Our New Home

Tim and I just got back from Minnesota. We flew up Sunday and back today to give us 2 full days to look into housing. I probably went through at least 20 houses before heading up there, making phone calls, and contacting people through email to narrow our search down before our trip.

God really opened up the doors with the house we will be living in. It is an amazing house, a once-in-a-life-time place for us to live. It will be wonderful to use for ministry. Our first trip to Minnesota we were taken by this house, but I felt so overwhelmed thinking that there was no way this house would work out. This time going up there I felt at peace with the option, and it is in our price range. God is awesome!

We look at 8 houses total, which made for 2 very long and draining days. We've been back in Texas for about 2 hours now, I'm ready to sleep.

I posted my favorite pictures on here, but Tim posted all of the pictures on his Google photo album.

TX snow vs. MN snow

Joyce has been very helpful with us trying to find a home. She has been our professional photographer when ever I give her an address of a house that is a possibility for us, she goes and checks it out in person for us and emails us the pictures.

This picture I thought was pretty funny. This is "no snow" for up in Minnesota. First thing I thought when I saw this picture was, 'If this was in Texas, the street would be lined up with little mini snowmen.' We have been looking for homes that have a 2 car garage so we don't have to put up with the snow, but I was told that they haven't had any snow this year. Texas' and Minnesota's definition of snow if completely different. If the snow fall in this picture happened in Texas nothing would be open, and up in MN, people don't give this white picture a second thought.

Housing Options

Since I'm not working right now, I have been house hunting by phone and internet. I started off with 10 homes to choose from and quickly narrowed the choices down to 3 on the first day. This morning we woke up to another person in Alexandria who has a house for rent that sounds really cute!

Here's our choices (so far):

1. Lighthouse: 4 stories, gorgeous house on a lake with 2 wrap around porches. The 3rd floor is the Master bedroom/bathroom, the 4th story is a glass room with a beautiful view of the lake. If we went with this it would be perfect to have everyone over for the holidays…for day to day living we would only use part of the house, it's huge, and I'm not sure if I would be lonely by myself starting off while Tim is at work and I'm looking for work. 4 car garage. (5 miles from the church)

2. Unfinished basement: Cute main level house with 2 bedrooms, one bath. Option to own later with the commitment to finish the basement. Good size home for us, perfect for kids after the basement is finished. 1284 sq/ft finished 2504 sq/ft when the basement is finished. 2 car garage. (10 miles from the church)

3. Union Lake: We haven't seen this house in person, but have seen pictures online and from Joyce Boyce who said it looks really cute. 2 story home, 2nd story has the masterbedroom, masterbath and a walk in closet. Main floor is kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. This house has the option of being furnished. 1872 sq/ft. 4 car garage. (5 miles from the church)

4. Victorian: This is the house I was called about this morning. It's a 1200 sq/ft duplex. The house is 120 year old historic Victorian home, but recently overhauled with brand new everything. New carpet, hardwood floors, French doors, new paint, new appliances. No garage, but plug-in. (3 miles from the church)

I am going to have pictures of another housing option emailed to me this weekend. So we may have 5 housing options to choose from. Each home is in our pricing range. One is on the steep side (but doable), another is a little more than what we pay here in Texas. The others fall exactly in the middle of those.

I'm really eager to get back up to Alexandria at the end of this month. I am wanting to finalize housing when we are up there. Pray for us as we settle on a home. All of these are for rent, so we're looking to rent for a year, and then buy a house after that. The house that is on the steep side, we thought might negotiate if we commit to 2 years (which is what the owner wants) and then bring down the rent for us maybe. We'll see. I'm excited to get to go and see some of these houses again, and some for the first time.

Jewelry from Sam Moon

I have become a fan of Sam Moon. I lived in the DFW area for 2 years before finally venturing into the store. I had always heard of great buys and great times, but hadn't given in. My first time I went with my Aunt Wanda and was just blown away with how crazy it was in the store. It was late Saturday afternoon, 30 minutes before the store was to close, and it was swamped! There were so many women and a few men who were drug in that it was hard to walk around. The store is huge too, it was just crazy! I wanted to get more for my money, so I didn't spend more than $5 on each piece of jewelry unless it was a set of necklace with earrings, then my limit was $7.

I went back again for Christmas presents for Katelin, Grace and Mom, and then last weekend when Katelin and Brianne came to town. I had to introduce them to such a great store! :) Sadly, one of Katelin's earrings she bought broke before she could even wear it, so I went back to exchange it today with no problem. I also spotted a white necklace I just had to have 'cause I don't have any white necklaces. ;) Plus, it was only $4.50 with matching earrings.

The only Sam Moons are in Dallas, Frisco and Houston, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to get some cute jewelry now 'cause I don't know if I'll ever find these good deals up North. I'm sure someone's gotta have 'em, but at least now I am set on jewelry for a while.

My Parents are home!

This summer marks my parent's 30th anniversary, so they took a special trip to London for a week. And they arrived home safely yesterday. It was nice to see them, I'm sure they were really tired after all their excitement and a long flight back home.

The roads were suppose to freeze over yesterday evening after all the rain, so Wednesday night activities were canceled which gave Tim and I a relaxing evening together. It's nice to be back in our routine, although, that also means that we're not unpacked either... :)

Oh, well, we need our rest these couple of days because tomorrow is our Youth lock-in, so we'll be staying up all night. Tim does a great job with lock-in schedules. Theres only about 30 minutes of free-time, and early on so there's no sleeping all night long. Tons of fun with that, but man, you're ready to crash afterwards!

Texas Bar-B-Q

I am a huge fan of beef and bbq. Tim and I have been eating Mexican food mainly when we eat out, because I'm not sure how great the Mexican food will be in MN, so far away from the Mexico border. But I had to have some really good Texas bbq before leaving Texas too. Tim, Katelin and I all went out to eat at Big Jake's last night. It's a great place to eat, and it was nice to go there again since that was who catered for our rehearsal dinner. We ordered a family dinner of ribs which came with a whole loaf of bread, and we got some corn on the cob and some delicious potato salad.

Is it sad that Mexican food and BBQ are on the top of things that I will miss from Texas? I am stocked up on TexJoy, so I at least have my seasonings for cooking up in MN.

Weekend with Katelin and Brianne

For the weekend Katelin and I went back to Dallas so I wasn't away from Tim for more than three days, and Brianne came up to visit also. I had a wonderful time getting to hang out with my two favorite girls. Friday night was pretty relaxing just catching up on life. Saturday we slept in, went shopping and ate out at Cheddars. Then Sunday was Church and us girls hanging out while Tim was busy at the church. I introduced facebook to Brianne and Katelin unlocked everything on Crash Nitro Kart. Sunday evening the four of us played Taboo and Apples to Apples. Come to find out, my competitiveness that I inherited from my dad's side can get pretty annoying to others during Taboo. :)

To add to the excitement of the weekend the weather men were forecasting horrible winter weather for the DFW area, of which we didn't get any, but people still freaked out and stormed the grocery stores because we had rain and the temperatures were in the 30s. Tim and I had fun laughing about that with our move to Minnesota around the corner.

I think I'm unconsciously putting aside the thought that Tim and I are actually moving. I've moved all over Texas while growing up, but I still am not a fan of it. It hit reality a little more tonight when I spent some extra time with Katelin before she went to bed to say good bye since we'll only get a little bit of time with each other before she goes to school in the morning.

I've got mixed emotions of happy, excited, sad and scared all at once about our move, but I guess that's normal. God will bring me through it, and I know he will take care of all my loved ones here in Texas.

Movies based on Books

Katelin and I rented Hoot and How to Eat Fried Worms yesterday. So that kicked off this blog for me.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen is a great book. The movie was entertaining, but didn't follow too closely to the book. They got the gist of it, but it seemed like there were just easy things that could have been changed to more closely follow the book. Katelin and I agreed though that the movie was more entertaining because things were different and we didn't know exactly how things would happen in the movie. I recommend both the book and movie for everyone to check out.

How to Eat Fried Worms was a great movie. It does gross you out with the different recipes made to eat the worms, but very entertaining. I haven't read the book by Thomas Rockwell, but want to now after the movie. Then I can compare how closely they are. Great movie, it did recieve it's PG rating for a reason.

Last week I rented Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants after Tim's mom and sisters spoke so highly of the movie. I had been wanting to watch it, but hadn't yet, so I finally rented it. Cute movie! Now I am reading the book by Ann Brashares and have so far been disappointed by things the movie changed from the book, but on the other hand am glad it is different, because it is keeping my interest in reading the book. If it was word for word everything exact I'd have to fight myself to read the book. Eric in the movie is some beach-blond guy, but I have heard in the book is Hispanic, so I've expected that difference, but didn't expect the scene of how the pants were found and the girls finding out their magic to be so different.

Another movie that is great, and the book is too is Because of W inn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. This movie did perfectly in following the book. My mistake was watching the movie first. I loved the movie so much that I had to read the book, but had a hard time reading with already knowing quote for quote what was going to happen. If you haven't seen Because of Winn Dixie yet, I definitely recommend it, but be sure to read the book first.

Preparing to Move

My parents are in London for their 30th anniversary, so I came to stay with Katelin while she is in school. I miss Tim like crazy, but I'll see him Friday. Katelin will come back to Dallas with me Friday, then I'll bring her back Monday in time for school on Tuesday and go back to Tim on Wednesday in time for my parents to fly home.

Last night Katelin and I played Dance Dance Revolution for 2 hours. Great fun, and good exercise! Today Katelin had orchestra practice, so I spent that time calling people about rent homes up in Minnesota. I had okay luck with that. I'm curious to see how God works everything out with this. I had emailed one man a couple times today about a house for rent that seems like a great deal so far. And then the last person I talked to about a rent home ended up being a member of the church we'll be going to. He seemed excited and eager to help us out on finding a home, so he said he'd keep us updated on rentals he finds around town. Praise God!

Thank you!

I had a wonderful 4 months at the business my temp agency fit for me. I am amazed how well of a fit I was for the company. I was sad in the beginning that I wasn't in the classroom, but God sure knew what he was doing. This company was perfect for me to work at while Tim and I were finding out where God was leading us for full-time ministry. They were very flexible with days that I needed off, and most of all I was able to meet and build relationships with some incredible people. I am so thankful for each person I was able to know and so blessed with their friendships.

We're Moving!

Tim accepted a full time youth pastor position in Minnesota. I'm really excited for all that God has in store for us, and I'm excited to see Tim be able to do youth ministry full time. We'll be moving far away from my family, but we'll be closer to parts of Tim's family than we are to mine right now. Our last day here will be Feb 11th, moving sometime during Valentine's Day week.

We are pretty busy until we move, but still trying to see everyone we can. We saw Tim's old room-mate on New Years and then went and saw my Aunt Melinda. This week I'll be staying with Katelin, and then Brianne is coming up to the area next weekend. I can't wait!

We have a few church activities before we leave to. I'm sad to move, but know that God has something incredible in store for us. And I'm ready to move and have a rental home for a year while we decide where we want to purchase our first house. And we'll get to unpack all of our wedding gifts and enjoy them! It'll be like having our wedding shower all over!

Dating Advice

The other day when Tim and I were in the car he was talking to a girl on the phone giving her advice about her relationship. It sounded like she was going through the same thing with her boyfriend that Tim and I did before our break we took. It was nice to hear Tim's side of it.

While they were talking I started thinking that I really don't have anything to take away from the experience of our break to use with helping someone else. I wouldn't advise anyone to take the directions I did. I can't even imagine what I put Tim through that summer. Looking back at everything that happened, it's completely illogical that Tim and I are together right now, let alone married.

Tim helped me realize though how amazing God is. I can remember asking God every single day that if Tim really is the person he has for me to marry, that God would bring us back together. This goes back to the very first day Tim and I hung out. There wasn't an attraction that first day, but as the night progressed until right before I went to bed I had this huge feeling that Tim is the one God made to be my husband. I didn't know why or how anything would progress, so I wrote out my prayer to God that night talking about Tim so I could remember the moment and see if it was true.

The summer we weren't together I kept feeling the same nudge as our first night, but was so frustrated with how things were going and in disbelief that we would ever end up together. I didn't handle our relationship well, I probably did the opposite of what I should have. It is only by the grace of God that Tim and I are together.

Once God brought Tim and I back together, our relationship progressed really fast, another miracle God did. It is so amazing to look back on mine and Tim's relationship and see that God was and is in control with every aspect. I'm interested to see what all God has in store for Tim and I. I would assume something pretty amazing because of all God has already brought us through.

So my dating advice isn't anything someone should say or do. My advice is to give it all to God and let him work through things with you and for you. Trust in Christ and he will meet your needs.