Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Excitement for Thing 2!

There have been a lot of posts recently about Thing 1 and all the exciting things she's been doing - getting published, getting her books carried at our local bookstore, getting her first job . . .

Well, this post is about Thing 2 and some exciting things going on with him. He started volunteering at the library today!

Thing 2, on his first day of volunteering

Ready for his first shift!

He has been antsy to do something like this for a while. He's been seeing Thing 1 work, volunteer, babysit . . . and he's been wanting a chance to do some responsible things like that as well. They both work in our business and have since the very beginning, but it's good for them to have things outside of that, too, that they get to do themselves.

When we were reading the state labor laws about work hours for kids under 16 (you can be hired by some places at 14 with some restrictions), we noticed that 11 year olds could get a paper route! So, we called several local papers and even though the law says 11, they all require their deliverers to be at least 12 and, in some cases, 13. This was a disappointment to find out. It seemed like all signs were pointing to "wait until you're 12."

So the other day, when we stopped at the library to sign up for the summer reading programs, we noticed a sign up saying that the library is in need of volunteers. We know they require their volunteers to be 12, but wondered if they would make an exception given that they're in need of help. So, on the day of our town's outdoor festival while we worked our business's booth, we walked over to the library's booth (they had just come over to recruit our kids for a photo shoot they're doing to help "geek the library") and asked. They immediately nodded, smiled, and readily took us up on our offer when we told them that Thing 2 would like to help out and pick up a shift. They're excited to have him! We let them know that he'd be able to start the week after Thing 1's writers' camp.

Well, today's the day. He got himself up and ready and told us how excited he is. My sweet husband wrote a thoughtful note for him and left it on the counter so he'd see it at breakfast. We got there early today to fill out paperwork and Thing 2 told them that he's really excited to work there. He gets to train while working with his sister. Once he feels pretty comfortable, he can either continue to work the same shift as her or get his own shift if he'd like - the choice is his.

He has other exciting things going on, too - a science camp, for which he is VERY excited; normal kid stuff like playing at the park and pool (simple pleasures - just this past week during Kate's writers' camp, he got really excited about having a packed lunch because he "loves them" and was feeling a bit left out of the packed-lunch fun); and major excitement about attending the Renaissance Faire.

He is working SO hard at earning his 2nd degree black belt. He earns that this fall. He loves going to taekwondo and has no problem dropping most anything he's doing to attend a class. He likes the challenge of it. He likes learning it and earning it. He likes the workout. He is a natural leader and enjoys helping others. He enjoys (and is good at) teaching younger kids. They gravitate toward him and look up to him.

He's completely at ease with adults, too. He talks to anyone. The other day at taekwondo, Mark was wondering what was taking Thing 2 in the waiting room. Turns out? He was chatting it up with everyone in there and cracking jokes and making grown men cry tears though laughter. True story.
Our new next-door neighbors have kids (thank god!) and it's great because Thing 2 loves, loves, loves to play with others pretty much 24-7. Well, both the kids' parents and grandparents, independently of each other, have said to us how much they like our son and what a great kid he is. The parents told us how they've overheard him teaching their kids his version of games and how creative he is and how their kids LOVE when Max shows up to play (they really do get excited and they're constantly asking us if he's coming out to play). We were out walking Scout the other day and their grandfather was over and he and his wife both spoke to us and complimented us on having such a fine son and went on and on about how responsible and well mannered and thoughtful and smart and kind he is and that you don't see that very often nowadays and that he is really such a super, terrific kid. What parent doesn't love to hear that?!? It was great to hear. We feel very lucky indeed.

He is insatiably social. It is not at all uncommon for us to be at a park or the beach or a store and for him to say, "I'm going to go over there and make a friend." And he does. Within seconds. It is so easy for him, or at least he makes it look easy. Within no time, he has made several friends and organized them all into a game of tag or something he's made up and taught them. And the kids are always happy to meet him and play with him. They should be. He's a terrific kid and they're lucky to get to know him and be with him. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is helpful. He is smart. He is thoughtful. He is funny. He is creative. He is, in short, pretty amazing. And, I get to be his mom! Again, how did I get this lucky?!?

Yesterday at dinner, we were sitting at the kitchen table and he kept cracking us up. We were all in hysterics, especially his sister. He excels at making her laugh. And then they feed off of each other and it's "peanut gallery funny hour," which often escalates into spit takes, fits, and tears of laughter. They can be snarky, sarcastic, and both are *really* quick witted. I love having intelligent, hilarious kids. We love to joke around. And he is a pro at lightening moods. He has always given our family a good dose of funny and I think we need that sometimes. He teaches us. We learn from him.

The other day when we were at the bookstore, I was talking with the owner and Thing 2 came by on a mission. I asked what was up and he responded, "Oh nothing. I'm helping a customer," and continued on and grabbed a book (The Day the Crayons Quit) that he then recommended to a grandmother who was there with her grandchild. The customer proceeded to sit and read with her adorable 4-year-old grandson who informed me that he just knew he was going to like the book because Max told him it was good.

And the volunteering thing? Well, he's loving it. We just got a text from Kate that says that Max is wondering if Mark and I could go to the library early and check something out (a book, movie, whatever). He is apparently loving working the front desk. So, we're off! We get to go see our awesome kid in action. LOVE THAT KID!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

So Proud of our Beautiful Daughter!

Thing 1 has just completed a week of writers' camp - this is her second year attending it and she says it is the highlight of her summer. Of course we can tell that from the giant smile on her face when we drop her off and pick her up every day. Plus, she gets up early every day and gets ready in time to have extra time to write before she even gets there - it is not hyperbole when I say that she eats, drinks, and breathes writing. She really does!

The morning of day 1 - look at that smile!

Armed with her trusty laptop and pens!
So, during writers' camp, I get to hang out with Thing 2 and we love it! The camp is in SUCH a great little town in a neighboring county. It was voted "America's Coolest Small Town" this past year and it lives up to its name. We LOVE being there and even contemplated moving there as we looked for houses.

The camp takes place at the #1 college preparatory school in the U.S. for girls. It's also the oldest independent boarding school for girls (they have day students there as well). The quality of the instruction is top notch. And of course Thing 1 loves being with other kids who are also passionate about writing. Her teachers and mentors are more than we could ask for and we cannot say enough about how grateful we are to them for all they do to make it such a positive growing experience.

The Johnson boys joined us on Day 1 and spent the whole day with us playing games, eating, and writing!

Thing 2 and I spend most of our time at the beautiful park there as well as the local independent bookstore - we can't get enough of both places! This town is like Stars Hollow and being there is truly inspiring. I think we need to go more regularly and write there!

Also, you know how The Magic Violinist herself told everyone on her blog that autographed copies of her book are being displayed and sold at the store? Well, here they are!

Love this quote at their store - so true! :P

Love this sign at the park - this should be the norm at every park and playground!
On day 2, Thing 2 and I took Scout with us and walked around the park with her. She had a GREAT time chasing ducks and squirrels and smelling everything she could!

Too much cuteness!
On days 1 and 2, the bookstore was open for limited hours as the owners were on vacation. I went to the store both days and enjoyed talking with the woman who was running the store in their absence - I know her from a local writers' group I've attended now and then. She was terrific to talk to and very supportive and encouraging about writing.

On day 3, the bookstore was open during its regular hours, so after camp, we went there and got a picture of the author by her books! When I told her about how they're looking to have her do an author signing there in October, I'm not going to lie - she teared up as her smile stretched across her face. She is so excited!

Day 3 is also when Sherri and Jack joined us for the afternoon. It was a REALLY hot day. I was so tired that day that I forgot to take pictures, but we enjoyed having lunch with them and spending time together!

Day 4 - Thing 2 and I enjoyed a lovely morning at the town's hopping coffee shop - a Manhattan-style bakery where you can get donuts, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, coffee, juice, granola bars . . . you name it. It has a great vibe - friendly and vibrant and energizing.

My cute breakfast partner
Then we spent a bunch of time at the park feeding the ducks (and more time at the bookstore). We have purchased many, many books this week! It got pretty rainy, so we enjoyed our packed lunch under the cover of the gazebo.

On day 5, Mark was able to join us for the whole day and we really enjoyed ourselves! We stopped at the coffee shop and then went back to the park to watch the ducks and adorable ducklings. Then we played games in the gazebo. Dominion!

We spent A LOT of time at this wonderful bookstore. Endearing town. Great store. Fantastic owners.
And the highlight of day 5 - getting to see Thing 1 present her writing at a student presentation. I got so wrapped up in her 2nd reading that I forgot to take pictures, but here are some from her first reading. She is so poised and graceful!

Kate with her friend Peyton - they are so happy to have found each other!
***I LOVE THIS GIRL! I have no apologies for my outburst. It had to be exclaimed. I love, love, love my daughter. I love spending time with her. I love watching her grow. I love being inspired by her. I feel so over-the-moon lucky to be her mom. I GET TO BE HER MOM!!***

Okay, so back to my post. She learns from the best - in person, through blogging, through networking, through internships, through volunteering. She is always connecting with great people and honing her craft. Writers' camp is no exception.
Both instructors have such a positive, encouraging energy about them, and Kate has shared with us that she really likes that they aren't afraid to challenge and critique them. She craves honest and direct feedback in addition to encouragement. She loves writing so much and truly wants to be her best as a writer. 

Dr. Scouten is a former Teacher of the Year (in the state of South Carolina) specifically for his work as a writing instructor. And she gets to spend a whole week learning from him! He had such kind things to say about her when he spoke to us afterward. He and Ms. Savage both shared how they've seen so much growth in her and in her writing just in the past year. They both also, independently of each other, expressed how glad they are that she and Peyton connected and feel that they can both help each other and be excellent readers/critique partners for each other. We're so lucky to live in a world with technology that makes it easy to connect and stay connected in that way.
Kate and Dr. Scouten
The workshop is primarily led by Lancaster’s poet laureate Ms. Savage. She has written an impressive 3,000+ stories for magazines and newspapers. This woman is a true gem. We got to talk with both of these wonderful instructors at a reception following the reading. 

At one point, Ms. Savage, Mark, Kate, and I all shared tears together as this amazing instructor shared her feelings about Kate with us. She gave Kate very specific advice on what to do as she goes forward and so much of it wasn't what you'd necessarily expect. She told her how to challenge herself with whatever is hardest for her. She told her how lucky she is to have the educational setting that she does so that she can avoid getting tied down by anything that might limit her writing and her voice. She spoke with such passion about Kate's voice and how it is a true gift that she has SUCH a strong voice in her writing. I have to say that that is something we hear from so many of her writing partners and mentors - her voice, her voice, her voice. It is so strong and so consistently hers that you could open to any part of her stories and know that it is her writing.

It was validating for us as parents to hear that we're doing the right thing in giving her freedom and space and time to pursue her passion. And we walked away from that discussion (if I'm being honest, I would actually call it a true spiritual moment) edified. We also came away from it armed with such great pointers that we talked about Kate keeping a notebook of writing advice, starting with Ms. Savage's words to her. This amazing mentor was so unabashedly willing to think and exist outside the box and told us, emotionally and sincerely, that she fully expects Kate's first well-known novel to be published by the time she's 20.

Kate and Ms. Savage

Kate also got to hear from local authors and different writers in various disciplines and areas. I'm insanely jealous that she got to hear from author A.S. King, whom we've seen at at least 3 different events so far. We're quickly becoming groupies, I must admit. Apparently when Amy walked into the room, she looked at Kate and said, "Hey! I know you!" A.S. King is a terrific writer who isn't afraid to address real topics that are considered quite controversial by some. She is unfazed and unapologetic and, for that, she is one of our heroes. What you see is what you get with her and I could listen to her for hours. Every time I hear her speak, it makes me want to have her to dinner. I know we could easily talk for hours on end. Look her up. Find videos of her speeches. She is DYNAMIC. Then, when you're done with that, go buy her books. And order them from Aaron's Bookstore.

And this. This is one of my very favorite pictures from the week. Behold the cheering section for her reading. Behold the beauty of friendship. When I see this picture, I think "family" - just this week, I had a conversation with a friend where I texted her, "We love and appreciate all our friends just because, but yeah, they're essentially family, too." These good, amazing people all took time from their busy lives and drove the distance to BE there, smiling at her during her reading, cheering her on with applause each time she presented, and congratulating her with hugs afterward. She is a very loved and supported young woman and we all feel so lucky to know her and watch her grow and excel as a writer. WE LOVE YOU, dear author!

A writer and her family

And have I mentioned? I GET TO BE HER MOM!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

May Wrap-Up

So May was crazy as we moved not only our house, but also our business. And by "moved," I mean, moving. We're not done. I'm so tired. Exhausted really. Sometimes I can't believe how much we've gotten done in just over a month. And other times, I feel like we should have more done.

I will say this - this move has been nothing but good for our souls. It hasn't been particularly stressful overall. And we're improving our lives in so many areas that it feels emotionally good for us all. But yeah, we're exhausted (and happy). We LOVE our new house and we love our new business space, too!

We haven't had a single day that hasn't involved packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, moving, business errands, moving, work, printer orders, new business cards, shopping, moving, new brochures, work, new banners, appointments, massive client mailings, work, setting up, advertising, meetings, work, moving . . . all amidst the day-to-day, normal stuff like violin lessons and book clubs and taekwondo and field trips. Plus, our homeschool evaluations, testing, and portfolios are all due this month. And this weekend is our town's annual big street fair that is our biggest outreach and we've been scrambling all week to have all of our materials and promotional items ready for it. Have I mentioned that we're exhausted?

Books I've Read 

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizinni


I loved this book. The missing half star is because it got a little slow in the middle for me, but not enough to not recommend it highly to anyone looking for a good book to read. I saw the movie with Mark a while back not knowing at the time that it was based on a book. Loved the movie, too. I decided to read it in light of Ned Vizinni's tragic death by suicide this past year. It was heartbreaking to read it, knowing that eventually the depression was too much for him. He said in an interview that the story was 80% autobiographical. Read it - it offers great insight into the mind of a depressed person. He captured it well.

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy

So this was our book club pick this month and I didn't really read it because, well, moving. But I read a lot about it and the author and we had a good discussion about it, so booyah for me.

I read a lot with the kids, but we haven't done that much this past month. Go figure.

Movies/TV Shows I've Watched


We spent the first several weeks of our move moving things into our new house and going to our old house (where the cable and TV both were) to watch our shows. Each time we'd watch something there, the room would have less and less stuff in it and after a while, we were sitting on the floor watching a TV that was also on the floor as our sofas, tables, and entertainment center all moved over to our new house.

We finished up our shows' seasons at the farmhouse - "Modern Family," "Big Bang," "Amazing Race," and our new runaway favorite "The Goldbergs." We'd move and pack and unpack all day and then treat ourselves to a 20-minute reprieve before bed. Scramble, scramble, scramble.

We didn't move our cable over for a good month, as we didn't want to pay for it in two places (we just wanted to transfer it) and Mark was using it while he worked in our clinic leading up to our business move. We've been juggling A LOT. I also didn't really want the distraction of WiFi at our new house, what with all the unpacking to do!

Now that we're mostly set up at the new house, we're watching stuff on Netflix and through our TiVo (before that, Mark and I were visiting Stars Hollow for a few minutes each night on our laptop which would sit in our entertainment center in the middle of our living room - not quite pushed against the wall, because it's heavy and the TV wasn't here yet).

I'm watching "Parenthood" with Thing 1, "Malcolm in the Middle" with Thing 2, and "Gilmore Girls" with Mark (again). Though admittedly, we're not doing a whole lot of sitting around these days. :P


Did I seen any movies in May? What's a movie? Oh yeah, one night we watched "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" with the kids in our brand new basement. I must admit that I fell asleep. But the new digs for a kid/teen hangout space? Awesome.

Yeah, didn't exactly have a whole lot of time to watch many movies in May. Go figure.

Games I've played

Let's pack a house!
Let's unpack boxes!
Where does this go?

Um, seriously.

We organized the shelves of our games in the basement - does that count? 

 Other Things I've done, Places I've visited, etc.

* Our wonderful friends, Sherri and Ron and Jack, helped us IMMENSELY with our move. I don't know how we would've done it without them. They single-handedly assisted us and helped us move pretty much EVERYTHING. They showed up day after day (and they live over half an hour away, mind you) with their truck and helped us lift, pack, clean, move, unpack, you name it. They brought dinner. They lent us boxes. They gave us incredible moral support. They have always known what's going on with us on any given day and have checked on us multiple times a day. They expressed excitement for us continually. They were with us EVERY step of the way. I can not begin to express the gratitude we feel toward them. Moving is stressful and they made it FUN and helped make it the adventure we've wanted. Thank you, thank you, to our very dear friends. These words are not enough to express how much you've helped us, physically AND emotionally.

* So, really, I could list "Ron and Sherri helped us" about 20 times on this list and you'd get a pretty good picture of May. Seriously.

* Kicked off our summer park days with our homeschool group - big group gathering, potluck, pictures, playground, games, fun . . . including Quidditch! I kid you not.

* Thing 1 and I attended a mother-daughter yoga retreat while the boys enjoyed an Amazing Race type scavenger hunt with Sherri and Jack.

* Dave's parents got to town and we got to see them a bunch, which is always fun for us. I love that they treat us as family. They not only say that we're family. It's backed up with actions and real love. It means a lot to us.

* I'm looking at our calendar as I write this and each day says something like "Sherri-truck" or "Ron-truck" or "Both-truck" - we're in awe of how much they've been up here helping us. AWE.

* LOTS of late nights at stores (and late dinners) getting things for the house. Thankfully, not too much to buy, but enough to have us running errands late into the night many nights in a row.

* We slept in our new house 8 days after settlement. Not bad considering heavy rains stopped us from moving for the first 3 days after settlement.

* For the first couple of days, we were sleeping at the new house and showering at the old house. Transitions!

* After 3 nights in the new house, we were able to both sleep AND get ready in the new house.

* We haven't really had a day off during all of this, so we've been working the whole time, plus working on advertising and banners and new business cards and brochures and mailing for our business move. Plus moving. Plus packing. Plus unpacking. Plus cleaning. Plus working. Plus, well, you get the idea.

* Shopping, errands, unpacking . . .

* Adjusting to a new place isn't always the best for sleeping (new routine, new place, new noises, etc.), but can I just say we are LOVING the quieter location?!? Have you ever been in a room with a loud motor and gotten used to it so much so that when someone turns it off you're stunned at how loud it was/quiet it is? We LOVE our new house! I can't tell you how many times a day I either text, think, or exclaim that - "I love this house!"

* It took me a week to get the kitchen all unpacked and organized. Can I just say that it is a JOY to cook in our new kitchen?!? I love it! I'm so renewedly motivated!

* We only needed to rent a U-haul one day to move major appliances and business stuff. Not bad!

* We got to go out to dinner and ice cream several times with Dave's parents and with friends - nice diversions from all the crazy moving!

* Dealt with extended family stress during all the moving. Not easy to balance everything and keep sane, but I'm trying!

* Organized the fridge and freezer(s) stuff. It was raining and I learned that our garage is very slippery when it rains. I hurt myself and was sore for days. The garage now has runners in it. I took a bath in our awesome new tub right away to soak away the hurt and we learned that the jet part isn't working (even though it totally worked for the home inspector a few weeks before).

* The Johnsons invited us over for a meal on Mother's Day. It was very appreciated. They also helped us with meals during those days when we weren't quite out of our old kitchen or into our new one. Dick and Linda brought food, too. The meals were enormously helpful. Thank you, thank you.

* More errands, shopping, exchanges, etc.

* Friends have come by to see our house. So grateful to good friends who are excited for us, too!

* Got to go on a one-on-one lunch date with Fran (Dave's mom) and really enjoyed ourselves. I hate that they live so far away.

* Went out to eat with Dave's family and parents. Rude waitress snapped at Thing 2 and then didn't apologize when we nicely explained to her what was going on. They're getting a letter. Jerks.

* As I look at our calendar to write this post, I see squares with things written on it like "Target, Just Cabinets, Ollie's, Kohl's, etc." on several days. TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Kitchen stores, etc. You name it. We don't live in a county that has much shopping. Normally, that's fine with us as we're not big shoppers. But with the move, we've been visiting neighboring counties to find more selection. Big props to Sherri for spending a day with us taking us all over her county and helping us find stuff!

* Sherri and Ron and Jack went to Disney for a week and we missed them very much.

* Spent much of the weekend with Fran and John. They generously visited us with house warming gifts for all of us. They make us feel very loved and appreciated. Thanks, Gramsy and Pops! LOVE our butter bell and basket - both are being put to good use! And the kids love, love, LOVE their gifts! So thoughtful!

* Mark took some ice cream to the hospital as a surprise visit for the Johnsons and Dave's parents. It was a fun surprise and we all got a good laugh from it, too. Hated saying goodbye to Fran and John. We miss them.

* Work, work, work.

* Dealt with some seasonal allergies during all this, particularly Thing 1 and Mark. Thing 2 and I got some hives from the pollen/mold.

* Kept up with the usual stuff, too - volunteering, taekwondo, book clubs, etc. Thing 2 is working hard toward his 2nd degree black belt (as is Mark)!

* We were supposed to attend a baseball game, but the rain really got in the way, so we spent the day with Ron and Sherri and Jack instead. We got stuff done for our business - printing, etc., done as well. We went out to Friendly's with the Johnsons after Dave got out of the hospital and they came over afterward with some pretty cool and thoughtful housewarming gifts. So special.

* Had lunch and went shopping with Kristie - she's working on home improvement stuff (painting, decor, etc.) as we're doing stuff here, so it's fun to share that!

* More shopping, errands, unpacking . . .

* Thing 1's best friend sleeps over every week and we always enjoy having her here. The girls pretty much do their own thing, but it's always comfortable and easy to have Kirsten here.

* Park Days! Our homeschool group spends every Friday afternoon at a local park and it's always lots of fun. The weather has been lovely - 70s and beautiful. Everyone has been lingering, not wanting to leave. It's a nice mini-break for us with all we've got going on, though admittedly we've worked/moved/unpacked during parts of them, too!

* Thing 1 started her job at the Renaissance Faire - she LOVES it. She worked the whole first weekend (not technically a Ren Faire weekend yet, but they have various events) and we spent the first day there and were her first customers. We weren't intending to spend the entire day, but the weather was great, the Johnson boys joined us, and we were having fun seeing Thing 1 smiling so big and enjoying her first work shift!

* She worked a full day the next day, too. Mark attended his Dads' D&D group and Thing 2 and I met Sherri for lunch and shopping and then back to pick up Thing 1 from work. That night we hosted our first book club in our new house. We BARELY pulled it off, but we did it (it was good incentive to keep it on the calendar and make sure we were ready). Literally the day before, our living room was piled high with boxes and books and bookshelves and we scrambled to assemble, clean, and put it all away in time to host. Oh yeah, and clean the house. The kids had a group video gaming activity the same night, so it was a jam-packed, full, fun, busy weekend.

* I had a couple of rough days emotionally - I think part of it is hormonal (I'm noticing that as I get older) and part of it is sheer exhaustion from everything and adjusting to all we're doing (new house, new business space, new tenant, etc.).

* Got Thing 1 to her volunteer shifts at the library and that night we went out to dinner and ice cream with the Johnsons - we went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese place that is not a buffet. You sit and order and they just keep bringing out the food. Yum!

* Got Thing 2 to his taekwondo classes. Also loving having next-door neighbors with kids - Thing 2 is out there playing with them a lot and he loves it!

* Tried figuring out our summer calendar and making sure we're balancing doing good things with having down time - no small feat. Between Thing 1's writers' camp, Thing 2's science camp, and the 5 camps I'm teaching, as well as visitors and outings, it's pretty full.

* Spent hours/DAYS setting up our new business Facebook page and updating our business webpage and putting up new banners and advertisements and marketing and meeting and networking and alerting all of our companies (business credit card, our credit card charging company (how we charge our clients), various insurances, new addresses, etc. and doing a MASSIVE mailing to all our clients. Everything takes longer than you think it will, you know? Our family stayed up many late nights peeling, sticking, and working assembly-line style to pull it off. We didn't get them all out as soon as we'd hoped, but they did go out in plenty of time for the adjustment to our new space. HUGE job. Many long hours. Such a feeling of accomplishment. Have I mentioned that we're exhausted?!?

* Freaked out as the deadline rapidly approached to get in all of our homeschool stuff - testing, evaluations, portfolios . . . to remember that the deadline isn't May 31st, but June 30th. Duh. PHEW! We knew that, but we've been going strong and had a slight moment of slight panic. Of course as I type this, it is, amazingly, mid-June and it's rapidly approaching again. For real this time! :P

* Got wifi at the new house once we wrapped up seeing patients at the old clinic.

* Wrapped up the month by finishing seeing patients at our old clinic, packing up our clinic all in one day (Saturday), and loading it all into our van, a truck, and a trailer and transporting it all to our new location in one big trip. Unloaded it all and started setting up when we all looked at each other and reluctantly conceded that we were tired and hungry and didn't have it in us to do any more and would just finish the next day. It HAD to be done, because we started seeing patients there that very next Monday. We were so tired, I don't even have the words to explain it.

* Speaking of moving our clinic, I was really sad as we packed up our clinic. We have LOVED having it in our house these past 7 years. I looked at Mark a few times and asked, "We're doing the right thing, right?" It has been emotional. Once we started setting up at the new place, an excitement took over and I wasn't sad anymore. We love our new space! And it's so much more efficient. Mark is able to see twice as many people in the same amount of time. Plus he has an office where he can get work done and take calls (he's often on call from his job at the hospital) while patients are relaxing in their rooms. It's so great! As we contemplate all of this, we see that having had the clinic in our house has been awesome with younger kids. Mark could pop in anytime and we could start our business out with lower expenses and there is obviously a huge convenience factor. At least one of us could be with the kids while the other worked. Having older kids, this new move is great! Mark and I can see patients at the same time, as the kids are old enough to take care of themselves more. It's more efficient there. The kids can go to work with him and hang out in his office for the afternoon. We can surprise visit him at work (and have done that a few times already!). So much good is already coming of it, including many new patients. So much variety and flexibility. We love our life!

* The local VA recently contracted with us - they send us patients for acupuncture and that is going GREAT. Again, thank goodness for the expanded space to see more people!

* We're collapsing into bed every night exhausted from hard work. It feels good really. But yeah, we're tired. We haven't stopped. It's all very exciting and wonderful and we're super happy. We're tired, too. So so tired.

Pictures from the Month

Sherri and Mark loading up the truck

Kate and I unloading the van

Unloading into the garage - I love this garage!

Moving the game closet

View from our old house on Main St.

And the other side - Beer Warehouse.
Remember these views. I'll try to remember to post some views from our new house - beautiful!

A bunch of our friends through our homeschool group (many are missing) - I love how involved the dads in this group are!

Playing (broomless) Quidditch!

Ron and Mark load up the truck

Jack and Max eating snacks at the farmhouse

Scout, emotionally exhausted from all the moving

Me and my beautiful daughter after our mother-daughter yoga retreat

Mark and our awesome son after their amazing race around town with friends

Scout excels at finding a spot for herself ANYWHERE - she loves being with us

Packing up the schoolroom

Emptying the living room

Dining Room, after we moved it out (first) became our staging area for boxes to load

One of the upstairs bedrooms that we've used as a guest room/library - lots of books to pack!

Ron, a historian who has worked in the archives, made all these boxes SO FAST.

Sherri seriously went above and beyond - she helped Kate paint her room a bright, cheerful yellow - took her to Lowe's, compared samples, picked colors, back to Lowe's, brought equipment, taped, and painted it all!

Me, organizing the new kitchen

In the morning at the farmhouse

So tired

Same day - working in the afternoon, loading up games in our new basement!

The kids and I pack stuff up while Mark works

My view from upstairs after our one of our first nights in our new house

Me and Scout - looking outside the Dining Room window

Working in the new kitchen

Mark in our laundry room

Scout in our laundry room

We've emptied the kitchen at the farmhouse! No small feat. Hurrah!

Visitor! Dave surprised us with a visit.

Scout LOVES Dave.

So proud of all my organizing work in the kitchen - it took a week!

A pantry! I love having a pantry!

Our first meal in our new house, courtesy of Dick and Linda. We ate in the dining room because the kitchen table wasn't set up yet (we bought a new one - we've had the other one for 15 years and all the chairs have broken twice over).

John and Fran took us out to ice cream - such a treat!


OMG, assembling furniture. That's probably the main thing we did in May. Feels like it anyway.

And getting almost done with assembly only to find a broken part and have to drive 45 minutes back to the store to exchange it and start over? UGH. Yeah, that. I miss mom and pop stores.

But hey, these red countertop chairs are pretty snazzy! Also, that pile of books? Their recent reading material.

Our first meal at our kitchen table - celebrating with leftovers and a bit of sushi!

Assembling, assembling . . . bookshelves this time.

Fran and John congratulate us with very generous and thoughtful housewarming gifts

Gramsy and Pops! We feel so loved!
Christie got some AWESOME pictures of all of our reactions to the gifts, especially the kids' reactions, but her phone, uh, met an untimely demise. Hopefully the sim card is intact.

Scout finding a spot at the new house

Setting up the schoolroom

Organizing the schoolroom

Housewarming gifts from the Johnsons!

So sweet!

Reading their very sweet card (and yes, Kate and I got haircuts).

So much laughing all the time

Happy housewarming!

The game shelves in the basement, organized by type!

Movie and music and video game corner - such a cool kids'/teen hangout down there!



A closer up of our housewarming gift from the Johnsons

Dining Room

That's pictures and things we haven't hung up yet.

Boxes everywhere - but a view of the windows in the living room!

Love these kids!

Our new mix-and-match kitchen table we put together ourselves (including the design)!

Love it!

Loading up the bookshelves

Chilling with Scout

My niece was in Hershey for a couple of hours so we got to visit with her for a bit!

Working on a MASSIVE mailing for all of our clients

Many late nights . . .

Our beautiful wisteria at our farmhouse near the barn

Packing up the clinic

Max helps us out

This was emotionally difficult to pack up, I must admit (though we love and are so grateful for our new location and space!)

Kate and her BFF help us out, too

So, May has been extremely busy and exhausting and good. We're tired, but happy. Lots more to share, but that'll be in the June post. It's already more than halfway through June and I'm only now posting this May update. That should tell you something. ;) I miss blogging. How are all of you?