Okay, so you may have noticed that I pretty much never write on my blog anymore! I was thinking about that today (and feeling guilty), and I realized that this might be because I've replaced any blog writting time I have with 'letters to the twins on their mission' writing time.
Anyway, here's a 'copy-and-paste' of a long letter I sent the twins recently. Hopefully this longwinded type-as-I-thought-without-proofreading letter will be of interest to those of you who have been asking me to write on my blog again, lol!
(I say 'morning' because where I am, it is early in the morning. Well, mum would probably say it was practically the afternoon and I'd wasted half of the day in bed, but I've been very busy this week and was kind of tired this morning. Alarm went off at 6:30, and I changed it to 7:30 so I could sleep a little longer :) I've given myself until 8am to write to my fabuous missionary brothers, and then I'm going to jump in the shower and try to be ready by 9am when Jonny is coming over to help me with putting together some IKEA furniture (can't believe you guys up and went to Japan when I was very likely going to need help with IKEA furniture during the 2 years you went! lol!). Anyway, the news of the week is that I no longer live in a rat/smelling/fly-plague house. Awwwwweeeeesssssoooommmmmeeeee! I know in my last letter I probably spent half my email describing all the things I didn't like about the new house (I was feeling kind of pessimistic about the whole thing, truth be told), BUT it turns out that I really kind of love the new house. Yes, the floor coverings are still pretty bad, and it IS an old house with light brown walls, BUT, it's pretty awesome too. It's so big, and it's exciting to have a change and organize everything again (exhausting, but exciting). You guys will be able to move every time you have transfers - that'll be fun! And just think, you won't even have to spend 2 weeks arguing with your old real estate agents and looking for a new rental property and signing a new lease, etc etc. Which is WAY more convenient than the non-mission way of moving house. Trust me!
So my week: Well. Monday and Tuesday, I decided to be in denial and just living life as normal. My roommates were all packing their rooms etc., but I liked my old room and didn't want to spend two days with boxes everywhere, so I just kind of did what I normally do... Wednesday I obviously got up REALLY early and started frantically packing stuff (it was the EKKA holiday and our day to move). My genius invention of this particularly move is that I bought a 300m role of glad-wrap and wrapped EVERYTHING up. People mocked me at first, but by the end of the day, everyone was saying things like 'huh. I hadn't seen the glad-wrap method before, but I'll definitely use it next time' (they called it a 'method' and everything - totally made my genius invention legit!). It basically meant that I didn't have to put as much stuff in boxes. My laundry basket for example (which has an open top): I just glad wrapped it, and put it with everything to be loaded in the truck. My blue drawers? Just pulled each draw out, put glad wrap around it, put it back in the chest, and then glad wrapped the entire chest so the pain wouldn't chip if things got knocked (James mocked me about that one, but go ahead James. And please notice that NONE of my furniture got chipped, though others weren't so lucky). My desk? Well, the draw wouldn't come out (James says IKEA designed it that way, I think maybe James and Oliver just built it that way), so I just glad wrapped the whole desk so the draw stayed in, and the cupboards didn't open. You guys are lucky to be related to someone as smart as me, obviously.
I did have to rush over to work at 8:30am to let a freelance editor into the building, but that only took about half an hour. At 10am, James and Jonny came over (with wives and children in tow) to help me, and a whole bunch of YSA started turning up too. I had worried the day before that we wouldn't have enough help, and so had asked the girls to invite as many YSA guys as possible. Well, we had about 15 turn up, so we had MORE than enough help. Mum and Dad would have liked to help too of course, but Dad had to work and Mum wasn't well, but that was okay because like I said, we had HEAPS of help. The plan was for everyone to help us move everything downstairs by noon, when the guy whose Dad owns a massive bread truck would turn up to help us move everything. But we pretty much had everything downstairs by 11am, so then everyone just stood around and waiting until 12:30pm when the truck turned up. (okay, so the packing in my room ran a little late since I hadn't started till that morning. But Abby did a fabulous job of putting garbage bags around my clothes and tying the coat hangers together with twine, and everyone was such a help that I was finished WAY before the truck arrived. (Our family is pretty fabulous!).
They ended up having to make two loads with the moving (aka bread) truck, partly because the truck was half full of bread for Thursday's delivery, and Brad didn't want to stack stuff too high in case it fell onto the bread (I of course, didn't want them to stack things too high in case it fell, full stop). It was a massive job for the guys to then get everything upstairs into the house, because there's a staircase at the front side of the house (outside) leading up to the big front veranda and then the front door. At one point, they put a rug over the railing on the veranda at the front of the house (above the driveway), and would pass big pieces of furniture up and over the railing. It was pretty scary to watch (very scary), but much easier. Bookcases and tables and mattresses all went up into the house that way! Jonny and the rest of the YSA were all very helpful of course, and then there was James, who is pretty much a machine with this kind of stuff. The day before, when I'd been worried that we wouldn't have much help and because Jonny's knee is still a bit bad (he fractured a bone in it a while back), I didn't know if there'd be anyone to help James move all the furniture. He was all 'I don't need anyone else, I can just do it myself if I have to'
Tammy - um, no, you'll need someone else to help with the other end of heavy furniture.
James - I won't.
Tammy - You will.
James - Nah, Tammy (laughing), I'll be fine.
Tammy - okay, what about the fridge? huh?!
James - 2 door? or 1 door?
Tammy - 1 door....
James - Yeah, I'll be fine. I've done that before.
Tammy - .... You'll carry our fridge down the stairs to the truck, all by yourself.
James - yeah (and then he gave me a look like I was the weird one)
Tammy - *** Collapsing into laughter ***
MORAL OF THE STORY - James really does think he's the man. But then when it comes to moving stuff, I have to admit that he kind of is. Unfortunately lots of people arrived to help, and I got busy, so I never got to challenge him with the whole 'walk down the stairs with the fridge' thing... maybe next move?!
We finished getting everything into the new house by about 3pm, and everyone left by about 4pm. And then I spent until about 2am unpacking and setting up my room (which is ALMOST done now).
Then Thursday morning, Trefyn came with me to IKEA because I've been saving up to buy a bunch of living room furniture. I got a 3 seater lounge with a chaise on one side, a 2 seater lounge, a footstool/seat for my room and a bedside table for my room. A side table for the lounge room, 2 bar stools for the kitchen counter, a chair for the piano, and a big entertainment unit (2 bookcases on either side - the same type I have in my bedroom) with a wide TV desk in the middle, and a bridging shelf above connecting the 2 books. I had decided to get it delivered for $100 since It was going to be way too hard to get that much stuff home and up the stairs again, lol! Anyway, Tref went all through IKEA with me while we picked the codes and then we got down to the big warehouse area, and I had my list. And because she had a few other places to go and because it had taken way longer than we'd expected, I said 'why don't you go. I'll be fine from here, I'm just going to take this list up to the checkout and then head over to the delivery counter so they can organize to get that list of stuff over to me'. Unfortunately, it turned out (when I went to the counter), that you actually have to (and this is how they make it a place with cheap-ish furniture apparently) pickup up all your furniture off the shelves and onto trolleys, pay for it, and wheel it over to the delivery counter ALL BY YOURSELF! I had figured if you were getting it delivered, they just did that bit FOR you! hahaha! My list was HUGE, and now I had no help!! Luckily, a (very) kind IKEA worker lady took great pity on me. She grabbed another trolley, we split up the list, and we spent 25 minutes pulling everything off the shelf (if James is the man when it comes to moving, this girl was TOTALLY the man when it comes to the IKEA warehouse). She pulled off way more stuff in the time it took me to grab the few light things she'd give me. And then she spent another 10 minutes reorganizing the trolleys so every fit onto two trolleys (which was kind of a miracle). AND then she helped me by pushing one of the trolleys over to the checkout. From there, I only had to get it across the floor to the delivery counter (right next to the 'large items' pickup area, which is where I had to pick up the 3 seater lounge with chaise), on a third trolley. And then I was able to wash my hands of all that stuff and head out of there! I tell you, I was so exhausted by then that I bought an $1 IKEA hotdog and sat down for 5 minutes to eat it :)
By then it was 12:30pm, and I decided to stop by Mum's because she's had a bit of a flu. And it was so nice to catch up with mum that I ended up staying there until about 4:20pm, when I had to race back down to work to catch up with that editor briefly. And then I was hope by about 6pm. I spent an hour cleaning the kitchen (there were still boxes everywhere and it was driving me crazy). And by 7pm everyone was home. So one of them made spaghetti while the rest of us started on the furniture. We managed (and here you will be OH so proud of me, though truth be told it was only because Tref owns a tool box and seemed to know what she was doing) to put together pretty much everything except the entertainment unit. I even put together one of the bar stools all by myself, and it had a back on it and everything. IKEA instructions don't have any words, by the way, just pictures. How weird is that?! lol! (another way to save money no doubt). We were finally done by about midnight.
So then on Friday (as you can tell, I took Thursday and Friday off work), I got up early and went over to the old place with Charlene to clean it ready to hand our keys in. We thought it would only take a couple of hours because we kept a pretty clean house. But it ended up taking AGES because it turns out that was way more to do than expected. lol! We got out of there after about 5 hours, but the place was sparkling. We had to pay a big deposit when we moved in, and if they don't see any problems we get it all back (which will be over a thousand dollars for me, which I'm looking forward to!), so think that should all be fine to come back to us (fingers crossed!). After that, I got a subway on the way back to the new place (the asian guy at the KP subway has learnt my name now, and he loves to us it. "Hi Tammy. How are you? Which bread would you like Tammy? How are Ben and Oliver, Tammy?'). And then I came home and sat and did nothing for almost a full hour while I ate a very slow lunch. I was pretty exhausted! Then Ashleigh came home and the two of us did the new house inspection (with a form, where you write down anything that's wrong with the house so that when you move out they don't think you did it), which took over an hour because the house is so big and old :) And then after THAT, Charlene came home and the three of us tackled the downstairs area so that it's all nicely organized. It's a gym down there, and it's a really huge and very cool space. Tref had a giant exercise mat so we put that together and then all the equipment is around the edges. It's very exciting to have a big indoor gym now. I can't wait to start on Monday :)
Then at 5pm I quickly ran upstairs, changed, and drove over to Jonny and Jessima's so I could babysit while they went to their stake Talent Night. Jenna had been promised that if she was good she could watch Shreck when I came over, so we did. It was so nice just to sit on the couch with Jordan on one side and Jenna on the other. They were both so cute and cuddlly (Jordan in particularly was very cuddly - he just snuggled up next to me under the blanket and watched tv for a while. I left Jordan stay up about 20minutes past his bedtime because he was sitting so quietly and was yawning, so I let him get good and tired so that when I took him up to bed he just went straight to bed (it totally worked - he didn't cry at all!) He's so cute. I put him in the cot, then I put one stuffed animal under one arm, one stuffed animal under the other, snuggle him under the covers, say his prayers, turn on his music, and close the door.
Jenna and I watched the rest of the movie, and then I said 'okay, tme for bed now' and she burst into loud tears "I need my mummy! I need my mummy!" Poor thing did NOT want me at all :) So I told her if we went upstairs and went to the toilet, and said our prayers and picked a story, THEN we could call mummy to say goodnight, and then I'd read her a story and she'd got to sleep. So that reduced the tears to sniffles and we went upstairs. Funny side note - when I walked into her room there were books all over the floor and I said "Look at this mess!" to which Jenna replied with a bit of outrage "This is not a mess! These are my BOOKS!" which warmed my heart just a little. Lol! When we called mummy I apologized for bothering her, but explained the situation and then handed Jenna the mobile (Jenna was sitting anxiously in her bed holding out her hand for the phone), and as soon as she got mummy on the line she burst into tears again "I need you here mummy, I need you here!" but Jessima just told her to read a story with Tammy and that they would be home soon and would come in and giver her a kiss. So we read the story (little mermaid) and then went to put her to bed, and of course, we couldn't find her doggy. So then we spent 15 minutes searching the WHOLE HOUSE, and couldn't find it anywhere. The tears were not far off, and it turned out that monkey wouldn't do even though I explained that he was probably "lonely on the floor there by himself" (I hadn't really expected that to work, but had to give it a try of course, lol!). And then finally I suggested (since I was exhausted anyway and was planning to sleep on the couch), that she sleep with me instead of with Doggy. Turns out that was acceptably. So we turned off the light and went to sleep. I probably fell asleep before she did, and then I woke up to Jonny and Jessima laughing at the end of the bed :) Good times!
This morning is Saturday, and my last day of 'not working' so It's a busy one again. I got up late (7:30am), have been writing to you guys for an hour, and Jonny's going to come over at 9am so we can put together the entertainment centre (with his awesome nail gun!) and then we'll go and buy a TV (the other thing I've been saving for), and once that's all set up I'll try and add finishing touches to the house and my room, and get everything finished and DONE in the house. And then tonight I'm going back to a girls desert night at Jessima's. It was going to be mum, Abby and me, but it's Uncle Mal's 60's birthday, so Mum and Dad are going to that, and it will just be Abby and I over with Jessima. Should be a fun night. I'm sure Abby and Jessima will both cook something awesome. I'm planning to bring Baskin and Robbins ice cream since I won't have time to cook today :)
Phew! Moving has been exhausting! You probably didn't need to know EVERY detail of my move, but once I start typing I'm like a weird possessed animal... lol!
Okay, I'd really better go now. Jonny will be here any minute and I"m still in my PJs :) I love you both so much, and am so proud of you. (I believe so much in what you're doing that I don't even MIND that I had to put up IKEA furniture and move house without the two of you!). Have a great week, and remember that you have a whole family of people back here in Australia who pray and fast for you all the time.