Friday, August 29, 2008

Please Comment!

The more comments I get, the more incentive I will have to keep this blog updated with news and pictures. So please comment every time you visit if possible. You can just say Hi! Thanks!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another blessing!!

God is showering them upon me this month! All glory, honor, and praise go to my Lord Jesus and Him alone. He is awesome, mighty, and just so GOOD to me.

Sunday, we went to church at the closest Baptist church to us. Justin and I picked a Sunday School class to go to that seemed to fit us according their descriptions. In this Sunday School class, I met three other homeschoolers. They had children that matched the ages/genders of my children. Two of them offered me their phone numbers without my asking. I talked to both of them on the phone this week, and they told me they are trying to start a homeschool group around Hutto. They have about 10 moms interested. They met tonight, and I was able to join them. Get this.....out of the 7 moms there, only 1 didn't use Sonlight (that's the name of the curriculum I use for those of you who aren't in the know). Three are using Core 2 (that's the level) just like me. They are all Christians, and they were extremely nice and friendly.

Anyway, it seemed almost too good to be true to find a small group of homeschoolers that were still new enough to each other that I wasn't this totally new person trying to fit into a group of old friends. Only 1 person there was known to everyone before the meeting. I am excited about the possibilities. The beautiful mommy running it this year is super-organized and wants to plan seasonal parties, 1 field trip per month, a weekly park day and 1 mom's meeting per month. She lives a block over from me.

I am just over-awed with the way God is taking of every minute detail of my life. Ordering things so I won't be lonely and my children will find friends with common interests. The only thing lacking is trees. There are no trees here. It's worse than Corpus. The Bible says the Lord can move mountains, so I think He could probably put some mature trees up in my backyard. I think I will start praying for that. It would definitely be a miracle and a witness to His divine power.

The rest of the pictures from the Waterpark


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jedi Wars

The Tower

This is the 9 story tower that Justin has to climb at the academy. They carry hose while they climb. Ouch!

Update on our old house

We put our house on the market back in July before we even knew we were moving to Austin. Once we knew for sure that we were leaving, we dropped the price, and we had tons of showings. The people that made an offer needed financial assistance from the Ameridream program to be able to buy the house. That basically means that we pay their closing costs and down payment. The amounts we are paying are reflected in the higher sales price we asked for. So we are actually making just as much off the sale. We signed the contract last week with a closing date on or before Sept. 25.

Our agent called today and said that these people want to close as soon as possible. They are not even doing any inspections! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am. If we can close before Sept. 16, I won't even have to make another mortgage payment. God is so good to us! I can't believe the house is going to sell so fast. Other houses in the area are taking 6 months to sell.

Keep us in your prayers! Hopefully everything goes very smoothly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

RockNRiver Waterpark!

The zero entry pool was the perfect place to hang out and watch the kids.
Lacy loved the green slide because it was fast. Poor Jordan was about an inch too short to ride. Mom and Dad tried the slides too. Sorry, no pictures. ;)
Joanna loved tubing in the lazy river.
Ethan liked the river as well.
Jordan spent almost the whole time in the lazy river. He didn't ride in tubes, he just bounced along.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Whew! We made it!

We are now residents of Hutto, TX, the fastest growing city in America - according to the secretary at the insurance agency! It's northeast of Austin, almost directly east of Round Rock and north of Pflugerville. Our small town has a Home Depot and a Lowe's but no grocery store! Very odd. I am minutes from Starbucks, Walmart, HEB Plus, and loads of other shopping. It's nice and clean here, but very bland. Everything looks the same.

Last week we ended up sleeping in CC Thursday night and traveling up to Austin Friday morning. We went to Justin's uniform fitting, then the property management company to sign our lease and collect our keys. We got to our new home at about 4:30pm Friday. Everything went so smoothly that I found myself wondering why I had worried myself sick all week. We ate some dinner (we had skipped lunch), unloaded a few things, took showers, and raced to the AFD family night orientation. It wasn't very family friendly. Justin found out a little bit of what to expect the following Monday, and the family members had a chance to ask questions. The kids were restless and bored. We did get to tour the facility. We saw the weight room, the tower, the obstacle course, and the fire trucks. They are doing EMT training for the first 6 weeks and won't get to the firefighter training until October.

The academy itself is hard work. He's got four days under his belt and I heard him say it was officially harder than boot camp. He's not the worst in the class nor the best. Physically, it's very demanding. The schoolwork will start in earnest next week. I am thankful that Justin has already done the EMT training, so this will hopefully just be a refresher for him. He's going to do great. If he's the class valedictorian, he gets his pick of station.

I went to a homeschool meeting on Monday night. The people were nice and they had alot of things going on. They have a Keepers club for Lacy, but no cub scouts for Jordan. I will have to keep looking for a pack for him.

The kids and I went to Hutto Baptist Church on Wednesday morning to ask about their services and look around. I think we will go on Sunday and check it out. It reminds me of Annaville about 5 years ago. They don't have AWANAS though, so I will have to keep looking for a club. I wish I had a little more time to unpack and get my bearing before having to venture out, but everything starts the last week of August. I am very thankful we homeschool and I don't have to mess with school registration and supplies and all that.

Well, that's all I am going to say right now. If you think of something else I need to post, leave me a comment and I'll get to it. I hope to get some pictures up soon.

One last thing - A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped us move!!!!

Brett and Kara Bennett - Kara watched Ethan while Brett did some majorly heavy lifting

Fawn Colburn - she watched all the rest of our kids

Matthew Gibson - Also did some majorly heavy lifting

Jim Curran - I think he packed half of my house for me!

my MOM - She packed the other half as well as helped UNpack it when we got here. She made us a nice meal before she left. She also got us boxes and tape and drove Justin's car up for us.

Justin's MOM - She took care of dinner for us the week before we moved while we were busy packing. She watched our kids, let us sleep at her house the night we moved, came up to the Family night orientation and ended up watching the kids outside so I could listen. She helped us unpack. She unpacked most of my kitchen, and did an excellent job of putting stuff away. I've hardly moved anything.

Stephanie and Anthony - They drove here Saturday and helped us unload and unpack everything.

Kathy Daly - the real estate agent who put up with Ethan's screams as we looked for a house and later our panicky calls as we waited for approval

I hope I am not forgetting anyone! We could not have moved so soon if it wasn't for everyone's help! Thank you so much! Y'all are the best!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shutting down the computer

I'm about to load it in the truck. We have the whole house almost packed, and we still do not have confirmation for our rental. The plan is to go up tonight, stay in a hotel, then camp out at the property management company until they give us the keys. I am relying totally on faith in God that everything will work out. The Lord will take care of us, and he will provide us with shelter. Pray for us as we journey north.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A good development

Justin called the Fire Department today to see if his uniform fitting could be postponed until Friday so that he wouldn't have to make a separate trip on Wednesday. The lady was very understanding and told him to plan for Friday and she would call him later and let him know what time. So PRAISE GOD he doesn't have to go out of town tomorrow! We'll be here packing if anyone wants to help!

The Wait is Agonizing!

We are still waiting to hear about the house in Hutto. If we don't get it we have several other possibilities. Hopefully, we'll know by noon whether they will consider us or not.

A couple came and looked at our house last night. This morning they are trying to obtain financing and make us an offer. This is exciting! Also, someone else is coming tomorrow morning at 10:00am to look.

Justin is almost finished with our garage apartment. The walls are painted, the bathroom sink, shower and toilet are all installed, and the kitchen cabinet is in place. He needs to finish installing the baseboards and put in the kitchen sink. Then I guess we'll clean the floor and hang the curtains. It should look pretty cute. We still need to paint one of the upstairs bedrooms. It's halfway done.

Yesterday we had our upstairs shower leaking through our kitchen ceiling. The plumbers repaired the leak yesterday, but we still need to fix the drywall where they had to cut through.

I've been packing and the kids have been watching WAY too much tv in the meantime. I can't wait for this to all be over.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Moving to Austin

As most of you know, we are moving to Austin since Justin has been accepted into Fire Cadet Academy 111 with the Austin Fire Department. We are looking ahead to many changes for our family. Moving is going to be the first major challenge. We haven't moved in 7 years. We've had 4 children since then. We have too much STUFF! It's amazing what you can accumulate.

Justin, Ethan, and I went this weekend to Austin to look at rental houses. We've applied for one ($70 non-refundable app fee-OUCH!) in Hutto, Tx which is about 15 minutes east of Round Rock. It's a nice area. The house was built in '02 and has no trees. Justin is happy because it's newer and has a big bathtub. I like the location and the price, but I am not too thrilled about the lack of trees. Hopefully we'll only have to rent for a year or two.

This week is going to be busy. Justin has to be in Austin on Wed. for a uniform fitting at 11am. On Friday night the Fire Dept is having a social event for the cadets and their families. This is optional, but we'd all like to go. Then on Saturday, Justin must attend orientation from 8-1pm. And we won't know if we've been approved for the house in Hutto until Tues. or Wed. We're hoping to move Friday. It's sure going to be a crazy week!

If we don't get the house (and we might not if they don't want to rent to a family with 5 kids), I don't know what will happen. Justin will have to go to Austin alone, possibly staying with members of the AFD who have offered to rent out rooms to the cadets.

On the bright side, we had a couple come and look at our house today. The woman came first and brought her husband back later in the afternoon. They loved the house. They said they would be in contact with an agent this week. Please keep us in your prayers. Selling this house quickly would be a huge blessing. It would give us financial peace. Justin salary will be dramatically lower over the next few months and paying for our house in Corpus on top of our bills in Austin is going to be rough. Praise God that aside from the house, Justin is debt-free. Our financial situation 3 years ago wouldn't have allowed him to take this job in Austin.

Okay, that's all for now. I will try to keep everyone updated daily this week, as I know things will be progressing quickly. Love to everyone! Keep us in your prayers!