I should start by apologizing for the stretch of silence. We purchased a house and the work was finally done (remodeled kitchen, paint in nearly every room) and last week was moving week. We have been sleeping in the house since Saturday night and it's Monday morning as I type this. If you've ever moved, you know that two days after a move I still have boxes in multiple places, nothing is hanging on the walls, and I seem to spend quite a bit of time standing in rooms wondering which project to tackle first!! The good news is my kitchen is nearly completely settled, the bathroom is completely settled and our bedroom is one box away from being settled in! So we can eat, get ready in the morning and have a place to sleep. My kids are taking care of their rooms (love having teenagers who can pack and unpack their own stuff!) and hubby is working on getting the supplies together for purposes of getting all the wall items hung!
Now that my excuse for not posting is out of the way, today is all about gratitude. From the very beginning of this move, I have been surrounded by a church family more than willing to go out of it's way to help out. The loan to purchase the house came from the church. The house, a repossession that had been sitting empty for 2 1/2 years, was assessed at about 69,000 and we were able to get it for around 43,000. The church loaned us an amount that was nearly the assessed value so we could put new paint on most of the walls and completely remodel the kitchen. Hubby did most of the physical labor on the kitchen, gutting it to the wall studs, putting in drywall, laying the new floor tile and painting the walls. Hubby had friends from church help install the cupboards and the counter tops. Again, these men were giving of their own time in the evenings. Choosing a day to move was made very interesting by the fact that I have something going on with nearly every Saturday in April filled with activities for me. We decided that the 14th was the best choice because I would still be in town and could answer the occasional question. So hubby rounded up help, reserved a truck and we got busy filling boxes. A couple from our church showed up to help him steam clean the carpets on the main floor (they needed it!) and make them look new! That same couple blessed us with a housewarming gift - a new Weber charcoal grill (hubby had been wanting to replace his gas grill) that was then used to grill burgers and feed the movers. Again, that same couple did the leg work behind getting food donated and the burgers made.
I mentioned to someone that I intend to hold an "open house" type party for our church once the house is settled in. They looked at me strangely and asked, "Why?" I realized that this person would never understand how much my church family has blessed me. They would never fully grasp that what I've been given is more than just a house - it's a definite display of their desire for us to feel like we are fully a part of the community. The fact that my husband was able to get help when I was not able to be there (directing a Spring musical with the high school ties up my nights!) meant the world to me. I've even had offers to come help unpack boxes and get settled in! If their intention with the help they've offered is to make us feel loved, mission accomplished!