Sunday, March 16, 2008

by owner

*update: I forgot to say that Chris sent me flowers Thursday b/c he knew I'd been upset earlier in the day! So sweet!*

*update: Gracie's ct scan will be Wednesday @ 4:00. God worked out the timing on that one really well!*

Call us crazy, but we put a similar sign in our front yard this weekend. I've always kind of shaken my head at people who try to sell their house by owner, but when we thought of the realtor fees that would be taken-and based on some interest in our house shown by people we know-we decided to try this for about a week. We're certainly not risk takers, so if nothing happens in a week or so, we'll sign with a realtor. We live on a corner which sees a lot of traffic-not like double yellow line type traffic-but a lot of through traffic to the neighborhood behind us so we're hopeful. Chris attached one of those boxes where we can put flyers and they've been disappearing quickly. He keeps having to replace them. Of course, I'm one of those people who stops and picks those things up just because I'm nosy-having no real intention of purchasing the house-but hopefully some of the people taking the flyers are truly interested and not just nosy like yours truly! Our azaleas are beautiful in the Spring, so I'm hoping they bloom soon.

My mom came this weekend to help us clean out the house. Goodness-we are PACKRATS! Honestly, it's ridiculous! Whatever. It's just the way we are. We have good intentions of being better, but it doesn't happen. Maybe in our new house. Remind me I said that, okay?!?! I didn't like doing all the cleaning, but it really needed to be done and we threw away TONS of junk and made a large garage sale pile and I feel better about not taking all the junk with us to Texas!

We ate out a lot, so Mom cooked last night which was nice, especially since if we'd gone out we would have gotten stuck in the horrible, tornadic, hail storm we experienced around dinner time. I don't think I've seen hail since we lived in Lubbock in '95-'97 (we got money to go towards a new car after that storm!) There were some tornadoes in the area and I was pretty prepared for all 5 of us (including my mom) to get in the girls' bathtub, but we were spared. Gracie said she didn't think we'd all fit in the bathtub, but I told her we'd sure try if we needed to! Our church building didn't have electricity this morning during church, but we have plenty of windows, so we had plenty of light except in the bathrooms. We had Life Group right after church and were then going out to eat together. I went to the bathroom-in the dark-right before we left. I came out and made a comment about having to go in the dark and someone noticed that a light was on in one of the other bathrooms. Sure enough, I stepped back inside the one I'd just come out of and flipped on the light and it came on! So, I went in the dark for nothing! Oh well. Some of the area schools are closed tomorrow because they still don't have electricity. No fair that Gracie's school isn't one of them!

I had to pick up Gracie from school Monday-another headache + a tummy ache and a very slightly elevated temp and feeling "icky." She stayed home Tuesday as well. Since she's been having so many headaches lately, I made an appointment to take her to the ped. Friday to be checked out. Her exam was normal, but he's going to send her for a ct scan just to make sure there's nothing serious going on. Do I sound calm about this? Don't let me fool you. I'm pretty freaked out, but as all mommies know, we need to appear calm so as not to alarm the little ones. Seriously, my mind has gone places it doesn't need to go about this, but I've been praying & praying. What else can I do, really?!?! *sigh* She was fine Wed., Thurs., Fri., & Sat. morning. Then Saturday at some point she said she didn't feel good (no headache though so I was glad). She was real lethargic and was warm-not burning up, but warm. *sigh again* Motrin does wonders for the girl and usually perks her up. She was "up" when she went to bed last night, but was puny & warm again this morning. Mom acted as "nanny" and stayed home with her which was nice so Chris & I could both go to church with Katie and attend Life Group. She was still a little warm & puny when we got home but she felt really good when she went to bed tonight and it had been about 7 hours since Motrin, so I'm hopeful that she'll be good in the morning. I asked her what she thought about school tomorrow. Since she's one of those children who enjoys going to school, I feel she'll be honest and not just try to get out of going, and she acted positively about going if she felt in the morning the way she felt right then.

One interesting thing is Chris was brushing her teeth tonight and he thinks he saw & felt 2 new teeth coming in where she'd lost those 2 middle front ones. Yes, she's 7 1/2 years old and quite capable of usually brushing her own teeth, but she had that "sick breath," so he was brushing them to make sure they were brushed really well. So.......I'm wondering if the fever could have been from that?!?! Can that happen at 7 years old??? Interesting to think about.....

Moving plans are coming along I guess. I mean, will we ever really be ready? Physically maybe. Emotionally probably not. This morning, we sang "A Common Love" and "Bind us Together." Yeah. Pregnant woman lost it. Seriously. I don't know if anyone besides Chris noticed. Well, the lady behind us mentioned it, but I don't know about anyone else. I mean, that common love that Christians share is so strong, so it got me sad thinking about leaving my friends here. Also though, it was kind of a thankful cry because of the connections I'm already making with some of the Christians in Houston.

I've emailed & spoken on the phone with a girl I went to ACU with who also happens to be my "cousin-in-law's sister-in-law." She has been quite helpful with suggestions & support, and I appreciate it more than she realizes! Also, a lady here called her niece who lives there. Her niece has called & emailed me and offered lots of help & support as well. Her husband even called later to talk to Chris about the commute from their part of town and what would be the best way to get to his office from their area, etc. The really weird thing about talking to her-which is TOTALLY a God thing-happened when we talked about college. I knew she'd gone to LCU, and I mentioned that we'd gone to ACU and had lived in Lubbock for awhile-which is where LCU is located. She asked when we'd lived in Lubbock. I told her '95-'97. She asked where we went to church. If you knowANYTHING about Lubbock, you know there is practically a Church of Christ on EVERY corner. I told her where we'd attended and she said, "us too!" Crazy! They'd moved away in July '96 but had been there the same time as us. Their names had sounded familiar to me, and now I knew why. I really only vaguely remember them, but it's still cool that out of all the churches in Lubbock, we'd been at the same one and now when we're moving to Houston-the 4th largest city in the U.S.-she's one of the 2 people I've made a connection with-and because she's the niece of a lady here who is very special to us and our girls here in Aiken. God really does take care of us! I don't know how people survive without being Christians.

This week could be a busy one. If Gracie ends up being sick I guess it'll slow down, but hopefully she's going to be all better! Tomorrow is pretty normal. Chris has a meeting tomorrow night and I may go to our Ladies' Class, but I haven't decided yet. Tuesday should be MDO for Katie and time for me to go to Gracie's school. I feel like I've kind of neglected that lately. I was going to go last week, but Gracie had ended up staying home so obviously I didn't. Chris's work is giving us a lunch baby shower that day, and I really hope it works out that I can go! So fun! He can do it alone if I need to stay home with one of the girls, but I really hope to go. Wed. should be prayer group and another lunch thing with some friends. Thurs. should be playgroup. Fri. we plan to have a yard sale + a birthday party for one of Gracie's friends. Sat. will be another morning for the yard sale + an Easter egg hunt at church and a girls' night out with Alissa who will be in town & a couple of other friends. Sun. is Easter of course. Busy, but fun times. I am going to be praying for health for our family!

Chris & I were planning to go to Houston in a few weeks for a "house hunting" trip. We decided tonight that he's going to go by himself. My mom said she would come to watch the girls, but she's got a lot going on and I think it's just going to be easier for him to go by himself. I also want to keep things as "normal" as possible for the girls since things are so crazy right now. Both of them make comments about not wanting to move, so we're trying to make it sound like such a great new adventure that God is leading us on-which is true. We even started singing that song, "This is the great adventure!" and saying that it's the "Shanks' adventure!" I asked Mrs. Z how Gracie is doing at school because I was worried that she was moping around being sad, but she said she hasn't seen any signs of anything bothering her. Once again, the girl amazes me! I know it's on her heart because she'll mention it to us, but she's doing well at school still which I'm so thankful for! Speaking of school, if you know anything about me you know I'm a little obsessive about school stuff. I try to stay involved and informed and support the teacher, etc. I've gotten suggestions from the above 2 mentioned girls-as well as others-about schools. We do plan to stay in an apt. for awhile, but I plan to call some of the suggested schools and see what-if any-apartments are zoned for those schools and send Chris to those apartments to see what they have available and see which area he feels will fit us best. The 2 ladies I've talked to live in separate parts of Houston, so he'll have to make a decision on which one seems "more us." We can always move when we buy a house which is one reason we don't want to buy a house yet. That and we really need to sell our house here first.

If you've read my blog for awhile, you probably remember how much I liked Gracie's Kindergarten teacher, Miss Stack. Well, her class had a full time aide that year too and I just really liked her a lot and have continued to over the last couple of years. I don't know what it is about Mrs. Hooks (holding Gracie on her lap), but I just felt real comfortable with her being with Gracie. She made me feel that she was keeping Gracie safe. I know she has a faith in God too which of course is a large part of what I like about her. She always gives Gracie attention and will stop to talk to me and Katie when we're at school. I've been asking her for awhile now if she was going to still be there at the school when Katie got there. I really wanted her to be the aide for Katie's class. She was assigned to a different teacher now, but I just really wanted Mrs. Hooks to be with Katie. I wanted her to get to experience the differences between my 2 little girls. I think she really would have loved & appreciated Katie's "energy." I told her the other day she didn't have to wait around for this new little baby but at least for Katie. She said maybe I could go back to work in awhile and she'd watch my new baby! I'm sure she wasn't serious, and I don't want to go back to work until this new little one is in school full time, but it wouldn't have been a bad idea!

Anyway, I hadn't gotten a chance to talk to her to let her know we were moving. She supervises Gracie's class during car line in the afternoons, but it hadn't worked out for me to be in the right position to poke my head out to talk to her. Friday, I parked and walked up since I needed to get out a little earlier because of Gracie's doctor's appointment, so we walked over to car line to talk to her. She has a strong opinion of what I should name this new baby, so she made a comment about seeing the baby pooch out (which she is these days!) A teacher who is active on PTA Board with me walked up and started to hug me (I'd emailed her earlier to let her know we were moving) and I said, "I haven't told her yet!" So, Mrs. Hooks knew something was going on. Looking back, I think she even said, "Are you moving?!" I told her we were and that she could retire now because she didn't have to wait for Katie! She said she had tears in her eyes. So sweet! Even though I look forward to finding a great school in Houston for the girls, I will always kinda miss Katie not getting to experience having Mrs. Hooks. I know God will pick out someone else great for her and I'm thankful we got to know Mrs. Hooks at all!

Friday night, I went to a girls' night out/baby shower for a friend who recently had a new baby. That was fun. They mentioned all of us going out again before I move which I'd like to do. We all stay so busy! I am so thankful for the relationship I have with each of these girls. All of the relationships are different and to a different degree of closeness, but I've gained something positive from each of them. I've been real emotional these last few days-stressed about moving, the normal pregnancy hormones, worried about Gracie, etc. I'm not good at crying in front of people, and I feel like I've been holding it in. I did have " a moment" Thurs. at playgroup just because I feel overwhelmed at having to make a decision about which part of Houston to move to. It seems like every person I talk to or hear from has a different opinion. I've asked God to place us where He wants us. That's one reason I'd like Chris to go by himself for this trip. The pressure will be off me somewhat and on him-the laid back one! I will give him my school suggestions, but then he can make the ultimate decision. I wouldn't let him pick out a permanent place like that, but for an apartment it'll be okay. Tonight, Chris went to get us something to eat. I asked for Arby's. I opened up my sandwich and it was just roast beef. I always choose the "Beef 'n Cheddar." always Chris had ordered me this dry, blah roast beef. He had gotten me the cheddar cup for my fries so I was able to put that on there, but it surely wasn't the same. To prove how "on the edge" I am, I burst into tears and said, "We've been married almost 14 years and I've never ordered a roast beef sandwich!" *sigh* I then went into the bathroom later and had myself a good cry over just everything. Chris apologized and said he'd go get me some dessert but I really wasn't hungry (I'd eaten the dry roast beef!). Poor thing having to put up with me!

Thanks be to God for all of our blessings and that He is going before us to Houston. He's already proving that He's paving the way by helping us make the connections we're making. We may be moving, but He'll always be with us and for that we're blessed. I look forward to a few months down the road where I'll look back on this time and be glad it's over and be thankful for all the blessings I'm sure we will have received. I'll forever be grateful for the time we've been here in Aiken. Words cannot adequately express the blessings we have because of our time here.


MB said...

here you go again making me cry first thing in the morning. i really and going to miss you and your family but i know that God has awesome things ahead for all of you. love you J!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey girl! Where in Houston? My sister teaches there and I might have some input for you. Are you in the city limits or out? Her husband in the HS principal at BelAir HS. Soo, e-mail me if you want to talk or come to my blog. I tagged you from my blog. Say hi to your mom. Love you! K

elizabeth said...

I can't wait to hear all the details of where you are looking to move!

I will pray for a smooth transition for you!

Kristen said...

Moving always brings a wide variety of emotions...I bet especially when you are pregnant. Kevin's family is from the Houston area (Conroe, The Woodlands, etc.) We have very close friends that just moved from Spring. He was the youth minister at Bammel Road before they moved a few months ago. Good luck on the house hunting!

MDM said...

I know you are going through alot right now and I want you to know I am praying for you. I know God will use you in Houston. I am also lifting up special prayers for Gracie and her dr. He will take care of your family...keep us posted. Love, Mandy

Krista said...

Thinking of Gracie today . . . praying her appt. goes well and that you guys get some answers! We love you guys and we're anxious to see you soon! =)

SG said...

If you sell your house will you still move into an apartment? (or maybe a duplex or rental home for more room for the 5 of you!)

It will be OK! I think you will want to choose an area around where Chris works or at least with a pretty decent commute for him. If you fall in love with a church you may want to be close to it so yu can do play groups and small groups with out an hour commute.

Houston has lots of great churches, schools and suburbs, so it is not like there is just 1 or 2 "right" choices! In fact in Houston you're going to have more choices than you know what to do with!:) We have spent some time in the Katy/Humble area and really like it. We have also spent time around the Woodlands and like it. We have friend who live in the Cy-Fair area and love it. (I think is "Cypress" and "Fairfield" on the map.)
Moving while pregnant may not be fun but it might be easier than moving with a new born! You will have a little Texan! Yeah!

TMK said...

Bless your heart! you are on my prayer list. As soon as you know about the CT scan, please update us all!