Sunday Journal: Cracking Twelve

peek-a-boo fall colors

peek-a-boo fall colors

Last week only a hint of autumn was noticeable. A wee bit of yellow and orange peeked through the green trees. This week the brilliant and glorious fall colors are everywhere. This town is gorgeous right now. Other than a couple of rainy days the weather was perfect for getting outside. I even went for a mile walk this week! I need to do more than one mile in a week but one is better than none…

We did enjoy one afternoon exploring another park in town. Littlest insisted we find one with a playground this time. Even the older kids had a fun time playing on the slides, swings and climbing wall…well, almost. Oldest was bored after about ten minutes. He is all of twelve now and the things that delight his younger siblings do not hold his interest long.

I wasn’t ready for Oldest to turn twelve. I wasn’t ready to never hear his little boy voice ever again. I’ve been so busy with this move that I didn’t see the changes. I failed to realize his voice

Oldest going on his first youth group adventure

Oldest going on his first youth group adventure

was cracking. I’ve either told him to quick making silly voices or asking him if he was okay…because I thought he was trying to keep from crying. Call me oblivious to reality!!! I didn’t know what was happening with him until my husband asked me if I had noticed the voice cracks this week. Instantly I felt like an idiot…just gonna hang my head in mommy shame. I missed it somehow. Oldest also went on his first outing with the church youth group this week to some indoor trampoline place. Not sure that I am financially ready for him to be in the youth group! He had a great time and found a friend that also likes Minecraft and Doctor Who and hates ketchup too.

We managed to unpack a few more boxes. We finally found our kitchen garbage can this week! Woohoo!!! We celebrated that finding. A little silly perhaps but we were happy to have a garbage can again! It really is the little things that make such a difference! Our homeschool room is starting to come together. We need to get our maps on the wall. My husband unboxed those today. Everytime we do mapwork Sparkles complains about our missing world map. My husband also put up another book shelf

getting there...

getting there…

for us. Sometime in the spring we are going to move the bookcases we have into the kid’s rooms. He is working on plans for built-in cabinetry and shelves along the back wall. I think I have most of our books on the shelves. I know we are still missing a few things since I cannot find the pencil sharpener. I’ve unpacked all of the boxes marked “school”. Who knows where we will find it?!

We added a few more subjects back into our school this week. The crew reviewed their Latin lessons this week instead of jumping into where they left off. Littlest even watches “the Latin show” with them and has started reciting some of the sentences too. This coming week we will

swing time

swing time

have all of our subjects going for the first time since…early August I suppose. Littlest is the only one not schooling for now. I decided to wait until after Christmas. He does a few things on the iPad on his own but only when he wants to. For now I just want to read to him. We are working through our library’s selection of fifty books to read before Kindergarten.

Maybe we’ll find the Halloween stuff before Saturday…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: Butterfly Funerals, Addictions and Hello Fluffies!!!

my mother is visiting this week

my mother is visiting this week

We opened a bunch of boxes this week…and still have a ton to go. I worked with the kids in their rooms on the days I could concentrate on unpacking. Their rooms are slowly coming together. Sparkles bed was broken during the move so she just has a mattress on the floor. Her room is a bit of a mess until we can get her a bed frame. My plans for toy storage was to just use bins under the beds. Oldest’s room is coming together. We need to hang window treatments and pictures to complete his room. Middle Boy and Littlest are sharing a room and are having a grand time together. Their room is the most organized and completed other than window treatments. We did order blinds and bookshelves so hopefully by this weekend we will have their rooms in final order…if everything comes in this week.

I did have to take a break from unpacking this week due to an unexpected antihistamine addiction. I only take the medicine during ragweed season which is only about eight to ten

my Angry Bird boys

my Angry Bird boys

weeks in late summer and early fall. This week when I went off of the pills my body didn’t take it very well! My body itched like crazy for a few days. I also alternated between feeling sad and irritable. My mind was so scatter-brained that concentrating was just impossible. The day we went to purchase blinds was my worst day mentally. My poor husband was just on his own with all the decisions that evening!

My crew enjoyed a fun week with the neighborhood kids. I’m not sure why but Sparkles and her friend were just determined to save any butterflies they saw with torn wings. The two of them spent a couple of days chasing butterflies. They would carefully collect them and house them in an insect habitat. All of the wounded little butterflies ended up dying despite the great and tender care they received. So, naturally, the neighborhood kids got together and held a funeral service. They lovingly made and decorated paper coffins for each little creature and buried them by the maple tree. Sparkles has also developed a stormy friendship with one of the boys. They had a

hunting for butterflies

hunting for butterflies

bit of a scuffle when they first met but seem to be buddies now. His grandparents told me that all he talked about one evening was my sweet girl. Why do little boys show affection with aggression? I wasn’t too sure if I should feel parental pride that some little boy is smitten with my daughter or…maybe we do need a ten foot fence with razor wire.

I’m sooo not ready for the impending teenage years. Just no!

The kids and I worked for a while in the school room. We couldn’t do much without book cases but those will arrive soon. The room is ready enough for us to start back tomorrow. We’ll begin  with just the basics and history this week.

Skyping with Mrs. S...they were delighted to talk with her this week

Skyping with Mrs. S…they were delighted to talk with her this week

Hopefully we will locate our poetry books sometime soon so we can restart our weekly poetry tea time. I’m not sure about the kids but I am looking forward to getting back into routine with school. I am also going to restart my exercise time and developing healthy habits again. I let too much slip during the craziness of this move. I think I will better serve my family by taking care of my health than unpacking boxes.

This weekend my husband drove out to our former home to finish up a few projects. He also dismantled the bunny cage to bring it here. My lovely friend (you know our friendship is true and deep since she agreed to care for our two bunnies for an indefinite period of time!!!) brought the bunnies to my husband so he could bring them to our new home. We worried over how they would handle the long trip here but they made it just fine. I’m very happy to see my sweet fluffies again!

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: Move-in Week

dinner out

dinner out

This past week feels like the longest week of my life. Not that the time has gone by slowly but that so much has happened it feels more like two weeks instead of just one. I’ve lost an entire season with this move. Summer should not be in the past. Autumn should be a month or two away…not today. Hopefully by Thanksgiving I will be adjusted to this new town, new home…

I feel lost…just a bit. I keep getting lost in my house…my home. At night I still dream of my old home in western Kentucky. The dream has been recurring since we drove away last Saturday (really…just eight days ago?) In the dream I am desperately trying to find something. I think it is a toy from my childhood…a treasure lost long ago. My favorite stuffed animal, a dog

kids working on school while we buy a new home

kids working on school while we buy a new home

named Doogan. I’m desperate to find it but every room is packed full of boxes. The rooms keep changing to different rooms I’ve lived I over the years. I know that if I can find the room I lived in Louisiana then I’ll be able to find Doogan and save him before my parents throw him away.

I always wake up a little freaked-out and clueless to my current location. Moving messes with my psyche.  Alas, I’ll never find my poor Doogan. During one of our last moves with the military my Dad let the neighbor kids go through my bedroom and take anything they wanted. Doogan was a casualty that awful day. Totally sucks. I guess that’s why I have a hard time making my kids cull their mountains of toys. Just for fun I decided to look him up on Google and found him on eBay!

the movers are here!!!

the movers are here!!!

Tuesday we walked through the house with the builders. I had to drive to Frankfort from Lexington by myself that afternoon. But first I had to look up my address on Realtor.com and then consult with Google Maps for directions. I loaded the kids into the van and managed to get to the house without getting lost. That was the first time I ever managed to drive someplace new without getting lost. When we moved to western Kentucky I got lost several times. On Wednesday we bought the house. I was so nervous. The kids did school work during the signing. They sat in the floor and were very good and quiet. Everyone remarked on how well our children behaved.

Early Thursday morning the movers arrived. They took all day to unload everything. We’ve been unpacking ever since. It took two days to unpack the kitchen. All I want to do is clean the house but I cannot until all of the boxes are gone. We’ve been unpacking ever

Littlest in a box!

Littlest in a box!

since and I hope to be done by the end of the week. Hopefully we will be cleaning the house by next weekend.

I had planned to gradually start school this coming week. However, the neighborhood kids are on Fall Break this week. I think we will just work on math and the I’ll turn the kids loose to play outside with their new friends. Sparkles cried everyday before we moved…she was so sad. She met her new best friend the day we moved in!! A lovely young girl who lives on the street behind us. I am so very happy for Sparkles. Middle Boy and Littlest also have children their own age to play with as well. Awesome!

My husband has truly spoiled me with this home. I never imagined nor hoped to live in something so beautiful and elegant. I am blessed beyond my ability to express my gratitude for such a gift. I’m still surprised I live here…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: In Between

the empty school room...I cried

the empty school room…I cried

I am so very glad the moving away part of this adventure is now in the past. The week was hard for me…for all of us. Sparkles cried nearly every day. Several times Littlest was curled up on the floor clutching his Doggy and sucking his thumb. He took his anger out on the movers a couple of times! Fortunately the three men that spent nearly four days packing our things were kind and understanding.

Everyday this past week friends visited, brought us lunch, or invited us over for dinner. I am richly blessed with beautiful friends. Lovely people who accept me just as I am with all of my flaws. I missed them before I ever left their presence…

the movers arrive

the movers arrive

As the movers packed everything away I watched my home turn into an empty house. That hurt. I’ve always been happy to move in the past. New adventures, places and faces. I thought this house would be my forever home on this earth…at least until the children were grown and gone. I grew so much in my faith…and as a woman. I became stronger and more vulnerable. I found a best friend…a unique love I have never experienced before. I grew here and dared to spread roots for the first time in my life…so no wonder leaving is painful.

I would not change these experiences for the world.

Last night I left my home and followed my husband’s Mustang to Lexington…to our lovely “home between home”. At one point he lost me on the trip. I got caught up in traffic and mini-vans do not hug curves like Mustangs. I totally freaked out and cried…and cried. I knew the way to

We love you Suzann

We love you Suzann

the apartment but freaked out anyway. He didn’t leave me behind and slowed down until I could catch-up. He is amazing and puts up with my insecurities with loving patience. I just adore him.

This week I finally get to see the new house! I am looking forward to walking through the door. I haven’t been inside of it since I was sure I wouldn’t choose to live there!! My husband has sent pictures all month of the progress. This week the house should be done! I hope to see the movers again before the week is out…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Summer’s End

one last picture...

one last picture…

I wrote this a few of days ago with every intention to delete or seriously revise. I’ve decided to keep it. These moments are mine and I choose to own them. I couldn’t sleep the night before the movers arrived…so I wrote.

Thoughts on a closing chapter

This morning I am an emotional bundle of nerves. My hands shake, spilling coffee.  I can’t stand the smell of my toast. Nausea is settling in. I am burning on the inside and chilled with goosebumps. I can feel my pulse in my neck and wrists. My heart feels like it has been squeezed into my throat. Times like this when my emotions are all at once and too many to capture I find overwhelming. I feel like I will be lost under their weight.

I am angry and hurt. Today I feel the rejection this move represents to me. I’ve kept it stuffed in the darker periphery of unacknowledged thoughts. To be rejected is painful…humiliating.

Now my chest feels tight around my breath…

I abandon my crappy coffee. I’m wearing a good portion of it anyway.  Life is too short for crappy coffee. I head outside to get myself together since it is almost time to get the kids up. Watching the sun rise I realize it is the last day of summer. The morning is also cold enough that I can see my breath. I still feel hot and a little dizzy. Maybe I have a fever too…

My anger is defensive. It would be so easy to just wallow in its poison. I’ve been here before. I’ve already faced this fear, wrestled with it until my soul bled. I was a daughter when they wanted a son. I was physical gratification to the one man who should have loved me enough to protect me. I’ve already accepted being unwanted or an object…garbage to be thrown away. What I am feeling now is a shadow of a past hurt. This current situation just brought these old wounds to the surface. That’s all. Truth dispels my anger and hurt. I’m just sad now and confused. I’m not sure what I did or said to cause the shunning from the family. I guess I am too honest and suck at being fake. Oh…and I pour it all out in words on this page.

I won’t quit writing.

My story didn’t end with my own family’s rejection. Jesus found me and kept me. He doesn’t throw His children away. He accepts me with all of my ugly flaws, bad decisions and brokenness. He doesn’t take those things away…He makes them beautiful. He hasn’t abandoned me this time either. Looking back I can see He sent other loving people into my life. I am blessed.

bunny therapy

bunny therapy

These are my thoughts while I gather carrots and weeds for the bunnies. I am grateful my friend brought them back to us this week. She will collect them again soon and care for them while we prepare a new home for them. Today the bunnies are here. I thank God for my friend and sweet bunnies. I thank Him for this beautiful morning even though I feel like falling apart. I ask Him for strength knowing it is already mine.

The bunnies greet me all excited for their treats. They are so cute standing on their hind legs looking up at me. I really enjoy this moment…when they run to me. For whatever reason these creatures are a balm to my inner turmoil. I wonder if the Lord meant for bunnies to be so therapeutic. I wonder what they must have been like in The Garden before man’s fall.

I remember and miss my grumpy cat. I cry for her and hope she is well.

I’m exhausted from examining all of these emotions. I want to go to bed now but it is time to get the kids up. The movers will be here soon. My insides still feel like jello but I am calmer now. Confident in God’s grace for today.

I miss my husband. We’ve lived separately for nearly a month now. I’m quit certain that living apart from him is detrimental to my mental and physical stability. He’ll be here at the end of the week. Of all the gifts I have ever received in my life my husband is the most wonderful. Together we will leave this house. The years of our life together here are closing. A new chapter with new adventures is opening to us now.

I’m ready to turn the page.

Welcome_Sign (400x200)

Sunday Journal: Pink Adventures and Wooden Spoons

lunch at a favorite restaurant

lunch at a favorite restaurant

Today hurt. Today was our last “official” Sunday with our church family. My Sunday School class gave me a lovely blue platter as a goodbye gift. Sparkles received a little cross pin from one of the sweet ladies that always chats and hugs her. I’ll miss these people…more than I know how to express. I managed not to cry at church but blubbered on the way home. I turned up the music so the kids wouldn’t notice. I know that will find another church home and feel very blessed. But I also know that every church is a beautiful and unique expression of the Body of Christ.

Oldest learning a ballad for medieval history

Oldest learning a ballad for medieval history

We worked on the house this week, finishing the deck. The house inspector also came this week and we are anxiously awaiting his report so we will know what else we need to do before putting out home on the market. I also set a date for the movers. I’ve also hosted realtors, termite inspectors and movers. I feel like our life is being summed up by pounds, flaws, and net worth.

This past week I started working on downsizing some of our belongings. So far I’ve packed about five boxes of stuff to be donated to charity shops. Some things were just too precious to donate and I found beloved friends willing to adopt my treasures into their homes. I also came across some things in the back of my kitchen cabinets that I didn’t even know I owned. I found

playing at the splash pad

playing at the splash pad

two pressure cookers, about a dozen Christmas platters and some of my Grandmother’s canning equipment. I think my mom has been stashing stuff at my house in secret…kinda funny and a little weird.

This week I will continue to purge unneeded items and start giving the house a thorough cleaning. Mostly just the windows…we cannot do too much until after the movers clear the place out. Then I’ll have to arrange for carpet cleaners and clean the house from top to bottom. A part of me wants to hire someone for that job…I’m not looking forward to cleaning the house and keeping my four kiddos occupied in an empty home.

Despite all the meetings and preparations for moving we did manage to fit in some fun this week. I took the kids to meet with friends at the local splash park. Actually, we went twice this week. The kids had a blast and both times I forgot to put Littlest in his swimming trunks! Not that he cared one bit. All this moving business has turned Littlest into a needy little boy. He’s been my constant shadow all week…poor fella.

Sparkles with pink tips at church this morning

Sparkles with pink tips at church this morning

I had some fun with Sparkles this week. We put in the permanent pink dye in her hair this week. The Kool-aid trick was fun but she wanted something a little brighter and a little longer lasting. This time we bleached her tips so her hair would absorb the dye better and then applied the pink dye. Both times I used the baggie trick and it turned out super-duper cute. She loves it and that is what matters to me. My mother would never do something like that with me and I learned to quit asking at a young age. I remember promising my newborn girl that I would do all the fun things with her she asked of me. My mom used to bury herself in romance novels and my brother and I eventually learned not to bother her if she was reading. I remember getting whipped with a wooden spoon because my little brother needed a band aid and he was too afraid to ask her.  I started learning how to get through life without needing her for anything. Looking back I can see she was just trying to endure a miserable marriage. I guess my brother and I were the chains that kept her prisoner.

my fortune

my fortune

I prefer plastic spoons to wooden spoons. I reckon it is because wooden spoons were mom’s choice of instrument for punishment. I keep a few wooden spoons in a container on my kitchen counter. I remember mom when I see them. I remember what it felt like to be an unwanted nuisance to my mother. I never want my children to feel that way about me. So, I keep the wooden spoons as a reminder to never make them feel unwanted. I have my moments when all I want is a little peace and quiet…but as soon as I walk into my kitchen I’ll see those wooden spoons. They convict me and are a witness to my weak moments. I’ll never be a perfect mother. But so long as my kids know that I love them and want them then I am content. I was tempted to put the wooden spoons in the donation box this week. Instead I put them back on the counter. I need them on those days when motherhood is so overwhelming. Children need their mother’s love, they need to know that no one believes in them more than I do. The spoons remind me to be compassionate and to pray. I see those spoons and remember how blessed I am to be a mother.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: Searching for Home

Middle Boy practicing The Star Spangled Banner

Middle Boy practicing The Star Spangled Banner

My husband worked hard this week finishing the deck remodel. I helped a couple of days this week laying the…umm…dunno what it is called. Ha! It was a roll of shingle like stuff for waterproofing and I did most of the cementing/tarring…so I guess you could say I helped with the roofing. My home construction vocabulary is truly lacking. Anyway, my advise is to where gloves when handling those shingle rolls. I didn’t the first day and it felt like my hands had been sanded…ouch! I also got stung in the thumb by a bee which turned out to be far more of a bother than the sanded hands. We owe a huge thanks to a couple of my husbands friends who came over to help him with the deck. My husband didn’t ask for help but real friends never need to be asked…they’re just there.

the house

the house

In the middle of the week we traveled to Frankfort to look at potential homes. I wasn’t looking for a house but a place for our family to call “home”. All of the homes we toured were beautiful. Some required a little more care than we were willing to undertake at this time. The first house we walked through was still under construction but in the final stages of finishing work. It was truly lovely but not on my list. I just couldn’t imagine living in something so nice. The two houses I expected to like the most I really disliked. One was just too big and the very idea of trying to keep such a place clean made we want to cry. The second house was in one of those neighborhoods packed like a sardine can. I just felt pressed in. I do have one tip to pass along for anyone trying to sell their home. Please, please do not

enjoying Donato's pizza in our hotel room

enjoying Donato’s pizza in our hotel room

overdo the scented wax/candles, oils, incense, potpourri, and scented paint. I wondered what sort of smells the owners were trying to cover. Also, none of those things cover up pet smells or mold. Wet dog, cat litter box and vanilla just do not go together. My allergies kicked-in and then my sinuses went into overdrive.

I really couldn’t figure out which home my husband liked the most. I wanted him to be happy and I wanted to choose the house that he preferred. My favorite ended up being the first house, the new house. We made an offer on it

the next morning and then drove back home. We’ll find out tomorrow if our offer is accepted or not.

Zee

Zee

Today was a tough day. I told our church family that we would be with them for only one more Sunday. Several people cried. I felt humbled to know that the love I felt for the people at this church was returned. I cried.

I also found a new home for Zee our cat today. We are afraid to take her with us. She has never lived in the city environment and we fear she will get hit by a car. She is also moody and terrible with children…well everyone really. She would be a terrible neighborhood cat! I called my friend Mrs. Cuddle-me and she agreed to accept Zee. I am grateful. Then I cried. Zee is our cat and we are attached to her even if she has a horrible disposition.