Thursday, July 31, 2008


We just found out that we're having closing today! It's really official! yeah!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We have a basement!

Well, basement walls at least - but it's a big step!!! The crew got here around 9 this morning, and they were done at about 12:30. It's very very exciting. Here's some pictures:

(That's our window that we are standing in!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Elley

Since both of her big sisters got their hair cut, Joelle has been asking to as well. Since she's never had a real haircut, I figured it was time to get rid of the baby fuzz and encourage some good new growth. This request has also been fueled by Anna, Lily and Kaitlyn's comments about how much Joelle looks like Kit, the American Girl doll, but she "just needed shorter hair". So, I took her today. Here's Elley before:
And here's Elley after:
And here's Kit:

Successful shopping

The other day, I got to go shopping with Jess (and gang) for some sneakers, which were much needed. I've been wearing flip-flops nearly every day since about May, and my knees have started bothering me, so I figured it was time for some sneakers. I tried on several pairs, several kinds; and Bryce was helpful in informing me that "the white ones aren't cool". But I found some that are super comfy and were approved by the "style police". These are my awesome new sneakers that I'm totally loving:
Also on this shopping trip, I happened across a dress (on sale!) that I loved - very 50's style, but in a size smaller than I usually wear, but I tried it on anyway. It fit and Jess said that she loved it too - so I bought it. Now you must understand that I am not a frivolous shopper - if I don't absolutely LOVE something, I just won't get it. But I do really love this dress; and the fact that it's a smaller size just thrilled my soul as well. So, I brought the dress home and quickly tried it on for Joey. Here's the dress:
What I found amusing was that since I was "quickly" showing Joey the dress, I didn't take off my new shoes; and Lily was quick to inform me that I can't wear the sneakers and the dress together, because it's "too hip-hop". Am I too old to be "hip-hop"? I can't pull this look off?
I've always thought I was pretty style savvy, but now I'm beginning to wonder, cause even Laura told me that my shoes made me look like an emu, or some such thing.....:o)

Our first wedding...

I am still recuperating after our crazy weekend, but wanted to post for those of you who haven't already seen Jessi's blog...
We started working on the rest of the wedding flowers at 8 am on Saturday morning. Things were going really well, we finished the final touches on the centerpieces, and the buffet table arrangments, and put together the brides and 3 bridesmaids' bouquets. It was about 12 when we decided to start on the 5 little wrist corsages. It did not go well. By 2:30 we were finally done the wrist corsages and were scrambling to put the final touches on the bouquets and try to pack everything for transport. We were running about 1/2 hr. late, which was still in plenty of time. We got to the wedding location, and set up, and the bride was totally thrilled. And, today the mother of the bride actually called me, just to gush over how happy they were with the flowers, and tell me that so many people asked about the flowers! So, all in all, I consider our first official job to be a success! And, now we know for the future - we need to charge more for wrist corsages! The one sad thing was that we were so flying around at the end, that we didn't have time to get pictures; but the wedding planner and the bride both said they'd email us some of theirs.
When we got home, there were quite a few flowers left over, so we threw together a couple arrangements - one for each of us, and one for my mom and other sister, who kept the kids for us. Here's some pics of those:

Friday, July 25, 2008

So tired....

Tomorrow is our first wedding flower job as an official business. 3 large buffet table arrangements, 21 centerpieces, 4 bouquets and 5 wrist corsages. We got the table arrangements and centerpieces done today and we'll do the bouquets and corsages in the morning. And silly us, since we're not stressed enough, we thought we'd add another event. We also did 14 centerpieces for a friend's baby shower. So, we did 38 arrangements in about 7 hours. The kids were quite cooperative today and Kate and Laura helped a lot too. But, since we started our day at 8 with running all over creation to get the flowers, then prepping the flowers, feeding the kids, doing the shower arrangements, getting them picked up, then doing the wedding arrangements --- we are beyond exhausted. But here's a peek at what we accomplished today!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I love Ikea!

I had previously only made one trip to Ikea. With all 4 children; in the evening; after getting lost on the way. It was not enjoyable, to say the least. But, I kept hearing that Ikea sells organization and it's cheap. Organization is my joy. Organization makes me so happy I could cry, or squeal, or squeeze my fists and grit my teeth and do a little jig. So, in a quest for organization for the new house, we made another attempt at visiting Ikea. But this time we went with no children, and with dear friends who are Ikea regulars. And I am now in love with Ikea. How can you not love a place where you can buy organization for $6.99?! Does a normal person get this absurdly excited about buying curtain rods? Certainly, they are COOL curtain rods - but do other people feel that these sticks with pretty bubbly balls on the end are worthy of giddyness? I'm pretty sure I'm officially in a class of my own. After 2 hours of joyful shopping, we left with curtain rods, curtains, night lights, a bookcase, a bathroom shelf, pillows and love of all loves - organizers! I was literally almost dancing as the guys loaded up the car. Now we have to find a place to put these wonderful items for the next month - but it will hopefully be someplace that I can occasionally pull them out and admire them.... I do so love Ikea.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Postured for change....

I was really challenged by Jessi talking on Sunday about being "postured for change". It's really easy for me to get going with a plan, even if it's a seemingly God-willed plan; and then get so into the momentum of it all that I can't handle when God decides to throw in a sharp turn. Without a doubt, I believe that our building this house, through this particular process, with these particular people, and at this particular time - is God's plan. Over and over again, we've seen His hand at work, and have felt such peace and seen such confirmation through so much of this process. But, now, that there was a "sna-fu"; I am having a hard time readjusting MY OWN plans.
Yesterday our builder guy called and told us that it looks like we won't be able to have delivery of our house until the last week of August - which is a good 2 weeks later than we originally had thought. 2 weeks doesn't seem like a huge deal, but it was a disappointment to me because that's also the week the girls are supposed to start school. I know - with my head- that we'll be able to work it out; we have a lot of people offering to help with stuff, and I can probably adjust the girls' school schedule to allow for the work we'll need to be doing on the house and getting ready to move. But, in my flesh, my initial frustration and disappointment, was more than I can handle right now. I will admit that I had a melt-down.
But now, after a fairly good night's rest - I'm trying to look at the situation in a different light. My heart truly wants every aspect of our house building process to be glorifying to the Lord. It has been awesome to watch God orchestrate the details of this experience, when on our own, none of it would have been possible. This is not MY house, it's something that God has entrusted to us, for His purposes; and I need to get my focus back on that. It's not a surprise to God that the girls need to start school that week. It's not a surprise to God that someone else ordered a bunch of condos built before our house. And, so I need to readjust my stance, so I can be "postured for change". Like a Gladiator (or maybe Elasti-girl!); I need to be light on my feet, flexible and nimble, ready to duck, sway or jump to handle whatever comes at me.

But I am also so very grateful that the Lord is gentle with me, and loving and encouraging even in His correction. And I witnessed that this morning, when the furniture store called to tell me that our furniture was delayed and won't be available guessed it - the last week of August. See - I know that God loves me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who's in a hurry?

I'm finding it very interesting how it seems everyone else involved with the building process right now is in a hurry! Last week, when Joe called to get the inspection set up - they came right out that day. When he called to get the concrete - they came right out. Then when he called about the stone - they said they were ready with all the loads right away. Now today the basement wall guy called and asked if we can be ready to have them delivered on Tuesday instead of Wednesday! This is certainly a change after the struggle we've had up to this point. But, we're still waiting to hear back about a delivery date for the house - it'd be pretty nice if they were in a hurry too!

7-21 update

Stone for basement:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Busy and hot day...

I thought today was going to be kind of a lazy Saturday; stay home with the girls, do a little cleaning while Joey worked on digging trenches or something very important for the house. I did debate about taking the girls to Passionfest, but decided I just wasn't up to braving it on my own. But at lunch time, Joey decided he'd take a break from the very hot work, and we could all go to Passionfest together. So, once everyone was outfitted with baseball hats and lots of sunscreen and plenty of cold drinks in our cooler - we headed out. Now, let me explain - Passionfest is a very cool Christian outreach hosted by a bunch of churches in Pottstown. It's awesome to see all sorts of different people pulling together with a common vision. It's a collection of kid's games, fair food, a few vendors, and some amazing entertainment - professional skateboarders, stunt bike riders, both regular bikes and dirt bikes (I am told this is called BMX and Motorcross - as if I should know what that is) and several concerts. Honestly it's not my kind of thing. Let's be real - most events that involve Porta-potties are not my kind of thing. BUT I must say I actually had a lot of fun today. The kids had a fantastic time playing the (free!) games, I got to have funnel-cake, I got to show off my babies to some people I haven't seen in quite a while, and I'll admit it - I really enjoyed the dirt bike show. Though it was unbelievably hot, we came home this evening very tired, sweaty and happy. All the girls collected a bunch of goofy little prizes from the 'kid-zone' and Anna even won the drawing for a brand new skateboard. Which she has no idea how to ride. Or do you not "ride" a skateboard.... Anyway - a good day was had by all, and Joey was still able to dig for a couple of hours when we came home.
As a side not - I am amused with Eva's growing vocabulary, as we discovered today that she can say "Elley" and "I do it". Her new favorite phrase is "little man" - which she sings as she pushes the buttons on the tv, trying to turn on her current favorite video which features "Zacheus was a wee little man". She is - in a word - adorable.

Weaning update...

Although Eva went to bed no problem without nursing; when she woke in the night, she was not at all happy when Daddy offered her a bottle instead of snuggling up to Mama. I kept my distance; until I couldn't take her crying anymore and rolled over to find that Joey fell asleep holding the bottle and Eva's laying between us screaming. I tried to give her the bottle then, but she just kept scooting down and laying her face against me and letting me know without a doubt what she really wanted. So, I gave in. Obviously she's not ready to give it up, and I'm not really either. So, I think I'm gonna hang onto a few feedings yet. I will just trust that the Lord knows each child's needs; if Eva's is to nurse a while longer, then I will trust that the Lord will take care of strengthening my body when there's the demands of a pregnancy added to the mix.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Sad...

My baby is getting big. 13+ months old. So, we've decided to wean to allow my body some time to recover before trying to conceive again. So, no bedtime nursing session. So, very emotional mama.

The wise man built his house upong the rock...

My husband is very wise. Joey found quite a bit of rock in his digging, but it is at such a level that it actually worked in our favor, so that some places we didn't even need much concrete because it's already a solid "footer" foundation. Granted - this is written from my very uneducated and feminine understanding of Joey's explanations. But, we had our first inspection today for the footers, they passed and it worked out that Andy could come pour the concrete already this afternoon! So, Joe said he actually feels like we're going the right direction now that it seems we're "going up" since the digging is done. Here's some pictures of today's progress.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Girly Girls....

Tonight is the first time Anna is having a friend sleep over that is not family! Her sweet little friend Elysa, (who is the daughter of Mindi, who I've been friends with since 4th grade!) came over this morning at 10, and there has been a rampage of feminine fun all day long! The giggling, the barbies, the sprinkler, the chick flicks, the nail painting...*sigh* It's good to have girls.

Monday, July 14, 2008

God is so good!

How cool is God?! He blessed us in the most random way today!
so, since it rained yesterday, it was too muddy for Joey to dig tonight, so we decided to have a date to go pick up our tile and hardwood that had arrived at Home Depot. We had to drive 2 separate cars so we could drop the girls off, and then pick up the 3 skids of flooring on the flatbed from the greenhouse. So, I left first while Joey was getting the truck ready, and I pass Levengood's Flowers and notice that it looks like they have a florist's cooler outside on the lift of a tractor, which is weird because yesterday coming home from church, Joey had noticed a cooler being loaded on a pick-up. I called Joey and asked if he could check it out. He called down to Levengood's and asked what they were doing with the coolers. Turns out that the 3 door cooler they had had broken, and it would cost nearly $1000 to fix the leak, so when they heard about someone going out of business, they decided to buy his cooler; but when they got it back, they discovered that they couldn't get it into the shop! So, they sold them both to us for the price they paid for the used one - $700! So, we can just store the broken one in case we decide to fix it down the road - but we now have a working one! And just in time for our first wedding next weekend! What a round about story - but what an awesome blessing. Totally not something that we had to strive for, or figure out, or worry over - God just poured out his lavish grace once again.
And - a note about the hardwood that we got.... When we ordered it 2 weeks ago, the lady told us that they were running really LONG on their special orders, so it could take over a month to get here! But God's timing obviously was different! Again - How cool is God?!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yet another meeting...

Today we had another meeting with my favorite USDA lady. Kerwin went with us, and we had a million papers to sign - but no surprises (other than Connie calling us and saying she missed a couple pages and she'll send them to us to sign). Everything is a go! Things seem to be on schedule to get us in the house in about 6 weeks or so! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tiny= Cozy, right?

I thought I'd start posting a few pictures of our current house so that everyone can truly appreciate the humble beginnings that God blessed us with! As ready as I am to leave the trailer, I will still miss it a little bit, because it was a cozy little start for us, and it's where my family began, and we put a lot of love into it.
Today's picture is of our nursery (or "Nurtsy", as Joelle used to call it). Obviously, it's seriously cramped now, but I still love it. I love the walls, the colors, and the crib bedding. I love remembering when Miranda and I painted it when I was hugely pregnant with Lily and I kept getting stuck between the wall and the crib, because my belly was so big I couldn't turn around. I love the dimmer switch that Joey installed so that I can peek in on my babies without disturbing them in the night. I remember bringing my tiny Anna home to this nursery, before the pretty paint, before the nursery was too small, when I fit a rocking chair in next to the crib and would rock my sweet newborn until we'd both fall asleep. I remember Anna, at age 2, just before she moved into a toddler bed, "cleaning" her room by herself by shoving all her stuffed animals and books under her crib.
But now, my tiny babies, my little family, has outgrown my sweet little nursery. Joelle is ready to move out of the toddler bed and into a bunk-bed. Eva, my ever growing baby, needs to have her crib moved away from the window where she yanks the blinds to watch the neighbors dogs rather than napping. I need to have a nursery that does not double as a pantry; which this one currently does for lack of other food storage space. (In the corner opposite the crib, which is not pictured, is a built in dresser, which is stacked with wire shelves full of canned goods and boxes of pasta.) So, though I hold dear many memories of my tiny nursery, I'm ready to move on!


The girls have all been in bed for about an hour now.... Eva's resting peacefully clutching her plethora of afghans, Lily is snoring away with her legs hanging off the end of her bed, Anna laid quietly until I just now let her up to go water her flowerbox on her playhouse. And then there's Joelle. Who desperately needs a nap, because if she doesn't get one, will have a major meltdown shortly after dinner. As I tiptoe past the nursery and peek in on the two little ones, I'm surprised to see Joelle surrounded by her collection of stuffed elephants, smiling at me! "Honey, you really need to go to sleep!", I say in hushed tones. She grins and nods and whispers back, "Ok, but can I keep my eyes open?".

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today I'm thankful for....

my cutting garden. Even when I'm feeling crappy, all my bright, carefree blooms make me smile!

Boys like to dig....

As excited as I know Joe is to actually be doing something constructive toward getting the new house, I truly believe that a lot of his enjoyment right now is just a boy's innate desire to use machinery and dig in the dirt. He has spent nearly every spare moment out in the hole that will be our basement, and it's really coming along! He figures that we're about 3/4 of the way done digging, and Praise the Lord, we still haven't hit much limestone. Of course, he keeps track of his progress by using a funky, beeping laser light level doo-hicky, which is yet another toy that I'm quite sure he's mostly just playing with! But I'm so very proud of him - he's doing a great job, has a fantastic attitude, and well, let's face it - I like to watch him work without his shirt on!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Praise the Lord!!! I am believing that the Lord lit a fire under Connie's rear this week for us - and things miraculously moved way faster than normal. As I had posted before, our appraisal came back at a great number, and Connie (the USDA lady) told us it'd take about 3 (working) days to allot the funds for us. Joe called her this afternoon with a question about our title insurance and she told us that we already got the money!!!! Hallelujah! We have a confirmation number for the funds, and there's just some more paperwork (of course) that needs to be taken care of and we are done the process! So we went ahead and actually placed the order for the house! So, it looks like the processes will line up really well, with the basement walls coming, the concrete, the electric, the setting of the house, etc. so we will hopefully be able to MOVE IN to our new house at the end of August (or very early September)! So, basically it's comparable to the "accepting the offer" part of buying a house. As excited as I am, it's still rather surreal, and I think it will be until I actually walk into this thing I've been dreaming about and planning for for the last 10 years! We went out as a family to celebrate tonight - to the Big M Steakhouse for dinner, went to the mall looking for a shower curtain and towels, which we ended up finding our favorite at Wal-Mart - but exciting none the less! We even popped open a bottle of champagne and toasted to answered prayer and our new house!
** Note - I realize that there was a lot of exclamations in this post - but I don't know how else to convey my joy! **

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 5 million and 37..... or so it feels.... EXCAVATION has begun!!!! Our appraisal came through the USDA today well over what we were needing - so Joe could hold out no longer! There's apparently a few more hurdles dealing with the USDA yet - but we are on our way!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Appraisal is done!

I got a phone call this afternoon from the guy doing the appraisal! Apparently he was out today and took pictures of the lot (from the road, cause he was scared of Houp's dogs!) and had some questions about our plans. I spent about 5 or 10 minutes on the phone with him, going over the details like our hardwood floors, upgraded cabinets, no garage, etc. He was VERY chatty, and when he commented that it looks like it'll be a pretty big house, I said that we have four kids and are very anxious for the space; and he was quick to say that he's hurrying his part along and that he'll have the appraisal to the USDA by tomorrow! I could not be more excited! This is totally an answer to prayer - because the USDA lady told us that it would take around 3 weeks, and it took half that! Praise the Lord!!!