Huge shout out to everyone who helped us move. We could not have done it without you. We were blessed especially with the help of the worship leader from our church who had before, and now has again, his own moving company. I'd totally hire him-he's brilliant. That we got almost everything we own into a 26 foot u-haul is nothing short of miraculous--but I have no pictures so you'll have to take my word for it. And literally almost nothing was damaged in the move-our stuff fared much better than it did when we moved simply across town the last move we made.
Arriving here in NC, I was afraid that it would be just our family unloading everything that an army of helpers had assisted us in packing onto the truck- and this time there were stairs and a second floor involved. Thankfully, so very thankfully, my husband's new job had lined up helpers. In fact the first pair that arrived were none other than my husband's boss's boss and his teen aged son. This guy RUNS the company's offices here in NC, and he was there bright and early Sunday morning in 20 degree weather unloading the truck with us. My husband has a GREAT job with great people :-). When he and his son left, another guy arrived to help, and thanks to them, the whole truck was emptied by about 3. Again, no pictures. Sigh. But we were working our tails off.
So so far it's a pretty lame review in pictures with no pictures, LOL.
We also baked cookies, and Sari was in a "book club" that read A Christmas Carol. They discussed it (you can see they loved me taking their picture) and then acted out a scene...she's the gravestone, LOL.
The kids got their Christmas clothes. There was a bit of *ahem* discussion about that...Nana and Pop Pop, who have bought Christmas and Easter clothes for the kids since they were born, initially decided they weren't going to do it since we moved because it wasn't really about the clothes, but about the shopping experience, which they wouldn't be able to participate in since we were now several states away. But try telling that to the kids-especially the girls- who really enjoy this one chance at non-hand-me-down dressing, and the ability to go shopping for clothes. So we decided to buy them stuff ourselves, especially since their FL wardrobe wasn't conducive to not freezing to death in NC on Christmas Eve. In the end, after we had already shopped, Nana and Pop Pop had a change of heart, and did send money for the clothes (unexpected blessings-yay!), but the kids were each happy with what they got even on our limited budget, and they will wear it all again and again. This is them on Christmas Eve (Yes, it was colder than a short sleeve would typically allow for, but she wore her heavy coat over it). Scott had pants already...really he did...they just went missing Christmas Eve. I swear he did it on purpose, but we couldn't find them anywhere, and so he got to wear his jeans. Sigh. Teenagers.
We had our first frost here...
Explored a local state park:
Went to a candlelight church service Christmas Eve:
We had an AMAZING dinner if I do say so myself. We brought out the good china, and had standing rib roast with yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes and gravy and cinnamon apples and salad. YUM!
TJ and Mimi got new bedding. What they had in FL just wasn't warm enough for NC winters, so they graduated up to "big kid" boring practical presents like new bedding-they both LOVE it :-).
Sari got a glitter tattoo set, which she then had to try out on herself, and of course, me.
Lastly, the kids and I took an impromptu trip to FL to see family and friends and pick up a few more items that didn't make it on the truck. It was great and we got to see several friends and almost all our family.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner with the whole family-my sister and her husband and son, my brother and his wife, my in-laws, my mom and her husband, and my step-brother and step-sister too (her being there was a TOTAL surprise to all but her brother).
|My Sister, her husband, and my mom's husband|
|My husband's mom with Sari and my nephew Bam-Bam|
|My husband's dad and TJ|
|Boys and their toys|
|The girls with my sister in law|
|Sari and my brother-she didn't want him to go ;-).|
We got to go to church-with Sari are two of the pastor's daughters. Scott and I even played/sang with the worship band again.
We met several of our friends for a park day.
Sari and I, and my sister and her son, took my car to the shop and got to see one of the oldest Live Oak trees in FL.
And we found out that despite regular oil changes, NO ONE had ever changed my oil filter. NEVER. Below is the filter, which literally fell out in pieces (the picture below that shows what it should look like). It took them 6 1/2 hours and 2 oil changes to clean out my engine. They were amazing!
On leaving day (New Year's Eve), Percy, our most recent stray to the FL house, made an appearance. The kids were glad to see him, and he looks well cared for, so I think he's doing fine. He adopted us literally right as we found out we were moving. He's super sweet, and gorgeous, but not a tame, indoor cat, and our new rental does not allow indoor cats while our new town does not allow outdoor ones, so there was no way he could come with us. I checked to be sure other neighbors were feeding him as well before we left, but we were glad to lay eyes on him and be sure he was okay.
The packed out van-there are 2 other kids in there somewhere, and Mimi in the front with me.
TJ used all the money he had to buy himself a new laptop which arrived while we were in FL. He had to give it a try when we got home :-).
Sorry for the super long, probably super boring post, but it helps me to do these so that some day we can look back and remember, LOL.