Dreams Really Do Come True

This. Boy.

Oh my heart.

It seems like yesterday he was still in China and we were on our knees begging the Lord to find a way to get him home before Grant turned 18.

If we didn’t get to China and back before Grant’s birthday, we would have had to start the whole immigration process from the beginning again to have Grant approved as an adult living in our home.

I hope we always remember like it was yesterday what the Lord did to GET THIS BOY HOME.

Unbelievable.

Miraculous.

I don’t know why, but I have been SOAKING in moments like these lately.

Reflecting.

Dreaming.

Praising the Lord for our Tate Owen.

Yes.

This smile MELTS our hearts.

And he smiles all. the. day. long.

Tate Owen, I bet the Lord has big plans for you, buddy.

You already shine His bright light SO very much!

What a privilege it is to be your forever!

We just are not worthy!

We love you SO much, Tate Owen!

Keep smiling, sweet boy!!

Friday Stuff

How I LOVE Fridays!!

Schedules and routines are our key to success around here.

Fridays are no exception!

Friday is cleaning and grocery day!

And most of the time, DATE NIGHT!

We have a great crew of helpers.

We spent time training them how to do their chores, and now we are reaping the benefits!

Addie was a blur running around working too – I just did not get a photo of her!

This sweet new home of ours if SO EASY TO CLEAN!

Down sizing has been SO freeing.

It was exactly what we needed in this season of our lives!

We have been trying to figure out our grocery and date night routine now that things are slowing down.

Going to town is just “that” much farther….so running there during the day for grocery and back to town for date night just seems like too much.

Blake and I headed the other direction for date night last week – and had coffee at the Viroqua Coop!

I LOVED that we were in the same vehicle, and that it was only 15 minutes away!

But date night is when we run a lot of errands too, so time will tell how we work this all out.

I am so thankful that we are settling into life here.

We could never have imagined how much we would enjoy this beautiful place the Lord has blessed us with!

Twin Oaks, we are excited to make memories with you!

The Stuff Memories Are Made Of

When living the day to day stuff it doesn’t always feel like memories in the making.

Then we look back at the photos and videos we have, and the ones of everyday life are always our favorites!

I love the day to day stuff.

Love it!

Just look at my view one afternoon.

I am thankful that each day is FULL of so many amazing things that it’s just undeniable…..it IS the stuff memories are made of!

Like one-on-one time with Lane Stevan.

He talks my ear off the whole time, and I love looking straight into his eyes while he does!

Visits from Auntie Gail are THE BEST.

It’s like we were never ever apart!!

How about Sundays?

Good grief….those once a week days of rest are SO needed, aren’t they?

And then family snack night on Sunday nights.

I am giddy all day waiting for those grands to come running through the door!!

Then there are these two!

Their transformation takes our breath away.

God has been SO good to us!!

Just look at them!!!

Even slowing down for three days for illness proved to be just what this Mama needed.

Love how the Lord will stop you in your tracks when He knows it is the perfect thing.

I was skeptical about having Sadie in the house once we moved.

We kept her in the garage and in the run outside while all of the construction was going on, because, well, that was enough chaos of its own!

We decided to try bringing her in, and slowly transitioned her to being inside full-time.

It took her about a week to get settled into being inside with us!

Even though she is still terrified of the stairs and will not go down them!

I will admit that I am LOVING having her inside.

She is such an obedient, calm pup…and we all are enjoying her so very much!

We have been enjoying watching all of the wild life from all of these beautiful windows here at Twin Oaks.

There are SO MANY deer!

There are coyotes that howl in the middle of the night and sound like they are super close to the house.

There is also this beautiful guy we have been watching!

We think it is a golden eagle or an eaglet!

Lane got this photo one day – but he has been even closer to the house!

The last several weeks the sun has been missing!

We were SO glad to see it shining bright one day that it did not even matter that it was bitterly cold outside!

Because it is so cold here, you can count on at least one hot cocoa mustache smile a day!

Of course a big part of my time is food, food, food!

They still like to eat!

And I still like to cook and bake!

So it is a blessing all around!!

I even got ALL the grocery one day – which was three different stops!

We were also blessed to buy a half of an organic pig!

Our menus change seasons just like the weather does.

I have been making comfort foods now that it is frrreeeezzzziinnnggg here.

Banana cake is a favorite.

But Zucchini Bake is by far a favorite!

This pan was headed to the oven and was devoured as soon as it was finished baking!

A certain favorite girl of mine and I snuck out one evening for some one-on-one time.

It was simply needed, but we did do some shopping for birthday presents!

Yep.

Memories for sure!

So glad I captured them!

Time just will not stand still!

So I am hanging on extra tight these days!

Kick-Off To Christmas

It has been tradition for years now to start the Christmas season by shopping for and putting together shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Is it just me, or are things sneaking up on you too?

Like November, for instance?

The kids and I snuck out one afternoon to head to the Dollar store to purchase our shoe boxes.

It is so fun to select gifts for these shoe boxes!

We bought a box for Kayla too, and then a couple of nights later we all got together to pack the boxes and make cards to send inside them as well.

We never need a reason to be all together, but it was fun to have a project to work on!

I helped Tate while Blake helped Eliza.

Someone’s box got sent without a pink slinky!

But this blond hair blue-eyed boy is pretty hard to resist.

Ellie Joy sang to us while we worked!

I know, I know.

I will kiss her for you.

Your welcome!

We had dinner together before we packed the shoe boxes, and then we played a lot too.

I am sure I do not need to mention who the biggest kid is?

This tradition and our cookie baking tradition are two of my favorite things to do all year long!

I never have to be reminded to schedule these things to make sure they get done…but I know some kiddos who would never let me forget!

We are so excited for the Christmas season!!

It is just full of SO MUCH JOY!!

Christmas time kick-off, you were a success!