Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Today at 12:22 and 12:23 p.m. EST, the two newest members of our family were born! Laura's water broke during the night - and since one baby was breech, the doctor had her meet him at the hospital to do a
Baby A - Alice Robin Chabo arrived first, weighing 4 lbs 15 oz.
Baby B - Penelope Anne (Penny) Chabo weighed 5 lbs 3 oz.
Alice has really dark hair and, Penny, light brown hair.
Everyone is doing well! Can't wait to hold these two new little ones!!

Bob and I will drive to Ohio this Friday and I will stay to help out until after the first of the year. Bob will return to Ohio for Christmas.


22 November 2010

I had to smile when I read my last post and saw that I hoped to have all my unpacking done by the end of the first week of November. Ha! (Not realistic, indeed.) The main floor of the house is nearly complete — and certainly livable — and I'm making progress on the two rooms upstairs. i.e. I painted my studio a few days ago and started assembling a work table and bookshelf I bought at Ikea. There are still lots of boxes upstairs though, and not only have I slowed the pace at which I'm getting things done — but, now, its nearly Thanksgiving!

I've decided its better to pace myself, though, and enjoy the holiday rather than try to push frantically through getting "everything" done. It will all get done eventually. . .

Our daughters, Heather and Susy, plus Susy's two little ones came for a visit during my birthday weekend. (Nov 12-14) We had a great time and really enjoyed their visit!! We even went to a neighborhood holiday craft fair while they were here and Susy and I both won door prizes! Did I remember to pull the camera out, even once, during their visit? Of course not. So I have no cute photos of Lily and Claire (Susy's girls) to share. :-(

We're looking forward to having our youngest son, John, his wife, Amanda, and their daughter, Abby, visit us for a few days over Thanksgiving. Abby turns two in March, so I will look around at what items may need to be placed out of the reach of tiny hands. This week will involve extensive grocery shopping (I've already compiled the lengthy list); some cleaning and laundry; a little more unpacking; baking; prepping for the big Turkey Dinner; and, then, just relaxing and enjoying some family time for a few days. (Perhaps we'll watch some "Punkin Chunkin" on TV) LOL!

AND THEN THERE'S CHRISTMAS. Yikes! Last week I mailed our combo address change / btw "Merry Christmas" postcard — and I've wrapped and begun packaging the gifts, (meager as they are) but, still have one more thing to add to each package. A couple of months ago I started making a little something for each of our kids and am not even half done with those. Its not much, but I want to include it in each Christmas package. So, I'm thinking I'll have enough time during the week after Thanksgiving to get them done, and then, I can put everything in the mail that first week in December.

Because, after that, I'll be in Ohio for a while! Our daughter, Laura's, twins are due any time and I will head to Ohio as soon as I'm needed. It will be fun to be around some of our grandchildren (Sophia, Holly and Lucy, plus the new twins) during the Christmas season! Really looking forward to that!! And, of course, I hope to be as much help to Laura as I can. We are very grateful for the news that Baby A finally turned and is no longer breech. It was looking like Laura might have to have a c-section. (Baby B has been quietly behaving herself, causing no such concern.) Now, Laura will, hopefully, not need one, and will have a quicker recovery from the delivery. Adjusting to caring for twins will take a bit longer, I expect. Exciting times, though!!!


30 October 2010

We turned over the keys to the rental property yesterday — after a very tiring week of going back and forth between cleaning up at the rental (they gave us three pages of instructions for how they expected everything to be cleaned!) and unpacking and organizing things in our new home. (I'm getting too old for this!)

We have a few rooms in order, but still have plenty of boxes to unpack and furniture to assemble. (Bookshelf for the office and a couple of work tables for my studio.) Would like to have everything finished in another week, but, that may not be realistic. . .

I did start planting some spring bulbs yesterday. Will finish up today. I'm planting hyacinths, daffodils and tulips in the bed just at the front of the house - and, hope that at least some of them survive to bloom next spring. Its been years since I planted any bulbs, and the soil in that bed is not very good. I've added some better soil, so we'll see how it goes. Nice to look forward to that come spring.


Living Room

15 October 2010

Today we had our walk-through of the new house. A few dings on the wall, etc will be fixed before the closing next week. The only big item is they forgot to pour the back patio when they poured the front sidewalk. That is scheduled to be done Monday.

Forgot to take a picture of the front now that landscaping is in - so will have to post that later.


House on Sep 1, 2010

Making progress

Clearing the lot, April 2010

15 Sep 2010

We're getting excited about being able to move into our own place in about six weeks. Renting is just not the same - I haven't felt really "settled" here, though we moved in nearly a year ago.
We first saw the Potomac Green neighborhood in February. (Remember all that snow? Yup. We were tromping around in it getting ready to make a deposit on this home.)
The house is a nice compact 1-1/2 story, 3-bedroom, 3 bath home in a 55+ community (for active senior living.) We've met the couple who live just to the left of us (as you face the house) and they seem really nice. Turns out they also have six kids - three boys and three girls just like us! The large community center is an easy walk (two blocks) from the house and has an indoor and outdoor pool, an indoor walking track, and lots of fun social and fitness activities to participate in.
Our lot was cleared in mid-April, and construction began about July 5. We had a pre-drywall walk through in late August (so we could see where all the wiring and ductwork is.) They were putting up the insulation before we even finished the walk-through and now the drywall is up; the cabinets and bathtubs are all in place; the counter top is installed in the kitchen (but I didn't see it in the baths, yet.) I can't post any current pics because, right now, everything is completely covered in plastic. They're doing all the interior painting this week.
Not sure if the flooring goes in next week or the following. . .
Will post more pics later.


15 September 2010

We are no longer North Carolinians. The closing on our townhome there went off without a hitch today. And, the money is in the bank to help us buy the house we're building here in Virginia.
Its a good thing most of our kids still live in NC, though, so we can go back and visit one of our favorite places as often as possible!


23 August 2010

We have much to be thankful for! And, we have certainly felt the hand of the Lord in the process of preparing our home in North Carolina for sale. It was an exhausting and, sometimes, discouraging task, but we did everything we could to make the home look as good as we could make it look. Then we listed it with our realtor friend, Grace Naylor, and the Lord took care of the rest.(The slideshow above doesn't show the office/4th bedroom, but all the other rooms are shown.)

Only one week after we listed it, we had a contract. What a blessing!!! Plans are to close on the home on September 15. Then, we can move toward closing on a home we are trying to buy here in Virginia.

God has been very good to us, indeed!!


21 July 2010

Have been in Ohio for nine weeks, now - helping Laura and her family. Thankfully, she has made some improvement since I've been here. She's throwing up a lot less and she hasn't needed IV fluids for over three weeks. (When I first got here she needed extra fluids about every six days.) And, she seems stronger - though not yet ready to take on all the demands of a mother with three pre-schoolers.
I've had the opportunity to take Sophia and Holly to swim lessons this summer and to see them become more comfortable in the water and begin swimming. And, yesterday, Laura and I went through some boxes of fall/winter clothes to determine what the girls need for the cooler seasons approaching.
This part of Ohio is so much cooler (and generally more overcast) than either North Carolina or Virginia. We haven't seen too many really summery days since I've been here.
Sophia is very excited (and a little nervous) about starting kindergarten in a few weeks. She and Holly are looking forward to continuing in their dance classes this fall and Lucy seems so much bigger than just a few weeks ago. Its amazing how fast they're all growing - even though I've been with them every day.
In one week I head back to Virginia. (Susy is planning to be here to help Laura part of the month of August - then we'll see whether I need to return or not.) I'll only be home a few days then Bob and I will leave for North Carolina to get our house there ready to sell. I'll be packing up lots of things to take so we can stage the house for showing. Bob has already checked on renting a U-Haul and I've been making lists of what we need to pack. We hope to have everything in place so the house is ready to show by August 7. We've arranged for the walls to be painted and the carpets to be replaced then we'll do the staging. Bob will head back to VA on the 8th and I'm staying a week after that to oversee some things. We feel optimistic that the townhome will sell quickly.
We've also learned that we have to vacate the townhome we're renting in VA at the end of our lease (Oct 30) so we have another move coming up as well. When I get back to Virginia in mid-August, I'll go ahead and start packing up stuff to prepare for that.
Lots of transitions ahead. . .
For nearly two years now I've felt a bit displaced - and have spent a good part of that time living out of a suitcase. I hope when we get settled into a new place at the end of October, we can stay there for a while.


14 June 2010
Found out recently that our daughter, Laura, is having twins! The due date is Christmas Day, but we expect they'll arrive earlier than that. Should know gender(s) in a few weeks.
Since I'm a twin, I think this is exciting, but Laura has been too sick to feel any real excitement, yet. She can't keep anything down and is on an injection pump with nausea meds - but still spends most of her time either sleeping or sick. She's been placed on modified bed rest. SO, I have been in Ohio with her and her family since May 24th, helping out with all the things Laura isn't able to do. Will be here until the end of July - then will be back another time or two before she has the twins. (The doctor has already told her to plan to be on complete bedrest during the last part of her pregnancy. We're hoping she'll be able to function on her own in Sep and Oct, though.)
Its been a long time since I had the responsibility of caring for three preschoolers, plus doing the cooking, clean up and laundry for this many. I'm feeling my age - though I'm sure its good for me. :-)
We found out recently that my mother has been praying for Laura to have twins since Lucy was born! And, before Laura and Travis were even married, his mother had a dream that they had twins! So, it was just a matter of time. . .


At the temple on Saturday.

Back yard in NC - just before we finished planting.

Cutest girls in North Carolina!

We took lots of family photos after Claire's blessing on Sunday:

Heather and Mark

Laura, Travis, Sophia, Holly and Lucy

Susy, Todd, Lily and Claire


John, Amanda and Abby

Friday, 7 May 2010

What a wonderful week this has been! Last Saturday we were in the temple with four of our children and their spouses doing some family file sealings - a very sweet experience. Then, on Sunday, we were all together for the blessing of our newest grandchild, Claire Elizabeth Estes. Got some great family pictures on the temple grounds after church, then we all gathered at Susy's house and had dinner. Susy made some cupcakes for dessert and we discovered that her daughter, Lily (22 months) calls them happy cakes (as in a Happy Birthday cake.) Adorable!

On Monday and Tuesday our wonderful son-in-law, Travis, helped us with all the digging, shoveling and manual labor needed for fixing up our back yard. We'd have never been able to do it without him - and we're VERY pleased with the results.

Susy's husband, Todd, is growing lots of strawberries (a.k.a. straw"babies" - per Lily) in their garden this year. Laura's three girls and Lily had a good time picking and eating them and I wish I had taken pictures of them in the strawberry patch.

We've accomplished nearly everything we planned to do at the townhouse this week and got to spend precious time with children and grandchildren. Delightful!

AND, we got to visit a bit with good friends in the area. Loved seeing them and catching up with things in their lives.


Loved getting to spend Easter with five of our six kids (plus their spouses) and six of our nine grandkids! Though we got to skype with most of the others (missed our oldest granddaughter) wish we could have spent some time with everyone.


29 Mar 2010
Couldn't resist posting these photos of Claire with her big sister, Lily.


Mary Ellen Wade with great-granddaughter, Lucy Ellen Chabo
23 MARCH 2010
The same day that we welcomed our newest granddaughter I finished painting a portrait I've been working on since the beginning of the year. I set a goal for myself to paint a portrait of my mother with one of my granddaughters (from a photo taken last summer.)
I took an oil painting class about 10 years ago and hadn't had a brush in my hand since.
So, in January, I took a four-week portrait painting class - and though it built my confidence - four classes does not a painter make!
It was definitely a journey to do this painting, and I'm not sure what ever possessed me to begin it. But I am happy with the results. Granted, it will never be mistaken for fine art, but its a good first effort.
As soon as the paint is dry enough, I'm mailing it to my mother as a gift. (It was supposed to be for her birthday [Jan 31] but I didn't quite make that deadline. . .)


23 Mar 2010
We have another granddaughter! Claire Elizabeth Estes arrived at 8:43 pm on Tuesday, Mar 23. She weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz and was 18" long. Can't wait to meet her. I'm flying to North Carolina on Easter Sunday to spend a week with Susy and the family.
[ Note: The orginal pics I posted here disappeared (I think that I didn't save them to my hard drive but they were linked to Susy's fb page, and when she took them down, they were no longer available for this page.) So, I posted these. All but one of these was taken when Claire was about two weeks old.)


I love cake!
My own little cake plus a big one to share (not shown)
There are lightning bugs under those stars.
Opening presents.
Abby and Bob.

8 March 2010
A little over a week ago we drove to NC to celebrate Abby's first birthday. (Her birthday is March 3, but we celebrated it the weekend before.) Enjoyed the warmer NC weather as well as a special visit with our kids and grandkids residing there. Here are some pics of Abby at her party. Her Grandmother Watts made an adorable felt book "Buggy for Abby" that was the big hit of the day. As you can see, Abby loved her cake!

And a week later, here in VA, almost all of the snow has melted and the sun is shining. Makes me feel happy to see that sun!!


6 Feb 2010

The snow started falling about 10 am yesterday and didn't stop until around 6 pm today - sometimes falling at a rate of 2" per hour. We ended up with 29"!! No church tomorrow and we're taking our time - digging out gradually from all of this. We lost power from just before 8 am until almost 3 pm but the fireplace kept us warm and since we have a gas stove we could prepare meals. We were pretty comfy.