Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No more warm-fuzzy

Raise your hand if you love to get the clothes out of the dryer and feel their warmth radiating into to you as you carry them to that little patch of floor in the bedroom where they will remain for the next few days/weeks. Ooh, what a good feeling! Unfortunately my new dryer doesn't deliver that little piece of laundry paradise. The clothes come out cool, even when you run the machine on the high heat setting. I'm sure that's a good thing on some very practical levels, but I'm in this thing for the literal warm-fuzzy, and I must admit, I'm disappointed every time the dryer buzzer goes off and I open up the door.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Virtual Tour

Many people have asked to see pictures of the inside of the house. My pride prevents me from taking any pictures while there are piles of boxes and stuff lying around everywhere. So, I will give you the empty house version, and when everything is really settled (in another couple of years or so) I'll come back with more interior pics. Here's the narrative of what you'll be seeing in the slide show:

As you walk in the front door, the dining room is on your right and the staircase is on your left. Straight ahead is the formal living room (with the fireplace). There are two little doors (which you can't see in the picture) leading out of the dining room on the far right wall. Those take you into the kitchen/breakfast/family room (the utility room is just through the doors on the right), which can also be gotten to by going straight through the formal living room. Facing the white, built-in bookshelves in the family room (from the kitchen), you'll see a door on your right. This leads out to the driveway and garage. There is also a door on the left, between the family room and the living room, that leads out to the backyard. Past the staircase (if you are starting from the front door) and to the left is the powder room (not pictured). From there, a jog to the right takes you into the master bedroom. From the door of the bedroom you can see Jeff's office, with the French doors. Looking out from the office, you can see the master bath. At the top of the stairs there is a large game room, with lots of built-in shelves. There are two bedrooms to the right of that room: Ruth's (lavender color) and the guest room (tan curtains). Those two rooms share a bathroom (also lavender). To the left of the game room, and down a step and a short hall, is the boys' room (blue curtains). They have their own bathroom, which can also be accessed from the short hallway leading to their room.

Maybe this will give you all a better idea of what the house looks like. But if your curiosity is still nagging at you, you'd better just plan to come visit. It looks much better in person anyway!

Lost and Found

You will remember from my last post that several items were missing as the moving dust began to settle. It was especially disturbing because they weren't the kinds of things that might just be in the next box. (We're talking mops, brooms, rakes, hoes, filing cabinets, etc.). Well, the good news is that most of the items have been found (or, as in the case of the vacuum cleaner, it has been remembered that they actually met their demise before we moved from Austin). The cleaning supplies were at my parents' house and the yard tools and filing cabinet were at my in-laws'. This makes me very happy, because for a while there I was seriously questioning my sanity.

Now, if I can just find the bag with all my pajamas...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let's Play "What's In The Box?"

Even with fairly thorough labeling, it is still exciting to open each box and see what it holds--whether true treasures or moving mysteries. It is so neat to take each item out and carefully and lovingly find it a new home within the new home--or toss it in the nearest garbage can, if need be. Some items bring an unexpected smile, some an unexpected frown. But either way, I'm enjoying getting all my things out and finding them a special place.

So, without further ado, here are this week's categories and answers for "What's In The Box?"

1. So Happy To See You Again

*Clothes and Shoes (more than just a two-week supply)
*Massage Chair
*Address Book
2. Unexpected Joys
*Dating Memorabilia, including scrapbooks and letters
*African stuff
*Crystal and China (after they were washed and put away all bright and shiny)
3. What On Earth Made Me Put You In A Box In The First Place
*Lots and lots of sippy cup valves, without corresponding sippy cups
*Worn out, ill-fitting bras and panties
*Stale, disgusting candy from birthday pinatas gone by
4. Damaged Goods
*Antique Gossip Bench
*Moqueca Pots from Brazil
*Memory Foam Mattress Topper
5. Beyond Repair
*Cheap, metal garage shelf
*Decorative Mini-Martini (Cordial) Glass
*Melted, Spilled, Re-solidified, No-Longer-Useful, Highly Fragrant Bluebonnet Candle
6. Why, Oh Why Did I Say Good-Bye
*Coffee table and Side table
*Large Faux Flower Arrangement
7. Wish You Were Here (I know I kept them, I just don't know where they are)
*Broom, Mop, Vacuum Cleaner
*Shovel, Rake and Other Yard tools
8. New In Box
*Toaster Oven
*And coming soon: Oven
Thanks for playing along with us. Be sure to join us next time when we find out "What's In The Box?"

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're home

In the midst of the boxes and chaos, we are here. And we are happy. This is a good place for us. (That's right, Sharon, we are happy; we're in a good place; we're where we need to be)! We have met many of the neighbors already, and all have been very friendly. We are learning our way around town. (Jeff can probably make it to the hardware store and back blindfolded by now). And we are even making progress with unpacking--thanks in no small part to my parents, who kept the kids while we moved and came down over the weekend to help us out around the house. We are also really enjoying seeing and using all our stuff again. And for the children, it's like a great big birthday party. Since our stuff has been in boxes for nine months--and some of it for as long as a year--they can't even remember some of the toys they had before, so everything seems new and fresh and exciting. And, really, it's the same for Jeff and I with our stuff, only we don't call someone over to watch us enjoy our items like the kids do. The Lord has blessed us so much and we are so thankful to be home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ready for the next adventure

The children have been delivered to the grandparents. The van, the moving truck and the trailer are filled to capacity. Everything is in place for us to hit the road tomorrow for the next phase of this grand old adventure we call life. So, the next time we meet, it will be from our new house, in our new city, at some as-of-yet undetermined time in the future. We hope you will all come along with us on this adventure. If it's anything like the other adventures, you won't want to miss it! I, for one, am on the edge of my seat!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meet the neighbors

We were in Houston this weekend, with the rest of Jeff's side of the family, to (among other things) do a drive-by on our house, and to take the full tour of the house his brother and sister-in-law are buying. When we all get settled, we will only be about 35 minutes from each other, which we are super-excited about! It's probably going to be more fun that we can stand!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


When we returned from Brazil, we expected to be moving to Kingwood within a few weeks or maybe a month, at the most. As often happens, it didn't exactly work out that way. Just as we were getting started with the process of getting a new house, we were put on "pause" because of needing to file our tax return before applying for a loan. That actually turned out to be a good thing (as also often happens), because it meant we got to rethink what we wanted in a house and that we got to spend more time with family in the interim.

A couple of weeks ago, we were house hunting again and found one we really loved. We made an offer and only finally finished our negotiations last night around 10:00. We are scheduled to move in a week from tomorrow, which means we are most definitely in "unpause" mode--especially since we will be gone over the weekend and won't be back until Monday. Our day today was spent packing and trying to take care of all those fun things a move necessitates. We are so excited about our new home and hope you will all come visit us when we get settled! This is how you'll know where to find us:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You haven't lived until you've played Pictionary with a 3-year-old

The game: Pictionary

The teams: Daddy and Ruth vs. Mommy and Weston

The rules: Somewhat modified

The scene: Weston rolls the die and happily moves his piece the number of spaces. It is his turn to draw. Daddy whispers in Weston's ear something off the card that he is likely to know what is. Weston does not hear him and then does not understand him. Finally, Weston readies his pencil and promptly forgets what he is supposed to draw. Daddy reminds him. Time begins and he positions his paper just so, places his hand on it and begins to trace, saying, "Look what I can do!" Surprisingly, time runs out without Mommy guessing what he was supposed to be drawing because it didn't remotely have anything to do with a hand. Mommy draws on the next round, while Weston looks all around the room and wanders off a couple of times. Finally, Daddy asks if Weston would like some help guessing, to which he replies, "Sure." Ruth and Daddy then begin guessing. Weston does not. When it's Weston's turn to draw again, his object is "thumb." Daddy thinks this will be easy for him, since he can obviously draw his hand. Instead, he draws swirlies on his paper, and Mommy begins to guess wildly. "No," he says after just two guesses, "it's a thumb." Later, when tasked with drawing a cow, he carefully lays out two pieces of paper. On the first, he makes a very elaborate drawing, putting in numerous vague details. As the time for that turn winds down, he quickly makes a mark on the other page, and then promptly returns to the masterpiece. When time is called, he proudly announces that he has drawn a dolphin. Daddy's face is all surprise as he says, "You were supposed to draw a cow." To which Weston points at the mark on the other piece of paper and says, "That's the cow."

The result: Mommy and Daddy laughing so hard they can't see straight and a miraculous victory, due to the modified rules, by Team Mommy/Weston.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Watts Goings-On

Our little vacation was loads of fun! We spent a few days visiting with my family in Belton and then went East. We stayed in a cozy little cabin, surrounded by pine trees, livestock, a nice lake and lots of peace and quiet. We also drove into nearby Tyler a couple of times to visit a wildlife museum/country store/awesome playground and the children's museum. We explored, laughed, ate, played, and relaxed. It was wonderful!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

It was a road-tripping, gas-siphoning, bag-losing, Ranger-riding, deer-spotting, turkey-chasing, campfire-building, tent-pitching, sunset-watching, marshmallow-roasting, s'more-eating, star-gazing, sleeping bag-sleeping, wind-blowing, body-bundling, sheep-herding, rustic-toileting, bath-skipping, gun-shooting, target-hitting, log-rolling, relative-visiting, dutch oven-cooking, book-reading, nap-taking, face-sunburning, ranch-exploring, dirt-eating, camo-wearing, deer blind-visiting, water-freezing, hot chocolate-drinking, flower-picking, treasure-collecting all around good time kind of weekend.