The Story Begins

1:00 AM


This is an excerpt from There Was Always Laughter in Our House:

I call him Grandpa Leroy.

Although he’s not a blood relation, he and his spunky wife adopted us kids as their grandchildren when I was about eight years old. We had moved from my childhood home into a new area almost two hours away from my best friend. Relations with my own grandparents had been strained, and my siblings and I felt the loss. So, this feisty elderly couple had adopted us and we had adopted them.
It was a pleasant day in January 2015 and we had come to pick up my sister Grace, who had been helping them clean their house. I sat on the floor telling them about my latest book projects and other little happenings in my life. When I finally paused, Grandpa Leroy looked down at me with a smile.

“I know what your next book needs to be and what it should be called.”

“Oh? What is that?” I asked, expecting an interesting fiction idea from this man who had fun stories to tell about his growing-up years, his time in Korea, or raising his children. But he surprised me.

“You need to write a book about your family and the title needs to be There Was Always Laughter in Our House. I want to read that book, because I know that you have many wonderful stories to share.”

“I just might do that,” I said.

“Well, I would buy a copy,” Grandma Letha piped up. “I know a lot of other people who would.”

As I left I wondered if people would buy the book because of how crazy our family sounded, because of the title, or because of their interest in funny stories about a homeschool family. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was all three. Some of you are reading this because you wondered what would possess anyone to have six children. Some of you picked this up hoping it would be about my escape from the restrictive lifestyle of a skirt-wearing homeschooler (you’re going to be very disappointed, I assure you). Some of you are homeschooling moms, wondering if this crazy life you’re living is worth it. You also might be a homeschool student or graduate wanting to compare stories. I hope you’ll enjoy this collection of memories.


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