Monday, January 28, 2013

Temple Trip!

 This weekend we went down to Baltimore to visit my Aunt Kristen and her family.  It was so much fun!  It took us 3 hours to get there because of the snow (it'd usually only take 1 1/2).  They made us a delicious dinner on Friday night, then we packed all eight of the us up on Saturday morning and went to the Washington D.C temple.  Jon and I went to the first session then we switched and Kristen and Ben did a session together.  All told, it took quite a bit of work to make it to the temple, but I think it helped me appreciate being there all the more.  I felt Heavenly Father's love for me and a greater desire to reflect to light of the Savior.  
Autumn and Naoma are ready for a little sister of their own (coming in about 5 weeks) and did a great job taking care of Suzy.  She just wouldn't hold still for a picture with Naoma though.

Here are a bunch of videos of just normal, every day things around our house.  I love getting some videos of the things we do all the time - my favorite family home videos my Dad took was when he just let the camera roll.

Lily loves her play kitchen.  Thanks again Emma for giving it to her. 
the girls love to play on the stairs. Suzy spends a fair amount of her time on them.

Jon got his own set of gymnastics trainer rings for Christmas and now he finally has a place to use them.  You can't use them in a normal doorway because its too narrow.  He puts a long piece of wood on the floor at the top of the stairs to distribute the weight from the rings.  I think his only regret is that he dosen't have enough room to do work on some of the crazier stuff like an iron cross.  We'll just have to build a huge gym in our house with real rings for that one.  

Friday, January 25, 2013


Thanks to my Heavenly Father, my Daddy here on earth, and my wonderful husband who makes this possible for my kids.  I love you all.

Monday, January 21, 2013

 Lily sleeps in her toddler bed most of the time...sometimes she just wants to be closer to Suzy.
 Who says you need to have boys to wrestle?  Suzy especially loves when Daddy comes home and throws her around.

We've started trying to get Lily to drink water instead of only drinking milk all day.  So, she gets to switch from a cup of milk, to a cup of water, to a cup of get the idea.  This was the celebration at the end of dinner when she finished her water cup that she'd been working on since breakfast and finally got some milk.

Other news: we got callings in our ward!  We get to teach the 5-6 year old class together and it is so much fun.  We taught for our first time yesterday.  We've already had the experience teaching the 6-7 year olds so this is pretty similar.  Jon is really good at managing the class and keeping their attention.  He also was on Suzy duty most of the lesson and said that having her in there really makes the hour way more tiring than last time we taught.  Lily is loving nursery and only cries for the first minute after we drop her off (I've watched through the peep hole).  She comes home singing bits of new songs and its strange to have her singing things that I didn't teach her (but its also fun at the same time).  

Also...drum really exciting news is that we're expecting our third baby!  I'm so grateful to be able to have another baby and I'm just tickled pink.  Jon is too - he was baby hungry before I was this time which was a fun twist for us. I'm 13 weeks along, I've been feeling super sick but I'm finally starting to have some days where the nausea isn't too bad.  I'm starting to be able to enjoy dinner again, which is really nice, and after losing 7 pounds, I'm starting to gain some back.  Its strange to be kind of concerned and worried about losing weight - but both the baby and I are healthy.   I've told Lily that there is a baby in my tummy and the first time I said that, she just stopped in her tracks and looked like she was trying to process it.  One of her favorite books is "Ellen and Penguin and the New Baby"  so I said, "Lily and Suzy and the New Baby."  That seemed to help her understand a bit more.  She now regularly asks me about the baby in my tummy, and then about the baby in her tummy.  Today we had a conversation that went something like this:
Lily: "Mommy, where's the baby?" 
Me: "Its in my tummy."
" in my tummy?"  (asking if she has a baby in her tummy too)
"No, Lily.  You won't have a baby in your tummy until you're married."
"Are you Mary?"
"Yeah, I'm married, to Daddy."  
I might of confused her more, because she has an aunt named Mary.  Oh well.

Let's see, last bit of news is that we're now officially set up for visitors.  See, I can prove it.  I think we could accommodate quite a few people, especially if kids are willing to sleep on the floor so come on over!  Everybody...anybody...I miss you all.  And...if you want your kids to sleep in the basement, we can move the queen bed to the study upstairs so we can just throw all the young-uns down there and have a party upstairs.  Jon says I sound desperate...he might be right.  And I know its super far, but I just wanted everyone to know that there is an open invitation at the Terry house.  Okie doke, Love you all!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Outside of the House

 The two pictures below are looking both ways on our street.  I love those trees!  Can't wait for Spring.

 These two are from our back patio.

We just stepped outside to take some pictures of the house and the girls were really excited to get out.  Hmm...maybe we've been inside unpacking for too long.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

House Tour

I forgot to do this when it was light enough outside to see the front of the house.  I'll have to put some of those pictures up later, because its a cute little front of the house and our street is beautiful.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Multitude of Tender Mercies

We have been so incredibly blessed today.  I am grateful and wanted to give you all the little details to help you see all the ways we were helped today.  It was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise.

I wrote before about how we realized that Jon's license was expired as we were boarding our plane to come here.  At first I felt like, "Man, if only the person had noticed in November when we boarded the plane for the interview then we wouldn't have to deal with this right now."  But, Jon brought up that if they had noticed...we might not have been able to get out to the interview with the tickets they bought us and that could have been a big problem (Tender Mercy...I'll just abbreviate TM #1).  So, it was also a blessing that when were coming recently, that Jon had his passport handy which we've never done before when we've traveled (TM #2).  

Fast forward to the present...I looked into him replacing his license and found out that since his license has been expired for more than 6 months, he had to go through the whole process to get a permit and take the driving test.  In Pennsylvania, that means that he needed to:
1- have a doctor sign off a paper saying that he is healthy enough to drive
2- have a lease AND a utility bill (we would've had to wait until the end of the month to get one mailed to us)
3- show up and take the written test
4- pay with a money order, it said on the website that we couldn't pay cash
5- take the road test a different day from the one that he took the written test on - you sign up online
and that's it.  I know thats a lot of detail, but it all comes into play.

Anyway, I called around to see if we could get in to see a family practice dr and all of them said we'd have to wait until march to be seen, since we're new patients.  That wouldn't work, so I figured we'd just have to go to an urgent care - but we were waiting for our insurance numbers till we could go.  Meanwhile, I've been waking up with the girls everyday (except yesterday when Jon's boss, Steve Giles, came and picked him up) at 6:30 am and its been hard on them.  All told, it made about 2 hours of extra driving for us every week day.  While I was explaining this dilemma to Gaylene Giles (Steve's wife...he is the Stake President out here, they are such a great couple and they've been so so kind to us) she said, "Lauren, you live around 4 people who just graduated from medical school and they're practicing medicine as residents....just call one of them." (TM #3 - what a great idea!)  So, I called around but residents have crazy hours and we couldn't get a hold of any of them at home.  I left some messages and later that night Blake called back at 9:45 pm but let Jon run over anyway (TM #4).  

Since we had that first step down, Jon decided to take today off to study for the test and hopefully at least get his learners permit.  He spent the morning studying in between helping out with the girls.  We left around 11 am to go meet the guy who was delivering our cars at the local Walmart (his truck is so big that he couldn't come into the residential area...that turns out to be a tender mercy later).  We got the keys from him - the cars were filthy, but all in one piece.  We hurried on to the DMV and got Jon in to try and take his test. The only thing I was worried about was that we didn't technically have 2 proofs of residence...we only had a lease and a paper Comcast had printed out - it wasn't the utility bill like they asked for.  I knew that it would just depend on who was helping us and how worried they were about the nit-picky details of the rules.  So, I prayed that whoever helped him would be lenient (TM # 5) and he was.  Jon got in there and he passed the test on his first try...what a guy. (TM #6)  When he was at the desk afterwards, we realized that we had printed a money order that was short of what we needed.  I heard what was going on and the guy was telling Jon where the nearest ATM was.  I interrupted, "wait, can we pay in cash?"  He said that you could so they must've changed their policy.  I remembered that I had put some cash into my pocket right before we left - I usually don't have cash but I happened to then. (TM #7)  After that the guy gave Jon his permit and said that you usually have to wait 2 weeks to get in for a scheduled road test.  My face fell and he said, "Or if you want, you can go plea to the supervisor."  I said, "Yes I want to!  Who do I talk to."  He answered, "Go wait behind desk #6."  The look on his face did not make me feel like we had a chance.  

We made out way over and I was just praying and praying.  I knew that there might be more to it that would just prevent him from being able to make an exception, but I was sure hoping and praying.  We waited and then walked up to his desk.  He was working on his computer, saw that we were there without him calling a number and realized that we must want something special.  He looked at us and in a teasing way said, "Whatever it is - no."  Jon said I laughed (hoping that it really was a joke) and then blushed and then started in on explaining that we had just relocated and asked if there was any way we could get the test today.  He waited a couple seconds, stood up and poked his head to the person in the next cubicle and asked, "Can you do a driving test right now?"  (TM #8)  I was so excited and so grateful!  Then as he started talking, we realized that we had a rental car and Jon wasn't on the agreement because they wouldn't put his name on it without a license.  So, the supervisor said that we could go and get our real car and then he'd do the test for us.  We had to go get our car from Walmart, but that was a little closer than home (TM #9).  We did that and realized that we would not be able to drive it without cleaning it first.  As we were wiping it down diaper wipes so Jon could see to drive it to a car wash, we hadn't noticed any right off the free way.  There was a security guy driving around the Walmart parking lot and once we asked him, he gave us directions to one that was close, but that we never would've found by ourselves (TM #10).  We went back and Jon took the driving test.  I'll admit I was a little nervous while he was out there...what if there was a PA law that he missed and then he failed and we had to do this all again?  I was also busy trying to help the girls not get too restless...but they didn't ever start screaming (TM #11).  When Jon came back, he'd passed!  Yeah yeah yeah!  (TM #12)  He got his temporary license printed and he can now officially drive again.  It will make such a big difference with him taking the girls to work, etc.  What a blessing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The new house

I just re-read this post and its kind of scattered...I can tell I'm tired because I jump around a lot in it, but I don't want to re-write anything.  You've been warned I guess.

Well, we're finally here!  Phew!  Our stuff didn't end up coming until yesterday, so we had a more relaxing weekend then we were planning on.  This weekend we bought Jon some new work clothes and most of us got sick.  Lily had a fever (but thankfully it only lasted a day) and now the girls and I have a bad cold - seems like its going around.

As for moving in - its slow but steady and the kitchen is all unpacked so I feel like we can kind of function.  Today Suzy seems to be having a hard time in general.  I think its a combination of the new place and her being over-tired and maybe some teething too.  She's also afraid of the moving boxes.  When I go near them, she claws at my shirt and goes tense and starts crying.  I don't know why but its kind of sad.  Lily loves it though and is settling in nicely.  She slept in her toddler bed for the first time last night and loved it.  She also didn't move from her bed at all.  I think she was so tired and it was so dark that she wasn't even tempted to go anywhere.  As for how the house looks, just give me a day or two longer and I promise I'll send some pictures or do a quick walk-through with the camera.

Jon and I are so grateful to be here.  Last night we had five couples come and visit us to welcome us into the ward and neighborhood.  Four of them live right on our brought us dinner and the rest brought us desserts.  The last couple is Jon's boss and his wife who are such great people (here's an example:  Jon's boss lives close to us now that we're in Hummelstown so he gave Jon a ride to work today so that I didn't have to wake the girls up at 6:30 again - we all slept in and it was SO NICE).  I have felt overwhelmed by how kind everyone is.  We also were invited to dinner twice on Sunday and had fun meeting a new family who live right across the street from Hershey Park.  On Sunday, I was talking to Jana Nielsen (we were at her house for dinner) and saying how I just felt like everyone was reaching out to us and  just said how grateful and surprised I was.  She said, "everyone in this ward under the age of 40 knows exactly what you're going through.  Almost all of us have moved out here...first time away from family...with little kids and we just get it."  She was right and everyone is so kind.  Most of the turn around in the Hershey ward happens in July when the students for the Penn State Medical Center move in and out, but since we came in the "off season" we're getting a lot of attention.  So - we couldn't be better taken care of.

Well, both the girls are napping so I'm going to go take advantage of it and see if I can finish the last boxes in the living room.

Love you all!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

 Yesterday I took some pictures with my phone of things I already love about Pennsylvania.  This is the duck pond that I found that is a 2 min drive and 15 minute walk from our house.  They have some great walking trails around our house...though there are also a lot of hills.  It'll be a good workout.
 I love this - trees everywhere.  Well, not in the city, but in a lot of the suburbs you can find places like this.  I saw a squirrel in my front yard when I went to fill out our rental application.  Its like the entire area are foot hills.  
 I like the big trees that line all the streets.
 Two things I like about the above picture: 1- the layouts of houses here often have the kitchen and living room together.  I love that open-ness.  2- Jon was doing the dishes and I was watching from the couch, we were just chatting and he was cleaning up dinner.  Thanks Jon!
Lily likes going to Costco.  Where else do we get boxes that she fits in so perfectly.

Another thing I love but didn't get a picture of is the Susquehanna River.  Its right by Jon's work in downtown Harrisburg and its beautiful.  I love water.  Well, I love looking at water, not being in it.

For a general update: Jon's first of work went great.  Everyone was really really nice and his boss seems like a really great guy.  He is the youngest guy there by far, the average age in the engineering department is around retiring age.  Jon said quite a few of the guys said, "eh, don't worry about me, I'll be retiring soon anyway."  He spent most of the day just getting to know people and today he'll be training more with Phil (the guy he's replacing).  He'll also be heading up to Philadelphia in February for a couple weekends of training.  One of them falls over our anniversary but they only do the trainings twice a year...sigh.  oh well.

Yesterday Lily fell off the couch arm onto some marble tile (it was a shame because she barely missed the carpet).  She was really lethargic, tired, and sad for a couple hours but then she perked up.  We're so grateful that she's ok and that she didn't get a concussion.  

This morning after we dropped Jon off at work, Lily put on her backpack and her scarf and said, "Bye Mom, I'm going to work."  She then marched down the hallway...waited for a while...and came back saying, "I'm home!"  She's been asking for Jon today - I think that having him home for 2 weeks in a row made all of us forget that he'd have to go back to a normal schedule eventually.  

Well, love you all,
Lauren and family

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hanging out till Saturday

Well, after two full days of driving around and looking at multiple apartments we've finally found one that we feel good about.  Its such a relief to know where we'll be and start imagining a normal life there.  I'm grateful to Jon for being the best passenger seat driver ever (I'm afraid to drive around tomorrow without him explaining the roads) and for his patience as I spent all day flip flopping between two choices.  Phew - that decision is made.  So, we get to move in on Friday or Saturday.  I've been feeling for a while that its going to be really hard for me when Jon goes to work.  I thought it'd be easy to feel trapped and bored in this apartment.  We do have a really great apartment to stay in right now, but there is only so much you can do with what you brought on the plane to keep kids entertained for a week.  So, I called up a couple ladies in our ward and they're letting us come over to play for a couple hours tomorrow and on Thursday - that way I think I can make it till we get to move into our own place.  

We didn't have anything as cool as this closet in our old house.  Also, when we were looking at the town house we'll move into, the girls LOVED the stairs.  They were so excited about it and Suzy already has the idea that she has to go down backwards.  (That being said, we will be buying a more hefty gate before we move in).  

The humor in this video is kind of subtle. Suzy's face.  Jon and I were laughing really hard, but maybe its because we know Suzy so well.  This book is one of the girls favorites.  Lily can finish all the sentences - she gets a little sheepish when she realized I was filming, but you get the idea.

Love you all!  I'll send more about the town house with pictures after we've moved in.