Hi friends,
it's been a while.
How'v you been?

We've been good,
really enjoying fall,
(hopefully you have too)
and making some big changes!

We took our annual pumpkin farm trip last month,
enjoyed the picked pumpkins on our porch and table,
made mantel changes here and did a few other things.

FALL 2014, Life, Life changes

These big changes?
 I'll be telling you about that today
and all the other fun stuff we've been up to.

So, if you have some time
and don't mind being here a little longer than usual,
grab yourself something warm to drink
and sit back while I share all about life right now.

The biggest change is that
Hubby got promoted in August!

It's amazing how the Lord has continued to give him favor
and place him exactly where he needs him.

 Its also meant twice the workload, 
  longer hours and out of state 3 days.
We know it won't be like this forever but for a good while.
We're super relieved he's only a few hours away,
because we finally got to visit!

Emigrant Gap, Ca. going into Nevada(1st trip)
 We miss him like crazy, text/talk daily 
and manage the best we can. 

I am beyond blessed to be home with my kiddos,
to preserve our family connection in his absence,
to jointly pray for and support him
and excitedly welcome him each time.
Just about every moment we're not committed to something,
we're having family/dad time or planning it.

Our family's emotional and spiritual wellness
are extremely important,
to protect each other and continue growing,
we're focusing on these areas as well:

*Strengthening our marriage-
I'll explain that in a future post

 *Revamping some of our/my parenting methods-
More prayer, less frustration.

* Correcting my kid's tone and behavior with each other.

*Addressing educational weak spots with our son-
once again closely overseeing all of his assignments, redoing others.

5. Obeying the Lord-
I'll explain that later too.

6. Totally minor but important to me:
Finding joy in meal prep again &
trying new recipes/foods!

My best friend!
We're in a great season of change!
We've NEVER experienced anything like this
and want with all our heart to do this correctly,
wisely, not taking any of it flippantly.
It's requiring diligence, patience and lots of prayer!
We know that through these changes and challenges,
the Lord is using it to refine us for His purpose
and for a future time.


So, if you happen to be in your own season of pruning,
change or growth;
Take it by the horns,
look it in the eye,
it's for your good!

 Keep celebrating your blessings,
let NOTHING steal your joy or peace
and most importantly choose to forgive!


As promised, a look at some of our family fun!
Celebrations, family outings & simple joys,
they've taken on new meaning.

9 Months!
My little guy is quite happy here,
thanks to brother and sister.
What you don't notice as much
 is that he's scratching his inner knees.

Poor little guy has been battling baby eczema
for a long time. 
All my kiddos did.

Each day I'd lather on lotions and ointments,
grow tiresome of the necessary ritual
and hope our successive children wouldn't deal with it.

He too has followed suit;
we apply ointments liberally
and cover up his elbows, knees and feet.
He's extremely warm by nature,
which creates unwanted heat and aggravates his skin.
If we let him cool off by removing layers
he scratches until it bleeds.
It gets better, it gets worse.
It's a sad cycle.

On a brighter note
he started to wave, feed himself small snacks,
clap his hands and finally cut 2 teeth!!
--Side note--
Like my other kids,
WILL NOT hold his own bottle unless he's reclined
OR sleep through the night. SIGH.

9 Month Celebration
We celebrated with lunch and this fruity cake
but remembered too late why we disliked it before.
We realized the bakery uses it for the Mexican Tres Leches(3 milks) cake,
which soaks up the liquids perfectly but is a horrible replacement for moist cake.
I wish they would use a different cake for each so that 
this cake would really live up to its appearance.

He was so focused on the colors.

At this point he only got to touch,
in a few months he'll get a taste.

Caught in sissy's room!
 If we forget to close the door this is what he's up to.

Forget his toys, he's content with headbands lol

Bishop's Pumpkin Farm
 We were so excited to take baby M
as I was pregnant with him the previous year.
We packed a picnic lunch and reserved funds for yummy treats-
huge cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, garlic fries, ice cream cones
and the day's activities.

Mom, baby M, sis,
& kiddos

baby MS and big sis MS
This year's cause- "FEAT"
and layout

We totally whizzed through the maze this year!
 I guess following the map actually works hahaha.
Hubby proving his "skillz"

He didn't quite get the landing he wanted lol
That didn't deter him,
he had to redeem himself.
She takes after her dad :)
Notice anything?
Yep, a friendly guy decided to jump in the background.
 Next year he'll be closer to 2
and really get to enjoy the farm.

 finding pumpkins for the table

It was a great family day!

----------Thanks for hanging in there---------  
Almost done :)

Emigrant Gap

This was the kid's first time out of state and to Nevada.
We had a trip planned later in the month but
just couldn't wait, so we made a quick 1 day trip.

Plus we all really wanted to see where hubby/dad calls "home"
half the week.

 We got to visit one of the sites he oversees,
meet some really nice people
and explore!
 Walking the train rails at Idlewild Park- Reno, Nevada

 It's a beautiful park with one drawback,
LOTS of bird droppings EVERYWHERE.
Every step was a cautious one.

 "Gentle Giant"
 NB in the rose garden.
Us girls had fun picking out the gorgeous varieties,
the boys decided it wasn't as exciting lol
It was a quick trip but just what we needed.

 Nevada #2
Operation:"House to Home"

We were so eager to go back and spend more time with hubby,
no matter what we'd be doing.
He's been traveling to Nevada since August and just as homesick for us
as we've been for him.
To help ease that,
I wanted to make him feel as if he was at home with us.
DIY art, PicMonkey art
Created with PicMonkey

He was blessed with a beautifully furnished place
but still lacked the warmth personalization brings.
Since he'd already mentioned wanting some family photos,
 I knew I was on the right track with my plan.

I printed up photos of recent family outings,
the kids & a chalkboard-style print I created on PicMonkey.
I purchased frames at Dollar Tree & Walmart,
found nice canvas artwork for a great price (Walmart clearance)
and asked the kids to keep it a secret!

I waited for hubby to leave for work
and then set it all up.
---Canvas prints were only $5 each!--- 
I found them in the clearance section, no price tags or bar codes and hesitated asking for help.
 I knew I'd regret not asking. Lo and behold an employee walks in my direction!
I explain the situation, he checks it out and then goes to get his supervisor.
They chat privately, we're all aware these prints go for $24+ normally BUT these were on the clearance rack...
I'm secretly praying, asking the Lord for favor, wanting to bless my hubby's socks off,
I know he'd love these, IF they were $5 I'd take them.
Guess what?!?!?!? YEP!!!!
Thank you Jesus!

To the right of the living room, next to his dresser and clothing rack,
I hung the New York skyline canvas.
(3) 11x14 frames:$5 Walmart (come with 8x10 mat), (4) 8x10 frames: Dollar Tree(already had)
(5) 5x7 frames: Dollar Tree,(1) 4x6 frame: Kohl's clearance-19.99 frame for $1.99!
Prints: Sam's photo center
To the left of that wall,
I hung a collage of photos in the bedroom portion.
 The PicMonkey print above his night stand
and a photo of us on the stand.
I even snuck in a scented plug-in with a variety of seasonal scents,
 to remind him of home.
Brooklyn bridge
When you first walk in this is what you see.
I hung the second canvas in the living room area,
which is separated nicely by the loveseat and room divider.

This area to the left is the "kitchen" and workstation.
He uses the ottoman coffee table as his workbench
and storage for the kid's blowup mattress,
until we can bring in different seating.

A few other things I'm working on:
*Setting up a TV!
Hubby's laptop was a great alternative for movie night.
*Making a dining/prep area
*Moving his workstation to a different area
*Creating a safe, functional kitchen of sorts
He had some necessary items provided but no real kitchen yet.
*Small pantry

I'll update as changes are made.

With these small but meaningful changes,
it sunk in that hubby really lives somewhere else,
that no matter the distance we're always connected,
and home is wherever we are.

 Hubby's surprised reaction was priceless.
His huge smile and ease when saying the next sentence,
confirmed what I was feeling,
"This is OUR home!"

 While hubby worked the kids and I
had a picnic at a local park.
The kids had fun showing baby M around.
It was his first time on the swing as well.
It was really breezy so we didn't stay too long.

We went to Walmart after,
bought a few groceries and for fun pointed out all the ways
our Walmart compared/differed to this one.
We tend to do that with all the Walmart's we visit,
it's a way to connect with something we know.
After our "educational" trip to Walmart, headed home,
 relaxed as baby M napped
and waited for hubby to get home.

Our day ended with yummy Mexican food,
 hot chocolate, treats, pj's and Redbox movies.

Lazy morning :)
It's November!
Hubby pulled up the shades so we could enjoy the scenery,
Baby M wanted to check it out too.
He has a beautiful view of the Nevada mountains,
whichever window he looks out from
and this morning we spotted snow!
At night he turns off the lights,
pulls up the shades and enjoys the tiny lights from the skyline...
while playing Christmas tunes.
Yep, he starts early hahaha.

We lounged for a bit,
took our time getting ourselves together, had some breakfast,
visited a new site and met some more people.......
talked their ears off is more like it hahahaha
before heading home.

Packing/unpacking isn't so bad.
I use to dread it every time we'd go to Eureka(5ish hours 1way)
The trade-off now = less drive time,
more hubby/dad time.
It's a win-win.

10 Months!
I crack up when I see his little face.
It's different from most of his photos where he just
His little knees are pretty dark from crawling,
scrubbing does nothing lol
He's STILL scratching his legs too.
At least now he's using them to pull himself up wherever he's able to.
Hopefully the next milestone
will actually be walking.

10 month celebration
We met at my mom's this time
 for cake & pizza at the local place.

I can't believe we've celebrated 10 times so far
and very soon his 1st year.
It's been an amazing time of celebrations, milestones and blessings.
I owe it all to the Lord
and my family who've always been there.


So there you have it,
a complete update on the A. family.
I'm excited to see where we go from here,
the outcome of these changes
and the doors opened.

For now I will celebrate my Fridays,
like the days of old
when they meant dressing up and going out.
Friday's are abuzz with hubby's homecoming,
meals and activities planned and anticipation for the weekend.
I've got chicken & sauteed veggie quesadillas ready,
a spicy red tomatillo salsa to kick it up a notch
and family fun time for all of us.



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