My in-laws, handsome hubby of 19 years, and our 9 children…all under one roof…and we lived Happily Ever After…or something like that! We live together, love much, forgive much and have grown much because of it!
It is beautiful chaos and creating memories…learning to treasure what matters most!
Grandma & Pappy~Duane’s parents. They have lived with us for almost 11 years now. Don’t know what we’d do without them! Pappy is the errand runner and famed baseball card supplier for our kids and often their friends. Grandma is our breakfast chef, even though she’d say she doesn’t cook anymore. The kids love to go down to Grandma & Pappy’s house each morning for breakfast. I love it, too! =) 7 years ago, Grandma had a brain tumor removed. It was benign, but sadly she suffered a stroke during the surgery. It altered her life from that moment forward. She used to be up and at ‘em at 6am. She loved to use our rider mower and would mow the grass/weeds in the apple orchard. She could run circles around me. It has been a hard change for her. She was so used to showing how much she loved her family by serving them and taking care of them. So, even with her shaky right side she still whips up some pretty mean french toast!
Duane & Tricia now have lost almost 200 pounds collectively. looking at this picture, Duane had lost 72 pounds and I had lost 110. We have been married for 19 years and I have been really overweight ever since my first pregnancy. It is an amazing feeling to have lost 122 pounds now and not feel embarrassed to see a picture of myself. That is transformational! Duane and I met at church many years ago and fell in love. I did, however, let him know that I would not marry him unless he was ok with 12 children. He came back after a few days and said if God wants us to have 12 children, then who am I to say otherwise. After a few years of marriage, he admitted to me that the accountant in him figured that, at almost 30, I was not likely going to be able to have 12 children. lol! You can read the rest of our story here.
A little background on me that I will blog about later: I was adopted at 6 weeks of age and was blessed to find my birth family a few years back. My birth Mom was more than willing to have me/us in her life. I have 3 birth sisters and 1 birth brother! God placed adoption on my heart way back when I was 5. I knew that I would adopt a child from Africa. ♥ I LOVE how God places things on our hearts and in time He brings them to fruition!
Caleb is 18 and graduated High School this year. He has participated in the Civil Air Patrol for the last 3 years and received his Billy Mitchel award January 2013. He is the highest ranking cadet in the squadron in our city as 2nd Lieutenant and leads the weekly meetings. Caleb has decided to join us in Health Coaching. This was quite the surprise to us as he graduated with a 4.0 and was accepted at Corban University and we thought he was ready to go. He just did not have peace about 60k of debt for a degree and felt the Lord was leading him in this direction. So, welcome to our team, Coach Caleb! We are truly honored to have him want to be mentored and join with us with helping others find health! If you click on his picture, it will take you to his facebook business page. =)
Corrine turns 16 this fall. She is a blessing around the house, always willing to lend a helping hand. She loves the Lord and has a heart to help others. She will often look around for someone who is off by themselves and will seek to befriend them and encourage them. I love her giving and servant heart. She loves to play volleyball, run track and ride horses. Corrine is interested in nutrition and photography and wants to go on a mission trip in the next year. Most likely to Ethiopia. Corrine was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 4 months of age. The doctor told me to take her home and love her, that she will not likely walk and will not amount to much. God is not confined to a diagnosis. Corrine’s physical therapist calls Corrine her little miracle baby. You would never know that she was diagnosed with anything. There were many years of p/t, o/t speech…she worked hard. I worked hard and God gave us a miracle in Corrine. ♥
Noah is 14 and is such a fun young man. He will talk with anyone and it just seems so natural for him. He can talk about God, sports, politics (I don’t recommend going there…but he does…lol!). Noah loves to play football, basketball and run track. He also enjoys playing volleyball. Noah is a server and likes to encourage others. He has an upbeat and fun personality. He also will be the first to tell you that he is now taller than his Mom…unless I have on my cute & sassy heels!
Nick is 12 and is the 4th born in our family. He is the one that put me over the edge as far as being able to get to the grocery store and shop and return home with all 4 kids, groceries AND my sanity. I waved the white flag when he was born and called in the reinforcements (Grandma & Pappy). Nick had a rough start with some medical issues. His myelin strip was extremely thin (confirmed by an MRI). He would bang his head on the floor or crib, and at one point his head stopped growing. The doctor wanted to cut into his skull and remove some bone~Yikes! Somewhere along the way he also was diagnosed with torticolis. He was nonverbal until about 2 years old. He looked autistic…but then he found his voice and we have not been able to stop him since! He is going to play football this year and enjoys running track. Nick loves challenges and I would say “No Fear” is how he approaches everything he does. He is 110% BOY!
Joel is 10 years old and has always been the quiet child of all of the boys. Just this last year he has started to come out of his shell a bit with his own hair style and humor. He is great at organizing (I love to have him clean the pantry!), and he is an excellent student. Joel loves running and is a natural at it. He will also be playing football this year for the first time and is pretty excited about that. Joel also has a pretty cute bond with our youngest, Sarah. For some reason he calls her Bob…and she seems to really love her special name from her big brother Joel.
Sophia is also 10 years old and joined our family February 2010. This is called artificially twinning since we have a bio child and adopted child the same age. Sophie is from Ethiopia. She is a bubbly, kind and sweet and just a bit goofy, which keeps us all laughing. She has a gentle and quiet nature about her and always wants to please. She is a girly girl and does not like blue or green too much. She enjoys riding her bike and jumping on the tramp and running track. She also likes playing with her dolls and having tea parties with her younger sister, Sarah.
Andrew is 8 and was our last biological child. I had one more pregnancy before Andrew’s, but I lost Joshua David at about 24 weeks gestation. I was so surprised when we found out that I was pregnant with Andrew! It was a rough pregnancy with a lot of bed rest. Andrew was born 6 weeks early by way of an emergency c-section. I remember pleading with the Lord that I couldn’t handle losing another baby. Andrew is funny, kindhearted and still my snugglebug. (He will love reading this someday when he is older!) He has such a heart for prayer and sharing about his faith. He is often teary eyed over different situations. Even praying for a dear young friend of our families this afternoon that has terminal cancer, Andrew had tears in his eyes. He cares and loves big! Love his tender heart!
Titus is also 8 and joined our family at the same time as Sophia did in Feb 2010. My second set of artificial twins =) I believe that Titus is in our family because Andrew prayed him here. When Andrew was 5, he kept praying for his 5-year-old brother in Ethiopia, and I kept trying to prep Andrew’s heart that we told the adoption agency that we wanted to adopt girls. We had 5 boys and 1 girl…and so it only seemed right to even up the playing field, right? Anyway, night after night he prayed for his 5-year-old brother in Ethiopia, and then one day the call came. They shared with us about Sophia and then they told me that another child arrived at the orphanage the same day and they were from the same area and even looked alike. She asked me if I’d like to see the file and then said, “Oh, by the way, it is for a 5-year-old boy.” Tears flowed and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God placed that on Andrew’s heart and that he prayed him home. =) Back to Titus…he loves to run. He is amazing at track. He is a such character and brings joy to our family. He is a quick study and is loving learning how to read. He has mastered 3 languages in his short little life. Truly an amazing young man!
Sarah is 4 and is our resident princess. She sings and plays happily throughout the day. She LOVES to dress up in her princess dresses and fairy wings and plays tea paryt with her dolls. Sarah has no fear of strangers (which we’re working on =) and enjoys talking to anyone and everyone and is known to break out in song & a little dance just about anywhere. She calls the song by Matt Redman 10,000 Reasons HER song. Little miss Sarah is originally from Ethiopia and joined our family in Sept 2012.
♥ It is true~We are blessed. It is a full and crazy life…I like to think of it as beautiful chaos! We wouldn’t trade it for anything this world has to offer! ♥
Tricia is a wife of 19 years, Mom to 9 children (6 bio & 3 adopted from Ethiopia) who has gone from surviving to thriving, helping others find health in their body, mind/heart, and finances. She’ll come alongside people to dream big again and to step out in faith and LIVE!
Having gone from Duane traveling all week every week to living a life they once only dreamed of…Tricia and Duane now desire to give hope & support to those who are dissatisfied with their current situation.
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