Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hurry up and Move! Part 4

Part 4 of Where I’ve Been

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Our “new” home (we were leaving our new construction home for something decidedly not new)  was turning out to be much more work than we had anticipated. Typical eh? From popcorn ceilings to old carpet it was all getting an overhaul. 

We had approximately a month to pack, renovate and move.

(Starting to feel stressed again and all this happened months ago. Breathe, just breathe and write…)

It didn’t help that we were heading into July and that meant hot. Hot air. Sweating and stress. 
Josh worked on the “new” house, I worked at the “old” one, packing. Packing while caring for our five, keeping them fed & such and trying to keep enough clothes clean for everyone. 

I thought I had done a pretty good job packing here and there but I quickly realized that there was a long way to go. The big stuff wasn’t a problem. The main furniture we took with us was a couch, table & chairs, some shelves, a desk and the bunkbeds. Other than the refrigerator and ping-pong table from the garage, pretty much everything else was “small” stuff. 

That “small stuff” just about did me in.

We are so blessed to have awesome friends and family. I’m not sure how we would have survived the move without them. Throughout that whole month they helped. My mom and dad and sister had been up from Louisiana to help pack earlier and my mom and dad came again for the week and weekend of the move. They kept the children much of the time. Several members of Josh’s family and a close friend helped with popcorn ceiling scraping, painting and flooring. Josh worked fast and furious to get the floor down in the main part of our new home. 

The details of that month run together. It all happened really fast. Even with help and non-stop work, the deadline came too soon. 
I’m not a fan of rushing, stress, hot weather and deadlines. I like order, calm, cool breezes and plenty of time to do things well. 

(Hey, I remember something good about our moving weekend! A nephew was born! My sister-in-law went into labor a month early. Her husband was in Haiti at the time. Little man came into the world early, but did great and dad got rushed home to be there for his son’s second day in the world.)

Josh got the truck Thursday evening. We would have it until Saturday afternoon. The big stuff went on the truck quickly thanks to our awesome people. Then the little stuff started going on. Boxes that had been packed throughout the preceding months had detailed labels. Boxes packed in the last few days had general labels. Several last minute boxes had no label at all (well except for the labels crossed out from previous moves as most of the boxes were used). When we started to run low on boxes, trash bags became suitable packing containers. 

Most of the stuff went into the large shop on our new property, the shop that will be awesome for Josh to use once all the stuff is out. It had to go there because the house just wasn't ready. One bedroom was ready enough and some of the living room. The stuff had to be moved so fast and furious that it was put into the shop however it could fit. Kitchen things, seasonal decorations, clothing, books-all mixed up together in tidy rows.

It happened though. We moved. 

The old house was cleaned and touch-up painted for our renters and we picked up the last few stray items on Monday. Our renters moved in on Tuesday.

And we were in our new home. With one finished enough bedroom.

We lived in the one bedroom, the seven of us, until the end of August. 

One thing I wasn’t prepared for with our rural move was the bugs. And the spiders. Apparently Oklahoma has a lot of spiders. Big hairy and sometimes dangerous spiders. Scorpions too. And they liked all the nice homes we made for them in the shop. All those brown boxes. They started moving in fast. I’m better now, but at that time I discovered that I am apparently mildly arachnophobic. I had heard recently that the Tulsa area is a favorite for brown recluse. The thought that those creatures could hurt my babies was a bit much for me. I’m afraid there was more than one instance of tears in that shop as I tried to make sense of our stuff, trying to find things like spoons and my Bible and underwear. Trying to keep track of the kids while I was moving boxes and killing spiders in the July-August heat. There is a scene in the movie After Earth in which a father (Will Smith) says to his son (Will Smith’s actual son who is playing his son in the movie) “Son, we have landed on a planet where everything has evolved to kill you.”
I felt that way a few times in the shop. 

Towards the end of August Josh’s parents were going on an anniversary trip. The upstairs of their home had become available at the beginning of August thanks to a surprise wedding my brother-in-law ('to be' prior to the wedding) planned for my sister-in-law (that’s an awesome story). My mother-in-law helps take care of a niece and nephew and since she was going to be gone we came to stay and help with her usual responsibilities. We packed some things planning to be there for those two weeks, upstairs in what is the size of a nice little apartment with a living area, two bedrooms, bathroom and even a small frig and microwave. After my in-laws came back from their vacation we decided to stay for a while so Josh could continue working on the house without us in it. It’s difficult to remodel a house when it’s full of people, most of those people being small. So for the next few months life was me homeschooling the kids there at my in-laws (we started our first year of Classical Conversations in August), Josh working the job in the day, then a few evenings out of the week heading out to work on our home. The kids also started karate and the other normal life things continued-church, music lessons, homeschool activities, family stuff, etc. 

Again, fuzzy details. I lost my day planner at some point in the year so some of the details & dates are a little harder to remember. I felt like I had lost my brain when I lost my planner. It was quite a blow. It’s probably still packed in the shop somewhere. 

During that time my husband took something unpleasant-the kid’s end of the house- and turned it into something beautiful. New flooring went down throughout the house. The kitchen went from “ugh” to “I love it!”.    

In October we took a short break from it all and took our kids to Silver Dollar City in Branson. We all needed a vacation. I highly recommend that as a family trip. I hope that’s one of the highlights in their memories among the memories of sharing a bedroom with the whole family for a few weeks or of sleeping on couches at Grandmas (the boys had the couches. They didn't mind.)

Silver Dollar City

There were new things to learn about having a home in the semi-rural. Things like having a furnace that uses propane. We thought the furnace broke. It was during an unseasonable cold (it snowed in November! That is not normal Oklahoma!). The temp in the house dropped to the 40’s during the day. (thankfully we weren’t sleeping there then!) It was so cold the flooring was started to pull apart. Turned out the furnace was fine. We were just out of propane. 

In December we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. My husband planned an amazing surprise overnight get-away for us at the historic Mayo Hotel in Tulsa. He is the absolute best like that. We also made a little trip down to Louisiana for a Christmas celebration with my family. It’s a special treat to be together, all of us. 

We celebrated Christmas morning at Josh’s parents house, where we were still living.
(I love Christmas:)

Between Christmas and New Year's we decided to call the house done enough. Again. It was time to be back in our own space.
We went home. (Again.)

With varying consistency things move forward. The boy’s room is pretty much done. The girls room is getting there. Their bathroom is cute and the most finished part of the house. I love my kitchen. Josh removed some almost completely useless cabinets and is putting a pantry there instead. The flooring is working out great- no carpet! Yay!

I found our spoons. Everyone has plenty of underwear, well except for socks. No one ever seems to have enough socks.
And I found my Bible. I cried a little when I found it, both in relief and joy and some in frustration that it had taken so long to find it.
We were home in time for the February snow. We have watched things turn from brown to spring. We hosted our first get-together Easter Sunday.

There is much left to do, but we are home.

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