Sunday, April 19, 2009


We love getting together with friends for dinner, games, movies, whatever. Here's Alisa singing with some of her girlfriends at our house for a "girls' night" playing Rockband.

We went skydiving for the first time! We decided to do it before we had any kids.  It was exciting, but I don't think we'll do it again. We had to have our instructors piggy-back since we didn't know what we were doing.

Here's Alisa giving her thumbs up! She started feeling a little sick when he was spiraling down. Jake wasn't sure if she would jump so he said that she had to go first. "I would have done it, I wasn't chicken!!"

We went to Mexico with some of our friends. It was really nice! We went to an aquatic zoo of sorts. We got to touch sea turtles, but it was sad that they were in such small areas. We would walk in the early mornings when the tide was out and search for sea shells in the tide pools. We even found a dead sea horse that we dried up and brought home.

At the school that Alisa works at as a 2nd grade teacher, she always volunteers to go in the dunk tank. She loves encouraging the children to dunk her, and then of course spraying them with her squirt gun.

We went on a 3 week trip to Europe just before Zowie came into our lives.  One of the places we traveled to was Sweden, we went on a tour on the roof top of a government building. We got all suited up in our gear so we don't fall off the roof. It was a breath-taking view and loads of fun. We were happy that Alisa's mom could go with us. This picture is of Jake and Alisa's mom, Lori.

Here's Alisa getting her helmet on before going out on the roof.

We were walking down The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, when we saw this mime dressed up. He wouldn't move unless you placed money in his container. We placed some money in it, and he grabbed Alisa'a hand pretending to kiss it while her mom took the picture. 

Zowie loves wrestling with her Daddy on the ground.

We have pet chickens in the backyard.  They are so fun and teaches responsibility.  Zowie's job is to make sure they have food everyday and collects the eggs.  We sell the eggs to friends and she gets the money for it.

Interests and Hobbies

We enjoy doing lots of things as long as it is together as a family. When the weather is cool, we love hiking and dirtbike riding. When it's hot, we escape to the mountains to go camping, more hiking, and fishing. When we can, we like including our friends and family members in these activities. We also enjoy getting together with friends and having game nights or movie nights.


Jake getting the lantern ready before it gets too dark

Alisa cooking the hotdogs on the campfire

Jake with his dirtbike

Alisa showing her dirtbike off at a school event (she's a teacher there)

Jake and his model airplane

Jake and his brother Kyle not afraid to get their hands dirty. He loves it when he comes over to help him. Jake loves diesel vehicles and doesn't mind fixing things to save money.

We love traveling the world. We were having fun creating silly pictures while visiting Stonehenge in England.

Jake is trying to keep Stonehenge from falling.

Another interest we have is gardening. Jake planted these sunflowers which grew taller than him. We also have another area in our backyard dedicated to veggies and fruit.

Other interests and hobbies:
Jake likes working with computers and playing games with friends and Alisa on them, it's called LAN gaming. He likes reading and listening to audio books. He enjoys the history and discovery channel.

Alisa loves to cook and bake. She also loves reading and watching movies. She enjoys getting together with her girlfriends and making cards or having a girl's night playing Rockband!

Our Family

Family is very important to us. We enjoy getting together and having fun. Jake's family is unique in that he was adopted himself as a teen. In his biological family, he has 9 siblings. All but 2 were adopted out, mostly in pairs. Jake and his biological brother, Kyle, were adopted together as teens into this wonderful family you see here on the side. His parents here also have 5 of there own biological children. So, needless to say, Jake has a BIG family and he keeps in touch with nearly all of them, even his birthmom. We feel that with this experience, he'll be able to better relate to our children when we adopt them. We feel that it will be beneficial to our children to maintain relationships with their birthparents, if possible.

Alisa's family is smaller, but very close. She only has 2 younger sisters. Both of her sisters have children that we adore and have fun playing with. With them both living in a different state, we call eachother often and stay in touch. We even take road trips to visit once in awhile. Alisa's parents live nearby and get together often. We have a once a month get together at her grandma's house where all the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids come together for dinner and chatting.

Alisa with her sister's two kids, Grant and Zoe. We take a trip to New Mexico once or twice a year to visit them. We talk to the kids on the phone all the time. Alisa is there "Aunt Seesa".

On our European trip, we visited Scotland since it is in Alisa's ancestry. We love hearing the bagpipes. We were in a store when we heard them playing, so we ran out to watch. After they played, we asked one of them if they would take a picture with us.

Further north of Edinburgh, Scotland in a town called Stonehaven, Scotland there is a castle that Alisa's ancestors (Keith Clan) lived in and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels from being stolen. We just had to visit. It's called Dunnottar Castle and unfortunately is in ruins, but it is open to the public. It was amazing to know that your ansectors once touched the same walls and walked where you were walking. I just love knowing where I came from. We can't wait to teach our children where they come from too, with the help of their birthparents.

Here we are inside a huge fireplace in one of the Towers at Dunnottar Castle.

Birthparent Letter

Dear friend,

Hi!  We are Jake and Alisa. 

We want you to know how excited we are to become parents again through adoption. We adopted Zowie when she was 3 1/2 years old.  She is now 6 and just finishing up Kindergarten. She is an amazing addition to our family and can't wait to add more.
Adoption Day with family and the Judge
A little more about us....Jake has a degree in Computer Science and works for a company where he is their Network Administrator in charge of about 250 computers. He loves working with computers and enjoys his job. Alisa has a degree in Elementary Education and currently teaches 2nd grade. She has taught for 14 years with the same school. She loves going to work everyday and having Zowie at her same school attending Kindergarten. She can't wait to be at home with more little ones.

We met on a blind date of sorts set up by his previous girlfriend's mother (strange, I know).  We met, got engaged a month later, and then married 8 months later (when it's right, it's right). We have been happily married for 13 years now. We have many similar interests and get along so well. We grew up with the same values and will teach them to all of our children as they grow up so that they may have the same positive relationship we have.

We are very involved in our church.  We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Jake works closely as an Executive Secretary and Alisa works with a youth group of teenage girls ages 12-13.

We love spending time together as a family.  We often go camping, traveling on vacations in the summer time and visiting family in other states.                      

Zowie and Daddy at a lake when camping

Daddy, Mommy and Zowie playing in the snow in Colorado
Mommy being a redneck wife and Zowie being a witch with a black wig for Halloween

We like being goofy and having fun on Halloween. We love exposing Zowie (and future children) to sports and dance as well as music in the near future.


swim lessons (Zowie being VERY brave and jumping off diving board)

coach pitch softball

We hope and pray that you feel a connection with us and know that we will love and cherish all of our children. We continue to have an open adoption with our daughter's birthparents where we talk to and visit them often.  We are open to any kind of adoption you feel comfortable with.  We pray that your journey will be a positive one.

With lots of love,

Jake and Alisa

Contact Us

Thank you for learning more about our family. We hope that you feel a connection towards us. If you are interested in finding out more, please feel free to contact us through email.

If you are more comfortable going through an agency, you may also contact our caseworker.

Calli Tidwell   (480) 968-2995

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One of my students, Skylee, invited me to her softball game. Softball was always my sport growing up and still love it. Skylee was so cute. She kept asking me at school if I was going to come. Her older sister later told me that she kept talking about me coming.

Hey batter, batter


Skylee and me

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Poetry and Essay Contest Winners

At my school, we have poetry and essay contests. We teachers submit 2 students from each category and then they get judged. They choose a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner out of each grade. Just to give you an idea for my grade (2nd) there was a total of 24 students that entered in poetry and then another 24 in essay. Two of my students won in the Essay, 2nd and 3rd place, and then my girl also won in the poetry, 3rd. Anyway....the school puts on a spaghetti dinner for the winners, their parents and their teacher, that's ME!!!! Yea!!!!

Trace and Shaylee

Me with my kiddos

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Garden update

The weekend that started my Spring Break, we planted our summer garden. It is doing so much better than last year.

Here's our tomatoes. I plan on canning some this year. I've never done it before, but am looking forward to it.

A row of green beans. In years past, they just wouldn't grow. Yea for this year!

Last year, we planted a lot of zucchini, but only 3 came up. Not this year! I think I counted like 35. I think I'll be sharing a lot and also freezing for zucchini bread.

We also have onions in the last row and in between the tomatoes. I'm so excited for all our veggies to start producing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Challenges in Life

Challenges in life are tough, but in the long run make you stronger. Things, no matter how unfortunate, happen for a reason. We may not know these reasons or what the future will hold, but we can learn from them and grow. We met with a birthmother Monday night and felt really good about everything and even held the baby girl while we were there. Well....last night, we just learned that another couple was chosen to be the mom and dad of a cute 2 month old baby girl instead of Jake and I. It broke our hearts of course and I cried just about all night. You always ask the question why? what was wrong with us? I just have to keep reminding myself that when "our" baby is here, we'll be the ones chosen. And I also have to keep reminding myself that God will not give you a challenge that you cannot handle. What if I don't want to handle it?? Oh well...he knows me better than me. I've got to move on, keep trying, and not give up!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hiking Peralta Trail

Jake and I and my friend from work, Kristin, went hiking EARLY Saturday morning. We did the Peralta trail up to Fremont Saddle looking at Weaver's Needle. It was quite chilly but a lot of fun. Kristin and I just chatted the whole way while Jake would go a little ahead of us and then let us catch up.

Before the hike

There's Weaver's needle behind us

Jake caught us talking away