Wednesday, August 31, 2011

no more boxes please!

I unpacked 16 boxes in the kitchen. My back hurts. I can not look at another box. I think I'll try mowing the lawn. I'm not done with the I'm not. There are at least another 6 boxes to go. But I just will not go back to the boxes!!!

Just taking a break

I washed out the kitchen cabinets and began to unpack all the kitchen stuff. It's a pretty big job. It's going to take me all day. It's really beautiful outside. The kids are at the soccer field playing. They go back to school in less then 2 weeks. Summer vacation has been mostly work for them. I'm glad they are finally able to play ball, and ride bikes. The battery went dead on my cell phone. I can not find the charger. Juergen came home at lunch to check in on us. How sweet! He would rather be home I know. Jessica is also spending more time outside of her room. That means she is adjusting. Ok, it's back to the kitchen.

From my desk

Juergen stayed up late putting the cork floor in our office. Then we put in our desks and storage shelves. I don't have a phone (I think they come tomorrow). I have to unpack, but I now have my desk. My camera is with my office stuff. Maybe I'll find it today? but my first priority will be cleaning the kitchen cabinets, and unpacking the kitchen. It isn't 100% set up. The supply company messed up our order. The small countertop piece for the sink is missing. The handyman cut a piece from our old countertop and gave us a temporary sink. And we need 2 more cabinets and a few cosmetic details. But it is going to be a really nice kitchen! With the new countertop, cabinets and instillation it probably cost us 3000 Euro. But a new kitchen would have been 12,000 Euro. So I'm sure we did the right thing by moving it.
I'm going to be glad to finish this whole renovation, move thing! I'll be happy to just live for awhile. But it's been a good thing. Philip spent most of the day building kitchen cabinets with the handyman. he really seems to have a future in this direction. Philip has learning problems. Like any mother I've worried about his future. We moved here for many reasons, but one benefit has been Philip's opportunity to developed "handyman" skills. I also watched Sarah riding her roller in our drive way yesterday. The kids took cardboard and built a fort in the garden. Thomas and Philip set up their guitars on the terrace last night. They were going to give a concert. It was too late, and the neighbor has a small child. I told them to take the guitars to their rooms. but the terrace does look like a stage. I'm impressed by the freedom and creativity they are showing. They had no room in Leimen. It was such a good decision to move.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finding the floor again

Boxes take up most of the floor space in our house. It's been really hard to walk. But I keep putting stuff away. Little by little I am seeing the floors again. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I may have a kitchen by the end of the day. A huge number of the boxes belong to the kitchen. I put away the sheets and blankets. That gave me space in the upstairs hall. I put away 2 boxes of DVD's and videos. Now I can see more of my office. It's sort of like a giant puzzle. You have to put together cabinets, then you can fill them. That gives you the space to put together shelves...and then clear more boxes. The garage is set up, but the concrete floor has to be painted. Once that's finished I can set up the shelves and put the garden stuff away. I have boxes of bathroom stuff stacked up. I'm waiting for Juergen to pick up the wardrobe I bought on eBay. He will build shelving into that wardrobe then I can put the bath stuff away. I could have kept Juergen very busy this week. Too bad he had to go to work. But the handyman that's setting up the kitchen seems to be doing a good job. We hope he can put in the remaining floors in our office, Jessica's TV room, and Philip's room. We also need doors for the boy's rooms. That will require some brick work. Then there are a few things to be done at the old house. I hope he has the time for us. I will be so glad to see an end to this mess. Yes, I know we have only moved a week ago. It seems longer. I'm sure having a kitchen will make a very big difference!

Monday, August 29, 2011

feeling sad and sick

One of the first things I boxed up and placed in the storage room was the photo's I had framed on our walls. All my photo's got wet, and full of mold. I had to toss all these photo's and the frames (about 30 pictures). I have them all on my computer and they can be replaced. A box of the kids art also got a little wet. But there wasn't any mold on the frames or art. These things could never be replaced. I had pictures Nicole drew when she was 3, and the first thing Philip and Thomas ever drew for me. I wiped the frames with an anti mold cleaner. I'm so grateful I did not lose these pictures! But I feel really sick from the mold. I took a shower and changed my cloths. I have a terrible headache. Juergen is working on the kitchen but I'm going to bed.

more from today

We got our new garage built today. It went up in only a few hours. The foundation was poured last week. I’ll use this garage for all my garden tools. The lawnmower, wheel barrow, pots and dirt. It will be my own personal workshop. They still need to go to Leimen to pickup the door my brother Rick painted. They will charge us 200€ to switch doors, but there was no question we want the painting! I also plan to build a covered pergola off the garage. I want the kids to store their bikes under the pergola. We may get a woodstove someday. A stack of wood can also be stored there. And of course I want grapes and roses and even kiwi (just like in Leimen).
I took the kids to see Rio in 3D. They have a special summer program at the theater for kids. They show “older” films at a lower price. So I dropped Philip, Sarah and Thomas off to see Rio. Then Jessica and I went to IKEA to buy storage boxes for Thomas’ Lego. I bought Jessica a snack. Then we picked up the kids. We went to Leimen to take out the trash. I also checked the basement. It seems like it is dryer, not worse! The people can not come until Thursday to deal with the cleanup. But at least it’s not worse. Juergen is picking up the new counter tops for the kitchen. The kitchen will be installed (God willing) tomorrow! There are also people coming tonight to even out Philips floor. Perhaps Juergen can even lay down Philip’s floor tomorrow after work? Juergen seems very anxious to get the house finished. He doesn’t look tired at all…just driven. I think it will be pretty livable in a week! I will be glad to have some order back.


Juergen is back at work today. Our garage is suppose to come today. I also want to take the kids to the movies. I'm doing laundry and unpacking. Apart from that, life is getting back to "normal". Tomorrow we may have our kitchen in. That will be a big deal! And Saturday Juergen has to go pick up the living room set I won on eBay. I hope its nice. I should not have bid on it without asking him first. We can not go forward on Philip's room until they even the floor out. So Philip is without a room. Thomas will not share his room because Philip gets on his nerves. I guess that's Philip's fault! I suppose we can set up the tent in Philip's room. He can sleep there for now. I want him out of the living room. These are all small matters. And we need to have a "water” guy come cleanup the damage in our basement in Leimen. Juergen thinks it was a damaged rain gutter that caused the trouble. God willing, The Leimen house will be fixed up in the next our "free time". So yes, life is a little busy for now. I'm encouraged because I see progress. I think it will be amazing how much will get done in the next month. I hope it will be a productive month!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A day of rest

I enjoyed going to church today. Afterwards We went to our old house to pick a few things. There is a problem with water in the basement. It looks like a rain gutter got blocked and the one storage room got wet. We need to have it checked and fixed. Hopefully it's nothing major. We have never had water trouble before. We took the house off the market for the next month. We will fix it up before trying to sell or rent it. We want to take most of our plants, and replace them with grass. We want to paint and in a few rooms put up fresh wallpaper. We also want to have the wood floors redone and put in new floors in many of the rooms. We think we can hire someone to do most of this work. I'll do most of the painting and garden work. It will either make it easier to sell, or prepare it to be rented. If we rent it, we can write off the cost of renovation. We hope to sell, but we are pretty realistic about the housing market. Maybe God just wants us to keep the house, or He is keeping it for someone special? I feel peace. Our new house is a mess. It's going to be a mess for at least one more week. But I'm sure we will eventually bring it into good order. I'm not doing anything today but resting. I watched a movie with the kids. I'm dreaming, not stressing. I'm sorry Juergen has to go back to work. He is sad about that too. It's been nice having him home for 4 whole weeks. They were stressful but good weeks. We both love our new house. It doesn't really feel like we live here yet. But I'm sure it will feel real in time. Anyway, I just wanted to check in. We should have a phone in a few days. Until then I will be back at work unpacking all the stuff. Maybe I'll find my camera?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

sorry no pictures

We don't have our phone yet. I'm using an internet stick. It's actually pretty cool. You have this small stick that connects you to the internet for a flat rate of 2€ per day. I don't have any time to be on line. And the connection isn't very good. I don't actually know where my camera is yet. sorry I don't have photo's yet. Until we get a kitchen, the boxes are still pretty much everywhere. I'm not sure I want any photo's of this mess! I hope that there will be enough order by the end of the week...about the time we get our phone. then I'll be glad to show you some before and after shots.
Today we tried to put the floor in Philips bedroom. It did not work because the floor is too uneven. We need to have the floor evened out a little first. This may need a day or 2 to arrange. Juergen did hand curtain rods in Sarah's room, the upstairs hallway and the office. I bought the curtains and hardware for the living room and kitchen. I did allot of laundry. I also put allot of things away in the basement. I bought frames for star wars posters I had bought for Thomas. His room is looking better and better. We need to put a floor in the basement hallway. The dust there tracks into the boys rooms. So this week I'm going to finish the basement walls. I need to finish the walls before we have a floor put down. I would like the same terracotta we have in the upstairs hall. I think we can lay a cheep linoleum down in the laundry room and storage rooms. But the dusty old concrete can not be kept clean. I wouldn't care if the boys were not sleeping there. We are also going to check the price of replacing the glass in our old windows. We love the old window frames, but we can get glass that has better insulation. It has been very hot, but today the tempter dropped. Winter is not very far off. We need to consider the cost of heating this place!
The kids have been playing very well here. We have not hooked up the TV. We are thinking of not hooking it up. Maybe we will just have the DVD player, no TV. we don't need the time waster!

I want to take tomorrow off. I hope I can make it to church in Heidelberg. I may also see if there is a good movie out. I do not want to work on the house for a day. I need a break!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thomas has a floor

I was really tired today. I think it all caught up to me...all the work. I even took a short nap. But we still made good progress. We finished painting Philip's room with graffiti. That was a blast. Philip, Thomas, Sarah and Nicole sprayed up his walls. Philip painted a giant cross on his ceiling. It was his idea, and he was very proud to show it to me! And Thomas and Juergen put in a Cork floor in Thomas' bedroom. It's really nice! It is warm and soft and quite. The boys will sleep in Thomas' room tonight. We hope to finish Philip's floor tomorrow. We also need to put a floor in the hallway, otherwise there is too much dust. Nicole is at camp. There are storms outside. Please pray they will all be safe and dry this week. OK, Juergen wants his computer back. Just checking in. Maybe we will have a phone by September 1st?

A hard time sleeping in

I work so hard everyday and fall into bed everynight. But when the morning comes my brain starts to process the large list of things to do and I can not sleep in. I don't really feel like I'm living here yet. I feel like I'm just working here. I think normal will only come when I can walk in the house and not run into boxes. How long does it take to unpack 500 boxes? I hope less time then it took to pack! Nicole goes back to camp today. She will be a councelor for a week. I pray it goes well, and lives are changed for good! We will keep working on the boy's rooms. I hope they can be finished this weekend. I'm still using Juergens computer. I don't know when our phone will be hooked up. Everything in time! I found my toothbrush, I found some clean cloths and now I need to find coffee!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Well, finally an update

Juergen has an Internet stick so I'm using that. It's been an over whelming few days. The move went well, but it was a bigger job then I imagined. I wanted to kick myself for not being more organized. The truth is I'm not just moving myself! And Jessica for example wouldn't even come into the house. She wanted to sit in the garden on the hottest day of the year. It was so frustrating! We had help from some really wonderful friends. My heart is blessed from the friends. We have made some good progress in the past few days. I'll be happy to be able to share photos when I'm back online in a few days.
We will not have a kitchen until next week. We need help with the pipes and we can not get that until next week. So we are trying to finish the boys bedrooms. It's hard to find the energy to keep working hard everyday. I'm really tired. The kids are playing all day long. They basically can not do more. They have given it all they could. But they love the garden. They play well. It's pretty great to see. Our TV isn't hooked up, but we don't miss it.
It's been a very hot day, and now we are getting a pretty good storm. I only wanted to take a minute to say we are alive. We are trying to dig our way out of boxes. I haven't been back to Leimen to make any calls. Sorry. I'm probably going to be overwhelmed for a few more days or weeks. Lets hope it's only a few days. We are trying the best we can.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

it's late

Well, it was very hot and pretty hard, and we are not finished. it had to be the hottest day of the year. Also, it's summer vacation and in the middle of the week so we didn't get much help. I do praise God for the friends that did help us. I'm very grateful!!!! I feel very sorry we didn't get much help because they all had to work over time. And we thought we were done packing, but we weren't. Jessica was over the top Autistic. She did not want to leave the car. But you can not leave anyone in a car on a day like today. It was extremely frustrating. That's an understatement. The movers we hired where awesome!!! They worked very hard and did an excellent job. We are working late trying to get all the rest ready for them to move. But we won't get it all finished. There will still be a few things we will need to return for. All the garden stuff for example. The renovation took too much of our time. We just were over our heads in work. And we will be over our heads for a while longer. We have so much to put away...and so much to clean. But the house is amazing! We aren't done with the boys rooms...but we will get to that too. It all seems so messy, kind of like birth.

We will not have a new phone until Sept 1st. I'll send the new number out to my friends and family. I can still get e-mail. I will also call my parents God willing tomorrow night. We have a phone at this house, but I'm going to be mostly at the other house. I wish we where better at this whole moving thing. We are pretty unorganized I'm afraid. But it isn't so easy to move such a big ship! Maybe we really do it all well? It's just such a difficult task? I don't know. What I know is we have gotten through this day. And I guess that is the worst of it. So goodnight. Please keep praying for us. We need the help! I'll try to keep posting. I've got to keep returning to our house in Leimen to clean and move plants.

Moving day

I have to get dressed. It's moving day! I hear the moving truck pulling up the street. Thank you for your prayers!

Monday, August 22, 2011

So the time has come

I was over my head in boxes today. so many boxes I can not breath. It was also the hottest day of the year. I was sweating so much the salt hurt my eyes. And you take a shower, and feel just the same when you get out. I also made and bottled the last of our grapes. I made 16 beautiful bottles of juice. I hope to use the juice at our house warming party in October. Juergen and a friend took apart cabinets. Our house is a mess! The movers come at 7am tomorrow. Juergen will be here. I'll take the kids to the new house. Nicole, Jessica and I took breakable stuff like my china dishes to the house this afternoon. I actually used the colors in my china as inspiration for all the paint in the house. Juergen gave me those dishes about 8 years ago (our first Christmas in Leimen). I've always loved those Mediterranean colors of blue, terracotta, green and yellow. Now those colors are on the wall of a real villa. How cool is that?
Nicole, Jessica and I also went to IKEA to buy some of the furniture I want for Philip and Thomas' rooms. They needed shorter cabinets because the basement walls are short. The boys can maybe build a cabinet or 2 tomorrow. Their rooms aren't finished yet. But they need something to do tomorrow. I will be too busy to keep them busy. I hope I can sleep. These photo's are from yesterday.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

feeling very blessed

We all went to the house today to hang wallpaper and paint. We still need to paint one wall in Thomas' room, and hang the photo wallpaper in Philip's room. But I think we can finish their rooms before the end of the week. A friend told Juergen we should have their furniture moved to a room in the basement (the heating room). Then when we are finished with the boys rooms we don't need to carry the furniture very far. Great idea! We have added a few more friends to help us on Tuesday. I am so blessed for the friendship, and the help. It was also fun to watch Philip and Sarah spend about an hour chasing grasshoppers in the garden. Later Philip, Thomas and Sarah played with their Nerf dart guns. Nicole said she couldn’t wait for the snow forts and snowball fights we can have this winter.
Juergen went to pick up the table I bought on eBay for the kids. The problem is the table is too good for a Lego table. We are going to use it in the kitchen instead! It's really nice! And I won the living room set today too! I also won another bid on an old wardrobe I think I'll use in the hallway upstairs. I'll put bath towels and extra toilet paper in that cabinet. The only problem is finding time to pick these things up. I need to stop bidding on eBay. I think it would be very cool to buy and sell antiques. I could buy them here and ship them to America. That would be a very cool job! But shipping them to America? I'm not so sure how I could do that. I need to stop the bidding, I'm running out of space. If we decide to run a vacation house (if we can not sell) I'll bid away! I do hope we can sell...but just in case I know just the place to shop. I think the only reason I’m winning bids is because it’s summer vacation. Everyone is out of town. I generally lose my bids on eBay.


Look what I won on eBay! It's for my living room. I got the whole set, 2 chairs and the cabinets for 163€. We have to rent a van and drive 2 hours away, but isn't it cool stuff!

Going slow today, but not really

I'm resting this morning. I drank a coffee and watched Derek Prince preach. Juergen and Nicole are helping to teach the kids service today. I made one big pot of grape juice, and I'll make one more. That isn't really hard. I enjoy it. And I'll cook some easy Mexican food. It will most likely be the last thing I cook in this house. I've already packed the dishes. We need to use paper plates. I finished packing my books today. I have about 12 boxes of books. Juergen has another 6 boxes. We will have a real library in our house. We have decided not to share our office with Nicole. Instead we will put a sofa sleeper in the library. Juergen will finally have a home for his guitars. Only the VIP guests like my parents will get Nicole's bedroom. Everyone else gets the sleeper sofa. Of course all of are guests are important. But my dad can know long climb up stairs. A good friend of mine said people probably wouldn't want to stay with us if they knew we where kicking Nicole out of her room. So perhaps we will get more visitors if they know they are not kicking anyone out of their room? Anyway, it will be a very cool guestroom, office, library and music room. We hung up the giant dandelion wallpaper. It is a very fun space! I think we will try to finish the wallpaper in Philip and Thomas’ bedrooms. I may also do some cleaning. I don’t generally like to work on Sunday, but we have a deadline. But hanging wallpaper isn’t work, it’s creative and fun. Even cleaning is fun because it’s cleaning our new house. I’m sure that feeling will not last! If I tried to pack the last storage room today…that would be work! I’ll save that work for tomorrow! I feel the wind at my back…we are sailing into the final week. This is moving week!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

100% tired and 100% at peace

I just got back from the house. I helped Thomas hang wallpaper in his room. Some of it was dry enough we could paint it. We painted 2 walls. One of the other walls will be covered by his closet, and the other can be finished Monday. I'm going to see what I can get at IKEA on Monday. Maybe I can buy the missing shelves and storage the boys need. If we can get the floors put down Monday they can move into their rooms this week. That would really make me happy. I had Nicole and Philip pick me 3 more buckets of grapes. The juice is turning out so good, I would hate to throw away the grapes. I think I can manage at least another 6 to 9 buckets of grapes before the kitchen gets taken apart. I'm out of jars. That's my biggest problem. I think people must be praying for us because I can really feel the grace of God holding me up.

We are so close and yet so far!

Juergen is at the house with the kids. they had to clean all the dust and dirt left from breaking open the walls. Then they need to wallpaper the boys rooms. I'm sad the boys rooms will not be finished when we move in. The handworkers got delayed at an other building site. They ran way behind on our project. The boys will just have to sleep in Nicole’s room. Nicole will sleep in Sarah’s room. Nicole has to help at another summer camp. She will not be home for most of the next 2 weeks. The timing is pretty bad! It's bad for our friends too. Most are on vacation so we have very little help from friends. We would have been on vacation too, so I can not really complain! It's just bad timing for us! We will manage. Please, if you do have some time to give us, let us know! I'm home packing again. I already packed the rest of the kitchen this morning. We will have to use paper plates for the next few days. Maybe longer because the kitchen counter tops maybe delayed until Thursday or Friday. Juergen has all of next week off. So we can slowly put the cabinets together, build the kitchen, and work on the boys rooms. It's going to take us a month or more to get things put away. There is also everything at the old house to arrange (plants to move, the house to clean and perhaps paint). But slowly and surely it will all get done! It's such a lovely house! I'm so blessed I can hardly believe this is really happening. I'm trying very hard to keep focused and keep working. Nicole brought lice home from summer camp. So again I'm washing everything. We spent 40€ on the shampoos. I washed my hair and Jessica's hair 2 times this week. Jess also has some stomach issues. Loads of extra dirty diapers. It seems everything happens at once! But it's always like that! Please just pray god gives us a good attitude, and provides us the help we need. We are teaching our kids to work. That was one of our main goals. I'm so grateful for this amazing opportunity. It is not so easy with 5 kids and one with autism. But I am so grateful for the opportunity to live a full and awesome life. I could have played it safe…taken the easy road. I’m so glad we took the hard road.

Friday, August 19, 2011

the plan for today

We slept until 8am. Juergen is buying supplies at OBI. Nicole and Sarah are walking the dog and buying rolls. They will pick grapes for me before they leave. I will continue to make juice and pack. Philip and Thomas will pack. Juergen, Nicole and Sarah will wall paper. Jess just watches TV. Later in the day, when the windows are in, God willing, I'll go to the house too. I hope to begin wallpapering Philip's bedroom. Juergen and I have decided to have a closet building challenge. I said it would be cool to use these bricks to build a closet. He said that would be need to use wood. So I challenged him to a contest. I'm building Philips closet and he has to build Thomas' closet. We have until the end of September to finish. I'm not sure who decided what is best. It will have something to do with how much it cost, how long it took to build and how it looks. I'm going to get Philip and Nicole to graffiti the sliding doors in front of the closet. I'm planning on winning! I've never really built anything before, but I've seen things built on TV. Juergen should never call my ideas stupid!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This is for Juergen

The boys are going to be in the basement. the ceilings are too short for normal sized cabinets. I think we should build the boys American style closets. Here is a good video on how to do that.

The Bible

I’ve been listening to the Bible as I pack. It really helps lift my spirits! Jessica and I picked the boys up from the house. The window frames are in. I guess the windows go in tomorrow. It's a very big job! The hallway tile is finished. He will grout the whole thing tomorrow. The walls are all prepared for wallpaper. Juergen and Nicole stayed late to paper the living room (just the new wall between the kitchen and the living room. Sarah stayed behind to watch. I wish I was there too! So I will get back to the packing, and back to the Bible. Just a few more days before we move. It really is hard to believe this is happening!!

We need help

Wir benötigen Hilfe nächste Woche. Wir stellten Leute ein, um unser Stuff zu verschieben, aber wir benötigen die Hilfe, welche die Küche und die cabnets errichtet. Kann jemand uns helfen?

We hired people to move our stuff next week, but we need help to build the kitchen and all the cabinets. can anyone come help us on Tuesday and Wednesday?

more juice and more boxes

Yesterday was pretty awful! Jessica was really stressing me out. But Juergen took me on a tour of the house. They are destroying the place! Giant holes are in the basement walls, and they took out the windows in the back. But today new windows will come. The boys will have beautiful natural light in their rooms. The hall tile is half done, today it will be finished. It is really beautiful! Nicole and Thomas are putting in a floor in Nicole’s room. Juergen and Philip plan to put up photo wall paper. So God willing the great wall of China will be in my kitchen tonight! Sarah and I are packing. I'm about 70% done with the kitchen. I finished 90% of the living room. I'm almost finished with the bathroom. Just one more drawer to pack. I'm going to finish all my books, cloths and office stuff today. Hopefully all that remains is the Christmas stuff and one small storage room, and garden stuff. I want to wallpaper tomorrow and Saturday. I talked to one of our neighbors today. He asked if we had sold our house. I said no, but I was not worried. I did not lie. I am too busy to worry. I am picking my grapes and making juice. I’m packing my bags. Worry will just have to wait.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I took the kids to the house today. Jessica is so autistic she will not enter the house from the back door! The man had already started to lay down tile at the front door. Juergen couldn't stop Jessica from walking over the tile. It was awful! So I brought Jessica home. I'm not going to bring her back to the house, at least until the tile work is finished (Friday I guess). The windows will be late. So We can not start on the boys rooms. So we will not realistically finish the boys rooms. But we will eventually finish the boys rooms. I'm not excited about packing. I would rather paint or put up wallpaper. But it has to be done, so I'm packing! We are all pretty stressed. This is a pretty big task, I guess we were just fooling ourselves thinking it was manageable. I think we were not realistically considering what can be done when your child has autism. We are stressed, so why wouldn’t she be? And when Jessica is stressed, she is not very cooperative. But you play the cards you have. We have done allot. We may not finish everything before the move, but we really have done so much! The only thing that really makes me sad is I don’t get to see Juergen much. I imagined us working side by side for a whole month. After nearly 21 years of marriage you would think I would grow tired of him. I miss him. I’m doing what I can do, and he is doing what he can do…but we are not side by side. I get the house and it’s really amazing. but I would have loved spending more time with Juergen this month. I have been unrealistic about Jessica’s needs, and spending time with Juergen. I’m so human and this is a super human job! I need grace, and only grace will carry us.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I took 2 trips to pick up over 43 m² ( or 462 feet ) of Jadestone tile. That was back breaking! It's beautiful and cost tons! But I hope it's worth the effort! Sarah was very well spoiled! She came home a very happy and relaxed kid! Juergen and Philip are still hammering away at the basement wall. They finished the giant hole for Thomas' window, and they should take another day for Philip's window. It's so crazy! These 2 holes have taken over 2 weeks to make. But I'm sure Juergen has saved us over 6000 Euros by doing this work himself! The boys will have big beautiful windows in their rooms. That will make a big difference in how they feel. Nicole and Thomas are almost done with the painting of Nicole's bedroom. I'm home packing! I plan to take one more trip to the building supply store to buy tile for our kitchen backsplash. Maybe I'll get photos for you. The progress is impressive! I feel like the A team..."I love it when a plan comes together"!!!

Oh, and one more cool thing. Juergen found us a sod cutter. This is a machine that cuts grass into rolls. So we hope to rent the sod cutter to prepare our flower beds. I think we will have to move the plants after the move. I'm not sure we have the time to finish both the boys bedrooms before we move. We will focus on Thomas' room, and finish what we can of Philip's room as soon as we can (that maybe after the move). It just may not be possible to finish both rooms in time. But Juergen has all of next week off. We haven't sold or rented our house, so I guess we can take all of September to move the plants. Nicole doesn’t start school until October. I don’t want to move the plants until I’ve prepared the flower beds properly. I want my plants to survive the move! It will probably take me a week to prepare the flower beds. I am trying to put them in beds that will be low maintenance. I love flowers but I don’t have the time to weed large garden beds! It’s going to save me lots of time if I take the time to prepare the flower beds first! My parents will be happy to know I will get rid of the grass first!

Extra sleep and the work goes on

We returned to the house last night. Juergen and I went to the building supply store and bought flooring for Thomas and Nicole’s rooms. It was very heavy and the boys unloaded it for us. Juergen and Nicole finished painting all but one wall of Nicole’s bedroom. The boys practiced break dancing in the yard. Sarah is at a friends house. I'm sure she is having fun. She has worked very hard and needed a break. I managed to make 10 large jars of grape juice last night. I'll make more today (God willing).
Today Juergen try’s to finish breaking open the holes in the basement walls for the boys new windows. The upstairs floor gets grout. It looks amazing! The living room and kitchen wall gets finished. They start on the windows upstairs. Windows are suppose to be put in tomorrow (upstairs and in the basement). They want to begin the ground floor tile tomorrow too. So I guess we can not work in the house tomorrow? Maybe we can put up wallpaper early? I need to make 2 trips to pick up the tile today. I may also get the boys started on removing grass in the front yard. I need to make planting beds for my flowers. I'll also be packing, picking grapes and making juice. Our moving date got moved by one day. So we move next Tuesday and Wednesday. That gives us an extra day to finish the boys bedrooms. And we can not begin to work there until after the windows are put in. The extra sleep helped me. I’m ready to go!

Autism risks reassessed for siblings of autistic kids

Autism risks reassessed for siblings of autistic kids

Monday, August 15, 2011

on edge

Juergen took Jessica to the Dr's this morning. They gave us something to try, to reduce anxiety. She needs to calm down or she can not go to school this fall. We are all stressed out. I had to get the kids out the door early. I wanted to get as much of Nicole’s room finished before Juergen returned from the Dr with Jessica. So we worked very hard, and we are 90% finished with Nicole’s bedroom paint. I need more paint to finish the job. Sarah has worked very hard for 2 weeks. She is basically tired! She begins to fall apart. I need someone to take care of her for a few days. The boys only worked on the house one week each, Nicole has worked only one day. Poor Sarah has worked hard for 2 weeks. She needs a break. But Juergen and I need to finish the job. We only have 6 days to finish an amazing amount of stuff! I'm home now. The kids are playing. I'm starting to make grape juice. I'm also doing laundry and dishes, and packing. No rest for me. But I'm trying to focus on what has to be done today. With grace we will get it done!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

painting, packing and picking

God willing, we move in one week. There is an unbelievable amount of stuff to do. Tomorrow I hope to take the kids down to Bad Schönborn early to paint Nicole's bedroom. The workers are finishing the hardwood floors upstairs, and putting down tile. We can not go upstairs until Wednesday. Juergen will take Jessica to a Dr appointment in the morning. I will take her home in the afternoon. Then I need to pack, and pick some grapes. I will start to make grape juice. Yes, bad timing! But the grapes are ready and I'm not going to let them rot! I will make grape juice while I pack. In the afternoon Juergen will be working at the house. He has a very long "to do list". Feel free to volunteer. And please pray for us. We are very tired. We could really use the grace to carry us through this big transition!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our game table

I just won another bid on eBay. it's a table for the main hall, just under the stairs. I wanted a place the kids could build Lego and play board games. I know most people would love their kids to go to their rooms to play, but I like my kids near by. If Thomas went to his room in the basement to build Lego, I would never see him! So I won the bid on this set. It has 4 chairs and a bench. Now I'll find some good looking storage for the games, and Lego. I think we are going to stick with Terracotta for the hallway. It looks fine, and it's easy to care for. The handmade Terracotta can not be ordered quickly, and Juergen doesn't like it. The Travertine cost too much, and it's difficult to care for. I built Jessica’s bed in her room today. It's really cute. Sorry, I didn't have my camera with me. I'm really tired. I think I need a nap.

I can not sleep

It's so late. I guess I'm worried about tile! Such a silly thing to worry about! It felt good to have tile order...that decision made. But now the tile order is canceled, and we need something on Monday. Most places don't keep a large stock, you need 10 days to order things. So we hope we can just walk into a store and buy what we want tomorrow. I looked at 4 stores today, and I didn't like anything. The only thing Juergen and I can agree on is travertine, and it cost allot! But we found cork on sale for 1/3 the normal price. So I can put cork in Jessica’s TV room, our office and Philip and Thomas' rooms. The savings makes up for the expensive travertine tile. So perhaps that's what we will do...unless we can find another thing that we both agree upon? We move in a week from Monday. We have so much to finish, and so little time. I need sleep!

They prepared the foundation for the upstairs tile floor. They also sanded the hardwood floor in my bedroom. Juergen kept working on the windows in the boy’s rooms. I bought 2 mattresses for Jessica’s big bed. We showed our house 2 times (not 3). I got up very early to clean. I bought a garden book. I look forward to getting past the move! It’s fun and creative to renovate…but enough is enough!

Friday, August 12, 2011

No buyers yet

I stressed to clean for the last time. We will not show our house again until we move. But we showed the house a few times. I think it's too big for most people. Oh well! But one of the people may buy it. I'm going to our new house to clean Jessica's new room. We may even set up her bed. I need to get her out of Nicole's room so I can paint it. I also want to get someone to look at our floor in the hallway/entrance. I think I want to have it refinished. It seems a real waste to cover marble.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

way to tired

Juergen and I looked at 2 stores for tile. We couldn't agree on anything yet. I need to finish cleaning the house but I'm just too tired. I'll have to get up early to do it. I feel like I've been hit by a truck...totally tired! If we don't sell our house tomorrow, I want to wait until after the move to show it again. It would look better empty anyway.

A little help from my friend

We have 3 different families looking at our house for sale tomorrow morning. I stayed home from the work site to clean. A very good friend came over to help. I could not thank her enough! So I'm pretty tired. I keep asking the same questions. Juergen tells me the schedule at the work site, and a few minutes later I ask him again. I just am tired! Today Juergen is painting Jessica's bedroom. The wall between the kitchen and living room is being built, and the floor in Thomas' bedroom is being leveled out. Hopefully the tile will be installed tomorrow in the upstairs hall. We ordered a Terracotta tile, but didn't like it when it came. So I went to another store today and bought something for the hallway. I'm hoping I can get Juergen to give me the handmade French terracotta for the main hall on the ground floor. He doesn't like it, but I love it. It is classic! Nicole agrees with me. She comes home from camp in 2 days. Perhaps she can help me convince Juergen to buy the handmade terracotta? Either way, we need to buy something for that floor. We canceled the order we had.

Today Nicole is 18 years old. I miss her! She is at camp. I'm sure she had a great time doing what she loves. I gave her a card on Sunday to open today. I have gifts for her when she gets home. It's hard to believe she is all grown up. I try very hard not to think about it. I'm just grateful she is such a great person. I am extreamly blessed to have such a gift of a daughter! I'm also very glad she will live with us at least a little while. I know it won't be long until she moves out on her own...but I'm gratful for now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

so far today

I got out early today. I bought paint to finish my bedroom and the office. I painted in the office. It's nearly finished. Juergen arrived an hour after me with the kids. They started to pull up the old tile from the hallway. The new tile gets put down beginning on Friday. Thomas jumped off one of our walls and hurt his foot. I brought him home and put some ice on it. If it's not better I'll take him to the Dr. But it looks better already. I think I need to put up a lattice wall so the kids don't kill themselves. We have 2, and maybe 3 people looking at our house in Leimen Friday morning. Hopefully we can get a buyer soon. We buy our house in Bad Schönborn on Friday I think. So Friday we will own 2 houses...and I really hope we can sell one of them! So apart from painting, I also need to clean the house in Leimen. It is a bit crazy but we are really happy, and we are getting it done. God is giving us joy!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

week 2 day 2

Today it was all about painting and packing. I packed 12 boxes of dishes and other stuff. Thomas packed cloths. Then we painted. Juergen and Sarah finished the kitchen. It is a really pretty green. We also began to paint the office. Juergen touched up the hallway upstairs. Thursday the guy comes to finish the hardwood floors upstairs. We need the paint finished in our bedroom, office and Jessica's room tomorrow. Then Friday the tile guy comes to lay down tile upstairs hallway. we ordered the tile, but I'm not sure it will be there in time. But it's getting very exciting. I see everything start to come together. It looks really good! I am so tired, I just about fall asleep when I sit down. We have to work very hard to finish it all before the move. We may have a few people looking at our house for sale. One person looks Friday morning. I hope we can just sell it. I want to be free from the responsibility! Our bank is still processing things with the new house. God willing we will own it in the next 2 days.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Week 2 of renovation

Juergen left early for the house. He took Thomas with him. Sarah woke up really angry because he didn't take her too. I lent my car to someone for 2 days. So I'm home until Juergen picks us up after lunch. I need to clean, pack and do laundry. Our house is a real mess!
I want an over sized swing in our garden. Something adults can use. The big swings cost so much! I've been looking on eBay. I haven't found anything. I did find this swing...but it's too far away. I wonder if I can have something like this built? Maybe in metal. Sarah is the only small person in the family. Nicole said she wants to swing too.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I love German eBay

I won the bid on this old rug. It's 3 meters long and will be perfect for my hallway!
I just dropped Philip off at summer camp. He was pretty down because his best friend had to cancel. Philip didn’t know anyone in his group. Nicole is working at the camp. She said there is a large waiting list. They were so glad to give the place to a child whose dad got sent to prison. I’m always being reminded that God knows what he is doing. I’m sure Philip will manage to make friends. But God knew this other child needed the place!

It was so nice to see Nicole. I missed her so much! She had a hard but good week as a councilor. She will be a springer this week. She just basically does stuff that needs to be done, but doesn't need to lead. We got to go out to lunch together. We eat at a real German guest house/beer garden. It was in a small town in the middle of no place. I'm so glad we got the time to catch up.

Sarah was in awful pain last night. Juergen had to take her to the hospital. She has a kidney infection. I'm not really sure what caused it. She hasn't been drinking enough I guess. So they gave her antibiotics. They got home about 3:30am. We missed church today. Just too tired. But she should be OK.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Teen camp and wet paint and renting out our house

I didn't sleep well last night because I started to think about renting out our house. The worlds economy is looking pretty bad right now. Juergen read an article in a German paper that said people should only buy a house if they are going to live there (in other words no investment property). I am beginning to see houses dumped on the market at really low prices. I think it's smarter to just hold the house for a few years. Lets see this storm pass by...lets not panic sell! So if we don't see a buyer, we are going to start to look for a renter. A long term renter. I may post something at church tomorrow. I think that's the wise thing to do right now. We won't be making any money, just not losing too much (we hope). But we will need to redo the hardwood floors in the living room, paint, put in new flooring in the bedrooms, and do some yard work. I wish it were not the case...but it's such a bad economy right now. we think we will rent our house out for 5 years.

I worked on painting our new house. Philip and I painted almost all of the entrance hall today. It's a real pale terracotta. I love it! Juergen is finishing up the top of the walls and painting the bottom of the stairs. I met one of the neighbors. She is a major plant lover. Her garden is lovely! I think we will be friends!

Juergen picked Thomas up from camp. Nicole stayed behind (I'm sad I didn't see her). She is helping them prep for the kids camp. That begins tomorrow. I want to ask Thomas how it went, but I don't want Philip to hear. But I have a few photos from Nicole's camera. I'll have to talk to Thomas after Philip is gone (keep the surprise). I think I'll also be the one taking Philip to camp. I have to get a hug from Nicole. I miss her so much!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Plan B

I talked with my parents tonight. They gave me the bad news. You don't just till grass. Even if you cover it up, it will come back. They said I should dig it up first, then till the flower bed. That just seems like too much work. I don't have a machine that will do it for me! So I will try placing moving boxes (cardboard) over the grass. I'll soak the boxes with water. Hopefully I can kill the grass, then till it. I hope I can kill the grass in the next 2 or 3 weeks then till it under, and make my flower beds. I don't think I have the power to dig up large patches of grass.

Day 5

I only really got to touch up some paint in the living room. Jessica wouldn't stay at the house. I bought large rolls of paper to protect our floors. Juergen used the spray gun to paint the ceilings in the upstairs and living room. He finally got the hang of it, and now likes it. I bought a small rototiller to till the garden. I hope to make very large flower boarders in the front of the house. I'd like to start moving my plants soon. We pick Thomas and Nicole up from camp tomorrow. We take Philip and Nicole back to camp on Sunday. I'm not sure we will have much time to work at the house this weekend. I have mixed feelings. I love the house, we are making progress, but I'm frustrated about my personal ability to get things done. I feel like I have my hands tied, Jessica is not really helping! Juergen says he will take care of Jessica this weekend so I can try to work on the house.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Day 4 of renovation

I was home with Philip, Sarah, and Jessica until about 12:30. Juergen had to be at the house early to let the heater guys in. They are moving water pipes in Thomas' room, and putting in heating in their rooms. The contractor also looked at the balcony's again. We need to have them repaired. And the new windows for the covered porch were ordered. I came with the kids, and we began painting the living room. Jessica only wanted to stay one hour. I had to drive her for awhile. Then I could return and work for 2 more hours.
Really, it's not so easy to renovate with the kids! They are getting tired. We need to keep going. I wish I had someone to just watch Jessica and Sarah. But I guess the destination(renovation) is not the's the journey. And on this journey I can try to rush, or I can teach my kids how to work. Philip did a pretty good job painting today! Sarah did Ok too. It's a slow process! And it's also frustrating. The paint doesn't cover the owners loud colors in one coat. Everything has to be painted 2 or even 3 times. The bank papers arrived today. We should own the house in one week. Juergen is thinking about taking 4 weeks off. I don't really see how we can manage it if he doesn't take the time off. But we love our house! I hate the stucco they put on the's really awful stuff! But I still feel very happy when I can sit out side and look over that amazing garden! I have zero idea how we can sell our house in Leimen , or rent our house? I promised myself not to worry about that. I’m being good at just letting that go! Juergen is doing so much of the work himself, to save money. We both love the house! It makes us very happy to be there!

BTW, if you want to stop by and help us paint here is our house on google. We should be there Friday afternoon. We will grill you dinner! And we will be there (God willing ) on the weekend and for the next 2 weeks.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

day 3

I stayed home with Jessica this morning. She slept and I packed. Then about 1pm she handed me a video and wanted to go to the house. I put her VCR at the house. So I picked food up for everyone and got to the house by 2pm. Juergen is almost finished with the work outside. They broke up all the concrete outside of the boys windows. They will cut holes in the basement walls, and put in larger windows. They also sorted the trash where the garage will go. They laid a foundation of just broken concrete. Then metal will go in, and fresh concrete will be poured. We also kept painting. And I started to remove the tile in the hallway upstairs. New tile will be laid down in the 3rd week. The heater guy was there today. He starts work on Philip and Thomas' new heaters early tomorrow. The kids also cut the grass today.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

the progress is slow

The owners of the house used such strong colors on the walls, everything has to be painted 3 times. We are almost done with Sarah's room, and my room. The hallways will kill us! That awful lime yellow! To each his own! But I love the color in my bedroom. It's a very pale and warm tan. It is almost a yellow. It is like a sunrise. It's really beautiful! I was pretty stressed today. It's hot, and it's getting nearly impossible to move Jessica out of the car! She does not want to move! I am sad, but I think Juergen and I have to take turns at the house. Jessica can not sit in a hot car. I was looking forward to spending long hours painting with Juergen. Now he is working outside, breaking holes in the basement walls for new windows. I am painting (and I'm not very good at it). And mostly I'm just chasing Jessica. Tomorrow I'm going to pack in the morning. juergen will work at the house. I go to the house in the afternoon, and Juergen will be home with Jessica. You have to do what you have to do! I bought a lawnmower today. Juergen has to put it together. Maybe I can mow the lawn tomorrow. Our friends are doing so much work! Thank God for their amazing help. And I am really liking our house more and more. It is a very beautiful house! I will try to take some photos tomorrow.

Day 2 of renovation

I praise God for the friends that have helped us with our renovation. Really it does bless us! The task is pretty big, but I have hope we can get allot done. And not everything "needs" to be done. A house doesn't need to be perfect on day one! Today I have to figure out how I can work, and keep Jessica safe and happy. Our babysitter is taking final exams at the University. She starts a new job on Friday... oh well! Glad for her, bad timing for us! But I am really happy to just be in the house. It feels so good to spend hours there. I can see the windows really need work. I can imagine better how well every things going to fit/not fit. I love the house! I especially love the garden! I'm so tempted to forget everything and just start renovating that garden. But I need to control myself! Paint is the word! But believe me, that garden will be lovely!

Monday, August 01, 2011

It felt good to get started

We just returned from a day of work at the house. A few of my good friends showed up to help. They brought their kids (all teenagers by now). We had some serious help! Juergen and the kids dug 2 very deep holes in the ground for the windows of the boys. We also painted Sarah's room, and patched holes in the walls. It was a bit hard for me to get Jessica in the house. She just doesn't want to leave the car. But it's hot, and she can not stay in the car. I'm going to have to figure out a way to make Jessica comfortable in the new house. We will be back at it tomorrow. I'm hoping to buy or borrow a lawn mower to cut our grass. We also have to move allot of the building waste (broken tile,old flooring) the owner has left in a pile near the driveway. Someone comes in a few days to pour concrete for our new garage.

The work begins

Juergen and I went to the house last night and prayed for it. Then we had pizza at a local restaurant. It was great pizza...very Italian! Today, Juergen is at the house with Philip and Sarah. They are digging away the dirt near the foundation. The workers come today to start putting larger windows in Philip and Thomas rooms.
Jessica has a bad cold. She has slept all morning. I'm hoping to go and start preparing the walls for paint. We have to fill in the holes, pull out nails, tape around the doors and windows. Here are some photos I took yesterday. As you can see, Sarah had fun in the garden!