Friday, October 31, 2008

Tagged with Four

My friend Julie, who also writes a blog, was "tagged". She had to open her picture directory, choose the 4th file, then choose the 4th picture, and blog about the picture. In turn she "tagged" me to do the same. However, I am in a conundrum. I own a MacBook, and no longer have my pictures ordered in a directory with specific files. I use iPhoto, and at am immediate glance I have several hierarchical options for choosing photos. I can open up "Events", I can open up the "Albums" I have created, I can open up "All Photos" and simply blog about the 4th picture, or I can open up "Recent Events". All these options are shown along the sidebar, and not in the least organized in a manner making one more obviously the lead dog. So, in order to make sure I cover my bases I figured I would go ahead and do them all.

The first, in Events, is Leah. She is about 2 1/2 here, and putting on her daddy's socks and tevas. She LOVED shoes! She still loves shoes, including her pink cowboy boots she is almost outgrown, but insists on wearing almost everywhere anyway.

This is Hannah around 18months! Before we knew how sensitive her skin was we would give her bubble baths rather regularly. She loved the bubbles, and would gleefully play in the tub for nearly an hour. Our house was an old Victorian, and the tub was a cast-iron claw foot. That thing would keep the water warm for a full minute, which meant by the time she was ready to get out she was pickled, and freezing! It never bothered her.

This is Hannah with baby Caleb. He is about 2 weeks old here, with Hannah weighing at 4 1/2. Both Hannah and Bethany loved to hold their living baby doll. She is still such a great help in taking care of the little ones. Caleb was such an easy baby. He slept when he was supposed to - ate when he was supposed to - and generally coo'ed at everyone. We were smitten with our first son!

The last "folder" in my directory is Recent Downloads. This is the birth of my 6th child, second son, Josiah. My labor and delivery for this beloved son was the most difficult I have ever experienced. The complications surrounding the surprised arrival of Josiah on November 18th will have lasting ramifications on all future deliveries. But this moment was one of the sweetest I have ever experienced. And God was so prevalent in the midst of the entire ordeal. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Good To Be Appreciated

I was sitting in Caleb and Josiah's bedroom this evening, working on more unpacking, when Caleb came over to my side and sweetly said,

I am glad you are alive, Mama.

Thank you, Caleb. Why do you say that?

Because if you weren't, who else would unpack all these boxes?

Um, yeah.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lesson #238

Lesson #238: Not all doorbells are wired equally.

Our doorbell was sorely lacking in usability when we bought our home. By the time the first crew of workers were through the actual fixture had vanished, and a new one was needed. In the numerous shopping adventures to Home Depot I picked up a simple, yet functional replacement that would cover the multiple holes created by its predecessors while providing an easy to use doorbell button. It sat in my home, along with several other Home Depot finds, for several days until today I finally had the chance to install it. I figured the less-than-ten-minutes it would take to attach a couple wires and screw it onto my door frame was a perfect project while girls were putting away laundry 

I am not sure how other homes are wired for doorbells but my home apparently insisted on using the thickest wire imaginable for the job. Instead of small copper wires easily bent for the contacts in the doorbell mine are thick enough to do the job of a 220 volt generator. Apparently the original installer believed if it is was good enough to do, then it was good enough to do overboard.

So, after the initial ten minutes came and went, and after I learned the finer nuances of my doorbell and how the button light, contacts, and housing fit together, and after I worked to fit the excess wire back into the wall, and after I silently vowed to never allow an electrician the satisfaction of wiring another doorbell for this home or any future home I might ever own, I installed my new button.

It works. I think that is the general ideal - but sadly I feel quite unappreciated for my 30+ minutes of labor for an obviously standard mount buzzer. Fortunately I have you to listen to my tirade so I don't feel completely invalidated! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If No One Is Around To See The Hose Does It Still Spray Water?

As we drove home from church several weeks ago Caleb noted the vegetation along the side of the road. He was understandably curious about how the "wild" trees lived; and as we passed copses, bushes, and substantial undergrowth he wanted to know how they were watered.

When it rains it waters the wild plants.

Christopher reminded Caleb of our famous fog, noting that it is really moisture in the air, and how it serves to give water to the plants. Caleb thought about this and replied:

So they get water from that - and from the hoses.

No son (I explained superciliously) there are no hoses in the wild. God doesn't use hoses for the woods.

Except that hose, Mama.

Sure enough, as we drove by the paltry attempts at landscaping the overgrown patches of weeds by our (old) home there snaked a single solitary hose nearly hidden, but quite clearly observable by the ever humbling eye of my son.

Yes, Caleb, except that hose.

We're Here!

WOW - what a ride! I am sitting in my very own home, wondering how on earth I arrived in this place. I think back over the last several months, and it still seems a dream. How did we go from looking at buying in the next couple of years to closing escrow in 3 months? The only thing I know for sure is the prayers of the righteous, and my God, literally sustained us through one of the most difficult transitions Christopher and I have ever faced. Thank you to everyone out there that wrote encouraging emails, interceded on our behalf, and generally sat in the home stands and rooted for us. We could not have made it without you.

Our move went incredibly well. We had several men from our church, and good friends, that showed up to lend their muscle for the better part of last Saturday. Then they left, and I sat in my great room (living/family/dining room) and saw nothing but boxes and out of place furniture. I look around me now, and I see mostly boxes and out of place furniture! All in good time.

The children are absolutely in love with their new backyard. Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that it is mostly dirt. Oh, and Caleb can play construction to his heart's content. We are working on taking apart a paver patio, so he is forever stacking, moving, building, and generally reeking mayhem with the loose pavers. No crushed toes or fingers - yet.

I am learning to live in a rather constant state of transition. Just when I think I might be able to finalize one project I am halted by the need to either manage a child, or the realization that the current project can't be finished until a separate project is completed. For instance: I can't unpack my linens until I finish cutting the shelves for the linen closet, which I can't do until I get particle board from Home Depot, which I can't do until I have a place in my garage to house it, which I can't do until I organize my garage, which I can't do until I have a solid 6 hours to work on it with my hubby, which I can't do until our children are gown. Therefore, the linens will remain in a stack on the edge of my dining room table until the end of the age. There are worse things in life.

We still need to order our tile for the kitchen counters (the raw plywood was covered by felt-backed vinyl table clothes with the "traditional WalMart Rooster" design last week! This makes for a much cleaner, albeit humorous, kitchen.). We still need to paint most of the rooms. We still need to organize furniture, pick out window coverings, get an area rug for our great room, put up pictures, hooks, and towel bars. We do not have established homes for much beyond basic necessities, our plumbing has already backed up in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. The electrician has been to call at the tune of $1500 to fix an apparently "homegrown" job from the previous owners in splicing our disposal/dishwasher outlet into separate circuits, per code. I need to buy a digital thermostat, pick out a new doorbell, rearrange my children's wardrobes per new room assignments, and relabel drawers with my handy dandy Ptouch. The videos are still packed so the entire household has memorized Barbie as Rapunzel, Rescue Heros the Movie, and Mary Poppins. Our shower drain was installed incorrectly before the previous owners tiled, so we are all using the same shower in the hall bath, and none of our light switches are situated in logical locations.

BUT! We can hear the ocean from our driveway. The neighborhood is so quiet, with gracious neighbors. We love our beautiful hardwood floors, open floor plan, and brick fireplace. The home has wonderful bones, and we are throwing away our moving boxes! God is good.

(PS - We simply stayed up all night last night to find the 6 hours of uninterrupted time for our garage organization. If we stay up for the next 3 weeks, working through the wee hours of each night I think we might pull off the rest of the unpacking.)