We have moved 4 times in the past 2 years. We most recently bought a 6 acre farm in Southern Missouri. James is no longer an employee for his company he is now an independent consultant with his own LLC. The house was a total fixer upper but is coming along nicely. It no longer smells like cigarettes and there is very little wood paneling visible. We love Missouri, it is everything we expected and wanted! The kids are enrolled in the local elementary school. They are both in classes with their cousins and seem to really enjoy it. It is a small school, Luke's class has 8 kids and Bellas is the biggest in the elementary with 16 kids. My sister Heather is approximately 1.5 miles from our house. They have started a little dairy farm and they are going to have their 7th child come May. We love having family so close.
The branch out here is very small but full of wonderful faithful members. We are happy to be able to use our gifts and talents there.
Updates on the kids
Luke: He is no longer a little boy he is definitely growing and learning. He loves Pokemon, multiplication and playing with his cousin. He is also an avid snuggler and we are hoping to start a cub scout pack here soon.
Bella: Bella loves to sing, dance and create. I often am looking for something only to find out that Bella has it and has created something new with it. She had her 7th birthday this week. She got a pony and named him Prince. She saw him in the morning before school and said " Mom this is all I wanted for my birthday I don't need anything else!". She also lost her first two teeth last night and the tooth fairy brought her $6 ($3 for each tooth) apparently she had some pretty nice teeth.
Royce: Wild man Royce is still getting into all kinds of trouble. Our constant prayer is that he will survive childhood. He loves nursery and will soon be a sunbeam. We frequently hear singing around the house to the tunes of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. "Bless that beautiful Hide". LOL. He love his little Shiloh and can make her laugh like no one else.
Abrahm Jesse: Poor little Jesse fell out of a shopping cart last week and broke his collarbone. He has been a tough kid about it. Today I realized he was feeling better when I saw him jumping from the coffee table to the couch. He has had a language explosion. He is constantly saying things that crack us up. Today he and Luke were wrestling and I heard him say in a very calm voice" Luke thats my arm that hurts". It was so random but in a full complete sentence. Jesse is a sweet loving child who really likes Legos, blocks and just building things.
Shiloh: This girl is turning into quite the wild thing as well. She just goes, goes goe. She is constantly scanning the room for her next attack. When she crawls it looks like she is a charging Rhino she even does this heavy breathing thing. She is a wanderer. She goes where she wants and doesn't hesitate to look back. She loves rhythm and music. Anytime there is a beat you will find her bobbing her head up and down, side to side, bouncing , rocking, kicking, clapping her hands, feet and body. She is our little baby dancer. At Luke and Bella's Christmas performance the people were watching her dance to the music instead of the kids singing. Most of all Shiloh is our little love. There is something very special about having a baby in your home. It brings so much joy and happiness.
James is so happy. His last couple months with his company were really hard and stressful and we realized that although it was scary to branch out on his own it was the right move for him. He loves taking the ax and cutting down trees, spending more time with the children and telling them bedtime stories at night.
This area is so beautiful with rolling hills, pastures and thick trees. I love being able to create a beautiful house and making do with what we have. I enjoy being creative and trying new things. We have used raw milk to make cheese, butter, buttermilk, ricotta and yogurt. I like being away from the hustle and bustle and spending our evenings singing song, playing the piano and reading books. I am also very happy.
I am grateful especially at this Christmas season for all we have been blessed with including our savior Jesus, God bless our loved ones and friends.