Dustin and I have known one another since kindergarten. I didn’t like him so much then. But his cooties eventually wore off and I woke up one morning as a freshman in high school suddenly aware of that fact. We began a very slow courtship that lasted all the way through high school. We started out as friends and eventually it grew into love and we knew that we wanted to get married.
On my 19th birthday Dustin surprised me with a wonderful birthday present… a diamond ring. And asked a question that I said yes to. That night we shared our first kiss. We were married a year later on June 1, 2002.
Aren’t we so precious?!? I’m aware that I am probably painting a very quaint picture of a perfect relationship, resulting with a perfect wedding on a perfect day that was the start of a perfect marriage. It is not my intention to appear that way at all. And if you know me at all, you will soon learn that I like to ‘keep it real’. Sometimes too real… So believe me when I say, that yes all that really happened, but it was in no way perfect, never has been, never will be!!
But this is the ‘perfect’ marriage and life that God has given us and planned for us to have from the very beginning of time. God has used being married to sanctify us both in ways that we never dreamed possible. And for that we are thankful. Very, very thankful.
Olivia Rose is our first born. She came to us in January of 2004. Her name means ‘One of Peace’. We want her life to represent the peace that only God can give and that surpasses all understanding. Livie has kept us on our toes from the moment she arrived with her love for life and people and her strong (inherited) determination! She is the life of the party! This past year she played ‘The Queen of France’ in her school play. And she will forever be the Queen of my Heart.
Our prayer is that God would use her in a very special way to bring others peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called (daughters) of God.” Matthew 5:9
Deacon Lee was born to us August 2005. His name means “Messenger” or “Servant”. I see him falling into that role already even at this tender age. It is quite a big name, but he carries it well!
Deke is our quiet, introspective guy, taking after his daddy. We’ve always said he doesn’t need to talk, because Olivia just says it for him! He has an engineer’s mind and a sweet
heart that will melt your own.
Our desire is for him to be a servant to others as Christ came to serve us. And to also bring others the message of Christ’s redeeming love. “..As
for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ” 2Cor. 8:23
Levi Walker was born February 2007. He was delivered on my birthday by the same doctor who delivered me! It was quite a special event.
Levi’s name means “to be attached or joined to someone.” He has really already fulfilled the meaning of his name. God used his birth in
a tremendous way to in a sense, ‘save’ our marriage. I share more about that here.
Levi is our stand up comedian. He finds humor in everything and loves to share that with just about anyone. We have comedy nights and he has us all in tears! I look forward to watching how God continues to use this little man and in what direction He takes him in.
“This time my husband will become attached to me… therefore he was named Levi.” Gen. 29:34
David “Judah” was born May 2012. Our first three came in a quick 37 months. After living in Zombie Land for what seemed like an eternity, we took a little break. Judah came five years later. His coming has been such a joy to our family. I was nervous about the big space between the first three and him, but I am loving having older’s and a baby!
We have been brought closer together as a family and have cherished every second of his babyhood. Including the first 6 months when all he did was cry! I have been so thankful for this ‘second’ chance to enjoy motherhood again.
His name Judah means to “Praise the Lord”. We wanted his name to reflect the place where God has brought us… a time of praise and thanksgiving.
“This time I will praise the Lord. So she named him Judah.” Gen. 29:35
Quaid Shepherd joined our family 5.15.15 after just a 2.5 hour long labor! He wanted to make sure he didn’t miss out on his big brother’s third birthday party! I never dreamed I would have five children! But I did always love the idea of having four boys. I absolutely love being a mother to boys! He has captured all of our hearts and I’m afraid he will most definitely take the stereotypical role as ‘baby of the family’. There is simply nothing he can do wrong.
His name means, “Rock of Strength” and “One who tends sheep”. Our prayer for him is that he will tend the Lord’s sheep in whatever capacity, with a deep strength that is built on a solid foundation of faith.
“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God.” Psalm 62:7
“I am the good shepherd and know my sheep and am known of mine.” John 10:14