Doug had just stepped into the shower when we discovered the box, so we all waited "patiently" for him to come out so we could explore our new treasures.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Doug had just stepped into the shower when we discovered the box, so we all waited "patiently" for him to come out so we could explore our new treasures.
It's been a good week so far. Great progress has been made on the school room - it would all be done were it not for life continuing! :-) I actually have the shelf space to truly organize, so I'm thoroughly enjoying getting those "little" things in their own drawer, box, shelf, whatever! It's great!
On Monday Steven cut yet another tooth, his third in the three weeks since our move! Fortunately, most of his crankiness was confined to that one day, and teething tablets helped tremendously. At this point, we're waiting for the last bottom lateral incisor to poke through - his last tooth to cut until his two-year molars decide to come through. Hopefully he'll get a little break between now and then and get those molars late like he did his one-year molars. Poor kid!
Olivia got back to business yesterday, working toward finishing up those last few school assignments we didn't get done before the move. Our new stuff should arrive sometime today, and we can't wait to dive into the box! It's like Christmas! :-)
Angela has been excited to have her puzzles accessible again now that I've found a permanent place for them. She's my puzzle girl - right now she's in her room working our huge solar system floor puzzle.
Must go get laundry caught up before it takes over our bed!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The school room is finally beginning to take shape. After struggling all week to even get started, I finally really prayed about it this weekend. And, wouldn't you know, we made some progress! We've still got a ways to go, but now there's a plan, and I think it will go much more smoothly from this point on. YAY!
We do greatly need to get back into our school routine. Several things we're battling will probably improve when we have that routine in place again. Olivia's hyperactivity has reared its head again, and she is struggling greatly with self-control and making right choices. Angela has reverted to wetting herself during the day, sometimes two and three times a day! Typically our routine helps with both of those situations, so I'm praying that getting back to school will help with that. Steven's current "issue" won't be helped by school, I'm afraid. He has begun to absolutely HATE bathtime! I'm sure resolving that issue will take prayer and a lot of calmness on our part!
Other than those little issues, everyone is really doing well. We seem to have caught up on sleep from the late VBS nights, and we're ready to plug into a new week. Oh, and we got library cards! Woo-hoo! The girls were very excited. The "experience" of our local library isn't quite the same as our beloved Horn Lake library, but the blessing of having a local library is a great one. Even Steven got his own card this time!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Olivia's song...for someone with the coordination of her mother (or lack thereof, as the case is with both of us!) she did a great job on the motions, especially on the second song (first song shown here).
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Here are some pictures from our week...
Okay, this last picture doesn't relate to VBS, but I just had to put it in. I'd forgotten to put away the cereal boxes this morning. The girls had a new treat for breakfast. We usually sprinkle a few bites of a "fun" cereal on top of their regular cereal. When the church gave us an incredible pounding our first Sunday, they included several new cereals. One of them was a cereal similar to Fruity Pebbles, and the girls got some of those this morning, to their great excitement. Well, like I said, I neglected to put the cereal away, and later in the morning I walked in the kitchen to find a very happy Steven sitting at the table munching away on "foo-ey di-muns" (Fruity Diamonds)! Silly boy!
Which brings me to last night. Some sweet ladies at church work hard every night to provide dinner for the VBS workers and their families. Last night was taco salad night. I was excited! I got in line only to realize I'd forgotten my dressing. But, as I looked down the table, imagine my surprise when I saw a bottle of 1000 Island dressing right there waiting for me!!! Now, I don't know if someone else is crazy like me or if that was just one of the dressings set out for those who wanted just a plain salad, but I have to say that at that point I felt that my welcome to Calvary Baptist Church was complete - someone totally unaware of my insanity just happened to include the right type of dressing!
Monday, July 21, 2008
I got to do just what I was hoping to do - float around and get to know people. I got a few more names and family connections figured out, and I got to chat with some people here and there. We are excited about some of the things God seems to be laying before us here at Calvary Baptist.
- We've started getting to know a young couple in the church - they've been married almost two years and are about to start their senior year of college. They are a vibrant, passionate young couple, and we hope to start having them in our home a couple of times a month. They really seem to have a great heart for ministry, whether it be formal ministry or simply reaching out to the people around them. Pray for us as we seek to both absorb some of their energy and freshness and mentor them in their journey of life. We also have a joint goal of reaching out to the college community here and beginning to build a college ministry in our church.
- I found out last night that there is a great hunger for women's ministry, both in fellowship and in Bible study. Many of you know that women's ministry is one of my big passions, so pray that I will know how and when to pursue seeing this opportunity begin.
- Another thing that was mentioned last night was the need for marriage ministry and counseling. Doug and I brought a passion for marriage ministry into our own marriage, and it has grown over the years. It's hard to believe that we, as a couple in our early 30's who haven't quite reached that 10-year mark, could possibly have much to offer! But, we know the passion is of the Lord, and we are excited to see how He uses us to facilitate marriage ministry in our church.
- And, it's pretty obvious how we feel about homeschooling. The other thing I found out last night is that there is a homeschool group here in Monticello, and they just lost their meeting place! I should be getting the phone number this week for a contact person, and we will probably be offering church facilities for the meetings. Not only will this be an automatic way for me to get involved in the group, it will also serve as an incredible outreach tool.
We're so excited to see how God is already working. Pray that we don't try to get ahead of Him and do anything on our own! We definitely need to move in His strength and on His time table. Thanks for partnering with us in prayer!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Steven is silly - oh, wait! I think that's probably obvious! :-) On Thursday he cut two of the four teeth he's been working on for the past three weeks. YAY! He also is showing that he might truly be a baseball fan! He's always loved balls, but lately he has seen evidence of even a baseball player on tv and has gone nuts. The other night he sat quietly and intently watching the entire intro to the All-Star game - just enthralled with the players themselves. Isn't he a little young for this? I wonder what the years will show.
Angie loved our long driveway this morning! We decided to brave the heat for just a little while
this morning and join Doug outside while he changed the oil in the van. I have some video, but it wouldn't upload - too big again, I think. I'll try again another time. Anyway, Angie has never been in a place where she truly had the space to learn to pedal her bike. Our driveway at home was just to short and our sidewalks often cluttered with bigger kids who didn't watch what they were doing. Today, though, she got out there on her bike and really did well pushing those pedals! Now she gets to spend time working on control, and hopefully she won't be seven before we start talking about taking those training wheels off!
Olivia and Steven had fun on their bikes, too. Steven hasn't grasped the pedal concept on his little three-wheeler, but he goes to town with those feet moving. He loves all types of terrain, too. When he wants to stop, he picks up his feet and lets himself roll to a stop. Olivia is trying to strengthen her control so she can get rid of those training wheels very soon.
Olivia's still enjoying her Little House books. She finished Farmer Boy in about ten days - including our move. She started On the Banks of Plum Creek and is already 100 pages in. We're going to have to get to the library VERY soon before she runs out of books! :-) The other day she was describing to us the process of making a rocking chair, something she had read in one of her books a couple of days before. Doug and I both remember learning so much from biographies and historical fiction (and still do!), and we're thrilled that Olivia also seems to enjoy learning about people and their stories.
Doug is getting used to being in the office, we're getting used to having him gone longer stretches of the day - but loving having him home for lunch! I'm getting used to being home EVERY day. Being down to one vehicle will continue to take a bit of an adjustment, but we're doing well so far.
Next week I'll be working on the schoolroom, so hopefully we'll be able to finish up those last little tidbits of school very quickly after that. Please do pray - we thought we had a nice last paycheck from UPS coming our way, and that was going to cover all of the remaining expenses of the girls' school material. (We saw it posted online as a paycheck, and deductions were sent out to the Medical Spending Account and a few other things.) But, no one has actually seen the check itself, and now it no longer shows up online. Please pray that it will either show up or that God will show us very clearly where the provision is coming from.
Oh! The fleas seem to be gone, I did not see signs of roaches this morning (thanks to the advice of a friend, we're hoping that bleach down the drains will help with that!), and it looks like Smokey is, indeed, pregnant after her time outdoors several weeks ago. Life is fun! :-)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The kids seem to be settling, too. Steven has only requested "up, Mommy" once since breakfast, and that was when he finished lunch and was ready for nap. Olivia and Angela wanted to draw and color this morning. Before I knew it, they were busily creating birthday cards for Steven's upcoming birthday. They are such sweet cards! Olivia is enjoying stencils and the ability to truly write, while Angela is expanding her creativity greatly to draw precious pictures.
We're getting ready to get back in the swing of menu planning and such, so hopefully I'll soon get back to trying and posting yummy new recipes! Stay tuned!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Squirrels are such a simple little thing, and they are very commonplace. In fact, there are times when they can be downright pesky! But my children - as well as their parents! - are finding great delight in the little things of God's creation. What a blessing to have squirrels to remind us of the beauty in every day things!
Doug took Steven in to the front bathroom to get his toothbrush ready. Steven stepped up onto his little stool so he could see in the mirror and began to brush his teeth. Doug then told Steven he was going to the back to brush his own teeth. He got to our bathroom and started brushing his teeth when, before he knew it, there was Steven right beside him! Steven had, without a word or a fuss, picked up his stool and carried it and his toothbrush to the back, set his stool down, climbed on it, and started brushing his teeth again. He stood there beside his daddy as both of them brushed their teeth. Such sweet moments.
Monday, July 14, 2008
As promised, here is a video tour of our new house. I ended up having to do multiple videos - our server vehemently protested the uploading of one large video!
As you will see, the house is HUGE!! We originally thought it was just a touch bigger than our house in Horn Lake, but as we've really moved in and unpacked, we've discovered that it is truly much bigger. It's amazing how arranging your stuff in a new environment can change your perception of space. The house is strange. There are a lot of odditites about it, and there are a lot of things that age has contributed. Being a rental instead of the owners living in it, there's also a lot of work that could be done. We will have some help from the owners to do a few things with the house, but it's the kind of place that I would love to move out of, gut and redo, and then move back in. It really has a lot of character, but since we could not financially work out a way to buy and redo it, we'll be finding a place of our own in a couple of years (after our Horn Lake house sells and we have time to really look for what we want here). Meanwhile, though, I think it will suit us just fine. The more we unpack the homier it becomes. The large kitchen is nice, and it's wonderful to have a separate laundry room! YAY! I'm also so excited about the school room.
Oh - update on the fleas. We've found a few fleas every day, so they're still around to an extent. They're not bad, but we'd love to see them gone for good. Please keep praying that God will just clear them out!
Enjoy the tour, and I'm going to enjoy getting back to unpacking - bathrooms, here I come!
Okay - the kitchen video was supposed to be here, but there was a processing issue. So, it will come after the next video!
The final video - the one of our bedroom - wouldn't process, so Im not going to worry about it - since I've been uploading these videos nearly all day!!! :-) You get the idea of the size of the house and what it looks like, for those of you who are interested anyway!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Olivia has been a good helper. Many times I haven't known what to tell her to do, but she's wanted to do whatever she could to be helpful. She's entertained Steven, packed and unpacked boxes, helped clean, and on and on. There have been times when I could tell she was a bit melancholy. She always said it was because she had a headache or was tired, but I'm sure some of it was emotions that she couldn't quite understand.
Steven has shown an understanding that I never would have expected from a not-quite two-year-old. He's been upset a lot, but he has readily accepted "Pooka's new house!" (Pooka is his nickname, for those of you who don't know!) He did do something last weekend that really floored us. He had been watching as the trio from church helped Doug load some of our things onto the church trailer last Saturday. Later in the day, he started dragging one of his favorite big toys to the door saying, "I want this going!" How his little mind could wrap itself around the idea that the stuff "going" was going to be with us, I don't know! But, he knew it somehow. He has needed Mommy and Daddy a lot, but he's really taken to our new environment.
And, he's growing up! After prayer, consideration, and a phone call to Charlene who moved when their son was about the same age, we decided to set up the toddler bed instead of the crib. On Wednesday afternoon he slept in it for the first time for naptime, and I had to tell him multiple times to get back in bed. He was so excited about his toys! Of course, we had just finished setting up his room that morning, so it was all very fresh and irresistible. But, he finally went to sleep, and has slept perfectly in it since then, both for naps and at night. Such a big boy!
Steven insisted on riding his airplane in the school room closet! Silly boy!
The more we unpack, the more we see how huge this house really is - much bigger than the one we left. Sometime in the next few days I plan to do a video tour of the house. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Olivia and I had just the right amount of time on Monday to get the kids' bedrooms packed while Steven and Angela were at MDO. After picking them and Doug up, we came home and sat down for a bit before really kicking in gear. I put the kids to bed, and then we hit the last-minute boxing and the loading full-force. My friend Amanda, our pastor, and a fellow Sunday school class member showed up early in the evening to help, and we got the loading and cleaning done sometime after 11:00. Thank you so much Amanda, Bro. Matt, and Tim G for all of your amazing help! We'd still be loading if it weren't for you! :-) Thank you Tim V, Beth, and Angie for letting us borrow your spouses for the night!
Monday morning everyone was up and dressed by 6:45! I have a video of the attitude in the house, but I'll post that later, along with a couple of other pictures.
We had breakfast, ran an errand or two, came back to load mattresses and a few other last-minute things, and got on the road by about 10:30. The trip went so well. We made good time, and the kids were fabulous! Steven immediately fell asleep, and slept solid for three hours! We were going to stop a little before 1:00 to eat lunch, but the girls fell asleep and Steven was still out, so we held out. They all woke up hungry right as we were driving into a town with a McDonald's (a blessing since there weren't many dining options available on the trip!). After that we only had about 45 minutes left on the road! God is good. He also knew that the late lunch would be helpful because our evening would be unpredictable!
We arrived in Monticello and came straight to the house. We walked in and knew we wouldn't be staying the night! It truly was filthy - I can't imagine living in a house that filthy. I do have to be honest - when we saw it the first time, we thought, "Hey! This is perfect!" When we first saw it yesterday, I thought, "Oh, what have we gotten ourselves into!" We cleaned out the van enough for Doug to be able to ride with us, went to leave our cold and frozen food at the church, ran a few errands, and then came back to get to work. Church members began showing up as they got off work, and they dug in full force! They scrubbed walls, floors, windows, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchen, and anything else that could be scrubbed! They found things that needed quick repairs and took care of them. They unloaded the truck and the trailer. What a blessing!
The kids were at the end of their tolerance by about 7:00, so I took them to pick up some supper and head to the hotel for baths and bedtime. They went to bed so well and we had a pretty restful night. Doug stayed until the cleaning was done and the truck was unloaded, and then he had someone bring him home. We got up this morning and headed back to the house to dig in. We've made some progress. Steven's room is mostly done, and we're seeing signs of the rest of the house coming together. We'll get there!
We did see a few fleas this morning, but we haven't seen many and haven't seen them this afternoon. So, hopefully they're gone! The girls are covered from head to toe with numerous bites from being out in the yard yesterday, so pray they clear up quickly!
Off to get ready for our first night at church...
Sunday, July 6, 2008
We are curious about the house situation. Yes, there are the fleas. But, Doug has been trying to pry deeper in conversation with folks from the church regarding the condition of the house otherwise. When we walked through it, it was messy like any house that has just been emptied of stuff will be. From the statements church members have made, we've pictured the house left just like we saw it - in a condition that would require a good day or two of solid cleaning! But, now we're wondering if that's truly the case. The sweet church members feel that the requested rent and deposit are too high (they seem very low to us, but that's from being here in Memphis where EVERYTHING is high!), and they feel we need an immaculate house for that price. We want something that is clean enough to put our stuff into and to let our kids run through without a problem. We do want to know that the loose planks in the hardwood floor in the living room and hall have been fixed, because those would be dangerous for the kids. We also want to know that the fleas are gone. Otherwise, we feel we have gleaned enough information to know that it's not as dirty as we thought. The walls are in desperate need of some paint, which lends to an overall dirty look. We can handle that, and we'll go through and paint as we have the opportunity. So, that's the information we seem to have gathered through the course of the day. The main concern remains whether or not the fleas will be gone by Tuesday. God can easily take care of that one, and we just have to trust that He will!
We lose internet here tomorrow, and we won't have it in Monticello until Wednesday. If we end up in a hotel Tuesday night, I'll post from there to give you the update. Otherwise, just expect to hear from us Wednesday evening! Thanks so much for all of your prayers through everything. We know the Lord is hearing them and is working beautifully!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Sometimes, though, when things aren't going just perfectly, we still fight against that anxiety and the need to step in and help Him out! We have some hitches (in addition to the fleas, which are still there in full force) with the house we plan to move into, and it seems that the issues are not being taken care of by the real estate agency like they should be. Please pray that God will continue to do His miraculous work and take care of every detail. If we need to find another house, pray that there will be no hitches with the preparations we've made with all of the utility companies, and that we will find the new house VERY quickly. We have the house here mostly packed, and we really can't delay our departure from here. Above all, please pray for our attitudes. We need to point to Christ in all of our interactions, and we also need to continue to trust that God has not done all He's done just to step back and tell us we have to work out these final details. He's so good, and we must trust in His continued goodness!
Thanks for all of your prayers. We covet them!
These are the friends who introduced us to blogging, and I'm so thankful! It's amazing how God works even in crazy things like blogs. Because of their blog, we felt like we knew their little Katherine, who we had never met in person! If I ever had any doubts about whether or not blogging was worth it, they were swept away during this visit. Even though parting was sad, we know we'll be able to easily keep in touch with everything going on with them over the next four years because of the incredible blessing of blogging.
Angela and Olivia C.
Hmmm....what are they up to?
Olivia H. entertaining little Katherine.
Oh, and our little ladies man has found a new girl to chase! :-) Watch out Emily, you have competition! (I'm sure Emily and Katherine will compare notes when they visit the Shawas this weekend!)
Here Steven was chasing Emily down the hall trying to get hugs.
And we can't do without good-bye kisses!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Will you pray with us that the Lord will clear the house and yard of fleas and that they will not be a problem for us while we live there? Thank you so much for helping us cover this in prayer!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The kids are doing so well. Emotional at times, but that's to be expected. We've seen quite a few Lego and bristle block creations lately! :-)
We seem to have almost everything lined up for the move, which is very exciting. We are definitely ready to begin this new life!