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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

House update

Whew, after many calls back and forth on the phone with the loan officer, real estate agent, insurance company, and loan officer #2 (because of death in the family with the first one), and many faxes and overnight shipments of paperwork, we finally have closing on our house tentatively set for January 5th. That was supposed to be Kevin's first day of work but when he called to find out what his hours would be like that day, he was given the option of changing his start date to the 7th. (I guess their new workers are all starting different days.) So that actually works out really well for us. It's two more days of no pay but it will relieve a lot of stress and a hotel stay since Kevin will be able to stay in the house itself. Then we're trying to arrange for the movers to come that Saturday the 10th when my parents can help out watching the kids while we get the house put together. So that's the update on that. We're so glad to finally get some things set in stone instead of just waiting around for an indefinite amount of time! Continue to pray that God would work out all the details, everything would go smoothly, and our kids would handle the transitions well. Thank you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My favorite Christmas photos

You can see more photos HERE but these are my favorites...

pictures from my dad's church
Christmas Day
Hannah's first lil' hair bow (purchased HERE)
sweet smiles from Eli
We had a lovely Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my parent's house so I could go to the church service (the kids were already in bed so Kevin stayed home), and we'd be there to celebrate in the morning. Eli woke up first and he read books and went through his stocking with Grandpa. Then Hannah woke up and joined in on the stocking fun. We don't do Santa but stockings are fun anyway, filled with miscellaneous treasures. For Eli they were two board books, a snowman finger puppet, Cars stickers, a cookie cutter, and a screwdriver with candy inside. And for Hannah they were a pair of mittens, a first-Christmas ornament, a cookie cutter, a board book, and a teething ring. Then we had a delicious breakfast of egg casserole and cherry coffee cake. Once everyone was showered and dressed then we opened presents before Hannah to go down for morning nap. Eli was sooo excited and helped everyone open their presents. And Hannah, well, she's still too little to really care. But she was definitely checking it all out and getting into stuff like she does. Then we got snacks out for lunch which included this yummy cheesy spinach and artichoke dip, garlic olives, pretzal rods, caramel popcorn, grapes, and more! After lunch then we headed off to have Christmas with Kevin's family. As soon as we arrived they were ready to do presents! We didn't open (or even wrap) most of the presents that Kevin's family got for the kids. They're kind of big and all need assembled which we are not going to do right before we move, and don't want to teeze them by giving them a toy they can't play with. Sooo we're just waiting to give those presents until we're in our new house, which hopefully will just be in a week or two! But this one of my new favorite toys that Hannah got, it's just so her. =)As soon as presents with Kevin's family were over, the kids were off for their afternoon nap. Then Kevin's extended family came to join us for a full Christmas dinner with ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, and everything followed by more presents. We joked that it was the Christmas that never ends! It was definitely a loong and tiring day, and I decided that we just might not be able to do it all in one day in future years. But it was a wonderful day nonetheless and we were so happy to spend the holiday with family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My pretty little girl...

Some pics, just because. Enjoy...

kind of hard to capture because she moves sooo fast now
just learned to clap and even responds to just the word "clap"
sly lookcutie piea new favorite

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

10 Months

Hannah's 10-month update:
* Celebrated first Thanksgiving
* Stands up on everything now and crawls around like a speed demon.
* Bathes in big tub with Eli now.
* She waves, does "so big", nods yes (though I don't she means it), and claps her hands.
* Climbs stairs.
* New foods--broccoli, chicken, corn, plum, grape, pineapple, nutri-grain bars, crackers
* Favorites--crackers, nutri-grain bars, juice in rice cereal, climbing around in rocking chairs
* Dislikes--diaper changes, getting out of the bath
* Wakes up once or twice in the night and goes back to sleep on her own the first time and is fed the second time, then goes back to sleep until 8 or 8:30. Takes two 2-hr naps a day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good news...finally!

After hearing yesterday that Kevin passed his test and knowing that we'd for sure be in Nebraska, this morning we went ahead and got a new cell phone/Internet plan set up. So we'll have reliable phones and just a few weeks of overlap to get our numbers transferred everywhere. We also put an offer contingent on job offer and financing for the farm house we had already found. And just after all that Kevin got a call from Nebraska with the official job offer! I did not think it would come already today and fully expected it to be another week or so, so it was a great surprise! What joy filling our home today! Thank you for all your prayers--continue to pray that our transition goes quickly and smoothly through this busy holiday season! Much love to you all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prayer Requests

For this week:

* Pray that we would please SOON get a call from Nebraska! We STILL have not heard Kevin's test results that he took almost two weeks ago to know if he could get a job there or not. We are getting sooo frustrated and discouraged about that, and we feel like giving up on it altogether but know we've waited this long and are so close now!

* It's also been a week since Kevin did the test and interview at the plant in Iowa, so we're also waiting for results from them too, although it is only our second choice for locations.

* Pray that God would work the details of our situation. Our "things" have been in storage for the last 2 months. I packed vacation-style: just enough clothes for what we had room for and the bare minimum for toiletries and everything. Well, both kids are moving up a clothes size (2T pants for Eli and 12-month clothes for Hannah) and I don't have much of anything for them. I had brought a box or two of spare contacts, but now I've used them all and am currently wearing my very last pair. They're 2-week contacts, and it looks that we'll be here at least a month more until we're in a house and our belongings are returned to us. Also, both Kevin's and my cell phones are literally falling apart. Our Sprint contract is up in January, and with the move we'll be switching service providers, so just pray that our phones will hold out until then. Just pray that all the little details will work themselves out.

* Pray for our finances. We've been two months without income now. So far we haven't had to even tap into our savings, but it's close now.

* It's Kevin's birthday next week, on Tuesday, and I have absolutely nothing planned. The things he's interested in are crazy expensive, and I just have no clue what to do otherwise. I feel really horrible about it and want him to have a good day, a special day, especially because I know he's been so stressed lately. Pray that it will be a good day for him, despite the circumstances. And if you have any ideas on what to do, please share!!

* Above all pray for peace and patience. We're all under great stress and frustration that we're snapping at each other left and right. We so greatly want to get settled and know that it's going to be yet another month for a house AFTER we finally get word on a job. Pray for joyful hearts.

Thank you! We'll keep you updated when there's something to update!

UPDATE! Kevin finally got a hold of the HR lady for Nebraska, and he passed the POSS test! We still have to wait another few days or a week or whatever for the actual job offer but we know it's coming. Without the actual job we're not sure what we can do for a house just yet, but for sure we'll be doing all we can to get the ball rolling.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Moving up in the world

As of two nights ago Hannah can now climb an entire flight of stairs! Daddy and Eli had just gone upstairs for something before bedtime and Hannah started right up after them. I was right with her and decided to let her go and she what she could do. And sure enough, one step at a time and one small landing in the middle, she made it all the way to the top! Then she continued on crawling with a mission, heading straight into Eli's dark room and back toward his closet. I love watching her go, just wondering what she's after. She's such a content little thing that it's fun to see her when she's got a mission. My little girl is growing up!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun

We've been pretty busy this week. The whole family is on the road for Kevin's interview. Since the company pays for hotel and food and even gas for TWO nights, we took it as an opportunity to get out of town! Even if staying in one hotel room is more complicated, we appreciate the change and helping time pass. Still no results on the POSS test. Maybe tomorrow? Sounds like a phrase we've been saying a lot lately.

Anyway, thought I'd share about this year's Thanksgiving. Thursday my brother Paul and his fiance Holly flew in, and later that day we celebrated Thanksgiving meal at my dad's church. Every year my parent's host a Thanksgiving meal (pot luck style) for church members who don't really have family around or who just choose to spend the holiday with church family. We hung out with family on Friday and then Friday night was a small-town Christmas festival--small group of brass carols, the lighting of Main Street lights, fireworks, and pie. There's a farm in town that always sets up a HUGE display of lights, so took Paul and Holly with us to see them. Then Saturday we had our own family Thanksgiving--full with turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie! Needless to say, we were stuffed! Since we've always had Thanksgiving at the church and we don't really have other family around, we haven't had a family Thanksgiving in a LONG time. But now that the family is expanding, it was special to have that time as a family again!

This was the first time I had ever gotten to meet Holly! I was so excited and it had spread to Eli too, because all week long he kept saying "Holly soon!" It was so sweet, considering he didn't know her yet. =) Holly is very sweet and fun, and she already fits right in with our family, making me even more excited for their Colorado wedding in February! It was special for her to meet Kevin and the kids too. We've become great friends through email the last few months so it was neat to finally make it more real!

Oh and Kevin's family was off on a vacation this week in Arizona, otherwise of course we would have celebrated Thanksgiving with them too. This year was too crazy for Kevin to go with them, but maybe next year...

All in all it was a fabulous Thanksgiving! Pictures to come soon!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

So big!

I've been meaning to get some video of Hannah and now that we have real Internet at my parents' house today, I can finally get them uploaded to Blogger. She's seriously the sweetest baby ever! Enjoy!

So big!

Rocking out

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

9 Months

Wow, this is already a couple weeks late but I didn't want to completely pass it by! So here's Hannah's 9-month update, even though she's already changed since then!

* Accomplishments: she's standing all the way up now and walks pushing a box
* She wakes once a night (instead of four times, yay!) and goes back to sleep with Daddy rocking her (just trying to break the feedings), no more third nap though a snooze in the car after dinner is always good
* New foods: peas, applesauce, pears, green beans, pumpkin, peaches, mango, mashed potatoes, blueberry, spaghetti
* Still no bottle or cup--it's hard to believe that for 9 MONTHS I've been there for every. single. feeding. to nurse her! For more than 9 months I have not been apart from her for more than 3 hours. If I go out of town, I bring her too, no questions asked. Boy, I really am looking forward to having some freedom back in hopefully just a couple months when she's weaned or at least in the process!
* Don't know her size but she's definitely outgrowing her 6-9 month clothes!

It's been awhile...

Just thought I'd update about the job search. I haven't posted anything for awhile because simply there was nothing to post. But yesterday Kevin finally took the POSS (Plant Operator Selection System) test in Nebraska and now we'll just be waiting on the results. Either today (probably not) or next week we'll hear something. Then also next week he's got an interview at a plant in Iowa. They've offered to pay for our family to stay two nights there so we can check out the area, so even though we're not too interested in that plant, we're going to interview there and use it as an excuse to get out of town. Last Saturday we went to Nebraska to check out the houses, so that as soon as we know if we're going to be there (or not) we can move right in on the paperwork for a house and get things rolling as quickly as possibly. After seeing the other houses it made us like the farm house even more, so if it's still available, that's the one we'd chose! Hopefully soon there will be official news!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photo comparison

When I saw this photo of Eli the other day, it immediately reminded me of the next two from when he was a little baby:

Fall fun

Last week Grandpa was over to the house to rake leaves, and of course having a toddler around to "help" makes it a whole lot more fun!

Notice the mittens. He's never worn them before because he's always refused them. But of course Grandpa is wearing work gloves, so he came up to me to ask for his "mittens please". And here he is "helping" him carry the box of grass trimmings to the garage.
taking a break to watch a train go by a couple blocks away
all done and taking the trash can back to the garage

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A bit of history.

When we were visiting Kevin's grandma last week she gave us an old hat that she had made for Kevin's dad when he was a little boy. And now here is Eli wearing the hat. He doesn't really like it but we did manage to snap a quick photo with Kevin's camera phone when we were in the car the other day.
Grandma also gave us an old dress that used to be Kevin's aunt's. It's just about the right size for Hannah but right now it's much too cold for such attire. I'm sure it will still fit in spring, so we'll try it then.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Before we know it!

Hannah has been pulling herself to standing for probably almost a month now, but here she is starting to walk along too as she's pushing a box across the floor!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Patch!

We are always THE latest ever at getting our pumpkins! I believe it was just a couple days before Halloween last year that we finally realized we really better get our pumpkin if we're going to get one at all. And here we are in the same situation this year. With the move and all, time sure has gotten away from us! But with the fabulous weather we're having here this week we couldn't pass up a chance to go to an orchard today! I didn't get as many artsy shots as last year, but I definitely got some good family pics AND we had good fun in the process (sometimes I try sooo hard to get good pictures that we can't enjoy the moment)...

Train Ride: Happy Faces and Free Snuggles

First of all, scroll down to the previous post to read about our train adventures and see the beautiful scenery pics. (click pictures to view larger)

Here we are, ready to go!

waiting anxiously for the train to go
Hannah got all snuggled down at the beginning of the ride...
making Mommy think she's going to take a nap just as I hoped
one of the only pictures of me

...and then Hannah was up and ready to play, no nap!
yay! Hannah was having a blast! (until the second half of the ride when she realized how tired she really was)

these next two are precious to me

I love the bored look with the foot dangling down and the oldness of the seat.
snuggling as they watched out the open window. I was praying that Eli wouldn't fall out!
Grandpa was holding Hannah and pretty soon Eli was climbing on too!