June 30, 2009

More Photos

To see more pictures of our Bryce Canyon adventure, go here!

June 29, 2009

12 Years

Sunday was our 12th anniversary! We left Idaho on Saturday and drove to Fillmore, Utah, since the TLF at Hill AFB was filled up. We ended up being VERY glad we pressed on, since we decided we wanted to see Bryce Canyon the next day on our way back home. It was a couple of hours out of our way total, but completely worth it! We spent 2 hours or so driving around the park, getting out to take pictures and walk around. The kids enjoyed it--mostly. Tobin did grumble for awhile, but he eventually stopped complaining and tried to make the most of it. Someday he'll kick himself for not realizing what a treat that was, LOL! The drive back to I-15 was beautiful, too, and the whole experience made me think that I need to start praying that God provides a camper for us! I miss camping! That is something we have NEVER done with our kiddos, and I have such fond memories of camping vacations from growing up.

We made it home by 5 p.m. Vegas time, which was great...the kids headed across the street to play with their friends, and I headed to Walmart to stock up on fresh groceries. Last grocery trip before we are OUT of our house!!

Later I will post all our pics from the canyon on Facebook and put a link here so you can see the rest. But in the meantime, here are two of our favorite shots with us in them!

June 25, 2009

In Idaho

For a few minutes I'm on a (very slow) computer in Mountain Home, Idaho. This is Commission week, a favorite time of the year for our family. It has been 6 days since we've left Las Vegas, but it seems like much longer. We drove to Hill AFB Friday and got a nice 3-bedroom TLF to stay in for the night, then drove the 4-hour journey to Mountain Home Saturday morning. We've been going, going, going ever since!

The kids have done quite well, overall. Lucan still is not sleeping through the night, so that combined with an exhausted Kenna has been pretty rough on me. There is a gal who is helping watch the kids, so I have time during the day to participate in the counselors' Bible study, attend the worship sessions each evening, and do some things during the afternoons, so that has been a huge blessing. It makes me feel a small part of camp even though I'm not a "full-time" staffer, although I am considered "Staff" since I wrote the Bible study. :-) Kenna has been having a ball and has actually napped quite well because of being so exhausted!

The kids have been attending Backyard Bible Club since Tuesday morning, and the Commission team working BYBC has told me over and over how good they are being. Hooray for good reports!

It's a smaller camp this year, with only about 40ish kids and only one staffer and one counselor per track (6 tracks this year) as opposed to 2 staffers and 2-3 counselors. Still, God is working, and it's been exciting to see. Our theme is "Under Construction," certainly a good topic for discussion, as every believer in Christ is in a constant state of construction! At least one camper has come to faith in Christ, as have 3 kids that the street evangelism team has talked with. Exciting!! We're touching eternity!

This is probably it for an update until we return home...I have some quiet time with both kids down for a nap, and I hate to waste it on the computer. I'm heading to the Worship Center to have a real quiet time and catch up on my ladies' Bible study...I've been focused on Commission studies this week, so I need to be sure I'm keeping up with the other book as well.

June 17, 2009


I missed posting on Lucan's 2-month birthday, so I'll try to make up for it here. He was 12 pounds, 6 ounces, and 23 inches long. Definitely no weight worries now! It seems so long ago that we were taking him back to be checked after he had lost so much weight after the first several days. He's growing fast and showing his personality, which so far seems to be similar to Arden's. (Whew! I don't know if our family can handle another Kenna or Tobin, as much as we love and adore them!!)

Lucan loves to be cuddled and enjoys being close to me when I'm wearing the baby sling. He's mostly a happy, content baby; the reflux issues seem to be abating, thank the Lord. I still have to be careful not to eat spicy or garlicky foods, though. His nighttime sleep patterns could be better, but every now and then he does pretty well. For instance, last night I nursed him at 8:45 and we all went to bed right afterward. He woke around 11:30, but Ted put his pacifier back in his mouth and he went back to sleep. He didn't wake again until 3:20, at which point I got up to nurse him, discovered I was completely soaked on one side, and just stayed up for the day. Six hours of sleep is more than I typically get anyway!!

Lucan enjoys watching ceiling fans, batting at his toys, and being adored by his older siblings. He mostly has a serious look on his face, but when you're close to him, talking and smiling, he grins right back. He's a squishable, huggable, adorable little guy, and we're so glad he's part of our family!

Two months old...this cute outfit is from Joel & Sarah.

At Red Rock Canyon...believe it or not, he was smiling here!

Smiling at the EAGLES picnic--Heather and Julie helped make him smile so I could get a picture!

June 16, 2009

It's Official!

Ted just called after talking with Marty, and THE HOUSE is "ours!" The owner got back into town late last night, so he'll be signing the lease papers today. He still does not have official orders, but he is expected to be in Egypt by July 16, so assuming something really weird doesn't happen, we should be able to move directly into our new home upon arrival in Dayton!!

Praise the Lord with us! And thank you all for praying!

Settlers of Catan

I love this picture, which was totally posed! Heather and Blair are dear friends of ours here in Las Vegas as well as our Catan buddies. Ever since Ted and I learned how to play the game our families have gotten together for regular Catan matches. Sunday afternoon was possibly our last time to do this (wah!), and we had a blast. I actually won the first game, and Blair won the second game. I'm quite amazed we had time to play two games, between all the hopping we did with the kiddos! We have 8 kids between our two families, and it seems someone always needs something or is getting into trouble, LOL. But what I love about this picture is that it's a fairly typical scenario...Blair has a gazillion cards and is taking forever to finish his turn! Riley, their oldest boy, took the picture for us, and after a few tries came up with this shot, which I think is brilliant. We will always remember our fun times playing together and will miss them terribly when we move. One slight consolation is that they are also potentially moving to Reno, so we would have had to say goodbye anyway!

Should Know Soon...

People have been asking if we know anything about our OH house situation, and the answer is...not yet! However, Ted did get a voice mail from Marty, the agent he's been working with on the house we applied for. Marty doesn't leave specific info in messages, so Ted plans to call him ASAP in the morning to find out the status!! I'm dying to know if we for sure have what seems to be a "dream house" for our family or if we need to continue the search! Trust me, I'll be posting to Facebook and my blog once we know anything!

June 15, 2009

Keeping Busy

My goodness, time is flying! In the last couple of weeks, we:

* had friends over for a play date while I talked to their mom, my friend Carol, about Sonlight--she's interested in possibly using it next year.

* went to the water park with Sonic lunch bags, then played for the afternoon.

* drove to Mt. Charleston for a picnic with my friend Julie and her kids, an outing that was scheduled for a few weeks ago but got rescheduled and ended up being the perfect way to celebrate our "last" day of school! Julie also wanted to take a look at our Sonlight materials, as she is for sure using Sonlight next year with Zachary and Alyssa. So I got to share Sonlight with two moms in one week!

* celebrated the first day of "summer vacation" by having our neighbor kids over for a day of playing, complete with lunch and chocolate chip cookies.

* took those same kids to Red Rock Canyon for a morning/early afternoon of exploring and picnicking.

* got the boys examined and on allergy meds to help with their breathing.

* went to Cindey's for some scrapping. (I only got 2 pages done, but 2 is better than zero! And I did 4 more pages at home the next day.)

* got a great start on cleaning and organizing the office--Charis's craft corner looks BARE!!

* cleaned and organized a good chunk of the garage.

* attended the EAGLES homeschool group's promotion and graduation ceremony.

* attended the EAGLES end-of-the-school-year picnic.

* went on our first date night ALONE as a couple since before Lucan was born. (Thank you, Debi, for babysitting!)

* enjoyed an afternoon with the F family playing Catan while the kids swam and played together.

I guess at some point I'll write more details, but my good intentions to write about all of our adventures are slipping by the wayside, and at this point, I don't think anyone wants to read more than a snippet description anyway!

June 11, 2009

Almost Final!

Just received the following email from Ted:

"So I just talked to Marty, and the owner is out of town through Monday, but plans on counter-signing the lease on Monday evening when he gets back in town!!! They had very little interest at the open house on Sunday and only one showing scheduled (this afternoon)...so unless the showing today sells the house we're in! He also said that he has had four calls from out of town about renting the house but none about buying so far.

I told him the delivery date of 21 July that the movers quoted me, and he said that we should be good to go for that as well. Once the lease is signed, he will forward us all the numbers and addresses we need to get set up with our utilities so we can have everything ready when we move in.

I had prayed for closure this morning, and while it's still not 100%, it is something. I guess if it sells today though, that will be as firm an answer as we could hope for!"

June 10, 2009

Still No Word...

Just a quick house update...we still have not heard anything regarding the house Ted signed paperwork on. The agent's mother is in the hospital, so I'm sure he has other things on his mind. However, we're starting to get antsy. If for some reason we can't get this house as a rental, we'd like to be sure of getting one of the other 2 we're interested in! More waiting. Obviously we haven't learned that lesson well enough, LOL.

"Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..."

I am reminded to wait on the LORD and not on the HOUSE.

June 09, 2009


Sunday night was a HORRIBLE night with Lucan. We saw the clock about every hour! Every time I went to pick him up, he had gotten an arm out of his swaddling, or kicked the blanket to the point where his feet were hanging out. So yesterday I had the revelation (from God, I firmly believe!) that perhaps it was time to wean Lucan away from swaddling. If he was waking himself up whenever he unwrapped himself, perhaps getting him used to sleeping without being swaddled would help. It was worth a try, anyway. After several fussy days with few naps lasting longer than an hour, plus the continuous frustration of having to get up multiple times at night with him, I was getting desperate!

So yesterday I put him in one of Kenna's old sleep sacks for a nap after we returned from Tobin's doctor appointment. Though the sleep sack is for a much bigger baby (all the littler ones were pink!), it worked like a charm! He had the best nap he has had in days. At night I put him in warm jammies with the sleep sack over them. He nursed at 9 p.m. and we all went to bed by 9:30.


Six and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep. Mommy likes! I haven't had that much sleep for literally months!! Now...I'm praying that this is not just a fluke but the beginning of a trend!

Thank you, Lord!!

June 06, 2009

If You Need Some Laughs

I know some of my blog readers are already familiar with this site, but I just had to share. Since I'll be spending the weekend waiting to hear what's going to happen with our Ohio housing situation, I decided to share a fun web site that has had me in fits of giggles over the last couple of weeks.

Introducing...Cake Wrecks! When Professional Cakes Go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong!

Some of my personal favorites...

The Cake That Started It All

The Flash Drive

When Gangsters Go "PC"

Inspiration vs. Perspiration

Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys

My friend Claire referenced this site a long time ago, I think, and then my sis-in-law Sarah posted about it recently as well. I've spent some nursing sessions at the computer browsing the archives and now frequently check in on the updates for a lift of the spirits. Who knew cakes could be so funny?!

June 05, 2009

The Agreement Doesn't Mean Anything Yet!

So here's the update now. The big house, the one Ted signed a contract for, is actually scheduled for an open house this weekend. If someone comes along who wants to buy it, then we're out of luck. But if not, then the owner is willing to rent, and since we're the first ones in line, we should be OK. He is retired military now working as a civilian for the government, and he and his wife are getting ready for a 2-year assignment to Egypt. (His wife is Egyptian, so I'm sure she's happy about that!) He actually does not have orders in hand, though he is supposed to be there July 16!! So aside from the whole possibility of the house being sold, we also have to wait until he has his orders in hand before he will sign any agreement at all.

BUT, if all goes our way, he is more than willing to do a 2-year lease with the possibility to extend should we need to stay longer, depending on his own situation after 2 years.

Our fleece is out...now we just have to wait and see! If this is the house God wants us to be in, I assume it will NOT sell this weekend and that the owner will receive his paperwork soon!

If something happens and this all falls through, the mini-farm and one other house are our second choices. We can't even decide at this point which is 2nd and which is 3rd! It's comparing apples to oranges. Here is a quick breakdown to compare and contrast:

1920 square feet
No basement
3.7 acres of land
Kids' playset and playhouse
Barn (unfinished, though--dirt floors and no electricity yet)
20 miles from base
Newer, prettier home
3 bedrooms plus loft area
$1700 per month

2500 square feet, plus finished basement
Fenced yard
Basketball court in backyard
9 miles from base
4 bedrooms
Older home, but fairly well kept
$1400 per month

June 04, 2009

Signed an Agreement!!

Well, things have moved quickly on the house-hunting front! After seeing the 5-bedroom house, Ted decided it sounded a LOT better than it looked. However, the nice, 3300-square-foot house plus finished basement looked GREAT! And finding out that the owner is retired military was a plus, too. Pretty stable situation there, which alleviated my fears about it possibly being "too good to be true."

The scoop is that we decided that for the same price per month, we'd rather rent a 3300-square-foot house in a nice neighborhood with a smaller back yard than rent a 1900-square-foot house away from people with a huge lot. The farmhouse was 20 miles away from base, so that added to the cons--a long commute for Ted, plus farther away from church and other activities.

So Ted signed a contract with the agent there (they didn't even make him go through the rental application process!), but there is a caveat...the owners are supposed to be having an open house, as they were listing this to either sell or rent, whatever happened first. The agent said he will talk with them tonight to find out if they are willing to go ahead with us as the renters and forego the open house, or if they prefer to wait and see if they can actually sell the house. Personally, I feel it would be best for them to wait a few years to sell so they could make more money! However, this is our "fleece." If the owners agree, then this is "our" house! If they want to try to sell it, well, then obviously we're not meant to live in it, as we have no intentions of purchasing it.

Stay tuned!

June 03, 2009

The Hunt Is On...

Ted viewed a number of houses today, of which two could work for our family. Our favorite so far is a mini-farm, a gorgeous, newer house on nearly 4 acres of land with a playset and playhouse left for the kids, a storage shed that we'd want to get electricity hooked up to so Ted could do his woodworking again, and an outdoor hot tub! The drawback is that it's only 1920 square feet with no basement. Still, we talked about ways we could make it work...I'm all for downsizing...it would be GREAT to have that much space for the kids to explore and play. It's farther away from base and church, but close to the amusement park. The military family who owns it plans to retire there (they are moving to LV for their next assignment!). Ted met the wife. She said that they always get season passes to the amusement park since they're so close...they would just eat dinner at home during the summer and go for an hour or two in the evening. The kids shouted for joy when they heard that.

The other possible one isn't available until after August (1 1/2 months in the TLF, ugh), and it doesn't thrill me even though Ted said it's much more spacious than the farmhouse. However, tomorrow he looks at a good-sized house that from the description sounds just like what we need: 5 bedrooms plus a finished basement; fenced and wooded back yard; walking distance to a community pool and park; at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood; a lot closer to base/church. We've been communicating with the owners, also military, and they seem nice. It's an older home with no dishwasher, but she said there's space for one.

Then, just this evening, another rental popped up. It's over 3300 square feet, brand spankin' new, a model home that is just one mile from base! It's also for sale, though, so I'm not sure how stable the situation would be. After the nightmare with the big house that got foreclosed on, I'm half afraid to even look at something so big and beautiful. It's the same rent as the farmhouse would be, and the other 5-bedroom home is just $100 lower per month, so everything so far seems roughly even in that respect.

So, it looks like it may come down to a decision of, do we want more house space, or more yard space?! Do we want to live in a neighborhood, or out in the country?!

June 02, 2009

Winding Down

We're in Week 36 of Sonlight's Core 1. It has been a GREAT year! I'm sad that I haven't yet ordered the next core, but Ted and I agreed it would be better to just wait until we get to Ohio. I know once we have the books in our possession it will take some heavy-duty locks to keep them out of the kids' hands, LOL!

Mostly we are on track to finish by Friday. Charis just today finished her week 35 Language Arts, so she'll need to crunch if we want to finish by Friday, but she and I agreed it would not be a terrible thing if she finishes things up next week. Tobin is finished--I think that kid needs more work next year! I will definitely make him do more of the writing assignments. He got a pass on a lot of them because, having done this LA with Charis last year, I realized how frustrating it was to throw out a writing prompt with little guidance and expect a 6 or 7-year-old to be able to write a paragraph. This year I was a lot more laid back about it, sometimes letting Tobin dictate to me, sometimes changing the required topic to something he was more interested in (usually Star Wars, LOL).

I've begun realizing that Arden has gotten the short end of the LA stick--he breezed through his Ready for the Code phonics books, but since I had a hard time keeping track of everyone, he usually finished before I was ready to watch him with the writing part...and I've noticed that he's making some of his letters backwards now, particularly the lowercase "b" and "d," which is understandable. His capital letters are fine, and he's reading quite well, so I'm not terribly concerned...it will just take some concerted effort on my part to help him with his practice, which I intend to continue through the summer.

We will also continue math at an unhurried pace over the summer. Charis has had some troubles with multiple-digit multiplication, but she seems to be getting over the hump. We've had to take it pretty slowly with these lessons, but I don't mind. She only has 5 more lessons in her Gamma book, and I'm confident she can start the next level once we're ready to start "school" up again. Arden is nearly finished with the Alpha book, and that's with me trying to slow him down! Tobin is about 2/3 of the way through Beta. Once again, I'm sure if we want him to, he can be ready to begin the next level when we start Core 2 with Sonlight.

PE has come to an end as of last Thursday. I am really going to miss the SAINTS program! The kids are, too! They have learned so much about so many different sports. They've gotten to try everything from archery to baseball to Capture the Flag. They've played tennis, kickball, flag football, soccer, and run relay races. They've learned to listen to a coach and get along with teammates (and those on the opposite team!), and they've learned about glorifying God with their attitudes and abilities. Coach Chris, shown in the picture with the kids, is a great guy, and I'm so thankful for the time and effort he and the other coaches have invested into our kids.

AWANA has also ended for the year. The awards ceremony was last Sunday. I don't have the pics downloaded yet, but maybe I can come back and insert a picture here. All three kids finished their books this year, and both the boys also completed their review patches. The church we're going back to in Ohio also has AWANA, so we look forward to continuing next year. And the year after next, Kenna will be a Cubbie!! Wow!

It looks like I'm down to just one or two more business events here in Las Vegas. As much as I want to reach $2000 in sales for this month in order to keep my current career title, I just don't see that happening with a trip to Idaho scheduled for 10 days and only one stamp club meeting!! I'm not complaining...my focus now is on sorting and organizing our stuff, weeding out things I don't want us to have to unpack later, and preparing our family mentally, emotionally, and physically for our move.

June 01, 2009

Another House Update

We received the following email today, the official response from Fannie Mae:

"if he intends to become our tenant for any period of time, then he needs to make application and will pay rent until he vacates. If he doesn't want to make application, then we will start eviction which would probably not be completed prior to when he wants to vacate, but we never know.."


Aside from the rather awkward wording and capitalization and punctuation errors, the message is clear: either apply to be tenants, or face the possibility of being thrown out on the street!

For a few brief moments we (or at least I) considered not applying. Guaranteed rent-free time in our house...and really, what are the chances the eviction process would actually be finished before our move-out date?!

But then my conscience got the best of me. Ted wouldn't even hear of NOT doing the right thing. We agreed we would fill out the application, but I did ask him to call our "go-between lady" (the agent representing Fannie Mae) and clarify what was up regarding the rent. Would the rent be retroactive to when the former owners lost the house? We're getting ready to send Ted on the house-hunting trip to Ohio, so we'd like to know if we have enough cash to be able to write a deposit for our next rental house or not!

The good news is that we learned FOR SURE that we are living here for free during the month of June!! The bad news is that we'd have to start paying rent in July, and since we wouldn't give 30 days' notice (since our move-out date is July 10), we'd have to pay a whole month's worth of rent--they would not pro-rate it. I find that ridiculous, since we're giving them notice NOW that we're leaving July 10!!

However, the lady did say that once July 1 comes, we can refuse the lease terms, at which point they would start the eviction process, and we would surely be out of here before that actually happened. Still...would an eviction be on our record?! Technically we were evicted from our last house, even though we did nothing wrong!! We had even paid rent all the way up until we had to leave!

Crazy thing, government.