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

Monday, July 07, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Hope you all had as good of a 4th of July as we did! I know it had been awhile since I posted but I have a very good excuse. For the past 2 weeks we have been moving back to Christiansburg! I came alone with 2 of the children 2 weeks ago to start putting the house together and Daniel and Isaac joined us this past Wednesday. It has all been a very stressful process but are soooo happy to have our family back together and to be back into a house that we love. We worked really hard on Thursday and then on Friday we took a break from it all just to celebrate. We had a cookout with just our family, made cookies, and then took the kids to the Salem Fair. We had a blast there because the boys were old enough to really appreciate it. When it got dark we all got something for dinner and sat down at a table to watch a show. They requested all the kids to sit up front on a pad so the boys went up there and then they asked for a volunteer Isaac raised his hand and got chosen. It was adorable because James followed him up there and the Host said ohhh who is this? your brother? Well he can help too. He asked them several questions and then they got to help him perform a trick. It was just the cutest thing. They certainly had the audience laughing.
All 3 of the kids wore their matching 4th of July tank tops with fireworks on them to the Fair which read "I make alot of Noise" . They were so cute, I will try and post pictures soon. When we got home we all sat out in front of our house and watched our naighbors set off firecrackers and small fireworks in the street in front of our house. They do that every year. The boys really had fun with the sparklers! Blessings to all and I will try and start posting more frequently as soon as we get our internet up and running! I am posting this from the Wendy's parking lot here in Christiansburg:-)