SATURDAY: The day before Jonathan left for Arkansas, our sweet friends, The Blairs, put together a going away dinner for us at one of our favorite restaurants, Los Gallitos. I don't know how many friends actually showed up, but we had a blast! They have a playground there and somehow, my monkey Abraham, climbed on the outside of the tube slide up to the top, then had nowhere to go. Being the wonderful parent that I am, I had no idea... until I see my very pregnant friend Jill with her hands in the sky praising the Lord... only then I saw that she wasn't in a time of worship, but trying to talk my son down from the top of the playground. I ran across the patio in total shock, but Jill assured me that she had him. She got him to drop one of his legs over to the side and she grabbed his ankle and told him to let go. Thank God Jill was there to save the day! I was a nervous wreck. Here are a few pics from our last supper:
This is our table of friends!
This is my sweet friend, Johnna, who helped me load my car and vacuumed my house while I cleaned the fridge.
Jared got really dressed up for us. Here he is with Matt and Vim.
And here are the girls (they are all pregnant except for Sarah who is holding her new baby, Paxton).
Jill (who saved the day by saving Abraham), Becky, Lindsay, Sarah, and I.
My boys at dinner. They had SO much fun playing with all of their friends!
Our dinner entertainment was Rated R!
The cake... it was huge and tasted Great!
Great friends from our new Hometeam at The Bridge. We had amazing bouts of laughter in such a short time with them.
Jill, Sarah, Paxton, and Lindsay. I love Los Gallitos because they have an incredible view, ducks to feed, a playground, good food, and great margaritas.
Look at the boys' shirts. I bought them after we found out we were moving. They say "Mommy's Lil Cowboy". Here they are with Baby Katelyn. Abe has already asked if we could go by Katelyn's house because he misses her.
SUNDAY: Jonathan left the next morning... BRIGHT AND EARLY! Thank goodness Scott accepted my invitation for him to drive Jon to the airport. If I remember correctly, they left the house just after 6am.
MONDAY: I met my parents in Centerville at Woody's (aka The Super Gas Station) for lunch and to exchange the boys. At some point during those 2 days, my jaw became so tight on my right side that I could not close my mouth. Seriously. If you really looked at my face, you could see that my face was crooked.
TUESDAY: I found out that my home owners insurance policy would cancel the minute we vacated the house. What?!? Just one more thing to take care of before the moving truck pulls away. That night, I went to the monthly employee meeting at Dream Dinners to say good-bye to all of my friends and co-workers. Lisa had a cake just for my departure (and it was so Tasty).
WEDNESDAY: Introduce the Packing Crew. Wow. I was not prepared for such an emotionally draining day. They were so incredibly LOUD. Just them being in the house made me so anxious. Did I mention they were SO loud. By 5pm I needed a break. My friend, Johnna, met me to get a mani/pedi and de-stress. And then, being as awesome as she is, she came to my house afterwards and performed the above-mentioned loading of my car and vacuuming. On the verge of a meltdown, she was a lifesaver!
THURSDAY: Introduce the Movers bright and early. This day did NOT get off to a good start. By 8:15 am I was in need of a massage and a margarita. Our camper somehow never made it to the survey with all of our other belongings and the moving company did not make arrangements for the camper to be loaded onto the semi with the rest of our stuff. And the box that contained Jon's pride and joy, the TV, had a sticker on it that indicates if the TV and box have been mishandled. And guess what? Yes, that sticker has a ball inside of it and when the ball comes out of place, the sticker turns red. Yes, the sticker was red. Red. This is the point where I retreated to the backyard in prayer for a major dose of peace. I was quickly reminded that it is all just Stuff. The important things like my children and husband, even my pets, were alive and well. And all of my important Stuff had already been packed into my car. The rest of our stuff was replaceable. It's just stuff. I thank God for that reminder because it turned out I had a lot of work to do. I remembered that when we moved into the house, we had to remove the entire stair rail to get the queen mattress and box spring upstairs. The movers are not allowed to take anything off of the walls (and I had tons of shelves still mounted to the walls because the packers said the movers would handle that job) or remove the stair rail. My options included leaving the bed, or getting to work. I shuffled through the garage and found a few tools. I removed the rail, all of the shelving, and each and every screw and nail in the wall. Once I did that, I realized there were big holes in the walls where the nails and screws once were. The spackle had been packed the day before, so I got the toothpaste out and filled the holes. Then I found some paint in the garage, but the only paint brush that wasn't packed was the smallest water paint brush that I had ever seen that somehow ended up under the kitchen sink. After I painted all of the screw holes, I had to re-install the railing. This railing had just been painted days before, and removing had of course cause large chunks of the paint to chip off. Thank goodness I had seen an aerosol can of KILZ (the packers couldn't pack any aerosol cans) that worked perfectly to mask the missing paint.
Once I finished all of that manual labor, I packed ONE box, ONE and only box of random things that had been left out. The hard-working movers taped and loaded that one box on the truck. And when they asked me to move my car so they could load the garage, I couldn't find my keys. I had an extra set, but they were safely packed in my car (that was locked). And thank goodness my car has the digital key pad that will unlock the doors, but the code is safely hidden in the manual that sits in the glovebox. We looked high and low for those keys, and in an empty house, it doesn't take 3 people and a full 30 minutes to realize that the keys were not in the house. And that left only ONE place for them to be.... remember that ONE box I packed? The movers were not happy with me at this point. They began looking in all of my 180 boxes that were loaded on the truck for the one that I packed. And they found it. I know because I was in the backyard an my keys came flying from the the truck all the way into the backyard.
The camper had to be left in the garage, but we're trying to make arrangements to get it here. We found out that the TV was packed in a box that had already been used and the sticker was from the previous TV. Our TV should be fine. I guess we'll find out when we move in to a house.
I left shortly after the moving truck and headed to my parents house. My car was packed to the ceiling and I had Hannah and Kitty with me. Kitty was in a crate because I was afraid she would climb somewhere and something would fall on her or I wouldn't be able to find her once I arrived at my parents' house. Kitty was not fond of the crate and meowed and meowed and meowed. Finally I decided that maybe she needed a potty break. I stopped at a Rest Stop well after dark to remove her from the crate and put her in the litter box. She refused to potty and then we got in a sort of wrestling match when I tried to put her back in the crate.
Anyway, I arrived about 10:30pm to my parents. Tired. Exhausted. As I'm sure you are after reading this far into my post.
FRIDAY: My parents decided to take their car and make the drive with me. The boys rode in my parents car and the animals were with me. We left about 10:15am and drove and drove and drove. We spent 3 looonngg hours winding up and down through the mountains where the roads were narrow, cell service unavailable, and the speed limit was 65 mph. Once we were out of the mountains, the road widened, cell service returned, and the speed limit was 50 mph. Does that make any sense? No. But I was thrilled to be out of the mountains. We arrived at our new (temporary) home just after 6. Hungry. On low fuel. With a cat that had been in her crate all day.
I was hoping for a Welcome to Arkansas sign that wasn't on the side of a busy highway... In Texas we have a complete Welcome Center, but no, this is all we had to work with... quickly, because we were on the side of a busy highway.
My Lil Cowboys in their paper Cowboy hats that they made at school.
We joined Jonathan and all went out to eat at Colton's (think Texas Roadhouse). They had Texas decor on the walls, so I was feeling pretty at home there. Until Alex choked on a green been and Threw Up on the table. Ugh. Needless to say I did not finish my dinner.
SATURDAY: We went swimming at mom and dad's hotel (because of course our pool is out of order). We had Subway for lunch, and mom and I went shopping at a new mall they have here. For dinner we took my daddy to PF Chang's to celebrate his 60th birthday. We went swimming again before bed.
SUNDAY: We took the boys to the park, explored Bentonville, and ate Mexican food at Maria's. They advertise themselves at being the "Flavor of Texas". The food was good and cheap (just like I like it). My parents headed home and the rest of us took a much needed nap. Afterwards we made our first visit to Aldi and I'm in love! Strawberries for 99 cents a lb and grapes for 78 cents a lb! Yay!
We've now been here for a week, and have 45 more days in temporary housing. I've quickly come to appreciate the small things I brought with us to the hotel (bubble bath, my scentsy, food, etc). We have cable here (we haven't had cable for a long time) and I've realized that I haven't missed anything. Its nice not having to wash towels or sheets. We have a 2 bedroom suite with a living area and small kitchen. We don't have to pay for dishwashing detergent and there is a continental breakfast every morning. We bring whatever milk we don't finish during breakfast and the boys drink that for the rest of the day. They have washers and dryers downstairs, so I do several loads at one time every other day.
We have joined a gym and the boys love going there to play with their friends while I work out. The boys are homesick and Alex cries about not having his tricycle daily. We have found the library and they have a great storytime for the boys! We also found a great park that stays fairly busy so the boys can play with other kids.
Just yesterday we were at the park and I was so proud of Abe. He asked another little boy "May I play on this please, sir?" and then thanked another little boy for sharing his airplane glider as the little boy left by yelling "Thank you for showing me how to play with your airplane". Another funny moment from Abe was when he noticed my mole on my neck. It's easy to see now that I have 12 less inches of hair. He said "Mommy, you have a nipple on your neck."
And just today as Alex woke up from nap, I told him he was so stinking cute and he replied in a frantic voice "I'm stinky??? Why am I stinky?"
Thank you for reading the longest post of the century. I'll leave you with some pics of us that were taken this morning of us in front of our home.