Friday, September 5, 2008

Greetings from Colorado

Greetings from Colorado! Sorry for the delay in updating our blog. Time is rather scarce these days as we are getting settled, furnishing the house, entertaining kids, meeting new friends and trying to take advantage of all of the wonderfully exciting things to do out here in the west. There is so much to share but I will try to be brief given that Wednesday was our first "official" day of home school so I have learned quickly that I need to take advantage of getting myself organized and prepared before the kids wake up.
We arrived in Colorado just a little over a month ago after a VERY long and tiring drive. We made it in 3 days and I will just have to say, it was exhausting. We have vowed that we will never do that again. Mike drove the big Haul and I our van and the kids would switch out. Most of the time he would have two of the kids which they LOVED. They were so cute sitting up in that big UHaul. Despite our fatigue, we enjoyed seeing parts of the country that we had never seen. I was completely in awe of how creative our God is in fashioning such a beautifully unique land. The rolling hills of Tennessee gave way to beautiful farms in Kentucky and the sights of driving through the bigger cities St. Louis and Kansas City were thrilling as well. Now I will have to say that I am not quite sure about Kansas. Not much to see there other than a stretch of silver windmills. But nevertheless we tried to make an adventure of it and had lots of time to sing songs with the kids and think about what we left behind and what was awaiting us. Saying goodbye to friends and family was hard. We soaked up the incredible goodness of friends from church who literally packed the entire truck for us. We were overwhelmed with the kindness of our pastor, music/youth ministers, and our pastor’s son and a friend who got us ready to hit the road. THANKS GUYS!!! I think that knowing that we would be returning to Florida in December made the goodbyes easier but still there were lots of tears shed and we have also had some homesickness since arriving in CO. More later about we arrived in Colorado to our new home and the kids were so thrilled with their new house. Our sweet realtor had left a welcome home package which got us through the night and we awoke to an awesome sunrise over the mountains. Again, I could share so many little details but will just try to give a skimmed versions. Settling in has taken a LONG time. We spent the first few weeks frequenting Target, Walmart and just about every furniture store in Colorado. Given that we had NO furniture we were on a mission to get some mattresses. Unfortunately, the mattresses weren’t delivered until about a week ago so we are now happy to say that we are getting better sleep. The furniture is now ordered and the deliveries are slowly trickling in. For the first week we ate all our meals standing up at the bar until a friend we had met through Focus on the Family brought over a much needed card table and chairs. The kitchen is now pretty much stocked with the necessities and we are slowly developing routines. It seems to be taking a while to find a schedule that works for us. We have so much that we want and need to do that until this week we have spent much of our time on the road. We have enjoy getting to know new friends and taking advantage of the beautiful weather and all the sites around town. Speaking of friends, I have to mention Sara from
She and her husband Bill and two precious boys have made our transition to Colorado so much easier. She and I met through another friend, Beth prior to our moving and have become great friends. She has reached out and touched my heart allowing God to use her to soothe my homesickness, encourage me in my struggles, introduce me to lots of women and simply to fill my life with godly friendship. I can honestly say that this adventure would sound vastly different if it weren’t for her as well as for my friend Beth. Beth is a friend of my best friend in Birmingham. We connected immediately and she and her husband David opened their arms and welcomed our family into their lives. She has been a great Home school resource and is so willing and eager to include me in all the fun things that she finds for the kids to do. I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God that HE would have orchestrated these friendships before we even arrived in CO. HE knew that we would need these connections to make it easier. Speaking of connecting, Mike is doing very well and making lots of connections with ministry type folks through our friend/realtor Steve. He is enjoying traveling about town and meeting with lots of men who are making a difference for the Kingdom of God through their ministries. He is also getting LOTS of writing and study time done and finds that he is loving retirement. He spends the mornings and early afternoons "working" and frequently entertains the kids in the afternoons while I run errands or continue unpacking and settling in. The kids are doing well too. Grace and Emily are LOVING being outside. They enjoy pulling weeds in the flowerbeds, searching for stray golf balls on the golf course and in our yard and Grace has become a pro at riding her bike. Cody enjoys the outside time too. The basketball hoop was used non-stop the first week but has lost it’s novelty but he does enjoy jumping on the neighbors trampoline and playing StarWars with the little boy next door. He loves his new friends Cole and Carter and begs for them to come over almost everday. He has had some moments of homesickness and although he enjoys many things about CO he really misses his family and friends in Florida. Well, that is about it for a skimmed version of our previous 6-8 weeks. Like I said there are so many details that I could share but won’t bore you with a play by play of our time. I will report more as we continue to settle in. We started Home schooling this week and I think that I will reserve my report until we have gotten our feet a little more wet. Some of the "Chatty Girls" are coming for a visit next weekend and I am SOO excited to see them and their beautiful China girls. We have a fun-filled weekend planned and of course LOTS of catching up. We are taking advantage of the gorgeous hikes, caught an Air Force Academy football game last weekend as well as a Hot Air Balloon Festival. Cooler temps have arrived which we are LOVING and church is magnificant.
For those of you who have prayed for us....THANK YOU! We are blessed by your offerings. God has brought us this far in our adventure and continues to draw us to HIM as we trust HIM and lean on HIM for strength. HE has opened our eyes to see the beauty of HIS creation and is teaching us to ‘be still and know that HE is God’....why is being still so hard? But it is in that stillness that we can see and hear HIM so much better. I will have to admit that my lofty goals of what life would be like here in CO have not be achieved yet, mainly because of the chaos of the move and settling into an empty house with no furniture but I am looking forward to doing all those things to which I looked forward before I left Florida. I hope all of you are enjoying a great beginning to the school year where ever it started. To all of you in Florida.....I MISS YOU!!! Each afternoon, my heart aches a little as I long for my school parking lot chats with my school moms as well as my time with my sister and nephew, Garrett. Garrett, Emily misses you too! I am sharing some pictures of our first weeks here in Colorado. Hope you enjoy!