"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pinterest F.A.I.L!!!!!

I bake. I love to bake. I am actually decent at it too! Except for oatmeal (at least that is what I say so that my wonderful husband will make me oatmeal... It always tastes better when he whips me up a bowl)! I also can't make steamed eggs or no bake cookies. But today I found a NEW recipe for no bakes and figured what the heck... They looked like a no brainier... Easy peasy right? Yeah not so much. This is what they were supposed to look like...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My little creed speaker!!!

Look at this kid!!! He has grown up a bit! He is taller than his momma (though I won't concede that fact to him). He outweighs me and his voice is surprisingly deep for such a scrawny little blonde head boy! When did he grow up? I think it has happened overnight.
He is now in high school even though 9th grade is still at the jr high... Confusing right? It is a weird Utah thing. So he is in FFA. He doesn't have much of a choice since his big Sis is an officer... She signed him up to compete in Creed... A long 5 paragraph essay that has to be memorized word for word... Lets just say he did it. He didn't do it perfectly but he was the only 9th grader who didn't back out. It was painful but he did it... And qualifies to compete at area competition. They should ask me to say it... I believe in the future of agriculture.....

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just a shameless brag...

It has been awhile I know... And something I plan to be active with again... Blogging. I think I quit because there was that Facebook thing but I am really over that! Not too interested in everyone publicly being involved in my life... I sorta like being in the background... And now there is the iPhone and well I can sit in the carpool line and be able to jot things down... Super easy and convenient too!

We had Addie's senior counseling appt today and I know addie is a smartie... I have known that since, we'll, forever... But at the beginning of the year last year when we transferred her into the Utah schools with a graduating class bigger than our old town... I wasn't sure she would graduate on time! They didn't accept many of her credits that she already had and required many classes we had never heard of. We both left last years appt in tears. It seemed that all of her hard work and hours of study to maintain her 4.0 gpa wouldn't really even matter. The classes were much tougher here as well. I remember Gary and I telling her that we were so proud of her having such wonderful grades but maybe we just couldn't worry about it so much... Just accept what is...

So today we met... What a difference a year makes. Addie bravely and confidently walked into that office. Mrs P pulled up her records and said wow! Not only is she on track to graduate she will graduate with 5 extra credits as well as 2 college classes. She only has 2 scheduled classes next semester and has managed to maintain a 3.94 gpa. Her ACT scores were high enough to earn her a 4 year full tuition presidential scholarship for instate colleges. She will retake it and try for 2 points higher which would allow her to go tuition free out of state! I am speechless... I am amazed! She is my hero!!! Seriously. I know how hard she has worked... The late nights... What she has given up... I am so proud of her! Am I surprised? No not so much... After all she did hate kindergarten because they only colored and didn't have chapter books!!! I can't wait to see how far she flies!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012


so excited to see our house being built!!  We can hardly wait.  As Molly says, "it is our dream home".  it is a rambler and i love the fact that it wont appear to be as huge as it really is!  6 bedrooms, 2 living rooms and 2 offices(read CRAFT ROOM)!  And the fact that we get to stay in our very most favorite neighborhood EVER is a big perk!!!  And the view of those mountains from our back patio... ahhhhhhh 6 more weeks!!!  cant. wait!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Woohoo! Super duper excited... we just found out that in a few short months we should be able to legally change Molly and Yordi's last name to R********!!! They will no longer have the stigma of carrying the last name of the people who were charged with abusing them!!! :-) They of course do not use that last name... they switched a long time ago, but legally it is still their last name. It will be such a huge relief for them as now when Molly gets called that by someone who doesnt know, it terrifies her. One last step in the healing process. Please be praying that it can be done without too much red tape or hoops to jump through. We may have to go to court, but it will be so worth it!!!
A Utah requirement for graduation is Adult Roles. I think Addie has really enjoyed the class this year and it has really been some useful knowledge... budget setting, account balancing, etc. They just entered into their family unit... and I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family. Her name is... well, depends who you ask. Addie calls her Chubby since she eats for about 20 minutes at a time. Molly calls her "adorable" and can hardly wait to have one of her own. Noah, well, he calls her Lucy... which apparently is short for Lucifer. Of course Addie is quite proud that she got the cutest baby in the whole class!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

big things happening

wow! what a year it has been. already!!! It is Feb... mid Feb and so many big events and life changes have happened!!

So far:
*Gary has been gone more than he has been home!!! But we have had him mostly home for the last 2 weeks and for that we are grateful!!!

*Gary and I snuck away to Las Vegas for 2 nights. He had to be down there for a conference for 7 days so we left 2 days early and had a little getaway! Addie so wonderfully took care of everything here and while Las Vegas wasnt our pick of wonderful places to go, it was wonderful to reconnect and just spend some time together.

*Noah turned 14!! He has grown up so very much and is such a blessing. He has adapted so well to life in Utah. He has great friends who like to go to the movies and out to icecream as a big group. He has also gotten very involved in Scouts, church ball, club basketball, youth group, and now track!!!

*We JUST found out we are going to be grandparents!!!! WOW! It has taken us a bit of time to wrap our brains around that one. We are parents to young children (our youngest is 7)... of course the range is from 7-21, but thought it would be awhile until grandchildren!! We are so excited for Krisana and Austin (the parents to be)! We know there will be struggles and challenges to come... lets face it, we have all been young with meager finances but we pray they will come thru this even stronger!!! And I might add that the girls are thrilled to be the aunts... and Addie even said that we will get to be the cool young grandparents!! :-) let the fun begin!!!

* And finally, we just found out we are under contract and all issues have been resolved and we are just about ready to begin ground breaking on our new house!!!! We are super excited as it was quite an amazing process to watch how the Lord worked it all out... to keep us in our beloved neighborhood and able to build MUCH more house than we thought possible. We will have 3400 sq feet (finished) with 5 bedrooms, 3 bath, office, craft room, cold storage, great room with a FIREPLACE, and an unfinished 6th bedroom, all on a 1/2 acre lot next door to several of our friends!!! We should be moving in by the middle to end of May. We are living right around the corner so it will be fun to watch it be built!!!

* in the house hunt we discovered that I love it... it was Gary and our dear friend and realtor that brought it to my attention... i love the hunt, SO when life settles down just a bit, I plan on going to school (online) to get my realtor license!!! There is a housing boom where we live and you cant keep houses on the market, so timing will be perfect!!!

whew... so far 2012 is off to a wonderful start. I look forward to see how the rest of year unfolds as we enjoy all the many blessings in our life.

Monday, January 23, 2012

laser tag days and snowy nights

Gary is out of town, again, and when he is, we try to find something different and fun to do. Sometimes it is sitting in the cool booths at USwirl and looking out at the mountains. Other times it is swimming at the pool. Other times it may be a treat of In and Out burger for dinner... or cereal... just something that puts a little fun into a day. So today since it was early out Monday (really not cool to have MONDAY be early release days... really... after a weekend I could use a couple extra hours at least to catch up!!!) we decided to hit Trafalga... a little fun center close to our house. We got unlimited passes (includes 2 water parks for summer) for Christmas and needed to go get our ID's made. Since it was snowing hard and still early the front desk guy talked us into a round of laser tag. I have never played... ever... guns arent really my thing. But in the spirit of "fun" I said what the heck.

If you know my Molly Shen, you know she worries. And when she has nothing to worry about, she finds something to worry about. She must ask me every day how much gas is today. On Christmas day she was worrying about what she would pack in her lunch on the day back to school. One of her biggest fears is the dark and scary things. She has nightmares all the time that she is stolen... so telling her we were going into the dark where we would shoot people and try to not be shot didnt go over so well. I pretty much drug her into the pre game room to watch the video. I strapped her vest on and put her laser gun into her hand KNOWING that i would probably have to haul her out of there screaming.

And then the game began... and she realized no one could hurt her and she went crazy. She snuck around... she crawled past doorways, put her back to walls and raced to hidey holes... it was the funniest thing to watch. It was like watching some cops and robbers show. As soon as we were done she asked if we could bring dad back when he gets home... she thinks that maybe he has some ex police skills that she could learn. (And she wants to be able to sneak up on him!!!)

Tonight she is tucked into my bed... sleeping on her dad's side of the bed... she isnt scared to sleep by herself...oh no sir... she just wants to help me out if I need something during the night and dad isnt here...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

no judgements please.

Before I feel like I can resume chronicling our life again, there are a couple of "elephants" in the room that need to be dealt with... sorta the main reasons I quit wanting to share. I was not in a place to discuss them privately yet it didn't feel right to just ignore them.

Some of our close friends know. Our family knows and our neighbors know, but it is a topic i avoid in public if at all possible.

If you are involved in the community of adoption at all you have heard the term RAD. For those who don't know what those 3 letters stand for , it is Reactive Attachment Disorder. It is a mental illness (condition) that can happen to anyone with a history of trauma, most commonly is seen in some adoptive children. RAD can manifest in many ways... from very slight to severe. Sometimes it can be treated and other times it can not.

Our family picture looks a bit different now... Bis is not in them. We made the very difficult decision to place him into a therapeutic group home a few months ago. Bis has severe RAD, as well as several other mental illnesses.

Life over the past few years has been miserable and scary. Bis had progressed to a point where he was extremely violent. It is hard to explain for those that have not lived it... on paper there is no way to express the nightmare that life was for all of us... including Bis. We had alarms on doors. He had made a plan for how to kill all of us, including his teacher at school. He explained to us how he would do it and what he would do with our bodies. He would describe in great detail the order in which we would die... When we locked up all the knives and scissors in the house, he made his own. He attempted to kill the dog. He attacked Gary with a golf club and Addie and I with a hammer. We had "escape" plans in place... how Noah would get the little kids to a safe place while Addie and I would work on containing Bis. We had the police involved on a couple of occasions. There is 4 years worth of stories I could blog.

Bis is getting help... the help he needs desperately. We dont know what the future holds. He may need to live in group home setting for a year, or 5 years, or the rest of his life. We just dont know at this point.

We are healing... we are learning to not live in fear. We are learning how to relax and enjoy life. We have lived a life that no one should have to live. We have had to make decisions no one should have to make. We have peace with our decisions and we see the healing taking place in our home. Bis struggles with therapy, but he is in an amazing wonderful place... a place that allows him to be the best him that is possible. We have made some incredible friends (you know the ones that see you on your worst possible day and just step in and help out??) and we have had "old" friends that have stood in the gap with us... we have also been judged, questioned and talked about. I would just like to say... you are welcome to walk a mile in our shoes, but those are shoes i wouldnt wish on my worst enemy.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

we belive this. we cling to this now and forever.

Friday, January 13, 2012

it has been a little while...

Hello... i should probably introduce myself... I am Denise. :-) So many times i have sat down to update this blog and turned off my computer. I have said I would blog, but havent. There has been some tough stuff. And i didnt really know how to blog it. But ignoring it was difficult too. Then there was the privacy issue... we lived where my little family needed to be protected from a world of lies and abuse. A place where facts were exchanged for lies and where sadly victims were cast as the "guilty".

But... time has passed and wounds have healed. We are safe... we dont look over our shoulders or turn our heads as people whisper behind our backs. We live free and loved and happy now.

And it was sitting around the table with the kids just talking that the blog was mentioned, and i realized how important it was to all of them. That they missed it. And for whatever reason, the blog is a big part of them... and so it has been edited (and probably will be some more). It has been given a bit of an update... (thanks Noah for getting the stomach flu... which kept me home looking for a break from the laundry).

so we started over. We refused to give into the lies. We chose to believe that God could turn everything into good. We stand on that. God is good. All the time.