Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We have an address!!!

Truck comes in 5 days, we leave in 7, and we arrive in LA after the first of the year... very excited!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Working on holiday cards

It's a dreary rainy November day, and about the only motivation I have is for creating our holiday card. Yes, I know this is really productive when I am supposed to be packing, but every little item checked off our "to do" list is *something*, right?

A month or so ago I created and printed an adoption announcement for Baby E using Shutterfly, and that will go inside our annual holiday card. So now I just have the difficult job of choosing a design for the card itself! I have made collage cards many years in the past, but I am leaning towards simpler options this year. I really like the look where the photograph needs no frame, but then how much design do I want on top of the picture? That's the quandary I'm facing.

Maybe this one? I love the pink accents and mod feel, not to mention it satisfies my (admittedly somewhat picky) criteria above.

Or this one, with its simple layout? I love it!

Or maybe this one, because it sparkles. :)

I really don't know.

Then there's always the collage option, which opens up a whole other realm of possibilities. EEK!

Cool holiday giveaway from Shutterfly:

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly. Learn more:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Noise levels

For a couple days last week a friend of ours watched all four kids so we could get some packing work done. It was amazing how much work DH and I got done with no distractions. It was amazing how quiet the house got. I enjoyed the work, but not as much the quiet. Sure, it was nice to go to bed at night without a baby monitor or have to worry about waking up before we wanted to. But I found, especially at times when I was doing dishes or working downstairs, that I missed the low rumble that seems constant around here.

I had a moment Saturday afternoon after asking N to come to the kitchen when I heard his feet pounding across the floor and realized how much that sound is part of the fabric of our life here and something I don't want to miss.

So today with Christmas instrumentals as my background music, I hear four children playing in a homemade fort in the other room and smile. It doesn't make me so crazy today, not the way it did a week ago before my quiet time. :)

Some of the things we did last week.... DH and I got some much-needed work done on the basement and stuff done around the house in preparation for the recycle party. We took a bunch of books to our favorite used book store and used credit from the last time we traded in books. We came away with a few gems, far fewer than we had traded in, so it was a success! :) We had a really great time!

The kids' toys are mostly packed up now. I have yet to pack a couple of items, but that will happen this week. Right now they're enjoying a homemade fort. It's a lot easier to clean up when there are no toys around, although they still manage to get into things. ;)

My parents and youngest brother will be here for Thanksgiving in the next week or so, so that will be great. I am excited! Mom and I plan to pack up most of my dishes--china and everyday Fiestaware--and just use the winter dishes she bought me last year along with the Christmas Pfaltzgraff I started collecting when DH and I got married for the time between Thanksgiving and when we move (we'll use china for Thanksgiving dinner). I think I have too many dishes. Better than too few? :P Have you guys had any luck with those china packing containers that have zippers and lots of padding? If not, how do you pack your china? Any tips? I've done this a few times, but I've wondered about the china storage, especially with keeping dust off and such in the event that we keep them stored like that for a while.

And with that...

T-5 weeks. EEK!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Canon in D

I remember the first time I heard Canon in D and recognized it as separate from other classical music. It was the first time I saw Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin version, not the Spencer Tracy version). Sure, I had heard it before; my parents had it on a CD in their classical music collection. It was not until Father of the Bride, however, that I realized what a beautiful wedding song it was. After that I started hearing it a lot at weddings. It was probably popular before that and I just didn't know it, because it had blended into the background music of my life.

Eight years after I first saw Father of the Bride, Canon in D played at my wedding. It had remained a hit in my mind through middle school and teenage angst, through high school and acne and crushes and homework (lots of homework), through my first love and college, independence, our engagement and finally wedding planning. It lasted. I realized this afternoon when I heard the song--this time as part of a Christmas CD--that I have now lived with this song longer since I married than I did between hearing it and marrying. Yet those eight years I described above, from when I was about 12 to just under 21, were some of the most formative of my life. That was when I made decisions, good and bad, that still impact my life. Thankfully the decisions that most impact me today were good ones, even if at the time they were not made according to popular wisdom. A girl in college just does not marry at 20 in this day and age, after all. What was I thinking? And to a boy who, at 19, had taken time off school to pursue full-time ministry? Clearly neither of us was right in the head.

Today looking back on that day, 10 years ago this December, when we said, "I do," no, of course we had no idea what we were walking into. Canon in D was the song that kept me to that day, and now I can tell you that all of the pomp and fanciness of our wedding day has been surpassed by the beautiful life God has built for us. The roller coaster is by no means at an end, but we have each other. I hope and pray we continue to live a life set to beautiful music.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the house hunting begins

Yesterday I signed up for Westside Rentals. I haven't found anything earth-shattering that wasn't already on Craigslist, but who knows what will happen in the next month to six weeks?

We talked about having me fly out to CA to do some house hunting, but even with round-trip tickets as cheap as $150 (which is cheap!), it's money we don't want to spend if we don't have to. So for now, our friends out there will tour houses and take pictures for us.

As far as housing goes out there, it's kind of funny how we assume things sometimes. Sometimes there are two houses on a lot--this happens a lot in LA, partly because land is so expensive, partly because people in the front house built a guest house in the back to bring in rent. It's not illegal squatting or something, but it does seem a little odd to a Midwesterner not used to it. In one listing we looked into, the two houses on one lot share a washer and dryer. This is a lot nicer than a communal laundry where you share with a ton of other people, but it's still a communal laundry. The fact that it would allow us to have a free-standing house where we wouldn't be footsteps over anyone's head or have to hear anyone else's footsteps over our heads is really nice, though, so we're still looking into it. I wondered as soon as I heard about this laundry facility-sharing thing where exactly the laundry facilities are. The lady listing the house said they're in the garage. Aha! That's a new one for a Midwesterner for sure! Considering our laundry room is in a less-heated part of our house right now and we have issues with too-cold pipes every year, putting the laundry in the garage never occurred to me.

Another house we're looking at (technically a townhouse) has all of the bedroom space we want and bathroom space we want plus amenities like access to gym facilities and such. The only thing is, not only are the dining room and kitchen floors tile, but so is the living room floor. My children are loud enough. I don't know if tile is a good idea. Then I thought that maybe I could get a rug or rugs, but that is just more money... and when we're already stretching our budget, I just don't know. Still thinking about that one too. I do really like so many things about that one that it might be worth the rugs... IKEA still carries rugs, right?

My favorite house of all right now is adorable. It's not very big, and the landlord is not opposed to renting to us but has already mentioned that raising three children there was tight. The thing is, this house isn't much different in size than anything else we're looking at, so I told her it's not going to matter where we rent at this point; the space issue will be an issue everywhere. The house is free-standing, has an updated (and relatively large for the size of the house, from what I can tell from the pictures) kitchen, and is just so adorable! Did I already say that? I haven't seen pictures of bedrooms and such. I'm sure they're small, but with a decent size kitchen, a living room, and a separate dining room, we'll make it work.

T- 6w6d

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Under 8 weeks

and I am trying not to freak out.

And probably failing at that. :P

Today I am giving away the kids' crib bedding that all four of them used at one time or another. I bought a girly set for our youngest that sort of matches the older girls' bedding for when they share a room after we move.

The Christmas tree is going too. It was a $40 special at Old Time Pottery four years ago, so it definitely paid for itself and more after being used four Christmases. Hubs said he didn't want to deal with it this year and all of its needle-shedding goodness. I figure that always made it seem sort of lifelike, minus the watering part. In exchange I (as in we) get to start listening to Christmas music anywhere in the house the first of November. Major victory there, so I will not miss the tree as much as I originally thought. :P

Also coming next week--purchasing a membership to Westside Rentals, THE site for renting a place in LA. And yes, you have to pay for it. Yes, I think this is insane. On the other hand, given the size of LA's west side, it provides a good service and as long as I stick with the basic membership and don't wander into the "We provide a driver for you for a day of checking out potential homes" membership, it will only cost $60.

How did people move before computers? I have asked that question so many times over the past few weeks, and I'm not sure I want the answer. I keep thinking we are unprepared for this or that, but with a few strokes of the keyboard I can instantly find out information on everything from homeschooling in LA to how far a prospective home is from a Trader Joe's (this is important information!).

T- 7w6d

Friday, October 22, 2010

Doing what I was meant to do

There are times in my life when I have the feeling that I'm where I'm supposed to be: at summer camp with some of the best friends I have ever had; in a classroom--sometimes as the student, sometimes as the teacher; special times with my husband; holding and feeding my babies.

Last night I added another one to my list: helping a woman feed her baby.

I suppose it was just the natural combination of all of the things I enjoy doing. And it was great.

I look forward to many more experiences like that in the months and years to come, and I pray that I will be a blessing to those who want my help and service.

In moving news, the truck is reserved, the auto shipping is reserved, and six plane tickets are secured.

T- 8w3d (this is starting to feel like a pregnancy with the countdown :))

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Airfare secured

Thanks to a wonderful woman in the church in CA, we have secured airfare at no cost to us. Tomorrow I make the reservation to ship our car. Then we just keep packing and hopefully everything will keep falling into place. I have felt recently as if this move is my life and my life is this move, so the past couple of days I tried getting the phone call-related tasks done and tomorrow should complete that for a while. It'll be nice not to be on hold with an operator on the other end of the line or thinking about the cost of everything for a while. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Truck reserved!

The truck is reserved. This is exciting and terrifying.

I got more done last week as far as paring down our household belongings. We still have a long way to go, but I think we'll get it all done. We must get it all done! :)

The kids are really excited about moving to LA. They have asked extensive questions about earthquakes, the ocean, what our house will look like, etc. Seeing this adventure through their eyes makes me even more excited about all of it.

Yet it is bittersweet. We will leave some very good friends behind, and that will be tough. :(

T- 9 weeks until the truck arrives. EEK!

Monday, October 11, 2010


The biggest motivator for purging our belongings that I have ever had is this move.  I have begun calling it THE MOVE because it at times seems so crazy, so overwhelming, that such a name needs to be simple yet definitive.  "The Move" it is.  I even wrote that on a folder the other day and then filled said folder with all of our moving truck-related paperwork and FlyLady's Moving Tips printed out. Nothing says purging like creating more paperwork.

I have begun compiling a list of items we WILL move, because this seems easier than making a list of things NOT to move. There is a lot of stuff we're dumping here--at the local clothing bank, at the Goodwill, on Craigslist if anyone actually wants to pay money for our stuff--and we will never have to see it again. I look forward to this! We anticipate cramming 2300 sq ft of stuff for a family of six into a 1200 sq ft (or less) space for a family of six (and likely no basement, which as far as I know is not included in the square footage of this house...).

Meanwhile, I have already started looking into homeschooling in California, checked out various museum websites, investigated some social opportunities, etc. It is going to be very overwhelming regardless, but I hope that this extra preparation will help our acclimation to the area.

T- 10 weeks until the moving truck arrives

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On the Horizon

Changes have come to our family in rapid succession over the past year.  Last September, my dear grandmother passed away.  We adopted our daughter in February.  We decided to move to Los Angeles (long story) in June.  We put our house on the market two weeks ago.  We will move in late December/early January.

In the midst of much change, God's presence feels simultaneously more and less evident.  We trust in His goodness, for He has brought us thus far; sadly, I also find myself struggling with the questions that are clearly first-world problems, for I know deep down the basic necessities will be provided.  Unfortunately, in the First World, we tend to want more than basic necessities.

I hope this blog serves as a place to write about our transition to LA and any future moves, should they come.  Over the past couple of years, I have begun to learn truly what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 9:5 when he spoke about preachers of the gospel and their right to "lead about" a wife.

I feel a bit led about, and I'm okay with that.