Tuesday, January 27, 2015

14 years!!!

Mike and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary today!!!  The time has gone by so fast and reflecting back, it's been great!!! 

Our wedding day started out with the weather like today.  Snow on the ground.  Sunshine.  More snow falling as we said our vows!  We took wedding pictures in the snow!  We didn't care how cold or warm the weather was!  We were in love and ready to get married!  :)

Mike came early that January morning to pick me up at my house.  We went together to take pictures before the morning ceremony.  Family and friends met us too.  Then we went to the church that I spent so much time at that week.  We decorated and prepared for this great and wonderful day!!!

Mike and I both can say that it's one of the funnest days of our lives.  We enjoyed the whole day so much with the people that meant so much to us right then!  We were blessed with many gifts and memories!!!  If you were a part of the special day with us, thank you again for your friendships!!!  God has brought us together and continues to mold us!

We went to Cancun, Mexico, for our honeymoon.  We loved every minute of it and said that we would come back at our 5th anniversary.  :)  Funny how things change though!  Our love didn't and we thought about taking the trip but by then we had a home to pay off, two children and going to Mexico looked doubtful!  Mike did say that he loves to visit cities, so we've done different trips along the years.  We have yet to make that the warm trip south together as an anniversary trip!  When we do, it will be grand!!!  :)

Over the years, we've had challenges but mostly learned to love each other more and more.  Marriages are falling apart every day in America and so standing strong on our vows is important for us!!!  Reading the Bible together.  Praying together.  Crying together.  Laughing, lots, together!  Sharing our pet peaves before they become major uproars has helped.  :)  Giving each other space to hang out with friends and alone time has helped too! 

Mike has been a great dad to each of our three children.  They all three love his attention, time, love, hugs and kisses and mostly the time playing on the floor.  They get the biggest kick out of him wrestling with them!  After supper, we have tons of action in the living room!  I love it and know that in a few short years, the kids will be grown and not asking to wrestle.

Thanks Hun, for the many years of great blessings and joy!  Being married to you is wonderful!  We don't know all the answers in life, but together it makes them much easier!  Falling in love with each other is something that God placed in us.  A strong love that will last forever!!!  Thank you for your love, devotion to God, trust, faith, and humor!  You are the man of my dreams!!!

Here are a few pictures that I pulled up from the computer!!!  I love to be with this man!!!  He stole my heart years ago!!!

May God bless us with many more years together!!!

PS.  I am looking forward to a date night with him this week!!!  :)  Can't wait!

There's a teenager in the house!!!

Hadassah is now a teenager as of yesterday!  She was excited to have yet another two hour delay on her birthday!  The cold tempts and snow have kept us in school session but we've had lots of delays!  No one complains about that!  We know in May, at the end of the school year, we will be ready to be out and let summer begin!

Hadassah woke up happy to be a teenager and requested a piece of scrapple with a yogurt parfait.  We played the famous "Happy Birthday Song" for her as she ate and got ready for school!  All three children love this version on youtube!  My mom stopped in before she went to school and gave her a gift.  She will love to spend the gift card at Target!!!  Thanks mom!  After that, the kids were off to school.

I was in need of groceries so Ashlyn and I went for foods, milk, eggs, etc.!!!  Hadassah requested tiramisu from Costco, so we went for that too!  The roads were slushy and messy.  The snow was light and in little flakes.  Nothing too bad yet!  :)  Then we made a quick stop at Lena's to do some cleanup and help with her house chores.  Baby Adrian just slept.  He's so adorable!!!  From there we were off to get Matthew for his orthodontist appointment.  They adjusted just a bit on his braces and he let Ashlyn pick new band colors.  She said red and orange.  :)  We came home right before Hadassah came home from school and by now the snow was a comin!  Big white snow flakes fell fast! 

We have a tradition to go out to eat on birthdays ... leaving the birthday person pick the restaurant!  Hadassah wasn't sure for a long time but did decide on Longhorn.  Mike got home a bit earlier and us being the adventurous family in snow ... we went out!  It has to be REALLY bad for us to not go with our plans!  Always!  It took us a long time to finally get to the restaurant.  The highway was packed with cars coming home from work and everyone was going super slow!  Matthew was being a huge back driver and getting so annoyed at the other cars.  He kept saying, "Daddy, don't let them jip in front of us!  Drive faster!  Why is everyone going so slow?  Are we almost there???"  We tried to explain that the roads are a mess and the snow was coming down fast!  To go fast was NOT an option!  We did arrive safe and sound and we got our foods ordered in no time.  Hadassah loves their hand battered chicken fingers with fries.  Matthew and Mike enjoyed ribs.  I got the best dish of lemon buttered tilapia and rice and shrimp with green beans!!!  It was so tasty!  Ashyn feel asleep on the way in and slept through most of the dinner.  She had some of my food before we left for home and loved it too!  The waitress brought out a big dish of ice cream topped with whipped cream and hot fudge for Hadassah's birthday treat!  So yummy!

Hadassah also wanted to go bowling but Mike called the alley and no one answered.  Closed?  We did think it was best to get home anyway before the roads get even worse.  We stopped at red box and grabbed two fun movies - Dolphin Tales 2 & Sherman and Mr. Peabody.  We were gonna have tiramisu for dessert but decided to not since we already all had bites of ice cream at Longhorn.  We cuddled and watched the movies.  Fun time!

Hadassah opened her gift from us before going for supper.  A pair of Ugg boats are hers to claim.  She does want another style though so it may be a few days before she can wear them.  :)

Having a teenager in the house is great!  She's learning to be responsible and helps me around the house more and more.  She's turning into a young lady and so being sensitive to her opinions and wishes is more important!  Hadassah loves to be with friends.  She is forever asking us, "Well, what are we going to do tonight?"  Being bored is not OK with her!  She does great with younger children.  She still loves cucumbers and fruit and puppy chow.  Playing the piano is becoming a habit and not a dread anymore.  Basketball is her favorite sport for now!  She tries hard and plays to win!  Her devotion to Jesus means a lot to her!  She keeps trying to get on the A honor roll but with one B, it's the B honor roll!  Maybe this quarter!?!  She has no blue slips so far!  That's impressive if you are in school five days a week for weeks on end!  She can't wait for our baby to arrive and I know her help will be super awesome!

I remember the moment she was born as if it were yesterday.  She was darling right from birth.  Fighting and crying for love and comfort.  The normal responses for newborn babies!  We've loved and nourished her over the years and I feel now that she's starting to give back!  :)  I love that she's sweet inside and out.  I love that she likes to eat healthy.  She sets goals and meets them.  She tries to think positive.  She likes school and loves all her friends!

We love you Hadassah and we hope that Christ will remain to be the center of your life and activities throughout all your teenage years!!!  Make good, pure choices!  Make good friends and stay around good company!  Lean on Jesus for help and strength!  Talk to us about trials and problems!  Live life to the fullest and have a blast!!!  :)

We love you, Hadassah!!!

With another two hour delay this morning, the kids were disappointed that they have school.  Again, I was happy to still call it a school day!!!  We did a few inches during the night and always makes messy road conditions.  Having a later start in the day is nice but I find myself trying to keep up the rest of the day!  :)

They all three bundled up this morning after breakfast and played in the white fluff!

Matthew loves it outside!
 She to loves to get bundled up and play and eat the snow!
 Hadassah likes it inside the best but can't resist the snow now and then!  She packing a snow ball to fire at Matthew!  :)

 Father like son ... If there is a bat around, he will swing it!!!  :)  Spring will be here before long so it's never too late to get a few practice swings in now! 

 The girls loves to make snow angels!!!

Getting back to Hadassah with his snow ball!!!  :)

We love when it snows!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter time!

We've been in the season of Winter now for weeks and looking ahead, I know we are not near finished yet with the cold weather!  I like Spring and Fall a lot but Summer is my favorite!  I try to 'get through' the winter months!  :)  Usually we plan a family vacation to Florida right in the middle of Winter but there were no reservations and plans made for this year.  Mike says we are staying home and saving to remodel the house.  I think that's wise but still when knowing of family that's enjoying the sunny, warm south, it teases with my mind!!!  :) 

During Winter, I like when it snows.  I always have said and still say, "If it's going to be cold ... it may as well snow!"  The kids love to sled!  They like to skate too and even though we've had day and after of freezing tempts, we have not went skating once yet.  Hoping to do that sometime this winter!  We have been enjoying the two hour delays in the mornings at school.  With the roads being icy, school has been starting late a few times already!

The forecast yesterday brought the kids home early from school.  Snow was falling and to bring us 2 - 4 inches but here at our home, we only got an inch or so.  It was enough to make the trees look so pretty!  I love watching it snow outside!  This morning, as I cleaned the house, it started snowing again for a while.  Makes being inside and warm be so cozy!  (We woke up this morning with the house colder than usual though!  I caught Ashlyn pushing buttons on the thermostat last night and thought I adjusted everything right.  She thought I was being a mean mom when I told her sternly to not play with the thermostat.  When I woke up this morning I thought, "Boy, it seems cold in here."  I quickly went to see the tempts and it was 65.  Nothing terrible and it didn't take long before it was back to 71!)

My 15 week plus a few days prenatal appointment at the doctor went well!  The doctor found the baby's heartbeat just like that giving us beats at 140!  I gained a few pounds since I was there last and the nurse laughed when I said I was relieved a little bit because I feel like I gained 10!!!  :)  I left the doctors feeling blessed!  I came home with the kids already here!

I was waiting all afternoon for a call from Lena!  She had a C-section surgery planned yesterday and I couldn't wait to hear if they have a girl or a boy!  She texted me just as I was pulling in the garage from the doctor!  It's a boy!!!  Adrian Amos was born at 12:30 and weighed 7, 10!  Pretty small for being ten days late!  She asked if we could bring Hunter in later to see his little brother!  Of course!  We picked up Mom Lapp and Hunter and then dropped off our two youngest at sitters and headed through the snow to see baby Adrian!  Hunter was so happy yet small enough to really sink in the facts!  It will become reality for him in a few days when he goes home to his family!  :)  Adrian is so adorable!  He is smaller featured with a small amount of hair!  We love him already!  Hadassah got to go with us to see him and she enjoyed every minute of holding him!  I can't wait to see her hold our baby this summer!  She was loving the moment!  We didn't stay in long and brought Hunter back home with us.  He's slept in Matthews room for a few nights last fall, so he knew where he would sleep.  Him and Ashlyn have been playing together all day today!  Congrats Matt and Lena!!!

Everything is wet outside today and the tempts being in the 30's took the snow away.  When I cleaned the house this morning, I ended up putting the puzzle away that we started.  The girls and I worked on it one day and it's been laying around ever since.  I will be starting to pack up the house things soon, so maybe the 1000 piece puzzle will have to wait to next year!?!  I'm asking my family to save boxes for me!  We will need plenty for packing books, pictures and kitchen gear soon!  I'm not sure yet where to store our things because when the project actually does start, we will move the basement.  I don't want a bunch of boxes in the basement if we are trying to live down there!  We are hoping that the new garage gets built first because then we can move all our things into there until the house is finished!  Moving our things to another location is an option but it would really be nice to keep it as close as possible for when we move it back in!!!

Winter will be going fast when our project does begin!  I like to think so anyway!!!  :)  One thing that Winter does give us though is the citrus fruit!!!  I've been going to our local farmers market for groceries the past few weeks and they have great oranges, grapefruits, avocodoes, and strawberries right now!  We are enjoying them very much!!!

Getting the winter blues is no fun so stay positive!!!  :)  Grab a book!  Have a tea party!  Come help me pack up!  :)  Visit elderly!  (Our grandparents are in Florida!  I think I should visit them there!!!  :)  )  Be a blessing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Changes ~

Life always brings changes.  It always has ... it always will.  I don't personally like changes but if everything would stay the same, there would never be growth.  Never a new view.  Dullness.  We would get stale.  Physically and spiritually.

I am a person that loves my friends.  The groups of people that I see all the time.  Church family.  I take them all as a gift from God and so when changes happen, my insides turn into butterflies.  I like my life of comfortableness.  I don't like to be stretched out of my comfort zone too much. 

I also like routine.  I could very easily get up the same time each morning.  Eat about the same things for breakfast and lunch each day.  I buy groceries on Monday to stock the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies for the week.  I do laundry Monday, Wednesday & Friday.  I do a load of towels on Saturday.  I clean the house on Thursday and dad's shop on Friday and the Yukon on Saturday.  I am fine with switching things up every now and then but this is just how I function the best!

When my house is out of order and a total mess or really dirty (which does happen with children and a family that spends time together at home!), I tend to feel out of control.  I can not go to bed with tons of dirty dishes in the sink.  Or with the living room full of toys and puzzles.  It must look decent, not everything has to be in tip top shape, but decent!  To wake up the next morning with things looking out of hand, would put me in a tizz!  As long as the surface looks good, I'm good too.  That does mean that often there is a load of laundry to fold in the dryer but no one but me knows that because you can't see it there!  If the dishes are clean but still in the dishwasher, that can wait for the next day to be put away.  I'm not sure if some of these shouldn't be on my 'new year resolution list' to improve but that seems to be OK with me.?.

I like lists.  I like to plan out our supper menu's for the week, so the grocery list is usually fairly easy to make!  When we pack up for vacation, I need my list of things to cross off so I don't forget anything important!  If I have a really busy day, I'll make a list of the things I need to get done that day! 

However, I am in the 'CHANGE' season of life right now.  I am trying to embrace the moments and not get all in a frantic.  Change is good.  I truthfully wouldn't want EVERYTHING to stay the same.  I want the children to grow up to be adults.  Yet, I want to love and cherish on them now ... every day.  And I need to.  I want our marriage to grow.  Yet, I love Mike right how he is right now!  I want our baby inside my womb to grow and for sure want it to arrive right on time!!!  I want a remobeled house.  Yet, the packing up and making all the many decisions can look overwhelming yet exciting!  I want to grow spiritually.  Yet, when I am going through a hard time ... I seem to want to pray it away!  Why?  Why am I so routine bound?  I know God made me like that!  I am thankful for that but I also know God sometimes calls us/me out of our/my comfort zone to make us/me a better person!

The past year has brought many changes in my mind.  One, was buying an another acre of land and making plans to remodel our home.  Two, being pregnant!  We are very excited about this one!  Three, was church!  When Mike and I first talked about visiting other churches, it looked scary!!!  Really scary for me because it's not what I was "used to" or it was "out of routine".  I've been in the same church family since I was eight years old.  I grew up there in a sense.  But, we prayed about it a lot!  Making a change that involves friends, family, and the future we did not take lightly.  If I'm honest, I didn't want to talk much about it back then.  I knew better than to be silent though!  Mike and I wanted to be on the same page if we would make a change.  Time, God and prayer seemed to help out with this a lot!!!  When we started to look outside "of our box" we noticed that there were so many churches we could visit.  Then, when we actually went to visit some, we found out that each church is different.  They have different people.  Different views.  Different ways of worship.  Not that we thought the way we did/do things is the only way, not at all, but our eyes were opened.  We were also blessed to notice that we really are blessed in our area to have so many thriving churches that LOVE THE LORD!!!

We felt God leading us to a church in Honeybrook.  We visited there last fall once and like I said, it was different for us.  We had church in a school gym - not a 'church'.  We sat on folding chairs - not comfy, soft pews.  We sang praise and worship with some instruments - not acapella using hymnals.  They have Sunday School every Sunday - we were used to every other.  The church had many community visitors.  The whole experience seemed overwhelming at the moment.  We went back to 'our home church' for months later and then this fall we felt we needed to make a move.  A change.  Another visit to that church.

This time it was completely different.  No, they still did all the things above that they did a year ago, but it was different for me.  This time I went with an open heart.  God dealt with me many, many days last year about change and how when I feel like things are "out of my control" I really must trust and lean on God's leading.  Always trusting in Him!  In His direction!  We still met in a gym which isn't so bad after all!  :)  We still sit on hard folding chairs but I have not yet seen anyone sleeping in church!  We still sing praise and worship songs and I think we should sing twice as many as we do!  We love the worship time!!!  We enjoy Sunday School a lot and the kids have found their classes!  There are always visitors from the community because Honeybrook's vision is to witness to those around them.  We've heard prayer requests and praise reports from those who accepted Christ because of the believers here ministering to them.  Letting God move! 

Has the change been easy?  Not all of it.  The first weeks, the kids would ask to go back "to our church".  It was hard to see new faces and not have names for them.  We have a long way to go with this yet!  :)  The whole church has been so welcoming though and it's more than we deserve!  I have to confess that I didn't do my part with this before.  They have invited us into their homes and Sunday School classes and Small Groups!  We've really been blessed by the sermons and fellowship! 

So, change is good.  I need to realize that more and more.  I still appreciate my old friends and my old church but I can embrace making new friends at the same time!  I still love the people and church that I grew up in but opening my heart to new places and new people has been fulfilling to!  Our family is adjusting to these changes and following God's leading puts a peace in our hearts.  Please pray for our family as we want God to continue to lead our lives.  Now and always!  Pray that Mike and I can be examples and leaders to our children!  We want God to be number one in their lives.  In our lives.  In our motives.  In our actions!  In all that we do! 

Our changes will be a lot within the next months.  The house project will be in work mode soon.  Well, we hope so!?!  The baby joining our family in July will bring many changes but we can't wait!  Looking ahead at our year, we will be blessed if we be blessings.  We will be stretched but God's mercies are new every morning!  We may be tried but staying faithful to God must be our main focus!  God will help me through any changes life may bring!  It's a wonderful feeling knowing God always cares for His people!!!




Saturday, January 17, 2015

House plans are in the making!

We are making remodel plans for our house.  Mike and I thought, prayed, talked and wished about this for a long time!  It is now going into action!  We started with latte's from New Holland Coffee Company!!!  Coconut Latte's are great! 

We were both looking forward to Thursday as we met with the blueprint designers!!!  Quality Design did a fabulous job at measuring our existing home and then making a new floor plan for us!!!  We spent three hours going over many, many options and making some changes to what they already had in place.  They showed us two different plans and now we need to decide on which one we want to go with!  Both blueprints are very similar.  There are just some changes in the bedroom layouts.

After we left their office, Mike and I went for dinner!  He was at Waterfront Restaurant a few weeks back and absolutely loved the Brie Seared Salmon Salad he ordered and said that it's a MUST that we go there together to eat!  Here was our chance and we both loved the food we ordered!!!  Mike suggested the table right in front of the burning fire place.  Perfect!!! 

My entrée came with a side salad.  I asked if they have honey mustard dressing?  The waitress said, "I can make you some!"  I don't know if I ever had that response before at a restaurant but she made a great dressing and also put some avocado vinaigrette dressing on the side!  Both were excellent!  When we got our entrée's, we both were pleased!  Mike got his salad.  I got a sausage wrapped in a pastry dough and a side of greens and a cream sauce that was so yummy!  We were told the dessert options but we decided to be good and say no!  I still think about the Hazelnut Crème Brule that was offered.  I might have to go back just for that!!???  :)

We came home to the children and showed them the plans.  Mike wanted to show the blueprints to my dad (his dad had already left for Florida).  We went straight down there and laid out the huge drawings.  He liked the floor plan that Mike likes the best!  He suggested some changes and we are so glad to have asked for his opinion!  Some small changes can really make a difference!  Thanks Dad!!!

We are currently waiting for the township to look over the land plan and give us our permits.  Then we will start lining up the builder and start this process of a remodeled house!  I really want the project to get started soon because the more time we have before baby arrives, the better!!!  Moving into the basement looks like a challenge but I think it's what you set in your mind.  You can tell yourself that this is going to be tough for a few months or I chose to think of it as temporary!!!  I know, ask me about half way into the project ... I might be totally numb by then or still in sane!  :)  Packing up the house looks like a HUGE project but I've had people saying they will help when the time comes!  I will need it!!!  I've said for years, "Just packing up our garage looks like a challenge."  It will be a collection of garage sale items and trash!  Until you actually go through all those miscellaneous items, I know there will be some cleaning out!  Major!!!  We've lived here ever since we said, "I do."  I know how things can accumulate! 

There will be many choices and decisions to make within the next few months.  Some important and then some not so important.  Please pray for us as we adjust to the temporary changes that will come our way!!!

Here's a photo shot of what our new house will look like.  Of course, we don't have all those trees in the back ground and we will add landscaping.  I will have a totally new look!

I can't wait to start working on the inside!  I have some cabinet shops to visit and we need to compare some prices!  Yeah!!!

Farm Show!

We've talked a little bit this week about taking the kids to the Farm Show because Matthew had something about going.  I've not been there for years and neither has Mike.  Yesterday morning, I texted Mike and said that the kids only have school till 11:30 and that it might be a good time to go!  He was up to it and so we surprised the kids when they came home from school and said that we would go!  Hadassah was not really into it.  She didn't know what to expect and plus she's still been feeling under the weather somewhat!  I can't wait to see this girl full of energy and not blowing her nose!!!  :/  Matthew, of course, was all into it!  Ashlyn loves farm animals and so she was into the idea too!!!  We even invited Mike's mom to go along because his dad is in Florida.  (Mom is waiting to help Lena with her baby once it finally decides to arrive!!!  :)  )  She was all into the idea to so we all went together.  The drive there seemed further than the way home and the kids were ready to get there!

We started with getting some fried mushrooms!  Then we went to the horse arena and watched some really nice horses show off their beauty!!!  Then we walked around to see the cows and goats.  We were able to see two little goats only four hours old!  They were just learning to walk and the mom was still licking them and caring for them.  So neat!

Then we went back to the food court and what a difference.  By now everyone and their neighbors arrived!!!  The place was packed out!!!  The food lines went fast but we could hardly get through with a stroller and the crowd was crazy! 

We decided to get tickets for the Rodeo!  The kids couldn't wait and Mom was never at a Rodeo before!  Mike got the good seats and we found our place!  Ashlyn was SO into the whole thing.  She sat in her little seat waiting and watching.  She was all smiles! 

We watched horse bucking cowboys.  Cowboys roping calves.  Barrow racing.  Then bull riding!!!  There was even one bull that after the rider fell off, it was still bucking and suddenly it couldn't walk!  It else dislocated it's knee socket or broke it?  The whole crowd gasped and we watched as it tried hard to get out of the arena!  It looked pitiful but they got it moved and who knows if it will be repairable or made it meat?!?

The whole night was fun ... especially the rodeo!  All three kids loved it and the best part for Mike and I was seeing them enjoy it!  We told them to get their fill of it now though because that crowd was nuts!!!

We got home late but we all slept in this morning!  Making memories like these are great!!!