Wednesday, November 9, 2011

State Fair, Asa's Birthday & Labor Day Weekend Trip to St. Louis

Okay, so I know that this is SO late.  But I had a legitimate excuse.  I couldn't upload any pictures from any of my cameras or phones until this last week when I got the port fixed (thank you Best Buy).

So, between now and the rest of the week, get ready for some major blog action!  Starting with:

The State Fair.

Now, there's a little back story here.  Brandon and I go to the fair every year.  Usually once together as a date, enjoying all the delicious foods, and a second time with the boys, enjoying all the fun stuff there is for kids to do =).  But this year was EXTRA SPECIAL!  ALL (and I mean ALL) my siblings were in town!  This is extremely rare, the last time this happened was my rehersal dinner for my wedding!  We had just enjoyed a day floating on a river, and the next day we all got ready and went to the fair.  Not to mention, on our family day there, one of my favorite bands was playing, and my dad recieved a blue ribbon for his amazing stained glass art!

Check out that Blue Ribbon!  Way to go Dad!

Some of my nieces going down the Big Slide (a Leonard Family Tradition)

My sister, Mary, and niece, Allison (St. Louis)

My Giant nephew, Maxon (seriously folks, he's huge... but super cute)

The Entire Gang (-Asa & Zach, Lizzie & Addison): (first row)Val & Nate, Jonathan & Shawna, Christine & Nathan, Me & Brandon, Annie, Mary & Adam, (second row) Nate Jr., Gracie, Maxon, Maggie, Emmett, Allison, Tommy 

My Wonderful Boys

This was before the Tenth Avenue North Concert started, they were wiped out!
Next up:

Asa's 4th Birthday!!!!

I can't believe he's 4.  This is very cliche to say, but it seems like it was just yesterday that I was holding him for the first time and seeing what God was capable of.  God gave me one great son when he blessed me with Asa.  Asa is smart, funny (a class clown), sweet, forgiving, and an amazing big brother.  We are so thankful for him. 

Breakfast with Muje (upon request =) !)

A Trip to the Zoo with some great friends!

Discovering an ENORMOUS preying mantis outside our front window.
Overall, it was an excellant birthday, we had so much fun celebrating it with doing some of our favorite things (breakfast with Muje, the Zoo, and discovering bugs).  We ended it with Little Ceasar's pizza and ice cream!

And last but not least:

Labor Day Weekend Trip to St. Louis

I didn't get as many photos from this trip as I would've liked, but we were having too much fun =)  My sister, Mary, and her family live in St. Louis, and we love to visit once or twice a year.  This was Emmett's second time going to St. Louis, but the first time all four of us went.  Here are some fun pictures =)

Grants Farm


Rub-a-dub-dub, 3 Cousins in a tub!

We went to Grant's Farm on Saturday, which is becoming a favorite for our two small families.  We enjoy the train ride, seeing all sorts of animals, and feeding goats.  We also seem to miss the elephant show, haha, but we made up for it this time with slushies =)
On Sunday, we took a ride on Adam's (my bro in law) boat.  We went out on the Mississippi River, which was super fun.  We stopped for a picnic on a small island, and let the kids play, and Emmett got to sit in the river for the first time.
On Monday, our last day, we went to Ekhart's Farm, which is a very popular apple orchard on the Illinois side.  We had so much fun playing on the tractors and bouncy houses and kids rides.  Then we got to pick A TON of HONEYCRISP!  Our Favorite!

Overall, it was a very fun month for our family, and we were so happy to be able to spend time with all of my siblings.  I am so thankful that I have such a large family, and that we get to have vacations like that every-so-often.  I'm really thankful that my kids have cousins their age, and I look forward to more fun vacations as they grow up. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Unpacking is waaaaaaaaaay harder with kids.  I've come to realize this as we moved into our new house.  Don't worry!  We have liveable space and I've unpacked all the super important stuff.  But it's almost impossible to do much else unless Brandon takes the boys out for a little while and leaves me home to do it myself.  And even then, some of the boxed as more heavy than they look.

Here are some pictures of the boys enjoying the new place:  **ps, my camera is dead, so these are from my phone, sorry about the quality**

Goodness I love them =)

Oh!  AND!  Asa had his 4 year check up not too long ago and Emmett had his 9 month check up, too.
Asa is in in the 70% for weight, and 45% for height (didn't know we had a chunker?  but he is pretty solid), and Dr. Dave says he's the best 4 year old he knows.
Emmett is apparently our little peanut!  He's only 24in tall, putting him in at 12% for height, and was 17lb 7oz, which was 8% for weight!  Crazy!  I thought for sure it'd be higher!  The doctor thinks it's because he's so gosh darn active.  Either way, Dr. Dave isn't concerned because Emmett is very porpotionate.

Here are some Baby vs. Present day photos of both the boys, Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finally! We have a place! Part Deux!

Here are pictures of our new place!  These were taken before we moved stuff, and I'll take more after we unpack and decorate!

Our Cute Little Home!
Our Front Porch
Our Kitchen (1st half)
Our Kitchen (2nd Half)
Our Dining Room
Our Livingroom (1st half)

Our Livingroom (2nd half)

The Sweet HUGE door from the Livingroom to the Guest Room/Den
The Guest Room/Den
Asa and Emmett's Room (Asa is super excited!)

Our Room
Our nice long Bathroom

So that's the new place!  I really look forward to making it a home!

The Story behind this house:

The fall before Brandon and I got married, we had driven past this house and noticed that it was for sale, and so we stopped and got one of the fliers.  We really liked the idea of owning a home, and it got our minds thinking about it.  The house was quickly snapped up, and we didn't stand a chance.  But God was good, and we found our apartment, and have lived here for 18 months.
Over the last 18 months, we've tried looking at houses twice, but it never worked out (see Previous blog Title "So Long, Fare Well").  Brandon and I both agreed that we just felt like the Lord was saying, "Wait, I have something planned, and I want you to wait".  But our lease was up, and we needed to move.  So we started looking at new places to rent.
We found a cute 2 bedroom in Ankeny that would've been great.  It was close to Brandon's work, and my sister and mom's houses, and had all the amenities that we wanted.  We were pretty excited about it.  And the landlord was very sweet.  A few nights later, we agreed to fill out the application and send it in.  But before I mailed it, I felt very anxious, and took that to the Lord.  I talked it out with Brandon, and we agreed (once again), to keep looking, just in case.
**side note, this house went on the market again back in March, which is what got the ball rolling a 3rd time for looking at places, lol, but again, was snapped up before we started officially looking**
I was looking on Craigslist that night, and saw an ad for "DMU/Drake House", and I skipped over it because I thought for sure, it was going to be in a bad neighborhood... like the one we want to get out of.
I kept looking, and I went and looked at several apartment buildings, and found a lot of really great ones.  But all the ones we liked didn't have openings until mid August, and we needed be out before August 1st.  As I continued to look on Craigslist, I kept seeing this ad "DMU/Drake House"... so finally I looked at the ad.  What was interested was that there was no address, not even a cross street mentioned, just pictures... but I recognized the pictures.  It was same house that got us thinking about homes 2 years ago!  I was in shock!  So I emailed the gentleman.  I heard back from him, and the rest was just God's amazing handy work playing out in front of us!
I am truly amazed at how evident God made himself during these last few weeks.  And I'm even more amazed at the plan that he had in mind for us.
Granted, we will probably grow out of this house, but I love that God took into consideration the desires of my heart while he was guiding us to a new home.

In other news, I've also learned the disastrous effects of Evil.  My van was broken into 2 mornings ago before I left for work.  It's so sad.  They stole my wallet and pretty diaper bag (which was actually just a very large purse).  I lost all of our credit cards, checks, and a lot of money that we had just received after pay day and were going to use to purchase a new washer and dryer THAT evening.  It's been a crazy few days trying to get everything sorted out.  But God is so gracious.  He's blessed us with AMAZING Family and Friends who have been there to help us through.  So here's a thank you to ALL of my family who has been very understanding and been so helpful with the boys.  And a thank you to ALL of our friends who have helped us out.  A special Thank you so Christine, my sister, who graciously let the boys spend the night so that Brandon and I could take time to meet with our new Landlords and pack, and another special Thank you to Anthony and Kathy Johanns, you know what you did!

Prayer Request:
That the move would go smoothly and no one would get hurt while moving furniture from our 3rd floor apartment to the new place.
That I would forgive the person who stole from us.
That the person who stole from us would find Salvation in Christ, and repent of their sins.

Thank you all so much!  We love you so much!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finally! We have a place!

Yes, that's right!  We have a place to move in to! 
We sign our contract on Wednesday night, and get our keys!

I will post pictures of the house and the move soon!

But for now, I need to finish packing!

God is sooooo Good!

Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fenugreek.... More to it than meets the eye

Okay, so Emmett has been eating a ton, and I can't seem to stay caught up.  So I asked lots of mom's and the consensus was Fenugreek.

I bought some and as I was pumping one night, I read the warning lable: Not for pregnant or nursing mothers.

That's interesting.... so I googled it, as I do with most things.

I stumbled across this website .

Not only did it ease my fear of taking fenugreek while nursing... but it supplied me with some very interested uses.

I suggest reading the section titled : Little known uses

So, for all you mom's out there, Fenugreek is great if you need help amping your milk supply..... and for all you wives out there... I don't think your husband is going to mind you taking this supplement either ;)

So Long Fare Well! (to my laptop and hopefully my apt)

Not going to lie.... it's been a emotional rollercoaster for me the past few months.

Lost my laptop that had all of the boy's photos on them (all of Asa's 3 1/2 years, and Emmett's first 6 months), and our wedding photos (excluding from the photographer), and some fun family photos over the last 2 years.  As well as all of my side work for Green's and These Are A Few of My Favorite Things Holiday Show.  **Geek Squad is working on getting this back for me, but there's a very slim chance.... please pray =( **

Finally had the finances to buy a House!!!!  Looked through at least 50 houses... found one!!!!  Prayed about it, sought council about it, put in an offer on it..... Denied.   Put in another offer on it.... Denied.  Prayed about it over the next few weeks, while looking at more houses.....  Finally, after not finding anything else, put in another offer on the original.... Accepted!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, but God had something else in store.  The seller was going to write a check to a contracted upon closing (they were going to pay for 1/2 the repairs needed to the HVAC system, and we were going to pay the remainder come September when the system was installed), but our loan states that if the seller writes a check to a contractor for work to be completed, that work MUST be completed PRIOR to closing, and the loan appraiser must verify that the work is completed and PAID for.  Not normally a problem... except we still needed to save up the other half and it would take us 2 more months to get that.... and we'd probably be broke... and this just wasn't working.  I cried for 3 days, while pleading with God to come through with a wonderful miracle, while Brandon prayed for guidance, wisdom, confidence, ect.   I'm sad to say this.... but we are backing out of the buying this particular house at this particular time.  I mourned last night, but feel much better with the decision that my HUSBAND made (note... I did not make this decision, I'm waaaaaaaaay to emotional, and want a house waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to badly).  I know that God will bless us for being patient and waiting, and that he has something better in store for our family.  But this was very hard on my heart.  Please pray that God will continue to guide us, and that he would provide quickly.

One of the reasons why we want to move so bad.  Our new neighbors.  It was nice when all of our neighbors were Walnut Creek girls.  But they have all moved out (due to reasons that I will not list), and now we have new ones.  At first it was fine, some of the new people were very quiet, kept to themselves, and it was peaceful.  But within the last few weeks, we have 3 new sets of neighbors... and I'm not comfortable with them.  It's to a point where, if I were to come home late at night (ummm... say Saturday after church and hang out?) Brandon won't let me walk through the parking lot alone.  Now imagine this, on a Friday night, when I have my children.  I'm not saying that there are people out in our parking lot with guns and knives and creepy looking faces.  But our new neighbors drink heavily out on there patio or out in the parking lot on their tail gates, and they aren't from around here, and you never know....  I know God will protect us, but I still need to be cautious.

Okay, so lots of things that the enemy is using to lie me into an anxiety attack.... it's not fun, and truth be told, I've been going to the Lord at least twice a week over the last two months just to lay it down at this feet.  I cling to Philippians 4: 4-9
"4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

I know that this a lot, and if anyone knows me, I can say it a lot faster that I can type it, hahaha.  All in all, I've seen God be so evident in our lives lately, and I've seen him come through for us in mighty ways.  I've been learning not to put God in a box, but to trust that He can do bigger things than I can imagine.  And even though I didn't get "the house of my dreams", I know that He has the RIGHT house out there waiting for us at the right time to find it.  He has taught Brandon and I patience, humility, and submission this last week.  And we are very grateful for it.

Prayer Requests:

That Geek Squad would recover my laptop's harddrive so that I could have our photos back (i've learned my lesson and will be backing up to an external harddrive from now on).
That God would give us strength and time as we continue to house hunt.
That God would guide us to the home that He wants us to grow our family in (after all, we need one if we plan on having any more littles ones =) )

Here are some cute photos (from my phone) of the boys =)

Friday, April 22, 2011

4 Month Check Up

My Little Emmett is 4 months old already!  I know it's said a lot, and it's very cliche, but it flew by so fast!

Praise God for how good he is!  He has blessed us with one healthy big boy!
Emmett stats:
Height 25 1/4in  (60%)
Weight 13lbs 10oz  (35%)

Dr. Dave (who we just LOVE) said that he's on the think side because of how much he moves.  I tell you what!  This boy is a mover and a shaker!  All he does it move!  He does not like to sit still, haha!
Dr. Dave also said that he's one of the strongest 4 month olds he's seen.  This made me very happy to hear.  He told me to expect great things from my boys.  I love hearing this.
Dr. Dave is always so impressed with Asa and how clever and smart he is, and has told me not to compare Emmett to him in that category.  But he informed me, that Emmett will definitely be able to hold his own when it comes to strength, and that I might find myself with an early crawler and walker!  (He also told me not to hold him to that, just in case)

We also got some shots today =(  Emmett did ok with them, I think.  At his 2 month check up, he was a mess, it was hard to calm him down.  This time, he cried, but stopped as soon as the band aids were on.  "What a tough guy" was the nurses comment =)

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last 4 months

A special Thanks to Uncle Jordon who took the last 2 pictures =)