The Evans Four

blogging about our life as a family

Friends! Fun! March 27, 2012

Filed under: babies,EJ,flowers,friends,fun,monday monday,pregnancy,work — aarontori @ 8:10 PM

****EDIT**** Aaron accidentally posted this before I was finished writing it. Here’s the entire post:

Two posts in one week, lucky you! Apparently I’ve got the blogging bug.

Yesterday, Elizabeth came to work with me for half of the day. Our center encourages peer interaction and we’ve got two little guys (2 and 3 years old) that come 8:30-12:30 that could really benefit from being around an assertive, very talkative little girl for a few hours. One is a big brother to a 10 month old and the other is an only child.

Elizabeth thinks where I work is the most awesome place ever. We’ve got lots and lots of toys, craft supplies, books, and even a full-sized indoor trampoline! It was a big treat for her to come play. My first client of the day was an older girl so Elizabeth got to hang out with the other therapists and one of the boys for the first two hours, then with me and the other little guy for the second half of the morning.

The three of them had a good time, even playing a couple games of chase. She kept saying, “Friends! Fun!” to Aaron after he picked her back up. The boys seemed to like having her around and my coworkers (one in particular) had a blast with her. I think we’ll be making it a regular thing.

While Elizabeth and I were “working”, Aaron got to have the morning to himself for the first time in a long while. He went to GameStop where he played some video games and spent a gift card that he got for Christmas.

Elizabeth took a nap and then she and Aaron went to Costco to kill time until I got off work. Aaron got her a berry smoothie and they read books and he “named everything in the entire store for her.” When they picked me back up, they surprised me with a bouquet of beautifully colored spring daisies!

It was a good day and I love that I can on occasion, share my work with Elizabeth and get more time together.

Tomorrow we’ve got our weekly checkup with the midwife, so we’ll see if she wants to hazard a guess as to when little Owen will be joining us.

I left the house a little after 7 this morning and got home about 10:30 because of staff training and then childbirth class, so now it is off to bed I go.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! December 31, 2011

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,friends,fun,holidays,pictures,plans,pregnancy,work — aarontori @ 12:53 PM

Hello friends and family! We hope the year’s end finds you well! It has been a year full of changes and growth for us, and we’d like to share with you how our lives have changed.

We’ve moved away from Happy Hill Farm Academy, where we were resident parents for the girls’ elementary house. We enjoyed our time there, and we’ll miss the friends we made, but we’ve moved on to some exciting prospects.

Elizabeth has grown so much this year, and is now running and talking about everything she sees. Her vocabulary is getting larger by the hour (just this hour she learned “Earth” “Asia” and “Ocean” while we were on a walk looking at a sculpture of the earth, and correctly pointed out “berries” on a nearby bush).  While sometimes unsteady on her feet, she is always going full speed ahead. She has bruised knees and forehead, but rarely cries; she is quick to get up and try again. She can even read a few of her books to you if you ask. She has a way to go on learning not to scream inside or throw food when she is finished, but she has mastered saying “Thank you” and is doing well on learning “Please” and “You’re welcome”. Her most recent adventure is apparently potty training. She has been showing some interest in the potty as of late, and so we went ahead and purchased a potty chair with some Christmas money. Last night she sat on it twice and peed both times! Hard to believe, but this girl is just way ahead of the curve when it comes to just about everything.

Tori is now 26 weeks along into pregnancy number 2. Mom and baby are both very healthy and growing bigger by the moment. Elizabeth absolutely adores the baby (for now) and since she won’t really be able to remember life without a sibling we’re hoping it stays that way come April. We still don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl, but will likely have an ultrasound in January. We’ll keep you posted.

Tori began working at Autism Concepts Inc. as an ABA therapist in October. She is loving being back doing what she trained to do in college and while she is tired at the end of the day, she is excited about the work she did and how the children she is working with are progressing.

Aaron is staying at home with Elizabeth, and loving the opportunity to work on learning words, sounds, numbers, and all sorts of things with her. They go on walks and enjoy looking at (and touching) the sculptures around TCU and listening to people playing in the music school.

Currently we are living just down the street from TCU, and the walk to church is less than 30 seconds. It’s much nicer than the hour long drive we used to have to make! We’re waiting on word from Apartment Life, where we will be moving in to an apartment complex within 10 miles from where we are now, helping them with resident retention, and ministering to the staff and residents.

We are doing well and hope you all are too. Tori finally got around to uploading all of our pictures through Christmas, so enjoy!

May 2011

June 2011- We were terrible and have no pictures from the month of June…oops

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

Elizabeth’s First Birthday!

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

 

Elizabeth is One! September 25, 2011

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,friends,fun,pregnancy — aarontori @ 1:18 AM

We celebrated Elizabeth’s first birthday last weekend. It’s hard to believe that time has gone by so fast. We threw her a party at Mr. Jim’s (a small pizza place in Glen Rose).

Quite a few family members came as well as our good friends, Phillip and Julieta. Elizabeth got lots of really fun presents and was absolutely in her element to be surrounded by so many of her adoring fans. She is definitely a social butterfly.

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Some of the amazing things she’s doing these days:
-walking (and trying very hard to run)
-talking A LOT (I guess she is my daughter)
-giving the most adorable hugs and snuggles
-making her wants known (sometimes screaming them)
-understanding a very surprising amount of what we say

Some of her words that she says now are: yellow, red, purple, up, go, more, milk, eat, teeth, baby, duck, quack, mama, dada, grandma, hi, hey, no, meow, neigh, woof, puppup, nite-nite, bye, apple, chicken, and quite a few more that aren’t easily intelligible. She is also repeating a lot of what we say, so we’re doing our best to remember not to say anything we don’t want repeated.

Some big news is that at her birthday party, Elizabeth made the announcement to our family that she is going to be a big sister! She got a big sister shirt as a gift from Aaron and I.

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I’m 12 weeks along and due the first week of April. So far this pregnancy has been much easier and I’m very grateful because now that she’s truly mobile, it takes a lot to keep up with Elizabeth. We had a checkup on the 13th and got to hear the heartbeat which was great. All is well and we’re excited!

 

Lots ‘o Pictures! April 24, 2011

I just figured out how I can share all of my picture albums from Facebook with those that don’t have an account.

Here are special links to each of the albums of Elizabeth pictures except for March because somehow I failed to upload any pictures last month. Don’t worry though, because I took pictures and will upload them eventually.

WARNING: There are a lot of pictures here. I really need to learn to pick and choose better, but I can’t help it.

Incubating

First Two Days

Some more from the first week or so

September 2010

October 2010

Hair Bows and Cute Faces

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

From now on I’ll just post each album at the end of the month. I sure am glad I figured this out so I don’t have to try and double post everything. Enjoy! Please let me know if the links aren’t working for you.

-Tori

 

Long Overdue Update December 15, 2009

Filed under: camphill soltane,christmas,friends,fun,holidays,pennsylvania,work — aarontori @ 12:32 PM

Greetings from Pennsylvania!

These past few months here at Camphill Soltane have been great. After living in one house for the first 3 months, we have moved to another house giving us a new perspective on life in this community. Our first house was on the residential side, as opposed to our current home on the college side. Here we live with 2 students, 1 resident (all three of whom have a developmental disability) , 1 other couple, their son who is a sailor but had to come home due to pneumonia, and an older woman who has lived in Camphill communities for many years. The atmosphere here makes us feel much more like we are living in a home than a house.

Tori is working in Soltane’s textile enterprise called “in good company” (Their store website is http://ingc.etsy.com). There are four residents that work there full time (two of whom we lived with at our first house) and four student interns that work there half days Monday through Friday. They research a theme called an “inspiration” (currently they are working on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table). Then they design fabrics and different textile products to make with the fabrics. After that, they weave their own fabric, cut, and sew it into a unique product to sell at craft fairs, online, or for special orders. All of the weaving and creation of images is the work of the residents and students with disabilities. The coworkers support them and do much of the sewing. Tori enjoys the work and is proud of the products they make. The etsy shop is still just getting started, but we hope to have our bags and t-shirts listed soon!

Aaron is working in Soltane’s community services and with Soltane’s land work group. In community services, they do everything from collecting and sorting recycling from Soltane and the surrounding community to taking on odd jobs that people don’t have time for (cleaning up property lines, chopping firewood, shoveling snow & de-icing sidewalks, etc.). The land work group takes care of several things around campus from collecting and processing compost, raking leaves, trimming trees, and taking care of various fruit patches and orchards (raspberries, blackberries, apples, peaches, black walnuts, etc.). The land group even makes products with the community’s produce such as apple cider, apple butter, fruit leather, etc.

Working at Soltane has definitely been a growth experience for both of us. It is taxing at times both physically and emotionally, but also very rewarding. Soltane allows us to use our talents, learn new skills, and provides us with a sense of great satisfaction in that we are directly contributing to the growth of the students and residents we work with. We have also made new friends here that we are sure will be lifelong connections.

We hope all is well with you! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love,

Aaron and Tori

P.S. I hope to upload MANY pictures and a few videos during our Christmas break which starts on the 20th.

 

PENNSYLVANIA!!! August 23, 2009

Filed under: friends,fun,moving,pennsylvania,restaurants,travels — aarontori @ 10:07 AM

We’re here! We’re hanging out with the Fishes, which is great fun.

The flight was good. I made friends with a lady in the terminal over our shared interest in knitting (which I learned how to do this summer and am about to finish my first scarf). There were some really adorable little kids near us on the plane who were pretty good.

John picked us up from the airport and we came back to the house and saw Laurie, Nana, and Eric (all of whom I was meeting for the first time). We went to dinner at Chili’s where I taught them how to play coasters which is a game where you flip a coaster off the edge of the table and catch it midair and add one more each time. My mom is the rockstar of that game and taught it to me, but I think I may have beaten her best score last night when I got 13. I also tried Yuengling beer which was like a lighter Shiner Bock, very good.

We played outside with their two dogs for a little bit. The yard is nice and big and gorgeous. Then we played Bananagrams and then they taught us how to play 10,000 which is a dice game and lots of fun.

Jason and Dylan got home late (after 11) from working at camp. It was very exciting to finally meet Jason! Dylan’s okay too, I guess 🙂 We stayed up pretty late talking and hanging out in the kitchen.

Conclusion of day one!

 

Texas to Oklahoma to Texas to….Oklahoma to Colorado July 29, 2009

Filed under: cooking,denver,fire,flowers,food,friends,fun,pictures,trains,travels,vacation — aarontori @ 4:50 PM

****ANOTHER EDIT****
I fixed the link to the picture albums, sorry.

***Edit***
I really tried to put lots of videos and pictures up, but it was just taking WAY too long, so there will only be one or two pictures on the post, but I’ll link to the rest of them in my online albums.

I took LOTS of photos and recorded some video all along our journey thus far and so I will be posting quite a few of them on here (if you have very slow internet, I apologize).

I will begin with the first leg of our trip: Fort Worth to Denver!

We took two cars to Lawton (we left my old beater with my mom) and so our trip actually began in Fort Worth, but we were in separate cars and the camera was with Aaron. I got a sunburn on the way to Lawton because it was blazing hot and the Corsica doesn’t have A/C so I drove with the windows down. We met up at my mom’s in Lawton and dropped of the car. Then we headed for Denver. We drove west through Oklahoma and into Texas again, then further west and then turned north and proceeded to drive through Oklahoma again (the panhandle) until we finally crossed into Colorado.

It was a long drive, but it was a good one and spirits were high. We got to our friends’ place around 3 or 4 in the morning. We visited for just a couple of minutes before passing out. It had been 2 years since we’d seen Thomas and Debbie and so we were really excited. The kids were so big and they had baby 3 on the way.

Our first day was kind of lazy/relaxing. We didn’t do a whole lot except sleep. We visited some in the evening and had a nice dinner. There was lots of catching up.

Some of our awesome activities while we were there:
-going to the neighborhood pool
-taking a walk in a pretty walking park nearby
-babysitting 🙂
-playing Bananagrams (really fun, Aaron LOVES it)
-walking around downtown Denver
-dinners outside on the patio
-taking the kids to the park
-lots of hanging out and talking
-seeing the mountains (we didn’t actually go, but they looked beautiful)

A couple of my favorite pictures:

The two rivers that converge in downtown Denver


Some pretty flowers from one of our walks


A picture I took while waiting for a train in Memphis, TX (on the road to CO)

More Pictures Here, Here, and Here


 

 
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