Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow! What is this stuff?

As I mentioned in my last post, I traveled with the kids to Oklahoma to stay with my parents last week.   When we arrived, there was still some snow on the ground (although in the process of melting) from the recent snowfall that they got.   The kids were SO excited!  As a photographer, I was pretty giddy too, as snow is one of the most beautiful scenes to photograph portraits in my opinion.

This was Abbey's first snow experience ever!   Luke's only snow experience was when he was a baby, and he didn't play in the snow then.  So really, this was a new experience for both of them.  It was so much fun to watch them both experiment with the snow and play in it.  Although it was below freezing degrees one of the days we were there, Luke still desired to be outside as much as possible.  He would come in for short breaks to warm up--it was so cute to watch him.

Of course I snapped some photos.  Here are some of the pictures I took of Abbey and Luke experiencing snow for the first time.

One of Abbey's favorite things to do was make footprints and look back at her "tracks."
Luke found a croquet mallet and was using it for many snow experiments.
Sassy little bundled up girl.

By the end of the week, the skin around her lips was pretty chapped due to her constant licking of the area.
experimenting with cups of snow
made his first snowball...someone is about to get hit with it!
Grandpa was ready to throw one back though!
snowball fight!

I love this picture!

So much fun!

more track-making by Abbey

Sorry for the overload--I love snow!

And I will finish with my favorite one...

February Updates

We have so much going on lately.   It seems I have been writing that each month, as my blog posts become less frequent.  But, it seriously is true.

Just to give you a quick idea, I actually typed this while in Broken Arrow, Ok along with the kids, while Drew was back home in Austin (we have a lot going on there, plus he is busy with work).   I took the journey with the kids Tuesday morning, after getting some difficult news about my mom's health diagnosis the day prior.  More about that in a future post.  Right now though, I felt it was necessary to post some of the exciting things going on in our family lately.

We have been considering what type of home we want to be our long term home for quite a while now.  We have considered how we could make our current home that long term home, but decided that our hearts were moving toward a home with more space for the kids to run around outdoors.  We don't like spending much time indoors (unless it is raining--which is rare here),  so the outdoor space is really most important.    We are excited to report that we will be moving in March to that perfect, long-term home.  We really do love our current home and are so thankful for it, but are looking forward to moving to our new home, which sits on a little over an acre and a half.  The location is great, and will allow for tons of fun homeschooling activities outdoors without us ever having to leave our home!   I will certainly post photos in the blog and tell you all more about it after we close and move in.

It is simply amazing how, after having gone through some difficult trials and watching God literally carry me through them, I can now totally rest at peace with things and know that "God's got this."  I can see how He clearly orchestrates things as I look back on the sequence of events.  It was clear with my entire cancer journey.  Even the story of how I found this home, which is perfect for our family, I believe is clearly God orchestrated.  You see, I was driving down a fairly major road on the way to look at a particular home I had found online and was interested in.  I felt like I saw out of the corner of my eye a for sale sign for a home way down one of the side streets.  The neighborhood looked super cool, with homes on large lots.   So, I thought that I would proceed to the home I was originally planning on driving by (which was nearby) and then come back and see what was down that street.  I drove by the home, decided it wasn't a good fit for us and then came back to the mysterious "for sale" sign.  As I approached the sign, I quickly noticed it said "sold."   I was disappointed, as I had already decided the neighborhood was beautiful and seemed just perfect.  But, I turned around in the nearby cul-de-sac and noticed a beautiful home with a "coming soon" for sale sign.  Those of you who live in the Austin area know how hot the market is--you have to see a home the day it comes on the market in order to even have a chance of getting it.  So, I called the realtor who was listed on the sign, expecting the price to be way out of our budget.  It wasn't outside of our budget, but it was quite a bit more than we wanted to pay.  It sounded just perfect in so many ways though and was going to be listed in the next day or two.  When I came home and crunched numbers, surprised at how much equity we had in our current home, I realized our payment would be exactly the same as our current one! I would have NEVER noticed that home coming on the market, since it was outside of our search price range, had I not randomly seen the "for sale" sign of the other home out of the corner of my eye while traveling down the busy road.  I don't believe that was by chance.   We got our closing document in preparation of the close next month and noticed our monthly payment is within $2 of our current one.  Isn't that crazy?

We are also in the process of our selling our current home.  We have a contract on it and are scheduled to close on it about 6 days after this one.  Again, God orchestrated the perfect amount of time for us to close and move out of our current home, into our new home.  Let me tell you though--keeping your house "show ready" while trying sell your home with a 3 and 5 year old at home all day long is a very difficult task.   Every time I leave the house, I have to make sure it looks perfect and have nothing sitting out.  We have had showings practically every single day.  I will be so happy when we are moved out.   :-)

Oh--and while all this is going on with buying a home, inspections going along with it, getting all the paperwork ready for the mortgage, etc and then also selling ours, keeping it always show ready, we are also completely remodeling a rental home that our tenants pretty much trashed.  We are trying to get it ready to lease and list on the mls this week.  Amidst all of this though, crazy enough--I do not feel stressed.  I feel like maybe I should.  But, God has continued to show me He is taking care of it all.  I have learned to just focus on the current day and tasks involved that He gives to me.  Plus, I have been reminded so frequently through the Word, sermons, prayer and BSF (bible study fellowship) that it is impossible to complain (and even get stressed) when you are focused on thankfulness. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me about this and for showing me how you are sovereign and have everything under control.

As you can see, exciting stuff is going on in our household.  I will be sure to blog about things as they progress.  :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our Little Valentines

Luke wasn't keen on her pulling his face in for a smooch.

Appropriate around Valentine's Day, I somehow got the kids to let me snap some photos of them in some fun Austin locations.  I was in desperate need of a photo of our little boy who is growing up way too quickly.  This is what I captured of the kids...

He was ok with kissing her though.  Notice the plastic purse she had to bring along--love it!
We loved this blue wall!  Abbey wanted me to take a picture of her twirling in front of it.
Love this sweet little boy!  And so handsome too!

Then, the kids and I had fun near the castle art hill.  This is a fun area full of graffiti art.