Monday, June 30, 2008


Home Depot/ Behr paint was doing a special rebate sale this weekend - and since we have TONS of paint to buy, we figured now would be a good time to do it! So here's what we chose for the downstairs - living room, kitchen and dining room:
And here's what we chose for the Master bedroom and the office:
And the nursery will be this on top half of the wall: and this on the bottom half of the wall: with a viney design running between the two colors.
And Lily and Joelle's room will be this:
And Anna's room will be a wild combination of solids, stripes and polka dots in these colors:

Didn't we just get OUT of school?????

It seems that I was still just "catching my breath" after Anna finishing her second grade schoolyear about a month ago. And then, here we were today, doing math problems and reading comprehension... and enjoying it! Last week, we had our enrollment interview with PA Virtual Charter School - which went very well, and both Anna and Lily left the meeting very excited. This morning, I had them both to the dr for their required physical and shots, and later this morning had my phone call from the Curriculum Assessment teacher. She sent my link to the girl's placement tests and they both decided that they wanted to do them today!
Lily struggled through some phonics assessment, which didn't surprise me since I haven't really pursued anything academically with her at all. But I was pleasantly surprised to find she buzzed right through the math assessment with flying colors! So, it looks like she is quite ready for kindergarten, though we have some basics to focus on to start.
And then we settled in to do Anna's much more involved testing. She got through the math test with so-so results, but when we looked over it, we decided it was more a matter of needing some refreshers and not that she didn't know what she was doing, so we're ok with where she was at there.
Then on to the Reading Placement tests.... Whoa. I mean I know that the child seems to have a Nancy Drew book permanently fused to her hand - but I didn't realize how well she really reads! After she went flying through the reading and comprehension tests that the teacher recommended, I had her do the next level up. She buzzed right through those as well! So, I jumped up the next level. About half-way through that test, we decided that she was officially in unfamiliar territory - though she was still getting most answers correct, she was struggling a bit more with the new words and definitions. I had her even reading all of it aloud (which I personally find is harder for me to read aloud and understand what I'm saying) and she knocked my socks off! Not only does she read fluently, but with inflection! I called Joey and put her on speakerphone so he could hear! I am very excited to see where they decide to place her reading level - because I am beyond proud of her!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The House of Mouse

I had posted a little while ago about the mouse smell. Well, over the weekend, the smell took on more of a dead stench, and sure enough, Sunday night we found a dead one behind the dresser in my bedroom. Yesterday while I was packing and cleaning the "cubby" in my room, I also discovered 2 dried up tiny baby mice, and also some lovely mold where apparently our ceiling leaked into the back of the cabinet - but I got everything cleaned up with Clorox and was feeling pretty good. But apparently, we aren't home free yet! I was up till nearly 4 am last night listening to the mice squeaking in the wall behind my dresser! They were having a regular old Rodent Rally or something - it was terrible! And we can't see them, and banging the wall doesn't seem to help. So, Joey's thinking maybe the dead one was a mommy and now her babies are left orphaned and hungry and calling for her. Am I sympathetic? NO! I want them dead. Is that wrong of me?

Friday, June 20, 2008


Right now we are being tempted. We are feeling so confidant that there won't be any more hang-ups with the mortgage paperwork, that we are so tempted to jump the gun and put the order in on our house. Because if we ordered now, and then the appraisal takes 3 weeks, it'd only be another 2 weeks after that till we could move in. BUT, what are the consequences? Is that being underhanded? What if something falls through with the mortgage and then we are committed to pay for a big house with no money? Is God orchestrating this timeline for a reason? Is there a reason for us not being in the house to do our August wedding? As anxious (it seems like too small a word for what I'm really feeling) as I am to get into the house, I really want to walk this out in righteousness. This is truly testing me.
But all that being said - we did go out last night to the dealer and put our downpayment on the house, which they will hold till we give them the go-ahead to put in the purchase order. It was exctiting too to walk through the sample houses again and see glimpses of what our house will be like! We're really getting into the fun details too; like the guy said that we can actually get into the house while they're still working on the roof, and we can paint before they do the carpeting - which is super cool. So, sometime in the next week or so, I'm gonna take some paint swatches to the furniture place to match with our couches; and we're trying to narrow down the ideas the girls have for their rooms so we can pick those colors; and I'm picking our towels and shower curtain for our bathrooms (ooh, we'll have 2 toilets!); and we are gonna go pick up our kitchen faucet and our knobs and drawer handles. THIS part is fun! I'm gonna really try to keep a very detailed journal here of the steps of our house process to share with ya'll - so keep checking back, cause it looks like things will move very quickly! And, I think in the next couple days, I will also be posting some pictures of our current house, so we can truly have some great before and after comparisons and everyone can fully appreciate the bigness of what God is accomplishing for us!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So close...

The meeting today went well, just seemed a little bit of a waste of time in my opinion, but whatever....
Anyway, it appears that we finally have submitted all paperwork and it's all acceptable thus far. So, the USDA will order the appraisal, hopefully today even, and we should have that in about 3 weeks, then we have another meeting. That meeting, in my understanding, is basically to sign papers saying, "Go ahead, build your house, we'll give you money for it when it's done". So, barring any major catastrophe, it looks like we could be in the house on Joe's birthday! So, we're just in a waiting game now based on the appraisal, but we are taking steps forward finally. It was kinda cool though to have the meeting here, because I think that today was the first time she actually seemed to sense the importance of the house for us. She actually came in and said, "I guess it is about time for some more room, huh?" Well - yeah.....
So - again - we are thanking the Lord for His faithfulness, and for giving us hope.....ahh, the hope of a dishwasher, and mouse-free living space..... almost as good as the hope of heaven....


Today we meet with the lady from the USDA. We're going into this meeting not really sure where things stand. From our perspective, we have done everything that is required for us to move forward with the loan process - but the lady keeps throwing out comments like, "This is a long process..." and "When we really get into this..." - when we thought that we were well INTO this LONG process already! I am so proud of my husband - he has gotten everything so organized to try to head off any problems that she will bring up. He has been absolutely amazing in this whole process, a true example of faith and patience; even when I'm in tears again, begging for answers that he doesn't have. And I'm reminded again how blessed we are to be part of the family business, and have such a wonderful and flexible employer who has given Joey such freedom as he meets with subcontractors, and works on computer plans and surveying our lot.
And over the last week and a half that I've had my sweet neice here to help and I've done a ton of cleaning, organizing and general purging.... I've also been very aware of how blessed we have been in the last 9 years. As truly pathetic the state of our trailer is in now, it has been a cozy home for my family for 9 years.
And I've been challenged on lessons of being faithful with little... and also trusting God even when it seems He is silent. Last week I read a devotional on that particular one, talking about how when Mary and Martha sent for Jesus when Lazarus was sick, they were surely frustrated and confused and feeling hopeless when He didn't come, because in their minds they thought He'd missed the opportunity to heal Lazarus. And then when He did come, and actually raised Lazarus from the dead, they had to realize that His silence did not mean rejection; but He works all things for His ultimate glory. I pray that somehow, this difficult road we are walking is ultimately setting the stage for the Lord to be glorified - in our response to the USDA, in our eventual home, in our testimony of His faithfulness - we want Him to be glorified - even more than I want a new house - and that's A LOT!
Anyway, this kinda turned into a ramble.... all to say that today is a pretty important day, and we appreciate all prayers that this meeting would go smoothly; that all information that she needs we will have prepared; that the appraisal that needs to be ordered will be very quick and without fault; that the lady would have wisdom in this process; that our response to her would be kind and patient and righteous; that every detail of this process would be understood by all parties; and truly - that this would move along QUICKLY!
I will hopefully have good news to report by tonight.....
Thank you my precious prayer warriors!

Monday, June 16, 2008

This stinks....

Literally - my house stinks. We don't know exactly why, but suddenly today my house reeks of mouse (at least that's what we're assuming); and unfortunately it's not dead mouse....
So, here's what I'm figuring - someone is praying that the USDA lady (coming here for a meeting on Wednesday) will get the full effect of how awful our living situation is - and thus God has blessed us with another influx of rodent. So, I guess someone, whoever that wonderful prayer warrior is, can be thankful for answered prayer. Now - would you kindly specify in your prayers that the scent that the lady smells will be DEAD mouse - cause that odor only lasts about 3 days - and I can deal with 3 days....

Celebrating my June Blooms

Saturday we had a joint party for Lily and Eva, who's birthdays are only 4 days apart. Lily had requested a flower theme this year, which of course, I was thrilled with, because not only was it fun, it was easy! Here's some pictures. But, notice there's few children in the pictures - they were off mostly in the playhouse, and hard to pin down for pictures - but everyone seemed to have a good time. It ended up being more of an "openhouse" event, since most of our guests worked around their schedules to share in our celebration, so it lasted nearly 11 hours - and ended with a finale of 8 adults and 12 children driven into my tiny house by sudden thunderstorms, and a very very short firework display. Lord willing - that will be the last birthday party held in this current house....

I'm an auntie again!

Last Sunday, I helped throw a surprise baby shower for my sister in law, Michelle. Here's some pictures of that event:

And I'm so glad that we had the party when we did, because THIS Sunday, June 15th - Sweet Baby Rosalee Grace was welcomed into the world!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My baby's one!

Thursday was Eva's birthday. My teeny tiny little Eva Jane is now a walking, dancing, squealing, giggling toddler! Lil asked Aunt Beth this week why she calls Eva "The Baby", "did you forget her name?". I guess with four little girls in the house, it would be easy to forget.... but we all have just called the youngest "the baby" till there's a new one coming, so Eva will continue to be the baby for a while yet.
It never ceases to amaze me how different the girls' personalities are. Anna is quiet, laid back and very mature. Lily is independant, active and silly. Joelle is sweet, and verbally encouraging, but often whiney. And Eva is already showing herself to be gentle and caring when her sisters are crying and have serious attitude if she doesn't like something. I pray that I can mold these varied characters into beautiful Godly women that use their talents and gifts to bless others and glorify the Lord; because they are already a blessing to me.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Lily!

At about this time 5 years ago, I was pushing out a six and half pound miniature girl version of Joe.... Jess - remember how my heart monitor kept going off, and the phone kept ringing???? lol Good times...
So, that means today Lily turns 5! We're still trying to decide on some fun, non-walking activities to celebrate today. But, my kids birthdays always make me a bit emotional. Not just because I'm realizing how big they're getting. But because I am overwhelmed by the consideration of my blessings. After Anna being such a surprise, I assumed a was a "Fertile Myrtle". And then after my first miscarriage, I realized how much I took for granted. It took us nearly a year to conceive Lily after losing baby #2. And I treasured my healthy pregnancy all the more because of it. And I also treasure my children beyond anything I can express in words.
Lily is so special. She wears me out - yes; but I cannot imagine my life without that little ball of fire. She is a living oxy-moron (I think that's the right word). She is a complete contradiction of characters. She is all out girly - loves to wear make-up, dresses, sparkly little kitten heels, drink tea and play barbies. But she also is a complete daredevil - loves to play baseball, climb anything, help at the greenhouse and in the garden, and will pick up worms, slugs and dead birds. She is a challenge and a joy. Other people think she's hilarious, and I cringe when they start a sentence with - "It was so funny, Lil said....". She is incredibly coordinated and physical things come very naturally to her (just like her daddy).
I am so excited to see where she goes and what she does in life - she has so much to share with the world! So, happy 5th birthday to my precious Lily-belle!