We were so excited and ready to move to our new home but it seemed to take forever. To our dismay things just started to not work out with the house. It ended up that the owner owed the bank a lot of money. Dad just didn't feel comfortable about the house all of the sudden. He felt like it just wasn't the house for us. So, the search began again and we kept looking for houses in High Springs. Finally, we just started looking for fixer-up mobile homes that were really cheap. We found a couple that were definitely that.
There was one that Mom and Brenna found that needed a lot of work. There was only plywood flooring. It had a big porch, though. They liked it and showed it to Dad. When Dad saw it he was like, no, not that one! He thought it was way too much work. Later, though he looked back at it, He started to like the idea. So we planned another trip. We were going to look at two mobile homes that were fixer-uppers, cheap, and had 5 acres.
As we drove down the road to the first one, we looked at the neighborhood. It looked pretty rough- a lot of them had junk in their yards and it looked pretty trashy. Driving up the driveway at first look we said,"No! that looks bad." The front door was open, there were leaves and trash coming out, the house looked rough, and only one acre was cleared- the rest was a forest. We knew that it wasn't going to work. Next, we went to the house that Mom and Brenna found. There was a pretty country dirt road. As we drove down the driveway we were like, Wow!
Unlike the other one, it had lots of trees and it had a pretty round dirt driveway. This yard was gorgeous. The outside wasn't too bad. We looked in the windows and we could tell the inside needed some work. We looked up and down the house looking at the skirting, the roof just looking to see if it had any major problems. The roof needed to be scraped off from the leaves, but from what Dad could tell, it didn't look like it was too bad. The yard was gorgeous with lots of trees. To top it off, when we were walking, out jumped a deer. That just about settled it for Dad.
The next day we went with our realtor, Sue Campbell, to look at the inside. Mom asked Brenna to take pictures of everything- every room and each nook and cranny. When we walked in the front door there was a long room. The first part on one side had a beautiful fireplace. On the other it looked like there was room for a TV. Then there was a door to the master bedroom and then a small dining room. Then looking left to right there was a washing room and then the kitchen. On the other side of the house there was three bedrooms a small bathroom and an office\ schoolroom. It needed a lot of work. We started really looking into buying it and started planning. We knew it would be another month before closing if it was really the one. We decided to still go up and start working on the house and after a week, Mom and Brenna would go back to finish packing up the other house. Dad and I would stay to finish fixing up the house.
December 2 was the closing date so we started heading there the first, which was Monday. We were so excited to finally move into our house. For the first two nights we stayed in a hotel. Tuesday we closed on the house, got the keys, went to Lowes to buy the supplies and late that afternoon we started cleaning.
There was a lot of bugs. Us girls cleaned the cabinets and took down the doors while Dad worked on the water heater. Wednesday we found the post office and got some food for our stay. Dad paid a handy man to help with fixing the ceiling, under the sink, and rotted out floor. That week we got all the cabinets cleaned and painted, the ceilings painted, some of the trim work painted, cutting in the ceiling, vacuuming the tack strips, and painting the bathroom.
The house was really musky when we first got it and with all the ceiling paint chemicals we had to open all the windows during the day. Because of that, I had major allergy attacks- I sneezed a lot and my nose was runny. During the night I was miserable. Dad wondered if I should go back with Mom to take a break and get in the air condition. I really didn't want to go though. I had looked forward to staying and helping Dad for a long time.
Well, the last night I really had it bad. I kept waking up sneezing and my nose was dripping. The day they were leaving even I realized that I needed to go back with Mom. On the other hand Brenna had looked forward to going back with Mom. She didn't want to paint but I did and I didn't want to clean. She had planned some fun snacks that she and Mom would get. So both of us were a little disappointed when Brenna had to stay and help Dad and I had to go back with Mom.
I am so proud of Brenna; she did a really good job helping Dad. Her and Dad did a LOT of work. Looking back, seeing all the work she did compared to me, I'm kind of glad I went back. :-) There was a lot to be done. While we were gone they painted every room, put up all the wanes coating, and started laying the wood flooring.
Dad and Brenna were supposed to pick up Josh from the airport because he was coming back for Christmas break. Mom and I were really wanting to see him. After much thought, Dad said we could come back with the kids so we could see him. Then, the following week we would all go back, pack all our stuff in a u-haul, and say goodbye to grandparents.
When Josh came off the plane, we were so excited to see him. Mom almost screamed when we saw him and the kids said,"Josh!" and ran to give him a hug.
Josh had gone to college at Golden State Baptist College. He loved it up there. To me, he left a teenager and came back a man. I'm so proud of him; he grew up so much in that small amount of time. After he had been there awhile, he called Dad and Mom and asked them to Pray and fast with him about something. He later told them that he had been praying about coming back from college to help us with our new church. Dad was surprised and happy but he didn't want to just tell him what he should do. So he told him to pray more about it. After a lot of prayer and fasting Josh said, "Dad, you said that if I could look you in the eye and say that this was God's will, that you would be for me. Dad, I know that it is God's will for me to come back and help you." When he told us this we were all excited for him.
People often ask, "Did God just change his mind?" No, God just had it in his plans the whole time. Now that Josh is coming back, our church will have at the very beginning a youth pastor, a song leader and a junior church teacher. Wow! God is so amazing! Not very many baby churches have all of that and a pastor, Sunday school teachers, and nursery workers. We are so excited about what GOD has in store for us.
We did, thankfully get to set up the living room so we could have Christmas in there. We had an old-fashioned Christmas this year. We cut down our own tree from our yard. It wasn't very big and the branches couldn't hold much weight so we got to make our own ornaments. It as fun decorating white snowball ornaments with red and green glitter.
The next Thursday, after finishing the wood floors and some of the paint touch ups, we left for Ft.Myers. All this was a week from Christmas. Saturday, the Hurleys, a family from Winkler, came and helped us pack of the u-haul. They were a blessing. That night we arrived back at High Springs and Ft.White. After we got the trailer unpacked we still had plenty to do. We didn't even have the carpet in until the day after Christmas. It was tight for us. There was boxes all in the dining room, we all slept in Mom and Dad's room, and there was no carpet in the bedrooms and school room. When ever we went to the bathroom, we had to put on our shoes to walk on the uncarpeted, plywood floors to get there.
We had a fun Christmas. I guess the reason we had a good Christmas was because we realized that it wasn't about Santa, or presents; it was about the greatest gift of all-- God's Son, Jesus Christ. Looking back, what a good Christmas we had! And what good memories we made!
Finally, the last day of the year, our house was basically finished. It looked beautiful. Here are some before and after pictures. ( You can see more pictures on my Dad's and Mom's blogs.)
That night, Grandpa, Grandma and Mam-maw came to visit us in our new house. They loved it. Grandpa really liked our yard. He is still talking about it and our house to all of his Model-A friends. It was really cold so we all had a bonfire. ( We had chosen a spot where there was a bush and trash where another fire had been. We had a few trees cut down that were to close to the house and looked like they were dying. I rolled all the logs to the bonfire and put them in a circle around it so we could have bonfires there.) Josh preached a little message for our Wednesday night service and we had marshmallows.
After that we opened up Christmas presents that they had brought. To Brenna's delight, Grandma had brought a big pack of cans of coca-cola. Grandpa brought me some bird seed. That was so sweet of him. The next day we showed all of them around High Springs. They loved the old town feel of it.
High Springs is one of those places that you would see on one of those Hallmark Christmas movies. We took them to a really neat antique store; it had a lot of antiques. We saw a real Woody from Toy Story, a western saddle, antique silverware, and my favorite part-- old books. Josh found one all the way from the 1800's. I found an old Jane Austen book from the 1930's. I was so excited when Grandma bought it for me. That was sweet of her. After that Grandpa and Grandma treated us to Sonny's. It was so good. We had a really fun time while they were here.
I know it was a long post but there is so much to catch up on. Thanks for reading! My next post is going to be for young ladies with hearts for God. It's going to be about one of girls' most favorite topics-clothes. I hope you will join me in my next post!