Saturday, June 20, 2015

Birthday and more

Life has been busy around here the past couple of weeks. I finally have a moment to catch up.

Two weeks ago we went to our first South Bend Cubs baseball game. This is the second year that my office (Memorial/Beacon) has offered reduced price tickets to employees on a special night. We also get free bracelets for the bounce house which is the best part of the night for the boys. Sam was just big enough to do most of the houses whereas last year he couldn't even really do one. This is Sam's favorite, the obstacle course. He did a pretty good job climbing and crawling!

This is a picture of the fun zone from our seats on the other side of the stadium. As you can see, everything has changed from Silverhawks to the Cubs.

Here we are watching maybe 10 minutes of the game.

The next day was the Sunburst in South Bend. This is a yearly race composed of a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon. Dave decided to run the half marathon this year. He did pretty well. I would have taken pictures but I was at home with the boys with the stomach flu so we didn't get to see him. Ben thought Dave's medal was pretty cool.

Last weekend was basically a mini cuz fest for the Stephens family. Sue brought up her children, Jim brought Joshua, and the 4/5 of us went to Grandma and Pop Pops for Saturday. We haven't seen the KY cousins since last year and we finally were able to meet Ms Caroline.

Here are the 4 grandsons.

Of course there were tractor rides. Here's the "whole" crew.

Ms Caroline snuggling with her mom. She is just too cute!

Every time Katie barked (which is a lot when she wants someone to throw something), Caroline would jump and then giggle. It was so sweet.

Sam and Ellie still seem to be very good friends. They would often play together.

Grandma getting in some snuggles.

These were the best attempts at pictures of the grandkids.

The kids table for supper.

This weekend is my birthday and Father's Day. To celebrate, we headed to Silver Beach since we knew it would only be harder to make the trip since we will be moving farther away.

Of course we went to the carousel.

And looked at the trains there.

The boys tried on some silly hats.

Every year St Joe has a theme with statues all around downtown for the summer. This year's theme is bathtub toys. The boys had fun looking at the map to find all the statues. 

The boys were so excited to climb all over the cannon.

Someone was nice enough to take a family picture for us.

Playing in the bath tub.

Farmer Duck.

Despicable (minion) duck, which was the boys' favorite.

The best birthday/ Father's Day present we received was an offer on our house. We are officially under contract. What a blessing! We decided 3 weeks ago that we would move to Lafayette over the 4th of July weekend regardless of the house being sold since we were ready to be a full time family again. We knew this was a big step in our faith but we knew that God would provide and that his timing would be perfect. As always, it was. This was a busy week for me (Jackie) as I had showings almost every day. To know that I no longer have to worry about someone wanting to see our house at the last minute is such a blessing. I feel that we can truly just enjoy our last 2 weeks in this home. 

God has definitely been working on my heart and I can see why He had us wait patiently to see His hand on our journey. If we had someone buy our house quickly, then I think I would continue to have a whiny way of asking for things and treat God more like a vending machine. Instead, He showed me how to be still and be patient. He also helped me to prepare for my next roll of stay-at-home mom as I had the boys by myself Mon-Fri. 

We continue to ask for prayers as our journey isn't complete just yet. Next will be inspection and closing along with moving in 2 weeks. I definitely had a much less stressful birthday knowing that the buyer God had planned had made an offer. God is good!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Graduation and more!

Last Saturday we had another showing. It didn't last long but while we were out of the house we decided to make an adventure out of it. 

We ended up in New Buffalo, Michigan. Dave and I have been here probably one other time in our 7 years here. It was a fairly nice day and we enjoyed the beautiful weather and change of scenery.

First we stopped at the New Buffalo beach. It was a fairly nice beach with some sand dunes but very rocky. I still prefer Silver Beach in St Joseph, MI.

The water was pretty chilly since it hasn't been over 70 degrees around here.

Brotherly love.

The view of the beach from the top of the sand dunes.

Ben actually took this picture. He does a very good job with photography, you'll see more examples later.

Sam took this picture of Bubba (with some help from Mom)

Mom and her boys....

Sliding down the sand dune.

Next we headed to a new park, the Galien River County Park.

This was a very nice trail and a different way of looking at the river and marsh.

Sam taking a picture of his eye.

Love the look on Sam's face.

See the watch tower to the right.

A view from the top.

These are Ben's pictures from up above.

It's hard to tell from the pictures but were high in the tree tops. You could actually feel the walkway moving in the breeze slightly.

Bluejay on it's nest.

Afterwards we had pizza in the nearby New Buffalo Township park.

Lots of cool toys to play on.

Ben and Sam put on a show for us.

Grandma Wallace is currently here visiting to help celebrate Ben's graduation from preschool.

Fishing with Sam while we wait to see Bubba.

Walking to Beiger Elementary.

The class showed us their daily routine and performed some songs for us.

Ben has been so excited about this day for the past couple days.

Ms Renee handing Ben his diploma.

Sam got to sit and eat snack with the big kids.

Ben is such a great big brother.

Family pictures with the graduate.

Little brother has to do whatever big brother is doing.

If you have about 8 minutes, this is the video I took from the graduation ceremony. These are the songs they sang and handing out Ben's diploma.

Tonight we showed Grandma the new playground. Again, whatever big brother does, little brother is going to try. So here's Sam climbing the rock wall.

Reading books with Grandma.

So you made it all the way through my incredibly long blog to the other exciting news we have to share. Unfortunately, it is not that our house has sold. (But please keep praying for us that it will happen soon!!)

Here is a video of Ben's answer to his prayer that he has been praying daily since January... 

Ben is so excited that he is having a baby sister due October 4. Daddy might be still in shock.

God has been good and we know he will continue to watch over us. But seriously, if you know anyone looking to buy a home in Mishawaka, send them our way, PLEASE!!!