The Big Move

The BIG move has happened!

We are getting settled at Twin Oaks.

There is still MUCH to do, as the house is only half finished!

We also do not have internet or phone services yet.

Boo, hoo!

I am currently at my favorite coffee shop up the road from our new home – River’s Place!!

I am borrowing River’s WiFi and drinking a coffee made by his Daddy.

Hopefully we will get internet service this week and I will be able to download photos to our computer and then to the blog.

Until then….I will add this photo!!

And now you know why this is my favorite coffee shop!

The coffee is good too!

Until next time – hope you all are having a great weekend!

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Happy Birthday Tate!!

Thursday was Tate’s sixth birthday!

Our days right now have been a whirlwind, but we purposed to stop and celebrate our precious boy!

Keeping with tradition, Tate chose a meal and dessert for his birthday.

We had baked chicken, asparagus wrapped in bacon (it never gets old!), roasted potatoes, and sautéed onions.

It was yummy!

We also invited some of our favorite people over to celebrate with us!

It was a big circle day!!

Isn’t River getting so big!! Already nine weeks old!!

After we ate, Tate had two gifts to open.

First, one from Hannah!

Our wrapping paper tote was already packed in the semi for the move, so Blake got creative in wrapping Tate’s gift!

Tate chose grasshopper pie for dessert – which is really just a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with a chocolate crust!

Guess where our candles were too?


In that semi.

But Hannah found one in her car – even though it was kind of melted – we got it lit!

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

I cannot believe our little man is six years old!

He still wears a size 3T shorts and 4T shirts!

Tiny but mighty!!

What a privilege to be this cheerful young warrior’s Mama!

It was just two years ago today that Blake, Grant and Tate arrived home from China and I held this precious boy for the very first time!

Thank you, Jesus, for this very precious gift.

Happy Birthday, Tate Owen!

We are so thankful to celebrate you!!

We love you to the moon and back!

Collect Moments, Not Things

Collect Moments, Not Things.

As we start our downsized life, this will be our new motto.

Blake and I even bought a sign that says these exact words and it will sit on top of the kitchen cabinets at Twin Oaks!

It’s the beginning of a new vision that Blake and I don’t even see completely yet, but we know the Lord will show us the way!

We are starting a new tradition to go along with our new motto.

Instead of presents for each of the kiddos birthdays, we are going to “do” something all together.

To collect those moments.

Memories in the making!

On Wednesday to celebrate Tate’s birthday, we did just that!

The girls and I took all the kiddos to the Children’s Museum in La Crosse!

The guys wanted to be there, but the museum is only open until 5 p.m.

Because of the move, we decided to do it this way this year.

The kiddos had a BLAST, as you can imagine!

And their Mama and NaiNai took one thousand photos, as you can imagine!

Here is the birthday boy himself.

Six years old!

Tiny but mighty!

We arrived at the museum when it opened at 10:00.

Here is the cutest of cute babies!

He is growing so fast!

And his dark head of hair is turning super blond!

They LOVED the pretend Kwik Trip gas station and store!

I was thankful for how many hands we had there!

It was a job to keep up with all these littles!

Chad would take different kiddos at different times to see things.

Here is our precious brown-eyed little Miss E.

My cup overflows.

The whispering machine was fascinating.

Pretty soon we were on the lowest level.

There was a huge water table there, and the littles loved it!

I have no idea who this cutie is on the left in this next photo!

But I bet his Mama takes thousands of photos too – just look at that smile!

The middle boys climbed the rock wall.

Tate got in line to do it too, but soon found out that you have to be 40 pounds to be allowed to.

I think it will be quite awhile until he will be 40 pounds.

Our tiny little man!

Chad made it to the top!

River was an angel!

He is the calmest baby!

Reminds me SO much of Lane when he was a baby!

Eliza says the fire truck was her favorite!

The kids led the way, and before we knew it, it was noon!

We grabbed our cooler and headed to the park for lunch.

Kayla, Addie, and the babies headed back to River’s place after lunch.

The kiddos and I went back to the museum for some more play time!

I stopped at the desk on the way out and bought a membership.

If we just go one more time this year it will be worth the savings!

Tate enjoyed his birthday outing very much.

As always, he told me thank you about a hundred times.

Tate Owen, how I love you!!

It was our wonderful pleasure to celebrate you, precious boy!

It’s All Coming Together

I think I am still in denial that we are really moving this weekend!

Things are all coming together though, and our goal is to be completely out of Adoni Acres by Monday night at bedtime.

We may be sleeping on the floor at River’s place for a couple of nights – but we are the kind of family that can do something like that and LOVE the memories that will be made!

I know it will be a blast!

Over at Twin Oaks the seller and his crew are doing their very best to get everything done that needs done for that final “living” inspection.

That does not mean the house will be finished, but it means it will be finished enough that we will be given permission to live there by the inspector.

I finally took my big camera to Twin Oaks last night and captured some memories while we worked there!

This sweet new little home is AMAZING.

We all cannot believe we will be able to call Twin Oaks our home!!

Everything we picked out is coming together SO nicely!!

Here’s the kitchen so far – I CAN’T WAIT TO USE IT!!

Check out this island!

They had a peninsula planned, but we changed it to an island instead.

The electricity had to be moved – but it wasn’t too big of a problem!

They put the back door on yesterday too!

I wanted one with a window in it so I could see my kiddos outside, but it did not meet fire code.

This one will do!

Speaking of code, the railing has to be on the stairs before we can live there.

The stairs are being built by the Amish and will be here next week!

So thankful we can move in with the stairs as they are now though!

The main bathroom vanity turned out great!

Even though I gave the general contractor a headache when I added those middle drawers which were not in their original plan!

The master vanity is a beauty too!

Blake has been building closets.

We need somewhere to hang clothes when we start moving!

The basement walls are up and waiting for the electrician.

I think he will be there today!

This is the storage room.

This is the boys room.

The boys will be sharing a room and the girls will be sharing a room – both in the downstairs.

The family room is huge!

And full of windows and light!

Isn’t that patio a dream?!

There will be a deck above it!

The sliding glass door in the kitchen goes onto the deck.

We had such a great crew of hard workers last night.

We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned!

Builder guys are messy!

Addie and I were there too!

I washed windows for hours.

Lane helped me!

Addie was a blur doing all kinds of things too!

These three ran barefoot through the house playing and had a blast.

As we climbed into the van in the dark well after bed time, Lane said, “Running barefoot through Twin Oaks sure made it feel like home!”

And then Chad said, “Each time we come here it feels more and more like home.”

Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers.

Twin Oaks, you are a beautiful home.

We cannot wait to lay our heads there and enjoy the huge blessing from the Lord that you are.