I don't know where to start... this week has been a whirlwind... and I am so excited about how things are going :). God is allowing us to be a part of some amazing opportunities, for His glory, and I can't wait to see how they unfold!
The first part of the week was tough (with traveling back and forth, packing, unpacking,etc), but since we've been here, things are better than we could have imagined.
Our Housing Situation
I was a bit concerned about our living situation because of living at my in-laws house (mainly just because we wouldn't have our own house... I wasn't sure how that would go), and it has been great. The upstairs of the house, where we live, is very comfortable. It really is like our own little house up here; it just doesn't have a kitchen. But, we have a little mini fridge and our snacks and breakfast up here, so it's not too bad. And the living room is a good size, and so are the bedrooms and bathrooms (with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, it's just right). One of my friends came over yesterday and the first thing she said was "I was feeling sorry for you, but not anymore." I will post some pictures once we finish unpacking and putting stuff on the walls :).
Another thing is that my mother and father in-law are really never here (most days they are gone from way before we get up in the morning til late at night), so we're not bumping into each other all the time. I'm so grateful that they have allowed us to live here until we are settled into the "big city." It's a great transition place.
One really cool thing about living here with my in-laws is that my mother in law and I are planning on getting a family membership to the YMCA. We plan to join a class of some sort... like a Zumba class. I'm so excited about working out regularly, and about having some accountability to do it! I desperately need to begin working out!
Robert's New Job
Robert loves his job already. He is going to be able to be a part of the type of ministry that he has wanted to be part of for a long time! Several months ago he said that his dream ministry (besides camp) would be to help poor families through a church... do maintenance on homes and vehicles for people who couldn't afford it, to work on habitat houses, etc. Well, he went to work yesterday, and he found out that the church is in the process of building a habitat house (which means he will be doing that), and they made a trip to a church in inner city Dallas where they are helping them with several projects. The area around this church wouldn't exist without this church... they provide food, clothing, education, etc to the community.
Robert is able to do the type of ministry that he has a heart and passion for. I'm so happy for him.
On top of that, the church is very organized and each person isn't overloaded with enormous amounts of work because they have enough people. He will be working 7:00-3:30, which means he completely avoids rush hour, and he gets to be home by 4 or 4:15. I just could never imagine a perfect position for Robert.
The kids LOVE their new home. Karis walked into her room and was looking around and said "it's beautiful!" They have been playing great here and just really seem more content overall.
Ethan has all of a sudden been talking a lot more... like saying 3 and 4 word sentences. It's crazy. And Karis, who had been pooping in her pants still, has started pooping in the potty all of a sudden. I don't understand it, but I'll take it! When she poops in the potty, she'll say "now I can go to school!" And she actually stayed the night at a friend's house last night (after going to VBS with them); she already has more of a social life, and she hasn't been here two full days :). She is a very social little girl, so this is perfect for her. I'm excited for the opportunities that the kids will have.
My Job Opportunities
Our first night here, I got a call from another University Model School with another job opportunity. I have some things to pray through. The position is at a school in McKinney called Cornerstone Christian Academy. If I am offered the job, and if I decide to take it, I would be the Learning Center Coordinator. I would be working with about 12 students that are "special needs." Some are dyslexic, others have mild learning disabilities. The thing about UMS's is that they typically don't allow students with special needs to enroll because they don't usually have the resources to handle special needs students. But this school feels that God is not exclusive like that, so they are doing what they can to provide for them (Faith Academy has a learning center as well). Their feeling is that God created each person the way He did for a reason, so where they are "lacking," God has given them a tremendous gift in another area... God didn't create them "disabled," He created them who they are for a purpose. I talked with her about my brother and all that he had gone through all of his life... he was extremely intelligent and gifted in many areas, but he struggled with mental illness... he could never get past that. She thanked me for sharing about him. I feel that growing up with him gave me a new way of looking at people.
I would be teaching a tenth grade "bridge English" class... basically teaching the English curriculum and making modifications for them as needed. The other part of my job would be working with teachers to make modifications where needed. It's honestly the perfect position for me. It's still part time, MWF, about 12-15 hours a week. The thing that I would really have to pray about would be that they don't have childcare... and the position wouldn't really pay that much more than the 4th grade position at Wylie Prep (so I would have to find childcare and I would be bringing less money home). I talked to the Principal at CCA about this, and she completely understands why that would be a tough decision. She told me to go to the interview that I have on Monday, and just see what happens. She said she'll be on vacation until next Friday, so give her a call then and let her know what I've decided and we can go from there. My thought is that if God wants me at CCA, then he'll provide for our needs with the perfect childcare situation (one that's affordable, close, and where the kids feel comfortable). If He wants me at Wylie Prep, then he'll give me peace about passing up the other position. At this point, I'm pretty torn on which way to go, so I'm going to just see what happens at the interview. I'm praying that God will make it completely clear that day which way to go... either by not getting a job offer at one of the places, or by giving me peace about one (and opening the right doors). I absolutely love that the principals at both schools are so easy to talk to and care about people. It's so different than applying at public schools where you are just a needle in a haystack.
Living in the Big City
Living in Dallas is very different. I love that there are so many different cultures here. I love that the grocery store is across the street. I love that Whole Foods and Central Market are pretty close. I love that there are some amazing restaurants very close (though this can be a bad thing as well!). I love that the library and park are down the street. I guess I'm not a country girl after all :). I am getting used to the traffic. I think once I learn where I'm going, the traffic won't bother me that much. I love that I have some good friends close. I am excited about starting to go to church every Sunday as a family. I am real excited about the church because even though the worship style is very different (traditional with orchestra), it seems as though the church is very solid and amazing. Just the few stories that I've heard about the pastors (including Chuck Swindoll) make me very excited to be a part of such an amazing group of people. I think the size of the church and the different worship style are definitely things I can get past.
I'm excited about things to come... it is very obvious that God brought us here. I am constantly amazed.