Our new blog is up and running now.  We'll still be making modifications and inserting the ads but from here on out, all posts will be done there.



As the bills start piling in and we are getting closer to dossier submission and traveling, we are seeing a real need to do more to provide for our family.

We have prayed and consulted with others and feel one of the ways we can start adding more income is through opening up ads on the blog and becoming an affiliate with several online companies.

That meant we needed to update and upgrade the blog.

After doing some research we felt the best way to start this is to swap to online hosting and WordPress.

And all of that means that Mark will be doing a lot to the blog and making the changes with me sitting beside him in utter shock wondering what in the world he is doing.  But also I get veto power on how things look.  Got to keep it nice for ya'll!

Things may be quiet here because I don't want to make more work for him than necessary but stick around.  We'll have a few stories to tell when he gets it all situated.

We are still fundraising though!  And our youcaring site and paypal accounts are active.  We would so appreciate if you would share our story and our dreams of bringing Y the Brave home!

The Peanut Farmer

Emmie's first brace destruction warrented a trip to orthotics two hours away.   I knew that a fifteen minute appointment with eight children meant we needed to find something else to do while we were there.  After a quick search the day before, we landed on the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

 It was a pleasant and educational surprise in the heart of Atlanta.  If you have a couple of hours to kill, I would definitely recommend visiting this museum and library.

 One of the many gifts President Carter received after the Camp David Accords.
 Presidential campaign paraphernalia.  I just thought this one was quite funny.

 One of my favorite parts of the museum.  A replica of his Oval Office.

 With a Bible on the desk.
 The ceiling of the Oval Office.
 This was at the end of the museum.  A pretty amazing portrait of President Carter and all of his accomplishments while in office.
 The highlight for the kids.  Airplane seats.

 The closest I'll ever come to a Nobel Peace Prize.  Pretty cool.

 Zoe and I enjoyed seeing the replicas of President and Mrs. Carter's wedding clothes.

 Not only was the museum interesting, we also enjoyed the scenery around it.

 We rounded out the trip with the orthotics appointment and Emmie's second brace.  We spent less than five minutes to get it.  As we were gathering to leave, they came in and told us to head to an inner room because of a tornado warning.

They found something to pass their time though.

New Baby Jerni!

My bestie Tracy had her baby in April.  I was supposed to doula again.
I missed the birth by ten minutes.

Tracy came over the night before because she was overdue and we were both overdue for some visiting.  She was contracting but talking and laughing in between and through them so we didn't time anything and enjoyed our visit and homemade mocha frappucinos that Mark made us.

She left the house about 10:30.  I went to bed and woke up to the phone ringing at 1 and her telling me they were getting ready to go to the hospital.  I told her I would nurse Emmie and then be right over or meet them there.

Twenty minutes later, I put Emmie down and went to get dressed.  The phone rang and it was Tracy's husband, Kevin.  He told me the baby was coming and he had called the ambulance. I just knew he was telling me a story.  His urgency made me realize real fast that he wasn't.  I finished getting dressed, kissed Mark and ran out the door.  

But I was too late.  Kevin had delivered the baby just before the ambulance arrived.

I went from being the labor doula to the postpartum doula.  I have been so blessed that Kevin and Tracy have allowed me to be a part of each of their labors in some pretty unique and, this time, unforgettable, ways!

Two weeks after Jerni made her memorable entrance, the crew got to meet her.

 Emmie was thrilled at meeting her first baby.
As always, Uncle Mark was smitten.

On the Mount

 This is how our trip idea went down...
Emmie's having surgery.
We need to have some family time.
Emmie's been to the ocean.
Let's go to the mountains.

So, in less than three weeks we planned a very quick mountain getaway.

Our kids are pretty incredible.  They are almost always up for an adventure.  We found a "mountain retreat" called Enota in the North Georgia mountains near Helen.  They have cabins, camping sites, and goats (okay, other animals too).
The Saturday morning we were there, a foal, had been born to this pony.  Such a sweet sight to see this mama and new baby!

Oh, and hiking trails, a small playground (with some awesome in ground trampolines), and a couple of waterfalls.

 We would not have been able to hike over 7 miles in one day if we didn't have this baby carrier and the backpack that Mark used to carry Emmie!

 We were only able to find one waterfall but it was a fun challenging hike after all the rain the night before.
Liam found a fairy cave!

King Bryant of the Mountain

I love that when we pulled up in to check in, they all got so excited (and had not even seen the playground or trampolines).  We climbed out of the van in the pouring rain and they were so excited to see our rustic cabin and just the general area.  They didn't have to have attractions or "things to do."  Yes, they would have enjoyed that too.  But, they love to explore and learn and go on adventures.  This weekend trip definitely provided that.

Brasstown Bald-the highest point in Georgia and absolutely breathtaking.
 I would suggest going to Brasstown when the rhodendrums are in bloom.  They are naturally occurring and everywhere!
 They have a little museum at the top of the bald and a train that Josiah just had to get a picture with.
 A sweet family offered to take our family's picture.
But the grandmom had to get a picture with Malachi first.  He was thrilled.  Can't you tell?

 We road a shuttle up to the  top off the bald but decided to walk down the .6 of a mile.   And found places to climb.

Park Fun

Park day turned in to Emmie's first time at the splash pad.  Mama was totally unprepared but sometimes you have to live in the moment.

 And those smiles say it was totally worth it!

Josiah was my photographer for most of these.  And for most of the others too.