Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Preparations

Here are the first group of pictures of Christmas. Something is going on with the picture loader, so they are a little out of order!!! More to come :)

Decorating our first Tennessee tree in the midst of boxes and chaos!

A Hay Ride
Looking for the perfect tree

Making Christmas Ornaments

Friday, December 26, 2008

Good Times at Christmas

This Christmas was very different and full of "firsts" for us as a family. Our first Christmas away from our Ketchikan family, who we missed very much. Our first "Tennessee Christmas", the first Christmas in our new home and our first Christmas shared with the Maloney family.

After closing on our new house, we had 2 weeks to have new carpet and flooring installed have it all painted, clean, move in and decorate for Christmas. Jasen's Dad and Stepmom came for four days to help. We were so thankful for them, we never would have been able to do it without their help.

We did have a chance to do a couple of fun activities with the kids. We made ornaments together for our "homemade"tree, attended a Christmas parade, and visited a Christmas tree farm.

Due to all of the moving in activity, we didn't have much time for Christmas cards, or presents for friends. I had many good intentions. I do plan on sending out a New Years letter to friends and family, so please don't be hurt if you didn't receive anything from will!

Even though it was busy we had a great time with family. My Nana was able to come and spend Christmas with us this year, which was a very special treat for all of us. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and pray for a blessed New Year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Ok, so many of you were close, but only one person got it right. The prize goes to my Mom! Not surprising because other than Jasen and I she has spent the most time with them. Mom will be receiving all 4 gingerbread men in the mail as her reward :)

Most people who know my kids well, know that Jaden is very precise and picky about everything. Evan is becoming very much the same way, only worse! With Adam, anything goes and the more sugar the better. Just like most girls, Leah loves her candy and is so busy multi tasking that she doesn't have time to be picky about where the bits and pieces are placed, as long as they get on there!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

How well do you know our kids?

So, with Christmas almost upon us we have started baking, doing Christmas crafts and all the fun things that go along with this time of year. A couple of weeks ago we kicked things off by decorating gingerbread men. When we were all done, I stepped back and chuckled because each one represented their makers personality so well. So, I challenge you to guess which child made which gingerbread man. Results will follow when I have enough response to make it a competition!!
Number 1
Number 2 Number 3 Number 4

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Visit From Friends

Thanksgiving was different this year. It was our first year away from Ketchikan, away from everything that has been familiar. We were blessed this year to have friends join us for a few days over the weekend. It was so much fun to have Becky and Tim with us. Great to be able to catch up and be around good friends.

Friday took us to a Mennonite community about 20 minutes from where we live. We saw alot of the countryside and then stopped into Franklin Tennessee for lunch.
Saturday Jasen and Tim headed out to Bowling Green, KY to do some shopping and have some "guy time". Becky and I hung out at home visiting over countless cups of tea. It was very relaxing and nice to chat, so much nicer that emails and phone calls!!

Saturday evening we took a trip into Nashville to see the Opryland Hotel. It was very busy and I have to admit a little stressful trying to keep the kids together, but Becky and Tim had fun seeing the beautiful Christmas decor, it really is an incredible sight.

We packed quite a bit into our time together and had alot of fun. Hopefully they will come back to visit again, which they both promised they would :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Festivities!

We have had a great couple of days with friends and family. The week started off with a late birthday party for my Mom. We invited our friends Dave and Marylin Payne to join us, it was a fun time. Happy Birthday to You!

Becky & Tim arrived here late Wednesday night. It is so nice to have them here. We have been catching up over tea and having a great time.

After a relaxed Thanksgiving morning we headed down to Dave and Jenns for dinner. It was so nice to visit with Josh and Kendrie, they are such a sweet couple.

Half of the group

Turkey Cupcakes

The aftermath of the Turkey Cupcake

Little mother trying to clean up

A bath was definitely in order!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving & Christmas

Things are good here in Tennessee. We are still looking at houses, haven't found "the one" yet, but we will continue looking until we do!

The weather has turned cold, but it is mostly crisp and sunny, very beautiful. Jasen's job in going well, although he is quickly learning that he is not going to be the most popular person in Portland. Another aspect he is going to have to learn is dealing with the small town politics, I will leave it at that!

We are looking forward to both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this time of year, and look forward to visits with friends and family. Our friends Becky English and Tim Lindseth are coming to stay with us for a few days. Josh and Kendrie Mutart are going to be staying with David and Jenn and will also join us for Thanksgiving day. My parents are travelling up from Florida today and will stay until next weekend. This time of year always brings wonderful memories of times shared with friends in Ketchikan, we will miss you guys!! Ken, Bonnie, Jeremy, Kristi, Shawn, Tim & Kay, there is still time to buy tickets :)

One thing I wanted to mention was my Dads newly designed website. Thanks to Rob Nason it is now up and running and looks really great, what a talent he is! Check it out, you can download sermons, look at Mexico news, read his weekly devotions, along with many other things. It is very nice.

I guess that is it from this part of the country. We wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Adventures In House Hunting

Well, as most of you know we have been down here now for almost 3 months, and during that time we have been on a quest to find the "perfect home". To some that may seem like it would be an easy task. With the economy in trouble and the failing housing market, you would think that there would be an abundance of homes for us to choose from, well.......... Let me share with you our criteria! 1. Big - The house has to be big enough to accomodate a man who has more tools than Home Depot, 4 kids with more toys combined than ToysRus, a dog, and a woman who wants a house big enough that I can hide and not be found for at least 10 minutes. 2. Nice - The fixing up thing just does not do anything for me right now. 3. Has to have property attached - For the farm boy I am married too! 4. Within 10 minutes from Jasen's work - So he can come home for lunch, and help keep my sanity intact.

So I would say our realtor has had a pretty tall order, but she has done an amazing job. We found one place that we loved, offered, and it fell through. We found another place, we didn't love so much, offered on it anyway, and it fell through. We were starting to feel a little discouraged, when we came upon what seemed to be our "dream house". Online it looked like a picture, so we decided to drive by and check it out. Well, as we drove up our excitement grew as we saw one of the most beautiful pieces of property, big brick house, pasture, huge pond/lake, woods...perfect. I quickly made a call to our realtor who arranged for us to see it the following day. First impressions were "this is it!" We loved it. Yes, it is a little older, and outdated inside, but worth investing in because the property is so pretty. To cut a long story short, we made an offer contingent upon Jasen's "fine tooth comb" inspection of the property. So, today we went over to do our inspection. It was a typical Ketchikan day, blowing, raining, cold....made me homesick!
Our realtor greeted us and as we began to chat, Jasen took off to check things out, the attic being his first stop. After about 15 minutes, Jasen came back smiling (which normally is a good sign) however, he had found some scary wiring and some wet sheetrock from a leaky roof. "Well," I said "how bad is it?" "The whole roof needs to be reshingled" Jasen replied, "but that's not all I found" "Really?" I said "what else?" "Uuuh... half a dozen shed snake skins...." Those that know me can imagine my response, so I won't go into detail. The skins were about 3 to 4 feet long...SO GROSS!!!!! Jaden thought they were very cool, obviously, but they were taller than he was. Upon further inspection Jasen found more in the crawl space. Thankfully the snakes here are in hibernation so we didn't see any live action. So now our dream house is back on the market and waiting for it's new owner, which is not going to be least they won't have rodent problems, and they'll never be lonely either!!!

A "Chicken Snake" harmless but disgusting!

So all that to say, we have looked everywhere for the right place, and still haven't quite found it. We are continuing to trust that God will provide. He knows the house that is for us, and I'm sureit will come up in His time. All the looking sure has created some fun memories though!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fall Fun

Our First Real Fall!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sun & Sand

Life has been a little crazy over the last few weeks. With house hunting, job hunting and home school, we have had little time for much else.

We are very blessed to report that Jasen is now the new Building Inspector for the City of Portland (TN not OR!). He will start his new job next Monday. He is excited to get a little more experience under his belt, and is up for the new challenge.

On the house front. We did put an offer in on a home here, but it fell through, so now we are on the look out for something else. There are a few possibilities out there so we are praying for the right one to show itself!!

So today we decided to take a day off from everything and head to a park that we have noticed before but never been too. It was so much fun, the best part was that we hd the whole thing to ourselves. It was a beautiful day, so the kids had chance to swim in the beach area there.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back Home

We are back from our trip to Florida. We drove through the night again on Monday, and arrived home at 5:30am. Our kids are becoming great travellers, and I am thankful that they do so well.
We had a fun packed time with my parents, shopping, golfing, playing on the beach, and celebrating my Dads 60th birthday!

Now it is back to real life.