The move

After praying for three months about whether or not to return to SC, God finally gave us an answer in January. We then prepared for the move and began packing, and waited for moving day to actually arrive.

Wednesday afternoon the mail came, and with it came a check that one of our previous churches had sent us to help with moving expenses. It was a huge blessing – we had already set aside money for moving, but it was nice to be able to go without having to worry how things were going to work out.

When the movers called at 8:30 Thursday morning, I should have figured that things weren’t going to go according to my carefully crafted plans. They were going to be at our house several hours earlier than we had planned. It wasn’t a big deal – we were mostly packed – but I will admit that at that point I panicked.

We had run out of moving boxes, so while I was at Dollar General getting a couple of things for the drive, I went out back and went dumpster diving for more boxes. Thankfully the dumpster was open and there were quite a few very clean boxes on top just ready for me to bring home. I’d never gone dumpster diving before; it felt really strange. But the boxes were free (I asked inside first before I took them) and they were clean so I was happy.

Then I went to get back in the van and broke the door handle. I had picked up one of the teen girls from church to help me watch Little man for the day, so she helped me open the door and I finished my errands.

When I got back to the house I went to switch a load of laundry I had started earlier in the morning. Right on top of the load was a washed pull-up. All of the gel had oozed out of the diaper and was plastered on the side of the washer. I was not happy. I scraped it out as best as I could with my hands and started the washer one more time to try and rinse the gunk out of the load.

I came back an hour later to put the load in the dryer. At the bottom of the washer was another pull-up that had gotten washed. Let me tell you – sending two diapers through the washing machine is not a good idea. Thankfully God gave me the grace to handle it without getting upset.

The movers arrived as well as some people from church and we finally got the trailer loaded. The movers left, we cleaned the house, and then we headed over to church where our pastor’s wife had gotten pizza for us for dinner. We spent another hour or so there fellowshipping with the church family one last time before we said our good-byes.

We had planned on driving through the night so we could beat the movers to our house. We finally got on the road just before dark. About 15 minutes down the road, our van became filled with one of the most horrible smells I had smelled in a long time. We had the dog in the van with us, and I was absolutely convinced that he had had an accident in the back. Stephen, however, insisted that it was just gas. Thankfully, he was right. I guess giving the dog your cleaned-out refrigerator offerings right before an 11 1/2 hour car trip is a bad idea. Well, ok, I know it’s a bad idea now, but that didn’t occur to me when I gave him the food. . .

For the most part, the rest of the drive was uneventful. I had told Stephen that I didn’t care if I drove part of the way, as long as I didn’t have to drive in the Smoky Mountains. Last time I drove through the Smokies I was completely stressed out from the trucks driving so close and so fast and the concrete barriers. . .

We traded on and off, and the time came for me to drive again, so we switched. About 5 minutes after the switch, I passed a sign: “Smoky Mountain National Park – next exit” Great. I ended up behind a rather slow semi so speed wasn’t an issue, and the fact that we were driving through at 4 am really helped with the traffic. It ended up not being stressful at all. I was very thankful.

The sun was rising right about the time we got off the interstate, and it was light enough by the time we arrived at our house that I could see my daffodils were blooming. I had forgotten that they bloomed this early here, but it brought a huge smile to my face.

We unpacked the van, and then got back in it to go see Stephen’s mom before she left for work. It had been six months since we’d seen her so that was a real treat. Then we headed home to get some sleep before the movers arrived. All three of us laid down on sleeping bags, but Little man thought we wanted to wrestle so we didn’t end up getting any sleep after all.

When the movers arrived here, we started unloading, but we let Little man play outside because it was so warm outside. He found the hose and decided to water the dog. This is what I saw when I walked out the door:

He decided to water his belly instead. Since he was occupying himself and really staying out of trouble, I let him just stay there and play in the mud. He was absolutely soaked!

Then once Preacher got here, he showed him how to ride his bike down the ramp on the trailer. He had a ball doing that as well.

Several people came to help us unpack the trailer, and some of them stayed to help us get started unpacking. We got a lot done that night. We still have a ways to go now, but at least we can see progress.

So. . .that is the long story. We are here, we arrived safely, and God has been leading and providing the entire way. We don’t know what’s next, but God does, and we’re excited to see what He has planned.

We're home

Just wanted to put up a quick update that we’re here. The cable guy was out here this morning to connect our internet, so now we have phone and internet again. We’re trying out internet phone this time – it’s so much cheaper than a traditional land line that we figured we’d see how it goes. This cable internet is nice and fast, so so far, so good.

I’ll update more later when I have more time. For now, Stephen needs me to do some secretary work for him before he goes to town. *grin* I type a lot faster than he does, so I do a lot of that stuff for him. . .

Change in plans

We have a change in plans. Things are moving a bit more quickly than we anticipated. This is my official notice that I’ll be dropping off the web for a week or so. We are moving on Thursday, so we have a lot to do in two days. The phone and internet is supposed to hooked up on Monday, but we’ll see how that goes.

Unless the Lord has other plans, Allison and Sara, see you in church THIS SUNDAY!

Chocolate for breakfast

I just realized I’d probably better put an update on us. I am so thankful – I am the only one who got the strep. Praise the Lord that Little man didn’t get it! We were a bit concerned about that, but he has stayed healthy.

This morning I asked him what we should have for breakfast, and he answered me, “Chocolate!” Yes, that boy is definitely my son! And yes, I did give it to him. We had oatmeal so I dropped a couple of chocolate chips into it when I gave him his bowl. We don’t do this all the time, so I thought he’d like the treat this morning.

Now we’re just trying to finish getting ready for our move. We’ve freecycled what seems like half of our belongings (not really, but it feels that way sometimes) and have boxed up so much stuff. Wow. We went out to the garage on Saturday and packed up things in there, so that’s one more thing we can cross off our list. Now all that’s left is to pack the rest of our everyday things here in the house. I took all the pictures and artwork off the walls on Saturday too and it was the strangest feeling – just the realization that we’re doing this again kind of slammed into me. Then when the curtains came down today. . .again, wow.

A friend asked me yesterday at church if we’re excited about the move. In a word, yes. We have complete and total peace that this is where God is leading us, so in that aspect, we’re extremely excited to be able to follow God’s leading. It has been amazing to watch as He has confirmed it for us through so many different ways.

As for the packing and loading and the unpacking, well, I can’t say I’m as excited about that. I did label the boxes really well, and I’ve gotten pretty good at unpacking though, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a chore this time. I have really missed living in my own house, and I must admit that I’ve been daydreaming a little about where I’m going to put things again and how we’ll arrange furniture this time.

Moving date and a blessing

This morning, we got a phone call that was a real blessing. It was our Preacher – the preacher of the church we’re moving back to. He wanted to know when we’d be arriving. He told me that he didn’t want us to get to SC and call him and say, “We’re here.” He wanted to have people ready to help us unpack the trailer when it arrives at the house.

How wonderful! My shoulders literally sagged when he told me that – it was a huge weight off my shoulders. Don’t get me wrong – I was not worrying about us moving into the house, but just knowing that there are going to be extra sets of hands that day is such a blessing. Moving is taxing enough as it is that it blesses me to no end knowing that one more thing will run smoothly that day.

Poor Little man. He can sense that there is change, yet he doesn’t understand it. He has been a totally different child the past few days. I haven’t been coping with stress very well lately, but after watching how he’s reacting to it, I know I need to be more careful. It is so easy to get caught up in planning. . .all while forgetting that children sense the stress too. We’ve told him that we’re going to go live in a new house, but with him being 2 (almost 3!) he just doesn’t understand yet.

Later in the afternoon, Stephen finally got in touch with the couple that moved us last March about moving us back to SC. We were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to move us any time soon, but that didn’t end up being an issue. Our move is scheduled for the week of March 12.

The timing works out really well. We have three more weeks to wrap things up here before we move. Our rent actually goes from the 15th to the 15th, so that is taken care of. Stephen was just approached last night at work about taking some overtime hours, so the extra money will be a blessing as well. One of my favorite things, though, is the fact that we don’t have to hurry to finish packing. A good bit of our things are already packed, so a box or two a day and we should be ready to go.

It is wonderful to see things falling into place so nicely!

Sorted through baby clothes today

This afternoon was spent packing up decorative things that we’ve had in the kitchen while we’ve been here. I figured I’d go ahead and pack them up so we could get another box or two done.

After that I started on the tub of newborn clothes. Stephen has asked that we get rid of most of the baby clothes, so we don’t have to move all those huge tubs back across the country. The boxes of all the other sizes have already been gone through, but not the box of newborn clothes, because it was piled under so many other boxes downstairs.

It was hard to imagine Little man so small. Those preemie clothes are so tiny! I know he really was that size, but now. . .it was a real trip down memory lane. A lot of the sleepers and gowns and things like that I did keep. Lord willing, we’ll be able to use it some day with another child, so we kept it. The rest was bagged up and posted on freecycle.

The other day I showed Little man the video we took while he spent his week in NICU. It was funny to watch him because he wanted to hold the baby. He informed me, “Baby crying, Mama.” It does amaze me how a little trip down memory lane can make me miss those baby days, though!

Well. . .

It’s that time again. We’re moving.

God has given us peace that our time here in Indiana is over and that we are to return to South Carolina. We’ve been praying about this for several months now, and God has completely confirmed what we’ve been suspecting for a while.

Once again we’re stepping out in faith, and once again, there are those who don’t understand. That’s ok. We know what God is calling us to do, and we are following His leading.

We began packing a few weeks ago. Stephen wanted me to go through my old clothes and Little man’s baby clothes and get rid of them so we don’t have to move all those tubs of clothes back across the country. I was saving most of it for a garage sale this spring, but since we won’t be here that long (most likely), I put everything on freecycle instead.

A lady came last week to get five garbage bags full of my old clothes in the bigger sizes I can no longer wear. Another lady is coming tonight to get some of the baby clothes. Several more bags of baby clothes went to ladies at church who have little boys. The clothes were given to me when we needed them, and it is a blessing to see them going to families that I know can use them now.

Our basement is getting emptier and emptier. . .as things get removed and other things get packed and set aside.

I knew we had a lot of stuff, but I didn’t realize just how much we really had. What amazes me more is the amount of stuff that we had that we weren’t even using. It’s nice to get those things taken out of there and to be able to use the plastic tubs and boxes to pack other things away.

So. . .the adventure begins again. . .

We have a moving date

We finally have a moving date – Saturday. I stopped by the house today to turn in our application (even though we’ve already paid the deposit) and to ask our landlord some questions. I cannot wait to get into the house. . . . .

So Saturday is the big day. We’re starting to turn in all the change-of-address forms now, so hopefully by the time we actually move in things will be connected and working.

Did I mention that I’m so excited???????

Found a house!

Sunday afternoon a friend from church called to tell me about a house that had just become open. It sounded like it would suit our needs perfectly, but I didn’t want to get excited until I’d actually spoken with the owner and had seen the house. We have seen some very frightening rental properties so I didn’t want to be disappointed.

We went and saw it yesterday, and left there knowing it would be ours. We’re so happy to have a place to move to! We’ll most likely be moving some time next week; they’re repainting the entire house, cleaning carpets, and rebuilding the entire front porch. Of all the landlords I’ve spoken with in the past two months, these (a father-son team) were by far the most reasonable and willing to work with us. They’ll even let us keep our dog, and even came down a bit on their rent they asked for.

Another thing we’re so excited about is that it’s a block from church; I can look out the window and see the church building. We have really enjoyed living in this town (we’re here in town with friends, but we weren’t sure if that’s where we’d end up), so it’s nice to know we’ll be here for the next little bit.

Just thought I’d share my praise. . .and thanks to all of you who were praying that we’d find a place soon!

Looking at houses

This whole looking for a place to rent thing is a whole lot more challenging than I gave it credit for. We have been here almost three weeks now, and still not many serious leads.

Well, ok, there were a few, but none of them have played out favorably yet. We have been amazed – everything we’ve called about has one of three problems: too expensive, too small (the number of 1 bedroom homes out there is amazing!), or too far from Stephen’s job. Then there’s the problem with pets. . .we really don’t want to have to give up our black lab Buddy, but well, if we have to. . . . . .Let’s just say that at this point we’re not ruling that possibility out.

We have an appointment for tomorrow morning to go see a house. From what we do know if it, it sounds adequate for our needs. I really have few expectations at this point – it’s easier that way – but I’m really wondering how it will play out.