Walking in Faith

The time is drawing near to say goodbye to Utah.  Our time here has been full of blessings and also many trials.  We have lived through a barn fire with huge losses, the birth and adoption of our two youngest, hubby’s surgery, traveling to National Parks and camping, the loss of some beloved pets, 4H fairs, the political scene, NCFCA Speech and Debate, our horse motel business, meeting many people from all over the world through our business, and five of us battling Lyme Disease the past 7mths.  We will never forget the time we spent in Utah.  We will miss many things here, but on the other hand we are looking forward to going back home to the green grass, trees, creeks (which are as big as the rivers out here), and our family and friends.

We are pretty much ready for the moving truck to pull in and start loading us now. 🙂 We are starting to feel the excitement of getting in the caravan and driving for almost 4 days until we arrive home. We are excited to see all of our old friends who have been asking when they can come visit us too!

The title of this blog is how I sign all my emails, letters, cards, etc.  We live our life by walking in faith and today I want to share a few more examples of how we are continuing to live this out.

Last summer, Princess 2 asked me to list her vintage doll for sale.  She said she wanted to earn money to buy some chicks.  We posted pictures of her doll and listed it on many sites. She often asked if anyone was interested in the doll, but sadly no one was.  I continued to relist it for several months and then stopped.  Last week, she came to me and asked me to please list her doll again.  She said, “I only have two dollars and I need to earn more to buy my chicks in the spring.”

I told her, “God will provide a way for you to get your chicks if you are to have them.”

Then I asked her to remind me the next morning to relist the doll.  The next morning I got up and turned on the computer.  Lo, and behold, I had a message from a lady that had inquired about the doll last summer!  This time she said she wanted to know about our daughter and wanted to buy the doll.  I wrote her back and described Princess 2 to her, along with sharing about her Lyme battle.  I shared her desire to buy some chicks this spring.  The lady then offered to buy the doll for $50!  I about fell over!  Princess 2 and I had thought that $5 would be awesome, but $50? Wow!

The next morning, the lady sent Princess 2 the money for her doll. I asked Princess 2 if she could guess how much the lady paid for the doll.  She began to guess, “$10? 20? 30? 40? 50?”

After I told her that it was $50, she said, “Fifty dollars?!  Really?  She paid that much for my doll?”  She got a big grin on her face.

“Now I can buy my chicks!” she said with happiness in her voice.

Then a few minutes later we were talking about how wild it was that the lady messaged me before I relisted the doll that day.  Princess 2 said, “Remember what you told me about God providing?  Well, He has provided!”

Love seeing how our children observe the hand of God in their lives. 🙂

Next God story is about our move.  We found a house in December and planned to move the end of January.  The closing date was set and we were ready to go.  We had our livestock transporter ready to go, moving company scheduled, etc.  when things suddenly went south and we had to move the closing date back to later this month.  We currently are waiting on test results to come back which will determine if we will be closing on that house or not.  However, these results will not come back until the day before we move.  How scary is that?  Livestock already transported, moving company already packed us all up and loading the truck when we finally get the word about if we are moving to that house we have the offer on or not.

We had talked about trying to rent a place, but no one tends to rent to a family of 10, nor do they tend to have even a few acres for us to keep our livestock.  Plus, we have Emotional Therapy dogs which may not be wanted in a rental either.  We searched, we asked friends to ask their contacts, we posted ISO ads, etc.  Nothing.  Friday came and hubby told me that we needed to make a decision by the next day if we were going to cancel the moving truck again, cancel the livestock transporter (work is paying for this, but most likely the transporters would not work for us after canceling a second time!) again, and the children and I stay back here for who knows how long until we find another house.  We continued to pray about it that day.

That night, Friday, a friend that I met when we thought we were moving to SE IN last fall, sent me a message introducing me to her friend.  She said her friend has some land and may be able to help us out.  God had connected us and now He was connecting us to one of her friends! We “talked” late into the night about her house and land for rent and about all we had in common.  It is amazing how much we have in common!  This new friend then offered to take our horses, and livestock for us until we get settled somewhere permanently!  We talked on the phone the next morning and must have talked for a couple hours!  We have so many things in common it just continues to blow me away! They have 10 children, homeschool, and more just like us! My new friend then told me that if we needed a place sooner than when her rental was supposed to be available, she thinks the lady currently renting would be fine with moving out early due to her situation.

Meanwhile, during this phone call, hubby was looking at another house which turned out to be a dud.  He had driven over 800 miles the past week looking at back-up houses for sale just in case this deal falls through on the house we are planning to buy. So, he called me after he looked at the house and I shared with him that God had now provided a Plan B for us.  We now have a place to go either way.  So, on the day that we receive the test results on the house we will know if the next day God has plans for us to drive to our new house or to our new temporary house (rental on acreage) back east. We literally will not know until less than 24 hrs. of getting in the car, which house (or hotel for a few days until the rental is available) we are driving to.  We are trusting God will show us the best place for our family to live.  We are not pushing making the house contract work.  We have stepped back and are letting God handle it.  He will let us know where we are going.  Meanwhile, we will be getting in the car soon and driving for 4 days to our new home! 🙂

The irony?  The rental house is 45 minutes from where hubby grew up!  We could connect up with many old friends there until we find a permanent place to live.

So, the livestock are heading out to two different friends’ farms for a little vacation in paradise.  They’ll think they are in paradise when they see the green grass!  Haven’t really seen that in over 4 yrs. The moving company is coming.  Hubby is coming home.  We are loading up the caravan and hitting the road.  We are coming back home! We can’t wait to hug each of our dear friends back home and sit and visit with them again.  It’s been way too long since we’ve all been together. We are coming home! 🙂

That’s the end of my God stories for today. But, I know there will be many more God stories that come out of this move. After we get settled, wherever that may be, I will blog again and share some more stories.  Please pray for our family’s safety as we travel back home. Pray for our animals’ safety too.  As for the house situation, God has it under control.  Pray if you feel led to pray over that. Actually, God has it all under control, but the prayers are very appreciated.

We continue to be walking in faith.

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God is Sovereign on This Walk

I’ve been thinking lately about what I should name my next blog post.  For weeks, ideas have floated through my head.  I had thought about naming this, “Pictures on our Walk” and share pictures that I have taken of my IV bag, of the blood (gross, right?) pooling out of my body for an ozone IV, of our new ozone machine that many people came together and blessed us with, etc., but instead today I am going to share another God story.  Of course, all of the picture ideas are part of our everyday God story too.

Steve has a former boss that he worked for in MA and out here in UT.  He and this boss, Dave, are good friends and always talk even when they are not working for the same company.  A year and a half ago, Dave took a job with a different company and things started to really go south with Steve’s work after that.  Dave thought he might have a job for Steve, but it turned out that he did not.  However, last year we had started to pack up our things in anticipation for a big cross-country move again if Dave had a job for Steve.  We packed for about 3 months and then we stopped.  At that time Steve started talking to a variety of recruiters about finding a different job.

We both had said originally that we wanted to stay here in UT, but ironically, when the possibility of moving back east to the green grass, trees, creeks, frogs, etc. came up, we became excited about it.  Then when it fizzled out, we decided to take matters into our own hands. You know how that goes, don’t you?  Well, we continued to search for a new job daily for almost a year. Then a day after we came home from the NCFCA Nationals in OK with Lyme Disease, Steve and I both came to the conclusion on our own that we did not want to search for a job anymore.  We were faced with fighting for five of our lives and major medical bills.  We could in no way afford a move at that point.  We both agreed that if God wanted us somewhere else in this world, he’d drop the possibility right in our laps. We stopped looking on the job sites, stopped talking to recruiters, etc.  We just went on with life, which was a scary battle for months.  We had to trust that God is sovereign and He would get us through this battle.

Here we are almost 5 months later, and our children are doing well with Lyme treatment.  I have come back to life again and am having more good days than bad finally. Praise the Lord!  It feels so good to have some normalcy in our lives.  Over the months I went from only being able to take a few steps in front of our house to walking almost a mile with many breaks along the way. 🙂  I went from being unable to remember things, unable to find words to speak, unable to get off the couch, unable to drive, unable to stop shaking, and so much more to remembering most things (not perfect!), finding my words again for the most part, staying off the couch most days (still have some days where I am on it), driving short distances, no longer shaking all day long, and more.  This battle for my life a second time with Lyme has given me unbelievable strength and courage in day-to-day life and for that I am so thankful .  I have always been a rebel and fighter and that is what I needed the most from my flesh to do battle with Lyme.  And most of all I needed God who carried me through. I realize I am still doing battle daily as I take another pill, do another treatment, etc., but I am alive! I am able to read books again with our children.  I am able to hear loud sounds most of the time and so much more.  Praise the Lord!

This takes us to our news today.  It began on August 30th, when out of the blue a recruiter who Steve had never spoken to, contacted him about a potential position in Cincinnati. When he told me about it, I actually said, “Oh NO!” because I did not want to go back to all the traffic and people.  I’m a cowgirl at heart and love the great span of land here. Steve told me not to worry and that it probably wouldn’t be a fit anyway, but he’d be talking to her the next week.  He interviewed with the recruiter the next week, then he interviewed with his future boss  a few more weeks later, then he flew out to Cincinnati for interviews a few weeks later, then he interviewed on the phone with some of the corporate people, then he flew to New Jersey to meet with more corporate people, and then we sat back and waited to see what they would say.  Yesterday Steve signed on with his new company in Cincinnati!  And turned in his resignation letter here.

Many of have said that we seem happy about this and you know what? We are.  The idea grew on all of us over time as we considered the move back to our home area.  We admitted that we did miss some things and people from back home.  It’s what we knew and had grown up with.  We had only shared with a few close friends back east about our potential move for the past few months. Ironically, God used them in our story too. 🙂

We are looking to downsize in acreage and house size.  We need to have more money available for medical needs and maybe to just breathe a bit once in awhile. This move should provide this, Lord willing, after we sell this house here in UT. It will be a change for everyone.  Our children have enjoyed the acreage and the space in the house, but we feel that this will be a good thing in downsizing and purging of unnecessary items.  Our children have surprised us in what they are already donating or selling to make room to live in a smaller house. We have even considered moving into a house with only two bedrooms. Yes, you read that right!  We considered doing this to keep the cost down while we waited to sell the UT house and then could add a bedroom on.  Can you imagine 10 of us in a 2 BR house?  God is in control. If we are to do this, He’ll show us a way. One of our dear friends actually sent us a link to a house that we are interested in before she knew we had been looking at it online!  Wouldn’t it be neat if that is the house we end up in?

Another friend recommended we contact a well-known speaker from Answers in Genesis who lives near the area that we are looking to move.  I talked with her and she told me about her church without ever giving me the name of it.  She did say that their pastor is a teaching pastor who works for AIG. Then a few days later I spoke with the homeschool regional rep. in the area we are considering moving and she told me about her church which has a teaching pastor who works for AIG.  It was at that point that I asked her if she went to the same church as the other speaker I had talked with.  She said they did!  Then she told me that their church also has a lot of families who have adopted in it too.  And many of them work for Answers in Genesis.  Years ago, we used to donate money towards the building of the Creation Museum and are kinda excited about living closer to it and possibly having some of our crew work there. 🙂  Back to my story, so, then the pastor of their church contacted us and asked us to come visit them and see their house as they are downsizing too.  So, Steve spent a few hours with them last month while in town on interviews.  This pastor is an apologetics man, which ironically is what Prince 2 went to NCFCA Nationals on!  You notice I am using the word “ironically” a lot? We know it is God!

Another friend has connected us with a mold inspector.  We have to avoid mold at all times due to the Lyme.  She has also found another possible place for us to look at living. She is  keeping her eyes out for medical help available to work with the Lyme. This is a dear friend who has walked me through Lyme the first time in CT and then I came home to IN and walked her through cancer.  Now, she is walking with me again. 🙂

Ironically, I had joined a wool group and posted a picture of our Jacob wool offering to split it 50-50 if someone could spin it for us.  A lady came forward who ironically lives about 30 minutes from where we used to live in IN, she homeschooled, and is a Christian! She also has offered to let us stop in at her place when we move, to water our animals!  Hoosier Hospitality!  It was no accident that we just met last week!  God orchestrated this meeting.  She also has her church praying for our move back home.

Ironically, over the past 5 months I have met a few other friends who live in my home state of IN.  One is battling Lyme same as us. A couple others are Christian homeschool families like us too.  We plan to meet in person soon. 🙂 God is good.

So, yes, we are going back home.  Yes, we are selling our house here in UT. Yes, we are excited about our move.  Please pray for our safety as we battle driving across country in the middle of winter. (Have to insert a joke here-Steve said to tell everyone that we are very attached to our livestock and that we will be taking them on vacation with us this winter, not moving!) Please also pray for my health while I spend a lot of time being “single mom” over the next few months.  Stress tends to make my health backslide and I really need to stay strong and healthy for this move.

And yes, I am still wanting to shout form the rooftops that “I am alive! Praise God!”  It is amazing to feel so much better most days!  The only way I got through all this is with the help of my Lord.  🙂 Another good thing about this move will be the lower elevation which will hopefully mean I will no longer need to use oxygen at home!

I will be leaving a piece of my heart in Utah when we move. Many memories were made here. Some dear friends who have driven us around, brought us things, and cared for us when we struggled to have normalcy in life.  I have a “family” of health care providers that I will miss immensely.  I have patient IV friends who I will miss too.  I am often told at the clinic that I am light to others and that I give them hope.  This is exactly why Steve told me one day that he wants me to continue to fight this fight because I bring hope and light to others.  It has been hard to watch others suffering as we sit together in the IV room weekly, but I have been able to share Jesus with numerous people because God allowed me to walk this walk with Lyme.  Every week when I was given an opportunity to share my faith, I was reminded that God wasn’t done with me in Utah or in the IV room. My time here is coming to an end soon because it is obviously time for my family to move on and share our faith somewhere else.  We did not make any of this happen. It was all God again. He writes amazing stories for our family!

Many memories were made here- the adoption of Seth and Joy, the loss of our barn, poultry, and 800 bales of hay and tools to fire, our children hiking all over the mountains, vacations to National Parks where we camped with extended family, the wildlife, our horse motel business where we met people from all over the world including some famous people, meeting some very special friends, being the Special Needs coordinators for our state homeschool group, raising pigs for our first time, sharing our faith daily with others, watching our children participate in 4H and win many ribbons, seeing our son speak at NCFCA Nationals and run the Cruz campaign for our county, watching our sons learn to drive, and seeing so many changes in our younger children as they grow up. I can’t keep typing these memories because I am going to cry.  Utah, you will always have a piece of my heart here.  Indiana is home, but Utah will hold a piece of me forever.  Thank you to all of our wonderful, dear friends here who have walked with us through all of our trials. YOU are true friends. We will miss you. I am certain that God has big plans for us in our next area of the country that we live.  We never tend to have dull times. Please pray that all of our family will be used mightily by the Lord wherever we land and that we will always give Him all the glory in what we do.

God is sovereign on this walk!

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Shouting, “I am Alive!” on this Walk

Just returned home from a full day of IV and oxygen therapy.  Been a long day and I am tired.  But you know what?  I am alive!!!!!!  I want to shout it from the rooftops even though right now I walk kinda like an elderly lady from doing battle all day with the Lyme. 🙂

So, my beautiful husband came to pick me up from my treatment today.  When he got there, the IV was still slowly going.  My blood pressure was so low today that it was making my blood come back into the IV tube with each heartbeat that I had.  It caused all the bags to go in very slow today.  So, we still had about 30 minutes left of the last bag when he arrived.  The internet and cable had been down all day and I had sat there alone in my room making lists, reading, thinking and praying. Just after Steve arrived, the cable and internet came back on.  They were able to pull up a show for us to watch.  Last week I started watching all the re-runs of “Cheers”.  I actually got through about 10 episodes! Hadn’t seen that show in years and years.  But, you know what? It made me laugh! I actually sat there and laughed.  They say laughter is a great healer.  🙂

So, today we watched one episode of “Cheers” and then headed out.  We hopped into Steve’s car with the windows rolled down (because he believes in spending his money on my healing he says instead of fixing his air conditioner….he actually drove through the hot summer without AC so as to keep the money flowing towards my treatments…I love this man so much!), our arms on the edge of the windows, the tape wrapped around the end of the gear shift holding it on because again, hubby isn’t spending unneccesary money right now and off we drove.  When he started the car the radio came on blaring a hit from the 80s.  He quickly turned it off .  I am sure he did this because for the past few months I have not been able to tolerate much noise in any shape or form due to the Neuro Lyme. Today was different though.  I actually felt like listening to the old 80s songs from our “days”.  There was a time in my life where I totally would not consider listening to those old “wild” songs.  I would only listen to the latest Christian songs on the radio.  You know what?  You gotta live life a little!  I grabbed the knob and turned the radio back on and up!  Yes, I cranked that baby.  We zipped out of the parking lot, two middle-aged people in-love for 30 years with each other and jammed. 🙂  My hair whipped around in my face as we drove 75mph on the interstate and I felt like we were 18 and 21 again.   It felt SO good to be alive! The sun was shining brightly down on us in the late afternoon and we enjoyed jamming to the “old days’ songs”.  Just before we arrived home, John Cougar Mellenkamp came on singing.  This is the guy from my home state- Indiana!  Steve asked if it had me thinking back to my days in Indiana.  It did. But, most of what it had me remembering was being a healthy, young girl walking 5 miles a day, playing tennis almost daily, riding bikes, and being alive.  We sang together loudly, “ain’t that America..”.  We  smiled at each other and held hands as we sang our hearts out.  Ain’t that America?

We turned onto our street and saw our elderly neighbors on their front porch who we always wave at as we go by.  We did not bother to roll up the windows nor turn down the radio.  We continued to jam out with John Mellankamp blasting and us singing along.  We raised our hands up and smiled and waved as we zipped by.  I did the” wave” (after we passed our neighbors)  out the window while we continued singing at the top of our lungs. The wind continued to whip through my hair and I didn’t care!  I just wanted to hang out the car window and shout to the world, ” I am alive!!!! I am winning this battle against Lyme!  I am alive!!!”

We pulled up to our house and sat in the car for a minute continuing our jam session. Then we got out as our children poured out of the house.  Steve grabbed me and hugged me.  I stood there all disheveled from the wind looking up at him, but smiling from ear to ear feeling like an 18 year old again. Laughing and smiling, I hung my arms around his neck and hugged him tight saying, “I love you so much”.   I am alive!  Right here and now I am alive! I know Steve has “missed” me for years and especially the past 3 months, but today he has me back if only briefly.

We often hear from others that Steve and I have a special relationship.  We have heard it since we first met on the first blind date for both of us.  Steve’s roommate in the army told him the same thing before we got married.  He said that our relationship was so special and that everyone wished they had one like us.  All we can say is God put us together and He has been the one to keep us together.  He gets all the glory in this.  We will say that having fun has been a big key to our relationship the past 30 years. 🙂  So, if you are feeling down or struggling with a relationship, you might want to go take a long drive, roll the windows down, turn on the radio to your choice of music, and sing your heart out.

Just wanted to share with you all that I am shouting, “I am alive!” on this walk! 🙂



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The Beautiful, Ugly Walk with Lyme

Yes, you read the title correctly.  This walk is ugly, but it has beauty too. God is giving us more and more opportunities to share our faith with others and be a light to them.

Weekly I have two IV and oxygen treatments.  These last around 6-8 hours these days as we add in more to my IV bags.  It makes for a very long day.  Each day that comes I hate it more and more that I have to leave our children for that length of time.  They do have their Grandma staying with them during that time and of course, their older brothers, but still I am not there. 😦   I have told Steve that I think I’ll just take the treatments once a week or stop all together because I want to be home with our crew.  His response to me? I can’t stop fighting this Lyme.  He said I am a light to others and give them hope when I share my faith. He needs me to keep on fighting he said.  I will admit that there are days that I just want to stop all of the treatments- herbs, supplements, IVs, oxygen, etc. Why can’t I live a normal life like other moms?

My normal these days?  Swollen hands from IV needles, being stuck 5-6 times before they can finally get an IV started on me which takes about an hour of our time, an oxygen tank sitting next to me at home, bruises on my arms and hands from all the needle sticks making me cringe when our children grab my hand or arm to talk or walk with me, two days a week spent with the clinic and all the people who work there, days of extreme fatigue spent on the couch unable to function very well, times of Bell’s Palsy, days of headache after headache,  days of tears over what we are dealing with,  and so much more.

The perks in my new normal days? I have some good days where I am thrilled to be able to do 2 loads of laundry and hang it out to dry all by myself!  I have days of being up and about the house interspersed between several rough days of thinking I may not make it through this disease.  I have been given opportunity after opportunity to share my faith with others and give them hope. I have been able to go to church after MIA for over a month. All of these are signs that yes, I am getting better.  Will I be all better in a few more short weeks? No such luck.  It is estimated that I am looking at 3 years of battling this.  Our sons are doing really well with only Prince 4 showing any symptoms which are very mild overall.  So, seeing our sons doing so well is a definite perk in my day!

I was told at the clinic the other day that I have an infectious smile and a glow about me.  I told the man my secret was Jesus.  I asked if he knew Jesus.  He said, yes, he was his friend. I responded that He is my Lord and Savior and that I could share many, many God stories with him of our walking in faith.

I have been given opportunities to pray for each individual clinic worker.  They have shared with me their prayer requests.

One day I sat in the lobby waiting for my turn to be stuck.  I started asking God who I should pray for. He kept directing me to one of the people who works at the clinic.  Finally, when she looked up, I said to her, “You need prayer. What can I pray for for you today?” Her eyes filled with tears and she said, “Michelle, how did you know? There is SO much, just SO much” I was able to talk with her later and share my faith.  She hugged me and told me that God had just shown her that He is always there by me knowing I needed to pray for her.

This week, it took 6 sticks before they could get an IV started on me.  It also took 3 people to do it! 🙂  So, guess what I did? They had to put me on oxygen because I was passing out, so, while they had me hooked up to the oxygen I asked what they each needed prayer for.  They each shared a prayer need and then I proceeded to start praying for each of them and the other patient in the room, while they worked on finding another vein in my arm to use.

God has made this ugly walk beautiful.  It’s not beautiful every day, but wow, I have been so blessed to have the privilege to pray for others and share my faith with them.  I was introduced the other day to one of their new patients.  She and I talked for awhile.  She is very sick and is in a season of life of needing encouragement and just some improvement in her health.  We ended our talk with me sharing, “I don’t know if you have faith, but if you do, you need to cling to God because He is the only one that can get you through this” and then I was called back for my IV. Before she left the building she stopped and said, “bye” to me.

When was the last time I shared my faith this much in a day’s time? Ages! When was the last time that I prayed for so many “strangers”? A long time.  God is working through our lives as we battle Lyme.  We always ask that others pray for God to use our family for His glory in all that we do.  I think He’s doing this. 🙂

We have been selling off worldly possessions to pay for these “fun” treatments that I do weekly.  One night Steve sold one of his tools to a man of another faith.  Interestingly, the man brought up faith and politics.  They both hit it off instantly and spent over an hour talking with each other. Steve was able to share our faith which in turn left the man saying, ” I want to talk with you more! I have a lot to think about. I am going to keep your number and give you a call sometime.”

When I mention that we are selling our stuff to pay for treatments, people often look sad when they hear this.  I tell them not to feel bad for us, because these things are just worldly possessions.  We don’t need them. We need Jesus.  God is providing for us in this walk in so many ways.

Lyme has brought beauty to my life in many ways. Yes, I still want to emphasize there is a lot of ugly, but God brings the beauty.

So, here is my challenge to you today.  Go out and share Jesus with others for a full 8 hours. See how much joy it brings you and see how many lives you can give encouragement to.  Just give it an 8 hour try. During that 8 hours, remind yourself that Michelle sits there with an IV line and oxygen going while doing this away from her family while fighting Lyme an ugly, deadly disease.  🙂 You can do it!  I love you all!  Go! Go share Jesus!

This is the beautiful, ugly walk of Lyme.





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Walking with Jesus in the IV Room

So many friends have asked us to tell them more about what Lyme disease is.  I’ll tell you this much.  It is wicked.  It is debilitating.  It is discouraging. It is painful.  It is unlike what you ever imagined going through.

On my mirror, I wrote in soap, these words a couple days ago:

Length of Treatment Currently:  3 weeks

Average Treatment Time: 3 years

Goal (mine): 1 year   (so, this might not be realistic, but I’m allowed)

I stare at these words every day.  Every day I am reminded how far I have come and how far I have to go.

In just three short weeks, I have lost what seems to me to be like 90% of my normal life. Three weeks ago I was driving sons to work and school, running errands, hiking in OK with our children in the woods, walking into buildings without feeling like I was going to pass out, able to grocery shop, and so much more.  Now I am having to ask friends to drive me places, drive our sons to work and school, spending most of my days on the couch and being thrilled if I pop up and get on the computer (we don’t have an iPhone) for a few minutes, being happy when I finally have a night where my blood sugar doesn’t bottom out and I don’t spend the whole night with chills and internal trembling, being thrilled when I don’t have “crawling” in my brain, happy to remember things once in awhile,  thankful when my hands are no longer tingling, and more.

Some have told us that they thought I’d be well in a couple weeks. No, that is not the case.  We are looking at years because this is Chronic and Acute that we are dealing with now.  It’s not my first tick bite and only an Acute case. 😦

So, while I waited in the lobby of my doctor’s office on Thursday morning after Seth’s appointment (he was bit by tick with erhrlichia which is very dangerous in the very young and elderly, otherwise known as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) with our Pediatric Lyme doctor, I leaned my head back on the couch and began to pray.  I prayed for the doctors, the receptionists, the IV guy and his assistant, and all the patients I watched walk in and out of the IV room for treatments.  Then a little while later when I found myself in the IV room, I began to share God stories- hubby’s knee replacement, hubby’s truck wreck that he shouldn’t have been able to walk away from, the barn fire, the miscarriages we went through, and more.  As I told these stories, I watched faces light up in the room and smile!  I saw hope in their eyes.  They laughed with me as I told funny parts of our life too.  One patient told me that I am obviously a very strong woman because she could never have gone through all that and survived.  I then was able to share with her that it is my faith in the Lord and that I cling to Him.  After I was stuck three times (kinda the norm. w/me because my veins are terrible…they are wanting to put a PICC line in me in a few weeks) and we finally got an IV going in my hand, we all talked some more and shared more life stories.  Most of us know so well what it is like to miss our old, normal lives, what it is like to have pain, what it is like to take zillions of supplements daily, and more. Finally, my IV treatment and oxygen therapy was done and it was time to undo me.  The IV guy told me he was gonna beat himself up over having to stick me 3 times that day.  I told him that everyone has bad days and not one of us on this earth is perfect.  I asked him if from now on we could make a deal- he pray before we try and stick me for an IV, just as I do each time.  He said he normally prayed every morning, but would agree to pray before sticking me.  I told him we can pray all day, not just in the morning.

Then I met with the doctor and an RN who she is mentoring.  She went over the high levels of mold and more in my body.  Let’s put it this way, I’ve got tons of work cut out for me over the next year (notice I did not say 3 years….you can give me that much….let me believe) fighting this stuff.  She said she was still thinking about which part we needed to start battling first and wanted me as her partner to be thinking about it too.  I sat there for a minute and then said, ” I know what we need to do.”

She asked what it was that we needed to do first.  I answered, “pray”.

She agreed and said they used to have prayer circles before surgery years ago. 🙂

I told her that they are either gonna love me or hate me while I was there, but either way I’d be sharing my faith. She patted me on the shoulder and said, “It’s too late, Michelle, we already are in-love with you.”

Earlier as I had shared with the doctor that I had been praying for each person there that day, she broke down and cried. She told be of a patient (unnamed) who was wanting to inflict self-harm on herself because her family thinks she looks “normal” and therefore Lyme should not be causing her so many issues.  Her family does not believe her and she wants to harm herself because of it.  I told her I’d pray for that patient too (have no idea who it is, but God does) and the doctor told me that she’d like me to meet her sometime because she needs encouragement through this walk.  I watched as tears streamed out of her eyes and she told she prays every night for all of us patients. Then she jumped up and said, after talking with me she knew she needed to go call her patient who was struggling so much right then and there.

Will you please join me in praying? Please pray for Dr. W, Dr. G, A, C, C, A, S, S, J, K, and anyone else who comes to mind who is suffering or working with chronically ill patients.  The Lord knows who these initials stand for.  He will hear your prayers. Please pray for them!  They are suffering so much and want so badly to be well.

We’ve been asked what others can do for us besides pray.  First and foremost, don’t stop praying, but after that you can share our links to our home businesses.  Insurance is not covering our treatments and we are working hard to not go into debt over the treatments. So, if you feel inclined, please share the links that I will post at the bottom of this post.

Also, if you feel led to help us out with putting up hay (doing that today, tomorrow and Aug. 10), cleaning, driving, etc., most likely you’ll find us accepting your help.  We hate asking for help and have had to ask quite a bit lately, but it makes it a bit easier to accept help than ask for it, you know?  Steve is working himself to pieces- putting up hay, working a full-time job, dropping off and picking up sons from school and work when he can, dealing with a flood in our kitchen and basement that is now being ripped apart (will be cooking outside on a grill for several weeks/months or eating food out of a can until we have our kitchen built back), grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions,  etc.  He literally has 50 plates spinning in the air! This guy is my super hero!  I ask that you please pray for Steve to continue to have strength and energy to care for our family. He is exhausted and I see it, but cannot do anything to help him.  Our children are amazing most days too- caring for twins, cooking, cleaning, etc.  One day Prince 4 and Princess 1 made soup and they knew that I couldn’t eat what they put in the soup.  So, while I was gone to IV therapy, they made me a special pot of soup just for me!  When I got home, they fixed me a bowl of it! I literally cried when our son handed it to me.  They thought of me while I was gone all day to the doctor’s office and made me something special. It was the sweetest gift! 🙂

Please remember that no matter your situation, you can always encourage someone else and you can always share your faith. Just like me walking with Jesus in the IV room.


Links for our home businesses:

http://www.w3657.myubam   (Usborne Books and More- we have speicals running right now, check out our FB page or ask me about them, I also can do online parties)

http://www.gloryacres.nerium.com  (Nerium International-  EHT has been a lifesaver for our family!)

Glory Acres Ranch Horse Motel- look us up on FB and share or tell others about us.  We also have business cards you can hand out. In fact, we have business cards for all of the above that we’d love for you to share with others.

Jacob wool- we have Jacob raw fleece available from this year’s shearing! Send people our way!









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It is Well with my Soul on this Walk

It’s been over a year since I blogged.  I did not realize how long it had been until I tried to log on here today.  Wow, so much in a year’s time. So much.

So, let me begin with the prayer I prayed a little over a year ago.  We were worn out from all that life had brought us in just a few short years- my health had crashed, a cross-country move back to Indiana, two miscarriages, job changes, another cross-country move this time to Utah, a new job, Steve’s massive accident, the loss of our animals and barn to a fire on Christmas Eve, Steve’s knee replacement, the loss of our dog, special blessing struggles within our family, the adoption of our two beautiful blessings Seth and Joy, the drug withdrawal that we walked Seth through, the developmental delays, the loss of our son’s dog suddenly, our oldest graduated, and so much more. My prayer? I was worn down.  I asked the Lord to please give us relief from all these tests of faith and strength.  I was tired of being the “light on the hill” to others.  I was tired of answering others’ questions about how we could continue to have such strong faith after all we had lived through. I was tired. I asked for ho-hum boredom in our lives.  Sadly, the Lord answered my prayer.

We spent the next year or so with very little “big” stuff happening. Last summer we did have 7 of the 8 children come down with whooping cough and that was a bit of a “big” thing to deal with for 2 months.  Then last winter I showed up with EBV- Epstein Barr Virus.  I had had mono in college and EBV is mostly what had caused it.  EBV hides in your body and surfaces after stressful times or in illness.  I spent a few months literally on the couch daily.  I could barely complete our homeschool lessons from the couch.  Thankfully, part of that time was our Christmas break.  However, I couldn’t even get up to help make Christmas cookies as I always did before.

Spring came and I started to recover with the help of a doctor.  Then on Mother’s Day 11 of us (including my mother-in-law who was visiting) came down with strep throat for the first time ever!  Eleven of us!  We spent 3 hours in med check on Mother’s Day.  What a delightful time, right?

I then spiraled down in health again and EBV reared its ugly head taking me to the couch again.  The fatigue was unbelievable.  I was diagnosed with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) too due to the fatigue and pain.  Fun.  I found some help again and started to feel somewhat better.  I was looking forward to our trip to Oklahoma in June.  Prince 2 was one of 90 participants invited to NCFCA Nationals to speak in Apologetics.  Pretty cool, huh? I had never been able to see him compete in any of the other tournaments for the past three years due to my health and/or being snowed in.  My mother-in-law and Steve had already seen him though.  I wanted so badly to see my son speak.  Steve asked his mom to stay an extra couple weeks so that we could all, except our oldest, go to OK for Nationals.  She agreed and we began to prepare for the trip.

Our trip began on June 18th, the day before Father’s Day. The first night we drove to Ft. Collins to camp.  We were thrilled to see tons of bunnies and hear birds everywhere. We saw green trees and fields! Oh, we were excited!

The next morning there were so many birds that they woke us up! We were not used to that many birds anymore! On Father’s Day our AC went out in our 15 passenger van that was pulling our camper trailer.  We had to drive through southern CO, NM, TX and OK without AC.  We reached Amarillo, TX that night several of us on the verge of heat exhaustion.  After living in UT for almost 4 years, our bodies had forgotten how to handle heat and humidity. One time we stopped at a rest stop and Princess 2 and I went into the bathroom and stood there wetting ourselves down at the sink as others walked by looking at us.  We shared with them our woes. I also got sun poison through my pants onto my leg from the sun shining on me all day!  This was very tough on us. We also lost a hubcap sometime during the drive and our cruise control went out!

We arrived in Amarillo, TX at 10PM.  When we were about 28 miles away from there, our children announced, “Wow, we can see the city! Look at all those lights ahead!” There were tons of huge lights!  I was shocked because I thought Amarillo was fairly small. As we got within a few miles of Amarillo, we started seeing signs that said, “Do NOT pick up hitchhikers”  and “Absolutely NO stopping! Emergency vehicles only!”  And then, we saw it.  The Texas State Prison.  So, that’s the lights we saw. Nice.  And we were driving by at 10PM with our windows down without AC. Nice.  Okay, God’s in control here. He’ll get us there safely and keep us safe. Guess where our campground was? Across the street from the Texas State Prison!!!!  That was just a bit unnerving for me!  You should have seen how fast I walked the dog that night. 🙂

By this time I had more to worry about.  Princess 1 had swelling in her ankles from sitting in the heat and humidity all day.  Our dog had refused to do her business for over 24 hours and was ready to bust, but refused to allow any busting to happen. More prayers went up!

The next morning we again awoke to tons of bird sounds.  I loved it, however, Steve and Prince 2 found it annoying. We also awoke to a big, strange bug in our pan.  We really enjoyed the Texas sunset the night before.  The green was a big topic of discussion with us again.  We were reminded of home- Indiana which some of us had not seen in almost 4 years. But, the bugs oh my! Yuck! We were done with the bugs quickly!

The third day brought us into Oklahoma where we would spend the next five days. We settled in for the night.  Steve had told me that I was to go and watch Prince 2 speak and that we’d switch off on watching the youngers for this reason. I was excited.

The fourth day came and I prepared to go in and see Prince 2 give his speech.  Steve thought all the speaking was to be done in the same building and had given me directions to that building on the college campus where it took place.  I showed up there and guess what? They told me Prince 2 was speaking all the way on the other side of campus!  And he was scheduled to speak in about 10 minutes!  I was exhausted, still recovering from all my health issues over the past year, struggling to deal with the heat and humidity which included 102 degree temps. and I had to get all the way across campus in less than 10 minutes to see my son!  Prince 2 did not have a phone and I had no way of calling him.  I stood there almost in tears as I explained to the ladies helping me that I had never been able to see my son speak in the three years he had been in NCFCA due to health issues or being snowed in.  I shared that I had come all this way just to see my son speak in Nationals and now I was about to miss him! I was ready to bawl and at the same time was so fatigued that I didn’t know if I could walk another block.  Just then my cell phone rang.  It was Prince 2! He had borrowed a friend’s phone to call me and they were passing by the building I was in!  Only God could have orchestrated that one! He told me he’d meet me downstairs.  I zipped down the stairs and just then he walked in the door. I wanted to run forward and hug him, but didn’t want to embarrass him, you know? But, he held out his arms to me and I ran up and gave him a hug with tears rolling down my cheeks.  I had found my son and I was going to hear him speak! We walked together to the car and then he directed me to the correct building.

As I sat in that room watching my son speak with such life on his topic, I was taken back to 15 years earlier when he was just two.  The Lord was calling me to Him.  He was drawing me to start reading Scripture to our children and teach them to memorize it.  Prince 1 was four and Prince 2 was two.  Prince 3 was due in another month or so.  I sat down on their bed that morning and began with Psalm 23.  I started reading it to them and asking them to repeat it back to me as best they could.  We did this every day for many days.  Finally they had it memorized and I recorded it.  As my son continued on with his speech I felt the tears fill my eyes as I was reminded of how faithful the Lord is, how He had called me to Him all those years ago and I had obeyed.  I remembered all those times when I had prayed for Prince 2, taught him Scripture, read the Bible to him every morning as we ate,  and knew that God had great plans for our children.  Tears filled my eyes as I thanked the Lord for allowing me to go on this trip and sit here and watch my son speak with such fire  and love for His word. I quickly looked down so my son would not see me tearing up.  I certainly didn’t need him to think his mama was a “nut” sitting there crying while he was giving his speech.

The fifth day brought a “camper day” for most of us.  I spent most of the day with the youngers in the camper while our van was in the shop- the brakes had gone out too. Prince 4 counted and killed 42 flies!!!  Yuck!  The youngers all went outside and found a box turtle, played water gun fights, brought a toad in that immediately hopped in my bed while I screamed, and then they sat around playing checkers and drawing while the heat of the day hit us.  I again was able to go see Prince 2 give another speech.  This time I didn’t cry and I didn’t get lost! 🙂

Unbeknownst to us, it was on the fifth day that our lives would be changed/impacted for years to come.  Prince 3, Princess 1, Prince 4, and Princess 2 invited me to go for a walk in the woods with them.  The campground had a wonderful woods with trails through it.  Our sons had already been through it once and wanted to take me on a walk.  I had so missed trees and green leaves the past four years since moving to Utah.  I was excited about walking with them.  I was feeling much better and sleeping much better at the lower elevation than back at home in Utah.  So, I decided to go.  We walked and walked.  I became very tired and sat a few times. The children were awesome about helping me along and waiting for me. I took pictures and sent them to Steve who was at Nationals during that time. It was so beautiful and I was thrilled to be making these beautiful memories with our children in God’s beauty. When we finally got back to the camper, Prince 3 found a tick on him and quickly washed it off.  Then Princess 2 found one crawling on her and we found one on the outside of the camper door.  I had forgotten to spray us down or make us wear long pants and socks on our walk in the woods!  Oh no!  Well, we had always lived in tick areas before, so, we should be fine, I thought.  I was just so happy to have spent a moment enjoying God’s creation with our children and was feeling so much healthier!

Day six brought us to the Science Museum of Oklahoma which was amazing!  I took the youngers in our van which had just been repaired.  We had so much fun and made many more memories. When it was time to leave, we walked out into the sweltering heat, piled into the van, and turned the key. Nothing. Dead. I panicked.  I called Steve who was an hour away from me.  We went back into the museum and Steve drove over to jumpstart us.  We couldn’t wait in the car due to the heat, so, we enjoyed another hour of fun.  However, we had drank all of our water except two bottles and all of our toddler food was gone!  We were so thankful to hear Steve had started the van and we could head back to the campground.  Steve followed us out of the parking lot onto the highway.  I looked down and suddenly noticed  that the speedometer was going crazy swaying back and forth (we have old cars- not digital), the gas gauge was doing the same, the horn would not honk, the flashers and turn signal would not work, and I had a sinking feeling that we were in trouble.  I tried to signal to Steve to call me. He called and was talking to Prince 3 as the van died.  The power steering went out and I had to try to get it to the shoulder during rush hour! Trucks and cars were zipping past us, Air Force jets were flying directly over us as we were in the path of the local air base, and we had only two bottles of water in that heat.  We tried calling AAA and they wouldn’t help us because Steve called using my AAA card! They said I had to personally call them!  Oh, how I love modern belief systems these days- your own husband cannot call for you! So, I called on my phone and Steve called again on his phone using his card number for AAA.  Let’s just say this much, the local AAA agency learned that I was not a happy Mama Bear and it wasn’t gonna be pretty if they didn’t get me off the interstate immediately! I also called and asked for help from the police.  I had to take Steve’s rental car with the twins and the girls and leave Steve and the boys with the two bottles of water to wait for help.  I later had to go pick up the boys while Steve waited on the van to be fixed.

I could tell you so much more about our trip, but I am growing very tired now and want to get to the heart of our story.  A few other things- we had to sit under an overpass while waiting out a tornado/hail storm/straight wind storm in KS/CO area, we met and talked w/ a retired couple from TN and it was so good to have some natural “southern” talk rolling out, we met a great conservative campground guy in WY who told our son we don’t have a president and then gave us a magnet that said “my dog is smarter than the president”. I know some of you might not find that funny, but only out here could you run into someone like that! We always enjoy talking with all kinds of people on our trips. Some of the beauty that we saw on this trip was our children playing Frisbee together into the night, sitting side by side on the camper couch (and it is tiny) watching a movie on Steve’s computer that we bought at Walmart one night, watching our children make memories and laugh together, seeing God’s beauty in the trees and in our children all at the same time. Oh, and one more thing- on the last day that we camped at a lower elevation, I played Frisbee for the first time ever with Prince 2.  He didn’t know I could play! I actually was better at it than him. LOL!  We had so much fun that morning. I was feeling so good.  I had energy. I had feelings of good health. I was playing Frisbee with my son!

The day after we arrived home, I was already in pain from the elevation and lack of

oxygen.  My health issues looked like they were going to come back again. 😦  Then Prince 4 came to me and asked me to look at a bite he had on his leg. I casually looked.  It was a bulls-eye.  I freaked out and screamed to get something to put on it right now as if that would stop what had already taken place.  I knew.  I knew what it was. I knew.  I could not protect my son from it.  I could not stop it.  I cried.  Then a few hours later I found a bulls-eye on my leg too.  Mine was worse.  How could this be, Lord? Why, Lord?  Both of us?  Why did you allow this? I thought I had asked for a ho-hum boring time. Is it over now? NO!!!!!!!!!!!  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not my son too!  NO!!!  I have been told through the years that I have had a lot of Lyme symptoms, but when I tested years ago it was negative.  I do know that the tests were not that reliable back then and it also depends on when you test as well. Prince 4 had been bit by a tick when we lived in CT years ago as a toddler, but back then I didn’t know what I know now.  No!  This could not be happening to us.

The next day brought us into a Lyme doctor’s office.  She started us on an antibiotic immediately.  She also put Prince 3 on it since he was bit, but did not have a bulls-eye. To be honest, I had forgotten what he had said about the tick.  I had thought he said it was on him and he washed it off, but he reminded me later that it did bite.  The brain fog was setting in already. The doctor said she was most concerned with me because of my immune system being compromised already.  She felt the boys would do really well and recover quickly.  She diagnosed me with Chronic Lyme.

The next few days brought me tons of pain and fatigue as I took the antibiotic. I cried a lot. Prince 3 was doing well and Prince 4 seemed to be doing well too.  Then one day Prince 4 told me that he was having tingling in his fingers, felt nauseus, and was feeling out of sorts.  It sounded just like me.  He was reacting that way because he too had Chronic Lyme, not just a new case of Lyme!  I called the doctor and she told us to both go off the antibiotic.  I decided to take one more dose because I was actually starting to feel better and wanted so badly to get better.  I paid dearly that night and have ever since.  I have been rushed to the doctor to get an IV, had my blood oxygenated, had pain, memory loss, tingling, lack of focus, almost panicky feeling, extreme nausea,  brain “crawling” feelings, tingling in my neck and face and more.  Prince 4 stood there and held my hands a couple days ago as I was going through this.  He talked me through it.  He has not had it as bad as me, but he has experienced some of the same symptoms as me on a lighter scale. He told me I’d be all right and to not panic as the symptoms took over my body.  This is our eleven year old son who prayed for his baby sister and brother to be adopted, the one who was born deaf, the one who has always been our little cowboy herding cows at age 4, and is a tough guy with a massive heart inside. This is my son who will walk this Chronic Lyme course with me.  This is my son who will pay for years to come for that walk in the woods and for that tick on his body in CT. For him I am thankful.

We also found a tick biting Seth on his head in his hair.  We have sent the tick off to be tested and will know if he too, needs to be treated for Lyme and co-infections as well. It was at this point that I broke down and wanted to bang my head on the wall.  I got mad. I yelled at God, “WHY????”  Why did HE allow our children to suffer?  Why not just me? I asked Him why we couldn’t still have some boring, down time without all the “build up our faith and share it with others” stuff.  I wanted more time of ho-humness.  But, it was time. Time for me to start sharing, teaching, and talking to others again about our walk of faith.

The next day I listened to Joey Feek sing, “It is Well” on the CD that Steve had given me as a 28th wedding anniversary gift in May.  I had followed Joey and Rory’s story and was so saddened by what she went through and yet, encouraged as well.  It was at that moment that I suddenly was able to view this walk we are going through right now in different eyes.  It is well.  In fact, it is well with my soul on this walk.  I will walk this walk because He has called me to walk it.  I will hold on tightly to the Lord through it all, because He will sustain me.

So, in case you are wondering, the ho-hum boredom that I prayed for is now officially over.  Let the faith testing and walking begin again! It’s time!

Prince 4 and I struggle with memory and focus a lot these past few days.  I feel as if I can’t learn anything new for awhile or try anything new until we get through this time of trial.  I have times of nausea that are really extreme if you ask me, but I’ve never been through this before. I have lost my appetite.  My brain “crawls” sometimes. I was told I still have another week before fevers may start to show up and if they do I need to embrace them.  Lovely.  Yes, I already had Lyme even though I didn’t know it for sure, but now that we are “poking the tiger” as my doctor says, I am gonna have one crazy ride.  The plan?  Two IVs a week for the next month or so, herbal antibiotics, supplements to support the immune system, detoxing, calming of the nervous system, possibly low-dose immunotherapy, and much more.  Insurance?  Doesn’t cover any of it.  Prince 4 will do the protocol on a lesser degree.  Prince 3 will finish his antibiotics and hopefully be free from any issues since he looks to be doing really well at this point. We are praying Seth doesn’t need to do treatment. We are still in search of that money tree. Haven’t found it yet, but we do have a God bigger than all of this that will guide us and provide for us on this walk.

Prince 2 asked me one day, “Mommy, why did you go for that walk in the woods?”.  My eyes filled with tears and I said, “Because I wanted to make a beautiful memory with your brothers and sisters that day.  I wanted to see the beautiful trees and leaves. I felt good enough to walk and I wanted to.”  And then I walked away and cried.  I cried for what we now have to face. I cried because I didn’t put spray on us that day or make us wear socks and long pants that day. I cried.

I have told the children that I am not going to be fearful for the Lord does not give you a spirit of fear.  I will go into tick areas again.  I will visit states that have lots of Lyme cases. I will not allow fear to keep me in one spot.  I am trusting the Lord all the way.

I have only begun this walk of having Lyme and being newly infected with a second case of Lyme, but I will continue to march forward with our boys.  It is scary at times. Lyme is wicked. At least now I have an answer as to why I have had so many health issues through the years off and on. Now it’s time to do battle.

It is well with my soul on this walk.








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I Saw a Beautiful Walk Today

Today I looked out my window and saw Prince 1 walking with a sweet, loving, 4 month old, 44 lbs. and already- huge German Shepherd, while he did his animal chores on the ranch.  I saw a German Shepherd walking next to our son.  Something I have not seen in over 5 weeks and it has brought me to tears.  I saw a new bond forming as I watched our son reach down and pet her.  I heard a strong bond forming as I heard him call her to him, she came, and he bent down and talked in his soft, yet deep voice lovingly towards her.:-)  Here is the story of Isabella and Prince 1.

Many of you have followed our story of Prince 1 and his daily struggles, along with the loss of his beloved Foxy.  Well, let’s back up here about 8 weeks or so ago.  I sat down and mentioned to Prince 1 in a talk, that maybe he might like to have a service dog due to some struggles he has in day-to-day life.  He immediately told me he did not need one.  He told me he would never take a service dog away from someone else who might be blind or have more struggles and that he needed to use his own brain, not a dog.  I shared some articles with him about service dogs, but he remained adamantly against one.  Then just about 3 weeks later Foxy, his beloved German Shepherd, suddenly died of a rare heart tumor that burst. Many tears were shed.  Many talks were had. I began immediately praying that the Lord would provide a service dog for Prince 1. Maybe a week later I contacted many German Shepherd breeders, sharing a little of our story and asking if they had any connection to a dog for our son.

I only heard back from a handful of breeders. One did not have any connection.  Another had a 6 year old dog available. And another said she’d ask her breeder friends. The others did not respond to me. So, we began the walk of considering the 6 year old dog.  Then it quickly turned into Aster, the 1.5 year old dog who was all the way across the country.  We thought we had “the” dog for our son found.  We began praying about how to get her here to Prince 1.  The lady could not ship her out of her local airport due to her weight. We had friends call us and wake us one morning to say that one of their friends was driving through TN, could they pick up the dog?  We tried, but failed at coordinating that time.  Then we made new friends who volunteered to drive from IN to TN to pick up the dog.  From IN, she was to go with dear friends of ours to NE, where Steve and Prince 1 would meet up with them yesterday.  All the plans were set until last Sat. morn. when I received a call from our dear friend in IN saying she had suddenly lost her great niece in an accident and her knee was in so much pain she could not drive.

Ironically, during those 3 weeks, this lady (breeder in IA) had been emailing me almost weekly that she was still trying to find a dog for our son. I had decided ( you know what happens when we don’t pray about it, don’t you?) on my own that nothing would really come to fruition with this lady, so, I basically ignored her emails!  I did respond back one time with our location and that was about it.  Well, on Sat. morn. I received an email from this lady again saying she had 2 possible situations to match up a dog with our son.  I again ignored it.  I did for “some reason” though decide to look at her website again. Once on her website, I felt compelled to look at her dogs she planned to breed in the future.  I skimmed over them, but “for some reason” stopped halfway down at this sweet little girl who had a bent ear.  I read about how her littermate had stretched the tendons and that her ear may never stand up properly.  I read that it was not a genetic issue too.  Then, I hopped off the computer.

Next, came the phone call from our friends in IN.  It took me another hour before I felt compelled to tell Steve about the email.  He told me that I should call the lady.  So, I did.  That was the first time when I spoke to my new friend, Waynelle. Waynelle said that one of the possibilities she had spoke about in the email had suddenly become not a possibility, but she did have this one dog- 4 months old, female, bent ear.  I excitedly asked if it was Isabella because “for some reason” I had just seen her that morning on the website.  It was!  Her concern with breeding her was if she did breed her in the future, people might think her bent ear was a genetic issue and judge her(Isabella) and the puppies. She would have a harder time selling the puppies. I shared with her more of our son’s story and how he has been judged many times due to some of what people see/hear with him. We talked for a few minutes and then I asked her how much she wanted for her.  There was a pause and then she said she just wanted to give her to our son.  She said we had been on her heart for the past few weeks and she wanted to give Isabella to him.

Isabella has been Waynelle’s velcro-baby for the past few months.  She would only come to her when the whole family was out with the dogs.  She wanted nothing more than to be a one-person dog and loved Waynelle with all her heart. Waynelle was making a painful decision to give her beautiful, beloved dog to our son.

So, Steve, Prince 1 and I talked it over.  Prince 1 decided that Isabella would be a better fit and she was closer to us.  Plus, we thought we could fly her out here. So, we began making plans to fly Isabella to UT.  At first it looked like all would go smoothly, but then we hit a snag- over a four hour layover in Denver.  Not good.  Neither of our families felt comfortable with this.  Waynelle mentioned she had family in WY, near Cheyenne.  She said she hadn’t seen them in 10 years.  She offered to drive almost 12 hours with Isabella and her son to meet us in Cheyenne on July 3rd, the same Friday we were supposed to meet in NE with a different dog.  Steve and Prince 1 took off on Thursday afternoon for Cheyenne.  A little after 9 PM, Prince 1 met Isabella, his new companion.  Surprisingly, she started bonding with him instantly, following him, walking with him, etc.  Waynelle said that seeing how she responded to him put her heart even more at ease with her decision to give her to Prince 1.  She knew it was the right decision.

Waynelle also got an amazing family reunion out of the trip!  She got to see an uncle who she had not seen in 12 years. He came up from CO to see her.  She saw cousins and other relatives from WY, CO and other states! They spent a few blessed hours together as family for one night.  The Lord has a way of doing these things!

Waynelle had this beautiful dog who she loved dearly and hoped to someday breed.  She chose to give her most precious companion to our son who had lost his most precious companion.  She was the feet and hands of our Lord the past two days.  She could not get us off her heart and she listened to the Lord.  We can never thank her enough for the sacrifice she made in giving us one of her beloved dogs which she had so many hopes of breeding.  Not only that, but she gave us her collar and a cage too!  But, most important of all, she gave our son a sweet companion that will love him when it seems as if no one else loves him in this harsh world. She will be there to remind him to go for a walk to get some fresh air and think/pray/breathe.  She will be there to help him feed his animals, for him to reach down and pet as he studies at his computer, to remind him that she is there counting on him daily as his permanent companion. She will not leave him.

Ironically, Waynelle just told me yesterday that Isabella comes from a line of service/therapy dogs.  Her father is a therapy dog too.  She said Isabella is extremely intelligent and would most likely make an amazing service dog if Prince 1 decided to have her trained.  Isn’t God amazing?  I had given up on my prayer for a service dog after only a week or so, because Prince 1 was so set against it. I had decided to only pray for the Lord to provide a dog for our son.  But, this morning, I shared with him her lineage and he actually said, “maybe later I will have her trained”.  I about fell over.  Only God could do all this- provide a perfect dog for our son who also comes from a line of service/therapy dogs and our son say that he might consider having her trained as a service dog!  The other dogs we were to get did not have that history in their genealogy.  But, Isabella does! I continue to stand here in awe of Yahweh.  He never ceases to amaze me.  He always provides just what we need and when we need it.

So, I saw a beautiful walk today.

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The Walk of a German Shepherd

We met Foxy about 5 and a half years ago.  As we pulled up to Foxy’s owner’s house, she came bounding out to us, barking like crazy.  I was a bit scared of her, I have to admit.  I had always loved German Shepherds, but had never had one.  Was this girl going to work out for our family?  I was slowly starting to get out of the van, when Prince 1 jumped out of the passenger seat.  Foxy ran straight up to him barking like crazy.  She stopped, smelled his hand, nudged it, and never left his side again for 5.5 years.  Her owner said he had never seen her do that before.  He was impressed that she liked Prince 1 so much instantly.

We brought Foxy home at almost age 2.  She wanted to take on our older dog.  I knew I had to get involved.  I did some studying on it and decided I would be her “mama” dog.  She started to go after our older dog and instantly I grabbed her and took her down to the deck, telling her “no”.  We laid there for  a few minutes and then I let her up.  She did it one more time to our older dog.  I took her down and again laid “on” her.  She never bothered our older dog again.  She always allowed Tiny to have first place in our family and gave her the spotlight at all times.  Foxy was always the first one to bark when someone drove up, yet, she stepped back and allowed Tiny to be in the spotlight for barking. 🙂

Foxy would lie next to Prince 1 at the dining table while he ate each meal.  She would lie outside the bathroom door while he took a shower.  She would whine if he went outside without her.  She hiked the mountains with him daily.  She slept downstairs with him at night.  She loved all of our children.  She would protect them at all times and was willing to lay down her life for them. When Prince 1 started working, she started going on hikes with our youngers.  I always knew they were safe as she would fight a snake or keep a bad person at bay if need be.  She was their guardian/babysitter while they wandered the mountains.

Foxy had her picture take for the first time professionally for Prince 1’s Senior Year Pictures.  Prince 1 kept telling me that we should save our money and not do the pictures.  Just take one ourselves he said.  I pushed back and said it was important.  I thank God I did.

Three weeks tomorrow, it happened.  I took Prince 1 to work.  On my way there, Princess 1 called and said Foxy was not acting right.  She had been vomiting.  So, I told her to keep Foxy in and I’d look at her when I got home.  By the time I got home she was downstairs where she had vomited more, but I did not know it.  Prince 2 had cleaned it up, not knowing that she had been vomiting earlier that afternoon.  Then she lay her head on the bottom step and rested there.  I went to change babies’ diapers.  Prince 3 came back and said that he had called Foxy up the stairs.  He said she had stumbled up and was now lying on her side with her tongue hanging out. She was obedient to her last breath.  I rushed in.  It looked like she was having a seizure possibly.  I told Prince 3 and Princess 1 to rub her chest, and keep talking to her.  I ran to the phone to call the vet. They yelled that she was dead.  I ran back over. Then she started to breathe again.  I ran back to the phone.  Steve arrived home from work and walked into chaos.  We were all yelling, crying, trying to save Foxy, get her to respond somehow.  No, she couldn’t be dying!  She had just turned 7.  She was too young.  What was happening? Steve  and Prince 2 picked her up and hurriedly took her to the car to take her to the emergency vet.  Then….Steve hollered in, “She’s gone.” NO!!!!!!!!!!!  Not my beautiful Foxy who was Prince 1’s dog!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I ran out to her.  There was our beautiful shepherd. Gone.  And her love of her life was at work unable to be with her in her last moments on this earth.  I hugged that beautiful shepherd and stroked her fur.  I held her paw one last time and prayed that the Lord would let her be there in Heaven to greet our son someday.  Do our pets go to Heaven? I don’t know, but I do know that the Lord knows our hearts and our desires.  I do know He loves us more than anyone else ever can.  Why couldn’t he give us our beloved pet in Heaven too? Only He knows the answer to that.

Foxy had literally died within just a few short hours of her vomiting.  What was it?  A rare heart tumor that had ruptured.  There was nothing anyone could have done to save her.

That night Steve went to pick up Prince 1 from work.  Prince 1 did not believe Steve when he told him that Foxy was gone.  No way.  It had to be a joke.  She had just been playing that morning. He came home and we showed her to him.  He petted her, scratched behind her ears, and rubbed her chin while saying, “Foxy”.  I cried and hugged Prince 1 over and over. He said he wished he had been there.

Foxy loved Prince 1 every minute of her life with him regardless of all his daily struggles, regardless that it seemed as if no human loved him.  She was there to calm him and help him de-stress.  She was there to give her unconditional love to her boy.  She would always own him in her mind. I could tell so many stories of her and her love for Prince 1.

We talked about getting a German Shepherd puppy, but Prince 1 didn’t seem too excited about it.  Then I found a breeder in TN who said she might have an older dog which she could place with us.  I showed Prince 1 the picture of the dog and his eyes lit up and he smiled!  He said, “Would she bond with me at that age if I let her sleep in my room and have a special mat? And feed her?”  “Will she live very long?” “Oh, I wish I had my driver’s license (he can pass the written test, but not the driving portion yet..please pray for him in that area) now, because I’d get in a car and drive out there to get her right now!” I could see it then.  He needed an older dog, not a tiny puppy.  He needed one that would walk beside him and nudge his hand for pats, one that would not need to be potty-trained, but already have some basic obedience training, one that would hike the mountains with him, one that would love him when no one else seemed to.  He needs a dog.

Days go by and he talks of missing Foxy’s pointy snout which he used to hold and rub.  He misses her beside him at the table.  The night Foxy died he asked if we’d let him take our other dog downstairs with him so he could feel her fur and pet her. Tears…

Finally today the breeder lady and I talked via phone.  She feels the older dog is too old to try and change environments, so, she is going to keep her.  However she has a girl who is almost 2, ironically same age as Foxy was when we got her. She would be willing to place(not sell her, but give her to us) her in our home as we seem to be a great family, have plenty of land for a dog to run on, and Prince 1 is so connected with dogs. She said the Lord will work it out on how we will get her to us. This dog’s name is Aster.  She is a large German Shepherd, already 85lbs.  She is too big to ship and she will not ship her via commercial carriers.  I told her I am trusting the Lord in that if Aster is the right dog for Prince 1 then he would work out the details from how she will get to Utah all the way down to her walking in the door with Prince 1.

So, here I sit sharing Foxy’s story with you all and asking if maybe you could be part of Aster’s story too.  We are unable to travel to get Aster for the next month or so.  We know she is being well-taken care of in TN, but would really like to get her here soon.  Is there anyone out there that is good with dogs (maybe even some shepherd experience?) who would happen to be traveling our way in the next month?  Maybe even just coming close to our state, like CO or NE or KS? Or even IA? Anyone who would be willing to bring Aster to Prince 1?  Anyone willing to be a part of the story of Prince 1 and his beloved companion for Lord willing, many years to come? If you are this person, please contact us.  We would be ever so grateful! We’d be willing to meet you halfway if that was possible too.  We’d put you up at our house if you were coming all the way out this direction.  We just need to get Aster to Prince 1 and again have the blessing of seeing Prince 1 walking the mountains no longer alone, but now with a dog at his side again.

You might ask why we don’t just go get one at a shelter.  Well, after losing Foxy, we learned a lot about what breeding in America has done to the German Shepherd line.  It’s not pretty and more and more of them are dying young and tragically, just as Foxy did.  The genetics are not good.  We cannot risk another death like this. Yes, we know the Lord is in control at all times, but we also know that He has now given us this knowledge and we need to use it wisely.  We also trust this breeder and really like her way of raising the dogs. Why is Aster available? Because she does not cycle regularly and does not look to have good reproductive capabilities.  She will not be a dog used in breeding as they had hoped. So, she is free to go to a good home.  The lady said she usually doesn’t give dogs to families so far away as she wants them to be close where she can check on them and allow them to come back to her if the people need to let them go.  However, she feels our family is trust-worthy and a good fit, so, she will trust the Lord on this one. 🙂 We are trusting Him too.  We are trusting that He will provide a way to bring Aster to us sooner than later.

If you can help us, please let us hear from you!

Update on Prince 1 since my last post: He completed his CNA certification!!! He is now a CNA!! He has enrolled for a couple classes in the fall at a local college. He continues to work at the assisted living facility, putting back money to pay for his college.  And for those of you who gave to his fund, he now has the Kurzweil!!! He uses it daily!!! Praise the Lord!!!  We are so blessed by your generosity and support in our son’s journey.  Thank you!

If you’d like to see a pic. of Foxy, go back a few posts and  you will see Prince 1’s Go Fund Me link.  She is on there with him.  Even the vet that did the autopsy on her said he and his staff all thought she was such a beutiful shepherd. If only they had seen the beauty within her too……

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My how fast time flies by. Our oldest son is graduating in a month from high school! It seems like just yesterday that he was born. Our youngest, Joy is almost 11 months old now!  Where oh where does the time go? I seem to be literally flying here and there some days.  Having three teen boys in the house changes every thing.  When our older children were young, we never missed a nap and refused to go anywhere during nap time. People would question us on it.  We stuck by it.  Our babies always had their naps at home in their beds.

Fast forward to the present and I am now one of those moms who is running her children here and there and our babies are getting naps at different times than the norm. quite often.  They still get their naps, just not at an exact time each day.  I now understand why some parents could not stay home during nap time.  I understand why some parents had to be on the road a lot during the week.  I always secretly thought to myself that I’d never have such a busy life as that.  I’d never have babies miss a regular nap time.  Those of you who know me well, know that God has always been wonderful about coming alongside me and helping me to “swallow” my words. 🙂

Our oldest does not have a driving license as of yet.  He does however have a job and is currently enrolled in his CNA coursework for another week before he begins his clinicals and sits for the exams.  This guy is amazing! He goes to class from 8AM until 1PM everyday and then begins studying and reviewing for his exams and clinicals.  He comes home and does the same thing all over again after taking time to care for his livestock and dogs. Then he gets up early the next morning and starts it all over.  This young man keeps pushing forward no matter how many hurdles he runs into with needing accommodations for testing and any other struggle that comes along.  He will not give up he says. Just last night, he brought home the notes that his Grandma takes for him in class each day as she is his note-taker.  He listens to the lectures, takes pictures of the notes put up and records the lecture.  His Grandma takes notes so that he is able to not miss a word that is said. I then type the notes out for him.  So, last night there I sat typing away at the notes when Prince 2 came along and volunteered to read the notes out loud to me while I typed.  The two of us worked our way through 12 pages of notes together.  We are an awesome team!  We are family!  We will stick together and help Prince 1 push forward!

Prince 2 spent time at the Capitol this past legislative session with Prince 1.  Prince 2 also was asked to testify before a committee on a certain bill.  He loves politics and can’t seem to get enough of it. 🙂

Prince 3 continues to write plays, act plays, put on plays, draw, animate, build with his legos, and anything else that is creative for him.

Princess 1 has started making tissue flowers, bracelets, and loves reading.  She so enjoys her horse that we rescued last fall.

Prince 4 has just finished up having croup for the first time, but he is bouncing back quite well.  He continues to be our cowboy, herding horses, goats, sheep, and cattle. He’s been doing that by himself ever since he was about 3 or 4.

Princess 2 is getting so big these days that I often think she is Princess 1!  They look a lot alike from a distance.  She has been caring for our puppies that our Livestock Guardian Dog had.  She has solely been in charge of them from the beginning and has some beautiful puppies to sell now.

Seth is doing many new things! He is standing without holding on to anything at almost 18 months.  He is saying, “Mama” and “Dada” and making voice inflection sounds.  He enjoys pointing at things and having us name them for him.  You want to know how he is doing developmentally, don’t you?  Well, to be honest, we spend so much time with him that we forget exactly how delayed he is.  However, I did meet a little girl the same age as him recently and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.  I had forgotten how delayed Seth was until I saw her.  Wow.  He has come so far and yet, he has so far to go.  Just as I am reminded that Prince 1 has come so far and yet, has so far to go.  Basically, Seth is developmentally the same age as Joy right now.  He is doing everything she is doing.  It is amazing to think that the first time I heard of any child being exposed to drugs was when I was teaching.  It was a couple years before we had Prince 1.  One of the teachers pointed out to me a child that was a “Crack Baby” to me one day. At the time he was in Kindergarten and was struggling with attention issues and social behavior.  She enlightened me on these new issues coming into the schools. My thoughts were shock that children could have been exposed to this.  I know I never dreamed that I would one day have a child that would be known as a “drug-exposed baby”.  Nor would I ever have considered becoming a parent to one of these babies on purpose back then! I’d have to have been crazy. Again, you that know me, know how God deals with me and my big mouth. 🙂 So, let’s just go back 36 months ago from now.  Steve and I were not willing to adopt a baby who had been exposed to drugs or alcohol.  We wanted a baby that didn’t not have any of those exposures and did not want a birth mom who smoked.  Now move up to about 21 months ago and God had brought us to a place of surrender.  We had surrendered what our plans and thoughts were for our child who we would adopt and we held out our open hands for whatever the Lord saw fit to do with these open hands and hearts of ours. He is in control, not us.  He knows the plans He has for us, not us.  He is our Lord! We serve an amazing God! Step back almost 18 months ago and we had researched quite a bit on drug-exposure in babies.  We thought we were ready.  Enter Seth into the world!  He spent 3 weeks in NICU going through withdrawal.  I held him every day for hours on end as I prayed for others in our lives.  We learned more about drug-exposure during his hospital stay. About 17 months ago when Seth came home, we thought we knew even more about drug-exposure.  About 6 months ago, we felt we had learned so much more about drug-exposure.  Last month we thought we were well-read in drug-exposure issues.  And today we continue to learn that we do not know all that we will know about drug-exposure until years from now. I say all this to share with you that each day God teaches us more and asks us to surrender more to Him. I have to say that this is the most beautiful walk for me to ever have walked with Steve.  I never would have dreamed of walking this walk, nor would I have asked to walk it.  But, I wouldn’t trade it for the world with someone who has not had to walk with a child or children with special needs.  I almost feel sorry for those who have not had an opportunity like us to walk this walk.  I know that sounds odd, but I have no other way to explain it. This is a beautiful walk. It has grown us so much more than anything else ever could have grown us.

And Joy? She is an absolute joy! She is such a blessing in our lives.  She has a smile that lights up the room and has this cute wiggle and giggle.  She inspires Seth to talk and walk.  She reminds him how to clap hands.  She rolls on the floor with him and plays with toys with him.  Ironically, she is very short as well.  So, she and Seth are almost the same size, as well as being at the same place developmentally as well. I often wonder what it would be like for Seth if he didn’t have her as his sister. I wonder too, will she speed ahead of him developmentally and if so, how will he handle his struggles in life? I think about how she will walk beside Seth as he jumps each hurdle.  I think about how the two of them are so close and what a blessing it is to have both of them in our lives.

I wish you could know the struggles that we go through constantly. We have people who are very kind and helpful to us with our special walk.  We also have people who ignore our special walk or treat it as if it is a walk in the park and that we should be doing so much more outside of our family in different groups and organizations.  We’ve come to realize again and again that  until others have walked this walk, they will never understand the pain, the concerns, the struggles, the exhaustion, and the loneliness that come with this walk We will continue to reach out to others in similar situations and try and help educate people on some of what it is like to love a child with special needs. I wish you could see how much God has changed us because of this walk.  If only you knew.  We are so blessed to be walking.

We will continue walking.

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The Encouragement Walk

Since I posted a few weeks ago, our son (Prince 1) has been through a lot.  We had no idea that when he went off to a Speech and Debate Tournament in Colorado that we’d all be left with a bitter taste in our mouths.  This was a Christian, homeschool function.  Steve and our two oldest sons traveled there and were gone for 5 days.  During that time at the tournament, our son (Prince 1) repeatedly tried to join the circles (cliques) of 46 students attending the tournament.  Each time, they would slowly turn their backs to him and he would be left standing alone on the outside of their circle.  He resorted back to saying in appropriate things, which he took up after moving here and trying to “fit in” to find a friend. This only made things worse for him.  The whole event ended with him not placing in the finals and playing the piano in another room alone while the rest of the group cheered and handed out awards to everyone.  Sadly, they thanked every single parent by name for their help, except Steve who faithfully took out their garbage every few hours, ran to the store for food, and served food to the judges throughout the whole tournament. When Steve called me choked up at how the other students were treating our son, it broke my heart.  Steve is not one to cry, but for him to choke up over how Christian, homeschool students are treating our son, it’s pretty bad.  We know that not all children have been taught how to accept others even if they seem different or talk about things that are not appropriate, but most all 46 students do not know this?  From Christian homes? Even I as a non-Christian growing up was taught to be kind to others. So, it was a tough time for our whole family. Our son is brilliant, but due to some struggles people do not always know/see this in him.  It is my passion to share with others and educate others on special needs and how to work with, teach, reach, and love others with them. Please pray for Steve and I to be a light to others in this area. Thank you to all of you who have so kindly given to our son’s Go Fund Me account.  I have not told him about it yet, but did share with him when he received a sweet gift towards his technology needs!  He was shocked.  His response?  “Are you sure it wasn’t for someone else?” “Really? For me?”  “Who would want to give me something like that?  I was able to remind him again that God provides and He will continue to do so as our son follows His lead. So, whoever you are, you do not know how much it means to us that our son is now much closer to being able to buy the Kurzweil and scanner so that he may read books almost as fast as others.  🙂 We thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts! What kind of technology does our son need?  Well, after 10-12 hours of testing with public schools and privately (we needed to do this to request extra time for him to take the ACT college entrance test), it has been recommended that he get a Kurzweil and a book scanner (one that scans fast) that can copy the book pages and then convert it to speech for our son to “read”.  The Kurzweil highlights the lines as they are being read, so that our son can follow along with his eyes (visual) and hears (auditory) the text being read aloud.  This will allow him to read books almost as fast as others, but not quite as fast. It is also recommended he get an iPad so that he can use special flash card apps. to learn/memorize his vocabulary words, dates, etc. for his CNA class/exam, for the ACT, and for his college classes.  Our family does not have internet connections on our old phones, so, that is another thing that he needs to plan on getting as well.  I looked at the prices on those recently and it looks like he is looking at between $250 and $500 for one iPad. Are we buying all these things for him? No, we are not.  We’d love to, but we do have medical bills we are still catching up on from Seth’s hospital stay last fall and Joy’s visits with the specialist last fall.  Not only that, we are still playing catch-up from our barn fire in many ways and of course we just adopted (debt-free) two babies in the last year.  🙂  Oh, and don’t forget that we do feed 8 children, clothe them, etc. while paying our day-to-day bills of gas, electricity, house, etc. 🙂  No, we are not poor, but we do not have the extra money to buy all these things for our son. He knows this and is totally okay with this.  All of our children have known all along if they want to go to any kind of schooling after high school, they will have to pay for it themselves.  Some people think this is our obligation to pay for.  It is not.  At that point our children are adults and if they want something bad enough, they will find a way to pay for it. Both Steve and I paid for our college educations.  I did have the first two years of my college paid for by my parents and let me tell you, I did not study as hard or do as well those first two years as I did with all the other years of my degrees when we paid for them ourselves!  Suddenly, it meant so much more to me if my money went out the door. 🙂  So, we know that God will provide the means for our children as they need it. Prince 1 continues to work as a CNA-in-training right now to bring in money to pay for his college in the future and buy his technological gadgets. An area you could pray for our son in, is his upcoming CNA exam.  He is very nervous about it.  The state of Utah will not allow you to work past 4 months as a CNA in-training.  At that point, you need to have passed the CNA exam or you are out of a job until you do pass the exam.  The 8 week course is being pressed into 2 weeks of reading and learning from two text books, along with clinicals.  Our son is having to study now before the class even starts.  He has found one of the textbooks online and is listening to it daily, along with taking practice tests.  He knows how desperately he needs this job to be able to pay for his college and technological needs.  Please pray for him to learn well and do well on the exam. How does he like his new job? He loves it!  He comes home smiling and happy.  He enjoys helping the elderly at the assisted living facility!  Sadly, many of the people he works with literally hate working there and show it in their attitudes.  My husband walks in at night to pick him up and they just give him nasty looks and don’t even say, “hello” to him.  😦 The other night he(Prince 1) asked the CNAs if he could clean the two toilets that had needed cleaning for awhile.  They told him go ahead.  He did clean both of them.  I told him I am sure the families of the residents appreciate his work ethic! So, he is enjoying his first job! Each day we try to encourage all of our children in their walk. Our prayer daily is that our children will love the Lord with all their hearts, that they will give glory to Him in all that they do in life, that they will marry spouses who are strong Christians, and raise their children for God’s glory.  We pray that our family will continue to stand strong in our faith and that we may be a light to others in this world. Daily, we are on the encouragement walk.

P.S. I just want to add to this post that we are helping our son with his technological needs as best as we can at this point.  All purchases of Usborne books through my link, gives our son my profits towards his technological fund, plus any extra funds we come across.  After I wrote the above post, I thought I better clarify that we have not thrown our son to the wolves, but are walking alongside him helping as we can.  We are still not paying for his college education, but yes, we are helping him as best as we can with the technological needs. 🙂 Most importantly we continue to pray for each of his needs and encourage him in this step into adulthood. 🙂  And he is doing amazingly well!

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