Monday, June 30, 2008

Dining Room & Kitchen

Well, I am starting to get frustrated with the unpacking. Seems no matter how much I do, there is still more to be put away. I just want all the boxes to disappear!

However, I do feel like I can finally show you pictures of my dining room and kitchen. You should be able to click on the pictures to see more detail.
This shelf has always been stained. I decided I needed a pop of color, so I spray painted it red. I like how it turned out.
Jars in the window sill....
Another view....
Each time we looked at a house I would have to see if there was a corner for my favorite cabinet. We looked at some that just wouldn't have had a place for it to fit. This dining room has a place that looks like my cabinet was built to fit right in. It is perfect!
This is a straight on view from the kitchen. See the window covering? I've already changed it. I now have an embroidered tea towel there instead of the red gingham tablecloth.
This little nook looks like it was made for a built-in hutch. That is what I would love to do with it someday. In the meantime, this will have to do. The dresser isn't the prettiest, but it is the right shade of green. It was my dad's when he was a boy. In my old house I used the old rake for towels in the bathroom. Now it is great for hanging my aprons.

The kitchen has some quirks - I think it must have been designed by a man. Ha! I'm not going to complain, though, because my old kitchen was tiny and closed in. This one isn't huge, by any means, but it is more open.
Someday I would really like to paint the cabinets. I think they would look good with a distressed white finish. And some handles and pulls. Someday....
Just keeping it real in this shot - dishes drying on the counter, etc. Hey, at least I washed them instead of taking the picture with a sink full of dirty dishes.
Here is one of the quirks. There is really no place to set my can of utensils by the stove. I have it shoved back in the corner, but it is still partly on the back burner. I figured it isn't very often that I use all the burners at once, so that will have to do.

So, that's the tour. Hope I didn't bore you with that. I'm pleased with how it is all coming together. Just wish it would come together a bit quicker!

Friday, June 27, 2008

How did that happen?

How did the month of June almost completely disappear? It can't be gone. I have too many things yet undone. I need more time. July is going to have to be postponed a bit. Please, pretty please?!

I mentioned the other day that I had found a thrift store in my new town. The store is little and it smells......really bad. But how can I not like it when I found this the very first time I visited?
Isn't this window beautiful? It was sitting just outside the front door of the store with no price tag. When I went in and asked I quickly pulled out my $1 bill to pay for it. It is the perfect shade of robin's egg blue. (Please note that I have not cleaned it up yet.)
Here is a little detail. I was pleased that it still had the hardware attached. I'm going to use it to decorate in our master bedroom. Maybe I will put some of those new "wall words" on each window. I thought about putting a photograph in each window. Maybe these. How would I attached them without tape or other adhesive showing? Any ideas?

So, the other day I got my sweet little cabinet filled with special treasures and then realized (well, actually mom informed me) that it was upside down. Duh! How could I not notice that? I had already taken the pictures, so you are just going to have to see them this way. I have since taken everything out, turned it over and put everything back in.

See? It is upside down.
The friendship stitching and figurine are from my sweet friend Pamela from KS. We are forever friends. The little baby doll is from my friend Molly. What a special gift to remember a special friendship. (Sorry, Molly. I found the blue jar as I was unpacking. I'm going to keep it. Good memories.) As I am typing this it makes me think of all the other special friends I've left behind. Maybe I will jot down names and memories on bits of paper and put them in the jar. Yes, I think I will do that. A little memory jar!
My friend Sheri gave me the green glass memory ball one year for Christmas. The sheet music is some that I bought at a flea market just the other day. I thought this one above was a good reminder to see every day.

My parents were here this week. We got a lot accomplished and had a great time. I'll try to take pictures of the decorating mom and I did. I never would have gotten so much done without her. For now I need to get off the computer. I have been on here too long already.

{The sweet smell of incense can make you feel good, but true friendship is better still. Proverbs 27:9}

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I fought God....

....and God won. As many of you know, I really did fight God (and my husband) on this move. I just couldn't see how this could possibly be a good idea. I doubted. I was angry. I cried. A lot. I prayed that hubby would change his mind. But in the end, we still moved. I'm happy to report that I have survived the first week. It's been pretty good. Of course, like I mentioned before, I am still so busy unpacking that I haven't really had time to feel sorry for myself. I do feel like God is looking after me, though.

See, just look at the view He provided again from the back yard. One of the boys came running in last night - "Mommy, bring your camera - quick!" So glad I did.

I've still been enjoying my coffee on the front porch each morning. There is a little family of rabbits in the front yard that I sit and watch. I also saw a pair of cardinals this morning.
I still don't have much for inside pictures to show you. Still way too many boxes. My parents are coming tomorrow so hopefully mom and I will get some decorating done while they are here. The above picture is another one of the porch. I'm going to keep bug spray, etc. in the cabinet so it is always handy.

I know you are all sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to read about the guests in the bathroom(that I mentioned in the previous post). You are thinking spiders, mice or some other creepy crawlies. Nope. People. Seven of them. Four of our family and three neighbors. A neighbor lady and her two teenage sons stopped by the other evening. We joked that our boys were just getting ready to go swimming. We thought we should explain, so we took them into the master bathroom.

This room is huge. It is like 14x14. The kids' bedrooms aren't even that big. See that tub? Huge. It is about 5 foot long and 2 foot deep. I don't think I will be able to clean it without falling in head first. So, back to the guests. We took them in to the master bathroom and we all stood there visiting for several minutes. Pretty soon I thought, "This is a bit strange." Oh, well.

And here is a picture of P. swimming. Won't be able to do that very often. Takes a lot of water to fill a tub that big!

The internet has been a bit of a fiasco, but we are finally back online. I had over 200 emails to go through and 265 posts on Google Reader. Wow! If you have emailed me recently I will try to get back to you soon. It might take me a bit to get caught up.

There is still much more I want to blog about, but I better save it for another night.

{No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way.... Psalm 73:1-3a}

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sunsets and Porches

Hello! We still don't have internet service so I am at hubby's office using his computer. Couldn't stand to go any longer without blogging. I've been writing down the things I want to blog about. The list is getting long.
So, this is the view from our backyard on the first evening we were there. I love how the clouds are peaking over the trees and you can see the sunbeams shining out.
I keep walking out on the front porch and thinking, "This porch is huge!" It really is. I knew there was a reason I never got rid of this table. It's been in my garage for a few years. Now it is perfect on the porch. I had my breakfast there this morning. Feel free to come visit me on my porch sometime.

It is going to take me a while to unpack boxes. I want to start decorating but can't do that until the essentials are put away. Had to do something a tad bit creative today.
These are old nesting boxes. I bought them several years ago when we still lived in KS. When we moved to AR there really wasn't a place to put them so they just ended up in the garage. This new house really doesn't have a mud room, but there is a space inside the backdoor that I could already tell was going to be overrun with shoes and clutter. Today I moved the nesting boxes in there. Each family member has two boxes. I'm not sure if you can see or not, but I put our initials in the middle. That's my creativity for the day.

Here are some other things I want to blog about. I'm out of time for today so I will have to save the details for future posts.
  • neighborly neighbors
  • fire ants
  • walking on a country road
  • guests in the bathroom
  • blackberries in the woods
  • new town, new thrift store, fun find
  • found a doctor

Oh, my! So much I want to write about. Sure hope we get internet SOON!

Thank you to my friends who have called or emailed to see how I am doing. I miss you all!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We Made It

Just wanted to check in real quick so you don't think I've forgotten about ya'll. What a weekend! We loaded the Uhaul and trailer on Friday evenining. The more we loaded the more I thought, "It is never going to fit!" Well, thanks to some expert packers the final pieces went into the truck about 10:00 Friday night - just as the rain started pouring down.

We spent the night with friends and then headed down on Saturday morning. We made it here about 1:00 and started unloading. Some friends (sort of our "adoptive parents") came with us. So did Sweet Girl's special friend (from the previous post). Our "adoptive parents" are her grandparents. Anyway, they were all a huge blessing! We had someone to keep an eye on the girl and tons of help getting things moved, settled, hooked up, etc. in the new house.

If you are reading this and you are one of the people who helped us during this move - THANK YOU SO MUCH! Some of you went way above and beyond.

No pictures tonight. We don't have internet at the house yet. I'm quickly using hubby's laptop while he is packing things from his apartment. Hopefully we will get inernet soon. I will need to blog to keep my sanity. Right now I am too busy to think about it, but I know I will have some rough days ahead.

Gotta go!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I didn't cry....

....until I saw these two sitting on the floor together.

The beautiful girl on the left is Sweet Girl's special friend. She has been since the day we pulled into this town. She was almost 10; Sweet Girl almost 2. She watched over her while we unloaded the moving truck. She's still watching over her almost 4 years later.

It's not like she is crazy over all little kids. She's just crazy over my girl. She's been known to fight over her at church to make sure she got to hold her. She takes her to Kids for Christ (children's church). Just about anytime our families are together, they are together.

This picture was taken in July '05. They talk to eachother with their eyes. I know they do. Can't you see it?

How are we supposed to separate these two? It is like they are meant to be together. This is more than just having a friend at school. This is a God-given bond; two lives brought together for a purpose. I believe that.

She's almost 14 now. She has a bright future ahead of her. A future of helping children with special needs? I'd like to think so. Not everyone can do that. At 10 she already had the compassion. At 10. And at 14. I don't think it is going anywhere. God gave it to her for a reason.

This goodbye might be the hardest. For the two of them. For their moms. This one is hard to understand. (Edited to add this photo that a friend took on Sunday night.)

{There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to hold on and another to let go.... Ecc. 3}

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunshine and Rain

Sunshine and rain....that seems like a fitting analogy for my life these days. I have so many blessings (sunshine) in my life. Here is an unexpected example....
Last week we were eating out in our new town - a quick lunch before hitting the road back up here. When it came time to pay, the waitress said it was "taken care of" and that she was supposed to show me this note. Can you read the top of the check? It says, "May God richly bless you!" A woman sitting near us, a total stranger, had paid for our meal and written those sweet words. What a blessing!
Another blessing is the women in my prayer group. We meet each week to simply pray. I can't even tell you how this group has impacted me. We are different ages, from differents walks of life....yet for one morning each week we are one in Him. I love you, ladies!
This is me on the left (in case you didn't know) and my sweet friend Molly. We meet at her house for prayer. She is also my walking buddy. We've talked about what we are going to do when I move. Maybe we will each walk and talk to eachother on our cell phones. She is certainly a blessing to me!

Last night I went to dinner with my friends Sheri and Robin. Man, they are a blessing many times over. They were really the first people I met when we moved here. Our families quickly became close friends. We've had some great times. Way too much to write about! Thanks for sharing your lives (and that Chocolate Mess) with me, girls!

Now for the rain....the goodbyes and the tears. This is our last week here. Saturday. That's the day I've been dreading. I hate saying goodbye. I think I would rather just avoid it altogther. Just quietly slip out of town. Maybe not. I'm sure I would regret that. Tonight our church is having a going away party (that doesn't seem like the right word) for us. I don't want to cry, but I'm sure I will. Like these clouds, I can only hold it in so long.

{"I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26}

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Teacher Gifts

Leaving town last week for my Grandma's funeral really messed with my schedule. I had plans to make teacher gifts so we would have them to give out on Friday. That obviously didn't get done. Friday was tough. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone. Lots of tears were shed. I really felt bad that we didn't have anything to give to the teachers.

So.....this weekend we worked on gifts and delivered them on Monday morning. My first grader is pretty creative. He's been wanting to paint a canvas, so that is what we did. He painted and then we decorated it. He came up with the #1 teacher idea, wrote "I love you..." on the circle and, of course, wrote his name.
I think it turned out cute and his teacher loved it. And we loved his teacher. He had her for kindergarten and then she moved up to first grade this year. That means we had two years to get really attached to her.
Next is the gift for Sweet Girl's kindergarten teacher. This was her second year of teaching. Having a child with special needs in her classroom was obviously something she had never experienced. Actually, it was a pretty new concept for the whole school. Most of the special needs students are together in their own classroom. That is great, but we thought the regular classroom was the best for our girl. Mrs. Davis did an incredible job!
This actually started out as a wall hanging from the Hobby Lobby clearance aisle. I just covered over the picture. I guess you can probably tell that the card holder is a math flashcard. I just cut it in half and then sewed the pieces together to make a pocket.
Then there is Sweet Girl's aide.....What an answer to prayer. We had no say in who the district hired to be with our girl during the entire school day. She would have to feed her, change her, help her with her work....Well, she did more than that. She loved our Sweet Girl! What a blessing Miss Angela was. I always knew my girl was being taken care of. It was so nice not to worry about her. Sure wish she would move to our new town with us!
I love the photo because Sweet Girl is looking right into Miss Angela's eyes. She has such a sweet look on her face and I can just see the love in those eyes! It made me think of all the things she might say if she could talk.
I hate all the goodbyes, but I'm glad we came up with something to show our appreciation. Like I told each of these wonderful women - words just cannot express how much they mean to us.

{"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God." Philippians 1:3}

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Holding Hands

When we first moved to this town about four years ago, Sweet Girl did not officially have a diagnosis. We got the Rett Syndrome diagnosis a few weeks later. Just looking at her, it wasn't immediately obvious that something was "wrong." She seemed to be a little toddler who like to be carried. Many people didn't realize that she couldn't walk.

In the fall of that first year our family attended our oldest son's open house at the elementary school. Everyone (students, parents, siblings) was crammed into the cafeteria to listen to the principal. I don't remember if I was holding Sweet Girl or she was in her stroller. I just remember that suddenly a little girl in a wheelchair had turned around and grabbed Sweet Girl's hand. She just sat there and held her hand.

The simple little gesture brought tears to my eyes. It still does. I remember thinking, "That little girl knows that my little girl is special - even if nobody else does." This period of time was very difficult for me. We lived in a new place, we were trying to accept that our Sweet Girl would never be "normal", trying to make life as "normal" as possible for our two sons....I cried lots of tears during this time.

Only this night they were tears of joy. Tears of acceptance. Someone understood. Someone wanted to hold my little girl's hand.
That girl who reached out to my daughter was in 1st grade at the time. This year she was a fourth grader and Sweet Girl was in kindergarten at the same school. And guess what? Anytime they passed eachother in the hall, that girl would reach out her hand to my Sweet Girl. The picture above was a common scene. (My Sweet Girl is on the right.) I'm so glad I have a photo for remembrance. The two girls said goodbye for probably the last time on Friday. She moves on to 5th grade. We move on to a new town. I hope there is someone in that new town to hold my girl's hand.

{"You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all. And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name." I Chronicles 29:11}