Getting a Fresh Start

This weekend culminated two weeks of plain craziness: packing up the old house, moving all our stuff, getting settled in the new house, doing a final clean and move-out inspection of the old house, finalizing all sorts of phone details with both our cell and landline carriers (more on that later) and now the fun part – reestablishing some sense of normalcy.

Understandably so, I gave the kids a two week Fall vacation from school work. They still read, did some math, and were creative with pen and paper, but our formal schooling was on hold. Since we started the new year in early August, we’re still right on track. I’m thankful that I knew we had to move so I could plan accordingly. None of us is quite ready to get back to the books, but such is life. We’re getting a fresh start and that is nice.

We aren’t quite settled in. It seems that a 13-month old is way more high maintenance than I remember. FishBaby is getting into everything. We’ve got gates on the stairs and baby locks in most places, so that is helping, but I just can’t get it all done as quickly as I would like.

That said, I’m still going to take you on a house tour. {Gasp.} Yes, even though it’s not the way I want it — yet. Please excuse the mess while we’re under construction.

But, since I’ve made a goal to get it all done by October 31st, you will be great accountability for me, won’t you? I hope to show you more pictures on November 1 that even have books on the shelves and pictures on the walls. As in finances, I’m going to dream a big dream for this month!

The Toy Garage

Since the current house does not have a large “office” like the last one, nor do we have an extra bedroom to function as the playroom, we’ve had to rethink how we approach setting up housekeeping, playing, and schooling. Luckily, we’ve got a third garage separated from the larger two-car. It’s clean and spacious, perfect for storing all the toys and school supplies. The boys and I spent a few hours getting it ready last week. We unpacked toys that the kids hadn’t seen in over a year since we moved to California from Kansas. They’ve lamented the loss of their beloved FBA basement, so this single car garage may prove an excellent replacement. We should be able to finish organizing it this week and find a carpet remnant to make it a little homier.

The School Room

Inside the house, we have dedicated “the dining room” to be a school area. But, it’s so much prettier than my khaki school room with the orange racing stripe! Oh yes! FishPapa, FishBaby and I went to IKEA on Saturday and bought a couple Expedit cubby/book case thingys. These will hold the kids’ daily work and a few tchotchkes (the 2nd definition) while the stockpile of books and supplies awaits us on nice shelves in the garage. I love my new schoolroom. It’s so pretty! And hopefully, it will be functional as well.

The Living Room

Off the school room is the living room. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the existing window hardware would work for my curtains that sat in a box for our first year in California. My sister and I were able to switch out the awful valances that were in this room and add some color right away. (I have no idea why that green arm chair is in there. It doesn’t match and I didn’t put it there. It’s yours for the taking.)

We’ve yet to find a great place for all our computers. We have two desktops and two laptops. Obviously with wi-fi, the laptops can go anywhere. There is a desk in the kitchen where we plan to set up one computer as well as another Expedit bookcase. Then we’ll have to create another work station somewhere else. Computer stations can get so messy; I’m not sure the best way to simplify.

Where Life, Food, and Football Happen

Elsewhere, we’ve made a family room with the TV, sectional, and some girly toys since I won’t be sending the littlest ones out to a garage to play. This room is attached to the kitchen. Since all the carpeting in the house is brand spanking new, we decided that this was the best option for keeping food off the carpet. We don’t watch movies during dinner — football is not a movie — but the kids like to snack during movies. By having them all in one area with a linoleum area nearby, we hope to save the carpet. One week and so far, so good.

We’re squeezing our large family into the kitchen for meals, which is a little tight. But once we find some bar stools we like, I think things will work out well with a few kids eating at the counter.

There are four bedrooms upstairs in various degrees of unpackedness. Two Fishers per room. My brother has a bedroom downstairs which is convenient for the hours he keeps. Pictures to follow next month, Lord willing.

It’s fun having a fresh start. The trip to IKEA certainly helped. I’ve found myself with fewer cupboards, more closets, less pantry space. Give a little, get a little. Downsizing and reorganizing are great ways to simplify your life. I’m looking forward to November 1.

May my life home be settled and “normal” – whatever that is.

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  1. It looks like you are getting settled in! I'm impressed with how much you've done in a weekend! We moved in three months ago and I still don't have everything where I want it. I hope you enjoy your new house.

  2. valerie reilly says:

    are you a homeschooling mom?

    moving is hard, i've done it about 12 times, the last one, transatlantic, with divorce, baby, dog, bird, fish, to a town with no friends nearly killed me. make a routine (is it to a new town?) you did A LOT!!!! the kids find it fun, don't they?

    just be careful/prepared in the toy room/garage for waterdamage, leaks, and drafts if it hasn't been used as a room before (spiders, mice, etc.) how many kids do you have? they have too many toys!!! we apartment people know how to downsize. you don't need that many – fall is a great time for a garage sale!

    good luck, congratulations, mazel tov,

  3. Hoosier Homemade says:

    I think it looks great! Wish I had a kitchen with an island that goes into the TV rm like yours. Very neat!
    I found the hardest thing is getting the pictures hung. Good luck with it all!

  4. Jane (Frugal Fine Living) says:

    Moving can be stressful with little ones, but you really seem to have it under control. You've got a lot done already. I love your school room!


  5. I think it looks pretty good for y'all just having moved! I'm sure by the end of the month you'll have it all organized!

  6. Val, yes, we homeschool. And yes, we have toys — but we also have six children spanning twelve years of age. Much of what you see in that photo is school storage. (It's not a great photo.) But, seeing as my boys buy their legos with their own money, I don't feel right taking it from them.

  7. Looks like you are getting settled! Good luck making that wonderful house a home:-)

  8. Cheryl B. says:

    I stopped by your blog to verify that you were still hosting your Monday "theme day".

    In case you aren't sure why I would do that, please first go here:–/

    and then read this one:

    From what I could see, you are no longer hosting yours. Are my findings correct? Either way, PLEASE let me know via: pink bunnies (at) sbc global (dot) net

    Cheryl B.

    p.s. – moving is oh so challenging …. in so-o many ways!!!
    I would suggest that you not seperate some kids by having them sit at the counter … "family time round the table" is very important. We use to average 20 on Sunday's – with all of our "part-time" kids showing up (we ran a 'safe house' of sorts.

  9. Costa Rica Baby! says:

    This is so excitng for your family!!! I LOVE the school room with your IKEA purchases. Looks so organized. 😀

  10. Stephanie says:

    Moving is so hard! You have accomplished so much already. Looks like a very cute home and I am sure you will plow through all that needs to be done and have it looking spiffy in no time 🙂 Thanks for the tour!

  11. Wow! This has been a huge undertaking and I am very impressed with how much you've done already! You're doing a wonderful thing purposefully simplifying….great job!

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