Friday, June 29, 2012

Swimming Lessons...

Tate, along with Ava and Chloe completed his first session of swimming lessons last night. He was a bit awkward in the water...
Chloe and Ava did great!

Tate did love going!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dying to share pictures of our littles!

Oh how I wish I were able to share pictures and details about our 2 little guys on here!  I have recently taken some pictures of them that are killing me not to share!  Can't wait to get their adoptions finalized so I can share their sweet faces with you!

God has blessed us so much with these 2 little men and I want to shout it from the rooftops and show the world how gorgeous these 2 miracles are!  Hopefully by the end of September everything will be finalized and I'll be free to share!

Why am I blogging?!?!?!

I have tons to do...seriously, we are living out of boxes, I have photos to edit, birthmothers to write, showers to take.  However, I am blogging.

I just want to remember this time.  Remember these thoughts I guess.

I can't believe this is our house.  I sit out on our screened in porch and look into our back yard or look at our house and just think, "holy crap, this is our house."  It's crazy.  It's not a fancy house, it still needs a lot of work, almost every room is only partially done, we are being taken over by weeds and clovers outside, but it's all ours.  There is so much space in this house.  For real, it's so amazing.  The back yard is gigantic...I mean, Sean is going to need a riding lawn mower for sure.

The house is starting to feel like our own.  We have put our touch on it.  Most rooms have been changed drastically and if they haven't yet, they will be in the next year or two.  It's a major work in progress.  It's strange to have the neighborhood kids knock on our door and ask to play with the boys.  It's good, but strange.  We have pretty much a child's dream back yard so they want to be here a lot.  I've kicked them out once because the boys needed some peace I think...or maybe I did. :)  For the most part though, it's great.  Our neighbors are fabulous...SO NICE! 

Our kitchen will eventually be close to my dream maybe a year.  We still need to do the floors (they aren't TOO bad right now though), the countertops and the cabinet pulls (although new cabinets would be amazing, it's not in the budget).  Oh, and we haven't gotten our new oven and microwave yet, but have gotten our new dishwasher and fridge...both are so awesome!

I can't wait to post before and after is pretty amazing the changes you will see!  At least I think it is!  The best part...we are doing this on a pretty tight budget.  We didn't want to finance anything, so we aren't.  That's partially why we couldn't do it all at once.  We don't have loads of money just laying around so we had to spend our money wisely.  It's amazing how much you can do on a tight budget!  I like getting creative to make things work within our budget...probably a trait I inherited from my mother. :)  Thanks, Mom!

The kids are like maniacs running all over this house.  They love it...and they love their play houses too!  They are all sleeping amazing here.  Our 2 littles are sharing a room now and Tate has his own little big boy heaven to live in...complete with a couch, TV (no cable, just a DVD player) and TONS of open floor space to play.  Oh and the under the sea themed bathroom that is pretty kidtastic as well.  :)  He thinks he's big stuff up there!

I don't even know what to do with 3 bathrooms...I mean, we've never had more than 2 and I thought having 2 was pretty fantastic!  Ha.  I will say that I underestimated the amount of time I would need to spend cleaning with a larger house!  I new it would be more time, but man...these kids can destroy every room in about 5 minutes flat.  Plus, the larger kitchen takes way more time to sweep and with about 4x the counter space than I've had in years, they take a lot of time to wipe down.  Then, there's 4 boys in this house and so the bathrooms get nasty to say the least.  I mean, we've only been here about a week and I can already tell this!

Okay, that's going to have to be it for lots of boxes to unpack!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The hospital...

A week spent in the hospital is draining physically, emotionally, mentally...just hard. Especially when it's spent with your very sick 3 year old. Heartbreaking. Super good things came out of this hospital stay though. Truly, we bonded with our little guy so much more...maybe that was part of the reason it happened. We were struggling. I feel like I have a completely different son now...only I don't. He's the same...we're different. We're better. What a blessing. And most importantly, our little guy is doing great. He's almost 100% now. We love him...truly, deeply, fully...we love him. :) This is good. Some of our views from the week stay in the hospital...

His doctor gave him this Buzz Lightyear when he had his surgery over a year ago...he loves it.

We were at the U of I on 3 JCP and the staff there was INCREDIBLE!  Seriously, what an amazing group of caring people they are...couldn't have felt in better hands.

Thank you all for praying for us and for our little guy during our stay.  We felt them for sure!

I can't believe I forgot to post this!

We were so happy (don't get me wrong, we still are!), but had no idea what that night and the next 2 weeks would hold before moving in!

The cosmetic changes we were planning to do on the house turned into a much bigger remodel (pretty much a gut job in some rooms!) than expected.  Oh, and then there was that phonecall we got a few hours after taking this picture that our 3 year old was sick.  We made a speeding trip to the University of Iowa Hospitals and didn't leave for a week.  Ya, that put a bit of a wrench in our plans.  Because of the most amazing group of friends and family we have, we survived.  Truly, we have the best friends and family in the whole world...they worked on our house when we were in the hospital, watched our kids for over a week, brought us food, stayed up until the wee hours helping us, packed and moved our house, made us meals, and more!
Blessed does not even cover it.
We love you all!!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

the photo that was supposed to be on the previous post...


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We all are. I am happy to say we are finally in our new home. :-) This picture might be pushing the boundaries of not being able to post pictures of our little ones, but I couldn't resist. they look about like I feel.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

We're alive...

...barely, but we are.  We are in the depths of a home remodel that turned into a much bigger job than expected as well as packing for our moving day on Saturday!  Eek!  More later when I have time!

Friday, June 15, 2012

exhausted and stressed and worried...

I can hardly keep my eyes open as I am sitting here at 2:15am typing this.  I am going on an hour and a half of sleep from last night.  We ended up in the ER with our middle child last night and were admitted to the hospital after that.  We had a rough night...and day...and another rough night ahead of us.  Our little man is SICK.  We don't know what's wrong and we are scared and worried and stressed. 

We have a week from tomorrow to get our house ready to move into and our stuff packed to be moved.  I have NO IDEA how that's going to get done with our little guy being in the hospital possibly for several days.  We have the most incredible friends and family who have been so amazing to jump in and do whatever they can.  Truly, we are humbled by all of your wonderful know who you all are!

I left the hospital today to head back home (to the new house) to do some wallpaper removal for a few hours.  In the process of peeling back layers of wallpaper in the bathroom, we exposed a decent amount of mold.  Awesome.  So now we have to add that...tearing out some drywall to be patched and praying the mold doesn't turn out to be deeper than just on the drywall. 

I am the max.  Like more worried and stressed than I've ever been in my life ever.  For the first time ever I really don't know if we're going to get this done...the move, having the house prepared to be moved into, things painted.  I have not a clue how it's going to happen.  I am exhausted to the core, but can't sleep as all of my worries and fears race through my head.  I know God's in control...I do.  I am scared and worried and feel so helpless...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hangin' Out...

With DeCooks just a few houses away from us and the fact that they have the summers off, we get the kids together often...just like last summer! The kids play and the mommies chat. I love it.

The other day, the kids had a bit of a dance competition...cute.

And Chloe just chilled and picked her nose. LOL.
I couldn't resist posting this picture...I caught her red handed!

And Phi Phi just chilled and soaked up some sun. ;)

Just a typical summer day in our back yard!

"Hey Tate...look at me and smile!"


Sunday, June 10, 2012

a shaving cream party!

Clearly, we ignore the warning labels on Barbasol cans...
Because it's just way too much fun for kids to keep out of their hands!
That's right...we had a shaving cream party!  It was so fun and MESSY and worth it!  The kids LOVED it!
It started out fairly tame...

Then Lora got involved.  She started spraying it all over the kids to try and help them understand that they could go wild.  She even taught them the trick of squirting a ton on their hands and then clapping to make it fly all over...thanks for that Lora. ;)

The kids eventually got the hang of it...

The clapping trick...

Clean up was interesting, but we managed it.  Thank you, Lora for being a gigantic help!  It could have been a disaster without you!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Closing Time!

We FINALLY closed on our house today!  Woohoo!  We have a lot of things to do before officially moving in on the 23rd.  I am kind of dreading the next couple of weeks.  Ugh. 

Today was crazy...

After the closing, the littles and I drove to Davenport.  I dropped off the baby with DeCooks and headed to our middle's doctor appointment.  To avoid getting too specific, he is having some troubles with his medical condition.  It's scary and all so unknown, but we knew anything would be possible regarding his health and it's all in God's hands. 

After his appointment, we went to get the baby and Tate from DeCooks and when we got there, it was already almost 1 o'clock.  We decided we'd go to lunch with DeCooks and so we headed out.  By the time we got back from lunch, it was almost 3pm and the littles hadn't napped yet!  I put them down and noticed Tate seemed awfully tired too, so I suggested he nap as well.  That's almost comical because that child NEVER naps!  However, he must have been BEAT because he napped for 3 hours!!!  All the boys got up between 5:30 and 6pm.  While they napped, I edited pictures (I am way behind as usual!), did some stuff with our budget, paid some bills, unloaded some stuff I had in the car from our stay in Muscatine last night and before I knew it, 2 1/2 hours had passed! 

When the boys got up, I texted Lora to come on over and bring the girls because I was having a shaving cream party!  (pictures later...)  It was a mess, and FUN!  The kids had a ball!  Tate wanted to have Ava for a sleepover, so after having 4 kids jammed into our tiny bathtub to wash off all of the Barbasol shaving cream, we got jammies on, popped popcorn, Lora and Chloe headed home and Ava and Tate made their beds on the couches downstairs and watched a movie before bed.

I just completed editing my brother and sister-in-law's photo session and am heading to bed momentarily!  This weekend will be packing up the house central around here.  We haven't packed a thing.  Ugh.


Monday, June 04, 2012

Funny and gross...

Tate: Mommy, guess what? 

Me:  What.

Tate:  Something else that wasn't poop came out of my bum!

Me:  It did?!  What came out of your bum?

Tate:  Pee!

Me:  Oh honey, that would be diarrhea, I think you have diarrhea. 

Tate:  Aw nuts!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Hurricane Party...

Since I didn't take more than a few pictures (none of which turned out very good) with my real camera, you get this one from my phone.  Here is Lisa and I while we were setting up before people started to arrive.

Our Hurricane Party was a much fun!  Tons of people came out (way more than we expected), the food got eaten, lots of mingling and laughing went on and I think a good time was had by all! :-)

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

More images from just outside our front door...


The Peakin Family Portraits...

I did a quick photoshoot with my brother and sister-in-law and my nieces last night.
We are so grateful we have this amazing family so close to us.  They have been a huge support and provided us with so much help that thank you is just never enough to repay they get pictures! :)
I love these people...
And I cannot believe that this little niece of mine is already going into 1st grade!  It seems like she was JUST born!  She is the sweetest girl with such a sensitive heart...she is going to do amazing things some day.  At such a young age, she is so touched by so much that would go right over a typical 6 year old's head.  Love her!

And Kayla...I queation whether she is of the same genes as Leah sometimes! :)  She is so full of energy and spunk and attitude!  She is HILARIOUS!  Oh my goodness, she cracks me up all the time.  She is going to be in the spotlight someday for sure...she has no fear!

So different these 2, but they love each other so so much!

And I am super excited about the new location I discovered downtown...LOVE all of the brick and chippy paint and rusted metal.  I'll definitely be making another trip to this location in the near future!

Thanks Mike, Sarah, Leah and Kayla for a fun time!
Love you guys!