Monday, December 29, 2008

On having a miscarriage...

I have spent some time reading in the book "Supernatual Childbirth". In this book Jackie Mize does a great job explaining what it feels like to have a miscarriage. Here is an excerpt from her book.

" Even though I was only a few weeks pregnant, that baby was just as real to me as any baby I had ever seen. Any woman who has been pregnant knows what I'm talking about too. Many times men don't understand the trauma of a miscarriage because to them the baby is not a reality yet. They often try to comfort their wife with, " Its ok, we will try again." And that dosn't comfort us, because to a woman that baby is a reality from conception. It affects mothers because it is not just a "miscarriage"; It is the loss of a child. And it takes a period of time to recover emotionally, just as it does with the loss of any loved one. "

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Update on Lindsay

Daniel and I just gt back from the ER and it is confirmed that there is no ectopic pregnancy in my ovary. The ER doctor I had today did not seem very concerned about my ovary. She said it did appear bulky but did not appear to be sagging that much to her. I will follow-up with an OB/GYN sometime this week to determine what should be done next, when I can try again ect.
Please keep us in your prayers because emotionally this has been much more difficult than our first miscarriage. We knew about this baby for almost 3 weeks and we were so very excited about it. Having one miscarriage seems normal enough but to have a 2nd one has caused us to become very fearful. I honestly don't think I could handle losing another one. I'm sure many of you (including family members) think we didn't need another one yet anyway but Daniel and I very much wanted those babies and whether you have 0 or 10, it hurts more than you could imagine to lose one.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Disappointing News

Hope you all had a great Christmas. We greatly enjoyed Christmas morning together as a family but from about 3pm on it was very difficult. I noticed some blood when I went to the bathroom and of course was very upset. I made it through the rest of the day without falling apart but it was a long night. I went to the ER this morning and my cervix was closed which was a good sign so they sent me to the maternity ward for an ultrasound. There was no baby on the ultrasound and one of my ovaries appeared to be enlarged and sagging. I was very upset to say the least! It didn't help that we had to wait several hrs in the ER following the ultrasound to get a report from the doctor and radiologist. There is a possible chance I could have an ectopic pregnancy in the ovary but the hope is that I have just miscarried and that there is nothing wrong with my ovary. I will go back on Sunday afternoon to have my hormone levels checked again to be sure they aren't increasing. I am feeling beyond frustrated right now. I don't understand how I could have 3 perfect pregnancies and then miscarry 2 in a row like this. It is hard not to be afraid that I won't be able to have another baby. It would be one of the worst things that could ever happen to me. Please pray for me not to be afraid and that God will allow us to have more children!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas From Our Family to Yours!


We hope this Christmas finds your family happy, healthy, and blessed! We are certainly feeling very blessed this year. The move back to Christiansburg this past summer has been good for all of us. I don't think I have ever been so thankful for a house in my life! It has been a great relief to get our growing family of small children settled into a home. As we look back at our very stressful years spent in Williamsburg and Bluefield. Things have improved drastically! Our income is still not where we need it to be but we are continuing to give what we can and pray and believe that it will come. Please take this time of year to reflect on what God has given you in sending His only son!


Blessings from the Rich's,

Daniel, Lindsay, Isaac, James, Grace, and baby Rich #4!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Testimony Of What God Has Done For Us!

Most of you are aware that I suffered a miscarriage back in November. It happened very early but having known about the pregnancy ahead of time, I spent a few days grieving over the loss of our baby. I wondered why God allowed it to happen and what He had planned for us. I decided that same week to put it all behind me and begin earnestly praying that God would bless us with another child. Our precious 4 year old Isaac also began praying daily for God to put a new baby in Mommy's tummy. On Sunday December the 7th I was able to minister with the dance team at our church for the first time and one of the requirements for being a part of the worship ministry is to attend the Intercessory prayer time before the service starts. God was definitely present during the prayer time and an elder in the church stood up and said " the Lord just showed me that some you in this room are pregnant with the second generation, that the Lord is raising up an army". I knew that what he said could be manifested in the spiritual (lost souls) and in the physical (pregnant women) so I began to look around as he said that and wondered if God was trying to tell me that he had answered my prayers, that it was me who was pregnant! I tried not to think or get my hopes up the rest of the day but that night I decided to take a pregnancy test. Lo and behold it was positive! I rejoiced and showed the test strip to Daniel. I took new tests every 2-3 days for awhile just to be sure! I guess I could not comprehend that God had heard my cries and had blessed me again so soon! I cannot describe the joy I feel over this pregnancy. I treasure it and appreciate it so much more than I did before. One of my greatest joys was relaying the news to Isaac, the first thing he said was... "My prayer worked! " in a very excited tone of voice. His blue eyes were so bright and he had a look of sheer pleasure on his face. Tomorrow is my 25th birthday and I must say there is no greater gift I could receive than to know that a child grows inside of me! Please keep our precious baby in your prayers, We are praying and believing God for a healthy, full-term baby!

P.S. I also want to say Happy 50th Birthday to Nana!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Highest and Lowest Forms of Christianity

This past weekend we had a guest speaker at our church and he challenged us by saying this
" The lowest form of Christianity is to be blessed, The highest form of Christianity is to BE a blessing ". I've spent alot of time thinking about that quote and how true it is! As Christians it is so easy to just do what Gods word says knowing that we will be blessed if we do but when it comes to dying to ourselves and being a blessing things get downright hard! Just recently I was feeling frustrated at church because instead of being able to close my eyes and truly get into the worship myself I had to watch my children and help them worship. I was also frustrated because I have to herd 3 pre-schoolers back and forth to their classrooms and sometimes don't get to talk to my church friends as much as I would like. I am also ashamed to admit that I sometimes felt disappointment when my Sunday rolled around to do childcare after caring for my own children all week. How selfish all that was! Dying to self and doing things my flesh has no desire to do to be a blessing to my children or someone else is what being a Christian is all about. That is what Christ did for us! Tonight when I put the boys to bed I held their faces in my hands and while looking into their eyes I told them " I am so happy that I get to be your Mom! "

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

The kids seated at the "grandkid table" that Grandma and Grandpa got for their kitchen
Our nephew Joseph enjoying Grandma's exersaucer
Sisters cooking Thanksgiving DinnerHope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We certainly did. We went down to GA on Wendesday so I could help do some of the cooking. On Thursday we had Thanksgiving dinner with just the Bradfield family which now consists of soon to be 6 kids and 4 grandkids! Everyone was present except for my brothers fiance, Paola (we missed you!), After dinner we had a hayride and a bonfire where everyone told a funny story about themseleves! We finished out the day by watching a Christmas movie.

On Friday we celebrated with my Moms family with another Hayride and Bonfire. My cousin Dawn and her family of 4 boys were able to come so Isaac and James had a big time with them! I don't think I have ever eaten so much in my life but the food was all so good!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving...so much to be thankful for!

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is here already! We have seen some exciting things happen in our business recently and are so Thankful for all that God has done for us! I think I am the most thankful this year though for our children. I always knew they were a blessing but after having a miscarriage that truth is SO MUCH MORE real to me. I am longing for another one as soon as God will grant me the privilege! Life can be very stressful when they are all little and you don't have house cleaning help or a child old enough to be of much help but it is a season that will only last for a short time. It is a tiny price to pay when you consider that you will have those children for the rest of your life to enjoy and keep up with even when they are grown! A lady from church let me borrow a book to remind me to stand on the truth and not forget the promises of God concerning childbirth. Shortly before the miscarriage occured Daniel and I got a table that would seat alot of children so anytime I am tempted to think about the miscarriage or be fearful I am going to say this verse outloud.
" Thy wife shall be a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table" Psalm 128:3 . I am especially reminded of this verse when I look at that table with all the empty seats! I am going to stand on that verse and believe God for every chair He has given us to be filled!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank You!

I just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate all the prayers, e-mails, phone calls and comments left on my facebook. I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!

Isaac's Prayer

This is what Isaac prayed at dinner last night.

Loorrd, Please put a new baby in Mommy's tummy and make it grow big like us, Amen!
If you feel led, please pray in agreement with Isaac! Also pray for my cousin Wendy who would give anything just to have one child! I have been praying for her but now will be praying for her all the more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Our 4th Baby

Though we only knew about you for a short time, you were very much loved and anticipated! It could not have been more perfect. You were our 4th child and would have been 27 months younger than Sissy. We were excited about you beyond words! I don't understand why God allowed this to happen but I trust that he had a reason...
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Election

I am very disappointed about how the election went but I feel so encouraged to pray more for my country! As sad as it is that our country elected such an ungodly man for President, I have to say that I still love my country and my home state of Virginia very much. I am so thankful that God put me here! I have done a fair amount of traveling but my heart has always been here. I have a real burden for our nation and feel that more than ever now is the time for us to intercede and do what God has called us to do with our lives!

Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain/Palin 2008

Our family was very fortunate to see Sarah Palin and her husband Todd in person tonight at the politial rally in Salem! She gave an awesome speech and drew quite a crowd with her visit to Southwest Virginia. Barack Obama was here last week and we were told that he did not draw anywhere near the crowd Sarah Palin drew tonight! It was completely packed out with standing room only. We got great seats though since we had 2 strollers, security directed us to the "off limits" handicap section! Here are a few pics from the rally. Sissy enjoyed cheering for Sarah Palin with her republican red pom pom!
Sarah and Todd PalinGiving her Speech

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Busy, Happy Life!

I apologize to all the family members and friends who regularly check this blog to see what we are up to! Life has been incredibly busy. I joined the dance ministry at our church and in order to do so I had to go on a "Womens Encounter" which is where the women from our church go twice a year to a camp at Smith Mountain Lake to really seek the Lord and and be set free of any strongholds in our lives. I had an awesome experience there and definitely heard from the Lord about some things!
This is my small group at the Encounter!
Back row: Laura, Karen, Kim
Front row: Allison and baby:-), Pam, Lindsay

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy 25th Birthday Sweetheart!


I just had to let everyone know that my wonderful husband turned 25 Yesterday! I am so proud of him. He is an excellent husband and father! I thought I would tell a little about what he has been up to these days. He is still doing some consulting work part time and putting ALOT of time into our Real Estate business... Please pray for his business that things would start to break loose soon! He has several deals in the works but they are all taking time. The financial burden of carrying 2 mortagegs for so long has caused him alot of stress. He is working very hard at becoming a full-time real estate investor so that he can devote more time to being a Dad, ministry opportunies, and have a business that our whole family can be a part of. He is very active in the Roanoke Regional REA and started the "New River Valley Real Estate Investors " group that now meets at the Christiansburg Library. He loves going to a prayer group for men at our church who all have their own businesses. They gather very early every Monday morning and pray/worship for about 2 hours! He also immensely enjoys playing on our Church volley ball team. He has been much happier since coming back to Christiansburg and I am very excited about all the opportunities that he has had here both for business and meeting other like-minded men to be a part of his life! God has been so good. Happy Birthday Sweetheart! I love you with all my heart!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Getting it Done with Toddlers!

One of the things we enjoyed talking about at Mom Group at Church on Wednesday is how we get things done with toddlers running around. It is certainly not easy, especially when they are close in age! I will tell a little about how we are currently managing at this stage of our lives. I hope a few years from now I will look back at this and have children assigned to do a few more of these chores!

Our cleaning goes something like this:

I start a load of laundry first thing every morning before breakfast.
Mondays - I polish furniture upstairs
Tuesdays - I polish furniture downstairs
Wednesdays - I clean bathrooms (except tubs)
Thursdays - I vacuum and mop all hard floors
Fridays - do whatever may not have gotten done on a busy day during the week!
Weekends - I am thrilled if Daddy can take boys somewhere while I spend time organizing!

Daddy is responsible for keeping all trash cans emptied, showers cleaned, and upstairs carpet vacuumed.

Isaac and James are responsible for daily picking up the living room, their bedroom, and keeping their play room clean.

They are not allowed to keep anything in their bedroom other than their clothes, stuffed animals, books, and cd's. (I got tired of their bedroom being a wreck and them not going to sleep due to the toys). They keep their wooden toys in the living room in a wooden chest and all the ugly,plastic, loud, annoying toys in the basement play room. This helps their bedroom to stay nice and clean and allows me to listen to their play a little more. (If there is an argument it is easier to figure out who started it!).

We keep an attractive "catch all " toy basket next to the fire place in living room for random toys that make their way to the living room from the basement or stuffed animals that somehow make their way down the stairs! I go through it when it gets full and have kids return the toys where they go.

All the kids take a bath together and one hamper for all of them is kept in their bathroom. All 3 of them including Sissy are required to put their dirty clothes in it! (this eliminates dirty clothes laying around in their bedrooms)

I got a rack from Wal-mart to hang on the inside of the hall closet door that has wire shelves perfectly sized for holding kids shoes. Each child has one shelf to keep up to 3 pairs of shoes on. If I find their shoe's anywhere but on their feet or on their shelf, they (not Sissy of course) have to take a grocery bag outside and clean out the van. I certainly don't have time to look for anyones lost shoes when we are trying to get somewhere on time! It is amazing how well the boys have started keeping their shoes where they belong!

The children are only allowed to use one cup per day. Their cups are kept upside down on a small clear cutting board by the sink. Isaac is always blue, James is always green, and Sissy is always pink.

We grocery shop at Krogers and I use the kind of buggy with the blue plastic attachment in front where two older children can sit. The boys sit there and Sissy sits in the buggy seat. (yes, people stare and think I am not old enough to be their mother!)
The boys are required to carry all the groceries into the house (except for eggs and super heavy bags) while I put them away.

No one (not even Sissy) is allowed to run off after supper without helping to clean up! All 3 kids clear table and bring everything to Mommy while she is standing at the sink. (I use mostly plastic glasses and melamine plates so nothing gets broken) Daddy wipes off table, and sweeps dining room. (I am hoping this will train them not to run off without helping after supper when they are teenagers!)

Isaac gets the mail most days and brings it to me. I sort through it and put what we need to keep in a basket on top of the refrigerater to eliminate kitchen counters getting junked up or important mail being toted off by a toddler!

If I am doing a chore while the kids are around I ask them to help, for instance if I am unloading the dishwasher then I have Isaac organize the silverware into the silverware tray. If I am doing the laundry then I get them to switch it or get clothes out of the dryer.

That is pretty much it! Everything does not always get done but at least we have a goal! If it has been a busy week we will use the weekend to catch up on things. If you have any other idea's on ways to manage every day tasks with toddlers, please leave me a comment!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Encouraging!

My friend, Thomas Dunbar sent me this column today and I found it very encouraging. Thank You Thomas!

Weekly column (Rachel Balducci)

When my four boys were very little, life was hard. While I remember being happy in those not-so-long-ago days, I also clearly remember the challenge that even ordinary tasks seemed to bring. Going to the grocery store was monumental, going to Mass felt next-to-impossible.Imagine the dismay I felt the day a friend with older children commented on the ease of my current situation."Enjoy it now," she said as I juggled my brood of boys, "because these are the good years. These years are fun!"I felt a sharp pang in my chest, a shortness of breath and possibly some dizziness. "Take me now, Jesus," I wanted to say, "because I just don't think I can handle too much more fun."If these are the good years, I remember thinking, how am I going to survive the tough ones? At that point in my life, my feet hit the ground running every single morning. In those days, I often felt like I was barely treading water. My lowest point was the day I stood in front of the door and refused to let Paul go to work, not without me. Of course I look back on those days with fondness – they were not terrible days. But they weren't always the most fun either. There were plenty of fun moments throughout each day, but some days I found those moments by sheer act of will. "I will be grateful in the midst of this child's meltdown," I would tell myself, "I will rejoice even though it takes me three hours to get everyone dressed and loaded in the car. "Despite my best efforts, I did not rejoice constantly. There were plenty of moments when I fought back tears, when I was exhausted and overwhelmed and envious of any mother whose children could follow her from point A to point B. "One day," I would dream with delight, "we will actually go places and the boys will do what I say and know how to act in public."And that day is (mostly) here. We made it. Now I look back on those years with the babies and toddlers and I marvel that we made it through. Those were very tough years, but they are somehow a part of our history. We made it through the bulk of our boys being babies and I now enjoy where we are immensely.These days, when I see a mother who is in the position I once was, I am quick to tell them that it does get easier. While I don't want to diminish the challenges of having older children, I think it's easy to forget how utterly exhausting it is when they are younger. A mother of toddlers does not need to hear that things are going to get worse – that does nothing to encourage her.I was telling a friend recently, she who has three little ones and is plowing through those same white-knuckle years, that it will get easier."I don't want to say it too often," I told her, "because I don't want you to feel bad about how tough it is for you right now."She loves her life, to be sure – she loves her job as a mother to these precious souls. But she suspects (and I confirmed) that she is absolutely in the trenches right now. She is in that stage where motherhood is very physical and exhausting. Of course I can still say that motherhood is very physical and exhausting, but not like those years. Because now, when we have places to go and things to do, it is not the overwhelming task that it once was.The days of babies and toddlers are indeed precious – the days of older children are a different, absolutely delightful stage to enjoy as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Am I being rude to my children?

It has really been on my heart lately to teach my children how to be loving and pleasant to eachother and all whom they come in contact with. I have also been thinking about how the best way to teach them not to be rude is for me to not be rude to them! I have decided to really evaluate the tone of voice I use with them. Even though I usually do not yell or say wrong things to my children, do they ever hear an aggravated, whiny, or rude tone in my voice? Am I begging, pleading, or saying the words "right now" on a regular basis to them? Am I nagging them? Don't I hate listening to parents nag their children? I don't find that pleasant at all! I have learned that it is fairly easy to control my childrens actions by nagging and correcting them but there will soon come a day that they are too old to correct and no amount of nagging will influence their decisions. It is at this time that what is in their hearts will control their lives. We all know that 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that Love does not behave rudely. If they have a foundation of love in their home and in their hearts then that is what will come out of them! I find that very motivating to try harder to show nothing but love to my children!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

God is Able

I would just like to ask you all to be praying for our house in Bluefield to sell. We are currently making 2 mortgage payments and the mortgage payment on our house in Bluefield is almost as much as our house here. I know that God is able though and I am determined to trust him with that house. I will write soon about how God chooses to answer this prayer!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September Cooking ~ Snack Balls

Snack Balls

2 1/2 c. old fashioned or quick oats
1 c. chunky or creamy natural peanut butter
3/4 c. raw honey
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 c. crisp rice cereal

Optional Ingredients:
wheat germ
coconut
any kind of nuts (chopped or slivered)
sesame seeds
raisins
flax seeds

Mix everything together in a large bowl adding the rice cereal last. This recipe is very forgiving and You may adjust the amounts of anything if you choose to add some of the optional ingredients to come up with a nice consistency. Form into tightly packed but chewy balls in any size you like.

I got this recipe from my favorite child training magazine and Isaac and James just love them! I have taken them on a picnic and used them for a dessert to motivate the kids to eat their dinner. The balls are not messy or crumbly for small children to eat and Mom and Dad love them too! These are alot of fun for the boys to help me make since they like to form the balls:-)

Recipe's

Ok, I have not taken the time to figure out how to add a formal recipe section to this blog but I think I will go ahead and start posting some recipes. You will just have to remember approximately what month in my archives the recipe is in if you ever want to find it again, I will try to make it easier by posting recipes that go well with the month like Southern Living does in their cookbooks. I will also try to add all the recipe's for the month in the same post to make it easier.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beach Vacation 2008

We were very blessed to be able to take our first family vacation in a very long time this past week! We had not had a REAL family vacation since we took our family to Disney World right after Isaac turned one over 3 years ago! We had such a great time and it was so needed! I felt overwhelmingly blessed while were there to just be able to enjoy the family that God has blessed me with! We were able to rent a house at Topsail Island, NC and it was perfect for our family. We enjoyed the open floor plan and it had plenty of room for children without alot of knick knacks to break! Nana and Pops stayed on Topsail Island that same week so we we got to enjoy the beach some with them as well Our Beach HouseThe boys thought the bunk beds were the greatest:-)On our way home we stopped at a store called Peach's n Cream where Sissy got a new outfit and a new bow. We stopped there once before when we were engaged with Nana and Pops and I was so sad I didn't have a baby to buy an outfit for (my, how things have changed!). They had some of the cutest clothes! I'm not sure the kids were ready to leave vacation but they had a good time on the way home too:-) They especially enjoyed eating at the Steak'N Shake.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Recipe's

Since I really enjoy cooking, Daniel suggested that I add a recipe section to our blog of things I like to make for our family. Recipe's coming soon! I will include some healthier recipe's we eat often as well as some unhealthy recipe's I like to make for company and special occasions. I think it will be neat 10-15 years from now to look back and remember what our family ate with only 5 people and see how I have to improvise over the years!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Day at Randolph Park

We took the children yesterday for a family outing to Randolph Park in Dublin. We stayed for nearly 5 hours and had a picnic there but the children still were not ready to leave! We enjoyed watching them have such a great time! Even Daniel and I both went down the big yellow slide:-). The kids didn't really appreciate the 15 min breaks where they had to sit on the side of the pool and wait for swim time to resume:-)

Sissy really loved this alligator slide

Friday, August 29, 2008

Little James (Bubby) is now 3!

Our little James (Bubby) turned 3 on August 14th. He is so precious and a delightful son. He is known for having round brown eye's and the cutest little deep voice you have ever heard. He stays very focused on whatever he is doing and loves riding the bike we bought him this summer. People crack up sometimes just listening to him talk with his deep, sincere voice. This afternoon I saw him heading out the front door to ride his bike and I asked him if I could squeeze him. He turned around and looked at me with those brown eyes and said in his deep voice"uhhh, maybe wader" and ran on out the door. He absolutely loves going to Custards Corner (the little ice cream stand at the bottom of our street). Almost every time we drive by he says, " There's Cussers Corner!" Although he is usually busy and focused on something he will be very affectionate when he chooses to be. He gives the sweetest kisses. The hardest thing in his life right now is that Isaac is no longer napping and poor little Bubby is still required to take an afternoon nap most days:-). He understands very well that blessings come from God and when I ask him where I got him he will quickly tell me " from God and Jesus! "
I hope this little boy realizes just how much we love him:-) My prayer for his life is that God will give him direction for his life at an early age and the courage to follow through at a young age! Bubby requested that we have hot dogs and a Red cake for his birthday so that is exactly what he got. I made some dips and other things including homemade ice cream which he thoroughly ejoyed! We bought him the Red Radio Flyer scooter pictured above as our gift to him and he also got a leap frog My first computer, some Fall outfits, as well as some books and puzzles
4 generations of Rich menOur Family This was about the best we could do trying to get a decent picture of all the grandkids!We were so happy that Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Lauren, and cousin Joseph got to spend the weekend with us. Friday night we all went for a walk down to Custards Corner!Gracie loves ice cream as much as her Mommy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Enjoying Gods Creation and Time with My Family

I got the privilege to go hiking with Pops and Margaret on the Appalachian Trail this past week. I had such a great time! There is just something really special about being out in Gods creation and getting the fresh air and exercise. I stand in awe that we have a God who created such beautiful mountains for us to enjoy!
A ways down the trail Lindsay and Margaret became 2 stinky, sweaty girls :-)
One of the beautiful views we got to enjoy!
Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his Holy Mountain, For the Lord our God is Holy.
Psalm 99:9

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Those Darn Blueberries

Have you ever found something in a crazy spot? I got quite a laugh this afternoon. A few weeks ago a friend from church gave us some fresh picked blueberries. I put them in a pretty glass dish for dinner that night and put them on the table. Everyone had some and commented on how good they were. I was already smelling the blueberry pancakes we were going to have the next morning with the left over blueberries. The next morning I got up and hunted everywhere for the blueberries. I moved everything in the fridge around and searched both freezers. I even searched the cabinets and the trash can just to make sure I hadn't done something crazy with them. I continued searching a little through the week but we never could figure out what happened to them... that is until today. We are having company for dinner tomorrow night so I decided to make a yummy dessert. I opened my deep drawer where I keep all the glass dishes and moved some things around to get to a dish I hadn't used in awhile, and there they were in a glass dish with a lid on them! They weren't even that moldy:-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Rich Brothers



I often get asked if it is difficult to have two pre-school boys just 15 months apart so I thought I would share a little bit about what it is like...

One day while we were still trying to remodel our house in Bluefield the boys managed to open a sealed can of paint (how I do not know!) and paint the side of the house, the van, the carpot, the riding lawn mower, and the play house.

While we were living in Williamsburg Isaac decided it was fun to climb into James's crib in the wee hours of the morning and take off both their dirty dirty diapers and use the contents for finger paint to paint the walls. We started making the boys wear sleepers to bed but that didn't work so then we cut the feet out of the sleepers so they could wear them backwards pinned with a safety pin!

One day when the boys were one and two I opened their bedroom door and could hardly see for all the smoke, In all the whiteness I finally made out 2 blue eyes and 2 brown eyes looking at me as innocently as they could. They had emptied out an entire large container of baby powder in their bedroom!

One day in early June our family was in the van and Daddy began pulling out of the driveway. We heard a loud cracking, dragging noise so Daddy stopped immediatly to get out of the van and check it out. He saw right off that the Rich brothers had placed a milk jug behind all 4 of the tires. It was all we could do not to laugh. When Daddy got back in the van and questioned them about it , Isaac said "We just wanted to hear you run over them Daddy".

This summer the boys have started sleeping in just their underwear. When I asked them why they like to do that now, they replied " because Daddy does!"

I have found entire rolls of toilet paper in the toilet and often I find little bits of toilet paper all over the bathroom floor because someone got bored while they were sitting on the toilet and decided it would be fun to sit there and shred toilet paper.

Both boys call their boy parts "Bombs! "

One afternoon I heard James upstairs running around crying, screaming, and pitching a fit, when I went upstairs and asked him what was wrong he informed me that his breath stunk.

Yesterday on the way home from Washington D.C. both boys started asking questions like... "Whats inside tires? Whats inside tree's?" This went on for about 30 mins and then James asked, "Whats inside diahrea?"

Both boys love to snuggle and they also both love their teddy bears. James's teddy was one of Isaac's when he was a baby but recently Isaac lovingly gave it to his brother and it is now James's favorite.

The boys have had plenty of fights but their love for eachother runs deep! It is especially obvious if they sense anyone isn't treating their brother right:-)

I overhear lots of conversations the boys have in their bedroom and this is one of my favorites. Isaac: " I love you James "
James: (in a deep voice) " I love you too "
Isaac: " Yeah! we're brothers and best friends! "

I also overhear conversations like "My bomb is bigger than your bomb" but I won't mention anymore of those:-)

Isaac loves to give out compliments and James is starting to do the same, everyday they both tell me how beautiful and pretty I am.

Lately Isaac has been calling me " My sweet little Mama! "

In wrapping it up I would just like to say that while these little boys can be alot of work, they put a smile on my face just thinking about them! I feel so blessed that God chose to bless us with them at such a young age! I do not feel my college years were wasted in the least by giving birth to these little rascals at ages 20 and 21. If I could go back and relive my college age years, I would give birth to Isaac and James all over again...

" As arrows in the hands of a mighty man; so are the children of ones youth." Psalm 127:4

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Day at Claytor Lake

We had such a fun day today. It is such a blessing after Daniel having to spend all his time last year trying to repair our house in Bluefield for us to be able to just enjoy our family again! We loaded up our family, a big picnic cooler, and spent the day at Claytor Lake. We were wondering when we left how Sissy would do being gone most of the day with no nap but she ended up being the biggest beach bum of all of us! She never cried once and played contently in the sand and water all day. She had a big time and so did we!


Dunking Daddy!After we had enough beach time we hit the bike trails! The boys were so excited because they got to ride their new big boy bikes they got in Roanoke last night. We were amazed at how well they did! We couldn't keep up with Isaac who is already very efficient in using his brakes when necessary. James still needs help with his brakes and going up hills but he did a great job too! Sissy was happy to be pushed by Mommy in her pink car:-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home


Home Sweet Home sums everything up right now. I am soooo happy to be home after 2 years! Daniel and I bought this house a few years ago while he was in college for just 176k and with a little paint, wall paper, knocking out a wall, turning the downstairs closet into a tiny half bath, and getting rid of the ugly red carpet we were able to make it just the way we wanted it very cheaply and quickly with Daniel doing most the work himself. Sometimes I wish we had never left but I know that God has used these last 2 years to teach us alot. The first 3 years of our marriage were pure bliss for us. Then in March 2006 we had a serious car accident on the way home from visiting Daniels parents in Hawaii that changed our lives. We realized while we were there how foolish it was to attempt such a long flight with 2 pre-schoolers but we did not realize just how foolish it was until the accident! Following the accident I struggled with a tremendous amount of guilt. Then the bills started coming, thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. When Daniel graduated just 2 months later and got a job offer in williamsburg for way more than anything around here we thought we had better jump on it in an effort to pay our huge medical bills and to help launch his career. Once we got there we realized his salary wasn't going to go very far. The cost of living was much higher than we were used to and we ended up having to rent a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. A week after we arrived I found out I was pregnant and got very sick. There wasn't much Daniel could do since he was putting in 12 hr work days with his new job time you added in his 1 hr commute to work and back. Sometimes he would get stuck in the tunnel and wouldn't make it home until the kids bedtime. He had to leave before they got up in the morning. I didn't know anyone at all since we had just moved and had God not put the Allens in our lives to help us with our kids during this time I am not sure what we would have done. The sickness lingered on and the medical bills kept coming. Our apartment was a wreck most of the time since it was so small and I felt too sick to clean it up. I resorted to tears on several occasions. I finally gave birth to Grace at the end of March and she lit up our lives like nothing else could! She was worth every second I had spent standing over the toilet! The Allens continued to help me with the boys some after she was born and I enjoyed her every minute. We had alot of fun in Williamsburg our last 2 months enjoying the area attractions. Soon after Daniel began his job in Williamsburg he met a wonderful man who mentioned the possibility of coming to work with him doing construction scheduling full time. Daniel got very excited about this because he saw that his current job was just not at all the life he wanted for our family. He planned to finish up the year he had committed to his job and then to move us back into our house in Christiansburg which was only a 20 min drive from this man he was going to work with. He went ahead and started doing consulting work on the side and we saved every penny to make this transition happen the following summer. During the times when I was feeling lonely and our apartment was a wreck I dreamed about when we would be going back home and even mentally arranged the furniture back into our house. I had already painted a room yellow in hopes of having a little girl and I couldn't wait to put Grace in there.
We got just 3 months away from making this move and Daniel got another job offer in Bluefield that sounded even more promising than his current offer and would give us the opportunity to raise the kids in the same town as their grandparents. We both prayed about it but I did not participate in the decision making as I should have. Daniel accepted the position in Bluefield and we scrambled to find a house in a very short time. There was nothing on the market in our price range suitable for a growing family that we liked so we decided to buy a house close to Nana and Pops that seemed to be in decent enough shape for us to stand for maybe a year or longer. We got there and the house ended up needing way more work than we thought. There was black mold in the basement which really tore up my allergies, the whole house stunk, the hot water ran out everytime I took a shower, The kitchen had no dishwasher, no microwave, and no counter space. I could hardley get the cabinet drawers open. To make matters worse the house was right on a road where cars sped by in excess of 50mph causing me to be terrified with the children. I still determined I would make the best of it and we ended up living with Nana and Pops for 3 months to repair this awful house. When we got ready to move in I had about 1/3 of the boxes unpacked when I realized the hosue was crammed and I could not continue to unpack even though most my kitchen stuff was still in boxes. I broke down at that point and wished that we had not made this move. The house was still in tremendous disrepair when we moved in and it was all I could do to keep the kids out of the remodeling mess. It was impossible, especially being as depressed as I was. A few months later Daniels company began to struggle and his boss blamed Daniel even though none of it was his fault. His boss refused to give him any vacation at all his first year of work and with all that we had been through we needed one so badly. When my grandmother died in November Daniels boss took away 2 of his vacation days for next year because we went to GA to attend the funeral. All of this really began to wear on us but we felt that things would soon improve and even started making plans to build a house behind Nana and Pops. We were very excited and planned out every little detail. When Daniels boss laid him off in March those plans were ruined. There was no way we could build the house. That was very hard for me. I was not only dealing with the diappointment of not being able to build our house but also family members were frustrated at me for not making the house we were in work. I have learned that when you are not in Gods will no matter how hard you try, things just don't go well. I feel it was not Gods will for us to change our plans last minute and accept that job in Bluefield but I know that God has definitely redeemed it and used it for good in alot of ways. Daniel was able to deepen his relationship with his best friend, and the kids got to spend alot time with their grandparents. God definitely helped me to see how I need to be more of a helpmeet to my husband and that when big decisions come up I need to be by his side. I know that God allowed these trials in my life for a reason and that as things come my way in the future I will be stronger than I was before, more mature, more grateful, I will make wiser decisions. It is now a real burden on my heart to pray and do something for mothers of many small children who have less than adequate housing both here in the USA and in other countries. My goal for this new chapter of my life is to walk so closely with God that I know his will in all things and that I will be in tune with what he wants for my life and do it. I had a really neat experience at church on Sunday. I had a lady pray for me and she prayed about everything I had been through these past 2 years. She prayed for new beginnings, a new chapter for our lives. I left church Sunday excited, and full of Hope! I know that we are where God wants us, in the house that God has provided for us and that is the greatest feeling! God knows me better than anyone. He knows how much I love close relationships, how much I love for people to stay in our home, how much I love to cook for people, scrapbook, homeschool the kids, and how much I long for a big family. God has now given me a place where I can do all those things and I feel so very blessed! Thankyou God for all you have done for us!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pictures!

Here are the pictures I promised of our 4th of July, I will try to post some of our house soon in case any of you want to give me some decorating ideas!
The kids wearing their "I make alot of noise shirts! "
A typical Bubby face Isaac and James romping around in the moon walk at the Fair