Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moving and Downsizing WooHoo!!

After five and a half years in the house we are in as of the time of this post, we are saying goodbye to Gigantic, Old, Dusty House and hello to Teeny, Tiny, Considerably Less Old and Hopefully Less Dusty House. I can hardly believe that a week from tomorrow is Moving Day! I haven't started packing yet, and I'm not even remotely stressed. Some of you just may have experienced stress reading that last part about not packing with only a week until moving day...I'm sorry to have stressed you out! Oddly, this is the first move I can ever remember that I did not have some kind of dread deep within, even when the move was wanted. 

I am very thankful to have a home to live in, a home that is safe and comfortable. And if we owned this home and had the money, it could really be fixed up nicely. I love the old, dark wood here. I love being close to the library and the butcher shop. But I won't miss the dust! There's not much you can do about dust in a house that is over one hundred years old. Battle it or give in...and honestly, I surrendered. It was just too much. I also will not miss living on a very busy road. Our new house has a dishwasher and central air, and I can't tell you how happy that makes me!

We are only moving six blocks away, and it's temporary...until we move to Arizona in a year or so. It will help us accomplish two very important steps in getting to the Valley of the money and get rid of stuff. Obviously, we'll need money to move across the country. And I am NOT taking all this junk with us. I'm tired of dragging it around with me. And the way this is working out will make it fairly easy to downsize. First, we move essentials...beds, couch, kitchen stuff...then we figure out what we have room for and move that. The rest of it will get sold, given away or thrown away. 

It's true I've struggled with clutter and KTMS (Keeping Too Much Stuff). I even did a post a while back about being SOS (Sick of Stuff). And it's also true that I could have gotten rid of said stuff at any know, I Can Quit Any Time I Want To...but it's much easier when you just don't have room for it. I know I'll have to make some tough decisions, but it's just stuff. I'm tired of feeling choked and suffocated by stuff that just sits around collecting dust.

So now, I need to plan the moving strategy, then see if it matches my husband's. Most likely it does not, since men and women think completely differently. But one thing I love about our relationship is that most of the time we work very well together. We've learned when to give and when to take and when to leave the other alone (most important!), and I know even if our strategies are not identical, we'll get through the move just fine. 

I'm going to post this and get back to Pinterest. I can't believe some of the things you can do with pallets...amazing, I tell you. I've got ideas for summer projects...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Moving West

Have you ever packed up and moved across the country? Was it the best thing you've ever done or a total nightmare? If you have kids, how did they adjust to leaving their family and friends nearby? If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

We've made the decision to move to Arizona next year. Yes, that's right...this summer-hating, sun-avoiding, lover of ice cold air conditioning has agreed to move to Arizona, to the Valley of the Sun. Have I lost my mind? Am I having an identity crisis? Perhaps...but here's the reasons (in no particular order) why we've decided to do this and why I've agreed (and, gasp, even encouraged this).

  1. MY HUSBAND IS S.A.D.  He needs the sun like the rest of us need air and water. I dread the winter, because he hibernates. I feel like a single mom a lot, and that makes me sad. There's a saying that goes "when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", but I think that applies to daddy as well, at least at our house. When daddy's happy, mommy's happy, and the kids are happy. It all rolls downhill.
  2. IT'S BEEN A LONG-TIME DREAM  My husband has wanted to move out there for years. His dad and brother live there, and I know he would love to be closer to them and do more with them. I always used to tell him "THERE IS NO WAY I WILL EVER LIVE IN ARIZONA. EVER. THEY HAVE TOO MUCH SUN, TOO MUCH HEAT, AND THEY HAVE SCORPIONS!" You know how they say "Never say never"? life is fraught with examples on why that is good advice..."I'll never have kids" (I have 5)..."I'll never drive a minivan" yep...drove one for six years..."I'll never get married again" well, I did...and I'm glad I did!
  3. THEY DON'T DO DUMB STUPID TIME THERE Yes, that's right. I want to move to a dry, scorching, land of blazing sun and scorpions to escape the stupidity of "daylight savings time." I hate DST that much. I know I'll have to adjust to a new time zone, but I'm thinking waking up at six am in Arizona, when it's 8 am in Indiana, will instantly turn me into a morning person. Maybe not, but at least I won't have to suffer for months on end in the spring anymore. 
  4. I CAME. I SAW. I FELL IN LOVE.  I've been out there twice now...I know, I know...two times? Big deal! But, I just fell in love with the landscape...mountains and cacti and palm trees. Desert landscaping in the more mowing!! And who can resist a desert sunset? Not this girl. 
  5. AIR CONDITIONING I told my husband that as long as I didn't have to leave the house during the day, and our car had good AC, I could handle it. Once that scorching sun dips down below the horizon I think I could handle the heat. My skin reacts to the sun much like a vampire's. And besides, it's that dry heat...
  6. THE OLDER KIDS ARE GROWN UP AND MOVED OUT We've wanted to move out of the area, at least, and out of state, for years now but stuck around because of the school system the older kids were in. The youngest of the oldest has finished school and moved out and since we homeschool our kids, school systems are not an issue for us. Which is good, because apparently, Arizona schools suck.
  7. DESERT STARGAZING, CANYON HIKING, AND OTHER SW NATURE THINGS My daughter longs to go out to the desert and gaze at the stars we can't see from where we are now.  I share the same desire. She's also a rock hound and loves critters of all kinds. And what boy doesn't love sand? There is a lot of cool naturey things there that you just don't find in the midwest. Like Black Widow spiders and Palmetto bugs...those are almost deal breakers...
  8. WE DON'T WANT TO DIE WHERE WE ARE It's not like Indiana is that bad, but honestly, I'm just tired of living here. I was born in the county I live in, and aside from a couple years living in a neighboring county...just inside it...I've spent all of my 41 years living here. I'd love to experience something different before I die. And the desert is vastly different.
  9. WE'D BE CLOSER TO OUR MARINE My middle stepson has escaped the Midwest and loves living in California. I wouldn't want to live there, since they'll probably fall off into the ocean some day, but to each his own. We don't think he'll be back here, and we miss him. It will be nice to be closer to him, and to a Marine Mom I met online and have become good friends with. I know another Marine Mom from Ohio that said she'd join us out in Arizona, which would be way cool!
  10. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO DO THERE I checked out various city websites there and was blown away by all the activities they have there. Maybe it's just the town we live in, but there's just not much of anything to do here. No wonder teenagers get bored and break into cars. Just sayin'. There's also way more homeschool groups there, and they look like they're pretty active. There's a few around where we are, but I haven't found many that are very active. Well intentioned, sure...just lacking on follow through.
We've set a date of mid-June next year, but since we've got some youngin's wanting to get married the first of June, and another youngin wanting to get married in May...we might have to push it out further. If we do that, I'd say let's not be stupid and move in the middle of the summer. I hear it gets really, really hot out there. I'd say lets be moved out there by my birthday in November. That would be the best birthday present ever!

The Arizona State Flag...
The top half of the flag represents the 13 original colonies of the United States and the western setting sun. The copper star in the center of the flag identifies Arizona as the largest copper producing state in the union.
The lower half of the flag is a field of blue, the same Liberty Blue found in the United States' Flag. The red found in the rays of the setting sun is also the same shade of red found in the United States' Flag. The Blue of the lower half of the flag and the yellow of the western setting sun are the Arizona State Colors. The red and yellow colors found in the rays are the colors flown by the Spanish Conquistadors led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in his unsuccessful search for the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540.
The Arizona State Flag was adopted by the Arizona State Legislature on February 27, 1917. The blue, red, yellow and copper flag was adopted despite numerous dissenting votes and then Governor Campbell's refusal to sign the bill.

Monday, April 15, 2013

GIVEAWAYS!! Who Wants Some Free Stuff?

Who wants to win some free stuff? Well, I've got two great giveaways to tell you about...

My friend the Homesteading Hippy is giving away an awesome prize package! Check out her post on...
and enter to win some way cool EcoJarz lids and stainless steel straws to help you use less disposable crap. It's a good thing, I tell you! She's got several ways to earn extra entries, and the giveaway ends in just 5 days, as of this posting [Monday, April 15]. Let's quit TAXING the environment and start being a BYOC kind of society (;  What's BYOC? Head on over to  her blog and read all about it!

And, the second giveaway is one I'm doing myself on my Purposeful Nourishment blog. I got so excited about CC Dolch All Purpose Gluten Free Flour that I wrote the company and told them how much I loved it and that I recommended it on my blog. Well, they linked to my blog on their website and sent me some flour and a very nice reply to my email. They're a great, family-oriented kind of company that takes great care of their customers! I am convinced I've found my "forever flour" and will be a loyal customer for sure. So, since they were so kind to send me some GF love, I'm going to share it with some lucky reader! Check out my post at 

GIVEAWAY!! Win a Bag of C.C. Dolch Gluten Free Flour!  Giveaway ends on April 30, 2013!!

Now, go get yourself entered to win some terrific prizes! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Grandma Has Taken on a New Meaning

My husband and I recently became grandparents. At 41. I really didn't see that coming down the pike!  I suppose technically I'm a "stepgrandma" but that's quite a mouthful. I'm fine with grandma, or whatever cute little way our grandson says it. The other grandma (on our side of the family) wants to be called Mamaw, so that's a nice way to never be confused about whom he is talking about. 

I know I'm completely biased, but then what parent or grandparent isn't? This little guy decided his birthday would be six weeks before what the doctor said it should be and was 4 pounds and 7 ounces, 18 inches long. He is the most precious little thing! I happen to love little babies, they are just so adorable! Our daughter was born 5 1/2 weeks early and weighed in at a whopping 3 pounds 13 ounces, our son was only 10 days early and outweighed his sister at 5 pounds 8 ounces. It is just amazing to see perfectly formed fingers and toes and ears and lips and noses in miniature. 

He had some trouble breathing and eating at first, and was transferred to another hospital with a better-equipped NICU. But each day he is doing better and better. The ventilator was removed after a couple of days, today they removed the IV and he is able to breast feed three times a day, although the feeding tube is still in place. If he keeps improving with his feedings and gaining weight, he should be able to come home this weekend. I can't wait for him to be home and his family to all be together. I know how hard it is to leave the hospital without your baby, especially your first one...our daughter was in the hospital for 12 days before she could come home. 

One thing I have really enjoyed is watching his father interact with him. My stepson gets this soft look on his face and you can just see how much he loves his son. It makes me get all verklempt to think about it...I'm even getting all teary-eyed typing this. So many fathers walk out on their kids, especially when they are young and the pregnancy was unplanned. I really believe he is going to be a great dad, and his mommy will be a great mom. They're young and have a lot to learn, but they work well together and they both love their son to pieces. That's a good start! 

My last name is a popular Amish name, although we are not Amish. And when you put Grandma in front of it, it sure sounds old. And Amish. But it's a name I proudly accept! Grandma conjures up images of softness, love, and cookies.

Realizing that I am grandma sure puts a new spin on "grandma" now. I still think of my own grandma, or my mom or mother in law when I think it or say it. And when we're all in a room together it might take me a bit to respond to that until I'm completely used to it. But I'm OK with it. Really and truly...he is such an amazing little guy and I look forward to watching him grow, and watching his parents grow with him. It's a beautiful thing!

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