"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Some things we've been doing around the house.....

Got an area rug!  Decided Shag was the best option for all the little people that will be tumbling and spilling on it:)

You can't move into a new home and not make a trip to Ikea, right? :)


We bought shelving units for the front room, which we are calling the 'school room'.  We needed storage for all the school and craft supplies.  These are fitting in perfect--

It was a semi pinterest-inspired idea--the little bench in the middle is actually a bookshelf turned on it's side.  I will sew a cushion for it! We plan to put little baskets on the shelves that are visible.  I'm still looking for an area rug and some cheap chairs that I could paint for the table.  It's a work in progress!

Bought some paint samples and decided what color we want to paint the walls!

We decided the light gray will be the family room walls with a 'pop' of white in certain places and the yellow will be the kitchen.  Kay Walden was kind enough to offer her interior decorating advice and I was glad she liked our color choices!! :)

Photos of the progress will be posted....


Brent's team at work had a potluck for us on Tuesday, June 30.  It was a surprise for Brent, so his boss contacted me to come to the office and bring the kids.  When we arrived, we went into the room with his co-workers and then he walked in soon after.  He was surprised!
It was so sweet of them to not only have a shower for us--and bless us with a Target gift card--but they invited the three munchkins to invade their office for a little while.  So thoughtful!! And Raelynn LOVED going to Daddy's work....and of course the first thing she asked today was if we could go see him at his work again.
Since we rarely all get cleaned up and dressed in decent clothes all at the same time-this moment was worthy of a photo!! :)  It's one of the best of the 5 of us we have because we are all looking! Now that is an accomplishment right there:)


I love getting Sunday pictures because the kids are always dressed so nice! Here are pictures from Sunday, July 28.

All Three!

Last Friday, July 26, we all went to the library! It was the first outing with just mommy and three kids. We had books to return and our prizes for the summer reading program to collect.  It was a pretty simple outing because I didnt get the babies out of the stroller. We made it to the library just before it closed, so we just filled our bag and quickly checked out. Usually when we go to the library, we sit in the baby area and read for a bit. So the next outing will be much more challenging. And I will be sure to capture it on camera! :)

A Post of Pictures--first days in the new house

These photos are all from the very first few days in the house and some exciting happenings along the way....I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:)
First breakfast in the "New House" as Raelynn (still) calls it

Good Mornin' Bubba!

First bath in the new house!




Just hanging out with his bottle (which is very hard to break him of when Elliana is getting them several times a day!)

LOVE this photo! Because our internet wasn't hooked up yet, and Brent was scheduled to work from home on Monday July 22, he went to Mimi's house so he could work. He took Elliana with him and we met him later for lunch and Mimi and Mommy took the big kids swimming.

In N Out!!!! Just can't get enough of it!

Here is the family room with furniture! This is from July 22--still lots of boxes around

Elliana is sitting up SO well by herself now!  She doesn't fall over and can sit unassisted.

New food--peas!

I love catching them playing together:)

Mimi had been busy taking care of the Pampa house, but she came over for dinner with us each night

Elliana is beginning to push herself up while doing tummy time! Those little steps are big accomplishments.

playing upstairs in the loft

Declan's way of playing in the loft....he climbs on everything!

enjoying the swing....momentarily.  she isn't quite sure about it yet.

We knew we needed baby gates....
pondering how to get around the totes

Maybe I can squeeze around the side?
This is from a different day--the day he discovered he could push the totes out of his way! (and they are heavy!!)

As I'm in the kitchen I look over and see this.....
"This little piggy went to market...."

"Wee Wee Wee Wee, all the way home"

Ribs AND corn on the cob--this boy was SO happy!

LOVING solid foods and doing SO well with them!! She eats them all great!

Again, looking over from kitchen I see this....

Declan wanted in on it too, but he typically goes for her head.  This girl takes a lot of wrestling from her big bro! She takes it like a champ!

Mimi left on July 25 bright and early in the morning.  So, on Wednesday night, July 24, we celebrated her birthday just a tad early with some cake and ice cream!
My very first ever made-from-scratch-chocolate cake!
Mommy's little helper :)

 Happy Birthday Mom!! We love you!! So thankful that you were here to celebrate Elliana's homecoming with us and for all your help cooking and cleaning in the following weeks.  You made life much much easier and allowed us to spend quality time with our children.  Thank you!!!!

And we joke, because even though July is the worst time to come to Arizona, Mimi always finds a way to make it here--for our wedding, for Declan's birth, for Elliana's homecoming....what will it be next summer?
the candles were in boxes....so she got a #2
 Declan, meet Rosa.  This doll made Declan take a few steps!!  He thinks it is a real baby!

and I keep finding him giving her kisses...but he hasn't taken any more steps:(

I loved the way she was looking at her daddy, so I had to capture that.

Playing the piano!

Love this:)
Declan got a couple gift cards for his birthday, so we got some new trucks! We are lacking in the 'boy toy' department around here.  We were having fun zooming them around.
Still getting used to this whole 2-story house deal.  It's like you need double of everything! Well, that is if you don't like running back and forth up and down the stairs like me.  One thing that we quickly learned was to take bottles up at night! After one night of walking downstairs with a crying baby to get a bottle ready we figured that one out.
Any tips on 2-story housekeeping-please pass along to me! :)
And now, as of the past week or so, we don't even use two bottles at night!  Elliana is doing so well with her schedule.  We are starting to figure out her cues for being tired or hungry.  She goes to bed at 8pm with the other two and sleeps until about 2:30am, which she then gets a bottle.  She goes right back down and wakes again between 6-6:45am for the morning.  *Some nights she does wake around midnight and we usually can soothe her back to sleep without a bottle!*
She is eating oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast and veggies for her other meals.  She has tasted carrots, peas, broccoli, corn, green beans, avocado, and banana.  She eats her solids much better than she drinks her bottle! She is always so happy in the high chair.
She goes down for her morning nap around 10 or so and then an afternoon nap around 2.  If I'm lucky that day, then her morning nap will overlap with Declan's and her afternoon nap will overlap with both Declan and Raelynn's.  But that hasn't happened very often for one reason or another :)
Elliana continues to be very happy and smiley to everyone she sees.  Because of this, we don't know how she is truly bonding with us, so we are just continuing along the path we have been on to be her sole care givers and the only ones to meet her needs.  We know she must be recognizing our faces as the ones that are around the most, but we really can't be sure of how things are actually going.  So, for now we will just continue as we are and continue to pray for the transition and her attachment. 
She does cry for us to hold her and we do know how to soothe her to help her stop crying, so those are good signs.


Well, I got quite behind on the blog! I knew that would happen with the move. Especially since we didn't have Internet for the first week of living in our new house.  But I did take pictures along the way (of course!) and will be updating what has been happening over the last couple weeks.

We have been so blessed the past four years (and one year prior to our marriage for me) to rent our house from my mom and dad.  They had planned to have it as their retirement home in the future, so it was a great set up for both of us.
It was a perfect house for us as we started our family....but we quickly outgrew it:)

We had been looking for a home for about two years. Along the way, we had put in a couple offers and even had one accepted that fell through (it was a short sale) and others were all outbid by investors.
When we decided to adopt, we put the house hunting on hold. We were very content to be in our three bedroom house for a bit longer, but as the market and rates increase, we knew we needed to start looking again. So in June, Brent came home and said we need to start looking.
We went on Father's Day weekend- we looked at the house on Saturday, made the offer on Sunday, and it was accepted on Monday! It was a quick and easy decision because it had all we needed for our family.

So, now we are first time homebuyers! It is so fun to have purchased our own home and make decisions and changes as we want.  Of course, while looking I had a couple requirements--an island, and the island had to be opening up to the family room. It had just that! It didn't have the sink in the island as I would have also loved, but that is ok:)  And Brent's hope was for a big back yard, but this back yard will do for us.  It is big enough for a swing set and our play pool and for the kids to run around.  It is currently all rock, so Brent is excited to start the project of landscaping grass in!

Here are a couple of the photos that are "before" and I will post some as we make improvements for comparing.

Standing at front door. Through little walkway is the family room and kitchen.

Standing at the walkway looking at front door

family room



the island!! :)


We closed the house on July 18. On Friday morning our moms, Kacia, and Marissa all went in before we moved to clean it. We are so thankful for that!!!! I brought them all iced tea from AJs...my first outing with the babies...boy was I thankful there was a cart in the parking lot!!!  Wasn't sure how I was going to carry a car seat and big bubba boy into the store at the same time!
It was worthy of a picture...I was so relieved there was a cart! :)
On July 19, we got the U-Haul and Marissa, Brent's brothers Grant and Garrett, Brent's dad, and Matt Pagel came over to load it up! It was filled to the max in less than three hours!  That night, since the loading went so quick, we all went to the new house and everyone as well as Brent's brother Kyle, helped unload.  It allowed everyone to sleep in a little bit on Saturday morning, which was the day we had planned to move.  Instead, everyone, along with Pete and PJ Smith met at the old house to do the clean sweep of things that were left.  Mimi had Declan overnight and Grandma had Raelynn overnight, so that was SO helpful! 


 can't forget the playset!

 fully loaded!!!

last meal in the Pampa house!

Elliana fell asleep in Daddy's arms Friday night