a visit to Homestead Farms…

by jana on April 22, 2013

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Today, in honor of Earth Day, Homestead Farms, here in Keller, celebrated with snow cones, hayrides, and their animals. So, we packed up and headed out there with Ellie and Jessica to enjoy the festivities.

The girls first visited the chickens, and I had to warn Kaylin to not to pet the chickens for fear of them plucking her little fingers. Ha! But they did get to touch the baby chickens. Kaylin wanted to chase them around, and Ellie waited patiently for her turn to pet a chick up close.

chickens

Then we saw this cute little cut-out for the girls to stick their heads through. Ha, Kaylin looks upset that she is a boy! Girls can milk a goat too, ya know!

photo-op

Next, it was off to go see the goats. On the way over to the goat barn the girls grabbed hands and walked together all the way to the barn. It was so sweet! I think my heart melted a million times. Ellie loves Kaylin and Kaylin loves Ellie!

melt

In the barn we got to feed the goats some delicious hay! These goats were so friendly. One goat quickly poked it’s head out to greet us, and I thought for a second that it was going to snip at Kaylin’s shirt. Kaylin started petting and loving on this goat. The goat thought she had some food and “kissed” her hand. I told Kaylin the goat was trying to give her kisses, and she thought I was saying to kiss the goat! Whoa! Gross! But it was a good laugh!

goats

We headed for the hayride next, but while we waited in the line, the girls wanted to go see the “horsies.”  They were quickly bored with the one horse and one donkey eating grass, and started to throw little rocks through the fence. They thought this was so much fun. Silly girls!

horses

Hayride time! Ok, so it wasn’t very exciting (especially breathing in the exhaust of the tractor), but the girls seemed to enjoy the tractor pulling them around and trying to touch the tree leaves as they passed.

hayride

I love Ellie’s diva glasses and her smile in this pic, and Kaylin of course looks like she wondering why we aren’t moving yet!?!?

After all the fun in the sun, looking at all the animals, petting the chickens and the goats, and a hayride too, it was time for a yummy snow cone. Of course with this being a working farm that sells fresh eggs and goat’s milk the snow cones were corn syrup and artificial color-free, but still yummy! The girls loved them!

snowcones

I love, love the top picture with both their mouths looking identical, with their lips puckered. Too funny!

We had a great time at Homestead Farms! I love these two people (Jessica and Ellie) so much and I’m going to miss them tremendously when we move to Houston in less than one month. I am however, so grateful for days like today and for God bringing Jessica into my life over 6 years ago! A soul-sister for life!

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We’re moving to Houston…

by jana on April 3, 2013

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It is official! As of today we are no longer the home owners of 4933 Happy Trail, in Keller, TX. We are setting off on a new adventure. One that has been completely God-led

     SOLD

Several months ago, I was pulling Kaylin in her red wagon around the neighborhood block when I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to sell our house. This came out of left field and I found myself wondering if I had really just heard that. Of course, I started asking God the how, why, when, where questions and was only met with silence. Then He reminded me of the scripture, Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” God was telling me to trust and let him lead me (us).

KAYLIN

I came home, and after several hours decided to discuss this with Chris. He too prayed about it and said that God was confirming this with him as well. So we found a realtor after several weeks, and began the process of listing our house. The next thing to do was come up with an asking price. I was laying down one night when it felt as though God was giving me the exact number to list the house for and there was no denying it was Him. I kept this too myself since I knew Chris was praying for the same thing at the time. When we met with the realtor we had both discussed what we felt God was saying. I told Chris the number God gave to me, and Chris said that God told him that the realtor would give us a price range to list our house for, and  to pick the highest number in the range. The numbers matched EXACTLY. This to us, was confirmation!

The next few months (during the Holidays I might add) we showed our house so many times I lost count. I’ve never cleaned my house so much in my life. Sometimes twice a day because I am a little obsessed when it comes to vacuum lines. We were exhausted. Having to arrange our lives around “showings” with a little one and with two people who are always home. Ugh! We were feeling defeated and even questioned if we heard God right. But we stood firm in what we believed we heard God saying and committed to seeing this through in faith.

The house had been on the market for about 100 days and then we all of a sudden had 2 prospective buyers at the same time. This was exciting and nerve-racking to say the least. One of the family’s bidding on the house we remember specifically praying over while they were viewing our house the first time. Chris says he knew that they had to be the ones. And sure enough in the end they are the ones buying our home. A young family with several kids. We pray they have as many wonderful memories to share as we have while living on Happy Trail.

As for where we are going now…

IMG_0758

JUST KIDDING!

With Chris being self-employed and working from home, and me still working as a full-time mom, we could go ANYWHERE. We thought about moving out of state. Renting for several months and living in several different states. Moving to family land and building our own house. Staying in Ft Worth. Moving to Tyler, TX. And then we ended up looking for homes in the North Houston area. No specific reason (that we know of right now, but believe that will be revealed to us soon enough), and just started looking there because the houses looked like the ones we liked, they had larger yards, and there were so many trees compared to north Ft Worth.

We zoned in on Conroe, Spring, and Kingwood, Texas. We took a week and traveled down to the Woodlands, to stay with my BFF’s parents in their garage apartment. Another blessing from God, we think, because it saved us a ton of money otherwise spent on a hotel or we may not have even gone down to look at homes because of the money it would cost us to do just that…look!

We looked at so many different houses, but nothing was feeling like “home.” We started praying Tuesday night that if the home wasn’t here in North Houston that God would start revealing that to us and show us a different path. Then “ding” and email from our realtor popped up and a house just went on the market that matched our criteria of what we wanted in our next home. Chris and I clicked through the pictures and descriptions and we both got really really excited. It looked perfect and exactly what we wanted. We were so excited that we couldn’t sleep and stayed up way to late anticipating seeing the house the next morning.

The next morning, we drove up to the house, walked in, and both took an inhale of breath. We felt like we just walked into our home. We knew in an instant we wanted this house. It’s a weird thing to describe but when you know, you know. The house was also WAY under priced to where it should’ve been and nothing really wrong with it (besides being an older home with minor fixes needed).  All the upgrades were already done with very little to change. This house we feel was given to us at a price we could afford while staying under our budget, when otherwise it wouldn’t be attainable for the neighborhood and area it is in.

After playing a brief bidding war, the house was ours. We won the bid and are now awaiting our closing date. We are thrilled. We are moving to Kingwood, Texas, on May 16th.

We feel so blessed for waiting on God and His perfect timing. We know He has great things in store for us and we will continue to seek Him and His will for our lives.

home

It has, I have to say, been a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement, joy, and eagerness to move and start living out this new adventure that God has us on, but also a slight sadness to leave some of the most amazing people of my life behind in Ft Worth. God has truly blessed me with an amazing support group of girls who have prayed for me, wept with me, laughed with me, and stood by me. Each one of them mean so much to me, that I could easily write pages and pages of stories about how wonderful they each are. Our church, Gateway, has also meant so much to us these last 6 years. We have both grown SO deep in our faith and our love of God through the ministry of this amazing church. But, we stand and trust that God will not lead us astray but will lead us into great things that lie ahead. You can never go wrong following the dad who loves you eternally.

family

 the Schaeffer story is to be continued…

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We haven’t disappeared!

by jana on January 2, 2013

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We haven’t disappeared and I really would love to blog more. The hard part is trying to find the time. There really has been a lot that has gone on since Kaylin’s 1st birthday and I hope to blog soon about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas and New Years….whoa! Someone slow down the clock or add more hours in the day with an energy pill for me to take after the little chica is in bed in order to do what I want to do besides crash on the couch and veg…ahhhh….

hope to see you soon on here…

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fish, birds, and animals…oh my!

by jana on October 25, 2012

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I’ve already stated in a previous post that Kaylin loves dogs. Well she pretty much likes any creature that moves around for her to watch and observe.

When we go to Petco, to get dog food, we now have to lap the store and let her look at all the different creatures. Her favorite is  the bird cage filled with parakeets. They chirp and flutter around and she looks utterly mesmerized. She also tries to catch the goldfish as they swim all around in their fish tank. It’s so funny and cute to watch her.

This past weekend we stopped at a little street fall festival near our neighborhood and they had a petting zoo. I didn’t think they would let Kaylin in because of her size, but they did. She had a blast watching them all move around her. She pet the goats, tried to chase down a bunny, and attempted to quack at the ducks. Unfortunately, I think these animals are used to being trapped and bombarded by 1000’s of kids in a day, so they were really docile…EXCEPT for one duck that was trying to share with everyone that he was tired and pissed by snapping at the kids. Kaylin pointed at Mr. Duck and he obviously didn’t like that and bit her little finger. Kaylin didn’t know what to do with his nasty attitude and rude attack, but about 20 seconds later we had a full-on crying meltdown (just a little bit of a delayed reaction!) Luckily it was a quick cry and we moved onto  looking at all the people walking around. I don’t think Mr. Duck ruined her love for animals, especially dogs!

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Pumpkin Patch 2012

by jana on October 24, 2012

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This was our first visit to the pumpkin patch. We went with Ms. Jessica, Ellie, Ms. Wendy, Hayden, and baby James. I thought it would be super cute if the girls were in matching outfits. So I made them pumpkin shirts and coordinating skirts. They looked absolutely PRECIOUS!

Since this was Kaylin’s 1st visit to the pumpkin patch she had a “special” photo op area to take her picture. There were needless to say a lot of little bitty’s getting their pictures taken. Kaylin was more interested in rolling the little pumpkins down the hill and watching me put them back in place while trying to capture the “perfect” shot. I soon gave up, Ha!

They had a ruler to pose your child in front of so you can record how tall they are each year at the pumpkin patch. I had a hard time keeping Kaylin still long enough to get a picture. This is as good as I could get. LOL!

There were pumpkins everywhere, and if you live in the DFW area the Flower Mound pumpkin patch is a good one. We headed out to their field of pumpkins for more photos, and let the kids run around. Three mommies with three cameras was probably a funny site as we were juggling each other’s cameras, switching out who was taking pics of who, etc… Ha!

They also had a lot of bounce houses for the kids to jump and play in, as well as, a maze made out of hay bails, and a pumpkin house. The girls lucked out and had the pumpkin bounce house all to themselves. The bigger girls were really nice and gentle with Kaylin in there. Kaylin was so funny to watch. She would just lay out flat while the girls jumped around her, all the while squealing and laughing. It was hilarious.

In all the chaos, Jessica snapped some pictures of Kaylin and I (thanks Jessica). It was a fun filled day and I look forward to a 2013 adventure to the pumpkin patch.

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12 months…

by jana on October 23, 2012

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We’ve made it to 12 months and therefore this is the LAST month onesie picture! Kind of sad, but what a great year. I have learned so much in these last 12 months. I haven’t worked a “paying” job for an entire year…weird…BUT I took a job that has been the hardest and most rewarding in my 10years of working, and worth all the money in the world. I haven’t had any vacations, days off, or sick-leave, but I have had the time of my life. The good days definitely out way the bad ones. I feel complete, and more satisfied with this mommy job more than any other in my life. And how could I not when I get to wake up looking into this face every day!!!!!!

 

Kaylin you are the best paycheck EVER!

 Ha, I forgot you say “duck” too, and you wave to EVERYONE!

You are so much fun these days Miss Kaylin. You love to go find daddy in his office. You are the happiest when mommy & daddy are in the same room to play with you. You get to talking and singing, while being animated with your hands and arm movements. Recently you have been walking up to me and throwing your arms around me to snuggle. Melt My Heart a 1000 times!

You still are an OUTSIDE-kind-of-girl. So we play out in the front yard in the mornings, the backyard in the afternoons, and then back to the front yard in the evenings.  You crawl in and out of your wagon and your new PINK cozy coupe. We go on walks, you walk up and down the sidewalk, and we go to the park to play. You point out the birds flying in the sky, and of course all the dogs that walk by, and you have even more than once pointed to the moon and say “ohhhhh, oooooo, ohhhhh”

You are too cute for words!

Happy 12 Months to YOU!

…with many more to come!

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an OWL 1st birthday party…HoOt HoOt!!

by jana on October 21, 2012

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After months of planning, the BIG day was here to celebrate my precious, God-given, miracle baby girl! I had so much fun planning, sewing, creating, and preparing for a Hootin’ good party! And I think it could not have turned out any better.

We were surrounded by over 50 of our friends and family. We played, ate, jumped, and celebrated with Kaylin (who was oblivious to her being the center of attention or that a ton of people were in her backyard–haha!) The kids enjoyed the bounce house, and Kaylin’s new climber from Grammy & Grandpa.

Kaylin was still napping when her party started, but you don’t wake a sleeping baby!!! She didn’t sleep but 15-20 minutes into her party, but that’s ok, my sweet girl already knows how to make an entrance! She had all eyes on her when she debuted her cute tutu wearing self. Her outfit was one thing I was not brave enough to make myself. Thank you Etsy! It isn’t just my partiality…she is cuteness with a captial “C”!

Chris, gave a sweet talk before we all sang Happy Birthday, about how this day was a celebration of life, and a reminder to us of God’s greatness. When we were on our knees crying for God’s mercy and the blessing of a child after two miscarriages, He heard our cries and blessed us with a perfect, healthy, beautiful baby girl. She will be forever a part of our testimony. Thank you Jesus!

Now it was time to SMASH cake!!!  Ok, mabye not smashing, but poking, tasting, and thinking about this sweet, yummy goodness called cake. The whole process took about 15 minutes before she had had enough. In the pic below you can see her throwing her arms out “signing” she was “all done”! haha!

She was covered in cake after her smashing fun, and of course, I have a child that refuses to wear a bib. So I took her inside, stripped her, and rinsed her off in the bathtub. I brought her back out 1/2 naked just wearing her cute bloomers and caught these pics of her striking a pose it seems….LOL!

Present Time…I would open a present, show Kaylin her new toy, put it aside, and then she would look at me like: “I wanted to play with that!” Ha! She received a lot of toys and cute clothes. She is happy to have new toys in her daily rotation. Anything with music, she bounces & dances up and down, claps, and squeals. She bangs her puzzle pieces together, and has already worn some of her cute clothes. She is one lucky little girl.

I made all the kids owl masks for part of their party favors. There is a pic above that shows most of them wearing them and posing for a pic, but I didn’t get Kaylin’s on her until later. Of course, she tried immediately to take it off but I had to get a picture of her wearing one, right??? Ha! Too cute!

Since the whole family was gathered around watching Kaylin open presents, we took the opportunity to take a group family picture. I love it, and love that we have been blessed with such an amazing, loving, kind, family.

We also at this point found out that Aunt KK and Uncle G are having a….

How exciting that Kaylin will not be the ONLY girl. She already has 3 boy cousins, so I am glad she will have a girl cousin to play dress-up, house, etc..with in the future!

Like I said, I think Kaylin’s OWL party was a huge success. Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We feel truly blessed and loved. Not only by friends and family but by our great Heavenly Father. At a time in our lives when things around us in this world seem horrible, crazy, scary, & just plain “messed up” we are covered by the blood of Jesus. We strive to live everyday as though it is our last. We know our calling is to lead others to HIM and share our testimony. Kaylin Rae you are part of that testimony of faith and love. We will do our best to lead you, show you, and teach you about Jesus and His great love for you, daily. WE LOVE YOU!

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY!

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11 months…

by jana on September 23, 2012

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OH MY!!! My baby girl is almost one year old! I cannot believe it. It really seems like time is flying now. Kaylin is so active and always on the go. She walks everywhere! She still has to pull up on something to get going but walking is her preferred method of travel.

She makes a circle around through the living room, hall, kitchen and Repeat! I love when she only wants to walk holding onto my finger. It’s like she taking me somewhere or has something to show me.

She loves walking down the back hall to daddy’s office while he is working. She loves looking out the window even though all she can see is rose bushes. She plays all around Chris and his chair. It is so wonderful that she gets to have us both at home ALL the time.

Our new routine in the morning consists of going outside in the morning to walk down the sidewalk. She pushes her little walker (sometimes) and only wants to go, go, go! She will occasionally stop to pull up grass and then try to sneak it inside her mouth if I’m not looking.

I’ve been helping her practice walking in the grass since her birthday party is in the back yard. She has to be able to show off her cute little tutu wearing self.

As much as I am looking forward to her bday party (because I have been planning & preparing for 4 months), I’m kind of sad that she is nearing such a huge milestone. I was counting down the days until her birth a year ago and my sweet baby girl is about to be the big ole ONE. I love her to pieces and so thankful for my little miracle.

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10 months old…

by jana on August 19, 2012

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Kaylin Rae you are on the move! You are pulling up on the furniture and then walking to wherever you think you want to go. This makes us nervous sometimes, especially when you are in the kitchen and walking on the tile floor. You get braver by the day and your distance is increasing. It amazes us both to see you so mobile. The next big thing for you to accomplish is to go from a sitting position, to standing, and then take off walking. I hope this takes you a little longer to accomplish because otherwise I’ll never get to sit down!

We changed up your nightly routine and we LOVE it! You eat dinner with us at the table, but now instead of wiping you off and letting you play, we let you get as messy as you want and then take you straight to the bathtub for bath time! Your daddy watches you play in the bathtub, squirting water at you, reading you your bath books, and keeps you from falling since you like to stand almost the whole time.  Then after bath we let you have some quiet playtime and this has been your happiest time of the day lately. You talk and laugh, and play with your stuffed animals. It’s like you dog pile yourself on top of them, crawl with them in your hands and then repeat another dog pile. It’s hilarious. We also use this time to help you practice your walking. We let you walk to each of us and then increase the distance between us each time. You are up to 20 steps. You are so proud of yourself and sometimes throw yourself at us because you are so excited. This new night time routine has brought us so much joy. Spending time with you, a very happy you, is AWESOME! We love you soooo much!

Now this next month I am going to attempt at getting you to start eating better from a spoon, drink from a sippy cup, and take in some more calories besides just taking mommy’s milk. I am nervous about this endeavor and I hope you help me out little one. It’s training camp for both of us!

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Father Friday: Your Story – Part 5

by chris on August 17, 2012

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Start from the beginning: Your Story – Part 1

Kaylin,

Eight months after we decided to give our pregnancy over to God we reached a low point in our journey. Let me quote a line straight out of my journal from December 2010.

“I hear nothing, I see no changes, and I have little expectations. This is the darkest time of my life, because I am aware of the darkness yet I am seeking the light and it’s not there…We’re clueless, helpless, and we feel like failures.”

Since we’d discontinued fertility treatments the previous Spring we experienced a roller coaster of emotions. Although we still prayed together at the table each night the negative pregnancy tests were tough to deal with month after month. We knew God was faithful, but we were struggling with the patience to wait on Him.

Life went on for the next seven months and in July 2010 Jana came into my office with a positive pregnancy test. We were ecstatic, but about five weeks later, during a routine doctor visit, we were told something didn’t look right. We were referred to a specialist and just a few hours later we were told that we would lose not one, but two babies. Jana was pregnant with twins.

I hope there is never another time in my life that I experience that same level of shame. We felt betrayed. Your mother, understandably, had a lot of questions for God. I felt that I had failed as the spiritual leader of our family. We have never come to completely understand why it happened, but when faith is lacking, obedience or rebellion is our only choice. So we continued to press on.

I love you,

Daddy

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