This is nothing special, well to you anyway. I'm not a scrapbook type, or a baby book writer, or even a picture printer. I'm terrible at recording memories. This blog is my attempt at holding on to some of my life as a Christian, a wife, and a homeschooling Mom of 5. I am a country girl that lived in a big city for 14 years, and moved to the Deep South for quiet, quaint, small town living.

Monday, August 4, 2014

18 months later.....

It is a little embarrassing, but I think I'm ready to jump on the blogging bandwagon again.  Our last post was just after we found out about our sweet little surprise baby.  I remember thinking about how and when I would announce the news on here after I got over the happy shock (remember Troy's testicular cancer and my struggle to accept that our family wouldn't grow any more biologically?).  We were only in Mississippi for 2 weeks before this miracle happened and has become our first Deep South baby.

Little Ruby June is adored by the whole family and will be turning 1 on September 5th.  That, coincidentally was the week we bought our forever home here in Petal.  What a whirlwind of emotion and support from everyone, but that is a story in itself.  Basically, Troy tried to become Superman, and I tried to follow.

We bought a fixer upper and it has been a constant struggle, as these things are.  We aren't natural DIYers so multiply that struggle to those that love this kind of thing.  But persistence has paid off in many areas, and hopefully looking back at the befores and afters will encourage us to tackle the rest when it seems so overwhelming.

We joined a church that is over 30 minutes away.  It wasn't that far from the rental house when we joined, but the new house is pretty far out the opposite direction.  The commute is cramping my style, but God has made it very clear that this church is where He wants us.  Even if it is just for the friends that quickly opened their hearts and offered their help, any amount of driving would be worth it.  It has felt like family from the beginning.

We also felt led to do another year of homeschool.  It is a nice fit for our family, even though we moved to an area where I was thinking we would send our kids to public school.  There is a sweet peace in knowing and accepting where He wants us (when we are privileged to that information!).

Here is a quick recap of the pregnancy, birth, move, remodel (still in progress), holidays, and milestones.
 We spent 9 months looking for our home while we rented a house in Petal.  It was a little challenging to learn that the owners wanted to sell the house so we had to keep it show ready...with 4 kids, half our stuff unpacked, 2 cats, and being home full time to homeschool... and enjoying a pregnancy during a Deep South summer.  I was one big, sweaty, momma.
 But the dam was soon to break in the house hunt and in me.  Boom! Buy and house and have a baby in one week.
 Little Ruby June (named after my Great Aunt and Grandmom) has been a calming balm in the midst of the packing, unpacking, remodeling, postpartum depression, trying-to-get-settled STORM that followed.  I think I'm a forever gooey, mushball from what she did to my heart.  Excuse me while I go squishy hug my baby....
 This is the Stouffer Sanctuary.  You may decide for yourself if the name describes a safe refuge or a wildlife reserve.  I think both may equally apply with our crazy monkeys.
 Halloween- Trick or Treating right before the heavens opened up leaving us with runny makeup, wet candy, and memories.
LGVMR, as I like to call them, fell right into being a family of 5 kids quite naturally.  I wonder how many more kids we would need to name starting with Vowels to make a word with their initials?
 The Bloxom side traveled far and wide to spend Thanksgiving with us.    It was so much fun, we jumped right into Christmas with Grandpop and Christine's help. I'm not much of a decorator, so I appreciated the extra hands.
Christmas morning was sweet, relaxing, and a slow time reflecting on Jesus.  I can't explain how much I love the calmness of waking up in our own home and having no commitments that day.
 Troy has not had much of a break from building, replacing, painting, and problem solving while we change this house to what we want in a home.
 Valentines Day!
 We decorated the hallway with something we love about each kid every day until V-day.  I'm all for family focus on Valentine's day (and after the 14th, cheap) chocolate!
 Some projects like a grey water pipe that needed to be replaced (that was a mess), and a flood from the girl's bathroom sink (that required us to replace their carpet sooner than later) got thrown into our house project planning.
 Easter traditions holding strong!

And Ruby is growing like a weed!

 We busted out a garden too.  I didn't put as much time into it as I hoped with homeschooling and a new baby, but I'm pleased with what we have harvested and learned so far.
 The pool has been a huge blessing.  It wasn't even on our must have list for house hunting, but I'm so glad we have one now.  Within a couple months of swimming consistently we have 3 independent swimmers, and I'm sure Maggie will follow suit by next year.

The produce that came with the house is pretty exciting.  Garden space with pears, peaches, apricots, muscadine grapes, and my favorite- FIGS!

 But most of all, the space is what we all were longing for.  10 acres to run, explore, learn, and grow has done us all lots of good.
 Plus this little heart.  I'm all mushy again.

I'm sure there is plenty I've missed, but for an 18 month recap, I think it looks pretty good.  Here's to more posts of the Stouffer Adventures!

1 comment:

  1. yay!! I knew some ex-babysitter who was about to hop a plane to see y'all. the updates will help postpone that ;)