Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Top 5 Reasons to be Thankful Today

  1. The supply of Reese Puffs was replenished today, thanks to buy one get one sales at Publix.  Jack came home and looked at the yet-to-be-put-away groceries and said, "Thank you, Mama, I'm sick of eating Raisin Bran."  
  2. Justin and I walked together to the school to pick the children up.  What a blessing to have a) a husband willing to make that walk and b) a husband who works from home, so he can make that walk.
  3. I got a good five inches of hair taken off today.  I walked in and Justin said, "Does this mean you lost 25 pounds?"  Funny guy.  I said, "No, this is mild compared to the hair cut I am getting when I lose the weight."  My husband is mourning the loss, while I could not be happier.  Well, maybe if it was shorter, I'd be happier.
  4. The weather is cooling off.  College football is days away.  We still don't have a TV hooked up yet.
  5. Today is over and I get to go to bed.  Hooray!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday before people come over

We are having our church plant Bible Study at our house tomorrow.  It stresses me out.  The basement is in chaos and that is where we are going to have the Bible study.  So why did I spend my time hanging pictures and cleaning up the kitchen?  We will never know.  At one point, I thought, I should prioritize.  #1 Basement #2 Basement Bathroom, etc.  Instead I just kept doing the dishes.  They won't go away just because the basement needs to be cleaned up, right?

Then after I finally decided to go downstairs, I realized I had never assembled my IKEA console table to go behind the sofa.  It is critical because it hides the sofa back which is quite faded (too bad they didn't make a table to go IN FRONT of the sofa, too) and hopefully it will keep small children from trying to jump over the back of the sofa to sit in it.  Or maybe it will just add an extra bit of challenge to a young jumper, like a hurdle in a track event.  One never knows.

IKEA is quite brilliant in their wordless directions on how to assemble a table, but I still managed to mess it up.  Not once, not twice, but thrice I un-assembled and re-assembled that table.  I was almost in tears because the idea was to throw the thing together and begin cleaning!  Instead it became a huge time suck, and I succumbed to the stress and became quite snappy with the husband.  He snapped back, and then after a bit, came and helped me.  He was there for unassembly #3, I believe.  At any rate, as mad as I was at him, I still really needed his help, so I grumbled a thank you and tried not to think angry hateful thoughts directed toward my family for swimming while I was wrestling this beast, my church for coming over tomorrow and thus prompting the stress, and the good folks at IKEA for building a table so cute and cheap that I just had to buy it.  None of the attitude problem, of course, was my fault.  One of my spiritual gifts is blame-shifting.

Well, the table is together but everything else has to wait because it was time to fix supper. So while the chicken pot pie is baking and the rice is ... swelling? absorbing?  I don't know what it does.  Anyway, I am here to tell you that it is ok if the basement doesn't get clean.  It's ok, though it hurts my pride.  Which probably needed some hurting.

Friday, August 27, 2010

weeds or plants?

Before we moved into our new house, I told myself that I would not pull up any plants the first year we lived here.  I would live with them, whether they looked ugly to me or not, because sometimes a plant that looks bad in late August may have been beautiful in April.  I am giving them a chance to prove their worth, so to speak.

So today I simply cut back rather than uprooted ugly unkempt plants.  I did pull some up by their roots, but they were easily identified as small trees.  And pokeberry plants, I would know them anywhere.  The rest got a good shearing. 

The reason I am trying to not pull up all of the plants is because at the first house that we bought, I decided to bring order to the chaos that was all around our mailbox by "weeding".  Instead, I took out a good hunk of creeping phlox (now a personal favorite) and some daylilies and clumps of yarrow.  I didn't know they were perennials; I just thought they were ugly.

What if we did that to our friends?  There was a man in our church when we first got married who struck me as a rigid, judgmental, ultra-conservative homeschooling dad with whom I would have little in common.  I would have pulled him right out of my circle of acquaintances, if I could have, but we both went to the same church, so it was hard to avoid him.  Well, when we decided to finish our basement ourselves, my husband started calling on him for advice, because he was in the construction business.  And he ended up coming over to check things out.  He ended up coming A LOT because we had no idea what we were doing.  And the more I got to know him, the more I realized how completely I had misjudged him.  He is a great guy with a big servant's heart, and when we think of the folks we miss seeing now that we moved here, he is right there, one of our dearest friends. 

Give your plants a little while before you decide they are weeds.  You may regret getting rid of them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Got It Under Control

As I said yesterday, we have been in our house for three weeks now.  We knew when we bought it that the formal living room in the front of the house (it's an old 60's style ranch with a walk-out basement) would become Justin's office.  Because we are planting a new church, Justin is working from home, so all of his commentaries and spiritually-minded books which have always been in his church office are now coming to live with us.  There are lots of them.  Lots and lots. 

We went to IKEA in Charlotte and bought bookshelves.  18 feet worth of bookshelves, which, when finished, will go all the way to our 8 foot ceilings.  In my mind, that would be enough room for his books and some plants, framed pictures of the kids, and other assorted decorative objects.  Well, instead, it is enough room for his books.  And little else.  He received a box of books yesterday in the mail.  I looked at the box and then looked at him.  He said defensively, "Just because you know how many books I have now doesn't mean I have to stop buying them."  There was a book on depression and a book by Richard Baxter (wise Puritan author) the size of a cinderblock.  "Tim Keller says this is a necessary reference book to have!"  he says while I give the book my squinty-eyed laser look.

Last week we decided to change out all of the electrical outlets on the wall o' bookcases to accommodate three-prong receptacles.  I googled the process and it all seemed straightforward, so while Justin was at a meeting, I decided to surprise him and get it done myself.  I went to Lowe's and talked to the helpful man there, and he told me that I could buy and install the new outlets, but it wouldn't make a difference in a power surge because there was no ground wire.  We went back and forth on various solutions to the problem, and I walked out of Lowe's with a new GFCI breaker, that I was going to install in our breaker box, that would protect all of our precious electronics in case of a power surge. 

Fast forward 45 minutes...I am standing in a dark basement with a head lamp on, sweating and praying that I don't electrocute myself.  The kids are yelling, asking when the lights are going to come back on.  I cannot get the old breaker out, and it doesn't matter because the new breaker wouldn't fit in the same slot and I am not going to stand here re-wiring the breaker box all night long.  I give in.  I cannot DIY whole house electrical systems.

Turns out, from what our electrician friends tell us, that what I was trying to do would not have helped that much anyway (curse you, helpful Lowe's sales person!), so we just leave it all alone and I return to things I know about.  Like hanging pictures.  Unpacking boxes.  Laundry.  Diet Coke.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's been two months

Yes, it has been two months since I last wrote anything.  And I really thought I would blog through the entire move. I wish I had!  The computer was down for a couple of weeks, but that was it.  I could have.  I should feel guilty.  I DO feel guilty!  There...everything is back to normal.

Well, folks, the kids have been in school for seven days now.  We've been in our house for three weeks; it will be four on Saturday.  We've spent more time than we could ever have anticipated trying to figure out how to get the pool water clear.  I feel like we've adopted a fourth child - a very large, wet, blue child with a propensity for algae.  But that's ok because I will unabashedly say that our new home is awesome.  I love it!  And I am so thankful for it.  In fact, I think it is one of the greatest inanimate objects I have ever been blessed to own.  That and my minivan, which now sounds like a ghost is riding on top of it every time you get above 45 mph.  Don't ask why.   Justin has looked at the top of the van, and I have watched him looking at the top of the van, and the problem didn't show itself, so we just enjoy the wind whistling through the roof racks.

Boudreaux the dog seems ok with the new house.  She injured her tail because she wags it so hard against the bricks that it bleeds and now we have to keep her away from guests because she will bleed on their pants.  There are little blood spots on the kitchen cabinets and the door frames which I keep cleaning off.  We would like to just cut her tail off but that seems harsh to do to an adult dog.  It's probably inhumane, I don't know. Plus we'd have to pay for it, which we can ill afford to do right now.  Justin suggested putting some sort of bandage on her tail, but you know she would just chew it right off and then I'd be cleaning bloody bandages off the floor while I was scrubbing the kitchen cabinets. 

I told myself I wouldn't write until I had pictures of the house, but I decided writing is better than nothing.  Instead of a picture of the house I will leave you with one of my favorite pictures of my nephew eating his first birthday cupcake.  See you later!