The Evans Four

blogging about our life as a family

Family Video 2013 January 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — aarontori @ 10:25 PM
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Here’s a slideshow of photos from our family adventures in 2013. We hope you will enjoy it! For the best quality click on the little gear and change the video quality to HD.

 

Happy New Year! May 2014 be a blessed year for us all.

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Five years well-lived August 5, 2013

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,Uncategorized — aarontori @ 9:05 PM
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Five years ago, Aaron and I were making our last-minute preparations for our wedding. I was quitting my job (very unexpectedly) and Aaron’s summer position was coming to an end. We were moving his things into my/our tiny converted-garage apartment. We were also about to begin our senior years of undergraduate study. Life was crazy and busy, but also so incredibly care-free (other than that whole newlyweds-and-jobless business, but it was barely a blip on our worry radar). We were married on an absolutely scorching day in August. The high was 103 and I was so terrified that my professional (read: expensive) makeup was going to melt. I finally got around to putting our wedding pictures into an album this past spring. Elizabeth really loves to look through the photos and so I look at them frequently with her. In our pictures we look SO young, especially Aaron. Without his man-beard (that I adore), he looks all of 14 years old 😛 It was a blur of excitement and preparation right up until my dad walked me down the aisle. My dad just barely made it in time, we forgot to ask our friends to hand out the programs, and my maid of honor nearly forgot Aaron’s ring in the dressing room. I honestly don’t remember the exact moment of walking down the aisle. I have a video and a photo of it, but I can’t see it in my mind. It is all such a blur now. The things I remember most about the ceremony are:

  • the preacher had some sort of accident the day before and had a small cut on his head and seemed a little bit “off”
  • little Nathan (our ring bearer) dropping the ring pillow repeatedly
  • trying not to cry during my vows
  • not “the kiss”, but the one after we walked out the doors into the foyer; the one that was just for us

Our reception was wonderful. I so much enjoyed walking between the tables, meeting my new family members, and introducing Aaron to his new family. It was really wonderful and at the end of the night when we got to our beautiful honeymoon cottage we were dead tired. Part of the wedding night package was an 8×10 photo of us when we arrived. I tore it up because we both looked terrible. It is hard to believe we’ve been married 5 years. On one hand it feels like we’ve been together so much longer and we’ve experienced so much that it must be at least 10. On the other hand I still sometimes feel as though we can’t possibly be 26 yet. How did we get here and where did the time go? We’ve managed to live our lives to the absolute fullest extent and even to bursting these last five years. Here are some of the most memorable moments (some are highlights and others not-so-much):

  • Finishing college/graduation (being newlyweds in college was nearly unheard of at TCU, but at UNT I was in good company)
  • Our “honeymoon summer” (driving around the country and bumming with friends and family during our month-long limbo between college and Camphill)
  • Moving to Pennsylvania and Camphill Soltane (this was an incredible experience that was both trying and fulfilling)
  • The moment we agreed that it was time to grow our family (I still have the note written in black crayon on a Friendly’s napkin)
  • Hearing Elizabeth’s heartbeat for the first time
  • Being terrified that we were losing our baby at 11 weeks and then another scare at 30 weeks that I’d be forced to have a c-section
  • Coming back home to Texas (homeless, jobless, and very pregnant)
  • An answer to prayer: a home and wonderful jobs caring for the elementary girls at Happy Hill Farm/NCTA
  • The wonderful birth of Elizabeth Joy Evans (September 2010)
  • My mom coming to live with us (April 2011-February 2012)
  • Paying off the Versa; our car (a very proud moment for me)
  • Baby Dos on the way (July 2011)
  • Leaving HHFA and starting work at ACI while Aaron and Elizabeth enjoy being at home together (October 2011)
  • Another answer to prayer: an Apartment Life placement (February 2012)
  • The even more amazing birth of Owen Cody Evans (April 2012)
  • Loss of our apartment life placement and back to HHFA/NCTA (August 2012)
  • Caring for 4-6 spirited, but mostly wonderful junior high boys
  • Leaving NCTA once more (June 2013)
  • The Versa turning over 100,000 miles (a very proud moment for Aaron)
  • Watching our second baby grow into a toddler and our first into a preschooler

The last five years have been rather nomadic and slightly chaotic. We’ve constantly stepped out in faith and been so incredibly blessed. We’ve made amazing friends, learned hard lessons, and grown even closer together. We have worked side-by-side together for most of our married life, something that not many married couples could ever imagine doing gracefully, but we relished it. Aaron is my best friend, the same as it was back in 2006 when we began dating, the same as it was in 2008 when we were married. He is a wonderful, steadfast, and loving husband. It has been the greatest joy and pleasure of my life to watch him become a father. He is so wonderful with Elizabeth and Owen. He’s taught Elizabeth all about photosynthesis. She can pronounce it and explain it to you (with hand motions and everything)! Owen adores his Dada and for a frustratingly long time referred to me as Dada too 🙂

Sometimes people are surprised that we are married with two kids at only 26. They ask why we got married so young; are shocked that we are not only happy about having kids already, but that we actually had them on purpose; and they wonder if we have regrets. Sure we still rent and have student loan debt. No, we aren’t well-off financially, and we may not have as much “freedom” as others our age , but the last five years have been more full of love and happiness than the preceding 21 years of my life combined and I have absolutely no regrets.

Happy anniversary, Aaron. You’re the love of my life and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as we grow old together.

 

Mother’s Day May 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — aarontori @ 9:08 AM

Just a quick post before we leave for church.
My wife is a wonderful person, mother, wife, friend, and on and on.

Let me list some of the ways:

She spends most of her days providing for our family, driving an hour or more to work and back.
She actively instills our children with good habits, manners, and knowledge.
She holds herself to high moral standards.
She considers the feelings of others before (and while) she acts.
She gives me time to relax and just play a game at the end of the day. She even occasionally shares that time with me, even if there’s probably something else she’d rather do 🙂
She looks to some fantastic role models and takes lessons from them in order to better herself.
She puts others, especially our children and I, above herself.
She loves her family. This may just be a given, but you should see her face light up when she sees some video of Elizabeth from earlier in the day.
She runs our budget, even though that is a tough and stressful job all on its own.
When asked if she were to die today, what is the one thing she would regret not telling someone, and why hasn’t she told them already, she said there are millions of things she hasn’t yet told Elizabeth. She is and is going to be a fantastic role model for Elizabeth, and there’s no woman I’d rather her emulate.

There’s obviously tons of things I could write here, but really there aren’t words to express my thankfulness that I have Tori as my wife.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Introductions December 8, 2010

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,pictures,pregnancy,tejas,Uncategorized,work — aarontori @ 10:39 PM

Meet our new blog! WordPress doesn’t require visitors to have an account in order to comment on blog posts and the editing features are much more user-friendly. Hopefully this will translate into us actually keeping our blog up to date and posting with some sort of regularity. WordPress also has this really cool feature where I was able to move all of our old posts from the blogspot blog to this site, so all of our previous posts are here too.

More importantly meet our daughter, Elizabeth!

Happy Baby Girl

This post is rather late seeing as how she’s almost 3 months old, but I’ve got an almost 3 month old baby so you’ll just have to forgive me.

I’m sure that most people reading this (hi, grandma!) will already be familiar with these things, but I’ll put it here for posterity’s sake.

We are back in Texas!

We moved back at the beginning of August. I was 30 weeks pregnant and we had no jobs and no place to live. It was a smart move 🙂 We stayed with Aaron’s parents for a few days and then made our way up to Fort Worth to look for work. We were blessed by our amazing friends, the Lehews, who let us stay at their rental house while we did our job search. We had already started the application process at Happy Hill Farm Academy as house parents. Thanks to some perfect timing and how awesome God works, we were hired and moved into our new apartment on August 16th. We began our training right away and have been working since. It’s been a great experience so far. We are the resident parents for the elementary-aged girls. We have 4 girls that live in our unit and while at times it is challenging, it’s also very rewarding work and there is most definitely never a dull moment.

On September 14th, I went into labor. At least I thought that I had gone into labor, but after walking and walking and walking the contractions kept slowing down and eventually stopped. Then at around 1:30 AM on September 16th I was awakened by much stronger contractions. We drove to Fort Worth (an hour away) to the Lehews home (they’re so awesome) and stayed there while we waited to see if this was really it. At about 5:30 I called our midwife and told her we were ready. We then drove another 20 minutes to the birth center in Hurst. Elizabeth was born at 11:12 AM and it was a wonderful experience all around. She weighed  6 lbs 4 oz and was 21 inches long.

Adjusting to life with a newborn has been wonderful, tiring, sometimes frustrating, and did I mention tiring. Really though, it’s awesome and we’re loving being parents. One of the best things about our job is that we work at home and together. While this was mostly true when we worked at Soltane, we worked out in different workshops and really only crossed paths at lunchtime during the day. Here we both work in the house and while the girls are at school from 8:30 to 3:30 we are free to do whatever we want/need to do. It’s been awesome being at home together with Elizabeth! How many kids get to have both of their parents at home with them full time? We don’t have the usual weekends off work week. Instead we work 4 days on and then 2 days off and rotate with the single house parent that is attached to our unit. Our days off are different each week, but it’s not too inconvenient and definitely worth it.

We do miss living in Fort Worth. Being an hour away from our old friends and our church is tough sometimes, but we drive in pretty regularly to hang out and visit. We’re making friends here at our job too, which is nice. There are lots of other couples here with kids, although we’re the youngest.

Elizabeth is becoming more interested in the world around her all the time and sleeping longer at night (thank goodness). We are coming up on a nice long break for Christmas (yay for working at a school). We’ll be off from December 18th until January 3rd. We have lots of traveling and family time planned, but hopefully will also have some time to visit with our friends around here and relax at home some too.

This post is getting ridiculously long, so I’m going to close for now. Here’s a few parting gifts to make up for lost time:

Elizabeth with her Pop Pop at the birth center, just 6 hours old

Aaron holding our baby girl, just one day old

2 days old, what a cutie

❤ – Tori

 

Baby limes and giant snowmen March 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aarontori @ 6:54 PM

Hi everyone!

Greetings from the great white north…. east. We got about 40 inches of snow at one time, about 60 inches over the past month, and I had a lot of fun. People around the Soltane community built snowmen, went sledding, and there was even a really cool snow fort (complete with a tunnel!). It was also cool finally understanding what a “snow drift” is, though it makes the roads quite tricky to navigate.

While it was cold outside, Tori was inside, roasting. You see, there is a bun in the oven, and she is the oven. The bun is actually a baby, which is the size of a lime right now, and has reflexes! That means if we poke Tori, the baby can feel it! Also, it will be able to hear us by the end of the week. Let the music begin!

Hope all is well out where this is being read!

-Aaron

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year December 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — aarontori @ 1:26 PM

Greetings from Limestone, NY. I swear Tori jinxed it: she promised me snow on Christmas. I said “How can you promise the weather?” Of course we are predicted to get freezing rain. Meanwhile, TEXAS gets snow. Dallas/Fort Worth gets snow for Christmas, and earlier this year HOUSTON got snow on the ground. What are the odds. Oklahoma is getting a blizzard. New York gets freezing rain. I think snow is avoiding me!

Things are good up here though. Tori enjoys seeing someone get so much excitement from a sled. We decided to rent a car to visit Tori’s grandma James and Aunt Cathy for Christmas, and we’ll be headed back to Soltane a few days after Christmas. New Year’s plans are soon to be made. Yesterday we explored Tori’s childhood home: Salamanca, NY. It was cool seeing all the places Tori pointed out with specific memories. “Here’s where I built that giant snow fort!” “I used to call 1-800-ABCDEFG on a payphone that used to be there to hear the Hooked on Phonics message!” “There’s the hospital where I visited the emergency room like once a month because I was so accident prone!”

After that we went through Allegheny State Park to enjoy the winter wonderland scenery, and I found an awesome sledding hill. “One time I got a concussion and the doctor at the emergency room told my mom she had to keep me up all night, so we drove around here for a while looking for deer. Occasionally she had to pinch me to keep me awake.”

So far the trip has been great, and it’s been nice to have a chance to relax. I highly recommend that if you have to rent a car, go to Grand Sport Auto in Chester Springs… For some reason our car wasn’t working with the computer, so they gave us a free upgrade from a Ford Focus to a Ford Fusion (nice car, by the way). Not only that, they bumped up our discount by an extra 5%, and threw in free satellite radio! Nice! We especially enjoyed the coffeehouse station. Singer-songwriter stuff.

That’s about all for now. The scenery is great here. I wish it looked this pretty everywhere…

Best wishes this holiday season!

-Aaron

 

Glenmoore is on the horizon August 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — aarontori @ 11:52 AM

It’s our last full day with the Fish family before we head to camphill, and I am excited to have a dresser soon. Living out of suitcases for the past 2 months has gotten old. News from the past 2 days: we’ve found an insurance company that is half the cost of the one we were going to use for the first 3 months of our stay at Camphill Soltane (before they pick up our coverage). We’ve also found out what house we will be living in on the campus, and that the houseparent we will be working with has 2 children! Tori was very excited to hear this because she had said multiple times that she hopes our house has children. I’m glad; the house will feel more like a home with kids 🙂

We have our orientation on Saturday, so more will come once we are settled!

 

 
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