cover pic

cover pic
Showing posts with label big family issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label big family issues. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blogging on the Run

It's already that time of the year again.  That super busy time near the end of the school year when the children have their performances, games, recitals, field trips, and shows.  Even though we're not involved in quite as many sports and extra-curricular activities as a lot of other families we know, with five school-aged children, it still means a lot of time away from home.  And lots of time driving.  These final six weeks or so before summer vacation begins are extremely full, and most days on the calendar have no space left to write anything.  

So far we've already had a strings recital:

Our daughter and a friend played and sang "How Far I'll Go" from Moana.  She is our little diva and dreams of being the next Taylor Swift.

And we watched our older daughter attend her first prom this past weekend:

That was bittersweet because I just can't believe she's this old already.  And my husband and I realized it's been three decades since we attended prom---actually, it's been 33 years since we both went to our first proms.  But we didn't go together.  How is it possible that so much time has elapsed already?  Like a blink of an eye.

And this is what we still have left to attend/celebrate over the next five weeks:
  1. Our final child's First Holy Communion
  2. Four birthdays
  3. A band concert
  4. Two showings of a musical
  5. Two art shows
  6. Two choral performances
  7. Four field trips that I know of now
  8. A class yoga party
  9. Two instrumental performances at nursing homes
  10.  EXAMS
These are just the final performances, mind you.  It doesn't include the practices and rehearsals leading up to the days.  Even though I wasn't thrilled with her decision at the time, I'm rather relieved our teen daughter dropped out of track for the season or we'd be having serious overlaps on the schedule.  And our middle school son isn't old enough to compete at the meets for his track team, so that simplifies that.
So why am I telling you all of this?  It's my excuse in advance for not blogging regularly.  I might get little snippets of time to post a bit over the next month or so, but it probably will be sporadic at best.

And if you're like me and most of my friends right now, you probably don't have a lot of free time to sit around on the Internet reading blogs anyway.  But I'll be thinking of you, and we'll meet up again when we can.

Until then, Happy Spring & God Bless.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter Holiday Highlights

Nearly a week after the fact, and I've finally uploaded the Easter photos, collected the Easter baskets, and finished off the last of the Easter dinner.  Except for the colored eggs; there are still lots of those.  And the decorations are still up.  And I still have half a bag of Easter candy stashed away to use as bribes or rewards as needed.  Anyway, this is what Easter looked like at our preppy mountain farmhouse this year.  We didn't invite the hen above into our family picture with us sitting in our clean Church clothes; she photobombed it, and our son caught her.

We took dinner to our grown son's house the afternoon before Easter.  Our boys actually got to hold their nephew for once; usually they can't get him out of their sister's arms.

And his uncles adore him.  It is so much easier to keep a baby entertained when he has so many aunties and uncles around to make a fuss over him.


Our youngest daughter and I made dozens of deviled eggs over the weekend.  Our hens are laying around twelve eggs every day, and we have eggs coming out the wazoo.  I've been scrambling them and making custard and boiling them and even freezing them.  But we still have six full cartons in the refrigerator with another dozen or so that were dyed last Saturday.

These were just a select few that the children and their dad colored last weekend.  All of our hens lay brown eggs of various shades, and everyone wanted to make metallic ones, so we weren't sure how they would turn out.  Some looked golden, and others not shown here were a rather putrid brownish-greenish color.

I actually bought myself a new Easter dress this year from TJ Maxx.  Two of my adolescent photographers were trying to get me to pose in more interesting ways, but this was the only one I'd feel comfortable sharing.  No Kardashian wannabes here.

But we did have some kind of Spiderman-Samurai character running around our property searching for eggs.  I'm not sure what look she was going for; she's her own unique blend of some kind of wonderful.

And her ten year-old brother is his own blend of awesomeness too.

This guy showed up for the egg hunt as well, but all he was really interested in was eating the fresh green buds on the bush above him.

All of my kiddos still participate in our annual egg hunt, and their dad doesn't make it easy for them.

Every year as they get older and older, at least one of them says that maybe next year they'll just help hide the eggs, and not be a part of the hunt anymore.  But the next year comes, and whether they like to admit it or not, they still get excited about finding their color-coded stuffed eggs.

And I'm holding on to that for as long as I can.

I hope your weekend is your own blend of wonderful awesomeness.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

To the Church, a Party, & the Hospital: A First Communion Story

As we are preparing for our youngest daughter's First Holy Communion later this month, my mind keeps returning to the night she was born, which also happened to be the same night we celebrated her older brother's First Communion.  As joyous of an occasion that the Sacrament is, this was one twenty-four hour period of time I would definitely not want to relive.

Let me preface this day with some facts:

Fact #1: Our daughter's due date was still a week away, but I typically delivered my babies about a week early.  All I could think about was my water breaking in church while we were standing in one of the front pews, leaving my family mortified.  Or I would go into labor earlier in the day, and my husband and I would miss the entire event.  I did some earnest praying all week that the birth of this baby would hold off until after our son took his First Communion, and preferably wait until the end of the party we were having at our house afterwards.

Fact #2: A stomach virus went through our house that week, and it was the worst one I'd ever seen in my family.  Every two days, a different family member was sick around the clock for about forty-eight hours.  Nothing stayed down, and with a house full of toddlers and young children, this meant a lot of disinfectant used throughout the house.  I was exhausted from being up all night with little ones and constantly washing sheets, mopping floors, wiping down walls, and comforting children and a husband who felt absolutely miserable.  But I hadn't gotten sick myself.

Fact #3: When I had the appointment with my midwife earlier that week, I mentioned this illness to her and said surely I wouldn't get sick while I was in labor.  That God would be merciful and spare me that at least.  The midwife looked dubious, and said she couldn't guarantee that, but she had seen women who had a similar virus, and the vomiting helped induce the labor.  So along with praying that labor would wait until after First Communion, I also began fervently praying that this stomach bug might somehow skip right over me.

Two nights before the big day, our eight year-old son came down with this virus.  I honestly thought we were going to have to back out of it.  But he rallied and was fine by the day of the Mass, and miraculously, we had not a single sick family member in our house by the time all of our company arrived.  Only our six year-old daughter and I had been spared.  I felt tired, heavy, achy, and as if I would pop at any moment, but I hadn't gotten sick, and I hadn't gone into labor.  We would all be at the Church, and no one would miss our son's First Holy Communion after all.

And everything did go according to plan.  Our sixteen year-old son was an altar server at this special Mass.  We were all there to witness it, and take pictures, and celebrate this Sacrament with our second-grader.  Then we came home and celebrated some more with lots of good food, toasts of champagne, cake, gifts, and family.  I was still nervous about going into labor and getting sick, so I ate very little.  Our guests began going home around eight, and we had cleaned up the kitchen and gone to bed by a reasonable hour.

That didn't last long, however, because I awoke around midnight with that dreadful feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when of of those viruses hits.  And it was horrible; like, in the top five worst nights of my life kind of horrible.  Then my water broke.  And then I started to cry.

Since this was my sixth baby, and we lived twenty-five minutes from the nearest hospital, my husband didn't want to wait around.  Fortunately, my parents-in-law were spending the weekend with us, so we left the children in their care while we headed to the emergency room with a large bucket carried beneath my chin the entire time.

We checked in at the hospital around two in the morning, and I learned that I had a long way to go.  Labor coupled with a stomach virus has got to be one of the lousiest combinations ever.  But one good thing came out of it: Zofran---which was in my IV drip continuously for many hours.  It didn't stop the nausea completely, but it was definitely an improvement.

I won't go into all the details of the labor and delivery, but I will say that the eleven hour labor won second place for my worst birthing experience.  It was only topped by her red-headed brother who took a full forty-eight hours of incredible pain before he finally made his appearance.  I went into this labor intending to tackle it naturally like I'd done with most of my children (even the red haired one.)  I had this noble notion of holding my Rosary beads and praying a Hail Mary through each contraction, but after a couple of hours when I could barely even breathe through the pains, I abandoned that idea.  And I asked for the pain meds, which I had never done before.  Then when I was finally far enough along, I asked for the epidural too.  And finally, around 11:30 AM, our youngest daughter (and last child) was born, fifteen hours after her brother's First Communion party ended.

So as luck would have it, it turns out that I didn't miss out on anything...not even the stomach bug.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

So Many Cooks in the Kitchen

 Last evening my white farmhouse kitchen looked like we were preparing a stone soup for dinner.  Four generations of family members wandered in and out of the room, most staying to contribute something to a hearty chicken stew I was attempting to make for the first time.

Some were stirring the pot at the stove while others were retrieving ingredients (and wine) from the refrigerator and basement.

 Others were using their culinary skills to chop numerous vegetables and herbs while a few smaller family members stood by inspecting the progress.

Many of us took turns with the challenging task of keeping a certain eight month old happy and out of mischief.

Those with less experience in the kitchen were in charge of being the sommelier and making lively conversation. 

There were a couple of us in charge of adding diced ingredients to the pot when it was time.

While others just hung around looking handsome and waiting to be sent outside to gather eggs and feed the livestock.

As for me, I was the photographer, of course.  I was all prepared to make the entire dinner myself, as I do most of the time.  It was a pleasant reprieve to simply be the one overseeing it all and delegating various tasks to everyone else.  In the midst of the organized chaos, though, I forgot to take any pictures of the finished product, which got an excellent rating from almost every family member.  All I've got is the image in the cookbook above.  There weren't even any leftovers to heat up and photograph today.  I'll conclude by saying that the phrase "There are too many cooks in the kitchen" just didn't apply.  Each of the eleven family members who were present contributed something and turned out to be the perfect number for making this stew.

Adapted from the Cooking Light: Top-Rated Recipes special edition:
Chicken, Apple, & Butternut Stew (p. 56)

Peel & cube a butternut squash, and peel and dice a bunch of parsnips, and set aside.

Cut up 2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Put 1 Tbsp. olive oil into a large pot and heat over medium heat.  Add half the chicken and saute until browned.  Repeat with remaining chicken, then remove to a plate or bowl.
Chop 2 onions & 3 Tbsp. fresh sage.  Add another Tbsp. olive oil to pot and add the onion, sage, and 2 tsp. dried ginger.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cubed squash and the diced parsnips.  Cook another 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the vegetables with 5 Tbsp. of flour.  Cook 1 minute, stirring to prevent sticking.

Stir in 3 cups apple cider and 3 cups of unsalted chicken stock.  Stir in the cooked chicken, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Peel and chop 3-4 cups of Granny Smith apples.  After the stew has simmered for 25 minutes, add the apples and cook for another 10 minutes.

* I probably added a bit more salt and pepper to this.  I didn't actually measure it.  We also wanted to make the stew thicker, so after adding the cider and stock, I dissolved 1 Tbsp. of corn starch in 1/4 cup of water and stirred that in.  There was so much talk and activity going on that it's a really good thing that I wasn't making this myself because it would have taken me hours to concentrate and get all the prep work done.  It was definitely more fun to read the recipe aloud, sip some wine, take some pictures, and hold our grandson.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Beautiful Mess: My Life

Last week while in Michael's, I came across a bin of brightly colored journals with various words embossed on the covers.  As soon as my eyes landed on this one, I knew it was the right journal for me.  A beautiful mess perfectly describes the season of life I am living right now.  It's a different kind of mess from five years ago when we were finishing up our last round of breastfeeding, potty training, and getting children to sleep in their own beds throughout the night.  Back when we were establishing our little farm and helping goats birth babies, butcher our own chickens, and start seedlings for the gardens all throughout the house.  Those were the days when we had five children under the age of eleven, and I was homeschooling all of them.  Life was most definitely messy, but it was a different kind of mess.  I never thought I'd say this, but I actually kind of miss some of those days.

Now the house is void of diapers, potty chairs, and toddler beds.  I typically let the goats and sheep do their own birthing and only intervene when they're in serious distress and no one else is available.  We no longer butcher any animals (hated that part of farming), nor is my husband allowed to fill every sunny windowsill or table with trays of dirt.  My eleven years of being a homeschooling mom have come to an end, and our farmhouse is now full of preteens and teenagers, except when our baby grandson comes for a visit.  I suppose our youngest---who is about to turn eight---isn't officially a preteen yet, but in her mind, she's been an adolescent since she was about three.  Middle schoolers and high schoolers bring their own unique brands of mess to the house, as do the middle-aged parents who reside with those adolescents.  And that is the season we are currently in.

I'm a little more aware of (and annoyed by) the disarray today because we are just finishing up spring break when we are all home together much of the time.  The weather has not cooperated with the break, and even though the younger children did spend some time outdoors, most of the week has been rainy or cold, so we've been inside a lot.  The kitchen sink has filled up quickly with coffee mugs used to create individual "snickerdoodle" treats found on Pinterest by our ninth grade daughter.  The dining room/multi-purpose room table has been covered in papers, pencils, and tape used by our youngest as she makes more artistic creations.  Which, by the way, is most definitely an improvement over the entire walls she used to cover with her "artwork."  The coffee table in our living room held Nerf guns, tablets, headphones, and sketchbooks until I insisted that everyone pick up their stuff last evening before company came.  The boys' bedroom has always been a disaster zone, but this week all I can see are Legos everywhere.  This is because the ten and eleven year-olds are creating an entire Star Wars themed village with various shops such as Darth Vader's Bakery, Jabba's Fitness Center, and Jawas' Junk Shop.  It's quite clever, I think, but it creates a huge mess while they are in the midst of a creative brainstorm like this.  The girls' room is full of shoes, makeup, nail polish, and a homemade Shopkins house as our teen daughter is practicing new hair and cosmetic techniques for the prom, and our seven year-old has used some of her free time to build a structure for her 86 Shopkins.  Even our bedroom---which is supposed to be off-limits to everyone other than the parental unit---contains clean wet clothes hanging on Amish drying racks, clean folded piles of clothes waiting for the owners to put them in their dresser drawers, and a stack of items to be carried up to the attic, plus an additional large bag full of clothing to be taken to Goodwill.  Even the outdoor areas seem to have extra mess this week because it doesn't matter that I am ready to decorate the porches for spring; Mother Nature is making it clear that I am not in charge.  With a foot of snow forecasted here in about 24 hours, the snow shovels, skis, and rock salt are still sitting on or beside the porches for future use.  And our boys are in the process of building some kind of fort on the bank, so there are poles, arrows, rocks, and homemade flags adorning the side of our property making it clear to everyone driving up the lane that children most definitely still live here.

These are just some of the messes that make up my life and home right now.  It's by no means all of the messes.  I do get frustrated...and aggravated...and discouraged by it all far more than I care to admit.  But I also recognize that what all of these messes have in common is Life.  When I was a little girl, my favorite place to go on Sunday afternoons was my grandmother's house.  Her house was far from empty, quiet, and lonely.  Instead, my many aunts, uncles, and cousins congregated there every weekend, and the house was bustling with activity, good country food, noise, and life.  I had the best times of my childhood right there rolling down the grassy banks, playing games of wiffleball in the yard, hiking up through the cow pastures, and hunting for Easter eggs with my numerous rowdy cousins at my side.  My favorite TV show in the seventies was The Waltons, and I imagined myself growing up and living in a big white farmhouse in the mountains full of energetic, beautiful children, swinging or rocking on the expansive covered front porch.  There would always be people around, and there would always be something going on.  And that's pretty much what I finally got.  I just never thought much about the messiness that comes with that big family country life.

I sometimes feel fed up and disgusted with the messes, especially after looking at Pinterest or home magazines on the store shelves.  I want to post my own beautiful house pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and here on my blog.  I suppose I could make everyone pitch in and do some serious cleaning up, then stage the house just right, and then kick everyone out of the house for awhile so I could get some great shots to load to Google photos and use on here.  But that wouldn't be our real life.  It's not what's really going on here.  When I am feeling rather discouraged, I remember something my mother-in-law said to me four or five years ago when I was feeling especially low.  It was this time of year, and everything outside was a brown muddy mess.  My husband decided to try a new feed project for the livestock by sprouting buckwheat in trays in our kitchen.  We had an actual week old goat kid in a trough by the coal stove whose mother had rejected her and my husband insisted on saving.  And he had bricks from the barn heating on top of the coal stove to take out to the kidding stall at night to keep other new goat babies warm under the heat lamp.  I sat there on a kitchen chair in front of the stove, taking a turn holding this tiny goat kid wrapped up in a blanket, looking around me at this mess of a house that was now my life.  And I started crying.  I sobbed to my mother-in-law that I'm really not this messy, sloppy, terrible housekeeper.  That I used to live in a beautiful, neat, organized, immaculate home before I got with this son of hers and had all of these kids.  That all of this mess around me was not who I really am.  And she said the kindest, most beautiful thing that anyone could have said to me at that time.  She leaned closer and looked into my eyes and said, "Don't you know that when we come here, we don't see a horrible mess?  We see a family full of love for each other and this wonderful Life."

So in my low moments, when I start to feel angry or bitter at the clutter, the projects, the messes around me, those words of hers reverberate in my mind.  And I choose to see instead a Beautiful Mess that is this Life.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

20 Things I Love

Last month I read a blog post by Ashley at The Big White Farmhouse blog where she made a list of 20 simple things she loves about her life.  I thought that was a wonderful way to start the new year, and it inspired me to do the same.  I decided to wait to post mine near Valentine's Day since that seemed fitting, so here is the list I came up with:

1. That first cup of steaming flavored coffee in my favorite mug when I come downstairs at 6 AM.
2. Holding and petting our 2 Maine cooncats.

3. Spending hours browsing in a library or bookstore.
4. Attending concerts and shows with my husband.

5. Sitting in my new kitchen as the sun streams through the windows.
6. The smell of homemade bread baking in the oven.

7. Seeing several "Comments Awaiting Moderation" in my blog inbox after publishing a post.
8. Sitting down to blog when the house is quiet and I have no interruptions.

9. Playing board games as a family on long winter nights.
10. The feel of a baby in my arms.

11. The smell of crisp sheets after they've hung on the clothesline on a sunny day.
12. Walking through the woods with my camera.

13. Filling a pew at church when grandparents and adult children come to visit.
14. Trying out a new dinner recipe while sipping a glass of wine.

15. Feeling the breeze off the mountain blow through our kitchen screen doors on a summer evening.
16. The sound of water flowing in the brook beside our house.

17. My afternoon cup of homemade mocha with nutmeg and cinnamon on my way to the school.
18. Watching goat kids and lambs frolic in the pastures.

19. Licking raw cookie dough off the beaters.
20. One big snowfall each winter with all of us at home for a snow day.

This list just scratches the surface.  Those of you who read this blog know that each season and holiday brings another unique collection of photographs of the things I love most about life.  Focusing on those things and the positive in every person and situation I encounter is one of my goals for this year.  

So what about you?  What would be on your list of 20 things you love?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

10 Dinners at Home With No Kitchen: What We've Really Been Eating

It is Day 10 here of having no kitchen while the renovations continue.  Two weeks ago I had noble plans of coming up with creative dinners for the family using only the crockpot, microwave, and indoor grill.  I thought I'd compose a fantastic, helpful blog post full of simple recipes that others could use if their families were also without a kitchen for some period of time.  Our family brainstormed ideas, and I created a memo in my phone of dinner ideas, along with a list of ingredients I would need.  The reality is that I've only made two of those meals.

In all fairness to me, I couldn't have known that over these ten days I would have sick children home from school and Church a total of four days.  Nor that my husband would be home from work with an injured foot for two days.  Or that in this period of time the children would have one early dismissal, one snow day, and one 2-hour delay due to ice. Plus there was the holiday yesterday when everyone was home that I did know would occur.  Oh, and I couldn't have predicted that I would end up with a killer sinus headache that no OTC meds could touch that lasted for two whole days.  Tending to everyone's needs while squeezing through the mounds of stuff stashed in the dining room trying to find where I put the cough drops, pain relievers, herbal teas, cold medicines, ice packs, etc. proved to be a part-time job.  I soon realized that the hearty beef stews, burgers and veggies done on the George Foreman grill, and pulled pork sandwiches with freshly chopped tossed salads were not going to happen.  Sigh...

Instead, this is what we've actually been eating for dinner for the past ten days.  This includes what we're having tonight.  Other than a scheduled dinner out this Thursday due to a track meet we have to attend, I have no clue what we'll be eating during the remainder of the renovation.  I will say that my crockpot has gotten a lot of use due to the discovery of these Reynolds Slow Cooker liners that a friend told me about.  If it weren't for these, the crockpot would be packed away in the basement somewhere until I have my kitchen back.

Day 1: Frozen burritos and pizza bites heated in microwave (the only frozen dinners eaten so far)
Day 2: Takeout from Pizza Hut only because the pizzas were 50% off that day, and our daughter had a coupon for a free personal pan pizza
Day 3: 3 large cans of beef barley soup warmed in the crockpot and cold cut sandwiches
Day 4: Tacos with grass-fed ground beef browned in microwave with chips and salsa and queso
Day 5: My homemade crab dip, artisan cheese with crackers, baked potatoes (microwaved) with leftover taco meat, & canned baked beans heated in microwave
Day 6: Deli roast beef & cheese sandwiches on kaiser buns, potato chips, & pickle spears for the kiddos.  Hubby & I attended a cocktail party and ate there.
Day 7: 3 large cans of chicken noodle soup in crockpot & crackers.  This was a lean night and my refrigerator was getting bare, but I was 2 pounds lighter the next morning!
Day 8: Grilled bacon wrapped pork loin that Hubby froze weeks ago, potatoes done on the grill out back, green beans steamed in microwave
Day 9: Meatball subs from frozen mini meatballs cooked with jarred spaghetti sauce heated in crockpot, raw veggie platter
Day 10: Deli creamy potato/bacon soup in crockpot, bakery croissants

This was Day 8: Barbecued bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and potatoes that Hubby created himself and put on the patio grill surrounded by snow.  It was, by far, the best dinner we'd eaten in a week even if it was a coronary event just waiting to happen.

What I have realized over the past ten days is just how much of my kitchen I take for granted.  With absolutely no counter space for preparing food right now, it is very difficult to make anything from scratch.  With no cupboard space, all my food ingredients are packed up in boxes and bags or crammed on shelves in the basement.  With no sink in which to wash dishes and cutting boards and knives, it's nearly impossible to rinse, peel, pare, and slice fruits and vegetables.  And of course, with no stove or oven, I am relegated to using only the microwave, crockpot, or grill.  Or we eat things raw.  I have to totally rethink what I should buy at the grocery store, and I'm finding that to be way more challenging than I'd originally thought.

So, instead of publishing a post full of recipes for wonderful "kitchenless" dinners for your families, I humbly post what we're really eating for dinner during this temporary sabbatical from cooking.  I am still welcoming any simple meal ideas from you Dear Readers.  I think we've probably got another ten days or so before we are back in our farmhouse kitchen.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Creating a New Normal During Our Reno

While there is a snow/ice storm occurring outside that seems significantly worse than what was forecasted, I'm waiting inside for Hubby to safely bring home the children from their early dismissal from school.  I've got nervous energy from the stress of roads being closed, worry for all the families and buses out there driving their kiddos home, and too much coffee this morning, so I decided to blog to get my mind off my concerns for awhile.  

We finally managed to get absolutely everything except the wood/coal stove out of our kitchen on Sunday.  It looks like an empty house that's on the real estate market.  Well, it did before the contractor's crew began working on it yesterday morning.  Now I keep the doors to the kitchen closed and try to stay out of their way all day.  We do take a peek at night though to see the magic they have worked.  The day we cleared the last of everything out and wiped down the last of the cobwebs and dust (and there was an awful lot of both), our 7 year-old daughter put on her most beautiful princess dress, broke out the classical music, and danced her little heart out in the middle of that big, empty kitchen floor.  It was her own personal ballroom until her brothers came running in, loving the way their voices echoed in there.  Once the work began, however, all children have been banned from the kitchen, as well as all animals.

We have decided to look at this temporary change in our lives as an adventure as our big family lives without a kitchen, which happens to be the largest room in this house.  Everything that we would absolutely need, and everything that I was afraid might break, got placed in our dining room/multi-purpose room.  That room already had much going on in it: instrumental practice, homework, Internet browsing, game playing, video watching, and roughhousing.  Now the kitchen table and refrigerator are in there, along with much, much more.  

We look like we are hoarders now.  Every inch of space in that room is filled with boxes and bags of stuff that had been located in the drawers, cupboards, and counter tops of our kitchen.  We're having to come up with creative dinners that only require a microwave, toaster, or crockpot.  I'm still working on that.  Any dishwashing that needs to be done has to happen in one of the bathroom sinks, so there's a lot of paper plate use, I'm afraid.  Yesterday morning was the first school and work morning that the kitchen was off limits, and it was rather chaotic.  My husband couldn't find what he needed for work; our middle school son forgot his PE uniform; people were tripping over each other in that very cluttered space; and our youngest dropped and spilled half a quart of juice.  It was a mess.  But we are adjusting, and I'm happy to report that this morning went much smoother.

But I do tend to forget that we have the stove and dry sink stashed in the hallway, and I run into it nearly every time I round the corner with a full basket of laundry on my way down to the basement, which is where the washing machine is located in this old house (another thing I'd like to change.)  The past few days have really reinforced how much I never want to move again. If simply packing up the contents of one room to temporarily move into the next was a lot of work, I can't imagine having to pack up and move everything we've accumulated over the past ten years and moving it hundreds of miles away.  Been there and done that and hope to never have to do it again.  I'm grateful that this temporary situation is minor and of our choosing, and is leading to something we're all excited about (well, mostly I'm the excited one.)

I have every confidence that in a couple more days, we will have all adjusted to our new surroundings and be as relaxed and well-adapted as this guy---whose only issue seems to be that he has to eat in the hallway now instead of the kitchen.

And what do you know?  I see that the snow has stopped just as I come to the end of this post.  Have a great week, All.