Friday, July 22, 2011

The kids and I are back from a week and a half at the lake. We went to all of our favorite places .... the farmer's market, story hour at the library, blueberry picking, breakfast by the lake, all the kids' favorite parks, carriage and tractor rides, and a trip to Swallow Falls, one of my favorite places as a child.

I rarely took the camera out on our adventures since my hands were already full.
This beautiful photo was not taken by me, click for credit :)

Kathleen and I and our six kids walked the trail late one afternoon. I spent most of my time pulling Jackson and Mathis off the edge of the high rocks that hung out over the river. Whew, it was pretty stressful, but the kids had a blast. As we neared the end of the trail, we were surprised by a thunderstorm. We made it to a pavilion in a clearing, but not before we were all drenched and the kids were hysterical. It was quite an adventure! And a picture to prove it ... This was after we arrived back at the cabin and the kids had recovered :)

We've spent so many great times at the lake over the years. At every turn I was reminded of another memory all the way back to before Bard and I were married. It started me thinking about all the goodbyes we have to say. I wish we could skip over that part and arrive in England without all the sadness of leaving.

I managed to snap a few random photos along the way ...

I found these at a yard sale and Mathis was delighted!

It was so funny to watch him trying them out in the four inches of water in the pool.

He spent a blissful few hours out there, enjoying the adventures of snorkeling :)

These are a few of my favorites ... not great pictures, but good memories. I pretended to take pictures of the kids while actually snapping this one of my mom taking pictures of the kids. Isn't she cute?

Mom taking the little guys for a walk. You can locate my kids by their various states of dress and undress. Kate's wearing her nightgown and the boys are getting by in just their t-shirts. Hey, it was all about survival!

Trying to get a picture of these four boys was as challenging as trying to chase the chipmunk out of the house .... never dull, for sure! They just never sit still. When Jackson saw this picture he said, "can you get rid of that bluster around Mathis?" Hmm, that would be nice, wouldn't it?

While we were at the lake, Bard was busy at the house, constructing and deconstructing :) I'll be back with pictures of that later. It actually made me a little sad that we'll be leaving, because the house is getting so much closer to being finished.

We've been at a hotel for a couple of days and are packing up (again!) and staying the next week at our friends' house while they are on vacation. It will be so nice for the kids to be able to have room to run and be wild. It's crazy hot here ... heat index today, 117 degrees. And in jolly old England, the town of Cheltenham is forecasting a high of 66 degrees today :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Moving Out

Ready or not, here they come! Despite finding out that the movers were coming two days earlier than anticipated, we pulled everything together in time for their arrival.

Suddenly, this long process of moving our family from here to there just became much more tangible. Sunday night, after the dust of preparing to move had forced me out of the house for some fresh air, I was walking around the yard and reminiscing about all our family has experienced in the house over the past seven years. When we moved in, it was just Bard and I, expecting the arrival of our first baby in just two weeks. Four babies later, we're leaving with an amazing amount of memories, and more construction than we'd care to remember. I'm glad we'll be coming back here in three years, but I wonder if we'll feel the same way about leaving England.

Our movers were great and made the whole process go very smoothly. The kids and I had fun coming over and trying to figure out what was hidden behind the brown wrapping paper. This one's kind of obvious, huh? I don't know how the couch stayed on it's end, but it definitely gave me plenty to worry about as the kids ran in an out of the house.
It will be nearly two months before our things arrive and I think it will be like Christmas opening everything up!

No, this isn't Bard's wedding dress, the movers thought our last name was Bardwell :)

Little guy, big truck :)

It was very strange to walk through our house and not see all the things that made our house a home. Kate declared that it definitely made her sad to see everything gone. Having the house empty will make it much easier to finish the drywall and paint. The kids and I are heading out of town for a while so Bard can finish up a couple of more projects before we say goodby the the construction projects we've lived with for the last seven years ... it's one thing I don't think we'll miss!

The night before the movers came, our family threw a goodbye party for us. I only captured this one photo, but it's a good one, don't you think? Baby James is the cutest little guy!

Mmmm, homemade ice cream with all the toppings :)

There's more, of course, but it's time to check out of our hotel room that's been home for the last three days and continue our life as nomads ...