Our New Home in Iowa

We arrived here on March 19th, 2012 to do a final walk through with our agent and the banker before heading to Iowa City to sign the closing papers on the home. I turned the knob to the front door and it was open so I had to take a few quick pictures before they showed up.

The front of the home

Inside the front door. The people who had the home built just a few years ago had old flooring put in throughout the home from an old house. All the doors are old and beautiful with old doorknobs. The upstairs bedrooms have the wide, plank wood floors that I love so much.

Beautiful woodwork and cabinetry throughout the home makes it seem so cozy.

All the curtains were drawn so you cannot appreciate the “light” that comes in here.  It was so dark in our living room in our home we had in Washington, I have to pull the shades down in the morning as the sun is in our eyes.

A blurry picture, but I had to share that they left us some wonderful canned goods on the table. They are kind people and we are still in touch with the previous owners.  We gave them some extra milk we have from our Jersey cow the other day and she brought over some cookies.

Hannah looking at the pantry/mudroom

The kids have their very own playhouse. They have spent hours in it already.

Our little, family barn.  We broke down and bought a Jersey cow a couple of weeks ago. I’ll take a picture soon. She gives us over 3 gallons of milk a day. We are enjoying the benefits of endless yogurt, milk and some butter too. The butter is a deep yellow color.

Elisabeth running down the back stairs. Now that we are getting the last things unpacked, it’s starting to feel more like our home. The area is pleasant, the community here is wonderful. I was sitting on the couch this morning looking out the window at some trees that had a little yellow on them and thought how Fall is coming. I then remembered that we haven’t even had a Summer here yet. My mind is do used to our very short Summers by the coast in Washington, that my mind was already gearing up for Fall based on how much sunshine I’ve seen here already.

Our Journey – Part 4: Kalona Park

These pictures were taken at a park in Kalona just before we moved into the home.

Well, they aren’t in an old Model A Ford like my grandfather’s pictures from the early 1900’s, but they sure do look cute.

Momma pushing the kids

Little Miriam



I looked at this view through the camera and found that we will not have enough swings here for all of our children in a few months. How about that???   : )

Our Journey – Part 3: Beautiful Iowa

Here are some beautiful pictures of Iowa. We think it is such beautiful country right up there with Pennsylvania but more of a “home country” look.  This will probably be my most favorite post regarding our journey.

On the way to a local Amish store. They sell milk buckets, dishware, Dick and Jane books and eggs for just $1.50 a dozen. 

A little closer…

The quaint, little store. They have hitching posts just to the right in this photo where the Amish park their buggies with their horses.

Leaving the store. It’s a beautiful, lush green now. This photo was probably taken in early March just before everything in Iowa turned green.

Farms, a common site everywhere

We asked a woman working at the Amish farm where we could buy some lambs. We could not find the place but did find this home with a bunch of lambs and sheep. Daddy and the kids are taking a closer look at them.

Now for my favorite pictures. We were driving back after going to the electric company to get the power switched over to our names for when we would move in in 3 days. We found this home business of an older gentleman who sells beautifully, restored tractors…. Massey Ferguson, John Deere, etc… They are in pristine condition and sparkling clean behind the barn doors here. Daddy went to look with the man and I let the kids out into the 80+ degree weather to run around. You can see why…

My favorite picture of Leah. You melt my heart so much Leah. You are so tender and loving.

Isn’t it beautiful in the background?

Nice, warm sun

Feeling good laying out in the sun

Little Miriam, you’re getting big

Elisabeth and Leah


Brother and sister

Beautiful Iowa

Our Journey – Part 2: Kansas, Kentucky and Kids

This may not be the most exciting post as I took very few pictures that were worth posting until arriving in Iowa. But, we want to be able to reflect back upon this time later on so I thought I would share here on the blog.

Kansas – When we arrived it was around 15 degrees with a very cold, hard wind. We were shocked at how quickly the cold would penetrate through our clothes. Changing a diaper in the front seat was hard to do but Miriam stayed pretty warm with the heater on from the car and my dress blocking the wind.

Kentucky – The only area we really seemed to like. We looked at a home down this road and my husband and I sat and watched some Amish children playing in their front yard. There were maybe 10 to 14 of them and they seemed so carefree and happy compared the the average children who sit and play video games and watch television all day.

Hannah and Miriam going to sleep together. Because Hannah is such a wiggle worm, we had to move her to another bed later on.  But, she got to enjoy going to sleep next to her little sister.

Elisabeth and Miriam slept together many times. I would wake in the next bed in the morning to hear Elisabeth giggling at her sister who was raising her head and looking at her.  I miss that a little bit.

Matthew with what appears to be his original blanket. We lost it along the way somehow… maybe getting out of daddy’s truck or at a motel scrunched under the covers. We bought him a new one but it just isn’t the same as the one they have from their very first days.  : (

Hannah, you are always dressing up your bears! You little cutie.

Always playing together.

Miriam, you were still not moving around much so it was safe to put you on the bed… until the last week or so.


I wish I had more pictures of you on our travels. I usually take so many of the new baby in the house. I will have to play some catch up. You’re about 6-7 months here. Normally, you’d be just about crawling right now but since you were in the car seat so much of the time you’re a little behind…. so I still get to cuddle you like a baby.  : )


In Washington, Iowa about 15  miles from the home we were waiting to close on. It was an 80+ degree day here and the kids were sitting outside after coming home from the park. Daddy took them to the park just about every single day while we were waiting for the home to close here.



Twins Baby Girls

Here’s a head shot picture of our identical twin baby girls. We just found out today that they are girls. Though we were hoping for boys to make the numbers more even, we are both over it and happy they are both doing so well. They are showing no signs of Twin to Twin Transfusion. If all goes well and the lowest baby which is Baby A, is head down later on, they will allow a vaginal birth. I’ll go in for ultrasounds every 2 weeks now. I asked if they could even do anything if the Twin to Twin transfusion developed so early and he assured me that they could do laser surgery to separate the vessels where the blood was transferring. So, please pray for the babies and for us as these visits will cost us some money as we aren’t covered 100% medically under our plan but you can’t put a price on life and a year or so from now we won’t know the difference while they will possibly 70+ years from now.

Our Journey – Part 1: Washington to Arizona

Our poor little kids here have no idea of the impact of how their lives are going to change over the next few months.  I took this just a few hours before we left our home in Washington State. We drove through the rain and dark after signing the closing papers around 4:00 or so, and stopped in Oregon for the night.

Here we’re in Oregon the next day. The weather was getting better already.

Hannah sleeping in the car.

Pretty country somewhere in Oregon.

Here we’re at a Rest Stop in Oregon. We always took over an hour break during lunch time. The kids would run around and play. Surprisingly, through all of our travels I believe there was only one time that it was too cold or rainy for us to go outside for a good amount of time during lunch.

Momma and her kids.

Daddy and the kids.

Looking out over a pretty river.

Little Miriam how you have changed since January here.

 I forgot, you had scratched your little nose!

Mt. Hood in Northern California

Mt. Hood again and daddy’s truck ahead. We had to leave it in Kansas later on.

I was hoping that some who would never venture this way could appreciate the beauty of this mountain.

I believe we are in California here getting closer to Arizona.

We saw this scene for most of the day it seemed. It was a hard, long boring day of travel.

One of our stops in California.

The palm tree the kids were looking up at.

Oh Leah you are so precious to me. Always following your older siblings and they let you so. You have become such a part of the family. You are so light and tiny like your sister Hannah was. Your steps are dainty and your countenance is light.

Really getting close to Arizona. You can see how the land changes.

Arizona in front of the “Poisonous Snakes” sign.  Probably day 3 I believe.


This is where I thought I left this camera, on this table. Thankfully, it was found underneath my seat in Iowa weeks later. Here’s daddy walking our lunch over to the table. Many more pictures to come in the next couple of weeks while I can. Two days from now we’ll find out if the twins are girls or boys. I’ll post then.

Old Blog Posts December 29th 2011 – March 15 2012

This is the best I can do for now (down below) regarding getting our recent posts over here since moving from Washington. I will be going back to edit and enlarge all the pictures from the past years.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Taking Ownership of the Home

We will be signing the closing papers on Monday, March 19th at around 3:00 pm. They will then hand us the keys and we will not be returning to the hotel. We can hardly wait. The ABF trailer will be arriving on Thursday so I did some preplanning on staying in the home without beds, etc… I bought a featherbed and a good, air mattress for $50 a few weeks ago for Matthew and I to sleep on for a few days. The kids can sleep on the floor as the downstairs is carpeted on a nice, thick pad underneath. I bought some comforters and blankets at the Goodwill as well and a couple of towels for showers. We can live a few days without furniture, etc… We will just be so happy to be in our home and then to have a little time to plan where to put things. Once we get settled, I will post some pictures of the home and area. And I did find my camera that I thought I had lost in Arizona, so I’ll be posting many more pictures of our travels here, later. Then it will be back to the twins since that is really all we think and talk about all day. : ) My next appointment will be April 9th, just a day before I turn 42. Since I’ll be 18 weeks then, I guess we will find out the gender of our twins. They are still growing as I can feel them up to my naval now. Maybe next week I will start feeling their little kicks. Anyways, back to the house… we will be in on Monday. I’m sure it will feel like a mansion compared to the adjoining rooms here at the motel. I can’t wait to take a nice bath and cook our first meal in the home. We are picking up a $25 table that comes with 4 chairs tomorrow for the children to eat on for a few days. These little expenses are still so much cheaper than paying for 2 rooms a night. Our journey is almost over. We are so glad to be out of Washington State. It is so much better here in so many ways that are important to us. Thank You Lord.



Sunday, March 4, 2012

We are Having Identical Twins!!

We found out Friday morning that we are having twins. We are feeling Gods’ showers of blessings right now. We are so grateful and excited, but not too surprised either. The Lord has been preparing us for this for a few years. Let me go back; First, God has placed a desire for twins in our hearts several years ago. Each pregnancy I would have a growing desire to have twins. A couple of years ago I finally prayed for twins and recently prayed fervently for twins again. My husband has prayed for twins as well. Second, He has prepared us for twins. He has put on my heart for a couple of years how to handle twins…. little things such as having them on the same schedule with regards to eating, sleeping, changing and more. It will be a bit regulated but that’s how it’s been with the more recent children and it has worked very well for us and them.

My first signs of having twins… At only 8 weeks pregnant I was having a few ligament pains. These don’t usually come upon me until 15+ weeks. There have been occasions where I would get such a ravenous desire for food that it was nearly unbearable. Many times we were on the road and I would just have to bear it out. Recently I thought I could feel the top of my uterus nearing closer and closer to my naval (where I would measure closer to 18 weeks). I felt the Lord telling me to wait 2 more weeks and then check again at 13 weeks. This I did and went crying to my husband in fear and joy that I really thought we were going to have twins.
To add another dimension to this story…. we were seriously considering buying a cow that is ready to calf in May from the people we are buying the home with. What better situation could we have with the cow already there familiar with it’s home, it has birthed before and was known to be very gentle. We were going to meet with Nicole at the home on Friday at 10:30 to see if this cow could be handled for milking in a few months. Well, on Thursday I found that things were looking pretty possible towards having twins so I made an appointment for an ultrasound instead. We knew that if I was pregnant with twins, we would not be having the time for a milker cow. : ) So, no cow – just the twins.
I took the girls with me to the ultrasound appointment and saw the two babies right away. I asked excitedly, “Are there two in there”? “Are there two in there?” They would not answer right away but when they did and shared that there were two, I started weeping with joy… a little too long for their liking I think. : ) It was such a beautiful feeling I had of motherly protection seeing two babies in there. There is more value of life in there with two.
I found that they share the same placenta and this is why they are identical. But, this also poses some pretty high risks as well such as developing “Twin to Twin Transfusion”, where their blood crosses to each other through a place in the placenta or vessels. This could cause death to either or both of them and quickly. They will be doing ultrasounds on the little ones every 2 weeks after week 24 to ensure that this is not happening and to take measures if necessary if it is. Also because they share the same placenta, one could get most of the nutrients and blood to the point of having too high of blood pressure and too much weight and the other too little weight with possibilities of heart developmental problems, etc…. Yes, this all sounds terrible but we are not going to concern ourselves with this too much for now. It is all in God’s hands and only He can bring forth both of them or one of them if He chooses. We will take it day by day and week by week. We are so grateful for this blessing, every time I go to the store I have a big smile and feel like I am carrying such a wonderful secret that I can’t wait to tell. We thank You Lord and ask You to keep Your protective and loving hand upon these children in the womb whom You have created. May You bring them forth and make them prosperous in You Lord that all can see that You are upon them. Let them suffer for good and not partake of the worldly pleasures of sin for a season (Heb 11:25). Let their lives be for others as Yours was Oh Lord. We thank Thee Lord God Almighty for what You have done and what You will do. Amen


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Only God Could Have Brought Us Here

God brought us to Iowa a couple of weeks ago or so. We are buying a home in which all has gone through except the appraisal and that will be early this week. It is beautiful to see how the Lord worked, looking back. We came into Iowa one day and got a room close to a home that we were scheduled to see the next day. We had 7 homes within the State that we were very interested in. The real estate agent took us to the first two homes which were a couple of hours apart. We knew that neither of the homes would be for us. The third and last home he wasn’t going to show us as it was out of his area, but because it was early yet he decided to take us to the home. We were happy to have nearly half of the homes done with in a day so we eagerly obliged. Before we approached the town some 10 miles out or so, I noted that the area looked so warm and comfortable with beautiful farms spread out everywhere for miles. We came upon a town called Kalona and it had a picture of an Amish buggy on it. I knew we were within a few miles of the home he was to show us in Wellman. I liked the area already. The home was so fitting for us, we just could not believe it. It felt like home from the minute we walked in the door to the time we left. It was a home that would not leave our minds or hearts and we felt deeply saddened at the possibility of losing it if we were to look at any other homes. We did not want to even look any further. We just knew we found it. We went to the nearby motel in Kalona so we could stay in town and look around before coming to a decision. Kalona we found is the largest community on this side of the Mississippi, of Amish and Mennonites. It was what we were looking for in Lancaster Pennsylvania. We had never heard of Kalona and only God could have brought us here. So, we are hopeful at the possibilities of what lie ahead for us and our children here. It is different here. Very different. The courtesies and kindness and polite gestures we have seen will do all of our hearts good. It will warm our hearts to pray so much more for the unsaved here.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Cried…

As we crossed over the boundaries of Pennsylvania into Ohio today I cried. It was the most beautiful State that either of us had been in. We had looked at Pennsylvania and considered it for a few years so we were anticipating much. The beauty and splendor even in the Winter months was a wonder to behold. The valleys of beautiful trees and rivers with open fields of farms with white houses and barns down below made our hearts stir. We thought surely this would be a place to settle into as our hearts warmed to the beautiful land in Pennsylvania and quiet looking towns off of the Highway. But soon man’s print of sin started to reveal itself in huge billboards of “adult” clubs with lewd pictures and “adult” stores. Everywhere. Nearly every town and every 3 miles it seemed to be. We never saw these grand billboards in Washington State. And only one of “those” places in 1 town out of many. It was so populous that we could not drive to go look at a home without seeing about 20 to 40 huge pictures or buildings with their huge advertisements. I cried last night as this land was the most beautiful I had seen but I didn’t want to live in a place with such lewdness. I knew I couldn’t when I didn’t have to. Matthew was just as shocked as he had never seen this in California from where he grew up. The presence was too strong and we found that this is how it is along the whole East side of the States. So, we submitted to what we knew was best for our family and children and are heading back to the middle States – flyover country, to Iowa. Hopefully, it will not have the same images and suggestions so bold as we have seen in Pennsylvania and other States. So, I cried today as we crossed the border. I never cried when I left Washington. But our hearts were really taken by Pennsylvania and it’s beautiful appearance of such peace.

I felt foolish the other day too as we started driving upon Lancaster. I had no idea of the size of the city (and surrounding areas). I had not done any research so I did not know. We drove miles and miles through complete traffic and city on the freeway that I wouldn’t have a clue where the Amish were and frankly did not care anymore at that point. The world was so thick and heavy, it would drown out the poor Amish, Anabaptist or Mennonite communities there. We drove South a ways and found ourselves amidst the city chaos still and decided to turn around and head back to our hotel.
So, we believe that the Lord has been showing us some things on this journey…. much of what we don’t want in a place to live and raise our children and hopefully die. He knows the desires of our hearts and has opened our eyes to the reality of some places we really considered and prayed about living over the years. We are both glad we have looked into all these places and believe this is all not for nothing. And we have both agreed not to just buy a home for quick relief of this temporary lifestyle. We don’t want “buyers remorse” as Matthew’s brother puts it. We just want what’s best in a polluted land and time and we think the middle States are as good as it gets for now. So, back we go to where we originally headed nearly a month ago. It is different there because we’ve been there. Please keep us in your prayers. It’s heartbreaking… the losing of Leah’s blanket I made for her, Matthew’s little white dog he has carried around and slept with as a baby. We shed a tear and then pick up and move on. The fears as this morning when we went to fill up the vehicles with gas and found our cards wouldn’t work. Our bank is still in Washington State. We tried another station and still could not use the cards. They had put a hold on the funds because of something that was returned to them from our address saying we no longer lived there. All was fixed in an hour but there’s such a vulnerability when you don’t have a home. I’m just so grateful that we have a place to stay each night, a decent night’s sleep every night, that we are all safe and healthy and have money to be able to do this. The thing we miss the most is my cooking. We miss the quality of the healthy foods so much. And though we eat yogurt and salad, carrot juice or carrots, bananas, etc… you can only do so much. A lot goes when you live like this and we have adapted alright. We planned on doing another load of laundry tonight as Matthew does each night and found this hotel does not have a laundry room on their facility. I have salsa on my dress from this evening and my only other dress, Matthew tipped the baby oatmeal all over the bed this morning by accident and so of course it got all over my other dress while I was trying to help him. So, I just sponged off my salsa dress tonight and will wear it tomorrow I guess. : )
I have my day about once a week and I feel it’s from the Lord, where I just have to stay put and rest. I cannot look at homes or get on the road to another area or State. I pray more that day and lay quietly. A woman has a need to stay put. Yesterday was that day. Lots of crying off and on with confusion about staying in Pennsylvania or trying another area within the State. I was angry and sad until Matthew mentioned heading back to that area again. Now I feel peace and just pray we all get there safely. I just don’t want to lose any of us on the road on this journey. We have so little in our control. Well, it’s getting late and my mind is getting tired. I miss my time with the Lord and the kids so much.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Pictures – Ouch : (

I just looked through our blog after posting my post 5 minutes ago and saw 3 or 4 pictures of our home in Washington. Ouch, that hurt! I’m glad we are gone but we don’t have a home now and our babies were all born there. We had a settled life there. We’re not settled now and it seemed so strange but painful to see those pictures. I don’t think I will look at those pictures for a good, long time until we are settled into a new home. : (




We are now in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. We will be heading towards Amish Country tomorrow to see if it is a place we would like to call home. Kentucky was as fast paced and self centered as Washington State with no Southern hospitality that we could see. Here in Pennsylvania which is a State we have looked at and looked at again and again for over three years, it is the most gorgeous State we have ever seen. And it’s Winter now! The homes in our price range out do Kentucky by miles. You can buy a 5+ bedroom farm home with good acreage and a barn – a gorgeous home, for a good price here. The State is very, very clean compared to Kentucky where they had junk cars and garbage, etc… every few homes it seemed. Matthew and I both feel we could find a home here and settle in quite well. Though the home schooling laws are one of the most extensive on the testing, etc…. we have come to the decision that that does not take precedence over a good place to live anymore. Anyways, I have a friend who lives in Amish Country whom I talked with last night and it sounds like such a good place to live as we share many of the beliefs of the people there… the Anabaptists and the Mennonites though the Mennonites may not accept us because of our past of marriage before, which is sad because we repented and came to the marriage alter pure. A church should focus on where one is today, not where one was yesterday. Jesus accepted ones who murdered but repented and did right all their days thereafter.

It sounds like many in those Counties considered Amish country work from their homes, which is what we will continue doing once we settle…. selling eggs, chickens, etc… I would love to learn how to make cheese one day. I hope we can find community there and some people to fellowship with. If Amish country is not where we feel the Lord wants us, we will very likely stay in Pennsylvania. I hope to have some maple trees on our property so we can tap them for making syrup. I love the four seasons and would anticipate each season with joy.

The kids are doing wonderful! They have adjusted to their new schedule. We have adjoining rooms here at Motel 8 and everybody is asleep but me. I am so glad to be here. I really think we will be settling down here. I hope so. We may be looking at a couple of homes in Newport and Fannettsburg. I’ll see about taking some pictures. Goodnight.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Heading to Kentucky

We have gone through much of the Eastern side of Kansas and our hearts are just not here. They have gone back to the beginning, the small farming communities we found a couple of years ago in Southern Kentucky. Our truck is out of commission and we have decided it best for Matthew to buy another good, used truck so we can finish our drive. We are in Holton Kansas right now at the Red Roof Inn with adjoining rooms for only around $350.0o a week, we are pleased. We stayed at Value Place in Topeka and found it to be filthy… I found a dead cockroach in the kitchen drawer. I’ll spare the rest of the details. I bought another camera and will post pictures sometime later when we have the time. Anyways, it looks like we’ll be heading through Missouri tomorrow and into Kentucky the following day. Please pray for our travels. It’s been very hard on us all but not terrible. We have all of our needs provided for. And the pregnancy is going well. I’m just starting to feel sick. : )



Friday, January 13, 2012

We’re in Kansas

We arrived 2 nights ago. Our camera is lost and I believe it is in an Arizona rest stop, but that’s okay. I think it’s God’s way of showing us we don’t need to see our journey here so much but where we are now. We are staying in a short term residence/hotel called Value Place. It will do for now. We looked at the home yesterday and it was not what we thought it to be. We will be looking at two homes today in Emporia to rent month to month for now so we can have our belongings sent there from Washington. The truck leaves our old residence today as a matter of fact. The kids are doing very well under the circumstances. I am very excited about our future and just so glad to be gone from Aberdeen and to be here. People are so much more courteous, respectful and kind outside of Washington. It will do us good for our souls. I’ll try to pick up a cheap camera here in the next day or two. Thank you for your prayers of safety… I’ll share more later.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Closing Date: Friday January 6th, 2012

Due to the delays with the holidays, our closing date has been changed to January 5th, 2012. So, we’ll leave then and take lots of pictures along the way. Now that everything is packed into the trailer except our furniture, I will have to figure out what to do to keep busy until then. Oh, the time is ever so slow. : )

It’s only been a few days but the pregnancy is still progressing. With my age and some miscarriages, we wait it out day by day now.
There’s a home in Northeast Kansas that is an old, country, Victorian home on 20 acres that we are very interested in buying. It has dark wood and floors throughout the home, 5 bedrooms and the price is shockingly low. We would have to have a 2nd bathroom put in, but how fun to do things the way you want on a home. If this is the home for us from the Lord, I can’t wait to put wallpaper throughout the home. I love wallpaper in old homes. The best part is we get to move in there now as the owners agreed to let us rent from them month to month (as it’s sitting there empty) with no obligation to buy. If we find the home is what we believe it to be, we will not have to move again but start the process of purchasing the home. I can’t wait to ride bikes with the kids out front on the country road, go for walks and enjoy the weather and people there. We are so excited!