Category Archives: family

Caleb turns 11

Today is Caleb’s 11th Birthday! To the day :) – This weekend we celebrated Caleb turning 11 with my parents and his brothers of course. All went well and Caleb had a great Birthday celebration.

Despite my little guy growing leaps and bounds this year, one thing remains the same…


Blueberry Roarer

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ED9A3666He is one animated and awesome dude.

We are very proud of who Caleb is becoming. A great young man. I cherish the moments of innocence I still have left with him… and love he isn’t “GROWN” yet… but I can see in him already, a great father and husband. He is a great kid.

Thankful.

For Caleb’s birthday we had a big breakfast and then made our way to a nearby Lake. Its A HUGE man made lake in SC. Those local know exactly where I am talking about. :)

It was beautiful. Not to hot. Very few people. In fact my boys were the only children there over the age of four. Because we went on a friday morning, schools were in session… so we most def loved being a home school family that morning haha…

After the lake we enjoyed Caleb’s choice of lunch. Pizza and Soda (We rarely give the boys soda, so this is a treat when we allow them to choose the drink they want). We then sang Happy Birthday, had cake/ice-cream and opened gifts.

For dinner we went to a local mexican place Caleb loves. Stayed out til like 9pm. Stayed up til 11pm watching movies.

Birthday success. :)

Below are a few more memories from the day…

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My adorable parents. They celebrate 35 years in Sept!

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Things to learn about farm life :) – Update on House

Since moving to this beautiful farm. Things I have learned very quickly.

ED9A2899There are a lot more bugs here than in the city. While we still saw roaches, crickets, spiders and ants in the city… it just wasn’t as many. Maybe having pest control people spray, really does help… :-D Either way, lots of bugs here! When you need to go fishing. Set a wheel barrel upside down and you have a huge supply of black crickets at your disposal. Leave food out, within seconds, lots and lots of ants.

One way I have repelled ants naturally while living here too, is to use Cinnamon Bark Oil and Peppermint Oil. I put it into a spray bottle with some water, shake it well and spray it around any cracks and areas ants may be coming in. The first few nights here we had issues with small black ants getting into the kids beds. Yup… They weren’t biting but they did wake you. The Cinnamon and Peppermint spray did wonders. So I do recommend that. Smells good too!

For those scared away by the huge price tag on the Cinnamon Bark. Do know that having that oil in your oil collection is worth it. I use it constantly! Its one of my go to to treat illness… and I use it in my immune strength blend I make for the kids. Because I own all the oils in the Immune Strength Oil Blend, I actually just make up my own now. Saves on cost I think. Plus I can add more or less of a certain oil depending on what I want.

ED9A2904Oh and for MOSQUITOES I am using THIS recipe. Oddly enough since living here we haven’t noticed many mosquito’s. Maybe they are to busy biting the horses to worry with us? :)

Another thing about the Country life I have learned… is that I am highly allergic to horses. Like for real allergic. Not just a small allergy. A, swell up, hives, close your throat up kind of allergy. The awesome guy who owns this land and horses, treated our boys to some horse back riding this weekend. These horses are POLICE TRAINED horses too. They’re amazing. The boys got to comb the horses… hear a little bit about their training… and then ride. I could tell pretty early on during the “barn” combing period… that my allergies were already beginning to flare up… but I figured it would be no big deal and Id be fine once I got home. Well, I decided to ride the horse for 2 minutes… and I guess that did it. Within minutes of leaving and getting home my upper lip swelled up like a balloon. Got hives all over it. My eyes swelled and got red and itchy… I then broke out in hives up and down my arms and legs!! and then my throat began to tighten. Making it hard to swallow. I was shocked at how bad I got and how fast it all happened. I took some medicine and it took a solid 3 hours before I started to feel better and the swelling went down.

So despite how beautiful horses are… I am going to keep my distance.

Another thing I have realized. My boys love dogs. This place is full of them! The owner has a former police German Shepherd named Bolow. (not sure on the spelling haha). He also has a Great pyrenees dog called Buzz. He is HUGE!! There is also a lab (I forget her name). She is so sweet and will continue to bring you a tennis ball over… and over again until you play with her. Here is a photo of Owen playing with her.

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The owner also has these two small poodles that chase our boys. They think its hilarious! So lots of furry friends out here to see. It kind of sort of makes me want a dog. However, I am allergic to them… so I’m not sure it work out. Travis really isn’t into the “hypoallergenic” dogs either. Im allergic to cats as well but Toby our cat doesn’t seem to agitate my allergies, as long as he doesn’t get in my face. So a dog may not be to bad. Still, in time. I defiantly am in no rush to own a dog.

I love the sights here… We are so thankful to have this quaint place to keep our family during this time of waiting.

It will be a place we will forever remember. Its been fun to build memories here.

Here are a few more photos from our horse riding adventure.

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ED9A2930We also have met a new friend since living here.

A few days after being on the farm I got a phone call from a friend of ours back in Atlanta. She was actually a neighbor too! Lived in our neighborhood and went to church with us. She was a home school mom of 5 as well. Her kids were all much older than mine… but I liked that. Always nice to connect with moms who are a few years older who you can learn from. Any how, she called me up and told me her Niece just moved to the same town we just moved too! That her niece just had her 2nd baby girl and that we’d get along well. So she gave me her information and she gave her Niece my info. A few days later we connected, hung out at the pool and got to know each other. We discovered they are living in a neighborhood within walkin distance to the farm! In fact her backyard backs up to the farm! Crazy coincident huh? Her girls are adorable!!! We got to see them again Sunday morning at church and invited them out to the farm to see the horses as well. My boys got to ride her 17 mo. old little girl on the horses and I must say, it made me want a 5th baby haha… was very sweet to see.

Its really cool how God brings people into your life in such a cool way. This family also CAME from the same city in Atlanta, Woodstock, that we came from. So they are familiar with our former life there…They even attended the same church we went to while there… we just never ran into each other.

We are excited to get to know them better.

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Now… Update on the house we are buying.

We had the inspection done… and it came back with some pretty big issues. 1. Termites. There were some in the front den, which had caused some rot problems in the sub floor. So the subfloor and a portion of the hard wood floors in that room have to be replaced. When we heard this, we kind of expected they’d say no to the repair and re-list house for more, fix the floors and hope to make more money off the sale… we offered 10K less than asking.. so we just weren’t sure what to expect.

There were a few other issues that needed attention… over all they’ll prob spend 3-6K fixing these problems. Roughly. We wrote up the addendum with the realtor and sent it over to the sellers agent. To our surprise they agreed to fix EVERYTHING we asked for. So that is going to be happening the next few weeks… and if all goes as planned we close on August 17th.

I have had some wavering back and forth. Wondering if we got the right house… doubting… dwelling on “what ifs” and worrying myself to death about it! Buying a house is a big deal… and when we went looking for a home I so desired one really close to the church. Since that is what we knew prior in ministry. We always lived very close. However, after looking at 30 some homes, we just realized that may not happen this time… The house we found is 16 minutes from the church. We timed it last night :) – so it really isnt THAT FAR… even tho it kind of feels like it right now. It isn’t next door… its not within walking distance… but its close enough. We also will be in a great neighborhood with beautiful large oak trees and shade. The yard is almost an acre… shaded… with grass and woods for the boys to play around. A beautiful wrap around porch… and lots of charm. Its also on a very large and nice cul-de-sac!

So it is a great home.

… and I’m having to trust the Father that if this isn’t meant to be, it wont happen… and who knows, it may happen… and we may move in 3 years to a closer house. I’m going to try really hard not to live in the “what may come” limbo phase tho… and hope that once we move in there, I can make it our own and plant some roots.

I think our history of moves has made this very hard… but it is something I greatly desire.

Wifi is on!

After a couple weeks without Wifi, I can honestly say, we are glad its back on. :-) While it is nice to disconnect… with a business… and little ones, it is nice to have a wifi signal. Not to mention we have used up an insane amount of data on our phones. Even just looking up houses used up like 50% of our data in a week! No bueno. So Wifi is on… and even though we will have to relocate our wifi and all that jazz in August when we move again (to the home we are buying)… it will be worth having for the time being.

SO updates.

ED9A28011. Its hot in SC. Our dash said 106! Its only July too. From what we understand August is even hotter. I think my body is in the adjustment period this week… as I broke out in a weird rash on my face. To me it looks like a heat rash. I have sensitive skin to begin with though. So it could by my face adjusting to well water (we use to be on city)… also we are living on a farm near horses. Im allergic to horses… so maybe their dander is in the air? :) who knows. All I know is I’m looking a wee rough today… and hoping that 2 days indoors out of the heat will clear things up.

2. Kids are ready to move into our new house. They have really loved being on the farm here… but living out of boxes just is not fun. We don’t know where the majority of our stuff is… our boys have very few toys left out.. so we are relying on their “kindles” for entertainment. I look forward to setting up our home school room and getting back into the routine of some actual structure for them. They need it! They also really miss their trampoline and being able to ride their bikes and scooters. You can’t ride scooters and bikes here in thick sand. Just doesn’t work. I do know when we move from this farm they will miss the great pool we have access too… and the freedom farm life allows. Its nice to be able to hose off our kids naked in the backyard without worries of anyone seeing. :) I also love the sunsets here. So beautiful.

3. Now that I have Wifi ill begin plugging my business away in the nearby cities. Its hard when you relocate a business… but I have high hopes with some extra hard work I can get busy again here like I was in Atlanta.

That’s really all the news to share.

Things are going well at the church. Travis is staying busy setting his office up… and making connections in the area. We have lots of ideas for the church and hopefully in time we can apply those. Excited to see what God does.

Below are a few photos taken on the 4th of July before our move btw. I didn’t get a chance to share them! So thought Id share them now. :)

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Letting go

The last few weeks as you all know have been a little harder than normal. Lots of changes happening… the natural trials with moving a family of 6, selling our first home… and on top of it all sickness making its way through our family and then crippling myself for over a week. Not at all ideal or the way I would have liked things to go, had I had a choice. In the midst of the sickness and settling in, my Abuela passed away (my moms mom…) she lived in Panama (central america) and the last time I saw her was about 5 years ago. Its the one thing I hated about living so far from family… you just couldn’t see each other as often as you wished. Saddness came from not knowing her more :( and of course seeing my mom loose her mom. I hated I couldn’t go with her but the timing just wasn’t what it needed to be for me to go. My mom got to Panama safe though and all is okay. Mourning will happen… and she will be very much missed. Thankful this is not our family home and we will see loved ones we miss who know the Lord, again. Throughout it all I have had to learn to press through those hard times and understand, its only a season… Throughout our struggle, no matter what it may be, we are always strengthened and God can without a doubt use it for His Glory in the end.

We still do not have wifi. Using just our cell phones is eating up data too… so I am having to be careful not to allowed the kids to watch netflix… or stream any sort of videos that will eat up our data. You don’t realize how much “wifi” you use until its gone. :) We know we need it though for my business… unloading albums with 100+images at 20MB an image, results in a lot of usage… so Wifi is on the way. However, it won’t be installed until the 20th. SO! until then, not much blogging will happen. Boo. I miss it!

I am however on instagram daily usually and updating on there. So be sure to follow me there @dreawood.

Right now the next step in our journey is to find a home. A few people have been asking me what happened with the other house we had made an offer on. Well, things happened that were not in our control and that house is no longer an option. It is what it is and like all things, you move on. No reason to dwell in what isn’t.

Im at peace with things and I know that there is a home out there that God has for our family. Even if it isn’t “my timing” like many things :) – it will all be okay in the end.

For now, I am so thankful! We have the most amazing place to stay right now.

We are living on like a 100 Acre farm! Surrounded by horses, donkey, geese and even a camel! I can’t recall if I wrote about that in the last post… so if I did, forgive the repeating. :)

This farm has a sweet 4 bedroom double wide trailer on it that the owner has graciously allowed us to live in for as long as we need. Such a blessing. He is such an evidence of generosity… I know some people who are so greedy with their possessions… their money… and to me, that is no way to live. Scripture even speaks on being givers… and blessing others with our riches. I am thankful for this awesome man who gave us this special temporary home. It has all we need… and to add awesomeness to the already beautiful surroundings, theres an in ground pool WITH SLIDE for our boys to use daily.

Our first Sunday for those curious did go very well. People embraced us and the kids had a good time too. It of course will take adjusting to. Any move like this takes time to adjust to. I had to leave so many special friends of mine back in Atlanta… ladies I am thankful via txt, Facebook, instagram and phone calls will be able to keep up… but still, you miss them… the last minute play dates, or Panera bread ladies night outs. The thrifting trips I use to go out on… and so forth.

I had someone on instagram ask me for advice on how I cope with the change and moving… and my only advice is to prepare yourself for some loneliness in the sense, you will miss parts of your “former home.” You are allowed to feel sadness and yet still know confidently that its going to be okay. One thing I often pray for during our moves, is that God would bless me with friendship. I think its important to ask these things… and reach out.

I hope this is our last move for a very long time. After 12 years of marriage… 9 moves. 4 churches… and even a change in my husbands career as a cop for almost 3 years… lets just say, I’m super ready for some roots. At least for the next decade! If not more.

Thankful for Grace during the moments im not so gracious… and so thankful the boys seem to be doing well with this transition. They are still young enough I believe that this will not hinder them the way I think it would have, had they been older and had more established friendships. I know they’ll miss their Atlanta friends and home/stomping grounds… but since moving here, I have not heard them express sadness or wanting to go back. So for that, I am thankful. Thats helped me more than they realize. :)

Travis’ first sermon (officially) went really well… I am excited to see the moving God can do in this area of SC… and for what is to come.

Thank you all for the prayers. I will include a few images in this post taken from my instagram :) – I can’t post “real camera” pictures until wifi is set up. So until then, this will do.

Blessings!

 

This is the view from the yard beside the double wide we are in. Beautiful huh?

The pool near the house. Behind this pool to the right is where we stay.

This is a walking trail behind the double wide. Goes back a longggg way! We even found a creek.

 

Sickness and Roadblocks

Thought Id type up a quick update while I had the ability. We have no internet but im using my phone as a hot spot to do a little “house hunting…” yup… you read that right. We may very well have to look for another house to buy. Out of respect for the seller of the house we wanted, im not going to get into the details… but in short, she may not want to sell.. which puts us back on the drawing board. Legally its a bit of a mess… she may have some hefty fees to pay but we arent malicious people and would never sue (even tho we’d have the right in this situation). So as of right now, we wait… and will continue to live in the temp housing we are at currently.

The temporary home we are in is awesome though. It is small, its a double wide but in good shape. Has 4 bedrooms.. so I cant complain. It is on about 100 acres!! surrounded by horses, a lake and even a camel. The owner is extremely generous. He has given us access to his in ground pool with slide too. He has two awesome dogs who patrol (one is an ex- police german shepherd). So we feel very safe here. He even allowed us to bring Toby our cat, so we feel complete her for the time being. We do not have all our furniture and we are living out of suit cases… but we have a kitchen table set up, living room furniture, our mattresses (on the floor), a desk for my computer… and a TV. Obviously a kitchen too. :) Its all you need. Im finding peace in the simplicity of it. The only snag I feel I will run in to is having to go ahead and purchase my boys school materials without having a school room set up. We will have to be flexible though and just school on our kitchen table… and keep things minimal. Main subjects… It’ll all be okay. I just don’t want to get to behind.

This week has without a doubt been very hard though. The move itself, very hard… moving with 4 kids across two states is not easy… to add even more stress, I got very sick. Thursday evening really late I spiked a high fever. Then my ear began to really hurt.. like very bad… on a sale from 1-10, 10 being labor… it was like a 7.5. I have never experienced ear pain like that. I had to go to urgent care saturday the day of our “loading the moving truck” Doc prescribed an antibiotic for me. After a week almost, no change. In fact it was worse. Yesterday I had a break down because of the constant pain I was in… that we had to go to another urgent care (this one in SC)… where the Doctor checked my ear out… still very badly infect and apparently my congestion was just not letting up. So she put me on a steroid… and drop antibiotics (just for the ear), flonase and zyrtec. I feel like a drug addict haha.. on top of it, I was in such pain I started to cry at the Doctors office… the Doc. I think had sympathy for me and asked if I wanted a shot for pain. Heck yea. haha. So I got my 1st ever shot in the butt. She then prescribed me some pain killers to manage the ear pain until it cleared up…

Today I feel a little better but I think thats due to the pain meds. My ear is still so stopped up. I cant hear hardly any… but I think with all these things, ill be better soon…

I hope :)

When it rains it pours, right?

Thank you all for the prayers. Do continue to pray for our family.

Look back

I have a book I made after the 1st year we had here in Atlanta. A book I wanted to fill with memories of that 1st year… One my boys could look back (esp. the older two) and remember how God moved throughout a circumstance that was less than ideal at the moment. He knew what was to come though. He knew we needed that time to heal. To renew. To be poured into. These last 3+ years not being a Pastors wife have taught me a lot. From the moment I got married at 19 years old, I was put into a position where I had people looking up to me or watching me. I can’t say every moment of that was good.

I can see Gods hand without a doubt in pulling us from Ministry in 2011… and forcing us to focus on ourselves. To be in the congregation as a church member… and to see things from a different perspective. We not only were able to work on our marriage and family… but it also was a time used to heal friendships, inward battles… and insecurities. So thankful for City of Refuge. So thankful for the friendships we have built here in Atlanta.

Since I haven’t had a chance to take out my camera the last few weeks and capture moments around here… I thought some may enjoy this glimpse back in time a bit… to those 1st 12 mo. here in Georgia. Looking back on these photos I realize how quickly the time has gone. Thankful for the memories… and lessons throughout.

Enjoy.


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and to think… that was just the 1st year.

The second year here, the Lord blessed us with this cute little knot.

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Even throughout that very difficult pregnancy… and hard adjustment from 3 kids to 4.. I saw the Lord at work. Our family… and this journey is so full of awesome testimony and Gods hand on our family. We are so thankful… and blessed.

I look forward to documenting this upcoming move. I have a few jobs to finish for Boba. A newborn session next week… and we have an obvious big job ahead of packing up a house with four kids in it. So taking out my camera to capture the boys among all of this, isnt high on my list :) – but I will try harder to be intentional about that once things get finalized a bit.

We did make an offer on a house this week… but it was countered with a higher price tag… and we decided it wasn’t for us. We wanted it to work because we didn’t want to have to move to a rental, then move again (That make move 10!)… but I also know that when the time is right, God will open a door to the perfect house for us and our family.

So our next move wont be the last it seems ;-) – but hopefully the 10th move will be within the same town haha.. and we will plant some actual roots. I look forward to building community with the church we will serve at… and getting into the routine living in a new town. Thanks for all the prayers… and don’t forget you can keep up with our daily adventures over on my instagram @dreawood

Inside our home

Well we had photos taken by the photographer our agent provided. He came today around 10:30am. He had a nice 10mm wide angle lens, which will give the buyer a much wider view of our rooms. My lens is only a 28mm. So its not as wide a view. I did however take photos of our entire house, for my own keeping. I probably wont link to the “actual” listing of our home here… just for privacy reasons… For those who did want to see photos though. I thought this was the next best thing. This is the cleanest our home will probably ever be, haha…. well worth capturing ;-)

The kids have done really well helping us this week to keep things clean. We had to sit them down and tell them the importance of them doing their part… that Travis and I cant keep up the picking up behind them constantly. That the house needs to be very well kept for at least a week, while people view it. We think they got the picture and so far have done very well (except Reed, oh the joy of age 2).

ED9A8990So welcome to our home, at least our home for the next few weeks. Its been full of great memories and will be a place we will forever cherish.

Before I get started, let me just clear the air here. I am not posting these photos to make anyone feel like they have less than us. I am not posting this to brag… I do not want anyone to ever think that. One thing I have realized is that we are blessed with much… Every home we have lived in has been a blessing (reminder to those unfamiliar with our journey, this is our 9th move!). Each home had things we loved. Each home had things we didn’t love. While this home has very few things I dislike :) – I will say I feel completely loved and cherished to live in such a beautiful house. When we went looking for a home (this was our first home purchase). I doubted we’d ever have something like this. In fact I expected little. It really is a lack on my faith honestly… I was so use to being without.. that I didn’t ever expect to be blessed so graciously in this dept. I almost came to grips that having a really beautiful house, such as the one we are in, wasn’t something “I needed.” It wasn’t something I felt God wanted to give me… and I was ok with that. I think the Lord just swooped me up though during our 8th moved and hugged me a little tighter… knowing that we had been through such a difficult transition with Travis’ loosing his job in NC… to becoming a cop… my having to go through an extremely hard pregnancy with Reed… on bed rest… into the hospital twice a week for high level ultrasounds, all the while my husband was going through Mandate… then on the roads wearing a bullet proof vest. Working nights… it was very difficult for me… and while I saw the Lords hand in all of it… and those times grew me.. I think the Lord knew my heart… and He knew no matter what home I got, it was okay with me… but I think He also wanted me to have that joy too… and I can write this post in tears knowing I am so loved by Christ… and while I dont expect to have a perfect house, I know I am cherished by a Father who wants us to ask. Through my doubt He grew me, even when I didn’t think I needed growing in this area.

So to my house that I will love and miss, I know the Lord is good… and He has blessed us greatly. With or without.

I hope you enjoy your tour around our Georgia home :) – I hope whoever buys it, loves it as much as I do.

The front porch wraps around part of the left side of the house, I love it!

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When you enter the home, you are faced with a hall way straight and then a den to the right.

The school room to the left. A stair case in the center.

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The school room and den are almost identical in size. Both a great size!

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Our kitchen table for those curious came from World Market. We love it! Its about 5 years old now.

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The stairs go up to the bedrooms (4 upstairs), then as you enter down that first hall is a half bath.

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Straight down that hallway you will then enter our kitchen/family room area. Its all one huge room.

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I didn’t get a photo of our pantry… but it is enormous! Its so big a child could sleep in it haha.

It is through the door beside the oak table in our breakfast nook area.

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Looking outward from the kitchen this is what you see.

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The living room leads out onto our back deck too. There is no exit off this deck.

That use to bother me but I actually really like that about it now. Much safer for kids.

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Then of course you will look out across our beautiful back yard. I fell in love with it at first sight.

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and here is a view from the back yard looking back.

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The Creek that you often see on the blog, is behind the trampoline.

Now when you walk back up from the backyard, you can enter the house from the basement garage…

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It is a 2 car garage (although we never park in it). It also has a connecting workshop.

When you enter the house, this is the room you come to. Its the study.

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To go upstairs you’d go right, but if you went through the study, you’d then enter our guestroom.

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That guestroom also seconded as a toy room at one time.

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It had lots of great shelving for those purposes. :)

The guestroom also had access to a full bath and another lower level deck.

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Ok now lets zoom all the way upstairs. On the 3rd story that is where 4 other bedrooms are.

yes this is a 3 story home. So lots of great leg workout here. :D

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The boys have a full bath, beside their rooms.

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Taite and Owen share this room together.

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Caleb is in the neighboring room.

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Reed is in the smallest room in the house. It works though.

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Once we move we will take Reeds crib away. Hes ready. I just keep postponing it :)

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and this is our bedroom.

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Thats it! :) Oh! and totally forgot the laundry room too. Its on the main level, right beside the kitchen. Its a good size too.