Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Changes

The beauty of spring is that it comes once a year.....new, fresh and washing everything clean.  It's also volatile in it's temperatures and sporadic with it's weather.  But, it's a necessary process, right? 
There are glimpses of the next season, like the warm spells here in Cali that have my kids requesting water balloons!  But then the next day forecast will call for rain and thunderstorms.
  It's a season of change, when plants pop up new and everything greens. 
No matter the weather, it's a nice lull before the craziness of summer.

Living here is like springtime.  It's new, it's laid back, and we're laying out plans for the future without really feeling the crunch yet.  For now, those plans involve our next abode.

We made a quick sprint out of our house and are slowly adjusting to living with my parents.
They've made this process all too easy and I'm hopeful that we'll look back on these days and always treasure them!   In the meantime, our house hunt has been fierce!  We jet out of the house at the drop of a hat the minute a new house comes on the market.  We've written atleast 4 offers in just under 4 weeks, and we've had two accepted.  And two MAJORLY rejected!  We keep reminding ourselves that there is only ONE house for us.  Just one.  And God already knows which one...so we don't have to strive to win 20 houses.....we just have to keep praying for that ONE. 

Last week we may have found it.
We put in an offer the next day.....and I wavered all weekend about it's location.  But my hubby stood firm and our offer went through.
Tonight we revisited our potential new home.  It's gorgeous, and all signs point toward it being THE ONE.....but my heart is scared of the change.  So many of the other houses were centrally located, and close to the familiar.  But NONE of them have been doable.  This one has everything we've been looking for....
But it's SO far out of town!

Here are my fears:
I'm used to being 'the sitter'....the playdate stop.  The place people drop by with their kids, and where I treasure the sound of a 'full' house.  Who will drive 15 more minutes to do that? 
It just won't be 'easy' anymore. 
Will it mean more time at home rather than running here or there with the kids?  Gasp!
Homeschooling lends itself to lots of activities, which we treasure!  In this house I'll have to budget my time and gas resources more than EVER before. (even as I type that I KNOW it's not a BAD thing- please don't snicker!)
Then there are my parents.  In the past 10 years since I officially moved from their house, they have always been within a 5-7 minute drive.  Yes, the cord is still VERY short!  But my daddy is the one I call when my keys are locked in the car, and my mom is the one that will run over if my kids are sick and I need to run to the store for 7-up.  In fact she'll usually whip up some soup, and deliver it WITH the 7-up!
This house is only one town over, but 20 minutes from my parents.  A distance that I KNOW will be a stretch for them.  Not to mention the stairs...Marmar's knees cannot tolerate the stairs in this house!
(No more tucking my kids in or babysitting at our house!)

My reassurances:
My parents saw the house tonight, and have been VERY encouraging!
Many friends have promised to visit ;)
I don't usually have a problem making new friends....if those friends don't step it up....ahaaha....ahem.
But truly, God must have amazing things in store for us in that neighborhood/part of town if that's the case!
We'll just have to figure in that gas budget!

God is Sovereign.  He is the God of Spring/the God of change! He can orchestrate these changes for good!
He's not surprised by my fears.  In fact, He knows how weak my faith really is.  How I've prayed for change, yet want it to be 'comfortable.'  How I LONG for that next season of summer, yet balk at the less predictable period before it.  Ah, the uncertainty of Spring.

Now after writing this:
To this time in our life I say, Bring it on!
I'm shaking off the uncertainty, even if  the rain that comes in to water the flowers can look awfully gloomy.
I will admit I love the smell of rain, so fresh, so invigorating!

I'm reminded that for YEARS I've been asking God to move us AWAY...little did I know it would be just FAR enough away to make me uncomfortable, while still moving me out of my 'comfort zone!'

One last thought:  Did I mention that we'll be in the same development that started this journey?
All of the peace and vision we had for living in that area makes SO much sense now. 

Talk about full circle huh?
Kinda like the seasons. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moving Right Along....

....da da dong, da da dong......Only my dear friend Geri has ANY clue what I'm singing there.....
but it fit my mood! (I think it's from the Sesame Street Classic...Follow That Bird!)
Anyhoo......after many hours...and very little actual fuss, we are now moved out of our very first house.

This picture is for Janel...who probably NEVER thought she'd see our garage clean....(though not for lack of trying on HER part...she must have offered half a dozen times to come and organize us!)
As we've reflected on this move, we would say that minus a teensy bit of exhaustion ;} it's been an amazing journey!
God appointed this time so perfectly! The kids were able to take their scheduled spring break and we managed to fit in more than one day of rest in there as well!
We took Easter off, went out to the movies, had pizza with friends, stopped for playdates, etc.
It was just right.
On top of that, Jarrod had to fly off to Seattle for 3 days.....the exact day AFTER our move.
No one could have planned that better!
Not us, no way, no how!

On the homefront:
I am sleeping MORE than I've EVER slept before......something about my mom's house puts me out cold!
And yes, I guess I'm a little tired from the past 3 weeks.  But it's a good tired!
An accomplished tired.
A satisfied tired.
A blessed tired.

I'm praying the same for our new tenants.
That they would find rest and peace in their new abode.
May it be a place of love, learning, and lots of giggles!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On the to-do list...

....to wrap up two miraculous times with one great big bow.
We had this Ginormous foof chair on loan for Merrick's recovery.
Now that our boy is cast-free and mobile, our desperate preparation times seem so far away!
But at that time we hunted for a large bean bag to give him another surface to lay on.  (Rather than his only option to go from bed to couch each day).  Little did we know that even the smallest bean bag starts at $80.  We could pay that and keep it around as a reading chair, but then what about our other 2 kids? 
My motto is 'Life is not fair, deal with it...'  but really, we would need 3 bean bags for sure if this was going to stay in our house. And $300 was just not in the budget.

Then we thought they could share one of those bigger bags...but um, those cost the same but for ONE bag.
So a friend put out the word on one of her yahoo groups (she is uber networked around here!)
And Foof!  Two days later a complete stranger was dropping off this HUGE chair to our house.
I was blown away by the generosity......I really don't know if I'd be able to loan out such a unique piece.
But she assured me we could keep it as long as we needed it and that it wasn't too precious for the random dog hair it might accumulate in our home.  Ok......
And enjoy it we did.  Especially after I found the white paint handprints on it (not from us)......it was obviously not a super prized possession.  It turned out to be a fantastic alternative for our semi-immobile boy.

So we rolled that puppy around our front room for over 2 months.  Then this whole move came up and I knew we needed to return the foof chair to it's rightful owners.
Thankfully, I picked a day that the kids were with Marmar, as, you'll see, they would NOT fit into this equation very well.....

Let me start by asking...have I mentioned how heavy this thing is?  It's full of foam, and is atleast 5 feet round.
I used to have to force it onto the couch with a roll-tuck-full-on-press maneuver when I swept the floor.
Now it was time to take my moves outside.
On this fine afternoon I heaved and ho'd and rolled it out to the van.  Unfortunately, Jarrod was on his way home from work so the truckbed was not an option.
Then I proceeded to shove.
And I have to tell you, I must have been a sight to see.
I am no small person, and in this chair, I had a formidable foe.
I pushed SO hard I was rocking the entire van.....and by now I had the giggles.
The thing would not budge through the doorframe. 
I tried every trick in the book, save one. 
I pushed, I squeezed, I  hugged, I pleaded, and think I even promised it a new cover....
Ten minutes later I called Jarrod to see if he was nearby to help me.
That and I just needed someone to laugh with.
Literally, there wasn't a soul around anywhere to appreciate this madness, my entire block was silent. 
The darn thing just stuck there in the doorway of the van.  When I called Jarrod he suggested laying down the back seat and pushing it in from that entrance.  Um, by now it was a bit too late for that.  We were halfway in.  Some might say we were halfway out...but that is neither here nor there ;)
I finally stopped laughing at myself long enough to tip that front seat forward and with a few more shoves....Wa la!  Success!
I will say that foam chairs are NOT pliable like a bean bag.  Which is a good trait for furniture.....but not when you're loading them in a van.

I actually waited the extra ten minutes for Jarrod to arrive and go WITH me to drop it off. 
It was priceless watching the reverse process.
Jarrod had to tug pretty hard to coax that beast out of the van.
I couldn't help him from my position on the curb laughing my butt off!

The funniest part was how helpful the lady was when we returned the foof chair.  She had all kinds of househunting advice for us.
I tell ya, it's a mighty small world out there.....and  most people really are rooting for each other.
Sometimes it just takes the tragedies in life to bring us out of our shells and to lend to a total stranger.
By the time it was over, I was praising God for His provisions in comforting my son with this perk, to keep us smiling along the way and to bring a community to rally around us.

To-Do List:
1. Nurse Merrick back to health- CHECK
2. Return Giant Foof Chair- CHECK
3.  Make strangers into friends- CHECK
4.  Rent out house and move to Marmar & Papi's- CHECK
5.  Share of all the good God has done along the way- CHECK

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Closing time....

Well that's the song stuck in my head anyway.....though we haven't really closed on anything...but it sure is time to get OUT of our old house!
We've installed a new shower, painted a bathroom, patched holes, boxed up 3 truckloads of garage sale items, filled two 16 foot PODS, shampooed carpets and scraped ceilings.  All in 20 days or less!

NOW for the good stuff!
We've been living with my parents now since Easter Sunday, and they haven't kicked us out YET ;)
Thankfully we took our 'spring break' this week and we managed to sneak in a few fun outings while in the midst of packing, and househunting.  My kids are sorely off schedule...but what a gift to be able to take a break from school at such an appropriate time!

We were the only offer submitted for that first house I mentioned in the last post.  We were a day away from having our bid accepted,.......when we decided to cancel the bid.  A funny thing, our first offer, and it would have been SO easy to just go with the flow since everything was rolling along.  Instead we trusted the guidance we were receiving and we had a peace through all of our prayers, that this house would have been somewhere we 'settled on.'  

In the past week, as we've turned our life upsidedown, and then proceeded to hang on for the ride that is househunting......we've realized a couple of things:
 1. God has such great gifts for His kids (thanks for that quote- you know who you are!)
2.  We can't MAKE this happen, we instead need to surrender our will to HIS will...and be willing to wait.
3.  The simple things like dropping to the floor to play Polly Pockets with Talia....those are more important than running around looking for boxes.
4.  When we need them most, friends will come out of the woodwork to help!
5.  I can get really ugly when I have a cold, and I'm exhausted.....
6.  My husband has wellsprings of energy that allow him to start work at 5am and then come home and work on the house until midnight.  His selflessness is never really praised enough.  I adore him so.
7.  Our family is really great, and So uber dependable!
8.   We can fully underestimate the enormity of a process, and yet come through it unscathed and better for it.

I'd like to make this list an even 10 thougths...but I'm up way too late as it is.  It was that darn Starbucks at 9pm that did it!

We'll be out of our old home this week, and we do not currently have any offers out on a house. 
Our fantastic tenants will be painting rooms tomorrow, and I'm SO excited for their journey to begin as well.
Thank you for praying over our family.
This process has included many snafus ( me rear-ending a parked car because the boxes in my passenger seat were creating a blindspot) or spilt coffee drenching a 5 gallon bucket of white paint. 
But we're still laughing at each other, and praising God for His foresight to see us through this.
I pray you see Him in your circumstances today as well!