Exploring The City

Our learning curve is huge right now, there is so much this country girl doesn’t know about how to raise a family in the city, it has been overwhelming, but I ache to explore and understand this new place I’m in. But with this many people, and things always coming and going, there will probably always be something new for me to learn. Which is a good thing, but I’m going to have to let go of control a little, and trust that God is leading our family where we need to go.

Some things I’ve discovered:
-I LOVE Birkenstocks, they are quickly curing my plantar fasciitis that I’ve struggled with for months.
-private Christian school is more expensive than college, (my SIL assured me that only public school rejects go there anyway, so I don’t need to worry, I don’t think it’s true, but it was kind of her to tell me)
-karate is $800/year for 1 child (ummm, no)
-gymnastics is $600/year for 1 child (maybe not worth it for a 4 yr old?)
-most everything else is about $50/month per child, we are not used to such a high cost of living.
-there are tons of free things to go to if we look around and pay attention, (free yoga has me excited)
-our community has a free gym, an amazing free gym, and kids are welcome. I just need to figure out how to get my driver’s license address changed so they’ll let us in.
-the library here doesn’t have as good of a theology section as the next city over, oh well, I’ve been spoiled.

I’m slowly meeting homeschoolers, our karate instructor homeschools. She assured me there were many homeschool groups that meet, both secular groups and faith based groups and that I would find them. However, she didn’t have anything specific to invite me too, bummer.

We are seriously considering joining a classical conversations homeschool group for the older two girls, we are also planning on buying a violin for my oldest daughter and joining a homeschool orchestra that meets here, and we are going to splurge on gymnastics for my middle daughter, she shows real potential in this area and I think the money will be worth it for her. For the little one, she might be better off with gymnastics open gym and no lessons yet….Montessori style.

– We have been exhausting ourselves exploring, I’m figuring out more than two events per day is too much for us.
– Sophia glows when she does karate, she has a competitive side to her, and touch is her love language….I was surprised by how much she likes it.
-Solveigh has already befriended the neighborhood children, and one kid has a kitten she lets her play with.
-I read Karen Kingsbury’s new book “Angels Walking”, it’s good, would love for Sophia to read it someday.
– I’ve decided on ivory for our family room in our new home.-
-the amount of walking we have to do to go anywhere is substantially higher than before, I’m convinced this is why city people are healthier than country folk, bought a stroller for Acacia because it was too much for her to handle.
– I never thought I’d be raising my children in the city.

Just 2 1/2 more weeks until we get to move into our new home!

Street Chic Birkenstocks (Hot, Beauty, Health)

Hi-Ya

Yesterday the girls went to a free martial arts class. They’re trying to get us to sign up for their program and handing out a month of classes to do it, smart, it just might work on us. They loved it, it was fun to see them kicking and punching at the air. We’ve got a pretty strong pull towards gymnastics and violin this year though, so I think karate is just going to be for fun. I wanted to do it too, but was worried my foot couldn’t handle it, still a little injured, although I can do so much more than before, I didn’t want to push it and re-injure it. I could see myself getting really into one of those hi-ya kicks and hurting myself, better to stick with swimming and walking for now.

Acacia is sick, fever. Our allergies are bothering all of us, but she’s getting the worst of it. Went swimming with the older two yesterday and watched “Clash of the Titans” last night. He’s going to church without me while I stay home with sickie.

Going to food journal again, it’s been so crazy moving from house to house that I have no idea how my eating has been. I’m thinking about beginning my own Trim Healthy Mama weightloss group here, it’s a city, so the interest should be higher. I want to join Weight Watchers but I don’t like their philosophy much, just their accountability. I’m the type of person that’s more likely to do better when someone else is watching.

New City: New Life

What a whirlwind of a week. I have never seen my husband so physically and mentally exhausted. We rented a moving van and he pretty much filled the entire thing with furniture and boxes, then was at the end of his rope with weariness when one of his friends showed up to help him finish, and not just any friend, a giant of a man filled with cheerfulness. God always provides, doesn’t He? Then four wonderful men met him at our storage unit and helped him unload, it reminded me of an Amish barn raising, how they got all of our gear compactly packed into a large room like a giant puzzle. I stepped out of the way and let them go, was too short and too weak to be of much use.

We spent a cozy “last night in our old home” sleeping on the floor. Grandma brought the kids back to us the next day and helped us bring the rest of our stuff to our in-laws where we are now staying for about a month. Then we went house shopping. It was fun, at every home our children would run to the backyard to see if there was a swingset to play on, and I may or may not have told them not to jump on other people’s beds once or twice. We can barely afford a 4 bedroom, but really want a 4 bedroom, so were looking at many split-level three bedrooms with a basement room that could possibly be turned into a 4th. We found a wonderful home with three bedrooms and a large basement full of possibilities. It’s not even a split level. It is a peaceful retreat in the middle of a busy city. The backyard is secluded by wood fencing and trees with landscaping and sitting areas to relax in, we’re going to enjoy this home. Also, no major problems; it’s not a fixer upper, which is nice. Many of the homes we looked at had mold, termites, or foundation issues. It was difficult for me to move so quickly with buying a new home but it would have disappeared if we had puddled around even a little. Real estate is insane here.

So now that all the business is done, we’ve been vacationing in the city. Lots of swimming and exploring new places. We’re not sure how to relax because there’s so many possibilities every day. We’ve been to a toy store, the library–many times, a juggling show, a city band concert, soooo many ice cream shops, an art walk, a bluegrass concert, the park, a community gym. My mother-in-law left me tools and supplies to work on a glass mosaic which I haven’t even begun yet, but I’m excited about….and we played with cousins for an entire day. I’m worn out, but happy worn out. We’ve also discovered the there’s some public program that feeds children for free here if you show up at the right places, still figuring that one out. The swimming pools and parks are packed in the afternoons with childcare groups that show up on school buses. Have seen some interesting clothing choices from the locals, saw a girl wearing a bikini with a black negligee over the top of it. Lots of pink and purple hair, but most of the people seem to dress and act like we do; moms with friendly kids looking for someone to play with.

We haven’t gone to a new church yet, last week we went back to our old church and they gave us a wonderful send-off. It felt like they were our home church sending us out to be missionaries, we will miss them so much. They framed a colorful picture of a guitar with the words to “Be Thou My Vision” and wrote messages on the back for us. We will have to go back and visit them often, leaving is hard. We couldn’t have done all of this by ourselves, I’ve been amazed at how God is providing. New blessings every day.

The Big Week

This is it, the big week, it’s finally arrived. We are moving, tomorrow the big rental truck will sit in our driveway and we will empty out all of our possessions. There’s nothing like touching and packing each one of your possessions to realize just how much stuff you own. Everyone should do this with their items at some point in their lives. I read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up earlier this year, and she gave me the courage to let go. To let go of all the stuff I was keeping to please someone else, or because I didn’t want to be wasteful. Each item we keep in our home requires energy, energy to store, to move around, to clean, and even to look at. I have simplified quite a bit and am eager to see how our possessions will fit into our new home (that we don’t have yet). Yes, that’s right, we’re going to live with our in-laws because…I’m so tired of explaining why and this is my blog, so I’ll skip it here. We will have a new home soon and that’s all that matters.

The kids have let our hamster run free and our cats are staying with my parents till we find a home. Grandma isn’t letting them go outside though because she worries they’ll run away. I figure I’d rather have them run away in the country than run away in a city. I hate the thought of her emptying a litter box, that wasn’t part of the deal! The kids are also at my parents’ home. They love being on the farm; lots of swimming, cats, and 4-wheeler rides with Grandpa. I’m amazed at how much more I can get done with them away. I miss them.

My husband is taking a test in a few hours. I now sympathize with women whose husbands go to med school. Although what I’ve been through is practically nothing compared to med school wives. This will (hopefully, please say a quick prayer) be his final test and we will be able to move on to the next phase of our lives. Which is looking to be an exciting one. After the move, I plan on spending the summer thoroughly exploring a new city with my children. It will be like a long vacation.

My husband has promised me a date after his test tonight, I’m excited, it’s been awhile. Although I don’t think it will go very long. We’re both anxious to get moved out as quickly as possible. Cleaning the garage has become more enticing than watching a movie together.

Covenant Study

I went to my women’s bible study a few weeks ago and discovered the lady leading it thought she was going to be hit hard by a list of judgments from God when she got to heaven. It was a real fear for her, she is the list-making type, and knew her list was long. But more than that, I think there was a specific sin from her past that was haunting her, something the devil kept bringing up and telling her “you can’t possibly be saved”.

So I tried to explain covenant theology to her, but it’s been over ten years since I’ve actually studied it, so she got a bumbled version of Jonathan and David’s exchanging of robes and how that made them one, then how Christ exchanges robes with us, so we actually become one with Him, that is why it was possible for him to die for our sins. When we get to heaven, there isn’t a list of judgments because we are one with Christ. His perfection is given to us and our sins were given to Him. Our sins have already been judged, there is no judgment left for those who are “in” Christ, for those who have accepted Him and “become one” with Him.

For those who are in Christ, there is no list of judgments. We are clean. We are not condemned. I don’t even have to know what’s in her past, I know she’s forgiven and that’s all that matters. Christ’s death covers everything.

So my husband dug out his old covenant study for me, and made me two copies. I gave one to my friend and this morning was busy writing down answers and getting my refresher. It’s crazy how excited she was to do the study with me, I could see the relief wash across her face when I told her she wasn’t going to be judged. I love being a part of how God works. I love that He uses me.

Moving To The City

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our family is moving, it’s almost official. We’ve signed the contract, had the inspection…now we’re waiting to see how our buyer’s inspection goes because our sale depends on their sale…

So much to do, so much to get rid of. I didn’t realize how unsettling the feeling of having no home was going to be. Looking into the future and not knowing where we will live is scary. I’ve been reading “The Red Tent”, and there’s a time when Jacob (Esau’s brother from the bible) asks his four wives to travel and find a new home. They’ve never left their father’s land, they don’t know where they will end up, even Jacob doesn’t know for sure where they will live. I thought how scared they must have been, how unsure. At least, I know the place I’m going to, even if I don’t know exactly what house it will be.

The kids want to move to the country because they want horses. We’re not getting horses. I like the idea of living in the country, there is a peace I find in the country that I can’t get anywhere else. But when I look at the next ten years of our life, I see people. Lots and lots of people, and clubs, and running the kids from lessons, to church events, to ball practice and to friends’ homes. I see us homeschooling outside of the home as much as possible because it gets lonely when we’re by ourselves with only your sisters to play with and I don’t want that anymore. We get excited when we are with people, when we’re building relationships. Our baby, snuggling, no-sleeping-at-night years are over and the next ten years are going to be incredibly busy and exciting. I know God has a plan for us and I can’t wait to see what He does.