Here is a video Kevin created for our new website “Pursuing Happiness” (this kept me going as I neared the end of packing): http://pursuinghappiness.us/. We seriously LIVE FOR MOMENTS LIKE THIS! 🙂
It’s been five weeks since I last wrote. Too bad it feels like three months. A bit before Thanksgiving I started packing the house for our move. We had not told anyone, minus a few family members and friends back home, so the kids had to keep it quiet. We were waiting for the OK from NASA to work from the West Coast. Once we got that, we were able to talk freely about our move back to Oregon. We are actually planning on finding a house in Camas, Washington. No, Bryson is not happy about us moving back to the state he is serving his mission in (he had an Alabama summer in his head, etc.), but he is adjusting to the idea. 🙂 We are sad to leave Alabama, but super excited to get back home. I’ll try to sum up a few things that happened over the last five weeks, but I’ll never do it justice (for good or bad).
THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:
The kids getting excited for the NASA launch and watching it get postponed. 😦
Tessa’s language…. She cracks us up! We had a car load of teenagers on the way to the temple and Tessa answered someone’s phone “Taco Soup?”. We asked her why she said that and she said she meant to say “Free sample?” in an asian voice, but it came out taco soup. We are still randomly laughing about that one….
Tessa: Let’s watch “Everyone Loves Cramer.” Ha, she combined “Everyone Loves Raymond” and Cramer from “Seinfeld”. She is so fun!
Dixon hiding his birthday presents the day before his birthday. He then whispered that he hid them and looked in the bags to see what they were. He showed me where he put them all (we have a family tradition of hiding presents for the birthday person to find right before they open them). I think Dixon got the tradition a little mixed up.
Air conditioning on in December! The temperature was in the 70’s!!!
Dixon shaving his chin like Corbin and cutting himself. He followed the next day with going over the handlebars of his bike into the driveway. Then he flew out of the wagon. His face was pretty messed up. I’m so so glad he survived with only scrapes and bruises.
Addisen and I watching Dixon clean his ears with Q-tips and throw them back in the box after he was done, then run out of the room. Addy and I looked at each other and quickly checked the rest of the box.
Corbin calling and telling us our old Suburban died as he pulled into work. I was right in the middle of packing the basement and the kids were going crazy. Kevin was working and we were sad to hear this, but so thankful it had lasted as long as it had. Buuuut, then our wonderful mechanic brought it back to life and he is driving it again. That thing just keeps on going….
Taking a week to personally tell people that we are moving. This was an extremely emotional week, one I hope I never have to do again. We are wishing we could move our house and neighborhood to Oregon with us. Why can’t we have all the people we love together in one place?
Dixon saying to me as he tries to go into the boys bathroom at a restaurant: “I can go in here alone now, because I am not three anymore.” Really??? How about you still come with me in the girls bathroom.
Trailer loads of donations, piles of trash for the claw to take away, painting, fixing, cleaning, pressure washing, gutters, holidays….. The list goes on, it was all just too much. The kids were awesome and helped all along the way. Then last Saturday finally got to the point when we all got a little snappy. A couple girls were crying and I stepped in, started crying too and said, “There isn’t time to stop for crying. You just have to keep working as you cry”. A weak moment for sure.
Trash in the street getting so big that the neighbors (whom we don’t know) started asking the kids if we were moving.
Venturing into new territory as our college student returned. We already experienced what it’s like to say goodbye, but we haven’t had one come back. Thankfully it was Addisen and she is awesome, but it’s still an adjustment.
Kevin purchasing a 175 York Mint Peppermint Patties box for me for Christmas. I purposely stopped buying them because I can’t stop eating them, if they are in the house. Thirteen days later they are gone!!! I shared about ten with Addisen, but that’s it. I think my mouth is raw from eating so many. I do feel really happy inside. The 5 lbs 4 ounces on the bottom of the box is now on my happy body. 🙂
Addisen saying goodbye to people for good. She won’t be back! 😦 Hopefully, they will come visit! 🙂
Corbin fighting me as I tried to clean out his room. It took three tries with him to get it packed and staged. He argued about how that isn’t the way people want to see a room. Thankfully, he did a great job today when the photographer came and we were all surprised by the great way he had prepared.
THINGS THAT WORKED:
Tessa and Merritt’s basketball games. It’s so fun to see them play together.
Dixon turning four!!! We are in shock at having our youngest child turn four. It is so fun and different. We all just hop in the car and go places and I lose track of the kids because they can all just play for hours. We love it, but also don’t want the littles to grow up!
Impromptu Family Home Evening on Tithing and Fast Offerings. It ended up so spiritual and special. We discussed long enough that Dixon fell asleep on the couch. This is a first! The kid never stops long enough to fall asleep (minus the car, but that is stopping).
Noticing Royce doing something odd in the mirror…. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was trying to wiggle his nose. 🙂
Getting to goto the Nutcracker with our CC group.
Getting to go to a mini concert at the Darby’s home. It was very inspiring and beautiful.
Fun lunch with Heather Cowan. We had an ice cream challenge at Jason’s Deli. She won. 😦
Nana and Boppa’s golden wrapped Christmas presents arriving. Once we put them under the tree, it looked like Christmas had arrived.
Mrs. Darby sending Addisen a Christmas care package during finals. She is simply wonderful!
Park day with friends. So fun!
Youth Christmas party at our house. I love having this group in our home. This was before we were telling people we were moving, so I was a little sad as I looked at all these wonderful faces that I love, but couldn’t say anything.
Reading Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans to the girls each night. Every year we pick a Christmas book to read together. Usually we don’t finish it until the end of January, but we finished by Dec. 11th because we couldn’t put it down. The girls would whine and whine until I kept reading. Great memories…..
Getting to see the Oregon Hansens at the Christmas Festival. We were home and in our pajamas when we got the call that they were at the stake center. They are serving a mission in Tuscaloosa working with the YSA. It was so great to catch up with them and get a taste of Oregon in Alabama. 🙂
Gingerbread Ninjas Day at the Battraw’s house. Dixon, Royce and helper Hadley had a blast! Thank you Kelli!
Tessa spontaneously making a yummy brunch!
Going to the temple all by myself. Kevin was traveling, so I decided to just go. Kevin and I had fasted for Bryson’s new area (per his request), so the trip was extra special. I am so thankful for the Holy Ghost in my life.
Addisen coming home from BYUI!!! We loved getting our two weeks with her and her friends. Oh how we love our AJ! Dixon misses her and said this in his prayers tonight: “And Addy at college can get a car and drive back home to me.” He repeated it four times…. 😦
Sister Haws from our Alabama mission going home to Washington. She found Elder Jones at the Mission Christmas party. Awesome!
Christmas Eve morning tradition. We try to do a family service of some sort in the morning then go out for lunch. Kevin took all the kids and they picked up trash along Douglass Road (I was cooking). It was pouring rain and Dixon was shivering by the time they came back, but they had a great time!
Showers felt great, Red Robin was pretty empty and the kids keep freaking out that anyone would dare to put a piece of trash along that road after they worked so hard to clean it up.
Having the Elders over for Christmas Eve dinner. We loved our Clam Chowder and had a special time as we each read our written Christmas Testimonies. We keep them in a book and Bryson even sent his. We love to end the evening with this tradition.
Getting to Skype with Elder Jones on Christmas Day! Best Christmas gift ever! There is nothing quite like those special moments.
Tessa, Corbin and I giving talks at church in the month of December. 🙂
Kevin and I celebrating our 21st anniversary! It was all a little crazy, but we can’t believe how blessed we feel to get to be together. We love each other, enjoy each other, laugh with one another and look forward to many fabulous years together. I am so thankful for the man he is and the way he loves me. We keep saying “It can’t get better than this?” (minus the packing part). 🙂
Royce and Dixon getting to help the handyman. They paid the boys each a dollar a day. So cute!
Making my Mom’s delicious stew!
Ice skating! It was the first time Kevin and I got to skate together because we weren’t holding a baby.
Starting school again. It was a much needed break, but it felt so good to get back into a routine and get to work with the kids again.
Royce’s prayer tonight: “Please help Bryson to give out lots of Books of Mormons.”
Meeting with the Realtor and photographer today and having the house perfect (as perfect as we can get it, there are still little things to do). She was shocked at what had transpired over the last two weeks. I almost started crying. I was so worried she was going to tell me to do more and I didn’t have an ounce of energy left in me for it. She loved everything and now I am feeling so much better! Who ever thought they could have a family of ten and actually move across the country? I don’t recommend it. A huge thank you to Mrs. Darby for doing a fun craft day with the kids while the cleaning ladies were here yesterday and taking them for an hour today during pictures. The kids love running up to her house and keep talking about it. Except Dixon keeps calling her Mr. Darby. Love you Tina!