I grew up on a beautiful farm in Dayton, Oregon where I was the eighth of thirteen kids. With a family of fifteen, you can imagine how crazy things were! Our farm was humble, but absolutely gorgeous, and filled with everything that a little girl could ever need. After school we would throw our books on the table and explore the orchards picking plums and cherries as we walked. On Saturdays, if I wasn’t doing chores or homework, then you could find me in the barn with our cows! In my mind, our farm was the perfect place to grow up. It was among those trees and our small home that I truly learned the importance of hard work, family, humility, and sacrifice. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world!
I always knew that I wanted to work as a psychologist, to connect with people and understand them on a different level. From a young age, I also knew that I wanted to see and experience new places. I never thought that I would be able to travel around the world, but to travel the United States from coast to coast was something I thought I could do. Growing up I had three dreams: to have 12 children (it runs in the family!), marry my “knight in shining armor,” and live in my dream home.
When I was about 20, I had already made plans for my career and the rest of my future, but all of that would take the backseat once I met my knight in shining armor… I just never thought it would happen so soon! Once I knew Roger was the man of my dreams, everything I wanted in life was no longer exciting unless I knew that we would be doing it together.
We started having children right away. I wanted to raise my own children, and because I also wanted Roger and I to be a big influence in their lives, I became a stay-at-home mom. I will never regret that decision and cherish the memories of raising Curtis, Tyler, and Danny.
Shortly after becoming pregnant with our third son, we learned that my sweet husband had cancer and that we might not be able to have any more children. I quickly realized that my dream of having a big family was in jeopardy. We tried several different options to have more children, but nothing seemed to be the right fit. It was a very emotionally challenging time in our family, but we knew that together we could work through any trial. I may not have the big family I always dreamed of, but that doesn’t mean that my dreams didn't come true…