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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Settling into our house.

We have settled into our house and while there has been a lot of work to do, and still more to get done, we are enjoying it so much!  There are many little things about our new house that are advantages over our house in Waco, such as a better outside play area for the kids, a better driveway for riding bikes and sidewalk chalk, a playroom, and of course the great views.

One of the first things that Brenner did was add large hole chicken fencing around about 4 acres of our property.  There was a white fencing, but the dogs, chickens and kids could get out too easily for my liking.  And Brenner had the added fun of putting it in the weekend after 6 days of rain!  (insert sarcasm here!) 
Cole and Jake were happy to help him too :)
Having a great garage and driveway has been SUCH a blessing.  Part of the garage has become added play space for us, where we do our crafts, painting, play doh and markers.  I just don't have to care about what gets where and that makes it a more enjoyable time for all because messy activities should be messy!
The driveway is wide and flat so Cole rides his bike on and off ALL day long.  They also love sidewalk chalk now and in addition to the girls' requests write our names and draw pictures of Jake over and over, we also create racetracks, hopscotch, runways and battlefields.  Thankfully the Dollar Tree sells tubs of sidewalk chalk for only $1!


Here is a great example of how the kids clean up their playroom.

One other new change in our new house is that all the kids are sharing a room.  
The girls have always shared a room, but we felt strongly that all the kids begin to share a room when we were looking for houses.  Personally, we think that there are tons of benefits to kids sharing rooms that I will discuss on a later day.  It has been an adjustment and there have been some drawbacks as well, but overall it is going great.  The girls have been going back and forth sharing beds too.  They went through a phase of insisting on sleeping in the same crib together but are now back to separate cribs.  Silly girls!

And of course we love being in the country.  We are in a country neighborhood so there are plenty of house around, they each just sit on approximately 10-40 acres so the neighborhood is spread out.  Everyone has at least some sort of animal, be it chickens, horses, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys or turkeys.  And because we are across the street from a lake and there are ponds all over, there are tons of geese, ducks and even wild peacocks.  Neighborhood walk are really fun to listen to and hear all the animals.  It has given the girls a chance to perfect their animal sounds!

And here is the view from our front yard on a most gorgeous day!  




Friday, April 11, 2014

Sillies and piggies.

These little girls make us laugh all the time.  
Despite the challenges of twins, it really is so much fun to see them interact with each other.
They finally have enough hair for pig tails (yahoo!) so I spend more time than I should begging them to leave them in because they look so darn cute!
They also love to make silly faces and try to imitate the ones that Cole and I make.  
Clara, being the good bossy big sister that she is, always tries to help Elise make a better silly face.






(Oh, and we are also all about rockin' big brothers old pajamas.  
I prefer to spend money on cute clothes and not on things like pajamas and mud clothes.  
Therefore you will see pictures of the girls in Cole's old t shirts and jammies.  :) )

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ski trip.

So way, way back in the beginning of February we went skiing.  
I have to document this event so I am blogging about it even though it happened two months ago.  
Just bear with me while I catch up on life a little, okay?

When we arrived in CA we knew there would only be a few weeks of winter left which meant that we had to fit in a ski trip!  Lake Tahoe is two hours from us so we hopped over there the second weekend that we were here.  Brenner was really looking forward to skiing and Cole was looking forward to learning how to ski.
We found a great little resort that had one kids slope literally out our door that Cole took lessons at.  It was perfect! He loved skiing and did so well!




And next to the ski slope was a sledding slope which we all loved!  
The girls could not get enough of it....we on the other hand could get enough since carrying toddlers and sleds uphill repeatedly was a little less exciting for us :)




And the girls were up to their usual pack n play mischeif  during naptime.  This scene repeated itself about 20 times before there was finally a nap.  


I did not get to ski on this trip because I stayed back with the kids and let Brenner go.  
I did, however, drink way too much hot cocoa and stayed up late by the fire reading blogs which was a rare a treat for me :)


And of course Jake loved the snow too!  
He's that blur in the middle of the picture!


We are looking forward to a lot more ski trip next winter!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gettin' my groove back.

Soooooo, moving has kind of thrown us for a loop.  
I knew that things were probably going to be crazy.  
I was right.
 Things have really been crazy!  
This poor little blog here has suffered but I will begin to get back into a posting groove now that things are calming down.
There is so much that I will share about things here in California including more about Brenner's job, new adjustments, the area and some of our highs and lows so far.  
I will also share a lot more about our house once I get around to taking pictures of it!
We are finally settled in our new house and after 7 weeks of unpacking. organizing, rearranging and Craigslist searching, I think that our house is mostly put together and we are loving it! 
If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen some pictures already and know more about what we have been up to but even with that I have not shared all that I have wanted to.  
So today, let's just start with a brief summary of our house and how we got it.

We arrived at the AF base on a Tuesday and we found our house 5 days later.  
We thought we had found a place online back in December to rent but the owner changed his mind about renting the house after we had been talking with him for a few weeks and we were really disappointed.  We decided basically to stop looking online at that point because it was a only a few weeks until we would be here and we knew that we would have time to look once we arrived.  
We found one place that looked promising our third day here but when we visited it, we found out the house was on a small citrus orchard which we would be responsible for maintaining (yikes!) and that bees are attracted to citrus orchards, of which I am allergic (yikes again!)  So basically that place was out.  
That night, Thursday, Brenner got online and found a place that looked promising.  He called immediately and the guy was not even finished listing the house and was surprised we were even able to see it online.  He had just started listing it 20 minutes before!
He and Brenner talked and it sounded too good to be true.  
Saturday afternoon was visited the house and agreed to rent it!
It literally has every single thing that was on our crazy wish list and more!
It is 6 miles from the base.
It sits on 10 acres.
It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms plus a small bonus room.
There is lots of outdoor space for a garden.
There is a storage barn for our boat and other storage items.
It has free internet because it is housing station with the internet company.
The previous owners said we could have their chickens since they could not take them.
It is directly across the street from a lake and the lake access point. 
It has a huge enclosed front porch that runs the lengths of the house.
And it was below our monthly housing budget.
Not only all that, but the landlord is basically one of the nicest guys ever and has done all sorts of upgrades in the last 7 weeks to be sure that everything is in tip top shape (such as putting in new wood floors, dry walling the garage, putting in new insulated windows and fixing up one of the bathrooms.)  
Seriously, we could not have asked for a better place.  We have humbled by God's provision and generosity.

I will share more pictures of the rest of the house soon!
Oh, and please come and visit us!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

God is good. Always.


Last week we closed on the selling of our house!  
After 2 years of the house being on the market, it finally sold.  
And we are so grateful.  
But we are not grateful just because the house sold.  
We are grateful that God's plan was way better than ours.  
His always is.  
Always.  
We obviously wanted our house to sell as soon as we put in on the market.  We thought we had a plan for what we would do when it sold and we thought that everything would work out perfectly.  
But God knew that he was taking us in a different direction (such as California!) and it was not the right time to move only to have to move again.  
And so we waited.  
Sometimes I was more patient than others because attempting to keep a large house organized and ready for showings with 3 littles running around was pretty impossible.  But God also knew that a mom with 3 littles always needs more practice with being patient :)
So we left our house in Waco unsold as we moved across the country, trusting it would work out.  
Which of course it did.  
God is so good because He knew what we needed and when.  
We are so grateful that His plan is perfect.  
We are grateful the house sold, but we would continue to be grateful that God's plan is good even if it remained unsold.  Because all things have a purpose and a plan.
God has a way of taking our plans that we constantly make and throwing them out the window.  
Anybody else feel that way?
Married while still in college?
Twins?
Major career change?
Move across the country?
I never expected these things and yet each one has resulted in blessings and great growth.  
God is good.  
Always.  
And THAT is why I am grateful.  
And so we now say goodbye to our house. 
Our first house together that we moved into when we got married.  
The house where we brought 3 babies home to. 
The house that was our home for a decade.  
Here is a picture of how the house looked when we moved into it:
I think the house changed as much as we did while we lived in it.  

So long Austin Avenue!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Exploring.

We have spent a lot of time exploring the area since moving up here.  Brenner had some extra days off to house hunt even after we found a house, which meant we got to have a few more days as a family to do fun things!
We have also spent lots of time at the playgrounds and parks on base since we are in temporary housing and don't have a lot to do!



On a hike up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  


Learning about moss and bark!

We found a Target!

In Sacramento we went to a place called Art Beast which was 3 levels of activities of art, music, theater and exploration.  It was awesome!






Sacramento also has a train museum with a huge play area of kids, old train cars for kids to walk through and a train ride through downtown.

 





 And right outside the train station was a little place that made fresh mini donuts.  
Yum!









Saturday, February 15, 2014

2 years.

I can't believe that it has been two years.  
Two years since we anxiously awaited the arrival of these two after such a crazy pregnancy. 
And two years later, life is crazy wonderful.  
It has been so hard and so wonderful to have twins.  
I can't imagine any more perfect additions to our family and we have been so blessed to have them in our lives.  I literally have been with them every day of the last two years except for two days last summer!
We will ALWAYS remember God's grace and goodness to us when He answered our prayers and healed them.  We will sing His praises all of our days because their lives are miracles.
Happy Birthday my sweet girls!  




What?? We turned 2?