Monday, December 29, 2008

One Year Ago...

One year ago yesterday we were handed the keys to our very first home EVER!!! I can't believe 12 whole months have passed and we have celebrated every holiday in our Little Red House. This was once a dream we never thought would become reality.
 As I was sorting thru all the house photos trying to pick the best ones to post, I realized how "fuzzy" it all was. We signed our contract 6 weeks after the big move down south... an afternoon drive by chance turned into the beginnings of a whole new chapter in our life.
 Our rental home sits right down the road from our new development. We would pass by The neighborhood every time we left our home and admire the "cute colorful homes" in the distance... especially the RED one! Jason kept saying that he wanted to drive by those homes ut didn't know how to get to them. They seemed way at the bottom of the hill away from all roads. Little did we know they were in the back of our neighboring sub-division.
 A family emergency brought family down to visit. My Mother-in-law saw the potential in the up and coming area and decided she would buy an investment home near us. We spent the day looking at beautiful homes. Of coarse they were all just slightly above our price range. Hubby and I had NO plans of buying until the summer of 2008 but it never hurt to look. God had other plans for us though. Hubby mentioned to his mom that there was just one more neighborhood with really nice homes. Those homes were to expensive for us but fit her budget so away we went to one more stop. We waited in the car while Hubby ran in to get some packets and prices. My mother-in-law looked around and commented on some of the models. The next few hours were history...
 Hubby ran out of the office waving the floor plans..." We can afford these, 4 bedroom, 3 bathrooms BRAND NEW HOMES> WE CAN AFFORD THESE!!!" He was beyond excited. He had the keys and we drove further and further down the lane into a huge half finished neighborhood. Construction crews lined the streets building peoples hope and dreams. We drove and drove down the small hill, twists and turns and then entered a row of beautiful smaller colorful homes. 
"These are them!!" He said as all of our faces pressed up against the windows of the van. How precious they all were. We stopped in front of one half finished home and began running through. Hub  loved it but I knew right away it would never work. I was not feeling it. I started to break out in sweats watching my husband chatter away to his sisters and mom. I knew at that moment we were buying a house. Wow!!! I almost dropped baby Abby right there...
 "Hun" I said quietly... deathly afraid of crushing his spirit..."No, not this one, I don't like it... I can feel it."
"He tried to point out a few features and mentioned a million times that it was still being built... "TRY to picture it..."
"I can't.. I just know..."
He took the news better than I thought and said they had one more 4 bedroom option that was a bit bigger. We hopped back in the van and drove just a few feet further. We stopped in front of a cute green picture perfect home. The realtor met us at the door and escorted us inside. Im not sure what happened next, I just remember standing in the foyer and saying..
This is it.. this is our home." 
 We 20 questioned poor Rich. Kept asking him the price and could not imagine. We could own our very own, brand new... all ours!!
 Once Rich left , we ran around and dreamed. We talked some more and headed to the sales office. This was a Sunday afternoon. We sat at my kitchen table while the kids played and talked and talked, crunched numbers,laughed, cried, sweated and wondered. We could apply for the loan online.... What the heck.... Hubby got the nerve and filled out the forms.
2 days later we got the call saying YES!!! That wednesday we went and signed the contract and went to a separate room and picked out colors, cabinets, windows,lighting,faucets,flooring,and everything else imaginable. It all happened so fast I can't even get a clear picture.
 We jumped on a golf cart with RIch and drove all through our new "home..." past the pool and construction crews. Rich waved and said hello to everyone he met and told stories of when he sold so and so their home.
 We turned on a pretty empty cul-de-sac and stopped.
"Now its time to pick your plot..."
WHAT!!!! That sounded so final. hubby,his mom and his sisters and I have spent the last 2 days crawling all over this clay trying to decided where to build but now that he asked us it seemed so permanent. I have trouble picking out my clothes for the day, how would I EVER pick land?? This took a few days but finally some clay tickled our fancy and we signed.. again...
 Exactly 30 days later the building started. We were there every day AND night taking pictures, inspecting the work and marveling at the sight. I wanted to touch every beam and walk on the ground my home would be built on. I wanted to see every nail hammered and every screw drove in. I touched every window and ran thru every beam. We have the pictures to prove it!! We let the kids run thru the house and begin making memories even before it was officially ours. I opened and closed the door before it had knobs... imagining how it would be to welcome guests. We laid on the wood floors upstairs pretending the kids were in their beds and we picked out EXACTLY where we would put our Christmas tree. We sat by our "fireplace" wondering how many we could squeeze around it. We climbed in the tubs and ran thru the bathrooms. The kids played hide and seek in the closets and got just excited as the walls and paint were put up. We broke thru the windows at night when we didn't have the keys and ran thru the darkness around our property. By the time we moved in we really felt we were home. We were familiar with every nook and cranny. This truly was OUR home.
 My kids roll their eyes now when I blurt out..."Hey, did I tell you how much I LOVE this house???" They laugh and think its funny. I say it almost every day. Its true. I LOVE this home. Every day thats spent here captures another piece of my heart. Sometimes it seems like we outgrew it the moment we moved in and in some ways we did... But the thought of leaving this place breaks my heart. I have grown attached to every bush,tree and new plant planted. by ME!! My little red house which is now my home!



I thank God every day for my blessing!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Hard Job!

Picking out a new blog background is hard work!! I have changed mine at least a zillion times and Im STILL not happy. Ugh. That could also be due to the fact that I do not handle change very well and hate everything no matter what until I have given it time and let it absorb. So, Im hoping thats the case with this new background. Let me know what you think.
 It suites the next phase of my life pretty well. Christmas is over and Tomorrow will be our ONE year Anniversary of living here. YAAA!! What a marvelous year it has been. Every day I love my home more and more. God has blessed us abundantly. We have settled in nice, created a years worth of memories and look forward to the future. I want to spend the next few drab months of winter left slowly decorating... Still! I know what your thinking... AGAIN??? Cut me some slack please. We moved from an 800 sq ft home to over an 1800 sq ft home. Thats over double the wall space to paint,decorate and furnish. Lets not forget the stuff that got ruined in the 2 moves and "cross country" trip. I still have plenty of paint colors to pick out, pictures to hang and cute little decorations to decorate with. Abby and Mollys room is next. Its Shabby chic pink. Basically, girlie,floral,PINK and cute. Im painting it green (I know disco diva. I swear im not stalking you!!! Molly's last alcove was green in NY and I still love it. I PROMISE)lol... a little inside joke. Anyway, I tend to accent everything else with P-I-N-K. My favorite color!! Im working on the downstairs powder room and still trying to decorate every other room in the house. I have 2 blank walls in the living room thats driving me crazy and a foyer just screaming for some paint!! So, wish me luck as I start another journey of nesting away. Be patient (im talking to myself) these things take time... and of coarse I will keep you "posted" along the way!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yesterday was an amazing day. The anticipation was sky-high!! Our home was chaotic, messy and exciting. Christmas was very Merry. I truly love my family!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Best Gift EVER

Tonight was a night of food,mayhem and FUNN!!! Christmas Eve is here at our home and we unwrapped the gifts we all bought each other and from family. I got the best gift of ALL!! The book by the Duggars. You know... the family with 18 kids that live in Arkansas? Well if you know me at all, you know I have a strange obsession with large families... and I would have a zillion children if my husband agreed. Its an addiction...(knowing about large families... not having babies) I love the dynamics, how they do things, handle every day situations and just life in general. SO fascinating. Plus, I get great "support" and tips of managing my own large family. Anyway, Jason bought this for me not thinking I would be interested. He was so wrong. I jumped up and down and giggled and kissed the book. I was so engrossed in it that I missed him opening His gifts from us. I was very upset about that. 
 Well Im gone, I must go lock myself away in my room to read my heart out. I will probably stay awake till I read the whole thing. Thats what I did when I got my Love in the house book by the Jeub family (christian family of 14.. I CAN"T WAIT!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Have To Blog...

Thats exactly what I JUST said to myself while goofing off on the computer instead of wrapping mounds of Christmas gifts stacked in my closet. My walk-in closet is a walk-in no more. Sniff sniff. Its hard to believe that this time next week the magical season will be over. My tree will be officially crunchy, 40% of all toys will be lost,broken or missing some important piece and all my kids will be making exciting birthday plans in hopes of getting even more presents.
  Life in our home has been interesting to say the least. We have been busy preparing for the season. The kids bought all of their "secret santa" presents and today they were wrapped and put under the tree. My poor kids, they are dying to open all the gifts. They keep asking if they can exchange and I keep telling them no. Every year we do a grab bag to decide who buys for who... with 5 kids it would get to crazy for my brain to handle each and every one buying for each sibling so, they are encouraged to make as many gifts as they want and buy a store bought gift for whoevers name they pull out of the Santa hat. Of coarse its "rigged" and every year Molly gets Abby because Molly gets too excited and has to tell right away who she got and what she bought. Abby is the safe zone, still too little to understand or care... and Molly still has not asked why she keeps getting Abby every year. Whew!
 Today we did a "homeschool" project. We gathered on the front lawn and tried to assemble Christmas lights on our little tree in the front yard. We untangled cords, found extension cords, tried to fix broken lights and even had problem solving techniques...(thanks to mom putting all the lights on BACKWARDS and having to figure out how to plug them in. Grrr) All in all the end result was beauty. When the sun went to sleep and the lights are on, it looks oh so pretty. Even Jason commented on how nice it is. Ahhh
 Our social activities have slowed down a bit. The days and nights were getting crazy. Now we are back to enjoying evenings alone, watching t.v and catching up on household projects. Right now Jason is behind me sifting through mortgage payments. He is making sure (for the 10 billionth time) that we have a fixed mortgage payment. Thanks to good 'ol Dateline we want to make sure. Of coarse we do. That was all documented and made sure of during the building of our home. Im not sure I was an official blogger during that time but if I was you would have read how I harassed and stalked our poor mortgage lady. There was not going to be any fine print on my paper and if there was someone was going to pay...(I also told her if she made a mistake and can't get us a mortgage I would tie my poor body to the roof and NEVER get off... im serious I really did tell her that.) Thankfully everything went smooth and without a hitch, she happily signed us off and I harassed the lawyer at closing. Ahh memories...
 Anywho... Im off. I have tons of wrapping to do and keep putting it off till "tomorrow." I will take my wine glass...(filled with water... makes it more exciting) and head off to my living room where I will indulge myself in mindless tv and cover my packages in pretty paper. Chat soon...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Church Christmas Presentation

Due to a very low flash in low lighting, all of my pictures came out bad. This past Sunday my kids were in our church Christmas program. It was SOOO cute. They were the cutest (and best dressed ;)) kids on the stage. They also were the shyest and spent the entire time huddled in someones lap.
 Regardless I was a very proud mama bear and loved seeing every second. They made a huge birthday cake for baby Jesus and recited bible verses. Merry Christmas!!

Why Are We Smiling???

Why are we smiling you ask? Because we were on our way out the door to Jasons company Christmas Party!! Our babysitter was in the next room and we were happy! We spent the night having casual conversation while dining on Sushi,steak and dessert. What better way to celebrate the holiday. The food was wonderful. We plan on visiting BLUE FIRE GRILL  in the near future... those sushi rolls were to die for!!!
(click on bold words to visit website)

Amish Friendship Bread

Last week at church our friend Chris came up to me and handed me a bag from his wife Jeannie. She had just had her 6th baby and was resting comfortably at home. "What is this?" I asked. He just shrugged and said he didn't know. I opened the bag to find a piece of paper and a ziplock bag filled with a strange liquid/yeast. I almost jumped for joy right there during worship!! STARTER, my friend had given me starter!! I had always wanted this but didn't know how to make it. You can have all different types of starter and how you "start" it is beyond me. Most people have it from distant relatives or its a secret family recipe which you get only when married in. I could not contain myself. I started reading the directions right away.
 After 10 long days of "Feeding" my starter on my counter, mushing the bag and adding cups of flour and sugar, I made the precious recipe. It was DELICIOUS!!!! The loaf didn't have a chance to cool. It was eaten and enjoyed by all kids. I have more starter sitting on my counter. Some will be passed to friends and some will be kept for me...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Fun...

So, last night we embarked on a night on the town to have some holiday fun. Greenville is brimming with lights of all shapes and sizes... or so the websites say. We bundled up the kids, packed the van and began our adventure. First stop, Roper Mountain for their holiday light show. Cars are always lined up the street for this, so we had to partake. Upon arrival a very cold woman met us at the car door and asked us for an insane amount of money. I kindly reminded her that even though we have a big van, we only have 5 kids... our kids and are not part of an organization... but that didn't work. We still had to pay the organizers fee . Grrr, I was mad. I knew the twerpy mini-van behind me paid the smaller amount.
 Anyway, I didn't want this to ruin our night. We tuned the radio to Christmas tunes and began our drive-thru journey. The kids Oohhhed- and ahhed. Molly's OCD kicked in and kept asking where the movie was? Movie??? Where did she get the idea that we were here to watch a movie? We told her that this was just a light show and there was no movie. Unfortunately that did not stop her. Thru the candy cane forest she asked..."Is this the movie?", As we entered candy land..." Wheres the movie?? I can't see it?" As we got to the top of the mountain to the big north star..." I can't see the movie...?" Each time she asked we lost a little of our patience... right there on the van floor. Finally as we were exiting the park my husband lost it. We heard her little voice say..." But dad, we didn't see the movie...?""
 "ENOUGH... THERE IS NO MOVIE!!!!." I reminded him to breath and we drove off. Next stop. Downtown to check out what they had. We were not stopping as it was freezing and a Friday night. We just wanted to survey the scene so we could come back next week. It was beautiful. They had Christmas trees and twinkling lights at every turn. They captured the magic of Christmas right there on Main Street. The horse and buggy had wreaths and christmas blankets. The trolley had pretty lights and Christmas cheer. 
 We all got excited about next week and headed home. As we hit 385 we heard a voice coming from the back of the van ask... "Is this where we see the movie?...."
 Jason turned flaming red.... the rest is history.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Show and Tell Friday...

Today is Show and tell at KELLI'S house.Yesterday we had a whole day of Home Economics. The kids and I baked Christmas cookies, read recipes, measured, sifted and chatted. By the end of the day we had over 70 sugar cookies and over 25 raspberry thumbprints (a family tradition AND favorite of daddy). They were troopers and even helped with the clean-up. We celebrated over hot chocolate and freshly baked goods. The mess was more than I expected but I know the memories will not be forgotten...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Some Junk In My Trunk...

"Joyful is a day at the flea market finding treasures and having a man by my side to carry them." ~ Maggie

This weekend im hoping to go "Junkin!" I can't wait!! What's Junkin you ask? Well its garage sale-in, flea marketing (the real flea markets...) antiquing ... do you get the picture? On the way home from work one day Jason came across this cool outdoor flea market and this weekend ... if its open... we are going. Yippie! Im looking for all sorts of cool old things I can restore and make into something beautiful.
Back in the 90's when we were living down south I went junking and found these beautiful old orange funky lamps and I just HAD to have them. I brought them home and showed Jason. He could not see the beauty in them but I did. 1 can of spray paint, some gold paint a little re-wiring and one ruined front porch...(long story) Voila! BEAUTIFUL bedside lamps with frilly new victorian shades. I still have those puppies and they remind me of my first junking project. Im not really looking to find furniture this weekend. Just pretty teacups and tea pots. I want to build up my collection. I have a few stored in the garage and Im slowly unpacking them. They are so dainty and cute. I need to find the perfect spot to display them!
Anyway, I will be sure to bring along my trusty camera and let you know what we find!

(Photos courtesy of one very pretty Lady who loves Polk-a-dots)

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Beach For Two....

Another week has begun in our home. Busy busy busy is all that comes to mind as I filled out my calendar for December. When did I get such a life??? I clearly can't remember but I have proof written in blue all over my pretty 30 days of December. Tonight is my only night to sit and relax... if you count writing out over 40 Christmas cards, pouring over cruise brochures and folding 2 loads of laundry relaxing. But a mommy's work is never done. I believe my mission was a success. I planted a seed of vacation in my hubbys head and the seed has SPROUTED!!! He ordered all sorts of packet info and spends his free time pouring thru all the colorful pages. Instead of saying " if"... he now says "when." How cool is that? Bahamas watch out.. the GapGirl is packin her favorite hat and Jackie-O sunglasses and is on her way. Whaaa Hoooo. I have been prepping HARD for this. I decided to join one of the Upstates BIGGEST consignment sales "switch-a-roos" and sell all my baby gear come february. This shop is closed!! Hey if I change my mind, I change my mind but for now Im good to go! The money I earn is going towards the cruise as is my extra money I get from Nursery and pet-sitting. My goal is to pay for the cruise myself so we have even more extra money to swim with the dolphins, buy pretty jewelry,snorkel, buy more pretty jewelry and one of those really big straw hats with even bigger sunglasses. Yes, thats the life.... oh and don't forget my fruity umbrella drink I will be sipping by the crystal clear ocean. Ahhh I can hear the seagulls already!
 Anywho, I still have months to go and need to survive the holiday rush first! Jason and I have 3 Christmas parties to go to, one woman's dinner,church activities, shopping... and our New Years Eve party invites have already started filling our inbox. Lots to do!
 Until the day my ship comes in...literally... I will bundle up, keep warm and dream...

Sunday, December 7, 2008


For above the cabinets
For Molly and Abby-girl's room
For the downstairs powder room
The downstairs powder room

It has finally happened. Jason has banned me from Hobby Lobby. I have become a regular... almost every day and always come out with my hands full and my wallet empty. I can't help myself... its a bad habit, an addiction, a must... and my home looks so wonderful because of it!!! Well, he usually does not ban me from much and the ban usually lasts just a few days... or until he forgets, opps I mean I forget and wander back in for more pretty must haves.
I was sad, heartbroken and lonely. Emma was in drama practice. The ONE night I get to go out by myself, without the kids, like a grown-up. Sigh, the night was cold as I wandered up and down the sidewalks. My head held low and I think I felt a tear fall down my cheek. All of a sudden a bright light shone in my face. My head quickly lifted up, I was blinded by the white pure light. I could not make out what I saw but I knew it was heavenly. All of a sudden doors swung open and I was magically drawn in. I heard an angelic voice welcome me through the gates. Sweet music sang from above my head... Thats all I remember. The rest was a blur. All I know was that I must have been in heaven. I was surrounded by sparkles and lace. The air smelled sweet , just like a garden on a spring day. I seemed to have lost all track of time as I floated around. My feet hardly touched the ground. Next thing I knew I was back out on the dark sidewalk. The air felt cold and cars whizzed past me. It took me a second to come to my senses. When I did, I noticed my hand contained packages... many packages. Pretty vases with chickens on them, Pink frilly jewelry holders and a soap dispenser. Hmmm how odd? I looked at the piece of paper that fell out of the bag... it said "Thank you for shopping at HomeGoods..."
Wow, HomeGoods? Jason said no Hobby Lobby but he said NOTHING about HomeGoods... Perfect! My home still is so bare and needs so much...Only 4 more days till Emma has drama practice again=)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Where Does The Time Go...

My Emma Paige went to her first Christmas Semi-Formal last night. She was so excited all week, she could hardly sleep. When the invitation came in the mail we immediately began shopping for a dress. Our journey ended at the first shop we went to... This is it mom!! AND Its half price!! She wore the dress all day and imagined how the night would be.
 All day yesterday she had a smile on her face and one eye on the clock. When it was time, she quickly got dressed and ran down the stairs so I could do her hair. She raided my jewelry draws and borrowed my earrings,hair pin and bracelet. I even let her pick one of my perfumes to wear.
 She was beautiful.
 "I have butterflies in my stomach Mom.." she said as we drove to the church. I didn't tell her but I had butterflies too. I was excited for her, nervous for her and a bit sad that I had to leave her all by herself... who would she sit with? will she have fun? Will she be lonely? Will she make new friends..." All those motherly worries poured through my head. It felt so wrong to just drop her off at the door for such an event without accompanying her.
 We pulled in and Emma could not stop smiling. The butterflies in my stomach got worse as we walked closer to the door. I had my arm around her, I wanted to see the room and make sure she walked in ok. I began to whisper in her ear when an earth shattering wind came. It screamed "EMMA" by 3 different voices... the glass doors flew open, hands grabbed her and before I could blink she was gone. The doors closed behind her and I stood there out in the cold looking in. My daughter was laughing and chatting away with her friends. Without even a glance back at me... she was gone.
 As silly as this sounds, I held back the tears as I climbed back in the van to go home. It seemed like yesterday I held her so tight wrapped up in a receiving blanket. All the baby books I have read through the years tells you to bond with your baby, hold your baby, rock your baby... none of the books tell you how to let go. How do you let go of someone you love so much?
 I know last night was just the beginning of many semi-formals, dress shopping, hair straightening and big nights! With 4 girls, I have endless nights of that ahead... But I will take it in stride. I will enjoy the moments I have with them now and pray that I get just a few moments more to hold her close.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Show And Tell

Today is show and tell at Kelli's house and I finally am able to participate!!! I wanted to share a very fun time at my home last night decorating our tree. All 5 kids participated with excitement and eagerness. Abby loved this the most as she thought each ball was her personal new play toy... she was in heaven!!! Enjoy the pictures and see you soon!!!

Abby in amazement
Making sure every special ornament has a spot
Molly loves to keep busy

Our special Angel. We take turns every year to see who gets to place her on the top.
Show and Tell


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