Settling In

We have officially been homeowners for one month now. We are far from finished settling in, but we have made a lot of progress.

We first focused mainly on getting the kids rooms set up. Initially the older girls wanted their beds debunked, but this arrangement really did not allow for a lot of living space. We had decided to store their clothes under their beds in an effort to save space, but this wasn’t nearly as convenient as we thought it would be. It took a little convincing, but we got Abigail and Sarah to agree to bunk their beds again. We also purchased a real set of drawers for their clothes. Now they have all sorts of room to play around.

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Lily and Levi’s room is pretty simple. For the first week Levi was sleeping in his pack-in-play because we had misplaced the crib hardware during the move. Once we got his crib set up we were able to put the furniture where we wanted it.

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Our kitchen is pretty big when you talk square feet. As far as counter space and storage however, it seems to be lacking. Jonathan and I decided we wanted some sort of island to add extra work space and storage-plus it would serve as a table for breakfast or the occasional lunch for the older girls. Off to IKEA we went. They were sold out of the island we originally wanted, so we opted for a bigger one instead and I LOVE it! I feel like it was made for our kitchen. Despite it’s size it really hasn’t seemed to take away from our larger kitchen. Here it is before and after we added the island.

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Jonathan has already started a bit of landscaping work. Last weekend he tackled a large flower bed in our front yard that was taken over by lilies. It was just too much. We’ve also got a ton of them in the backyard-but that will be a project for another day. We still need to figure out what to do with this flower bed, but I think it looks so much better when it isn’t overgrown with plants.

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Finally, the girls love living here. The best part would probably be the 7-year-old grand-daughter of our next-door neighbors. She has already been declared Abigail’s best friend. Once I told Abigail that they couldn’t go out to play with her (for whatever reason) and she said, “but we never leave a friend behind!” They were disappointed to learn that she doesn’t actually live next door, but she is at her grandparent’s quite often. I’m sure the girls will know her schedule by heart by the end of the summer!

So that pretty much sums up how things are going in the abode so far. We are looking forward to continuing to make this house our home. And we thank God for the blessing to be able to do so!

An Ask Answered

Back in January 2012 our Church started a series called The Ask. Everyone was encouraged to ask God to do big things that only He could do. Among other things we asked God to provide us with a house. This was definitely not something we could accomplish on our own, but we knew it was something God totally could make happen.

So, we started praying and we started looking. Then we found a realtor. Then we made an offer that wasn’t accepted. Then we took a break. Then we looked again. We made another offer. The offer was countered! Then we weren’t pre-approved. It turns out our once good credit score no longer existed because we had no recent debt and therefore no credit score. So we took another break. We saved. And waited. And finally started looking again along with professionals who helped us find a way to get financing with alternate credit.

We kept looking and looking. Then we widened our search to towns a wee bit further away. That’s when we spotted a modest ranch on a cul-de-sac in Lowell. We thought, “Hey, why not give it a look, they have an open house this Sunday.” Then we saw it again with our Realtor and made an offer. Just a few hours later we found out the offer was accepted!

I’ll spare you more details. But the biggest praise and relief was finding out our loan application was approved. I could now pack with confidence!

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We learned a lot during this seemingly long journey. Eight months into it I wrote a blog of what I was learning at the time. I have a few more things to add.

God is faithful, even when we’re not
At the beginning of 2012 we were pumped up! God was going to give us a house, we just knew it. We prayed with big faith and excitement. We made praying for our Ask a part of nighttime prayers with the girls. Then time passed, doors were closed. We still prayed, but not with the same frequency or enthusiasm. Yet God still provided. And He helped us to continue to trust that He would provide-it was simply a matter of timing.

God takes care of His children
How did we know God would provide? Well, because He has a history of providing for us. Despite Jonathan losing his job to downsizing back in 2007 when I was pregnant with Abigail we were able to pay our bills AND still pay off the remainder of Jonathan’s school loan debt. He was out of work until Abigail was six months old. Looking back I can see there was a good reason we had to wait a while for Jonathan to get a job-I needed him around! Motherhood was so much harder than I ever thought it could be.

When I think about it it just does not make sense that we’ve been able to have me stay home with 3 kids (now 4), pay the bills, AND save at the same time. Now, it hasn’t always been a walk in the park. We have had some hard times. Times where I’ve gone to log on to our bank account wincing in fear of what the balance would show. But God has always provided. And I know He will continue to do so.

Being a part of a supportive community is so important
Our friends from church new about our Ask. They often asked how things were progressing. When things seemed slow or discouraging they would come back with great encouraging words. Many people have come alongside us in prayer, trusting God to provide in this big way. And I can not say enough about my family. They have been supportive and a great help every step of the way!

Needless to say, we are feeling abundantly blessed lately. We’re all moved in and are now in the process of settling in-which may take a while! We’ll give you a little virtual tour once most things are in their place.