Friday, May 23, 2008

Our amazing house story

April was three years ago that we moved to Georgia. We bought our house and moved here thinking that we'd be in it for the duration. Well, 15 months into our three years, we decided that we'd love to work harder on getting out of debt. So we came up with a plan that involved selling our house and moving closer to the base so we could have a smaller mortgage and one car. The plan didn't become a reality until we discovered the "perfect" house to buy.(thanks Joe Walker) When we realized that it could really happen we put the house on the market and waited. We started out with a bang and had tons of showings. About a month into it I discovered I was pregnant. Sterling wasn't even one yet. I was very taken back and very overwhelmed at the thought of moving into our "perfect" house. You have to understand that the house was MUCH smaller than what we were living in...hence the smaller mortgage. The house also needed a lot of yard work....tons....major over hauling. So after a month or so of debating internally, I told Brandon that there was no way I could move into that house. Forget the debt, forget the fact that the house was three miles from his office door. I COULD NOT DO IT. So we decided to leave the house on the market and just rent something cheaper when it sold. During the time that we were going to buy the "house" we became friends with the owners. December rolled around and their contract with their Realtor ran out and they wanted to re-list it with another agent. I offered to come help them "stage" the house before they started interviewing. The whole time I was in the "house" helping to clean and rearrange, I felt like it should be my stuff I was cleaning and my stuff that I was moving around. I didn't think much of it, still being pregnant and the house still being two bedrooms and the yard still being awful. I just figured that the house had a sweet spirit to it and that's why I felt like it should be ours. We didn't get our work finished so I told my friend I would come back again and when I did the same feelings were there, just stronger. This time I told Brandon about it and he said maybe we should buy it. I just said maybe. By this time, we had had a ton of showings, but no offers. Three weeks after we talked about buying the "house" we got an offer. Before we countered, we said, "If this works out, we'll buy the house." Well, it worked and we bought the house. Despite my concerns we did it. We just felt so strongly that we should. We knew that the area struggles with resales, and that we might get stuck with it as rental property, but we still felt like we should buy it. We felt like we wouldn't be stuck with it, but didn't know why it would all work out or how it would. So March of 2007 we moved in and didn't look back. We have loved living so close to Brandon's office and the yard has been a work in progress that worked out. As the year came to and end, we started looking towards this March as being the time we needed to get the house on the market. We had a laundry list of things that needed to be done to the house, but there just wasn't any urgency to get it done. We just couldn't figure out why we had this feeling of just wait, it will all work out. We wanted to have the house on the market by March 1st. It took till the 15th to get the sign in the yard, but we did it. Nothing happened and we talked about how we needed to list it with an agent, but still just felt like we should do nothing. Well, those of you who know me well know that I don't just do nothing. I'm a little bit of a control freak and like things to be planned and organized. This was too much for me, but I just couldn't shake the feeling. I knew it meant one of two things. Either it wasn't going to sell and we just needed to get it ready to rent or that it was gong to sell all on it's own and the right person was just going to walk by. One Sunday in late March, we were at church and I noticed a man that I don't usually notice. He's was there every Sunday and Brandon had talked to him a few times, but other than that I'd never thought twice about him. I looked at him and felt like I should invite him to dinner. I leaned over and whispered in Brandon's ear to invite Bob over for dinner. We had a nice dinner of pork tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, home made rolls and fresh salad. It was a nice dinner and the kids enjoyed Bob, and we had great conversation. I didn't think anything of the dinner. Three weeks later the phone rings and it was Bob. He says to me, I want to buy your house. And I say to him, I want you to buy our house. I was in shock, but at the same time I wasn't. I knew all along that the Lord would take care of it. We bought this house in faith for some unknown reason to us it was the right thing to do. We knew all along that we'd not be leaving Georgia owning a house that we didn't want to own, but it was so hard to accept that He was going to. It wasn't because I didn't think He could. I just didn't know why. I know now that I was prompted to ask Bob over for dinner. He wasn't in the market to buy a house and this house is so far below what he can afford, but when he came over, he realized it was just what he wanted. If I hadn't followed the prompting to ask him over that Sunday, I doubt I would have done it any other time. He asked the price and didn't even negotiate. He feels like it's a great price and is happy to pay it. He's even paying his own closing. We were prepared to walk away with nothing. Feeling like it was a blessing to be able to sell Brandon's Accord and save money and let those things be our blessings for buying such a small house in an area that most would consider beneath them. But now we'll be getting back every penny we put into the yard plus some. I wanted to share this experience with you all because I feel like I can't have it and not share it. The Lord is so mindful of us and our lives are so blessed. We close on June 19th and will rent it from him until July 19th. Man life is good when you trust in the Lord.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sebastian Wade

Yesterday was the Kindergarten awards ceremony. I'm so proud to announce that Sebastian received the Academic Performance award. He has done so well in school this year. He's at the top of his class in all areas of academics. He is reading on an UPPER 2nd grade level. His teacher said that he has been an absolute joy to teach. As a parent, it makes you feel good to hear these things. He loves school and I hope that his love for learning stays as strong as it is right now.

This next picture is one of Sebastian with his teacher, Mrs. Dean, in their classroom. She is such a wonderful teacher. As a parent, you couldn't ask for a better teacher. His First grade teacher has some big shoes to fill.

On a side note, it was Stephen's field day, so we stopped in and took a couple of pictures of himand his teacher. This is the first time he's had a male teacher and it's been a great experience. He's really enjoyed the changes that a man brings into the classroom.

Two more days of school for the kids. Crazy. This year has flown by. We were asked to sing as a family in church this Sunday and my parents are coming down for the weekend so they can "enjoy" the entertainment...HAHA! They've decided to take the older three boys home with them for a week or so. We'll go up there and pick them up and say hello and good-bye to all of our NC friends and family before we move to Missouri. The kids are looking forward to it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't too. Now if I could just find someone to take the younger ones.......

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Looking at the clock, I guess technically it was yesterday, but better late than never. I hope you all had a wonderful day. As always, Brandon took great care to make sure the Boys had a hand in honoring me today. He usually helps them hand make me cards, but this year he took them to the store and let them pick out a card for me. He gave me a beautiful necklace with a birthstone pendent for each boy. The boys helped him make me breakfast in bed too. Can I tell you how much I love Mother's Day??? I'm so grateful for a wonderful husband like Brandon.

This post is dedicated to my Spencer Alexander

Stephen was the most adorable, easy going, fun loving toddler/preschooler. When he was two, he was great! His personality was shining through, he was talking up a storm, he potty was great. When he turned three, things got a little "less great", but not bad. When four rolled around, I swear the Body Snatchers visited my house when we were sleeping. The same sort of thing happened with Sebastian. Great two year old, less great three year old, and so on. So I decided after Sebastian, I loved age two, but couldn't care less for age four. THEN SPENCER CAME. Man did I change my tune so fast. I finally understood what people meant about "terrible two's." I still had it in my head that four was going to be rough too and I didn't know what I was going to do. Two whole years of not really enjoying the kid to the fullest extent possible seemed unimaginable. But he turned three and the sun peaked out from behind the clouds and then four rolled around and the sun started shinning even brighter. As his fourth year has come and is almost gone, he's become quite the interesting little guy. He says the funniest things. Just today he said several things that made me laugh. This morning he was going to the bathroom and decided to announce that his poop was green. And then proceeded to tell me that it had been a different color the last few times he'd gone. I'm laughing to myself as he's getting more and more excited about his and I quote,"rainbow of poop colors". I guess when you don't usually have food with food dyes(we try really hard to have a healthy diet) and you go on a Father/Son camp out and eat different foods than normal, it changes things in your system. Anyway, so a little later, I'm fixing his hair for church and he says, "What's that?", pointing to my new(thank you NanDee) spray bottle of water. I say to him it's a spray bottle with water in it.(I don't know what happened with my old one, but I've been making do with my hands). He got all excited and said, "Can I have one for my birthday so I can spray and wash up my hair???" Again, I'm just laughing. He said it with such excitement and wonder. Who would have ever thought a four year old boy would want a spray bottle? While we were sitting in church he looked down at my skirt that had little beads on it and whispers to me while pointing to my skirt, "Are those tomatoes Mom?" He keeps me laughing. I sure will miss him when he goes off to Pre-K in the fall. You're my little Pency-Wency. I sure do love you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An update of sorts

Well, it's official. We're moving to Kansas City, Missouri. We're scheduled to move somewhere between the 1st and 15th of July. We're all pretty excited about all the changes it will bring. The boys are looking forward to a new school and new friends. We'll be living on base and I'm looking forward to no house projects. We're also praying for great neighbors and lots of children our boys ages. That's not asking too much is it??? It would also be nice for there to be some kids Stephen's age at church. This last year he's been the only child his age. That can't be fun.

On a totally different note, we got a dog. As if five boys, a husband who travels more than I'd like, a small house, and a impending move wasn't enough. She kind of fell into our laps and we couldn't say no. A family at church was moving and couldn't take her with them and when we found out about her, she sounded perfect for our family. She is such a sweet dog. She is a border collie black lab mix. She likes to run if she gets loose, but other than that she's a great dog.

Speaking of additions to our, I'm not expecting, but hopefully by the end of the year or early next year I will be. Most of you know that Brandon got a vasectomy when I was pregnant with Seth. We regretted it the very night he got it. We've felt this whole time it was the wrong thing to do and we've finally decided to right our wrong. There are days where I feel like we're crazy for even thinking of having more children, but in our heart of hearts, we don't feel like our family is complete. We've done a ton of research and have narrowed it down to two Doctors. They are both fairly close to where we'll be living in MO. We'll spend some more time decided which one is the right one and sometime between this summer and next year, we should have corrected our wrong choice. Life, it's a funny thing sometimes. I feel like the Lord's hand has been a part of our life more this last year than any other time in my life. I'm so grateful to Him for all that he has blessed us with. I am looking forward to the future with excitement, peace and contentment. I'm sure some of you will think that we're nuts....and that's OK. Just know that you'll never have to live with us! Aren't you glad for tender mercies from the Lord??? LOL

Friday, May 2, 2008

Random, but I thought I'd share it anyway

I belong to several online forums and I was recently asked to share my first home birth experience. I typed it out and got it posted when I decided I'd like to share it with everyone. My hope is that someone who may have thought about home birth or maybe someone who has hated their hospital experiences will be able to somehow be enlightened by anothers story. I hope you enjoy reading. Oh, don't worry....I won't post any pictures with this one!

A lot of things lead up to Sterling’s birth. My first two children were born in the hospital and those births were awful experiences. Of course I had all the interventions you can think of with both of them. The second one was so traumatic that I left the hospital in tears and a sever depression set in and lasted for months. I had also experienced "baby blues" with my first, but nothing like the depression with the second one. I feel very strongly that the experiences in the hospital led up to the emotional roller coaster I called life after their births, I say this, because with my next birth and the subsequence births, I experienced NOTHING of the sort, and they were all born at home. With the exception of Seth who was too early.

After my second was born, I knew that I could never give birth in a hospital again, but this was in 2001, and no one I knew did anything other than hospital births. If you had suggested I give birth at home I probably would have looked at you like you were nuts. As Sebastian grew older and we started talk of the next one coming, I started to really think about what my options were. I feel like things in our lives happen for a reason and we had chosen the "perfect" house to buy after our second was born, but before our next one was conceived. Little did I know that our perfect house came with perfect neighbors. My neighbor had three children and her youngest was three months younger than Sebastian and had been born at home. Of course I thought she was nuts. At first. Then I got pregnant. All of my feelings and emotions from the horrible hospital experiences came rushing back and I couldn't get enough information about home births. I borrowed every book and magazine she had about it. I was hooked. We planned it all out and then I confronted my husband. He didn't react like I was hoping. I started hoping the baby would come during the day and come really fast so I could "sneak" a home birth. Since he wasn't at all on board with the idea of having the baby at home, I decided that I should look for other options. I discovered a free standing birthing center in a neighboring town and decided that was the perfect compromise. I was thrilled! So the pregnancy continued and came to an end, as they always do. But this ending was so unexpected. Spencer decided he wanted no part of the birthing center and wanted to be born unassisted at home, after 50 minutes of labor. Remember, what you think about, you bring about. As crazy as the experience was, it was more amazing than crazy. My husband caught the baby and loved it so much that he immediately said the next one was as home, no questions asked.

When I got pregnant 18 months later, it was a no brainer. This baby was going to be born at home...planned this time. We sought out and found a midwife that we both liked and continued on with the pregnancy. On August 27, 2005, I woke up at 3:00am with contractions and called the midwife. She lived about an hour away, so it was important to call her as soon as labor started. As is the case with most "fast" labors, the contractions waste no time at all getting intense. I was able to talk and breath through the first hour or so, and then they started getting too strong to talk through, so I started really turning into myself and concentrating on my body and what it was doing. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I climbed onto my bed and sat with my knees up and my legs open. I was still having contractions, and still waiting for our midwife to get there. I didn't feel like pushing, but in my mind I thought it might feel better if I bore down a little during the contraction. I did that a couple of times and then told my husband what I was doing, so he looked to see if he could see anything. He said he could see everything opening up when I bore down, so I continued to bare down and started to push soon after. My husband soon saw the head and that got me really motivated to push. This was my forth baby and I had never pushed more than 10 minutes and usually they were out in two or three pushes. But this little (big) guy wanted to make an entrance I guess. I, at this point, am starting to scream, because I'm pushing and he's just not coming out. And then the fire came...for the first time ever, I experienced the "ring of fire" burning I had heard about. Man did it hurt. And it kept hurting. It did not stop with his 14.5" head but continued on with his 14.5" chest, stomach and butt. Yes, it took three more huge pushes after his head was out. At one point, I was yelling at my husband to PULL HIM OUT. I'm usually a silent person in labor, but this time I woke up the whole house. The boys came in just in time to see their little brother make his first appearance into the world. Oh, and that's about the time the midwife got there too. Just in time to help deliver the placenta, check out the baby and get home for breakfast. Sterling weighed in at 9.8lbs and was 21." It was an amazing experience. There is nothing like curling up in your own bed with your own little sweet newborn and being with your family in your own home. I wouldn't change that experience for anything in the world.

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