The Weekend and A Semi

Ever since we moved to Twin Oaks on August 8th, there has been workers here almost every single day.

The progress has been steady!

The littles loved watching out the sliding glass door the day they were working on the deck!

While we waited for things to be finished, we made the best of what space and things we did have!

We were SO excited with each bit of progress!!

A working stove after one week without one?


The delivery of the new refrigerator after it had been on back order for two weeks?


The appliances were a gift to our family – which is just such a huge blessing that I do not have adequate words for!

I am so thankful that we had that semi parked in town and did not have all of that stuff to deal with in such a small space.

The four youngest kiddos slept on mattresses all over the upstairs floors, and Grant and Addie Mae slept on the couches.

For three weeks!

Last Tuesday when the downstairs floors were finished, the kiddos could not carry their mattresses down there fast enough!

They were so excited to stretch out!

We kept Tate and Eliza upstairs for a few more nights to be close to Blake and I, since Eliza has the chicken pox.

Bedtime massages help get everyone wound down for bed time though!

We started moving into basement this past Thursday night by setting up the bedrooms and family room first.

The boys teamed up to build their bunk beds.

The guys also started to slowly empty out the living room and carry the furniture down.

Then Friday night was date night!!

I LOVE date night!

That guy I love always buys the coffee and he makes all of my organizational ideas come true!

Blake planned some shelves for the new storage room and so we headed to Menards to pick up the lumber.

After the coffee, that is!

Then Saturday morning came and it was time for that semi to be delivered.

We were supposed to be traveling to attend three weddings this past weekend, but when the chicken pox arrived our plans obviously changed.

Since we had five adult people here for three full days, we figured we might was well tackle this HUGE project!

Oh boy.

The boys cleaned and assembled some shelves we had back at Adoni Acres, and Addie Mae and I carried all the extra kitchen and grocery stuff down from the garage and put it all away.

The storage room floor was scrubbed – because construction dirt is over the top dusty!

Next up was to get those shelves built, because most of what was on that semi was going to be stored on them.

The guys would carry boxes to the back patio, and then we would bring each box inside to the family room to open it and put it away.

Things got a lot worse before they got better!!

Like high chairs in the bathroom?

Sometimes a certain someone would get caught goofing off!

Just sometimes!

Addie and I also worked hard to keep the house in order and to keep three little people fed, entertained, and happy!

Addie is my laundry girl.

No, you cannot have her.

That closet there?

It holds the everyone’s hanging clothes, except for Addie’s.

The more toys that we found in boxes, the easier it was to keep the little people smiling!

Blake and I planned some fun for the weekend too – and surprised the kiddos each night with our fun plans!

More on that later!

By bedtime on Monday night we had finished unloading everything from that semi that belongs in the house, had everything put away, and the house and floors cleaned.

We have the most amazing crew!

I walked around at that point with my cell phone and took photos.

The great room –

The main bath –

The master bedroom and bath –

The school room –

The hallway game closet –

The beautiful Amish made stairs –

The soon to be music nook –

The storage room –

The boys room –

The family room –

The girls room –

The soon to be kids bathroom –

I took these photos of the outside of Twin Oaks earlier in the week –

It was a BIG weekend with a TON of work.

We enjoyed it SO much though!

The Mama of this family kind of loves to organize things!

There is still much that needs done for our new home to be finished, but we are so pleased with all of the progress over the last two months!

I have to admit, I am most excited about getting our yard graded and planted and sitting on that beautiful deck!

Lord willing, it will be soon.

Twin Oaks feels like home and is just the perfect downsize for this season of our lives.

Now we just need to fill it with people!!

Hey everybody!

Come on over and stay awhile!

The Chicken Pox

Last Sunday our sweet baby girl woke up and immediately came to me to show me “the worst bug bite ever, Mommy!” that was on her side.

I agreed it look pretty bad and put some salve on it.

Pretty soon it was time to get the littles dressed for church.

As I took Eliza’s pjs off of her, I was asking how her bug bite was feeling now.

She said it was still itching, but the one on her forehead was itching worse.

It was as she finished those words that her pjs were totally over her head….and then I saw them.

And I knew right away.

She had the chicken pox!

We have no idea where she was exposed to them, and I felt SO bad that we had exposed all three of our grand babies to them the night before without knowing it.

It was a tough week for Eliza – but it could have been so much worse.

Sunday we snuggled a lot while she slept.

She only had about 10 pox that got big and full of puss, and only about 50 total pox in all.

The itching was still really bad!

We used benadryl twice a day to help, and also had Eliza soak in oatmeal baths – which she loved!

She would have times where she seemed fine, but lots of times that she really did not feel well too.

All of the other kiddos, except Addie Mae, have had the chicken pox.

I had shingles in the third trimester of my pregnancy with Addie Mae, and we think it is why she has never gotten them, even though her siblings have had them and she was exposed through them.

One day Eliza asked if I had any photos of when the other kiddos had chicken pox.

I was glad to show them to her!!

We cheered when we saw she was starting to scab!

There was one stubborn pox on her leg that just scabbed yesterday.

We do not know if Tate has had the chicken pox or not, and are wondering if he was actually vaccinated and it was lost in the translation of his paperwork from China.

He seems to have about three suspicious spots at this point – and he ran a fever for a whole day – but we just are not totally sure if he really has the pox or not!

We are hoping and praying that this truly is a super mild case and we will be done with all of this VERY SOON!

Time will tell!!

Until then we are staying home more than usual…but we certainly are not complaining about that!

Two Boys and Their Guitars

When we were still packing up Adoni Acres, we were blessed with the sale of an antique cash register that had just been sitting in storage for years.

Blake’s Dad had bought it for Blake way back when Blake and I were first married.

Right away we knew we wanted to do something with the money from that sale that would honor the memory of Blake’s Dad.

Pop was a musician and singer – and a very good one too!

I had been thinking that music lessons of some sort would be a good thing for the middle boys once we moved.

Then it all came together in my mind – the guitar.

On one of Blake and my Friday date nights after the sale of that cash register, we stopped at Dave’s guitar and bought both of the boys a used guitar!

The next morning, while everyone was sitting down to eat breakfast, Blake and I snuck back to our bedroom, and then came back through the house strumming those guitars!

The boys faces were PRICELESS.

And their smiles made our day!

I started praying that the Lord would help me find a teacher for the boys – specifically one that could come to our home to teach them their lessons.

I thought this would be impossible to find!

Of course the first person we mentioned this need to knew the perfect guy – a guy from church that we know as well!

The boys started lessons this past Monday!

I wish I had gotten a photo of Lane too!

I am loving these guitars being played in our home!

I will be praying that the boys continue to love it too!!

Happy Birthday, Addie Mae and Grant Evan!!

It may just be the season of life we are in right now, but birthdays are having there way of sneaking up on us!

This past weekend we were so privileged to celebrate not one, but two birthdays!

Addie Mae’s birthday was on Sunday, and Grant’s birthday was on Monday.

We invited some of our favorite people over on Saturday at the last minute, had some good food and even better fellowship!

Addie Mae chose grilled fish, basil sun-dried tomato fettuccine, and tossed salad with ranch dressing.

David, Kay, the babies and Hannah came over to join us!

Our first get together in our new home!!!

It was fantastic.

We had not seen Hannah since the weekend she helped us move to Twin Oaks.

How I have missed this beautiful girl!

Grant and Addie Mae chose to share a dessert this year, and wanted to have grasshopper pie like Tate had!

Once again, we had no candles!

But we sang to them anyway!

I think the mint chocolate chip ice cream dessert was a hit!

At least with our little Miss E, anyway!

Eliza struggled SO much Saturday night.

I really truly thought it was just way too loud for her!

What we did not know was that she was getting sick.

The next morning she woke up broke out in chicken pox.

Our poor sweet baby.

On Sunday we ate like kings again for Grant’s birthday!

He chose steak, shrimp, Mexican pasta salad, asparagus wrapped in bacon, and yogurt fruit salad.

Our meal was rather long and hodge podge!

We were blessed with several neighbors that live on our road coming down to meet us during our lunch!

I did manage to take one photo!

Of the birthday boy!

The other day when I was teaching Tate and Eliza school one morning, my mind and heart were flooded with memories of teaching Grant and Addie Mae school in the same way.

Wasn’t that just yesterday?!

Now they are adults.

The Lord has given them the best hearts!

One evening right after we moved in to Twin Oaks, Blake and I looked across the dinner table at these two with tears in our eyes – they just bless us SO much.

What a privilege to be their parents.

Grant Evan and Addie Mae – keep seeking the Lord and living for Him!

There is no greater joy than knowing that you both walk in truth!

Happy, happy birthday to you both!

We love you SO much!!!