Friday, September 30, 2011

We Made It

Our new home away from home.  Aunt Sara came along for the ride.  She is a brave and patient lady!

We took a break from cleaning, small hotel rooms, and house closing drama, to drive to the aquarium.  Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium is about a 2 hour drive from our new town.

Aunt Sarah and Ben.  They have a strong mutual affection!    

Where are we going now?  It's raining you know!

What is this?  The largest sandbox I have ever seen!   

Ah, sand!

I love to dig.

It looks similar to the sand at home, but how does it taste?  Lets see...


Just as yucky, Mom, help!

Ben loved the water!   I'm pretty sure he would have just walked right in and been swept away before he knew what was happening.  We kept close tabs on that boy!  

Pure joy.

I can't wait to go back and let the kids play all day.  A storm was rolling in, so we could only stay a few minutes.  They had just enough time to feel the water, and collect plenty of shells.  It was great fun while it lasted.

I could look at this sight daily.

We are pretty well settled into our new home, only 3 more boxes in the house to unpack.  The garage is another story, it's sort of the dumping ground right now, sorry honey!  We love the house and neighborhood, we already have kids knocking on the door every evening.  We are beginning to get to know our new community.  It will be a while before it starts to seem familiar, but I think we are off the a good start.  Jim and the kids found a TKD studio and have already begun classes, which they enjoy.  We joined the YMCA as a family, it offers many great activities.  Marney has joined their competition swim team.   Sunday we will be visiting the only Lutheran church in the area, I hope we like it!   

Underlying all this excitement is a sadness, we are certainly missing everyone in Michigan.  I know it will get worse before it gets better, we are just leaning on each other, and taking it one day at a time.

We are looking forward to having visitors soon!  22 days to be exact!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sew Fun

Madeline's love of sewing is growing.  She took some classes and did a week long sewing camp this summer.  Grandma was also a big help in the very beginning, by showing her the basics, and supporting her interest.  She recently received a big bag of fabric scraps from Grandma, which she covets.

Did you know that one of North Carolina's biggest exports is textiles?  Madeline was excited to learn this!

Madeline made this dress without a pattern.  She likes to be totally spontaneous and creative.  A dress form is on the top of her wish list.  She feels patterns are too structured and time consuming, and often don't turn out as promised anyway.  I try to encourage her to do some pattern work.  I will help build her skills and help her to understand better how garments come together.  Something I could never teach her!  Plus with her love of math, she could have a fabulous career some day as a pattern maker.  If the whole designer thing doesn't work out!

Pencil case from a youtube tutorial.  

Cute headbands for all the girls in the fam.

It's fun to see how excited she gets about sewing, and fun to see what she will come up with next.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Calm Surrender

"Often we struggle against aspects of life that are largely beyond our control - noise, confusion, comments we don'tapprove of, lost items, rudeness, imperfections, negativity, broken pipes, clogged drains, whatever. We fight, get angry, and annoyed, and wish things were different. We complain, fret, and commiserate.  Yet when you add up all this frustration, the end result is always the same. The things we are frustrated about remain as they are.  No amount of gritting our teeth and cleanching our fists makes the least bit of difference. In fact, it only adds fuel to the fire. 
Calm surrender is not about giving up. Nor is it about being apathetic, lazy or not caring. Instead it is about appropriate acceptance, being willing to to let go of our insistence that the events in our lives be any certain way or different than they actually are. 
If you are willing to give this strategy a try you will be amazed at the results. The calmer you will become, the easier your life will be.  Rather than exacerbating negative events and bringing out the worst in other people you'll begin to stop negativity before it has a chance to spiral any further.  In time you'll begin to experience chaos in a whole new light.  There will be so much less drama in your life. 
So starting today, see if you can ease the chaos by experiencing calm surrender."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recent Cuteness and Random, Yet Pertinent Quotes

Mom, I know you don't care for Lee Iacocca, (I'm thinking of a certain incident between you, a faulty seatbelt in our brand-spanking-new, first-one-in-town, woody mini van, and a suggestion that Mr. Iacocca do something unmentionable with said seatbelt if it doesn't get fixed right this time!  When I say this.) but I loved the quote.  I'm sure if he knew that seatbelt was giving a lovely family like ours problems, he personally would have taken care of it properly, but I digress.

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family.  ~Lee Iacocca


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I put Ben to work.  Hey, someone has to clean around here!  Luckily, he enjoys his chores, and doesn't get at all overwhelmed by the stack of laundry smiling at him each morning.  He could teach the rest of us a thing or two.

We said goodbye to Jim this weekend, well more like "see you in two weeks," but it was still hard.   Not nearly as difficult, however, as it will be to say goodbye to our loved ones here in10 days.  I'm not looking forward to it, I hate goodbyes.  

Please pray for Jim as he starts his new job today.  

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

Author: From the movie, ~Annie