How is your morning going this morning? I don’t think the 4th of July should be followed by a Thursday morning. It isn’t fair.
The problem with not posting for a while is there’s so much to share. Today marks our one month anniversary in Florida. A lot can happen in a month.
When we filled out our dream sheet 9 months ago, Clearwater, Florida was not listed anywhere on it. There were 15 choices above Clearwater, Florida. We wanted to go anywhere but Clearwater, Florida. The Lord had different plans for us, and here we are.
We’ve had struggles with trusting our choices since we left North Pole 4 years ago. That was a bit of a fiasco and we were humbled and put to the test. Often the last four years we felt like we were wandering in darkness, glad to have each other, but missing something.
I went to lunch last week with a friend from Kodiak. She asked if we were homesick. After all my lamenting about leaving Alaska and how much it was home, my answer was surprising. Especially considering we wanted to be anywhere but Clearwater, Florida, and that I cried when we got our assignment.
I am not homesick at all. I imagine that eventually I will miss Alaska. But I feel nothing but happiness and fulfillment. Who besides the Lord could have known that we would LOVE it here? Honestly, every day I say a little prayer and thank Him for knowing us better than we know ourselves. It’s a lesson in trusting the Lord.
Our home that we are moving into couldn’t be more perfect for us! (Unless of course we had an extra $50k to add one more bedroom and a swimming pool.) I was so worried about purchasing a home we had never seen, in a location we had never visited. But again we were watched out for. The location is perfect. Our ward (congregation) at church is exactly what we needed. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we feel alive again. We’re finding scores of new friends (both from church and the community) who have readily welcomed us.
And then there is the sunshine and warmth. The other day Jake turned to me and said, “I don’t know why it took me 18 years to figure out, but I really like being warm.” He grew up in the dessert of Southern Utah and I think he is finally thawing out after all these years. I know that the worst of summer is still ahead, but I don’t think we’ll mind this year. Our arms are extended and we’re soaking in all of the goodness that is before us.
I must say Thank You to a loving Heavenly Father who watches out for us and answers our prayers in the way that is truly best, even when we thought we wanted something else.
We’re settled in our apartment. It’s nothing fancy but we’re happy. We got a new dining room table and I love it. After two months, we’re finally sitting down and having dinner together. Dinners are made even better because we’re eating make ahead frozen crockpot meals. We followed the instructions from this link. In just a couple hours we had shopped for the ingredients and put together the meals for a week! It’s incredibly easy and I love that now I don’t have to give any thought to dinner each day. There are so many other places I’d like to spend my time. I just dump the ingredients from the freezer bag into a crockpot and bam! Eight hours later we have dinner.
I want to do these make ahead meals on a grander scale when we move into our new home. 30 days worth of dinners in the freezer would make life so easy! Plus it’s all fresh vegetables and meat. Add a salad at dinner time and I’m home free.
We’ve got beef stew cooking in the crock pot for dinner. It’s not exactly a light summer dish, but it will feed the family. It smells good too. I’m slightly (TOTALLY) disappointed grills are forbidden on balconies at our apartment. I’m not even sure how to survive the summer without barbecue! Thankfully we’ve had friends invite us to their house for barbecue. We’re going to have a lot of dinners to prepare for friends when we get into our new home!
Speaking of which, we got a closing date for our new home! September 28th. 84 days. It seems like forever away. Fingers crossed that it flies by. We certainly have enough to do here to fill our time!
Our new Scout troop is very active. Josh is just a few activities away from earning his First Class and Jacob should be getting his Eagle by this fall.
We’ve started a strict diet for our budget. After the last two months of constant spending, we’re focused on keeping our wallet closed for a while. The freezer meals totally help with that. And there are so many things to do for free here. Our apartment complex has a fitness center and of course the pool, trips to the library, family bike rides, and don’t forget the beach! We went Tuesday evening. It was amazing. Except for the insane number of mosquitos that met us when we were getting loaded into the van to go home. None of us made it out of there without 20 bites. (Except Miss B, she survived bite free.) We look like a family with chicken pox! We’re itchy like that too.
Josh turned 12 last month. He’s a giant. No one can believe he’s only 12. I can’t believe he’s already twelve. He’s always always always been big for his age. He’ll be surpassing Jacob in no time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he surpasses Jake eventually too. Already the three of them wear the same size shoe. It’s not just his size though, he’s mature for his age as well. Now I just want to write a whole post about Josh. I think I’ll do that soon.
But for now, I’ll take you on a quick tour of our photo album.
This is currently one of my most favorite images. It’s from our first visit to the beach.
There isn’t a Krispy Kreme near our house. We’ve only had them twice since we left Kodiak. But Miss B loves this hat.
Breakfast in bed for the birthday boy!
Go-carts. Josh’s birthday celebration. Unlimited go-cart rides.
And Rita’s afterward. We love Rita’s Gelati (Italian ice mixed with custard. YUMMO.)
Content to be together.
I found her like this after she got sent to my room to read for a bit.
Jake took this picture. He never takes pictures. Ever. So it made me happy that he wanted to remember this moment.
Mickey. All day. All night.
It’s never ending.
Brother lessons. Sometimes you have to be taught how to get along.
Old School. New School. Plus newspapers are good for coupons.
We love the Museum of Science and Industry so much that we got an annual pass. It’s better with friends too. So glad we had some with us!
I finally got a cover for my iPhone. And it ROCKS! It’s called LifeProof and it’s safe underwater to 6ft! I love it!
Splash Park! Yay for friends and a day out!!
I can’t resist this ruffle bum. Thanks J. Marie Designs!
Hanging out at the pool… the one that goes with our new house. Cannot wait to be there full time!
The lap of luxury right here.
Library cards? Check. Light summer study? Double check!
Evening at the beach. I love living here!
Josh looks like a giant compared to B.
Studying the tide pools. We found some cool stuff!
I love me some Sam-a-lam!
We spent our 4th with an awesome family. We had a whole lot of fireworks and I’m glad to say that no one was maimed. Though a couple times I was thoroughly surprised.
These two are becoming friends. All it took was sharing a room… and a queen sized bed.