Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Six!

Six years ago today, Jeremy and I started courting. The boys and I went to Krispy Kreme and brought back donuts for us all to celebrate. Iain and Cory each got to choose their own mini donut, and they both chose "pinkles" (sprinkles). The surprise for Jeremy was slightly tempered by Iain running up the stairs when we got home and saying, "We got a surprise for you! It's donuts!" Oh, well.

How sweet it is to be loved by you....


We've had many cold days of rain, plus several days where someone was feeling yucky, so we've been inside a lot. What to do? "Markering!" says Iain. Nona bought these funny markers for the boys when we moved up here ("weebles wobbly" type things, and they make animal noises when you put the caps on. Really odd. And very funny.), intending for them to be used on the drive. But I squirreled them away, for such a time as this (they had plenty of new playthings for the drive, and they had Grace, so don't feel sorry for them!). Anyway, with a roll of brown paper as our canvas, "markering" is our new favorite activity.

The walls and the carpet and everything else in this house is off white, beige, tan, etc. Not my favorite. My eyes have been craving color! And since all of our wall-hanging-type things are packed, and I didn't want to buy more, I challenged myself to make do with what we have, decorate the walls, and not spend any money or, obviously, paint or change the rental property. This was my challenge. My goodness, what this woman can do with no money! Okay, I admit, my project is way, way, way less cool than her house. But hey, gotta start somewhere.

Anyway, with the markering craze going on around here, I decided to use Iain and Cory's (but mostly Iain's, as Cory tends to just throw crayons on the floor, pick them up, and start again) artwork, add a Scripture verse, and thumb-tack them to the wall. Iain likes to see his work displayed, I like the verses being all over the house (Deut 6:4-9), and they do add color. It's a win-win-win. :)

This and That

Cory is adorable!

Here's the living room - and Iain making a snake or a train (it changes frequently). He's really into lining things up like this: rocks, balls, toys, cars. Funny boy.

And Iain's room:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Times of Grace

The first few days we were here, it was raining and cold. Grace did a great job keeping the boys happy inside among the boxes and the chaos, but eventually, cabin fever set in and they braved the weather and hit the playground. Remember I told you that our townhouse backed up on the park? Here's the view from Iain's window.

Book reading is always a hit with the boys, and especially when Grace (who insists she can read nothing that is not written with rhythm) is around. I think she read them a thousand books. Or at least 50.

Sunny days emerged and the troops hit the park again. They like the playground equipment alright, but the real attraction is the mulch.

Here's our tiny but well-loved back yard. It's actually really nice because it's off the dining room and the kitchen window looks out on it... and it's completely fenced in. The kiddos can play with minimal supervision.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: the Big Chicken!

I promise, this thing is THE landmark here. Every direction is given with the Big Chicken functioning as the North Star. For example, to get to the post office, you turn right at the road immediately after the Big Chicken. If you want to go to Aldi, it's the road right before. There's even a billboard that tells you to turn at the Big Chicken. And whenever anyone at church asks where we're living now, we simply say, "You know the Big Chicken? We're a few miles south of that." And they always know exactly what we're talking about.

So on Grace's last night here, we went to eat at the Big Chicken (really, KFC is such a boring name). We were amazed: inside, you can buy t-shirts, beanie babies, key chains, mugs.... I tell you, it's crazy! There are even pillars inside that are made to look like the chicken's feet. So you're eating chicken inside of a chicken.... I don't know what I think about that.

Anyway, the Big Chicken's beak opens and closes, and his eyes roll around and around, giving him a slightly zany, crazed look. If we go missing, suspect the maniac chicken.

Come visit and we'll take you there, too! You know you want to!


P.S. Here's our day today: Jeremy and Iain are suffering from some kind of stomach flu; Cory is recovering from the same. I haven't gotten it and am praying that I won't. And the washing machine flooded the laundry room and the hall. I had to laugh (or was it a groan) when I saw that, in the midst of chaos, the washer went haywire. But it's getting fixed today. Whew.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We're Back

Back from the deep dark hole of no internet access. Be on the lookout for posts depicting our many fun adventures so far. And especially watch for a giant chicken. I am telling the truth.

March 25

Monday, March 16, 2009

We're Here

For any of you who haven't heard yet, we've moved. Yes, just like that.

--On Saturday, Feb 28, we put the house up on Craig's List to rent.
--On Sunday, one family came by to look.
--On Monday, two more people came by... and both of them wanted the house. on Monday night, we read up on how to check credit, and we wrote a rental agreement.
--On Tuesday, we did credit checks and looked made a list of all the things we needed to do on our house, and started looking for a place to go.
--On Wednesday, we called references, made a decision, and let the family know they could move in soon.
--Thursday, Friday... packing, cleaning, fixing
--Saturday... packing, cleaning, fixing, Jeremy's parents visiting
--Sunday, Monday, Tuesday... packing, cleaning, fixing. Dinners with people, small group. Tuesday night was our last night in our home.
--On Wednesday, we loaded the truck. And got permission to bring my cousin Grace up with us to help. And spent the night at my mom's house.
--On Thursday, we drove south to visit Yaya (Jeremy's grandmother).
--On Friday, we said goodbyes and drove north. We added about 3.5 hours onto the normal drive time because of having a big truck and a potty training boy. We finally pulled in to our Middle House at 8:30pm, put the boys to bed, and unloaded the entire truck with the help of Jeremy's friend Ryan and my cousin Chris.
--On Saturday, two weeks after we listed the house, we began digging ourselves out of the boxes, trying to put things away, and make for ourselves a Middle House that feels like home, for the time it is our home.
--And on Sunday, we went to church. The church we moved up here for. It was good.

We call it the Middle House because we're renting this small townhouse by the month while we look for another place - a real home - to buy. This way, we can make sure we like the place we land.

Grace has been invaluable. Everybody should have a Grace.

The Middle House is, well, interesting. I'll post pictures and stories when I get it put together enough. Suffice it to say that the backyard opens up to the playground (good) and most of the appliances don't work (bad).

So - we're here, we're doing well, and we don't have internet access yet. I'm at Panera, loving hot chocolate and quiet. But it's time to head back to the Middle House and get back to work!