Our HOUSE

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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

More Than Pumpkins

This past weekend we went on a family outing with my parents and my sisters. We went to a local orchard (County Line Orchard in Hobart, IN) to get pumpkins, apples, cider and all kinds of goodies. We have gone there every October for the last 7 years now! It is so fun and festive! We love Fall and what better way to celebrate?

For me, it’s more than pumpkins…

The first year we went to the apple orchard was in 2006, Mark and I had just miscarried our first baby. I was depressed. I didn’t want to do much of anything. I think this was my moms way of getting me out of the house. It was a good idea, because I actually had a little fun! The whole time, I prayed that next year we would be bringing a baby to the orchard! And we did! Although, she couldn’t see anything, because she was so cozy and safe in my belly. She was due to be born December 25, 2008.

(We don’t have pictures of 2006 and 2007. I didn’t have a picture addiction until after the first born! 🙂 )

 

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In 2008 we had so much fun watching our oldest play in the pumpkin patch.

 

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In 2009, we grew by one!

 

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In 2010, the kids were growing!

 

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In 2011, we grew by one again, but no one knew yet! 🙂

 

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In 2012, we got to bring our youngest, only 3 months old.

 

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This year, 2013, I realize how big our kids are getting! They were all old enough to walk on their own and pick up pumpkins! They had fun! Now, they love it as much as I do! They love the tradition. They know with Fall comes the apple orchard! Someday, they will know how it all got started!

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My sisters with our oldest in 2008.

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Everyone in 2013

My parents take us every year and it has been fun to see how much my little sisters have changed over the years! This is a part of their childhood too!

It wasn’t always easy to take our little kids to the orchard. It is usually packed, cold, it takes almost an hour to get there and this year it was muddy! One year, Mark asked me if we could just get pumpkins in town, he saw a bunch of them outside of the gas station, really cheap. He thought it would be so much easier to just get them there! That was the last time he asked that question! 🙂

He didn’t realize…it was more than pumpkins for me!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Early Days of Motherhood

I write this today as the baby of the house is sleeping, the 2 older kids are at school this morning, the washer is going, dinner is in the crock pot, but the sink still has breakfast dishes.

I’ve learned I need to take my time, to think, to breath, to keep my sanity.

We had our kids young, close together and it was awesome, it was exhausting!

I gave birth to our first child, almost 6 years ago, I was pregnant with our second child at her first birthday. I finally stopped nursing the first one when I pregnant and so sick I didn’t have enough energy to feed 2 babies. When, the second child was born, we had 2 babies! A newborn and a 19 month old. After that craziness, we took a little tiny break and waited until the youngest was 2 before I got pregnant with our 3rd child. The older 2 were potty trained, slept through the night and were acting a little older. Then, we started all over again!!

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This was all in the mix of building our house, me having a hundred side jobs, taking care of a very sick grandma, family things, Mark getting a promotion at work with a lot of new responsibilities, me having a lot of health problems, being newlyweds, trying to help at church, and trying (but usually failing) at keeping God at the center of our house.

It was crazy! Some days I thought I would loose my mind before 9 am, I would count down the hours until Mark got home to be my back up. I would do my best to get through the days until bedtime, then get up the next morning and do it all over again! Exhausting!

I have NO REGRETS!

I miss those baby days, the first time I saw my child, when my babies nursed ALL the time, the first time they smiled at me, the little baby grunts all through the night, how they always smelt good, how they snuggled, how they could sleep in my arms, the tiny diapers. Will never forget their first months of life!

I write this post not to complain, not to have a pitty party, but to remember that those first years as an adult, wife, mom were HARD! My posts are mainly for my kids and maybe someday they will feel like I did. Maybe they will be so exhausted someday and need hope. That is what this post is for. To say those 5 years were hard, but we made it! I lived to tell the story! 🙂  Maybe my kids remember me saying “mommy is going to go crazy” or they can remember when I should have more patience with them. I am human!  I have told my kids, husband, parents “sorry” more time than I can count!

I know hard days are not a thing of the past ( I mean, we have 3 kids that will all turn into teens and then adults!), but I know there are so many great days ahead too! I was telling a friend this weekend that I finally feel like we’ve gotten to the point where I can breath again! With the youngest being 15 months now, she sleeps through the night, she is done nursing, she acts more like a toddler now. While she keeps me on my toes and likes to be with me all waking hours of the day 🙂 she is getting a little more independent.

I can drink my morning coffee with only warming it up a few times and not the 20 times like before, or finding my coffee cup in the microwave at lunch, then finding my lunch in the microwave at dinner (yes, that really happened!) I am learning how to slow down and enjoy my days. Not looking at them as another day to count down the hours!

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So, take a deep breath and remember it WILL get better! It will be over before you know it and you will miss those days!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:12