Well, here's what's happened over the past week.
Making new friends-
The most difficult thing about moving to FL was leaving behind our family and friends. Although those back home could never be replaced, we know it is our calling to reach out and seek new friends. The only people we know here in FL (and honestly we don't know them all that well), is Jason and Beverly T. Jason is Joe's manager. Before moving here I had only met Jason a handful of times, and Beverly once. They have since stepped up and have been great about helping us feel at home here in FL. I had lunch with Joe and Jason one day--at Sonny's BBQ (yummm). Beverly has really reached out in attempt to get me plugged in. She invited Owen and I to a kids play group where I was able to meet other moms and Owen was able to interact with other babies! So cute!!
The Brewtons (our good friends from GA) came to visit us for the weekend. It was so wonderful to see them!!! We had a blast just hanging out with them. We went to the beach, hung out by the pool, and spent quality time together. Their kids (Bethany-7, Hannah-5, Conner-3, Addison-on the way) are so wonderful!! It is so much fun to watch Owen interact with children. He loves to just stare and laugh at kids...especially
After the Brewtons left on Sunday, the Linns arrived only a few hours later! (We love the company:)! It was Blair's (my sister's) birthday, so when she arrived I had a banner up for her, a chocolate fudge Cake (Thanks to the recipe from Mom G), and gifts! It was great getting to celebrate with her. Adam and my nephew Bennett (15 months) came along as well! That boy is such a hoot! I just love watching him run around, talk, and these days climb. While he was here I taught him how to give "knucks" (got the idea from Wendell Brewton). It was so cute and a lot of fun to teach him something. It gets me excited to think about all that I have to teach Owen soon! I love my sissy very much...it was wonderful spending time with her and having her spend time with Owen.
Looking for a house-
We've spent most of our time house hunting since we arrived in FL. This has been quite the stressful task. I thought looking for a house was suppose to be fun!? Here is what we quickly discovered about FL homes-
-yards practically do not exist
-almost all neighborhoods have a pond, lake, or river
-most houses have two small living/family rooms
-houses are VERY close together (unless in a $500K neighborhood)
-there's no molding around windows (weird)
-there are very few 2 story homes
-they simply are not as pretty as GA houses (and definitely not as pretty as houses built by James McIntyre!)
So, needless to say I was becoming very discouraged about finding a house. It seemed like every time we found a house we liked (and could afford) it would get snatched up by an investor who would put it up for rent a week later! :( But my wonderful husband would not give up. He wanted so badly to provide a nice home for his family so he spent hours and hours searching for a house. Well, his persistence seemed to pay off. On Monday June 8, he found a great house in a neighborhood that we really like. It had everything we wanted...including the price! So, the next morning I called the Realtor excited about setting up a time to view the house. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I found out that this house was actually a house up for auction. The asking price we saw online was the starting bid price. :( The Realtor also informed me that he already had two bids and several others who had shown great interest. The home was clearly worth way more than the starting bid price...so we thought there's no way we're going to get this house...but for kicks we decided to view the house anyway. Upon viewing the house we became even more excited. I started envisioning cooking in the kitchen, chasing Owen in the yard, and swimming in the neighborhood pool.
As an auction house the Realtor could not legally tell us the other bids, but Joe being led by the Spirit began to talk to the Realtor in a very real way. At the end of their long conversation it was clear that the realtor was a Christ follower and he was willing to share with us all the information we needed without jeopardizing his integrity. It was truly a blessing.
That evening Joe and I prayed HARD about what God wanted us to do about placing a bid. The next morning Joe went to the Realtor's office and placed a bid. It wasn't the bid that he originally was going to place, because as Joe completed the appropriate paper work, the Spirit led him to place a different bid. We were informed that the auction could go on for weeks, and there was no telling when we would find out if we "won" the house or not. It was totally in God's hands.
The following day, Wednesday June 17, I received a phone call from the realtor. The first words out of his mouth were "Congratulations and Praise God!"---We got the house!
As long as everything goes as planned, we will move into the house on August 17th! WAHOO!!
I know that was a lot at once, and I'm pretty sure I'm just writing to myself, since no one will read this...but at least I have a journal of the start of our life here in FL. :)