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Sunday, August 31, 2014

T minus 17 Hours

New Oakland shirts!
Boxes are packed, trips to Goodwill have been made, Craigslist sales have been completed, and moving truck is sitting on the road. I even held Evelyn and read a book for half an hour today. In true Royal fashion we are having some friends over for one last dinner in this kitchen tonight...using paper plates and borrowed silverware. The movers will be here tomorrow at 0800 and Daniel will help while they load the truck and I take the kids out to a final Oakland breakfast. I guess this means we are closing an exciting chapter of our lives and beginning a new one!

Last Sunday at our beloved church calls for fancy dresses and big yellow bows!
"Goodbye Oakland"
Testing out the Moving Truck
Spending a lot of time getting carried while Mom packs boxes
The best part of moving is finishing off the cherries from the refrigerator

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why Our Kids are Awesome

There is so much I have already forgotten from the last few years and I want to remember these days...both the blissful and the tough. So here's a post written for myself. Feel free to eavesdrop.

The period of mid July through mid August was difficult as far as parenting is concerned. Capper and Anellah had ganged up on us as parents and were doing their best to "innocently" make our lives as difficult as possible. I say "innocently" because they weren't being blatantly disobedient, but just disobedient and sneaky enough to be extremely frustrating. Rather than playing with toys it seemed they were getting into everything OTHER than toys. Things that wouldn't really matter if it happened once or twice but when it was incessant toy-avoidance it got old quickly. Then there was bedtime, they weren't "bad" per se, they just stayed up laughing and giggling for HOURS after being put to bed. To the point where they were still up when we would go to bed. Needless to say this made for tired kids the next day. There were other times where they would do sneaky things that Anellah knew they shouldn't be doing but she acted as if she didn't when confronted; the only way we were sure she "knew better" was that she tried to hide her actions when she heard Daniel or I coming. The icing on the cake was when we received some medical equipment for Anellah's glucose sensor and I let the kids open the box then got distracted doing something else for a minute before a friend came to graciously bring us dinner. Suddenly I realized it was too quiet and when I called upstairs, "are you being obedient or naughty?" the answer I received was, "naughty." Upon entering their room I witnessed over $100 of medical supplies ($400+ without insurance) had been injected into a stuffed animal as they giggled and "played doctor." That was the tipping point, I walked out of their room seeing red and knowing that I would regret anything I said or did to them in that moment. Daniel addressed the situation and I cried. We talked about actions after that and they cried to see me cry. It was a mess!! But life itself is a mess and as Glennon over at Momastery says, this was some of the "messy-beautiful." Because in that moment my kids saw a part of me they hadn't seen before. A part of me that was intensely real. And guess what, since that day (August 13th to be exact) we've had more fun together. They've had more fun with each other, and we have all learned a lot.

So part of the reason why our kids are awesome is because they can take that, the raw frustration of their Mom. Also because they teach me every day to stop being so distracted, be creative by making something that is "not a toy" something fun, and that I CAN be patient and forgiving and move past something that seems like such a "big deal" in the moment only to look back and realize it wasn't all that important.

My favorite reason why our kids are awesome, however, is that they are sweet, smart, creative, and hilarious! I wanted to write a blog post about these aspects so I can remember them in the future.

Anellah, our Creative Creature: Lately she has been pretending to be a "creature" of one sort or another. Sometimes she is a cat, other times a bee, other times a chicken, other times a spider, and other times, "no I'm just a creature." She sings and dances at least hourly. The way I know she is awake in the morning is because she begins her day with a song. Earlier today she was composing a new song on the piano first by playing a few notes over and over and then by adding "words." Nevermind that the words were gibberish, I'm sure they were better than a lot of lyrics out there. She has never met a stranger, I'm constantly reminding her that she needs to give people their space rather than sitting on the lap of a person she's never met. The other day I had to tell her it wasn't appropriate to give a kiss to every person in the waiting room at the dentist office as she'd announced to me she was about to do. She HAS been known to go around giving a sticker to each person in a waiting room however. She also shares with others, especially Capper. Whether it is her food, her toys, or her time she is (almost) always willing to give to him. She is in love with her baby sister and likes to hold her. The other day they sat together for an hour, both of them content just to be with each other. She can be pretty funny at times too, like two days ago when our count-down paper chain broke and she announced, "Oops, I guess we have to go to our new house now!"

Capper the Crack-up: He has been exceptionally cute and hilarious lately. One day we were talking about how Anellah's tooth fell out and he piped up, "my tonsils came out!"He's also been, "packing for Washington" which includes grabbing a box or suitcase and filling it with shirts, undies, night-time pull-ups, and his favorite toothbrush. Then he puts on his shoes (usually while only wearing undies) and announces, "I have my shoes on, I'm ready to go!" At our recent "Go Away Party" he kept his clothes on for about an hour before he decided that he should be comfortable, after all the party was for him right? So he stripped down to simply underwear. He too has a very sweet side and absolutely adores his sisters. But mostly he adores his older sister whom he will play with for hours. When we are in public he is always keeping tabs on her and if he can't find her he asks, "where Anellah go?" He is loving this summer since they get to spend it together all day and night.

Sweet Baby Evelyn: she is peaceful and beautiful. Photos really don't do her justice. God knew we needed a baby who liked riding in the car since we are driving to Fall City so he gave us her. We are thankful and feel blessed to have such a wonderful baby girl.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Halfway Point

Evelyn is almost 2 1/2 weeks old which means we have 2 1/2 weeks until we move. Remarkably it hasn't felt like much of a scramble. In fact most "moving" preparations were on hold for the first couple weeks of Evelyn's life. We are starting to get back into the swing of planning but nothing extremely intense.
Currently we are kicked back in an armchair with the laptop
Evelyn, aka Baby Evie, aka Lil Haze, aka The Baby, is doing well. She  spends most of her day sleeping, eating, pooping, and hoping not to be forgotten. We are pretty sure she knows she is a third child since she is a little over-achiever in the realm of "good babies." She is a joy and her older siblings continue to be enamored with her.

Daniel has been taking a fair amount of time off work although he will be working this weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). It will be the first time that I am home alone with the kids since my parents were here for the first week and a half.

We are still waiting to hear back with a final offer and start date for Daniel's job in Seattle His case should be assigned this week at which point an investigator will review his paperwork and hopefully within four weeks he will have a new security clearance. Once the clearance is in place, Department of State will extend a final offer.

We have a place to live lined up in Fall City, WA and are in the process of signing lease paperwork. The house is small (2 bedroom) but we will be neighbors with my parents so the location couldn't be better! We will also be close to our property where we plan to build which will be nice and hopefully enable us to do a lot of the work ourselves.

Thinking about saying "final" goodbyes to our friends here in California is hard. We have an amazing support system (as evidenced by all the delicious dinners we've been receiving recently!) whom we will miss dearly. It is hard to imagine not spending time with the friends whom we love and who have supported us as our family has grown from the two of us to a family of five! It is also hard to imagine not being a part of their lives; knowing that our children won't grow up together. God has blessed us through relationships here and we look forward to new relationships in a new state but know we will always hold our California relationships dear.

On that note I'll leave you with a video of Capper eating popcorn like a dog while dancing (like a dog)...because it's just ridiculous.