Sunday, December 31

Holiday week - the short version

We had a lovely Christmas! It was fairly simple and characteristically unique, and much fun was had by all.

The next day, I began wondering what the house looks like without Christmas decorations. I continued to wonder throughout a chaotic week, and we finally found out by Friday. That's also the day we got our new living room furniture.

And speaking of Friday... (insert frazzled emoticon) y'all are MORE than welcome to visit me! Any time after, say, 2PM. Really. But make sure to let me know you're coming. Otherwise, I... (delete long, nonsensical paragraph detailing my social ineptitude and anxiety and briefly hinting at my children's behavior)... Just call first. Please.

Oh yeah, so I had a real, genuine visitor on Friday. Thankfully, my house was exceedingly trashed because we hadn't returned stuff to the newly filled living room yet, so she might've thought the laundry and toilet paper and rocking horse were in the middle of the kitchen because of the furniture delivery, rather than simply everyday chaos. (snort) Once I showed her our lovely half door and scary Jetsons light in the bathroom, the kitchen mess was more easily ignored. God is so good to take care of those little details. I'll leave you to imagine that conversation.

And speaking of details... I'm so excited to be planning for the new year! I've got a to-do list approximately 34" long, and now I can start plugging it into my new calendar. Whippee! Last January, I tore apart the living room for remodeling. That was so we could sell the house and get a new living room. As you might guess from what you just read, I didn't get the new living room put back together until this past Friday. Suffice it to say this was a challenging year. No wonder my eyelid keeps twitching.

And speaking of challenging... Loren trained nearly 50 employees this week. His store opens on Tuesday. I'm so excited for him! I think he's a little too overwhelmed to be excited right now. But things are going very well, and they're going to have a great opening! I should get an update from him when I see him next... probably sometime in February.

So much more to share, but not today. Today tenemos una fiesta mexicana y escuchamos Sonora Santanera y juego con los niƱos. Fun.

Saturday, December 23


Ever feel like there are so many rules in life that you can't take a step without breaking one?

Thursday, December 21

Another week of progress

We closed on the house last week, and have been very busy getting really settled in since then. We were blessed to meet the son of the woman who lived here, who told us all about the house and property, including the locations of many of her wonderful gardens.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've learned of several people who have keys to our house for various reasons. So far, we've had a visit from some neighbors who dropped off one set, and retrieved another set from the guys at the gas station. I'm thinking of having a key-returning party to let the whole town get to know us... we could just leave a basket by the door and they could drop off their keys on their way in. Wouldn't that be a hoot! I'm trying hard to overcome my social quirks and make sure we don't get a reputation here as cold, antisocial outsiders. It's a challenge, but I suspect it will be well worth the effort.

Lynae taped up some paint chips, and they will be gradually be eliminated as I decide the colors are just plain wrong. Hopefully we will end up with one clear winner in the next week or so.

Tonight Toby pulled up a piece of old linoleum so we could set a brand new utility sink (Arby's reject) in the back corner to await a remodel of the back room. We found part of a newspaper from 1966, which I'm sure will be fun to read.

Loren and I went out for our anniversary on Tuesday. We enjoyed a nice dinner, compliments of a thoughtful and dear internet friend. Then we did some grocery, Christmas, and furniture shopping. I think we'll end up getting a sofa and a recliner soon. That's a huge deal, since we're down to the stinky chair (which we plan to re-upholster), the squeaky chair (hasn't had its weekly WD-40), and a 12yo wicker chair in the living room. The old loveseat ended up in the dump before we moved. It was time... the bottom had snapped in half several months earlier. Eek!

Loren has been warned: if you give a mom a recliner, she'll want a laptop to go with it. Especially with our wireless internet. LOL Naah, really, I think I can wait on the laptop until it's time to replace my computer anyway, which hopefully won't be too soon. It's quite a ways down the priority list.

Tonight I figured out an arrangement for a kids' playroom. Now that's exciting! I'm hoping to surprise the littles with it sometime after Christmas.

Thursday, December 14

A colorful post

Please pray for us as we close on the house Thursday at ~1PM Central. Huge deal!

I got my first batch of paint chips tonight. That back room is goin' DOWN, baby! I'm all for green rooms (did you see pics of my old bedroom?), but those poor walls need a bit of help.

Since we'll be in that room a lot, I figure it deserves to be at the top of the list. The upstairs bedroom might be close behind, we'll see. Here it is with its bold linoleum. The flash prevents you from appreciating the wall color, but you can imagine it in its electric blue glory, maybe.

Speaking of linoleum, here's the lovely flooring found in our enclosed porch. I think it's actually in good condition, and I may be able to come up with a cheery fix for the room with that linoleum in mind.

And speaking of cheery, remember the foyer?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. We have another tree in the living room, a wonderful balsam wreath on the door (where it won't get rained on, yippee!!) and the cutest gingerbread house on our dining room table! Now we just need another snowfall, since we got a bit of Kentucky-like weather and all our snow melted.

In non-house news, Loren's restaurant is coming together nicely. The remodeling is nearly finished, and he's got all new kitchen equipment. It looks great in there! He's hired about half of the employees he needs, so you can be praying the other half will show up soon. The restaurant opens on January 2nd. Needless to say, Loren's life is full of drama right now! And he's handling it very well, I might add. It's clear that God has been walking right beside him through the ups and downs of this whole journey.

It is also clear that it's way past my bedtime. And so this post shall now come to an abrupt end. G'nite!

Tuesday, December 12

I miss our ducks

Before we moved, we took our birds to live on the Carter farm. The ducks were so happy that day! They found a little stream and, well... see for yourself.

Wednesday, December 6

Top Ten House Discoveries Not Found On

(These are merely things I found quirky and interesting. They are not meant to be complaints.)

10. Washing machine manufactured the year I was born (anyone remember "Save Suds"?)

9. Scary Jetsons rocket-light in the bathroom

8. Vibrant green and yellow linoleum in front room/enclosed porch

7. Large floral patterned linoleum on brick red background in upstairs bedroom with pale electric blue walls

6. Stairwell too small for queen box spring

5. Magnetic cabinet latches that rarely latch

4. That old country kitchen smell

3. The top half of a door (it actually goes to the basement)

2. Water that turns brown when heated

1. Most of the siding is not actually white

Writing home

Dear Ma and Pa,

After days on the road, we have arrived at our new farm. The land here is much different from back home. Trees here are mostly pine, birch, and poplar instead of oak, and there are no magnolias up here. Manly says this place will be perfect for raising crops and livestock. We are grateful for our large collection of warm quilts, as the nights here are very cold. The children are looking forward to a white Christmas, and have had a great time sledding and playing with the dogs in the snow. I am hoping we can get to the land office soon and get the deed to this property.

The neighbors here seem friendly enough. I can tell people are a little wary of us until they hear that I grew up nearby. The local store clerk has not smiled yet in all the times I've been there. But she recently suffered a great loss, and my heart goes out to her.

I hope you are well. We will miss you at Christmas this year. I think of you all each time I look at the handmade snowflakes on our Christmas tree. They remind me of many Christmases spent just over the river and through the woods from here.

With much love,
Your daughter