Friday, August 28, 2015

Growing ...

Growing is a part of life.  I'm glad.  But sometimes we tease the kids that we would want to put them in a box and keep them from growing up.  :)  Austin is growing so fast and is already 8 weeks old!  We are much more adjusted by now!  When he cries, I know what he wants.  When he's tired, he wants laid down.  He loves his nuk.  He eats about every three hours.  He sleeps till 5:00 AM!  He's stingy with his smiles.  We are waiting for him to share more of them more often!  :)

Here he is at eight weeks old! 

He loves to lay on the floor watching and playing with his toys!

Lips like his daddy.

We love him so much!!!


We went over to the house the other day and worked in the garden.  I miss not going out each day and using my herbs.  :/  We pulled out the rest of our red beets.  Ashlyn was my usual garden helper!  Austin napped in the Yukon while we worked.

These are the two adorable children that I get to hang out with every day!  The other two are in school now.  We color.  We play doll house.  We feed baby.  We burp baby.  We change diapers.  We play doctor a lot.  We love life!!!
Our weather this past week was so delightful.  I would have it all year long if it were possible!!!  Seeing the summer days slip by is sad for me because I am never ready to say good bye to summer.  But, I love fall too!!!  I love the smells.  The tastes.  The colors.  The brisk in the air yet still warm in the afternoon!  Pulling out the sweaters for the evening hours is fun again.  Pumpkins!  Pumpkin pies!  Apple cider.  I know that I won't be able to hold back from putting at least some fall d├ęcor in the basement!  :) 
Enjoy your upcoming weekend!  We are excited to hang out as a family and play games, run around in the back yard and laugh!  The kids had a real blast last night playing a home made game in the yard with Ritchie.  They came inside at 8:30 last night not just because they were dirty and tired but because it was getting dark and time to get ready for bed. 
Life is going well 'in the basement' but we will be excited to see more progress with our remodeling home next week!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weekend @ the beach!!!

Last Sunday morning Mike and I were sitting on the back porch and I said that I would still love to go to the beach with the kids or at least with Mike this summer yet.  It was just a comment ... but it came true!!!

We went to church and afterwards we were talking with friends.  Dave and Sonia came up to us and invited us to go along to the beach with them and two other couples from church!  We were excited and hoped that it would work out with Mike's work schedule!!!  We texted Dave's that evening and said that "yes" we would come and join the fun!!!

I had a really busy day on Friday packing and preparing for our weekend.  I had an overwhelming feeling about taking a seven week old baby to the shore but made up my mind that even if I didn't get much time sitting on my beach chair, I would be OK with that!  :)  (Sometimes I have to tell myself things like this!)  I felt again a bit overwhelmed when I went for our 'beach things'.  The beach chairs were at the house, not here.  I needed a cooler, which was at the house and not here.  I needed extra bedding, that was at the house.  Sand toys were in the barn.  Do we take our bikes and if so, the bike rake needed picked up at the house.  I made a list of things that I needed to get at the house, but with a baby and toddler, I said a prayer and hoped my day would go well!!!  I knew that this would not be 'a vacation' but a very fun trip!  Each family was in charge of one meal also.  Thanks to Costco, my meal was easy!!!

Mary Sue came to my rescue on Friday afternoon and kept Austin for me while he took his nap!  That gave me some time to pick up Hadassah at Black Rock Retreat and make some road stops.  We got back home at 2 PM and we got right to packing up the suitcases.  Matthew came home from school on the bus and he helped us too!  When Mike got home from work, he loaded up the Yukon and off we went!  For our weekend at the beach!

We were all so ready to be at the beach house and see our friends that already were all settled in and relaxed!  :)  Dave's, Gerald's and Elvin's stayed in a house together while we rented Merv & Carol's house.  Both houses were in the same neighborhood at "The Angola by the Bay". 

Matthew and Chandler hung out the entire weekend together!  Matthew slept at their beach house both nights.  They went crabbing.  They jumped waves together.  Dug in the sand together.  They had a real blast!!!  Thanks Chandler for being such a fun friend all weekend!

The waves were so wild that some of us had to be recused by the lifeguard!  Dave was really sore from being ripped around from a wave!

Hadassah was with Jess and Maleah!  They had such a great time too!!!  Laying out, jumping the waves, sharing ice cream, going shopping at Old Navy and Marshalls and sleeping all three girls in a full size bed is something these tweens enjoyed!  :)))  They had so much fun!

Eating nachos and whoopies on the beach!!!

Ice cream float!
When we went shopping they slipped into the changing rooms and then told us moms to come have a look!  Look what we saw!  :)  Crazy ... and no they did not buy these!  :)

Ashlyn enjoyed the beach time and had fun with her friends too!  Sabrena, Shani and Alaina included her with all their toys and fun!  Thanks girls!!!  Ashlyn loves the ocean water too but just getting her toes and legs wet!  We would hold hands and let the waves come crashing in on our legs!  I love watching her giggle and laugh!!!

Austin did great!!!  Super!!!  He slept the whole time we were on the beach.  Hours!  The ocean sounds kept him sleeping soundly!  It was very relaxing for me and I was very grateful!  I did panic just a bit the first day though.  We set up our chairs after dragging the stroller, chairs, cooler, towels and toys onto the beach.  (I did mention it not being 'vacation' but a fun time, right?)  We sent the kids up for an umbrella and they came back saying they are sold out!!!  What?  We could not have a seven week old baby in the sun all day!  We NEEDED an umbrella!!!  Well, if Austin would not sleep or get settled in the stroller, we would go back to the beach house.  But, he did great!!!  He slept until we were ready to leave!!!  Both days!!! 
On the way down to the beach, Mike stopped at an Mexican Restaurant for some food.  It had no windows in the building and I thought he was crazy buying food at a place with no windows.  He came out not long after going inside and had a big bag of tortilla chips, two containers of salsa and guacamole!  It wasn't a restaurant but a store.  Everyone dug into the dips while we drove to the shore!  We even got to eat some on the beach the next day!!!
The whole trip was fun ~ with some work to make it all happen ~ but we were happy!!!  I was thrilled to go the beach again and taking the family with me!!!  Thanks so much for inviting us Dave's!!!  Let's do it again next year!!!  :)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cousin day + house tour!

We've been trying to get together with the sisters and children before school begins.  We had a day planned to go to French Creek and swim but it was a cloudy, not swimming weather day.  Instead we came here to the basement and played some games and had lunch together.  (We missed Mindy and the girls.)

So, Mindy invited us all for a day of swimming at her parents house on Tuesday!  It was warm and perfect weather at the pool.  But this time we missed Fannie and her girls and mom!  It's hard to get us all together.  We've been saying for a long time that we want to go to Hobby Lobby and I'm starting to think it won't ever happen.  We did all manage to have a hot roast at Tony's on Sunday night.  Sometimes the last minute planning just works better.  (We wished that John and Mim couldn't come but their little baby just doesn't want to arrive on time!  Come on little one!!!  We are all waiting for your sweet arrival!!!)  Anyway, maybe once school begins for all the cousins, we can plan a day of shopping with the moms!  :)  Even if it's for the upcoming holidays that someone said is in 14 weeks!  Yikes! 

Here are the little girls.  The bigger kids swam in the deep part all day long.
And, Austin decided to like the swing after all!!!  I figured out how to make it sit up straighter and now he's in for more than a second without crying!!!  :)


Life in the basement is going well.  We can hear when dad's are home upstairs by them walking around and I'm sure they can hear us below by us talking and our active children!  :)  We've been living here for now almost three weeks! 

We keep going over to the house to work or get things we need.  Mike and Matthew were over last night and busted out some walls.  They were throwing a softball into the dry wall and then rip it away!  :)  Only the ones who love to play baseball would renovate this way!  :)))  The outside foundation walls got poured last week.  Little by little things are getting done.  I can't wait when they start with the actual house.  So far it's been foundations and working around the house!

Here's our back porch and a place for me to fold laundry.

The living room ...

Before school started, the kids played and played with the Lego's!

Here is the bathroom, pantry, kitchen table and Matthew's room.  :)  All within a few feet from each other but it works great!

The children's room!  The girls on the left and Matthew on the right.  Austin still sleep in the bassinet by the kitchen. 

Our room and Austin's crib for naps.  I have him out of our room during the night so that I can sleep better without hearing every little grix.  I can still easily hear him when he cries!  Believe me we are not far from each other!  :)))

Austin's changing table!!!

Our closet system!  The moving boxes are still being used for skirts and long sleeve shirts.
We are ever so grateful to have such a nice place to live while we remodel!!!  Many, many thanks to dad's for letting us live and move in for a few months!!!  Our goal is to be back in the new home by Christmas!!!
I hope you enjoyed my little house tour.  Come visit us!!!  :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

School has begun!

Yesterday was the first day of school for Hadassah and Matthew!  It's so hard to believe that we are at this time of year already!!!  I was nervous for this morning because trying to get the kids up and out of the house by 8, plus have a newborn, I prayed everything would go smoothly.  And it did!!! 

I woke up the kids early ... 6:45 AM.  It will take them a little to get used to waking up this early again.  I mixed up some pancakes and peeled peaches for their breakfast.  Matthew was up and dressed in no time flat!!!  He was nervous and excited to met his new teacher and school mates.  Hadassah was still waking up while combing her hair and double checking her packed bags for Black Rock.  She doubled checked to make sure she had all she needed before eating her breakfast.  Meanwhile, I bathed Austin, got Ashlyn up and dressed and stuffed some left over pancakes and eggs into my mouth before taking them to school.  With Hadassah going to Black Rock Retreat right after school till Friday, she had a sleeping bag and extra luggage to drag to school.  Driving them to school seemed like the best idea for this morning.

Matthew is ready for fifth grade ...
Hadassah is ready for eighth grade ...
Ashlyn can't wait for her turn to go to school!

We arrived at school with the buzz in the air!!!  The buses were unloading the children.  Mr. Buckwalter was at the door welcoming everyone!!!  Hadassah and Matthew got out of the Yukon after we said a prayer!  They were both excited to be back at school and start another new year!

I will miss Hadassah while she is at Black Rock!  She does so much for me here around 'the basement'.  She can fold the laundry.  Sweep the floors.  Hold Austin.  Entertain the kids.  She's wonderful!!!  We will be praying for her while she is out learning about nature and God!!!  She's got a busy school year with sports, learning, piano lessons and finishing up her time at Linville!  We are excited to her grow and mature!

Matthew came home happy about his day.  There are a few new kids in his class, including a new teacher.  He delivered the school folder to me and that's when I spent some time on the back porch going through all these papers.  School is very informative and there are more and more options available.  Lunch options on Wednesdays.  School cleaning option.  Sports after school practice options!  The list goes on.  Matthew never makes much fuss about school and so all I wanted to hear and know ... I had to ask him!  :)  We are excited about his school term for this year too.  I really hope he takes a better interest in reading and keeps doing well with his lessons! 

As for us 'in the basement', we will adjust.  Again.  It's always a change with school being in session.  I'm usually really ready for a better sleeping schedule and ready to be back in the rhythm of school life, but this year I wasn't ready to say good bye to summer vacation.  With having a baby in July, my summer went by really fast!!!  We pooled as much as possible in June.  We had a baby in July.  We moved in August.  Now school starts already!!!  (I just know in a few years from now and looking back, I will wonder how we did all this in one summer!!!)  I miss my helpers!  But today the little ones and I made a trip to Costco.  It went fine.  Ashlyn plays well alone but I stopped my work often to help her color a picture and then play some doll house.  It will only be a few weeks until the swimming weather will change and then we will really be focused on school!!!  :))


Austin turned seven weeks old and he's sleeping all night!!!  Well, what I call all night!  He's settled by 10 PM and is sleeping until 4:30 AM.  The other morning he went to 5:30 AM!!!  I woke up feeling great from the straight hours of sleep!  Skipping those 1 AM feedings is always a good feeling!  He's doing better with his naps too!  I wasn't always sure how he wanted to fall asleep.  My preference would be to just lay him down and let him fall asleep by himself.  But with that training, comes some crying.  With dad's right above us, I am trying to be cautious about our noise and his crying.  Well, they are out west for a wedding the next few days, so we are in training!!!  He is doing well with it too!!! 
Daddy and Austin taking a snooze before the ballgame!


Packing for a fun getaway this weekend might be interesting.  We brought to the basement only the things we need to live with for a few months.  No extra sheets.  No sleeping bags or extra blankets.  No sand toys or beach chairs.  We might be making a few stops at home before the weekend is here!

Have a great weekend and I hope to be posting again soon!!!