Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More pics of the house

This is the back of the house. It kind of reminds me of a barn when I look at it.

This is the living room. We really like the stained glass accents on the window. It is small but it should make a cozy sitting area. We might make this room the dining room but I guess we will figure that out when we get there.

Here is the park that is around the corner a block away. I think this will be super fun! It is also next door to the farmer's market.

Here is the porch--and the porch swing. How fun will that be? There is also a dove nest under the porch.
This is the backyard. We are hoping that we can close off the fence in the back and on the sides of the house.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Things Are Settling

We are home from Pittsburgh. Whew. It always feels good to sleep in your own bed. Travel was good except that the airline mislocated our bags. We got them back late yesterday evening with everything intact. I think I have bad luggage karma--United Airlines totally lost my suitcase and never recovered it back in 2000. I was very thankful that they found both our bags--especially since I borrowed a friend's winter maternity clothes.

Assuming all goes well, we will be living in the house below.

It is a very cute house that actually is a 4th generation seminarian home. The priest at our church who is in charge of peeps going through the ordination process is the first seminarian who owned the house. It is very complicated but basically we are buying the house. I will post some more pics that we took later.

House features:

1. Basement -for storage and laundry (not exactly looking forward to hauling laundry and cloth diapers up and down 2 flights of stairs but maybe it will help me lose that baby weight quicker) House comes with washer and dryer. Maybe we can figure out a way to hook up ours too since our laundry with be increasing. We don't want to get rid of our appliances because we know we will need them when we move back to TX. Most people include the appliances with the homes here.

2. First floor-1/2 bath (Very rare in this area. Most bathrooms are on the 2nd floor), living room , dining room, kitchen (comes with fridge, microwave, dishwasher--hallelujah!), large kitchen storage area with some ikea storage funriture (see below), mudroom.

3. 2nd floor-3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. One bedroom used to be 2 bedrooms and someone knocked down the wall in between. We are deciding how we will use that portion of the room. TV room, play room, sitting area? No idea!

4. Attic/3th floor-The attic is finished and has 2 rooms in it. One room has a window unit and base heater and will be used as the guest room. (If you ever want to visit Pittsburgh...) The other room will be the office/study/bookholder room. It also comes with a desk and some other IKEA storage. It is a perfect get away for Jon to study in. There is a door that shuts off the 2nd floor from the 3rd floor so it will be quiet while Jon studies.

Other features:
The house has a small, but not fenced, backyard that we would like to seal off so the boys can safely play outside.

It has a really front porch with a porch swing. I am looking forward to that!

The house is 3 blocks from the school; one block from the park; one block from the farmers market; a couple blocks from the dinky movie theatre and several seminary families live on the block and behind us too.

The 2 biggest prayer needs we have are:
1) Selling our house! Pray, Pray, Pray! We just dropped the price and are doing "our" part to get things moving. The rest is up to God.

2) Find out which donors want to transfer their support from IV to Christ Church.

There are lots of things still up in the air but having a place to live makes it easier and it pleases my desire to nest and set up the house.

Other things to note:
We did celebrate our 7th anniversary while we were there. We went up the Duquesne (pronounced doo-cane) Incline to Mt. Washington (HERE is a better picture) and ate a very nice and romantic dinner at the top of the mountain. I had Filet Mignon stuffed with spinach and feta cheese (yummy!) with some green beans and banana bread pudding for dessert. Jon had Mahi-Mahi with some herby mashed potatoes and a dessert drink--I don't remember exactly--but it did have Bailey's Irish Cream in it. We talked about all the memories from each year of marriage we could think of. We noted how the first 2 years seem so different than the other 5. We had lots of memories of being in our first apartment and had some good laughs thinking back. We couldn't remember much about the first year we were in our house (3rd year of marriage) because the memories of having the boys overruled being childless in the house. I remembered more about being pregnant than anything else.

Jon and I decided that we are going to refer to the 7th year as a year of special celebration of our marriage because neither one of us like the stereotype mentality that the 7th year traditionally has (The 7th year itch--to ditch the marriage). We had a lovely evening together and I seriously think I have the best husband ever. He is the perfect man for me and I really do love him more now than I did 7 years ago while we were standing up saying our vows to each other.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Please Pray


We are in Pittsburgh and in the middle of trying to figure out a place to live, how much $$ we have for housing (either buying or renting), insurance, where we can afford to have the baby, how much $$ we will be getting to live on from donors who want to support us in seminary, how long to stay here for seminary (2.5 or 3 years--in other words a more relaxed pace where Jon is around more often or a speedier pace that costs less financially but is perhaps more taxing on our family life).

I am overwhelmed at all the decisions that need to be made without knowing exactly how much money we will have to live on or practically how we will be living. We need God to work a miracle and sell our house in TX soon.

It does not help that I am pregnant and the nesting hormones are running rampant. We are leaving Pittsburgh this afternoon still without a place to live (as of 10am). We are hoping to get that part squared away by the time we leave but I want to know where we will live so I can imagine and plan where I am going to put furniture and get my nest ready before this baby comes.

Please pray for me to have peace in the Lord, to trust Him for our needs, for a lot of wisdom as it seems like we just have to make some decisions without knowing all the ins and outs of how everything will pan out.

Don't forget to discuss the poll below either :).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Poll on Diamond Rings

So, we have a friend who has been dating a lovely girl for a while. They are heading toward marriage and he is doing some ring shopping. He has been fininshing up getting a masters program so he doesn't have a whole lotta money. They have considered going the cubic zirconia route over the real diamond since they can always upgrade later.

I think this is a fabulous idea! I can understand from a guys perspective that you want to get your girl the best but if you can only afford something smaller than you would like to get her and she is okay with the CZ then why not save what you would spend on the real thing and get the CZ? No one would ever know and it could be their little secret. Later on after he is actually making $$ and can afford a real diamond then he can surprise her with it.

I took a poll at my play group and we were torn 50/50. 2 said they would rather have the real but very small diamond (because you can still upgrade later) and 2 said go for the CZ because you can upgrade later (I was one of those two).

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More On Names

I tried to convince Jon the other day that we should name this baby 'Ethan' (thanks for the recommendation Kim) and then we should have two more children--(girls of course) and name them Iris and Olivia. Then our kids initials would be:






E-I-E-I-O! Hahahahahaha! I had quite the chuckle over that one. It still makes me laugh.

Are you surprised that he didn't give the thumbs up for that one?

Thoughts I Had at Church

I don't know about you, but when I am near nature and am also in a setting where I am worshipping God I feel closer to Him. The service we attend at our church is held in the chapel. It is a contmeporary service that values creativity, casual dress, the liturgy, community, and a more spirit-led music time. The alter/stage looks out into a garden with a large cross in the middle of it. You can see a picture of it here at the end of the virtual tour of our church. It is a beautiful room to worship in.

I love it when Spring comes because the garden starts to grow more greenery and flowers start budding. The garden has been a symbol of the seasons of my own spiritual life. Sometimes I am feeling dry and lifeless in my relationship with God and looking into the garden during the winter feels comforting to me. Seeing all the budding growth in the spring gives me hope.

This spring around the same time every Sunday a little pair of robins comes to frolick in the garden, often stopping to rest on the cross. Today a pair of doves joined in on the fun and one of the doves sat on the cross and appeared to be listening to today's sermon (through the glass of course). I was quite amused. Yes, I was listening to the sermon too. It was about taking notice of others around you and responding to how God might want you to serve them.

We always sit in the front row at church so we are the first to take communion. Not only do I not have to worry (even though I know I shouldn't) about how many people took the cup before me but I also get to people watch when it is time to come back to my seat. (That isn't WHY we sit on the first row. We sit there because people often don't like sitting on the first row and we like getting good seats and helping our priests feel supported.) I am often struck by the space boundaries people have when it comes to communion. Some people like to leave a whole person gap between themselves as they come to the alter to kneel. Most people don't feel comfortable approaching the alter to kneel and find their spot unless there is a 2 or 3 person space. It is an interesting phenomenon to watch. It is interesting that folks don't mind drinking from the same cup right after the person that is next to them has just drank from (which in my mind is a very intimate thing to do), but they do want to make sure that there is a 12" space between them and the person next to them. It is one of those things that makes me go hmmmm....

Something really cool happened today! Isaac went to his potty in the kitchen, lifted up the lid and said, "I need to go peepee." Great! It was after breakfast so I asked him if he was going to pee or poo. I am going to go poopoo. And he did! Then he said, "Can I get a treat?" You betcha! He was so proud as was I.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

House Stuff

This is a picture when our house was still under construction 2 years ago. It looks pretty different now--landscaping and grass make quite a difference.
Anyway, we are moving in 2 months and our house has not sold yet. The market is sooooo slow and there is a large number of foreclosures in our area which we are competing with--not to mention the new construction behind our subdivision. They are FINALLY building the Brookshires grocery store right down the street from our subdivision so hopefully that will be a selling point in our favor.
Please pray that a)we get more people coming to see the house and b) someone will see the house, love it and want to live in it. It is a great house and floor plan. Our whole adventure to go to seminary is all in God's hands but I think we need some supernatural intervention.
We are going to visit Pittsburgh next week to find a place to live and do the school interview. We have a couple of options for housing to check out while we are there--one very promising. It is a rental house 1 mile from the school, 1 block from a farmers market, and 1.5 blocks from a great park. On the first floor it has a living room, dining room, bathroom (unsual to have a bathroom on the 1st floor for this area), kitchen and eat-in kitchen area. The 2nd floor has 4 bedrooms and full bathroom. The attic is finished and separated into 3 rooms. The basement is not finished out but for a house with this many rooms you don't really need to use it for storage. It has a fenced in backyard right off the kitchen too. It sounds perfect and I am already wanting to live there without seeing it. There are so many possibilities with this house--we could have a "reading room/prayer room" and put our bookshelves and chairs in it. We could have the tv room on the 2nd floor or a play room. Jon will have his own study in the attic away from all the other activity in the house.
We are still undecided about whether to rent or buy so please pray for wisdom for us on our trip next week. There is a lot up in the air--housing (here and there), cars, finances, where we are having the baby.....We need some prayer support.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Zoo, Neighborhood Egg Hunt, and More

The last few weeks have been full with activity. We had a neighborhood egg hunt, went to the zoo, had a (mostly) fun weekend at my mom's house, Easter dinner at the Parkers, and a trip to the after hours pediatrician for Isaac (that is why mom's was mostly fun--that trip was included in her weekend package).

I taught my last Bradley class until 2008 last week. The couple in my current class moved back to Alabama so we did not finish the series. They had 3 classes left. I am going to send them what they need for the rest of the series but it isn't quite the same. They are a very sweet couple and I enjoyed our classes very much. I hope they can find a good provider there in Alabama. They were planning on a homebirth here but it is illegal in Alabama for midwives to practice so they have to go to a hospital for their birth. Hopefully they can find a provider that is very supportive of the kind of birth they want.

I am not going to teach this summer since we will be moving and settling into a new place. Then once the baby comes in August and Jon starts school I don't think I want to take on the added stress of teaching a class.

I have a pasta recipe I want to post soon so stay in tune. Enjoy the pictures!

Potty training update: Isaac is doing very well at going to the potty. He has only had 2 accidents in the past 2 weeks. He has started telling us when he needs to go to the bathroom and is doing very well at not having any pre-pee-pee dribbles in his pants. He still has not had a real poo on the potty but that is because he wakes up from night time or nap time with a poop and doesn't get a chance to go. Overall, I am very proud of him and think he is doing great at this milestone.

Dallas Zoo

Last year we went to the Ft. Worth Zoo on Good Friday. This year we went to the Dallas Zoo. It turned out to be a nice day--a little chilly for my taste but the sun was out.

Here is Isaac looking at a mouse. Okay, it is fake but it looks real.

Ewan and his cousin, Riley, are riding the kangaroos.

Woah! Look at those HUGE koi fish!

At the children's area at the zoo they have a shallow stream that kids can play in. Ewan saw older kids with their shoes off running around in it and wanted to join in the fun. Now, why you would want to run around with no sock and shoes on in 50 degree weather is beyond me. I thought it was a bad idea but Jon "convinced" me to let him do it. Okay, what really happened is that I said I thought it was a bad idea. Jon said he thought it would be fun. I said, fine then you deal with all the complaining of being cold later. Of course the only part of Ewan's pants that weren't wet was the bum. To his (and Jon's) credit, Ewan never complained of being cold the rest of the day. He did have a blast too. Sometimes daddy is more fun than mommy.

Pictures of Friends at the Egg Hunt

Here is Ewan with his best bud, Warren, who by the way has the coolest hair of any kid I know. They have lots of fun and get to play together a lot.

Here are Kim and I and her sweet little baby girl, Isabella. Kim has become a good friend. She hosts our play group every week.

Sword fighting with Daddy.

Here I am about to enjoy a yummy cupcake. You can't see my belly in the picture but it really is there, I promise.

More Neighborhood Egg Hunt

We have an annual egg hunt in our subdivision. I am on the social committee along with some of my other friends. Darlene, the leader of the social committee, does an awesome job coordinating it all. We have games, a hunt, and face painting. The fire department also comes out and lets the kids check out all their gear. Here are some close ups of the boys collecting their eggs and a super cute on of Ewan wearing a fire hat.

Ewan is trying on the hat to see how it fits. He still wants to be a fireman when he grows up.

Crashed on the Floor

Ewan had a hard time going down for his nap last week and ended up crying at his door for 5 minutes before crashing on the floor. I thought I'd snap a shot of him snoozing since I don't actually see him sleeping that much. He loves his blankies and that thumb!

Monday, April 02, 2007

And Baby#3....

is another boy! As my best friend told me today, you are going to be a mama surrounded by a bunch of men.

BabyBoy looks healthy--he has all 4 chambers in his heart, his kidneys look good, his neural tube is closed, 2 arms, 2 legs, 10 fingers, 10 toes. We saw him suck his thumb and rub his hand across his face.

You might be wondering how I am feeling about having another boy. Well, we were really sure it was a girl and I really was wanting to be a mama to a baby girl. Maybe sometime in the future. I am totally happy that God has blessed us with another boy. Having boys is great--there is something special about a son and his mama. I love playing with rocks, sticks, bugs, checking out bulldozers and all the other "boy stuff" that comes with having boys.

The real stickler is coming up with a name! We had a hard time with the boys and we already had a girl name picked out. I am open to suggestions...We had thought about Carr as a choice....get it Carr Parker? Car Parker? Hahahaha....

Here are some pictures...

So you are looking at the baby's butt and the little "turtle head" sticking out in the middle is the baby's penis. Cute huh?

Here is the profile shot of the baby. His hand is up near his face and his legs are up in the air. That is our little guy!