Our little family

Our little family

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My cup runneth over

As I sit here listening and watching my little family running around making little noises and conversation I feel so totally blessed. It's a rainy April evening and we have been watching Toy Story and talking all about our day. Tatum has been talking 90 to nothing telling her daddy every detail of her day. We emptied our change jar the other day and rolled all the coins to take to the bank. We save our change for vacation money. Tatum is extra excited this year because we are going to Disney World she says to see the castle! Tonight she ran into her room and got her little pink polka dot piggy bank. She emptied her bank and said lets use this money for vacation too!! (We won't use her money for vacation but she thinks she's contributing)

Titus our quiet one sat and watched this all play out. He then took me in his room and pointed at his pig on his shelf and said mine! His has a baseball cap and baseball stitches on the side. He has been very occupied with dumping the pig and then putting each coin back in one by one. As I watch him I am reminded how much he has grown and changed in two short years. I take for granted that my children can do simple tasks such as putting shapes in the right slots or putting coins in a piggy bank.

So often I forget to thank the Lord in the small things. I take for granted so much and this evening I am feeling so thankful for all he has blessed us with. A roof over our heads, food on our table, cars to get us from here to there, healthy happy babies, a Godly husband and father and head of our home, and family that I can always count on for any and everything. I take for granted that my kids have Godly grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. That is a rare thing in this world today.

Just an insight into my thoughts for the day.

Tatum comments of the week
Momma, I am so weared out!
Titus, I can't see! Move your fat head!! (I have no idea where she heard fat head)!!
Awww snot bubbles!! (Not a clue on that one either, probably daddy)

She informed me today that I can go back to my job someday after she goes to college and gets a job because that's what Nanna did. She has it all figured out!

Titus is all boy but at nap time and bed times he is my little sweetie. He puts his arms out and says Wub you this much!
After I change his diapers he almost always say "wug" (hug) and gives me a big squeeze a lot of times with an ornery expression because he is trying to do it hard but hey I will take it how I can get it!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mommy and Me

One of my favorite blogs posted recently about making sure you are in the pictures with your kids. She is a photographer and had been told by another person to get pics of herself and the kids. Not long after, the woman who gave the advice passed away. Think about when you look at pictures of yourself and your Mom. Do you ever think I wish Mom would have smiled better or Mom's hair isn't looking as good as usual. NO, Never!! Personally I always think my mother is beautiful. I always love looking back and seeing old and recent pics of my Mom and I. Those are cherished pictures and I need to take more of my Mommy and Me. I never thought until I read the Ashleyannphotography post that my babies would feel the same way someday. I have been trying to make a point of taking more pics of the kids with me in them. Titus makes taking pics a little harder then Tatum does. These are all with my phone so not the best quality but I always have it handy.

Next picture he was fascinated with my mouth but he looks like a little baby so I'll keep this one. My baby and Me
My sweet Tatum and Me. She's watching Tangled on this rainy April afternoon.
This next picture, Dan took of Tatum and Me at nap time one afternoon.
An oldie but a goodie of my babies and mommy
Last but most certainly not least a recent pic of my Mom and Me.
Make a point to take pictures with your kids. They will want them someday no matter what you look like. Your always mom to them even on the bad hair days!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oh What a Night!

I was so tired last night after the woman's banquet and the full weekend we had that I crashed hard at bed time. I was out cold when Tatum came in at some point in the middle of the night. I don't remember what she said but I got up and started to walk back to her room with her. I fell, got up and started walking. Fell again, got up started walking. Fell a third time and Tatum said "Momma why do you keep falling"? I was wondering the same thing but wasn't a wake enough until she talked to figure out what I was doing. My leg was a sleep and I couldn't get it to function. I sat there a minute and walked her the rest of the way to her bed. By this time I was fully a wake and tucked her back in, kissed her good night, reassured her that we were right here and everything was fine and I went back to bed.
Early this morning Titus came in and went to Dan's side of the bed. Dan rolled over and knocked him down. He didn't know he was there! He didn't say anything just stood beside the bed! I don't know what was going on with our children, Dan or I but we had a strange night. Needless to say we need to get more sleep!

My latest updates on Titus potty training is... Nothing, it's not happening right now. He started having lots of accidents and just isn't ready. I'm not pushing it at all. When the time is right it will happen.

His new word or words is Bucko Bucko. I'm not sure who called him a bucko but he likes to call me that. It makes me laugh every time.

Tatum told me last week that I'm the best Momma ever. I told her thank you and that she's the best daughter ever then she said thank you for making me so cute!

The first thing she says when she wakes up after wanting milk is "What are we going to do today" then she says "what are we going to do tomorrow?" She's always wanting to be in the know!

Tatum's newest Bible verses are:
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you
Even a child is know by his doings
For the wages of sin is death.

Dan is in full swing baseball. This week is a full and busy week for him. He has games every night. Next week is the last game for this season. He is really enjoying this season and group of boys. They have won several games and are having lots of fun.

Today the kids and I are enjoying the sunshine, blowing bubbles, jumping, drawing with sidewalk chalk and doing laundry. It's a recovery day.

Thank you Lord for this beautiful day and for my sweet babies. Thank you for allowing me to stay home with them and for a husband that works hard for us and loves us so much to do just that. Thank you for all your many blessing.

In the words of my husband and I now like to use it as well. Have a good and Godly day =)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Part 7

Like I said our lives had been turned upside down. Dan had been in school a couple of weeks and the reality of all that had just happened was sinking in. I was pregnant with my second baby and my first was not very old, we had sold our first home, moved an hour from my family, church and friends. I kept pushing these thoughts aside as much as possible. Katie was getting closer and closer to her due date with Olivia and I was getting so excited for them and with every call in the night or text we thought it could be time! We were working on our rent house or the guys were and I was helping where I could without over doing it. On Sept 17th Katie had Ms Olivia!!! Yay, such an exciting day! She was beautiful in every way!! She had to spend almost two weeks in the hospital because she swallowed some fluids when she was born. Before she could go home she had to eat a certain amount. When she was finally able to go home we were all thrilled and praised God for her health and that she was doing great!

We moved into our rent house the first part of October. We were excited to have our own space but it was so small! We had some interesting experiences while living in that place. The first night I tried to use the oven there was an awful smell! Dan was grilling steaks outside and every time he came in he made a comment about the smell. We had looked all over but were finding nothing. I knew it was the stove/oven but couldn't find the source. We couldn't just throw it all away and head out to eat like we did at our old house. Town is 6 miles away and the only fast food restaurant we have is sonic. Not cheap and not fast and you can only eat so much sonic! I was learning to cook more often and plan my meals out much better. Walmart is 20-25 minutes away. I now planned my meals two weeks at a time. Dan only gets paid once a month and I don't like going all the way to walmart all the time.  Anyways Phil (my father in law) came to dinner that night. He had a feeling what the stench was and knew other areas to look in the stove.  Dan and Phil opened up the top of the stove where the insulation is and found a mouse or mice I don't even know and I didn't ask!! I was mortified, grossed out, and starting to be sickened by our new living arrangements. Needless to say we were no longer hungry!!! The stove went outside never to be used by us again!! There was no way I was cooking with that thing again. Maybe a little to "city girl" of me? Yes, possibly but I don't do mice well at all!!! We bought some spray foam and started filling holes all over that house. That was not happening again!!

October was a busy month. Dustin and Shyla got married. They had  beautiful fall wedding. We spent a couple of days there helping them get things ready. After the wedding it was time to focus on Halloween and the fall festival at the Stokes Farm. That is always so much fun getting the barn ready for greased pig contest, hayrides, pinatas, wiener roast, pony rides, silly games, fellowship and whatever other crazy idea Phil and the boys can come up with! It's great everyone loves it! On a side not that is one of the things I love most about my husband and all the Stokes men. There is never one single dull moment around them and they can make a game or contest out of anything! I love it!! Back on track. I had signed up for a class called Apples of Gold and Dan and I were taking the Dave Ramsey class at church. Our schedules and time were pretty full. I was handling the move fairly well so far.

November hit with full force basketball. I was getting farther a long and we found out we were having boy! His name took us a while to decide on. We finally came up with the name Titus. I don't really remember what made me think of it but I told Dan and that I had looked up the meaning and it meant giant. He loved it instantly. I also told my Dad and he and a coworker had been discussing Titus in the bible and how he must have been a big strong guy because Titus always went to carry the money to help guard it. He also loved the name. It also goes perfect with Tatum. (Tatum and Titus - yep I love it!!) I felt like God had chosen the name for us and I still believe that he put that name on my heart for our precious baby boy. I don't know how else to explain coming up with it. It had never even crossed our minds before or even close to the names we had considered.

Back to our November. Basketball was in full swing and my belly was getting big. Dan was gone a lot and Tatum and I were left to ourselves in the rent house. It was getting colder and the old windows in that place were horrible. Tatum and I sat in the recliner together a lot playing, reading and watching TV with a space heater on and a blanket. It was freezing in there and we couldn't sit on the floor it was so cold. We didn't have Internet or satellite so we spent a lot of time finding stuff to play. Phil put plastic over the windows to help keep the cold out. It did help some but not enough. We were filling up our propane tank every 5-6 weeks that winter. Our plan to save money literally went out the windows! So now we couldn't see out the windows either. Titus was weighing more then Tatum and he was sitting farther down. I was starting to hurt and have contractions but I knew it was way to early. I was only 20 weeks. He was pushing down on my pelvis so bad that I couldn't sit or lay in one spot for long. It was starting to hurt when I would get out of bed during the night. I was out of breath just climbing the stairs at the gym with Tatum. My doctor had told me not to carry her but she was still a baby as well and that was impossible for me. I should have listened

I was starting to get in the dumps again. My husband was gone 4 sometimes 5 nights a week, I was an hour from my Mom and grandma's who were right there every time I needed them when we lived closer and I didn't have many friends yet. Dan's cousin was always so good to stop by and see us or stop and say hi. That always helped so much and I was so grateful to her for being there for us. She has become such a great friend to me. I looked forward to people popping in and I longed for it. We have always lived with an open door policy and it was strange to not have someone popping in everyday. (Our old house was right in town and convenient stopping place for everyone. There was hardly a day that someone didn't stop in. When we were first married we lived in the apartment in the girls dorms. I was a dorm mom and the door was literally always open to the lobby.) Katie had a new baby and was trying to figure things out as a new mom. She was always good to stop in when she could. I understood that everyone had their lives established here and I was the new person. I had to find my place and make my own way. It was just an adjustment not having many visitors and I was needing my husband and my momma. Dan was hating his job as a coach at the time because he wanted to help me and knew I was missing my family. My grandparents and even my Mom were really good about coming to visit often. I was slowly trying to adjust. I cried a lot and was going through another bought in my life of trying to figure out where I belonged.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our story part 6

Now the date is June 2008. We decided to take our house off with the realtor and try for sale by owner. We were getting several looks but no takers. Our new house was almost finished. We celebrated Tatum's first birthday at my parents house. We had a big blow up bouncer, slip n slide and kid pool. The theme was all about 1. We had so much fun and she had a blast playing in the water and jumping. All her family and friends were there.  I cried the morning she turned 1 it was so sad the year had slipped by so quickly. She was turning into such a sweet little girl. 

In July our new house was finished and we told the builder we were not going to buy it because our house still had not sold. We were totally okay with that decision we were not going to be able to make two house payments. Dan was doing very well with his mowing business. He had an interview with his home high school but there was nothing set in stone or even a position. We were pretty sure that wasn't going to pan out. He took a leap of faith and quit his job. We knew his mowing would buy us a few months until he could find something. We were praying and thought this was the right thing to do. I was scared to death. The first week of July I found out I was pregnant. WHAT!!! I was freaking out!!! Dan had quit his job, we lived in a two bedroom house and my baby was barely 1!!! WHAT!!! This was not in the plans but we were excited and had peace about God's plan.The next week Dan got a phone call from his home town that they wanted him for the high school position. He would be working with his Mom and coaching. The same week we got a bite on our house. The couple fell in love with it and signed the contract. It was bitter sweet because we were ready to move on but that was our first house together and we had worked so hard remodeling it and getting it ready. We were also close to my parents and family.

We started packing and moved an hour East the first of August. We moved in with Dan's parents because the rent house we planned to live in was not quite ready. We closed on our house two days after school started! We paid off my student loan and our car. The only thing we had left was Dan's student loan and we decided we would start trying to get it paid off.

Whew, what a whirlwind!!! Our lives had just been turned totally upside down!! My head was spinning with all the stuff that had happened over the last two months!