IMG_5451Almost done catching up the journal blog on some of the big life happenings round here these past few weeks.  Last, but certainly, not least, would be the girls Mini Olympics performances at gymnastics.   I LOVE Mini-Olympic time.  It’s the one time of year when we get to go on the other side of the glass wall and watch our girls up close.  And since I am often entertaining a toddler or taxing around an 8 yr old or running errands, during their practice time, I truly cherish getting the opportunity to watch them perform.  (and yes, I would be that mom with the camera and video camera out trying to chronicle it all)  (but I assure, you I’m not the only one!)

IMG_5242First up would be our 4 year old.  This past year she was a Sea Monkey- which meant she practiced two times a week for an hour each time.  I am SO-VERY-PROUD of her and all she has learned this year.  I can’t believe how much she has grown and what she can now do and I love, LOVE the smile on her face while she does it!




back hip circle

She is now moving up to the Sea Otters class which means she gets to practice twice a week for 2 hours a session, just like her big sister did last year.  She is quite excited about this!

Next up would be our now 6 year old.   The thing that impresses me most about her is her hard work and determination.  She has never, NOT ONCE, ever complained about class… not the sit ups, not the pull ups, nothing.  She goes in and she works diligently and loves it.  She  is moving up to the level 4 team this summer.  She is really excited about this b/c it means she gets to do gymnastics for more hours. 




I love watching both of my girls practice.  I am so proud of how hard they have both worked this year and all that they have learned.  After a little time off, we are gearing up for a new year of gymnastics with a new  “taxi schedule” for mom.  But, the smiles on their faces are worth every mile in the minivan and minute in the waiting room!

It’s been 2 weeks since we signed on the dotted line twenty million times and got the keys to our new home!  And we’ve made some special memories in those two weeks, such as…

sleeping in new house

  • camping out the first night in front of the fire place in an empty house
  • riding bikes (every day since we got here… and I can’t believe how much better they are at riding bikes now… I have 3 proficient 2 wheelers now!)
  • throwing clothes down the laundry shoot (the girls particularly LOVE this—one will stand in the basement where it comes out and the other throws it down from upstairs then they race to meet each other in the middle after it went down and giggle with glee—still hasn’t gotten old yet)
  • shooting the BB gun in the back yard
  • breaking in Daddy’s new hammock on Fathers Day
  • camping out in Mom and Dad’s closet
  • playing lots of choo choo

bb gun

We still have work to finish up before our renter moves in to the old house.  And we have yet to hang anything on the walls in the new house… AND have quite a few boxes left to be unpacked in the garage…but it truly feels like home and every day I find myself smiling and giving thanks for the blessing of our home. 


Sooooo much life has been happenin’ round here these past few weeks, I honestly don’t know where or how to start with chronicling it all.  But, lest he get ANY older, I thought I’d pause in the midst of unpacking to comment on the birthday of my youngest.  

Because folks, sometime in the midst of packing, remodeling, moving, and unpacking… this little guy turned 2!! 

But, more than that, just like I feared, the little man grew up when we moved to the new house.  Not only does he not need baby gates, he can be on a completely different floor than I am, happily playing.  Or he can wonder around in the big back yard all by himself.  We didn’t put his crib back together, as he sleeps on a toddler bed now.   And while he is by NO MEANS potty training, he has gone on the potty a few times and even told me when his diaper is dirty. 

Which means, he is a full fledge toddler!!! 

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And while he works very hard at keeping up with the big kids, he’s also developed some of his own likes and interests which are all his own. 

Such as choo-choo trains. 

When we moved to the new house, we brought out our oldest son’s old train table with the tracks and trains.  He is GIDDY about it!  He happily exclaims “choo choo twain” over an over and I do believe he thinks the table came with the house b/c whenever we give someone a tour of the home, he eagerly brings them to his table in the family room.    We showed him Thomas the train on Netflix and the loud squeals of delight each time he sees a choo choo train on the tv make all of us smile. 

And bugs.

He is totally into bugs these days.  Every time he sees an ant he’ll drop down on his belly study it for a few minutes, call out for us to come look, and then squish it.  He’ll pick up any and every bug he finds and eagerly bring it over to us.   Lately, I’ve been presented with quite an exciting group of squished invertebrates… spiders, lightning bugs, a wasp, ants, rolly pollys…

Oh, and let’s not forget dogs.

He loves dogs, the bigger, the louder, the better.  He screams out “dawg”  “dawg” over and over anytime we see one and loves to give them a huge bear hug and put his head down on their back to snuggle.  He knows no fear when it comes to dogs (which of course has this Momma totally freaked).  So the big German Shepherds behind the fields at his brothers baseball games, whose barks make all the older kids take a step back, they make him squeal with glee and I have to hold him back lest he run right over and stick his face out for them to lick.   He loves, LOVES,  doggie kisses on his face.


While none of my kids are what I’d call shy, he is by far my most extroverted child.  He will joyfully call out hi to whomever he sees when out and about.   He makes friends quite easily and has charmed his way into the hearts of several other gymnastics moms in the waiting room this past year.  He even has his favorites whom he’ll go over to and climb up on their laps. 

He has the most precious lip pout and “my world is totally ruined” face when we tell him he can’t have something he wants.  It is totally precious and I have to bite my lip and turn my head so I don’t laugh at his misery (and vain attempts at getting his own way).  I am still delightfully surprised and relieved that he’s not a strong willed child.  When I have to put my foot down and strap him in the seat at the grocery store or the dinner table and he puts on a huge tantrum, I still brace myself for a full fledge battle (as I endured with his older more strong willed sisters) and I have to laugh when after about a minute of screaming and crying, he stops and concedes. 

I love his little blond curls, his big blue eyes, and his smile that lights up a room.  I love that when I ask for a kiss he sticks his cheek right up to me for me to give him a kiss.  I love when he spontaneously tries to kiss me which means he grabs my face in his hands and licks me while making a puckering noise.  I love the way he asks for Daddy or his brother or sisters when they aren’t home.  Over and over… I love the way he sticks his fist up to us and says “boo-ya” when he wants to “pound it.”  He is 27 pounds of pure boy and he’s wrapped his little finger all the way around my heart.  I fear one of my biggest parenting challenges is going to be not spoiling him rotten and babying him forever.  cake (1)

Happy Birthday Little Man!  I know you’re a full fledge toddler now, but don’t forget that  “I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.”

These past few weeks have been some of the most exhausting in my life.   It’s been 9 years and 4 kids since our last move and let’s just say we’ve acquired a whole lot more stuff since our last move.   I purged and donated and purged some more and yet have found myself with enough miscellaneous boxes of random to sort through in the new house till Labor Day!  Meanwhile we were listing our house for rent, showing it to perspective renters AND still trying to juggle the spring extra curriculars like year end home school evaluations, baseball games, gymnastics classes, play off games, mini Olympics, piano recitals, and birthdays and our anniversary.  We’ve pulled countless nights up till the wee hours of the mornings when I was so tired I wanted to cry. 

And here we sit in our new house… with pretty much MOST of our stuff out of the old house and some of the stuff situated in the new house. 

And I couldn’t be here without the help of some fabulous friends and family.

Truly, I am humbled, humbled beyond words at what our friends have done for us in the past month. 

  • I had a friend drive and hour and a half to spend a Saturday scrubbing my house (while I was out at baseball and gymnastics events).  She gave up the day with her family, to serve me and mine.   To scrub my filthy bathrooms!!  (and mop my floors, cleaning my windows….)
  • I had 2 other friends take turns watching each others kids (so they had 7 kids 6 and under at their house) so the other could come and help me pack.  The afternoons I spent with each gave me the jump start I needed to finally really start packing up the house.
  • Another friend came to my house for an entire Saturday (make that an almost 12 hour day) to work NON STOP on packing and organizing the MOST unorganized, horrendous rooms of my house.  Truly, more than once we looked at each other in the pile of crap and thought, “how will we ever get this ready to show in 2 days?”  But she persevered with me, and even endured carrying logs full of slugs on them, to help me clean, organize, weed, load up the van full of donations… basically work our tails off to get my house ready to show to renters. 
  • My parents came and got my kids and took them to their house for 5 days entertaining and caring for them (even nursing 2 of them through the stomach bug) so I could pack the house kid free for a long weekend.  Then they came back 2 weeks later and worked pretty much non stop to pack up our belongings, haul them to the new house and scrub the old house top to bottom.  
  • Then there was the group of guys and gal who spent their Wednesday afternoon and evening moving all of our furniture and a good deal of our boxes onto the moving van, off of the moving van, and into my house.    Some took off of work early, others spent their day off serving our family, others came after spending the day at work. 
  • We had friends who spent move in day with us, entertaining our kids, helping pack and then staying super late to help make our home comfortable and homey.  They set up our girls beds, helped organize their dressers, packed and unpacked my kitchen… kept their kids up way past bedtime all to help make our home ready to live in and homey. 
  • Then we had more friends come and help us as we continued to move out.  Friends and family who just jumped in and did whatever we needed… paint a wall, sure… empty your shed into my truck and unload it at your new house- no problem…
  • Other friends offered to take our kids for us… watching them for a day, or picking them up from gymnastics for us, truly just being there for whatever we needed through the moving process.
  • Other friends prayed… when I had showings I had a slew of friends and family who I could text and I knew without a doubt that they were lifting the process up in prayer for us.  And I have seen and felt these prayers these past few weeks.
  • And then even after we moved, when their were still more projects to be done at the old house, we had friends give up their precious summer family time to help stain a railing, unpack our house—to work alongside us as we seek to finish the tasks.

I am truly humbled at the amount of love I’ve seen poured out on us these past few weeks.  I’ve seen people selflessly give us, what I KNOW FOR A FACT, is one of the most precious commodities we have during this phase of life, THEIR TIME, time spent away from their families, time when they could be working on projects at their own homes, time, they could be at work earning money, they’ve given that time to us.   I have no words to express the gratitude I have for these friends and family members who have given SO MUCH to us.  We could not have gotten through this past month without you.  Truly, we couldn’t.  There is no way Scott and I could have tackled this task alone.  Thank you for helping us.  For joyfully helping us.  We appreciate you more than you could know. 

I remember vividly the first night we spent in our house. 

We were first time home owners.

And we were giddy. 

As we lay on the floor in our bedroom looking up at the ceiling I remember Scott commenting on the ceiling fan. “Look at that ceiling fan!  We own it!”  I on the other hand couldn’t get my eyes of the red blinking light from the smoke detector…. wondering how would I fall asleep with it constantly blinking. 

Funny, how 9 years later I don’t notice that blinking light at all.

I recall our first morning here.  It was the first day of March and yet we’d been hit with a rare dusting of snow.  Not enough to cause any problems for move in day the next day, but enough to blanket the trees in our back yard with that beautiful, thick, covering of white.  As I looked out our window, it was one of those moments I knew I’d want to tuck away and savor…

This house has been good to us.  Just like we hoped and dreamed when we moved in, it was the house where we began our family.

We moved here  just 3 months shy of our 2 year anniversary… some might have called us still honey mooners.  We were 2 people in love dreaming of our future… of babies and diapers, of puppies and bunk beds and swing sets. 

And tomorrow we leave here, 2 people in love, with our beloved circus trailing behind us. 

I am excited about our new house.  Lord willing, it’s the house the kids will recall as the one they lived their childhood in.   And that’s what sold us on the house… the huge yard for the kids to run and play kick ball in, the cul de sac to ride their bikes, privacy to sit on the back deck and watch them in their adventures.  It has all the elements we’ve dreamed of for our children. 

But, as I sit here, this last night in our first home, I feel like I am standing on the cusp of a big change.  Leaving behind their infancy with the classic pooh nursery.  The new house won’t need a crib or even a baby gate.    This time as I close my eyes and ponder the future in my new home, I can’t help but envision prom pictures on the front stoop and graduation parties on the back deck. 

As I say goodbye to this house tonight, I am thankful.  So, very thankful for all the Lord has blessed us with here.  Thankful for the sweet and precious memories we’ve made here.  And thankful for the memories yet to be made at our new house.  The Lord has been good to us.  

Scott, in honor of our anniversary this weekend, I compiled a list of 11 things I love about you.

1.  You’re a dreamer.

2.  Your not afraid to go for the crazy (take 4 kids on a 22 hour car ride to see a 2 minute rocket launch… sure thing…stop by Times Square for hot dogs on the way to CT for a wedding with 2 toddlers and a very pregnant wife, “I’m in!”) and thus, you’re a great memory maker.  Smile

3.  I’ve never had to iron anything in our 11 years of marriage.

4. You put your family first… always…

5.  When I announce “breakfast for dinner”  you react with the same enthusiasm as if I am serving you filet mignon.

6.  You can fix pretty much any computer or technical problem. 

7.  Your logical (and thus, a little of your logic has rubbed off on me over the past 11 years). 

8. You make up silly songs and sing them with reckless abandon to the kids and I. 

9.  You always see the best in everyone and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

10.  You have a great laugh, and nothing brings it out better than an old episode of AFV. 

11.  You asked me to be your wife.   And 11 years, 4 kids, and a loud and messy minivan which serves as a taxi cab, later, you still make me feel like a  million bucks!  (how do you do that?)