A spring break trip to Texas

March turned out to be a busy month with us spending a week in Texas visiting Mimi & Popaw.  Before we left, however, we managed to get in school and find ways to entertain ourselves when it was too cold to play outside.  This is a “game” they came up with on their own.  (Don’t worry…. Momma hid the “ammo”.)

Keeping it "gangster"

Keeping it “gangster”

We have discovered LOTS of advantages of homeschooling, one of which is that we can do school literally anywhere… like Starbucks!  By March we were starting to find our “groove” with our schoolwork, and it was nice to see Liam’s smile return.  During the first half of first grade, he lost that “spark”.  Learning became about frustration, not about fun.  He lost confidence in himself.

For spring break, we traveled to Texas to see Mimi and Popaw for a much-needed break from housework and homework!

Liam has started to show a lot of interest in who his great-grandparents were and the history of our family.  Time to pull out the old scrapbooks!  Popaw even pulled out pictures and more from his days as a professional race car driver.  (Why, yes!  I came by my driving abilities naturally!  Haha!)

Not too shabby, huh?

Not too shabby, huh?

 

I love visiting some of the local stores in Eastland and Comanche when I get a chance.  As they say, “Junk makes her soul happy“.

Priceless antique?

Priceless antique?

Our trip to Texas gave each of us some much-needed down time to unwind and just do nothing.  For Rocky and Gracie, it meant lots of snuggles and belly rubs.  Turns out they love it when the boys visit!

Someone's tired!

Someone’s tired!

Mimi took us for a little retail therapy, and as usual, she made sure the boys had some new clothes and shoes for spring.  When it was time to pack up the car and head home to Texas, there was no room to spare in the car.  It reminded me of the days when I would return to Texas Tech after a visit home.

With Liam no longer in public school, my days of having some time to clean and organize the house without a helper (distraction) are gone.  It’s not often that I get a chance to reorganize a cabinet, but when I do, it makes me happy to pull out my trusty label-maker and have at least one small little part of my life organized and alphabetized while the rest of it is messy and topsy-turvy.

They found the hidden pacifiers I forgot about.

They found the hidden pacifiers I forgot about.

Cullen has his own system when digging through drawers and cabinets: to find something he’s not supposed to have and make a mess with it.  Such as Desitin!!!  Unfortunately, I did not get a pic of what he looked like when we discovered him covered in Desitin but let’s just say it was VERY MESSY.  He’s watched his brother style his hair with hair gel, so Cullen decided to do it too when no one was looking.  Only he grabbed the Desitin instead of the hair gel.  I didn’t think we would ever get it all out of his hair, and we still have a spot on the wall in the bathroom where it took off some of the paint.  But, boy…. was he sure proud of himself!

We love getting to visit one of the special families from our church.  One of the brothers has a cow that he has leash-trained, and the cow will even let kids ride on him.

Giddy up??

Giddy up??

I got to put on my “artist hat” and make some new signage for our church.  A team of us ladies accessorized the Welcome Center and coffee bar.  We also added some new directional signage to help visitors find their way around.  For me, it was just nice to finally put some of my Pinterest discoveries to good use.  😉

Don’t let Grumpy’s expression fool you.  The Easter Bunny visited our house, and both of the boys loved their Easter baskets full of goodies.  No pictures of an outdoor egg hunt though.  It was a cold, rainy Easter morning in Green Country.  Thankfully, the Easter Bunny was able to hide eggs throughout the house.

 

This is what a happy boy with new sneakers looks like:

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Where to begin?

Today marks three weeks since we loaded the cars, the trucks and the trailers for Oklahoma.  It wasn’t an overly emotional goodbye to our Arlington home at the time.  Honestly, if things hadn’t been moving at such a frantic pace and had I actually gotten a chance to stop for more than ten minutes and think about all of the moments we shared in that house, the emotions would have completely overwhelmed me.  We bought the house in 2006 and it was everything we wanted.  I envisioned children’s birthday parties, holidays and all of the special times we would have there someday.  The babies arrived in 2009 and 2013, and they came home from the hospital to that house.  It was the site of their first Christmases and so many other firsts.  It was the last house my grandmothers would get to see me in, albeit only in pictures before their passing in 2007.  

Our move to Oklahoma happened so quickly but maybe that’s how it had to be for me to make it through each day of packing, through saying goodbye to our friends and neighbors and even that last day when I picked the boys up from their day care and said farewell to the wonderful teachers who had taken care of, taught and loved them.

Before we drove away for the last time, I got a quick picture of the boys in front of our Texas home.

Before we drove away for the last time, I got a quick picture of the boys in front of our Texas home.

There is a mountain of “stuff” calling my name from my father in-law’s storage buildings.  It’s overwhelming to look at the boxes stacked so high.  Everything from our life in Texas is there.  I am anxious to start weeding through everything into the “keep” and “sell/donate” piles.  When we knew we would be putting the Texas home on the market, we frantically de-cluttered and got a lot of our things out of the house and into storage here.  Those few weeks we were living in the house while it was on the market were actually enjoyable.  I felt like I could breathe.  Getting some of the stuff out of the house was liberating, and with the house clean and picked up constantly for those last-minute showings, our family actually had time to relax a little.  We could sit down and enjoy a movie together or go to Chop House Burgers for Saturday lunch.  I didn’t feel like I was in the bottom of a hole, digging myself out only to have more dirt fall in around me with each bit of progress I made.

My kids, my husband and our time together are worth so much more to me than the “stuff” we had shoved into closets, that overtook the garage, that spilled out into our living spaces.  Less is more when it means you have a better quality of life for yourself and those you love.  Leaving Texas and this move mean we have a fresh start in so many ways.  For that, I am truly thankful.

I bought a book several years ago that I started but never finished.  It is just what I need right now to help get me in the right mindset to tackle those overwhelming stacks of boxes.  Have you heard of “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider?  She’s a blogger I’ve followed for some time and find to be very insightful and inspirational.  She calls her book “the clutter-free approach to intentional living”.  When packing up my books back in Texas, I intentionally held this one out so that I could begin it again.  Only this time, I will finish it.  So I’ll start Part I with “Stuff: Our Modern-Day Slave Master” which describes exactly what I was feeling for so long.  This fresh start in Oklahoma will be wonderful for our family for so many reasons.  I haven’t figured out why exactly God moved us here, but it’s clearly evident that He has a plan and for that, I am thankful and excited.

I have so much to learn and figure out about WordPress, but I just didn’t want to wait any longer to start posting.  I’ve had this need for a creative outlet for weeks now, and I also know this will be a great way to communicate the changes and experiences our family has now that so many family and friends are far away.  Thanks for visiting!

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