This is happening (hopefully with eyes closed by now), so I'm FREEEE!!! to return to the blogging lifestyle to which I am accustomed.
Poor ol' blogski. Been feeling pretty abandoned lately, I bet. Start a series, don't finish, disappear without a trace... I'm impressed it's even letting me log in. Not one to hold a grudge, I guess. Phew.
So anyway, where did I go? Cut me a break, mama!
The day after my last post, I had a call from the property manager who's taking care of our house in Adelaide. Let's have an open, she said. On the 3rd of January, she said. Sure, I replied.
And then realised that gave us five days - including a Sunday meeting down at camp and two family Christmases, so basically two days - in which to completely prepare our home for the open. And pack for nearly two weeks away.
Something had to give, and that something ended up being the blog. Incomplete series or not, this mama had to cut herself a break.
And we did it. Somehow, the Room That Dare Not Speak Its Name managed to turn from this:
(but worse, because this was taken about halfway through)
(ooh, shiny and lovely!)
And the rest of the house was looking pretty sweet, too.
Job well done, and off we went on a very well-deserved and much-needed break. A brief, quiet stopover in Ballarat on the way, then a week of fun, food and fantastic fellowship (and ample alliteration) at Anglesea camp on the Great Ocean Road.
Spent a nice couple of days with some great people in Ballarat on the way back, too.
And then we had one week to get through four loads of post-holiday washing, fit in as many farewell catch-ups as possible, and PACK ALL THE THINGS!!!
And then, after a beautiful last night in Adelaide...
...we hit the road. New start, new home. Hello, Ballarat.
(Ballarat, land of lake walks.)
For the last twelve days we've been unpacking, settling, exploring, adapting; buoyed up by excellent fellowship (including last night's post-house meeting chorus & hymn session) and plenty of answered prayers. Liam's settling into his new job, I'm settling into a good routine with the kids (or as close to "routine" as we get), Ellie's adjusting to her new Ballarat family (while frequently reminiscing about her Adelaide loved ones), Owen's strolling about like a cheerful little champ.
The new house is perfect. Answered prayer #387, or thereabouts. I'm finding myself loving getting things organised around the place, getting off to a good start housey-wise. This morning I sorted our ensuite cupboard contents into categorised baskets. It's pretty sweet up in there.
Oh, and I now have a PANTRY. That's been on my wishlist, oh, for ever. Or at least the last 2-3 years.
(Argh, the tinned peaches are in the wrong place!)
And truly, this bookcase has never held so many books in its life. Also, there's another (albeit smaller) bookcase in the office (that's right, I said office). But at last all of our books are shelved! Stacked and double-layered they may be, but they're also organised by genre/author, allowing growing room for those I'm still collecting. *happy sigh*
(3 months till the release of "Light", the last in Michael Grant's "Gone" series!)
And hey, who else loves my awesome housewarming present?
So, bit by bit, day by day, this empty (but lovely) house
is turning into a comfortable, vibrant new home for our little family. We love it.
Ellie and Owen are now sharing a room, which is going so well I'm gonna go ahead and describe it as fantastic.
Their little square patch of real estate quickly filled up with dresser, reversible bunk (set up as low bed) and cot - until, a couple of days in, Ellie asked for her bed to be turned over so she could sleep up top.
Nice, huh? Lasted one night. Came home from the house meeting with two very tired children, tucked Ellie into the top bunk and Owen into the floor bed (with a portable cotside so he wouldn't roll out). Perfect night's sleep.
Following night, not quite so successful. Owen had realised he could get out. And did. A lot. Until, about two hours after bedtime, we gave up and reconstructed the cot. Sweet dreams, boncecake.
We'll try again, later. Much later.
So, between restless little ones and evenings of fellowship and impromptu lake walks, we haven't had many quiet nights in. Two in the last twelve nights, actually - and one of those was the night of the bunk fiasco. Kinda looking forward to some peace and the switching off of the brain this evening.
Unless the lake calls us again.
Balance will come. For now we're finding our feet, getting the hang of Aldi, learning our way around, adapting to the rhythm of cool until lunchtime, hot sun all afternoon, refreshing evening breeze.
Figuring out our shopping hotspots.
Exploring our local parks.
We have good support here, and look forward to contributing in any way we can. This is going to be so good for us.
I'm learning more about my boy and girl every day. So much more of Owen's character is showing through now he's walking (and trying to run...). I've realised what his deal is: everything he does, he throws himself into completely. He doesn't know how to do half-hearted. That's why when he's having fun, everyone knows about it. And when something's wrong, it's a national emergency. Every cuddle is deeply heartfelt, every grin beautifully sincere. When he tries to do something, he does it with such complete determination that, when thwarted, it's hardly any wonder there are tears and offending items thrown across the room and a small body cast to the ground in utter frustration. But when he loves you... oh, he loves you. With his whole heart and his whole being. I can neither fathom, nor get enough of, that kind of passionate approach to life. He is incredible.
And Ellie. Oh, we've seen plenty of Ellie lately, in all aspects of her personality. Our awesome, adaptable girl is dealing with the move beautifully. A little more cuddly than usual, a little more emotionally volatile (which can - fairly often - disguise itself as bratty), but for the most part cheerful and accommodating and enjoying the new experiences we're having every day. My favourite new thing with Ellie, though; my favourite of all her coping mechanisms? When things get a bit much, and she takes herself off to a quiet spot (her room, if we're home), and waits for me to come.
"Can we have a chat?" she says.
And I sit beside my big little grown-up baby girl, and ask her what she'd like to chat about, and we discuss moving house, having a new home, missing family and friends, doing things differently. It never takes long, and always ends with a cuddle and a happy girl skipping away to some new adventure. I just love her new-found ability - and willingness - to share her thoughts and feelings so clearly. She is amazing.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to cuddle a freshly-woken little boy and return him to the delighted
clutches company of his adoring sister. And then, back to making this house a home for my sweet girl, super boy, and wonderful best-friend-husband.
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