Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Abbi-girl!

Happy fifth birthday, Abigail :)!!!

Abbi is the very bouncy, mischievous, Abbi-tude member (with many names ;)...) of our family, with the biggest grin and the loudest voice, heeheehee :). She loves her role as a big sister, and talks often with excitement about the new baby :). She finds it great fun to get in the kitchen and help bake, and wants to be in on all the excitement :). She can tell some highly entertaining stories, let me tell ya', and she loves chocolate! She is a very extroverted and passionate little girl, something that I think will serve her well in many ways as she serves the Lord in the years to come!
I love you, Abbi :)! I am so thankful that the Lord placed you in our family :)...
Happy Birthday, Abbi! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!...

Happy birthday, Mommy and Daddy!!!!
We love you so much, and we are so blessed by all that you have done for us! I know that this past year has been hard for all of us in many ways, you two especially as you had to make so many decisions for all of us. Mommy had to juggle so much while Daddy was gone, and Daddy was often up in VA alone, in between the long drives to SC for visits. But I can't tell you how happy I am to be all together again.
Daddy and Mommy, you have both followed the Lord's will for your life, and I thank you so much for your desire to show all of us the importance of loving the Lord and following his leading in our own lives.
I love you both so much, and I am so thankful to the Lord for both of you!!!
Happy Birthday, Daddy and Mommy!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nearing the End of the Journey...

We woke up on the third, delighted to hear that our furniture was, indeed, going to be delivered that day! The driver had even called and said that he just needed the last directions to our house before he got there :)! We were so excited to be getting ready to leave and see the house filled up with the stuff that would make it "our" home!!! Unfortunately, several of us had obviously come down with colds, so things went rather slowly getting ready to get to the house, although we were all living in denial for the first couple hours. It is like everybody assumed that if they said something about it, there was no stopping it, because you could tell everybody was miserable (except Daddy, he never gets sick! Okay, well, rarely ever ;).), but nobody said anything until Andrew stated his throat hurt. After that, nobody seemed afraid to complain about anything, haha ;).

Daddy took Tori and the little girls to the house so he could be there so that the unloading process could start, while Mommy took the rest of us to the store to get some breakfast items. Amidst Andrew's falling over in the store, and accidentally supplying a group of ants some banana for breakfast, we were able to get all that we needed, and headed for the house :)! Tori had the little girls already on the swing set :). Andrew and Bethi quickly joined them, while Mommy and I started to try to make breakfast, which couldn't be fixed fast enough for Emmi, who was in a grumpy mood due to needing food, and is slightly possessive over the swing set, haha ;).

We got breakfast plates made, and sat the little ones down on a sheet to have picnic breakfast, inside ;). Daddy worked on making the first pot of coffee in our new house. You know it wouldn't take him long ;). Tori enjoyed some to celebrate being so close to moved in (after being assured that just one cup would not stunt her growth significantly. She has a self-imposed rule that she will not, repeat, will not, drink coffee regularly until she is at least half an inch taller than me ;)...).

After breakfast, we cleaned out the big fifteen passenger van, and Daddy's smaller van. Daddy's van seems really big after his old van, but the fifteen passenger van is still the hands-on winner in size without a shadow of a doubt! We call it "Van-illa", a mix of "Van" and "Godzilla", heeheehee! We ended up replacing the back seat in Van-illa (which we had thought to take out of the car before the moving van left our SC house, thank the Lord! We could never have fit everything in with it!), and piling several boxes of items that became unpacked and never repacked during the trip, in the living room before collapsing on the couch determining  to sort through and put it away later ;). Daddy was able to help a bit with moving boxes into the house from the truck, but the rest of us pretty much just kept babies occupied. Tori finished her Rubik's cube, totally flabbergasting one of the men helping unload the furniture :)! It was so funny :). 

They were done unloading early in the afternoon, and we set to work getting a few small things done. Nothing much happened the rest of the day... we took care of some house stuff, had supper. and flopped at the end of the day ;).

The next morning, Daddy had to get back to work, and the rest of us were making headway to get out of the hotel for the last time! We were so excited :)! I checked Facebook while Mommy and Tori took some of the bags down to the car, and was shocked to find many "Happy Fourth" posts, heeheehee. I got so lost as to what date it was during the move! It was kind of funny :).

We stopped at the grocery store on our way, and we also stopped to see Daddy at his store for the first time since moving :). Then we were on our way home.

We set up the beds and washed loads and loads of clothes, before making the aforementioned beds with freshly washed sheets :). We completed some more cleaning, and some of the little ones accomplished some much needed activities...

 Like sleep...

 ...more sleep...

 ...and helping clean :P.

The house needed such a cleaning before we settled! There was - no kidding- dog hair in the oven door. Just a wee bit disturbing. Haha!

Since then, we have been settling into our new life here in Virginia. We recovered from our colds, got the house cleaned, and got most of the big unpacking projects done. Mommy found out that she was expecting baby blessing number eight, little Seaweed :)!!! Miss Kathy at Daddy's store blessed us with a couple of meals, and all of his employees got together and blessed us with a welcome basket. Tori threw a big tea party that she invited me to (took six hours if you count cooking, cleaning, and enjoying- now that is dedication for you ;)!), that was absolutely beautiful. We took the little ones to Daddy's store for his store's "Kid's Day" one day, and have stopped various other times while out and about, we have greatly enjoyed being able to do that again!!! The neighbor on one side of us helped us get our lawn mower put together, the ones on the other side just moved in like us, and the lady from across the the street blessed us with some fresh corn :). Daddy has been taking us to the church that he has been attending for the past several months, and the people there have really welcomed us :). I was able to make and sell a couple of crocheted kittens, which, although they didn't get to their destination when we had hoped, was a fun experience :). Our family was able to set up a ministry table at Daddy's store's 5th anniversary a couple weeks ago, that was a wonderful blessing! Daddy gets back from his meeting tonight, and we finished unpacking this week. 

I'm going to go help give the house one more thoroughly cleaning, and then we will be done with this moving adventure. It has been a long, sometimes stressful, process. But by tonight, we will be officially settled in "home", and together.

The Lord has richly blessed us.

And I am so thankful!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday, Week 72

This week I am especially thankful for such things as....
~The box we received from our Gramma last weekend. It had some really neat items in it :)!
~Like, balloons to make balloon animals with :). Tori was really excited about that :).
~And towels. We are constantly running out of towels, so that was a very functional gift, as well as fun :). And, Gramma, I do believe that even Peter looks forward to using his towel- he points to it every time he is in the bathroom!
~Little reminders from the Lord that he knows all our needs, and will supply over and beyond what we need :)...
~A dear friend's sharing with me that she was caring for our old garden back in SC- "just so I didn't feel too bad" about it :). I enjoyed hearing how well it was doing, but even more of a blessing was the time she took just to be a blessing and let me know that she doing that for us. We miss you and your family, Kaitlyn!
 ~My new "garden". Thank you, Tori and Mommy :)...

~Gramma and Miss Mary's encouragement to keep blogging. They are some of the most rewarding people to write for, let me tell ya ;). :)
~Yummy family recipes simmering on the stove.
~Can openers.
~Getting to snuggle lots of little people.
~Time with Mommy and Tori.
~Emmi's snuggles late at night :).
~Clean bed sheets.
~Aluminum foil.
~Passages from Romans... you find them all over the place :). That study was such a blessing, and continues to be :)!
~Lil' sleepy baby :)...

~That I was able to get that spot off our bedroom wall... hahaha :).
~That the library is finished :)!
~That Daddy has been so blessed by his meetings this week :)! That is such a big change from when he worked at Family Christian Stores, and a very big blessing from the Lord :)!
~That Peter's leg seems to be fine this morning, he isn't limping at all that we can tell :).

Oh, and, don't ask me how, because I don't know the answer, but our laundry baskets were all empty of dirty clothes for a half hour yesterday! Haha! :)...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Who Would Have Thought?!

Supper is cooking, the little ones are finishing cleaning their room, and I'm taking a little break from my current, self-imposed, "nothing but trip posts and Thankful Thursdays until trip posts are all posted" posting habit of late. I thought I'd share a tiny update, and a humorous removing "paint" tip I gained this afternoon. :)

Daddy left for a business meeting last Monday, and is arriving back on Friday. It is a disappointment that he had to leave again, seemingly just after we got here together, but we are looking forward to him getting back :). We're taking this time to finish some of the little things that are still waiting to be done from our move. Things like unpacking the miscellaneous box, and reorganizing the library shelves and the girl's room closet (and, like any other time we do any cleaning, folding laundry and cleaning our bedroom, haha ;)!).

Poor Peter did something to his little knee earlier, and we were afraid at first that it was sprained, but he is using it wonderfully at the moment, so either it was a very slight sprain or it was just such a bad bump it hurt longer than you'd think it should. Why does it always happen when Daddy is gone?! we are just thankful he is okay :).

While working in our room earlier, I was contemplating going to get some paint from our garage, and painting over the big white mark that has glared at me from my bed every night since we moved in (on the fourth, mind you). The spot has bothered me, but I never felt up to getting the paint out, finding the brushes (I'm not sure where they are!), and laying down plastic. So, I've left it. Today I was trying to decide whether I should paint and then do the closet, or just paint tomorrow. I was staring at it, and thought to myself, "That is the thinnest layer of paint I have ever seen! If they were going to use white instead of yellow, they could have at least made it thick so that it looked finished." I really thought it looked odd, so I brushed it with my finger. And realized that that said finger was now white. I got really excited :P, and ran for a wet rag. I started (gently!) rubbing the wall.

"Tori, come look at this!" I exclaimed in excitement.

She came and looked. "Great. Now all we have to do is keep it wet," she replied rather drily. Haha!

"It isn't because it's wet," I assured her. "Whatever is on here comes right off. Just- brushes off."

45 seconds later, the white splotch was gone. I don't know if it was chalk (that's what it felt like!), or what, but it's gone. (And, thanks to a magic eraser, so are the black marks from our vanity hitting the wall). 

And I waited a month and a half to get rid of the stuff.

So my painting tip just happens to be... make sure it really needs painted before you go through the work of painting.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Change of Plans

Daddy got a call at about seven the next day that our furniture wasn't going to be delivered that day, due to the slight drizzle, and high chances of heavier, rain. So we took the morning slowly, much more to our liking ;). We decided to go out for a special breakfast, and then go work on the house a little bit more.

We knew that we needed to take the laundry so that we could wash it again. Peter decided to help...

 He moved it! It was heavy, I promise! But, he moved it! 
He has some muscles, that's for sure!

 But he couldn't get it through a closed door!

He knows the solution... now, if he could... just... reach it...

As we were getting ready to leave, Daddy asked Mommy "Well, do you want to walk, or drive?" Heeheehee ;). (It was just a ways away behind the hotel., although I did not know that at this point.) Visions of another time we had "walked there" from a hotel came to my mind, and I thought he was joking about that time- or, at least, surely it wasn't going to take as long as that fruitless journey had been ;). Mommy didn't care, so Daddy started walking to the car, but then stated to Mommy "No, we can walk. Driving will mean you have to park the fifteen passenger van.". We started walking across the grass, and quickly realized it was wet ;). But we persevered! Daddy then realized that things weren't quite set up like he thought they were, and decided to go back to the car. He said he would have walked by himself, but we had five little people with us ;). So, back to the car we headed, where we had to decide who was sitting in which car. We finally made it across the street ;).

We went to Ihop... and as is tradition, no matter how "hard" Mommy tried to talk them out of it, one of the little ones talked her and Daddy into letting them try a "Funny Face"...

This time it was Emmi (well, and Bethi, but she didn't seem to have a problem with it, haha)...

 Ya, that's not Emmi... but he was too cute not to share :)...

 There's Emmi! She hasn't even tasted it yet...

 Now she has! She likes it :)...

 Maybe a little too much ;). Heeheehee!

Love her! Haha :)...

Tori jokes that I missed cooking while we were on our trip, because while taking the little ones to the restroom after we ate, I made a wrong turn and ended up in the kitchen. Har, har, snicker, ha. Haha :).

Once we left, we headed for "home" :)! Daddy then took Tori and several of the little ones to wash the laundry, while Mommy and I stayed to do some cleaning, and Andrew watched Peter :). It was so funny, we found so much change around the house. At one point I was cleaning the huge closet in our room, and found a whole bunch in a little crack between the shelf and the wall. I called Mommy and asked "Could you help me?". She was like "With what?...". I think she was worried that it was something bad ;). I started fishing out money, and said "Could you hold this... and this... and these... oh, this too...". By the time I was half done she was like "How much more IS there?". "Hold on..." I told her. "Not too much more... here...". Then I heard behind me "Aw! A twopence! Bri, look, it's a "tuppence"!!!!" That was neat :). Her hands were full when I was done ... counting that and all the rest we found around the house, we found close to two dollars, most of it pennies! Haha :).

We spent a good bit of time washing walls and floors. And windows. I don't think the attic window had been touched for several years, it was disgusting, haha. The cobwebs were very thick in that window ;). We ended up having to call Daddy and to tell him that we needed more magic erasers for the walls. Daddy couldn't believe us, and I don't blame him. We had bought SEVERAL boxes the night before, but it was becming apparent that what we had wasn't going to last through all the walls, even if they made it through the rest of the day ;).

On the way back to the hotel, we had a little bit of an escapade, resulting in a drowned cherry, but we were fine, and all it resulted in is a little laugh whenever we see a certain spot of the road. And that is all the particulars you're going to get. Hahaha!
Daddy looked at the weather forecast for the next day, and we were very afraid that the furniture couldn't be delivered the next day, due to more storm warnings. But the next day turned out nice and fairly sunny, so we were able to move on as planned :)!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

And Then it Was Ours :)!

While writing this one, my mind went blank. It didn't feel like I was remembering much other than seeing the house... and then I remembered, that is about all we did, haha. With our busy day the day before, and the fact that we needed to get to bed on time, to be up and at the house when our furniture arrived the next day, we pretty much took care of the house in between meals, haha :)...

Considering when we went to bed, I'll not tell you when we woke up, haha ;). After brunch, we made a quick trip to Walmart, and then we were on the way to our new home! Abbi was so cute at Walmart :). Daddy took Abbi, Andrew and I in, and there was a tiny baby ahead of us in line. Abbi told me, "Oh, Bri! Look at the little baby! It's so sweet! It is little. I think it was born today, it hasn't grown'd yet!" :)...

The whole story of how we were led to this house is a wonderful reminder of how God works, but I'm waiting to share that until another post :). But, for a sneak peak into what all it involved, I'll tell you that Miss Julie met us at the door with, "We are so blessed to be renting to fellow believers" :).

The drive to the house is beautiful the last several minutes, even before you get to the neighborhood...

The house is gorgeous! And extremely big :)...

Our van fits right in with the house, doesn't it ;)? Very large :).
I'll share the inside pictures when we get to the part where we 
actually have stuff in it ;).

As soon as Abbi and Emmi made it to the back of the house and saw this sight...

What do you think they did? ;) Emmi was especially thrilled that the "swing set" she was promised had a slide attached... but she hasn't used it as much as we thought she would after she had been begging us for weeks if it had a slide as well.

Miss Julie took us through the house, gave us the keys, and left us to explore farther (after talking about driving laws and how I am old enough to start driving here in VA, as well. WHY?! Haha. I can't get away from it!). This was, for all of us except for Daddy, our first in-person look at the house, and so it was very exciting :). As I mentioned before, I'll share more pictures in a few days, but we love it :)...

We surveyed the house a little more thoroughly, let the little ones burn off some energy (the house has a setup to where they can run from the kitchen, to the living room, to the hall way, to the family room, back to the kitchen, and begin again... and that is what they do ;).), and headed out to Walmart (ten minutes away from the house- as are Daddy's store and Hobby Lobby. All the basics covered ;). Haha!). We picked up some snacks, cleaning supplies, chocolate ;), and sugar for Daddy's coffee ;). All the basics covered ;).

We got back to the house, and got a couple hours of cleaning done, but we didn't make quite as much head way as we had hoped. Part of that may have been due to the way the electricity worked at first ;). Mommy was steam cleaning, and the steam cleaner would turn off for no reason, whatsoever. I started vacuuming the baseboards, using a different outlet plug, but I had the same problem- at the same time. I would be vacuuming, trying to cover as much area as possible before the next five-sixty second break, and then there would be complete silence... (except for maybe a "WHAT in the WORLD?" or two, heeheehee ;).)... then we would be left standing there with the vacuum or steam cleaner, doing nothing until it decided to turn back on. I considered going to Mommy and just laughing at the ridiculousness of this situation, but leaving the vacuum could have lost me a whole vacuuming session ;). Mommy eventually called out "I think we know why only two rooms in this house have carpet!!!". We finally got Daddy, who went in the garage, came back, and called up "Tell me if it does it again!". I think he reset it or something, but needless to say, we should have gotten him sooner ;). The rest of the cleaning went fairly smoothly, with few surprises- one surprise being we found lots of change! Haha.

We would have liked to have done more that night while the house was still empty, but we were too hungry. We left for our "traditional", according to Tori, moving-in-pizza night, eager to get to bed and make it back the next morning to continue making this house our home :)...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sunday at Granny's, and Reaching Our New Home State!

We had stayed the night over in upper SC, because we were going to visit Daddy's family that day, since we had a couple days to spare before our furniture and boxes were delivered :)!

We were originally planning on surprising Granny, but after we woke up a little later than planned, we decided to call Granny and let her know we were on our way.

A few pictures from that morning...

 *Love* him!!!

 Traditional picture...

 This seat wasn't discovered until the 
last few minutes, yay! Haha ;).

 Pretty Tori :)...

We got there early that afternoon. After some lunch, Mommy and Tori went to the laundry mat to do some clothes (Cousin Mellisa invited us to use her washer and dryer, but with the fact that we had four large loads, we knew that it would be better to do all loads at once if we wanted to fold them before we left ;).), and Daddy and I shifted items in the van so that there would be no "dumpster diving" that night ;).

Gramma, after planning to be there, called us early that morning and told us she couldn't make it... and than showed up that afternoon, haha. I take it that Daddy isn't the only one in the family who likes to pull off surprises- and Aunt Donna knew about this one and said nothing to us, haha! Gramma brought with her some of the biggest stuffed animal pillows you have ever seen. They got good use in the car :). (And since then :)...)

These pillows...
We had a wonderful time visiting :). We shared some watermelon that a friend had blessed us with and we hadn't had time to cut yet, due to the move, and everybody enjoyed talking and playing outside :). We got to hear about the mission trip that Granny had just taken, getting back the day before, coming home just in time for our visit, haha :). We had to leave too soon for our liking, but knowing that we would have to give baths before bed, and be up at a decent time the next morning to get the keys to our new house, with a five+ hour drive ahead of us, we knew we needed to leave earlier than usual. But we did not leave without getting a few promises that, after we got settled, several members of the family would try to make it up here for a visit :).

Aunt Donna gave us each a little some thing 
out of her and Uncle Jerry's collection. 
Emmi loves her Goofy toy :).

Once we were "on the road", the greatest example of what the efficiency is like when you drive in two separate cars came into the story ;). We handed out a few trip treats before we left Granny's, sending Tori back and forth between the vans several times, haha. (Since she had helped Mommy do the shopping for those in Daddy's car, she wanted to see their reaction.) But then we found that we had forgotten to give those in Daddy's car their snacks, haha! We were able to hand those out when we stopped at a gas station so that Daddy could fill up the vans, per plan, although the trip to the restrooms that also occurred at this stop was NOT planned ;). We started again, but then we couldn't for the life of us find "the manila envelope" with "I can't tell you what" in it, which turned out to be in Daddy's car. So, we made yet another stop, just minutes after starting yet again, because Mommy all but refused to go any farther without finding it ;), because "It's Bri's main trip treat, and it's going to be dark before we stop again!", haha. I was thoroughly confused, haha! It turned out to be the book "Will Our Generation Speak?" (a wonderful book, by the way :)!!!). We finally left Blacksburg... A town that takes only five short minutes to drive through. As long as you don't stop to do five thousand "odd jobs" along the way. Haha :)!

But, as we were leaving Blacksburg, we realized that Bethi was also missing one of her trip treats. Thankfully, that was in our car, and quick to find, although not exactly easy with all that it was under ;).

 Mag-na-doodles :)!

 Some *very special friends* sent us a special gift
 to be opened during our trip up here :)...

 Chocolate kisses, to go with the hugs they 
gave us when we said goodbye :)...

And it was so funny... Daddy and Mommy went to go get some supper, and they ran in while I stayed with the little ones in Mommy's car, and Tori stayed with those in Daddy's. While we were sitting there, I heard this beeping... beeping... beeping... and it wouldn't stop! I couldn't figure out who's car it was. It was going off for the longest time! Finally, Daddy and Mommy made it to the car, and it became obvious that it had been Daddy's car! Tori wasn't sure how it had happened, but the car's panic alarm had gone off, and she didn't know how to turn it off! She was so funny, telling us about it later, because she said "And I could see the police car right across the parking lot, and I was just waiting for the police officer to come up and ask me why in the world the car was on panic, and I would have to tell him I didn't even know!"... Haha :)!

Most of the little ones fell asleep fairly quickly, even though they were excited to have some new items to play with. They wore themselves out at Granny's ;). Mommy and Daddy of course were driving, and I tried to read my book, but about every ten minutes, Tori would ask me "Bri, I can't figure this out. Would you figure it out and then teach me?", as she handed me her Rubik's cube, haha. I think her main goal was not to be a quitter, but to get my book, because that is what she did every time I put it down to figure out the next step of the cube ;). Finally it got too dark to read even using my book light, which gets fainter the longer it is on, haha, so I decided to just go to sleep along with the little ones ;). Tori decided that she would have none of it, she was going to stay up the whole way to Virginia! I'm not sure how long I slept before I was hit by a seat. I woke up rather suddenly, and very squished, I will say, haha. After piecing together what bits I could make out between Mommy and Tori's howls of laughter, it turns out that the only light Tori was getting to do her Rubik's cube was behind her, so Mommy told her to lay her seat back so that she wouldn't have to do gymnastics while doing her cube. But Tori but didn't know how to lay the seat down, so when it did finally go, it really went. After I woke up with it on top of me, Tori tried to sit it back up, but that went even worse than laying it down... worse as in, the movement was non-existent ;). I think I only sat that way for about 45 minutes... haha!

We finally got to the hotel in Virginia... and Tori, with very bloodshot eyes, made it awake the whole way, hahaha! Andrew's nap seemed to have given him some good energy for a little bit. We got in the elevator, most of us looking like we were about to fall over asleep, but Andrew felt the elevator start moving and decided to pretend he was scared, or something... He made several gasping, shrieking, yipping noises and started pretending to try to scale the elevator walls. Daddy's face while watching him was priceless. Hahaha! We finished unloading, did bathes, and got everybody generally ready for bed before crashing ;). We were all looking forward to getting to see our new house the next day :)...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday, Week 71

This week I am thankful for....
~The wonderful ministry opportunity that the Lord gave us Saturday. I am working on putting together a post for that, but suffice it to say that it was a wonderful blessing :).
~Tori's new balloon animal making skill that she had fun using both Saturday, and teaching to me Sunday so that we could make some balloons for the little ones :).
~Psalms :).
~That Emmi, who had stopped over the past few months, now asks to hear the bible read every night again :). Abbi has joined her, double sweet :)...
~Cards made up in stock for those times I am in a hurry, but want something a little more "special" than plain paper :). That is a project that I have been wanting to accomplish for several months, and I finally found the inspiration and time to do it these past four days :). I'd love to complete more, but I have a fair stock now :).
~Prismacolor pencils... between my Aunt and a friend's raving about them, I decided to try out the dozen or so of pencils that my Aunt had given  us, and enjoyed using them... my favorite part being that they seemed to sharpen smoothly, something I find pencils don't do willingly for me, haha.
~That I got to a sewing project, that I have been needing to do for a while, today... I only have six thousand more (it feels like) to go ;)!
~That we are getting back into a steady, regular "schedule", the first real reliable routine in almost a year!
~That, although Daddy has to leave town next week, it will only be for four days!
~Enjoying looking through funny quotes with Tori last night.
~Peter's little whistle :).
~Bethi's diligence in making a hat for baby "Seaweed". She even beat me to starting something for this little one ;)!
~Baking soda.
~Our clean stove... we thought to lift the stove top yesterday, and are very happy to say now that it is clean, ahem.
~Mac'n'cheese, because Emmi's plea for some the other day was too cute :)...
~Running water.
~Hairbrushes, and little girl's hair to brush :)...
~Reminders to be thankful...
Such as quotes like this; "It isn't the big pleasures that count the most; it's making the most of the little ones." (From "Hidden Wisdom" magazine, quote by Jean Webster).
~That we might, just might, have some one really interested in our SC home at last... I'll post updates on that when we get them!
~Getting to read books to little people, which I shall get to do here in a few minutes :)...

“For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing praises to your name.
                                     ~2 Samuel 22:50

Trip posts will be resuming tomorrow. I have the next two installments finished, I just need to do the final edit :). I am sorry for the delay, I meant to pick them back up last Monday, but it didn't work out (that might be part of why I had time to do cards, haha... in my feeble defense, I can draw while babysitting better than blog while babysitting. Of course, I wasn't babysitting on Monday, but that explains the lack of putting them up since Monday ;).). I'm getting close to being "caught up", and then I can start posting current updates again! And I will try to make it more than Thankful Thursday posts, like the majority of them were for the last couple months before our move (although these are my favorite posts to write :)... as if I've never mentioned that before ;)...).

Friday, August 9, 2013

And One More Thankful Thought...

Most of you already know this, but for the few blog readers I may have that don't keep up with us by email ;)... I am so thankful for this added blessing that deserved a post of it's own, I have just been waiting to share it as a Thankful Thursday "surprise" :)...
The new tiny soul that will be joining our family sometime around March 14th, 2014!!!

Praise the Lord for His blessings :). I can not wait to meet this little one :)! I also am looking forward to seeing Peter's response to a new baby :). He still seems so little (in a big way- it's complicated...), it will be fun :)...

We are all so thrilled that the Lord has seen fit to bless our family again :)! Well, of course, Peter doesn't know what this means yet, and I'm not sure how much Emmi understands, either ;). But the rest of us are so excited :). Mommy was talking about the baby, and Emmi said "You do not have a baby in your tummy!" Mommy asked her what was in her tummy then, and Emmi said "It's seaweed", haha :)! We're working on convincing her ;)... But for now "it" is known as baby Seaweed ;). Actually, I think it's rather cute :)..
We are so thankful for this blessing from the Lord, and are waiting eager to meet this little one :)...

"Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever!"
                              ~Psalms 106:1

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday, Week 68, 69 and 70... Weeks 64, 65, 66, and 67 To Be Made Up For Later, Haha :P...

Heeheehee. Life has been busy! Very, very blessed! But very, very busy ;). And actually writing out my thankfulness for the blessing through the week is usually the first thing to go when life gets busy, although I hate that pattern. But I am happy to have a chance to get back into writing out all that I have to be thankful for the past month (plus some...)! Things like...
~That we didn't have to move ourselves.
~Car trips full of laughter...
~...And Rubik's cubes (which Tori and I solved, haha!)
~...And reading "Will Our Generation Speak?" by Grace Mally. Mommy bought me the book for my "car treat", and it was wonderful! It had a lot of food for thought.
~That we have all of our stuff from storage.
~The swing set outside.
~A large laundry room!
~Our large double story deck.
~Overall, all the large amounts of space ;).
~The green backyard.
~The squirrels, birds, butterflies, and even a humming bird, that visit that yard :).
~Baskets and rubbermaids.
~Peter's "charming" smile. The one were he sees you looking at him and slowly grins with one side of his mouth before it spreads all over his face... It's adorable :)...
~"Traditional" pictures...

~The gift basket that Daddy's employees sent us.
~The warm welcome we have received from Daddy's friends here.
~The welcome of our neighbors, as well :).
~The cup we found to replace Emmi's special one, after I melted the straw in the dishwasher :(. I felt so bad, I am so glad we found another!!!
~That we are almost unpacked.
~The King's Blooming Rose magazine, and Miss Sarah's switching our address such late notice :). This last issue was a blessing!
~To be caught up in my bible reading, haha. I had fallen really behind in the one year reading plan while reading through Romans and moving as well, oops... But I'm caught up now :). Actually, I am ahead, because Bethi dated the plan wrong, and I didn't realize until I was a week ahead ;).
~The help Daddy gave me making an order for a "customer" as good as possible.
~Yarn :)... and the pattern book that my dear friend gave me a couple years ago that I use on average every couple of months (thank you so much, K! I have gotten so much use out if it!)
~Friends who have blessed us with meals, before and after the move.
~Pens and pencils, paper, and all the other fun stuff that comes with writing letters to dear friends and family :).
~Family nights.
~"The Runner from Ravenshead". This movie was adorable, and went hand in hand with "Will Our Generation Speak?", that I had just finished reading when we watched it :).
~The girls room with all it's fun nook-and-cranny type architecture :). Plus all the storage space for books, toys, clothes, nicknacks... plus the special bedroom set that used to be Mommy's, that she is going to remodel to fit our room :).
~Our huge closet.
~The chest that Uncle Jerry made that we now own.
~The special quilt that Mommy's Grandma made her.
~Andrew's delight in finally sharing a room with Peter :).
~Home cooked meals! We missed these while moving ;).
~And the yummy grilled meals that Daddy has made us lately :).
~Baked oatmeal. Mommy made this several years ago, but none of us remembered what it tasted like. I made some a couple weeks ago, and it has become a favorite. The baked apple oatmeal is delicious, as well :)! Both recipes are from :).
~Accomplished projects.
~Tori's new haircut.

 ~How quickly we can mow here ;). I miss our SC yard in many ways (the garden probably looks pathetically uncared for right now... I miss working in it.), but it is surprising how quickly you can mow here, haha!
~I am also thankful for the friends that mowed our large yard back in SC for us about a week ago, no small feat, especially since they also have a large family!
~To be back into the six month bible reading that Katie and I have been doing (minus a few months to do a study of Romans ;).) since December last year ;).
~To be able to read the same version of the bible that the Pilgrims brought to America with them :). I am working through that, the Geneva version, now :).
~The gorgeous tea party that Tori invited me to the first of this month :).

~Getting to bake with Tori.
~The whistle of a tea kettle :).
~"Old-fashioned" cookbooks.
~Craft ideas.
~Beautiful tea sets that have been used during the making of several fun memories :).
~Our water filter
~The new air conditioner in our third story attic room!
~Beading supplies.
~"The Lost Medallion". This was another really good movie, although it might be a good idea to screen it before letting little ones watch it (which we didn't know at first, haha! All ended well :).)
~Daddy's suggestion (and help in the accomplishing) of making a double-marker tatted bookmark. He was as thrilled as I was when it went very well on the Hidden Treasures auction. Haha! I was shocked!
~Peter's love for cookies.... he was adorable yesterday (and slightly whiny, hahaha!). His little pout face as he tried to reach a spoon to eat it with, haha... it was hard to tell him no more...
~And Peter's little "mark it with a 'B'" motion he does when asking to play pat-a-cake :).
~To be posting a Thankful Thursday again :)...
~Our Ninja blender.
~The smell of a baby's fresh washed head, heehee :).
~Ministry opportunities. Daddy is working on setting up one that I am really excited about :)...
~All the tatting shuttle winding Bethi has been doing for me today :). Thanks Bethi!
~Tatting thread, which I am going to go use :)...

Monday, August 5, 2013

And Moving Out!

The movers reached our house at the bright hour of, I believe it was, 7:30 am on Saturday. I could be wrong- I was too tired to look at the clock when they got there ;). There was the truck driver, and then a father/son team the first day. After seeing our upright piano and knowing they would have to load it, the father brought his two younger boys, as well, the second day, haha ;). They were not able to fit the items from our storage building in the truck, so that ended up being brought a couple weeks later. The first thing the truck driver who brought our storage stuff said when he walked into the family room was 'Oh, that is a big upright piano. I'm sure your movers loved that!" Haha ;). 

That morning was spent much like the previous afternoon; music, bubbles, and jump ropes outside, with one new twist and some new little friends- some little frogs :). Abbi loved them to pieces, and became an expert at catching them! Daddy and I were afraid that she would "hug" one of them too hard, and kept telling her "go put that one down, he needs a break". She would agree, put it down, turn around... and pick another one up. Haha! It was a vicious cycle ;). 

 She has a frog :)...

 Poor tiny little frog, haha...

Most of the frogs were small, but the one that was hiding on the steam cleaner that we left sitting on the deck over night so it would be out of the movers way, that Mommy took inside and turned on BEFORE she found the frog, was huge ;)! That was funny ;). Peter loved that one :)...

 I don't think this is the same one, but it was this big :)...

Daddy offered to serve the movers lunch, so Mommy went out to buy picnic/finger food type lunch items, and Bethi and I went to gather the last of the cucumbers we would get. We got another dozen+! Cucumbers are definitely a productive plant to grow! We also got a small, ripe cantaloupe. And the smallest bell pepper you've ever seen... The tomatoes were still green, though :(...

 Just one of many of these pictures, haha :).

Bethi was shocked when the truck driver popped the fridge handles off so that they could load the truck. She told Mommy "Oh, maybe that is why Daddy didn't want us hanging on the fridge...". Yep, maybe ;).

Emmi was very excited about the whole process, and was talking all day long about how "Our books and toys and beds were going to go on a truck and get to our new house". But when she walked into the kitchen and saw the empty laundry room, she was horrified. "WHO stole our WASHER?!!!", she asked.

Mommy told Tori later that day, after the truck had left, "Usually, when somebody is moving something for you, and they ask "What's in here? Rocks?", you get to laugh, and say "Aren't you funny!". But I wish you could have seen the guy's face when Daddy told hm "Actually..."!" Haha :). Tori loves rocks ;).

The movers left at about 4:00, I believe, after making one final sweep through the house. It was funny to see the look of complete disbelief on one of the guy's face as he walked by the library and saw a mountain of items. It took him a minute to realize that it was all the stuff that was going with us, we had move it from the closet ;). I felt kind of bad for him, haha. Then we had to clean! It was amazing how much there was to clean, now that it was empty, after we had been so diligent to keep it "show ready" for the last four months before the move! It was so late by the time we got in the car (the very jam-packed car. I told Mommy, as I tried to find a spot for a box in the already stuffed car, with three more large boxes waiting, "We need Aunt Tessa. Badly." My Aunt is an efficiency packer :). When we stay at Grandma's for the weekend, we get there with the car loaded, and Aunt Tessa packs it again when we leave with all of our stuff in half the space I fit it in, haha ;).). The sunset was gorgeous that night, I thought that was a special blessing from the Lord. It was the kind of sunset that turns our gate rose colored, haha :). I always loved that, so it was fun that there was one of "those sunsets" that evening :).

During the rush to get ready to leave, we played with some balloons, ahem, "conducted a science experiment", sorry. Some of us did, anyway. Those of us who were confident that we had brains to spare if something went wrong, heehee ;). That conveniently left me out ;)... Tori has wanted to breath helium since she first heard the results on one of those Moody Science Films. Tori wasn't able to hold her breath long enough to actually accomplish much talking (I think because it was hard for her to laugh at Daddy and hold her breath at the same time ;)...), but Andrew's shocked look when he first heard Daddy talking on helium instead of oxygen was priceless, haha!

We finally made it out of our yard, for the last time. It was both kind of sad, and a relief, haha. We will miss SC, but we are so happy to be back together up here in VA now :)!!! I did realize an hour down the road that I never got a picture of Tori with her tomato pants :(.

We went to the Chick-fil-a (ten minutes down the road) for supper, planning on just going through the drive through, but finding that the younger ones already needed to use the restroom. Things were not looking good for the rest of the trip ;). Not only were we taking people to the restrooms ten minutes down the road, this was "that" Chick-fil-a, with "those" soap dispensers ;)! It would appear that we are not the only ones to have had trouble, though, because the paper towel dispenser had moved ;). We got a good laugh out of that one. The rest of the trip went fairly smoothly, though, with very few stops (after we were officially started ;).) each time.

I don't know what took place in Daddy's car  (we had to drive split up to get both of our cars up to VA... that was a disappointment :(...), but Mommy and Tori and I ended up talking about the most random memories we have stuck in our heads for unknown reasons... that was entertaining, although apparently Abbi and Emmi and Bethi didn't think so... they went to sleep as soon as they were done eating ;). The drive didn't feel like an hour and a half before we stopped at a hotel, it was rather a shock how quickly it seemed to go! But then, of course, we had to do baths and unload the car. And unloading the car was no joke, let me tell you ;). Okay, to tell you the truth, it was too much of a joke ;). I told Mommy the next day, I felt like I was dumpster diving, hahaha! We decided that we didn't want to have to unload the car that night just to reload it ten hours later, so we just got out the clothes we needed for that night and the clothes were under many other items, and I was practically laying on most of it at one point ;). According to Daddy and Tori, it was hilarious ;)!

We had a special reason for stopping that night instead of just keeping on while all the little ones were asleep already :)...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Packing Up...

Due to the patient hints of both friends and family alike, and the fact that today marks the one month anniversary of our move in date, I think it is high time I started this series ;)...

The week before we moved was spent saying goodbye to many dear friends. Abbi was thrilled, not to say goodbye, but to get to see so many people ;). She is very much a social little creature, and she came to Mommy the night of our last visit, and asked Mommy "Do we have anymore people we can tell goodbye tomorrow?!" Stinker ;). Sunday through Wednesday was full of friends and packing (and picking up bibles that I left at church while trying to make sure that I did everything else I meant to do. For the first time ever, I could not believe it! But a friend gave it to one of the deacons when she heard how worried I was about it, and the deacon was able to hand it right to us when we pulled up to church :).), and, of course, welcoming Daddy home to SC for the last time before we left :)!!!

We got to bed late Thursday, the night before the movers arrived to pack us up. It could have been later though- a sweet lady from church called at supper time and asked if we had eaten yet. When we replied no, she asked if she could bring us some supper she had made  :). That was such a blessing- and Emmi especially was thrilled, because she brought cookies ;). Emmi had been asking all day long "Bri, can we make cookies? Bri, lets go make some cookies now!" :).

 In fact, we didn't have to do much cooking at all those last few days, partly thanks to the several meals worth of food that Miss Mary brought us :). Thank you so much, Miss Mary :)!

Tiny little sleepy baby :)...
We were up by six thirty the next morning (I think Mommy was actually up earlier...), and we finished up as much as possible before the movers arrived. We still had to clean some of the appliances that were going, pack all that the movers could not take in their truck (flammables, liquids, etc.), and gather all the items that we were going to need before we got to VA. And then it was breakfast time ;). We ate outside to stay out of the way, as the kitchen was being packed up by the time we got to breakfast (and the table had no surface area available, anyway, haha!). The little ones thought that was the greatest thing ever, haha :). After that we worked a little more on folding clothes and packing up trip items, and then Tori and I took all the little ones outside while Mommy and Daddy finished up. Daddy sent the CD player outside, and we spent the morning blowing bubbles, skipping rope, and listening to the Piano Guys (namely "Cello Wars", as Andrew knows how to operate the CD player and would listen to only that song if we let him ;). Unfortunately for him, everybody else has a favorite as well, so he has to listen to others. Haha!).

*Love* those eyes :)...

 Bubbles :)!

Dancing, hugging, I'm not sure... but I would 
remember if it was fighting, so it wasn't that ;).

After a little over an hour we went inside... and were horrified to learn how early in the day it still was, hahaha! We bounced between playing outside, playing in the upstairs bedroom (that was mostly empty... and yet, they played longer there than they usually do. I think it was due to the novelty of empty closets and shelves ;).), and using the laptop for the little ones to watch shows while we did other projects. Three o'clock came, and we were ready for bed, haha! Much of the day was spent doing nothing much at all, but that can be exhausting for some reason! We are so glad that we didn't have to move ourselves! I can not even imagine how we would have made it, haha. I was thinking the whole time "How in the world did we do this a few years ago?!!"! It was a wonderful blessing to have, not only others moving us, but also Lifeway paying for it :).

After the men finished packing up everything, they left and we finished up a few little things before heading out to eat one last time at La Fagota. That restaurant has been our go-to when we eat out for years, we all love Mexican food (and Abbi loves chips ;).)! But it was kind of sad, they had remodeled it and we couldn't help but wonder why they couldn't have waited ;). Our favorite park there has been changed, as well, along with a few other smaller things. Mommy said she guessed it was a good time to move, all the changes were just depressing ;).

We had been planning on leaving for a hotel that night, thinking that the bedding was going to be packed, but we were given a choice of leaving the bedding to be packed the next day, which we gladly took :). We wanted neither to have to drive there the next day while the truck was loaded, or to have to load and reload the car of trip necessities an extra time if we didn't have to ;).

We spent that evening fairly quietly, getting ready for bed fairly quickly ;). Well, as quickly as a family of nine can, while all trying to get their clothes out of a small closet with a note saying "Please do not pack :)" on the door, while having to duck into the library to avoid collisions in the hall ;). We were all very excited to know that it was our last night sleeping there :)...

 And, although this isn't related to the trip, I have to mention that there is a Hidden Treasures auction up and running right now :)...