14 years!

Today is Dasun and I's 14th anniversary!
How did that happen?! It flew by so quickly.
It's another example of God's provision in my life.
I am so thankful for Dasun and the wonderful husband and father he is.
We aren't perfect by any means, and have had to grow a LOT, but after 14 years, we're still laughing, still loving, and yes, still forgiving each other for our "moments." ha! He's made me a better person and I'm truly grateful!

So many fun memories:
 Married : )
so clueless. ha!


Skydiving for our 5th

 Starting our family : )
 We're so mature and refined : )

 Yep, another mature moment.
-chocolate tooth-a classic. : )

 Showing off our awesome dance moves : )
  Hot air balloon for our 13th

 Still having fun after all of these years!
I'm glad I married a man who's not "too cool for school."
You're so fun!
Happy Anniversary Dasun!

Visiting Vanessa!

We finally made it down to visit my sister since they moved back from China. It's sad that it took us this long, but this year has been a little crazy to say the least. 
We decided to go through Monroe, LA, so that we could see the Duck Dyanasty stuff along the way.
We are big fans! They crack us up!
We went to Willie's Duck Diner for Lunch 
& then headed over to the Duck Commander Headquarters!
 It was so fun to be at the place we've watched so many ridiculous things happen at. : )
These are our best Duck Dynasty tough faces. ha!
Well, I think adelynn just did silly. ha!
 Inside, there's a gift shop with some really fun decor...
Like this huge DD head
 and the record breaking wood carved duck call

 We finally got to Baton Rouge that evening.
It was SO GOOD to hug Vanessa's neck. : )
They have a beautiful home with a pool and an outdoor fireplace area, so we got to swim and make s'mores that night. My girls were in heaven. : )
 Their house sits next to a beautiful pond and the sunsets are so beautiful.

There are several ducks around the neighborhood. The mother duck across the way, doesn't recognize this duck (Abby) as hers, because it was born the day after her others, so my nephew Luke is raising it. It follows him everywhere. It's so cute! This is Adelynn holding Abby. : )

Their neighbors dog swam across the pond and wanted to play with my girls. He was so cute and kept bringing a stick for us to throw. When Kennedy wanted to stop playing so she could swim some more, the dog kept bringing her the stick, so she'd get out and play some more. Vanessa told her to just stop throwing it and the dog would stop. She tried, but when the dog kept bringing it to her, she started crying and saying that she felt bad for the dog and didn't want it to be sad. She was worried that the dog would think she didn't like it. Love that sweet tender heart. : )
On Saturday, we went to New Orleans. I have never been. I was always a little scared of the crazy night life I had heard about. I'm such a granny! With kiddos though, I am even more cautious about where we go. My friend casey told us to go during the day and gave us a few places to go. We went to Cafe' Du Monde' to try a beignet. Believe it or not I have never had one, so I cheated and had a little. I mean, we were in New Orleans for Pete's sake! ha!

 Look closely at my nephew's face...ha!
 See all of the waters?...It was HOT!

 Jackson Square
 Time to head home : (
A lot of packing awaits!!!

On our way to Louisiana, we got to squeeze in some time with the Keylor family in Conway. It was so good to see so many people that we had been missing!

 Such a FUN and BLESSED trip!!
I am so thankful we got to go!
Now, on to packing boxes!


A child's perspective : )

I wanted to share a sweet Adelynn moment with you:

So, I'm on my 4th bout with strep throat. I also have a sinus infection, pink eye, and laryngitis...again.
I'm doing a lot better in other health areas, but my immune system apparently still needs some time to get up to par.  I'm catching everything, even though I'm not even teaching this year.

Well, needless to say, I look like death and feel like poo. I haven't been sleeping either because I wake up every time I have to swallow. This lack of sleep is only accentuating my "death look." Ha!
Today, I was standing in the bathroom putting on my t-shirt and shorts (because I like to glam it up when I'm sick) and I noticed Adelynn staring at me. I mouthed, "what do you need?" And she says, 
"Nothin' I'm just standing here looking at how beautiful you are."
Are you serious?! What a sweet heart! 
A child can truly see past the ugly can't they? They aren't judgmental. They don't make fun of you when you get up and look all crazy or when your on the couch, in a robe, blowing your nose a million times. They just love you and see good in you. I love the hearts of young children. 
Yes, they have their moments, but for the most part, they are better than most adults. Better at showing kindness to perfect strangers, better at not caring what others think, better at using their giftings, better at seeing good in general, etc...May we be more like them. 

I read a post today about the mean things high schoolers are posting about each other. It breaks my heart. What changes in those few years? Oh that God would protect our kiddos hearts. I want my child to be smart and happy, sure...But FAR beyond that, I want them to love others as Jesus did. It's a battle to keep a soft, joyful, hopeful heart in this world, but I'm ready to battle with them for their hearts. I love these girls so much and am so blessed to be there mama and learn from them in the process of trying to teach them. Such a gift. : )

Random side note: This post made me think on something my mentor in college said. She told me, "you can either let trying times make you bitter or better. I'll never forget that. Thank you Elisabeth Beasley. : ) I've had to choose many times, to grow wiser or more discerning, but also remain hopeful and trusting. I don't want the enemy to steal one ounce of my joy.


Outdoor Fun in Branson

We found an amazing living social deal to a place in Branson, probably because it was before peak season, but we don't care...a deal is a deal!). 
Since we knew we'd be busy most of the summer moving and redoing the new house, we thought it might be fun to do this with the girls and get some quality time in.
It was such a neat place! It had a marina with free paddle boats and kayaks and places to fish.
There was another area with a beautiful pool and hot tub.
 We had a little snack when we got there.
This was the view from our room...so pretty!
The girls were so excited to swim, they could hardly stand it. 
When I asked them how excited, this was their reaction. : )

 There were ducks and geese everywhere. : )

Look what this girl caught!
The biggest fish of the day!


We FINALLY found a house!!

The title says, "finally," because we have been looking for more than 7 years, yes 7+! We started looking after listing our house (which ended up taking over 5 years to sell) and when our house did sell, we couldn't find one, so we've been renting in the meantime.

However, when I say "finally," there's no frustration in my voice at all. God has had us exactly where He wanted us and we know that without question. 

Here are a few reasons why I feel this way:
Had we moved when we found the 1st house we wanted, we would have been in the throws of working on a house right about the time my health took a swan dive. Not only that, but we would have had higher payments and the need to pay for the repairs.

This year, with all of the medical bills, money was scarce and our sweet landlords who were already being more than fair with the rent, took another $50 off of our rent for a little while since I wasn't able to work. And because we were renting, they also took care of the repairs that I normally would've been doing. On top of that, Dasun really wanted someone nearby during the day, that could help me if I fell or needed help doing something and Mr. Galen, as we lovingly call him, worked right next door. He checked on me, loaded me up in friends' cars for appointments, and much more.
Even the floors were a blessing. Our entire 1950's house has wood floors and the kitchen had linoleum tiles, so I could roll everywhere. Anyone that has used a rolly chair knows that carpet, tile, and even room transitions are almost impossible...especially when you're only using one leg to move yourself around.
These are just a few of the reasons that we are so thankful that our house prayers weren't answered sooner. Another reminder to trust.

So, onto fun news...
With the knowledge that I wasn't going to teach this year (still giving it time to see how I do), we had a new, lower budget that made it even harder to find what we were looking for. We basically wanted a little house on some land. We both grew up in the boonies and we just crave nature & privacy. We also needed it to be semi close to the bypass since we have to go back and forth to Rogers and Fayetteville. 

I'm telling you folks...EVERY need was met! We found this little 1200 sqft house on an acre and we got it for a steal. Not only that, but most of the work that it needs are just little things, so that will be easier on our wallets, as well as my still recovering body. We are SO excited!! It even has a little garden spot already!
What a blessing! We close at the end of June and I can't wait to have you all over!
It needs a new paint job, but I think it's a cute little house. : )
I'm trying to pace myself because I've essentially been coming up with ideas for "when we find a house," for 7 years and now my brain is on overload with excitement and plans. I told Dasun that if he could see my brain he'd be totally overwhelmed. I have about 100 tabs open in there. : )

I won't lie, I'm going to be sad to leave our sweet friends the Denhams and this little rent house, but I'm excited about putting our monthly payments towards an investment and I'm very excited about seeing trees everywhere I look. I may be changing my tune come fall, but we can just have a big leaf raking party, right? Ha!!

On a side note, my mom wanted us to find a house so badly before she died. Even though we assured her we'd be fine, I think she just wanted to know we were going to be settled and okay before anything happened to her. Well, we actually got to sign the contract on her birthday. It meant so much to me. I love that we have a Heavenly Father that even cares about the unimportant details of our lives. You go through seasons of not hearing or not receiving, like waiting 7 years to move, and then He brings it all together and you see His wisdom and provision even in the waiting. 
I am so truly grateful!!


Adelynn's School Program

 Adelynn ended her first Pre-K year with a bang! They had the cutest little performance! She is so fun and so expressive. I wish you could have all been there!!!

Here's a little video of one of the songs:

 Adelynn's teacher, Ms. Fields, cried when we said goodbye. We love Ms. Fields!