So much has happened. It doesn't feel like it has been only a week. But let me back up a bit more... Sunday, July 14th.
Brad preached his last sermon at Harvest, from the same text as his first. It was an emotional service - but one that glorified Jesus above any man. We were able to pray for the new pastor, Brian, and his family and then the church commissioned us and sent us out - what a joy corporate worship is when believers join together in unity of purpose and worship.
Brad's parents flew to Pampa to help us move - it was absolutely wonderful to have their help! Monday through Tuesday was a scuffle of activity as we all worked hard and finished up the packing - we were actually able to leave a whole day earlier than we anticipated because we got so much done thanks to the help of some strong helpers who came and assisted with loading up the truck. Wednesday morning we finished vacuuming and mopping the floors on our way out and then Brad and I, with the kids walked from room to room saying "good-bye" to our house. It was emotional - so many memories - but we feel such peace about where we are. We left our home clean and ready for a new family to come and make their own memories in it - please pray a buyer comes soon?
Our trip took 2 days, Wayne and Lori drove the U-Haul and Brad and I were in the van with the kids and animals. Our caravan was made up of: 4 Kidder adults, 3 Kidder kids (one in womb), 2 Kidder dogs and 1 Kidder cat! Let's just say it was an adventure. The dogs did SO well in the car, the kids did great and us adults, we arrived! Very tired but safe! :)
Saturday, some great friends helped us unload the truck and move all the boxes and furniture into our new rental house. Everything fits! Surprisingly at some points but it all fits. :) Brad did an amazing job packing our truck and all our furniture arrived without any scratches or nicks! We lost a few coffee mugs but other than that - nothing broke! Hurray!
Sunday morning, we attended services at Riverview (Riv) and sang this song:
I love this version, especially the bridge - "Oh the joy of full salvation, Sin and Death defeated, Glory to His name!" I found myself crying in service during multiple points - a combination of both emotional ("I can't believe we are HERE!") and spiritual reasons (It seemed like every song was an echo of my heart's prayers). It was a very encouraging service - so fun to sit next to my husband and have his arm around me while listening to a sermon. Lu and Michael did great in their classes - Lucy was confused because they weren't together in the same room, but they both came out with smiles on their faces.
Since Sunday we've been settling into our new home, slowly but surely. It's hard when my physical abilities don't match up to my mental goals and desires for my surroundings, but I'm learning (at times by failing) that I can not focus on making a home over loving the people within it. Upstairs, the bathroom, master and kid's bedrooms are all unpacked and clean! Downstairs, our kitchen is unpacked and although it still needs a little organization in a few drawers and cupboards - it is very functional. The living room and dining room still have some boxes floating around - but they'll get taken care of soon. The sewing/mud room is still craziness but I'm very excited to get settled in there! I need a creative sewing project in my life!
A kid update: Lucy and Michael are adjusting well - we decided (after looking at the space that was available in their room) to have them sleep together in a queen sized bed instead of setting up the crib for Michael again. The first night took two hours for them to fall asleep - totally expected since it was the first night Michael was sleeping in a bed, not a crib, and the fact they were sharing both a room and a bed. We've staggered their bed-times a few times since then and that seems to work the best (we put Michael down first and then put Lucy to bed 30-45 minutes later). Eventually we'd love for them to go to bed at the same time, but we're taking one day at a time right now. Lucy has been napping in Brad and I's room and Michael in the kid's room. One other transition for the kids is that all their toys are up in their room and not in the living room (as they were in Pampa). They are slowly learning that they can play independently upstairs and don't need to be within eye-sight of mom and dad at all times (a baby monitor has been helpful for audibly observing play-time from a distance). :)
A pet update: Baxter - our Great Pyrenees/Lab Mix has stayed with us, he's become a quick inside-the-house member of our family and I (someone who isn't used to inside dogs) have been SO thrilled with how well he's done - he's wonderful with the kids, Michael LOVES him and he is proving to be a very laid-back dog. Belle - our Lab has found a new home with Brad's parents and is very much enjoying the love and attention they are giving to her. Lucy and Michael are excited that they will still be able to go visit Belle and we are all thrilled she is with a family who will love her well. Chloe - our cat is adjusting to a dog living inside, she's been pretty timid - but we see progress everyday. Baxter and Chloe will be buddies soon enough. :)
Brad's official start-date is August 5th so until then we are settling in, enjoying time as a family and exploring Lansing! We had friends from the Grand Rapids area over last night - so refreshing to spend time with friends and not focus on unpacking a box. :)
That's an update on our past week - phew!
I have pictures of our new house from before-move in, but currently can't find my external hard drive to put them on my computer. So pictures will be coming soon but follow me on Instagram (link in the left side-bar) to see pictures in real-time! :)