Sunday, December 9, 2012

Guess it's becoming An Annual Thing

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year . . . . Once again!

2012 Has been an exciting year for our little family!  All started with a FUN trip to see Nana and Grandpa in Maui in February.  Bonus.....Grandma and Grandpa met us there!  What is better than both sets of grandparents and a tropical vacation . . .NOT MUCH!  We saw lots of whales and spent a good amount of time playing in the waves.  It was a very nice, relaxing vacay. 

Here is a synopsis our our family . .

Tarin is 11 now and is a fabulous kid to have around. She has a really funny sense of humor, which is somewhat mandatory living in this household. She has started babysitting a little for us, and I am LOVING that. It is awesome. She enjoys earning privileges in exchange for babysitting. Sometimes she even makes a little money! Tarin had two great soccer seasons this year. Her team this fall was undefeated! She decided to join the band this fall as she entered the 6th grade. She is playing the flute and is really enjoying it. She also takes piano lessons and is very organized with her time. She is sure to get all her work done before playing. . .well most of the time. She has been cleaning a little at Dan's office and that sure takes me back to my toilet scrubbing years at Heritage Financial Group!! Tarin is an incredible student and studies hard to earn good grades. I am often in awe at her maturity and her ability to see most situations through very mature eyes. She is super excited to be turning 12 this next year and most importantly, leaving primary and entering young women!!

Ella is our little sparkly girl. She finds a way, each day, to add a little sparkle to each outfit she wears. Her beautiful blue eyes, are often enough, in my opinion. Ella really has enjoyed being in activity day girls in church. She turned 8 this spring and had a beautiful baptism in St. George. Her family from all over was there, and it was very special. We had her service in the clubhouse next to the pool and then Dan baptized her in the pool and confirmed her right there, poolside. It was awesome and a very memorable day for all of us. Ella is in the 3rd grade this year, and is very frustrated that I keep trying to put her back into the 2nd grade. She has a great group of friends this year and is really lucky to have a good teacher. She is still doing clog and hip hop classes which she loves....well she loves, once she gets there. Ella is also taking piano lessons. She has some natural ability. . .which i am sure she inherited from her grandmothers. She fights me on the practicing...but LOVES the performing.

Walker turned 5 this year...and I am sad. I don't love the fact that he started kindergarten this fall. He's been my little buddy for a few years and I missed him when he headed off to school. Thankfully, I think he got the best kindergarten teacher out there. He LOVES her and so do I. It doesn't hurt much that she is really pretty! Walker is our little athlete. In my first parent teacher conference, his teacher went over all the mandatory things, like reading, writing, etc, and then when she got to his physical assessment, she just handed me the paper and said she was impressed. He was supposed to do 2-10 sit ups in 1 minute for PE, and he did 40! Needless to say, he is a little muscle man. He loves to ride his bike. Dan made the supreme sacrifice and sold his motorcycle and got the kids a small dirt bike and small 4 wheeler, and Walker wants to ride those as often as Daddy can stand. Walker also loves to play soccer too. He is just a joy to have around. He has a very pleasant disposition and we are so glad he is in our family!

 Wyatt...well...what can we say about Wyatt? We often joke that he has done more to destroy our house, than the other three kids combined. It's not much of a joke, its true. Wyatt will turn 3 in a few months, and I am ready to leave those 2's behind us. Unfortunately I know what awaits us in the 3's! Wyatt loves his daddy and is really sad when Dan leaves for work every day. I kind of cry a little too! He can turn on the charm and has most people schmoozed. I am beginning to think he just hates only me. He is a good cheerleader for the kids soccer games and is a good sport to be drug around to all their many scheduled events. He is starting to think about maybe going potty and I am looking forward to the last package of diapers I buy. He can be the sweetest most loving child on the planet. I look forward to the random kisses I get during the day. Everything is on his time table though. Don't ask, or you wont get any sort of loves.

I have had a good year. I got released from my three church callings and was put in as the 1st counselor in the Young Women. I also got to help with the stake girls camp and that was an amazing experience, one that I get to do again this summer. I am super excited and I love getting to know more women and girls in the stake. Dan and I started doing CrossFit this fall. It is killing me, but is a fun new challenge. I also ran a Ragnar race this fall. It was from Chattanooga TN, to Nashville, TN. It was an amazingly fun, stupid, horrible, fantastic experience. Other than coordinating schedules and running kids around, I stay busy cleaning and shopping. I quit working at our office and at the preschool. I love staying home and having a little more freedom during the week. I am doing okay in Arkansas. Somewhere I never thought I would live, but it is a BEAUTIFUL state and I have learned that a place is what you make of it. Arkansans are a unique group of people, and I think I may be turning into one of them!

Dan is always busy doing something. He is officially licensed as a Hearing Instrument Specialist, FINALLY! He was released from his four church callings this spring and was called into the bishopric in our ward. His dad flew all the way from Hawaii, on very short notice, to ordain Dan to the office of a high priest. It was a huge sacrifice on his parents part and was very appreciated on this end. So, between work and church, we don't see Dan a whole lot. Since last year he has opened two more offices in the state. We now have four offices in Arkansas. Thankfully we have great people in place who work hard and are loyal. We are thankful for them every day! Dan is adjusting being home with us all week long. Sometimes I think he wishes he had a nice, quiet hotel room to go to at night (I'd go with him), but he loves us and we are so glad he's home. His inner redneck is coming out and its a little bit scary. He took a guys trip to the Tulsa gun show and thought that was pretty cool. It was the week after the election, so you can only imagine the craziness that was there. Dan has also become a BBQ Master around these parts. In his frustration at finding good BBQ after we left Texas, he took it upon himself to make it. He has been asked to cook for weddings, and church functions, Thanksgiving dinners, and as birthday gifts for people in the area. He loves to smoke meat, and I LOVE that he loves it. He makes his own BBQ sauce and it is definitely a skill he is always striving to perfect.

We are ending this year, much the way we started, with a trip to Hawaii!  I know, we need a little variety in our vacation planning.  We love it, other than the flight, and so do the kids! 

We are grateful every day for all the blessings in our lives.  We are so grateful for our health and the health of our kids.  We are so grateful for our extended families, those that live away and those that we have adopted in each place we have lived.  We are now entering our 3rd year in Hot Springs, and guess what?  We are NOT moving!!  I am grateful for that! 

We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas, and hope that you find joy this season as you celebrate the birth of the Savior!

All our Love,
The DeLongs     

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Miracle. . . .I blogged

Well. . .its that time of year when I start to reflect on all that has happened in the past 12 months and feel guilty that I have journaled NONE of it. . . So I thought I'd end this year with a big bang. . .we have had a few things going on and I thought I would catch you all up to speed. . In June we celebrated our first year in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as well as our 12th anniversary. We moved here with the intention that Dan would venture out on his own and manage his own Hearing Aid store. We bought the store back in 2010 but because of a few "bumps" in the road, he wasn't able to work there. . . a battle we still continue to fight. However, in May of this year we took a HUGE leap of faith and Dan quit his full time sales rep position with Starkey and decided to go out on his own, regardless of all the hangups. Although very scary, it has been a huge blessing and we have seen many miracles along the way. He partnered up with a friend from Oklahoma and since September he has opened up two other offices through out the state of Arkansas and has managed to staff each location with AWESOME people! There has been a LOT of frustraion and a LOT of times when we wondered what we had gotten oursleves into, but all in all. . . .seems to be heading the right direction. He has been working hard and such long hours. . .one night he fell asleep kneeling down after family prayers. I am so grateful he is such a hard working man, and is so committed to making a great future for our family. Not only is he managing three locations, but he also serves as the Exec Secretary in our ward as well as the 1st counselor in the Young Men. We are grateful to see him when we get a chance!

I took a little part/time "job" this fall teaching music at Walker's preschool. I teach about 45-50 kids each day and it is fun (and exhausting)! I basically just play with them and sing songs that I like. It is a Baptist preschool so I really enjoy that we can sing songs about Jesus and really celebrate the true meaning of Christmas through song. I have also been helping out some at the office. I took on the position of "accountant" and lasted about 3 weeks before I fired myself and found someone who was actually capable of putting in the hours and WANTED to do the job. I was primary chorister for the bulk of the year as well as Activity day girls leader. . .they just took away my music calling and gave me a sunday school calling for all the youth ages 12-18. I really like it. . . Plus, I still get to do activity day girls which is a big plus!! Aside from trying to juggle all the schedules and do all the normal "mom" stuff, that is what I've been up to this year.

Tarin, the other mother in our home, started the 5th grade this fall. . .shortly after school started she turned 10. She is such a good big sister to her brothers and sister. She loves school and is an awesome student. She loves to read and especially loves to write. She has a really cute way of putting words on paper and expressing herself. She is also still playing soccer in the spring and fall. Her team is co-ed and she is never more thrilled than when she runs faster or scores more than a boy on the field. I guess you could say she's a little competitive. She is also taking piano lessons and has improved leaps and bounds each year she sticks with it. Tarin has friends wherever she goes and seems to make friends in all the "groups" at school. She has a very compassionate heart and tries hard to see the best in people. She is a great example to me in so many ways.

Ella is our little shining star. Right now she is loving her hip/hop and clogging classes during the week. She loves to put on a show and wear those awesome shoes that make so much noise. After only a month at her new dance studio, they decided to advance her up to the next class. This girl has moves. Lets just say, she is the one to beat at Just Dance on the Wii. Ella entered the 2nd grade this fall and is doing amazingly well. She is really starting to love to read and is very determined to get good grades. She is a little bit of a perfectionist. Which also makes her a great piano student. She started this fall and is moving right along. She LOVES it and NEVER complains about practicing. Ella can always make us laugh. She has a super funny sense of humor and works hard to make people giggle (which can sometimes get her into trouble). She is fun to have around and is really so easily entertained!

Walker is 4 and is in Pre-K this year. He is just a super fun little kid. He would spend his entire day, regardless of the weather, out on his bike. He likes to pop wheelies and go as fast as he can, up and down the road (which is a pretty big hill). Thankfully he USUALLY wears his helmet, but that boy is a dare devil and scares me to death. Dan just laughs because I think he was much the same way. Walker LOVES most things motorized.. .which isn't a huge surpise considering the gene poole he comes from. He would spend every waking hour in the summer on the tractor with Grandpa and asks his dad about 10x a day for a motorcycle ride. He has decided he is ready for a dirt bike. . .I'm not convinced of that yet and luckily I have been able to keep his Dad at bay for a while with the dirt bike idea. Walker played soccer both spring and fall this year. He absolutely loved it. All it took was a bribe of some sort to get him motivated to score some goals, and he was golden. He is a fast little runner and has a really natural athletic ability. It was a lot of fun to watch him play. Walker is a sweet boy and likes to keep the peace around home. He is usually really good about sharing with his baby brother and has just a really pleasant, fun personality. I can't believe he will be in Kindergarten next year. . . Watch out!

Wyatt, aka "the screamer" has definately come to this family as the grand finale. He will turn two in February and is just a crazy little boy. It is hard to believe that he will be two on one hand, and on the other, I think. . . he's ONLY two. . . it has been a crazy two years and sometimes it has been way more that either of us should have been able to handle. Despite all the chaos this boy was born into, he is such a sweet little boy. When I'm not around, my friends say he is a perfect angel. In fact, sometimes they ask me to leave so he will calm down. I must stress him out or something. He is starting to be able to express himself in words, and that has helped with the screaming. He is a little tease and loves to torment the dog, Willie. Wyatt is very social and loves to play with other kids. I think this boy is gonna give us a run for our money. He makes us laugh a lot and cry alot, but we love him and are glad he is a part of our crazy family.

Well, I hope that catches you up to speed. 2012 is already looking like a busy year. Dan and I get to go to Las Vegas in January, then Dan turns around and is heading pig hunting in Texas. At the beginning of February we are all going to Maui to visit Nana and Grandpa, and even more fun, Grandma and Grandpa Welling will be there too. We are looking forward to a DeLong family reunion in June in Utah. Hopefully Ella will be baptized then, so all her family can be there, and that's all I know on the calendar so far! Merry Christmas and may next year bring a few more blog posts!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To....

How do I make my blog Pretty???
Ideas, Suggestions, I am bored with this one!
Gracias in advance,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010's been a while

So, here we are, almost two months later and I realize how much I didn't blog about. Tarin turned nine about month ago. She is an amazing little girl. She has been moved around so much lately and has taken it like a champ. She didn't have a "friend" birthday party because we don't have too many "friends" here yet, so we are going to plan a fun one for next year, we hope. We did have a fun dinner and yummy cake. She seemed satisified with it. For her birthday she (we) got a new Wii....which we all love. It is fun to hear all three of the big kids up in the bonus room playing together. Although it is a video game, which I do not love, I do love that they are playing it together and interacting, rather than watching the tube and not even communicating. Dan and I have had to set a timer when we play at nights so that we can get to bed at a decent hour.

Dan is SO busy right now, I don't know how he hasn't had a nervous breakdown. The ARkansas liscensure board is still trying to figure out what their laws are, so he hasn't been able to get his AR liscense to dispense hearing aids. In the mean time, we have hired an audiologist to work at the office until Dan can get the liscense squared away. He is still working for Starkey and still on the road and in his very limited spare time, he is working at the office here, putting together marketing pieces, and planning out marketing events for the office, as well as trying to do all the honey do's I require of him. He is simply amamzing to me right now. He just got called to be exec. secretary in the ward too, so, now he is busy most of the only day he really has off. Poor guy. I sure hope he can hold it together for a bit longer.

As for the other kids, Ella is doing great in the 1st grade. She has a super sweet teacher and loves it. Her favorite day of the week is Friday because the football players from the highschool help with opening the car doors during drop off. She is also doing gymnastics on Thursday nights. She is super social and has made some cute friends here already.

Walker is doing great. A few mom's from church and I have started doing a pre-school co-op. It is working out pretty good. He is such a good kid and so social. He loves to play with all his friends. This past few week he has decided to commit to riding his bike without training wheels and he can pedal all over the creation. Up into the cul-de-sac and then all the way down the big hill home. Brave little kiddo.

Wyatt is turing into a little stink. He is scooting all over the place, kindof crawls like a wounded soldier. He is going to be the first kid to require me to baby proof the house. He is a squirmy little guy and more often than not, has a big ol' grin for anyone who will give him a smile.

That is the update for now. We are looking forward to Dan's parents coming to visit this weekend. We Love having visitors. . hint hint.....

Hopefully this isn't the last post of the year. . . . .darn facebook.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Officially in my 30's

This past week was my 31st birthday. Dan's mom has a tradition of making us photoshows on our this is mine. I spent the day with Livia and the kids in Austin. Went to our own Pflugerville Chic Fil A for lunch with a WHOLE bunch of friends, and then later that night, Bill was nice enough to watch six kids so the girls could go GNO. We went to CPK and then shopping at the Domain, it was great. Dan sent me an "edible Arrangement" that was FANTASTIC. And in true "Welling" style we carried the celebration on to the next night when we met Dan in Dallas, went to dinner, and then on a shopping trip to Ikea the next day. It was FABULOUS! I got all new dishes and new silverware...and a dresser for the girl's room. It was great! Thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes and making it FABULOUS!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lessons Learned

This could get kindof mooshy . . .warning. . . read only if you dare.

So I had one of those "ah ha" moments today in Relief Society at church. The lesson was from Elder Uchdorf's talk from last conference. . "You are My Hands" It is all about using our hands as if they were the Hands of the Savior and using them for good and to serve those around us. I was thinking, as I sat there, about all the service that had been done for me over the past nine months. It seems every time I move I spend some time reflecting on what I have learned in our last location. Living in Rogers to me was like a dream. Right next door I had a friend one could only dream about. She walked right into our life and invited us right into hers. She taught me more about love and charity than I have ever learned in any church meeting. She more than believe that charity was a good thing, she practiced it daily. She is constantly thinking for and doing things for those around her, regardless of life circumstance, race, religion, or color of car. She is truely one of the most accepting people I have ever met. At one point I felt like I was in Rogers to help "share the good word" and after reflecting I realize that I was there on a intermission to see what true charity is and how much happiness it can bring.

We also moved into one of the most fabulous wards, I am pretty sure, on the planet. Right away the girls from chruch welcomed me in. They included us regardless of the fact that Dan wasn't around a whole ton. They had us for dinner, and invited us to all the fiestas!! The girls were invited for play dates from the minute we got there, we in a sense, found a whole new set of family members. We had Sunday dinners with friends we will have forever.

The entire time spent there I feel was a little "re-grouping" or "intermission" for our family. As I look around in our new ward, I realize that all the things I was a part of the past nine months, were meerly preparing me for what is about to be. Although things are not going as WE planned here so far, I feel like they are definatley going according to "the plan" for our family. We are learning patience like we have never had to before and also learning about true faith. We are moving forward with hopes that we can keep ourselves sane and our family strong. We have been seriously blessed in our life to have had some incredible people helping us along, including both of our families. . . now I guess it is time to pay it forward . . . Like the song says "Onward Christian Soldiers."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wyatt UpDate - - and some June stuff

So, I guess I should update on the newest member of our family. I took him in for his 4 month well check last week . . .he is actually 5 months old, but who's counting. Seriously, poor baby number 4, does get neglected some. Anywho, got him into the doctor and he did great. Got his shots etc. He weighed 16lbs and 2oz. . and was 26 inches long. He was in the 50th percentile for weight and the 75th for height. I wonder if he will follow suit after his brother. Walker was 20 lbs at 6 months. . .I think he can do it. My kids always gain a little weight when I switch them to formula. I guess I don't have very fatty breastmilk. Anywho, here are some recent pics of our adventures. . .

Wyatt got blessed on June 12th in our new ward in Hot Springs. He was my first baby that ever fit into his blessing clothes. That was the longest we have ever waited to bless one of our babies. It was nice to have my mom and dad and Robby and Katie here with us. We also went out on the lake here in Hot Springs while they were here. It was so much fun. Wyatt was a trooper wearing his fancy life vest for the day.

He even went for a swim in the lake

We all decided after a fun day on the lake . . that renting a boat is the way to go. Drive up, get on, play for a few hours, park it back at the dock and get off. . no pulling, storing, launching, etc. It was great, and really not that expensive when you consider the costs that come along with owning a boat. For the amount of time that we actually could use one, this was the perfect solution for our family. Unless, that is, we one day live on the lake, and then that will be a whole different scenario.

Walker enjoyed riding on the tube. . .slowly but mostly jumping off the boat and swimming back to it. We spent a lot of the HOT day swimming in the lake

Robby and Tarin were the brave ones that got whipped around the lake some. I think Tarin would have lived on the tube if we would have let her.

Ella and Katie rode for a bit, but we decided it probably was not the best idea for Katie to be on the tube. Ella was the perfect partner for her because as you can see, Ella was a little, or a LOT nervous. Dad had to bribe her with silly bands to even get her on. It was funny.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome to our home. . .

Most of you know that we have made a move....on the anniversary of our move last year from Austin, we have moved again, to our new home in Hot Springs, AR. It is beautiful here and I am not gonna lie to you, it is SO nice to have a little more space to roam around in. We actually have been sleeping in because we can't hear eachother breathe in the next room. It has been super duper nice. We just love our new house! Here are some pics. I have SO many more pictures to update. We have made about 25 trips to Hot Springs that are documented in photos. One trip was for Spring Breat, another with Livia in April, another with Dan's parents in May and another quick weekend drive by in May. This is a totally different experience for us. We are used to neighbors and a neighborhood, not the case here. Here we have few neighbors and not much of a 'hood. Noone out at night to play with, etc. I think we doubled the number of children in the neighborhood just by moving here. I have gotten SO SO SO many comments about the number of children I have, mostly nice ones, some "Oh mY's", etc. Coming from people who live in the same state as the Duggars. . . . 19 and Counting family on TLC. Anyway, Robby and Katie and my mom and dad came to help. We worked them to death and I think they sweated off about 10 lbs each. IT was the HOTTEST week ever., We were so grateful though! LOVE THEM! I don't know why it is all underlined. . . oh well. . .

Here are some pictures for those of you interested. . .

Entry Way - Pre-Move. . . the lighting was bad for some of the rooms, and they were messy, so some are before we moved in and some are after. . .

Back patio . .. pre-move in because I was too lazy to go outside

Front Room . . .maybe we will call it the Great room . Need decor help . . PLEASE

Dining Room - - Lighting was bad for photo post move in

Wyatt's Room . . .once he is bigger it will be made into the guest room, but as for now, it is his. It has a bathroom attached to it and a really big closet.

Master Bath - - it is fabulous! Need I say more. Walker averages about 2 showers a day in here.

Master Bedroom . . it is plenty big for our eliptical. YEAH

Kitchen - Yes those are cookies next to Tarin . . had to break in the double oven and promptly find people to deliver the cookies to.

Walker's Cowboy Room . . had to bring a little TX with us

Girl's Room . . will be a beach room one day. Oh, Walker

I thought Ella's sunburned cheeks looked cute in this one

Bonus room . . .the room we all LOVE. Already preformed plays and housed sleepovers. Robby and Katie broke it in . .. poor them, with my broken air mattress.

The Front, and the red door is staying. . . we LOVE it!

Welcome. . . and please come if you want. .. we would LOVe to have ya. We Love visitors!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Ella

Kindof ironic that the day Ella was born, in Arlington TX there was some severe weather and my poor mom was home with Tarin listening to our NOAH weather radio go off every few minutes telling her severe weather was coming. Dan's parents drove from Waco, TX , with Grandma Green, in some serious severe weather, to see little Ella. This morning we woke up to severe weather in Arkansas. I wonder if, as long as we live in the South, we will have Severe weather on Ella's birthday. Thanks Nana for making this fun photo show! We look forward to these and LOVE sharing them.

WE are so happy to have Ella in our family. She makes us laugh and keeps us on our toes! She is so sweet and loves her brother and sister. As you can tell, where Ella is, there is alwasy a party! Never a dull moment!

Happy Birthday Ella!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On The Move....

It's official, this past Thursday we closed on our 4th, and hopefully FINAL house. We bought a home in Hot Springs, AR. Who would have ever thought that I would be living in Arkansas?? Well, I for one, never did. Of all the states in the USA, Arkansas was probably not even on the long list of states I thought I would live in, but we are, and we LOVE it here. This past week Dan's parents were here and we got to show them our new life in Hot Springs. The weather was beautiful, we went on a Duck tour on the lake and it is just a fabulous place to live. We won't be moving until school is out on the 8th of June and then that next weekend we will move..BY OURSELVES. This will be the first move for us that we will have packed our own boxes and loaded our own truck. Thankfully Mom, Dad, Robby and Katie are coming to help, which we are SUPER grateful for.
Still taking input on the red seems a little bright tio me, but I think it is growing one me a little bit....more pics to come