Monday, July 30, 2012


Confined to the house today... waiting on the a/c guy to come... we have the thermostat set on 57* and it was 85* in the house last night. Pretty sure something's not quite right. (And no... we don't normally set it that low. 71* was perfect in our old house.) So you get a random blog post and random pictures while I avoid my to-do-list...

* See this guy in the orange cast? He's my favorite handyman. He has been so good at getting things done for us and making sure things get followed through on. And he's done it all with a broken arm. 

* Gretchie found her little red rubber boots last night and thought they went perfect with her pajamas. It was hard to get a good picture, because she was so busy running and dancing.

* I was trying to vacuum yesterday and couldn't figure out why it was doing such a lousy job of picking up the spilled popcorn. Um, yeah... that would be why. This bag is completely FULL. (and I still haven't located the box with the extra bags in it.) 

* Our system of taking some things to storage ahead of time hasn't been fabulous. It was necessary, because the UHaul was stuffed full and there is no way we could have fit the entire contents of our house in there. But there have been so many times I've been looking for something and then realized, "Oh... it must be in storage." Not really that big of a deal, but annoying. I'm guessing that maybe that's where the box is that includes the vacuum bags.

* Gretchen is doing great at sleeping/napping in her big girl bed. The first two nights were a bit of a nightmare, but she got it all out of her system. She'll run through her little list for me now... "I didn't talk to Sophie... I didn't get out of bed... I didn't play with toys... I didn't cry." She's pretty proud of her new bed.

* Gretchen loves to look out this window at Maren's house. Yesterday she started yelling at me, "Maren's mom is outside!! Maren's mom is outside!!" She's like a little spy. (Minus the sneaky part.)

* It's so fun having them across the street. Meagan and I can each stand on our front porches and talk/yell. Maybe we need to get walkie-talkies, too. =) They also do helpful things like call us at 10:00 at night and tell us the back of our van is open. Thankful that we didn't wake up to a dead battery and a van full of possums or something.

* Gretchen used to love to look out this window at the dog house. It was a much prettier view when there was grass there. Our front yard was prettier with grass, too. Now it's all just dirt. Darn backhoe.
Gretchie asked me a few times when we were going to get a new dog for the doghouse.

* This place is starting to feel more like home. Having pictures hung on the walls definitely helps. I've hung up a lot, but I still have a pile of pictures to find places for. Which is kind of fun.

* The sailboats on the fireplace are not my favorite feature. They were covered with tape/painted over from when they did the walls and I was just going to leave them that way. Darn husband trying to be helpful. Now he gets all car salesman on me and tries to tell me what a nice decorative touch they are. But it's not working. =)

* I am getting tired of hearing myself say "GO PLAY!!" The kids got so used to TV/computer/Wii while we were working like crazy to get moved. They are having a bit of trouble adjusting to the technology time limits now. (But they have an entire playroom now!! Which will be awesome. Once I get it cleaned and organized it will be awesome.)

* We knew our last house had tons of storage, but we didn't realize how much we were going to miss that storage. We really miss it. (Although the lack of storage is causing us to downsize. I've filled up 4 boxes for garage sale/goodwill and Corey took 6 boxes to storage yesterday. My plan is that if we haven't missed it by the time we build... we don't need it.)

* I've tried really hard not to buy stuff that is specific to our needs in this house. This is only temporary. Corey is really hoping to be officially "on the farm" in a year. So I don't want to spend a lot of money on temporary things, but we needed some temporary solutions. I bought this for our upstairs bathroom that has one tiny little cabinet. I felt okay about this though, since it's such a classic organizer. I can still use this in our next house.

* I bought a smaller one for the girls' room. They just had too much stuff and not enough places to store it. There's really only room for one dresser (we're using Gretchen's changing table as a dresser in her closet. Which works. But we still needed a place for all their little books and toys and stuff. Again... it shouldn't be too hard to find a place for this in another house someday. Or my classroom. I could always steal it for my classroom.

* Our closet was probably one of our biggest struggles. Corey and I each had our own closet in our old house. And they each stretched a good 8 feet. So sharing a little 4 foot closet has been challenging. And apparently we each have a lot of clothes. (I WILL fit into some of those smaller clothes again someday, right??) I'm sure there will be some purging here before we move, too. If they don't fit or get worn in a year, they're probably not going to. One thing though... Corey's going to have to learn to fold.

* We still don't have curtains in our room, but isn't this blanket lovely??

* I nearly broke a toe last night trying to get into bed. Corey shoved all his guns under the bed on his side (don't go trying to break into our house... we've got guns. Several guns. Even though my husband takes so long to really wake up that he will probably end up shooting me if anything ever happens.) But he shoved his guns under and pushed my Rubbermaid full of hoodies out on the other side. (What? Doesn't everyone have a whole Rubbermaid full of hoodies?!)

* The laundry basket full of hangers really just needed documenting. We have a few (hundred) laying around. And that's after we gave some to my mom... some to friends... and put some in storage. There were two 8 foot closets full of hangers, remember? Any locals in need of hangers? We'd be happy to share! =)

* My kitchen sink faucet only stays on by itself if it is up full blast. Which isn't really that big of a deal... unless you're trying to rinse dishes and end up getting showered with spray every time you stick a dish underneath it. Which is pretty often, since we don't have a dishwasher. The counter top surrounding the sink gets wiped down pretty often, too.

* Something got spilled on my Summer Lists notebook one night and we didn't discover it until morning. It's a little silly how sad it made me. I wanted to keep this notebook as a reminder of this summer. I still will... it just doesn't look as cute.

* I realized the first week we were here what a unique move this was. We weren't completely starting over. We had lived here 2 days and I had a friend calling to see if I wanted company on my Wal-Mart run that evening. A few nights later, another friend called and took me out for a drive and an ice-cream cone. I have a lunch date with 4 friends from high school on Friday. When we moved to Newton after college we didn't know a single person. It's a strange feeling to already have friends, but still feel so out of place.

* My Wal-Mart and ice cream buddies... we go way back. As in, I can't remember a time when I didn't know these two girls. Pretty sure we all met in Kindergarten. So blessed by them and their friendships.

* I have a new friend, too. Although we haven't actually met in person. But we've emailed a lot. And we'll meet soon. If not before, definitely at New Teacher Training on the 10th. She moved from a district/town just a few minutes away from my old one. We have several mutual friends and they have all been telling both of us that we need to meet/be friends. So we're listening to them. =)

* She's lucky that she has me to tell her important things like the fact that our new school district dresses up for inservice days. Bummer. I'm going to miss my comfy sweat pants/jeans on those days.

* I went to a 3 day training last week and got to meet all the other 1st grade teachers for the district. I loved that. (Meeting them, not the training so much.) They are all super sweet and helpful. But it still blew my mind a little bit that we were all there together and there were 5 of us. I'm used to our district grade level meetings including 14 of us. Two of the teachers are at the school in town and the other 3 of us are at the outlying (country) schools. We'll do our district collaboration (called PLC here) via Skype.

* My new staff keeps talking/being excited about having "an experienced 1st grade teacher!" I'm a little worried that they'll be disappointed.

* The a/c guy just left and says that everything looks fine with the unit. Dang. He said setting the temperature lower isn't going to make it cool the house any better. If we want it at 70*, just set it at 70* and it will shut off when it gets there. I'm not sure it will ever get there, though. Guess we might need to invest in more fans. And pray hard for a break from the 106* weather.

* I haven't taken many pictures lately. I actually couldn't find my camera for a couple days. Now that I've found it, I'm trying to figure out the weird lighting in this house.

* Sophie and Lawson are watching "Barbie and a Mermaid Tale." I'm actually interested in the storyline. Which is a bit depressing. Not the story, just the fact that I'm watching it.

* Corey starts his new job on Monday. He's commuting today and tomorrow of this week and then no more leaving the house at 4:30 am. Pretty sure he's excited about that. His boss is throwing a pizza party for his last day tomorrow. They have been really, really good to him.

* I should really start dressing nicer, since I'm making first impressions on people here. It's like the inside out pants and baby wolves t-shirt all over again. =)

* Clearly, Marley has made herself at home here...

Enough of my random rambling.
Off to conquer the to-do-list.

Friday, July 27, 2012


{Just an fyi... this post will probably be long. And very random. But I had lots of pictures and thoughts that I want to remember.}

My mom and dad were such amazing help to us before and during our move. My dad spent at least 4 full days down at our house helping load boxes and miscellaneous stuff. He and Corey are tied for the title of "Hardest Working Guy I Know." 

My dad made 3 trips back and forth with this trailer. Then unloaded all the contents into a storage unit for us. So much work and oh-so-helpful. (Although I'm still finding myself saying, "Where is _____? Oh... probably in storage." Luckily the storage unit is only a few blocks away from our house. We've made severals trips.)

The kids lived in such a state of chaos for awhile. (And they kind of still are.) They've been troopers.

This was Thursday night before our going away party.  We still had the dining room table, but all the chairs had been packed up and driven away. A friend from church had brought us supper and we had a little floor picnic. (Thank you, Becky W. for all that you did for us! Even though you weren't technically our relator, you did so much to help us out. You were amazing and we appreciate you so much.)

We got the UHaul Friday morning and Corey's brother and mom came down to help us finish packing/loading. (See all those trash bags? They are full of Corey's clothes. Most of the clothing he owns was stuffed into a trash bag. There were probably 20. We went to a VBS swim party the night after we moved here and he couldn't find his swim trunks. So all 20 trash bags were dumped all over our bedroom. It was awesome.)

My dad is the master packer. (And Corey commented later that I inherited some of his skills.) Every single inch of this UHaul was packed top to bottom. It was really amazing to me how much stuff we had. (Plus, there were at least 3 trailers that had already left and we had filled a storage unit in town when we were de-cluttering the house to get it ready to show.) Insane. We really need to downsize.

Someone commented to me on Facebook to just think about all the junk and clutter we got rid of in the move. But really... there wasn't time. From the time we signed the contract, we were out in 2 weeks. We packed up all the junk and clutter and brought it with us. I have been so incredibly grateful so. many. times. for my decrapifying spree that I went on last summer. I remember the hallway upstairs FULL of stuff that we were getting rid of.  I cannot imagine what this would have been like if we hadn't done that last summer. It's like God had this all planned or something. =)

The guys all started with this piece of furniture. Corey assured them that it would be the worst thing they would move all day. And I think it was. One of those things that they backed in and out a couple times and said several times "How did you get this in here?!"

This cabinet is what we used as a dresser in Lawson and Gretchen's room. We first moved it in here when I was pregnant with Sophie. It was a cabinet that was in my dad's vet clinic when he first went out on his own. For years and years it had been the cabinet in his exam/surgery room. When he built a brand new clinic, he hung on to this cabinet. We painted it and took the doors off the top, I decoupaged the counter top, we changed the knobs and Corey and 3 neighbors managed to get it upstairs 10 years ago.

10 years later, these 4 guys managed to get it out. Whew.

We decided against trying to get it up the stairs in our new house. The stairway is just as steep and the turns are just as narrow (if not more so.) So it's sitting in storage until we build our farmhouse. Then it will become a perfect cabinet/organizer for all my craft/scrapbook stuff.

Our neighbor, Russ, was an amazing help to us that day. We're so lucky he doesn't have a real job. =)

Our front yard looked a little white-trashy off and on during the day...

Casey got the fun job of driving both of Corey's trucks back to the farm. (Gretchen still looks out the window here and asks where Daddy's Jeep truck is.)

This was the UHaul after my dad and Corey's mom and brother left. Corey and I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening filling up the rest of this free space. We were a hot, sweaty mess. And we looked lovely when we went out for Chinese later that night.

Corey and I spent the night on two twin mattresses in the middle of the living room floor. We worked late into the night and I borrowed our neighbor's internet to check out Facebook when I couldn't sleep at 1:30 am.

A little something for the new owners...

Our goal was to leave around 9:00 Saturday morning. It ended up being after 11:00. But it was good in a way. I compared it to the last day of school. I was just so tired of being there and packing and cleaning and I just wanted to get on the road. By 11:00, I was just done. No emotion, no tears, just relief when we finally got left.

We pulled up in front of our new house at 12:15 pm. Right in the heat of the day. Dallas met us outside and quickly earned his own place on my list of "Hardest Working Guys I Know." I think my mom put it best... he worked crazy hard all day, but he never lost his laugh. He even grilled supper for us all that evening. (amazing pork chops!) 

I found this link on Pinterest awhile back and used her system for organizing all the boxes. Not only was it helpful, but it was colorful. Things are always better when they are colorful.

I had my little moving legend taped to the house right outside the front door and then again inside the house. The rooms that needed identifying all had pieces of colored paper taped to the outside of them. It made it easy for everyone to figure out where to put boxes and easy for me to say a color for things that didn't end up with a sticker tag on them.

This was pretty much our moving crew. Plus my dad once he got done at work. Meagan kept all 3 kids across street at their house, which was such a big help. They invited my parents and us over to their house for supper, too. Mom, Dad, Corey and I all went back to my parents house to shower first, though. We all said that a shower had never felt so good! Someone asked about running out of hot water, but we realized that none of us really used hot water. Cool showers are what we wanted!

I loved this little bucket. It was full of anything and everything that I thought might come in handy... scissors, tape, screw drivers, hammer, tape measure, etc. I think we used nearly everything in here at some point.

This was my other little lifesaver basket. It started out as my labeling basket (sticky labels and all my colored dots). It ended up holding little zip-loc bags full of all the screws needed to put our furniture back together. Anything important that I didn't want to lose in the move went here.

I'm *almost* done with the upstairs. The downstairs is coming together.
I wouldn't say it was a super organized move... but I tried hard.
The whole water main breaking and lots of repairs that needed done slowed us down a bit. (and are still slowing us down...)
So ready for this to be a clean and organized house.