Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our trip is over and I present to you........... Pictures!

We are home. We are exhausted, but we are home. Thanks to all of you who were praying for us; we had no major incidents on the road. We did have a bit of trouble with our air conditioning and we still do not know what is wrong with it, but we were able to fix it temporarily without much difficulty.

So, where did I leave off? Oh yeah, somewhere around Friday evening. Ok, well Friday night Jen came over with her girls, and Kim came with her four kids. We had a nice time hanging out together.

Saturday morning we took Aunt Marilyn to the airport. She had to go to Iowa for about a week, so we didn't get to see her at all after she left. After that, we drove around some areas for homes again. Then we went to Chik-fil-A (one of my favorite fast food places) for lunch! It was good. Saturday night I think Jen came over with the girls again. (Forgive me, the details are beginning to be muddled a bit in my mind. All the days are sort of running together.)

Sunday morning we went to church. It was really nice. The people there were extremely welcoming, and it felt so good to be with so many like-minded believers! One of the deacons at the church invited us to his home for dinner, so went there after church. We hung out with his family until later in the evening and had a really wonderful time of fellowship. This family had four daughters, one of whom was about my age. We played games, and just fellowshipped in general. We had a really nice time. After that we went back to Uncle Frank's house where we ate cookies and played with Elli and Abri.

Monday, we didn't do much of anything at all. I think Dad was trying to call people about jobs and stuff, but we pretty much just had a very lazy day until we went to Red Lobster (or Dead Lobster as my Uncle Frank calls it) for dinner with Uncle Frank, Jen, Kim, and the kids (except for Michael who was at Ju-jitsu) After dinner, our family hit the road and headed back to Arizona.

So, that's pretty much it for the narrative. Now for the pictures.........

My friends Gabby and Hannah made us cookies for our trip. This is me eating one. After sleeping for a while in the car, Mom, Isaac, and I woke up simultaneously and were hungry. So we got out the cookies and had a midnight snack. At that moment, those cookies were the best I had ever had in my life. Thank you Gabby and Hannah!

And what do you suppose my Mom is doing in this picture? You guessed it! This is her infamous cookie face.

Taken at 6:00 AM. The sun is beginning to climb up behind the mountains. Isn't it beautiful?

Here are lots more pics of the drive on the way there.....

This is my cousin Elizabeth. We call her Elli most of the time though. She is 3 years old.

This is Abrianah. She is Elli's sister and almost 2 years old. One of the funny things about Abri is that whenever you take her picture she immediately says, "Lemme see!" in her cute baby voice. Then when you show her the pic on the digital camera screen she stares at it intently and says, "Aaaaaahhhhhhh...."

Dad was playing the guitar and singing some worship songs and Elli was dancing.

Abri enjoys trying on other people's shoes. She usually chooses shoes that are way too big for her. She tries to walk in them too, but usually she just ends up tripping over herself.

These are two of Kim's kids, Mikayla and Michael. They are twins and 5 years old.

That's Michael on the left there, and on the right is Kamden, Kim's youngest. He is 3 years old. And of course in the middle is Isaac, my brother and a wonderful babysitter. He's good with kids.

These two pics were taken when we dropped Aunt Marilyn off at the airport.

Abri was hiding from me in this pic, but she decided to peek out just long enough for me to snap her picture.

Dog pile!

Jen was trying to get Abri to jump into her arms, but she kept falling into her arms instead. For some reason she just couldn't get her feet off that counter.

Deer walking through the backyard one morning.

Abri, sweet baby.

Me out in the backyard.

Abri playing the piano..... with her elbows?

Elli at the piano. She wasn't doing much playing.

Kaytlin, Kim's oldest, at Red Lobster.

Mikayla and Abri at Red Lobster.

And finally (I hope I didn't bore you with all these pictures) this is a pic of the family at Red Lobster right before we left and hit the road.

God bless!

Monday, September 28, 2009

We shall depart soon.....

Well, we are still in Texas right now. We are planning on leaving this evening. :( I really don't want to go, and I'm especially not looking forward to the long drive. I have to go pack my bag now, but I will describe the last couple days of our trip once I get back. I'll also post pictures!

Please pray for safety on our drive home. Our van has had some troubles lately, and on the way here the air conditioning broke. (It wasn't too bad; we just had to clean out some filters to get it to work again.)

Until I get back,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Update from Texas

Well, on Wednesday night we set out for Texas. We went to get an idea of houses and jobs in the area and stuff. It was a long drive, but (Praise God!) we arrived safely at My Uncle Frank and Aunt Marilyn's house about 19 hours later. Yes, it was a very long drive. I was very happy to be out of the van by the time we got there. That night, we had pizza and hung out with my Aunt and Uncle, and my mom's cousin Jennifer and her two kids Elizabeth (3 years old) and Abrianah (almost 2). We had a lovely time visiting together. Elli and Abri are so precious! They are some of the sweetest little girls I've ever known.

Today, we slept in (Yeah!!) and then we just went and drove around in the area looking for houses and just trying to get a general idea. We did that until about 3:30, and now we are back at Uncle Frank and Aunt Marilyn's house. (I'm posting from Aunt Marilyn's computer.) I think tonight Jennifer and the kids are coming over again and Kimberly (my mom's cousin and Jennifer's sister) is coming over with her four kids: Kaytlin (8 years old), Mikayla (5 years old), Michael (5 years old), and Kamden (3 years old). So we should have a nice time together.

Tomorrow I think we will be looking around at more neighborhoods and stuff. On Sunday we will be going to our new church. I'm really looking forward to that. We will be going back home on either Monday or Tuesday. Being here now, I almost don't want to go back. It's green here. Very green. There's millions of trees and lots of grass...... and it's just beautiful...... and it's about 75 degrees....... and it's just beautiful....... and....... aaaaahhhhhh....... I really don't think I'm going to want to leave when it comes time to. We saw deer walk across the backyard this morning. I mean, how often does that happen back home? Never!

Anyway, I think I'm finished now. When I get back home, I'll post pictures of the trip. I can't do it on my Aunt's computer right now. Anyway, please pray for my family, that we would have patience in waiting on God, and that we would listen for his voice and follow his direction. And please pray that we don't get Texan accents and start saying y'all because it seems entirely inevitable!

God bless!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Season

Some pretty crazy stuff has been going on in my life lately. For about a month and a half, I wasn't able to say anything, or blog about it, but I am now. Well, here goes. Forgive me if my "narrative" is confusing and makes little sense. I am not a great writer, and I sometimes have difficulty putting my thoughts on paper, or in this case, the computer screen.

For some time now, God has been leading our family in a new direction. By a new direction, I mean a new place, a new church, a new job, etc. Recently, God has made it evident to us that it is time. Time for us to move on. Time for God to lead us into a new season.

I must say, moving away from your home town is not an easy ordeal. I've lived in this town for 12 years. It's all I've ever known. Our family is here, both church and blood; our closest friends are here. Yet if God is calling us to go, can we simply say, "Oh, I'm sorry God, but I just can't."? Of course not.

We've known for sure that we were going to move in the near future since about the end of July. For a while, we were just seeking God and asking, "Ok God, we know you want us to move. But where?" We had no idea. Soon, God began laying two specific spots on our hearts. One was Georgia; the other was Texas. At the beginning we had high hopes for Georgia. But as suddenly as the door had opened there, God shut it. So, all we had left was Texas. Again, we were seeking God out. "Is this it, God? Is Texas the place?" We were afraid that God would shut the door like he did on Georgia. But this time, God only gave confirmation after confirmation. Needless to say, we now know without a doubt that God wants us to move to Texas.

Last week we began telling our friends that we were moving. It was so hard. One night, we went and told the Cross family, our closest friends. I cried more than I ever have in one sitting. It was extremely sad, and yet, in another way, it was joyful. Our friends completely backed us up, and though they were sad that we had to go, they were glad that we were following God's lead. My 16-year-old friend Gabby said, "Thank you for being obedient." As we were leaving, I said through my tears, "That was officially the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life." And it was. I must say though, that the time I have spent with my friends since we told them has been the most precious time I've ever spent with them. Somehow, you never appreciate something so much until you realize that you are going to lose it.

But we are looking forward. The past few weekends have been spent getting the house ready to sell, and packing up some of our things that we don't use very much. We are still working on getting the house spottless for our open house this coming Saturday, and we are keeping busy doing random, necessary things. We are taking a trip to Texas next week to scope things out. We will be staying with my mom's aunt and uncle, who live only 16 miles away from the town to which we are moving.

Last Sunday, we announced the news to our congregation. It was hard, but God saw us though, and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

Although I am heartbroken at the thought of leaving my friends and family, I am so excited to see what God does with this! We are trusting in him for all the details, including selling our house, finding a job for my Daddy, and finding a home in Texas. There is so much that we do not have figured out, be we have faith that God will see us through.

Please keep our family in your prayers. This is difficult, and yet we are so excited to watch God work in us and through us.