Thursday, January 21, 2010

The lost and the found

So here are things I've found in the last couple of days:

1. my wedding ring (yay! -- I had put it in a "safe" place so it wouldn't get ruined up with all the messiness of the move, but then couldn't find it right away).

2. my jeans!

3. my speakers for my office (so right now I'm listening to Pandora, and my speakers are working!).

4. the bus stop for Jacob--his first bus ride to school ever today.

The missing:

1. most of our drinking glasses...I haven't gotten back to unpacking more of the kitchen yet. Most of everything else for the kitchen is unpacked, however.

2. The batteries (AA and AAA type). So for now my clock is just going to say 4:00.

3. My extra chapsticks and lotion. Ooh! I need those!

Okay, will try to post photos later...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another update

So, this morning I've been grading (for my online course), filling up the crawl space with storage stuff, and cleaning the upstairs bathroom and emptying boxes for the linen closet. I think we'll be okay as far as storage goes, but I'm still early in the unpacking process. It's a good house; it just needs some TLC and some replacement "parts."

Jacob got off to school today (his first day) and then called to say it's an early dismissal day. So, that's probably good. He had a peer "ambassador" meet him for the day, so hopefully that will help acclimate him to the school.

Cool news! Scott is featured in this article in what looks like a local edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

At last

Well, as you may have guessed, life has been hectic and crazy the last few days. I've carved out a little quiet spot amidst all of the boxes and chaos in the new house. I'll take a photo and post it soon. Right now I just wanted to give a little update.

Jacob is all set up for school tomorrow, and he's adapting surprisingly well. Probably better than I am. But all is well. We're slowly becoming more organized and figuring out what will need to be fixed/replaced in the house. We're also finding nooks and crannies for storage. The house in Fort Wayne had tons of storage space. In this house, it's just different. We have a big crawl space, but closet space is hard to come by. Figuring out where everything goes is just different. I have a lot more storage space in the utility room, for example, but less in the bedrooms, etc.

I had lots of help on Friday and over the weekend. The other pastor's wife, Jan, came and helped for HOURS on Friday, cleaning and scrubbing out the new kitchen. It was so awesome. I don't think my refrigerator has ever been as clean as it is right now. Even when it was brand new, it was dirtier. :) She was a huge help. My sister-in-law also came down with food, quick decision-making ability, and a get-to-it-quick attitude. My brother David shoveled out our ice-packed driveway for us, and my niece and nephews helped with emptying boxes and generally boosting us up.

What I've struggled with most during this entire process is the weight of the anxiety and stress of it all. Every afternoon, I feel like I just need to take a nap. Some days I do. I know that people have much bigger problems in the world, and I'm so glad that we can be a part of this new community to share God's good news with others.

Had a lovely sunny day here. It got up to 37 or 38 degrees. We took Lucy for a walk and found the bus stop for Jacob for tomorrow a.m. I'll try to write more updates tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Going, going...

This is a photo of the moving truck pulling away from our house, on its way to Chicago (well, actually, on its way to Scott's office, and then on its way to Chicago). The house is empty and echo-y, but I've set up air mattresses in two of the bedrooms and snagged a couple of lamps to make the place at least a little bit homey.

The movers were really excellent. Very hard workers, pleasant, funny, and they took good care of our stuff. They wrapped every piece of furniture in pads and taped them, around and around until the pad would be in place. That may not sound like much, but we've moved several times now and while all movers do some padding, this is the most and best I've seen. It would be extremely difficult to ding or scratch furniture when it's so carefully prepared for the move. I highly recommend Bekins.

I'm dreading the time when the unpacking will come, because it's like a mini-explosion with every new box. They pack the items so well, with so much paper that it's a huge amount of rubbish at the end of the unpacking process, but I am confident things will arrive safe and sound.

So, tonight Jacob's basketball team decided they should all meet at Pizza Hut for a going-away bash for Jacob. Then tomorrow morning, I'll bring some treats for his class to have a mini-goodbye before we leave for Chicago around noon. I've been in contact with the new school district, and it sounds like they really do a lot to help transition new students, so I'm grateful for that. But it's not easy for a 14-year-old to leave his friends and school.

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to starting afresh with a new (to us) house, a cleaned-out frig, walls ready to paint, and a new place to call our own. But goodbyes are always difficult--and I suppose that's a good thing too because it means we have friends we love.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Packing, Day 2

The house is now officially in total disarray. I find I'm looking forward to the time when all the boxes are gone, but I also know how strange it feels to live in a house with no furniture. But it's probably best with the animals to stay here and camp until we head off to Chicago on Thursday.

It's unsettling, to say the least, to see the house being dismantled around me. Unsettling, but because I've been through it before, not devastating. I at least know what to expect.

Our movers are professional and great workers, so we certainly can't complain about not having to do all of the intensive labor ourselves.

A primer for moving in January:
Pro - cold food can come with us in a box in the trunk.
Con - having to haul giant trash bags through mounds of snow.

Pro - having clear skies (at least right now)
Con - shoveling the driveway before we can get into the house

Pro - avoiding at least a portion of the winter blues because life is so chaotic
Con - having to get used to everything new in the cold

Pro - don't have to mow the grass next week
Con - hoping that our one surviving plant won't freeze in the trunk

Pro - knowing that God is taking care of us, in all circumstances

Thanks for all of the offers for help and concern. We're going to miss our Ft. Wayne friends, but I'm confident that our paths will cross again--and hopefully soon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The view from where I sit...

What more is there to say? I now have floor-to-ceiling boxes in my house. Hopefully, I pulled out everything we'll need in the next couple of days. If not, there's a Wal-mart not far!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Moving, part 5: Chaos

From now until--I don't know--three or four weeks from now, the house will be in total disarray. (As one of Jacob's friends put it: "Your house looks like a tornado went through here.") I've accepted that fact. So, amidst the chaos this morning, I thought I'd jot a quick note before going to late service.

The last few days have been a whirlwind. Everything went spectacularly well with the closing, and Scott and I are now homeowners! It's going to take some time to absorb that fact, but we're really excited about owning our own home and making it ours. We got into the house on Friday and brought in a few things after shoveling a path through about 8-10 inches of snow.

Yesterday, was a basketball day for our son. His team is fun to watch, especially when they are well-matched to the opposers. Sadly, he's not quite going to be able to finish the basketball season, but he'll be able to play in most of these last games. It's going to be a tough week for him. I know he'll enjoy our new home, but it's always difficult to say goodbye, especially when you're young and haven't yet lived long enough to know that God provides everything that you need--including new friends--wherever you are.

The movers are coming tomorrow for packing, so today is the last-minute surge to get everything sorted and cleaned. I need to separate the things that we're going to take with us in the car, etc. The packing will take a couple of days, and then they'll load the truck on Wednesday, drive to Chicago on Thursday, and Friday the 15th will be our unloading day. I also need to clean out the big freezer and frig today, so if I show up on your doorstep with some random food item (like a package of frozen chicken thighs), don't be surprised.

Thank you for all of your good wishes and prayers during this transition. I have to apologize to my friends who may not be getting quick responses from me via phone or email. I miss you and can't wait to catch up soon (you know who you are!).

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Moving, part 4

So today, I'm paying bills, changing our address, and getting ready to go to Elmhurst tomorrow for the closing. I'm also starting my online class this session, so I have a little work time and errands to run today before enlisting help from the teenage boy in my life to help with moving boxes.

On a different, slightly more random note, I keep thinking about John Lennon's song, "Imagine." For those of you who watched the live coverage of Time's Square on New Year's Eve, you may remember that they played the song one minute before the crystal ball started to drop before the new year arrived. This song seems to have evolved into a sort of "gospel" anthem of our time, for our culture. Imagine that everyone gets along and people everywhere have everything they need. It's a nice sentiment, and basically, I think the song is brilliant in its simplicity. I take issue with the line about getting rid of all religion as well as heaven and hell, but notice that he doesn't say to get rid of God. Maybe that's a slight concession to believers in God.

Scott reminded me of David Archuletta's amazing performance of this song on American Idol from a couple of years ago. Here's the link on You Tube in case you're interested (I'm sorry--I'm really having trouble with posting links on Blogger):

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Moving, part 3

Today is a day to finish up things in the garages and move onto the freezer. Blech. First, though, I shined (shone?) my sink. So, if you have heard me talk about Flylady, you can tune me out. If not, it's a great website for anyone who takes care of a house to look at.

Flylady helps you gain control of housework and CHAOS (which stands for Can't Have Anyone Over Synodrome). She suggests simple, quick solutions to making sure your house is at least somewhat neat and tidy. Her rule of thumb that has always stuck with me is to have a shiny sink. Start there. Make sure your sink is free of dirty dishes, and shining clean. To do this the first time, fill up your kitchen sink with a combination of bleach and hot water. Let it sit a little while, and then drain. Wipe out with a clean towel, and you have your first shiny sink. Then try to keep it clean all day. Before you go to bed, wipe it out, shine it up, etc.

This philosophy to me says: start simple. Start with the little things (a made bed, a clean sink), and those little cluttery things won't stress you out.

So, here's my shiny sink with my pretty angel figurines (from my girlfriends and sister-in-law and mom). During the move, I'm trying to keep some areas of the house relatively normal. The sink is one of those.

Below are some cute pictures of the kitties and Lucy.

P.S. Sorry the spacing and font are so weird. I don't have time to fuss with Blogger! Grr!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Moving, part 2

So, these are the counting-down days to the move, filled with the fun of sorting, cleaning, packing, and generally getting everything messy.

This morning I started in on the garage. Ugh. Cleaning a garage. In winter. In freezing temperatures. After mice have visited.

The kerosene heater helped to ward off the cold. I had to empty the thing out anyway to get it ready to move.

Here's Lucy in the garage, looking a little shell-shocked. I successfully sold her two dog crates this morning to a lady who runs a dog rescue. I thought that was great. The woman told me that she recently got a 6 year old dog that is pregnant, so she needed the large dog crate right away for her.

While moving around totes and sorting stuff, I discovered another dead mouse. Sad, long story, but suffice it to say that I'd rather have dead mice than a non-working blower on the car's heater. The second photo shows the remnants of the mouse nest.

The last photo is of my small bird nest collection (which, of course, were all gathered without babies in them).

Maybe later I'll post a before and after photo of the messy garage/clean garage, but I am too tired right now to finish.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Moving to Chicago, part 1

Well, I decided that while I'm in the middle of a relocation to Chicago, I'd keep a commentary going on my blog so that people can see what's up (if you wish to). I hate it that I haven't had time to keep in touch with all of my friends as well as I should, so here's a "form letter" type of way to communicate.

This weekend, we went up for a couple of days to get Scott settled in at his temporary lodgings while we await the closing of our house (set for this coming week). Here are some photos I snapped along the way. This is on the Metra commuter train in-bound to Chicago.

We decided to visit the John Hancock Observatory. Really awesome 360 degree views! Loved it.

Here's the view from the bottom:

And here's the view from the top:

This week will mean more cleaning at the house while I sort, sell, and give away stuff we don't want or need anymore. So, if you happen to want a 5-foot artificial Christmas tree or an extra large dog crate (or any other random item), just let me know!

More updates soon!