Julie’s Family

My Best Friend

“Shucks” (my husband Steve’s nickname) is a fine example of why Internet dating works! When we met, he was working in Denver and I was living in Wyoming. The Internet was a great option for me because the only eligible single white males in the sparsely populated state were sheep. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to wool.

Shucks was born in Beirut, Lebanon to missionary parents and lived there for 18 years until he moved to the U.S. God has blessed him with many wonderful opportunities in his life. Julie and Steve standing together in the woods.After completing his undergraduate degree at Wheaton College, he had the opportunity to teach skiing in Austria, Wyoming, and Colorado for several years. He went on to complete his MBA at the University of Denver, and then worked in the telecommunications industry and as a jigsaw puzzle entrepreneur (ski area trail map puzzles) before meeting me. Upon considering leaving a good job and moving from Colorado to the wilds of Wyoming, he stated: “It’s a lot harder to find a good wife than it is a good job. ” So in 1999, he quit his job, sold his puzzle business, and moved to Wyoming to start an unknown adventure with the “woman of his dreams”. He is a wonderful partner in life and since I met him, my life has “twice the sorrow and half the joy.” Ooops…I mean “twice the joy and half the sorrow.”

Shucks used to work as a web-design instructor and webmaster at Central Wyoming College. But in June of 2006 we both left our jobs to begin working for Hopegivers International , an evangelistic orphan ministry that raises up orphans to change their countries for Christ. Since then, Shucks has been working on developing their website and internet marketing, and I have been writing books and magazine articles for them. We love this ministry that has over 70 orphanages in India, 2 in Malawi, and one in Haiti, over 108 Bible institutes, and over 20,000 churches that have been planted since 1960.We have both been to India several times (see my gallery), as well as Haiti to see the work for ourselves, and it is unbelievably life-changing. Right now I have the most special honor of writing the biography of the founder, “Papa,” Dr. M.A. Thomas, the father of many once orphaned and abandoned children worldwide. It’s been such an adventure! We’re excited to see where God leads from here.

For more about our zany and unpredictable marriage, check out our famous article, “How Did I Survive Without You?”, or to find out about our amazing God-given love story, read an excerpt of our book, “The Perfect Fit”.

My Girls

When it comes to my girls, let me give you a peek at what we’re dealing with here.

Recently we were driving down the street, engaged in conversation about how bad kids have it with their parents these days. I jokingly said, “When kids grow up, they always talk about all the things their parents did wrong and they think they are going to do it right with their own kids. Someday you girls can make a list of all the ways I messed up your lives.”

My oldest, Dani, nods her head in agreement. “It’ll fill four notebook pages.”

“Front and back,”Jessi pipes in her two cents from the back seat.

Although they’re still human, I couldn’t have asked for more amazing and sweet kids. They are both funny (haven’t we seen that?!), bright, creative, and very “interesting” people to hang out with. Dani and Jessi sitting together in field of daisies.I still have to tell them a thousand times a week to pick things up after themselves, and to quit wrestling when we are driving in the car. But hey, that’s not so bad when you consider what some parents are dealing with. And here’s my tip for raising girls who are going to be teenagers someday: If you don’t discipline, demand respect, and “win” when they are two, you’ve already lost the battle for when they are twelve. Thank you, James Dobson!

Check Out My D.Lux Photo Cube!

My Beautiful Flower
A Poem for Dani & Jessi Mother’s Day 2005

I planted a little seedling
The package said it would grow
To be a beautiful flower
Just what kind I didn’t know

I buried it in the soil
Of my love and tender care
I watered and nurtured it daily
To discover what beauty was there

But despite all my doting
My flower wouldn’t grow
Unless the Sonlight bathed it
In His radiant and redeeming glow

O little flower, what is your color?
What will be your smell?
Who are you going to be?
From here outside your little world
There’s just no way to tell

One day a little shoot burst forth
Unknown life began to unfold
But still I couldn’t tell the outcome
Of the mystery I would someday behold

Every day it grew a little taller
Each moment more defined
But still my little flower
Was hidden somewhere behind

Finally one day green leaves appeared
My flower began to take form
But still I had to wait some more
Until the buds were born

O little flower, what is your color?
What will be your smell?
Who are you going to be?
From here outside your little world
There’s just no way to tell

As years went by I scarcely noticed
The petals coming to
I almost forgot what I’d waited for
As my darling flower grew

The day my flower opened
I beheld reflection of the Son
Her color was a little taste of heaven
Her fragrance couldn’t be outdone

Experiencing the joy of a daughter
Grow into the woman
God made you to be
Is just like raising a lovely flower
That started from a little seed

You are my beautiful daughter
The one I hold so dear
You will live in my heart forever
I’m so glad God planted you here

O little flower, I see your lovely color
I smell your fragrance sweet
From here outside your great big world
I love who you’re turning out to be