Monday, January 28, 2013

Snow day in VA!

Before we even planned on moving to VA, the girls would say that they wished we could move to VA because Grandma and Papa and Nina and Papa always get so much snow.  When they found out that we were indeed moving back, snow was one of the first thoughts on their mind!  They often told us that now that we were going to live in VA, we could play in lots of snow!  So you can imagine their great joy when we received about 5 inches of snow our very first week in VA!!

It was not snowing before nap-time, but it looked like this when they woke up, so of course we had to go out immediately!

We didn't last too long because we did not know where our snow things were located and frozen fingers can only be ignored but so long.  So the rest of the afternoon they watched the beautiful snow fall as they waited for Daddy to come home and find our box of snow clothes!

Excited about suiting up to go out and play the following morning:

And finally the fun really starts!

Abbi was excited but a little confused about it all...

Karis just could not stop smiling!

And Karlie was the funniest of all...  she would laugh hysterically and squeal the entire time on the sled and then fall backwards in the snow when it stopped!

And every now and then she would do a face-plant just for the fun of it!

 And of course we had to make hot chocolate when they came in!

And snow ice cream with sprinkles later that night for dessert!

 What a fun snow day!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

In Memory of my Grandma Connie...

On the Saturday that we moved in, we received the sad news that my grandmother had apparently suffered a stroke a few days earlier.  Her care-givers had been trying to figure out what was wrong with her, thinking at first that she was just sick, but as time went on they knew the truth.  It was an exhausting day to receive such news but we were glad to be in the same city instead of 3.5 hours away.  Around 9:30 pm the following Tuesday night, my Mom called to tell me that the doctor thought it was near the end and they were driving up to be with my grandmother.  I planned to be there first thing in the morning, but when my husband made phone calls to cancel his morning meetings, he could not get ahold of anyone.  So I had to wait until almost 1pm, not knowing if it would be too late to see her once more.  I had planned to visit her the day after Christmas,  but came down with a nasty stomach virus and had to cancel.  So I had not seen her since Thanksgiving and really wanted to see her once more.

Normally, I do not like to be around death and sadness and honestly try to avoid it.  I planned to make a quick trip to say my good-byes and return home to my girls because Mark really needed to get back to work.  (It was only his second day on the job and the new business was opening that week!)  However, once I got to my grandmother's house, I did not want to leave.  She could not move or speak but she did move her eyes when I told her I was there and I am certain she knew me.  I had my time alone with her and told her how much I loved her and all my favorite memories of our times spent together.  (I lived with my grandmother for almost a year before getting married and we had some really precious times together.)  Then one of her former care-givers came with her guitar and sang all my grandmother's favorite hymns with my parents and I as we wept and sang,  It was a precious time.  A little bit later the hospice nurse came and checked on her and told us that death was near.  She could not even get a blood pressure and her hands and feet were already starting to turn purple.  She prayed with us and we told God we were read to let her go.  And only a few moments later my grandmother died.   It was God's perfect timing.  

Like I said before, I do not normally like to be around death.  But this was different.  I was so, so, thankful that I had been there.  So relieved that I had not missed it. It was such a precious time.  If Mark had been able to cancel his morning meetings, I would have missed it.  If it had happened 4 days earlier, I would have missed it.  But God's timing was perfect and I am thankful that He allowed me to be a part of her passing.  

Please enjoy this random assortment of sweet pictures of my grandmother.  I loved her very much.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Karlie turns 4!

In all the craziness of moving, my precious Karlie Sue turned 4 years old!   I plan to write up a long post about what Karlie is like at 4 years old to remember this stage forever, but for now, I wanted to go ahead and post a few pictures we took on her birthday.

Karlie was very excited to wake up to home-made cinnamon rolls with cream-cheese icing and sprinkles!  Then Nina came by and dropped off her presents before work (so fun to live in the same town as Nina!)

She got special cards in the mail from both sets of grandparents with money and princess stickers!

We met Daddy at lunchtime at Build-A-Bear!  It was the girls' first time there and they thought it was absolutely amazing!  Since it was Karlie's birthday, she got to pick out a more expensive bear (a pink and purple rainbow bear) and a special outfit (a princess dress) while Karis chose a pretty white bear and Abbi chose a puppy.  They are all very excited about their animals and sleep with them and carry them around all day. They were also very excited about the boxes (castle houses for their animals) and decorated them and carried them around for days as well.  We had a hard time figuring out how to make Karlie's birthday special in the midst of the craziness of moving but Build-A-Bear certainly made them smile!

After Build-A-Bear, Grandma and Papa came over to give Karlie presents.  Once again, it is so much fun living so close to the grandparents!!!

And Karlie thought the best present of all was the amazing snow that fell on her birthday!!!

Daddy finished off a special day right by bringing home purple flowers for his big girl and her favorite, much anticipated chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles :)
Karlie Sue, we love you so much and can't wait to see what this year brings!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ready for school!

We moved into our new house on Saturday and tried to unpack a few boxes on Sunday.  We were completely unsuccessful.  The girls have been extremely excited about this move, very happy about it whenever discussing it, and pretty much bouncing off the walls in joy.  But my girls thrive on routine and change makes them crazy.  Super, ridiculously emotional.  So on Sunday we quickly realized that our girls needed our attention and gave up on unpacking and ran a few errands with them that we needed to do.  So we were pretty much still living out of our suitcases when my alarm went off on Monday morning (note:  I have not used an alarm clock in years so it was a rude awakening).  And it was a cold, rainy, miserable day.  But we were still excited about going to our new Classical Conversations co-op for the first time!

Mark snapped a couple of phone pictures as we walked inside.... since it was such a rainy day, the girls were super excited to see that this church actually has a covered playground as well as an outdoor one!

We love Karis' new teacher, who is also the director.  Karis had a blast in her new class and is very excited about all her new friends!  Karlie would like to join her in class, but is being very kind to help Abbi by staying in the nursery for now.  We are really looking forward to what this school semester brings!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

We made it! (With a lot of help!)

Just wanted to let you know that we are finally *settled* in our new home!  I use the word *settled* quite loosely because we still have tons of boxes to unpack and Mark has to make one more trip back to our old house to get what wouldn't fit the first trip, but we have been living in our new house for a week now and it is finally starting to feel like home.  

The girls absolutely love it because it has much more room and a downstairs playroom (whenever we unpack all their toys) and hardwood floors that are perfect for their baby strollers and grocery carts.  And Abbi thinks it is great fun to run up and down the  hallway or make the loop in a circle around the kitchen, dining room, living room over and over and over, laughing and squealing and shouting, "look at me!"  I love it because I can put the big girls downstairs at naptime so they don't wake Abbi if they get too rowdy.  Mark loves it because we can keep most of the toys in their rooms or downstairs so he doesn't trip on things in the living room.  Our dog hasn't figured out yet that she can jump the fence so she currently has the freedom to run around in the backyard without being chained up and she has a doggie friend to run up and down the yard with on the other side of the fence so she is happy.  And we LOVE our new neighbors!  Our old neighborhood was slightly out in the country so the houses were not too close and there was only one older boy the girls could play with but he was hardly ever at home and not the best role model anyways.  But our new next door neighbors have 4 children, one of them being a 4 year old girl that we just know is going to be our best friend.  The day we moved into our new house, Mark got there a good bit earlier than expected so none of our help was there yet.  But our new neighbors came out and helped Mark alone for the first half hour and then continued to  help unload all afternoon!  They are a homeschooling family much like ourselves and we have much in common.  Needless to say, we can't wait for the weather to clear up so we can play in the yards together!

It is such a relief to finally be here!  We have had an unbelievably crazy week with not knowing where everything is located (trying to find the necessities without having time to open all the boxes), the surprising demise of my phone (horrible timing to be without a phone), our first day of our new Classical Conversations co-op (we love it!), trying to drive in an unfamiliar place (we are living much further north than before and I have made wrong turns quite often in the unfortunate minutes of pre-naptime breakdowns), the opening of Mark's new business (long, busy work hours), Karlie's birthday (trying to make it special without much time to plan), my grandmother's death (so incredibly thankful that I was in town and got to see her before she died!!), and a crazy snow (my parents were stuck on the interstate for over 4 hours late Thursday night!).  We didn't have internet at the house for the past week, but I will try to go through my pictures and post them soon.

Before I go, I just want to say thank you to all the wonderful people who packed up my stuff.  We had horrible sickness the week before our move and I was unable to do much packing at all, due to needing to hold moaning children and we finally decided to just go ahead and let me take the girls to VA so Mark and his parents and our friends could focus on packing.  It was a crazy plan, but necessary because all we were doing was making messes rather than packing and I apologize greatly for the state of my house at my leave.  But everyone pitched in and somehow my stuff arrived in VA and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all the help.  My girls are happy and well once again and we are ever so happy to be here! Thanks so much for all those who helped make this move happen!  We could not have done it without you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Moving update

As you can tell, we've been up to our ears in packing!  I just had to share that the Lord has totally answered our prayers about housing... the very day that I posted about our big move, a friend contacted me about their house that they were trying to rent out.  They thought they had a renter but it fell through at the last minute, right when we needed a place to stay.  They were kind enough to let us just do a 6 month lease (which honestly is good because then I don't have to worry about moving before the baby comes!)  The house has plenty of room for us and is not too far from Mark's work.  We can move right in instead of having to stay with the grandparents and rent a storage building for weeks.  We are so excited to have a home!  It has been amazing to see how God has worked out all the details for us!