Sunday, January 22, 2006

Happy Birthday!

(Today is Janet's __st/th birthday!) (Any guesses?)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A day in the park

The locals tell us not to get too used to this. This has been an unusually mild January for this area and many people have been taking advantage of it! Just up the road from where we live is one of Raleigh's metro parks. It features a nice little playground area and a 2 or 3 mile walking trail around Lake Shelly. It was a Friday off from work (not that I've worked hard enough to have earned it yet!) and so we took the kids to explore this area.

There were geese, ducks, and sea gulls. Just like at the beach the gulls would swarm overhead and look for treats that might be thrown up for them to eat. We had been there the week before (also on a very warm day) and knew to bring a little bread. Reece and Lindsey liked dropping whole chunks of a loaf into the water and watch, in true survival-of-the-fittest fashion, the geese and ducks fight over a half a slice.

Austin and I like throwing the bread up in the air and hoped for the best. I tried to bean a bird with my piece. They usually ended up catching the bread anyway. The birds seemed to enjoy the game!

I the process of getting acclimated to the area, we've found the best route to the church, found this park, got our library card (and discovered a branch about a mile away) and signed up for a Y membership. Just today, in fact, Austin and Lindsey and daddy went to the Y to swim!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

We Made It!

It's hard to believe that a week ago we were busily packing up our stuff in Hartville, taking things apart, and polishing details for our move. Now, a week later, we sit in our townhouse in North Carolina, completely unpacked and, with the exception of the three kids, mostly cleaned up. The following post chronicles our past week or so.

As I mentioned, there was a ton of stuff to pack. It wore us out! We were so grateful for the help we got. Several friends helped with the kids, and even Aunt Sharla flew up from Texas to help entertain the kids and help pack. We couldn't have done it without everyone's help!

On the 10th, the truck came. Somehow, the driver was able to back it in to our driveway and still allow for cars to get by on the road. There were three guys that came and did the packing and loading. We tried to have everything ready for them by labeling each piece of furniture as "apt" or "storage." They loaded all the storage stuff first (including our piano, couch, refrigerator, and a ton of boxes!). We were grateful too for decent weather. It didn't even sprinkle until later that night. It was in the 40s that day--not bad for a NE Ohio January!

The kids and Janet were with the Wachtel's in the morning and at Paul and Dena's the rest of the day, but it was important for me that they come and see what was happening to their things so they had an understanding of the move. The only question I got from them later was from Austin, who wondered (while we were somewhere in WV just where the truck was and why it wasn't following us.)
After staying over night at Dena and Paul's we left on Wednesday, the 11th. We drove as far as Wytheville, VA. Janet drove the car and I had the kids with me in the van. They travel really well, especially with the help of the TV/VCR, Monsters, Inc., Peter Pan, and a couple other long favorites! We left for Raleigh on the 12th, Thursday, and got in at 2:00 where we met the manager here and signed the lease for the townhouse. We then went to a different hotel and the kids napped while I reserved a 10X20 storage space close to where we now live.

The truck and the movers came on Friday morning the 12th with just two guys. They arrived at 8:30 and had unloaded the "Apt." portion of the load by 12:30pm. From there, they followed me to the storage facility and began to unload while I went to get Janet and the kids and took them back to the apt. The weather that day was perfect! It was nearly 70 degrees and sunny on both Friday and Saturday. Great days to unpack and unload.

The boxes never end! Now we began unpacking everything and setting up shop. It went well and here we are Sunday night with all the boxes unpacked, and we're ready to start our week with school for the kids and (hopefully) a YMCA trip or two, and of course, I have my first day on the job on Tuesday (17th).

We thank all of you so much for your prayers and for the help and encouragement so many of you have been as we endured (and continue to endure) the most stressful time of our family's life. So many of you helped in so many little ways (thanks, Julie for letting us borrow your vacuum cleaner!), and we appreciate it so much! Thanks, too for the phone calls from many of you just checking in! We love to hear from you!

Our biggest concern now is that our house will sell. Once it sells, we will feel released to really begin working on looking for a house in the Raleigh area. (Can't wait to move again!) Beyond that, we pray for great friends and connections for everyone in the family. We know they're here, we just have to meet them!

Communication has never been so easy or affordable! Please keep in touch with us! We miss you all already!

Monday, January 09, 2006

See ya in NC!

It's weird. The kids left today to go to be with their buddy Logan and were so excited to go where toys weren't taped up in boxes! It occurred to me only after they left that they were leaving the house for the last time. That was a sad realization for me. Even in the less-than-three years we've been here, we've had some history. Austin was only 4 when we moved in and Lindsey was 2. A few months after we moved in, Reece was born!

The house is completely packed up. Well--ok, not the computer. Not yet. But, the itinerary is set and the truck is due here tomorrow (10th) and we plan to leave on Wednesday (11th), stay over night in Wytheville, VA, should be in Raleigh by Thursday (12th) and moving in by Friday (13th).

We appreciate your prayers as we maneuver through this transition. Top on my list is quick acclimation to the church and the area for the kids, and friendships for Janet and me.

We will miss our Ohio friends dearly and we love you all!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Can't find my rollerblades

Yeah--I have rollerblades. I know, I never use them. The truth is, I can only find blades for one foot, which so far has been more distressing than not finding the complete pair. Janet keeps her blades in a nice rollerblade pouch. It's easy to keep those together. Mine, however, float around independently of each other. One of them has floated away. I'm upset because I'm leaving a box open until I find it. I've looked everywhere it might be and I'm running out of options as the house slowly but surely becomes packed up--there are fewer places for the single-foot blades to hide!

There are no pictures on the walls, the book cases are all empty and their contents either packed up or thrown out. Last week, we had a huge pile of trash. I wondered if the trash company would take everything, but they did. We set out some plastic yard toys that the kids don't play with any more out on the curb. We put them out on Christmas Eve day. By the evening, they were gone! Merry Christmas!

We are busy dividing up our worldly possessions into two categories: going to the townhouse, going to storage. The garage has no longer been a place to house our vehicles, instead, it is a cardboard box warehouse. Going to the townhouse on the left, where the van used to be parked, going to storage on the right, where the Mazda used to be parked.

I sent out our new info (snail mail address, phone, and e-mail) in a large group e-mail recently. If for some reason I overlooked you, please e-mail me and I'll forward you the info. Of course, leaving comments here is a great way to keep in touch!