Sunday, October 25, 2009


We have been reveling in our driving-distance family. The PARTY HOUSE is actually defined as "the house in which 2 or more Draper sibling families are gathered." and therefore changes location regularly. We were honored to have our home carry that title 2 weekends ago. And here's how we enjoyed our Rockin' Good Time:

We went to Port Discovery in Baltimore.

The kids here in the Diner.

Lot's of climbing through the 3 (4?) story climbing area.

Making bubbles bigger than the kids themselves.
Tom's cousin Mollie wasn't with us for the kiddie fun, she was hanging out with a friend in DC.
But then that night we all did the unthinkable: a triple plus date sans enfants! That was thanks to a brave Sally Farrell who said she'd come do our regular date night babysitting, with Cora, Eli, and Ellie included. Thanks Sally!
We went to an Indian restaurant.

Saturday we watched the rain a little more from inside (the dining room :) )
Then Janine, Ang, and I went to Emily Robinson's triplet baby shower, which was great fun (and a little frightening, thinking of all the craziness she'll have when they all get home from the NICU!)
Meanwhile, Mollie was home making brownies with the girls for Cora's almost-two birthday party. We danced in the newly-finished basement in the dark with glow sticks, and played a really big round of Ring-a-Round-the Rosy.

Next day KC came to visit, arriving just as we were singing hymns with cousin Mollie, who is a singer. Then we got to catch up with him and his busy life with the triplets. After dinner everyone packed up and left, and The Party House title is in holding for the next time any Draper Sibling families get together...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lily's Locks of Love

Lily actually had 10 inches of hair and she'd been begging me to cut it, so we cut it yesterday and sent it off to Locks of Love for a non-profit organization to make wigs for children. Perfect for my Lily who prays every day for the orphans and others in need. Much as I loved her hair long, blunt, and straight, she sure looks cute with her stylin' bob!


****Spoiler Alert******
This is why I don't blog. I write too much wordy stuff, don't finish or edit it, then just give up. My new goal is to not leave any entries as drafts anymore. You may not enjoy the effects of my new goal. That's why blogs are great. There's no rule that you have to read them. So that's my alert, it doesn't get better at any point in the post, but you're welcome to just skip on over this post to the good stuff: Party House.

Years ago my mother-in-law referred me to which is a site where they help you slowly organize, clean, and de-clutter your house in a way that should give you new habits to last your life. Flylady asks, "Is your house in C.H.A.O.S.?" then she clarifies by saying it means Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Well, with this definition in mind, I'd like to say my house is in S.H.A.O.S., or Shouldn't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Since we have had the basement slowly creeping up the stairs and into our upstairs living area, I have alternately tried to ignore it or tackle it with bouts of [non-clinical] depression interspersed.
So things come up: bookgroup being held at my house, VT's and HT's coming to visit, Lily's birthday party, then Tyra's. I keep dealing with it as it comes with an attitude of "I can't put our lives on hold just because of this stuff." And we really were getting stuff out, starting with a yard sale and continuing with many trips to the thrift store and craigslisting with the other stuff. But there's still PLENTY of stuff around. Yeah, plenty. (You may who have been here may have another word or phrase in mind)
So when Tom invited all his East Coast relatives to visit at the same time in October I certainly felt some trepidation, but the joy of our togetherness times outweighed any misgivings I felt. So even as things got only worse when every last item came up from the basement and the paint was not drying and it looked like we were only going to have our 3 bedrooms to house all 7 adults and 7 kids, and 2 of the NC families had relatives die right beforehand, and things were looking a bit grim; but the love was felt as everyone sacrificed their own comfort to get together for more family bonding time.

Now a moment about my sister's blog: she recently mentioned the phenomena of noticing after being in a public or social setting, noticing some embarrassing thing about herself makes her want to fix the problem (whacked collar, messy mascara, etc.) and then revisualize the setting over without the problem. I admitted that, as I so rarely look in the mirror, it is not a thing that happens to me often, if at all. However, as I write about the party weekend I realized that I quite often have a similar thing regarding some embarrassing thing about my house that I will immediately want to fix after visitors have left that I then try to revisualize the visit with whatever the problem was fixed. This is often the Sunroom for me. I usually save cleaning the sunroom for last when people will visit, and then feel sorry for it afterwards when my friends follow their kids into the room to help them find toys.

This time I decided to have the toys organized and cleaned up, and I got all the basement stuff as organized into one half of it as I could so there wouldn't be any basement stuff in the living room except for the 2 huge black food storage cabinets where our old piano used to be. What I left were the boxes and boxes of foodstorage and the many open shelving units in the dining room. Our dining room is not actually very small. As a matter of fact, it is holding 3 desktop computers, a china cabinet, a game cabinet, a kitchen cupboard with the microwave/toaster oven/bread machines on top of it, and our kitchen table (which managed to seat 11 over the weekend). Then added to this has been 3 open storage cabinets and a double layer of foodstorage boxes, taller than myself. You might call it a bit crowded. I did remove the one non-food shelving units, but that was about all I could do. I put some extra chairs in the living room and sunroom and hoped that was all we'd need. I imagined sitting in the sunroom with the women-folk while the little ones played and the boys played video games. What happened? We ALL stayed in the dining room almost the entire time, staring at my open shelves. And not even going to the pumpkin patch because it was cold and rainy the entire time!
So what was the whacked shirt in all this? Well the messy piles of apron/sewing machine/sewing box stuff on the china cabinet, the piles of papers on the same and the game cabinet, and the box of paperbackswap books, shredder, and Tom's 2 boxes of computer discs and junk. I had bookgroup here right after the party left and the first things I did was put up some cream colored plastic to cover the open shelves, and move out all the papers and sewing machine. Then I reimagined. Ah. Still very very cramped, but not S.H.A.O.S.