Tag Archives: college

A Blessed Saturday


IMG_1500 (2)

Toby was home on Saturday so it turned into a project day. It was cool and rainy, giving us the perfect excuse to hunker down and work on some house projects.

Number one on the list was painting. Over the last few weeks Toby has been working to patch and sand the many holes made in the drywall over the last year as a result of little boys raging. The bulk of the damage was in Ozzie and Tyler’s room but we also has a few other spots through the house that needed patched. Toby was all done with repairs so everyone pitched in to repaint Tyler and Ozzie’s rooms and touch up the other spots.

Now given the instability of things around here lately, I do recognize the efforts may be futile, but for now the walls are beautifully pristine. 🙂

IMG_1470 (2)

While we were in painting mode we decided to tackle another project that has been sitting on the back burner for the last year. A while ago we were given an old set of school lockers that we thought would be cute in Tyler’s sports themed bedroom. They needed painted so they have been sitting in the basement waiting for some TLC. We finally got around to the task last Saturday. We let Tyler pick the colors he wanted to spray paint the lockers with the understanding that Mom and Dad had veto power. Tyler’s first pick was neon pink. When that was vetoed he chose red, green, and yellow for the doors and chalkboard paint for the sides so he can draw on the lockers.


He loved helping prime the lockers. I think maybe he enjoyed it too much.

IMG_1479 (2)

He declared with glee, “I feel like one of those bad boys who color on buildings!”

Beware world: if you see the following image tagging the buildings and bridges of Pittsburgh then you will know Tyler has turned to a life of crime!


In the afternoon we loaded everyone up for errands. Molly needed to be dropped of at work so we all tagged along.

Work is going well for the girls. They are thriving as Pretzel Factory workers. In fact they are doing so well that they received a personal call from the district owner who has noticed the girls’ work ethic and diligence and called to inform them that they will both be receiving a raise. She said that their store’s sales have increased significantly in the last quarter and she credits Grace and Molly’s work with the increase in the store’s profits. The girls were thrilled…not only for the pay raise but for the recognition.

After a trip to Home Depot and Walmart we headed over to Ellwood City. Rusty had heard news that the comic book store in Ellwood City was having a “Free Graphic Novel” day. Every customer who stopped in could pick from a selection of free graphic novels. Rusty loves graphic novels and asked if we could go check it out.

IMG_1483 (2)

We arrived and found a large selection of books to choose from. Rusty was in heaven. The kids searched through the pile of choices looking for the one they wanted. Toby and then previewed possible choices, making sure the content was age appropriate.

IMG_1484 (2)

There was something for everyone! Who knew my girl Janet Evanovich wrote graphic novels?!

IMG_1489 (2)

Everyone left with some new bedtime reading.

IMG_1492 (2)

When we returned home Toby gave the boys haircuts while Grace and I had her weekly one-on-one time. She chose to make fudge. She found a recipe for cookies & crème fudge on Pinterest, so that is what we made. The rainy weather made baking a perfect Saturday afternoon activity and the results of our labors were then enjoyed the next evening as our Family Night treat.

IMG_1495IMG_1499 (2)

We are all adjusting to the new normal of having Grace gone more than she is at home. Between two jobs and school she is a girl on the go, but is thriving and loving life. She has fully embraced her new status as college student and is loving her classes. In addition to school changes Grace has transitioned from being a young woman at church to a young adult. She no longer has early morning seminary or Wednesday night youth group. Now her Wednesday nights are spent at institute (church classes for college aged students.) This past Sunday was also her first Sunday attending church down in Pittsburgh at the young adult ward where the congregation is comprised of 18-30 year olds. It is a chance for her to get to know, socialize with, and worship with like minded peers… and also happens to be where Toby and I met 20 years ago. It was a bit surreal sending her off to our old stomping grounds for church. It feels like I was in her shoes just yesterday. How can we be old enough to have a daughter that age?!

IMG_1504 (2)

But I am also excited for her. That was such an exciting, sweet time of my life and I am thrilled she gets to embark on such a grand adventure. Week one was a huge success. Grace loved it. Now the rest of us just need to get adjust to being a family of 6 at church. It has been especially challenging for Molly, who has had to get used to not having her best friend/sister in Young Women’s with her.

This seems to be the season of change for our family…both good and hard.

We are still working to get Ozzie in a good place and appreciate all of the prayers said on his behalf. We have felt the sustaining power of the many prayers lifting us up these past few weeks and we are very grateful. When we have a better idea of where we are at and what needs to happen next we will share but until then, thank you for your prayers.


Gracie has Decided!



Oh, how my heart has pinched for Grace as she has worked through the process of making her first big life decision… the first of many that will follow.

It was also a test of restraint for Toby and I as we made an effort to really step back and let Gracie work through the decision making process on her own, with little input from us.

She had a hard decision to make as she pondered and prayed over the six acceptance letters she received. She wanted to make sure her goals were in align with God’s plan for her and she spent much time praying over her choices.

The decision was further complicated by the two focuses she feels called to: American Sign Language interpreting and special education. While these two focuses don’t seem too disconnected, she soon found the opposite to be true.

The more she researched these two areas she feels called to, the more she realized there was no simple, easy path to get there. These two majors simply didn’t overlap in any easy, efficient way which meant she would have to pursue this two degrees separately.

The debate then became whether to pursue them simultaneously or back to back. Which led to her second obstacle of finding a school that offers strong programs in both fields.

Oh, how my heart ached for her as she ran into roadblock after roadblock in pursuit of finding the path that would lead to her dream. But I watched and was able to witness the manifestation of the spiritual growth and maturity that has occurred over the last few years as she accepted each roadblock as an answered prayed that that path was not the right one.

The answer to her prayers finally fell into place with our last college visit in the most unexpected place when we visited CCAC. This is not even our county’s community college but we decided to tour it after hearing about their ASL interpreting program. We were able to meet with staff and ASL majors that had completed the program and were working as certified interpreters, and it felt right.

Grace felt at peace for the first time in months. She knew it was where God was calling her to begin her higher education journey.

She will complete a one year ASL certification and two year ASL interpreting program and get her associates degree as an ASL interpreter while simultaneously knocking out all the basic credits she can put toward a bachelor’s degree. We will see where the Lord leads her in three years when she moves on to a four year school to complete her Bachelor’s degree in special education and/or ASL interpreting.

We are so happy for her and so proud of the prayerful way she leads her life in accordance with God’s great plan for her.

And we are so excited to see how the Lord will use her to touch the world.

asl love

We Love You, Gracie!