Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Too much to do and not enough time

It is December 21st. Christmas is in 4 days, Christmas Eve is in 3, Homeschool Christmas party in 2, and Haeley’s birthday is in 1 day. One day and I will have a teenager. I’m not done Christmas shopping or even birthday shopping for that matter. I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done. I am so stressed....

Last night I went shopping with my sister, Jenn. We had a god time just the two of us hanging out and talking. I love the time I get to spend with my family. Jenn and I went to Charming Charlie’s and I got several things for Haeley and Jasmine. I was going to give them to Haeley for Christmas, but I think it will wind up being more for her birthday unless I can find something today that screams “Haeley”.

We’ve not heard anything on our new house yet. I’m anxious to hear something and frustrated that we haven’t. I know in time we will hear something, but “in time” is taking a lot longer that I would like. We’ve not heard anything on the inspections for our house in Indiana yet either. Once we get a time for the inspection, I will be able to get a friend over there to get the water turned on and run for a while to get the “yuck” smell out. In today’s market though, I’m sooo thankful for a contract on our house.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How I've missed this

This past week Justin turned 7. I have no earthly idea how that is possible---just yesterday he was 1, right? He rang in his 7th birthday with breakfast in bed cooked by his Papa. He had bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, a banana, and chocolate milk. He was so excited! Later he and I ran some errands and got some yakisboa for supper and then we went and ordered Justin’s cake. He had a football cake---it was supposed to be Colts, but it wasn’t. boo. It was still yummy and he really liked it.

This weekend we had Smith family Christmas at Brad’s brother, Mickey’s house. We have been having a blast! I have missed these get-togethers so much! We had a massive spread of food and family from all over here. There has been so much laughter and fun all around! Last night we stayed up until 1 something playing Apples to Apples. It was my first time playing the game and to say it was fun would be a bit of an understatement. If you’ve not played before you must play!!

In better news....we are a couple days away from a ratified contract on the house that we have an offer on. AND, in BETTER news, we have a contract on our house in Indiana!!!!! The inspection on that house should be sometime this week, maybe next. Here’s to a good inspection!

---and now I’m going to leave and watch the last quarter of the Colts and Jags. GO COLTS!!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I'm alive

...but just barely alive. Life over the past almost 2 months has been a bit of a roller coaster. We went to VA the middle of October and we stayed for 2 weeks. Over the course of those 2 weeks we looked at many houses. Many, many houses. And it was in that time that we found one that we liked. It was a beautiful home, but small. I was a little skeptical over the size of the house, but I fell in love with the kitchen and the possibilities of how we could make the house work for us.

After putting our offer in, it took a while to hear from the bank and then we played the wait and see game. We had the inspections done and wound up walking away from the house because the septic system was messed up. I was heartbroken. I knew in my head it was the right thing to do, but my heart had a hard time catching up.

Back in Indy for a week, the girls and I got the house ‘ready’ for the move. We didn’t finish everything we needed to and that prompted another trip back for Brad and I over Thanksgiving...I’ll get to that later. My girlfriend, Sarah, would not have us leave without giving us a proper going away party first---and that she did! We had a blast. That week before I left will truly be a treasured week because of the time we were able to spend together. So, we had a fantastic party and some friends that we hadn’t seen in a while came too. It was really special. The girls wound up spending the night there and I picked Brad up from the airport by myself that evening. The next day was an emotional day of packing and cleaning.

Sarah, Chad, Dani, and Philip all came over and helped us. It was so hard pulling away from the house, but we knew we had another trip on the horizon in two weeks so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We made it to VA with our Beverly Hillbilly trailer and got things going. Brad and I kept our bed out of storage and set it up on Mom and Dad’s sunroom. It’s nice getting to sleep in our own bed at night.

So the house hunting started again and we found a house right before Thanksgiving that we decided to put an offer in on. We had already looked at the house and I had said “no” from the beginning and I can see now why. Two days before Thanksgiving we put an offer in on the house and for “some” reason it was not received as of this past Monday. Our realtor went ahead and resubmitted the offer Monday afternoon and then we got a call on Tuesday....the bank that owns the house dropped the price of the house 58K!!!! We withdrew our offer and resubmitted at the new price! AND....drum roll....we were given a counter offer that we have accepted and should have a ratified contract Monday-ish. YAY! Then we will have 7 days to do the inspections and get everything going. BTW, I know the “some” reason, was God orchestrating all of this.

I’m very excited. And in other good news. We had 4 showings on our house this past week. Two of the showings came back with positive feedback. Prayerfully we will have more of an idea of what will happen this coming week.

Yesterday was Brad’s birthday. My man is 35. Brad’s little brother Luke’s birthday is today. Yes, their birthdays are a day apart. Luke and Melissa came up to VA and we went out to dinner and then we walked over to the mall and just had fun. Dinner was ‘okay’. We went to a Brazilian Steakhouse in Norfolk, and it was NOTHING compared to the one in Indy. But, the company was great and that made it all worthwhile. I did secretively let our waitress know it was Brad and Luke’s birthdays and they came out with cake at the end and embarrassed the dog mess out of the two of them! It was great.

Tomorrow we are going to check out a church near where our new house may be...I am prayerful that our hunt for a new church is not a long drawn out process....Have a great Sunday!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And the house is on the market!

What a busy two weeks. I keep sitting down to post on here and I get side tracked and stop. Let’s see. On Monday the 4th the house officially went on the market. I am excited and so super sad at the same time! We have done sooo much to it and I’m thrilled that it is ‘ready’.

Today we got new carpet installed in the bedrooms, hallway, stairs, living room, and school room. It looks *amazing*. While the carpet was going in I got a phone call to show the house at 6:15 this evening!!! I immediately started stressing and feeling sick to my stomach. The girls were here with me and the boys were at a friends house. We busted our behinds getting the house ready. Bug, Jazzer, and I were EXHAUSTED by the time we were done and although it wasn’t “perfect” it was pretty darn close. I picked the boys up, then grabbed the girls and we went to a friend’s for dinner while the house was showing. Here’s to hoping it “showed” well!!!

Tomorrow pictures will be taken of the house and hopefully we will get some offers coming in. The Lord really has blessed us with this house and I will miss it greatly. I will miss my friends even more though. I can’t imagine not having this amazing people in my day to day life anymore.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Anniversary

I really have the best kids and husband. I’m so blessed by my family. :) I awoke to a breakfast prepared by my kiddos. I had gone to the store the day before and got frozen waffles, french toast, muffins, coffee cake, and bacon. I figured the kids could decide what to bring. Little did I know, they were planning on bringing me all of those!!! AND a cup of coffee! I discovered that my kids do not know that when something is frozen you have to hit the frozen setting on the toaster or it won’t cook all the way through. Hrmf. I did eat the bacon, coffee cake, and some of the others. French toast that is not heated all the way through is just plain nasty!! I loved their thoughtfulness and although I was awake the whole time they were downstairs preparing my breakfast, I pretended to be asleep when they came in my room. Jasmine made me the sweetest card too!

Then.....I went downstairs to find my “spa” awaiting me. I had a mini-pedicure. Haely and J.T. washed my feet and then all five of them painted two toenails each. After my toenails dried, I was treated to an 8 minute massage. Gabe and J.T. were over the massage pretty early on, but my other 3 darlings kept with it. It was a definite treat!

After my spa, it was my turn to treat the kids. :) We went to the bank and traded our change jar in for cash---we had $63! Then we headed to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch and games. I was the reigning champ on the highest amount of tickets collected. I traded my 150 tickets in for 5 mini tootsie roll lollipops, and 5 tootsie rolls. The kids had fun and to tell the truth, so did I! It’s fun getting to be a kid again.

We got home and later in the evening, I had a package arrive from my husband. He sent me chocolate dipped apples and strawberries. I was so excited to open it up. My excitement dropped when I opened the box only to see the chocolate was melted and it looked like someone had just thrown this all over the place. It was disappointing. I’m not one to call customer service and complain, but in this case I did---it paid off too! Tomorrow I should have another box arriving. I hope this one turns out better. Brad comes home for a long weekend Thursday night---we should be able to enjoy the fruit together.

Happy Anniversary Baby

Bradley. My Love. Next to Jesus, you and you alone are the best thing that has happened to me. Thank you for calling me that fateful April Saturday. Thank you for taking me in all my faults and loving me just the same. Thank you for this journey you are taking me on. Eight years ago I pledged my heart to you and you will always be the keeper of my love. We have a beautiful family and I am blessed and honored to be called your wife. We’ve got something special Baby. I love you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

So Long Ago...

Where has the time gone. This picture was taken in April of 2004. J.T. was about 4 1/2 months old and such a cutie! He’s still a cutie, but no longer so little. He will be SEVEN in December and I can’t figure out where the time has gone. He wants an electric guitar for his birthday. He also wants an acoustic guitar and drums. He is having this dream of having his own band and playing everything! He has set up paint cans and a couple bongo type drums that we have and he sits there and jams. Prince Charming told him he can get an electric guitar for his birthday. Oh me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And I think to myself

...What a wonderful world...

Okay, maybe not a wonderful world necessarily, but definitely a wonderful day. We got up this morning and I made a hasty decision---it’s our last fall in Indiana, so we are making the best of it. In 25 minutes I had the kids and myself ready (coffee included) and we headed out to the parade for the Heritage Festival.

The parade started at 10, we got there around 10:15 which wasn’t bad because we went to the end of the parade and got to see everything. Once we got there, I realized I forgot bags for the candy. The kids were wearing hoodies and decided that the pockets would work for their candy---and they did for about 10 minutes. After their pockets were full they started shoving candy in their hoods. Thankfully, a man came by with some plastic bags and the kids were able to empty their pockets and hoods into the bags. :)

I am such an emotional fool lately and today was no different. The parade started with a bunch of motorcyclists. They had their flags flying high and the lead guy had Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” playing. Being the military brat that I am, that song ALWAYS gets to me. ALWAYS. It didn’t help that right after the motorcyclists, the WWII Veterans came through. For the next 10 minutes I cried. It was a combination of the song, the Vets, and knowing this was our last Fall here.

This has been our home for 6 years. We have grown as a family so much in these six years and I really do love it here. I do. I love the quaintness. I love how close everything is to us. I love living in the country and feeling an incredible safeness. I love our church. I love our friends. And I’m going to miss this terribly. As our house is nearing completion, the reality is really setting in...my husband has not been on a prolonged business trip. We are moving. I am elated that we are going to be back with our family, but I’m devastated because we are leaving our life here. :(

In making the best of today, I spent the day out with the kids. We went to the heritage festival and they had a blast. I too had a blast because I got to hang out with my girlfriend, Dani, and watch our kids play together. I had a blast watching the kids play with the animals and get excited to go play at the park. I had a blast going to Target and watching this woman’s face turn in somewhat disgust as she commented (rather sarcastically) to me, “Don’t you think you need another boy?” I was getting slushies for all the kids and they were waiting for their cups. I laughed and then said, “Oh, those kids. It’s not that big of a deal, they aren’t all mine. Only five of them are mine.” There were only 6 kids waiting. :D :D Yes, I have five kids. I love them and they are mine. AND I will claim them as mine---well most days I will.

I’ll close today with something that was very encouraging to me. J.T. was trying my patience tonight and I was ready to lose it. Today, I got in the mail my book God’s Promises For Women of Faith. I’m already enjoying it and gaining “wisdom” from it. I turned to the part titled, “God walks with women through impatience.” There were 8 verses that were given. They all spoke directly to my heart. Exodus 33:14 “He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” Then Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Immediately, I stopped and prayed. I have not been waiting on the Lord. My strength has not been renewed and I am very weary. BUT the Lord is so good. He loves me so much to convict me when I stray. I love His gentle leading back to Him. Lord Father, please forgive me for not looking to You. I will wait on You.

Making Memories

Life is flying by and I find myself seeing all the days blurring together right now. Paint, pack, survive...that’s my life. I know I will look back someday and our time in Indiana will be nothing more than a memory. It is so bittersweet.

I’m excited about moving, but I’m so scared at the same time! We have to start over. We have to find a new home, church, friends, grocery stores...all of it. I feel so conflicted for my kids because they are going to have to leave their friends here---but they will get to make new friends, so that’s good right? I have a handful of friends that I have really kept in touch with since we moved, but truly it’s just a handful. I’m going to have to branch out and help my kids in making these new relationships because it’s not as easy as them making them in school. Their friends will eventually be a memory. I pray mine are not. I pray that I maintain my friendships here, because these ladies are great and I cannot imagine what my life would be without them!

Tonight I was sitting outside on my porch looking out at the moon and realizing that the same moon I was gazing upon, Brad could see in Virginia too. It was time for bed and I called all the kids outside, grabbed a blanket and we climbed onto the roof, laid back and gazed at the sky. We saw planes far up in the sky, a helicopter flew overhead, the stars were twinkling, and the moon was nothing short of gorgeous. The kids could not believe I was letting them up on the roof for this and it hit me---they will remember this. This is a memory that they will take with them for a long time. I want more of those memories with my kids and hopefully we’ll make some more tomorrow night and I’ll have pictures to accompany it---that is if I can find the charger for my camera battery.

I’m going to make it a mission to make memories with my kids. What will you do to make some memories??

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Benjamin loves having his hair go all crazy. He says, “I want to be Einstein!” I do not think he has a clue who Albert Einstein actually is, but he still wants to be like him. His older siblings have told him that Einstein was a smart guy with crazy hair and that’s all Boo needs to hear. He’s a character.

Last night he came to me and said, “Mommy? Are there Target’s in Virginia?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, do they have Lego Space Police and Lego Road Racer sets??” I said, “Yes.” He said, “SO, I can get LEGO SETS IN VIRGINIA TOO????????” I said, “Yes, you can.” He said, “Oh good Mommy. I still want Legos when we move to Virginia.”

That kid cracks me up! He constantly has us laughing and is just a pure joy in this family.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Daddy and his boys

These four men (3 little ones) have my heart in the palms of their hands. With one word they can lift me up and encourage me and with another word, they can crush my heart like a cheerio on the kitchen floor. These little men are learning from their daddy how to treat women and how to be a Godly husband. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than Brad.

He is an amazing Godly husband and father. He may joke with our boys and drive me up a wall, but he showers them with love and affection. He is their favorite person. Their eyes light up and their attitudes change when they know Daddy is coming home. They don’t just love him, but they truly adore him. And, they truly miss him. Today Bubba was reading a book and Prince Charming was resting in our bed. J.T. came in and sat next to Prince Charming. My heart broke as I heard my little boy talking to his daddy. He says, “Daddy, I just want to help do something on the house so we can all be together again....Do you want me to clean up the living room? I just want to help so we can be together.” He misses his Daddy so much and at this point he is willing to do whatever he has to so that we can be together.

J.T. was his shadow as they worked yesterday and today. He and Bubba got to go and pick up the trailer with Daddy and they ate it up! It didn’t matter that they would be in the truck riding around for several hours, they were thrilled to be with their Daddy. This morning, I asked Boo if he wanted to go to church or stay home with Daddy. Without skipping a beat he says, “I want to stay with Daddy.” That’s huge because this boy LOVES church! His little heart though misses Daddy and he knew that Daddy had to go back to VA today. :(

I am so thankful for the relationship that Prince Charming shares with his boys. He didn’t have a very good father relationship growing up, but looking at how he is with our kids you would never know that. He rocks. The kids think so too. There is nothing that Daddy cannot do and nothing that Daddy would not do for his kids. He is my Prince Charming and I love him. :D

Monday, September 13, 2010


I love this picture. And I love my man. Love him. And I miss him terribly. He really is such an amazing man. I’m not just saying that either, I feel it so deeply. I can hardly believe that in 2 weeks we will celebrate our 8 year anniversary. 8 years. It has been 8 full years. 8 years of milestones, sadness, and joy. I was trying to remember what we have done on all our anniversaries and this is what I’ve come up with:

Year 1- Dinner at Steinhibler’s in Virginia Beach. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with J.T. We went here on our first date too. :)

Year 2- Prince Charming surprised me and planned our anniversary. We went to this little town a couple hours away and went horseback riding. It meant the world that he did that for us.

Year 3- Steak dinner at home to replicate the first date...and then we had a mini celebration at Cold Stone’s with Boo who was just a wee one at 1 1/2 months old!

Year 4- ummm....I’ll remember and update this year later

Year 5- We got overnight sitters for the kids and went to St. Elmo’s for dinner then we got a hotel room downtown.

Year 6- guess I gotta update this one later too

Year 7- Night in with yummy dessert and sparkling grape juice

What does year 8 hold?? Hopefully it will hold an offer or contract on our house so we can be together as a family again. I love you Schnookems! :)

Monday, September 06, 2010

This Boy

J.T. is my little nut job. I love him so much for his craziness! He has a mind that never quits working and an adventurous spirit like none other! When he sets his mind to something he goes for it full throttle. He is showing his caring and sweet side more and more often, but we do still have our outbursts of anger.

Tonight we were at a friend’s house for cook out. They have an outside cat, Oliver. J.T. loves Oliver. He played over there earlier this week and became obsessed with this cat. He wanted to go back the next day so he could play with the cat again. So tonight the kids (all 10 of them) spotted Oliver. J.T. started going towards Oliver and then Oliver darted and went in the crawl space of the neighbors house. J.T. was not going to be stopped and followed into the crawl space after this cat! I hollered at him to come out and a couple seconds later he emerged. Victorious. He had Oliver in his arms.

About 20 minutes after that one of the kids came in upset because J.T. wasn’t sharing. I was confused because I didn’t know what he wasn’t sharing. Any guesses? Yep, he was not sharing Oliver. He was sitting up in the play set with Oliver in his arms just loving all over this cat. J.T. was in heaven. We wound up telling the kids that they had to let Oliver go and just leave him be for a bit. My boy is desperate for a cat.

I desperately want to get him a cat. Unfortunately, his aunt and one of his cousins are terribly allergic to cats. =( Any ideas?? I certainly could use some.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick Recap

It’s been a whirlwind of a week! Brad comes home tonight and I couldn’t be happier!! I miss my man so much! Thankfully because things have been so busy, this week has flown by! UNFORTUNATELY, it flew so quickly I was not able to accomplish everything on my “to do” list. Here was the list of the week:

Stain upper deck of master bedroom

Fill in hole at well pump

Scrape overspray off lower windows

Pack up first floor

Paint trim off master bedroom and lower windows

Plan next year’s schedule...ugh....

Ignore list and go to the pool :)

Of my list, I got the stain done, filled in the hole, packed up 1/2 the first floor, and scraped a couple windows. I did add a couple things to the original list and with the help of some friends got Justin and Benjamin’s room painted. We painted it 6 years ago and it was blue and orange. Not just blue and orange, but Florida Gator blue and orange. They loved it, but it was not very “seller friendly” so it is now a pretty cream with a slight yellow tint. I like it and that will be the color of Gabe’s room too. Actually, if I have enough of the blue that’s already in Gabe’s room I may just repaint the same color. Who knows...

I think I have given myself some gray hairs trying to plan next year (Guess I’ll just have to go get the hair done right??). I’m overwhelmed with figuring out exactly how to break up the Lifepacs. If anyone has experience, PLEASE PLEASE let me know. The kids are getting a little excited about school starting. I need to get busy because the plan is to start the day after Labor Day. Hopefully we will be a little further along on the house too and I can focus on schooling the kids and not so much on getting the house done. I was stressing last week about what I was going to do if I got a call to show the house while we were in the middle of school. I was really up in arms trying to make a plan and then I took a deep breathe and realized it’s going to be okay!! If I get a call, I’ll pack the kids up and head to the library or if it’s nice to the park.

I’ll post pictures later of all my projects in my “House Progress” album. :) But for now, it’s time to load more stuff in the canisters, pack some more and scrape windows. My man will be home in less than 8 hours!!!!!!!!! YAY!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Allergies! BOO!

Gabe’s inhaler is his best friend right now. His allergies have kicked in and the poor guy is having such a hard time! I had to tell him to quit talking the other night because his voice sounded so hoarse because of his allergies. He’s coughing, sneezing, and rubbing his eyes constantly. He’s on Singulair once a day and his inhaler as needed. However, it’s taken quite a bit of learning on his part for using his inhaler. He’s just had a hard time grasping how to breathe when inhaling it. He’s definitely gotten better about it though. I’m prayerful that once in VA his issues will decrease. Granted, when we moved here his asthma seemed to go away and things seemed okay until the past several years.

I had to learn to forgive myself with the little guy. We couldn’t figure out what was going on with him a couple years ago. He would come home from school and immediately lay down on the couch. I would make him get up to eat dinner and then he would go back to the couch. I took him to the doctor and we did some blood work and found that his histamine level was increased, but we didn’t know why and to what. He went on Zyrtex daily for a while and then it seemed to get better.

Till Spring hit. Then it came back again. This past Spring has been an extremely hard one on my kids. I took Justin in to get allergy tested and that didn’t turn out to well. He freaked out and I wasn’t strong enough to hold him so they could do the testing. The following week I took Gabe in to get his done. i was so proud of him. It hurt and I know it did, but he was a real trooper. :) We found out that day that he is allergic to a whole slew of things! The list includes: indoor and outdoor mold, dust mites, ragweed, an assortment of trees, and 4 different grasses. I’m not sure where my paper is that tells me exactly what trees and grasses he’s allergic too and that’s not really important right now. Right now I just want to see him healthy! I want him to not have to take his inhaler just to be comfortable. I want him to enjoy going outside and playing and not being so wiped because he doesn’t feel good after. But until this season passes I guess we just plod along and deal with it. This too shall pass!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Weekend


Brad got home Friday night and I must say all was right in the world again! My children were genuinely happy and joyful that night. We came home, popped some popcorn, pulled out the bean bag chairs, put on “Astro Boy”, and enjoyed the evening. Benjamin and Justin alternated sitting on Brad’s lap and loving their Daddy time. I looked over and found both Benjamin and Justin sound asleep on their Daddy’s lap. It was a moment that I know Brad just cherished. He misses his kids so much and he loved how much they were clinging to him. I loved sitting back and watching them all with their Daddy. Be still my heart!

Saturday morning I ran to Hilligoss bakery for some donuts, Starbucks for me, and the bank. I got home and we started working on the house. Some friends from church came over and helped paint and get some other stuff done. We got the PackRat canisters packed up some more, scraped paint off windows and some other stuff that is escaping me at the moment.

I went to church this morning to teach our Sunday School class and planned on leaving and coming home, but then I stayed through our morning worship and it was nothing short of amazing. Honestly I would say the morning worship was some of the *best* we have ever had. My soul was completely blessed!! I was further blessed this afternoon when listening to our Pastor’s sermon. Take a listen, you will be blessed too! I so love our church!!!!

This afternoon we spent some quality family time at the Greenwood Park Mall. We had to go and get Benjamin’s Build-a-Bear. He wanted a Polar Bear, but they didn’t have any so he settled on a black bear with a Batman costume. He named his bear Bat Bear---very appropriate if you ask me. :) Bat Bear is cute just like my Boo Bear! There was this hurricane simulator device in the mall that Brad and the kids went in and had fun having the wind blowing crazy at them. Then they had this bungee trampoline that the kids thoroughly enjoyed jumping on. Justin got really high and made me sick because he looked so small all up in the air!! He loved it! Benjamin got a little scared, but then loved it too. Gabe was going crazy and I think he really liked how weightless it made him feel. He said his legs felt wobbly when he got off of it. Jasmine’s hair was going crazy on it and her frog legs were all over. Haeley liked it alright, but I think she’s “too cool” for that now. She will be 13 in December. :)

We then went and got ice cream and then it was time to take Brad to the airport. =( I loved the time that we got to spend together having fun as a family! It has been a long time coming. Every weekend we have spent it working on the house and it was wonderful just enjoying being together and being a family. I am so thankful for my family! So thankful! Brad made it to VA safely and we are only 5 days away from him being back. I put some pictures up on the “My Albums” page. Check ‘em out and comment. Any lurkers out there? Comment and let me know you are reading. :) :) :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today was the first day back to school for Avon students and we had a blast not going back to school! We met at “our” pool at 11 and the festivities began! We had a blast! There were luau decorations, yummy food, music, good friends, and of course the water. The kids sang “Happy not yet back to school day to us......” before they ate their cupcakes and we celebrated at not being in school yet when we heard the buses going by. We took tons of pictures and once I get those sorted I will post them. :) :) Here are a couple though. :) Enjoy

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My heart

We still are not ready to list our house on the market, but the Lord knows when we are going to move and who is going to buy this house. He has the details all worked out and I can’t worry about them, I just need to wait upon Him. Waiting upon Him is terribly hard. I’m so ready for our family to all be together again. I’ve got Brad coming home the next 3 weekends and prayerfully we will be ready to list the house at the end of that time. I’ve found several houses in VA that I really like but I’m not getting too excited about them. I know the perfect house for us is out there.

I ordered bean bag chairs for the kids the other day. I only ordered 3 because I’m stupid and thought they would be okay sharing them. Tonight I ordered 2 more. I hate admitting my moron moments. I could give several more, but I have a little pride.

The past two-ish weeks have been pretty eventful. I started feeling a little odd about 2 weeks ago and blew it off. My stomach just wasn’t right and I equated it to stress. By last Sunday night I was in some terrible pain. I wound up going to the doctor on Monday and after a CT scan I was diagnosed with diverticulits. I was put on 2 antibiotics and vicodin. By Tuesday night I was able to go off the vicodin and I was starting to feel normal again. My energy is still not back completely, but it’s getting there. My church was wonderful in coming to my aid. Some friends took the kids Monday night and kept them over night. I was able to sleep quite nicely. Then Tuesday started our meals. My kids and I have been very well fed and I feel very blessed to have these amazing people around us.

During this whole ordeal it was Benjamin’s birthday and I felt *awful* that I was laid up and not able to do anything for him. One of the couples at church that brought us dinner brought an ice cream cake for Benjamin. It was the sweetest thing. I was very grateful for that. :) I don’t have any good pictures though because I has misplaced my charger for my camera and had to use my iPhone. :( BUT, in good news I found the charger today!!! Just in time for our.....PARTY!!!

No, not for Benjamin (yet). My girlfriend Sarah and I are having a “It’s NOT back to school day” party tomorrow! We’re doing a Luau theme and the kids are going to get to kick back and relax when all the other kids from Avon are starting back to school. HA! Homeschool ROCKS! :) :) Speaking of homeschool. I decided on AOP’s Lifepacs and Horizons curriculum. I’m so excited for this year to start (BUT not till September). I’m going to do a geography unit study also with the kids. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do just yet, but I’m thinking one of GeoMatter’s products. I had ordered Galloping the Globe a couple years ago and loved it, but I was doing too many other things and I couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted. I really think I’m going to go back to that or Cantering the Country.

I know that the next couple weeks are going to continue to be challenging, but I’m so thankful for being able to put my trust in the Lord. I want to get back to updating this more often. I will really try to do better, especially when school starts after LABOR DAY!!!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Baby

I don’t know what it is about my baby, but he can always melt my heart! Benjamin is definitely the baby of the family and I’m not ashamed to admit it! He is a lot like Jasmine in temperament and he has such a tender heart. Typically he strives for nothing more than everyone to be at peace. He doesn’t like fighting and his heart is gravely wounded when his brothers make fun of him. He loves his brothers and sisters. He’s always thinking. Always. I remember when he was really little and he would take his cars and line them all up in a row. He would get so upset when I would turn one of the cars in a different direction. They had to be just as he had put them. As a baby he was always happy. Benjamin seldom cried. He loved being cuddled and loved on and he still does.

Benjamin will do and or say things that just warm my heart! And then other times he makes me shake my head and laugh out loud. The other day I told him that I loved him. He replied, “I love you too Mommy!.....Mommy, you’re the queen of my heart! AND Jesus lives in my heart!” Oh how my heart swelled. My sweet little boy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The house is coming along thanks to some WONDERFUL friends whom have made themselves available to help out. We had an amazing work day here along with Gabe’s birthday party. Kill 2 birds with one stone. :) The dining room is undergoing its transformation and it looks FABULOUS! The kitchen should be ready to paint before too long. We still have a lot to do, but getting this projects knocked out one at at time is such an encouragement. HUGE shout out to Chad and Sarah for coming! And thank you Chad again for fixing my vacuum and using my AMAZING truck to pull the wimpy Texas truck out of the mud. :)

Shout out to Adri and Art and all the help that you were and for getting your wimpy truck stuck in the mud so my AMAZING truck could pull it out. :)

Love you guys!

My Boy turns 10!

He made it. There were many days I wondered if my sweet little boy would make it to 10, but this picture is proof that he made it! I’m a bit wiser for getting him to 10 and though some days I thought that giving him away was a good idea, I am so blessed to have Gabe as my son. I love him with every fiber of my being and so greatly enjoy seeing the man that he is growing into. It is my desire that as Gabe grows and matures that he would continue to pursue a relationship with the Lord.

I’m thankful to the Lord for the incredible privilege He has placed upon me in my life and role as a mom. So many days I feel like I’m failing my kids, but I pray that through my mistakes they may see Jesus in me. I do not want them to think of my as perfect, because they need to know and see the real me. Gabe has been getting himself into some trouble lately and I have had it with the sneakiness. This past week I lost my cool and yelled at him and did not respond in an appropriate manner. A good friend listened to me complain and then called me on the carpet on my behavior! He said, “What a great opportunity for you to grow and learn. I know this is hard, but you are equipped to handle this. You can do this, but you have to be stronger than that. I realize that is easier said than done. But it is possible. I hope you have asked for his forgiveness. In his eyes he can see a justification fro a wrong behavior based on anger over a circumstance. You don’t want to reinforce that. You can do this, Moe, you sure can.” I read that and was a little stunned at the words I was reading because I was so intent on holding onto my anger that I was not allowing the situation to resolve itself. I did go to Gabe and apologize and my anger instantly dissipated. I am so thankful that the Lord used Richard to speak to my heart!!! I needed to hear those very words.

Gabe, I love you!!!! Happy Birthday, I’m so blessed to have you!!!!!!!!

Love to all!


I keep trying to update this and every time I do, my words escape me. Here's the rundown of the past couple weeks.

5/19 Brad accepted the position to go in Chesapeake, VA. We then started informing our friends and family of our future endeavor. As to be expected, it was met with joy and sadness. And to be honest that was felt all the way around. We are so close to having this house "done" and we won't be able to really enjoy it. =( I hate thinking of that because it truly makes me so sad. I hate leaving our church. I hate leaving our house and land. I hate leaving our friends. But I love moving back to family. I love the family holidays that will happen. I love that my man will be able to surf more frequently. I love being able to take my kids to the beach. I love the rich history in Virginia. I love not having Indiana winters!! I love my husband having a job where he will be happy….That's a whole lot of love and hate going on, huh? =) The Lord is good and faithful and will see us through this transition time.

5/23 We had a wonderful church service and afterwards our good friend, Chad, came over and helped Brad grout the bathroom. Justin and Andrew (Chad and Sarah's son) had a blast playing in the creek and having a mud fight with each other. They were FILTHY afterwards and I used the water hose to rinse/wash them off. We went over to the Richardson's for dinner and had a wonderful night of fellowship with them. It was such a nice night.

Memorial Day weekend was spent working on the house. I got teary eyed on Saturday as Pack Rat came and dropped off the canisters so we can pack. Then my good friend, Cindy, came over and helped me stain doors and trim for the house. I was so thankful for the time we got to spend together gabbing and just enjoying each other's company. We were tired Sunday after church and decided naps were in order! ;-) Then it was out to split wood and load it in the wood shed thing. Monday we had another group of friends from church come over and help us some more. Art was wonderful and really helped get a lot of stuff mudded and packed. Adri helped me get things packed up and we got to run to Lowe's to pick up some more materials. We decided that it would really be a shame to not go and get coffee while we were out too. And then we had another pitstop at Big Lots---it was the grand opening. I did a wee bit of damage in there, but it was all good stuff. I got really teary eyed as I started taking pictures off the walls. I think the realization hit again at that point. God keeps hitting me at different times with this move. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not so good. Some other friends came over and they took ownership over our fish and live rock. We'll have to start a new salt water tank once we get settled back in VA.

6/1 Our realtor came over and did a walk through on the house. Oh. My. Word. Brad and I were a bit depressed at all the work that still needs to be done. I did get the pleasure of doing the happy dance on a couple areas that Debbie said needed changed because I told Brad these things needed to be done when we were doing them originally. However, there is still a lot of work. A lot. A lot. A lot.

6/3-6/5 For the past several weeks I had been noticing that when i would turn on the kitchen faucet the water would surge. I was worried about our well and mentioned it to Brad but he didn't seem to concerned. That night I made sausage gravy, biscuits, and eggs for dinner. Right after I started to serve up the kids I went to turn the water on and there was NO WATER!!!!! NONE! NADA! That started our well adventure. Long story short…several WONDERFUL friends came over and helped dig a big hole, then another friend helped pull the well pump out and replace it. The help of our friends saved us $2600! Thank you guys!!!

6/6 My man left for VA and I had a very emotional day. Very emotional. Church was an experience that I will never forget. It was Pastor John's last Sunday preaching as our interim pastor. We usually do the Lord's Supper on Sunday night, but we changed things up a little and had it during Sunday morning service. What an experience in so many ways! Pastor John served each family individually. We walked to the front of the church and he prayed over us and served us. It was an incredibly sweet time. I cried my eyes out as he prayed for us---so many emotions! We were up there as family, but missing my husband, one of the keys to this family!!! I don't think I've experienced something quite so intimate like that.

After church I took the kids out to eat some Mexican and it was just okay. Then we came home for a little bit before heading to a friends house for a birthday party. I love times of fellowship! We had some wonderful food and just a good time. We got home and I got the kids to bed and started my first sleepless night. :(

I'm sure so much more has happened as I write this, but I'm going to close it out for now and I'll update more soon. ;) :)

Love to all!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

This Boy


Justin is my little nut job. I love him so much for his craziness! He has a mind that never quits working and an adventurous spirit like none other! When he sets his mind to something he goes for it full throttle. He is showing his caring and sweet side more and more often, but we do still have our outbursts of anger.

Tonight we were at a friend’s house for cook out. They have an outside cat, Oliver. Justin loves Oliver. He played over there earlier this week and became obsessed with this cat. He wanted to go back the next day so he could play with the cat again. So tonight the kids (all 10 of them) spotted Oliver. Justin started going towards Oliver and then Oliver darted and went in the crawl space of the neighbors house. Justin was not going to be stopped and followed into the crawl space after this cat! I hollered at him to come out and a couple seconds later he emerged. Victorious. He had Oliver in his arms.

About 20 minutes after that one of the kids came in upset because Justin wasn’t sharing. I was confused because I didn’t know what he wasn’t sharing. Any guesses? Yep, he was not sharing Oliver. He was sitting up in the play set with Oliver in his arms just loving all over this cat. Justin was in heaven. We wound up telling the kids that they had to let Oliver go and just leave him be for a bit. My boy is desperate for a cat.

I desperately want to get him a cat. Unfortunately, his aunt and one of his cousins are terribly allergic to cats. =( Any ideas?? I certainly could use some.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

...and the ride continues

So I posted about our lovely roller coaster ride that we were experiencing and now I’m at liberty to explain this crazy ride. It’s not been a secret that Brad’s been unhappy and we’ve been looking for a new job for some time now. We’ve done a lot of looking in our area locally because we weren’t quite ready for a move. Our house has needed just a wee bit of work and as much as we missed our families, we were content where God had placed us.

A while back the company Brad used to work for in VA began pursuing him. There was a lot of back and forth. In April we made the decision that we were not going to move but stay here while Brad completed his CEM (Certified Energy Management) and Lead Certification. He’s about a year from his CEM and that would really open up doors for him. About this time we hadn’t heard anything back from the company in VA anyhow so we felt that God closed that door. Unbeknownst to us God was just waiting to open that door a little wider.

A couple weeks ago we got an email wanting to know if we were still interested in moving back east. I was very confused when Brad said ‘yes’. I thought we had decided to stay here. Brad said he thought it would be foolish to not at least see what they would offer. The first offer came in and we knew immediately that it wasn’t going to work without some tweaking. Two days later, we got another offer. It was better for the first and Brad and I met for a lunch date so we could discuss it. It was a very emotional time for me because I want to be in the Lord’s will, I miss my family, and I love where we are all at the same time!!! I wish we could pick up Hendricks County and take it to VA with us. We were having a very hard time making our decision so we opted for the best decision making process ever. The salt shaker was “go”, the pepper shaker “stay”. We then proceeded to spin our iPhones to see what the course for our life would be. Just kidding. Not really. I mean we did spin the iPhones and the salt and pepper shakers did mean “go” and “stay” but we really didn’t use that as our final decision making tool. Honest.

We prayed. I cried because I knew the answer. We were finally so close to moving back to VA but it wasn’t going to happen. Unfortunately the offer was not enough for our family of 7 to make it. It wasn’t about our extended family. It wasn’t about our church family. It was about our family of 7. We would not be able to adequately take care of us. I felt like a small part of me died when we decided we were going to stay here. It’s really weird because I do love it here. I love the peacefulness at my house. I love love LOVE my church. I cannot say enough about The Church at Avon. (I have no clue who reads, this but if you are in the Avon area and need a good church, you MUST go to The Church at Avon. Not in a couple weeks, but this week. On Sunday...be there!) But with all that I love here, my heart years to be with my family too. I feel so conflicted, because my heart breaks at not seeing my family here, but my heart soars with delight knowing that my family will be a phone call away. My kids will grow up with their aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...the whole nine yards.

When I was a kid we moved to Japan and those 6 years were some of the best of my life. I loved every minute of it. It was the most amazing experience. We moved there when I was 9 and moved back when I was 15...duh...9+6=15. Before we moved to Japan I felt we were close with our extended family, however when we moved back it felt different. In the 6 years we were gone, the family went on...the relationships that I shared with my cousins were not the same when we came back. We had grown apart mainly because we’d grown up on 2 different continents! Facebook has been awesome since we’ve been here because I feel like we’ve definitely reconnected even with us being in Indiana. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t want my kids to grow up in that same fashion. I want their relationships with their extended family to be strong and solid.

Back to the job...I went on quite a rabbit trail there. Brad said no to the offer and he was told that they were not accepting ‘no’ and would get back to us on Monday. It was a LONG weekend waiting for Monday to come. Brad worked on Mother’s Day and then he also worked Saturday and Sunday of the following week. Monday he worked till midnight, Tuesday he had to go to Milwaukee. Tuesday night Brad and I were crying out to the Lord. Brad prayed for God to deliver him and honestly we had no clue how God was going to do that; we just knew He would because He is faithful and good to His people. Brad and I were blown away the next day when an offer came in at the exact amount that Brad had said we would need to make the move. We both felt an incredible peace that this was God’s answer to months and months of prayer. We accepted the job and I was so excited with how God had answered our prayer.

That excitement quickly changed to sadness as I knew the task ahead of me was telling the people here that I love dearly the news. It’s bittersweet. We knew we were in the Lord’s will when we moved here and I am at complete ease knowing we are in His will now too---it’s just hard. I’m sad that we will miss what God is going to do through Pastor Dan Wigton and his family at The Church at Avon. Pastor Dan’s first Sunday is Father’s Day. Brad starts his job on June 7th. The kids and I will be here until we sell our house. As much as I don’t want to leave our friends, I want to be reunited with my husband in VA. I’m so thankful that my man has provided and taken such good care of us.

.....as an added bonus, Brad will be able to surf in the ocean and won’t have to try surfing in the creek like the above picture. ;)

Love to all!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gimme a break

WARNING: This post may contain the heart of my pity party...

Do you remember the Kit Kat Jingle? “Gimme a break. Gimme a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar....You could keep it yourself but it wouldn’t be fair. That chocolate crunchy taste is loved everywhere.” Lately with the hours Brad has been working I’ve been singing that to myself. I don’t need the chocolate (although I love my chocolate) but what I do need is a break. It doesn’t even have to be anything elaborate. I simply need time for me.

I used to feel guilty about saying that I needed “me” time but not anymore. I don’t feel guilty about it. I know I need to take care of myself as I take care of my kids and house. Brad’s hours have been crazy and I have not had time for me without knowing at any minute the kids would call me back to them. Brad had to work on Mother’s Day and then had a business trip the day after. He didn’t get home until Tuesday night. The kids have missed him terribly and so have I.

We were able to have a lunch date on Friday which was fabulous, but it was also very emotional as we had a difficult decision to make. I valued that time with him but it was an afternoon laced with heartache and somewhat of a bittersweet finality all at the same time. Unfortunately, Brad had to work yesterday and again today. The kids have been getting to bed late and that always contributes to the grumpy behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making an excuse at all for them---grumpy or not they are still responsible for their behavior, however I know that if I have not made sure they get to bed at a decent time I cannot be too terribly upset when they start acting out.

Take today for example. Justin. I love that boy with every fiber of my being. I can remember with detail the nine months that I was privileged to carry him in my belly. I remember being sick with the smell of any tomato based sauce. I remember the joy of finding out I was having a son. I remember picking out his name and registering for all the “stuff” for him. It was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. Gabe will always be my first son, but Justin will always be my first born son.

I know I have made plenty of mistakes in raising my kids. I make them on a daily, heck, an hourly basis. I can only pray that through the wisdom of God I can somehow make up for those mistakes. Justin has always been my envelope pusher and I have no clue when or even if that will stop. But I love him all the same. I adore my son. I cannot imagine not having him in this family. He stole a piece of my heart the day I saw his heart beating on the ultrasound. I never knew that type of instantaneous love was possible. It breaks my heart when I see him acting out with his temper. It breaks my heart when his anger gets the best of him. It breaks my heart when I would rather put him to bed than truly deal with him because I have no fight left in me.

Justin has been overly tired the past couple days and today was no exception. He started before we even left church and I had to have Brad talk with him for a couple minutes. That seemed to help for a little bit. And then he didn’t get his way and it all hit the fan! I was able to reel him back in and I thought we would have a good rest of the day. Around 5 it really started spiraling and I knew an early bedtime was in the works. I didn’t realize how early or what was going to transpire to get us there and really that’s not what is important. What is important? His heart. Getting to his heart. Reaching his heart and showing him my heart and love for him. More importantly, showing him God’s love for him. I put my little guy to bed early tonight and he proceeded to call “MOMMY!!!!” for the next 35-40 minutes. I did go up and see what he needed but it was always the same thing...he didn’t want to go to bed and he wanted Daddy. I wanted to cry that I wanted Daddy too, but what good would it do for him to see me fall apart?

As I type this he has finally quieted down and I can only pray that he gets a good rest and tomorrow we can talk about our day and both of us learn something. I know that it’s not just me teaching him, but Justin teaching me too. James 1:19-20 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

I desire to live a righteous life.