Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Persistant Widow

Luke 18

Parable of the Persistent Widow
 1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
 6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man[a] returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

I can't even begin to tell you how many people have been praying for our housing situation.  It surprises me honestly.  It's not a dire situation.  It's a "want" not a need.  We have a great desire to move but no one is sick, no one is dying.  But yet, you love us enough to pray even for a desire of our hearts.

Wednesday night at church Marsha R. approached me to tell me she had been praying fervently for me.  I was so moved by her words.  She said, "I have been praying for God's will of course, but I have been praying, pleading.  Lord, grant her the desire of her heart."

This has been a real learning experience for us.  A time of growth and maturity.  The silver lining I didn't expect was, this has been such an encouraging process.  If things had fallen in place quickly and easily, we would have missed out on all of your support and love in a time we really needed it.  

Our buyers are a family that really cherishes our home.  We believe the house on Russell is a gift from so many of you who helped us.  It was hard for us to think it wouldn't be maintained.  God sent us a young family that feels blessed by this house and that, in turn, is a blessing to us.   

We will be moving in just two weeks!  It's so exciting I'm back to not sleeping :)  

We are so happy and can't help but think God finally said "yes" so you all would leave Him be :)  Thank you for loving us so much that you took our desire and made it yours.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Warm Heart

-Brennan and Anneliese hold hands whenever we're in a public place.

-During prayers each of them thank God for each other.  Even Anneliese prays a prayer of thanksgiving for each of her brothers by name.  "Gwammy" usually gets mentioned more than once.

-During the moving process Tanner and Elijah have wept over moving from this house.  The idea of not having all 4 boys in one room has been upsetting to them. 

-I overheard Tanner telling Elijah, "Did you know Brennan hasn't always been my best brother?"  Elijah, "No, who used to be?"  Tanner, "You were once."  HA!  I couldn't help but giggle because Tanner meant it as the sincerest compliment. 

-The boys seem thoroughly disgusted when Jared and I show each other affection.  Anneliese however, loves it.  If we hug on each other she joins the hug by wrapping her tiny body around our legs.

-We were talking about getting the house appraised, the costs etc.  I mentioned the savings I had was for school books and all the boys, whom I didn't think were even paying attention to the conversation, said in unison, "Use it!  Use the savings!"    

They are growing so quickly.  Other than the occasional bickering (currently Elijah and Tanner are the culprits) we are in such a fun stage with all the kids.  They all sleep all night, they pick up after themselves, the are respectful and loving towards each other.  They're older, yet I still have Anneliese who loves to be held and snuggled. 

I am so thankful for all 5 of our precious blessings.  God is so good!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When It Comes Down To It

Why my staying home will actually save us money:

-I didn't get paid all

-It cost $38 a month to have a membership at the Y for our family so the kids could utilize the child watch while I worked.  I know that's dirt cheap as far as childcare is concerned, but when I'm only making a couple hundred a month, $38 takes a big chunk out of my take home pay. 

-I worked most days M-F 5-7.  Meaning the kids leave the house before dinner and get home around 7:30.  Therefore, we often grabbed dinner on the ride home.  When I only made (after taxes) less than $15 for my time at the Y and it cost $13 to get the basics on the dollar menu through the drive through, you do the math.

-Gas is over the $3.30/gallon mark.  There would be a couple days a week I would go in both in the morning and in the evening.

-Due to being over extended and having Anneliese still napping, my time for grocery shopping is limited.  We have been living off Wal-Mart groceries and I've been having a hard time getting to Leavenworth for Aldi.  When we first started Aldi shopping it saved us over $200 a month.

-I love to make things from scratch and save us tons of money that we would be spending on processed foods.  Over the last several months our diet has gone from primarily home made goods, to primarily processed goods.  Today I made a batch of 6 loaves of whole wheat goodness :)

Friday was my last day, and yesterday was technically my first day that I didn't have to go in.  Jared and I laid around all day watching the first season of House.  We haven't had a true day off in as long as I can remember.  It was such a blessing and a day of refreshing for us both.

I am so thankful.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brennan Baptized!

Yesterday our eldest went forward and his Daddy proudly baptized him.  It may just be a picture but you can see the pride and joy in Jared's face.  So precious. 

We are so very proud of you Brennan Conner!  Welcome to the family!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Change Of Many Colors

-I am officially unemployed.  I have to say that was a hard to decision due to our economy.  Not very many people are quitting jobs voluntarily.  However, this stay at home/homeschooling/planning a move momma of 5 needed one less thing.  I will miss Ebony, but I won't miss never sitting down to dinner with my family.

-We've been dog sitting a 6 month old Doxie for the Robins family.  She goes home today and I think Sophie will celebrate by having a party.  Sophie is a passive dog and this tiny long bodied fuzz ball has been dominating her.  I can't help but tell my dog, "Stand up for yourself!  Get a backbone!"  She just looks at me with that dead behind the eyes beagle stare.  In a way I miss my Moe, but then again having two animals begging to go in and out, tracking in and out, smelling like dogs, etc.  It's nice to dog sit, get my fill, and send her home :)  I can only assume grand parenting will be similar.  HA!

-Our moving time frame is coming to a close.  Our contract on the Hubbard house ends Sept 15.  We greatly appreciate prayers.  There is a lot that has to fall into place over the next couple weeks to ensure we get to move.  There is a lot of interest in the house from 2 different parties.  But, as we all know, nothing is done until papers are signed. 

-The kids are starting school a tad later than everyone else it seems.  I have an opportunity to order their books and save $70 in shipping but I can't order them until Wednesday at an Abeka open house.  I was thinking we would start having some "school time" with sitting down and reading and writing starting Monday.  We'll start our curriculum as soon as it arrives.  We'll have a 5th, 4th, 2nd, and Kindergartener! 

-Brennan is getting baptized Sunday!  We are so excited.  The other day  he just looked at me and asked, "Mom, why aren't I baptized?"  Umm, I don't know.  I told him it was up to him and we were waiting for him to decide.  He said he just really felt like he should be.  When he talks about it he gets a little weepy and insists his allergies are acting up :)  He'll be 11 in a month.  We always say he looks like me but is just like his dad.  He's making a very rational decision but can't help but be a little sentimental about it.  So sweet. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunday Sub

The weekend after VBS I filled in for the 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School class.

We left one of the class rooms up for the families to see what the kids had enjoyed all week.  Since we finished class a few minutes early I let the kids go over and try on the armor in the class room.  Too fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hiring A Professional

Today we are planning to have a realtor list our house.

We had been hesitant simply because every time we would call or prepare to list it we would have a potential buyer.  It really seemed like God was saying, "Hold on." 

Now that it's halfway through August and we don't have a contract, this seems like the best move to ensure we're settled before winter. 

We did get good news yesterday.  We asked our realtor, David if there was anything that could slow down the process once we had a contract.  He said to go ahead and have the house inspected for termites.  The guy came yesterday and said we're clear and he'd offer a 1 year warranty/insurance to our new buyer for $75.  He also said that our house is old enough we don't really have to worry about termites.

Uh what?  Sure enough, after 50 years the cellulose (what the termites eat) in wood is gone and our house was built in the late 1880's.  He said if this house were to ever get termites it would be in our trim, but the foundation and stud work is too old.  

YAY for a house with a petrified frame :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

While I Wait

Thank you Jamie R.  This is my prayer until God's plan is revealed in all this:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Great Day Update

Yesterday was a really good day. A much needed bright spot.

We sold not two, but three of our Craigslist items including our china hutch. The dining room looks funny! Huge, but funny :). I needed $612 for the kids school books. I had a Aug. 15 deadline that I set for myself. If we didn't have the means to buy their Abeka books by then, I would enroll them in virtual school through the public school system. It's a super affordable way to still homeschool.

My biggest reason for not doing it sooner is consistency. Our boys have used Abeka since kindergarten and it's wise to stick to one curriculum to avoid gaps in their learning. Plus we love Abeka and I'm super familiar with it. I wasn't wanting to learn a new curriculum the first year I teach 4 kids.

So, just how much did God provide yesterday? We needed $612, and our total sales equaled $630.

We also showed the house to a sweet couple with one little boy and a baby on the way. Brennan loved their little guy. The kids wanted to know when he could come over and play again. Too cute!

They were super interested in a house down the street and I looked it up. It sold for $96 a square foot and we have our house priced at $76 a square foot (average for our area is $80/square foot). So hopefully they'll love it and see what a great deal it is and pounce!

Overall, it was a great boost and a huge stress reliever. I was worried we wouldn't sell the house in time to use equity to buy the kids' books. We drained our savings repairing the van and putting down earnest money on the new place. Now we have exactly what we need!

Just another reminder that God is rarely early but always on time!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Times of Refreshing

What a blessing this rain and cooler temps have been!

The boys have been riding their bikes and the yard is getting green again.

Things are looking up.  We have a showing today, YAY, and I'm praying that they are the one.  It only takes one ;)

In the midst of a pity party a couple weeks ago that included crying and a bit of pouting, my glasses broke and fell right off my face.  My response was mature and rational.  I grabbed the broken frames and yelled, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!"  You may remember these are the same frames that lost an arm 5 days into owning them.  Thankfully Mindy C. mentioned a few months back she had some extra frames if I was interested.  I messaged her and she dropped them by the house.  I took them into the Doc on Monday and they put my prescription in free of charge!  They came in this morning and now I'm sporting cute frames with 2 attached arms!

I posted a double oven on Craigslist that I had purchased for the new house.  We spent a chunk of our savings knowing what a great deal it was.  The problem is, it doesn't fit.  So now we have this beautiful oven sitting in our garage and our savings acct is still empty.  Today I received a phone call from a nice older couple in St. Joe that are very interested in our oven and our recliner!  They'll be here shortly after the showing. 

Today has so much potential.  I am excited and eager to see what the day brings.

Regardless of the outcome, I am thankful for this time.  The last four months has been full of ups and downs in all areas of our lives.  When I pray I thank Him for all of it.  I know that this is a time of growth for us.  I pray for our church family, I pray for those who love us, and I pray for those who don't.  In some ways it's been a difficult summer, but He has a plan and I love the rain.  The healing rain that comes only from Him.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

House, House, House, House, House

I haven't written in a couple days for one...big...reason...

All I write/think about is moving and selling our home.

I don't know if you're tired of hearing about it, but I'm definitely tired of thinking about it. We showed it 3 times last week and know for sure one is a "no." That wasn't a big surprise to me. They live in a super nice subdivision and weren't looking to move. They have always admired the house and it was, "if it ever goes up for sale," kinda of thing.

 It's a weird place to be to try and sell something I have loved and worked so hard on.  It's almost offensive that someone hasn't snatched it up.

I have had several (10+) stop me and ask if we would rent it out.  When the boys and I cleared the lot next door, cars stopped and asked if we would be willing to rent.  I would if we could qualify for both homes.  Who doesn't need $3-$400 extra a month.  We just don't have the resources.

So we wait.  I don't pray that we move soon.  I don't pray that the house sells.  I really believe all this is God's plan for our lives.  My prayer is that I be patient and content with God's timing.

I'll try and think of a different topic and be back soon :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jesus Is My Superhero!

This week is our VBS.

I have to take a blog and brag on Chris and everyone helping.  It is going fantastic and the kids seem to be enjoying it more this year than ever.

The stage is amazing, the costumes and characters are so cool and fun. 

I'm really proud of WCCC and this outreach.  Just today a young boy was hanging out in the entry way and he said, "I told my mom that this church is really cool and I would like to come here.  She said we could visit."

These summer programs may be the only Jesus these kids have all year.  What a blessing that you guys have gone above and beyond to make it memorable.

Well done!!!!

Social Networking

Is it possible to sell your house via Facebook?

We're about to find out.  Jared and I had been seriously considering listing our house with a realtor (we still may due to the time crunch).

We called one realtor and talked with him for a bit.  After doing the math and figuring out his fees minus closing costs, minus taxes etc...we are barely left with enough for our down payment.  Let alone paying of the debt I have been dreaming about or updating anything in the new place.

Jared and I had a hard conversation about letting this house go asking ourselves the question, "Do we want the new house if we can't pay off debt or update anything at first."  Keep in mind the rose colored counter tops :)

The answer is YES.

So now we need to do everything we can to sell.  Including listing with a realtor that takes a $10k chunk right off the top.

I had already listed the house on a for sale by owner site.  We had light traffic.  In 24 hours we had 48 new views of the listing.   Last night I posted the link on Facebook with an incentive.  $500 to whoever refers our buyer, payable on closing with said buyer.

The link started showing up like crazy on everyone's news feed.  My friend Carrie B. has a chatty group of friends and they immediately started talking via messages about the house.  They posted it on their walls and before you know it hundreds of people that we don't even know are now looking at our link.

Within a hour our traffic picked up on our site and we had 112 new visitors to the page.  By midnight last night it was 158.  This morning, over 230!

We have a showing on Thursday!

We have decided to postpone listing it with a realtor until Monday.  I'm headed to the store to purchase some signs for the yard and a door knob for the back door (you know, the one that sticks) and we are going to see what happens over the weekend.

Keep us in your prayers.  This has been a stressful and draining experience but last night, for the first time in over a month, I started getting excited again!  I couldn't sleep.