Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February News

Oh my. I really am in trouble if I'm down to once-a-month posts!

But there are reasons....

To kick off the month, two more birthdays! We held simultaneous birthday gatherings for the newly-minted Bantam15 and his friends--in the basement, watching a movie--and the new Bantam9--in the big bedroom, building Lego creations. We served pizza in shifts and then birthday brownies and ice cream. Friends of B18 and Blondechick stopped in, so we fed them too. The more the merrier!

B15 has recently become fascinated with the land of Norway, since he is one-quarter Norwegian. He asked for and received a wallet with the Norwegian flag AND the Norwegian coat of arms as embellishments. We also gave him a travel guide of Norway, which he has found most engaging. His big gift, however, was a phone. It's a hand-me-down, older phone that used to be his brother's, without internet and without texting. But at least I no longer have to call his friend's phones to find out where he is or work out how he's getting home, which was getting embarrassing. Yup, I had all his friend's cell numbers in my Contacts!

B9 wanted little green army men and a B9-sized army gun. Check! He also wanted Legos, so we suggested that his friends chip in toward a biggish set to be purchased AFTER we move, hopefully, since Mom is in major decluttering mode now and was not keen for him to receive another half-dozen smaller Lego sets as birthday gifts. He also asked for The Action Bible, a graphic novel-like retelling. His grandparents had given him the Action New Testament last year for Christmas and he loved it so much that he wanted the whole thing, including the Old Testament. It appears to me that it was his favorite gift!

In other news, we are getting our house ready to put on the market. Our church is still figuring out how they are going to do it financially (that's a prayer request, if you think of it!) but the plan is for Father R to go full-time in the next year, and we feel strongly that we should downsize before that, if possible.

So I've been pushing hard to declutter, deep-clean and get some painting done. The only way I've been able to work on it--and still keep homeschooling and teaching my classes--is to chip away at it in all my free moments. (Thus my lack of time to spend blogging!) I've spent days with my kids culling their stuff and organizing their rooms. I've forced myself to deal with all the stuff I've shoved in the closet and under the bed in my own room. I've rearranged kitchen and bathroom cabinets to make room for many things we ordinarily leave out, so these areas will show well--and be easier to clean quickly! I cleaned out one of our storage rooms and got rid of many things we've been--well--storing. I've been using our 15-passenger van as a temporary storage unit for stuff heading to St. Vincent DePaul's, our charity thrift store of choice--and we filled it up! It feels good to lose weight.

I've had help too. Ladies from church came over to help wash walls, woodwork, light switches, window panes and crevices, which was such a help! We hired a friend to paint the basement (last fall) and two bedrooms this winter. I've been busy spackling, paint-matching and touching-up many dents and dings all over the hallways, doorways and walls. The older kids are doing bathrooms and cleaning up their bedrooms. B23 boxed up many books, went through files and drawers and found lots that he could part with. (He reported the same feeling of losing weight in his life!) Papa Rooster will be doing the same in his office storage area. Chipping away is not his cleaning style, so he'll take a day off of work here sooner or later to get it done. I hope one day is enough; he has a lot of stuff to get through!

The plan is to list the house in mid-March, after The Wizard of Oz closes--and we are in tech week already! I've been helping with lights this time and learning a whole new vocabulary. Did you know you can patch lights, as well as park and bump them? Stage lights don't have light bulbs; they have lamps. I am learning the limitations and abilities of technobeams, LEDs, pars, fresnels and gobos. It's overwhelming, especially programming them, but also quite fascinating and--oh yes, I have to say it--illuminating!

It's good knowledge to have if I continue directing shows--and I am excited to be on another directing team for the spring! Chicklet and I (and maybe B15) will head north to the Milwaukee chapter of our Spotlight theater group. They are doing a show called Pridelands, inspired by The Lion King. I will be assistant director, and as a little relief from cleaning and teaching, I've been reviewing the script and DVD's of past performances, and bouncing ideas off the head director. We have such a stimulating Facebook message thread going with all our ideas for the show!

So my spring could be pretty busy, especially if our house sells quickly. But it could also take a year, as our old house did, and this is a more unique house. With the bedroom and office spaces we added in the basement, it has a total of 7 bedrooms, plus 4.5 baths. Please pray for the right buyer, as well as the right house for us to move into! We've looked a little--enough to know we will be able to find something--but the priority has been to get this house ready first. We've had a couple people come look at it already, before it's listed, and it would be great if one of them bought it, since we wouldn't pay a realtor's commission in that case. 

I forgot to take "before" pictures, but maybe I'll have some "after" photos to post soon. But this week--and for the next two weekends--we're off to see the Wizard!

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