Monday, December 21, 2015


Hey look, I'm writing a wrap-up and it hasn't been a month since I wrote something!

So let's see, this past week . . .

My good friend Vicki and her family came to visit!!! It was WAY too short, just overnight. But sooo awesome! Little Bit had a blast playing with her girls. She even opted to sleep on the fold-out sofa in the basement with them. I fully expected her to come back upstairs as soon as they actually settled down to sleep but nope, she slept down there all night! After they left, both Vicki and I were disappointed to realized we hadn't taken any pictures while they were here.

The rest of our week was quieter. Baking cookies, co-op with friends.

On Friday, Daddy took the big girls to see the new Star Wars movie, so in honor of that they made "wookie cookies" to take to co-op.

On Thursday our weekend house guest got here. Jakey is a friend's Cavelier King Charles Spaniel and sweet as can be.

Jake reminds me so much of our Precious. I never realized how much of her way of doing things wasn't just her, it was the breed. Jake, like Precious, takes his job of "lap warmer" very seriously and was always right up on our laps. He took turns sleeping with the girls and was just generally a delight to have.

On Friday, while Daddy and the big girls were at Star Wars, Little Bit and I went for donuts, yum!

She was so excited about it too. I'm cherishing these little girl moments, when chocolate milk and a donut are super exciting. All my girls are growing up way too fast!

Whenever the big girls talk about books, since Lexie reads books really fast, and Ashlyn reads book very thoroughly (but slowly), there ends up being conversations where Ashlyn's yelling at Lexie to not tell her about things she hasn't read yet. Friday afternoon we got a new twist on that conversation when L&A came home from the movie telling me all about it, and discussing it with each other and Little Bit was yelling at them to not tell her about it because she hasn't seen it yet (she's also tried to convince them they can't talk about Lord of the Rings because she's going to read it SOMEDAY, but I assured her that she'll have plenty of time to forget any LotR spoilers she hears before she's ready to read it for herself LOL).

 Church this week was a Christmas program. They had asked the girls to do a reading. Lexie and Ashlyn read most of it, but had Little Bit memorize the last part so she could participate too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

First Half of December . . .

We moved some of the toys that had been stored in the attic. Little Bit was THRILLED to find the doll house and has spent countless hours playing with it already.

Little Bit and her friends enjoy singing up front for song service at church.

Decorating for Christmas

Laundry room progress

Longwood Gardens

Making gingerbread cookies.

And last Friday, the laundry room was finished (well, there's still some trim and stuff, but enough that all "furniture" was moved into place and I could start settling in)

Walking in from the kitchen, the extra fridge & deep freeze are straight ahead. The window just looks into the garage, but that means I can easily tell if a garage door was left open, or a light was left on.

"Mud room"! Straight ahead when you come in the back door. Hooks & bench.

I knew that long-term I wanted a new fridge, with an ice maker, but it was on my "someday" list, until I found an amazing deal on one of the only french door fridges available that fits the space. YAY!!!

Little Bit brought me "coffee and cookies" from her doll house.

Final night of Hanukkah. Our dining room window sill was perfect for all our menorahs :) 

And a few additional happenings that I don't have pictures of:

We're feeling pretty settled in here now. There's still lots of unpacking to do, and still some things to bring over from the old house (mainly things that I intentionally left over there out of the way until the laundry room project was done. Now I have no excuse LOL), but our day-to-day stuff feels pretty settled in.

Lexie and Ashlyn have added yet another "job" to their Sabbath mornings. During the church service, one or both of them is usually helping with the live streaming. Ashlyn generally runs the camera, and Lexie replies to remote viewers who asks questions or make comments via "chat". 

The cats are settling into the new house. With the completion of the laundry room we were able to move their litter boxes out into the garage (we put a cat door in the door going into the garage) woo-hoo! AND with the awesome, warm weather we've been having I've been leaving the garage door up just enough that they can go under it, so they can come and go as they please. When they're inside, they love all the windows in the sunroom, and for some reason, the windows in the master bathroom.

A nearby college offered a free performance of Handel's Messiah week before last. Loved it!!

Much to Daddy's delight, all 3 girls recently watched, and enjoyed, all 6 Star Wars movies (as long as "watched" is defined as being in the room while the movie plays, I watched them all too, but must admit I paid marginal attention at best). Daddy and the big girls (and a friend) have tickets to go see the new movie (I think he said IMAX 3D) on Friday (yes, I think they're INSANE). Little Bit thought she should get to go too, but since she "liked" the movies, but spent parts of each one huddled on my lap, mean Mommy vetoed that idea. I've promised her a "date" at Dunkin Donuts (her choice) instead.

I've very much appreciated how independent the girls are with their schooling. I've been able to focus on packing/unpacking/etc. And let them continue to do their own thing. Lexie is being rather challenged by Physics (which is a part of her current Pre-algebra text), but challenges are good for her. She continues to have to hunt for books to keep her busy. Thankfully our friend Sonya has similar taste in books, and has recommended (and loaned) some that she's enjoying.

Ashlyn's currently waiting to continue with science until I can track down some specific type of potting soil type stuff that I have a feeling would be much easier to find during normal growing seasons. While she doesn't fly through books at the alarming rate that Lexie does, she is definitely getting more into reading as she gets older. She appears to read slowly but it's because she "digests" the book so thoroughly, often taking notes on the characters' traits and interactions, and sometimes making up her own storylines to go along with the book's storyline.

We paused or normal Bible for Advent and have been enjoying "Ishtar's Odyssey".

Those are at least a few highlights from the last few weeks. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

So apparently I do monthly wrap-ups now!

And what a month it has been! Hard to believe that's what things looked like a month ago! I think for now I'll just do another picture summary of what's going on. Maybe soon I'll find the time to actually write . . .

The rest of November . . .

First Shabbat in our new house. So nice to have room for a dining room table again! I had no idea I'd miss it so much.

The sun room was the first room that felt completely "done". Definitely a favorite space!

My dad was here, building us a laundry room on his 70th birthday so, Lexie and Mama surprised him by making his favorite meal. A German dish his grandmother used to make called Kase Knudel (translation: cheese dumplings). It's a bunch of work. Lexie and Mama were well into the process before he noticed what they were doing. The look on his face was priceless!!! And we all enjoyed the yummy meal!

We finished our celebration with his favorite cake, decorated by Little Bit.

Little Bit continues to enjoy co-op. A big hit in November was D's new "gator" all the kids had great fun driving it around!

Our church had a float in our city's Christmas parade again this year. The float's theme this year was "Around the World" so the kids got to dress up (I didn't think to take a close-up of Little Bit's costume) and ride on the float with a giant, 6 foot globe.

Lexie and Saydee

Our pastor asked if we'd be willing to watch their dog, Saydee while they were gone for Thanksgiving. Saydee is the dog that started Ashlyn's dog obsession last spring, so needless to say, we said yes. She's such a sweetie ,and looked just perfect sleeping in her bed in front of our fireplace. 

We finished up November by decorating for Christmas. Ashlyn had just put the candles in the windows, when I went upstairs and found Joy posing with the candle in our bedroom window.

Think I'll do a separate post for December pictures . . . 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wrapping Up . . . I Don't Even Know . . .

Whew! Needless to say, moving makes life busy and chaotic! . . . But we're still here. And pretty much still consumed in moving . . .

Sometime last week we got beds for everyone in the new house, and internet in the new house, so we started sleeping here. Whew! That was a huge step of progress, to not feel like we're living both places.

I don't even remember what's happened when . . . I think I'm just going to go through and post pictures and make comments under them . . .

From early in the process . . .
Little Bit photo bombing a picture I was taking of the kitchen/dining area before there was furniture there :)
Our very large tub! Rather dated, but huge. Now to find time to use it . . . There's also a massive walk-in closet that's a part of the master bathroom, I should have taken pictures before I started filling it with stuff, but such an awesome catch-all storage spot :) 

Shifting gears. . . one week at church, Little Bit's class learned about the story of the angels rescuing Peter from prison, by acting it out. This was Little Bit's turn to be Peter, in prison :) 

 I snapped this picture driving home (to the old house) from the new house one afternoon! Gotta love living near Amish country!

Ashlyn has gotten lots of experience painting furniture these last couple weeks. She sanded and painted her desk and dresser! This was early in the process.

Meanwhile, Little Bit and Mama (& Papa) were busy painting the various components of her loft bed.

On Oct 31, our church had a bonfire at the pastor's house. My friend Amy is always cold, and amazed at how Little Bit is NEVER cold. That point was rather well illustrated by the difference in their choices of outerwear (or lack thereof) at the bonfire :) 

From the moment we started coming to the new house, the girls have loved sitting in the wide windowsills in the living room and dining room, so I couldn't resist turning one of them into a cozier seat :) 

Meanwhile Little Bit confiscated some of the old baby gear we found while packing and was having fun being a "Mommy" in the other corner of the living room.

Ashlyn's room, coming along nicely!

Our bed is done! I desperately wanted a king size bed, but didn't want to buy one! So we begged some pallets from my brother (who gets them from work), and created our bed that way. So far it's working great!

Way back when we first got married, we bought a living room set that included this "chair and a half" I LOVED it, but since moving to PA, neither of our houses had a place for it, so it's been stored in my parents' garage. Now it's perfect in the sunroom and Lexie and Ashlyn have claimed it as a favorite reading spot! 

Little Bit's loft bed is done! Now we can start sleeping in the new house :)

And Mama and Papa brought a couple old recliners from their house to add to our furniture collection, so Little Bit and Daddy are checking one of them out :) 

One of our first nights here. Lexie loves having her own bed (she and Little Bit have shared since Little Bit was a toddler, of course, I think many, if not most, nights, Little Bit ends up in bed with Lexie before morning) with a reading light on it!

Lexie snuggling with a friend's dog :) 

Our first Friday night "Shabbat" meal in the new house! 

And finally, the finished sunroom! When we went to IKEA last week to get bookcases for the basement, I found that sofa on sale for a price I couldn't refuse. I'd planned to watch for a used love seat or small sofa for that space, but didn't expect to get anything right away, but this is perfect! It even folds down flat to use as a bed, if we ever have multiple guests at the same time!  The cedar chest was made by my great grandfather :) 

And the other side of the sunroom. I had originally figured the easel would either go in the basement or be folded out of the way unless a kid specifically wanted to use it, but nothing begs you to do art like a bright sunny room! So we found a space for it. Weather permitting it can easily move out onto the deck through the sliding doors (or with a bit more effort, we can carry it through the house to the front porch).  And for the moment I'm humoring Little Bit and letting her keep her huge stuffed giraffe in the sunroom. Hopefully in the not TOO distant future it will move to the basement or her room :) 

I didn't take a picture of the interior wall of the sunroom, I have low bookcases along it, that are rather jumbled random toys/puzzles & games. Long term I hope to sort through and keep a selection of toys, puzzles and games on the shelves that are good for sharing when company comes, as well as things for Little Bit to play with while we do school in there. 

And that's a brief overview of what we've been up to. As of this afternoon, thanks to the awesome help of our friend Brian, all the big furniture has moved from the old house to the new (there are still a few biggish pieces at my parents' house waiting for their next trip up here).  There's still lots to do, but I'm feeling good about the progress we've made. And sooo blessed to have family and friends willing to help us!