PCS Mind Games

“Where will we be this time next year?” I tease my husband as we relax in our backyard surrounded by lush greenery,View full post »

A Letter to All Visitors

Dear Visitor at My Front Door, Hello and welcome to our home! Let me push these dogs and children back inside while IView full post »

Lessons Learned in a Missionary Position in Costa Rica and the Importance of Being a Jackhammer

A tropical breeze gave movement to the sheer curtains as I entered the dark bedroom in search of love’s embrace. AView full post »

Notes From a Plane

The following was written on a recent flight as an anxiety coping strategy.  Enjoy my emotional breakdown and enter atView full post »

FitBit Shaming

“Oh, FitBit. Where have you been all my life? Come on over here and let me strap you to my wrist, so we can makeView full post »

Twins and Talkeetna

Series submitted for Memoir Writing class at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies The sun isView full post »

The Dental Walk of Shame

Disclaimer: In no way does our dental experience extend to all dental experiences, nor should it be used to stereotypeView full post »

5 Tips for Travels to NYC with a Teenager & Avoiding Jail

This past summer my freshly 16 year old daughter and I spent a week in New York City soaking in Broadway shows andView full post »

Breathe in calm, breathe out smile

The piercing continuous alarm disrupts my thoughts as a forkful of spinach omelet travels from my breakfast plate to myView full post »

Morning Anthem: Screams from the Circus

This essay centers around our twin boys, whom we adopted at the age of 2. They suffer the effects of cytomegliovirusView full post »

The Day My Heart Stopped Beating

The day my heart stopped beating was a beautiful Sunday. We went to the 9:00 service at Christ Church, my husband and IView full post »

Losing Sanity While the Water Rises, Part 3

A series on our family’s journey during Hurricane Ike in Pearland, TX in 2008. To read Part 2, click HERE. DayView full post »

Losing Sanity While the Water Rises, Part 2

A series on our family’s journey during Hurricane Ike in Pearland, TX in 2008. To read Part 1, click HERE. DayView full post »

West of Home, South of Sanity

Losing Sanity While the Water Rises

I’ve started writing this post many times over the past year with plans to publish it here on the 6th anniversaryView full post »

Sharing a Month of Mabel Part Five

If I sit here very still, maybe my forever family won’t notice and I can go on vacation with them. #lifewithmabelView full post »

Allen’s “A” School Graduation USCG

Just ten short weeks ago, I dropped Allen off in Yorktown, Virginia for his “A” school training with theView full post »

Sharing My Summer Adventure Part One

Earlier this summer, I vowed to live outside my comfort zone. I also made promises to my three oldest children forView full post »

Sharing a Month of Mabel Part Four

I was working hard this morning while Mom was working hard in her office. Why, then, is she not speaking to me andView full post »

I Have a Confession: It’s My 40th Birthday

Today is my 40th birthday, which means I’ve had ample time to get my act together. However, full confession,View full post »

Sharing a Month of Mabel Part Three

The humans in my forever family think bribing me with my favorite treat will calm me down. Silly humans. But I’llView full post »

And the Porcupine Jumps

After my extremely revealing and personal post yesterday, I’ve received many comments, texts, messages and phoneView full post »

Caring For & Loving Porcupines

A dear friend suggested the title of my first book be “Caring For and Loving Porcupines” after I vented toView full post »

Me & Father’s Day

Many knew him as Carl, some knew him as Dad, but I knew him as my Pepere. When I think about Father’s Day andView full post »

The Start of Summer for Circus Vorholt

THIS is usually indication that summer has arrived for our family: the discard of clothes and shoes as little boys makeView full post »

Sharing a Month of Mabel – Part 2

As I enter the living room, I notice the couches covered in dog hair, the cushions pushed astray and the lamp shadesView full post »

Me & Mother’s Day

I’m not a fan of Mother’s Day. Even as a mother of five wonderful children and wife of a sweet man who has made sure inView full post »

Sharing a Month of Mabel – Part 1

“Let me show you something,” I offer my husband as I hand him my phone. On the screen are a pair of bloodhounds,View full post »

The story of a knight, a princess and a castle | West of Home, South of Sanity

During the years my husband and I dated, we would write letters every day we were apart. To make it entertaining, myView full post »

Morning Courage | West of Home, South of Sanity

My brain is hauled away from restful slumber by the sound of plastic wheels being dragged across a hard floor above myView full post »

Sharing a dancing moment

After a week spent in California with some amazing photographers and artists at Adventure Always, I followed through onView full post »

Surf’s Up | West of Home, South of Sanity

Life with special needs children can limit the activities your family can do. Hiking, for example, isn’t reallyView full post »

Special Needs, Special Treatment | West of Home, South of Sanity

Thank you to all of the a$$holes who fraudulently used Disney’s disability policies. You have now made it evenView full post »

Sharing Our Grandparent Story | West of Home, South of Sanity

Grammy, or Grandma as Matt calls her, is one of our best cooks. For Labor Day, we were together at her home forView full post »

Sharing My Son’s Story

My oldest son, Allen, entered the United States Coast Guard on Tuesday, June 19, 2013 in Houston, Texas. He was swornView full post »

Sharing My Own Story

Circus Vorholt: This is our self-proclaimed nickname for our family. We feel like a circus as we juggle the joys andView full post »

Driven to the End | West of Home, South of Sanity

On our third morning in Miloli’i, we woke late and enjoyed a slow morning of packing and cleaning the rentalView full post »

Sinking heart

Our second day in Miloli’i began with a slight wind and warm sun. Taking advantage of sleeping children, I set upView full post »

Night marching like the natives

After spending time with Jess as she met her paternal birth family, Allen, Emma and I headed to our beach house rentalView full post »

Picking through the pieces

Arriving in Hawaii felt familiar for 3 of us. The 4th didn’t remember her first visits to the islands andView full post »

Writing, Public Showers & Parenting

How and why do I write? Living in this large family provides many moments that are meant to be shared (for good reasonsView full post »

If you give a teenager a shopping list, chances are…….

he’ll ask you which store to go to. When you tell him which store to go to, he’ll ask for your car keys,View full post »

RAD Reality TV

I believe when you put your story into the world, it will touch someone. I use this blog as a vehicle for our story,View full post »

Top 10 Favorite Kid Quotes of 2012

“Hey, Allen! Come here! Need your wrench!” says Matt after I tell him he needed an Allen wrench for hisView full post »

Cookies & Calmness

Baking is a tradition for some, harkening back to a favorite dish grandma prepared each Christmas. Baking can beView full post »

Yesterday, I hesitated. Today, I booked the tickets.

When the idea comes to you, you search for the avenues of possibility. You also waste time trying to convince yourselfView full post »

Ho Ho Hugs

We completed our family evening outing last night with a trip to Barnes & Noble. As Allen tweeted, “Only inView full post »

Thanksgiving Steaks

Our last Thanksgiving as a family of 7 occurred 3 years ago in Virginia as a situation of need rather than tradition.View full post »

Sharing My Family’s Story

Project.12 The opportunity to capture my family each month and share them with you. Each session inspired by aView full post »

When Life Gets Scary, Make Fake Blood

As a family who faces daily challenges and life struggles, we have developed strategies to overcome our obstacles.View full post »

Tears and tears

It’s Allen’s senior year of high school. It’s also my 360ish days of reflection of raising thisView full post »

The Definition of Outrageous

A few weeks ago I was reading to my older kids from Brene Brown’s latest book Daring Greatly and shared withView full post »

Super Family Powers

We are often on the receiving end of comments such as, “You are amazing. You are inspirational. You are likeView full post »

She’s not a fish

I’ve struggled with writing this post for several weeks. Then I decided to wait for an update before publishing.View full post »

Seeing Fate When Flying

As I sat down next to the woman on my 2 hour flight to Atlanta, I could sense there was a struggle. I wasn’tView full post »

Call Me Maybe & Other Tales from the Dark Side

Have you ever wondered what happens when you call a special needs (SN) parent and tell them their child is sick orView full post »

The Loss of a Good Story

I’m lowering my cone of safety on this one. No judgements allowed, only an intake of information. We left ourView full post »

FIRE – family in reality explosiveness

Here’s the thing, no one likes negatives. When someone asks the loaded “how are you?” question, theyView full post »

How Marvelous and Frustrating is My Life

Every time I sit down to write here, I get distracted and the day ends. Distractions in my life come in many forms, butView full post »

First Point

As I watched Jessi close the garage door while tossing something in her mouth, I ran through the scenario, hoping IView full post »

We Survived

Our year of hell, I mean GEO bachelor tour, is officially over. Our time with cutters has also come to an end withView full post »

Commencements as a kick-off

At the start of each summer, I scour YouTube for commencement speeches during long drives. I find inspiration, theView full post »

feeding tube finally!

Nick received his feeding tube on April 4th after 2 months of being fed by an NG tube. Seeing him in the recovery room,View full post »

Karma and Coldplay

Allen, his friend and I went to see Coldplay perform this week here in Houston. We saw them at The Woodlands a fewView full post »

Happy Dad’s Day to my husband!

About a year ago, Michael and I had a long conversation with our oldest child. We shared the things we saw in eachView full post »

Sailing the Home Front

Big news for Circus Vorholt – Michael made Chief Warrant Officer yesterday and will officially no longer be onView full post »

Taking “I can’t hear you” to an all new level

We have an obnoxious habit of telling Matt, “I can’t hear you” when he asks for something. AndView full post »

Fulfillment or Psych Assessment Checklist?

I finally managed to remember to bring my camera with me to the grocery. To be honest, it’s tagged along forView full post »

Pint-sized perfection

The twins are in second grade this year, which in the Catholic faith means First Reconciliation and First EucharistView full post »

when the lesson learned isn’t the one you envisioned

It has been one week since Little Guy returned to Alaska…. And 5 months since our adoption saga began. Along theView full post »

Quoting Dr. Suess & adoption decisions

This past week has been a whirlwind for us as a family. We arrived in Alaska to meet Little Guy and planned for him toView full post »

“How many are in your group?”

We’ve been asked this question several times on this trip and I smile at Jessi’s response. There are 7 ofView full post »

seeing behavior through an abused & neglected child’s eyes

Matt has a habit of darting. In new environments, he’ll run. Not just a simple jog, but more of anView full post »

the absolute children’s hospital survival bag

After spending a week with Nick at Texas Children’s, I am seriously considering patenting the absolute hospitalView full post »

extended hospital stays are….

Tiring. Behaviorally challenging. Frustrating. Boring. Necessary. Did I mention tiring? To help with all of the aboveView full post »

Did I ever tell you…..

… that I wanted to be a pediatrician? I had every intention of going to medical school when I was in high school.View full post »

Did I ever tell you…..

About our close encounter with California’s Napa Valley law enforcement? California has a significant litteringView full post »

GPS and hearing aides

We have GPS in our cars and our phones. Why can’t we have GPS in hearing aides and cochlear implant BTEs??? WeView full post »

Celebrating National Hobby Month with Cake

In the spirit of January as National Hobby Month, here is Emma’s favorite hobby: baking. It’s her way toView full post »

5 rules to eating beignets

beignet – French doughnuts covered in powdered sugar Order beignets at Cafe du Monde Also order cafe au lait orView full post »

Celebrating National Hobby Month and Healing Steps

January is National Hobby Month and Circus Vorholt will be sharing some of it’s favorite hobbies with you overView full post »

photographing your own family Part II

This story began HERE with Part 1 and our attempt at family photos. I thought taking them at home would be my bestView full post »

he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

The road is long, with many a winding turn that leads us to who knows where, who knows where But I’m strong,View full post »

our modern family

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Due to Michael’s Coast Guard commitment, we are spending another ThanksgivingView full post »

17 years with my best friend

Our ceremony was filled with friends and family the words spoken expressed our love accurately   we were sent forthView full post »

hair today, gone tomorrow

There is a connection between women and their hair. The style affects moods and allows others to make subconscious snapView full post »

if you give Nick a Frito Pie

High school football here in Texas is huge. My family is also huge, so I took a friend’s offer to watch two ofView full post »

respect, roast beef and reciprocation

I have book OCD. Ask any packing and moving company that’s been blessed with an assignment to help our circus PCSView full post »

photographing your own family is…..

Challenging, difficult, exhausting, draining. If you are lucky, you can come out of the experience with some sanityView full post »

connecting the dots

With the news of  Steve Jobs stepping down from Apple, his  2005 Stanford Commencement address has resurfaced. I foundView full post »

10 things the twins have taught us

As my children resume their schooling careers this week and I revel in the welcomed silence that now envelopes meView full post »

march to the beat of your child’s drum

A few weeks ago I posted about a serious situation that went down involving she-who-will-not-be-blogged-about (my newView full post »

our first learned sign was french Fries ~ Part II

The beginning of this saga can be found HERE. Like the Kennish Family on Switched at Birth, we had to jump into our ownView full post »

our first learned sign was french fries ~ Part I

Our family has a vice in the form of the new ABC drama Switched at Birth. The premise is simple: two female babiesView full post »

10 ways to manage your teen’s crisis

Everyone has moments of crisis. Everyone feels and responds to their unstable, critical event differently. Throw a teenView full post »

monday morning coffee weekend recap

It’s been a busy weekend at Casa Vorholt, but then again, when is it not? We watched the movie Soul Surfer twiceView full post »

waiting in a room

Waiting rooms are my arch-nemesis. I walk in prepared with children who’ve received rule warnings before exitingView full post »

whine or wine?

Friendship is the wine of life ~ Edward Young I should add family to this quote, too. Or nice strangers. Maybe evenView full post »

crazy RAD love

Michael and I went to see “Crazy Stupid Love” this weekend and enjoyed it’s message of fighting forView full post »

our relationship is old enough to drink

When Michael and I realized how long we’ve been together, my witty husband responded with, “OurView full post »

our parenting ABCs

Living on Kodiak Island in Alaska for several years meant many flights on ERA Alaska. Don’t picture a jumbo jetView full post »

a week in the life of a child with cp

Nick did well for his first Botox injection this past Monday. No pain, at least none he could tell us about. HisView full post »

instructions included

I found a disturbing article in the paper last week. Not disturbing to me in the sense of “how could someone doView full post »

Botox and a busy body

‎”God doesn’t give children with disabilities to strong people: He gives them to ordinary, everydayView full post »

planning with a pencil and a little Buffett

What’s the saying about having children and best laid plans?  I’m sure it says something about increasingView full post »

struggles with unattended children

The sign in the fast food play place reads: Children must be with an adult in the playland at all times. If childrenView full post »

being watched while being late

I’m always late. Ask any friend who sits alone at our meeting place for an extra ten minutes. Ask any dentistView full post »

skin color does matter

age 9 This week I witnessed Jess sunbathing after an hour of swimming. To her credit, she applied SPF 50View full post »

KISS the mentally challenged child

5 facts about Nick:   he loves NASCAR he will hug you he screams – ALOT he fixes mac-n-cheese he is severelyView full post »

when’s dinner?

Would you like to come to dinner? All seven of you? It’s a simple question. A simple question followed by hoursView full post »

signs of summer

Top Ten Signs of Summer in Casa Vorholt: clothes are being shed wherever and whenever someone gets an urge toView full post »

reconnection and letting go

I spent my weekends as a tween and teen at my parent’s camp in Slidell, LA. Camps in south LA are houses built onView full post »

an octave higher than middle C

Allen, Emma and I attended Cochlear America’s HOPE Notes workshop with special guest speaker Richard Reed lastView full post »

Matt’s electronic ear adventure video

Matthew was born with severe hearing loss and was diagnosed profoundly deaf shortly after we brought him home at theView full post »

family sounds

I love this city and it’s extreme closeness to culture and the arts. The Houston Symphony has FREE lawn seatingView full post »

FL sun + CG boat + friends + sand = memories made

I’m a little behind on blogging from our trip to Florida and Louisiana…….. Jumping back into our busyView full post »

Nine rhymes with birthday!

Guess who is NINE today????? JESSI!!!!!!!! We began the day with a lit single candle stuck in the middle of a muffinView full post »

Casa Watson has welcomed Tribe Vorholt

When you’re asked by a friend with FIVE children if she can stay with you for a few days, you immediately sayView full post »

farewell Disney

We spent our last Disney day hanging out by the Shades of Green pool. Little kids played, Emma had her nose in herView full post »

our visit with Uncle Don & Aunt Joyce

We all took an hour or two out of the grinding Disney experience to spend time with Uncle Don and Aunt Joyce around theView full post »

the happiest place on earth

The happiest place on earth is also the most exhausting and stressful place on earth. Kids have these blood curdlingView full post »

flip flops aren’t always vacation appropriate

I traveled to Florida as a single parent with only four of my five children. My husband had Coast Guard commitments,View full post »

Disney ~ Day 2

We spent the morning in the hotel rooms waiting for the rain to stop. The idea of dragging four children through theView full post »

picture this if you will…….

Picture this if you will……This phrase was near the “look at your face” photo wall at the end ofView full post »

bubbles of laughter

Our drive to Disney World was uneventful and for the most part, quiet. The occasional bubbling of laughter that wouldView full post »

road maps for life

And mothers are their daughters’ role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all theirView full post »

she’s a heartbreaker

I needed several “bodies” for an urban, environmental field trip last weekend and Emma volunteered herselfView full post »

a regular Martha Stewart

OK, not quite Martha Stewart, but I DO enjoy making props specific to your session. My husband and I (in the imageView full post »

Things that a parent loves

wonder – one that arouses awe, astonishment, surprise, admiration wonder – MattMatthew, age 7, is aView full post »

In tune

We have a piano given to me by my grandmother that sits prominently in our living room and is accessible to all,View full post »

Small head, big heart

One of our adopted sons, Nick, has microcephaly, which means his head size is much smaller than normal. Consequently,View full post »

Laughter IS the best medicine

Recently I asked my beloved family of 7 to join me in the woods for a whimsical tea party photo session. It wasView full post »

Life with cochlear implants

While messaging a fellow parent regarding cochlear implants this morning, I found myself reflecting on what life isView full post »

North to Alaska

We spent Christmas and New Year’s in Anchorage, Alaska with friends (Coasties stationed with us in Kodiak and nowView full post »

CGC DAUNTLESS is home!!!

We had beautiful weather for the arrival of CGC DAUNTLESS. It is…………. well, beyond wordsView full post »

A few more

We have a very musical house. Allen plays drums and piano. Emma plays piano, violin and french horn. Jess plays piano.View full post »

NOLA Weekend

In preparation for Michael’s homecoming and our Alaska trip, the kids and I made a quick visit to LA to drop offView full post »

Back to your regularly scheduled program…..

We had a busy week with school holiday programs and more to come next week. Matt’s was first. He attends a deafView full post »

Pearland’s Holiday Parade

Allen was on bass drum tonight with Pearland High School’s marching band in the Holiday Parade. A brisk 44View full post »

Summer Fun

Jess at Gulf Shores: USCGC DAUNTLESS Change of Command: Matt with soccer:Camping visitor:Kodiak friends now inView full post »

A long overdue update

Where has the time gone? I’ve wanted to update this blog countless times and found our life so busy, not allowingView full post »

Boys and their crawfish

Nick provided our entertainment while eating lunch at a seafood restaraunt in Galveston with a boiled crawfish. He hasView full post »


We went to the annual sandcastle building contest on East Beach in Galveston this past weekend. It was HOT and theView full post »

End of school

Allen finished 8th grade with huge achievements. He was given an award for Science and the “Elite” male 8thView full post »

Pearland Junior High East Band

Allen plays percussion in Pearland Junior High East Band. The first video was from the Spring concert. Quality is poorView full post »

May 2009

Jessi and a little frog friend we found in the backyard: Jessi at Moody Gardens in Galveston: The boys have becomeView full post »

Ice Cream

The ice cream truck came by the house one night just as we were finishing dinner outside. Matt was beyond thrilled thatView full post »

We agree!

Someone left this note on Michael’s truck window while he was in Wal-Mart this morning:View full post »

Putting our life back together

After the flood waters receded and we tried to dry the house with fans and dehumidifiers, we took a baseboard off toView full post »

Flooded again…..

Our home flooded for the second time in less than a year yesterday. We watched the waters rise from the street and intoView full post »


We are finding about 10 new chrysalis a day in the backyard.This little guy was getting ready to find hisView full post »

April Updates

We’ve had an extremely busy month with extremely positive results. Nick had tubes put in his ears and has gainedView full post »

Boys and Balls

Matt and Nick began t-ball this past weekend and are playing for the Texas Rangers. Their team consists of childrenView full post »

Bilateral Cochlear Adventure

Matt received his second cochlear implant yesterday making him a bilateral bionic boy. He will be activated (turned on)View full post »

Big Bend country

Michael and I escaped to Big Bend country in west Texas for a week while Grammy took care of the kids. The weather wasView full post »


February has been busy, but has also been the end month to basketball. Track has taken over with 6AM practices andView full post »

Mother Nature

We have a wonderful butterfly garden that is clearly attracting the Monarchs. We have several life cycle stages at onceView full post »

USCGC Dauntless Cookie Exchange

We hosted a cookie exchange for the wives and children on the boat before Christmas. Kitchen wasn’t complete, butView full post »


Allen and Matt had Christmas concerts on the same night and both did great. Matt attends a deaf co-op and his showView full post »

Some of our Thanksgiving week visitors: Watching Allen put up Christmas lights: The Porter Family whom we wereView full post »

Cross Country

Allen started cross country this month. In his first meet, he placed 4th overall and 2nd from his school. Basketball isView full post »

Updates on the house

Kitchen before:Kitchen with bottom cabinets:Foyer before: Foyer after:View full post »

Halloween 2008

We had a great Texas Halloween with perfect weather. The kids were thrilled they didn’t freeze whileView full post »


Allen’s team played last night and lost by 4, but he did well. Blocking a kick. The football is between his legs!View full post »

Serial casting

Nick is surviving a serial casting process of his left foot. We’re on week 2 and he picked orange for the newView full post »


Water levels, mold, mildew. We gutted the first floor from 4 ft down including the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.View full post »

Hurricane Ike waters

A neighbor that stayed for the storm sent me this picture…………that’s our house on theView full post »

US Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Academy Graduation

Grammy joined us in CA for Michael’s graduation. Allen and Emma attended the dinner with us while Ms. JanetView full post »


While we were in Petaluma, CA, we spent the first week at the KOA campground. Our last night there, we had to followView full post »

San Fran

We spent a day on Alcatraz, Pier 39 and other highlights of San Fran including driving down Lombard Street. So much toView full post »

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

The Winchester Mystery House is in San Jose, CA and was built by the daughter of the creator of the Winchester rifle.View full post »

Kodiak came to San Antonio

Our friends from Kodiak invited us into their home for dinner while we were in San Antonio. The kids picked up withView full post »

Allen’s first Jr. High football game

In the first 5 minutes, Allen managed to stop the other team from scoring. YEAH! Unfortunately, he fell on his rightView full post »

Surprise, surprise

Matt wrote his name recently all by himself with no prompting and reminding. And it is legible!!View full post »

Going back to Cali

We arrived in CA safely and with all original members. The kids were thrilled to see dad. We’ll spend a few daysView full post »

Small world

The circus pulled into Benson, AZ tonight. The drive was beautiful and familiar. LOL! What a small world, though. I hadView full post »

Cross country trip anyone?

Changed my mind this morning and we’re headed west to Petaluma to see Michael graduate from the USCG Chief PettyView full post »


What a week this has been for Tribe Vorholt. Nick has walking pneumonia and was running very high fevers – overView full post »

Kids & School

We’re into the second week of school and all is going well. Allen has a full load with pre-AP classes andView full post »

Space Center Houston

We went to the Space Center Houston this weekend to see their Star Wars display before it ended. The kids were thrilledView full post »

First day of school

Picture is a little blurry b/c with buses coming, we didn’t have much time to get the perfect one.View full post »

AK to TX Transplants

Two families that were stationed in Kodiak with us now live within 6 miles here in Texas. These girls went from playingView full post »

Last day of summer vacation

The kids and I headed down to Galveston for the last day of summer vacation. The water was brown, but the skies wereView full post »

What in the world?

Wow! Guess we get to keep a closer eye on Matt’s CI now…… full post »

Teen Parent

How do you know you are a parent of a teenager? When they ask you to transport them to a mall to see a band! We droveView full post »

Sites to check out

Our friends, the Hoffert Family, who live in Kodiak have begun a fight against their son’s newly diagnosedView full post »

They are 5!!!!

The boys’ official birthday was this past weekend, but that evening was not a good time to celebrate. We’dView full post »

Weekend in New Orleans

Michael and the dogs joined the tribe on Thursday evening. Mimi had a vet conference to attend in New Olreans for theView full post »

Ms. Sarah’s house

Ms. Sarah (Carey’s childhood friend and Emma’s godmother) and her boys hosted us for almost an entire dayView full post »

Visiting with Memere

Last week, Carey and the kids headed to LA to visit with family and friends. An entire day was spent at Memere’sView full post »

Yummy shrimp

With friends from Kodiak to feast with, we submerged ourselves in Cajun boiled shrimp one night two weeks ago. It wasView full post »

Working A/C

The replacement vehicle for my truck with the A/C that just couldn’t keep up in the hot southwest.View full post »

June 22

The pool in Balmorhea: Gage and Emma: The water is cold and Nick’s not too happy about it: Matt: Mimi andView full post »

June 21

We arrived in Balmorhea, TX after lunch and we’re joined by Carey’s mom and nephew, Gage. Balmorhea hasView full post »

June 19-20

I received a call this morning; some computer generated “Your extended warranty on your vehicle is expiring soon.View full post »

June 18

Drove to Yuma, AZ today and it was HOT!!!!!!!!!!! So hot that we didn’t do much in the town after arriving otherView full post »

June 16-17

Spent two full days at Disneyland and California Adventure. The first day wasn’t too hot and crowded, but theView full post »

June 15

With no air conditioning in Carey’s truck, we drove from Yosemite to Anaheim through Los Angeles traffic. It wasView full post »

June 14

Still no air conditioning, but we made it to Yosemite and saw all of the highlights. The temperature was a little hardView full post »

June 13

We started out the day well and were looking forward to our short, 5 hour drive….How is it every short drive forView full post »

June 12

We drove from southern Oregon to Willits, California along the coast. Good weather allowed us to get the first stateView full post »

June 10

We had our wonderful photo session with Tara Staton ( in the morning on the beach and thenView full post »

June 9

We made it across the border from Canada with no problems. We arrived in Lincoln City, OR around 8PM and had a greatView full post »

Matt and his CI

Michael quickly discovered that Matt’s CI would stick to the walls in the ferry cabin. Sometimes I think he justView full post »

Animal Sightings

Our first day in Canada, we saw 5 bears, 1 moose, 5 deer, 1 fox and several eagles. Our second day, we saw 2 moose. TheView full post »

June 5-6

We sailed from Yakutat to Juneau on open sea areas, so our vehicles had to be tied down. From Juneau, we sailed southView full post »

June 4

The ferry stopped in Chenega Bay in the morning before arriving in Whittier where we picked up enough people to almostView full post »

June 3

We left the rainy, cold island of Kodiak on Tuesday afternoon. Five kids, three dogs, one bird. The cat went missingView full post »

We moved from the hotel on base to the RV Park on Friday just in time for a storm to move in and make living in aView full post »

We went to the Crab Fest parade this morning to watch the big kids participate. Allen marched with the Kodiak MiddleView full post »

We took Allen and Emma out this week to the racetrack to let them practice. These pictures were taken at 9:30 PM.View full post »

D.A.R.E. Graduation

Emma participated in the 5th grade D.A.R.E. graduation last night. She was one of two students chosen to read theirView full post »

Where’s the CI?

Michael’s new favorite place for Matt’s external cochlear implant piece during bathtime:View full post »

Emma was treated to a “good-bye” sleepover last night by her friends and one of the moms. They used ourView full post »

We took the little ones & dogs on a long walk yesterday to wear them out before bed. It it still very chilly here,View full post »

Guest House

Our views from the 3rd floor of the hotel on base. So far, everyone seems to be adjusting well. Each floor has aView full post »

Moving day arrived and so did Michael’s Sitka black-tail deer mount. Kodiak deer are the size of dogs, so thisView full post »

The Lion King

Allen, Emma and Jessi were in Little School of Dance’s “The Lion King” this past weekend. Allen was aView full post »

Boy Bathroom

Before: After: Before: After:View full post »

Living Room

Before: After: Before: After: Before: After:View full post »


Before: After: Before: After:View full post »

Dining Room

The dining room color’s name is Mesa Sunrise and the idea is to have a Southwest theme. However, some of theView full post »

Master Bathroom

Before: After: Before: After:View full post »

Jessi’s Birthday Party

Jessi had her 6th birthday party this past weekend with a few of her friends.View full post »


I had a few minutes this morning while Matt was at OT to spend down at the dock. The fishermen had some feathered helpView full post »

Allen and Basketball

This last pic is one of true frustration with himself for missing the net.View full post »

Emma’s 10th Birthday

Emma celebrated her 10th birthday with friends and their American Girls last weekend. They had leis to make forView full post »

Trip South

We survived our trip to TX and LA just barely. Lots of stressful situations and plenty to do, but it wasView full post »

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *