Do you remember the last time you rode a merry-go-round? Mine was a few months ago at the zoo. The kids each picked their favorite animal to ride, and I did a sort of Go-Go-Gadget-Arm maneuver to try to hold everybody in place as the merry-go-round began to go. Now there are two different ways to get on one of those spinning contraptions...you can step on easily while it sits perfectly still, or you can run in mad circles trying your hardest to grab one of the poles as it speeds past you.
I feel like I've been grabbing at a virtual merry-go-round all week long.
Thankfully, most everything that's been happening has been exciting and good. We had a series of adoption-related paperwork finally come through, which has sent me spiraling a bit out of control in an effort to get our dossier finalized and sent off to Washington D.C. (where it will be authenticated at the State Department and the Ethiopian Embassy). Then Josh and I made the decision to go ahead and start kindergarten with Abigail this year instead of waiting until the next school year when she's five. And since I'm homeschooling, that decision brought with it a whole slew of excited, curriculum-ordering, schedule-planning madness.
Since two members of our family are now starting school this August, we thought it would be good to have a room in our house designated as the study/schoolroom. Do I think a separate walled-off space is necessary for a successful homeschool or seminary student? Not in the least. But if we could make it work, Josh and I decided it would be well-worth our efforts.
Not long ago, we had a contractor come look at the screened-in porch off of our living room to tell us how much it would cost to convert it into living space. Our original intent had been to use it as an extra bedroom, but as we were tossing out ideas as to where we could have the study, the "bringing the outside in" plan came back into play.
UNTIL, that is, we remembered how much the contractor's quote was. It was somewhere in the ballpark of "need to sell a kidney to pay for it". Actually, we talked quite seriously about trying to make it work, but we both felt uneasy about it. After some thought and prayer on each of our parts, we came back together with the same decision...God doesn't want us funneling money back into the Lewis family. The goal isn't to work, make money, spend it on ourselves, then work more, make more money, and spend more on ourselves. God has put some really neat opportunities in front of us, and He gently reminded us that a bigger house isn't what's important.
With that option off the table, then, it was time to get creative. Josh and I talked at length about how we could change and rearrange to accomplish all the goals, but we kept hitting roadblocks. Then my friend, Kerry, came over, and I mentioned to her what we were trying to do. She tossed out a few ideas here and there, but then she said something that really got the ball rolling.
"Why don't you put your TV over the fireplace?", she asked.
My first thought was something along the lines of "Already thought of that...won't work". And half of that statement was totally accurate. Josh had mentioned that idea a while back, but we realized we couldn't move the TV out of the entertainment center because of our DirecTV satellite hookup. But wait!!! We canceled our satellite subscription a couple of months ago (and Josh built an antenna by hand...whole separate post!), so the TV was now free to move about the cabin.
Moving the TV out of the entertainment center and over the fireplace was the first in a long line of falling dominoes this weekend. Here's a little rundown...
Move TV over fireplace.
Move entertainment center out of living room.
Move couch to where entertainment center was.
Move chairs to other side of living room.
Move eat-in-kitchen table out of kitchen.
Move dining room table and chairs into kitchen.
Move computer desk into dining room.
Move eat-in-kitchen table into dining room as school desk.
Move entertainment center into dining room as school storage and bookshelves.
And those are just the big steps. In the end, we have a living room that's set up better than it's ever been before, we have a table in the kitchen that our whole family can sit at at the same time (including the new baby), and we have a fully functional study/schoolroom that is now one of my favorite rooms in the house.
And the total cost?
Some sore muscles...but NO MONEY!!!!
There is one little downer to the new arrangement, though. Because of where the couch is now--no more couch toss. Sad.
All of that was just DaddyDay morning this weekend. There's more to share, but I need to get back to editing my most recent sessions. I'll be back with Abby's big weekend (camping with PaPaw and GrandPam) and a few photos from the shoots I'm working on.