Our mold story, “all in one place” 🙂 is here: http://paradigmchange.me/lc/upton/
An interview I did on another mold website is here: http://www.moldsensitized.com/killing-mold-is-dangerous/
I live with my family in the lovely Black Hills of South Dakota.
I grew up south of St. Louis, in the lush Missouri countryside. My parents surrounded me with love, beauty, and Scripture—the Word of God. My sister, brother, our friends, and I played in the creek, explored the woods, and made up our own mysteries (or played tricks on each other!) I loved playing piano—especially piano/violin duets with Dad, reading with Mom and Cathy, learning ballet, and riding Mom’s horse.
In 1988, I met Steve at Taylor University. We were both music majors; he was two years ahead of me. Wouldn’t you know it—I had lots of questions about music theory, and I knew Steve had to be just the guy to ask for help. 🙂 (The secret is, before Steve even met me, Steve’s academic adviser told Steve he should ask me out. Good call, Dr. H! :))
Steve graduated from Taylor in 1991 with a Bachelor of Music in Education, and I graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Piano Pedagogy Certificate. We were married in June 1992.
We were blessed with the births of Nathan in 1997, Alyssa in 2001, and Sarah in 2005.
During this time, Steve earned 34 hours toward a Masters of Theological Studies in Worship and Liturgy at Tyndale College and Seminary.
We have homeschooled our children since Nathan was in Kindergarten. At the time, Steve worked full-time at a church, so he worked long Sundays and frequently worked Saturdays preparing for Sundays. We wanted more family time than that would allow, so homeschooling made sense. (We took Fridays off and did school on Saturday.)
To my surprise, I found I absolutely loved homeschooling! Seeing that look on my own children’s faces of, “Oh, NOW I get it!” is just priceless. Homeschooling is flexible and fun, and figuring out ways to teach is a creative outlet.
In 2008/09, I became very ill. Over a year later, we found out that the main cause was hidden mold in our home. By then, I had suffered Toxic Injury from the mold and acquired full-blown, disabling Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
But, being too sick to get out of bed prompted me to pursue another passion–writing! It started with a story I had begun writing in Jr. High, an old laptop, and a black typewriter stand…. (Thank you, G.K.!!!) Mom and Dad, aren’t you glad you finally know who the Library Thief is? 🙂
I also enjoy editing/proofreading for several other writers.
In January 2010, Steve quit his job because he needed to take care of me and Sarah. Sarah has spina bifida (myelomeningocele), hydrocephalus, neurogenic bladder, hypotonia, NV Learning Disorder, Chiari II Malformation, scoliosis, and seizure disorder. She is very personable and enjoys wheeling around church, stores, etc. in her little, pink wheelchair.
For more about our sweet children: Our Children
In 2015, our church, Southern Hills Evangelical Free Church, in Hot Springs, South Dakota, became the catalyst for a miracle in our lives–a low-tox house which we believe saved my life. Read more here.
Steve plays piano sometimes at our church and takes care of Sarah’s and my many, many needs. He is also a fantastic cook, super editor, and budding and already highly successful organic gardener.
Nathan enjoys music, Legos, baseball, technology, and reading. Alyssa likes reading, drawing, horses, Legos, and piano. Sarah likes people, music, Legos, helping cook, and having someone read to her.
- Let’s Explore the Black Hills (click and scroll down)
- December 1944, Budapest, Hungary (short story) (free on this blog)
- The Library Thief The Library Thief sneak peek
- The Disappearing Snacks
- The Silly Sheep and four more in the mystery series planning
- The Cat Race
- The Plate (funny picture book) illustrating
- 8 more fun picture books planning
- Building a House for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: a Mold-Resistant, Low-Tox Home
- Building a House for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: a Mold Resistant, Low-Tox Home, print version
- God’s Special Children–Spina Bifida (picture book) looking for illustrator or publisher
- God’s Special Children–Surgery (picture book) looking for illustrator or publisher
- Autumn Day (picture book about a day in the life of a homeschooling family) looking for illustrator or publisher
- Winter Day (picture book sequel to Autumn Day) looking for illustrator or publisher
- Spring Day (3rd picture book in the series) looking for illustrator or publisher
- Summer Day (4th picture book in the series) planning
- Writing project for someone done and awaiting publication
- MCS: Banished from the Human Race (non-fiction) writing/editing
- Special Needs, Grief, & Children (non-fiction) planning
- The Plan (working title; fiction novel for adults) planning and slowly writing