The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.



Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Maddie Madeline

Thanksgiving Day 2019

You chose us January 11, 2011. From the moment I saw you I knew you were ours. You came free. Although Dad would argue you weren’t free with the added fencing we put in the backyard and new vet bill.

Even though we labored to keep you in the backyard when you went outside, your free spirit always found a way to escape. You would run like a deer and we would call your name in hopes to stop you from getting out. You would stop and lock eyes with us for a brief second, and then you would BOLT.

That look was stubborn. 

That look was determined. 

But that look was also like a promise. 

You knew you were ours and you knew you would come back. After a half hour, or sometimes a few worried hours on our part, of freedom and frolicking and exploring, you would always come back. If we had to leave you out, we would come home to find you in the front yard, like you were securing the premises. I compared you to Hank the Cowdog because you acted like you were the Head of Ranch Security. And Ranch Security included our property, the cow field next door, the neighbors’ chicken coop, and Spring Creek Park.

You were a survivor. We thought we lost you more than once. You got hit by a car (actually you ran right into a moving car), bit by a coral snake (as you slung it around by your mouth), and we sure disappointed one young couple that had loaded you up into their jeep until we stopped to ask if they had seen you. 

You were ours. 

One stormy night around 3am, we got a call from the gas station on Hwy 249 more than a mile away. Somehow you had gotten that far during a heavy thunderstorm. I don’t even know how you were gone. But you were ours. And God made sure you came back home that night, shaking, wet and cold in my car at 3am. 

I think we wanted to believe that you would always survive and you would always come back.

I’ve had just a handful of dogs in my life but you were my favorite. You didn’t shed. You didn’t have a tail that could whack a small child off their feet. You would follow me around the house, finding a spot to curl up close by, until I left the room and you had to come with me. You endured the kids’ costumes and headbands they found for you. You gladly slept on their beds as they not so fairly took turns taking you.

You got spoiled to Pawpaw feeding you from his plate these past few months when he lived with us. With Nana and Pawpaw came Memah who was your best dog friend by far. The two of you would get on couches and dig holes in the yard and politely share your food bowls. We wondered how you would get along without each other when Memah moved, but that turned out to be just one week.

You were healthy and active and then you were not. That last night we had you, none of us had any idea. You put your chin on Katerin’s lap at the dinner table. You hung around as we decorated the Christmas tree. You were laying under the table while we played cards above you. You jumped up when Saimon called upon you to scare the cats back to the back. You had learned to behave with the cats. You were a good dog.
Our last night with you


We miss you, Maddie. Finding pictures of you on my phone and seeing all the videos and pics Katerin and Wesley are posting bring tears. We had no idea you would go so quickly. But I’m thankful. I’m thankful that you were ours from January 11, 2011 to November 30, 2019. I’m thankful we did not have to watch you suffer long. I’m thankful all the kids were home and got to tell you goodbye. I’m thankful we were with you when your heart stopped beating….that you felt our love to the end.

Dad said it best when he wrote on your burial box, “Thank you for choosing us!” You will always be missed. I am reminded every time the door is left open and I want to hurry to close it before you get out. But you are no longer to escape. Emily said you have made "your greatest escape."

We will love you forever, Maddie Madeline!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Life is Sweet


Life is sweet!

Even though we are a KING SIZE family, I would say we are still FUN SIZE. MOUNDS of events, mostly SWEET with a few SOUR PATCHES, took place as the earth took its ORBIT around the sun this past year. 

If I were to pick a candy to help describe our year for each in our family, it would go like this…

Katerin would get SNICKERS. Milk chocolate, peanuts, caramel, nougat---it satifies. Katerin is more than satisfied with her Sophomore year—she loves UMHB, she loves her friends (we do too!), she is doing so well managing her courses and work, and we are immensely proud of the young woman she has become (more than satisfied!)

For Emily, I would choose SWEETTARTS. Emily graduated High school—sweet! She was accepted into the PATHS Program at Texas A&Msweet! But with these blessings, came overwhelming and anxiety-inducing changes (tart), for which Emily was uncertain if she was ready. This year has proven Emily to have been beyond prepared as she has navigated life in a new city, new expectations and new friends—sweet!

For Marian, I think of STARBURST. She has a rigorous schedule her Senior year with the EMT program and her other courses, working as a gymnastics coach, and looking for a second job to pay for a Europe Trip with the EMT students.  She is just a rock star at managing all of it. Marian also got to shine this year as she was nominated on the Homecoming Court!

Wesley would be EXTRA. Anything Wesley does, he goes all out. His hair, his humor, and when he displays his patriotic spirit—he not only dresses head to toe in stars and stripes, but he carries his flag pole proudly displaying the American flag. Wes is the only one in the family that wants to dress in a suit for family pictures (we compromised and let him wear a sports coat). Wesley is not just extra with his appearance, it shows in his heart too. He spent Thanksgiving break with his “brothers” in Rwanda—encouraging and serving others.

I would choose MR. GOODBAR for Omar. Omar is well-liked by teachers, coaches, peers and the girls. He is good at anything he tries--percussion, football, swim, and self-taught flips. He always has a smile on his face and often offers a helping hand.

Saimon is a FIREBALL. This kid is full of endless energy and just like a fireball candy, sometimes he is too much. But we love his intense passion, his giant, tender heart, and his excitement. The way Saimon tackles projects with dad is unmatched by anyone else. And his ability to sing along to every song with his sweet, raspy voice amazes me.

If M&M’s stood for “making memories” this would be the perfect candy for Savannah. Savannah loves to plan family game night and family movie night with whoever will attend. She counts down to the day when the siblings choose their Secret Santa names and she helps keep the Elf on the Shelf moving day to day. Savannah loves old traditions and enjoys creating new ones.

For Jeremy and I, there is no other person in the entire MILKY WAY we would rather be with than each other. This year we celebrate 23 years of marriage and we do not take for granted that we enjoy working, serving, and parenting together (most days).

This time of year, we are especially thankful for Jesus, our LIFE SAVER. Without His birth, we would not enjoy these sweet gifts. We certainly do not deserve them. Much of daily life is spent “bracing for impact” so recalling these sweet things is just as much for us as it is to share with you.

We wish you a SWEET Christmas filled with the best kinds of gifts, The Evermons












Tuesday, October 16, 2018

#hoco2k18


Tomball High School Homecoming happened this past weekend and we had the awesome privilege of escorting Marian at halftime for Homecoming Court.

As with any big event, the moments can buzz by and I hardly have time to appreciate them with everything going on.  

But this is one moment I did not want to just buzz on by.

I don’t think we have ever dressed up so much for a football game before. Jeremy and I arrived early to save seats for family and friends…





We prepared to walk with the court 8 minutes before halftime—pinning boutonnieres, taking pictures, listening to instructions. 




As we rounded the track to wait for the time the court would walk on the field, Marian told us how the speaker would talk about each candidate. And we soon became aware that the 3 of us would walk down the 50-yard line with the attention of the crowd in the stadium all.on.us. 

My heart might have skipped a few beats.
I thought we would be going as one big group.
Now I'm starting to pray we don't trip arm-in-arm.



I became increasingly aware that this was A BIG MOMENT.  To have Marian honored this way by her peers was so incredible! What an honor for her to be nominated out of hundreds of students.

Even if she was not chosen as Homecoming Queen, 
sharing this moment with her was an absolute gift!
Thanks, Kara, for this pic!!

Although we could not hear the announcer very well from the field, I asked him to send me her bio and this proud mom is sharing it with the world!   

Marian Evermon is being escorted by her parents, Jeremy and Vanessa Evermon.  Marian is a member of the Varsity Chorale and is in the EMT Practicum Certification course.  Marian also coaches gymnastics from ages 2-15, participates in the Princess Project, which sings to hospitals, orphanages, and nursing homes to spread cheer to those in need.  During the summer, she attends mission trips to places like South Padre’ and Honduras.  Awards include medals for UIL Solo & Ensemble with the highest score of 1.  Her future plans include getting her EMT certification and after graduation becoming a paramedic and firefighter.  Her favorite memory at THS is of playing volleyball her freshman year.  She hopes to play in college.

This was such a fun homecoming!  Memorable for sure! 
And not just for our girl, but for our boy too.
Marian & Wes (who call themselves "twins")


So beautiful--wish I could say she gets it from me ;)

 The rest of hoco festivities... included hair...

(thanks for the referral, Sara--he loved it!)


 exchanging mums...



 last minute shopping, pictures, dinner, dance, and a late night...


Monday, September 17, 2018

My favorite homecoming

It's that time of year -- Homecoming.  This is a big deal.  Although I have lived most my life in Texas, I was born in New Orleans and went to high school in New Mexico.  So I bypassed the whole Texas homecoming thing until my girls got into 8th-9th grade.  At which time we adopted from another country and entered public school for the first time.

To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement.  When a friend offered to make my girls mums that first year, we all said 'uh no thanks' not really believing girls wore those things.  My girls adapted a year or two later but I'm still not used to it.
I'm still wide-eyed at the mums and my eyes get wider each year as the mums get bigger for my upperclassmen.

But this is not the homecoming I'm talking about.  My favorite homecoming happened Sept 17th 6 years ago.  With the buzz of school starting and the new routine, I often almost let it slip by. 

However my oldest seems to always remember this anniversary.  A quick text this morning of "Happy Homecoming Day" stops me and brings me to tears.
At first, I think she doesn't realize homecoming is still a month away for my high schoolers.

But then I remember what homecoming she is really talking about.
 
I wrote a post about it 3 years ago and I had to look back at what I wrote.  Oh all the FEELS. 

I remember seeing my parents' faces as we walked through the final exit at IAH, and as I hugged my mom I cried.  It felt like I just crossed the finish line of a marathon.  Little did I know it was more like the first mile of the first leg of an Ironman Triathlon.




With little sleep on the midnight flight and 1 less bag that someone in Colombia thought they needed more than us--we made it!


We piled all of us and all our luggage in Big Blue


And headed to IHOP

This is us translating the menu and waitress just to get drink orders started.

As hard as those first weeks (months...) were forging our way through, I am forever grateful for this HOMECOMING. 
 It will always be my favorite.  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Help Wes get to Rwanda!


Welcome Wes, my oldest son.  He's in his Senior year of High School and has been asking to go back to Rwanda for several years now.  After praying about it--he applied to go with the team this November....read more about it from him...

I’m thrilled to say that I have the opportunity to partake in a mission trip to Kigali, Rwanda in the heart of Africa. This would be my second time making this trip.

First trip in 2010

We go Thanksgiving break: November 16 - 25th and total trip cost is about $3500. God has placed the desire on my heart to reach out and serve this community--A community that needs the perception of what a relationship with our Lord looks like.

I humbly ask that you please support me as you see fit. Donation funds are greatly appreciated but I can’t get anywhere without prayer! Please pray for God’s will to be done on this trip and that we can touch more lives through his Word.
This is a mission that is to be carried out through humility and love just as Jesus demonstrated. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus tells us, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

If you chose to respond, whether it be giving money or prayer, I can’t begin to thank you enough! Everything helps! Remember, the purpose is to build the kingdom of God.
Thank you for your support!


With gratitude, Wesley Evermon

Please make checks payable to Ten Talents International and send to me at:
15115 Brown Rd | Tomball | TX | 77377 or give to “Mission Trip Project” at 
Please kindly let me know if you give online.  Thanks!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Riding the rollercoaster

Well another summer just flew by!  Jeremy and I went to lunch for the first time this week since school started and he comments, "Can you believe summer vacation is over?"  He is so funny--I reminded him that summer is a SEASON, not a vacation.

School has indeed started.  I can tell because my kids' sleeping schedules have flipped.  I mean last week they were sleeping til the afternoon but this week they are falling asleep IN the afternoon when they walk in the door from school.
And with back to school, we get into all the back to school, back to schedule, back to structure stuff.  It's really good.  I like it.  But I also don't like it.  Probably for the same reasons you like it/don't like it, but maybe also because it can be overwhelming.

It's overwhelming in different ways--last weekend we moved Katerin back to UMHB on Friday 


and Emily to A&M on Saturday.  

We thought we had a week between those moves, but found out just a week prior that Emily would be going August 18th.  That was a whole week before we expected!  When Emily read the email about her move-in date, anxiety welled up inside her and she literally yelled, "I HATE IT...I MEAN THANK GOD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY, BUT I HATE IT!"

Rollercoaster.  That's our mode of transportation.  The ups and downs can happen so fast that I hardly have time to catch my breath.  A lot of the time I don't have time to process what just happened because I grasping the safety bar getting ready for the next turn.

I can see now how the summer program Emily completed was for the parents just as much as it was for the students.  Dropping her off this time was a lot less teary and more happy.  Happy because she was glad to be there, really happy because she was already connected with a few friends, and she knew a little more about what to expect.  Rollercoaster is headed up at the moment.

Overwhelming...so my two oldest girls are away at school and the other 5 are starting the new year.  August brings football practice, band camp, pick up schedules (oh yeah, be sure to re-enroll online so you can get your schedule), find your classes, find your locker, practice the combination, buy school supplies, clothes, order yearbooks, pay athletic fees, band fees, choir fees, orchestra fees, join the PTO, join the Athletic booster, join the band booster--all the things all the parents go through when it's back to school.

If you have a child with special needs, that receives special services, or has learning differences, there's a whole other level of overwhelming.  And it's not just parents overwhelmed.  Our kids feel it too.  They are facing challenges I never faced.  They are overcoming obstacles and finding ways to manage that I never had to consider.

I'm thinking about how to be pro-active and help their teachers understand -- yes they may have gotten the IEP, but honestly I don't know how teachers do it.  How do they have time to do everything they do??  And then put a stack of IEPs on their desk as they prepare for hundreds of students to walk through their doors all day.

So I'm typing and retyping emails to teachers, discerning what to say, what not to say, in efforts to help my kid be the most successful they can be.  And my kids are going to all the new classes, catching up with friends, getting all the papers and packets to sign, and coming home to crash in exhaustion.

It's overwhelming.  My feelings are not left off of the rollercoaster either.  I'm excited for all the new then I may feel down a little as I recognize the real challenges ahead.

This summer, in the middle of this crazy ride, when the rollercoaster was taking a dip and turn, Jeremy looked at me with a smile and said,

"Rollercoasters can be fun, right?"

He may have confused the summer season with summer vacation, but I love this guy.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How she got here


Last January I was looking ahead to June and thinking, “What the heck is Emily going to do when she graduates?”  We really did not have a plan.  But that changed in a few short weeks.

In February, we had a planning meeting with teachers and faculty at school and we learned about the PATHS Program at Texas A&M.  I devoured the info on the website and showed Emily with much excitement.  She did not quite match my excitement. 

I made her apply anyway.

Emily was invited for an interview in March and our hope was for her to at least have an open mind to the program, and NOT sabotage the interview.  If you look at the info online, you will find that this is an incredible opportunity for adults with disabilities.  I am super impressed with what Texas A&M is doing in this area!  

But there was just one problem….
Emily did not want to have her disability.  
She just wanted to be “normal.”

We have never shied away from the word “Autism” but we also didn’t focus on the label either.  In ARD meetings, we talked about Emily’s strengths and weaknesses and where she needed support.  The word “disability” was just not used.

When you graduate high school, the language really starts to change for a person who receives special services.  Whether we walk into Lone Star Community College, PATHS Program at A&M, or the TWC to apply for vocational services, the word “disability” is not only visible on the walls with “ADA” but it is used frequently in conversation.  This was shocking and set us back a bit. 

We walked through a couple hard months with Emily grieving all over again.  She didn’t want her disability.  She didn’t want a special program.  She didn’t want to have needs.  She didn’t want to have to depend on other people to help meet her needs.  All of this—she communicated to us.  I have to say how proud I am of her for being able to identify and communicate her thoughts in the midst of a really hard time.  

I wish I could do that as well as she did.

So how did she make it through the interview and get accepted into the PATHS Program?  The coolest thing happened the night before her interview.  All the times we brought up the PATHS Program, Emily would get upset and did not want to go or even talk about it.  When I say upset, I mean she was vehemently opposed to it.   It would always end in tears.

In an attempt to avoid her sabotaging the interview, Jeremy talked to her one more time the night before we went.  It started off rough again, but out of the blue, Emily brought up the story of Jonah.  Do you know the story of Jonah from the Bible?  It’s a short book (maybe shorter than this blog post)--I highly recommend you read it for yourself.

Emily began retelling an abbreviated version of the story and how God even used a big fish to get Jonah where he needed to be, and all of a sudden, we hear her say, “So if the PATHS Program is where God wants me, then I need to go.”

Right in front of our eyes, we saw how God used His living and active Word to soften the heart of Emily and give her a willingness to be open to whatever He has for her.  This too was a comfort for me—if God can speak to my daughter and change her mind about the PATHS Program, then I can trust Him with whatever is next.

When we got the news of her acceptance, we were excited!  




Mom and Dad might have been more excited than Emily, but by the time she left June 24, Emily was ready.  She was nervous and excited--like any normal college student leaving home for the first time.  
Drop off was hard as expected, but God is good and we got through it.  And later that night, when we were 140 miles away, we got a sweet reminder of just how much HE HAS GOT THIS.