What a crazy month April was!!!
We started out here in South Dakota.
This is how my house started out...
And slowly it looked a little more like this...
until it finally became completely empty...about two days ago.
I think the worst part of it all was that my husband started his new job out of state in the beginning of April and left me alone with the kids to pack up and clean the house. Have I ever mentioned how LARGE the South Dakota house was? More than double the size of any previous Sew*CakeMaker residence.
I actually pulled the boxes out mid-March to start the whole ordeal. That first box was rather traumatic to pack. I popped it open, folded the bottom flaps into place, then sealed them with a fresh roll of clear packing tape. Swiftly I grabbed a stack of dishes from atop the counter (only paper plates for us from then on out) and wrapped them in bubble wrap. I placed all my fabulous red At Home America plates (I earned those plates by babysitting my dear friend Wendi's little girls while she ran sales shows when we first moved to Arizona 7 years ago) into the box all snug, then went to close the top flaps of the box. No joke, when I turned down the last two flaps I seriously flashed back to the very day I opened that box, just a mere 6 months ago. I could even remember, or at least visualize my hand, grasping the box-cutter, and slicing open the tape. How on EARTH could we be moving already!?!
Too painful to even face, I just turned off my heart and continued to pack. I slowly turned off all emotion this past month, and frankly my memory too, as the boxes piled up. Somewhere among the past thirty-some days Hubbs was taken in by my incredible friend Jill and her family so we didn't have to pay for a hotel in the cities. Mid month we drove the five hours to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota to be with Dad and find a house to move into. After that, the rest of the South Dakota house got packed between early morning seminary classes and running the kids to school and activities, the house eventually got cleaned, and finally I found my incomplete family without a home.
We are stranded in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for three more weeks while we wait for school to get out. You see, if my kids were to transfer to their schools in Minnesota today, they would end up in classes until mid June. It wasn't hard to come to the conclusion that we should stick out the last three weeks and be done with school rather than have it stretch on for another 6 weeks. Part of that plan was finding a place to lay our dizzy heads at night until we get to join Dad in our new cozy little Minnesota house. That is where my profuse love of my friend Mary comes into play. She kindly opened up her home to all four of us to come and stay with her family. and go as we need. I can't even tell you what a relief it is to have a sweet and comfortable home to stay in while we deal with all of the changes going on.
Madison is having a terrible time with having to wait to leave, Eli just wants to stay, and Emmalee, well, I need Dad here to take her away for just a little while so I can get a nap. The poor girl, on Tuesday we stopped off at Culvers, a fast-food restaurant to have a hamburger between donating some items and picking up more cleaning supplies. I think in the 20 or so minutes we sat at the table eating I must have fallen asleep 5 or 6 times! My cute little girl just munched away on her cheese burger and talked to me whenever my eyes were open. I felt so bad, but was just so exhausted!
Anyway, we will all survive and much better this month thanks to Mary and her loving family. Here is our house we will get to live in once school is out...
We are all super excited. We took all our stuff up last weekend so Dad could start living there. Princess Kitty seems to like it too. I don't think she has ever seen so many birds before.
I did want to show you some pictures of the ice storm we had a couple weeks ago. It was the first week my husband was gone. I picked up little Kylee, Emmalee's 4yr old friend from Worthington, MN, with the hopes the two girls would play and I could get some packing and clippy making going on. Kylee actually lives about an hour East of us right now. We picked her up one Sunday night for a little 1-2 day sleepover at our house. On Tuesday, it started to rain. That rain started turning to slush, and before we knew it, it was turning the trees and grass into sheer ice.
I had actually run out to the garage to cut some wood. Madison and Eli both had snow days from school due to the weather. Madison came running out to the garage and said she was worried the tree was going to crash through the window. I knew the wind had been blowing, but told her I really doubted the wind would be strong enough to blow the tree through the window. I finished the wood I was cutting, then went into the house. That was when I actually heard what Madison was worried about. With the branches completely covered in ice, the wind was blowing them against the windows and I sounded like they would break through at any moment.
I took a couple pictures of the crazy trees, then went outside to see if I could get a better view. It was the craziest thing! When the wind blew, the branches hit each other and it looked and sounded like clinking glass, almost like a wind chime, but creepy!
That was all by about 10am. It continued to rain/ice all day until about 3pm when it started to snow.
Eli went outside a bit before the snow started. He gathered these branches and rocks.
Notice that the branch is only about 1/8" thick and the ice is more than an inch thick. Totally crazy!
Once the snow began to fall, you could hear creaking and snapping of branches. We saw the neighbors whole tree split, half of it falling in his driveway.
Eventually half of the city ended up without power. Branches were down all over the place. They were falling on homes and cars and power lines. They declared Sioux Falls in a state of emergency.
This was about the point when Kylee decided she wanted to go home...
We stopped all of the packing and working and focused on entertaining all of the house bound munchkins. It was a little hard with half the toys and most of the games packed, but we managed a few fabulous activities, like playing squinkies, scrapbooking and sticker books, playdough, making cookies and such. Oh, and there may have been a slight bit of animal torture...or Eli torture. He is quite an animal after all.
The next day, the sky cleared, but it was so bad out on the ice covered roads that school was cancelled again. Just about when I decided the kids could go outside and play in the snow, a huge, horrible sound rang out, and what I can only guess to have been hundreds of pounds of ice slid off the roof and landed right over the door. No way! There was NO WAY any one was going outside. Ice covered branches were still falling from the sky, but with the sun melting things, more and more chunks of ice were dropping like bombs from the sky. I decided it was just too dangerous for any of us to leave. Two more days of school were cancelled. My friend on the East end of the city was still without power almost a week later.
Kylee's parents in Worthington were hit by the same storm. Friday, when it finally cleared up enough that I felt like we could travel, I took Kylee home to her family. Branches were piled up waist high all over their city. I have never, EVER seen anything like that storm in my whole life. It was April. We were supposed to be picking flowers, not dragging branches as thick as your thigh off the sidewalk.
This is Madison's High School on Monday, almost a week after the storm.
Here are two of the piles of branches I came upon two days ago when taking my old TV to be recycled. These piles have to be at least 20 feet high. I heard they had to take more than 400 trucks to get all the branches from one neighborhood. Crazy. Anyone want some wood chips?
This was what my downstairs living room looked like most of April. When I discovered we would really be moving again, I was determined not to move the boxes and boxes of un-scrapbooked pictures again. Truth be told, I have not scrapbooked in almost 6 years, probably since we lived in Minnesota the first time. It was VERY overwhelming at first, but over the course of several weeks, I was able to get all those loose papers and photos plugged into the already scrapped books, plus got a couple books done the first time on magnetic pages transferred over to my favorite Creative Memory books. In addition, I scrapped my own first six years of life. April was a tough month to deal with since my husband was gone, but scrapbooking during that time was more than therapeutic. I was able to remember being young, being a teenager, and dating. It is funny to remember those times once you have children that are actually that age :0}
I went through just about every book I had, adding to each annual the miscellaneous papers, certificates and stray photos that had surfaced over the past 16 years. I flipped through my wedding book and the year that Scott and I dated. It was sweet to remember how it all felt and how we felt about each other back then. At times though, it made me miss my husband even more.
I found pictures of roommates and neighbors and best friends I have lost contact with. Probably most precious were the photos and mementos of my brother John and my Grandma, both deceased. April is actually the month that John died and the month of Grandma's birthday. What a silly coincidence. I am going to sound really sappy now, but looking through those books was a real blessing for me. There I was at a difficult time of change in life, finding myself left to handle it all alone, and I was more occupied with the thoughts and feelings of the past years than with the distress of the current days. I have often thought of and been thankful for the gift the good Lord has given us by allowing us the technology of photos and video. I often get caught up in all the bad and hard things in life, shutting down my memories because I just can't handle more than what is before me each day. By having that most precious gift of photos, little glimpses of moments past, we are able to remember the precious and good times we have had and remember that life is worth the work. We can look back and laugh at our mistakes and see the progress we have made through our trials. We can once again hold our newborn babies in our hands and almost smell the baby lotion. What a gift!
Alright, clearly I have gotten a little carried away in the memories again. Since this is a crafty blog and not a lets-see-how-crazy-Vanessa-is blog, here are a couple scrapbook pages I love.
Oh my GoodNeSS! What handsome men we have in our family!!!
To be totally honest, I don't spend a lot of time on my pages. I pick a couple pages in each book to spend time on, but usually I keep things on the simple side. The photos are what I love, not the buckets of elements I spent all the grocery money on ;0)
This would be a more typical page for me. A couple paper scraps for color, maybe a sticker or die cut here or there, and then pics. I need to take one more spin through these books and journal. I know, it is the most important part. I figure having the pics in books is the most important part for a career mover like me ;0} I would hate to lose a single memory. I just hope I can remember what needs to be written on the pages still waiting when I finally make the time to get it done.
I can proudly say that all scrapbooks now have EVERYTHING in place. Big accomplishment for me.
Don't get me wrong. The last 6 years are not even started, but the started years are now complete.
Yay for me! And they were finished in the wee small hours of the night between days of filling boxes.
How is that for another memory!?!
Well, hopefully I haven't left you feeling too cold with all the ice pictures, but I DO hope you have an inkling to pull out your scrapbooks and just peek at them at least, if not scrap a little.
I will see you soon with a huge pile of projects about to be crossed off my to-do list.
Happy Spring everyone! I hope it comes to the rest of us very soon ;0}