"what i've said, that will i bring about & what i've planned, that will i do." isaiah 46:11

Saturday, June 30, 2007


well, this will be a quick post as i've only got a couple minutes ~ we're camping & have been here since tuesday ~ we're having a great time all of 24+/- of us (spike, me, brit, kiara, ruby, karleigh, dad, mom, russell, vickie, missy, tiffany, ralph, sharel, shane, mandy, lucas, garrett, braedey, patty, elijah, gideon, mom shepler & angie) ~ the girls are having a blast as i got them REAL makeup & they're getting all dolled up (i do have pics, but didn't bring my camera down here with me, so i'll post them later) ~ they've got makeup on, purses on their arms, play jewelry galore, riding their bikes & running through mud puddles (yeah, that all really doesn't go together at all - unless you're a toddler!) ~ anyway, just wanted to pop on here & let you all know what's going on & where we are ~ will post again soon when we get home tomorrow ~ hugs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


thought i'd go ahead & write now as i don't know if/when i'll get back on here over the next couple days as we're leaving today for a camping trip ~ our family loves going camping whenever we can, but with me going to haiti recently & us just getting home from vacation a week ago, we've not been camping yet & it's almost july!!! ~ it'll be our family (spike, myself & our 4 girls), my parents, spike sister sharel & her hubby ralph & his other sister vickie & her hubby russell ~ we're all very excited to get out & smell the outdoors (alright, with my father making a HUGERAMOUS pot of beans, smelling the 'outdoors' will be a welcomed thing) ~ our bear cubs cannot wait to leave & are asking about every 10 minutes, if it's time to go camping yet! ~ i'm hoping my brother & his family might make it out to visit while we're there as we'll not be heading home until sunday ~ dustin better stop by & see us as we've not seen him in several days (dustin, this' your mother ~ i want to see you soon & talk to you sooner!!) ~ well, i need to get off here & pack up my clothes as i'm finishing frying up the bacon to take with us ~ hugs!

Monday, June 25, 2007


well, spike & i'd some running to do this afternoon so brit stayed home with the bear cubs as it was their naptime & brit just got an MP3 player for her birthday (coming on july 10) today so she was 'busy' & voluntered her services to stay home with them ~ i stopped at walmart to pick up last minute things for our upcoming camping trip (leaving tomorrow - tuesday) as we'll be gone for 5 days & wow's all i can say ~ i didn't have to stop every 30 minutes to take someone (3 someone's) to potty & take 15 minutes out of my trip for each of those potty breaks (it does take about that long as they all 3 will need to go, then everyone needs to wash hands, then dry, etc. etc. etc.) ~ i was also able to go through the entire store without having to head to the toys, of course guess where i ended up? ~ you guess it, TOYS! ~ i didn't have to say, "no, we're not getting that today", "no, we don't need that", "please put that down", "stop whining" or "keep your hands to yourself" at all & you know what? ~ i missed my kids ~ hugs!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


well, we got up, dropped our camper off at best buy for them to put in a new radio & then went to church this morning ~ the last time we'd been to church was the sunday prior to me going to haiti with dad & mom & that was in may! ~ we got home after that haiti trip & have been out of town every weekend since!! ~ we're back now & it was great (billy & rachel, missed seeing you!!) ~ after church we headed for chinese (YUM), then it was off to trade cell phones in which took FOREVER ~ then we'd to head back to best buy as the person that was to working on our camper didn't show (hmmm) so we'd to go back & personally lock it up so they weren't responsible (with him not showing up proved that, don't ya think?) ~ after doing that we'd to head back to verizon (cell phone) as my bluetooth wasn't pairing up with my phone, which of course they had working in like 30 seconds (oh well, gas' just like $5 per gallon & we love to retrace our steps as often as we can!) ~ after this, we went for ice cream at handels (that place's awesome, just ask my butt!) ~ we then headed to my parents ~ we were going to grandma's house, but opted to go there tomorrow (monday) so the girls' cousins would be there to play with (lucas, garrett & braedey) ~ after spending some time swatting kids, setting them in time-out & taking everyone for potty breaks (oh, did i say that out loud?) ~ i meant to say, after spending a good evening with dad & mom, we headed home to put those sweet dear cherubs of ours down to sleep ~ we then went to raid the frig (my butt loved that too!) & then we flipped channels on the tv for what seemed like hours to find that we really don't need to own a tv, let alone a big screen tv as there's never anything to watch! ~ this post probably seems like i'm a bit snippy & i'm really not, but had no idea how my day really was until i started posting it!well, on a good note, i hope lil miss maddie caswell (above) had a wonderful 3y birthday ~ we missed seeing you & being at your party, but church held over & we knew we'd be late & with it being a distance away, we'd not be able to stay all that long (boo hoo) ~ i did try phoning mama, but there was major phone problems as i couldn't get through (went to vm right away) so i'll phone your house tomorrow ~ you'll always hold a very special place in my heart as i know how much the devil wanted to keep you in haiti, but god had other plans for you ~ he allowed me to scoop you up (literally), race all over haiti in the wee hours of the morning with you, he opened every door & then some & did it all without your papa & mama knowing what was going on & then to top it off, he allowed ME to bring you 'home' to them ~ i never will forget making the phone call to mama & when she heard my voice she began the conversation like this, "how are you? ~ how was ruby when you left her? ~ i know what you're going through by leaving a child & i'll stay on here as long as you want/need me to, i'm here for ya" ~ she's been such a good friend over the years & value her friendship above anyones ~ then you cried out & on the other end of the cell phone i hear, "WHAT'S THAT???" & the scream i heard when i uttered the words, "it's your baby girl & i've got her with me in miami" was almost deafening to the ears of those in the next state (let alone mine!) ~ we love you little girl & we've got a neat gift for you that i really think you'll like & we'll give it to you next weekend when we see you ~ happy birthday!!

Friday, June 22, 2007


well, we've been at the airport this evening with several people to welcome r.j. macomber home to his new family ~ we were there when his younger brother charlie arrived & were able to be at r.j.'s homecoming as well ~ both of these boys are from haiti & that's how we met this family as we've adopted our 3 younger bear cubs from haiti as well ~ we've been blessed to attend so many homecomings over the years, our children automatically think children come on planes ~ congrats phil, angie, r.j. & charlie & thanks for allowing us to come be part of it ~ see you again at haitian camp in august! ~ hugs!


for most of you, you know that our 4y old ruby's deaf ~ she had a cochlear implant (CI) last may so it's been just over a year now ~ we've seen great improvements in her hearing & speech (& she's profoundly deaf in both ears without the ci) ~ she's been going in for her mappings (where they fine tune what she's hearing & adjust things every few months since she's been activated ~ things have been moving along quite nicely until this past february & then we began noticing that she wasn't responding as well as she had been (they were noticing it at school too) ~ she wasn't speaking as clearly & she began to ONLY want to sign as she was getting very frustrated with us not understanding what she was trying to say ~ we took her to riley hospital where her surgery was done & they couldn't find anything as she was hearing them & her equipment was working, so we came home, but still we weren't 'were we had been' & it was getting very upsetting to all of us ~ i just took her back yesterday morning & we'd an appointment that was from 8-almost noon WHEW!, but we think we might have found our problem ~ they think (we'll see before long) they'd her turned up to loud where she was hearing things for them & responding, but when we'd leave & other sounds were around her, she'd almost shut down due to everything being so garbled ~ she was speaking what she was hearing which to us made it sound muffled & not audible, but to her that's what she was hearing ~ i asked them yesterday if we could just go back & map her (yesterday) at the mapping we'd done prior to last february when we all started seeing this problem arise ~ they did & said that they truly think she was just turned to high ~ they remapped her & on the way home we'd a very good conversation, not just a word here & a word there ~ it went something like this:
ruby: mommy, what's that?
mommy: that's a truck, you knew that!
ruby: oh, i didn't know!!
ruby: mommy, whatcha doing?
mommy: driving home & when we get there it's naptime!
ruby: i don't want to, i wanna eat!!
i was thrilled to be able to finally have a full fledged conversation with my little girl & it not consist of signing anything (we love to sign, but this was a milestone to us!!) ~ i truly think (pray) that this was the problem & we continue to make progress from here on out as she was flying & then came to a screeching halt ~ we'll keep you posted on what we find & how things are going ~ hugs!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


well, for all those out there that 'know' barbara walker, you'll think this' a bit funny ~ we went to the disney world's magic kingdom this past friday in florida & during the parade the girls were just beside themselves with anticipation for the end float that carried cinderella & her prince ~ the girls kept looking around at me saying, "when's cinderella coming mommy?" to which i'd reply, "she'll be towards the end, just keep watching" ~ kiara said, "what will she be wearing?" & they all took turns guessing what she'd be dressed in ~ then the time came we could see her float rounding the corner coming towards us & just as she got right in front of them, they squealed with delight ~ it was at that time karleigh (3y) turned to me & yelled out, "OH MOMMY, SHE'S BEAUTIFUL!! ~ SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE MS. BARBARA!!" (she was wearing a blue dress!!) ~ i'm always telling barbara how much our girls love her & talk about her all the time & this just proves it, they see her as their own cinderella ~ barbara, they truly love you!!


well, i'll write tomorrow all about our florida vacation (which was wonderful), but wanted to pop on here for a minute & make 1 post for father's day ~ i wanted to share how blessed i am to not only have the best father in the world as my dad, but also to be married to another one of the best father's in the world ~ spike's my best friend & the best father that anyone could ever ask for ~ he's great with our children from adults (dustin) to teens (brit) to toddlers (kiara, ruby & karleigh) ~ he's there when we need him for guidance, support, encouragement & love, but still gives us space when it's needed as well ~ he'll never know how happy & blessed i feel to call him mine ~ when god brought him into my life in 1990, i had no idea what was in store ~ he showed me who spike was, inside & out & told me (verbally) i was to marry him ~ it wasn't a hard decision for me, but believe me, i wasn't 'looking' for a man & was a bit surprised when he showed up! ~ we began dating the night we met (at church) & went for pizza afterwards ~ we dated every weekend from then until the day we married just 7 months later ~ he's been all that god said he'd be & sooooooo much more ~ i look forward to him coming home in the evenings & strive to be to him, what he is to me on a daily basis (i fail SO miserably) ~ i know he got the raw end of the deal in this marriage & i hate that, but am truly trying to show him & not just tell him, what he means to me (i feel this way, but he says he doesn't... just for the record) ~ spike, thank you once again for who you are, what you've done for this family & for being you & loving me (& our children) ~ when we married it was just us 3, then we added 'just 1 more', then we added '1 more', then we added 'only 1 more' & then we added 'the LAST one' ~ we're a complete family & you made that happen & i thank you publically as i do privately on a regular basis ~ without you, none of this would've been possible ~ thank you for listening to god & for allowing me to bug you from time to time without you hating me for it ~ we all love you more than anything ~ lori, dustin, brit, kiara, ruby & karleigh (your 'bunch')

Sunday, June 10, 2007


just wanted a quick post at the fun we're having ~ we flew here on friday & the girls loved the flight (karleigh was amazed at how little the houses looked) ~ since arriving here, we've ate at some very good restaurants, took the kids to a small 'fair' right down the street from our resort & had a blast! ~ there at the fair was an old car show, lots of rides & tons of stores for shopping ~ we were there for several hours, but didn't get into any shops as we were so busy, so we're going back another day ~ we went to 'arabian nights' this evening & had a good time (although we all like dixie stampede TONS TONS better) ~ we also went to see the shuttle go up (WAAAAY cool) ~ the girls thought that was very fun & spike was in heaven ~ he was the 'true tourist' too, all the cameras we own were hung around his neck & he was snapping shots like crazy while i watched/kept all the kids (good thing too, cause he was 'in charge' of karleigh & when i looked around, there she sat sitting in her stroller alone while her daddy had walked off to 'get the perfect shot') ~ being there & watching him was like a kid in a candy store ~ tomorrow we're heading to daytona for the day & then to the beach in the afternoon ~ we're taking sandwiches with us to eat on the beach & everyone's excited for tomorrow to arrive ~ we're planning a day at universal on tuesday & then disney/magic kingdom on friday ~ we're all having a great time ~ here's a picture (just for you dad) of us arriving at the airport with all our luggage ~ now my dad's been teasing us about ALL we're taking, but considering there's 6 of us for a 10 day trip, we thought we were doing good ~ we took 9 checked bags, 5 carryons & 2 strollers (one of which's a double stroller), was that too much?? (mom, make sure dad sees the picture, k??)

a funny 'karleigh' story since we left home was this ~ we've told the girls for months that in june we were going to florida ~ they've been asking for months if it's june yet & no's been the reply ~ well, when we woke them up on friday to get ready to leave we said, "hey girls, today's june!" (even thought it had been june for a week, they didn't know it) ~ well, we were on the plane & we landed here in florida & karleigh didn't want to get off ~ i said, "c'mon karleigh, move, we've got to get off, we're here!" ~ she said, "i don't want to, you said we could go to florida" ~ we went round & round how we were here & that it was june, but she kept referring to wanting to stay on the plane as she was going TO FLORIDA!! ~ after this went on for a bit & she was getting more & more upset, i said, "alright then, if we're not in florida, then where are we??" ~ she started crying & said, "you said in june we were going to florida & you told us today that it was florida & we're supposed to be in florida now, but they're saying we're in ORLANDO!!" ~ gosh, gotta love that girl!! ~ well, i'm heading to bed & will blog more tomorrow ~ nite all!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

~ 1 MORE SLEEP!!! ~

well, if you can't tell, we're excited!! ~ we'll be getting up at 3am tomorrow, leaving at 4:30 & flying out at 7am ~ the caswell's got into florida today & say the weather's perfect!! ~ we'll be returning home on the 17th (but let's not talk about that right now, okay?) & will be sooooo tired, i'm sure ~ this morning we got up, got ready, ran a couple errands, grabbed lunch, went to my parents for a bit, then home to let the bear cubs play ~ we'll get dinner here before long, then it's to bed early ~ we'll be posting while we're gone as we'll take the laptop so we can keep everyone up to date as to how things are going & believe me, i'm sure there's bound to be tons of blog material when all 11 of us get together (see dad, you & mom should've come with us!!) ~ well, i'll close now as there's still things to be done & not a lot of time to do it in ~ hugs!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


well, what blog material i have for you all today! ~ i was working around the house with karleigh following me & the other 2 were in their bedroom playing ~ as i walked past their room i shouted out, "whatcha doin'?" (expecting to hear, "playing with toys", "reading books", etc.), but instead i hear kiara say, "i'm in the middle of delivering ruby's baby" ~ i turned around immediately & went back to their room to see this picture of them both sitting on the floor ~
i said, "DELIVERING RUBY'S BABY?" & kiara said (very seriously), "yes, she's adopted this little baby from california (don't know where in the world that came from), now i'm in a hurry to deliver it from her tummy so we can hurry & get to the airport for it's homecoming!!" yes, she's taken a normal pregnancy (sort of, when you consider it's a doll!), an adoption (even if it IS from california) & an adoption homecoming (which our kids have seen about 35-40 of them & they all happen at our airport) & she's rolled them into 1 story ~ it's at this time karleigh steps into the room & says (with her hands on her hips), "you just HAD to do another adoption, didn't you?" ~ i busted out laughing as did they ~ i told them they could play adoption, play like they were mommy's, etc., but let's not play like we're 'delivering' babies as it's stretching out the neck hole in ruby's shirt (see picture above) & they agreed ~ kiara then said, "we're just playing 'family' (notice she did NOT say playing 'house') & i was thankful to god at that moment that he allowed me again to share the joy with our girls of not only family & giving birth (which they watch with me on TV when i watch 'a baby's story'), but also that they're so into adoption & talk about it openly all the time ~ i'm so glad that our children (all of them) see adoption as such a positive thing & that they're so happy with where they came from, where they are now & who they are in the lord ~ hugs

Monday, June 4, 2007


we all had such a wonderful day ~ i got up, made a pretty big 'brunch', got the bear cubs ready & off we went for the park ~ we (pictures below) played at the park for a long time until the rain threatened enough that we decided to listen ~ we then headed to babies 'r us, then to target & then home for naptime ~ they all went down very quickly as they/we were all sleepy (i didn't get to nap though!) ~ after everyone woke up, they had dinner & played a bit as spike & i were getting read for a 'date' ~ we left brit in charge, which she's been asking to do to earn $$ for our vacation (this friday!!) ~ spike & i went out to dinnerat sapporos (YUM!) & then to see a movie (shrek) while brit & the bear cubs stayed home, watched a movie & ate popcorn, which they loved! ~ they were all (4 of the them) sound asleep by the time we arrived home & that's where i'm heading now that my day's done ~ don't know what's on the agenda for tomorrow, maybe to visit nana or something after we pick brit up at school as tomorrow's her last day for the summer & she gets out at 12:30 - as of tomorrow, she'll be a sophmore!! ~ our best friends are celebrating 2 of the children's 'gotcha days' as 4 years ago today, sanite & noah (from haiti) became a family with their new papa & mama (yeah!!!) ~ man, i can't believe how time flies!! ~ we love you guys & hope you had fun ~ 2 more sleeps until you leave & 4 more for us ~ see ya in florida!!! ~ hugs
kiara (5y)
ruby (4y)
karleigh (3y)
peek a boo ruby

karleigh & ruby (our 'twins')

Friday, June 1, 2007


wow's, all i can say! ~ when i was in haiti, spike surprised me & had my sister in law to clean the whole house, clean the carpets, etc. & it's been looking great (thanks vickie!) ~ well, today i needed to dust, run the vacuum, etc. & about 1000 other things too, but truly got none of that done ~ i can say that all 3 of the bear cubs are completely packed (i think) so that's 1 big job out of the way ~ brit's packed too, as she did hers while i was doing the other 3 ~ i can't tell you how excited we all are to be leaving & i talked to angie today & she's about to wet herself too ~ they're leaving wednesday so she doesn't even have as long to wait as we do ~ i also got the pool bag packed so we're on our way to being ready (hehe) ~ well, it's late, i'm tired & if i keep writing, nothing i write will make sense so i'm going to close now & write more tomorrow ~ hugs & nite!