So Handsome

I recently started taking a photo course by Schultz Photo School called Photo Fix. I’m not done with the course yet, but it’s been fun to take pictures and to see progress as I go.

Years ago I bought a Nikon DSLR for photographing the jewelry in my shop. I took a few courses to learn how to photograph jewelry, got decent enough at that, but could never learn how to photograph people all that well.

Now that we’re here in Maine, I want to learn how to use the camera for photographing people. My kids are already tired of me taking pictures of them. Hahahaha!

These of Samuel turned out so well tonight though. I’m so pleased.

Thrift Shopping

We went to a thrift store today. We heard clothes were $1 a bag. We got there and it was a totally different story. Yes, it was $1 a bag, but we weren’t prepared for how they would mark everything else down as we went.

 Kids clothes were free. Men’s and ladies XL were free. We needed two shopping carts to get this all out of the store. Two leather winter coats and two men’s suits. Samuel even found a three piece suit that looks brand new. The little old lady at the cash register squealed when she saw how good it looked on him and marked it down to $1. Winter clothes for almost all the kids.  Flannel sheets for one of the kids beds. 

$13. For everything. 

Then we went to leave and she asked if our kids could have cake. She brought out two cakes and some cupcakes, and then loaded a shopping cart with black beans, diced tomatoes, Mac and cheese, instant potatoes, and applesauce. 

God said He would provide, and He most certainly did.

Moving Adventures

God is so good. All the time.

I should probably start with a quick “we made it” post. It’s been almost a month now and I haven’t had the time to.

Our drive up was eventful, to say the least. Stephen’s dad went with us to drive the moving truck.

About three hours into our drive, there was an accident involving the moving truck. Dad and my two big boys were fine. The other car involved flipped across traffic into the median. The driver seemed to be ok, with only a few cuts on his arm and forehead. They took him to the hospital to check him out. What greatly burdens me is it’s been a month now, and we haven’t heard anything about how he’s doing. I pray he’s fine, and that he hasn’t had to fight insurance to get medical care he needed and the replacement car.

We got on the road in a much more somber mood, and made pretty much decent time after that, other than needing to stop a lot for the kids and dogs.

I finally called to book a hotel once we got into Pennsylvania. We took the only one in our price range that had open rooms for all of us. Oh. My. Word. It was so scary. The building was incredibly run down. I’ll just say that I was grateful to have the dogs in the rooms with us, because I wasn’t sure we’d still have our truck and trailer intact when we got up in the morning.

Come morning, we got back on the road and stopped for gas. We opened the trailer to get something out of the cooler, because we had put all the coolers and snacks in there. The door broke. Open. We had to call roadside assistance, which helped close the door, but didn’t fix it. We drove to find a Uhaul place to exchange the trailer, but the place we found couldn’t help us either. So we continued up the road, with the trailer broken shut now, and no access to our food.

We were thrilled to see the Hudson River and all the states we’d never seen before. Maine was especially thrilling for all of us. It is so incredibly breathtaking.

Once we got to the town where we’re staying, GPS said we had arrived, but we couldn’t find the house. It was 1am, and we were driving up and down the road in the dark trying to read house numbers to find it. We did, after an hour. Come to find out, we have zero cell reception in the area, so the closest GPS estimate had us six houses down.

The house we stayed at is called the Haven of Rest, and it truly was. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to relax in such a beautiful and quiet location. We still had a lot of running to do, but it was restful.

We got new phone numbers right away, since there’s so little reception in the county. After we closed on our new house and moved in, we discovered our house is a dead zone and even with a new carrier, our phones don’t get reception. So we got a land line phone right away too.

It has been a big adjustment getting used to driving an hour to church. After living in the Bible Belt for 18 years, it’s strange to have to go that far to find a Gospel preaching church.

What amazes me is the house we bought is directly across the street from our new church. What an incredible blessing.

We are working with another church an hour north of us. Their pastor has been driving down to ours to preach Sunday afternoons, between his own services. We are continuing that schedule for a few more weeks, while we canvas the town to let them know our church has a pastor now. We will have a big installation service October 5, and then we will go to traditional service times at that point.

It has been incredibly humbling to hear of all the people who have prayed for a pastor for our church over the past two years, but more humbling to realized God chose us to answer that need. It’s been a joy to get to know our members, who have become dear to us already. I’m very excited to see what God does next.

God Always Provides

What a busy few weeks it’s been.

The fuel pump on the big van went out. We got a call before we took it into the shop, asking how much it would cost to fix. “I’ll bring a check by tonight.” And just like that, God provided the money for the van to be fixed.

We went to Stephen’s parents’ church Sunday night, to see everyone and say our goodbyes. Stephen was asked to share his burden about Maine and to preach, our family was asked to sing, and they gave us a special monetary gift for our trip as well.

Before we left, they had us stand at the front of the congregation for everyone to hug us, shake hands, etc before we leave. One person gave me a hug and said, “I know the church already gave you something, but God told me to give you this” as something was pressed into my hand. I opened my hand later to see that it was a $100 bill.

When God first told us to move, we knew He would need to provide for it. It’s already gotten much more expensive than we ever expected, but every step of the way, God has provided what we needed right when we needed it.

Piano Lessons

Looks like I’m going back to teaching piano lessons again! I’m excited.

I closed my studio when I was pregnant with Esther, because we needed the bedroom for kids to sleep in instead of using it as a piano studio. We didn’t have room anywhere else in the house to give lessons, so I closed my studio and stopped teaching.

Lately I’ve been asked about giving lessons again. Since we still have the space issue, I’ve turned all the requests down.

Then I started to hear about teachers offering FaceTime lessons. The thought intrigued me. I kept hearing about it, and started to mull the concept of live video lessons over. I’ve been thinking about this for months now.

I asked about it on my Facebook page to see if there was any interest if I were to offer video lessons, and was surprised by the response.

There’s a lot to figure out before our move, but after we get settled, I don’t see why offering video lessons wouldn’t work. Honestly, I’m pretty excited about it. I love teaching piano lessons and have missed it these last 8 years. Since I kept everything, it should be really easy to reopen and start teaching again.

Faithful is He

It sure has been an interesting couple of weeks. All I know to say is my God is faithful.

Our house here and the house in Maine are both under contract. We’re having some back and forth with the bank about requirements for the new loan – there is confusion on whether or not the new house is multifamily or not. Lord willing that will be sorted out ASAP. If it’s found to be multifamily, I have to take some sort of landlord classes….and time is running out to be able to do that.

The official countdown is 22 days until we move.

Yesterday we got a call that the movers we were going to use can’t move us. That was a bit of a shock. I think our current new plan is to have Stephen’s dad drive up with us to help drive the rental truck, and we’ll fly him back home. The kids are thrilled with this plan, of course.

Then our family van decided to start acting funny. Turns out it needs a new fuel pump. One of our best friends is our family mechanic and he can get it fixed this week (which is good – we’re using it to haul a trailer to move Stephen’s grandma into a nursing home at the end of the week!).

It seems like everywhere we turn something is coming up to complicate things. Honestly we expected the devil to fight us, and fight he has. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for our family.