Friday, June 24, 2005

Keith came "home" to Kennesaw for the weekend. We all felt TOGETHER again. Bikes were fixed, computer programs installed, kids tossed around and I slept soundly. There's something about having the husband home that takes away the pressure of making sure everything is okay.

On Saturday, we went to Newnan to check on the progress of our house. It was the first time I got to go inside! The bigger kids got to go in, too. Then, we all went to another house that is nearly finished except for cabinets and flooring. It was fun for the kids to take a closer look at their rooms. Keri Lynn especially is enjoying designing her room.

Sunday was Father's Day, and Keith got to bring his brood to church. One of the things about having a large family is that Father's Day and Mother's Day are especially FUN! We also can't usually afford a nice restaurant, so McDonald's it was! Keva decided to have a VERY stinky diaper while we were there, so changing that 30-wipe mess was my Father's Day present to Keith.

Monday, we went to Stone Mountain for the first time. For those of you reading this that aren't from around these here parts, Stone Mountain is a Southern version of California's Knott's Berry Farm. At the center of the acres and acres of park, is a stone mountain with an etching of three Confederate war heroes. You can take an aerial tram up to the top of the mountain where you have a breathtaking view of Georgia! We were a little worried that we'd lose some kids down the mountain, but we made it back down in one piece. We also went on a train, enjoyed a 4-D show, watched a smithy at work, and saw a laser light show outside right on the side of Stone Mountain. This will be a place we'll return to again and again -- Maybe YOU will come and visit with us when you come see us!

On Tuesday, Keith left us to attend to his business trip, the whole reason why he was in Atlanta in the first place! He got to speak with the president of the company -- a very big honor -- and then left to go back to L.A. and slave labor as he continues to get our house ready to sale!

Come home soon, Sweetie Pie!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A whole month!

We moved into our little house in Kennesaw exactly one month ago! I can't believe that time has gone by so fast. I also can't believe that I've still got so many boxes to go through.

I emptied out a full container of water from the de-humidifier in the basement room where we're keeping our things. Hopefully it will be enough to keep everything dry and in good condition.

I've also been spending endless hours online looking for homeschool curriculum taught by teachers on DVD (A Beka) or Satellite (BJU). I've decided that I just can't physically teach everyone and get it done the way I want. If I've got other teachers helping present the material, I think we'll all do a lot better. This is all especially important with Keri Lynn entering high school (how can this be!) and Kade entering kindergarten (another mind-numbing thought!) Add the fact that both Kathleen and Kylie are not yet reading, and we've got problems!

Now all we need is money to pay for these programs, that run about $1000 a year per kids -- OUCH! I think I can lower the price by teaching some of the easier subjects myself and cutting back on some of the books that need to be purchased (if I go with BJU). The satellite option might not even be possible in our area with all of our rain and weather.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

House Centipede

After long searches on the Internet, I finally found out what kind of bug we found in the basement and bathroom -- A House Centipede. The name alone makes me laugh because it makes the 30 legged, three-striped creature sound like a domesticated family pet. However, as it turns out, it likes to hang out in dank basements and in piles of wood, etc. It can live outside or inside, and is called a "house" centipede, because it doesn't mind living with humans. Lovely.

We went to Kennesaw First Baptist Church again this morning. Sunday School was especially interesting with a discussion about how we deal with guilt. The teacher suggested that guilt is good because it can keeps us from repeating the same sin. A class participant suggested we call it "godly sorrow", but I'm inclined to agree with the teacher.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Shock and Awe

I suppose I'm going through some shock right now. There's so much change going on, and sometimes I just feel numb. Life in Kennesaw, Georgia is quite different from Los Angeles.

The rain came down this afternoon for about fifteen minutes in big drops. The water immediately started evaporating in waves of steam off of the hot roads and congregating in patches of mist making everything look rather ethereal. I'm wondering what it will be like when it starts getting really hot.

Keri Lynn came in yesterday after biking and said, "Wow, it sure is muggy out there. You can even see the mug."

California girl.

Kathleen saw a bug in the bathroom that looked like the yucky one I saw down in the basement. Kristofer the Conqueror killed it, but now we're feeling a little more vulnerable. Kathleen wanted to know if those kind of bugs would go into her room and I said that they were afraid of getting squashed. I have to act completly nonchalant about it, even though inside I'm scared to death, because I don't want the kids scared. So far we've all done all right!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Where is home?

So we went back to L.A. to say our proper goodbyes to friends and family after having to leave for Atlanta in a big rush. Four weeks after leaving California with our van and a 26 foot moving truck, we flew into Southern California, and the first thing I thought was, "Wow, no wonder California is called the Sunshine State."

Things were bright and bustling. I noticed the palm trees, too, and how big it all seemed without trees looming. Kristofer breathed in and said with a big sigh, "Now, this is familiar!"

The kids were very nostalgic as we went through weekend plans. We met with friends and family. Keri Lynn celebrated her FOURTEENTH birthday at El Nido Park with her friends. We went to our church for the last time as a whole family, and then our church gave us a goodbye party. The pastors and elders, who were having a meeting, came in and prayed for us. Keith and I were very touched. Then, we met with family for a rib barbecue dinner -- yummy!

We waded through the many red lights down Hawthorne Boulevard. We parked at the Del Amo Mall. We even went to our pediatrician because Kade had a wart that needed to be looked at, and we still don't have a primary care physician in Atlanta! We drove by our old house and waved at it. (I think it waved back.)

When our plane took off from LAX, Keri Lynn was crying. At first I thought that she was upset that she'd lost her window seat to Konner, but she shook hear head. Then I knew she was sad to leave her friends and family.

It's a very weird feeling to leave home yet feel like you're going home, but that's how I felt as we landed in a drizzly Atlanta airport. I knew we'd soon be trudging into our little house in Kennesaw nestled in a bunch of tall trees, that I'd wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and a train churning by. Home.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Travel Times

Two weeks ago we came into Georgia from California. Now here we are, settled (to a certain degree) in the beautiful town of Kennesaw. Trees, trees and more trees. A few disgusting bugs. Mild May temperature. Long lazy roads. In short, I LOVE it!

We left Los Angeles on May 7th, with Keith driving our packed out moving truck followed by me driving the family van. We quickly fell into a travel routine that worked well for a large family that has never been on the road for longer than a half hour at a time! We would get up and get dressed when we all woke up -- We would get adjoining rooms at whatever hotel or motel looked good off of the freeway. Then, at about noon, we'd go to Denny's for breakfast, drive for about three or four hours, have lunch at a Wendy's or Dairy Queen (where we could also have ice cream!) and then drive for anothel three or four hours. Then, we'd crash at another motel off of the freeway. And that was our routine for five days of driving across the country.

Desert, high desert, cold desert, hot desert, painted dessert, canyons, flood washes, then we started to see trees that looked like God had pounded them into the ground. These short trees followed us for quite some time through the middle of the country. Then, there plains, ranches, lava rock, more trees; then the trees got taller and the weather got windier. I'll never forget how windy it was driving through Oklahoma, or the lady at Dairy Queen with her Texas accent, the thousands of trucks that passed us as we drove along Highway 40, the miles and miles of unpopulated land.

I said to the kids on more than one occasion that over population is such a HUGE problem in the United States. We all laughed. I also told them my bug joke, "What's the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when it hits the car windshield?" Answer: "Its rear end."

We were all in good spirits until the last day, when we were getting pretty tired. Keva was starting to launch things. The little kids were starting to squabble. And I was running out of patience. Still, we made it at last!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Jim meets the kids

We had a lovely time in Newnan today. It takes a good hour and 20 minutes to get there from Kennesaw, but the road is so pretty -- even the freeways! We can't believe we're actually here!

Our house's frame is up, windows in, roof being put on! It's very exciting to see all of that progress. Jim, our realtor, warned us, though, that it will seem very slow from now on because all of the little things, wiring, plumbing and such will take a lot more time.

The realtor hadn't yet met the kids, but when the kids came running into the model home in front of me, he knew exactly who we were because Kristofer looked so much like Keith. (And maybe seven kids was a bit of a give-away, too!)Then, I took the kids to see one of the nearly finished houses just like ours. This was the first time they got see what our house will look like. They were thrilled, and all were in agreement as to where their rooms should be. Kristofer, though, was already wanting his own room in the basement rather than share with the younger ones. That will come in time, though. The space that we'll have is amazing! I think we may just wander around bumping into air for awhile.

We then went to Dairy Queen. I had to remind them that every time we go to Newnan, we are NOT going to Dairy Queen. It's a lot of money to pay for eight ice creams! Keva gets pretty excited about her own ice cream, too. Her mother's daughter.Dinner is nearly ready. It looks like we'll be eating at 9:00 pm again. We have the hardest time getting into Georgia time. I'm not being too stringent, yet, not until we go back to California next weekend. We all sleep in until about 9:30 or 10:00 -- I'm getting used to this easy going lifestyle. Of course, then there's all of the boxes that have yet to be unpacked! Yikes!

Kathleen admitted to me today that she was crying at the end of our moving day in Los Angeles. She would go into her room and cry for awhile then leave to go help move more boxes. She was a moving machine that day. While she was telling me this, she started wiping her face again. Kylie was telling me that she missed her old house, too. Change is always hard. Please continue to pray for good friends for them.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Konner's stitches

Life as the seventh child must be very interesting. Kathleen's teeth met the top of Konner's head yesterday. Konner's head lost even though Kathleen was initially in the most pain. His head wasn't even bleeding for awhile, and when it bled, it wasn't much -- unusual for head wounds.

Keri Lynn was holding him and comforting him while I held Kathleen. Then I noticed the blood at the top of his head and had him come over to me so that I could make sure he was okay.

Much to my surprise, I saw that his skin was split about 1/8 inch, just enough to need one or two stitches. Urgh! It was, of course, after office hours. Stitches are ALWAYS after hours! I was able to at least get a hold of Dr. Curtis before she went home. She told me that I couldn't wait until tomorrow to bring him in. Stitches are needed within 12 hours. (And I was thinking to myself, "Well, if I go to emergency, that's exactly how long it will take to get the dang stitches!)

A few hours later at an urgent care facility, the doctor was examining him and said it just looked like a scratch. I'm sure he thought he had another obsessive mother bear on his hand, but little did he know my blase attitude. When I looked at it in his office, it DID look just like a scrape! Had I been mistaken? Had it looked worse than it really had been? Is that why it hadn't bled much?

As it turned out, the doctor needed to clean the wound out and saw that Konner did indeed need one or two stitches -- just enough to make it worth our effort to go to urgent care and pay our $50 co-pay!

My kids are all quite stoic when it comes to stitches. They are quiet martyrs. Konner was no exception. The doctor probably could have stitched him up without the shot to numb him. The only time Konner looked a little scared was when the doctor prepared the shot. His eyes got very big. The doctor said he was the best patient of the day and that he did a better job than most adults do!

Since it was a tooth that caused the injury, Konner is also to take antibiotics to stem any infection.

Kristofer, Keva and Kade are the only ones to be stitch free in our family. It's a miracle that Kristofer hasn't, because he is so physical. He's had not stitches or broken bones. That may change once we have the great outdoors of Georgia.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Whirlwind Days

One week ago today, Keith and I were driving around looking at houses. We got lost looking for the fifth one. Keith's laptop map we had been using died because the battery had run out. That's when we stumbled across a new development in the outskirts of Newnan -- However, I don't believe in accidents.

Keith was immediately impressed with the concrete sidings -- this is a good thing! We talked to some new residents who had bought their house in January and were happy with it. Then we came across Lot 16. It was amazing. BIG! Four big bedrooms (including the master) and then a HUGE "bonus" room upstairs the size of a barn, 3 1/2 baths, living room, dining room, family room, breakfast room, laundry room, and a decent sized kitchen! We then went down to the basement. That's when we started seriously thinking about this house. EIGHT rooms. EIGHT!

We went back the next day when the realty office was open. Lot 16 was already under contract, but Lot 25 was available. It's a corner lot and doesn't have a beautiful creek running behind it, but otherwise, it was the same layout, the only other one with a basement, still on 1.61 acres. Beautiful! We put our earnest money down and signed a few papers. Later in the week, we picked out outside brick and paint, cabinet colors, linoleum for the bathrooms and kitchen, wood flooring for the entry, carpet. That was just too fun!

I never dreamed I'd be able to have such a beautiful home.

When we flew out of Atlanta on Saturday to head back to L.A., we both looked longingly at the red clay and green trees of Georgia below us and we felt like we were leaving home.

Now comes to last of the preparations on this end of the move. We still have a lot of work to do on our little house in L.A. But, if it weren't for our little house in L.A., we wouldn't be able to buy the giant house in Newnan.

Thank you, Lord, for this huge blessing!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Diet Blog

In an effort to lose weight, I've started a dieter's blog -- -- to get more focus on what I need to do to lose weight.

I went to buy shoes today so that I can walk around more comfortably. I was distressed as I sat there trying to lace my shoes over my big fat self. There was also, rather mercilessly, a mirror nearby to further highlight my misery. Time to do something! This is terrible!

The stress of the move has made eating even more of a problem. We've been eating a lot of fast food. I've been eating a lot of my meals either standing up in the kitchen or riding in the car.

One of my goals this week for starting my weight loss campaign is to go to bed by 10:00! I have now failed in this goal already! Time to log off, take a shower and go to BED!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Moving Day Count Down

I packed away everybody's extra clothes. All of our clothes are now in suitcases. So one would suppose that laundry would now be lessened, but that's not so! I was folding the current mountain of clean laundry when my eight year old daughter came to "help" me. She was too cute, because she'd tied on my apron and was ready to pitch in. We had some bonding, Kathleen and I, folding and talking. Being the "Woe is me" Middle Child has been hard for her. I realize that I need to give her a lot more attention than the others at this stage of her life. She likes to be physically close to me, to get a lot of affirmation. Lord help me build her up with kind loving words.

We are a quarter of the way through Little Britches by Ralph Moody. There's a whole series of books by this author. We're really enjoying it so far. What cracked me up though while I was reading last night, Kade (5 years old), told me to please pause the book while he went to the bathroom. Techno Kid.