Wednesday, March 9, 2016

February 2016 In Our Home (And Big News!)


     February has presented us with some challenging situations. We experienced quite a few exhausting and stressful moments! We also experienced a couple of big answers to prayers. 

      New neighbors moved into the townhome beside us at the beginning of the month. As we've done with each new neighbor, we made a plate of homemade cookies and walked over as a family to introduce ourselves and welcome them to the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they have kept to themselves and we still have not met. So, we enjoyed the cookies ourselves and left a note extending a welcome and interest in meeting. (We are separated by just a wall after all!). For the most part, they've been quiet neighbors, for which we are very grateful. Occasionally, though, their extended family visits and the noise level becomes very loud. This poses a challenge for our children to sleep well during the day. We've had several days in which neither child has napped (but have had plenty of meltdowns as a result of no nap at such young ages). These days have been extremely trying for me. I won't deny having joined in the crying a time or two. These moments have made me long for us to know if/when we'll move and for us to finally have a home that isn't connected to anyone else. 

      We have been sitting with a house downpayment in the bank, but unable to purchase due to an upcoming but unknowing move. My husband has been seeking the next step in his career for quite a while. Although, he's received quite a few interviews and "runner up," the right position hadn't been offered. The endeavor hasn't just been about the job position, but also the need for a relocation offer. Big moves are very, very expensive, and that seems to be a big hurdle in this process. Consequently, we've been living in what I've been calling "limbo land" in which we are neither rooted here nor there. The process and uncertainty has been a challenge. My heart has broken each time I saw my husband put so much hope in an interview and then be denied. 
     
      Situations like these have been a reminder to me that faith isn't something we demonstrate in how I respond to situations. Honestly, I've responded rather poorly to challenges this month. I tend to be rather reactive and over-emotional. It's partly the result of my own personality, but also due to that being the kind of home and family I grew up in. However, it's something that I'm continuously working on. I want my husband and children to have an emotionally stable wife or Mama who responds to situations with faith God. Am I faithful in all situations, or am I carelessly reactive? This month I've not wanted to be faithful. I've wanted my husband to finally have success after working hard to achieve the next step in his career. I've wanted my family to be in a house of our own instead of a rented townhome. I've wanted my plan to be the one followed. Yet, in truth it's all a part of God's plan.  He has a plan, and I simply need to follow it by faith. 

8 months old!
       I'm certainly glad His plan has included these two children! Some days are difficult, but then there are so many more joys. Annelise is now 8 months old and growing like a weed! I had to do some shopping for 12 month clothes and size 2 shoes for her! I have my doubts that she'll be in those sizes very long though! She's still completely intolerant of "tummy time." At 8 months old, she still doesn't lay on her belly for even five minutes before being in a fully scream. Consequently, she does not roll around the floor or attempt to crawl. She does, however, get around quite a bit still! She prefers to be sitting, and will bend her knees forward to scoot anywhere she wants to go. Sometimes she'll flatten out from the seated position to reach something and then gets back upright. She will also scoot to a surface and pull up on it. She's not standing but she can lift her little bum off the floor. It's so cute to look over at her and see these little hands and face peeking over the top of a surface. She's got to keep up with big brother! They still thoroughly enjoy each other's company. The relatively close age gap between them does pose additional challenges, but then I watch this beautiful budding friendship between them and I'm assured and grateful for their closeness. 
   
25 months old!
       Tennyson is such a good big brother. He's also the best little helper around! All day long I hear some variation of "I help!" If I'm doing dishes, then he's quick to say "I help with the dishes" and joins in unloading the dishwasher or rinsing dishes that I've handwashed. The same occurs when I'm doing laundry. I'll set him on the dryer and hand him laundry to throw into the washer. Or, I'll hand him the wet laundry to be thrown into the dryer. "I help with the laundry." When I say "yes" to him helping and he completes the task, he has the biggest, proudest expression on his face. I believe children genuinely enjoy contributing to the home and family. They gain such a great sense of value (not to mention meaningful skills and the notion of all contributing to the home!). His favorite activity is cooking. He loves to "cook!" It's become our go-to activity for one-on-one time. 
   
      Practical life has become our one-on-one time or "tot schooling" activity of choice. Recent months of managing two very young children and our home has shifted my perspective on the notion of tot schooling. As much as I love the many fantastic activities available, I simply don't have the time to plan activities and shop/collect the materials for them. I've decided to reconsider our objectives for "tot school" at this age. I've also decided to take a less hands-on approach to the creation of our activities. I'll have two posts coming up that will tell all about "Our 2016 Homeschool Curriculum." Suffice it to say, I believe I've found objectives and methods that fit our life currently. 
            
     Speaking of current life- As I write this post,  a big change has come to our family! 
We're moving!!!! 
 Yep, the job and living situation that we wrestled with understanding and accepting has made a complete flip. We have only three weeks until our family of four makes the approximately 1473mi. move to Texas. We'll be going from freezing in PA to roasting in TX! (Seriously, the temperatures there are our summer temperatures and it's just the beginning of spring! Ahhh!). I'm honestly rather sad to leave. I've come to really enjoy life here. We have friends here. We have nearby parks, libraries and other fun places for the kids. This has been home. The convincing part of leaving is buying a home with a yard for half the price of what we'd be able to have here. I'm looking forward to finally having a house! I can't wait for the children to spend the day casually playing in their own backyard! 
    
      Before we get to that point, though, we have quite a move to make. There are a lot of details in arrangements that need to be made and tasks that need completed. I'm going to be a busy(ier!) Mama in the coming weeks. I still intend to maintain my weekly blog post resolution though. I've been working on several, and should have the next several weeks covered. I'm not sure if I will be able to read comments through the app on my phone. I can always be reached through email though (ourhomemakingstory (at) gamil (dot) com). 

    Lastly, my "Homemaking Challenge" has taken a back seat to teething this month.Miss Annelise has been waking frequently at night and occasionally for long stretches of time. Consequently, my alarm has been set for 6am instead of 5am. The delay has resulted in feeling more stressed and rushed, which is one reason for me preferring to wake before the children and adequately preparing for the day. However, getting up early has been a struggle with such little rest at night. Nevertheless, I keep trying each day! Once I get seven consecutive days with that goal then I'll move on to the next. (If you're following and would like to move on before me, then the next challenge is to shower daily). I haven't forgotten about the challenge. I've just needed to give myself a little allowance for not upholding it when something out of the ordinary is also happening (like a teething baby or moving 1500 miles!). :)

On to the next month and the next adventure! :)


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