A Written Scrapbook

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I’m experiencing a bit of a blog homecoming, if you will. Knowing that my hosting fee was due for renewal this month, but not wanting to pay it again since I haven’t been doing ANY paid blogging lately and very little personal blogging, I decided to just bring it all back over to a wordpress.com site. In the process of transferring 10+ years’ worth of content, though, I remembered why I started blogging in the first place. I have right here a written history. There are gaps, yes, but there are a lot of sweet family memories that I want to save…and add to.

So I’m doing an overhaul. It will take time to get it all cleaned up the way I want it to be, but I’m back in one spot and I think I’ve come full circle on what this space was initially intended to be for me, for my family.

As such, I’d like to introduce you to Andrew Carneige. He looks kind of jolly in the eyes, much like a certain 12yo girl who lives in my house. Today was our school’s 3rd-6th grade History Fair and it was fun to see all of the hard work of all the kids and to also hear some of the history of their friends here. We participated in other versions of school events, but not exactly like this. I’m glad Millie was able to get in on the end of it before joining the ranks next year of the upper school.

Bozeman kids go to school clear through the first week of June which is a bit of an adjustment for us, but since the weather is still generally pretty cool, I understand it. We will have three full months off and not begin again until after Labor Day in September. And we’re really looking forward to all that the next three months will bring here.

Indeed, Bozeman is a beautiful place. God has done much to redeem what was broken. I think we very well might be experiencing a time of relational jubilee. For that, I am grateful. Exceedingly.

 

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It’s Slowly Coming Together

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I used to pride myself on getting a house completely unpacked, pictures hung and EVERYTHING in only two weeks. We’ve moved so many times in the past 15 years I had it DOWN. I’d just look at Craig upon moving in and say, “Two weeks.” Presto, two weeks later it was done.

We’ve been in this house for 7.5 weeks now and guess what? I’m still not done. I’m blaming a significant portion of that on the fact that I’ve never painted rooms immediately upon moving in before and so far have painted Craig’s study, Millie’s room, the entry way/stairwell/upstairs hallway, and put a third coat on our kitchen plus painted the laundry room. I paint ceilings too. Y’all, that’s a lot of painting.

The other thing I’m blaming my delay on is being 37. I’ve discovered the older I get the harder it is to pull off this whole “Let’s move again!” thing. In fact, I don’t think I ever want to do it again. Ever.

Also, we didn’t have any bookshelves when we got here despite the fact that we did bring all of our books. It’s taken time to gather a new round of those here in Oklahoma City. It finally happened this week when I hit the jackpot by way of the OU Property Control surplus sale. Apparently they are normally open to the public on Wednesdays, but this week they had a unique situation going in that they are preparing for the demolition of one of their buildings. Rather than move everything inside that building over to their surplus site, they hosted a public 3-day sale in which all their awesome stuff that was already cheap on Wednesday became 25% cheaper on Thursday and 50% cheaper on Friday. I picked up three old university wooden bookshelves (think: tall, wide, STURDY, and already assembled!) for $20 each. On Thursday I went back for 3 more, then $15 each. I also got two old wooden desk chairs, one of which I’m sitting in right now and I love it. Piano benches are completely overrated as desk chairs.

Anyway, all that to say that while I still don’t have ALL the boxes of books unpacked, we’re much much closer than we were before Wednesday and that’s feeling pretty darn good.

I still have a significant amount of work organizing all the various closets this house has and aside for the pictures you see above, we haven’t hung much yet either. But it will eventually happen. It always does. This time it’s just taking a lot longer than it used to.

Anyone still out there?

Wow, that took a long time, didn’t it? We moved out of our house on Friday, June 3 and though we had very shallow pockets of internet thrown in throughout the subsequent three weeks, it was never on my desktop and I don’t blog from the library. I can’t use a PC anymore without major frustration. I am officially a Mac snob.

Hope your June has been less chaotic than mine has been so far!

Tap, Tap, Tap – Is this thing on?

It's been about three weeks since I've had access to the internet from anything other than my phone. I did have one night's worth at my parents' house (when I put up the last post) but other than that, nada. It's not necessarily been a bad thing, but let's just say I'm glad to have it back now.

Oklahoma has been…hot. No surprises there, right? It's pseudo-south and not-pseudo summer, so the heat is to be expected. What isn't going to be expected is our air conditioning bill when it arrives. We're not used to having central air conditioning, but we're getting used to it quickly. Our house has three units and the main challenge is remembering to turn off whichever one(s) we're not needing at any given time. My other challenge is remembering to turn them back on when I enter a room. I have this weird habit of not noticing the temperature until I've reached an extreme, so by the time I realize the air isn't on, it's 82 in the house. Yes, I know. It's weird.

No painting has taken place in this house yet, but I'm considering tackling my first project this weekend. I did have this unexplainable need to throw some color on in some fashion last week, so I took three hours out of my unpacking and covered this bulletin board:

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I. Love. It. I have another super large bulletin board in this same room that I think will get the same treatment at some point in time, but after realizing how long it took me to do this (smaller) one, I decided the larger one could wait a bit longer. We still haven't even found the printer cord. Ahem.

I did grab some paint chips today just to begin thinking about color and where it will all go. I want another orange room, but won't do the main living room orange this time. Nope. I'm going to paint over our floor to ceiling brown paneling with something else. Haven't quite decided just what yet, though.

Anyway, wanted to come out of hiding tonight to say hello and we're still around. We're just still very much in the process of digging ourselves out of our latest transition. It could be a while before things totally normalize again.

Update

I’m not sure if my one week silent treatment here on the blog has been sufficient proof that we moved last week or not, so I thought I’d break my internet fast tonight to tell you it’s true. Last Sunday we left St. Louis for Oklahoma City. We’re still finding our way around in every sense of the phrase. The people we are buying our house from (we still haven’t closed on the house yet even though we HAVE moved in) still have a lot of their things in the house until they get their own situation figured out. Among these things are their dog, Boomer, and their cat, Lloyd (if you don’t get the significance of those names to the geographical area then go brush up on your OU trivia…).

We’ve been enjoying Boomer and Lloyd very much even if Peaches, our own pooch, doesn’t care so much for Lloyd and Chloe and I have had to break out the Zyrtec again due to cat-induced allergies.

However, the girls and I are back on the road this weekend. Half of us are headed back to St. Louis to gather up the rest of our own things we left in what is now no longer our house there in Maplewood. So we’ll be silent for a bit longer as we continue this transition.

Peace out.

Finding meaning in the mundane

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I hearby take a break from Operation: Pack This House to post something on WORLDMag. I think I have some typos over there, but haven’t had time to fix them yet. Forgive?

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Sorting socks is not a task I enjoy very much and the pile-o-mismatched socks that sits in the corner of my room proves it. Yesterday was the big match day and I sat on my daughter’s bed sorting socks for a good half-hour. I started groaning inwardly while doing this, but somewhere in the middle of it all my perspective changed and I began thinking about all the people in my home who wear said socks and my heart changed from bitterness for the task to thankfulness for the wearers. The job became less demanding as I opted for cheerfulness in the midst of the chore.

I’ll be honest. Thankfulness in the midst of thankless acts is not my natural default. I don’t take to heart the words of Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” But in that moment of sock sorting, something switched in my heart that I needed to get through this, our last week in St. Louis, which hopefully will have a lasting effect. I began to see my work as, not only for the Lord, but also for the people in my family who benefit from it.

My next test came soon after that as I was packing up my 10-year-old packrat’s, I mean, daughter’s bedroom. I can’t remember the last time I took a peek at the back of her bedroom door. It was completely covered with clippings of favorite animals, notes from friends, Cardinals baseball memorabilia. At once, tempted to groan at the amount of tape that needed to be peeled, I was instead quickly able to move to a position of thankfulness for the unique position of being able to catch a glimpse into some of her very favorite things. These were all things she’d hidden from most eyes most of the time, but things she felt compelled to display for her own enjoyment. And seeing the world through her eyes, for only a moment, made the peeling more palatable.

I’m not the most patient mama. It’s definitely one of the spirit’s fruits I wish grew in more abundance on my personal tree. But I’m finding that developing new eyes for the ordinary things of life with young kids goes a long way toward helping sprout that fruit. It also enables me to take the long way home with my kids a little more often. It’s during that long path home we discover more of who we all are. And I’m finding that when I take time do this, I remember how much I love the life I’ve been given, mismatched socks and all.

Farewell Party Take 2

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That could mean a farewell party for two (Maddie and Chloe), or another farewell party (as in the second one). Or, see these cupcakes? Go ahead. Take two.

Friends of the girls from school hosted a pool party today on their behalf. Seeing as how it was some 90 degrees (or close to it), it was much appreciated.

So were the cupcakes.

This is Home

Our family still processes almost everything with music. It’s pretty much how Craig and I figured out who we were at the very beginning of our relationship and it’s pretty much how we all apologize to each other now and how we continue to process everything. Our kids are starting to do the same. We’ve been slowly pulling together a family playlist for this time of transition in our lives. Maddie added the latest to the list for us and it’s probably the most appropriate of all the ones we have on it so far.

This is Home by Switchfoot:

Putting the hybrid in our homeschool

So I describe myself all over the internet like this: wife, mama, freelance writer, occasional crafter, hybrid homeschooler, Mary Poppins wannabe.

It works for me.

If you’ve been hanging around here long enough you know we’ve homeschooled all four girls until this past year. This past year we sent two to a great local Christian school and I continued to homeschool the younger two. Next year we will streamline again by all being on the same page, but it will still be a change. We’ll be participating in the blended educational model of Veritas Classical Academy.

Veritas seems like the best of both worlds. My two younger girls will attend classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and be home on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. My two older girls will attend classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and be home on Mondays and Wednesdays.

As much as I’ve appreciated what my two older girls had this year at their school, and believe me, I appreciated it very much, I’m really looking forward to all of us being on the same page again next year.

The entry-level draw back, however, is that Veritas teaches Saxon math to the students one year ahead. I have no issues with Saxon, but I’m a little concerned over the one year ahead thing.

So guess who is doing math all summer long? That’s right, point those fingers right at us. My 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th graders will be cramming 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th grade math all summer long so that when they go in as 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th graders in the fall hopefully they will be ready to do 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade math.

Make sense? Last night I pulled together the insane math schedule we’re going to have to do all summer to make this happen. We’re completely redefining the term summer fun around here this year.

But I know they can do it and this could very well be the right summer to make it happen considering we’ll have just moved to a new place and not be very well connected with friends for the girls yet. What else is there to do in Oklahoma besides math anyway?

I’m KIDDING. Of course.

Anyway, that’s the latest on what’s going on with our educational roller coaster. I’m hoping it’s all downhill from here.