Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Like I mentioned yesterday, Joshua came home with a fever. I had no idea where to go for medical help. I had only located the hospital for true emergencies. But we hadn't even thought of who would be our new pediatrician. I texted my new friend (pastor's wife), but she was out of town. So I found a locally owned pharmacy and asked for a recommendation.
It turns out that their recommendation was for one of the nicest doctors I have ever met. Not only is he nice, but the entire staff was wonderful. Here's where the small town connections begin to be made. First, Joshua told the doctor that he was going to play baseball. It turns out that the doctor's son and Josh are on the same team. That lead to conversation about our other children. We told him about Lydie and Jack and about the boys' school. He, of course, knew most of the staff and children at the school and highly recommended it. I told him how sad I was that I had missed registration at the Methodist preschool for next year (this is the best one according to the talk around town). He told me to talk with the office manager on the way out, she would know someone who could help.
On the way out, I reluctantly mentioned my problem. This precious lady pulled me into a chair in her office while she called her friend, who called her friend, who called the director. I was sent directly there with a promised spot for next year, which I got. Then she sent me away with her personal number and her phone book. She assured me that she would treat me like family. Would you believe I have called her several times for help? Instead of nine degrees of separation, this town seems to have about two.
What I love about this small town is that everyone knows everyone. I love that those who grew up here respect the fact that we are farming and do not look at us like we are crazy, or uneducated, or well, crazy. And I love that when I have a problem people really get jazzed about helping me. In fact, they stop what they are doing until my problem is solved. And the pace is so, so much slower than I have ever known. It's nice. Except when I am driving. Then it gets annoying because I admittedly have a lead foot. There was a police man down the road this morning trying to hide and watch. I think someone called and told him I was speeding down this sweet, quiet, country road every morning. The reason I think someone reported me is because there is 18 miles of road between here and town and only two stop signs. I can not imagine any other reason he would be looking for speeders. Some mornings I do not see any one else during the first 12 miles on the way to school. Only animals. Note to self: Must set cruise control to 45 and forget about it.
But once I get to town, everywhere I look people are standing around talking to one another. In the middle of the store, on the sidewalks, in restaurants, at the gas stations, on benches-it's like they have no where else to be. People are always interacting, and you can tell by the relationships and connections that are in this community. It's a dream come true for a girl like me.
So I am trying to take a cue to slow down, build relationships, and serve others. Those three things have been my focus since we moved here. I have decided that I am going to start the habit in this new place of seeking out those who need a friend more than those who make me feel comfortable. It has been quite a challenge, but God has already opened the doors to fruitful conversations. I have learned of the widow's heartbreak, the alcohol/meth addict's struggle, and the foster mom's sacrifice. These are all treasured conversations that I would normally sacrifice for small talk with other moms more like myself. What a self-centered, hardened heart I tend to have! I think this radical move will be a good chisel. Praying to seek first HIS kingdom! Praying for the great privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The children were thrilled to be with grandparents from Saturday until Wednesday. Joshua came home with a fever. It turned out to be strep throat and then passed it to Lydie over the weekend. Today Andy awoke feeling sick. Lydie on the other hand woke up feeling 100% better, but covered with hives or in Lydie verbage "poke-a-dots". (She is officially allergic to penicillin. Good to know.)
In the midst of all of this chaos, we have been so enormously blessed. Andy started farming this beautiful land on Monday. Meanwhile, the boys started school and baseball. And Lydie Joy and I have spent our days getting to know the farm community as well as the small town 20 minutes away where we go to school and church. I have so many stories to tell already. So many stories of answered prayers, connections, small town friendliness, and how much I love it here already. Oh, and I will have to share house pictures, too. I can hardly believe what I am feeling. But for now I am signing off. It is 10:15 and it feels like the middle of the night for this farmer's wife!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Here we go. At noon today we will be off the the farm!
PS- Yes, Abby, our new pastor is your friend Harris. We are overjoyed.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
But everything has gone very smoothly this week so far. Today Lydie has her last day of preschool and then all three of the kids will play at friends. Tomorrow is my last day to homeschool the boys (this year). Before you are too impressed, know that we have only been doing math and language arts this week. No big deal.
Starting this afternoon when we are done packing, we will begin working on the state of our house. We have got a list of things that need to be done before we move. Mainly we need to putty nail holes on the wall and touch up paint. We are also in the process of hiring a landscaping and pool service. And then I have to make the calls to cancel internet, phone, and cable service. We will be wrapping it all up.
On Friday night our friends will help us load the big furniture on the moving truck. Then Saturday morning six or seven friends, plus some high school guys, will help us get the boxes and small furniture to the truck. This is amazing-we have five friends who are driving all the way across state lines to the farm with us to unload stuff on the other end. Unbelievable. On that end, our new church is providing a meat tray and breads to make sandwiches for dinner that night. Some men from our new church wanted to come and help at the farm, but we told them it isn't necessary. The children will be at their grandparents for a few days, beginning Saturday. I hope to have their rooms and the kitchen all settled before they return.
We have been taken care of in the most incredible ways this week! Thank you for those who have brought meals for us! Thank you for those who have played with our children. Thank you Lizzie for coming to help me pack today! Thank you for those who have dropped off boxes on our doorstep. (We have hardly had to buy any!) Thank you, Dawn, for the yellow tulips. I look at them every day and love them. You all have made this move so much easier for us! Looking forward to packing the last box today!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
(This picture was taken before the whole group arrived! Pictured L to R: Tammy, Alicia, Candy, me, Lisa. Not pictured: Jamie, Jennifer, Susan)Here are some things that I have watched in these ladies' lives and tried to emulate:
to patiently wait on the Lord, to have a servant heart, staying in the Word, looking for the heart issues with my kids (and not just judging from the external behaviors), expecting high standards, making time for friendships, asking for help and being willing to receive it, and enjoying my children and husband. Thank you friends for your godly influence!
Here were the gifts that they gave me last night. (So unexpected, so thoughtful.)
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Our amazing church family has once again showered us with love this weekend. We were thrilled that some of our friends came to our moving sale just to say hello and support us. We had a very good turn out, despite the rainy weather, and sold almost all of the furniture that we are not taking. I think it will significantly lighten the load on moving day. The very best highlight of the sale was not how much we sold, but when three of our friends from the high school/college group at church came over. They decided to hang out with us and cook us breakfast! They actually figured out where our dishes were and made our entire family omelets and grits for breakfast! And then to top that off, they cleaned the entire kitchen. We can never express with words what the youth group at our church means to us. We "signed up" to serve them, but they have blessed us beyond what I would have ever imagined. Isn't that always the way it goes? Later that day, Andy took the kids to eat with one of the dear couples in our church who are like adopted grandparents for our children. Mr. S is especially dear to Lydie. He came to our house when I had a miscarriage and stood in the driveway crying and praying with me. I fondly remember him afterward handing me a fruit tray telling me in his South African accent, "I didn't know what else to do!" From that day forward he prayed for us to have another baby. So when Lydie was born he adored her and he tells her every time he sees her that she is beautiful. In fact, he sheds a few tears every time he is around her. We adore his tender heart, and we trust he will visit us at the farm and continue to watch Lydie grow into a young lady!
We came home with a binder that is filled with letters collected from people at church. It will be a precious treasure to us for the rest of our lives. Andy and I continue to ask God why two ordinary people are receiving such gifts? I believe that he is doing this for us to prepare us for the days ahead. I fully believe that His desire for us is to take all that we have been given and serve well in our new community. My deepest prayer is that all these gifts will overflow into the lives of our new (and old) friends! And that is something I can get excited about. May He receive all the glory! Lead on, O King Eternal!
Friday, March 04, 2011
Above the tub we will also have solid white tile. But this tile will be 2x6 subway tiles:The new tub will be a HUGE treat for me:
The bathroom has a new light fixture and fan on the ceiling. My Dad picked them out and for the life of me I can not remember what they look like. Around the sink I decided against lights above the mirrors. Instead I fell in love with vintage looking sconces. So I chose this one to be hung between the mirrors.
I have never used brushed bronze in any of our homes. But I fell in love with our vanity and it came with this color/style hardware. I think we will enjoy it!
The new vanity was the most fun to pick out. All we knew was that we really wanted a double sink (3 or more of us will share this bathroom for a while). And also I wanted several drawers.
I realize this is a very neutral bathroom. Those of you who know me know that I get bored easily and like to change around the house often. But over the years I have found that the most economical way to appease my need for variety is to invest in neutral furnishings and then go crazy with artwork, curtains, accessories, etc. (Or in the case of a bathroom, the shower curtain, artwork, etc.) So that's the route I am taking.
Now on to the fun stuff...paint color, shower curtain, artwork!