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!

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