I used to think that was such a funny name, but it makes sense. Depending on which way we drive, we are only 3-5 miles away from the Indiana border. Half the time, if I am out running errands, I don't even know which state I am in. Well, confusion mostly, but you know what I mean. :-) We are learning our way around. We can usually get to our house on the first try, and after two failed attempts at finding the National Ministry Center, I think I can actually find my way there, too, now. The neat thing is that I am less than five miles from almost anything I need to do. There is a major grocery store about half a mile from my house. It is a little too expensive to do my normal shopping, but has been great in a pinch. Wal-Mart and Lowes are only about 3 miles away, and there is a Dollar General, Family Dollar, Big Lots, and every fast food imaginable in between. Most major shopping is about 15 minutes away, but considering we had a thirty minute drive, at least, to EVERYTHING at home, this has been a nice switch. :-)
So, our biggest news, our house is under contract! Right now, barring anything weird, we are set to close on December 15th. We still have to make it through an inspection and loan approval, but it all looks really good right now. Unfortunately, in this market, we are making nothing on the house, but considering it has been almost two years and we have had no offers, we decided to take the deal. Please pray with us that everything goes through without a hitch.
We are doing well. There are signs of settling in around here. We can finally find enough of our stuff that our day-to-day life involves a lot less of, "Have you seen my...." or "MOMMYYYYY......Where is myyyyyy????", so that is good. I finally found my tennis shoes...a very good thing, since it was 45 degrees when we went out last night. The sandals just weren't cutting it anymore. :-) There are plenty of boxes left to unpack, but it feels much less urgent now. Jeff is at work, training to do his job. He says there is a lot to learn, but I think he is really going to love it! The work environment is definitely a step up from where he was before, and he is a much happier, well-rested Jeff Bryant. Our prayer is that he will touch the life of every person he talks to and that God will work, in a huge way, in the life of every church Life Action visits.
The kids are adjusting remarkably well to this move. Considering we have uprooted them from everything they have ever known and loved, there have been very few problems. Alyssa and Emilie have started school again (well, most of it...we can't find all of our books yet, despite the fact they were supposed to pack them in their backpacks so we could find them when we got here...but that's another story. I'll have to tell you what was ACTUALLY in those backpacks sometime.) and they are adjusting pretty well to having to share a room. That situation has not been without its problems, especially considering that they have almost always had their own rooms, Alyssa's room was the size of Texas in Georgia and this room is smaller than either of their rooms in Georgia, and they are, without a doubt, the Odd Couple. Overall, however, they have had really good attitudes about it. Right now, our biggest issue is bedtime. One is an early bird the other a night owl, one likes no light but a little noise, the other likes lots of light but no noise....we'll get it eventually. The only other option is the garage out back, so it has to work for now. :-)
Clara is doing very well. We have been blown away at the way God has protected her though all of this. This climate has been much kinder to her little body, and her energy level is the best it has ever been. We have really only had one incident with her, but God brought her out of that in a miraculous, and I do mean miraculous, way! I have been doing research here trying to find a pediatrician for her. I am not having much success right now. That is actually one of my biggest frustrations at the moment. I know God will provide. He has certainly provided in every other way. It would just be nice to already see that provision in this area. As far as her therapy, I cannot set up her traditional therapy without a doctor, but I have found a therapy ranch for her to do her therapeutic riding. God is going to have to provide in that area, too. At home, Clara did hippotherapy, which, as I explained before, was paid for by insurance because she was working with an actual physical therapist. However, every ranch I have found close to here offers therapeutic riding, which is still wonderful, but not covered by insurance, as they have no physical therapist on staff. So, that will have to come out of our pocket. The only problem is, I am not sure our pockets are deep enough. This therapy has done so much to benefit Clara. We have seen her torso strength, her balance, and her confidence improve so tremendously. We are praying that God will provide the $35 a week we need to make this possible for her. Besides all of that, she is adjusting well. She occasionally asks when we are going home, but after Megan responding, "We ARE home." a hundred times, she will now ask, "When are we going home?" but then quickly answer her own question with, "Oh yeah, we are home."
Megan is just Megan, the bowl of sunshine. Her biggest adjustment has really become my biggest adjustment. She is up at the crack of dawn now, and when she is awake, she is AWAKE! Since we moved her to a big-girl bed upon arriving here, we find her sitting at our door every morning when get up. We open the door and she quickly says, "Good morning, Mommy. I need some breakfast." Did I mention that I don't wake up that fast? Needless to say, Megan and I have had some very sweet quality time, though, every morning. With her being the youngest of four girls, she probably needs it. :-)
We have been to three different churches in the three weeks we have been here. We will visit another new one this Sunday. Being a part of a church family is what I miss the VERY most. I so love my BeechHaven family at home, and I long for that here. Every church we have visited has had something wonderful about it, some really great things happening, but I think it is going to take a while to get used to the way church is done up here. We are definitely not in the south anymore. But again, we know God will provide.
As far as Christmas in concerned, right now our plan is to leave Michigan on December 13th and be in Georgia until New Year's. I am hoping that we will get lots of quality time with friends and family while we are there. It might be our last trip for a while. Thank you for the way you have loved and prayed for our family. Please continue to pray for us as we settle into our house, try to make new friends, and find all of the care Clara needs. In closing, I thought I would leave you with some pictures. :-)
The beautiful van that God provided for us, by way of the precious people at BeechHaven Baptist Church.