Just for documentation purposes, here we are at the bowling ally in celebration (since no one would let me forget it) of our birthday. We had one lane for 6 of us for 2 hours for all we could bowl. The tightwad in me made each person watch for their turn with the utmost vigilance so as to not waste a single second and to get the most games possible. We each had 2 balls so we wouldn't have to wait the extra 7.2 seconds for our original ball to be returned. Each person began their throw often before the pin setter thingy was even completely pulled back up into place...and we got in 3 full games of bowling in the 2 hours! We had so much fun! Gabe had a really good game and blew us all away once and the rest is fuzzy. I did have a strike on the 10th frame of our very last game for the first time in my life! Since only 6 of us could bowl (or we could have paid over $120 for a second lane so all 7 of us could bowl), we volunteered Alayna to play some video games at the arcade instead of bowling. Total cost was about $3.50 after we all scrounged our quarters together! She was perfectly happy! What a trooper.
Then, back to reality, and May 2nd, moving day arrived. Paul was too excited to even hide it:
The kids who were telepathically color coordinated and so easy to keep track of that way, made their own fun in the moving van. Thanks Kristin for grabbing my camera as we unpacked it and snapping some pictures! Here are Alayna, Holden and her Zack:
Luckily no one got hurt and they were easy to corral in the moving van!
Dave Leonhard representing the entire family, Denise and Chase came to help as well. We would have been lost without them!
Kristin's husband Mark (you might remember him from Agape and Kristin from all my running stories):
Todd Miller came to help. Todd was also a big help as a prayer warrior praying faithfully for our house deal to not fall through for the hundredth time:
And no move would be complete without Lance Anderson (far left), our former Iowa neighbor who now works at Agape and lives a few miles down the road in North Port. You see what the men were up to...
Don't let this smile fool you...it was 88 degrees out on moving day with about 145% humidity...I remember thinking and saying out loud several times that I was sure I was in hell! I hate moving! Kristin snapped this picture just moments before I broke the only thing that got broken in the move. One of my tea cups from my Auntie D (great aunt who passed away about 10 years ago) from a set my mom brought her back from a trip to Holland. I was glad it was me and not someone else. I was also glad it was a tea cup and not the tea pot or the creamer or a lid. There are several cups and one is not noticed as MIA.
The kids got hungry and made themselves some cereal and a makeshift eating area out of a sofa table and bench they found in the living/dining room! Brilliant!
So, we have been here for one week exactly and I happened to snap a few pictures last week of the chaos and went around again today to document the progress...it has been an exhausting week, but the progress in pretty amazing! Here is the view from the front door into the living/dining room last week:
And today, it was clean enough for company for mother's day dinner. We still have lots of painting to do in here, we just got started with the dark red. I was thrilled it covered in 2 coats! My experience with that color was NOT fun.
We did manage to get our room painted before we moved in, but otherwise, it looked like a bomb went off in that room!
And today...still some shell casings to pick up (all the items for decorating are still in boxes piled in our room, but still great progress this week:
Holden's room probably made the biggest transformation. We had started painting, so didn't move much into the room and painted the rest of the room the night we moved in...crazy day!
One week later, much better! Now it looks like a bedroom. Yes, what you see through the window is the house next door...yes, it really is that close! Our neighbor over there is moving out as we are moving in...we feel his pain!
Alayna's room was left a mess for several days as it awaited its coats of paint. She and Holden slept on the mattress on the floor the first night, then they slept in Holden's room (his bed has a trundle) as Alayna's paint dried.
I had waaaay too much fun doing Alayna's room and was so happy with the results so far. She wants to add some polka dots to the walls and has asked every day if its her day to add them...I think it will be while yet! I am just happy she has a place to sleep:
And all of her stuffed friends do too:
Holden and Alayna share a bathroom and it got a makeover too! Fortunately I liked the paint in there, so it just needed some new rugs and towels.
The kitchen got moved over separately the night before the big move, but was still a bit of a mess:
And from a different angle today, its looking much better. The boys (big and little) did all the clean up after our special mother's day meal and it was spic and span! We had all of my favorites: BLTs, mac and cheese, Asian salad and chocolate cake with homemade lime/coconut ice cream! YUMMY treats! JoDee got farm fresh tomatoes from the Dome farmer's market and they were the best we have ever had since we moved here! ALMOST good enough to eat by themselves! We are pretty convinced we will never eat a tomato as good as those we grew in Iowa!
The living area just off the kitchen was the home to Holden's bed for a couple days.
Its usable space again. We spent some of our mother's day afternoon (after the naps) working on a puzzle:
Gabe and Riley's room looked the best on moving day since it was already painted (except a red stripe we have to add at the top of the wall), and since they put their own beds together and got them made ALL by themselves! I was very proud of their work! You can see they were too!
We made some minor changes this week:
Saturday, the kids dragged out the fishing poles while JoDee and I painted the red parts of the living/dining area and Gabe managed to drag in this huge fish as his first catch! I understand Riley caught one of similar size as well! The pond is right in our back yard, so good fishing is just a few steps out the door! We hear there are alligators in our pond too, but we haven't seen them yet.
So, I am pretty happy with the week's work. It is hard to be patient and just do bits at a time and take time off for resting and having fun. I would love to take a couple weeks off work to get it done. I am the type to just put my nose down and drive myself (and anyone else silly enough to offer to help) into the ground until its done. Paul has made me slow down and rest this weekend and I am thankful for that. JoDee has been here practically every night helping me. We also had to clean up the rental we moved out of. A family at church (THANKS Perceys!!) showed up to help us with that and we were done in no time! We have lots of time to get things settled...like about 50 years since we are not ever moving again!! The garage is still full of things that need to have a home found for them or be organized onto the garage shelves, but major progress was made this weekend in that area too. I hope we will be parking in there soon!
I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of relief this week. In the midst of all the chaos, we have been able to find whatever was needed (no minor miracle!) Kids went to school, did homework, and Paul and I went back to work. Evenings were full of work too, but I felt so much happiness and relief. No more worry about where we were going to live (our previous landlords had the house rented come August 1st). What an amazing weight to have lifted off our shoulders. God gets all the glory for that one. He provided this home for us in such a way that we could never doubt or deny it was straight from Him. Ah, His plans for us are so good. Ah, it good to rest in them...even in the midst of all this work! Ahhhhh, bring it on! By the way, any of you thinking of moving here, the house across the street is in foreclosure! It has a pool!