We are here, we are here, we are here!

To steal a quote from Horton Hears a Who – WE ARE HERE!  It’s been months (and CRAZY months at that!) since we last posted anything so it’s about time I gave you the low down and filled everybody in on our life.  It’s a long story and you can email me if you want details but here it is in a nutshell – we sold our house and closed on October 30th.  The lady buying our house originally told us we could stay until November 14th but changed her mind so we moved out on 10/28 and in with my folks for a few weeks while we house hunted.  It was great living with my folks – actually probably a little TOO cushy.  I could really get used to the multi-generations in one house thing.  Built in babysitters all the time, more people to prepare and clean up meals.  It went super smoothly and was very nice.  BUT – we’re very independent people and desperately needed our own space.  So we found the home for us and made a low-ball offer and it was accepted outright!  That was crazy until we found out it was a short sale which is really just a silly way of saying it’s going to be a LONG SALE!  Anyway, it all worked out perfectly and we moved into our new home on November 21st.  We had a great few weeks of settling in (and still have MANY boxes to unpack and walls to paint) before Christmas.  On the Sunday before Christmas we had Sophie dedicated at church and the kids sang in the little church kids Christmas performance.  It was a great day!  We were able to celebrate Christmas in our new home complete with giant real tree and a crackling fire in the fireplace and SNOW!  I think it’s the first time I’ve ever had a true white Christmas and we LOVED it!  The day after Christmas we drove down to San Antonio with my folks – their Christmas gift to us.  We spent 5 wonderful days down there at the zoo and the river walk and the Alamo.  It wasn’t as warm as we’d hoped but it was way warmer than Arkansas.  The girls (mom, me, Gwennie, and Sophie that last day) were all sick with colds but we still had a blast!  Now we’re home again and look forward to staying put for a nice long time.  Praise the Lord we are all healthy (or at least quickly recovering from our little colds) and happy and enjoying our Christmas gifts and each other.  Now here’s a quick update on each family member individually:

Nick – (as dictated to me by Nick himself) Doing great. I don’t know.  Keeping busy with work, family, church, and … that’s about it. I don’t know.  (Okay, he’s back to playing his new Star Wars wii game – that was his Christmas gift – so that’s all from Nick.  Ha!)

Sarah – I’m so thankful for a hard working husband!  Nick’s taken on a few freelance jobs this past year which have allowed me to stay home full time comfortably.  I’m excited about the thought that we’re going to be in our own beds for more than a month straight.  I got two aprons for Christmas and plan to become “the apron lady.”  I’m proud of myself for having kept my 2009 new year’s resolution and read the entire Bible cover to cover in a year.  This year I hope to get pregnant with baby #4 and thereby complete the DeYoung family.  I’m in awe each time Thad reads a new word and tells me something I didn’t know, something he learned at Kindergarten – I learn something new every day!  I’m thankful for such a sweet Gwennie who keeps me company (and challenged) each day.  I’m so blessed with three beautiful children who never cease to amaze me and can genuinely crack me up.  Laughter is the best medicine and our house is FULL of it!!!

Thad – Thad starts his spring semester of kindergarten on Monday.  He got a bike and a guitar and a cool dinosaur set for Christmas among other things.  He desperately wanted the guitar and is stoked that he got one with a dragon on it.  It’s a real guitar and he is anxious to learn how to play it.  He loves to sit on the couch and just fiddle around with it.  We’re going to have to get him some lessons soon I think.  He’s also become quite the accomplished artist.  He can draw animals (his favorite things in the world) especially well and practices every day.  His teacher even framed one of his razorbacks and has it hanging in her home!  She is a real sweetheart and we’re so thankful Thad has Mrs. Whittington as his very first teacher.  After our trip to the San Antonio zoo, I think Thad is definitely going to be a zoo keeper or veterinarian some day and very possibly in another country.  He is such a joy!

Gwennie – There just aren’t enough words to describe Gwennie.  She is a hoot!  She is sweet and wild and crazy and fun and defiant and a fast learner and potty trained(!) and loud and emotional and silly and goofy and giggly and strong and obnoxious and just the best sister in the world.  She plays so well with Thad – rough and feisty and plays so well with Sophie – sweet and gentle.  She also got a bike for Christmas along with a dress up trunk full of princess clothes and a dance and twirl castle.  She has a new butterfly room complete with pink walls and butterflies and flowers on the walls.  She is VERY girly and loves to twirl like a princess.  Every day for the past year she has told me that I’m her best friend.  I just can’t get enough of this little girl!  She is such a joy!

Sophie – As I mentioned earlier, we are finally settled and I hope that sleeping in our own beds each night will make Sophie a better sleeper.  At 7 months old she still wakes up at least 2 times each night and sometimes MANY more.  She has started solids but much prefers to just nurse.  She might eat half a jar of baby food on a really good day.  She loves her new Christmas toys, especially this little pop up toy. Despite her sleeping problems, she is my sweet little angel baby and by far our happiest baby and possibly the most outgoing.  She’ll smile at anybody and everybody who will smile at her!  She is fair like her brother and blonde like her sister and has the bluest eyes of the three.  Her hair is really starting to grow now and is just white blonde.  She looks a lot like Thad still and some of her expressions look just like him at this age.  She is such a joy!

Bonny (our golden retriever) and Buddy (our Beagle) are going to be 10 this year and are back to being indoor dogs and are loving life.  The move was probably the hardest on them but they survived and are thriving now.

The new house – Our new house is 1664 square feet (400 more than the old one) and sits on a half acre (twice as much as we had before).  We have a nice playground now that came with the house and a large raised bed that will make a perfect vegetable garden in the spring.  We have two huge mimosa trees that will be gorgeous when they bloom.  We also have a huge oak tree in the front and a bunch of pine trees in the back corner.  We had the back yard fenced in for the dogs and so I can comfortably play with the kids in the baby pool in my swimsuit in the the summer.  The house has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths and is very similar in floor plan to our old house.  The kitchen is smaller but I have a laundry room in the house now that also serves as a pantry so there actually is more room in the kitchen.  I also have all new appliances including a much larger fridge and a gas stove which I love!  We have two patios off the back of the house through sliding glass doors (one off the dining room and one off our bedroom).  Each room has a walk-in closet and the huge stone fireplace is great!  Little things like a window in our bathroom and a window over the kitchen sink make such a huge difference.  We took many before photos and will post the after photos as we complete projects – there are MANY.

That’s all for now – you are ALL caught up on the DeYoungs.  I promise to update more frequently now that this big one is done.  God bless you in 2010!


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