Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Christmas Card Photo

Big Thanks to my sister Paola for doing such a great job!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Soccer Season, Fall 2010

Our family has participated in soccer for several seasons now! I don't know much of anything about soccer but it is my hubby's favorite sport and the one he was good at growing up. We just finished up a wonderful Fall soccer season! We never had a game cancelled this season due to rain which was a first for us. It was very hectic since we started out with 3 kids on 3 different teams. We eventually had to take Grace off her team mid-season because she was just wasn't ready and we couldn't handle all the game schedules colliding. Managing just 2 teams was much easier! Mercy did so well at all the soccer games. She sat so contently while her siblings played their games! Daniel coached Isaac's U8 team and James's U6 team and he did a great job. I really enjoyed watching the coach:-)

                                                    Isaac age 6, 5th season of soccer!

James age 5, 4th season of soccer!

                                              Grace age 3, 1st season of soccer!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A week of dating and loving eachother

This week Daniel and I sent 2 of our kids to GA and 2 to Bluefield so that we could enjoy a week alone together and also to allow me some time to plan for our upcoming homeschool year. We miss our children very much but know just important times like this are for our marriage. We are so thankful to our parents for giving us this time. Sunday night we went to a movie together, Tuesday night we went to the real estate investors club together, and today we took a canoe trip. Daniel and I made quite a canoe team and we loved every minute of it! We traveled 7 miles up the New River and got a nice workout while enjoying the beautiful scenery and eachother:-) I just love the outdoors! We have a hiking/camping trip planned for tomorrow night and while Daniel loved canoeing, he is not crazy about hiking but is willing to do it for me...What an incredible husband! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Preview of our book "In Gods Perfect Timing"

Most of you know that I have had the desire to write a book about Daniel and my relationship for years now. It is a tough story.  The task of compiling 5 years of daily journal entries, 5 years of letters, and 5 years of printed e-mails and instant message conversations was daunting. Our relationship is so well documented that most of "In Gods Perfect Timing" was actually written DURING our 5 year relationship! Our letters could be a book by themselves! I  have written some extra pieces that I plan to include in the book and the rest is a work in progress. I want to get this done within a reasonable amount of time though because our oldest son has already begun asking us questions about that season of our lives. Those of you that have heard us talk about those 5 years or have asked us advice for your own children or relationships know that Daniel and I had a very painful relationship and as I went through the containers full of stuff documenting our past, I gained new insight into our relationship and why things are the way they are now.  As I went through everything I divided all the resources I had documenting our relationship into two groups. Before we separated and after. Before we separated our relationship was more like a childish crush/hillarious/best friend relationship. I laughed and marveled at how much Daniel must have gotten sick of hearing about my dogs, and all the other silly things I talked about. I wondered how I never tired of hearing about his school, his arguments with his sister, and all the silly things he talked about.  We both had alot in common, we were both homeschooled,  both from small families with 3 children, we both had sisters the exact same age, we both had a heart for missions, we were conservatives and could talk politics, both of us were business minded and loved talking about the things we were doing to save money. As our friendship grew we began talking alot about spiritual things, about sin, the consequences of sin, our beliefs and struggles with sin as well as living the Christian life and what that meant to us. We often shared prayer requests with eachother and read the same things so we could discuss/debate it the next time we talked. Our relationship began in the year 1998 and one of our favorite topics of discussion was Y2K.
    I was a very shy, awkward, unsocialized teenager but somehow I was able to talk to Daniel easier than I could most people. I have outgrown that shyness now but back then it was easier to just type or write what I was thinking rather than say it aloud. It was a good thing I could express my thoughts on paper or e-mail because my Dad wouldn't allow us to talk on the phone for a long time into our relationship. This was BEFORE the days of texting and facebook. This was back in the day when most U.S. households were just getting home computers and everyone had a dial up connection which was tied to their phone line. Computers were S-L-O-W back then and my family only had one phone line which caused Daniel and I to constantly get kicked off and have connection problems. It often took 1 1/2hrs to even have a short conversation! This was all the contact we had since we lived in separate states and were only able to see eachother every few months.
  On the rare oaccasions that we did see eachother, my insecurity usually made our short visits with our families together quite awkward. I hardley said a word and was embarrassed to do anything but sit around when I was with Daniel because I wasn't good at much of anything and I didn't want to embarrass myself by doing or saying something silly! I usually hid behind Daniel and stayed close by him for fear that I would run into an awkward situation and he wouldn't be around! I often marvel now at just how self-conscious I was back in those days and how much less I would have needed to feel awkward if I HAD come out of my shell and talked more/ done more on those few and far between visits. I was thrilled to have Daniel in my life and have the best friend I had prayed for for so long and I did like him alot. In the back of my mind I hoped I would marry him someday but we never discussed marriage or kissed, or did anything intimate other than stare at eachother, have an occasional hug, and yes we sat too close together when we sat down next to eachother. We didn't hold hold hands because our parents had asked us not to and we were careful to not do anything they asked us not to do and whatever we did do was out in the open. There were times during those visits that Daniel let his hand brush against mine or touch mine but even that was ALWAYS out in the open. The only thing we had discussed regarding the future at that point in our relationship was the possibilty of going to the same Christian college and doing some mission trips together.  I hadn't fully decided what I wanted to do after high school but I did know that I had a strong call of missions on my life and I wanted to spend a great portion of my single years as an overseas missionary. I was saving some of the money I made selling dogs to fund my future mission trips. I always knew that my Long term goal was to settle down and raise the BIG family I dreamed of having one day.
 Just before we were to celebrate our sweet 16th birthdays, Daniel and I were separated. I will make you wait on the book to get all the details but that time of separation launched our relationship to a whole new level. I still cannot write about it without it bringing tears to my eye's. I lost the only best friend I had ever had and the loneliness I felt could be unbearable at times. The separation lasted for an extended time and as soon as that time was over our relationship hit the ground running at full speed. The point of our separation was that we would focus solely on God and wouldn't come back together unless it was time for us to be married. In my mind, if that was the only way I could have my best friend back, or have Daniel back in my life then all I wanted to do was get married as soon as possible. As I poured through all of those letters and e-mails and made my before separation pile and after separation pile. I was astonished at the difference in the 2 piles. The first pile resembled a very special friendship, The letters are signed "your special friend" The latter pile revealed two lovesick, heartbroken individuals who talked of nothing but becoming husband and wife. Gone were all the interesting conversations we use to have. Those letters are signed "your future spouse" There is much truth to the old saying "distance makes the heart grow fonder".  I don't believe that any teenager deserves to go through the pain that we went through. I sometimes still struggle with anxiety at the thought of being away from Daniel and I also developed some deep strongholds during that time of my life that I struggle with today. However, despite the pain I endured then and the painful memories I am left with now, God never forgot me and held me in the palm of His hand. He comforted me and let me know that it was all going to work out in my favor. I am  thankful that our time of separation caused me to marry my best friend while still a teenager and that by my low 20's when I most likely would have gotten married I already had 2 bouncing baby boys... Isaac and James. I know that life does not always go as we plan and I know that Daniel and I didn't deserve to go through the pain that we endured.  Regardless of all that ,  God wept with us, carried us through it and wiped away our tears. Our wedding day was the best day of our lives! We are now working on our 8th year of marriage. God redeemed what we went through and called us to a new purpose in life, to raise the 4 by products of our love to honor and serve Him in all they do. We love you Isaac, James, Grace, and Mercy and any other Rich kids that are to come!

I'm sorry this is such a rough preview but stay tuned for the release of "In Gods Perfect Timing"!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

We have had such a great Labor Day! I hate that I didn't get any pictures but my camera is not working. Daniel took the day off of work today and we started the day off by going to Ministry Training classes at church. We then took the family to chickfilet for breakfast which we usually NEVER go anywhere for breakfast so that was a special treat. The boys had swimming lessons and Daniel took them and swam with Grace while I stayed home with just sweet little Mercy who is now almost 10 months old! While they were gone I got everything packed up for a family picnic. We went out to the park and ate, and played some fun games with the kids like kickball, tag, soccer, and ladder golf. We left the park and went to a 1 mile hiking trail that we had never been on. It.  The rail wound through the woods and up a mountain. It was fun and Grace actually made it the whole way without having to be carried! Pretty good for a 3 year old! Tonight I am getting everything ready for the boys to start Classical Conversations tomorrow and for Grace to start her first day of Pre-school. Today was the most relaxing day I have had in months. Thank You Jesus! We have had a very busy summer and I have been feeling overwhelmed lately since we still have not started school. Daniel had not been able to take a day off since May and I felt sad that we didn't get to do all the fun things I dreamed of doing with the kids this summer. We definitely needed a fun day like today:-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Filled Week with Family!

Last weekend Grandma and Grandpa Bradfield (my parents) drove up with my sisters family to celebrate James' birthday and it ended up working out for my sisters family to stay over for a few days.  We were glad to get some time with them and the cousins had so much fun together! 

the 4 oldest cousins watching netflix in our bedroom!

Daniel and Michael holding the babies at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center 
Lauren and I took the kids to Carol Lee's to get a doughnut
Grandma likes to buy all the grandkids matching outfit at the Childrens Place Outlet:-)
Playing in the sand pit at the Hand in Hand Park 
Mercy is so blessed that cousin Taylor is only 8 weeks older than her!
We took this photo just to prove that we did it. Lauren and I drove around town all week with 6 kids packed in the back of a mini van:-)

Our youngest son is 5 years old!

Our sweet Bubba also known as James Daniel Rich turned 5 years old on August 14th! He had a cake I made him with a motorcycle on it for his actual birthday but I did not get a picture of it due to not having a camera! Saturday night he had another party with his Grandparents , Uncle Michael, Aunt Lauren and cousins.

Bubba is our 2nd born and such a precious 5 year old! He is already reading, and has been unloading the dishwasher for our family since he was 3 years old. We get such a kick out of his deep voice and logical thinking. He is becoming a man that will go very far in life! We are so thankful for him and for how thoughtful and precious he is. He has really grown up this year.

James, I want you to know that I love you with all my heart! Having you 15 months after Isaac at the age of 21 has been one of my greatest blessings in life! You are such a patient, obedient, and steadfast son and brother. God definitely knew what he was doing when he added you to our family. I couldn't be more proud of you and the man you are becoming! Love, Mom

Ps. You have been calling me mom since you were 3 instead of Mommy. So proud you take your manhood so seriously in every way:-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August Recipe ~ Simple Chicken Cashew Wild Rice Pilaf

A few of you saw my facebook status where I was making Chicken Cashew Wild Rice Pilaf for dinner and requested the recipe. It is easy and my husband loves it so it is definitely going to be added to the big binder I keep in the kitchen to plan our menu's and run our household! I don't have time to cook time consuming meals or spend time fretting over what we are going to have for dinner.

Chicken Cashew Wild Rice Pilaf

1 small pkg of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 box of uncle Bens wild rice
1 cup of cashew halves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 T. of soy sauce or Braggs (I prefer Braggs)
1 T. olive oil or butter

Cook chicken until tender and falling apart (I put mine in the crock pot in the morning and slow cook it all day but you can boil it, bake it or cook it however is easiest for you.
Put rice on the stove in a dutch oven and cook according to directions on box. While the rice is cooking, chop onion until fine and saute along with the cashews in a little olive oil or butter. Add the chicken and the onion mixture to the rice and heat through. Enjoy! This is also great reheated in the oven the next day for lunch.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Could she be any more beautiful?

Just had to write an update on my sweet little daughter, Grace. She is now 3 years and 3 months old. I have to say... Daniel and I have not always had an easy time with Grace. She was late on potty training and talking which sometimes made things difficult for us when Mercy was born. She would scream and cry out of frustration because she couldn't make us understand what she wanted us to say. We made several attempts to potty train her only to have her pooping and peeing all over the house! Now onto bragging.... She has been accident free for over a month now! She is not only telling us when she needs to go potty but taking herself. She is not only talking now but chattering almost constantly and having hardley any fits at all now. This is all such an answer to prayer! I had thought she would be at this point of development before Mercy was born since they are 2 years and 7 months apart but perhaps God wanted to teach me something about "Grace" literally! I am so proud of my beautiful daughter and how well she is doing. Here are some things that Grace currently loves...

Reading books with Mommy
Going shopping with Mommy
Getting wet and going swimming
The outdoors
Playing with her big brothers
Any sugar she can get her little hands on
PaPa Johns Pizza
Her dolls which she affectionately refers to as her "dogs" (yes her speech still needs a little work:-)
Getting suckers at the bank
Being the first child to come to our bedroom in the mornings
Making a silly spit noise after every time she prays and says "Amen".
Playing with our Mothers helper "Kensie"
Wrecking her room
Wearing dresses
Changing clothes
Dressing up in her wedding dress almost everyday
Playing with our cat "Smokie"
Any cooking she is allowed to do
playing with her friends at church and outings
Trying to help with her baby sister Mercy whom she likes to call "Hercy"

We LOVE you Grace and enjoy you so much, you are a true princess!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Pictures from our 4th of July weekend!

We had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. We decided to go to GA this year and spend it with family instead of staying here in Christiansburg like we normally do. We had so much fun!

We are so blessed to have siblings close in age to us! Gives me hope that all my hard work with having my own kids so close in age is going to pay off one day!

Below: The annual photo of all the 26 year olds in the family. (includes all the kids in the family except my brother and sister!)

We always have a late night card game when we go to GA, this one went past 1:00am:-)

The grandkids chilling at Aunt Debbie's pool

All The men (minus Josh) at Cave Spring Park

Uncle Josh holding his nieces

Daniel and and the 4 oldest grandkids enjoying a jeep ride with Grandpa

The 3 sisters

Grandpa taking the grandkids on a walk through his garden

Friday, May 07, 2010

Baby Shower for Charlene Wheeler

I had the privilege of giving a dear friend in our life group, Charlene Wheeler, a baby shower at our house. It was so much fun! The ladies at our church are always so supportive and helpful when it comes time to give a baby shower. It is our tradition to shower the special pregnant lady with gifts, have refreshments and then pray over her. It is always such a special time for all!

Charlene and her mother posing beside Kari Beth's delicious cupcakes!
The ladies who came and blessed Charlene. Left to Right:
Charlene Wheeler, myself and Mercy, Leigha Semones, Molly Hash
Kari Beth Barker, Carmen Rosales, and Mrs. Cooper.

Charlene letting daughter Elizabeth help open gifts for baby sister

For some reason Isaac and Annalia decided to get married during the
shower, hilarious! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New photo's of our babies!

We recently had some picture of the kids taken at VT by He did an awesome job and is located in Christiansburg! There are more pics of my babies on his blog if your interested in seeing more.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Carly's Baby Shower

I had so much fun hosting a baby shower for my sister (Daniel's sister) Carly who expecting a baby boy, Carter Ray Graves around the first of May!

The best game was when I had 6 people see how much milk they could
suck out of a baby bottle in 60 seconds! Carter's Aunt Leona won!

The Rich girls, I brought Mercy since she is still nursing.