Monday, February 29, 2016

New House and Thanksgiving

November was a bit of a crazy month for us. We took the big plunge into home ownership! We closed on our first home on November 17, 2016!! We got a great deal on a home that is in the ideal neighborhood. The catch is we bought the worst house on the best block. It is a fixer upper. The picture of the outside may not show it but take a walk around the inside and you would understand. Luckily it is for the most part all cosmetic fixing. Michael and his Dad did spend a couple days on the roof fixing a leak that had not been fixed but besides that it mainly needs a really good clean and new paint. We will need to update the kitchen as well. 

We were so blessed to have two sisters from the branch, Missy Gruwell and Shirley Kinler, who came and helped me clean. It was BAD. I mean it had not been cleaned at ALL in at LEAST 5 years. There is no way to describe how bad it was and it just made me sad to see such a beautiful home being treated so awful. After three days of solid cleaning we got at least one layer of grime off. I would have never survived without them!
That Saturday Mike's parents came into town and they jumped right in helping us move stuff over and getting the house ready. 
They were there for a week and they helped us fix the roof, scrape popcorn ceilings off 3 rooms, and paint ceilings in those 3 rooms, paint walls and trim in 2 of the rooms and all this while we had carpet installed and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner :) 
It was so fun to have everyone there and they were such troopers as everyone was sleeping on air mattresses on the floor surrounded by all our boxes of stuff. 
Now 3 1/2 months later we have all our stuff unpacked, we have one more bedroom finished, two of the bathrooms all done, and we are currently working on the ceilings in the main area. It is coming along and I can just envision how beautiful it will be when we are all finished! I can't wait.
Here is a picture of our one story home that is 2500 sq ft. It has 4 bedrooms and 3 full bath. It has a 2 car garage and a large front and back yard. We are so excited for the potential of this home and we have loved being in this neighborhood close to our friends and the church house. 

A small small taste of what was on the inside

This is the fun part of that week. Having Mikes parent and two of his brothers and two of his sisters with us for Thanksgiving! Allie and John were in heaven and spoiled like crazy! They deserved it after the craziness of the move! 

Using my china for the first time!

Thanksgiving games

Allie and Grandpa

Allie and Grandma

Natalie, Nathan, and Brian with Allie and John

Allie sporting her Aunties little turkey outfit with 
Aunt Angela

Allie and Natalie

Allie enjoying being spoiled and snuggled by aunt Angela

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Allie Elizabeth

                Well now that Allie is four months old I should probably do an update on her! Allie was an angel baby the first 3 months of her life. She hardly ever fussed and if she did it was because she was hungry or had a messy diaper. She would fall asleep on her own and was a great sleeper at night from the beginning. Her first month of life she would normally go to bed around 10 and then wake up one to two times a night. Most of the time it was just once a night which was awesome! She was very laid back and was content to be on the floor or in the swing or bouncy chair. She was hardly ever held until after John went to bed and then I would get my cuddles in with her. We absolutely love her! 

Allie at one month old 9lbs 10oz 21 1/4in long

By Allie's second month of life she was sleeping through the night (from 10-11pm to 6am)
which was amazing! She was also smiling lots when you would talk to her or kiss her. She also liked it when you would play with the pacifier in her mouth. She enjoyed laying on the floor and cooing. 

Allie at two months old 11lbs 10oz 22.5in long

Her first smile caught on camera

Allie has slowly become more and more vocal. Starting at three months of age Allie started to realize that having attention is a lot of fun. She is now a little more demanding and fusses if she is not in the same room with John or I. She also began fussing when she is tired and enjoys being rocked to sleep. She also discovered her thumb and is usually found sucking on her hand or thumb. She seems to prefer this sometimes to her pacifier. 

Allie at three months 12lbs 11oz 23.25in long

Allie is now four months and is continue to grow and become more and more animated. She rolled over for the first time this week (8/17/15). We are enjoying watching her grow and change. Although it seems like the last four months have gone by way to quick! I am not ready for her to grow up and start eating solids and stuff like that yet! She enjoys sitting up and facing everyone now and does not like to be help laying down. She is starting to enjoy playing with toys and she enjoys watching her brother play. She things anything you say in a high pitch voice is funny and she loves being tickled. She knows who Mom is now and if you are not mom and she is tired or hungry she will defintely let you know she is not okay with that. For the most part though she is still a very happy and content baby. We can;t get enough of her!

Allie at four months. Stats to come after her dr. appointment tomorrow

Here are some more cute pictures of our baby girl

John turns 2!

             Our little John boy turned 2 on August 3rd! I can't believe how fast he is growing up. 
It seems like overnight he became a little boy instead of a baby! Here is a little bit about our now two year old. John loves life! He is a very happy kid who still has a very mild and calm disposition. He can get crazy and run around but for the most part he just likes to sit and play with toys. He is still very snuggly and loves hugs and kisses from Mom and Dad and still enjoys sitting on our laps when we sit on the couch. His favorite games include hide n seek, chase, and catch. Some of his favorite activities are blowing bubbles (he seriously could sit outside and blow bubbles all day), playing with puzzles, singing and dancing, and taking care of his puppy. John is a big tease and he loves to take things and run off with them so you have to chase him down to get them. He is extremely shy and doesn't usually talk or look at anyone unless he knows them. He does warm up after a bit. He loves Allie and he is enjoying playing with her more and more. He has also made puppy his baby and he is often burping puppy or changing puppy's diaper. Things John can do include counting to 10, he can sing his ABC's, and he knows a few of his colors. John was also potty trained a week before he turned two. He still wears diapers for nap time and bed time but besides that he is in underwear. John is very polite and always says please and thank you. He also is very good at saying bless you and sorry. We love our little boy and have enjoyed the joy and laughter he has brought into our home! We are excited for him to continue learning and growing! 

John loves to help cook and play in the kitchen

John with his nursery friends

John enjoys helping his dad mow the lawn

John brushing puppy's teeth

John's birthday celebration


                I decided to just do one post about our adventures this summer. We have not done a whole lot but we did take a vacation to the west at the end of June beginning of July. It was a short trip lasting only 12 days including driving days. We spent 82 hours of that driving but we did enjoy the short time we had with both of our families. To begin our trip we spent time in Utah visiting Michael's family. His parents were in Utah as well so it was fun to be able to see all his family. On June 28th we blessed Allie in Idaho Falls at Jennifer's house. It was fun to be able to have some family there to share the special occasion with us. The Wednesday following the blessing we headed up to Heidi's house and began the Purcell 2015 reunion. We spent part of the reunion at Fairmont Hot Springs in Montana. It was a blast. There was swimming, mini golfing, frisbee golf, and so much more for us to do at the resort. We spent a lot of time at the pool which John loved. It was his first time going swimming in a pool and he loved it. He was even willing to jump in and go under for a split second. There was also a big hydrotube slide there and John and I went down a couple times together which he loved. He laughed the whole way down and was surprisingly not scared at all! We loved spending time with my family since it had been a long time since we had seen everyone. Unfortunately Nate's family was not able to make it so we did miss seeing them. Sadly after spending the 4th of July at Heidi's we headed home the next day. We were excited to be home and out of the car but we could have used another couple weeks with family! 
Some of the other fun things we have done this summer include going to the splash
park, the Bayou Country Children's Museum, and spending quality time together. It has been a hot summer here with less rain than we got last year but we have just learned to stay inside and play in the afternoons. We are excited for fall and winter weather to come! Here is some pictures from our trip and summer. 

Splash park fun

Father's day 2015

Trip to the west

Purcell Reunion fun!

This cutie loved the squirt gun!

The cutest girl at the Pool!

4th of July!

Matching cousins

cute kids :)

more splash park fun with Dad

Beginning of summer party/ goodbye party for the Christensens

John blowing bubbles at the childrens museum

Grocery shopping at the childrens museum this was one of his favorite exhibits

Family comes to town!

             Since we live so far away from family one of the best things ever is when people come to visit! We were so lucky to have my mom come in April and then Michael's sister Natalie and his parents and brothers come in May. Natalie came to visit mid-May and Mike's parents were planning on coming for Memorial day weekend but they ended up moving their trip up a weekend when Michael was called as Branch President here in Louisiana. The nice part about this was they caught the end of Natalie's trip so we were able to all be together for a couple days. We had a lot of fun visiting an alligator ranch and showing them what a true Louisiana boil was like. The weekend ended with Michael being ordained a High Priest by his Dad and set apart as the new Branch President. It was so fun to have everyone come visit and we cannot wait for our next visitors. We were very surprised when Michael was called as branch president and we are adjusting to life with him serving in that role. He is gone more at night and on Sundays but we cannot even begin to explain all of the blessings we have witnessed in our home since he was called. Somehow there seems to all the sudden be more hours in the day and we have more of a capacity and desire to serve others. We are so grateful for this challenge and opportunity to grow and learn. He is still trying to get it all figures out but we have seen his positive influence in the branch already. The Lord knows what is best for us and he always provides the way for us to follow His will. 

Here are some pictures from when we had family in town!

 At the alligator ranch

We love family!

Having some boiled crawfish, shrimp, and crab

After church the Sunday Michael was set apart 

Baby Allie Arrives!!!

Allie Elizabeth Albretsen was born on April 14th at 9:48 am. She was 
6lbs 13oz and was 19.5in long. We were so happy to have her join our little family. From the very very beginning Allie was an easy baby. My whole pregnancy was easy and delivery was the same. She did decide to make us learn patience and I was induced early in the morning (like 1am) on Tuesday. My due date was on the 12th. Besides that though she made everything easy! By 5:30 that morning I was in active labor and at 9:48 she was born and everything went smoothly! That is Allie she is very easy going. She only fusses when she is hungry or needs a diaper change. She is content as long and she is bundled up and cozy.
               We were so fortunate to have my Mom come to help us out. She flew in a few days before 
Allie was born so we were able to spend a couple days sightseeing since this was her first time to Louisiana. We went downtown and saw the French Quarter then the next day went to Oak Alley Plantation and took a tour of the Plantation house. It was fun to show her a couple of the things unique to this area. It was also great to have her here before Allie arrived so she could be here to watch John when we went to the hospital. John and her quickly became good friends and tears were shed when she had to leave. We loved our 10 days with her and cannot wait for her to visit again! 
                Adjusting to life with two kids is not too bad when your baby is an angel baby! We have loved every minute with our little Allie girl. John has loved Allie from the start which has been so nice. I was very worried about how he would handle having a new baby at home but he loves her! He is a great big brother and loves to go up and say "Hi cute girl" to her which is adorable. He enjoys laying next to her on the floor and wants to hold her often. He is also a big helper when it comes to getting the burp cloth or binky for mom. We are so blessed! 

Grandma Jeanne on the ferry ride to downtown New Orleans

Dad and Allie

Allie Elizabeth

John meeting Allie for the first time!

Our first family picture of the 4 of us

Headed home from the hospital

John and Allie spending time with Grandma Jeanne

John "holding" Allie

Playing together