Friday, September 07, 2007

Moved, settled, now life can resume

We're unpacked, some pictures are hung, I would like to buy a bookcase for the living room to hold all the scrapbooks...other than that...we're pretty settled in the new house. Kids are loving their new school and making friends, getting involved. I'm going to be working at their school as a teacher's aide. God has really had His hand in my life, and I am reassured constantly that I am making good decisions and on the right path. I haven't taken any pictures at all, but my little mini-me's Nora & Carmella have, so the pictures in this post are all thanks to them!

We were invited to my friend Karen's church, the Evangelical Free Church of Naperville, and so far, it's been fun. The church is huge, the sanctuary is like a giant theater seating (comfy seats) and even a balcony with more seating. On stage when you enter, it's almost like you're at a rock concert - full band up on stage, drum set, several guitars, keyboards, percussionists, not to mention a very handsome lead singer with several back-up singers. There's not one, but TWO giant screens on either side of the stage with the lyrics to all the songs and an occasional video or church announcements. The music is so fun, and loud so I can sing along and not worry about hurting anyone's ears nearby. Last week there was a grand piano up on the stage, too! The week before there was a bed. A bed, you ask? Yes, it was part of a little drama skit they did to introduce this series of sermons, "How to Raise Wise Kids in a Foolish World" - couldn't get more timely for me! And I am enjoying it and have decided we will keep visiting here for at least these 4 weeks so I can hear the rest of it. The children love it. As soon as they heard that they have an Awana program, they were sold, but it's so much more than that, too. When we get to church I have to sign them in, and the bigger kids all go to their respective grades. They do a craft, sing songs, and have their own little worship service in the church's OLD sanctuary where they hear a Bible story. The last 2 weeks Gina had to go down to the nursery (which was not a baby nursery, but a class of all 6-year-olds where they played games and did crafts, too), because they hadn't "graduated" the kindergarteners up to 1st grade yet...but next Sunday, she will be up there with the big kids, too. And after the service this Sunday, they have invited me to a monthly luncheon they have for guests. I'm hoping to find out more about the women's ministries (I know they are planning a retreat for October) and see if they have any small groups or a Bible study group that I can join. I do still want to visit the Baptist church that's near our house, but they don't have a Wednesday evening service so I will wait until the parenting sermons are done at the EFCN. I am thrilled to say that the kids have been great about going, haven't had to drag anyone out of bed or anything!

Karen (used to be Kohl, that's what I'll always think of...I'm sure I'm still a Gogliotti to her, too!) has been so wonderful. It's amazing to me sometimes, how a good friendship can last through the years. We have not kept in the best touch, just those Christmas cards or an occasional letter (or birth announcement!) But even still, coming "home" to the area, has been like coming home to our friendship from high school like we haven't been apart for the last 15 years! She has 3 wonderful kids, all younger than mine, but they all seem to get along so well. Cassidy, who is 3, has really taken a liking to my Nora. And Declan, who is 1, just adores Carmella! Liam is a year younger than Gina, but gives Jack a run for his money! When they are together it is really sweet. It's sad in a way, that we have missed out on so much, but so nice to be able to reconnect like this. I have been blessed with such wonderful friends.

And a wonderful family, too! Things were a little hectic (that's an understatement) when we were packing up and moving, so I didn't get any pictures, but I had a TON of people come out to help us. First of all, the pastor from our church offered to help me pick up the rental truck. (There's a whole other blog entry in the story about how the U-Haul suddenly turned into a Penske truck the day before our move...but I'll save that for another day!) So thanks to Pastor Jeff, the truck was sitting in my driveway on Friday evening after we got home from Jack's play (another blog entry for another day!) So first thing Saturday morning, Bill & Pat show up and get the truck all backed up into the yard and start loading it up just the 2 of them! In an hour or so, my Uncle Frank and the boys pull up and it's an all out moving fest...things are flying out the door faster than I can say - "Hey wait, I need that toothbrush!" Or suitcase, whatever. I had a load of laundry still running...oops! We were getting down to just a few big things that had to fit in the truck, and I honestly didn't think it would all fit. My cousins had the kitchen door off its hinges, the refrigerator handles came off, the water line in the back. I really just tried to close my eyes through this whole process, but it was like a train wreck - just couldn't turn away. Nobody knows how the refrigerator got into the house 3 years ago...but it made it out! The truck was loaded up and they were ready to hit the road by about 11:30am...a mere 2 hours after arriving! Cousin Frank drew the short straw and had to drive in the truck with Uncle Frank, while Michael & Danny got to drive the SUV! Gail had sent some delicious banana bread and brownies with Frankie (we all enjoyed it!) All this time, and my dad still hadn't shown up! But those Gog boys didn't want to wait, they headed back to IL, but did meet up with Dad to have lunch about an hour from my house. He gave them the key and garage door opener and by the time he showed up at the house, we had found the kids bicycles that didn't make it on the truck, and loaded up the back of his Explorer with the bikes, vacuum cleaner, and cleaning supplies!

The kids were spending the day with Russ. So Dad & Anna went to check into their hotel and rest a little before Jack's play while I stayed and cleaned up some more in the house. I felt bad that Dad did so much driving and hardly got to see the kids, but he watched Jack's play (and loved it!) and then took me and Anna to dinner at Damon's. Afterwards, they needed to head back to get some sleep so they could leave first thing in the morning, as Uncle Frank said he wasn't unloading the truck until Dad got there (haha!) I went over to Angie's house to do some stamping. Then I headed back to the house for my last night sure was EMPTY! It rained and rained on Sunday, and Mom & Dad called and suggested that I stay one more night and not try to drive until Monday. That was great for Russ, he got an extra night with the kids in the hotel, and I stayed with Angie and got to do even more stamping. Sweet Weslea let me sleep in her bedroom, which was much more comfortable than a sleeping bag in an empty house! So we went to church Sunday, said a lot of good-byes and thank-yous...we sure are going to miss everyone. And because of all the rain, Jack's matinee on Sunday was moved to their rain location, which was a smallish indoor theater just off the square. Not as big a crowd, but another wonderful performance!

So Monday morning we took off. Russ brought the kids out to the house and I walked through one more time. He was supposedly going to be getting his stuff out of the basement and milking parlor later in the day before his flight out. Unfortunately, the landlord came by before he came back, and locked up the house. So all the stuff that he should have gotten out of the basement was now locked in there. He did take care of the milking parlor though, and loaded his truck with what he wanted to keep. The truck is parked at his friend's house, I guess, as far as I know, Russ still hasn't decided what he will do with it.

We got to Bolingbrook and had lunch with Mom & Dad (for just the first drop-by meal of many, haha!) Then headed on to Aurora to see how the guys had done unloading everything! It was wonderful! The furniture was where I asked them to put it, the boxes were all stacked up in the garage or in the appropriate room (if they had been labeled, of course!) And it was just wonderful. Aunt Mary & Aunt Diane were here, and Sean & Nick joined the Gog boys and from what I hear, they were a well-oiled machine getting things off the truck and into the house! I had a lot of work to do in front of me, but the heavy-lifting was done, and I am SOOO grateful! My not-to-scale sketch of the house ended up being a little off, so I did move my computer desk to a different location, and I had my friends Glenna & Karen come over the following Saturday and put their husbands to work re-arranging the refrigerators and taking the elliptical machine up to my bedroom! I only had to pay them with pizza for dinner - what a bargain! And I haven't had a chance to properly thank my cousins...but I'll think of something!

So anyway...I keep thinking I should take some pictures, but it's not quite ready yet! I need to hang more pictures (and I'm too short!) and I need that bookcase. But one of these days, I will happily post pictures of our new place. It's so nice, and it's so mine. I know I have no excuse to have not thought of all our other houses as my own, but somehow this is different. Everything is different, I guess. But different isn't always bad. And so far, things are really good.


Katie Jones said...

glad you are getting settled.

Janelle said...

I'm glad that things are going well with the new home. I can't believe you are so close to me now ~ we HAVE to get together!! :)

Katie said...

Woohooooooo, Mimi!!!! You go, girlfriend!! You are doing great!


Tiffany said...

It's beautiful to hear you thriving and the kids happy. You guys are doing great!

One day I'll have to take a trip out and visit you!