May 5, 2008

Seasons

Since my last post, not only has the season changed, but many other life events have shaped the course of my days.

My health - ugh...

I'd love to have a good report, but don't. So - I'll at least keep this part short. Migraines now daily? Yes. Asthma as bad as ever? Yes, and now there may be a possible genetic link to cystic fibrosis and my grandmother and possibly myself as carriers.

Homeschooling...

Fine, yet we've fallen a little behind where I'd imagined we'd be at this time of year. We'll be working into the summer partially. Standardized testing will probably be held in July, or whenever we get around to it.

Family...

Great actually! My parents moved up here, somewhat temporarily, in February. They've got their own room at our house and share the upstairs bathroom with my brother, but that's just like old times for them. :)

My mom has been a huge help. She drives when my meds keep me from being able to. She drags me out of the house to the library with her and Kailee, even when I refuse at first. She cooks and keeps us all well fed and spoiled with her excellent fare. She picks up where I leave off and doesn't, even for a second, let me feel like less of a person, even when it would be easy to do. God sent my parents to me during a time that I needed them far more than I knew.

Work...

Jeff's been a busy guy lately. When he's not a his regular job, he's on a side job doing a remodel. When he's not doing side work, he's busy as can be around the house with all kinds of home improvement projects. This weekend he refurbished our ugly white ceiling fan, turning it into a thing of beauty. The metal is a gorgeous pitted brown and the blades are now a textured deep brown. He took $20 and turned the $30 fan into a $200 fan. He amazes me sometimes - well - all the time. His gifts are so useful.

Writing...

Well -I'm getting itchy again. I think that after our end of April snowfall, followed by early May high temps has finally flipped my creativity switch. Winter in the Northwest is a bit tough for most of us. All of us imports have to adjust to the grey and rainy weather for a solid three months, so it gets easy to procrastinate. However, as soon as the sun is shining, I'm in the zone all over again. It's like our own little human hibernation. I'm definitely feeling awake now though.

Other news...

We just celebrated Kailee's 10th birthday. Last weekend (end of April), Jeff and I went shopping at IKEA for a new bed for her. We'd decided to do a whole room makeover for her, and ended up doing an Extreme Makeover - Kailee Edition. :)

She was at Jeff's parents' house for the weekend and we'd been shopping and decided to keep her at her grandparents' for an extra day to give us time to paint, build, sort and organize, and decorate her brand new "tween" room.

It went from froo-froo pink to grape green in less than a day. We got home from IKEA and left again to Home Depot for some paint. We had to primer the pink on three walls, and left it alone on one wall. Two coats of primer and two coats of green later, it looked like a whole new room. Jeff even decided to give the pink wall a fresh coat of pink.

I'll see if I can get up some before and after pics soon. We took plenty, as proof of all our hard work.

After the green dried on that Sunday, we began our individual projects. My job was to sort through all of the endless clutter and toys that had previously littered our little girl's bedroom, that always kept it from being clean. Jeff was busy building the bed and desk. Whew - I hope I never have to do that again. It was unreal and seemed endless at times. We'd brought everything out of her room and downstairs to paint, so nothing went back into that room that didn't pass through my approval.

We donated massive quantities of toys and threw away almost as many. Now all her toys are in plastic bins and will stay organized for years to come. We also put some of it in our attic for her to pass on to her kids someday. It was the hugest purge in Browning history! Whew - done.

Well - after a teary phone call of misunderstood abandonment from Kailee on Sunday night, we felt terrible, but couldn't reveal our little project if it was going to be a surprise.

Finally - Monday evening around five pm, we headed out to get her and bring her home to her brand new room. We'd scored a desk chair for under her new loft bed that day, and a cool fuzzy pink lounging chair as well to go with the new desk, comforter, accent pillows, and matching sheer curtains. This room was made for hanging out, talking on the phone, and just chillin' in.

We got her home and upstairs. It was like an episode of Trading Spaces or While You Were Out. She was so excited! We even saw some happy tears. She was overwhelmed with joy. It was such hard work, but we just kept thinking about how much she'd love it, and she did. She's been calling down every so often the phrase, "I LOVE my room!" since Monday. Now it's been a whole week and the room has served its purpose beautifully. All the neighborhood kids have oo-ed and ahhh-ed over it now and over the weekend, we had her friend party with a sleepover with three of her best friends. It was awesome! They all wanted to sleep in Kailee's new room.

It was such a blessing that we were able to do this. I think it's been the best money we've spent in a really long time. Praise God for tax returns. :)

Birthday Business...

We also prepared quite a party for Kailee. We made our own pinata, wands, and signs. We ordered and picked up silver and black balloons, made a lightning bolt shaped cake, and hung oodles of spiral streamers and shiny silver stars around the house. The theme was Harry Potter. We had to make nearly everything, but it was SO much fun! I've never made a pinata before and it was messy and a total blast. All three of us got really into it and Jeff and I may have smeared each others' arms with gluey paper mache mix. Hee hee...

Conclusion...

I think the last couple of weeks have really pulled me back to reality. I've realized that even with more limitations now than ever, life is still worth working for. Our experiences with the people we love are worth any extra effort and personal consequences. It all matters. God's blessed me with love and support and so much more. It would be a travesty to waste all of it feeling sorry for myself or letting any of it get me down.