Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Year Since Beginning to Pack up our Home

Last year at this time we had only just plunged into every single bit of endings and beginnings and change. (My little journal entries from May of 2023 are jotted full of: trying to find storage units, talking to realtors, boxing up everything from the kitchen that wouldn't fit in the rental, reassuring fearful children, going through closets and dressers with the kids, filling out online forms and creating parent-portal accounts for new schools, and bringing kids to those unfamiliar schools to talk with counselors about transferring credits and arranging fall schedules.)

Everything felt so daunting and unknown and near-impossible to complete and arrange.

And yet ... here we now are--as settled and familiar as could be in our snug little rental. As I type, Jesse is fiddling with his 3D printer, Anders is telling me about one of his fellow deacon's karate achievements, the four littlest kids are tucked in bed (with an arrangement that, if they stay in bed all night for a week, I'll take them to the dollar store), Penny is sitting across from me doing some Financial Literacy homework and mentioning that they should watch another Psych when Daisy gets back from work, and I'm about to go crank our swing-open windows back shut because the wind is picking up and a storm is forming over the mountains to the east (just above the lights of the Logan temple).

I'm grateful for all the cozy-settledness--the familiarity of things again--and for having passed through the adjustments and unknowns of getting to this point. To know neighbors, and routines, and schools again; to have the layout of the roads and the best routes to take established again; to know names, drop kids off at friends' homes, and bump into recognized faces at the grocery store; all those things are so good! And yet it wouldn't be quite honest to say that is all there is. This year has been--in just a host of ways--one of the most complicated, difficult and stressful years Mike and I have encountered. And while it's easy to be wordy and free with all of the happy and good, I stumble and balk at knowing how or what to share about any of the hard.

But, I can share my faith through the hard. "... as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." That's what I've heard repeat most often in my mind lately. And not as just poetic words. As a reality. He directed Moses through his impossible tasks, and He is directing us through ours. I'll be the first to admit that often that direction seems maddeningly impossible to detect, but, somehow, I keep finding, after the wavering and tears, that I settle back on a conviction that it is true.

And, of course, all the small, silly, happy and good goings on around here--those are also always true. And so ... I present you with: a few, small snippets from a very large and somewhat-settled-in-their-new-environment family.

Messing around with dry ice in an attempt to determine what to have Mette do for her third-grade science fair. (Incidentally, over 18 or not, nobody should be selling me dry ice. I immediately put it in a drink cooler and screwed the lid on as tightly as possible to keep the cold in. Eeks. Luckily I googled "how to store dry ice" right after, read why it should never be stored in a sealed container, and sheepishly [and quickly] loosened the lid.)
(You can make coins flap and also scream on dry ice.)
(And you can't even have dry ice around without someone needing to put it in a bowl of water.)

In the end, however, Mette decided she preferred experimenting with water, oil, and antacids; and went for the homemade lava lamp. 
Here she is at her little science fair. (I'm really glad they do it in third grade rather than 6th at this school. There were much higher expectations on my 6th grader's projects.) 

And speaking of fairs. Here Anders and his friend are at their 6th grade world fair presenting on Peru ("Darkest Peru" one must ever want to say after watching Paddington Bear.) 

I would be remiss if I did not profusely thank Daisy for all her help with both of these projects. She helped Mette get her science fair project going and ready to display. And she also spent hours making 100-plus mini alfajores for people to sample as they stopped at Anders' Peru report. What a useful child! :) She will be a far better mother someday than it has ever entered my mind to even try and be! Ha!

Hansie. And two dear little drawings he made for me:

A storm coming from the west. (I swear I've never seen so many storms as I have this past year! I hope it isn't just a fluke and it really does just ... storm more out here. ... Although, since that has proved somewhat figurative as well as literal this year, perhaps I oughtn't wish it! Ha!)

A trail I have been meaning to go check out ever since moving here and only finally did last week!

Kids back to biking. I'm savoring these few, tiny bits of mosquito-free evenings. They will not last much longer out here!

Starling. Eating breakfast, examining herself in the mirror as she determines how much of my make-up to put all over her face, sleeping on a chair, sleeping on Penny at church, sleeping on me on the couch, and also ... one of the adorable little bouquets she regularly makes for me from bits of weeds in bloom and painter's tape. The dearest.

Penny practicing her guitar.

Mike and Abe hanging a rope swing at the upper pond.

Daisy got a darling haircut!

Greg and Rhonda lent our kids their very fun game table.

And some cute little stinkers out on the back patio one evening:
Oh! And Anders got contacts! Contacts are not easy to get used to putting in at this age, but his eye doctor really wanted him wearing these specialty lenses that will hopefully stop his eyes from changing any more than they already have. He's done great with them.
I kept finding our pruning shears lying out in the grass and wondering who'd been messing around with them. Then I discovered this little friend out working away. (Good thing that electric fence isn't currently plugged in!)
Starling spends more time than any of our kids (except for maybe Abe) wandering about in the out of doors. She also tends to the cats more than any of us.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Well. Storms and all, nothing could be sweeter than that tiny bouquet…except the tiny bouquet-maker herself! What a grave, thoughtful little face in the mirror as she contemplates her make-up plan! And as she pets the cats! And…shears the grass! 😂 I love her!

Dry ice is endlessly entertaining. I'm glad they allow the likes of us to buy it, deserved or not!

And bless Daisy. Figuring out science fair projects is straight-to-celestial-kingdom material, you know.

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