Hey, It's Jade!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 2013 Tweets & Instagrams to Remember...

Dec 1st - Our new home doesn't have a fireplace, so we improvise.

Dec 3rd - 1up mushroom cupcake for Preston's birthday party tonight. I tried.  

Dec 4th - Preston James Clark, you are eight years old. Happy , buddy!  

Dec 6th - My snowflake lights look awesome in the ice!  

Dec 6th - He gets a way with so much thanks to this face.  

Dec 7th - My first Bountiful Basket. Grateful that my husband was willing to brave the ice to go pick it up.   

Dec 14th - See... I DID take down the decor after all. Except my white . time is here.…

Dec 18th - This is how three-yr-olds play Trivial Pursuit. There are flashcards in the other room that met the same doom. 

Dec 21st - Shopping is tiring.  

Dec 22nd - Yep, Grandma and Grandpa are here. Kids have officially welcomed them.  

Dec 23rd - Michael was not amused to see stuff on Dec 23rd!! has lost their mind.

Dec 24th - Loving our Jesus Storybook Bible branch. This was the best Advent reading we have done so far…  

Dec 24th - These boys are so ready to dig in to these presents!  

Dec 26th - room is nearly complete.

Dec 30th - Playing with Teagan.  

Dec 31st - on  

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Medieval Times New Year's Eve!

Not sure what to do tomorrow?  Looking for something family friendly?  Check this out!

Medieval Times in Dallas is hosting a special Family New Year's Eve Extravaganza, with fun activities for the kids, like a Princess Story-time, face painting, knight's training and more.  Plus, they'll also have the usual 4-course meal (that you get to eat with your hands!) and the jousting.  What a fun way to end 2013 with your family!  You can find out how to get tickets here, but don't wait... space is limited for this 4pm show!


[Disclaimer: In exchange for this post, I was offered tickets to the show for my family!]

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013 Recap

We had a nice Christmas holiday.  Jill and Steve arrived from Michigan a few days before Christmas.  The kids adored having their grandparents in the same house for a while, and promptly wore them out.  Michael was off the whole week, too, so that was great.  The weather was pretty nice for the most part, boys got to go to the park several times with Gpa Steve or Gma Jill.  We ate lots of yummy food.  Regina and Kevin were in town from Tennessee, so we got to meet Teagan.  What a sweetie!

On Christmas Eve, we attended Grace Fellowship and came home to Midlo with my parents for snacks and gifts.  The next morning, Santa had come and brought the boys goodies for their new, cool Superhero themed room.  Later, we exchanged gifts and had lunch with Jill, Steve and Daniel.  Mema was going to come, but she wasn't feeling up to it. 

Here is a smorgasbord of pictures from the holidays...

Yay, Gma and Gpa are here!
Our Jesus Story Book Advent Branch
Preston reading the last chapter of the Advent.
Some inside decor.  Love this built in shelf!
Michael not amused at V-Day stuff out on Dec 23rd.
Christmas Eve, ready for presents!
Oh, there you are, Perry.
Loved having Daddy home for a week!
Visiting with Teagan, Regina & Kevin!!
Christmas shopping was tiresome.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

I pray that you and yours have a very merry and blessed Christmas!

While the true story here is that Callen was just being grumpy (about taking a picture with Santa), I like to imagine that he's just a bit miffed to find he had showed up to this gala and someone else was wearing the same outfit as him.  How embarrassing!

Don't be fooled, it's not snow.  It's ICE.  We had a crazy string of several days in a row where the entirety of Dallas-Fort Worth was iced in!

Our new house is a bit on the drafty side.  No worries, though... layers and Daddy snuggles will keep them warm!

Anyway, again... Merry Christmas from my family to yours!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ice Day(s) 2013...

On Preston's birthday, December 4th, it looked like this...
Remote control cars & chalking w/Uncle Daniel

Fast forward a few days, to December 6th, and it looked like this...
WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!

And that, my friends, is NOT snow, believe it or not.  It is pure ice.  Yep, tiny ice pellets that fell.  All day.  And then, that ice stayed... for days.  It was insane for this part of Texas.  Schools were called off for nearly a week, people didn't go in to work if they didn't have to, grocery stores were literally bare of essentials.  Ice-aggedon 2013.

The boys were excited to go play in it.  Of course, they thought it would be fun... like snow.  Oh well.  They enjoyed it anyway.  For a little while.

He really wanted to make a snow angel.
Look at Callen's face, so happy!
He did really like being out there in the freezing cold!
Ice Day 2013
Found ways to stay warm inside!
When it all finally started to melt, our metal roof gave us quite the show.  The heavy sheets of ice would inch over the edge of the roof, then suddenly slide forward, break off and crash down.  The first time I heard a huge crash, I opened the back yard to look around.  I saw the ice sheet danging above my head and quickly closed the door, which caused it come crashing down.  Our back porch was soon completely covered in thick, hard ice... couldn't open the door any more for a few days!  Callen and I went around the side and then out the back and stood out there a while watching all the ice sheets come crashing down one by one, until the end when a bunch of it gave at once and there was a huge ice-sheet-water-fountain type display.  It was unbelievable!  Callen loved it!

Climbing the ice 'mountains.'
Several days later that those ice sheets were still built up along the edge of the house despite everything else having melted away.  The boys played in it and tried to see who could lift the heaviest chunk.

An unfortunate side effect of the freak ice storm on a metal roof is that some of the water froze in certain places and expanded, bending some of the metal, and making a place for water to leak in.  One morning a week or so after the storm, it rained... and there was a puddle in our living room.  It also bent and nearly broke off an exhaust stack from the water heater.  Geez!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Preston Turns EIGHT!

Preston's birthday completely snuck up on me this year.  We managed to pull off a party on the evening before his actual birthday and he had some sweet friends come.  He wanted a Nintendo-themed party, but it ended up being more Mario than anything, and barely at that.

I'm this many now!
My attempt at 1-Up Mushroom Cupcakes
Gma was opening a remote control car.
Kids playing in the boys' room.
Eight hasn't hit me nearly as hard as 7 did last year.  I think I haven't really had much time to think about it because of the move and all.  I dunno, I'm ok with it for now.  Lol. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November 2013 Tweets & Instagrams to Remember...

Nov 1st - Not yet, not yet, not yet... Too late. D'oh! KaBlam!

Nov 6th - A 1/4-Acre yard takes much more effort to mow than our previous yard.

Nov  7th - This is the porch life.

Nov 8th - The long lost address book has been found!

Nov 10th - His super model look.

Nov 11th - ! Their own desks! Annnnnd, we have internet in our house now! Happy !  

Nov 15th - Don't forget to stop and smell the roses. :)  

Nov 22nd - Oh, just hanging in the door frame... With a bow on his head.  

Nov 26th - Super awesome comes home from a long day of work... And then works some more.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

We Have Moved!

We officially received the keys on October 24th and began moving.  It's taken THIS long to get internet connected.  Yay, access to the outside world.  We are LOVING our new home, and I will definitely post more about the move soon! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

October 2013 Tweets & Instagrams to Remember...

Oct 3rd - So far, about 8 of the 10 boxes I've packed are CDs/DVDs/Vhs/books. I haven't touched P's books/DVDs.…

Oct 5th - Racetrack, earthquake edition?  

Oct 6th - I walk around the corner, and this is what I see. He's . Um... OK then. Carry on, son.  

Oct 9th - Packing things up, but I had to bring this in from its hiding place. Priorities.  

Oct 11th - Preston is sharing the book called If Everybody Did...with his cousin Trey.  

Oct 11th - Look who we found! Jill is here!  

Oct 14th - About to enjoy a movie w/  

Oct 21st - Celebrating the closing on both properties with bubble tea at Fat Straws!  

Oct 26th - We live across the street from a park now. Those swings are squeaky. WD-40 to the rescue, lol.  

Oct 27th - I can't find my pants, shoes and a host of other things, but... totally worth it!  

Oct 28th - My monkeys enjoying their new trees.  

Oct 30th - Carnation Instant Breakfast, you're gonna love it in an instagram.  

Oct 31st - I love these two monsters so much it's scary. ;)  

Oct 31st - Happy ! Superman and a wolf. He is not a fox! He doesn't know .

Monday, October 21, 2013

House Update, We're Moving!

Thursday, 9/19 Let it Begin: I can only hope and pray that this second contract on our house is the final contract we'll need.  The family came by yesterday to look at the house again.  They made an offer, we countered, they accepted and the contract was signed today.  So... we're back in this!  Now, off to find the house of our dreams...

x

Monday, 9/23 Update: We found a house we really like Midlothian and put in an offer yesterday.  So, waiting to hear how the inspection panned out for our own house and to hear if the sellers of the other house accept our offer or not.  Eep!

x

Friday, 9/27 Update:  It's been an emotional couple of days, y'all.  The inspection came back on our house and the buyers only asked for a few simple repairs.  No problem!  Their option period ended yesterday, so it appears we are full steam ahead on the selling of our house!  And we were proceeding just fine with the Midlo house, the sellers countered, we re-countered and they accepted.  Woo hoo, everything was falling into place beautifully.  But then, all of a sudden, we found out that Midlothian was being kicked off the USDA land list as of October 1st.  That didn't give us enough time to get everything submitted and close and all that.  So, we can't use the 0-down-payment financing that was our plan.  Y'know, the whole reason we were looking outside the "metroplex" in the first place, so we didn't have to come up with a down payment from out of nowhere (we are simply breaking even on the selling of our house, not earning anything in that transaction). But, after much prayer and conversation with a number of people (and each other), we have decided to continue pursuing that house with regular financing, and we'll come up with a down payment somehow.  It's scary, but we feel confident that this is right, so we're pressing on.  We have sent in our option fee, our earnest money and we have an inspector scheduled for Sunday afternoon.  Please continue to pray for us in this quest... I know that God can and will provide, but my logical side is terrified at all the 'what ifs' that go into selling and buying a house.

x

Monday, 9/30 Update: Ok, so the roller coaster ride continues!  Late Friday night we received an email from our lender saying that our prayers are working because the USDA decided to postpone their changes, meaning we can still get Midlothian with the USDA financing.  Crazy!  Thank you, Jesus!!!  Michael and I did a little jumping for joy, I must say!  So, Sunday we had the Midlo house inspected, and it looks good.  A few things are simply due to the house being built in the 1940's and the rules being different then, but nothing major surfaced.  Woot.  We drove around the town with the boys and checked things out.  We played at the park right by our 'new' house.  It was great.  I believe we are gonna like it a lot!  So, we will recap with our peeps today and see what the next step is... we gotta get both houses appraised still.  Looks like our biggest concern at this point is closing at the same time so that we don't end up homeless for a while.  Yikes!  We are scheduling or working on the little things that our buyers asked for, and hopefully those will be finished out this week.  Moving right along!

x

Thursday, 10/04 Update: And then... the government shut itself down.  Seriously, between last update and this, nothing has happened.  NOTHING.  As in, NOT moving right along.  The government can't get itself together and it's just decided to quit, apparently.  Meaning we can't submit our USDA loan... so it's not processing or getting approved.  We were already worried about not closing in time and being homeless for a while, and now... well, it's pretty much guaranteed that we won't be able to move into Midlo any time soon.  We are trying to negotiated a lease-back, and hoping the buyer of our house will cooperate and let us stay here till we CAN move, but we can't even give an estimate as to when that would be.  There have still been no appraisals on either house, not sure what's up with that.  Oh, this roller coaster ride is NOT the fun kind.  I gave up the house situation to the Lord a long time ago now, so ... :::throws hands up::: whatever will be will be, right?  God's got this.  I'm just along for the (nauseating) ride.  Massive prayers appreciated.  I know this government shut down is affecting a lot of people in a wide variety of ways, so prayers for our entire messed up country.

x

Monday, 10/07 Update: So, after hearing nothing for nearly a week, some stuff is finally moving forward.  The government is still shut down so we have just given up hope on the USDA and are just going ahead with an FHA loan.  It sucks for a lot of reasons, because the whole point of finding a home outside the Metroplex was to get use 0% down through USDA.  NOW, we have to come up with a down payment, have PMI and all sorts of other things that are going to cost us more in the long run.  And it sucks, because, frankly, we just don't have any more money to use towards all this.  But, God will provide, and we have fallen in love with that Midlothian house and area and truly want to move there.  So, anyway, we'll find a way... we truly believe that God has ordained this and it will work.  Both houses were appraised today, and Michael has been answering questions from various sources (realtors, lenders, etc) all day long and hopefully we have everything together that needs to be together to get this ball rolling.  The buyers of our house are going to let us stay here several days after closing so that we HOPEFULLY won't be homeless between closings.   We just have to see how quickly we can get closed on Midlo now that we are finally working on the right loan.  I am very sorely disappointed that the USDA thing didn't work out, especially after the roller coaster ride we had with it last week of not being an option, then yes being an option, and now we have a big fat no again.  But... again, God's plan, not ours.  He knows better than me, that's for sure.  Carry on.

x

Thursday, 10/10 Update:  Wow... the story continues.  We received word yesterday that the appraisal on our home came in under our selling price.  Lame sauce.  The appraiser was here for all of 7 minutes, no way he really LOOKED at the place.  So, to my understanding, we have to come up with the difference between the appraisal price and the selling price, which means... we have to come up with more money that doesn't exist.  Yay, magic tricks!  No... we are just relying on the Lord to give us opportunities to come up with AT LEAST $2000 in the next 10 days!  Not magic tricks... MIRACLES.   Our realtor and lender are working really hard to negotiate things and crunch numbers so that we can make all of this work, but wow... the things being thrown at us lately, mind boggling.  I am still confident that this is right, and we should move forward.  I choose to believe that it's just the devil doing his nasty work because what we are doing is right.  But he will not win, we will prevail with God's help.  Lord, Jesus, MOVE THAT MOUNTAIN!!!

x

Thursday, 10/17 Update: Fast forward a whole week and I've been a packing maniac.  Today we finally made some headway and got some news on the status of our transactions.  The buyer of our current home is signing papers tomorrow, we shall sign and close on the Midlo house on Monday morning.  It LOOKS like we won't have to come to the table with anything for selling our house, praise God.  We certainly aren't coming out ahead with it, but at least we aren't having to pour more money into it just to get it sold.  Praise God if that does truly work out.  They are supposed to give us final numbers tomorrow as to what our down payment will come out to be and all that.  So we are in prayer that the number they give us will be within reason and we can make this happen.  Ok, HE is totally making this happen, but you know what I mean.  So, numbers tomorrow so we can prepare for all that.  Then the owners of the Midlo house won't be out until next Thursday.  So, we'll get some of Thursday and Friday until 11:59pm to be out of Grand Prairie.  Crazy!!!  I feel like we're pretty much ready to be out of here, though I there are some areas I haven't packed up yet... but now, I have a whole week to do it.  I've been a frantic mess for the past few days thinking come Monday we'd be shoving our stuff in a truck, lol.  So, there's good and bad to that.  But, yes... still pressing on and praying hard!

x

Monday, 10/21 Update: We officially signed next to every 'x' and have closed on both properties.  Woo hoo!!!  While we are official, we can't move into our new place until Thursday, when the sellers get out, and we have to be out of our current house by 11:59pm on Friday so the new buyers can take over.  CRAZY!  We are mostly packed but still have some work to do over the next few days.  But, but the end of the week, we shall officially be residents of Midlothian, TX!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Homeschool Recap, Weeks 5 and 6...

These past two weeks we have focused on Mexico and Central America for our geography studies.  We learned about climate and physical features of the land, a little about the people, and have started reading about Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, who started his work in Guatemala.  We started playing a fun Geography Game, and I have already started seeing an improvement in knowing where certain countries are located. Preston continued work on his multiplication tables.  I didn't really do anything structured with Callen other then coloring, and having him tag-along with the rest of our studies.  He knows how to spell his name, still working on the hard 'c' sound when he says it, though.  Also, he is doing great at memorizing scriptures he learns at Sunday School. So proud!

We were able to surprise the boys with a visit from Grandma Jill last weekend... they had no idea she was coming until they saw her come out of the airport.  They were thrilled.  She was with us from Friday evening to Tuesday morning, so that was pretty awesome.  Otherwise, the rest of this past week has been all about packing and attending to things to get our house sold and buy the Midlo house.  We are supposed to close on Monday!!!

Sunday night planning session.
Love Preston's detailed coloring on this one!
String art. I did the puppy w/Callen, Preston did the star.
Seeing how turtles stay cool and warm in shade and sun.
Geography vocabulary illustrations.
Preston reading a favorite book to cousin Trey.
Grandma Jill's surprise visit!
Enjoying their time with her!
Playing Geography Game!
Letter writing assignment.
We will most likely be taking the next several weeks off for the move, so we won't be moving on to Canada just yet!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Callenism on God and the Potty...

Callen was doing his business, when he asked a very serious question...

Callen: Mom, does God go poopy on the potty?
Me: Um... no.
Callen: What?! He doesn't? Where does he go poopy?
Me: He doesn't.
Callen: HUH?!?
Me: God doesn't have a body like we do.
Callen: He doesn't have a body? He only has a HEAD?!
Me: :::laughing::: No, he doesn't have a body, he doesn't need one. He doesn't go poopy.
Callen: Mom, God goes poopy on the potty.  He has to.
Daddy (from the other room): God is invisible!
Callen: We can't see him?  Can I see him in heaven?
Me: Yes, hon.  And then you can talk to him about all this, ok?
Callen: Ok.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Homeschool Recap, Weeks 3 and 4...

Week 3 and 4 are all about the United States of America, so it made a great review from last year's studies.  We talked about forests, trees, the states, and a variety of other topics all centered in the USA.  I didn't take many photo of school-related activities, at least not terribly exciting ones... we were on the go quite a bit and rushed through a lot of school.  I'll share what I have from the past few weeks, though...

Playing a massive game of memory w/all the cards at once!
We walked with Team Elise for JDRF, they met Bugs.
Around the World Sticker Book fun.
Illustrating a "butte."
A little abstract art.
Starting to pack up the house!
Getting some reading done.
Spelling Team Work.
No colors can touch each other. We win!
And then the Legos got packed away for a while!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 2013 Tweets & Instagrams to Remember...

Sep 1st - Sweet boys watching together. Getting along for a brief moment.

Sep 3rd - They distract each other. Sigh.  

Sep 3rd - How can you be sad, Orange? FLAVOR ALL THE THINGS!!  

Sep 8th - Ready to start back to tomorrow. My preschooler and 3rd grader. :)  

Sep 14th - When Callen is quiet for long, I know he is up to no good. But when Preston is quiet for a while, he's…  

Sep 17th - When Callen is quiet for long, I know he is up to no good. But when Preston is quiet for a while, he's…  

Sep 19th - I do not recommend having this creamer in your first cuppa of the day. Who, boy!  

Sep 20th - Mike Herrera, or as we call him, Mx. @ House of Blues  

Sep 20th - Jesus, thank you for this happening right now. fiveironfrenzy @ House of Blues  

Sep 21st - My boys!  

Sep 22nd - This is what sleeping w/the windows open will get you: Snuggly munchkin. !…  

Sep 22nd - Gonna kinda miss this view out of my bedroom window.  

Sep 30th - Three weeks till we move... Its not too early to pack up the , right? Gah.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Homeschool Recap, Weeks 1 and 2...

Alright, in previous years I have managed to post a detailed, weekly recap.  Well, I have a feeling that's not gonna happen this year.  So, maybe, just maybe I can shoot for every two weeks, and go easy on the details as well.  Plus, our themes are about two weeks long, so it kinda makes sense anyway.  We have finished our first two weeks of school for the year.  Woo hoo!  It went smoothly.  Just a few whines, grumbles (from Preston) and shenanigans (from Callen). 

Callen (Preschool):  Callen is doing a laid-back version of Before Five in a Row and tagging along with us through some parts of MFW ECC.  Our first book to row has been Molly Bang's Yellow Ball.  The first time I read it to Callen, I wasn't sure he'd be interested in reading it more than once, but I was wrong.  He asks for it by name and gets excited when it's time to read it again.  There are only a handful of words in the book, and he seems determined to memorize them.  He points to the word "What's this say?"  So far we have played catch, throw and roll the ball, used punch balls, done a few of the lapbook type activities I found online emphasizing 'y' and yellow, above/below/high/low, and Callen stamped some yellow balls in the big, blue sea using a bottle cap and toilet paper roll printing.  He also colored a bunch of worksheets of the continents since that's what we're going over with Preston.

Callen's handprint
Coloring Yellow Balls
Playing Topple with me.



Preston (3rd Grade): Preston officially started My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures.  We are learning about maps and continents these first two weeks.  Plus, some of the main religious groups in the world.  We had a worm niche to observe how they churn up the ground for a week, ewww!  He is doing great at getting the concept of multiplication down using Math Mammoth.  His Spelling Power work is going well, we started on the last few groups in Level B. 

Observing a section of our backyard habitat.
Learning about animals, like frogs.  Eww!
Worm niche.  Eww, again!
Lots of reading time!
Working on a detailed map.
Map from our house to church.




One of the fun things about homeschooling is getting to school wherever we want.  We had a house showing from 10-11am on Thursday, plus a homeschool group lunch/playtime at 1130, so we needed to be out of the house for a while.  We were going to go to the library to do school, but I forgot they didn't open till 1pm.  We ended up Starbucks and got our schoolwork done there!

Taking school on the road.
Preston concentrating on spelling, Callen enjoying a treat.
All in all, I have to say that the first two weeks went well!  As well as I could hope with the distractions of a 3-yr-old and having to be in and out of our house because of the showings and other activities.

Preston got a bug/spider bite this week that got infected, just like mine.  Took him to the doctor and had her drain it and get him on antibiotics.  Poor guy, it's right on the back of his leg so when he sits, it rubs and hurts.  Dunno what's getting us, but it ain't nice!  Hoping his heals a lot faster and easier than mine since we caught it earlier.  Mine is still in the process of healing.  Blech. 

Also, we have a contract on our house again, so we will be launching into hunting mode this weekend, gotta find US a house now, pronto!  But first, Preston and Callen are going to spend the night with my folks and Michael and I are having a date night.  We're going to see Five Iron Frenzy, House of Heroes and Mike Herrera in concert.  What?!  I know, right?  So excited for tonight!