Monday, May 28, 2012

What I've Learned in Georgia

Since moving to Georgia, I've learned a few things.

1. The bugs are BIG here.  Very big!
2. Teenagers can get up by their alarm even on the weekend by 7:00 and not melt.
3. Children of all ages can learn to say Yes Mam and No Sir without being sarcastic.
4. Bear skat really stinks but it comes out of a dog's hair with vinegar.
5. You may see interesting things along the road like someone barbequing out of the back of the truck.
6. Drivers are more patient.
7. People actually pull over and stop for funeral processions.
8. Fire flies are camera shy.
9. Sweet tea is better than soda on a hot day.
10. Sheets dried on a clothes line smell heavenly after a hard days work.
11. TV is not a necessity.  Children are actually happier without it.
12. There's something relaxing about hanging clothes on the line while kids are laughing and playing.

13. Fire flies can make everything right after a hard day.

14. Teen boys from California think they've died and gone to heaven with all the southern beauties.
15. Teens don't have to walk around plugged into things or texting and they will survive.  Not only that, there are teens here that actually communicate with adults and help out around the house!

16. People reach out to help others just because that's what you do.
17. Men are still gentlemen and open doors for ladies and tip their hats to them.
18. A family of 8 can live with just one refrigerator.
19. It is possible to feed a family of 8 without a stove for over a month.  Meatloaf on the barbeque is quite yummy.
20. There are people that don't pity or baby children with disabilities.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Catching Up

It's been an interesting few weeks since the move.  Our things finally got here a week late and items were either lost or broken.  We are still documenting all of the things that we are going to have to replace and praying we get reimbursed from the movers insurance company as it is going to turn into a hefty amount.  What saddens me are the things that can't be replaced like my mom's wedding china or all the canning I did last summer.  I guess technically the canning could be replaced but so much time went into it and they won't compensate me for that.  Most of my inventory and some of my looms for the business were destroyed.  I'm having to replace all of that too before I can get the business off the ground again.

The house has proven to be in worse shape than what we thought and needing a lot more repairs.  We've been here two and a half weeks and I still don't have a stove.  We finally got an electrician out to look at the electrical issues. I have no 220v to plug a stove into so we are stuck now until after June 1 before he can come back out.  So for now I use the electric griddle, camp stove, BBQ and roaster.  I'm able to prepare meals just fine, but I have to say it will be very nice to have a real stove again.

The kids are thriving though!  We have done away with TV until the fall when the days get longer and they have to be in the house more.  The kids have not even asked to watch anything.  They are having fun playing outside, playing games, reading and doing art.  We will hopefully have their play structure and playhouse delivered in the next week.  Cameron is talking more and physically just taking off - literally taking off, down the road.  We now have gates put up to keep him on the decks.  Ben is much more organized and able to process things better - slowly still but he can consciously make himself focus.  Gabby is her usual little bundle of energy but is completely over her fear of bugs and turning quickly into a little "farm girl".  Gabby's fear of bugs was transferred to Bella though as she is now afraid of anything that buzzes and/or flies.  Bella is loving the frogs and toads that come to visit.  Speaking of which we have Toad Buddy who comes onto the front deck most nights.  Bella picked him up one night to find a moth half hanging out of his mouth.  The older boys, well, Donald likes it here, and let's just leave the update on them at that.  Oh, I guess I could say Dustin is great at mowing the property as he has had plenty of practice lately.  Hard labor is good for the troubled soul.

Overall this has been a wonderful change for us.  I feel at home here.  People are friendly and helpful, the terrain is beautiful and teens don't walk around texting or plugged into an iPod.  There is a different level of respect for people here.  There was a little old man crossing the street one day.  He was shuffling along as fast as his wobbly legs would take him.  He was barely half way across the street when the light changed.  No one honked, no one hurried and went around him, and no one started yelling.  They just let him cross the street and then went along their way.  It was heart warming to see.  I'm hoping the respect rubs off on my teens.

After two and a half weeks of being here, I honestly believe this was the right move for us.

Half Way There

I had originally started this post while driving to Georgia.  Since we didn't get internet back until recently, I was unable to post it until now.

We are past half way now on our move to Georgia.  We knew it was going to be a long drive when Gabby asked, "Are we close to our new house?" and we weren't even out of Sacramento yet.  For the most part though, the kids have been troupers.  We got a chance to stop and see a friend in Tucson, even if just for a few minutes.  It was so good to see her.  We are staying in a hotel room tonight in Abilene TX as Jim and I are too tired to drive any further and there are thunderstorms just ahead of us.

Just this morning we saw wild horses which was an amazing sight.  The desserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas became very monotonous and we are looking forward to the "greener pastures" of the east.  Cameron cannot take much more in the car and Gabby's hips just will not allow her to sit for longer.  We will drive all the way through to the new house for our next leg of the trip so tomorrow we will finish going through Texas, then through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to our little home on the northeast side of Georgia.  Then for a few days of camping while we wait for the water to be turned on.

Honestly, I couldn't have made this move without the help of a dear friend.  She has been there to support us emotionally and now to clean the house for us.  There is the saying that you can't pick your family, but in this instance I was lucky enough to do just that and have a sister by choice.  Thank you Erin from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Moving Van Day

It's been a long day of packing, loading and emotions.  The highlights and lowlights - the movers charging us extra (including $100 for tape), spending an afternoon with wonderful friends, stopping to put out a grass fire on the way home from picking up the kids, a teen filled with testosterone, a mouse running between one of the kids' feet at bedtime, and then getting to sleep on an air mattress because the movers were so late getting done we couldn't leave like we wanted to.  We will see what the first day of travel unfolds for us.  Right now, I'm ready to attempt sleeping on the air mattress and praying my back doesn't give out because of it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

If Today Were Perfect

If today had been perfect....

I would not have woken to a puking child.

The dog would not have tried to bark as she swallowed and ended up gagging to the point of puking on the kitchen floor.

I would have had the aforethought to think the puking child was starting to feel better before I told his dad he needed to stay home to rest instead of going with dad to run errands.

I would have realized that dad was also taking the more helpful teen to get his braces removed and I was going to be left to fend for myself with a rambunctious 5 y.o. (previously puking child that found all of his energy plus more), an overtired 7 y.o., a 6 y.o. that has mischief to spare, and a happily defiant 10 y.o.

My mischievous son would not have found a pair of scissors and cut a chunk out of his sister's hair.

The same mischievous son would have forgotten the lessons I taught him about the Forbidden City and not tried to recreate it out of Chinese food boxes that had our lunch in them.

The 5 y.o. would not have tried to get the puppy (which outweighs him) to ride the rocking horse.

There would not have been huge puffs of dust flying of my son's head due to his sister putting dirt on his head to make his hair a lighter color, nor would there have been bits of grass in my daughters hair because she "needed a beautiful hat" courtesy of the dusty headed brother.

My preteen daughter would not have had her rambunctious 5 y.o. brother constantly going in to the bathroom saying, "Suuuupise Sissy!", while she tried to bathe to get rid of her allergy attack and sinus headache and I would not have had to keep stopping what I was doing to pull him out again as he did his evil laugh.

A teen would not have taken his frustrations out on the one apple gourd that I was able to grow in the garden last summer.

Someone would have told me I had bits of red frosting on my forehead the youngest child had so artfully applied before people stopped by to pick things up and not wait until I saw it in the mirror.

My dogs and 5 y.o. son would not have doorbell ditched the new neighbors when the children were coming into the house after being out.

At least at the end of the day, the children got to spend one last night at Bounce U and I got a wonderful dessert with a friend.  I also guess, in it's own strange way, it may not have been a perfect day, but it was a typical day for us.

The Pioneering Spirit

It's been a long time since I posted because so much has been going on.  After Jim made two trips to Georgia, we bought a house that closed escrow in two weeks and we are preparing to move.  It's hard to put into words all the emotions we have been going through.  Jim and Isabella are the only ones who have been to Georgia to see the house.  The rest of us have only seen pictures and have only ever lived in CA.  We have traveled as far as Reno, NV and I've been over the AZ border once.  Now all of a sudden we are packing up to trek across the nation to a house we've never seen, to a state we've never been to, leaving our family here in CA.

I know the pioneers had a much harder time than us leaving their family and friends behind for parts unknown, traveling over harsh terrains and experiencing cultures they never knew existed.  I admire them for the spirit they had to have to do such hard things.  The thought of driving across the country with six special needs kids with two dogs and a 14 y.o. cat which doesn't travel well, in the middle of a medicine increase for Ben to try to control his latest increase in seizures, all the while trying to keep peace with our teens that don't travel well either, makes me wonder how our ancestors did it and kept their sanity in tact.  We have one day until the movers are here and all I see and hear is chaos, wild emotions and kids who have lost their brains and must be looking for them as they run through the house like total banshees.  It sure didn't help to start the morning with a child puking and blowing out diapers.

It will be interesting to document the next few days of our adventure as we finish the packing, load the moving van and head off for a new life that includes three days of camping until the new city can get our water turned on in the new house.  I am hoping my children will be blessed with the pioneering spirit to get them through the next few days, and that I have the strength of the pioneer women to carry my family into our new adventure and onto our new life with the stability and fortitude they will need.