Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Here come the Spring Chicks . . .

Or, I guess I should say, the Spring goslings and turtles! The animal babies are beginning to appear around us and it has been so exciting to see and experience! First came the six little goslings, parading around the lake with their mother and father. They have visited our bank several times, giving us a closer look. They've also visited our new garden . . . but not for long thanks to Mr. Ricky next door, lol! We still have a pair of geese near the Warbington's house with eggs that haven't hatched--we hope they make it, inspite of the dog and children! Then came the baby turtle--Ethan found him along the bank of the lake this week and absolutely LOVED him. He was adorable, maybe the size of a quarter. Ethan released him back into the lake and we hope to see him again soon. We love living here and are amazed more everyday by the beauty of God's nature around us!
God is so good!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Yes, yes, yes . . . you all know we live in 'the country' now, so we had to plant a garden. We've tried gardens in the past, but not with a lot of success. Here in 'the country', with our neighbors Ms. Maggie and Ricky, we decided we would try again and learn from the pros. Ms. Maggie had the absolute best tomatoes and veggies last year, we sampled MANY of them! So, with her guidance and help, we have planted a wonderful garden of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, carrots, onions, cantelope, watermelon and eggplant. It has been lots of hard work so far (and I know there is MUCH more to come), but it has been so fun to work together as a family and a neighborhood (the Warbingtons and Jenkins are planting as well!). The boys worked SO hard hoeing the garden and planting the plants and seeds; and we are ALL excited about seeing the plants and vegetables grow in the weeks and months to come!

Little Miss Sunshine!

Anna Beth had her preschool program last Thursday night and you guessed it . . . she was a little sunshine! No doubt, this is the perfect costume for the little miss priss who loves to brighten our days. The program was ADORABLE with lots of the good old nursery songs and rhymes. Anna Beth sang "Mr. Golden Sun" with several other girls.

Her neighbor and partner-in-crime Riley Catherine is right beside her in the program and in the last snapshot taken after the show. Our other neighbor Blaine was a cute little spider who caused quite a scream for little Miss Muffet. It was a wonderful evening reflecting on the joys of childhood and all that our children have experienced this year. WOW . . . can't believe yet another school year is about to end, it just goes by too quickly!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Okay, Okay, Here is the House!

Okay, I'm giving in--several people have asked that I post some picts of the new house here since they are not close enough to visit. I was planning to wait until it was decorated and looking more orderly than it is at the moment, however, it seems that is going to be MUCH further into the future than I imagined. I will go ahead and post a few photos taken on the day we moved in--they aren't great, but you'll get the picture! Disregard the brown paper all over the floors, lol, that was to prevent scratches on the wood floors on move-in day! Here are some pictures of the kitchen--this was my BIGGEST source of anxiety and stress, but I am very pleased with the outcome. The kitchen has proven to be a great arrangement and amount of space for my cooking endeavors. It has even 're-inspired' me to do more cooking (I've been in a slump lately!)

The photo above is taken walking in from the mudroom; the one below is looking in from the keeping room. You can see the columns we wrapped in stone--they turned out better than I expected! Here is the keeping room that connects off of the kitchen and breakfast area. We don't have any furniture in here yet, but we plan for this to be more of a cozy sitting/game room for family--no television, at least not in the plans for now. Just a fun room that is an extension of the kitchen . . . can't wait to use the fireplace next year! You can't see it in the photo, but to the left there is a HUGE triple window to the floor looking out over the lake.

Here is a photo looking into the great room from the kitchen bar. The second photo is looking in from the breakfast area (which is to the right). The french doors/windows in the great room have been useful already, and provide an incredible view of the lake. The doors open up to a vaulted porch.

This photo is looking from the great room across the breakfast area and into the keeping room--it is a wide open space!

Okay--obviously, this isn't a move-in day photo. This is the dining room, the one room that looks 'okay', so I included a post-move photo. It doesn't look this 'busy' in person, I promise!

Here is part of the master bedroom-it has A LOT of windows, you are looking at the lake and stars at night--the photo of the lake is taken looking out one of our windows, it really is beautiful! I love the vaulted ceiling and chandelier. The second photo is the master bathroom.

I don't have great photos of the kids rooms, the guest room or the area we finished in the basement. However, I think this is probably MORE than most of you wanted to see anyhow!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who prayed for us during this building/selling process. This new home is a blessing from our Heavenly Father and we cannot wait to invite others in and use it for His glory! We are claiming the verse from Isaiah that states "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." May this home provide a place of peace, security and rest for our family, and all who enter!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Check out TEAM JENKINS . . .

One more thing . . . Andrea has more about what our family (and the other cleft families) have been doing on her blog. I'm so far behind at this point, I'll never catch up on all that has been going on so be sure to check out our family on her site as well--here is the link:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cruisin' on TWO Wheels!

Anna Beth is now cruising on only TWO wheels!

She has been begging Daddy to take the training wheels off for a few weeks now--she needs to keep up with Riley and Blaine, lol! Finally, Kip took the wheels off on Sunday night. She went out in the cold on Monday morning, on her own, and within 15 minutes she was riding down the driveway on two wheels! It was pretty amazing--the boys took a LOT more time, practice and encouragement. Although, we are not surprised--she is one determined little lady!

P.S. Check out the bumps, bruises and bandaids on those legs--this girl plays HARD!

New Waters to Explore . . .

Since moving to The Cleft our boys (and now our daughter as well) have quickly become fascinated with fishing! I've had my fill of tying on lures, adding line weights and taking fish off their hooks to be released back into the lake . . . Thankfully, the boys can now do it on their own. It is amazing to watch them learn a new skill and enjoy the beauty of God's nature as well! Here is a quick slideshow of their first days learning to cast and reel them in! And yes, that is prissy little Anna Beth casting her princess rod--she is turning out to be quite a little tomboy, lol!