Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saying Goodbye

It's been another busy week around here, and at the end of it we are tired and dirty - but we finally have everything out of the old house and the garage. We still have some things in the yard to clean up, but we are out and my brother's family is in. We had to say goodbye to a lot of things this week.

Goodbye, chickens. We will miss your eggs, for sure. Goodbye, awesome sunsets over the lake that we can see in the wintertime when the tree branches are bare. Goodbye, fuzzy  brown bear carpet. It was replaced it with the pink carpet we pulled out of my dad's basement.

Goodbye, junky garage!  We threw stuff out like crazy and took a whole load of garbage to the metal recycler. Goodbye, creepy pressure washers and all your questionable friends that have been lurking under the shrubbery.

Goodbye, floor space in the storage garage, and much of the vertical space too  - but hopefully we will see you soon as we go back and clean it out. Goodbye, perpetual sunroom snake pits of computer cords. I will not miss you.

Goodbye, gorgeous view of the west mountains as we drive home past the cemetery (but hello gorgeous views of  the east mountains!).

Goodbye, having lots of elbow room between us and the neighbors.  I will miss you forever.  And goodbye, spacious master suite with my own closet and my own bathroom.  I will miss you like crazy.

Oh, and as we've been cleaning out, we couldn't keep everything. So goodbye, old plastic cups that my boys chewed on like a pack of hungry puppies.

And, sadly, goodbye crippled little Elmo. We found him, neglected and abandoned, in a storage shed when we bought our first house, many many moons ago.  He used to have bright red hair and a red clown nose.  My youngest brother named him Elmo, long before Sesame Street's Elmo was popular.  The name stuck and all the kids have loved riding our little Elmo.  And falling over backwards on him because he is tippy.  And cutting their chins up in said fall enough to require stitches.  Maybe that was just Ben.  But still.  It pains me to see his old, cracked plastic finally bite the dust. We've been through so much together!

Oh, and goodbye old math trailers at the junior high. The junior high finally tore them out after decades of "temporary" use. I never loved taking classes in them;  I will not miss them.  Can't miss everything, I guess.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


These boys are off on a camping trip.  I love that they are able to get themselves ready and find sleeping bags.  I don't think I could find all the gear... but I don't think I want to sleep on the ground, either.

Have fun sleeping on the ground, boys!  With the mosquitoes and bugs!  I'll go back into the warm house with my flushing toilet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

First day of kindergarten. She rode her bike, the twins rode their "motorcycles," (they are really matching Dora the Explorer big wheels that we found at a garage sale, but don't tell them!), and I ran.  It's hard to keep up!  Either I need to buy some running shoes (boo!  hate running!) or I need to get my bike out of storage (yes!  love biking!).

When we went to pick her up at the end of the day, she ignored us and ran straight to her bicycle. When I asked her to ride slowly so I could keep up (I was done with the running), she declared that she was a big girl now and knew her way home.

The she zipped past me, past the crosswalk, all the way down the wrong street, and turned into the wrong neighborhood. She's a big girl, all right!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The First Day of School

What a nostalgic time, the first day of school is.  Or maybe the pleasant childhood memories get swallowed up in the hubbub of shopping with a zillion other people in the same store and trying to find red pens and attempting to go to bed earlier to set a new schedule and where did we put the lunch boxes and cataloging wardrobes and Heavens sakes, boy, you need new shoes!

At least, at the end of all that, they were willing to smile for me.  The girl doesn't start school quite yet - kindergarten gets the first bit off.

I am glad that, in spite of our rushed move, not everything has been mixed up.  Our two bigger boys here don't have to change schools at all, and Eddie will be going to that same school where his gifted program was cancelled.  And he will have the same teacher who had been teaching in the gifted program, except it's not a gifted program.  What a blessing for him!  Chris is a junior in high school (how did that ever happen??), and David is in the eighth grade.

What fun to see these boys grow!

Monday, August 18, 2014

First World Problems

Moving is hard.  And not fun.  And it's all I'm writing about, so I must like focusing on hard, not fun things.  But it's hard to get too worked up about the inconveniences when my missionary boys now live in circumstances far below what I am complaining about.  It really makes me grateful for things I wouldn't have even thought about.  Like flush toilets.  But I have to complain, just a little bit...

Our VoIP phone is not yet hooked up. Somewhat annoying.

I have only 16 inches on either side of my bed.  Tiny little living space!

The downstairs bathroom still does not have a working door, so we have one bathroom to share with 8 people. Only bad when we all gotta go at the same time, or before church.

There is not room for us all to sit at the table for dinner (the table hits against the stools at the island if we try to pull the table away from the wall).  This one is a sticking point.  Eating dinner together is A BIG DEAL to me.

On the other hand, we still have access to a phone. We have internet again, we have indoor plumbing, and we have enough food to eat. I love my bed, and am grateful it fits in my new room.  Seeing pictures of open sewers where Ben is in Madagascar gives me pause. I need to be more grateful for all the nice things we do have.

Random thoughts:

It is easier to clean up if you have less garbage. Staying clean is even easier.

Don't hide your junk in prickly bushes. You just lose the desire to clean up.

A smaller house means we interact more. I like that.

Divesting ourselves of so much stuff means we are becoming more attached to our people. That's a good thing.

When I feel like I have too many burdens on my shoulders, I should try getting out of the way and letting the Lord do His work through me.  His plan seems to work better.

Monday, August 11, 2014


We moved this week.  That's right, we now live back in the good old neighborhood.  We will call our new/old ward the Re-Ward.  Ha!  Trent and I are in my dad's old study that he reluctantly gave up.  The old train room downstairs has a partition down the middle to separate Chris's room from David and Eddie's room, and all three little people are in a new room we just built in the half of the downstairs family room that is under the kitchen.  We (actually my older brother and his buddy) also built a small storage room around the old washer and dryer closet.  We've been really busy moving things and cleaning and painting anything that doesn't move - and sometimes things that do move, too.  We have kept the twins out of the paint for the most part, which is a miracle.  It looks really nice.

Saturday night we packed our beds into a box truck from Trent's work and brought them over.  We are hardly moved in, but at least we have five people sleeping in beds, and we are here for my dad.  I worried that he would be going a bit crazy with all the hubbub, but he has been doing great!  Maybe even enjoying watching the process.  Maybe we are more interesting than really old television reruns.

The older boys will be moving off the family room couches and into their room Tuesday.  We pulled the pink carpet out of the old train room and we are getting new grey speckled carpet to match the light grey walls.  The trim is light, light grey, nearly white.  They only got one wall done, but we are painting everything.  Nice to have it all fresh.  The carpet guy will be here Tuesday morning.

And my old house?  My big, beautiful, spacious house that was feeling too big for us? My older brother and his family are moving in.  As this was all unfolding, I wondered whether to sell or rent, and how quickly we could have it show-worthy.  Oh man, there were so many things that needed fixing!  And then my brother called and said they wanted it.  I can't believe how smoothly this is all going.  Like it was orchestrated from above, really.  It's crazy how the pieces are falling together.  I hope they love the home and our neighborhood like we did.

"The small things are what are going to get us back to Heaven someday."  I loved this quote from Alec's letter last week.  He is so right.  When we do our little things, it makes a huge difference.  And He is right there helping us.  I have noticed the Lord in all the details of this past week.  It has been crazy and stressful, but somehow it is all working out when we follow His plan.  He really loves us and wants us to grow and be happy.  I know it, and it helps me keep moving.