30 August 2012

A bunch of firsts and blah blah blah

Friends, I've been experiencing technical difficulties here with the old blog.  My photos won't load correctly, and I have lacked the brain power to try and correct it.  I THINK that I may have overcome the blip, but still have many photos that I'd like to share, but can't.  Boo to that.
I keep putting off writing because everything just keeps getting away from me.  Too much is happening and it is taking all of my energy to just keep the family from spinning into the ether.  I have thoughts of writing and then my brain doest this: "Oh, I'll have to take a picture...and upload a picture...and type words that kind of make sense and don't have too many spelling errors...never mind, think I'll just read other people's blogs and wish that I could get mine back up and running."
So this post is in homage to imperfection and just getting going even though things are still a bit nutso.
For example, we had these lovely, sweet friends from CTK Cambridge, who now live in Houston, come visit us yesterday and today:
Clint, Lisa and baby Justice! They should be models, right?
Anyway, this morning we were all sitting in the living room after the kids had gone to school.  Lisa looked around and asked me, "So, all the kids are gone.  What do you do?"
My answer?  "I have no idea.  I have no idea what I do." I really don't.  Help plant a church, I guess?!

Anyway, here's the run-down:
Walter started school last week.  They wasted no time in piling on the homework and he is feeling the pain.  He also turned 14 yesterday!  We ate BBQ and I made his favorite birthday cake. If you like to pray, you could pray for him.  This move is really hard on him.
There was a lot of hilarity at dinner.

I love that guy's smile.

The cake doesn't look like much from here, but it is delish. And, more importantly, his favorite.

Then in other news, Theo turned 10 last Sunday.  Here is a picture of him on the day that sums him up pretty well.

Turns out Sunday was an important day in more ways than one as it was also the first meeting of our church group.  Christ Church Presbyterian is just a tiny embryo of a church, but we had a great meeting with 20 adults and 9 kids in attendance.  God is good!  I know the Lord is going to teach us big things in this; can't wait to see what they are. (Shameless plug:  if you want to receive bi-weekly email updates from John about what is going on with the church, let me know.)
Not done yet...got more mundane things to share.
On Monday, the three younger children all started at their new schools.  Clayton went off to the big, scary middle school.  In true Clay fashion, he is completely unfazed.  Everything is fine with him.  He has joined the 7th grade football team, got his pad and helmet and gym locker, and is practicing twice a day.  He finds his way around, and is just all-around the easiest kid you could ever imagine.  I keep probing to see if he is hiding something, but so far, I think he is really doing a-okay.  Except for really missing his best buddy, Mac.
Theo and Lucy are at the same school and trying to adjust to new routines, new rules and a whole new atmosphere.  I feel great about each of their teachers and I'm looking forward to their making friends.  I think it is going to be a great year, once we get over this little hump here at the beginning.  Our neighbors across the street are WONDERFUL and have really helped the two younger ones (oh heck, all of us!) feel at home and welcomed.  Thank you, JESUS!
Theo and Lucy on the first day.  The only way I got Theo to smile was to tell him to make a grumpy face.  Works every time!
The big news is that this weekend Uncle Clay and Robin are getting married!!  John and Lucy and I will go to represent the family.  I am so sad that the boys can't come; we just couldn't make it happen.  But we really look forward to celebrating this long-awaited day with family and lots of friends.  Yay, she will finally be AUNT Robin!  Little Clayton called her that the other day, and it made me so glad.

Other things of note:
*Lucy learned how to ride a two-wheeler in one day.  She is amazing.
*Theo starts football in the next few weeks.
*We have met lots of really fun and interesting people in the last week.  This small town thing is kind of fun.
*The kids and I visited the mall in Kerrville.  It is kind of like Burlington Mall, only if Burlington had three stores in it. Total.  My teen-age neighbor calls it the small.  Hee hee.  But we do have a Belk, which is not too shabby.
*It is really pretty here and I am actually enjoying the heat.  Reminds me of my hometown.
I do have some posts in my brain that won't just be family updates.  There really are DEEP THOUGHTS up in there.  Sometimes usually.

Word to your mother.

20 August 2012

Back to school

EDIT UPDATE:  I have been having problems with my photos loading in Blogger.  I've tried several work-arounds (for me) to no avail.  There were more pictures in this post, but they all suddenly turned black.  Tried to load again, but nada.  I'm workin' on it...slowly.

Walter starts high school today! Hard to believe that I now have a child in high school, but I suppose it was inevitable.  Last night we had a celebratory dinner for back-to-school, which was significant in many ways:
1.  It was the first REAL dinner that we've cooked in our home.  The first time a child came in the kitchen and said, "It smells so good in here!"  First time for table cloth, real napkins, candles, serving pieces and all of us sitting down in an orderly manner.  It felt really good.
2. Lots of major (to me) transitions are happening around here.  Walt is going to high school, Clayton is going to middle school, Theo is about to turn double digits, and Lucy is going to first grade.  Oh, and we live in a new town where everything is completely new.  And we're starting a new church.  Yeah, that.
3. I am just beginning to feel like our house could be our home.  I have taken the advice of several friends on Facebook, and decided to really MOVE IN to this place, even though we may only be here for a year (in this house, I mean).  It is just not in me to do this half-way and feel like we are really living.  So, the pictures will be hung, and many books will be un-boxed.  And if we have to move in a year's time, so be it.  Until then, I want us to enjoy this space and make it ours.
4. I took some pictures last night, which I haven't done since we moved here.  I am just now learning the light and shadows of our new space, and it is very different from our old house.  It will take some trial and error to make images that I really love.  In any case, my taking pictures was a sign to me that I am on the road to getting my groove back, in life and also in blogging.  Yay!
Here are some photos so you can see what's going on here.  Hope your Monday is a good one, friends!

Here are some photos so you can see what's going on here.  Hope your Monday is a good one, friends!

16 August 2012

We are in Tejas!

Well, hellloooo there!  It has been a month since I last updated you guys, but it feels more like a lifetime.

I really do want to write a post about our last night in Boston, our hellacious experience with the movers, and our drive across the country.  But that will have to wait for later.  For now, I just wanted to give a quick shout out that we are here and surviving.

So far this experience has been hard, dang hard.  There is a lot of heartache, uncertainty and wondering why in the world we dragged our family to this hot place.  Moving is truly a full-time job for at least a month. as we set up utilities, register cars, register for new school systems, order school uniforms and books, learn when trash day is, find places for all the essentials things, and try to make our house feel like our home. Our neighbors across the street have been fantastic, inviting us over to swim, filling me in on everything I need to know and do, and introducing me to others in the community.  Just tonight, a bunch of seven kids from the neighborhood knocked on the front door to meet the new neighbors.  When they left, Theo exclaimed, "Yes! We have FRIENDS!"  Love the way he thinks.

The weirdest things have made me cry.  We went to the public library last week, and I just wanted to weep because it was so small and ill-equipped compared to Cambridge Public Library.  As John rightly pointed out, VERY FEW towns have as great a library as Cambridge, Massachusetts!  In any case, the transition from city mouse to country mouse is going to take a while.

I am SO VERY grateful for my in-laws being here.  They have bent over backwards to help us.  The first week, we spent nearly every evening at their house so that we could watch the Olympics.  I didn't want to miss that just because our TV wasn't set up yet!  In fact, my in-laws are away this week and I am feeling quite lonely, as my one friend is not here!  I am so grateful for a mother-in-law that I love to be with.

The kids have been struggling.  The days are long when all your mom does is unpack boxes.  We bought a trampoline, so that has been a great source of fun, especially when the sprinkler is turned on.  There have been tears from Lucy and Theo almost every day, and anger from Walter.  Clayton will most certainly have the smoothest transition.  After church last Sunday, as we walked into Cracker Barrel for lunch, he told me that he needs a pair of boots to wear to church.  Yep, he's going to fit right in. Oh, and he already bought two air-soft guns with his birthday money.

We have been well-loved by our new church launch team here.  On the first day that we could get into our home, they all surprised us with a "pounding".  Do you know what that is? It's when neighbors bring a pound of all the essentials so that you can set up house.  They loaded us up with toilet paper, chips and salsa, kitchen staples, cleaning supplies, tools, and lots of yummy snacks.  It was great fun, and SO very helpful!  What a blessing to not have to run out for so many of the things we needed to get up and running.

Additionally, our cousins who live in Fredericksburg (one town north of us, very quaint and great for shopping) have loved us so well, inviting us to swim, play with their kids and just feel kind of normal for a little bit.

Friends, if I write much more tonight, I'm going to cry, so I had better sign off here.  While this move has cost and will cost us much, we have been encouraged to see and feel a real need for the Gospel here.  It is SO weird to go from a place where no one claims to be a Christian to a place where EVERYONE seems to be one.  I mean, the local paper has several columns about Christian faith.  Christian music plays in stores on a regular basis. I know I will have more to write about that as time goes on.

Love to all of you in Boston; know that we miss you more than we can say.  Love to you here in Kerrville; we are honored to be here and know that God is going to glorify Himself in Christ Church Presbyterian.

Can't wait to be more caught up with all of you!