Monday, December 28, 2009

"The Move" Part 3

After the bad experience mentioned in my last post, I was looking forward to staying in the new hotel I had found for my family. Though I was not supposed to check in for several hours, I drove to the new hotel with anticipation of what it would be like.

I walk in and was greeted my the most pleasant smile yet in Texas. I asked if I could check in early and with a cheerful voice the lady said I could. I parked our van, let the kids out of their seats, and began unloading our things onto a laundry cart. Because of it just opening this day, they had not received carts to bring our luggage in yet.

Kaylyn pretending to be a horse pulling a wagon

I was presented a rose for being their first customer at the hotel.
Dinner living in a hotel:

During the day, while AJ was working, the children and I would ride around looking for a place to live. Every few days, we would take the day off and go to a park. The kids would run and play with much excitement while I would sit watching them and then at times join in to play while Zechariah slept.
At this particular park, the kids found a present for their friend.

Can you guess what it is?

It's a toad!

This was for you, Elijah A.

The toad never made it to his house as he got loose in the van and was never to be found....

Each weekend we would travel home to get ready for the movers and so I could make dinner for the week and catch up on laundry. On this particular day, I decided to stop at a beach because the kids had been especially good for the week so I wanted to treat them.

As the days turned into weeks living at the hotel, the staff became our dear friends. Each morning our trip to the breakfast area brought excitement for the kids who would try to guess who was working "that day". Our new friends would come greet us and keep us company when able. They would bring them candy, give them cookies and even planned a little party for them on Halloween. Since we don't celebrate this holiday, we told the kids it was "dress up day" at the hotel.
Our Friends: Dianne, Kayla, Hailey and Shay ( not pictured)...
ordered pizza...

gave stickers and more.

This is Shay, who gave the children balloons on a different occasion:

The cleaning ladies would set up the kids animals on the bed for them. This always put a smile on the kids face:The kids would help the ladies do their jobs in the mornings:

The kids had a blast living at the hotel. Every time we leave the house, the kids want to visit their friends and Elijah, the 2 yr. old, says, "Pass Hotel?"

I thank God for their generosity to my family. They will never know how much their kindness meant to me as I was dealing with sadness in leaving my friends "back home" and coming to a unknown place.They are dear friends to my heart and I pray our friendship will continue for many years to come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gun Shots?- Moving Part 3

As we arrived at the hotel, the kids unbuckled with excitement. "Mommy, is there a pool?" "Do they have free breakfast?" "What is taking daddy so long?" ( he was checking in...and probably eating a cookie), " Can we stay on the top floor?" Their excitement rubbed off on me, and I too, could not wait to see where we would be staying until we found a place to live.

AJ returns and we drive around to our room. We open the door and...whew! It smelled like an old lady with cheap perfume sitting in her musty house. Trying to be optimistic, I tell myself I could handle the smell and I would get used to it, eventually.

The kids come running in, throw off their shoes and jump on the bed. There's nothing like jumping on a hotel bed. I remember doing this as a kid, so I allowed them jump for a few minutes. While they were getting out energy, I checked the bathroom out, only to find URINE and a piece of hair on the toilet! Still trying to be optimistic and persevere, I ignore it and tell myself it could be worse.

After awhile of us settling in with our weeks worth of clothes and activities for the kids, I notice something black...... Feet...... Yes, my kids feet were black from walking on the hotel floor, in our room. I immediately begin telling them, " Stop crawling on the floor"," Pick up the baby", "NO! Don't eat that! It touched the ground!" "Don't touch the is dirty!" I finally had them get ready for bed so I did not have to worry about what they were touching.

By this time, I am sick to my stomach, nauseated from the grandma smell. I walk outside for a moment to get something out of our van.

"Is there a problem?" I ask a security guard who is standing behind AJ's car writing down info.

"No Mam, I am writing down information on the cars." he answers.

"Is there a reason for this?" I ask.

"Yes Mam. I go car to car and write down anything wrong with the them and check them several times a night to make sure nothing has happened to them."

"I see. Is this a problem here?"

"Yes Mam."

"Sir, Am I in a rough area? I have 5 small kids in there and I want to make sure we are safe. We will be staying here for awhile."

The security guard replies," It is a rougher area. But it is not that bad. You might hear a few gun shots..." PAUSE! STOP! SLAM ON THE BRAKES!!!Did he just say...GUN SHOTS?!?

As he was saying..." You might here a few gun shots and have some break ins to the cars but the other hotel you just asked about had a shoot out there not long ago." ( which was untrue, it was THIS hotel as I found out later).

I go in and start looking for other hotels right away, with AJ's permission. I found a brand new one about 25 minutes closer to AJ's new job opening the next day. I make reservations, skip my bath,I was grossed out and felt I might get dirtier taking a bath, and then go to bed... Praying for our safety and the vehicles.

Next morning, AJ and I pray and then he leaves with anticipation for his first day on the job. The kids and I head for to the lobby for breakfast. This to was an experience but I'll spare you the details. When we finished, I packed up our things, and off my gang, the kids, and I went from this bad experience to a much better one.

* No real life pictures in this post from our experience due to me being in Florida with our pictures on the computer back home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The "Big Move" Part 2

When we decided to move, AJ and I sat down with the children to tell them. After an explanation of what was going on and a time of prayer, we asked the kids their thoughts. They were excited. "E" asked if he could meet a cowboy and get a milking cow. Kaylyn was a little quiet but was excited also. Katie Faith wanted to know if she could get a stinky pig. Elijah, he said...ball. :)

When AJ learned of his starting date at the new job, we knew we would not have a place to live that soon. Not wanting to split the family with AJ in Texas and the rest of us in Louisiana, we quickly came to the conclusion we would go with AJ and stay at the hotel.

So, the weekend before I began packing for our week long Adventure at the hotel. We were also blessed to have 2 friends spend the night.

"E" and Elijah enjoyed sharing facts about sharks and different animals. They also were goof balls making silly faces at the camera. Which their mothers would NEVER do!

Katie Faith And her other "sister" Rachel played dolls and with their animals. They also had a hard time falling asleep with all of their precious giggling and whispering to one another!

This is our first Sunday to start our adventure at the hotel and life in Texas, we headed to Texas after church. We stopped at the Texas Welcome Area after crossing the line.

This is AJ's mustang..."Shugga" in front of the Texas star...

We enjoyed watching an alligator snap at this turtle threatening the turtles life.

This is the view from where we watched the alligator. You can walk out on the boardwalk, although we have not done this yet.

A man, who worked at the Welcome Center as a janitor, saw our kids, asked me if all 5 were mine, left, and moments came back with a coloring book for each of them about Texas.

As we drove on, the kids colored in their books. I prayed and listened to a CD by Doug Phillips. I also enjoyed AJ's little game of driving next to us. He always brings smiles to my face with his goofy self.
That night when we arrived at the hotel, let's just say, we only stayed there one night. More on that with our next post on our big move.
But before I close off, I have to say about leaving, this day was one of the hardest times for me emotionally. I want to make sure I give God the glory for HIS strength for getting me through it. My heart was breaking yet I knew this was the path God had put us on. He has been, and always will be, so faithful to me...His spite of my sin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Decluttering For a Garage Sale

When we decided to move, we had a realtor come over The first thing she said we needed to do was declutter our house. With 5 small kids and two adults we had accumulated a lot in 7 years at the same house. It was a bit overwhelming, especially knowing we had only 4 weeks before AJ started his new job and needed to be in Texas.

I would look around and start to cry not knowing where to start. I would finish one area and the next would seem to have so much more. I thought of taking pictures but was to embarrassed. One day, a good friend, Starr, came over to help. She spent the whole day helping and giving me tips. Thanks Starr! You are a blessing!

In God's Word, it says, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)

So I began thinking of a price I wanted to ask God for, if it be HIS will.....


Two weeks later, Starr and I began setting up. She had been working hard at her house to get rid of things also. We started early Thursday morning ( I actually did some on Wed.). It took us all day.

This is our garage with a lot of the stuff in it. In my house was more! We could carry, drag, and push things trying to get them to the carport.

When My Man, AJ, arrived home from work he quickly got to work helping us unload the garage. He would take our van, stuff it with junk and kids, drive it around to the carport and unload.

We had 13 tables, used the ground, fence, poles to hang clothes, and still needed more room. After much hard work, aching backs, and tired feet, we called it quits late in the evening.

The next morning, I arose at 6 am to prepare for customers whom I expected to start arriving around 6:30. one. customers yet.
7:30...not a one.
This was unusual because usually I start having them around 6 something. So thus started my doubt. This is not going to be a good garage sale. Maybe I picked a bad weekend to do this. I should have advertised in the newspaper......

Then at 7:40 came my first customer. She bought one small thing for 10 cents. Ten minutes later, the people slowly began to came. It was wasn't overly busy with people on Friday. It was steady though. Enough to keep us and the children busy doing things.
Here we are taking a break eating lunch...

It was a beautiful day until about 1:00pm. The dark, stormy clouds started to roll in. Then they rolled out. Two hours later, here they come again. But this time they did not leave as quickly. We had a huge downpour!

Here is Starr and I covering up our things as quickly as possible:

Elijah playing in the rain.....

The first day ended and Starr was tired. Me, I was ready to do it all over again! I love garage sales! I love going to them and I love having them.

As I sat there that evening, I did a rough count of the money I had made so far. A little over $200.00. Which means I needed $400.00 more to go to meet my goal. All of my "big" things sold already and I only had clothes and little "what nots" to sell. Knowing this, I realized my goal of $600.00 was not going to be possible.

Well after a long Saturday, many new customers, a few from the day before, the long process of cleaning everything up, I sat down and totaled all of our money.

I did not make my $600.00 as I had prayed for. Nope, sure didn't.......I made Six hundred and ONE dollars and 32 cents!

I did not think it was possible to make $400.00 with the items I had left...BUT GOD!

In His word it says, "All things are possible through Him."

Why do I doubt Him? Doesn't He prove Himself over and over in the Bible AND in my life!?! He promised to never send a flood all over this earth again, God promised to send His Son to this earth to die on the cross for our sins,He promised to forgive us of our sins if we repent with a sincere heart...... "Oh God, what small faith I have, increase it for YOUR glory!!!"......

I had a great time with Starr having this garage sale. We have done the past 2 together. She is quite a character and makes me laugh with her stories! Thank you Starr for all of your hard work! You are a trooper! Want to join me in my next one? Yes, I am already collecting for my next annual garage sale!

One last picture for you guys...

During the garage sale, I would sit Cracker Zech, Zechoroni, Zackie, next to me at our money table. People would see him and say, "What a cute doll!" And come to see how much he was, only to find out he was real! So on Saturday I sat him down with this little sign above him...

To God be the Glory once again, in my lack of Faith, proving Himself ever so faithful!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Are Here!

A couple of months ago I announced our family made a huge decision with much prayer to move. This past Thursday we officially became residents of the great state Texas.

With such a move comes much work and preparation, thus why I have been off loop for a long time with blogging. The next few days, my plan is to take you through our Adventures through this transition. It has been hard, it has been fun. Many tears yet smiles. Leaving friends, meeting new ones.

First up...decluttering which means...a massive garage sale!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Been Busy!

Yes! I am still alive! With a big move comes much work thus the reason I have not blogged in a long time.

The past month has been filled with many emotions. From joy, sadness to fear. But my faithful God, Jesus Christ, continues to show Himself real in this time of change. Lord-willing, in the next few days I will blog of our adventure the past month we have been enduring so far.

I pray all of you are doing well and look forward to catching up with you through your blogs in the near future.

Be blessed!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Big News!

Big News...we are moving.... Not across town but to Texas.

AJ has accepted a new job. It was not an easy decision. We will be leaving our friends, family and church. Involved in the decision there were many fears, questions, tears, fasting, praying, searching. It was the toughest decision AJ has ever had to make. Though some may not understand why we made the decision, we are clear this is the right one.

So, I rejoice yet I grieve. I don't know what the future holds but I trust in my God who knows. He shall supply all our needs. I grieve for different reasons that I choose not to go into right now.

So we have 3-4 weeks before we leave. Much to do around the house. Painting, cleaning out, fixing things, etc...I feel like I never stop. But why should this be a problem? Why is it that if I don't get to relax in the evening I get upset? God created me to work. To stay up late and rise before the house. This is good for me. This is a training and teaching time for me. I may get weary, but I will keep my focus on Christ. I will persevere. I will rejoice in the aching back, I will rejoice in going through the next drawer that I have dreaded. I will rejoice!

So the next few weeks will be busy. They will be filled with anticipation yet many times of tears falling down my face. Times when I want all of this to be over, times to remind myself to enjoy this process God has ordained for our family.

I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us! To Him be the glory!!!