Hannah not pictured.
Now that I have talked about my children, I suppose I should "officially" introduce you to them.
First, we have Niki (Nicole), who is soon-to-be 23 and having their 2nd baby in February (a girl). She has a gorgeous head of long red hair! (Of course I'm partial to her red hair I'm sure). She and Dustin adore Landon, her first child, and Landon is our family's pride and joy. He is our first grandchild and has such a great personality! He is very loving and affectionate! Niki is currently going to college to get her degree in Social Work. She has one more semester before she will graduate. Dustin is a hard worker and loves Niki and Landon ever so much!
Second we have Saph (Sapphire), who will be 20 in May, and she and her husband are having their 1st baby, a boy. The baby's name will be Kaden Andrew Taylor. Saph has very long beautiful brown hair. She is married to Andrew, a really great guy, very hard working, with only one semester to complete in college, but is currently working for my husband at the distributorship as a merchandiser. They are due to have their baby this month. They are currently living with us out in the country and want to soon be able to get their own place close by.
Thirdly, we have Ash (Ashley). She will be 18 in April. She loves children (especially babies), and loves animals of almost every kind. She has a Saint Bernard, a parakeet, a kitten, and three horses. Ashley struggles with dyslexia and so schooling has always been a challenge for her. She has overcome many, many obstacles though, and continues to plunge along in her school work. She has several goals she wants to accomplish in her lifetime...going on a missions trip to S. Africa, adopting children from other countries, being a Crime Scene Investigator, a photographer, a mother, wife...
Fourthly is our first and oldest born son, Zach (Zachery). He is 16. Zach was homeschooled his whole life until the end of last school year. Long story short, he is our child who has currently slipped away from the Lord and taking his own path. I think one of our biggest mistakes was allowing him to convince us to let him go to the public school at the end of last school year. He met several kids, most of whom are bad influences and encouraged him to start smoking, one boy brought over a beer to our house for them to share, another started hiding his drugs in our basement since he couldn't keep them at home (which we purely found by accident), and Zach's attitude started to get worse, he became disrespectful, argumentative, and so forth. Actually the latter attitudes had begun to start before he went to the public school, and he started refusing to do any school work for me, argued with me daily, etc., and that is one reason we thought that him going to the public school would be good for him to have to be under someone else's authority for a time. This was not the right choice, and we did so almost out of desperation to try to bring him out of this funk he was in. Well I won't go into the whole long drawn out story over what this last year has been like, but suffice it to say, Zach is still in the public school for the rest of this year anyway, he has moved back home from my sister's, his aunt's house (who was promising to offer him a better life than he had at home, which lasted only 4 short months), he is back at home and we are taking one day at a time, literally. It has been one of our hardest challenges as parents. We love him though, and he has a lot of love to give, but shows it only rarely.
Fifth is Buggy (Cory Matthew). He is 10. He is a first vasectomy reversal baby. This is why there is such a span of age between Zach and Cory. Cory is a good boy, a hard worker, isn't thrilled with school as he'd rather be outside doing a project, and loves his mama a lot! He can be the most helpful child in the world when he wants to be. He desires to be a farmer or cattle rancher one day and wants 16 children. He also hopes to have his own tractor by the time he is 16. He is a great help to me with my dog business and I pay him a quarter for each time he cleans their dirty papers for me. It isn't much, but enough to buy a 2-liter of pop every now and then for a treat.
Sixth is NP (Noah Patrick). He is 8. Noah is our fearless child...our daredevil. He has been missing his front four teeth since he was 18 months old. He lost them on a bottom rung of a scaffolding while we were adding on a new dining room and bedroom to our house in Omaha. He loves being outside and driving our 4-wheeler and riding lawn mower to the burn pile. He also loves our dirt bike and will be jumping ramps every minute that he can if we let him. Winter is hard for him as he can't ride as much as he'd like to, and so he plays inside with his race cars, annoying his siblings, etc. He has a lot of love to give, but is also our most melodramatic child when he gets hurt too.
Seventh is Hannah Banana (Hannah). She is also 8. We adopted Hannah almost two years ago. This too is a very long story, one that maybe I will share some other time. Hannah came to live with us shortly after she turned 4. She was our first foster child. We the opportunity came up for her to be adopted, we took it. Then almost a year ago, she began acting out in ways we cannot share. Needless to say, she is in a foster home now. We are struggling with this as we love her so much, but cannot put our other children at risk again. It is so hard. She calls us almost every day still or we call her, she writes us letters and vise versa, we send her pictures (almost 3 albums full now), and we have visits as often as we can with her. So, we are having to terminate paternal rights this coming week so she can be adopted by a family with no children. How does one do this without hurting? Without pain for all of us involved? She is such a loving girl, sweet by nature most of the time, loved to home school, etc. So how does one do this? I don't know.
Our 8th child is Colt (Colten). He is 6. He has Ashley's natural gift with animals, especially cats. He is a loving boy who just "officially" started schooling this year. He likes me to know that "he is still little and needs time to play." We have a schedule that I want to work harder at sticking to as Colten especially does better with having one. When he gets tired or overwhelmed, I have to take a break and give him some free time. Colt is one who likes to spend a certain amount of time alone in the evening having what he calls, "his quiet time alone." He really needs this. He is a sweet, loving boy who likes to be held and cuddled still. He loves being outside in the summer, but can also enjoy sitting and playing with their Playstation racing games as well. We have to limit his time though or he will easily become stressed and grouchy!
Our 9th child is Shey (Sheyenne). We also call her our little Missy girl. She just turned 4. After having four boys in a row, we were excited to have another little girl! She was only 3 weeks old when Hannah came to live with us. I used to pray and ask God that if this was to be our last child, then could we please have another little girl again, maybe one with red hair like her oldest sister, and who stayed small for a while. God gave us exactly what we prayed for! She weighed 7.7 lbs., whereas the other kids all weighed 8. 12 lbs. or bigger. She is still a little peanut only now weighing 30 lbs. at age 4. She is very affectionate, loves her siblings ever so much (especially her older sisters), loves animals, and loves her mommy and daddy very, very much! She is one child that I would say is a favorite amongst all her siblings. There's just something about her. Now that she is going to have another brother or sister, she is thrilled to be a "big girl," but says she wants us to still call her our "baby." She's a sweet, funny little girl to be sure. She reminds me of Beth off of Little Women personality wise.
Our 10th baby is due is June. We don't yet know if this is a boy or girl, but whatever God gives us, well will gladly take! The Bible says, "Children are a gift from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is his reward." Our children are certainly, "Gifts from the Lord!"