Monday, September 19, 2011

My life at this season

This blogging thing is starting to become hard!  There is SO much going on and deciding what to blog is so difficult.  We are staying very busy, especially Sam.  This past week he learned about Small Groups and what they look like.  He also was able to attend one day of the Acts 29 boot camp, which was held at the Rolling Meadows campus of Harvest.
Okay, so enough about Sam...this is my blog right?
What does life look like for me? Great!  I am loving this season at this moment.  The boys (Bryson & Landon) are in school everyday from 8am-3pm and Ashlyn attends K4 on Tues, Wed, & Thurs from 8-11:30am.  So basically that leaves me with Madelyn and Hudson.  Honestly, I hardly know what to do with all the time on my hands.  For the first time in my life I am caught up on laundry and housework all the time.  I seriously wonder what I did when I had just 2 kids?!?  However, one thing I am learning about quickly is HOMEWORK.  Do you know how hard it is to motivate a child who has been at school all day to do more work when they get home?  Still trying to decide where I stand on this whole homework thing.
This seems to be turning into some random thoughts jumping quickly from one thing to another.  That is seriously how my mind has been since we arrived.  I have to say one of the best things about being here at the training center is this:  I am not in this alone!  There are other wives, moms, women who are facing the exact same struggles, fears and thoughts as I am.  In fact, 6 of us live right here next to each other and it so encouraging to know that they are literally a few steps away.  We were able to attend a brunch on Saturday morning together with a few of the staff wives of the fellowship.  It was held at the MacDonald's residence.  We had such a great time sharing our hearts and how God had brought us to the training center.  We shed tears, laughed and just felt so "full" when we left.  Kathy was such a gracious host and I enjoyed hearing just a bit of her heart.  I know why God has blessed Harvest Bible Chapel so much over the years....the MacDonald's are very humble and faithful to what God has called them to do.  I am blown away the more I learn about the ministries here.  The excellence and the way things are done are such a testimony to the goodness of God!
Finally I have to share something funny, yet neat that Bryson said this weekend.  He said, "Mom, we need to pray for a million dollars!"  I said, "Really, why?"  He said, "We need to pray that God would give us a million dollars for our church!"  I snickered and then later I thought how neat that he is already thinking and praying in his own way about our church.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Beginning of Our Journey Part 2

I didn't think it would take me this long to sit down for part 2....but it has!  Whew, what a week! It didn't take long to unpack, however, there still are a few boxes in the back room (Hudson's).  We really only had Monday to settle.  Mom took us to lunch at Golden Corral and then we went to Target to get the rest of Ashlyn's supplies for school.  We had a quiet dinner Monday night and then Tuesday was the first day!  Ashlyn headed out for her first day of K4.  She absolutely loved it!  She walked right in, no reservation and did well.  She will go 3 days a week (Tues, Wed, Thurs) from 8am-11:30am.
On Tuesday afternoon after Ashlyn finished school we took mom back to the airport while Sam attended orientation from 1-3pm.  I was so proud of myself!  I drove 40 minutes into Chicago and back with all 5 kids.  Mom left us her Garmon so that will be very helpful in the days and weeks to come.  We met Sam back at the apartment and then went to Harvest for a welcome picnic with all the other training center families and the fellowship staff.  We had a great time meeting everyone (some reacquainting), however I have to admit it was a bit chilly for us Southerners.  Pastor James & Kathy MacDonald showed up so we were introduced to them for the first time and then Sam played football with him and all the other guys.  That was pretty entertaining to watch! : )  He (Pastor James) gave the guys their first assignment for Wednesday afternoon when they would work on sermon prep with him.  I took my camera, but got too busy talking to take some pics.

Wednesday morning we all got up and dropped Ashlyn off for school and the boys were tested for Harvest Christian Academy.  It was a bit of a long morning, however God worked out the details and they had their first day of school on Thursday.
Hudson & Madelyn playing on the indoor playground at Harvest waiting for the boys.

So, the boys survived their first day of school and I had no clue what to do with only 2 kids!  I got so much done around here it was insane.  I really could get used to this...Landon had a rough day Friday and didn't stay at school.  Please pray for him in a very special way that God would change his heart and help him make the adjustment.  Last night we had all the training center families over (our apt is the biggest) which is 16 adults and 22 kids!  We had a great time of fellowship and so glad God put all of us on this journey of church planting together.

Today is our church day!  We have to be there at 4:30pm which puts us leaving at 4pm and we will return home around 7:30pm so I am trying to readjust meals today so I don't have a bunch of starving kids!  We will attend church tonight as a family at the Rolling Meadows campus and then Sam will attend church tomorrow here in Elgin and then serve.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Beginning of Our Journey Part 1

My mind is in serious information overload!  Not sure where to start this blog post so I will start at the beginning of our journey on Friday.  Our plan was to leave out at 9am, however, our official departure time was probably around 11am.  Not to bad, considering...our first destination for the evening was Frankfort, KY (about 6 hours).  Someone graciously provided us a room there with their travel rewards at no cost, which was a blessing!   The kids did pretty well on the trip.  They took turns riding in the truck with Sam which left mom and I with the other 4 to entertain while I drove. We did stop at a McDonalds on the way for lunch and let them play for a bit.  I included a picture of Hudson on the slide because he was too cute!  He was so brave and kept climbing up the stairs and sliding down all by himself!

Friday was also Sam's birthday, which I am sure is one he will never forget!  We kept promising him to pick a place to eat his birthday dinner when we arrived at the hotel in Kentucky, however after we arrived, unloaded, got freshened up and walked over the Longhorn's it was a 45 minute wait and I just could NOT do that to my sweet children, so we ended up at Panera Bread (his least favorite place to eat).  He is a good sport though.
Everyone slept wonderfully!  All 8 of us were in one room and although it was a bit crowded at times (with noise), it was a very restful night.  We got up, ate the continental breakfast and again didn't get out of there until almost 10:30am.  Our next stop was Elgin, IL (Country Inn & Suites).  After riding in pouring rain and bumper to bumper traffic through Chicago, we finally arrived around 6pm (local time). We are now on Central Standard Time.  I have to say that was the longest drive ever!  Again, the kids were such great sports and really did well.  One benefit to the hotel was that it had an indoor pool, that was the best incentive for the kids.  We kept reminding them that this was the last swim of the summer!

We got up on Sunday morning and attended Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin) which is the main campus where the training center is, the Christian school, etc.  It is literally 6 minutes from our apartment.  This was the kids first time at Harvest and let me tell you....they LOVED it!  They will also be attending AWANA there on Wednesday evenings.  We came back after the service (which was awesome by the way!) and packed up our stuff, let the kids swim one last time while we waited for the magical hour of 3:00!  Let me just say I seriously had butterflies in my stomach at this point...the drive to the apartment was so LONG for me, when really it wasn't.  I was like, "this is it...this is it!"  I pulled in and took a deep breath as this was home sweet home for the next 5 months.  We were greeted by another family that we had met back during our interview weekend...they helped us unload as I walked around our very spacious apartment, literally in shock!  It is wonderful....couldn't of asked for a better place to call home.  We have 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms a kitchen with a ton of cabinet and storage...a safe play area outside for the kids to run and play and lots of great neighbors that are in this as well!  I will end this post with a few pics I have taken so far.  I will take some more and post those later.  I will also finish up Part 2 tomorrow night.
Kids at the dining room table

That is the front door

My kitchen! Learning how to cook with a gas stove.
Living room (from front door) You can see back door which steps out to the patio

Down the hallway from living room