Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moving diary # 14

Yesterday, Wednesday, was a church-in-the-evening day. Well, The kids had their choir practice. Steve and I had no classes. I had to volunteer to help at choir practice, though, so I didn't get to just sit around in the cafe with a cappuccino this time!

Wednesday night church starts at 5:45 and is about 20 minutes from our house. Because of this, we usually go to Little Caesar's or Papa John's and get their $5 large pizzas on the way. All this means that we leave the house not long after 5:oo. All projects must get done before then!

Now, strangely, I get so much more done on Wednesday. I think it is a combination of different things. Not having to think about dinner preparations helps a lot. But I am most organized when I have a deadline and, however small the deadline is, Wednesday does it for me!

So, I got everything done on yesterday's list except for mowing. That will be my challenge for today. Everything else can be bonus! Cleaning out Max and Misha's room spilled over into Vitali's clothes yesterday and I did that instead of mowing. Not to count my chickens before they are hatched but this is the earliest in the year that I have ever gotten the seasonal clothes sorted out! Of course, I haven't tackled the girls clothes yet--Man, do they have a lot of clothes!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moving diary # 13

I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

So much to do but, then, so much already done...

Steve came home from work yesterday with a migraine brewing and pretty much just went to bed to try and ward it off. ( he woke up feeling good again this morning.) It makes me realize that I count on him to give me my list of things to do. This works well for me. If I make my own list, we divide our efforts and are not as effective. Strangely, it seems that when he is out of commission, nothing really gets done at all! Really, it's not that I don't do anything but that I seem to need him to point me somewhere and say, "Why don't you do that".

I am trying to think of what I got done yesterday as far as moving goes. So far I am coming up short! Don't get me wrong, I was busy all day! Just that I was busy doing the stuff that needs to get done again today, too.

I had intended to prime the front steps but didn't get that far. Maybe today. I am also going to challenge myself to finish the boys' room and get the yard--at least the rest of the front--mowed.

Think I can do it?! I hope so!

I know my biggest hang up is that I am afraid to get our house ready to sell and then to actually sell it, and not to have anywhere to move into. I have always been more efficient with a deadline! Not exactly one of my strengths--Unless, that is, a deadline is looming.

At any rate, every experience is a chance to grow. And I am learning a lot. Mostly about how much stuff I have accumulated. And what a time-stealer Stuff is. Not just when you move but daily as you tidy it up or polish it or wash it or whatever.

I also am learning about gratefulness. Especially because a couple of friends of ours have bent over backwards, it seems, to take us under their wing. Richard has helped us by chocolate encouragement for me :-) and by tackling the ornery lawn mower in the hot sun the other day. Ginger has a bunch of potential houses for us every time we see her! I told Steve that I hope the house we end up with is one Ginger finds. She has invested so much time into us! And that is only a very tiny part of how they have blessed our family!

So, like I said, It's all a matter of perspective. A lot of work and unknowns but also a chance to grow and develop as a wife as I work alongside my husband and as a Christian, thanking God for his many blessings. Even the mixed ones.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moving diary #12

I know--I skipped yesterday's entry. I wonder how many people even noticed! Haha ! Not like this is cliffhanger stuff or anything! :-)

Anyway, I was getting ready to type my post last evening when Steve called me. It seems that the kids' water-wars outside had doused his bag of mortar that was to repair the outside of our basement walls which are covered in a layer of mortar. (like stucco) The bottom half all around the back and parts of the sides had chipped away, leaving the black tar exposed. Now that the mortar bag was wet the job had to get done now! So, I changed clothes and dragged my tired body outside to slap around some mortar. Turns out that it wasn't too hard. A lot of sitting and slapping. I even rather liked it. (I also like mudding drywall; something about spreading mud around that makes me happy--I don't know--I think my weirdness is pretty well documented anyway.)

My main activity of the day was to reclaim the house! What a mess it has become. The kids help, of course, but kid-clean isn't Mom-clean and I knew that the living room would be overwhelming to them. The kitchen was a mess, which I hate. The Living room, where the packed items have accumulated, was full of boxes and stuff to go into boxes and then the usual mess besides the things Steve is using to lay tile in the entryway. Tools, boxes, screws, paper instruction manuals, miscellaneous items waiting to be packed, out of season clothes boxes, and all mixed with a few toys and the odd item of clothing (that always perplexes me--laundry in the Living room. No one gets dressed in there!) That room alone took me almost three hours! Yikes! But it looked better when I was done. Steve's first words when he came home were, "This looks good in here!" It didn't, really. The boxes were still there, just more orderly. The tools were contained. But it did look much better!

Today I don't know what my plan is. Except for priming the front steps and railings. And then there is the usual: schoolwork, meals, laundry...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Moving diary #11

Today is another busy day but not as busy as I have been. Still more painting to do, cleaning up, schoolwork-- add in grocery shopping and carving out some time to spend with a friend who is visiting here from NY!

The good news is, Steve is coming home early from work today so that we can both work together and I plan on leaving the kids with him later so that my friend and I can visit.

A book on CD from our church library has kept me company throughout my hours being holed up in the boys' room. I am actually looking forward to getting back to work to hear more of the story.

I sensed yesterday that the kids were starting to feel neglected. I figured they were needing a fix of some mommy time and standing at the doorway of the room that I was painting with our verbal exchange being,

"Mommy! What are you doing? Painting?"



And one minute later...

"Mommy! What are you doing...?!"

..wasn't cutting it. You get the picture. So I decided we would do something fun. The weather has been summer-like and I have been stuck int the house so we got the wiffle ball and bat and went out into the yard for a game of baseball. I should point out that none of my kids really understand the rules. They can hit the ball but the rules are new to them. Until now, most of them haven't been big enough/had good enough English to play other than practicing hitting.

We had a good time and everyone's spirits were revived. Moving is hard on everyone.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moving diary #10

My to-do list yesterday was a little ambitious but I surprised myself by staying on track and keeping up pretty well. Until it was time to mow. I went outside to the mower box (That I had unloaded from the truck myself. I am so strong, aren't I?) and, although I normally would have ripped out one side of the box so that I could easily wheel the mower out, this time I am thinking what a good box that is and got a little more creative. With a little muscle power I removed the mower from the box, leaving the box in pristine condition. Ah! A fresh mower! All clean and shiny!

So, next I pour in the oil that came with the mower. Then I gassed the tank. Ready. Prime the --What ever it is that you prime-- and pull the cord. Nothing. Pull again. Nothing. More priming and pulling. There! It is running. But not for long.
Over and over I tried the mower. Three pulls to start and then the engine would start only to wind right down. It has some kind of problem, once it starts it runs only on the fuel that I primed it with and then stalls out.

This is the second mower, you may remember. The first one blew up before we made it through the whole yard once. I am wondering if this is a case of "fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice..."

Anyway, as far as my list for yesterday goes,
  • Morning chores Done
  • paint trim (second coat) Done
  • patch wall dents all over the house OOPS, forgot this one.
  • finish mowing Yeah, well, I had good intentions...
  • Schoolwork I ended up taking the day off. I don't do that very often--Not even for spring break
  • Church tonight. Yep.
  • Come home from church and get something more done before bed. What it is will depend on what Steve wants. I may just be rolling the boys' room paint. I should point out that I didn't get anything done work-wise after church. We worked on a Master To-Do list instead. I did get the boys' room rolled, though. Just did it earlier in the day!
And today I plan to:
  • Morning chores
  • Paint doors and moldings in the boys' room as well as the inside of the front door. (UGH! I like painting, just not doors!)
  • Patch wall dents.
  • Schoolwork
  • Laundry
  • Sort the boys' clothes and shoes.
  • Help Steve this evening to lay ceramic tile in the front entry way.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Moving diary #9

Yesterday saw me retrieve a pile of boxes from our main source, the liquor store. ( I swear, our next neighbors are going to think we are a bunch of drunks when they see us moving in!) The kids in the truck are always an interesting oddity when I go there. "Are those all yours?" "How many do you have in there?!", etc... I don't mind. I just smile. I'm proud of my brood. :-)

From there we headed to Walmart and picked up a gallon of paint. Sesame. A nice neutral beige. I am planning to paint the boys' room and the living room the same color. My bedroom is already beige. Although my room is a slightly different (better, in my opinion) shade. I hope that isn't an issue. If I think it might be, I'll paint the living room to match my room instead of the boys room. There. Aren't you glad to know all that?

After picking up the paint, we came home for lunch and cleanup from lunch and a few minutes to regroup and then schoolwork. After schoolwork was laundry and starting dinner and by the time Steve was home late for dinner and that was finished and cleaned up I was already trying to talk myself into waiting till tomorrow to start the painting....

But, like a good girl, I got myself together and went in to the boys' room to start the edging. Now don't feel too sorry for me, I actually love to paint. It is relaxing (except when your four and five year-olds are following you around "helping") and gratifying--provided you're changing the current color, which I always do.

Steve started pulling up the linoleum and sub-flooring in the entryway of the house (a small area) after dinner. The boys helped him and he is paying them each $1 to finish it for him today. They are so excited, they would pay HIM a dollar to let them do it! :-) We are going to put ceramic tile there instead to match the other parts of the house. The boys get so excited and keep reporting to me that "Daddy is breaking yours house, Mommy!" They love it when I act astonished.

So, that was yesterday. Here is today's list:
  • Morning chores
  • paint trim (second coat)
  • patch wall dents all over the house
  • finish mowing (we had to buy a new mower because ours quit. Then, the new one literally blew up while Steve was mowing with it for the first time, spewing oil everywhere! Now we have another new one. Let's hope I have better luck!)
  • Schoolwork
  • Church tonight. (Kids have choir rehearsal and classes. My class is over so I get to relax a bit and wait for them. Ahhh...)
  • Come home from church and get something more done before bed. What it is will depend on what Steve wants. I may just be rolling the boys' room paint.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Moving Diary #8: Back to work today....

After having a week "off" because of Steve's family in town, today is the day we get back to work around here! Actually, We did quite a bit of packing on Saturday. Kitchen things. I made Steve wait until after his family left before he thinned our kitchen. And now, it has been thinned.

Extra rubber spatulas, one of the crock pots, the roasting pan, some dishes and the cake stands. A bunch of other stuff too. Enough to fill six boxes. The idea was to eliminate the need for a free-standing cupboard that we had in there. We are trying to erase or, at least, minimize the signs that a family with six children is living in this house. We want the new family to wander through here thinking of themselves here, not thinking, "Wow! Six kids!...."

Today, we have to get back to school and try and recover the house from under the remnants of our packing adventures. Seriously, the kids had to shift stuff around on the table to carve out little cubbies in which to perch their breakfast cereal bowls this morning! I did something similar to make Steve's lunch this morning, "creating" a clean space by grabbing a cutting board and pushing stuff aside on the counter!

Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to conquering the mess that was once the command center of the home. Nothing more gratifying cleaning-wise than taking a mess like that and transforming it to a shiny luster! Haha! Just like vacuuming a mess from the carpet is more satisfying than vacuuming one that already looks fairly good!

Anyway, at this point, I am all talk! I need to get myself dressed and hop in the shower (not in that order) and then, WORK!! LOL!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Visit From the Eimers'!

Steve's parents were in town this past week visiting with their soon-to-be-adopted daughters, Tina, Selena and Yasmine. My goodness! Did we ever have a fun time around here! And Oh! the sad faces when Grandma and Grandpa and the girls left for New York again today!

Here are a few pictures of our time together:



All nine just before leaving time.

Grandma brought a Mama Chihuahua who is not much more than a pup herself and an actual puppy. Then, while they were visiting Steve's brother's family in Chattanooga, they bought another tiny puppy! Here is Tina, their middle girl, with the newer one.

Annette, Max, Yasmine, and the two teeny puppies.

Hannah and Selena in the front yard tree. These two, as the older kids, spent all their time together and were often seen sitting off talking or walking or doing anything that was 'just them'.
They mixed in with everyone else too. When Grandma and Grandpa left, I asked Hannah if she missed the puppies. She replied, "Yes, but I miss Selena more."

Yasmine, the youngest, with one of the pups.

Aww...Sleeping... (but not really)

And now grumpy! ( But also, not really. )

Ivy got this pretty new dress for her birthday from Grandma Eimers...

...I think she likes it!

Selena and the other pup.

Annette and Yasmine really enjoyed being together.

The dogs put up with a lot.

Ready to go...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Moving Diary: # 7

Where have I been?! Not accomplishing much apparently!

Well, in a way, we have taken a break from packing and moving preparations. We are still house-hunting--looking in the papers, internet and talking with the Realtor. Tonight we drove by a couple of places. One looked pretty promising but we'll see. We are in the market for foreclosures. Our current house was a foreclosure and that investment strategy has worked well for us so we are looking to repeat the same process again. Hopefully we will have good success both times.

We have lived in our current home for seven years. The next one we plan to only own for only a couple of years. Then, buy our "permanent" home. I put that in quotes because, well, you know--nothing of this nature is ever certain-sure.

We have had relatives visiting since last week. First my side of the family and now Steve's. We are enjoying their visit and a little break from the packing and boxes!

I'll get back to my 'diary' before long, no doubt. In the meantime, if you're wondering, we're doing alright here!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Moving diary: # 6

I am posting this one early today because, even though Steve is coming home early with plans to work around here with a teen-aged helper of his, I am going to my mom and dad's to greet the first wave of the Easter weekend gathering of family members!

What did I do today up until this point? A lot, but nothing. A lot of household recovery efforts but nothing as far as moving goes. Well...I guess I can count cleaning out the car so that Steve can fill it with boxes but, really, it needed a good cleaning anyway.

I worked in my bedroom trying to get rid of all signs of boxes and hardware items. The hardest part of moving is not the packing but the trying to keep the rest of the house from going to H-E-double hockey sticks... I need an oasis. I decided my bedroom will be it! It would be nice if my kitchen could be it too but other than visiting the Chocolate Island from Richard over in the corner of the counter (which I have already done today *smile*), who wants to visit an oasis in the Kitchen?! My bedroom seems a much cozier retreat--fewer calories there, too.

So, I am off to clean up my non-oasis of a kitchen right now and then I'll spruce myself up so I don't scare anyone at the gathering today. If I'm feeling lucky, I'll switch out the laundry and re-tidy the living room. The kids will help me with the living room, though. That makes me more likely to get that area tidied up. I doubt any vacuuming will happen. Or mowing, for that matter.

Over and out.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving diary: # 5

The sun came out today, literally and figuratively. :-)

It was warm and Indiana Jones, all the kids and I got ourselves outside for one reason or another. Mine being less fun than the kids' but a little bit fun nonetheless. I painted the shutters. Luckily, I enjoy painting--particularly spray painting.

So, now my hands are sore and blackened to match the shutters giving just a bit of tell-tale evidence of my fervent efforts to restore our home's luster. :-)

I also painted a side table the same black with an extra can of spraypaint. I'll show you before and after pictures later. If I get around to it.

I think I did something else today. I just can't remember what it is. I just don't feel like thinking anymore today. Unless it is about this:

Thank you, Richard! :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Moving diary: #s 3 and 4

So...I am already slacking. At this entry I have to cover two days. Three, if you count Sunday, but I didn't do anything at all that day so I am not counting it! (Steve did finish the pressure washing because the machine had to be returned Monday morning. )

Monday, we packed up the rest of the books, leaving a few for the interim but I do mean a few! We also cleaned out the girls clothes closet, leaving only a couple of shirts with long sleeves and the few short sleeved ones that they kept in there over the winter. We still haven't unpacked the summer clothes box so that will mean another evening of sorting when we do that! (They'll be getting into it for tomorrow's weather, though. :-) Today it snowed, tomorrow is predicted to be warm and sunny again! Gotta love Spring!)

Today was freezing cold--well, 40s and rainy/snowy. Steve's job for the day was cancelled so he was home to work more on packing. From all the stuff we've moved out, you'd think we wouldn't have much left. Au Contraire, mon frere...

As I am typing, we have finished packing the car and the kids are helping--no, make that returning from helping to unload the truck across the street at Number 11 A, as the boys call our storage unit. They love the job and Steve appreciates the help, you can be sure!

They took the train table (our favorite hand-me-down ever!) and some boxes of clothes in sizes nobody is wearing right now. They also took the easy bake oven and a big box of stuffed animals and games today. And what else?... Oh, yes, some things from the kitchen although I have barred Steve from packing much there since we are going to have a houseful of company next week with a visit from Steve's side of the family! I need my tools!

Tonight we are tired. Last night, I was more tired. Not a crier, I was on the verge. Now there's a big admission for me! I know it was just that there was mess everywhere. I know I live in a kind of controlled chaos all the time that most people, if dropped in the middle of it, would just melt but The key word there was 'controlled! Yesterday and into this morning, this house was just a disaster! To be expected with a big load of empty boxes mixed with kids' toys, coats and shoes all over the living room and school books all over the kitchen table (and under it some, too!) , the grocery shopping had been done that day with the result that I was already tired by the time it was time to make dinner and then clean up. The kids were stir crazy because it was cold and rainy out and it was a dreary kind of day on top of all that! Man, I sound like a whiner! I just kept telling myself, tomorrow.... tomorrow...once we are settled....etc...

And you know what? I was fine this morning. In fact, I was feeling much better before I went to bed! I decided that a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk were just what I needed. And you know what? I was right! ;-)

We made enough progress today that it is starting to feel less cramped around here. That is the best part of moving! I have been sorting through things as I go and I know it won't all make it into the new place. The feeling of sparseness is practically addictive to me! Not that I am there yet.

And now, goodnight!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Moving diary. #2

Okay, at the end of day three, despite being gone for several hours today, we have 10+ boxes, the Christmas decorations (most of them), the baby crib, the cradle, and Max and Misha's Spiderman card table and chairs in the rented storage space!

We also have the driveway pressure washed, the house 2/3rds pressure washed, and the front steps further along in their rebuilding process.

I forgot to mention that the other day, I mowed the front yard for the first time this year. I also planted a lot of flowers to give them a good start. The rest will be planted when Steve is done with the stairs to minimize their risk of getting stepped on. It is starting to look really nice out front...that is, if you can mentally erase the ladders and building supplies scattered around!

Today, my brother Evan came and helped Steve with a bunch of things, mostly pressure washing, I think. The other day, Steve's employee helped him too. I don't know what we'd do without the extra hands.

I have noticed some misbehavior from Misha. Particularly today. Breaking well-known house rules and disobedience. While we can't let the direct disobedience slide, I am aware of the fact that it may be related to the upheaval and the unknown. It is very possible that he is anxious about the whole thing. Maybe he doesn't even realize it himself. So we have been stating the "obvious" to him. That when we move to a new house, he will go with us. We are a family and we will stay all together. That sort of thing. The sort of thing that other kids may not wonder about.

Ivy especially has asked me a lot of things about moving. Are we taking the bathtub, the chairs, her blankie, her toys, the couch, the rugs, our television, her pony movie?....

Vitali wonders things like how will we move our beds? How will we pick up our couch? Things involving logistics and muscles.

Misha hasn't asked much of anything.

Max is excited about carrying boxes. He also is excited to have a new house. He has moved more often in his life and is less attatched to where he lives. He doesn't, at this point, seem concerned that we will leave anyone behind.

Hannah and Annette want to go and don't want to go. Both are excited to have a new house but both like this house. And the neighbors! We love our neighbors now, but then, the other house has little girls that visit there often...

Hannah has been sorting out everything in sight. Her room. Her clothes. The videos. Who knows what next?!

Ahh... bedtime.

Moving diary. #1

We have decided to move to a new house. I thought I might keep a short daily diary of our process here. I am hoping some of you will give me hints that will help if not do the packing for me....

Days 1-yesterday(I am going to call today 'Day three' since it's close but I don't know what day we decided to start packing up.)

We didn't do much packing at first. Mostly, I have been walking around in a daze looking at all that must be done. Yuck!

Steve has re-built the back porch and the front steps. Well, at least just the top boards that were weathered.

Yesterday, I packed the kids' books. And I sorted them out. I think I culled a third of them. So, that is a good thing.

Also, yesterday, I started sorting our closet and then Steve joined me in the evening. WHEW! That was a big job! Too Much Stuff!!!!!

We also thinned out our clothes to make the closet look nicer and packed up out of season things that we won't need till next year but that we usually leave there year-round. It really looks nice! Now I see that we will need to slap a coat of paint in there thanks to shoes banging against the walls.

I got rid of a bunch of things there, too. Not as much as I should have probably, though.

I should mention that even though we have a house picked out, we changed our moving plans slightly with the intent of selling this house before buying that one. Yes, it is a bit risky, but so is a bigger mortgage....