It is hard to believe that I can forget how challenging moving is when we have done it so often. Somehow, despite the fact that I am a veteran of this game, I am surprised when I find myself stressed and edgy. Truly, in the weeks surrounding a move, I find I am almost living an out-of-body-experience. This has happened each time we pick up and change locations. It is as if I am watching myself from the outside trying to self-talk myself down off a cliff.
My emotions include excitement, worry, joy, and fear, while also feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and spread to thin. I am so glad that this is the last move for us. Obviously, we can't predict the future, but we don't plan to move for a very long time and that feels so good because I am convinced that I am just bad at this moving thing!
Anyways, enough of that. How is life going? It is actually going very well. I took some pictures of our new home to share some of what is going on for us here.
All the boxes are unpacked. With Hannah in the house, not getting things put away immediately is truly not an option. I have found that just plowing through the first few days and getting all the major stuff done allows you to start living "normally" as soon as possible. You can cook in your kitchen, sleep in your bed, and put things away when done playing with them.
The picture above is our finished living room. I really like how it turned out. The couch on the left is flanked by a bookshelf on each side and our Turkish picture hanging above it. To the right is another bookshelf and our desk.
This house presents some challenges because while it is laid out intimately and very cozy, the nooks and crannies make it really small. JB and I have always said we wanted a "cozy" and "small" house over a "big" and "impersonal" house. Well, we got that. But finding a place for all our stuff is challenging. The good thing is that, as JB has learned in permaculture, sometimes the best laid plans come when the space and limitations are the most challenging. I can't just keep everything I want and put it wherever I want. I have to get creative and resourceful, and in the end, I think that will make for a better and more purposeful home.
The one room we put a lot of effort into at the beginning was our bedroom. The paint and carpet in our room was absolutely horrendous and not livable. So during one of our past visits, we got new carpet put down and painted the walls. I really like the color and while the room isn't big, it is big enough and very cozy. We don't have any pictures hung yet or anything, but it totally works for us.
It has a very nice closet area and very large bathroom. Eventually, we will probably redo that area, but for now, it works for us. We were originally going to stain all our furniture dark, but we ended up thinking that light color worked well in this room being as it is right off the living room and that room is very dark wood.
Here is a picture of Isaac, following the "no touching the banister" rule. The upstairs is open to the bottom floor. We have set up two nice chairs to create a small reading area in this space. The boys then have a room to the left and the girls to the right with a long section of closets and bathroom connecting the two rooms. However, this banister makes me a wee bit nervous so until we get it more secure (we are going to put up a netting or something to give an extra level of protection), the kids have been told they may not, under any circumstance, touch the banister. This works fine for the big kids as they really are good respecters of rules. Hannah doesn't get to go upstairs without an adult with her. We are keeping a gate at the bottom of the stairs.
I'm not including pictures of the kids bedrooms because we have major projects planned for the winter. For now, their rooms serve a function, but they need major painting and changes made. Whenever we do that, I'll be sure to post some before and after pictures.
Here is another picture of the sitting area upstairs. These chairs were Dad and Mom's. We all loved the chairs but weren't sure where we could make them work in either of our homes. I am glad to have found the perfect place.
Eventually, we think we may create a second room in this space and eliminate the vaulted ceiling living room below it. I am hopeful this can eventually be our schoolroom.
Right through that narrow door is the kitchen. This space would have been a formal dining room, but we have turned it into our school room. It is tight, but I think it will work. I am not sure I can homeschool four teenagers here, but for four little kids, I've come up with a good system. It's a "busy" room, but I think it will be fine.
One interesting thing about this house is the fact that it has almost been put in backwards. The front door (as seen here) is not a door we will be using. The door in the kitchen will be the utilized door just based on location. So we decided to let this front foyer serve as an extension of the school room.
You can't see it well, but there is a bookshelf and some drawers on the other side of the piano.
Yes, a piano! Most exciting about this space is the piano! Someone was selling an old church piano, and we managed to land it! In addition, when we landed the piano, the woman at the church who played it was there. She's an older lady who has been giving piano lessons for 20 years. The boys are going to start lessons this fall as part of our homeschool curriculum.