Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life As I Envisioned It…

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I can pretty much guarantee that twenty years ago, while I idealistically envisioned what my life would be like years down the road it didn’t involve driving 65 mph in a mini-van listening to my kids discuss the flavor of boogies.

On the bright side, they weren’t arguing.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Little Boys Are Made Of {Wordless Wednesday}

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This summer is going to fly by because of all the fun little creatures around our house.

One little boy is in HEAVEN!!!

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Baptisms

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Easter Sunday our church held a baptism service. McKenna had been asking for some time to be included in the next baptism, so we had worked through the questions/answers before she went to church, talking about why we are baptized and what it means.

Zachary was nearby during most of our talking and had asked about being baptized too, but we hadn’t put him on the list earlier in the week, so we told him he would have to wait until the next time.

Rick was able to help baptize McKenna along with our pastor…

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After every one in the group had been baptized, our pastor asked if there were others who would like to be baptized. Zachary came up and asked me if he could ~ and Rick was able to be a part of his baptism as well.

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We didn’t have a towel or change of clothes for him and it was so sweet to see McKenna open up her towel and wrap him up alongside her. I was already crying, so that didn’t help much {grins}.

As we were walking out of the church, Zachary said to me “That wasn’t what I expected at all. I thought they would hold me under for 15 seconds at LEAST! It was fast!”

Gotta love that boy!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Reading Thing ~ Month 1 update

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My original Spring Reading Thing list is beginning to dwindle somewhat and I even managed to add in an extra book that someone recommended to me after seeing my list. All of the books not originally listed are marked with an {added}.

Here’s a list of the books that I’ve completed so far…

Completed Fiction

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs

~ The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus

~ The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

~ The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher

~ {added} The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

~ {added} Paid in Blood by Mel Odum

Currently Reading…

~ Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God by Mary Demuth

~ Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson

~ {added} The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd

~ {added} One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp

~ {added} 31 Days to Clean by Sara Mae

 

Spring Reading Thing 2011 is hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days and runs from March 20th til June 20th. If you are interested in joining up, or learning more, be sure to stop by and visit!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When You Fall off the Face of Blog World….

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Lately it seems that I’ve been sparse around these parts. I have much to still share with you all about our moving story, but I’ve been working hard putting the finishing touches on something that has been in the works for many months.

My new Weekly Homeschool Planner!

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Rick took the kids out this past Saturday so that I could put a good chunk of time toward finishing it and I officially launched it today!! {YEAH!!!!}

So, hopefully after all the craziness dies down I’ll be back and sharing more soon!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Smiling More…

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Learn to greet your friends with a smile; they carry too many frowns in their own hearts to be bothered by yours.

~ Mary Allette Ayer

 

This week {and in weeks to come}, I am striving to be a wife and mom who smiles more and enjoys each moment I have with my family.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake ~ Book Giveaway

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The prayers of Maggie’s uncle were answered the moment Todd Valmer showed up on Maggie’s doorstep. He had prayed for just that, and it seemed God delivered.

Maggie is also the answer to Todd’s prayers. His mother became ill on the train ride home and they were in search of medical attention. Although Maggie isn’t a doctor, she is known for her healing skills and offers to help Todd’s mother. Soon after his arrival, Todd realizes that Maggie is everything he wants in a wife ~ but he has to convince her.

Maggie agrees to accompany him to Texas as his wife, but the road to happiness has a lot of bumps. Part of Maggie’s heritage is her knack for bartering and she comes with a lot of baggage…quite literally. Todd isn’t accustomed to the clutter and mayhem that Maggie carts around with her and with his mother still an invalid and tight quarters, it leads to some interesting dilemmas.

My Thoughts

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake is another book that I’ll keep on my shelves. Hake’s characters always have some fun ‘quirks’ that make them stand out and there is something about that I just love!

I have read at least six of Hake’s books and have loved every single one of them! While Hake doesn’t have a ‘series’ per se, Serendipity definitely has some characters that tie into past books that Hake has written. The wonderful thing is each book is a stand-alone and the other characters just ‘breeze through’, but are not crucial to the new book ~ but definitely more fun when you recognize them!

Find Out More

~ Visit Cathy Marie Hake’s website

~ Buy Serendipity at Amazon.

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Serendipity? Bethany House has offered one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, April 19th at 8pm.

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This book was provided for review by Bethany House. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Birthday Weekend

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Today marks a monumental day in our household. Double digits for our oldest. The past weekend has been a flurry of activity, filled with the giggles of many girls, cake, sugar, presents and more sugar.

And giggling.

Friday night started with a ‘Girls Only’ birthday party focused around the movie Tangled and ended with a sleepover for a few of Laurianna’s friends. The biggest excitement? Many pairs of earrings for her newly pierced ears and gift certificates to save for a new doll.

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Sunday we celebrated with my family {toned down the sugar some} and just enjoyed the weather and time together. More earrings, more gift certificates and some wonderful bead making kits to keep her busy for HOURS over the upcoming weeks and months!

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Today Laurianna was so excited when we went to Target to see if the doll she wanted was there ~ and it was!! Not only was it finally in stock, it was on sale for one cent lower than the gift certificates she had received for her birthday ~ an added blessing!!

Happy birthday, Laurianna!! Your heart, creativity, and love for everything around you are such a blessing to our family!!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Chicken Condo

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Two weeks ago we brought home eight baby chicks. We planned on getting only six, but somehow the lady that we bought them from talked us into eight.

Just in case one {or two} actually turned out to be roosters and not hens.

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Our little fluffballs have quickly been growing and have already exceeded their original box space, enough so that we had to buy another big tub and separate them into two groups.

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Rick has been busy working on a chicken coop condo for our hens, but the weather hasn’t been very cooperative {to say the least}.

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All I have to say is my hubby has done an amazing job building a place for chickens that he wasn’t too keen on getting to begin with. Shingles, soffit, even putting some nice linoleum down on the inside to make it easier to clean out.

Really though, I think he was just excited to use my brother’s framing nail gun in putting it together.

We are ‘this’ close to having it ready for the chicks to move outside…as soon as the weather warms up and quits being so fickle. A little wire for one the window and hinges and latches on the doors and we are set to go.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Kalebisms

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Kaleb comes up with the funniest words at times that are a complete train-wreck from what the actual word should be.
 
For example:
 
Panctuary = pantry
 
Smackflyer = flyswatter
 
Gubblebum = bubblegum
 
The last one had us laughing so hard because he kept trying and trying to say it right, and it just kept coming out the same. 
 
 
Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
 
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Story of Our Move…{part 2}

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{alternatively titled: Trying to Sell Your House While Going on a Week-Long Vacation is NOT Recommended}

If you are just tuning in, you might want to read the first part of our moving story here {I promise, it’s fun!}.

New Year’s Eve we were left with the decision of WHAT our next step was going to be. We hadn’t planned on moving in any way, shape or form. Our house needed to be worked on so we could put it on the market, as it wasn’t already. After Rick and I talked and prayed about it, we had a peace about it and called our realtor back and started the process of contract negotiations with the seller.

The process went back and forth for ten days ~ we made an offer, he countered, we countered, he countered and on January 10th we had an official contract on his house, with plans to close at the end of February. Gulp.

Two days later, on a Wednesday, I met with our realtor over lunch to talk about what we needed to do to have our house ready to show and sell. We put together a punch list of all the things that would be key to making it ‘pop’ a bit, decided on a listing price and then she hit me with some news ~ she already had a showing scheduled.

On Saturday.

Rick somehow managed to take the next two days off from work and he and I worked furiously to get the house ready for showing. We repainted much of our upstairs, repainted doors and trim, trimmed bushes/gardens, caulked, washed ALL of our carpets, cleaned, scrubbed, patched and fell asleep exhausted on Friday night.  The house was officially listed and in the system on January 15th.

Meanwhile, our house was getting talked up at the office and more showings were scheduled for that weekend also. I baked bread and cookies as a bribe for the potential buyers. Despite multiple showings for several of the couples, no one seemed to be quite ready to commit. Everyone liked it, but no one would take the first step and make an offer.

Did I mention that we already had planned a week-long cruise, just Rick and I, and were planning to leave the following weekend on the 22nd?

The week prior to our leaving I was clearing out of the house for showings, trying to hide our suitcases that I was packing, getting things ready for my mom who was watching the kids for the following week. And praying that we would have things settled before we left.

That week we also ran into a little snafu with the new house. Our seller had been transferred, and part of his transfer included a moving package with his company. There was a possibility that he could lose the package if we didn’t close sooner ~ the sooner the better. 

This change put us in a difficult position since we had to make a decision on dropping the contract and taking our house off the market or staying on the track we were on and possibly owning two houses at the same time. Rick and I kept praying and talking about it and still had a peace about the entire process.

We set a new closing date of January 31st on the new house, but at that point the bank wasn’t sure if the paperwork could be worked on and turned around in that short of a timeframe {at that point a little over a week}. We also realized there would be another issue. We weren’t set to return from our cruise until late on the 31st and wouldn’t be able to be at the signing. That began another round of paperwork as we turned over our power of attorney to our real estate agent so that she could purchase the house for us while we were gone.

I scrambled all week to get paperwork signed, more cleaning and packing done, and Rick and I prepared to leave the country on Saturday the 22nd. We had no idea what would happen while we were gone because there was a possibility that we could still lose the contract on the new house if the company changed the transfer package before the 31st. 

As we backed out of our driveway that Saturday we left not knowing if we would have contracts on either of our houses, own two houses at once or WHAT would happen. Our internet connection and phone service were going to be extremely limited over the next nine days, and the vacation that we had thought would be a relaxing time suddenly had us sitting and wondering what would happen while we were gone.

{to be continued}

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