“We are not out of the woods, yet. But at least we are out of that tunnel.”
Two years ago today, between late and late thirty o’clock, our PT Cruiser holding our family, Gibson 16 months and Hosea 2 months to the day, and our moving van driven by my dad pulled into Ash Grove. We were welcomed with bittersweet, open arms into my parents’ home where we would live the next few weeks or … months. Our hearts were broken and there were many questions which are still, to this day, unanswered. The details of the past will remain in the past, however, I want to just linger on what has happened the last two years.
After a few months of being jobless, Carl got a job at a manufacturing plant. While this was not his first choice, it was a way to provide for our family. He is still working there, changing lives, even in the factory. I, too, was approached about a part-time position. Never filling out a job application, my former employer asked me to return.
We thought we’d go right back into full-time ministry so we sent out resume after resume in efforts to find a position. For one reason or another, we were not hired. We felt like this would be an opportune time to start school. We tried to force doors to open. After two unsuccessful attempts at working out finances to attend schools far away, one in Canada another in Texas, God opened up a door to begin here, in Missouri. Without having to relocate, without having to find new jobs, without paying thousands of dollars out of our pocket, we got to start school in August of this year! We will graduate in May 2014!
Even with the many positive things happening, the first year here was tough. We still questioned why the events of the past had to happen and what God’s purpose was in all of it. Again, we still don’t know all the answers, but we have a peace. We received our healing through prayer, lots of prayer, staying in the Word, and through being ministered to by my parents – our pastors during the first year we moved back and later at our new church. (I’m so thankful for the support and prayers we’ve had from our family and friends!) Since early this year, God opened up doors for us to be on the worship team at our new church. Through the last few months, we have been mentored by awesome musicians and people of God. We have learned so much more in the area of Worship Arts.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
The previous season of our lives was not so much fun. This season, though stressful still, is so exciting. God has proven Himself to us in so many ways. We can’t wait to see what is next. Our story is far from the end. We may still have tunnels, but our old tunnel has strengthened us. If somehow God can take our story and help others with their broken hearts, then all the pain is worth it.
Your situation may be different, but your heart may still be broken, like ours was. There is hope for you. There is light at the end of that tunnel. It may not be today or tomorrow, but there will be an end, a healing, if you allow God to work in you. But once you get out of that tunnel, keep walking. Do not look back into that tunnel. Keep your eyes forward.
Carl and I had discussed getting away for a winter weekend to just hang out in a hotel and take the boys swimming. We found a super great deal in Branson and I was able to get off work on a Saturday! The Grand Country Inn is pretty, well, epic. It’s a hotel with an indoor water park, 2 mini golf courses, arcade, 3 restaurants, fudge factory, frozen yogurt shop and live theater wrapped into one! With our two night stay, we received free admit to the water park, two large pizzas, tickets to two shows, $10 for the arcade, and a each a round of mini-golf.
We left Friday evening and got there in time for a little swimming. There is an 80,000 gallon barrel that drops water every 20 minutes. A bell starts chiming and all the kids run toward (or in Gibson’s case, away) from it!
The park had lots to do! There was a kiddie place where we spent most of our time, the lazy river, two hot tubs and a basketball pool.
To be continued….because my internet won’t upload pictures…. 😦 wah whomp wahhh….
Typically, we don’t buy brand new shoes for the boys. Not that we can’t afford them, but mostly kids are in shoes for about 3 months…then they outgrow them. So most of their shoes are garage sale finds or hand me downs. We found an amazing pair of Adidas Sambas at a Goodwill once.
Anyway, the beginning of this year, we decided to buy the boys each a brand new pair. They were needing some new shoes and this time we wanted to try something new. We wanted to buy them from this great company called Toms. I’m sure almost everyone that reads this has heard of it. When you buy a pair of shoes, Toms gives a pair of shoes to a child without shoes in a developing country. Their mission of “One for One” has helped to deliver over a million pairs of new shoes to children in need. When it came down to it, we were really buying four pairs of shoes. We got to keep two and give two away.
While we filled a need in our boys’ lives, we were able to meet a need in others. The shoes came and the boys absolutely love them! They are so easy to get on and off and pretty comfy too (ok, I even got a pair :)) I know Hosea doesn’t understand and I’m not sure if Gibson does, but we explained that because they had a pair of shoes another little boy or girl got a pair too. I can’t wait until they get the concept of giving to those in need.
A link to toms.com can be found here.
ONE MORE STORY….
It was Sunday afternoon and the boys were down for a nap. After reading some ‘how-to’ article on cleaning my baking stone, I decided to run the oven on self-clean and put the stone inside in hopes that it would do a “reset” and I could re-season the stone to my liking. It’s has recently been the culprit of giving food a funny taste. So I threw it in, set the oven and left to the bedroom to do some reading. Carl was watching a bull riding competition or something and I thought nothing of it. A little later, he came in and asked if we could open a window because it was kind of smoky. “Of course,” I said. It wasn’t until he came in, eyes watering and gasping for air that I went to the kitchen to check on the status of my experiment. With smoke billowing out the burner vent, I realized we had a mess on our hands. I quickly stopped the clean and waited for the oven to cool. But the damage was already done. With windows and our front door open and fans at full speed we tried to remove the horrible smell. I’m almost certain there was something toxic in that baking stone. On the bright side, the boys didn’t awake from their nap. We did turn their fan on, open their window…and I put a wet towel at their door. I’m pretty sure Carl suffered from some smoke inhalation. We smell like we were at the Great Chicago Fire…still….7 hours later. One sad detail, we just had our smoke detector replaced in our hall because it kept beeping unnessisarily , during all of this, NONE of our smoke detectors went off. I will be contacting management in the morning about some new ones. Here is a sad, sad picture of what used to be my baking stone.
Hosea’s locks were so sweet with the soft curls touching his neck and ears. The light blonde glistened and the wisps would fly in the wind. His ‘do earned him the name “angel boy” at the babysitter. And his sweet nature helps him live up to it. 🙂 But, alas, we had to trim the curls. At 15 months, the hair had turned into a catch-all for peanut butter, snot and anything sticky.
We took him to a neat little shop that his wonderful big brother, Gibson, loves to go. Cookie Cutters, is a “salon” for kids only. A bit overpriced, but I know that when we go, the
boy boys hold still. I really wish I could just cut their hair myself, but I’m too scared! They sit in firetrucks, airplanes or, our favorite, trains while they watch a movie of their choice and the stylist works her magic. There is even a slide to pass the wait time…although we’ve never had to wait more than 5 minutes.
The moment was memorable and Hosea held so still like a big boy. He received the “gentleman’s cut” and even chucked when the clippers went around his little ears.
Gibson had a special place picked out to celebrate turning two, the Frisco Railroad Museum! Except this museum is really on an old train. It has a locomotive, and dining car, a few cars and a caboose. Since we had the party earlier in the day, he got to have the whole train to himself! He invited some family and his closest friends to help him celebrate.
He had a Thomas (we lost the Thomas that day. He had to be replaced with Smudger.) cake that tasted very yummy!
(He was already getting tired from running around the train with his friends.)
Gibson was blessed with so many gifts and lots of great memories to make his day very special. (Thanks, Aunt Ashley, for taking such good pictures.)
Early in the summer, we hit the garage sales pretty hard. We were able to find so many fun and useful items. One of our treasures was this lamp we grabbed for $3.
It was a sad, little thing.
Here is the breakdown of our spending
Electric Rewire $5
Grand total $16
Remember our challenge? I priced some designer lamps at Hobby Lobby the other day. The cheapest one I found was $29.99. Here is our finished piece!
2 Beautiful Children
1 Amazing Adventure
Thursday, I didn’t get to post because I was working then Carl and I went out, but I just wanted to put a little post up about our anniversary. When I got home that evening, Carl had flowers on the table and our wedding video playing. He is so romantic. We enjoyed a nice dinner at a restaurant and some yummy “froyo”!
Little did I know that when I set out for a 13 week tour with my drama team in 2006, I would meet the man who would make all my dreams come true. These last four years of marriage have been a whirlwind of excitement. From moving to new jobs to babies, there is never a dull moment with our family. We have no idea where we will be in five years. That could be scary to some, for us, we are ready!
I love you, Carl. Thank you for being the best husband and father. Better than I could ever hope to have. 🙂
The last two weeks have been very fun-filled! Carl’s parents came to visit then we went to Memphis to celebrate Susan’s graduation! It was so great to share some of Missouri with Mom and Dad Fauth and, of course, Gibson and Hosea loved the company! In Memphis, Susan showed us her home for the last two years. We are so proud of her and what she has accomplished. (Sorry we missed Jerry’s, Sue!)
In between, we’ve hit up too many yards sales to count, gathering a great collection of needed items plus items to sell ourselves. Currently, we are redoing a lamp that I am SO excited about. We completely took it a part. It is curing with a coat of primer on its parts on our deck right now. Rubbed off the rust, changed the electric. You’ll just have to see it later!
Gibson spends most of his time playing with his new trains and tracks (an early birthday present from Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Jim!). He is quite the master, already putting the tracks together. Also he surprised us this morning by counting to “9”! My jaw dropped. He has been watching “Leap Frog: Numbers Ahoy” and we’ve been reading counting books a lot. I just hadn’t realized it stuck.
Hosea is WAY into the trains too. Gibson does a great job sharing, but he’s kind of a destroyer and would rather bring complete annihilation to anything Gibson has created. Speaking of destroyer, he started emptying one of his dresser drawers today. Holding on to the kitchen with one hand and pulling out the third drawer up, he had taken out several pairs of pants before I caught him. Gotta watch that guy…he’s sneaky! But so full of love!
Here is the sad part. We have pictures for each of these stories. BUT… we can’t find our memory card reader at all! We are waiting for one to go on sale so we can get it. Unless you think it’s a necessity? Anyway, we will update all of these stories with blogs as soon as Best Buy has a sale. OR we cheat to make everyone happy. 🙂
Carl and I have always enjoyed finding good bargains. Most of our furniture and a few other things were either purchased on super sale, given to us, or craigslist finds. The last few months we have been discussing how we could really save if we only purchased items at a fraction of their cost. So starting today and until December 1, we are doing a challenge. Here are the rules.
1. All non-necessity items must be at bought at 50% off or greater. (Anything that is not food, ie furniture, clothing,toiletries, diapers)
2. Things can be found on clearance, with coupons, craigslist or garage sales.
3. In the event that an items needs a little “fixing up”, the total amount of materials purchased and the item itself still has to be 50% of the retail price.
So for instance, I’ve been scoping out lamps for our living room. The ones I like are in the $60-$129 price range. YEAH RIGHT! Two weeks ago, I happened upon a dandy and paid just $3. But, it needs a fixin’. In theory, I have $27 to play with! I will do it for much cheaper, though!
Some items we are putting in this category could be considered necessity (toiletries…hello, deoderant!?) But we still want to only purchase them for the fraction of the cost.
We’d love to hear your comments or ideas on this. We’ll be posting our finds and our projects. Right now we will just keep this the same blog as our family one, but we might make a new one in the future!
You’ve waited for it
(Not really. You didn’t even know the thought existed.)
It’s finally here….
(You still have no idea, do you?)
From the people who bring you “Leaving Ur”
(Yep, that’s us)
A brand new blog unlike anything they’ve ever done
(I know what you’re thinking. An additional blog? They can’t even keep up with this one. Trust us.)
A blog of EPIC proportions
(The word “EPIC” is just cool. Kinda overdone. But still keen!)
LAUNCH DATE 6/1/11
(cue ridiculous sound effects here)