"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Moving On and Saying Good Bye

I started this blog as a 25 year old young woman, and now I end it as 34 year old middle aged wife and mother. It's harder to think of things to say now, but being concise is definitely a virtue that I could do to improve on. I used to have a lot of opinions on a lot of things, but with age, comes wisdom, and I hope to be more selective in how I use my voice. The fact is, this blog was started for me, but now, I am fully a Wannderer, and we really need a blog for what our family has become. We are us now, Jett is the cherry on our sundae, and this feels like a fitting time to say good bye to storilayne.blogspot.com.

With every good bye, there is a new hello. So cheesy but true. I am not just saying good bye to this silly blog, WE are saying good bye to our life in Midland, TX, and moving away and onto a new country. We are becoming Wannderers once again. So hello New Delhi, India! We are so excited to meet you.

If you want to follow us on our new adventure, I will be blogging at thewannderers.blogspot.com (or http://www.thewannfamily.com/). I am told that I will have a lot of help in my new home, so here's hoping that that also makes for more blogging time.

It's definitely going to be a change from sleepy little Midland, TX!

But first, a proper farewell to our beloved little town.

I did not want to move to Midland, a fact that I made clear many a time. But overtime it has become home, and I will cherish the many friendships that I made here, the community that God gave us, and the fact that our two littlest babes were born here. Midland has become home, and if we ever return to the states with my husband's company, I hope that we return here. My girls have had a magical childhood, in a way that not many kids are able to nowadays. Even Zoya, at 3 years old, can run wild up and down our street. I leave the door open and listen to her playing with our neighbor friends, and any parent will tell you, there is no better feeling that the one you get when your children are happy and free ranging. This is truly a wonderful town, and if people go on and on about how ugly and boring it is, that tells you a little bit about them, and nothing about Midland. There's a great deal of beauty here, and we are never bored.

So... TTFN, Midland. Thank you Lord for the gift of our time here!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

That Time We Had a Son

So it's been a while since I visited this space of mine, but the arrival of our sixth and final Wannderer seemed important enough to dust off this old blog for.

Jett Nicholas Wann was born on June 29th, 2017 in Odessa, TX. As with our first and second girls, we didn't know if he was a HE until his arrival. I will never forget the joy and shock on Nick's face when he peeked over the curtain and exclaimed "It's a BOY!" How I wish that I had been able to capture his face at that moment, but for always, it's a memory that's just my own.

I promise you that we would have been just as thrilled over the arrival of another beautiful daughter, lest you think that we only had another because we coveted a son. But as with all of our children, Jett arrived and our first thought was... well hello there little one, YOU were what was missing! We were not meant to be a "girl family" after all.

Isla was especially happy about Jett because when asked, she always said that she wanted a brother because she has "too many sisters." :) Gemma adores Jett, and loves to make him smile. Zoya seems to like him, but is struggling with not being our baby anymore. She was a pretty amazing family baby, so I don't blame her. Jett is going to be alternately bossed and spoiled by his three other mamas, I have no doubt.

I have been treasuring in my heart these last three months with my newborn. These sweet, squishy, tiny baby times have always been my favorites, newborns are just so sweet! It's exciting and a little sad, entering this new chapter of being done with pregnancy and babies, but I am excited to see what God has planned for us in our next phase.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So Long Summer

So I had a good start on a summer recap post and then I lost it! So I will try my best to match what I had.

Summer was nice and busy. Maybe too busy. Last summer was so glorious that it was tough to beat, but I still think we had a nice time.

Isla did two VBSs this summer and it's safe to say she's hooked! We have the cd from her first one and she likes to put it on and bust a move!
One day while Isla was at VBS we went to a friend's farm to see all of her animals. I'm sad Isla missed it, but Gemma loved seeing the horses and chickens and goats and things.

Earlier in the summer we went on about 1000 nature walks around our neighborhood park, and they were just great! We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

We chased bunnies :). We are on the edge of town so we get a lot of wildlife. Some of it's not so good (like scorpions - ewwwww), but we like all the bunnies running around.

We spent quite a bit of time at Midland parks. Midland recently renovated quite a few of them and they are amazing! 

We went to our neighborhood pool some, but not too much. For one thing it's freezing, even when it's 110 degrees out (something about a wet bulb temperature) and it was hard to handle two nonswimmers without Nick. 

At the beginning of July we did a tour of Texas and visited friends in San Antonio, my parents in Houston and Nick's parents in Temple. Nick wasn't with us for the Houston part and my parents treated us to a few days at the Woodlands Resort and Conference Center! It was perfect.
We also saw my Nana and went out on her boat... which she has now sold, ahem.
I've never seen anyone hate anything as much as Zoya hated her life jacket.
Isla is finally getting the hang of bike riding without training wheels. We stole Gemma's bike because it's smaller than Isla's and that did the trick. Nick worked and worked with her so patiently. He is the best!
Towards the end of summer, my cousin Hunter moved to Midland and moved in with us! He will probably only be here a bit longer, but we love having him and the girls enjoy him so. This picture is from the Midland Airsho (no w). He's a great sport with the girls.
Probably our most favoritest thing we discovered was the FREE summer concert series at our local museum. We heard about it our first summer, but we just never made it before and we were totally missing out! The bands were pretty great the girls had so much fun running free with their friends. I'm so sad it's over.
I have a few more posts to do on summer, but in the meantime, to quote Gemma, I am "juthst tho tho thorry" it's over!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Weekend in Balmorhea

We enjoyed camping in Palo Duro canyon so much earlier this summer, that we were anxious to try again and see if we couldn't repeat our fun! Balmorhea state park is a place we've visited our previous two summers as day trips and we love it. It's a very beautiful and uniquely west Texas place.

This time we went with family friends from Midland and Nick's sister and her family decided to join us from Houston. Between the four families we had 11 kids between the ages of 6 1/2 and 8 months old! This kids free ranged around our campsite and had so much fun being a little less supervised than usual.

We also had a lot of cousin antics happening! Nick's sister has Bear of course, and then three girls who are close in age to all my three girls. Bear is very outnumbered!

We spent the first night just checking out the state park since the swimming pool was closed. It's small but there's a creek and a playground, and it kept the kids busy.

Day 2 we swam in the morning and evening. Gemma and Zoya actually got in the cold water on the first day.

We then took a break in the afternoon to go and check out the Davis mountains and the McDonald observatory. This long car ride provided a break from the 111!!! degree heat and also helped the kids get a much needed nap. We would really like to return to the observatory for a nighttime star tour in the future. I ❤️ west Texas skies! Especially at night. Because of no light pollution, the stars really are big and bright.

Here's Gemma bonding with her cousin twin Logan that evening. There were some very, very large turtles in the creek beyond the swimming pool.

Day 3 was all swimming and getting ready to head home. It was also a day for daredevil antics off the high dive. Nick actually flipped! And brave Isla and her little cousin buddy, Hallie even went off of the high dive. Here they are waiting in line.

Proof they jumped!

They also jumped off of the low dive together, which was so cute.

Scuba babies! Cousins Cora and Zoya are only two months apart.

Little Gemmie-Lou refused to get into the water on day 2. Also the floaties mean that I have completely given up on her swimming independently for now. Our year of lessons were essentially wasted, which is a bummer because even though we love our instructors, we won't be able to continue lessons for at least the next year. Isla is a very strong swimmer so that's good!

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend away with family and friends! We will definitely be doing it again soon.

Friday, July 31, 2015

My Isla at 5

Here’s a little update of Isla at 5, while she’s still a prekindergartian!

Birthday Party

Isla’s birthday was in April, and we had a rainbow themed birthday. From the minute her Clifford birthday ended last year, she knew that she wanted a rainbow birthday. She is very into rainbows lately, and we are also slowing redoing her and Gemma’s shared room in a rainbow theme. It’s a perfect symbol for our time, God’s promise to earth and reminder of His patience in our sin, and I love that she loves them so much. Her birthday was held at our local bouncy castle place and everyone had a lot of fun. I only took a few very bad pictures! I just got so busy chatting with the other moms who were there. The important thing is that Isla loved it! And of course she ended up having like 5 birthday parties – a little family one, a grandparents one and also we did a few cupcakes at her school, which she loved.


Doctor’s Visit

Isla combined her 5 year well check a little late with Zoya’s 9 month. Here are her stats -

Height: 42 in (33 %)

Weight: 44 lb 12 oz (75%)

Everything looked great!


Isla continues to be a very sweet girl, who tries hard to be obedient… except when she isn’t! She isn’t perfect, but she’s very good, it’s also very easy to coax her out of her very, very rare cranky moods.

She’s also very empathetic and sensitive, which I love. I bought her “the Amy Carmichael Story”, which is a child’s version about the missionary responsible for freeing many Indian children from slavery. Nick and I looked back while we were driving one day, and we saw her crying her eyes out over a child being left at the Hindu Temple by her mother. We asked her if she wanted us to change the DVD and she said no. It was very sweet.IMG_1253IMG_1252

I appreciate how patient she usually is with her sisters. They don’t fight much, and most of the time they are unbelievable cute together. There are so many mornings where I come in and find Isla in Gemma’s crib playing together. The other day Gemma only wanted Isla to put her to bed at nap time, and then she wanted Isla to pray with her. My heart pretty much melted. She’s also still Zoya’s biggest admirer and loves all things having to do with our blue-eyed baby.


She’s very tenacious and Nick and I try very hard to encourage her to try things and not be afraid to fail. I wouldn’t say that she is competitive, but she really hates to lose! She used to have a little meltdown when she’d lose at a game, but she’s getting better at understanding that no one wins all the time, it’s ok to lose, and you can always try again.

She’s still active and busy and can fight sleep like no child I’ve ever seen. Right now she sleeps from about 8:30 am to 8 am or so, but it’s summer so we are pretty flexible. She does a quiet time in the afternoons where she reads books or colors while her sisters nap, and it’s very helpful to me. She is one of those kids that gets kind of manic and crazy when she doesn’t rest or get a good nights sleep.

Isla is kind of obsessed with Doc McStuffins, and I encourage it. Ever since she started watching the show she’s decided she wants to be a Dr. Mom like Doc’s mom! Before that she would always tell me that she only wanted to be a mom (“mom, you’re only a mom”) in spite of my constant encouragement that she could be an artist or an engineer or just whatever, and my explanation of college and college degrees. I had a SAHM growing up, and I was pretty ambitious at 5, so I never thought that my girls would feel limited in their options. However, Isla had prior to Doc McStuffins been so resistant to the idea of a vocation, that for the first time since quitting my job, I thought about going back to work to show her what else she could do, even though I don’t want to. Anyway, since Doc came along, I don’t have to worry. I’m telling you folks, the mommy guilt happens no matter what “kind” of mom you are, and thank you to working moms who are showing my girls the big things that they can do. I’d like to add that Isla is welcome to be a SAHM if she wants to, but she will get a degree (and a husband) before that that happens.

School and Activities

Right now we are in the throws of getting ready for school! She is so excited. We have her back pack and lunch box – Doc McStuffins of course, new clothes, new shoes, and school supplies. Nick and I were able to take just her to Wal Mart for her school supplies, and it was so sweet. You’d think that she was the first kid to go to school ever. Anyone who’s come into the house since then gets to see everything we bought with a detailed explanation (“see, the pencils are already sharpened”). She’s so proud, and I’m enjoying watching her and her excitement.


(Excuse the mess, we had just returned home from a two plus week trip!)

She’s doing really well with reading. We don’t know what level she can read at, but I’m consistently amazed at the books she’s able to pick up and read. When we were at Nick’s mom’s house, she picked up his first grade primer and read it without difficulty. Not bad for a kid that’s not even in kindergarten! I am proud of Isla, and I hope that she keeps working as hard as she can. We encourage her to work hard and not to give up, and I think it shows. I can’t wait for her to start math at her new school. All kindergarteners start a first grade math program, and just from the little bit that I’ve done with her, she seems able to pick up mathematics very quickly. We think she will thrive once she actually starts at school.

ALSO, I am so excited that we chose a university-model school. I think that Isla and I will do well as teacher and student. I’ve had a lot of moms tell me that they couldn’t homeschool, and everyone has a different dynamic with their kids, which is ok. In our case, I see it working really well for Isla and me, and I think we will grow closer. Right now we are reading through chapter books together. We’ve done Charlotte’s Web, Matilda, and we are working on an abridged version of Anne of Green Gables. I’m really enjoying our time with this.

Next fall it’s Awanas and ballet and tap only! I’m so glad that we settled on ballet and tap. Not only is it not a huge time commitment, it’s also not a huge financial commitment, which is nice. I also think that Isla has an aptitude for dance over all of the other activities that she’s tried so I’m so glad that we’ve settled on that. I think that I may try to get her into piano lessons once we see how the fall schedule goes! If we can fit it in without too much stress, then I think we will try it. Her Boo (Nick’s mom) spent some time teaching her songs when she went to visit her earlier this summer and she really enjoyed it, and seemed to catch on quickly.

That’s an update on our getting sooo big first born! We love our girl and we are so proud of her. She is definitely one of the many blessings that we know we don’t deserve.

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Pure and Undefiled Religion

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