Papa and I met in 1996, when he was 23 yrs old and I was 17, still in high school. He was leading a 5th and 6th grade youth group at our church and I volunteered to serve alongside him. Within a few months, and many youth group capture-the-flag games later, we were officially dating. It didn’t take long for us to fall head-over-heels in love and we married in the Fall of 1998.
“Papa” is an amazing husband, father and leader. He is dynamic, passionate and has the powerful gift of teaching. When he has a story to tell, all ears in the house come running to listen. Papa also enjoys listening to music, watching movies, playing games, and reading various books and articles. During the football season, you will find him watching and cheering on his favorite football team, The Seattle Seahawks. When not hard at work providing for our family, he is at home with all of us. Although he enjoys change and variety in life, one thing remains the same, home is always his favorite place to be.
Papa and I have always sought to build our house on the foundation of Christ, our solid Rock. On Him and Him alone will we withstand the many storms of this life. We have had some years that were doozies, but it was our Faith in the Lord that brought us through.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed … Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18.
After we married, it didn’t take long for our little family to start growing. We currently have 6 children through birth, adoption and foster care. We are not sure how our family will look in 5, 10 or 20 years from now, but we love our “little” family immensely.
Side note: I let the kids choose their own “names” for this blog. As you will see, some of them had a little bit of fun coming up with their blog identities. Haha!
“Bro” is our oldest and amazing son. He is 16 years old and learning to drive. Eek! He is incredibly fun to be with and has a quirky, yet hilarious, sense of humor. He enjoys listening to music of all genres and styles, going to youth group, playing video games, reading books, swimming with his swim club, playing card and board games, and of course, eating food. Friends can count on him to bring a smile to their faces. Though many don’t immediately see it, he has a tender heart for others and thinks deeply about life. God has gifted him with the desire to know and understand Truth. He is a gentle giant (at 6’2″ with size 14 feet!) and is a wonderful bro as he cares for his younger siblings so beautifully.
“Demolition Panda” (aka Demo) is our sweet 14 year old daughter. She is a wonderful sister and friend as she naturally cares about others. She is quick-witted and has a great sense of humor. Though she loves “demolishing” things virtually (specifically cars while playing “Rocket League”), she brings a physical sense of tranquility and peace when she’s in the room. She has beautiful emotions that reach down to the heart of life. When she disappears from the hubbub of the home, we can almost always find her in her bed reading or taking a quick nap. She also loves to write stories, draw pictures, and play around on the piano. She is a beautiful young woman, inside and out.
“Sparkle Unicorn” (aka Sparkle) is our bubbly 13 year old girl. She uses her creative energy to make a variety of arts and crafts, design clothes and rooms, and bake as many sweets and treats as we let her. She loves being with people and thrives in high noise levels (either from a crowd or of her own doing). More than any of the other kids, she thinks outside-of-the-box. You never know what you’ll find her creating on any given day. She laughs often, loves passionately, works hard, and gives generously.
“Hockey King” (aka King) is our compassionate 12 year old son. He is sensitive to others’ feelings, has a desire for people’s voices to be heard, and loves to give hugs. He is most content when he is outside in his bare feet. He enjoys playing almost any active sport: hockey, soccer, football, basketball, skateboarding, biking, swimming or just running around and exploring the neighborhood. At night, he falls asleep listening to his favorite music on the K-LOVE radio station. He has a wonderful laugh, appreciates life, and loves people well.
“Tasmanian Devil” (aka Taz) is our most active and adventurous son. He is 8 years old and constantly on the move. Nothing about this dynamic boy is subtle. He chews his food at hyper speed, talks loudly 99% of the time (even when alone), giggles and cackles hilariously, is incredibly strong (willed and physically), builds elaborate Lego creations, and has an imaginative story for everything. He brings the movement and noise in our home up to extreme new levels. He has the wonderful gifts of leadership, teaching and friendship. He knows no stranger. He lives life to the fullest and helps others do the same.
“Munchkin” is the baby of the family at 4 years old. She is soft spoken, cute as a button, and brave. She is learning the power of her words. When she’s not dancing, singing or making people laugh, she’s asking someone to “I hold you?” She hugs just about anyone (which can be a problem with strangers!). She has a way of making everyone feel special and loved as she runs to greet you with a huge smile on her face. Her “why” and “where” questions are endless as she always seeks to understand what’s happening around her. She is a true joy and delight.
It is always our hope and goal to raise our children to know, love and serve the Lord. We desire for them to know who they are in the Lord, who He created them to be, and to live life in full confidence of that knowledge. Each one of our kids are a beautiful blessing to our family. Papa and I pray we can instill in them a lasting legacy of faith, hope, trust and love.