Enjoying the Rest of Summer

Summer is slowly winding down….can you believe it is almost August?  When the summer started, the girls made a list of things they wanted to be sure to do this summer.  We have been trying to work hard of finishing that list before the summer is over and before we move.

One of the big things they have been wanting to do was to go to the park with Kinsley’s school friends.  In NC, it has been WAY TOO HOT to go to the park…like blazing hot.  So, we settled for the pool instead.  We have been making our rounds with different friends at their pools and trying to see everyone before we head to SC.  The girls’ favorite was being with friends at a birthday party and not just because its a great pool with a great slide.  But because of this….

Um, yes…thats a “real” mermaid.  As you can see, all the girls were fascinated by the mermaid and followed her around the whole time.  She did a great job interacting with the kids and her outfit was so pretty.  To top it off, a lot of the little girls had their own mermaid tails and both Kinsley and Emerson loved trying them on and pretending that they too were mermaids.  Now, mermaids are all they can talk about!!

The other big thing we did to check off the list was use a gift certificate to go paint pottery.  Kinsley has done it before and this time, I was brave enough to take Emerson.  I knew that paint mixed with a 3 year old could be a huge disaster.  Overall, she did great.  She was supposed to use a new brush for each color and I tried to tell her over and over again but gave up after awhile.  When she is mixing it all up on her piece anyways, what does it matter?  Because it is ice cream month, they were having a deal on their ice cream dishes – if you painted one, you got a percentage off AND you got free ice cream.  Can you guess what they picked as one of their pieces to paint?

They are excited to get them back once they get glazed – Emerson just didn’t understand why she couldn’t take it home that day.  I didn’t paint a thing – I had my hands full with them!

Other than these fun things, our days have been filled with meeting with potential ministry partners, following up with people we have met with, and doing lots of lots of packing and selling things.  We have sold pretty much every large piece of furniture in our house minus our couch (including our bedroom furniture, the girls’ beds, and our dining room table!) and we have tons of boxes in our dining room waiting to go to storage.  Making progress!

Thanks for your prayers – we are at 78% and are praying to be at 80% by the end of next week.  We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for our family our this journey.

2 Steps Forward…

First, just to update, we are at 77%!  Praise the Lord for movement and for people who want to partner with us to reach people in NYC!

Second, we took two HUGE steps forward in moving to NYC.  The first big step was saying goodbye to our sweet, beloved dog Bruno.  We have had Bruno for a few years and he has been a great dog and done so well with the kids.  However, when we decided to move, Ed quickly nixed the idea of taking Bruno to the city with us.  His logic was “What happens the first time I am gone on a trip or gone to campus at night and you have to bundle up all the kids to go downstairs and out in the snow to take the dog out?”  It didn’t take me long to agree with him.

So, we started talking with people and found out that my aunt and uncle in SC (who love our dog and agreed to take him should he not be able to find a home) had a niece who was looking for a boxer who was good with kids as they have a baby.  After talking about it, we decided it was a good fit and worth trying.  So, we met them and traded him off and I am happy to say he is settling in very nicely.  We are so grateful for the time we have had with him and we pray someone can love him all the years he has left.  Our girls still get teary-eyed talking about him and will for some time, I am sure.

The second big step we took was to sell our house – YIKES!  We have been trying to declutter and remove personal items for a while, but, at the suggestion of our realtor, we had a stager come to the house to make recommendations.  Ya’ll, it was intense!  First, let me say, she did a GREAT job…I seriously learned SO much and she definitely knew what she was doing.  But, in my mind, I imagined her coming and just pointing and telling us what to do for later and maybe writing it all down.  Um, no.  She came prepared with her bag full of moving men (to put under the furniture to actually move things!), nails, hammer, screwdrivers, anchors, and measuring tape.  She looked around and then she started actually working with us to move things.  Like, in every room.  Like, for 3 hours we moved things.  Like, she took down my curtain to make the room lighter and then used it for a table runner.  Like, she was looking in all my cabinets for things to use to stage the house. I don’t say that to say it was bad – because again, she did a phenomenal job and I will never look at a house for sale without thinking how she would stage things differently, but it was absolutely not what I expected.

So, after all her hard work, and our hard work following up on her suggestions and cleaning the place down, our realtor came over to take pictures.  We decided to use a friend who owns his own company, Justin Carlin with 19 East Reality, and we have been very, very pleased.  From the great pricing suggestions, to the amazing pictures, to the ease of getting a contract signed, he has done a great job.  Its not over yet, but so far, so good.  The pictures looked great – just see for yourself:

See, aren’t they great?  I absolutely love our back deck and am going to miss it dearly – well, our whole house and our neighbors but definitely this deck! Justin listed the house late Friday night, we only had one showing Saturday (which was super odd as we expected to have them all day), and right as we were scheduling 2 for Sunday, as well as an open house, we found out that the only people who looked at it on Saturday had made an offer.  After some negotiating, and them realizing we had others looking Sunday (who did end up looking and also wanted to make an offer!), they offered pretty much full price.

Seriously, only one person looked and they made an offer?  That is the Lord.  He has been in this move from the very first moment and he is still working to get us to NYC.  We are so thankful!!

We have the inspection this weekend, and while we know there are still lots of things that could go wrong, we are hopeful that our house is SOLD!  Thank you for your prayers and keep them coming that we would be at 80% by the end of this week!


Celebrating Independence Day!

First, because I know many people have been asking me to keep them updated via the blog – we are at 75% of what we need to move to NYC!  We are so thankful for all those who are partnering with us, praying for us, and referring us to others who want to hear about our ministry.  Keep those prayers coming that we would finish quickly!

Second, we had another medical mishap in our family this past week.  Blake got his first stitches – 3 to be exact.  So, not the proudest parenting moment – but we got a little too comfortable with him climbing the stairs without us close by and he fell down quite a few of them.  Thankfully, he just busted his chin and cut his tongue – no concussion, no broken ribs, etc.  He did bust his chin open pretty well, so we knew right away that it would require stitches.  It is a beast to get stitches into a 17 month old and let me tell you – it is rough on a momma too!  They literally had to strap him down, inject numbing ointment in his chin, and then get him stitched between all the crying.

And, just because nothing in our family is ever easy, he hit his chin on our neighbor’s step the next Wednesday following him getting stitches and it started bleeding again and he split the incision open again.  We decided not to take him in as it didn’t look like the stitch broke, but it has resulted in it being a much longer road to healing.  In fact, we are still dealing with his scab coming undone.  Having a boy isn’t easy, ya’ll.

Third, we were grateful for a little bit more of a relaxed weekend over the July 4th weekend so we could spend time with family and enjoy the festivities.  There are many things we are going to miss about living here – 1 is our little town that we are living in with all their fun events and 2 is our neighbors.  4th of July involved both of them as we attended our town’s festivities with our neighbors and got to do lots of firework watching and lighting with them.  Our neighbor, Denise, even joined me in making these cute 4th of July shirts for us to wear!

While we were waiting on the town fireworks to start, they had rides and fair food for people.  The lines were SUPER long, but the girls loved them anyways.  I love these pics of them on the rides – it is so true of them – Kinsley, the typical first child, going down the right way – Emerson, the typical second child, flipping over while sliding because she never does anything the way it should be done – and Blake, taking it in stride and loving it, but holding on for dear life.

We decided to let the kids stay up late for the town fireworks, even though we knew it would be a gamble as to how they would do, and specifically Blake, since he hadn’t experienced them before.  They were rock stars and did awesome!  They didn’t have breakdowns, throw fits, or cry like crazy when the show started.  Blake was actually super fun to watch because he absolutely loved them and just smiled and laughed at them!

We pray you had a great 4th of July celebrating our freedom!  Thank you to all who have and are fighting for that freedom – we will never forget your sacrifice!