Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Nursery

Nate's room was the first one to be completely ready. While he probably cared the least, his room was the easiest to complete, so here it is!

View from the door

His crib, though he desperately wants to sleep in the big bed

The border, with cars, trucks, planes, and all (He was very excited when I put it up.) I really wanted to put it up more at waist height, but I figured the little guy would shred it, so it is up high.

The matching valance

A framed Noah's Ark Puzzle

Monday, June 27, 2011


Can I let you in on a secret? I have a hard time letting things go...in other words I'm a bit of a pack rat. I'm pretty good about somethings, but I have a hard time letting go of the sentimental. We don't have much of great value, but I like my memories!

Thankfully, I have a nice, pretty place to display some of these trinkets now.

A few years ago, I inherited my grandmother's curio cabinet.

It has the kids baby shoes (and mine too),

The girls' silver cups and a figurine that was a gift when I was expecting Kate,

Willow Tree figurines from a sweet gal who worked with my mom--one for Kate when her great grandmother died and one for us when we bought our house in Kansas,

Our wedding cake topper,

An ornament we bought on our honeymoon,

Doilies tatted by great, great grandmothers,

Folded paper stars from our exchange student from Denmark and a teeny tiny tea set that my Grannie bought for me when I was a little girl.

So maybe I was stalling a bit on my unpacking by taking pictures...shhh.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Not My Week

It's not been an easy first week here. I somehow thought moving across town would be easier, but I was wrong. It was cheaper yes, but it means my attention has been divided. I have wasted literal hours driving between the houses. All the trips bringing things over and working on little projects. Once we moved here, I have been back to clean. Back to paint. Back to scrub the carpets. Justin was back to mow. And back to haul sand and a sandbox. In all of that, I have gotten most of our things unpacked, but the garage is a mess of things that don't quite have a home yet.

I had been planning to have Justin help me with that this weekend, but his advisor sent yet another set of revisions for him to complete, so I am left with boxes I can't move and frustration in that, since aside from visiting with our company coming next week, I don't expect him to be free again until the middle of July.

We have no dishwasher, due to an ordering issue...and won't until after the 4th of July. It is an inconvenience, but I've been staying on top of the dishes, so not a huge deal. The washing machine leaked a bit, due to the drain not being hooked up, which I laughed about...it was okay. It was easily resolved and just a product of an overly busy day. Then it leaked again...it was he hoses that time. I laughed again. Also easily fixed. Now my fridge is broken. I seriously have everything I can cram into an ice chest in there--including a three months supply of two different types of insulin(!). I'm not laughing. Not even a tiny bit. Maybe tomorrow (after it is repaired), but not today.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lessons from the Grocery Store

You learn something new every day I suppose. As we were walking through the store yesterday there were a lot of signs on things marked DNI. Kate was trying to sound it out and asked what it meant. I told her about abbreviations and guessed, as I saw inventory stickers about, that it meant Do Not Inventory.

Then we learned about another abbreviation. One you don't expect to see at the store. I rounded he corner and saw a crowd of people who worked there. I assumed it was a bit of a meeting about a display, but then a movement caught my eye. Someone was performing CPR. We stepped away from the aisle quickly and said a quick quiet prayer.

I had no idea what to do at that point... Do you leave? Do you shop out of the way? It seemed so odd to do something so mundane while this heroic effort is being attempted. I didn't stand by to watch, but we heard the siren of the approaching ambulance. I heard the defibrillator beeping. I caught a glimpse of the gurney go by, CPR still going. The kids didn't seem to notice much, thankfully.

Some unknown person and their family will be in my thoughts and prayers for the next few days though. And I'll guess that I will always remember, when we are in that spot, how fleeting life is. And how God provides us helpers even in the most unlikely of places.

I suppose we can all learn something at the grocery store.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Step 995 of 1000

Missed me? It has been a busy week around here. Saturday my mom came and gave us a hand while we got some things taken care of here and ran to get one more load in the van from the old house. Justin was able to haul two loads via U-Haul on Saturday and Sunday.

My dad stayed with the movers as they emptied the old house, aside from all those toys and books that had fallen down behind furniture, on Monday. It took them hours to empty the old house and set up the new one. They were very careful with our furniture, wrapping it up in blankets and covering it in plastic so nothing would be damaged. Two of the movers were excellent...the third seemed nice enough, just not the best job for him.

My mom and I brought the little ones here (Justin went to work as normal in the morning, just came home to a new house!). The kids beds were already here and set up by Sunday evening, so we were sure those were all ready. The kitchen is pretty well established, as I carried much of it over one load at a time in milk crates and emptied those boxes I found with 'kitchen' labeled on them first.

Yesterday I took the kiddos back to the other house where we found books, toys and even a lost shoe on the kitchen counter. I was able to give the house a good once over--walls to bathrooms and kitchen to baseboards. Justin got the lawn mowed there one last time, and aside from the need to go back to get the sand box and the rest of the sand, he ran out of room in that haul, we are pretty well finished there, except for turning over the keys.

So we are officially here. Over half of our To-Do list has been accomplished and we are settling in. There will be pictures eventually, but there are boxes to unpack, and a few more decorative touches to complete. Oh, and wonderful dear friends coming to visit in a week and a half to prepare for!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Belly Achin'

The next 3 days are our big moving days.

I went by the new house yesterday to take over some things...I try to take a nice sized load every time I have need to be there. We were getting our modem for our new internet provider delivered yesterday, hence my need to be there. I had unloaded and was putting some things away in the kitchen and in the girl's closet, when Gabby tells me she needs to speak with me.

She tells me her tummy hurts. I tell her to go to the bathroom and I run around gathering shoes and such. She didn't puke. We grabbed my cleaning bucket and she carried it home. She didn't puke. I realized too late that I left the thermostat turned down and hadn't had time to take the trash to the curb for pick up.

Aside from not eating dinner last night she was fine all evening. She didn't puke. Kate told me that Gabby just wanted to watch TV, so she said she was sick. Evidently they had been discussing that recently. The girls went to bed and slept peacefully all night. She didn't puke. This morning, just before the kids were to get up, I was pulling a few things from my bedroom to take with us on our run to the house today, so I was in the garage when I heard the screams.

She puked. Bath. Laundry. Not leaving the house.

Thankfully she has been okay the rest of the day. She didn't eat breakfast, save two pretzels--we were out of saltines, but she did eat some lunch. Hoping that the rest of our move goes more smoothly, but perhaps I shouldn't hold my breath.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Kate: "Here's a fly swapper." (while waving a flattened paper towel tube)

Gabby: "No, No, I can't have it while I'm searching [for my shoe]."

* * * * *

Gabby, after walking over a puddle: "I walked on water!"

* * * * *

Gabby, watching PawPaw replace our front door: "He scwibbled* da door."

* in Gabby-ese scribbled means messed up.

* * * * *

I asked, "Who needs to go potty before we leave?"

Kate answers: "Me!"

Nate, not to be left out yells, "Me! Me! Me!" (If only potty training were truly that easy!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Step 913 of 1000

Nate has something to tell you.

We're moving! Closing didn't go as we had planned--the banker made some errors and they couldn't be fixed in time for us to close as scheduled, so we had to go ahead or delay again...despite the less favorable financial choice (he forgot we intended to pay more than the minimum required down payment and he also failed to notice that our first payment is not for the agreed upon August 1st date, but instead for July 1st when he read the settlement), we went ahead with it so it will finally be over.

We spent the weekend completing several of the many projects that need to be finished before we are completely settled into our new home. We are very thankful for my parents who were willing to come down and help with the kids for closing day and AGAIN on Saturday to help with that To-Do List. With their help, we knocked it down to a dull roar.

We are thankful for a new door (with a peep hole at my eye level), new locks, door stops, a new kitchen faucet (that actually allows water through), a hand held sprayer of the kids shower (so helpful for little ones' baths), cleaned out cabinets, some of our curtain rods are up (the dill bit broke!), among several other projects that they either helped with or helped keep an eye on the kids while we accomplished.

Oh, and if you haven't seen, this is what my Daddy is building for our new library. We're keeping him busy!

We are hauling odd shaped things in the van, so as to decrease our move next weekend. We were able to get one load over on Friday and we made three hauls on Saturday, one late one, as we saw the weather report and remembered that the broken glass Justin had cleaned up and put in paper bags was still on the deck, with a 100% chance of rain for the evening (after he watered our grass here because it needed to be mowed but is crunchy, none the less). Rather than waste that time and tank of gas he made that last haul by himself as I got the little ones to bed and packed up some more things to take next time we head that way.

Next weekend we'll U-Haul some the last of the little things over and Monday we have movers coming for some of our bigger furniture (read: We didn't want to carry the hide-a-bed up all the stairs to the bonus room!). Then I'll have the final clean out here, and we'll be permanently there. And we do mean permanently--Justin said he'll move out when he can't get up the stairs.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Dozen

Happy Dozenth Anniversary to my wonderful husband!

I'm thankful for you and I love you so much.

P.S. And thank you for the flowers!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Fun

Lest you think that our days have been filled only with boxes, packing, and arrangements for the new house, here are a few of the things we've been up to lately.

I played with hairstyles for Kate.

This was really cute. She got a tad frustrated because it took me several minutes to do it and was really frustrated when I took it out that night and it pulled some. It was awfully cute though.

We also went to a local children's museum.

Nate was playing with 'coal'.

Gabriella dug the rocks.

Kate dressed up as a train engineer.

We also went to a splash park.

I don't think that they had fun.

Do you?

We didn't stay as long as I thought we would, but we got there before they opened and Nate had used up some of his good humor before we got to play. He tried running out the gate a few times and started to cry, so we packed it in a bit early. Thankfully we can still visit once we move. It is a bit of a drive, but for free you can't beat it.

And since I rarely ever post pictures of myself...

Here I am with the crew before we left.

Oh, and today is supposed to be closing day--I think I might believe it when we have the keys in hand!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Step 812 of 1000

Never underestimate the time it takes to call all those utility companies...and to call them back again.

We are keeping one service provider, but everyone else is changing in this 30 minute move. That means that I have to call quite a few people to schedule the starts and stops. I spent the first third of my afternoon trying to find someone...anyone...who would provide us with internet. It is evidently that difficult. There is one provider who we've had issues with before, so I was trying to avoid them. Five phone calls later someone thinks they can help us. We'll sign up on Monday, after closing happens (oh please let closing happen as it is scheduled!!).

I had spoken with the gas company quite awhile back to see about service. Since that was all but done, I was saving it for the last of my requests for service. Oops. Since that time the gas has actually been turned off. Evidently they need to be sure that the water and electric are already on or they won't turn it back on. And I had to be there. I had to pick either 8-12 where I wait (outside in the heat with the three littles) or an all day appointment where they would call me. But I have to be downtown for closing at a set time in the afternoon, so I can't be available all day. They can't do both, "because it isn't available on our form." The supervisor concurred. So much for customer service...

They told me that they could use the pass code for the door lock to get in, since the house is vacant. Nice, but I don't have that information. Oh, and all the other utilities have to be on before they will turn the gas on--you know the ones that I spent the second third of my afternoon setting up for that day also. So, I emailed the realtor to work out getting the pass code to the people at the gas company. Next I called the water and electric companies to be sure that the service is on ahead of the gas company's arrival. The last third of my afternoon gone, but it's done--except for our water turn off, which requires me to appear in person--of course. So unless the closing is delayed by a month, I ain't doing that again!

I'm starting to wonder about free market in utilities though. Our garbage collection is free market...and it isn't cheap, as they have to run several different companies garbage trucks down our street each week. Does the improvement in customer service and the price drop because of competition out weigh the rise in cost of the extra utility lines that have to be installed... Probably not, but that's too bad because it would be nice to choose sometimes.

Hoping, hoping, hoping that everything goes through on time now. Evidently a request that the home inspector re-chech the a/c was put through this week, as we got a copy of that report yesterday morning. When I checked on it, I was told that it was because Mr. Appraiser I made a mistake two weeks ago and now it was required it be proven long, despite the more recent appraisal from Mr. Appraiser II that reported that the a/c worked.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Step 793 of 1000

Hi. my name is Kristy and I have a problem.

See, this was supposed to be a simple cross town move. The kind where you load a few plastic totes up the night before and just unload them the next day when you run to the new house for something, like carpet cleaning or scrubbing some baseboards, or just looking at the new space. I sat on my hands just fine throughout May (lets just pretend that I forgot that it didn't have 60 days in the month this year). Now though, I'm itching to get moving.

So I'm boxing.

It's all free except the tape, since we kept all of our boxes. And we are going to have a bit less time to move, since we didn't close on Friday and we won't be closing on Wednesday. Now I'm rationalizing it. Ack!

Well, If you need me the packing tape and I have a standing date these days!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chocolate Valances

I thought I'd show you how I made our valances. These will be going on all the downstairs windows (since all the rooms are open to each other)--dining room, study, living room, and at the sliding door for the eat in kitchen.

The first step is to measure your window. I have both 3' and 6' window (and door) openings to cover. You will double your width for your fabric, so for a 3' opening you'll want 6' of fabric (or 2 yards, as 3'=1 yard).

(My actual first step was to look for sales on valances. I couldn't find what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay. It cost me a little more to make the equivalent of 6 of the ones I had priced [2 for the longer spaces] for the cost of one of the ones I liked. This isn't always the case, so you might want to shop around first.)

Now to buy your fabric...you have a choice. For me, making four valances, it made sense to buy a full 4 yards of fabric. Alternatively, you can buy a smaller yardage and cut it into strips to be stitched into a long valance. If you do that, you'll probably want to put one width in the middle and then two smaller pieces on the sides...

Thus. It looks better than a seam in the middle.

You'll also need to buy fabric to line you valance. (*Note the widths of these fabrics may be different, so keep that in mind when planning how much to buy. And I used more of the lining fabric to make the rod pocket.)

If you want to wash your valances (and bought washable fabrics), wash them now so they don't shrink to different sizes once they are all stitched together.

Now to cut. I cut my valances to 18" tall and 6' and 12' wide respectively.

Place the fabric with right sides together.

(I'm showing this with a white fabric to show contrast--I actually lined with brown broad cloth.)

Stitch on the two short sides and one of the long widths. I don't bother with pins for this, but you can use straight pins if you prefer.

Turn your valance right side out.

Turn the bottoms of your fabric in and pin the pieces together. Stitch across the
pinned width.

The valance itself is done, but it needs a rod pocket to hang from. The simplest version would be to turn down several inches and straight stitch across, but this causes you to loose some of your height (or you have to spend more on fabric).

I chose to use more of the lining fabric, which was $2.99/yard as opposed to the front fabric, which was $8/yard, to make myself a pocket.

To do that I cut 5" tall widths of fabric. I pieced them to be 6' and 12' respectively. Turn the ends under and stitch.

Place the rod pocket 2 1/2" from the top of the valance.

I double turned the widths under (so the raw edge is protected) and pinned them.

Stitch at the top and bottom of the rod pocket.

Place on rod...Imagine this hanging over a window! :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I will gladly admit that I have been frustrated by the delays with the house. Much of it is just the fact that we are up in the air so much right now (delays being one thing, uncertainty another), but I am very grateful that one of these days we will get to move in, and until then we have this comfortable place to call home.

Reading the stories of the bloggers who have been traveling with Compassion this week makes it so very clear that these bumps, while frustrating, are definitely just minor inconveniences.

Compassion Bloggers: Philippines 2011

Very thankful for my blessings and for those who are reaching out to those who are in need around the world.