Saturday, January 24, 2015

Christmas Time in Tremont

It's hard to believe it's almost February. :) I guess I'm glad about that though because spring is closer then January!!! 
Over Christmas we got to drive south to Tremont and spend some time with our Sauder family. Just before the trip we had multiple kids getting sick, and I didn't think our little family was going to make it. It  reminded us to be thankful for these times together because they are very special. 
The morning of the day we left Reuben and Vienna made some last minute treats to take with us. They are growing up quickly. Sometimes I do a double take because they really are a big help, at times....

Audrey and Darcy were ready to squeeze Victoria as soon as they saw her. And Victoria loved every minute. 

Vienna was a curly top for Christmas.

These two love to play together. Reuben would pack Johnny in his bag and take him home, if he could get away with it.

Opening presents 

I remember my first Christmas when I was engaged to Mark. Asa was 4 years old. He has grown up quickly in the almost 6 years I've known him. Every time I see him I imagine Reuben that tall and big and can't believe that will happen one day!!


Patient uncle Tim

Very Patient...

Tori with Grandpa and


Really she made the rounds to everyone. She's a fun baby to take visiting.

Thanks again Mom and Dad for having us and opening your home up to invasion. :) We had fun and made good memories.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Our Apartment

Here are a few pictures of the place we call home right now. We had a week to find a place and just as panic started to set in, God provided this 2 bedroom, 1 bath cozy place for us. Three days before we were supposed to move, I loaded up the kids and we met the landlords to check this place out. Upon walking in, they informed me that they planned to replace all the carpet and repaint within the next two days. That pretty much sold me because the last couple we'd looked at were really smokey, dirty, up two flights of slippery wood stairs, etc. It's a basement level apartment located in an 8-plex. When you pull up and open the doors to the building, there is a short flight of stairs up and down. We are down and to the right. Open the door and this is what you see….

Our living area is directly to the right and kitchen directly to the left. Behind the couches is our desk and the kids art desk. I'm very thankful we brought that. Reuben does a lot of coloring these days. I printed him off a picture of a dinosaur that I got off the internet. Now he knows he can ask for whatever animal he wants, and I can find it. 

When you stand by the desk and turn around, you can see the front door. Right beside it is a coat closet. We've got our area where the DVD player is and in front of that on the rug is usually where the kids congregate to play. See the three boxes on the left? I don't think those will ever be unpacked. When we move they will be ready to go. And actually, as I type this, it's grown to five boxes. The one flaw about this place is that the kitchen cabinets smell like musty wood…kinda a damp, weird, moldy smell. It probably isn't that bad but add morning sickness and a super strong nose and I don't even try to open the cabinets. That and I think I'm just kinda sick of moving into places and cleaning them up really good and moving out. Soooo, all that boxed stuff would fit into cabinets but it's staying right there. :) 

My plants. They live (or rather died : ) right off the door to the right. They had been leftover from summer and I was going to try to get them through the winter but, I changed my mind. Actually, in this picture they are still a little bit alive….sometimes I stare at them and think that "that is my life…I'm still technically alive, even if I look dead…" Kinda dark, I know…I tend to be a little dramatic when I feel sick. 

And here is our little tree. Our family loves getting a tree. We look forward to picking it out and decorating it and turning it on everyday. This year, we didn't have a corner or free area available and also our christmas decorations live in a trailer that is parked forty minutes away. So, one day the kids and I walked through a consignment store and I spotted this little beauty. It already had lights and gold bells strung on it and all that needed to be done was to plug it in. $5 and my kids were so excited. I have to say there are some really good things about having kids under 4. They can get excited and thankful about anything. A good lesson for me everyday. Reuben made a star for it and it nows shines every night.  The tree's name is Jingle… Reuben or Vienna came up with that one, not sure.

When you turn to the left of our front door you see our kitchen and eating area. 

There beside the fridge is my additional pantry space…in the form of boxes. It's very convenient. I also keep plastic grocery "puke" bags there too…very accessible.

Kitchen…enough said about this space.

Straight down the hall is the kids bedroom. It is large and a good thing because it's full of furniture. On the far wall is Victoria. Opposite her is R and Vs bunk bed.

The wall that the door is on. Nice big closet. And a cute little model.

The bathroom is off the hallway, between the kitchen and the kids room. It's large and has a big tub and sink area. Thankful. :)

Mark and I's bedroom is on the right before you reach the end of the hall. It sits right behind the kids art desk. It is also a large room with a very large closet. We didn't bring much of my clothes, since I am growing in to the maternity stuff but growing out of the regular stuff. We put Mark and I's clothes in half the closet and used the other half for storage.

More storage stuff that didn't make it onto the trailer. 

Look mom, your boots fit me!

 And daddy's fit me!

One of the fun things about moving is the constant supply of boxes for babies to play with. :)

Well, hopefully that gives you a picture in your mind of where we are at. We are thankful for family and friends and the prayers you always send on our behalf. Love you all. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Our family was in Quincy to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents, sisters and bro-in-laws. We had a great time and mostly enjoyed getting to see and catch up with these special people. We rolled in Thursday evening. Mom had a delicious Thanksgiving supper for us. I didn't get any pictures of the food but she went all out and it was scrumptious. I didn't feel sick Thursday or Friday so I got to enjoy all of the yummy food too!
After supper we the bigger people talked and talked and the smaller people played and played. Below, Chase and Aubrey get some baby time in with Victoria. She had such a good time that weekend. So many people to constantly smile at her and hold/play with her. It was great to see Aubrey and Chase! We'd missed them.

The "play room" that weekend.

Matt & Kait :) I don't think Mark knew I was taking a picture.

We rotate Christmas and Thanksgiving between the Hoerr and Sauder families every other year. Since this year we'd be with the Sauder family for Christmas the kids got to open some early Christmas presents. 

All of my siblings and the special men we love.

My mom and dad, aka: Nana & Papa

My sisters. I've gotta say, these ladies mean soooo much to me. They've seen me at my best and worst and they've stuck with me. :) Outside of my marriage, these ladies are my best friends. I loved every minute spent together.

Cuddling up to Papa

A lot of games were played :)

Wow…I don't know if Vienna has ever cuddled up to someone like she did U Matt. 

That's all the pictures I took. We left Sunday, after church and drove back to WI. Thanks Mom & Dad for all the work that went into the food and accommodations. :) We had a great time and the kids already want to go back.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A little crazy but a lot of blessings

   I'm a little scared to start writing because I've been meaning to for a while but haven't and now it's been so long I don't know where to start. 

I left off in October with some pictures of some things we'd been doing around he house to "finish" our  projects. We were highly motivated to get those projects done because we'd looked at a house that was for sale in Seymour and walked away saying lets just wait and see if it's still available in a few months and lets work hard to finish our house so that it's ready to list if we decide to pursue buying this house. Well, we did our projects and put an offer in on the home contingent on us selling our home, by owner, in 60 days. Our offer was accepted and we took pictures of our house and listed it on a few websites. A few weeks into the process we received an offer on our house (YAY!). It took another couple weeks for our buyers to get their financing approved, but they did. And then we did our inspection on the home we planned to buy. Yikes, it turned up a lot. The house was another project that we felt excited to take on. It was really dated inside and the upstairs was being used as an income property. The outside of the home was beautiful though and it was in a wonderful location. We'd planned to convert it from fuel oil to natural gas and put a new water heater and furnace into it immediately. When we learned there was more that needed to be addressed we asked the sellers to do some of the work that had to be done or to come down on the agreed price as least as much as the estimates had come back for. The sellers did not want to do that, and we did not want to spend that much money initially. So, we backed out of the deal. It was 3 weeks before Thanksgiving, we planned to close on our home that we had sold in 2 weeks, and we had 1week left to find a place to live temporarily. After a few desperate days of looking at apartments and thinking we really didn't have anywhere to go, I got a call from a landlord who'd had a last minute opening at a 2 bedroom apartment. I should say that during this time some church family members had stepped forward and offered to take us in. :) I gotta say I love the body of Christ. Anyway, it worked out that we could move into this place and, bonus! it has a month to month lease. Now, we could breath easy. :) Or could we? One evening Mark and I were enjoying a movie while I got in some exercise in. I was huffing and puffing but not doing very much. I complained about how worn out I'd been that last few weeks and blamed the shorter, darker days. Mark glanced over at me, sprawled across an armchair and casually said, "your pregnant, just go take a test." I was pretty convinced I wasn't pregnant but I took a test the next morning anyway. As soon as the drop hit the test the positive line leapt off the test results…OK (I thought), I guess I could be pregnant. Although it's a busy time, we're really excited to welcome another baby in June and blown away at all the crazy good things happening right now! :-O We moved the next week. Friends from church helped and it was all done in a day. Mark's friend and coworker and his family watched the kids all day for us and then had an amazing supper ready for us as soon as we finished. (Talk about sweet) Most of our stuff went into a  trailer and is being stored so unpacking was no biggie, although it's not completely done yet…  We closed on our house that next week and then got to go to Quincy for Thanksgiving and kick back with family and just enjoy being still. :) All in all, it's been a crazy November but we wouldn't trade it. We are currently 11 weeks (we think) into pregnancy and I am sooo excited I'm close to the second trimester and feeling good again. I'll write again soon and try to keep an update going of the house hunt. :) Love you all!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I thought I'd open with some pictures of my absolute favorite kiddos! 

Mark and I tackled the last of our house projects. First up, the kitchen cabinets went from fake wood to white and we added hardware. This picture has really bad lighting and I don't have a before picture but, you get the idea. 

Much better lighting. Oh! the open cabinet is the previous color. In real life it looks really good compared to what we started with. The cabinets are very cheap;y made and have a glued on wood grain that was peeling off in places. 

Next up, we painted the 2 bathrooms the same tan color as the living areas and replaced the toilet in the master bath. We also replaced the lighting, shower curtain rod, bowl holders and toilet paper holder in both bathrooms. The cabinets got painted white. 

After that, we replaced the carpet in the 3 bedrooms. Mark and I moved all the furniture out and R & v slept on the kitchen floor.

Mark and I removed the old purple/maroon carpet but left the pad. It was in good shape so we had the new stuff installed on top.

Ta Da! I love neutral carpet!!!!

Remember when the outside looked like this?

And this HUGE tree was in the righthand corner of the picture blocking our house and our neighbors house and making our house look even smaller.

After Mark took the tree down, he laid a pathway out of busted up concrete from the driveway. Then he made beds on each side of the stairs and I went to the nursery and picked out bushes (that was actually very stressful!!) to flank the stairs.


The winner! They are very pretty in the fall. Their leaves turn a bight red.

Lastly, we had the gravel pushed over to the driveway, had dirt brought in and leveled and planted grass. The end result. Our grass grew sooo fast. For about 21/2 weeks we had perfect grass growing weather with lots of rain. Everyone in WI was miserable except for us. We walked around with smiles all day thinking "I don't have to water the grass today!".

Towards the end of Sept we headed to IL for the barbershop IL district competition. Uncle Dean has always wanted to sing in a competition with his sons, Tim (who also sings in an incredible barbershop group called After Hours) and Greg, and Mark. Greg does not enjoy singing in public so U Dean, Mark, Tim and a friend of Tim's entered the competition. That did a great job and placed. I had fun watching the competition and being kid free for much of the day. Mom and Dad Sauder got some time in with the kids and were so sweet to watch them for us! 

Headed to IL.

U Dean, Mark and Tim

Cousins and very good friends

I got to hang out with some incredible ladies. I only got a picture with Katie and Stephanie but, I also got to be with A Karen quite a bit and loved getting to chat with her.

Guys performing.

Sunday morning

My mom was able to come Sat evening and spend time wit the kids. It was great to see her in person and catch up a bit.

My Vienna

We've been having lots of evening fires. It's getting crisp in the evenings and it's perfect for sitting by the fire and eating marshmallows. 

This girl is growing up so fast. She's 9 months old this month. Tonight the big kids (R & V) were roaring like lions…as they so often do. All of the sudden there was this little roar joining in. Our baby girl was roaring like her siblings and it was SO FUNNY! I love her. :)

Reubs loves arts and crafts.

Reuben turned 4 on Oct 3rd. 

I took more video then pictures. :( The picture taking kinda got away from me because it was such a busy weekend. Here's a picture of one of his gifts though. A singing fish. He wanted one so badly. :) Thanks Papa.

I think this is funny. Mark is using his Leatherman multitool to open a baby food package.

Sunday morning pictures of the cuties.

Attacking the grocery bag.

That's all folks. :)