Making Strides

At the beginning of March, it occurred to me that I had a little more than 2 months until our new baby girl is set to arrive. I was feeling overwhelmed concerning all of the work we had to get done to prepare for her arrival. Now, with March nearly behind us, I am much more at ease. Yesterday, we finished a couple of the major projects we had on our agenda. Now, although there is still more to do, I feel like we can accomplish what’s left with little worry.

The biggest thing that we needed to do was move Evangeline out of her room, repaint the room to remove the girly yellow paint with green flowered stamps, and move the boys into her room. So we moved Evangeline in to bunk with her brothers about 3 weeks ago, and started the process. After painting the room blue and white for the boys, last weekend, Mark completed the furniture switch. This involved taking apart their bunk beds and reassembling them in the new room, in addition to moving their many toys, clothes, etc.

Yesterday, my friend, Ronda, came over and helped me put up decorative borders in both the boys’ room and the girls’ room. For the boys, I chose a planets border to go with their planets comforters and curtains. The blue paint I chose matches some of the smaller print in the comforters and curtains. The only thing I have left to do in their room is to mount some glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. For the girls’ room, I chose a border with several stuffed animals having a birthday tea party. This will coordinate nicely with the bedding for the baby and Evangeline that will include some pieces with pink checks, little tea pots, tea cups, saucers, and little yellow flowers. The bedding for their room won’t be ready for a while, but the border looks great, and it is a relief to have it up. The boys and Evangeline were really excited to have new decor in their rooms. Their expressions when they saw the border finished certainly made the sore shoulders and neck worth it. My friend, Ronda, must have said the word cute 100 times while we were putting up the girls’ border. She was almost as excited about it as Evangeline, who dubbed it, “beautiful.”

After the borders were all finished, I went to the outlet store to get the crib we chose for the baby. They called in the morning and put it on hold until I could get there to pick it up. Now I just need to get a bed for Evangeline (her old full-size bed was too big for the new room), and a dresser for the baby that will double as a changing table. Oh, I also need to get a mattress for the baby’s crib.

In the midst of all the painting, furniture swapping, and border hanging, I also had some income records to prepare for our accountant in order to get our tax return filed. I managed to get that work done on Tuesday and Wednesday. By Friday, our accountant was done preparing the state and federal returns. This is another task I am glad to have behind me.

I feel like the rest of the preparations for the baby are really doable now, and the stressed overwhelmed feeling is behind me. With a lot of the big projects out of the way, I am looking forward to a week of normal housework, taking the kids to school, little league games, and a PTO function. A feeling of accomplishment is really good for the mind and the soul. Thank God I have felt well enough to get this work done, and that He has given me a husband who is willing to work with me and friends who were also willing to help.


After my post of a few days ago about enjoying Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen, I now have to admit, I need Edmund Spenser for Dummies. Mark says that our Red Cross Knight story book for the children qualifies. But seriously, does anyone know if there are Cliff notes for Spenser. I need some help with following the story line.


This is sort of an update blog on what’s happening with me . . .


A few weeks ago, I finished Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. Yes, it was an Oprah book, but I read it anyway. It is the story of a dwarf who was born at the end of the WW1 era in Germany and her growing up through WW2. The focus of the book was how she dealt with her “differentness” and how later that helped her see that everyone has distinctions that sometimes exclude them from the rest of society. This was especially poignant as she helped hide Jews from the Nazis.

As it turns out, my sister-in-law bought this book and its “companion” (sequel) at a used book sale at the time I was reading it. So she allowed me to borrow the sequel, and I just started it. I am enjoying this second book called The Vision of Emma Blau.

While Mark’s parents were here, his mom finished a little novella called, Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris. She left it with me, and I read it quickly since it is quite short. It is a light read about a char woman (cleaning lady) in London who gets her heart set on buying a Christian Dior dress in Paris. She scrimps and saves until she can make the trip to buy the dress. If I told the rest of the story, there would be no point in anyone who reads this reading the book. But, while the book is a lighthearted little vignette, I think there is a valuable lesson in it, and I recommend it.

Finally, I am in a book group at the PCA church in Norman, and for that I am reading book one of the Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser. This is sort of an educational read for me, so it is work. But I am enjoying it. I have especially liked learning that it is really the prototype for all of the knights and dragons stories that my sons love.

Baby Preparations
The biggest job is done. I moved Evangeline out of her room a few weeks back, and I repainted it to make it more boy appropriate. Over the weekend, Mark moved the boys bed into the room. The toys and clothes have been switched. If the baby came tomorrow, she wouldn’t have a bed yet, but she would have a space in Evangeline’s new room across the hall from our room. There are still some finishing touches to do to complete the “decor” of the rooms, but the hardest part is over.


Mark’s parents visited the first full weekend in March, and as they often do, they offered to babysit one of the nights they were with us. So, of course, we took them up on it. We hadn’t gone out since mid-January, and that was for a group event, so we were happy to go out on a real “date” again.

Mark has been a fan of Tolkein since childhood. He couldn’t wait for our children to be old enough to have even the slightest appreciation for Tolkein’s book (which now, our nearly 7-year-old, just loves). So he really wanted to see
LOTR The Two Towers. Better late than never, we took our big date opportunity to go to see the second LOTR movie. Now, I haven’t read all the Tolkein books. Mark and I read The Hobbit together out loud before we had children, but that was the extent of my background. Throughout the entire movie, Mark sat next to me and whispered why he didn’t like this or that about what the producers had changed from the book. He would also give his approval of things that he thought were ok changes. This kind of behavior would drive a lot of people crazy in a movie, but since I am used to doing at least two things at once, I didn’t get upset with him. Mark’s final assessment of the movie was that he didn’t really like it, and, at the very least, he didn’t like it nearly as much as the first movie. I found the second movie to be too violent. I also didn’t appreciate how gruesome looking many of the characters were. I want to read the books before we see the third movie, so I can perhaps appreciate it more. I still appreciated the plot of the movie, I just could have done without all the horrificly ugly monsters. At least when you read a book, you can imagine the monsters as ugly as you want them to be. The producers of the movie have much more active imaginations than me!

The night after our date, I rented My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Mark’s parents watched it with us, and we laughed out loud. It was just a riot; a great fun flick. However, I watched the new sitcom based on the movie this past Sunday evening, and, no big suprise, with all the laugh tracks and a poorly written script, the tv show falls flat. I suspect it will dry up and blow away before the end of the season.

Bookstore find

Mark and I have lamented the lack of bookstores in Oklahoma City. There are a couple of Borders and a couple of Barnes and Nobles, but for the size of the city, it seems there should be more. Yukon, a suburb we frequent since it is on the west side of the city and closer to us, has a Hastings. But we really like to visit bookstores–good bookstores. And, we have found this part of the country lacking.

However, on Friday, Mark went out and about with a friend here for a little excursion to OKC. While they were out, our friend took him to a bookstore we had passed called Full Circle Books. We always assumed it was a new age bookstore, so we never checked it out. Mark came home and told me how great it was.

So yesterday, after a family outing to OKC for various reasons, he took us by Full Circle Books. It was great! It had neat little seating areas in several alcove-like rooms where you could browse to your hearts content. It also had a little coffee bar and a group seating area with fireplace in the center. In addition to all of the “ambiance” that we have come to appreciate in good bookstores, it seemed to have a nice selection of books in stock. We found a couple of unique books the likes of which we haven’t come across in a B & N or Borders.

Another nice plus of this place is that it could become a good date spot for future outings without the kids.