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.

 

The Evans Four March 25, 2012

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,holidays,moving,pregnancy,work — aarontori @ 10:09 PM

Hello Friends and Family!

It has been far too long since we posted (as usual) so there is much to tell.

First off, we’ve moved and begun our journey as a CARES Team for Apartment Life! We moved in at the beginning of February with the help of some very awesome friends we were able to get all of our things packed and moved in a single weekend. We found out that we got the CARES position at 5 on Friday and were completely moved and had the duplex empty and clean by 5 on Sunday! A BIG part of it was thanks to the Lehews loaning us their pickup truck and the tireless efforts and rallying cry of our dear friend, Ryan Crowe.

We moved to Copper Crossing, an apartment community on the border between Benbrook and Fort Worth. It’s very conveniently located and we love the staff. They had a CARES team here previously, but it had been about 10 months or so since the other team had left, which means we’re sort of having to start over again. We’ve had small turnouts for our events so far, but got some ideas from our mentor team and will be adapting our approach in April based on their advice/feedback.

It is so nice to be living in our own place again. We’ve been procrastinating on some things, but for the most part Aaron had everything unpacked and put away within the first couple of days.We still need to buy and hang some curtains for the kids’ room, hang our pictures, organize a few things, and decorate. This is supposed to be my area, but I’ve been too tired/lazy at the end of the day to want to do it.

Elizabeth has her own room (for now) and is loving it. When we moved in we just went ahead and converted her crib to a toddler bed and she’s done an awesome job staying in it at night. Now if we could just make the actual process of going to sleep less of a drawn-out battle we’d be set. She’s officially one and a half, which is so hard to believe. She has 12 teeth (and 4 more breaking through at the moment). She talks constantly, loves to yell out whatever it is that she’s doing at the moment (“I’m running! I’m walking! I’m sitting! I sit next to you!”), and has started to sing just a little bit. We’ve been very slowly and inconsistently working on potty training since Christmas, but she’s really gotten on the bandwagon here recently. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we have a washer and dryer in our apartment now (thanks to Aaron’s parents!) and so we’ve started cloth diapering again. She is going to be the world’s best big sister. She adores her baby brother already and talks to and about him quite a lot. She loves to lift my shirt and give him hugs and kisses.

That brings me to the biggest thing we’ve got going on in our life at the moment: baby watch 2012! We’re expecting our son, Owen Cody Evans, anytime now. We had an ultrasound 3 weeks ago and found out that we’re having a boy. By the doctor’s guess he was about 6 pounds the day of the ultrasound. Elizabeth was only 6 lbs 4 oz when she was born, so it looks like he’s going to be significantly bigger than his sister.

We’ve had our bag packed for the birth center and the carseat installed for a little over a week now. The bassinet is set up in our room, his clothes are ready for him, and now all that’s missing is little baby Owen. His due date is April 5th, but I highly doubt we’re going to have to wait that long.

Stay tuned for the latest news from baby watch 2012!

Here’s a link to our family pictures we had taken last week while we were still just the three musketeers.
Family Photos March 2012

 

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!

 

Mother’s Day Video May 8, 2011

Filed under: babies,celebration,family,holidays — aarontori @ 5:52 PM

Here’s the video that we put together for our moms and grandmas. It’s pretty fun 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there 🙂

-Tori

 

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

 

Happy Easter

Filed under: babies,family,holidays,money,work — aarontori @ 4:58 AM

Hello Everyone!

As usual, we are long overdue for an update. I’ll give you a rundown of things.

Work:

Things are good. We have 4 girls ranging from K-5th grade. We are still enjoying what we do here on “the Hill”. We’ve been here for 8 months now. Two of the girls have been here since we started and the other two came in February. At the beginning of February we had 6 girls, but then two of them left, and we were back to four by the end of February. I feel that we’re really beginning to form a good bond with the girls. I am especially close to the youngest, but I suppose that is to be expected. Looking back we can see how each of the girls has made gains over the course of the school year. Even the two that just came in February are not the same as when they first got here. There are still daily challenges with each of them. They’re all at different places and even though they take a step back every now and then, the overall trend is one of progress. They all went home for the weekend, as we all had Good Friday off. I need to make it a point to let each of them know that we see their progress and are proud of them. An illustration: the K-2 students had a big Easter egg hunt on Thursday at school. They brought home a couple of cascarones (confetti eggs). The kindergartener gave me one and I broke it over her head. She of course had confetti all stuck in her hair and it was all over the floor. We laughed about it and then, without me saying a word, she turns around, goes and gets a broom from the cupboard, and starts sweeping it up. One of the moms was here picking up her girls and her jaw about hit the floor, she was so impressed.  I helped her to finish cleaning it up and gave her lots of praise for that. I also made sure to let Aaron know about it in front of her so that he could tell her how impressed he was too. We have just five weeks left of school, which is hard to believe. We get 3 1/2 weeks off at the beginning of summer break and then 2 more in July. They’re going to be having a summer enrichment program that will have 3 sessions. I will be teaching a session in the third session about college prep finance. I’ll teach the basics of personal finance the first week and then the second week I’ll be teaching about financial aid and explaining the process of finding and applying for scholarships/grants/loans and a few other college-related money issues. I’m excited about it.

Money update:

Things have slowed a bit on the debt payoff front. We’re still chipping away, just at a slower pace than we first thought. It sure was nice not to have the car payment this month though! We put some of that toward the medical bills and the rest in savings. I still feel good about where we are and where we’re headed. Every now and then opportunities arise for us to make a little extra money. Aaron has taken male students to their Dr/eye/dentist appointments a few times and I’ve subbed for the school nurse a few hours on a couple of occasions. The summer course that I teach will also be extra income. It isn’t a whole lot of extra money, but it goes toward our debts and every little bit helps. I have also been working hard at the budget. I still have yet to get it just right, but I think my plan for May is good. We’re going back to the envelope system. It really is just way too easy to swipe the debit card and blow the budget for one area. I’ve also been clipping coupons and using a few great websites to help save money and score great deals on groceries and household items. My favorites are Money Saving Mom and Mint. On MSM, she does coupon matchups for great deals on groceries, has lots of ideas for frugal living, and it’s free! I’ve seen a couple of sites that charge to do the coupon matchup and even checked them out, but they didn’t have the stores that I needed/were too expensive to justify. Mint is a money management site (also free). I like it because I can see my cash flow. I have been able to track all of my expenses, see my debt to income ratio, and set goals. Although, now that we’re going back to the cash envelope system this won’t be as useful for us. It helped me a lot to see where our money was going in order to create a budget.

Family:

We’re doing good. My mom has moved in with us. Times are hard but I’m glad that we’re able to be here to help out. She is getting to enjoy time with her granddaughter and Elizabeth is getting lots of quality grandma time, which is really great for both of them. It’s also nice because we have someone who can watch her when we both have our hands full with work or want to step out for a little bit. We’re praying that she gets into the CNA training program that she applied to. If so, the local nursing home in Glen Rose has already told her she has a job when she finishes at the end of May. We should know about the course this coming week. After that it will just be a matter of figuring out the transportation since we only have one car and it’s a standard, which Mom can’t drive.

Elizabeth is 7 months old already. It’s hard to believe how quickly time is flying. She knows the sign for milk, finally has some hair up top, has two teeth on the bottom, is sort of crawling (more like a half army crawl, half belly flop and usually backward), is pulling up on us, and just this week started calling Aaron “da da” and I’m “ma ma”. She’s been babbling “da da” for quite some time, but only saying “ma” when she was mad. This week I guess it clicked that they actually mean us. I think it’s going to be a while before she can get a “grandma” out though 🙂

Things are good here at Casa de Evans. We are blessed. Hope you have/had a wonderful Easter. I will definitely be taking some pictures of Elizabeth in her Easter dress after service.

-Tori

Check out the following post for lots of pictures

 

 
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