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Vacation 2014 with all our kids and grandkids, my parents, and my sister.

John and meWhen my high school sweetheart and I got married at 19, neither of us knew what adventures lay ahead.  By our 8th anniversary, we had four kids.  Not long after that, God opened our eyes to the need of orphans all over the world, a need that dovetailed beautifully with my complete and utter passion for babies.  (God’s good that way!)  And so began our adoption journey.

Between 1998 and 2007 we adopted 6 children from Korea and Ethiopia, bringing us to a grand total of– yes– ten kids. Along the way I learned tons about homeschooling, living well on less, feeding my family great food, and mothering children from hard places.

With the grandbabies– Fall 2013

These days our ‘baby’ is 9.  Our oldest two daughters are married, with two babies each. I’m still laboring under the delusion that I’m too young to be a grandma, but I guess that’s what happens when you get married at 19.  And oh, these babies are yummy!

For a decade or so, I did obstetric nursing, breathing mommas through labor and helping them get their babies get started nursing afterward.  But then I discovered I’m also a writer.  I’ve been telling stories here since 2006. Along the way I wrote three books. Family Feasts for $75 a Week came out in 2009 and shares the budgeting secrets and recipes I’ve learned over years of feeding an army 10 kids.  A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family  answers all sorts of other practical questions about large (and small) family logistics.  My most recent book Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting tells our adoption story alongside the stories of many other families who chose to build their families via adoption.

If you’re interested in having me speak at your event, visit my speaking page, or contact me at: mary.owlhaven at gmail.com .  I especially love to offer encouragement to new mommas, adoptive mommas and homeschoolers.

And the name Owlhaven? It came because our home sits on a rocky hillside where burrowing owls nest.  (Or at least they used to, until the kid-count got too high and the owls flew off to nest someplace quieter.)

I’m so glad you’re here.  Welcome.