Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Of Ducks, Lobbers, Frogs, and More

Well, it seems that I never can keep my word very well when it comes to blogging.  Oh well.  Sometimes life happens and preempts plans, ya know?

(FYI: I feel that I have a very many things to tell in this post, so forgive me if you find it a bit rambling.)

Did you know that moving is not just a one day or even one week process?  In my experience, it takes more like two months.  We are getting settled though.  And we are enjoying our new house so much.  It seems that every day we find new things to love about this house.  One day it's how beautiful the roses are, the next it's the maple tree in the backyard.  Other days we realize how much we like the layout of the kitchen or the awesome pantry or the massive closet and storage space.  Some days we delight in simpler things, like how good it is to feel warm carpet under our feet again, or how smaller bedrooms can actually feel more cozy, or how the sunlight coming in the windows makes the kitchen and living area feel so bright and cheery.  Can you tell how much we are enjoying this house?

Our animals are getting somewhat settled as well.  They are all in temporary pens for now, but building goat shelters and a chicken coop are high up on our priority list.  The chicken coop is especially high on our list, because we really are not getting many eggs from our chickens right now since their laying situation is very much less than ideal.  Oh well.  We're working on it.  :)  Our ducks, however, (who finally started laying eggs shortly before we moved!) have been very reliable in giving us two eggs a day--and so far, in the same exact spot!  Speaking of the ducks, I am loving them more and more every day.  Shortly after we moved, Mamma put their pond in the front yard, and now every morning they waddle up to the house for their early morning bath right outside the window.  They are so much fun to watch (and hear).

Isaac spent a very great part of our first week here mowing all our weeds.  Uncle Timmy was very kind to let us borrow his riding lawn mower.  The weeds were quite high, and we couldn't really tell what was out on the property.  After Isaac finished mowing, we were exceedingly surprised to find many water spigots and sprinklers all over our 2 1/2 acres, many of which the boys had to fix because of leaks and disrepair.  Despite all the work and trips to Home Depot to fix all the leaks, it was overall a very pleasant surprise for us, since we had previously believed there was only one water spigot on the whole property, besides the ones on the house.

Now, this little monster in the picture below is a lobber.  I introduce you to him because he is, perhaps, the worst thing about our new house. 

As you can see, he is a type of grasshopper, only he is much bigger and appears to wear some sort of heavy armor.  His worst characteristics are a tendency to jump towards you right when are walking past him, and the positive look of malice he directs your way whenever you happen to be in his proximity.  But worse than all of this, is the fact that he is not alone.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of these creepy guys everywhere on our property.  They're in the weeds, they're on the sidewalk, they're on the sides of the house and the screen doors, they're in the rosebushes, and in the gravel.  They are literally everywhere.  It sort of reminds me of a plague from Exodus.  Truly, I am not exaggerating here.  We had lobbers at our old house, but I think there are even more of them here if that can be possible.  The good news in all of this: our duckies LOVE the taste of lobbers! They certainly don't have any lack of them.

For perspective on the actual size of lobbers, I placed a nickel in the picture above.

We've had some peculiar adventures since we moved here, but there is one that was incident that was the most bizarre, and therefore warrants your attention.  The first time we used the oven here, my mom noticed a funny smell. She thought that it smelled like a dead animal, but I thought it was just her imagination.  There had been a dead cow practically in our backyard for two weeks right before we moved (it's a long story), so I though she was just paranoid because of that.  Well, it turned out I was wrong and she was right.  When we inspected the stove a couple of days later.  We found a nice little crispy treat waiting for us.

Yes people, that is a DEAD FROG in our stove!  (Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, but I couldn't resist showing you anyway.)  I'm not going to attempt to deny that that freaked me out a little.  Okay, it freaked me out a lot.

By far, my most favorite thing about living here is being so close to my Uncle Timmy, Aunt Kris, and cousin Mariah.  Their house is just one mile down the road from us, and that is such a blessing.  I can't even tell you how much I am enjoying that.  Is there anything better than being able to drive over to your best friend's house in less than two minutes in your pj's and slippers for a movie and ice cream?  Hmmm... I don't think so.

Okay, I have just two more pieces of news to tell you-- and these are not really related to our new house at all.  Firstly, I finally got my driver license on Wednesday!  Secondly, it's actually really truly the season of fall now!  Yesterday was probably our first day of sweater and coat weather, and this morning it was 28 degrees outside.  I love the change of seasons, especially fall, but I have to say that I am not looking forward to months of doing chores in below freezing temperatures.  On the other hand, I'm quite excited to start wearing sweaters and scarves and long warm socks and boots again.  Every season comes with it's good and bad I guess.

Well, I guess that's all I have to tell at the moment.  Ta ta for now!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We've Moved!

The picture says it all, my friends!  We have officially moved, and we are so relieved and blessed and thankful and happy and exhausted and joyful and excited and amazed and ecstatic and... shall I go on?  Like all experiences that God gives us, this experience has been both a trial and a blessing.  In the end of it all, I firmly believe that God has used it to teach us and grow us and to give us so many blessings which we do not deserve in any way!

I want to tell you a little bit of the details because God is so amazing, but it's pretty complicated so I'll try to make a long story short.  One of the biggest trials in all of this took place in the last weeks before we moved when we found out that we were being rejected for the loan we were trying to get.  This was a pretty serious complication, since we only had one week of escrow left and we had to apply for a whole new loan and get closed within 7 business days.  Our escrow and loan people assured us that they would work very hard to close us on time, but as the week went on it became very apparent that there was a very good chance we would not close on time.  Not closing on time would have meant having to pay the seller per day for not keeping our close date, having to postpone our move date, and having to beg our landlord to let us stay an extra week.  Needless to say, we were all pretty on edge that week.  A huge source of encouragement to my Mamma during this time was that "WE'VE MOVED" sign in the picture above.  It was actually a flier sent out by a church in our area that moved locations.  Mamma set it out in a visible place and every time she looked at it, she would think, "We've already moved!  God's already moved us!"  It turned out that she was right.  On Thursday it looked like we were set to close on time (our set close date was the following day, Friday).  Mamma and I were literally jumping up and down and praising God.  We were that happy.  On Friday (this was before the deal had officially closed) we went over to the new house and cleaned and painted fenced and got everything ready to move in.  We found out later that while we were doing all of that, the deal almost fell through, but the real estate agents were able to get it worked out.  Even up until the last minute, the deal was not secure but God worked it out just the way he wanted!  We got a call from our agent on Friday at 4:19 p.m. that the deal had officially closed--with only 41 minutes to spare!  God's ways are higher than our ways, are they not?

This is a picture of Isaac on the morning of our move.  We had an assembly line going for making the breakfast burritos for the crew that came to help us move.  Isaac was our tortilla warmer.  :)

Moving day was such a blessing in and of itself!  There were around 7 families that came to help us move, many of them driving over an hour and a half.  Everyone worked so hard and so much got done that I am still amazed.

Daddy provided us with some music while we were making breakfast.  :)

Unfortunately, this is the extent of the pictures we got during the move.  What can I say?  We were focused on other things.  :)

So, we are officially moved! I could go on and on about our new house now, but I think I'll save that for another post.  For now, I'll just say that we are loving our house more and more every day, and we are overflowing with thankfulness at how good God has been to us!  You can expect to hear all about it in the next few days.