all come this year.  Each of them has astounded us with how much they are learning every single day.

Harper has a large vocabulary and is a little sponge. She picks up things super quickly and loves to learn. Hailee is learning new signs often–something we wondered if she would ever do.  She loves asking for things. But her most favorite sign is “more”–especially if it involves food. Kael has gained so much strength over the last year. He is now able to walk much farther distances on his own and is a little man on the move. He has also mastered the skill of self-feeding, which is a huge accomplishment for him.  OK, so it’s not the neatest experience, but he’s doing it!

This is one of my most favorite photos–my three little loves excitedly waiting for the bus before school. Two years ago we agonized over what the right thing to do was regarding their learning and how to help them each to become as independent as they could be.  It was such a hard decision.  As we near the end of their second year in the school system, I can confidently say that it was the very best thing we could ever have done for them.  They have thrived under the loving care of the most amazing teachers and staff at their school. For that, I am so crazy thankful.

Connor turned eighteen this month.  Where in the world does time go?!  It truly feels like yesterday that we welcomed the tallest baby the hospital had ever seen born there. Today he’s nearly 6’4″ and will soon be embracing a new season in life as a young adult. I can hardly wait to see what the Father has in store for him. And his little sister?! Well, she will miss him something crazy when he leaves our nest.

My Kellan spent his winter doing what he loves to do the most in life.  He absolutely loves snowboarding and has some crazy, fearless ability.  His weekends are spent jumping a little higher and going a little faster.  He’s my adventurous, adrenaline-seeking teenager who ensures that my prayer life is never neglected.

This boy brings so much joy into our home with his quirky sense of humor. As he enters his junior year in the fall, I am so mindful of how quickly times flies and how precious these last two years of high school are. I don’t want to miss a single thing.

Looks just like his Dad, this boy!

Our sweet, beautiful oldest child turned nineteen in February.  A new creation in every way! Hasya has recovered from spine fusion surgery better than anyone thought she would.  She has astounded her surgeon with her strength, her courage, and her ability to fight even the toughest fight. After a difficult few weeks post-surgery where she lost quite a bit of weight, she is finally back to her pre-surgery weight and is doing so amazingly well.  This girl amazes me every day. She is just absolutely delightful in every way.

My sweetest Cade is growing up so quickly.  He is quickly approaching his thirteenth birthday.  How Cade adores his little miniature fainting goats!  He’s convinced that he will some day become a goat farmer. And what a good one he will be! Cade is growing up to be such a tender-hearted pre-teen who loves his family more than anything else in the world.  Home is his most favorite place to be and traveling anywhere else is never, ever a priority.

Rosie and Kobe sure are two very spoiled little goats who adore their owner.

I can’t possibly forget the newest addition to the family. Zuma came to live with us last December.  We lost a beloved horse unexpectedly and his partner, Scout, who had been with him for many years was so lonely. Because God cares so deeply about the things that we care about, He showed us a sweet little miniature donkey who urgently needed a new place to live. Zuma has been the most perfect addition to our family. He is fabulous with our children and loves nothing more than to be loved and cuddled. He has the sweetest personality and we could not love this silly little donkey more.

I’m not quite sure how I got here, but I celebrated my big “45” in February.  I got thoroughly spoiled by my husband and precious family.  It’s been 45 amazingly blessed years, and I am so thankful for every journey, every road He has led me down, every valley and every victory the Lord has given me. I am so enjoying my midlife years.  My most precious teenagers are growing up and I am loving the more mature relationship that comes with children entering their young adult years. And I’m counting my blessings that we still have these beautiful younger children to ensure that our arms are never empty and hugs are aplenty. As I looked back on 45 years, it was with a heart of so much gratitude for the favor and the faithfulness of the Lord in my life. He has been so good to me.

Thank you for the many notes I have received checking up to see how we are.  It means so much.  The Lord has been so good to us in this season.

My love to you all.