Saturday, October 1, 2016

Adventures in Building: This Is It!

It's for real! 

It's finally ours! 

We are now the owners of this 12 acre beautiful slice of land. We closed on Friday. At the closing we got to meet the seller and chat with her a little bit. She was very sweet and we are thankful she chose to sell it to us. Can I tell you a secrete? After hearing a little about the sellers story, I can't help but believe that God has been getting this piece of land ready for our family for years. 

Long before He planted the desire to build our own house and have our own little farm. 

Long before Daniel and I met, fell in love, and got married. 

Actually, around the time we were both born, the previous owners purchase this land. It had been farm land and didn't have anything on it. I don't know their whole story, but they decided to plant trees on the property. A thick line of pine trees around the border on 3 sides. And a beautiful variety of deciduous trees throughout the middle. For the next 30 years they watered the trees and maintained the grass. I'm not sure why they never built on the land, and we probably will never know. I didn't feel like it was a question I should ask her at the time. But from the first time we looked at the land, we knew it was what we had been searching and praying for. We had looked at several other properties and they were not nearly as beautiful as this land. And after the closing we stopped by our new land. And looking out on the land I just keep thinking that before either of us was even born, God planted these trees for us! Before we were born He knew we would be standing here, looking out on this great new adventure we were undertaking. Wow! What a great God we have! 

Hopefully we will have some building posts to share with you soon!! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Adventures of Rebekah: On The Farm

For a long time now Rebekah has been interested in all things farm. Farm animals, books about farms, looking for big red barns, tractors, corn...the girl loves corn on the cob! (Cut it off and she wants nothing to do with it...oh, the life of a two year old!) We are excited to start our own adventure on our own little farm someday soon, but for now we read about farms and play with her plastic farm animals. 

One of our new favorite books is about a farm. And I love it because it is a "good-night" book. That's what I call books that are perfect for just before bedtime. It's called Night Night, Farm by Amy Parker. This 20 page board book is recommended for ages 4-8, but Rebekah is 2 and loves it. It is published by Tommy Nelson, and like all of our TN books it is super sturdy and holds up well to the not-so-gentle page turns of a pre-reader.

This sweet story visits all the animals on the farm as they are getting ready for bed. Each page is a different animal with a good night rhyme (we love rhyming books) and each of the animals says night-night in their own "language". Reinforcing the sounds that each animal makes. I'm always looking for books that are fun and educational at the same time.

Perhaps Rebekah's favorite thing is that on each page there are 2 mice that are making their good night rounds on the farm. She loves looking and finding the mice on each page and seeing what they are doing. At the end all the animals are asleep in the barn and we like to practice saying good night to each of them in their own animal language. 

This is a wonderful farm story and would be a great addition to any child's library! 

If you would like to win a free copy of Night Night, Farm for you own collection, or to give away as a gift, just comment here or on my Instagram picture of the book (here) before Friday. 

I received a copy of this book for free from Tommy Nelson Publishers, and like always the opinions here are all my own.

Adventures of Rebekah: Switching Things Up

I am a firm believer in naps. I know my mother would tell you that I was not always that way. I can remember as a child laying very still in by bed when I knew my mom was peeking into my room to see if I was asleep. I'm sure I wasn't tricking her, but I thought I was pretty tricky.

When I was in college, naps were my best friend! I would try to sneak a nap in most days before heading to the pool for swim team practice. But this post isn't about my naps. It's about Rebekah's naps...or more accurately the lack-there-of.

Rebekah has been a fairly good napper in general for most of her life, but for the past few weeks she had been having a very hard time with nap time. She is a typical toddler, saying "NO" to about half of the things I asked her to do. And every day after lunch she would say over and over "no go night-night" as we started our bedtime routine.

Sit on the potty.
No go night-night!
Get a clean diaper on.
No go night-night!
Put on her zippy.
No go night-night!
Get her night-night bear and pacifier.
No go night-night!
Turn on her air filter.
No go night-night!
Turn off the lights.
No go night-night!
Sing Jesus Loves Me in the rocking chair.
No go night-night!

You get the picture. She was determined not to go to sleep. Once in her crib she would sing, play, roll, talk, bounce, and pretty much anything she could do except for sleep. She wasn't crying, and the alone rest time was good for her but she really needed to sleep.

The other day my mother-in-law suggested we switch up her nap routine and try playing music for her to fall asleep to.

I can remember listening to music to fall asleep to when I was little. I can remember napping at my Gramma Seger's house. She had 2 upstairs bedrooms, one on each end of a hallway at the top of the staircase. She would put a tape player on the blue and green hallway carpet between the two rooms and play music for the cousins who were in bed to take a nap.

Anyway, I thought it was worth a try to see if music would help Rebekah fall asleep. We started this weekend. And she napped! I tried it again on Monday, and she feel asleep for nap time for the 2nd day in a row! Tuesday was a bust because of a few different things - one of them being that her pacifier (which she called her ga-ha) broke while she was in bed...oh the drama!! We are trying again today. I played her the same CD we use in the van when it's time to take a nap. It is called Hidden In My Heart: A lullaby journey through scripture. It's just soft, soothing music with simply sung scriptures in the songs. 

How about you? Any tricks to get your toddler to nap? I would LOVE to know what worked for you!

She has been wanting to play "nap time" lately. Here is when she was playing nap time with Caleb, her baby doll and her night-night bear. 

She is very convincing, is she not? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 3 Months

Dear Caleb,

For 3 months you have been out and about in this world and every day is another sweet blessing with you. 

This past month was a busy one. We made 2 trips up to Minnesota - your first road trips! You are a very good little traveler, sometimes better than your sister! You love to sleep in the car but we found out that after a certain amount of time you are DONE with the car seat and just want to be out, out, out!

You are such a strong boy and love to wiggle and squirm all over the place. You can bounce yourself in your bouncy chair. If you are on your back on the floor you will dig your heals in and scoot yourself forward. You are still not a huge fan of tummy time, but you are getting better. You are such a strong little boy!

You love watching your sister and she loves showing you things. Sometimes you are not so sure what to think when she shows you something...

You LOVE eating and Mommy thinks you are going through a growth spurt because you want to nurse every 2 hours or more during the day. At night you will usually sleep one 4 hour stretch and then a couple 2 or 3 hour stretch. We don't have much of a day time schedule yet. You stay awake for 2 or 3 hours and let me know when you want to go to bed (by fussing!). I am so thankful that you fall asleep pretty easy most days. And I'm hoping that is an ability you will be blessed with for your whole life!

You love to talk with Daddy in the evenings and are turning into his little buddy. 

And this month you got to cheer for the Gophers football team for the first time! Everyone thinks you are the cutest little gopher fan around! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 2 months

We have had a busy month! Caleb actually turned two months old last week but I haven't had a moment to write until now. The first part of Caleb's 2nd month was spend in our "old" house. We officially sold our first home! And the rest of the month has been spend at his Grandparent's house (where we will be living for the next few months while we build our new house.) 

Dear Caleb, 
You are such a sweet boy, I can hardly put it into words! This month was filled with firsts as we moved out of your first home. 

Your sister taught you your first trick ~ giving a fist bump. She loves giving you fist bumps all day long and mommy prefers it to her usual smothering hugs! 

You got your first pair of sunglasses from your Uncle Willie and Aunt Chelsea. #cooldude 

You took your first bath in your big boy tub - and did a little fishing while you were at it. 

You wore your first pair of shoes... Well your sister put them on you and you didn't mind. You are such an easy going boy. Happy all the time unless you are hungry or sleepy.

You got to meet your great grandpa Linn and your Uncle Willie for the first time. 

You have started to develope a special personality. You love to talk to Daddy in the evening and can make quite a few different noises. When you wake up from sleeping, you are all smiles and it just melts my heart. You are a growing boy and already weigh over 14 lbs and are starting to out grow your 3 month clothes! You love to watch your sister run around and play and I can just tell it won't be too long until you are joining her. 

My favorite part of the day is when you first wake up in the morning and I come and get you out of bed. You get the biggest smile on your face when you see me. Your eyes seem to say, "hooray, it's my mommy!" And I can't help but to hug you and kiss you and tell you I love you! You are such a special boy! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Adventures in Life: Selling Our House

Well, after nearly 7 years of adventures fixing up our little house, we are selling it. Actually, sold it! (After just two days on the market!) Just need to sign the papers at the closing in a few more weeks and it will be done. 

What's next, you ask? That's a very good question. And one that we have a general answer for but not a specific answer. 

General - we are planning on building a house. For a long time we have been wanting more land to use for raising a garden and some animals. 

Specific - we have not purchased the "just right" piece of property to build on yet. But we have our eye on something.

Daniel's parents have graciously opened their home to us and we will be living there until we get all of our ducks in a row. 

You can be sure we will be sharing this next big adventure here on the blog! If you are curious - here are a few before and after pictures of our house. 

Here is the front of the house before and after:

And here is a basement before (actually it's more during than before) and after

This is how the kitchen looked the day we first saw the house, and how it looks now...

And there was a tiny bedroom that we took the walls down and made it into a dining room area in the kitchen...

Our realtor had a professional photographer come and take pictures for the listing - if you are thinking of selling your house I totally recommend doing this! It makes a huge difference! Here are some more of the picture from our listing

It is hard saying good-bye to a place we have spend so much time and energy on, but we are excited to cash in our "sweat equity" and start on our new adventure. 

Stay tuned for updates on our Adventures in Building! 

Adventures of Caleb: Month One

This handsome guy joined our family a little befor 10am on June 16th. 
And his big sister immediately fell in love with him (as did we!) 
This month has been...hard but wonderful. It's hard when Caleb doesn't sleep well at night and then I have to be awake and happy for Rebekah during the day. But it is wonderful when Caleb sleeps 4 hours at a time at night which he usually does one time a night.
It is hard when I have to really watch what I eat because Caleb has a sensitive tummy and lots of foods I eat give him gas. 

But it is wonderful when he is happy and she is happy. They are so fun to watch together. Rebekah is such a great big sister! Always wanting to help and giving tons of kisses! 

It's hard when they both need my attention (and are crying!) but I can only help one of them at a time.

But wonderful that Caleb is a pretty easy going baby and really only cries if he is hungry or has gas in his tummy.

Overall this last month of adjustment to being a family of 4 has been a smooth transition. It feels like Caleb has always been a part of our family.

Dear Caleb,

A little over a month ago, your daddy and I got to meet you for the first time. You came when you were ready (9 days past your due date but right on time!) and you didn't take to long to make your entrance to this world (I was in labor for about 6 hours). And we instantly fell in love with you, our sweet boy!

You are a very "chill" baby as described by a friend. You are an excellent nurser and eat about every 3 hours. As long as you are clean and fed you are pretty content. You prefer to sleep in your swing rather than your bed and you do not like to be swaddled. You like to have your hands up by your face, both when you are asleep and awake. You love to watch your sister as she plays and tolerate her constant kisses. You are such a healthy boy and are already wearing 3 month clothes. 

You are staring to be awake more and show us your sweet little personality. I can hardly wait to see how much you grow and learn in the next month!