Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A few things, and I promise I'll get some pictures soon. The house is gorgeous. Anyone here who's heard that I hadn't seen the house before we bought it was shocked, shocked I say. (Less so in Prague, where everyone understands the distance and the jetlag and the kid watching.) Nathan did a fantastic job. The downstairs is perfect for entertaining, or just for letting kids run around. Wood laminate or tile everywhere. Big and open and unbelievable storage in the kitchen. Also downstairs is a bedroom, which will be Nathan's office. It's off by itself, so he'll be able to work comfortably even when we're having a dance party or screaming our way to bed. Upstairs is also great -- plenty of rooms, a massive playroom above the garage, and nice bathrooms. Coming from Europe, where built-in storage is an anomaly, I'm loving closets, and utility rooms, and pantries, and cabinets. The house is almost completely done in bright colors, which I like the idea of, but a lot of the colors just don't go well together, so we'll be doing some repainting pronto! We want to get it done before our shipment arrives from Prague. I was planning to repaint the kids' bedroom (M and V share) since it's purple, but I actually love the color. It's OK for boys to sleep in purple, right? I'll put up Star Wars posters on the wall ...

What else? Our pool is cute, pint-sized. Perfect for the kids to paddle around in, and we've been having lots of fun. I'm hoping to do some shopping really soon to get the last of the summer items in shops. We need extra bathing suits, shorts, and pool toys. First, we've got to get our cell phones worked out and get cars. Nathan got us set up with cell phones yesterday afternoon, but we don't have coverage in the house, so we're going to have to utilize their 30-day return policy and hope they don't kick up a fuss about it. This move-in has been quite an ordeal. So many things are quick and easy, but an awful lot seem to be very painful processes. For instance, I'm looking forward to having my own car, but I hate car shopping. Gives me a headache.

We made it to the library yesterday, to much rejoicing from the kids. I swear they wanted to bring everything home. We are nearly equidistant from Carrollton's two libraries, so we'll be able to give them both our love. We visited the newer one, at Josey Ranch Lake. The selection is great, the kids get a free new book for completing the summer reading program (I got a paper for Eliza too, is that wrong? She reads more books than anyone in the house, and they have board books in the give-away bins :) People were so nice! Seriously, this just isn't good training to make sales people nice, these library folks actually want to help. Inconceivable! And they have a cool self check-out. M is going to love learning to do that himself. E did not like the check-out because she had to let go of her book for a minute. "Doda", meaning Dora. Rapidly becoming an obsession.

Monday, July 12, 2010

made it!

We finally moved into our house tonight. The kids are asleep and Nathan and I will be soon ... it was quite a deal, and obviously a long way to go, but I wanted to let everyone know we're here and doing well. And thanks to all the many people who have helped out. Really, really appreciate it.

Our plane flight: Martin took care of himself, which is the only good thing I have to say about it. Good thing my shirt was already brown.

The storage unit move: It all made it safely to the house, which is a pretty big thing. Never mind the 3 police cars who arrive to take care of Nathan's "disturbance" at the storage facility. The truck didn't work, and they were very rude about how it wasn't their problem. Imagine!

Other thoughts: My washer and dryer are HUGE, my refrigerator is HUGE, and Wal-Mart is really, really cheap. I know because I went through the store converting all the prices into Czech crowns. Really cheap, trust me. Having a pool rocks, the heat isn't as bad as I expected (and yes, it hasn't been at its hottest, but it did get to the high '90s today), but the humidity is a bit more than I remembered (major understatement alert). People bag my groceries here and tell me to have a nice day. They feed me Mexican food. They speak to me in my own language. And contrary to our previous experiences, they are truly interested in where we've been and what we've been doing. The Czech Republic is great, America is great, and we're very happy. I saw a brother, a sister, a couple of brothers-in-law, lots of nieces, a nephew, a mother-in-law, a sister-in-law, all in just 3 days. So nice.

Monday, July 5, 2010

we're off!

Starting the big adventure today. I've never had movers come, so I'm pretty excited about that. It was still a lot of work, even without doing the packing. Nathan's just happy he doesn't have to pack all our books again. Today the movers pack, and we shift the family to a holiday apartment in the center. Tomorrow they load the truck, and Thursday we'll hand over the apartment keys and turn in Nathan's company car. His Passat was new when we arrived, 5 years ago, and it's definitely showing its age. It's been a great car for us, but certainly not Japanese :) "A lot of good cars are Japanese." Friday, it's off to the airport, very early. We fly through Amsterdam and are hoping that no volcanos erupt in the interim. At the same time we're doing all this, family members are letting in a cleaning crew and carpet cleaners at our new house. Thanks, Naomi, Tyler and Zach!

So Friday we'll move into a hotel and pick up our rental car. Saturday we'll move items from our storage unit, which is also in the Dallas area. Thanks to everyone who is going to help with that! I'm not really certain what's in storage at this point, but I know we'll have beds for everyone once we add one air mattress, a dining room table, and a bunch of books. While Nathan orchestrating the move, I'll be taking the kids shopping -- baby gates, pillows and sheets are on the menu. Followed closely by toilet paper. Sunday we go to church and also move into the house, ready or not. Monday we receive delivery of a refrigerator, washer and dryer, and guys come to hook up our internet. For the rest of the week, we'll be buying essential items, including cars and cell phones. We'll get library cards, eat Mexican food, and swim in the pool. We'll unpack all those mystery boxes. And we'll also be waking up at 4 am daily. Sounds like we'll be doing our shopping at a 24-hour Wal-Mart, doesn't it?

Yes, it sounds like a ton of work, but it will be so fun, too! I'm happy to have a bit of time to visit downtown Prague before we go, and I'm going to love the moving in on the other end. This is the first time I've moved anywhere and felt like it was a permanent move. No guarantees on the permanence, but we don't have a time limit. How nice to be able to shop for long-lived items, rather than disposable ones. Na shladenou!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Riverside School

We finally had our last day of school on Wednesday, and I've been thinking about what a great place Riverside School has been for our children. The teachers and administrators at the school have created such a lovely place for kids and parents. These are the teachers who accommodated M being advanced a year, and not just tolerated it, but really encouraged him and helped him grow. They taught him how to spell, do fractions, and the life cycle of a frog. V's teacher learned about the reading scheme for older children and sat with her every day to hear V read a book. Her teachers helped her bake and plant a garden, paint (which she loves and I hate) and write letters for the "nursery post". The classrooms were always, always open to parents (and younger sibs). Teachers always had time for parents, and of course, the kids.
Riverside School brought some great friends to us. M found 2 kindred spirits on the first day of Year 1. He sat next to them when we walked in and they did a puzzle together. M was introduced to Power Rangers, Star Wars, and the real pleasure of having best friends.