5 Things I Am Loving

We are excited to report that we are currently at 95.8% of what we need to move to NYC – THAT IS SO CLOSE, YA’LL!!  We are going next week to look for housing and then will come back to finish out well before we move.  While I could post about a lot of things from the range of emotions I am feeling about moving into the unknown to all the funny things our kids have been doing and saying to how my heart is breaking for our nation in light of all the shootings, looting, rioting, and cop hating.

But, to keep it light, I decided to post about 5 things I am loving right now:

1.  My Pregnancy Pillow – I bought this pregnancy pillow during my second pregnancy (I think?!?) and while it is SO massive, I love it!!  Yes, Ed does have to move over in bed to make room but he is willing to sacrifice for me to have good sleep.  Many people have asked over the years how it works.  You put your head at the top and use it as a pillow, and then you turn on your side either direction.  Then, if you want to roll over at night, you don’t have to readjust all your pillows, you just turn over.  Seriously, any pregnant mamas or to-be pregnant mamas, GET THIS PILLOW!!

2.  Space and Being With Family – One of the things that I love about my parents’ house is that there is lots of space.  Space for my kids to run, space for my kids to play, space for them to sing at the top of their lungs, space to get them out of each other’s hair (and mine, too, because lets be real..having kids isn’t all fun and games).  And not to mention, we are loving being around our family – from parents to siblings to aunts to my grandmother.  Knowing that we will be downsizing and moving away from most of our family, we are soaking up (and trying to!) every moment.

3.  Margaret Maron mystery books – I don’t even know how I got hooked on reading Margaret Maron mystery books.  Ed really enjoys reading mysteries and crime novels, so I probably picked it up from him.  Back to the point, I started reading her Deborah Knott series and I am so hooked.  Disclaimer – she is not a believer and everything in her book isn’t Scripture and uplifting if you know what I mean.  But, I have found it to be a super easy read, very engaging, and I am always left guessing as to who the real killer is.  Just in case you, like me, are always looking for good books to read.

4.  Watching My Children Learn – We are on week 4 of homeschooling.  I (and they) made it 4 weeks, ya’ll!  And can I be honest? It hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I expected it to be.  I will say that I like schooling Kinsley better than Emerson and I am not sure if it is her personality, her age, or that her kindergarten last year laid a lot of the basics for me. Seriously, schooling preschoolers is not for the faint of heart.  But, I will say that one of the things I love the most is watching my kids learn before my very eyes.

Emerson knew her letter A and the A sound before we started school, so when we started talking and learning A, I thought it would be easy.  Um, no.  It was like the other letters she learned took up her whole mind and she could NOT remember A.  So, 4 weeks in, she finally was able to recite to me 4 letters and their sounds, one of them being A.  I jumped for joy and gave her candy as a reward (hey, bribery works wonders 😉 )

I have been working with Kinsley on learning to count by 2 and 5, and after the first day, I was frustrated and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t understand to just skip every other number.  Well, within the last week, it just clicked and she is rocking it.  So fun to watch them learn!!  It is definitely a sanctifier for me as I learn to trust the Lord, be patient, and not get frustrated when they just aren’t getting it…man, does school show me how sinful I am!

5. Little Boys – I love having little girls and with one more coming, that is a good thing.  But, there is something so sweet and fun about little boys, mostly because they are SO different.  Blake LOVES being outside, watching, hearing, and listening to tools and power equipments, watching trucks, playing with balls, choo-choo trains, and climbing.  It is so different from the girls and so fun to see how he processes and gets excited about different things.  My parents had hardwood floors put in and he loved watching us pull out the carpet and seeing the workers put in the floors…he even got his “hammer” and helped…we joked that he had to supervise because he just loved watching everyone work.  It doesn’t hurt that he is adorable too.

Thank you for your continued prayers and I look forward to updating you after we have found an apartment (prayers for wisdom and that God would prepare and lead us to the perfect place would be appreciated)!

Big Announcement – It’s A….

We have some big news in our house…as if selling our house and moving to NYC isn’t news enough.  We are pregnant with baby #4 and I am due February 11, 2017!!

People kept asking me if we wanted a 4th child, and I would say “Yes, but just not in the middle of this transition…I can handle a lot but I don’t think I can handle that too”.  Well, the Lord obviously had other plans.  After getting over the shock, we are excited and know the Lord is going to provide everything we need, including energy to keep up with a 4th.

With all of Blake’s medical issues (and especially while I was pregnant), we were really relieved to have our Level 2 Ultrasound (a super in-depth ultrasound) and to find out that everything looks perfect – from having 3 vessel cords to no hole in the heart to normal sized kidneys.  And the baby was SO active during the appointment which was fun to watch the yawning, the kicking up and down, the turning over and over, etc.  It made it difficult for the ultrasound tech but it was neat to watch.

And for the moment you are probably wondering about….IT’S A GIRL!!  We are excited to add more pink, bows, squealing, singing, and drama to our house.  Here is one of the first pictures of our sweet little girl (the second pic shows her hand up by her head):

When we got back from our appointment, we told the girls and the rest of our family by letting them release balloons out of a box (they did this last time and asked that we do it again) and eating a cake.  Unfortunately, the lady who made the cake either didn’t think about what she was writing or she thought we were having twins 🙂  Bless her sweet heart. We got a video of the girls opening the box, but didn’t get a still shot, and since I can’t figure out how to upload videos here, here is a still shot we took this morning.

If you notice in the picture above, Emerson had a really bad fall while running right before we announced the gender.  It was bleeding pretty badly, but after getting it stopped (or pretty much stopped) and sleeping on it, she woke up this morning and it was HUGE! She couldn’t eat breakfast, had to have a smoothie, and has had a hard time being understood when she talks all day.  It looked so bad that we took her to the doctor to make sure it was okay – and they said it should look the worst it will look and there is nothing they can do for lips.  She is such a trooper and has only taken medicine once for it and only complained when she ate – she is amazing with pain!

Thank you for continuing to pray for our ministry – we are at 93.3% of what we need to move and we only need 10 more people at $100 monthly to report to NYC.  Praise the Lord for how He is providing for us….we have some awesome stories to share.  I just may have to do a blog post of cool stories we have from seeing the Lord provide these last few months.  Continuing praying that we can move and report soon!

Our Week in Review

First, because we are so excited about how the Lord is moving and leading people to join our monthly ministry team, here is an update:  We are at 88.4% of our goal – this means we are only 6.6% short of going to NYC to find housing and 11.6% short of moving!  This is huge and we are so thankful for how the Lord is working!

We have been having TONS of appointments, but, we have also been trying to have lots of fun when we aren’t meeting and visiting with people.  Here is a view of the fun things in our week:

1.  Fishing with Pop-Pop and Gammy – The kids love fishing so they finally convinced Pop-Pop to take them in his pond.  They all caught 1 or 2 fish and by the time the worms were gone, they were done, too 🙂  Kinsley was so sad that she didn’t have her “fishing” hat as it is in storage in NYC, so she just had to borrow one of Gammy’s.

2.  The girls have been begging to play putt-putt and we have been waiting for the right time to take them – not too hot, not raining, and having someone to watch Blake for us because we were not going to take him to play (from hitting people with clubs to jumping in the water to losing multiple balls…the possibilities of the trouble Blake could get in are endless).  We had a night with no appointments, so we took the girls out for dinner and then headed to play.

I have to say…it was fun and funny…all in one.  Emerson got a blister on her foot (hence the one shoe in the picture), she didn’t know how to hit the club but refused to have help because she was so good and knew just how to do it, and both girls kept picking up the ball to make it go where they wanted.  Kinsley was actually pretty good but Emerson…bless her heart…she hit the ball in ways I never knew you could.  Needless to say, our decision to not keep score was a good one 🙂

3.  Because we aren’t exactly sure when we are moving, we went ahead and started homeschooling the girls.  When we move, we will decide whether to go ahead and enroll them, finish out the year or semester, or do something different altogether.  So, we went ahead and started school with the girls!  Emerson is doing preschool using the same material I used with Kinsley and Kinsley is starting 1st grade using My Father’s World.  So far, so good!

One thing I do like about this is the fact that I am learning tons of things along with them.  For instance, I don’t care that much for science but one of the best things about My Father’s World is that not only do they focus on science and have lessons and experiments to do, but they have one day a week solely dedicated to getting outside and discovering the world and learning from things around us.  This week, we learned about ants, moles, soil, worms, slugs, snails, and fish.  So, on our science day, we did an experiment with honey soaked bread near an ant hill AND we scored by finding a HUGE spider that was many colors and so neat! Ok, ok…my mom found the spider and caught it in a jar as I wasn’t that brave…but the girls loved watching it for a while before we let it go. And, they had fun getting dirty while looking for moles in mole holes.  First week and no breakdowns…that is success to me.

4.  I grew up dealing with hurricanes and riding them out.  Truth be told, they were always fun for me because I love the unknown of where it will make landfill and it was always a time that our family got to play games and stay inside together and play…most often by candle light.  Yes, I know all the other bad things that come with it and have experienced those as well, but I have fond memories of sleeping in hallways with cousins because the weather was so bad.  That being said, Hurricane Hermine touched down in Florida and then crept up the coast as a tropical storm.

While we mostly got rain and wind, we prepared by making sure we had our favorite foods, picking up lots of rainy day activities for the girls (thank you dollar store!), and having my Granny come join us for the day.  I wanted to make sure my girls had fun memories of hurricanes and tropical storms like I did.  So, we have had a full day…from driving in the nastiness to get Granny from across town to letting the kids play in the rain because they had already gotten soaked just going from the car to the house to riding the rollercoaster in the house to making glow in the dark sand art.  Yes, its been busy.  Here are a few fun pictures of our day.

Thank you for your prayers for our family as we seek to enjoy life in the middle of this transition.  We are excited to see how the Lord continues to provide for our family and paves a way for us to share about Jesus with students and people in NYC.