Heavy October (A Downin Update)

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Welcome Back and Happy October!

It’s been an absolute treasure watching the seasons change after not experiencing it for years. I must say my wardrobe is not prepared for it since coming from Florida. A shopping trip is in the making once my savings get a bit plumper. The leaves are beginning to turn and the weather is absolute perfection! Sunny and 48 degrees. I missed the chill, snuggling by the fireplace, seeing the steam rising off a hot cup of tea, and wearing boots for more purpose than fashion.

IMG_1330Thomas, Diesel, and I ended up visiting two different farms for pumpkin picking and apple plucking. I hadn’t been to an orchard or grove since I lived in Pennsylvania and had gone to a place called Strawberry Acres. I found myself experiencing the same childlike giddiness as we traveled to each as if on a field trip.

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Our first stop was at the place Thomas remembered going to for pumpkins called Geisler Farms. Pumpkins everywhere as far as the eye could see! It was picture perfect and Diesel was prancing around like he owned the place. Sadly, they weren’t open for us to purchase our pumpkins. We still took the opportunity to take pictures as we always have Diesel take pumpkin pictures in October per our tradition.

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Our next adventure took us to Center Grove Orchard which some of my coworkers had recommended from experience. We found that Center Grove Orchard is only 15 minutes away from our house! Not only do they have an authentic pumpkin patch where you can select one right off the vine, but they also have an extraordinary apple orchard with 15 rows of several different kinds.

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The apple picking experience is started off with purchase of an apple bag of your size preference and then transport on a hay ride tractor out to the apple fields and pumpkin fields. The journey takes you past the scenic farmhouse views and other activities offered by the grove.

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After arriving at the rows of apple trees, we picked up our apple picking poles and headed off on our apple hunt. The trees were exploding with loads and clusters of apples for the taking! We soon loaded up on a fresh half peck of Golden Delicious.

IMG_1361 IMG_1362 IMG_1364   IMG_1374 IMG_1375Across from the apple fields was the pumpkin patch. A whole patch bountiful with pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors just waiting to be plucked from their vines. Thomas and I walked the rows keeping our eyes peeled for the perfect specimens. It wasn’t long before we found two that fit the bill for our front porch entry.

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It was the perfect first day of October and one I won’t soon forget. On another front of updates, my work in the three year old classroom at DMCS has been extremely taxing on my body and spirit. There are a group of five students that are extremely defiant and needing individualized methods of behavior management. The staff and I are clinging to hope and the Word. We need your prayer support as we figure out how to help our students struggling to behave. Please pray for God’s power and strength to rejuvenate us every new day and to touch our students’ hearts and minds to find joy in obedience and making the Lord happy in doing so. Thank you for each and every moment you devote to praying for us. I look forward to updating you in the future with good news. TiIl next time!

~The Mrs.

Kelly and Thomas379

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The Days Before Fall

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It’s been two and a half months since my last blog post. You can only imagine the happenings that have ensued over that span of time. Both blessings and struggles but ALL things wonderfully woven within the will of God. Where to begin?!

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My last day at Hubbell Homes came and went  In the midst of the transition, the Lord opened up a job opportunity for me at the very school I interviewed at previously and had not received the job due to my license processing. I am now officially a DMCS lion (Des Moines Christian School) preschool assistant teacher in the three year old classroom. I now have my foot in the door to bump up internally for an elementary teaching position next year Lord willing. I never saw myself as a permanent preschool teacher and thankfully my boss understands which direction my heart is really tugging me.

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Although preschool is out of my comfort zone, I still find myself attaching to my students and loving who God made them to be. However, It has not been “peachy” in any sense of the word. My class is composed of 15 little three year olds (2 girls and 13 boys). A handful of those boys feed on each other’s behavior whether good or bad. Unfortunately, bad behavior is the current trend. I pray daily for each of the kids and of course my own mental and physical strength. Preschool is absolutely not for the feint of heart, mind, or easily broken spirit. I so greatly appreciate and admire the people that dedicate themselves to nurturing children this age.

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On a more beamingly positive note, the church we were helping launch (Summitcreek Church) is hitting the ground running! I’ve been helping out in the Summitcreek kids department as the elementary grades captain and Thomas helps as a greeter and parking aid. I revel in the moments with my group where we gather around in a circle and talk about our praise and requests before we pray. There is something so internally thrilling about connecting real life circumstances from the kids to the stories in the Bible that we are learning about! The month of September we are learning all about Nehemiah’s story and the characteristic of initiative. Not only has there been a wealth of spiritual wisdom for the kids, but also for the leaders. The curriculum we are using (Orange curriculum) is structured in a way where both leaders and children learn powerful principles from what is taught.

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In regards to the home-front, we are currently in saving mode to acquire some of our larger design items:

  • Office Desk
  • Nightstands
  • Buffet Table
  • Bookcase
  • Patio Furniture
  • Couch
  • Etc…

It slowly is starting to feel like “home” now. One of the most wonderful things I love to do over the weekend is turn the fireplace on, throw on a Bing Crosby album to the record player, open the windows and snuggle with Diesel and Thomas. My heart is full knowing that I get to come home to a safe place in a wonderful area where we are finally putting down our roots as a family. Now that we have Wi-Fi, you can expect more frequent updates, recipe sharing, crafting, product reviewing, devotions, and so much more! Here’s a heads up for what’s in store:

  • (Groupon) Hand-Held Steamer Product Review
  •  Recipe Sharing: My Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie      Recipe Using Coconut Oil
  •  Downin Home Design Updates

Stay tuned friends! The Blog is back! wohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~ The Mrs.

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Rooted In June

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IMG_0774It’s so hard to believe that its been over a month since we’ve moved from Florida to Iowa. We’ve watched little corn saplings turn into stalks reaching about my shoulder height now. It’s been a month of hustle and bustle at Downin master HQ. We recently celebrated a wonderful Father’s Day with the family here in Ankeny. Dad ended up buying himself a brand spankin’ new grill that we fired up for a cookout as the littles ran around in the backyard fully enjoying the new swing set/playground that dad built for them two weeks prior.  IMG_0779It’s times like this with family that make me realize how much I live for the weekends. Lately, I’ve been so exhausted and running low on energy from all the transitional phases we’ve been expedited through and the ones that are completely opposite of “expedited”. Being denied the job at Des Moines Christian School and waiting what feels like an eternity for my Florida license of eligibility so I can apply for my Iowa teaching license, has opened me up for a summer job. I decided to use a temp agency by the name of Robert Half to hopefully snag a steady source of income for the summertime. I was immediately assigned a position at Hubbell Realty in West Des Moines. Hubbell_lg1Until the summer is over, I’ll be working in the Warranty/Customer Care department helping my coworkers out with projects and processing work orders from new home owners, contacting trade partners, and so on. Ironically, this is the same company that built the house Thomas and I made an offer on! I literally have processed our own paperwork because….IMG_0769Our offer was accepted!!! Through God’s abundant blessings made possible through my parents, grandparents, and other family members, we are now in the process of becoming new home owners and beginning another huge transition in our lives. This house charmed us the moment we walked into it. Even through the process of looking at other houses, we always came back to view this one and it felt like home every time. It was shortly after our offer was made that I ended up being assigned the position at Hubbell Realty in which I care for customers now just like us! I’m not sure what God had in mind by doing this, but it is definitely not coincidence and he has me at Hubbell temporarily for a purpose. I’m having a blast learning about the quality and design of my home and love that I’m learning something different that I can carry on through my lifetime. Here’s a look at our empty newly finished house! We close officially on July 15th!IMG_0772(Our Dream Home)IMG_0770(Stone Address Detail)

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My inner designer is teeming with ideas of how to make this house our home. I’ve decided that our overall theme is going to be “farmhouse chic”. I’ve been inspired by so many different designers but no one even comes close to stealing my heart more than Joanna and Chip Gaines. I would hand them the keys to our home and say “do what you do” and not break a sweat over if it would be phenomenal or not. Joanna’s style matches up exactly with what my vision is for our house. Not only are her and her husband amazing designers, but they are also sold out for God. Their show on HGTV, “Fixer Uppers” is addicting! Chip is hysterically awkward and funny  while Joanna keeps a level head. Their little family is adorable and I wish that Texas was closer because I would definitely shop at their store, Magnolia Market, 24/7. Luckily, Joanna’s store has a webpage. Check it out! Magnolia Market fixerupper-july14In other news, I’ve been exploring our new hometown and have fallen in love with the cute and quaint shops in downtown Des Moines. Luckily for me, my new friend Jessica is an amazing guide when it comes to East Village downtown. She recently took me to the cutest tea shop (Gong Fu Tea) I have ever had the pleasure of walking into. The tea menu is at least 15 pages and you don’t have to purchase the loose leaf to try it! They also have an authentic Japanese tea corner with floor cushions, tables, and relaxing water feature. IMG_0656Later that same week, I decided to venture out on my own with nothing but my camera and my wallet in hand. I was on a mission to find the cutest little shops and vintage finds. I was so happy to meet so many awesome small business owners and chat about the area amongst other things. One of my favorite stores by far was Porch Light. IMG_0642This business owner was so sweet as to let me take photos of her store for the blog. Porch Light is filled with rustic and modern charm. It all depends in what corner you look into! There’s everything from stationary, recipe cards, aprons, soy candles, furniture, frames, and dishware. You could get lost in this store for hours looking at all the different kinds of products. IMG_0640I also had the pleasure of finding a cute little antique store whose owner was from Pennsylvania! She knew exactly where my old hometown of Allentown was and the little places I remember eating at. I ended up buying an old reclaimed farm window for 45 bucks. I’m planning on making this either a weekly menu board using my chalkboard paint recipe to cover the six separate window segments or use it as the focal point for the command center planned for the office. The owner told me that whatever I choose to do with it she’d love to see the finished product and gave me her contact information to send her pictures of the end product. IMG_0643If books and good coffee at the same time are essential to you, then there is a shop specifically suited towards those needs. Plain Talk Books & Coffee in downtown Des Moines radiates a calm and peaceful vibe the moment you walk through the door. There is an ample selection of good literature both old and new to browse through, read, and even purchase. The employees were very personable and the selection of coffee and treats was great.IMG_0654The final stop of my solo exploration of downtown Des Moines lead me to the Capitol Building. The top of this enormous structure is actually plated with real gold. It definitely took my breath away and serves as an awesome picture taking spot. Although it was fun exploring downtown by myself, I found our next adventure with our friends even more so!IMG_0659The downtown Des Moines farmers market is one of the hugest farmers markets I’ve ever been to. Multiple streets are closed down for the event and you can find just about anything organically possible and more!

IMG_0662Not only was it fun for the humans, but it was also fun for the four legged variety of life especially since Chris’ sister and her husband have their own dog bakery vending spot! We decided to take both of our dogs on a stroll through the market and wow!…They were so popular! Here’s some of our highlights!IMG_0664 IMG_0665 IMG_0666 IMG_0667 IMG_0668 IMG_0669 IMG_0670 IMG_0671 IMG_0672 IMG_0674 IMG_0676 IMG_0677It seemed like we only had been through half the shops by the time we ended up leaving. Thankfully, the market extends every weekend all the way to the month of October! Every day that I go out and explore more of Iowa the more I fall in love with it. In the meantime of waiting on the Lord to direct our next steps,IMG_0699We are just going to enjoy the moments as they come to us. IMG_0688 IMG_0704 IMG_0728 IMG_0732 IMG_0782 IMG_0785 IMG_0786 IMG_0792 IMG_0805 IMG_0811 IMG_0812 IMG_0921 IMG_0923We will continue to keep you all updated as much as possible through the completion of our move. Once we get settled in, recipes, crafts, and design projects will start up again on the blog! I’m so excited to start lighting the fire into my old routine again! Till next time dear readers!

~The Downin Three IMG_0054

The Great Ankeny Transition

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IMG_0531The great Midwest has embraced the Downin three into its abundance of adventure, soft grass, and promise of opportunity! God blessed us with safe travels up to our new hometown and with our family who are housing us as we search for a place that we can call home. The adjustment phase to living in Iowa has been a pleasant one. IMG_0440

IMG_0443Diesel has jumped in head first and now has a new buddy to play with. Our friends, the Schreiers, adopted a sweet puppy named Marvin who Diesel loves to play with! It hasn’t been easy finding a dog that could match Diesels endless energy, but Marvin definitely gives Diesel a run for his money. They had their first play date recently and ran each other ragged!

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When Diesel isn’t busy draining his energy with Marvin, you can find him running around the yard with our darling nice Jade who has taken the biggest liking to her furriest new house guest. It has been so wonderful watching how much Jade has grown up. My heart glows with warmth just thinking about the amazing woman she will become and the specific plan God has for her. For now, it’s just fun watching her deeply enjoy childhood and live carefree.

IMG_0468 IMG_0481As for my amazing parents in law, I have been enjoying every minute I get to spend with them and my other Iowan family members. Its been so helpful to have their support during our transition back to Iowa. With my mother in law’s help , I’ve been learning all the good shopping places for clothes, groceries, and home décor. She also drove me all the way to my interview and waited in the car for an hour and a half till it was over. I’m so grateful that she did because after that interview I needed some extra emotional support!

IMG_0462IMG_0450If you’re wondering readers, the interview with Des Moines Christian School was pretty intense. Good, but super nerve-wracking. Everyone at the school was just wonderful! They made me feel at ease as soon as I came in. The anxiety from the interview came from being asked questions in front of a panel. All the teachers and specialists I met were so kind and even prayed for me before we began the questioning process, but I stumbled to find the words I was looking for and paused frequently. As a perfectionists , this was clearly not okay with me and I was determined to show them I was capable of teaching through the mini-lesson in math they asked me to come up with. schoolI set up for my math mini-lesson in the same conference room that I just had my interview in. I decided to do a lesson on parts of a whole for a third grade position in the school. I had a word problem up on the board that read, “Mrs. Downin wants to share her Hershey bar with all of her students. What fraction of the Hershey bar will each student receive?” On each section of the conference table where the students sat, I put a bag filled with a cup of play dough, an unwrapped Hershey bar, and a toothpick. As five selected third graders made their way into the room, one of the boys remarked, “This doesn’t look like a math lesson.” I was very happy to hear that because I like to incorporate different modes of learning and manipulatives into all the subject areas. As I went through the word problem with them I had them take out their  candy bar and use it as a manipulative to solve the problem. However, the pace at which the students understood was through the roof because in only two short days they would be out for the summer and therefore have learned every concept. I struggled until the activity section where the students rolled a fraction dice and whatever fraction the dice landed on was what they needed to show me by rolling out their play dough into a pancake shape and cutting into it by using a toothpick. All I know is that it’s in the Lord’s hands. Whatever the outcome, God is still faithful.IMG_0453Speaking of, Thomas has been doing exceptionally well in his new position at Bankers Trust and is continually encouraged in his day to day training and absorption of new employee material. The Mr. is one hard working man and I know that if I were to walk into a bank I’d want hubby as my teller. God is using his jovial spirit and dedicated work ethic to bring glory to His name. We are so grateful for the position that he’s been placed in. In terms of being “placed”, Thomas and I have fallen in love with an Ankeny Ranch House and are in the process of trying to make an offer on it.Screenshot (68)Not only is this ranch house of our dreams located to all of our loved ones in Ankeny, but it’s also close to Thomas’ workplace and several surrounding elementary schools! We believe we could live in this home for years and years and grow into it as we establish a family. It is a three bedroom three bathroom home with a beautifully open floor plan.Screenshot (71)Right from the moment you walk in through the entry way, you can see straight to the backyard past the kitchen and living room with a cozy fireplace (Diesels favorite Midwest napping spot). The high ceilings and beautiful wood flooring add a charm and sophistication that we greatly enjoy.

Screenshot (69)Then there’s the kitchen. Beautifully hung white cabinetry adorn the walls with updated appliances and a sturdy granite countertop. Kohler faucets and sinks come standard throughout the home and have actually gotten me excited to do the dishes! However, our friends gave us some pretty good advice about becoming too attached before making an offer. It’s not uncommon to have a house snatched beneath your feet in this market. It was very hard to hear, but needed to keep things in perspective. For now, we pray that the Lord will continue helping us get our foot in the door, but if the outcome turns out to be something different we will live in a place all the better for us according to the Lord’s plan. IMG_0586In other news, our Downin family of three was recently reunited with the Downs family in a surprise visit to announce our permanent stay in the state of Iowa! For those of you who don’t know the Downs family, Pastor Jon, the father of this family, married Thomas and I and two of my sisters in law when they were married! Tyler, the second oldest son, has been Thomas’ friend since they were wee little twerpy boys and was in our bridal party at our wedding. They are basically our second family and we love them all so dearly. After introducing our furbaby,  Diesel became the focal point of all the Downs children’s affections and as you can tell from the picture above Diesel is being completely neglected 😉IMG_0548Hours of playing ensued. Diesel had a blast fetching multiple frisbees thrown into the tall Alfalfa grass and hopping around trying to find his way out. Not only did Diesel make friends with the Downs children, but he also made friends on the Downs’ farm.IMG_0578The cows are Diesel’s new favorite animal to play with. He would run around the fence that they were enclosed in and try to get them to chase him. One of the cows understood this and pranced around following Diesel wherever he dashed along the fence. Another favorite new friend Diesel made was Gunner, one of two farm dogs on the property.IMG_0563IMG_0560Gunner is a Hungarian breed of dog and one of the biggest sweethearts I have ever met! It was fun to see these two play around. It got me thinking how well Diesel would do with the other farm dog juggernaut. IMG_0581After seeing the immense size of this dog, we all agreed that Diesel would probably be a bite sized snack for Juggernaut and it would be safer not to introduce them.

IMG_0596After an emotionally draining week (In the best way possible), it was so refreshing to get out with the family and enjoy the beautiful Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines! The Guzmans were also able to join us and it was so much fun watching my nieces and nephew feed goats and llamas rediscover their favorite animals.IMG_0608 IMG_0610 IMG_0621 IMG_0628 IMG_0632 IMG_0633 IMG_0634 IMG_0636Anyways, it’s been quite a journey so far and we look forward to updating you all on the developments with the house situation and outcome of the interview in the near future! In the meantime, please continue to keep us in your prayers. Till next time!

~The Mrs.IMG_0465& The Mr. & DieselIMG_0304

The New Chapter

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IMG_0006 (2)Hello readers!

You might be seeing a lot more of the Downins on the blog before the big move. Why? I (The Mrs.) have recently graduated from Florida Southwestern State College with my Bachelors degree in Elementary Education! With no critical tasks on the horizon, I am freed up more on the weekends to catch you dear readers up with the Downin day to day. At least until a job presents itself.

IMG_0029The journey to this point was arduous to say the least, but so many things in life that are accomplished rarely taste as sweet without being arduous to an extent. My support team consisted of my husband who denied himself constantly to put my needs at the forefront of each and every day, my family who put so much effort into keeping my eyes fixed on things that were true and tag teaming encouraging and uplifting advice, and my SOE (School of Education) family of friends and professors who kept me from giving up foremost on myself.

IMG_0014Thank you doesn’t seem to be a strong enough phrase to express the gratitude I have towards these people. I so greatly look forward to seeing where each individual path of life takes my dear friends and professors. I love to picture all the children that my friends are going to impact for the good and how many lives will be changed through the means of a solid education and strong classroom community. I do intend to journal throughout my first year via the blog with hopes that it will serve as a good reflective tool. I believe it won’t hurt to record my humble beginnings.

IMG_0170Speaking of humble beginnings, I was so incredibly blessed by my bestie Manders with all sorts of gifts with personal messages about how the item is helpful and what she has used it for within her own classroom. I feel like I will be carrying a little piece of her with me into my future classroom and somehow that one thought alone brings me great comfort and encouragement. I encountered the same feeling when being blessed by my other dearest friend Charisa with a beautiful classroom gift!

IMG_0171With so many resources ready to be used, we are greatly looking forward to the new chapter of our lives in Iowa! Recent events have greatly sped up our moving date. Thomas was offered a different job with benefits that would better suit us as a family unit. However, the job requires him to leave Florida to drive up on the 12th of May which is literally within two days time! Later this week, I also have a phone appointment scheduled with the elementary principal of Des Moines Christian School regarding positions and openings. Prayer would be greatly appreciated in my job search for the school where I’m meant to work at.

IMG_0087In the meantime, we’ve been frantically getting all of our ducks in a row. The big daunting project of painting the apartment back to its original white color is almost over but has been incredibly tiring. I still can’t say that I regret painting it in the first place. The homey feeling and warmth the paint color added to our little apartment was worth it. Not only will Thomas be leaving in two days, but so will my little fur-baby Diesel! I’m trying to spend as much time with him as possible as well as so many others who I’ll be missing terribly when I leave.

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One of the many people I will miss is this little one; Emmy! A couple of weeks ago my sister announced that she was expecting again and that Emma was going to be a big sister! My sister’s due date is December 25th. In hopes of spending some quality time with friends and family, we threw a little get together to celebrate the opening of our new chapter in life. The day was filled with food, games, a walk around the lake. IMG_0128IMG_0096 IMG_0101 IMG_0122 IMG_0130 IMG_0136For now, everything is falling into place. It seems so surreal to be undergoing such major life changes all at the same time. My sense of adventure has escalated tenfold at the idea of a new jobs, new state, and living in an actual house. We will keep you all posted on the house hunt and when we eventually have a new address. Until next time, happy summertime!

~ The Downins

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March Update: In Like A Lion Out Like A Lamb

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Happy April! Two months snuck past us without one single update! Don’t worry. There is plenty of news and updates to go around in this one post alone. Life at the newlywed Downin headquarters has been bustling with new opportunities on the horizon…IN IOWA! Our official last day in Florida will be June 8th, 2015.

IMG_3408SURPRISE! WE ARE MOVING! Diesel is ready to tackle Iowa. Over spring break in March, a close friend of ours (Bry Bry Rohwer) helped Thomas get set up with an interview during the week we were visiting. Things went very well and they asked when Thomas could start. For months we had been praying for God to open up opportunities for both of us whether in Iowa or in Florida. We believe this is the next step in our lives and hope to put down roots in Iowa where we can grow and flourish as a family. Until then, there is a lot of work to be done. Lots of packing, paperwork, house hunting, and getting certified to teach in our new home state.

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In other news, graduation is walking towards me at a steady pace. March was filled with wonderful memories with my internship class and I feel myself tearing up every time I think about my last day with them on April 24th. Even though the students get crazy sometimes and make my mentor and I occasionally want to pull our hair out, they are amazing little people and create so much laughter and joy in the classroom. The only thing I will miss more than them is the amazing team members I have come to know and love!

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These women as well as some that weren’t in the picture have given me amazing and valuable advise about teaching. My mentor has reignited my passion for the profession just from witnessing the love she has for her kiddos. God has truly blessed me by putting me at Harns Marsh Elementary as a second chance. He has also blessed with amazing professors at FSW that fought hard to see me through to this point. No one has fought harder to get me to the end of internship than my supervisor Joyce Rollins. She is the epitome of a driven educator and I am grateful for being placed in her cohort.

In other exciting March news, there is a new “Mrs.” walking in the streets these days!

IMG_3341We were honored to attend the wedding of Donna and Neil Magnussen. Donna has been in my life ever since high school where I befriended her daughter Charisa in what has now been a ten year friendship. Donna has been a huge blessing and prayer warrior in my life and has been like a third mother in my eyes. God has given her the man of her dreams and is going to bless them in so many ways! Congratulations to the Magnussens!   IMG_3279

As March came to a close and April sprung up, we gathered as a family on Easter to share in the Resurrection of our Lord with food and fun! Diesel and Emma scavenged for eggs, Jon and Thomas shot bb’s at the crocodiles in the lake, and the ladies sat in the grass talking in the breeze and sun.

IMG_3442 IMG_3444 IMG_3456 IMG_3482 IMG_3487 IMG_3492 Lastly, before the magic of spring break came to a close, I finally got the opportunity to catch up with the future Mrs. Peterson! (aka Manders) Manders, being my friend of ten years, decided to spoil me with a belated birthday gift of treating me to the bubble room for lunch and cake! Needless to say, we might’ve gone overboard with the cake.

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IMG_3520Thanks for reading! We will keep you posted on our move and on other new updates. Stay tuned!

~The Mrs.

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January Update

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I apologize to my fervent readers for the delay in our Downin “day to day”. Life as it would seem has plunged the Mr. and I into a series of challenging events that take heap tons of time and energy away from the weekly indulgence of sharing our life with you all on the blog. A lot of prayer has been bombarding Heaven’s gates from both myself and countless others of our friends and family. So many things have happened since last posting so I’d like to share the untold stories of December leading up into the New Year.

IMG_2402December was a wonderful month filled with the end of my college courses, time spent with family, and time spent with each other. Although we dearly missed the Downin side of our family over the holidays, we enjoyed and cherished the memories spent in Florida with my family.

IMG_2431 IMG_2440 IMG_2442 IMG_2579Previously, at the end of my second practicum, I had gotten into an automobile accident which damaged my car in several expensive ways. The air conditioning ceased to work, the front lights shattered, the front hood bent up to expose the side of the engine, and the automated window system became inactive. Needless to say, it was time in our book to start looking for a new car and not just any car. I wanted something that would keep me safe and something that we could continue to use once we start a family. My father and mother (bless their hearts) decided they would meet me halfway on the price for a new 2015 RAV 4. After months of researching and stressful visits to car lots, this was a Godsend and we gratefully excepted the kind gesture from my parents and thank God daily from relieving that stressful circumstance from our lives.

untitledA day after we had signed the contract and other such paperwork for our RAV 4, Thomas (The Mr.) was on his way home from work driving his Chevy Impala and had a major collision with the person in front of him . The crash was intense enough to have the airbags deploy leaving my poor husband very shaken and sore. The car was not in any state to drive and had to be towed to the local Chevy dealer for further inspection. Thomas had to rent a car to get to and from work on time seeing as how our schedules did not seem flexible enough for carpooling. I would soon start internship and have a very early morning schedule. With all of this bogging down the later half of our lovely December, we decided it was time to do something fun and special together to get away from all the chaos. My dear cousin Joy and her husband Felipe suggested meeting halfway in Charleston, South Carolina for some quality time and a New Year celebration via a 20’s themed party held downtown. It was a refreshing time for both of us and we ended up not wanting to leave.

IMG_2760 IMG_2761 IMG_2767 IMG_2769 IMG_2789 IMG_2793 IMG_2796 IMG_2802 IMG_2826 IMG_2830 IMG_2839 IMG_2850 IMG_2851 IMG_2902 IMG_2903 IMG_2909 IMG_2964It was so extremely hard coming back to reality after our magical time exploring Charleston.  We’d be coming back to our car issues and for me personally, internship. Internship has been a very rude awakening for me about how impossible it is to be the perfect teacher. I had gone into this huge life change off of my anxiety medication. The placement I was in sped up the process of a rapid plunge into anxiety depression with days and nights filled with panic attacks, loss of sleep and loss of appetite. I recognized how desperately I needed to return to my morning readings of the Word and seek the Lord out when I lie awake in bed unable to sleep. I’m becoming more rooted in the Lord’s promises and comfort, but transformation out of chronic worry is like walking through a long valley. It’s a slow process but a wonderfully humbling experience to kneel before God incredibly broken both physically and mentally. The Lord delivered me out of my hardship through the compassion of my supervisor who helped find me a new placement in a nurturing environment.

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It was like the reset button had been pressed and I was still nervous but determined to make the gift of my second chance work out. I started in my new placement the last week of January and I feel like I belong in this classroom. My confidence in myself is slowly returning and I’m getting healthier from starting back on my medication in tandem with such a nurturing placement. There was a time during the first week in my first placement when I was seriously considering the option of quitting the program. I praise God for the second chance and for restoring my joy for the profession. Thank you all for your prayers and continual prayer. Your compassion is overwhelming and uplifting to both me and the Mr. I hope this encourages others walking through a valley right now. Even when you feel like your prayers are just hitting the ceiling and that your joy is completely bereft, keep seeking the Lord daily and find peace in His promises. His Word is truth and truth will change you if you believe and accept it. Till next post, stay strong in faith and abundant in joy.

~The Mrs.

Kelly and Thomas566