It's been over two months since I've posted. So sorry! And I have tons of pictures on my camera of our adventures that won't upload to the computer for some reason so I don't have any pictures for this post! So sorry again! Anyhow, for the last two months I've spent every waking extra moment packing our home and prepping for our out-of-state move. There were many unknowns all the way up until the last minute. Seriously. We thought we knew what was going to happen but truly, until two weeks prior, we weren't even for sure what state we were moving to.
I know this can be confusing because I never finished the story. I got distracted with packing boxes. I think at this point it'd be difficult to drag you all through it. But for clarity's sake, I will post the story from our Christmas card this year for my next post. That will get some of you up to speed. If you care to know how we got to this point, tune in next time for an abbreviated version.
But we are here now and boy has it been quite a trip! Imagine piling 5 little kids into a Honda Pilot ages 1-8 years old and driving all the way to New Mexico-with NO DVD player thank you very much. They did just fine. We looked for license plates, counted trains (36 total seen) and the kids colored and read. Nathan had a tough time sometimes but he's a baby. He's allowed.
We started out by just going to LA for New Year's. That was a lot of fun. We got to stay with our some of our best college buddies and their family. They spoiled us with good food, great conversation and an easy in and out set-up. We hardly had to unpack our car they had everything set-up perfectly for us there. Leaving from there helped. They prayed for us and reminded us they believed in us. It was a great way to leave CA.
After realizing two days prior on our way to LA that Nathan does NOT like the car for very long at all, we decided that our all day trip to from LA to New Mexico had to be strategic. So we planned to hit the road early. We were on the freeway after filling up at 5:30 am. That made a huge difference. We were able to get to Flagstaff, AZ by lunchtime only stopping once for gas in the Mojave Desert. Then all three littler ones fell asleep. The older two in the back played games. It was a quiet afternoon when we crossed the border into New Mexico. After that, we raced the sun to Albuquerque. We made it to the city by dinnertime. Not bad. Not bad at all.
One of the themes of this last week is God's faithfulness in our weakness and our need to follow His lead. Our plan was to arrive Thursday night, stay in a hotel and then move onto Kirtland Air Force Base the next day. However, when we were only 200 miles out of Albuquerque, I happened to check my email and the housing office had emailed that morning that they had to delay our move-in due to the carpets needing to be replaced. They had known we were moving in for a month and they didn't figure this out yet?! We weren't pleased at all. Now instead of moving in we were going to be stuck in a hotel for four nights! Who was going to pay for that? We tried to regroup and then just had to let go. God had this. There were reasons for this delay. We just couldn't see them yet.
Our leasing agent knew that they had totally inconvenienced us so she offered to put us up until our house was ready. So the hotel was paid for. All we had to do was wait it out...all seven of us, in a hotel room. Ha! But truly, we picked a good place that had two rooms, a kitchen and a free breakfast. It was small for sure, but it would be doable for a few days. I tried to be cheerful as I set-up camp.
My cheerfulness started to wane a bit as I heard my poor husband up in the night sick. As the night went on, he was more and more sick. He had a horrible headache, was sick to his stomach and just felt terrible. We think he was altitude sick (we had just moved from sea level to 5500 feet) because none of the rest of us got the same sickness. On the one hand, I was thankful we weren't moving the next day! On the other hand, I knew it was me, myself and I, with the kids, in a very strange city that I had only just seen that night (we had never visited Albuquerque prior to moving)! I had to get the kids out the next morning to do something so Steve could rest and get better. I wanted to panic!! Where would we go in this huge city? However, God calmed my heart. I made plans in the middle of the night to get groceries and some needed supplies. No time to be intimidated. It was go-time.
Armed with Siri and God's mercy, the kids and I went out exploring the next morning. We found my happy place-Trader Joe's and suddenly, things felt a bit more familiar. I began mapping out some plans in my mind about where kids would nap for the next few days, how/where we'd get our meals taken care of and basically tried to re-plan our entire upcoming weekend now that Daddy was sick and we weren't moving in. God's strength welled up in me and I felt hope that He was there. I knew it. I knew that He knew and I saw right away that our move-in delay was all a part of His plan. As I saw that, I began to relax.
Steve was sick all of Friday and a lot of Saturday. Saturday morning he came out to the Aquarium with us for two hours or so. We had just gotten passes from grandparents for Christmas. After that he went back to bed. But he was slowly getting better. In the meantime, the kids played lots of cards, colored, we went out for errands and made some meals at the hotel. The kids weren't sleeping well at night but, all in all, things were going as smoothly as they could under the circumstances. God was taking care of us at every turn.
By Saturday night Steve felt better. He had been researching some local churches in the area and we narrowed it down to two. We picked one over the other because they encouraged families to bring their kids into service with them. Any church that values children sitting with their parents really stands out to us so we decided to go there. We were so glad we did!
This church immediately welcomed us. Of course we were noticed right away. Wherever we go with our five kids we're noticed. This time being a spectacle came in handy! Everyone asked us what we needed and within a short time, we had identified a few people that worked at Sandia (where Steve will be interning) and a family that lived on Kirtland Air Force base (where we are living). One of them offered to help us with whatever we needed when we arrived on base the next day! We were so thankful! The delay in our move-in had allowed us to meet some people and connect with a church. That ended up being key to our move on base.
But I'll get to that next time. That's a story in itself. What we had seen at this point is that despite our own plans, God would determine our steps and care for us in the best way. We just had to trust Him. We made it to New Mexico and we were in His hands. He'd provide for everything else.