Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I am determined to make a little gentleman out of my boy. So everyday, while I change his diaper, we go over the "rules of being a gentleman." All of the rules are based on his short life experiences, and here is what we have come up with so far. Feel free to add your own rules. We will work them into our daily lesson. Our conversation usually goes like this:

"Now Brodes, you need to grow up to be a gentleman, and treat the ladies right. First rule of being a gentleman: don't pull on a lady's hair! Second rule, don't yank a lady's earrings! Third rule, do NOT under any circumstance bite a lady's nipple! And fourth, do not poop on your mom."

To which he always sweetly smiles and replies "Yes Ma'am."

Monday, September 27, 2010


It's my Birthday!

Happy 3rd Birthday Sophia!

Sophie with her super special princess cupcakes

Birthday picnic

Party Time!

We celebrated Sophia's and Jazlyn's birthdays last Saturday! It was so much fun, and perhaps a little chaotic, with ten (count em, TEN!) children under 3 running around!

Ready for friends

Auntie Shinae brought a princess dress up box, which was, of course, the hit of the party!

Princess Jazlyn
Princess Sophia
Some of the kidlets
Even Easton wanted in on the dress up action :)
All the kidlets!
Birthday girls
Sophia talked about having a princess cake for a solid MONTH before the party. Here she is...
Cake time!

Our growing family!

Rich and Jared's mini-me's

This is how it usually goes between Jared and Richard too.

Having a blast!

Playin with SJ

This is SO MUCH FUN!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I honestly don't know where to even start. I guess I'll start with this... God blessed us with a house this week. It has been a long journey. We have been living in Gary's basement for almost 3 years now (2 yrs, 8 months to be exact). The plan was to live here for 1 year and then buy a new house. A roller coaster of events prevented that plan from happening, and now here we are, almost 3 years later, just reaching the end of our journey.

I mostly wanted to write this all down, so I never forget all the ways we see God working in this. I'm going to make it short and sweet, but there is a lot to tell, so it may be a bit of a long post.

We submitted an offer on a short sale house on March 31, 2010. We had no idea what we were dealing with, with a short sale. It's anything but short. It's the opposite of short. It should be called a "long-sale." We then waited a full 6 months without hearing any answer from the bank, and no end in sight. We prayed and trusted God would give us the house in His perfect timing, even though we didn't understand it.

Skip to present. Last Friday, a new (foreclosure) house popped up in our home search. After browsing the listing, we called our realtor immediately and scheduled a walk thru for first thing Monday morning. We spent the weekend praying for clear direction and wisdom about pursuing this one, or sticking it out with the other house. On our way to see the house, however, neither of us felt led either way. We knew that we would need to make a decision immediately and act quickly if we wanted a chance at getting this new one. We would just have to trust God to lead us. After seeing the house, I felt like there was every reason in the world to pursue this house, but I still felt hesitation. I couldn't place where that hesitation was springing from though. After some quick prayers and a short discussion, we realized most of our hesitation was coming from the attachment that had formed for the other house over the past 6 months. So we submitted an offer, not knowing what to expect.

As the day went on, Jared and I (separately) fell more and more in love with this new house. By Monday night, all of our hesitations and fears were completely dispelled and I felt a peace about our decision. But then new fears set in. We started to wonder if our offer was good enough. Our fond feelings for this house were growing by the minute, and we discussed the possibility of submitting a better offer in the morning.

No need. God had it covered. At 8:45 Tuesday morning, we received a call that the bank had already countered our offer! This was such exciting news to us, because we weren't even sure if they would respond at all. Ever. We prayed, countered back, and then waited again. At 5:00pm, the bank gave us their final offer, which was almost the exact price Jared and I had decided would be our highest offer. We couldn't believe it. We accepted. And then cried. And then thanked God. And then cried more.

Here is perhaps the most visible way God appeared in this situation. After watching the housing market for a full year, maybe this means more to us than someone who does not know it as well. Foreclosures tend to go FAST as they are often times priced far below their worth. This house was listed as a foreclosure in July. In August, they dropped the price by $30,000. In September (on Friday), they dropped the price another $40,000. So the price it was listed for at that point is about half of what we believe it's worth, and we are both in awe that it wasn't sold by Monday morning. But even more unbelievable is the fact that they didn't have any other walk thrus. We found out why. The only site that had the reduced price listed was Keller Williams, which happened to be the site I was searching through. Every other real estate site we checked did not list the new reduced price until Monday night, after we already had an accepted offer. AND all those other sites also had the listing information incorrect, stating the house was about half the size it actually is.

We truly believe God was blinding everyone else's eyes to this house, and saving it just for us. We are beyond happy, and cannot wait to start our life of memories in this new house.
Isn't she cute?!!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Sophia, running to me with the thermometer: Mom, I sick.
Me: You ARE?! Oh nooo!
S: Yeah. I need memometer. (Proceeds to take her own temp.)
S, after the thermometer beeped: Ooooh, I so sick!
Me: Ok, you should lay on the couch. I'll get you a cool washcloth.
S: (big sigh and her best "sick" face): Mommy? I need medcine.

Me: Ok, how about apple cider flavored medicine?
S, pathetically: Yeaaah.

S: Mommy, I still sick. I need more medcine.
Me: Ah nuts! I guess you can't sleep over at Grandma's this weekend if you're sick!
S: Mommy! Mommy! I all better! I no sick anymore!!

Bandana Boy

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Imagine My Surprise...

...when I walked into the girls' room during naptime to find this!

It was so funny, that I couldn't even be mad. So I asked them how they got up there, and had them show me...


My girls have reached a stage of competitive competition of constantly completing with each other. I quit my day job and took up full-time refereeing.

But then there are moments when all is peaceful and right, and they are just enjoying each other. These moments are becoming scarce, so I like to capture them when I can...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Brody Bear

Shinae crocheted this hat for Brody before he was born. LOVE.


Brody flipped a switch last week. He transformed from my content, smiley, always-happy angel of a boy into crying, screaming, agitated ogre of a child. At first, I chalked it up to gas. When it had been four days, however, my thoughts went to teething. Finally, my slow mom-brain caught up with the fact that Brody is a BOY, and has a MONSTEROUS appetite.

Jared kept asking, "Could he be hungry?" And I kept confidently telling him "NO! There's no way he is hungry. I just fed him."

Apparently I was wrong. He is hungry. Always. If you see us at church, he is hungry. If we are at the store, he is hungry. If we're sitting on the couch, he is hungry. If it is 2:00am, he is hungry. If he just finished eating, he is hungry. He is ALWAYS hungry. So, despite my emotional un-readiness, out came the cereal. Here's how it went...


Take 1...
Take 2...
Take 3...

(Insert crazy thought: This is going so well, I want to get the full outfits, stand up girls! Keep those smiles comin!)

Take 4...
Take 5... Starting to decline
Take 6... plummeting down hill
Take 7... Mooooooom!
Take 8... I'm pretty sure Jazlyn's thoughts are sinful...
Take 9... If i give you one more smile, will you put that thing away?!? Take 10... DON'T. MAKE. ME. DO. IT.
Take 11... in a daze
Take 12... CUT! That's a rap, folks!

Hey Mom, look what I can do!