Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Update: keep praying!

We found out yesterday evening that the company that did the 2 appraisals has agreed to do a third.  It is not a victory yet, but not a door slammed in our faces. The appraisal should happen on Friday and I have no idea when we will find anything out. Our mortgage broker was not fact he was quite discouraging, telling me that he didn't think they would change the value. Meanwhile, we are looking at houses again and have a front row seat to whatever God is doing! 

So, keep praying!

Monday, March 29, 2010

March at a Glance

Aaaagggghhhh! My life is such chaos right now! I couldn't possibly remember what all we have done since the last time I bothered to record it here, but thankfully, my cameras had some hints for me.  One thing I didn't get a picture of though, was a family who visited us from Iowa.  Oh the glory of familiar faces! Brooks and Stacy Simpson came with Ryan and Catelyn to have dinner and spend the evening with us.  We laughed and I am sure Brooks got some sermon stories from our conversations. It was fabulous to have them even for such a short time.

One Saturday, there was a free airshow up in Tampa, so we dragged Aunt JoJo with us and took off.  It was very difficult to get there, the MacDill Airforce Base was completely filled up and the authorities weren't allowing any more vehicles onto the base to park for the show.  After several minutes of trying to wind our way around and find a place to watch the show, we stumbled upon a park that butted right up to the airforce base. We had just about 30 minutes before what we had really come to see was to start. The Navy's Blue Angels were performing! We got settled right in the front row...right in the beautiful sunshine! It was the first warm weekend in about 6 months! (Yes, I realize I will get VERY little sympathy from you Iowans!) It was the perfect day for watching an airshow, not a cloud in the sky! Aunt JoJo needed my umbrella for some shade!
Our park was soon discovered by many other lucky folks who stumbled into the right place at the right time!

The funniest thing about that umbrella (WARNING: rabbit trail) was that the night before we trekked up to Tampa, I had a dream that I was running around town with someone (can't remember who), but it started to rain.  I was wishing I had an umbrella when I remembered I kept one in my purse (it has really been a rainy winter here!) and whipped it out, all proud of myself (I am so rarely so prepared!). When we got to the park and got settled, Jo went and found a tree to sit under so she wouldn't get fried. It was probably 10 full minutes before I remembered the dream and the umbrella so handily tucked away in my purse! She got to join us on the front row after I proudly whipped it out!

Alayna was our official camera girl:
We had excellent seats and through the fence, we could see the Blue Angels taxiing:

taking off:
and getting right into formation:
It wasn't long before they were right over our heads!

I had the camera with the good zoom, and couldn't zoom out fast enough as they flew directly over the top of us! It was so loud, Paul thought it was very similar to the sounds and smells at a NASCAR race!
Its so amazing that they can fly so close together.  A testimony to their training and talent!

OH, I could bore you with the other 763 pictures we took on our 2 cameras (and I think some on my cell phone too!), but I picked out a few of my favorites:

And this picture was taken just after these 2 planes BARELY missed each other much to the crowd's delight.  They flew right at each other and at the last second each rolled so their bellies faced each other and they missed each other!  Wow, do you think I could have used the word "each" again in that sentence???
Cool picture of the plane and the sun:

Last week was "Spirit Week" at the kids' school.  Each day they could wear "civies" (no uniforms) if they dressed up. Monday was twin day (or triplets, quads, etc). A few of the girls from Alayna's class decided to wear white dresses (obviously no moms were consulted about the color choice!), Riley and Gabe dressed alike in their Hawkeye t-shirts, and Holden and a friend wore matching shirts and jeans. I am so sad that I didn't get a picture. They had fun trying to match up and getting to wear regular clothes to school.  That night, Paul and Gabe went to Financial Peace University (Paul is leading a class), and not long after they left, we had a minor accident at the house. We were cleaning up after dinner and sweeping and mopping the floor (I got a new mop FINALLY and I love it...uh oh rabbit trail again). Riley was trying not to walk where I had mopped and ended up taking a short cut over the kitchen counter.  I was trying not to be the party pooper mom, and I didn't make him get down.  Seconds later, he fell trying to jump from one counter to another. He fell with all of his weight on his left thigh on the corner of the bar.  I could see immediately that his jean were torn, but he quickly reassured me he was not hurt.  Then, he knelt down on the floor and recanted.  He slowly was able to localize where he was hurting to the left leg where the rip in the jeans was. He pulled it back and didn't like what he saw at all.  In one very quick glance, I knew the fun mom was my enemy and now nurse mom was needed.  I dropped Holden and Alayna off at the church office where Paul's class was.  Alayna was very upset, crying and saying this was the worst night of her life. Riley and I headed to Venice Regional where we WAITED and waited (I did get to see Dancing with the Stars for the first time!). We ran into Carol from church who works in the lab and she ran back and begged the fast track to take us before they closed for the night at 9 pm, but said it didn't look good since they were super busy back there that night.  Just our luck!  She must have had some pull, because a bit after 9pm (2 hours later) we were taken back and Riley received 13 stitches.  Paul was very disappointed that I didn't get any before pictures.  This was the closest I came. Riley and I dressed up for twin day!

In our VERY expensive identical designer bracelets! Here is the after picture with Paul measuring the cut:

The bruising is QUITE impressive. It looked much worse a few days later. The next day at school was the wordless book color day.  Kids were to try to wear all the colors of the wordless book (also known as the Roman road), black (sin), red (blood), white (washed clean, forgiven), green (eternal life), and gold (heaven). They had fun finding things in their wardrobes that suited the bill...mostly football jerseys!
Alayna was lucky, we could use hair accessories to add color too!

Wednesday was "White out" day (again, I am sure no mom signed off on that one) to represent the forgiveness and cleansing of sin offered by salvation.  Gabe had a field trip and couldn't dress up that day, so these three did.  Do you think I could get some cooperation for a picture??

Not so much, lets try that again:
GOOD GRIEF! Third time's a charm!

I keep telling them they will regret posing this way for pictures all the time! Just another mom prophecy bound to come true!  The last day of  Spirit week was the Victory Run.  It is a school fundraiser similar to Operation Good at Heritage.  They gather pledges for laps or straight donations and each child runs 3 miles.  This kicks off Spring BREAK! They had no school on Friday and our Spring break officially started today.  I have to work all week, but the kids seem to think there should be something special to do each day, so when I came home from work today, Alayna dragged out the facepainting kit Grammy Sharon sent last year and asked if I would paint a spider on her face.  NOT quite!  But I did find the inner artist and give her something a little more feminine on her ARM:
It only took a few minutes and was quite fun.  I might have to do a new one each night! She was thrilled.  I forget how easy to please they can be!  Alayna also lost one of her big front teeth Sunday night (wow, she looks so grown up now!), so I will try to get a picture of that added to this post soon.

This month has been consumed with attempting to purchase a house.  I say attempting because the door just keeps shutting on this house.  We already walked away from our offer and got our earnest money back (LONG story), and the seller came back and asked us if we were still interested about 8 weeks later.  We were having no luck finding anything comparable, so we drew up another offer that was accepted at the beginning of the month. We found out the appraisal about 1 1/2 weeks ago was good, so we actually started to pack and think about paint colors and told our current landlords we would be moving (actually right down the street from their new house).  They subsequently found someone to rent this house and all seemed well...until Friday. Friday the bomb dropped.  Seems the appraiser decided to change his mind and lower the value of the house by $45,000 (again, long story). Our bank said they had NEVER had this happen before and they were trying to get the appraiser to go back to the first value.  They plead their case today and we should have an answer by noon tomorrow.  We are not worried or anxious, but wondering what in the world God is up to now! We have asked Him to guide our decisions regarding this house, and were willing to walk away already and are willing now too.  Would you pray that we would continue to rest in His perfect care? I tend to be a fixer and want to take charge and find a solution.  I was ready earlier this weekend to find the appraiser's house and drag all my kids to his front porch so he could look at our faces and see what he is doing, causing our family to be out on the street in a couple months (okay, I exaggerate, I am sure God has a plan for something better if this falls through again), but anyway, I want to rest in His strength and choose His peace in the midst of this turmoil.  I tell you, there is never a dull moment around here!  I can't tell you what your prayers mean to us!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

They say the cutest things

I never want to forget this latest cute thing Alayna said.  We were doing our goodnights and giving kisses and she said, "We kiss on the lips a lot!" I said, "Yes, we do!  Why do we do that?" Her response cracked me up and made me feel like the most blessed mom on earth! She said, "Because we love each other so much!!" I am so glad she gets it! I am so glad she feels loved by me, in spite of the days when everything irritates me and the house is never clean enough to make me happy.  How I long to be the perfect parent and oh, how I fall so short of that on a daily basis.  What joy to know that I am loved in spite of that! What a beautiful reminder that my Jesus loves me just the same way.  I am so thankful to know that deep into my soul and for a precious little girl to remind me on a regular basis.