Thursday, August 25, 2011

Charlotte, we're here to least for now

Ok folks, lots of you have been asking what the deal is with us; are we staying or are we going? (to Summerville, SC for the church plant). Well, it's kind of a long story. You ready? 
Last Fall (2010) our church announced that they would be planting another church in Summerville, SC. Steve and I aren't usually on the same page initially with things but with this, we both immediately felt like we were being called to do this. Some people's first thought was, "Sweet! Who wouldn't want to live by the beach?!" But Steve nor I had ever been  to Charleston, let alone anywhere in the area so we really didn't know what to expect. We took a "babymoon" in October before Ezra was born to check out the area and to also spend away time together. We felt a bit up in the air about the area, where we would maybe call home but knew we'd need a few more visits to get more familiar with the area. It definitely was much different than we expected. It's a very old area but with tons of recent growth so there's lots of new construction as well. So, we continued to pray through it, had Ezra in January, and then headed down again in March for a monthly church meeting. We met so many wonderful couples/families that were considering being a part of the church, found most of them on Facebook and started making friendships. We listed our house on March 15th of this year. We had the house up for sale last year, almost a year to the day. Long story short, I got pregnant, was very sick, we had two showings in 4 months and then took the house off. This time around we thought may be much different. The Lord didn't sell our house last year because it just wasn't the right time, right? Right now is the right time, right?! Ummmm, nope. We listed the house for almost $20K less than last year, made several improvements plus replacing tons of  siding on the outside and we only had one showing in 4 months. Lord, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? We kept praying and waiting. And then it came. What came? A buyer for our home you ask? A new job for Steve in SC? No, none of the above. What came (or grew) was a mushroom in our bathroom. Our master bathroom, like almost in our bedroom. Upstairs. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaahhhhh. So Steve called a mold specialist and he said the mold was just contained in a very small area and had not spread since thankfully they had previously had vinyl flooring. Who puts wood floors in the bathroom anyhow?! He told us the mold is due to moisture, since our bathroom fan is located in a separate room with our toilet, it's not getting the ventilation it needs. So, what does all that mean? Well, we need to rip up the floor. And relocate the fan. And we feel like we need to get rid of the ginormous window we have in our shower. Another lovely surprise is that we have a baseball sized hole in our siding right under where the shower is. Whoever put the window in previous to us living here did not seal it properly so there's been leaking in the past. So we were referred to a contractor that's going to try and help us out. A window has been ordered and we're just going to go from there. It's not going to be a simple, "oh just patch up the hole" kind of a deal. One project is going to affect another and another so we're thinking a whole bathroom revamp is probably in order. Thankfully we did have a little money saved from our taxes this year that we were originally planning on using for closing costs when the house sold that we can use. 
So, where does that leave us? Well, the house is off the market. We have to fix the bathroom. "Where are your hearts at?", some have asked. We are at peace that we feel the Lord has made Himself clear that we need to stick around these parts, at least for now. We still very much feel a calling to Summerville but maybe that's His plan for down the road, maybe not. What is the Lord doing exactly and why? We may never know but we do know this and have faith that His plans are THE VERY BEST plans: 

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

So Charlotte, you're stuck with us. We were excited to go but we're also excited to stay. Some of our family is here, our friends are here, our church, our home, familiar places to go, things to do, etc. We pray daily the Lord's will be done in our lives. We're looking forward to what lies ahead but also just enjoying where we are, today. Focusing on what's in front of us and not getting too ahead of ourselves. God gives us the perfect amount of grace for today. And we're resting in that. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Here's the bathroom, in all its glory

Big, bad tub and window

Mold corner (mushroom was removed immediately after discovery)

Above mold spot is cracked and patched tile

Bottom right corner of window. PROBLEM AREA

Toilet room

Hideous fluorescent light holder thingy, just another marvelous 80's breakthrough idea

Top right window, can you see the hole? 

Here's a close-up. The siding is warped and cracked. And there's a hole. Will post progress on the bathroom once we're underway! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another visit to VA

 At the beginning of August, we took a trip to Williamsburg, VA to visit Steve's dad and stepmom. It was our first trip to see them this summer and our first trip to the beach!! We were in Virginia Beach from late morning until mid afternoon that Saturday and the kids did swimmingly (literally)! Audrey, being a bit more cautious than the average Joe, enjoyed getting in the water a bit which has not happened previous years. The waves were good sized as well so she made sure she was holding someone's hand :) Ezra dipped his toes in the ocean for the first time. He was pretty neutral about the whole thing. He's a man of few words :) Update on him and the helmet situation soon.

 On the way to Far Far and Grannie's. She didn't have a nap at home that day and we left late afternoon so she was done for. 

 Ready to get some sand between those toes

 Sibling squeezes

 I didn't know he was making this face until I saw the picture. He never cried but I guess he wasn't enjoying himself as much as I thought.

 Toes in the Atlantic

 What's so exciting about this ocean or whatever? Ain't no thang

 They recently built a park on the beach, it was awesome and Audrey liked it too :)

 Eyes for Far Far

First time on a big swing

Get me outta here, it's much too sunny!

It's better with Daddy

At one point, Steve put Ezra in their bean bag and realized it's a great seat for E! He's completely supported and can't get out but can still play. We were bummed he discovered this shortly before leaving instead of closer to our arrival but Audrey now has one in her closet (you can view that here) which we use for him every now and then. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Closet reading nook

I've been reading this blog for the last couple weeks and they've caused me to become discontent inspired to give Audrey's closet a little face lift like they did here for their little girl. They most definitely have a much bigger closet to work with and a younger child (and quite possibly a larger allowance as well).  But I took on the challenge, which also included having A try on just about everything in her closet to see what still fit, weed through what needed to be packed, what was too small and then unpack stuff for the Fall. We rearranged, sorted through and donated a bunch of stuff, picked up a bean bag and rug from Big Lots and here we have the finished product! She's so excited to have a special place to call her own, with a place for reading and playing with her babies. She loves it but I also think someone else does too. I did forget to take a before picture but just imagine something a bit more chaotic. :)