Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Does God scrapbook?

I've just about finished getting the scrap-stuff organized in our schoolroom/craft room. It's taken a while because the girls see me go in there and they just HAVE to follow me, because me getting out my scrapbook supplies and the finished stuff seems to beckon a look-through session. They love, as do I, to look through old photos and read the stories about each picture or event. Especially the ones that preceded them; considering there's a twelve-year gap between Kelsey and Morgan, there was a LOT of living that preceded the little girls. They're just fascinated to look and see what life was like before they arrived in our family. Quite frankly, that's one of the main reasons I've taken on scrapbooking. Besides it being a wonderful creative outlet, my scrapbooks tell a story when I can't be there to tell it myself, and I hope that the pages I've chronicled will live on for generations, telling stories of what things were like for our little (haha!) family.

Listening to Christmas music and putting away scrapbooks got me to thinking...do you think God has a scrapbook for us to look at once we get to heaven? I really hope so, because there are a LOT of things I'd like to see. I'd just love to see God-pictures of the newborn baby Jesus and the manger scene, or what that basket that baby Moses was put in looked like, because my modern-day American brain thinks of baskets as being not exactly seaworthy vessels! I would love to actually set my eyes on Eden, to see what glorious perfection Adam and Eve lived in before sin infected the world; I want to know what Peter, James, and John saw on the mount of transfiguration. I would love to look into the ark--wouldn't you?

Then again....maybe a scrapbook wouldn't be a good thing. Too many tears for God to dry, because we would be far more aware of just how LOST most of the world is....when we're in heaven, it'll all be over--no more second chances, no more arguing about what "truth" is, no more false doctrine....it will all be done away with. Maybe we just won't want to see the day Cain killed Abel; we won't want to view all the faces of those in Sodom and Gomorreh.....or San Diego, or Milwaukee, or Mobile, or anywhere else. Too much to handle.

What do you think? What do you want to see in heaven's scrapbook???

Monday, December 21, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, 12/21/2009

For Today… December 21, 2009
Outside my window... it is dark. I got a "late" start on blogging today, obviously. We were supposed to have clouds moving in, but I can actually see some very bright stars, so where those clouds have gone...your guess is as good as mine!
I am thinking... that I really should get started on wrapping the closet full of presents, but...I also REALLY need to get some rest. My body is not happy with me for letting myself get this tired.
I am wearing... jeans, my "I hate orange" Crimson Tide t-shirt, and socks.
I am thankful for... having all of the children home for the holidays; we will not be so fortunate next year, when we have our oldest oceans away in Afghanistan. Sigh...military life has some pretty depressing downsides.
I am remembering... when our older two were littler and life was so much less complicated. New changes, new phases, new challenges. Also remembering my sweet great-grandmother, who passed from this life seventeen years ago next month. Tomorrow is (it seems odd to say "would have been") her birthday. I still miss you, Mamaw!
I am going... to take a bubble bath and go to bed. Still a few days, the wrapping can wait.
On my mind... a thousand things, all at once. This time of the day is not the best for blogging, it seems!
Noticing that... it is so much more peaceful around here when the schedule is followed and things get DONE. Ah, order brings peace.
Pondering these words... "What is your life? It is but a vapor."
From the kitchen… lingers the smell of pizza. Tomorrow, Jon's favorite--country fried steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy.
Around the house... we're littered with remnants of Bible class craft projects (a regular Monday thing) and unpacking continuing here and there. The girls are all tucked into bed, Monday Night Football is playing in the background, and Pete is sitting next to me on his computer searching job listings. He starts his outprocessing next week for his retirement! WOAH!!!
One of my favorite things: family. Having all of us in one place. Missing the extended family, but there's just not much we can do about that right now. Anyone wanna buy my parents' house so we can move them up to Huntsville?
A few plans for the rest of the week: making cookies, hanging pictures, wrapping presents, installing closet organizers, building gingerbread houses....intertwining the everyday with the holidays.
From my picture journal... the girls making "tile angels" on the kitchen floor! Oh, the impromptu stuff little girls come up with! There truly is never a dull moment around here!

Many thanks to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook! Wishing each of you a wonderful Christmas full of all of the good gifts our Father can bless you with! Love and best wishes from our house to yours!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's *almost* a smile, Grandma!!!

It may not be hard to get Kasey Lee to smile, but to catch it on camera??? Whew, it's easier to get Congress to agree to a pay cut! I know, Grandma, she's the only one you don't have a picture of with a big 'ole grin....I'm working on getting those Santa pics scanned, 'cause I PROMISE, there's a big Kasey grin to show you....but in the meantime, how's this? Not a full grin, but she just is faster than my fingers, I guess. You can, however, make out those long, stringy brown bangs of hers! Kid almost needs a haircut!
Soo.....did it pass?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some pics of the new digs

First, a little disclaimer....things are not fully "done". K? There's still a ton of decorating to do and a lot of our stuff is not in it's for-good spot. We're getting a lot of it in working order, however, and I know that as far as my mom's concerned, it simply will not do to wait too much longer to see the new house. So...here's a few rooms to browse through. First up, our living room. Notice, Mom, that there's one of those pretty green valances you had stored away on our window. A big picture window like that is just too pretty to cover with curtains, but we needed something...so a valance and sheers it is! The other (identical) valances are on the kitchen window and dining room windows too, and I'm thinking we may end up carrying the lightish green paint color we plan on for the dining room into the living room. All in time. This pic captures our first-of-the-morning chaos, but in this space it just doesn't seem all that bad!
Here's the dining room....the dark room, the cold room. Even with full morning sun (this is an eastern-facing room), it's still dark and not-so-welcoming. You'll notice that the green valance is barely visible!? That will be changing just as soon as I can get my hands on a paintbrush, I assure you!
View of the girls' bedroom from the doorway (off the kitchen). Those are Morgan's and Jamie's beds, still with the same bedding they've had on their beds for quite some time. We've placed the Little Tykes easel and play table up against that support pole that Shelby's head seemed to be magnetically attracted to, but despite how it looks, there is still about a two-foot space to walk in between the chunky toys and the beds.
This is taken from the right corner in the previous picture; between Morgan's bed and the wall, looking out toward the front of the house. The spare washer/dryer set is in the far right--notice it's not really in the way, just taking up a corner over there that hopefully will be ours again once the guy from Craigslist comes to get them.
Same vantage point as before, camera aimed off to the left a bit. Shelby's and Dani's beds are diagonally across the room from Morgan's and Jamie's. Still plenty of room to rearrange a bit when we need to put the crib in there.
A close-up of Dani's and Shelby's beds...just 'cause I am absolutely in love with the cuteness. Plus, Elmo and Kai-Lan look so peaceful taking naps, don't you think? By the way, those are Ty Beanies filling that basket at the foot of Shelby's bed....sad how "collector's" items suddenly turn into a preschooler's favorite carry-around-the-house toys in the blink of an eye, but hey, they're more useful now than they ever were on the shelves in Kelsey's rooms all those years!
Taken from the corner where the washer/dryer are sitting waiting for Craigslist guy. That's the laundry alcove behind the louvered doors, and the kitchen in the doorless entry. That lack of a door may eventually be a problem as the girls get older, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there; right now it's one less thing to slam fingers in!
Just for the sake of cuteness....apparently Kasey felt lonely watching Dora on her belly?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One room down, how many left?

It took a day longer than anticipated (doesn't it always?), but the girls' room is DONE. Okay, maybe not ALL the way done....there's an unfinished closet that kind of hinders clothes being hung up, but the dressers are filled, the toys are put in their respective "homes", and the floor...well, you can SEE it! The only problem is the extra washer/dryer set is sitting in the corner of their bedroom. Weird, no? Hey, I suppose that's a testament to how large this room really is...they aren't in the way in the slightest! I really wish I could find our pet net doohickey so I can get the stuffed critters off of the washer/dryer where they're hanging out.

Pictures? Tomorrow. Girls are asleep. I should be too. Later, all you blogaholics!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 12/7/2009

FOR TODAY, December 7, 2009...
Outside my window... it is gray and cold, but memories of the blanket of snow we awoke to on Saturday morning are still fresh in my mind, and it is just absolutely wonderful to look out and see property that is "ours" (on loan from God, anyway!) finally after so many years of sharing walls and backyards with other military families! I need to track down Kelsey's SD card from her digital camera, since she's the only one who got pictures of our little snow blanket!
I am thinking... that we are just SO blessed, it's overwhelming at times.
I am thankful for... a husband who has worked 20 years to put down roots in a place we both love. It's not been easy, but the transition out of Army life is going so smoothly that it's just not going to be much of a big deal at all!
From the kitchen... by Morgan's request, we will have loaded baked potatoes tonight, with caesar salad for the big folk and fresh veggie dippers for the littles.
I am wearing... a gray tee and my Jimmie Johnson pj pants. I didn't quite see the point in getting all dressed up just to unpack! LOL
I am creating... order. FINALLY, we're getting some order in this disaster zone. It's looking less like a box factory exploded and more like a HOME, thank goodness!
I am going... to get the girls' room done today if I have to spend my last waking moment doing it!
I am reading... not much of anything other than the sides of boxes at the moment!
I am hoping... to get the house "done" enough to get the Christmas tree up and decorated this week....here's hoping, because that may be all I do!
I am hearing... Morgan and Jamie (backdropped by The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe playing on the Disney Channel) conversing with their new "friend", a nine-year-old girl from down the street. Would it seem odd that we're still getting used to having friendly neighbors?
Around the house... Oh boy....well, it's a mess. We moved three weeks ago, need I say more?
One of my favorite things... settling down and making our house a HOME. Nice. VERY nice.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Unpacking and a little more Christmas shopping. Not much left to do, just the teens and the grands.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...two of the little girls snuggled up in their matching little toddler beds...fast asleep! Oh, what sweet solitude, if only for two hours! LOL
Many thanks to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We're "getting there"

This is not going to be anywhere near the blog post I wanted it to be, because my wrist is screaming in pain at me; I've reinjured the tendon (this time I'm pretty sure I've torn it) and I still can't find the splint the doctor had me wearing to immobilize it previously. It's made getting things done slow-going in my estimation; I'm normally one to have every box out of the house within a week, but this time....well, not so much.

There isn't a single "done" room in the house yet, and believe it or not, two weeks after moving day, that drives me bananas. The living room comes close; we still have a couple of boxes of DVD's and VHS tapes (yes, we still have those relics!) that we're going through to weed out the ones we'll never watch again, the ones not worth keeping, and the ones we haven't even taken out of the shrink wrap (Pete is notorious for buying "bargain" movies that end up being forgotten about). I've kept the girls' videos and the series like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and a couple of others, plus my historical fiction faves (The Patriot, Braveheart, Master and Commander, Pete's WW2 flicks, stuff like that), so we're not totally wiping out our video library, but we are SERIOUSLY cutting back. Why on earth would we keep it all and still pay Netflix every month? Anyway....other than the movies and the lack of anything on the walls, the living room is pretty much put together.

The girls' room (that big, huge bonus room) is coming together slooooowly. This is a new kind of problem for me; we've got more space than we've ever had, and sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to figure out how best to use it all! We do have to finish their closet (right now it's bare studs on one side, unfinished sheet rock on the other) before we can hang their clothes, but I may end up getting a couple of shower curtain rods to hang in the meantime. It's a BIG closet; it oughtta be interesting to try to figure out how best to organize it. We're also still trying to figure out how to set the room-size heat pump to heat...so far, I've only figured out how to make the room colder, and that's a tad unnecessary considering we're already seeing some rather wintery weather already!

The kitchen isn't too far from "done", all things considered. Until we get the built-in microwave working (after sitting vacant for nearly two years, the house was bound to have something that didn't work), our little microwave is on the counter, so....it's sucking up a LOT of counterspace and makes me feel cramped--so it needs to go!

The master bedroom....aside from not having an ensuite bathroom, it's an absolute DREAM! It is quite literally TWICE the size of the largest bedroom we've ever had, and even with a bunch of boxes still in there, we have more than enough space. I'm really loving the king-sized bed (yay for Pete having room to do his nightly fish-flopping without knocking me off the bed!) and having a dresser again! Get this....thanks to Pete's dad wanting to re-do their basement and bringing us their second couch and love seat, we now have a sofa IN our room.....once it's decorated (and the crib is out), it's going to resemble a hotel suite in there! Cool!!!

Okay, my hand has about had it for typing today. Time to go try to knock out a couple more boxes and do some more laundry! I wonder if I can find that camera battery charger today? Hey, anyone in Huntsville know of someone who needs a year-old washer/dryer? Shoot, if anyone wants to come get it, they can have it pretty cheap! We, um, don't need two!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm glad THAT's over!

After, um....a full day of househunting (one day--that was all it took!), five weeks of waiting for the VA and the loan process and all the inspections and repairs, two days of packing and loading, one week of frantic cleaning (Pete did that one completely on his own, YAY!!) of the "old" house on base, and now a week of unpacking, we are *nearly* settled in our very own, new-to-us house!
I'm so glad we are finishing up with this whole military life thing; it was really beginning to wear on all of us, constantly moving from one place to another. It's wonderful to be putting down real, live roots for once, and (Lord willing) we hope to be here a good, LONG time.
Pictures will come in time, right now my camera battery charger is buried somewhere in this sea of cardboard and stuff needing a place to "live". Funny how moving from 1400 square feet to 2600 square feet REALLY makes things a lot easier to visualize when it comes to putting things away. I like it!
Our house on base cleared without a hitch (except for the $40 we had to pay for the window screen the repairmen failed to repair when they came out a few weeks ago to work on five screens....and missed one.....and the HUGE red soda stain underneath Kelsey's bed--yes, UNDER her bed), and the move went pretty well for the most part. For the first time, we had an injury on moving day. Not one of us, thankfully, but unfortunately one of our movers fell from the truck when the ramp collapsed, and he had to be taken to the urgent care center to set a broken wrist and doctor a pretty nasty scraped-up leg. I'm glad it wasn't any worse! On moving day, Shelby had a run-in with a wasp that had gotten into the house through the constantly-open doors, but no bad reaction. The only ER visit we've had was taking Morgan to the pediatric ER when she fell on the front porch (when Mom says don't run, DON'T RUN!!!) Sunday morning and ended up with a concussion. She's fine now....and at this point, we're just settling in!
True to my work-best-under-stress form, we're expecting Pete's dad and his wife to join us for Thanksgiving tomorrow....so I suppose my ever-so-slight "free" time on the internet has to come to a rapid close as I attempt to get this disaster area of a house made into a home for the holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's all about the accessories!

When Shelby first found this little purse, we thought it was sort of funny how she had to "wear" it around the house. Then she did it again when she got up the next day. And the next. And then Pete told me that I really should be taking pictures of her doing this...I'm sure when I get settled and get my scrap stuff out again, these pics are going to make an adorable scrapbook page highlighting her affinity for her little red purse. A girl's just gotta have a good bag!!! Stealing Daddy's coffee mug and snitching the last few drops...Ooh.....a new accessory--gotta be just like big sis and have a cell phone!I've forgotten...what is it that BOYS carry around???

What's up, doc?

I am! It's almost twenty till midnight, and I'm wired...exhausted and wired all at the same time, how unfair is that? I feel like I could go two hundred miles a minute, but my body is SCREAMING at me. Must be the weather.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, 11/9/09

FOR TODAY, November 9, 2009...
Outside my window... It is cloudy, cool-ish, and not so pretty anymore now that the trees are past peak. The beauty of Fall just does not last long enough!
I am thinking... that this week is going to be anything BUT simple. I'm already about twenty steps behind the power curve with regard to this move; I'm buried in a sea of laundry, and I have far too much "stuff" to get either put or thrown away. I don't want to have to sift through two or three boxes of extraneous junk in the new house, thank you very much.
I am thankful for... how bountifully the Lord has blessed us in the last few years. Counting those blessings would be a task too numerous to take on. It boggles the mind how good God is. It would be far too easy for us to get caught up in thinking that we've had a rough run of things for so many years that we somehow "deserve" this "good luck" we've fallen into, but I'm not that faithless. I KNOW the Lord's hand when I see it!!!
I am wearing... a gray tee and white shorts. Too warm for jeans today, with all the moving around I'm doing!
I am remembering... that it doesn't have to be perfect. DONE, yes, but not perfectly done.
I am going... CRAZY!!!! Ok, maybe not really. Close to it, though! Alright, alright....back down to earth. I'm not going much of anywhere today, except maybe out to Kroger tonight after the girls are all in bed to pick up milk and juice so I don't have to do it tomorrow. I think an impromptu cheap working-date may be in order to Sonic for a mocha java chiller. I need chilling out already, and the day isn't even half over!
I am reading... Beautiful Girlhood by Karen Andreola. I'm ashamed to say that even after bringing one daughter to near adulthood, I still have no idea how to be "girly" and feminine. My tomboy roots run far too deep, and with five more little girls behind her, it's just way beyond time for me to do some learning in that regard. Hmm....I may want to call my mom and see if she hurt herself passing out after reading that...
I am hoping... that all the littles cooperate with me over the next couple of days. I am SOOO thankful that Pete is off on Wednesday (okay, SOME of the day....how silly is it that our soldiers have to show up in uniform on Veteran's Day to march in a mandatory parade?); I'm really hoping to have some time to get things put away without having to do it between bottles and diapers.
On my mind... is a mental to-do list. I fear I'm just way too mentally occupied with this stuff, it's beginning to border on compulsion!
From the learning rooms... While Kelsey won't be taking any time "off" from school, we are just going to pack up Morgan's and Jamie's schoolbooks along with everything else. They're kindergarteners; it really isn't going to hurt them to skip a couple of weeks. Lord willing, we'll have everything unpacked and in working order by the end of next week. In the meantime, they'll be helping us out with the putting away, cleaning (they've each got a magic eraser to hit those marked-up walls with...I'm hoping the work will deter them from putting pencil to plaster again).
Noticing that... Kasey is getting congested again. The news report a couple of weeks back mentioned that on average, people would get three colds this season. Morgan's got it, Dani has it, Shelby is starting to get a little snotty, and now Kasey. The current cold is round two for us.
Pondering these words... "Be still and know that I am God." It's that "be still" part I have trouble with!
From the kitchen... Steak and potatoes tonight. I do LOVE me some grilled steak!
Around the house... Oh boy....don't get me started.
One of my favorite things... Unpacking into a new house and getting things "just so". I am VERY excited to know that next week, we'll be doing just that. All this work will be well worth the effort!
A few plans for the week... Well, lessee....we already had the housing pre-inspection this morning, plus Pete is going to Huntsville Utilities to pay the utility deposit and set up our service to begin on Friday. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, I'll be cleaning and organizing for the packers. Thursday, I have my annual doctor's appointment for all those lovely girlie tests. Ick. Pete will be handling the packer-watching by himself for a little while that day! Friday, we'll switch places while he goes to the closing and I am here while the packers load our stuff on the truck. Friday evening and Saturday we'll be cleaning THIS house and getting our mattresses over to the new house. Our fridge will be delivered Saturday. Wow...Saturday really seems like it's a month away!
From my picture journal... This picture was not taken recently; in fact, it was last November when the last of our household goods were delivered to us. However, I got this picture back out because this is what we are in for this week!
Many thanks to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Girls' room ideas!

Okay, my creative juices are now free-flowing, I just need to get this "written" down so I don't forget it before dinner...
Leafing through my Better Homes and Gardens mags (I've amassed quite a collection these last few weeks just browsing in the thrift shop--I'm MORE than happy to pay a quarter for magazines people are finished reading, and yep, I'll even pay a buck for the last three issues!), I found a really cute girls' bedroom, and it was even done up dormitory-style (ie., twin beds side by side) on a budget. I'm all for that, considering I've got five beds to outfit! The BHG article's picture showcased all of the beds made up with patterned sheets, a crisp, white coverlet, and had a really cute quilted throw folded neatly across the foot of the bed. The window treatments were done in the same pattern as the sheets. Super-easy, considering a sheet set provides an instant wealth of fabric!
So.....I have noticed just today that the Blue Jean Teddy crib bedding that I'll be putting on both Danica's and Shelby's toddler beds has both a fair amount of blue plus really nice accents of rosey pink and sage green. Instant inspiration! Would you believe I had totally forgotten the almost 15 yards of quilting fabric I'd bought YEARS ago to "someday" made a queen-sized quilt that just so happened to be in gorgeous blue/rose/sage prints??? Yay!!! Now all I needed to do was find a way to stretch the fabric to make five quilted throws....not to mention find a quilt pattern that wouldn't take me FOREVER.....I mean, yes, I only have to outfit two of the five twin-sized beds right now, and then I'll add another next year and another the year after that, then the next year....so I've got time, but um, I really don't have SPARE time, ya know? I love the look of rag quilts and I especially love how no-fuss they are for kids. No worries about intricate quilting, no worrying about the edges coming loose (because they're supposed to!), and the more they're washed, the better they get! However, the plain-jane square rag quilt just didn't do it for me. I wanted something cuter, with more personality. Here's what I found (ignore the colors, just check out the pattern and the overall look of the quilt):
I do want to alter it a bit more, maybe making the bottom two smaller squares a single rectangle? I'm SURE I could find both flannel to go with it (backing and "batting", the flannel frays better!) and coordinating sheets that I could not only work into the quilt but also make window treatments with! Hmm....I wonder if I could work a patch of recycled blue jeans into the quilt...using old blue jean accents around the room would be so cute, I've got tons of patterns for old jean recycling!
At first, that blue carpet was just a thorn in my creative side. Now...well, now it's a means for using up a lot of fabric that has been needing love for far too long!
OH, and I just absolutely LOOOOOVE an idea I found of making rag-quilt letters while I was searching for pictures of rag quilts for inspiration. I think it would be SOOOOO cute to hang the girls' names over their beds, using rag quilted letters maybe even hung from a clothesline kind of like Jessica had on her blog post. I'm loving this!!!!

Ideas, anyone?

Okay, here's the deal...we're putting all of the little girls in one room when we move--our converted-garage "bonus" room. Problem is...they're girls, and the carpet is BLUE. I've obviously been buried in a sea of pink for just way too long, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to decorate this room with blue carpet. If you had five girls, how would YOU decorate this room?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Change is not a bad thing!

Change is something a military family comes to accept as a way of life. Things are constantly in motion. Our family has moved thirteen times in Pete's twenty-year career. The temporal nature of life is the only thing that really seems permanent. Ironic, no?

Standing in the threshhold of a new way of life, Pete and I (but especially Pete, who was also the son of a career soldier) are having a bit of a rough time adjusting our brains to think bigger than a three-year assignment. It's not easy to make the transition from the "dictated" way life has been lived for the last two decades to thinking that WE will be making the decisions from here on out. Where we live, when we take vacation time, our school schedule, all of it has been determined by the military for so long. You just tend to forget how that gets done when someone isn't telling you how to do it! Just the simple thought that this house we'll close on next week could actually be our HOME for the next.....well, till it's paid off.....that's not as easy to wrap our minds around as you'd think! We're learning fast, though!

The change in our children....that's another story altogether. What's funny is that every now and then, we run across someone at a homeschool or church function who remembers us from the very first time we lived here, nineteen years ago. They'll say something about how they remember that REALLY young couple with the little baby boy who loved to bounce on Mama's lap, and how MUCH things have changed now that the little boy is an adult and we're toting around his six little sisters. Believe me, we're reminded all too often of how quickly kids grow up. We'll have one of our girls talking about being a bride for Halloween while another is actually older than I was when I wore a wedding dress for real! We're all too aware that it seems like just yesterday that the child who is now preparing to deploy to Afghanistan was laying on the couch learning how to get his hands into his mouth to chew on. And we know it won't be long till our little stairstep girls are all the same height. Maybe that's another "side effect" of having such a large separation between our olders and youngers--we can actually SEE how quickly they go from babies to adults!

I'm reminded daily that I just have to be more diligent in taking GOOD pictures of the kids--and that they really do need to be labeled, because oh MY....our girls have a bad habit of looking just way too much alike at different phases of life! We took an impromptu trip over to the Botanical Gardens last weekend and got some pretty good pics; now I just need a few of their brother (that don't show the horrid tattoos he's defiled himself with) and the time to actually do some scrapbooking so I can freeze at least one moment in time.

Kelsey, age 17, and a senior in high school. She's sporting the "Kate" hairdo that her beau Chris has finally convinced her to grow out. YAY!!!Morgan, 5 and a half years old (that half matters!) and old enough to know how to work scissors....notice the inch-long bangs that Mom had to camouflage by pulling what was left up in a hair bow?Jamie, at four (and a half...again, that half is oh-so-important!), is just absolutely beside herself that she doesn't have any loose teeth yet like big sis Morgan. Slow down, short stuff....all in time! Jamie will probably also be the one to be the most freaked-out by the actual tooth-pulling process!I can't tell you how hard it was to get a good picture of Danica that didn't involve a goofy smirk, closed eyes, a stuck-out tongue, or some other oddity. I know, she's three....it comes with the territory!Something tells me Shelby will be our "model". NO, we aren't putting any of our kids into the modeling business, BITE YOUR TONGUE! I simply mean she's going to be the most photogenic child, the one most comfortable in front of a camera. And that SMILE.....she's got her daddy's killer smile. Be still, my heart.Yep, Kasey's me made over. Down to the unwillingness to be photographed smiling. Already. At three months, she already detests the camera. I feel ya, kiddo! I don't want to close my eyes. If I do, they'll be grown up and gone! No fair...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, 11/2/2009

FOR TODAY, November 2, 2009...
Outside my window... it is sunny, bright blue, and quite chilly! It's even colder than I expected inside, since I goofed last night and forgot to turn the heater back on...we woke up to a brisk 59 degrees INSIDE! Um, brrrr....
I am thinking... that there really is a TON of work to get done before we close on the house next Friday. I should be worried about the packing, but I'm not. Funny, but 20 years of moving around all over creation has taught me that it's not something to worry about.
I am thankful for... the fact that we get one last government-paid move! YAY!!! We don't have to do it ourselves!
From the kitchen... I'll be making something for our homeschool group's International Night. Hmm, methinks something German might be in order, but I'm not so sure I'm up to sauerbraten, rotkohl and kartoffelknodel. Maybe a brat and kraut casserole?
I am wearing... flannel jammies. Waiting for the dryer to finish so I can get some warm jeans out before my therapy appointment.
I am creating... a whole bunch of ideas in my head on how to decorate our new house to be the comfy home we want it to be. Can't do much more than plan at this point...eleven more days!
I am going... to physical therapy in a few minutes. Last appointment is Wednesday. There's been a lot of progress made toward repairing the tendon, but my therapist believes that I may have a stress fracture in my hand that is causing a lot of the "other" pain. Nice. We shall see how it acts once I'm back on my own. Hey, I'm just glad to be able to use a pair of scissors again.
I am reading... the newest issue of Real Simple magazine. It's my new favorite mag since Memory Makers decided to fold almost as soon as I got my subscription paid for! Big raspberries for them, that wasn't nice!
I am hoping... that the next few weeks goes smoothly; all systems are a "go" for a seamless closing, we're just hoping and praying that the transportation office will cooperate and we can get move dates that work well!
I am hearing... Dora and the dryer.
Around the house... are little things that need attention, but nothing major. Some things needing to go to the thrift shop this week so we don't have to move them AGAIN.
One of my favorite things... seeing God's hand in every aspect of our move here to Huntsville last year and our "settling" here now. It's very obvious that this is where He wants us, and it is just so neat to me to watch it all play out!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Physical therapy twice, Pete's repeat sleep study tomorrow night, homeschool International Night tonight, and trying to make appointments for the move. Got the fridge ordered, bedroom furniture next (our other bedrooms have been too small for us to even have furniture other than a bed...how sad is that?); plus we're keeping the latter part of the week free (ish?) so we can sort of be flexible when the call comes from the church office to do the mad dash to get the building put back together after the renovation is finished--it'll be really neat to see how good the building looks when it's all done, but I will say it has been pretty "cozy" worshipping all cramped up in the fellowship hall for the last several weeks!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing... Next Friday, I will be able to say this is my "new" kitchen! I'm so excited! It won't be the first time I've had a newly renovated kitchen, but certainly the first time I've had one that matched my tastes--including the red countertop! I thought it was a bit *MUCH* at first sight, but it's really grown on me...and now I'm not so sure I want to replace it anytime soon!

Many thanks to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Over both blog breaks--one intentional, the other *forced*, I have managed to miss blogging about two birthdays (three, if you count Kasey's actual birth day!)....oh, the SHAME!!!! I shudder to think about how behind I am in actually getting memories hard-copied into my scrapbooks...but I know "eventually" I'll get the opportunity to catch up, right? There WILL come a day when I'm not swamped with diapers and phonics lessons and grading chemistry quizzes and laundry and dinners...all too soon, I imagine.

ANYway....our first "missed" birthday was Shelby's. Our little ham turned one back in August, just a week after her baby sister was born! We didn't have a huge party (not our style), but we did have a couple of close friends over from church to eat and celebrate and eat and play and eat some more. What is it about church-folk and eating? Seems we can't get together without food!? Oh well, Shelby didn't mind. She was a tad overwhelmed with the whole cake deal, only getting her little chubby hands slightly messy with icing. I think we finally had not too many gifts, too, because she wasn't buried in presents and she managed to enjoy every one of them! That's something we've struggled to do with each child--figure out how much is just flat-out TOO MUCH. It's not easy, because it's in our nature to just lavish the stuff on our kids, but we know in the end, it's really not good for them to just have everything heaped on them. Shelby still plays with every one of her birthday gifts (and there's a Toys 'R Us gift card we still haven't even used yet! Maybe this weekend?), so nothing got lost in the pile this time! Yay! I think we're going to stick with the limited "stuff" for Christmas and future birthdays too. It was nice to just enjoy the day!

Shelby is fourteen months old now, and she's just a little ray of sunshine in our family. I simply cannot imagine NOT having her and we are so thankful that God blessed us with this little character! She became pretty attached to Daddy during my recovery time from the c-section, but now that I'm back to "normal" she's gone right back to being very much a Mama's girl. Shelby is my second left hand--she's sitting right here "helping" me as I type, in fact. She just has to be doing whatever I'm doing, and she LOVES feeling like one of the big girls. Speaking of big, she's our largest baby, even now that she's been walking a few months and is thinning out. She's a chunker, and she's got the weight to go along with her fluff! She's also got plus-sized personality--Shelby is definitely a showgirl to the core! We can't wait to see how her little character develops as she grows and matures!
Our little glam gal...
The other birthday I missed blogging about was our three-year-old, Danica. Unfortunately, it's all too easy for one child to slip into the background, and if we weren't careful, Dani would do just that. She's a "background" kind of kid, the type who is happy to be doing something that no one else will ever see. She doesn't do well in big groups, so a family party was more than enough this year. We did have big brother Jon down from Fort Campbell for the weekend to help us celebrate, so that was an extra treat for Dani! This year, she chose to have her ears pierced for her birthday (mostly so she could be like Morgan and Jamie), and we were shocked when all she did in reaction to having been double-gunned was utter a mildly surprised "Ow!" This isn't a great pic, but you can see her little red heart earrings she's so proud of!

Dani was the first of our kids to have a store-bought cake that wasn't a Carvel ice cream cake, with the lone exception being Jonathan's first birthday, nineteen years ago! That's a LOT of cakes, y'all! Oh, and for the record, Target makes a really yummy chocolate sheet cake! I've never had such a moist store-bought cake!Our family is going to be having some major changes before our next "round" of birthdays, but we're hoping that one of the changes is having Dani figure out the whole potty thing. She CAN handle wearing panties, but most of the time she's just not interested. She doesn't seem to care about being wet (even when she's just saturated our brand new couch like this morning) and frankly, I've not got the wherewithall to get serious about potty training right now. All of our other kids have pretty much decided like overnight that they wanted to be out of diapers, so we don't have any experience truly "training" for pottying....I'm sure she'll be out of diapers by her next birthday but it sure would be nice to have just TWO in diapers, ya know?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Necessary evil?

Have you ever noticed that you never really thought you "needed" something till you had it for a while and then lost it? That's kind of how we've felt about the internet lately. For the last almost two weeks, we've had sketchy, intermittent internet access. Four tech support calls, two service calls and one new modem later, we *think* the problem is fixed. But WOW the timing couldn't have been worse!

During the last two weeks, we've really NEEDED our internet service. Going under contract on a house almost requires the use of email nowadays; our realtor has been emailing us things and we've needed to email them back to him, amended. Thank goodness Pete has reliable internet service at work!

We are going to have a very busy couple of months ahead of us, but we're used to that. I can't remember a time when we didn't have a busy couple of months ahead of us, actually! This couple of months, however, is going to be bringing with it some serious change. Pete has his first (I'm saying first, because...well, he's still got two and a half months before he can start a new job) interview this Thursday!!! We've had no doubt that right here is where God wants us--this move to Huntsville was definitely "swayed" by His hand, I'm sure. I also have no doubt in my mind that this is where He wants us to STAY. I'm not worried about the whole job thing. God has taken care of us in far more difficult trials in life than just a job change; I have every faith in His ability to take care of us now. Buying a house was really a total leap of faith, considering that Pete doesn't have a job yet. We're not "testing" God; we're trusting Him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We did WHAT????

If you'd have asked us just two weeks ago, we would have told you we weren't in the market for a house....yet today, we put in an offer on literally the first house we've looked at. Part of me is thinking "What on EARTH are you doing????" while the other, just as logical part knows why--it's going to cost us too much to live in this government subsidized military housing after Pete retires. They are charging us $1176 a month in rent (granted, for now we pay no water, gas, or electric) to live in military housing, and although retirees are allowed to stay, our rent for a 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 1400-ish square foot two-story duplex is just way more than we want to pay for something we can't call "ours".

The good thing about having lived in so many different places over the years is that we knew EXACTLY what we were looking for...and when it popped up on the computer screen, we KNEW it was the house we wanted to buy. Three big bedrooms, a bonus room (for the girls' bedroom!), a living room and family room (so I can have a schoolroom), nice kitchen, BIG ole backyard (an ACRE!!!), and a fence, plus it isn't too far out of town (like only 7 miles)! It's an older house with no major issues but plenty of TLC needed to satisfy our unquenching thirst for projects.

Offer's on the table, loan is approved, now the clock's just ticking away....hopefully soon we'll be able to play in our very big backyard...

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