Our HOUSE

DSC_2039

This month it will be 6 years since we built our house.

I look back at 6 years ago, I was 21 with a 9 month old baby and no clue what we were doing to build a house. People said we were crazy! Then they were shocked when we moved in after breaking ground only 4 months earlier. It helped that we had great people working very hard for us! We learned a lot in that experience… how to lay wood floor, hang doors, get building supplies as cheap as we could, and we made waaayyy too many trips to Menards! :) It was stressful and exciting!

Our goal was to build a house with extra room to grow. We said over and over we want to fill our house with kids! In the floor plan, we turned an office into a bedroom and planned out the basement and bonus room with room to grow and add more bedrooms! We didn’t want anything fancy, just space! We wanted a place to raise a family and grow.

I love our house! But, after 6 years it is so much more than a house. We have made it into a home. This home has seen a lot of action:

  • We’ve brought 2 of our babies home to it.
  • We’re raising our 3 young kids in it.
  • My grandma lived here with us for awhile.
  • I’ve babysat several children in it.
  • We’ve had a lot of our kids’ birthday parties here.
  • We’ve had lots of family Christmas fun!
  • Family and friends have come over for dinner.
  • Coffee time with moms is great!
  • And now we have a few extra kids staying with us too!

We have an open home where everyone is welcomed! I’ve told friends over and over “Stop by anytime! It probably won’t be clean, but you are welcomed!”

That’s the thing, our house is messy, the walls are starting to get dings from kids running into them with toys, our wood floor is scratched from riding cars on them, but we LIVE in it! We are raising a house full of messy, energetic, happy, tiny people!

We love our house full of people! That is exactly what we set out to do with this house 6 years ago! (We did fill it up a little faster than we expected we would :) ) Looking back at all the family memories here, I hope we have MANY years here! I actually would love to be here forever but who knows what God’s plan is. He tends to have completely different ideas for our family!  :)

For now, we will keep doing what we’re doing serving the Lord right here with all these messy, energetic, happy, tiny people.

This house is MY mission field.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”  Joshua 24:15

Normal on the Road

My parents invited us to go on a spring break trip with them to Florida…of course we said YES! Can’t pass up a fun family trip!

Since I’ve been a mom, I say I WILL NOT drive in a car with children for more than 12 hours at a time. If the drive is longer than that we will fly! This trip was estimated at 13 hours (over my limit, mind you) BUT tickets to fly on spring break are not so pretty, so I compromised! Having to drive 13ish hours to go sit on a warm beach and relax (as much as you can with 3 kids) was going to be well worth it!

We like to drive during the night on long trips. Kids can sleep, traffic is great and all is well on the road. We were making pretty good time, UNTIL we sat in traffic BARELY moving for an hour! It was mostly fun while it lasted. It was warm and sunny, we had the windows down, kids were dancing/talking to people in other cars around us. This was about 10 hours into the drive.

It was all good…making lemonade out of lemons.

THEN, the kids crashed! I have no idea how many hours it was but there comes a point when we are all done! The fun was over in the car. Now I had to work overtime to make tired kids happy! We end up stopping WAY too often to let kids potty, someone has their foot on someone…the list goes on!

I wasn’t thinking this at the time but… That’s all a part of the road trip experience! You don’t get that on a plane. There you have to listen to some crabby stranger. There is something about being in the car stuck with your whole family when you’re tired and crabby that makes you all bond a little more and memories are made.

We do have fun in the car. I would actually say most of the trip is fun. I pull every trick I have out of my ‘mom hat’ …we do flash cards, read books, color, watch movies, sing songs, play silly games that I make up, eat A LOT of snacks (try not to drink too much…that makes more potty stops! :) )

WP_20140328_006[1]

It was a 15 hour trip on the way there.

We made it!

I would have to say that we were shocked how good the kids were! We were mostly worried about the baby of the house (she isn’t as experienced of a traveler as the older kids plus the fact that she has pretty much mastered the temper tantrum!) She did great and had some pretty awesome naps.

So, really the car trips are kinda like our life in general…mostly good, fun, full of memories, with a little bit of junk that we would rather not deal with. We choose to focus on the GOOD!

I highly recommend a road trip with kids! If you are thinking about all the work, planning, headaches…

I say CHIN UP BUTTERCUP! It really isn’t that bad! You might actually have fun anyways! :)

The whole car singing/screaming to the same songs over and over, whinny kids, your arm falling asleep while you hold your baby’s hand just to make her happy is really just  Normal on the Road. 

WP_20140329_004[1]

LOVE Day

I never was a huge fan of Valentine’s Day! I never thought it was that romantic to get flowers and candy on the same day that millions of other women do! I always tell my husband that our anniversary means so much more to me, so don’t buy me expensive things on Valentine’s Day!

I have grown to like Valentine’s Day more over the years. I don’t know if I am just getting older or sappier? We do like any excuse to have a party and to celebrate in this house. Over and over God tells us to “love one another”  so why not celebrate the LOVE all around us! Everyone in our lives could use a little more love! I don’t think of it being just a day of romance. We have a LOVE Day!

We have fun celebrating in our house….

I started off by writing the valentine’s notes the night before and getting the decorations on the table. (I don’t spend much money on this at all!!! I save party decorations and supplies from years before and use those. I just put what I have together and try to make it work. It’s good enough for them! The craft was made out of paper and toilet paper rolls (we can collect those pretty easy :) ) The lunch was little heart pizzas and heart cookies. We did get the kids Despicable Me 2 DVD. They have been wanting it since Christmas. So we were able to enjoy the movie together in the afternoon. We made daddy a hand made card with all the reasons why we love him. Made cupcakes for dessert. I made a dinner at home that I knew the dad of the house would love, loaded chicken nachos. Then, after dinner we played the games that I made and brought to school. So, those were reused. A day full of fun and I used most things we already had!

DSC_0137 (Large)

The baby of the house painting some pretty LOVE decorations!

DSC_0149 (Large)

Of course I had school Valentine’s parties to attend. We did some fun crafts and games with the kindergartners!

DSC_0152 (Large)

We had our at home lunch party (the 2 older kids go to school half days. It gives us more time to have fun in the afternoon!) Here the kids are working on their heart shaped pizzas. I made the heart pizza crusts while they were at school. to make this go faster, since I knew they would be hungry!

DSC_0150 (Large)

I like how in this picture it says “I love you” on the wall right by her head!

DSC_0155 (Large)

Pizzas finished! The funny guy in the house decided to make eyes with his pepperoni! (everything is a joke to him! :D)

DSC_0156 (Large)

DSC_0154 (Large)

DSC_0159 (Large)

Our butterflies with heart wings. I think they turned out pretty cute! (Notice the creeper! lol)

We definitely had a house full of LOVE this Valentine’s Day!

Then…I was TIRED! :)