We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams . . .
yet we are the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Moving On and Moving IN!!!

Before I get to the CRAZINESS of our moving, I have to talk about the wonderful things that  happened in April. 
Elliott had his first pinewood derby!!! He made a Minecraft car. That is a building game that he LOVES to play; the car turned out great. It's hard to see here, but he and Mike painted pixels on the sides to make it look like the video game. He won the award for "Most Creative" car!! 
And, Elliott played baseball for the Salem Volcanos!!!
And who could forget Archie's third birthday!!!!! He loves Mickey Mouse right now, so his taped-together Mickey balloon was a hit....for about 3 minutes until it popped :)
With the move, and Christa's funeral, Archie's birthday was much less of a celebration than I would have liked. So, to make up for it, He got candles with every meal. It was a big hit, the boy LOVES candles!!
Then the lucky boy got even more candles with his birthday dinner with his Aunts!!

Archie's birthday was our last celebration in our home. One week after his birthday, on the 18th of April, we spent our first night in our new home. Good bye Redwick house...

 Hello NEW HOME!!! Let me tell you a little story about this house....
A few days after the offer on our house, my friend, who lived a mile away in Saguaro Canyon posted a picture of some moving boxes on Facebook. I asked if she was moving, she said Yes and told me I should come over to take a look...so I did!! It was beautiful, but we were really more interested in a house right by the park/pool in the same neighborhood, also owned by a friend of mine. But, I couldn't get the house out of my head, so I brought Mike over to take a look. We agreed the house was too big: twice the size of our Redwick house, and too fancy. That weekend we had a realtor friend take us to look at other houses. We just couldn't get the house out of our heads!!! We took the kids to look at it Sunday night. We fasted and prayed, and we just knew that although it wasn't the house we thought we wanted, it was the house we were meant to have. We joke that something big must be in store for us if this is the home we are meant to buy :). One thing we knew for sure was that this home was going to help us be more actively engaged in each other's lives. We also know it will be a gathering place for family, which makes us so happy. Mike and I can't describe why, but something about it reminds us that we are here to enjoy each other. Our friends left their trampoline, and the large screen and projector, and that has helped a lot. When we left our house, we wanted a home with a bonus room upstairs to facilitate toys, games and fun. We got it!! We have had family movie nights every friday, and hours of fun on the trampoline. We have also loved the neighborhood pool and bike rides around the LARGE neighborhood. 

I have particularly enjoyed the EXTRA large kitchen island and counter and cupboard space!!

Another favorite feature is the mud room!!! Being a Korean family, shoes always seem to be a problem!! What a fun solution this is!! Finally shoes are organized and out of the garage. Mike is happy.
How we survived the first night :)

 Our home was quickly christened with Easter festivities. The second floor balcony offered a GREAT place for Easter FISHING!!!

 Then it was off to Harmony and Habi's house for eggs and eating!!

Kristine helped me set up our first personal touch. I don't think any boxes were unpacked yet, but it was already starting to feel like home.

This picture of the kids at our old house was actually taken on the morning of the  day we closed. We left before the poppies were in bloom which is probably a good thing because I would have had a harder time leaving those behind!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

April, what a story...

I have been putting off telling April's story. It is such a big one. It is a month full of Heavenly Father's Hand in our lives.  He walked with us each step of our move, placing everyone, and everything perfectly in our path to let us know that we were doing the right thing. He took April to show me that He is in the details of my life, and He is here to bless us and make us happy. He also used April to show me that He is there to walk with us through our struggles in life too. April was such a paradox. I walked in His love daily, sometimes through struggles and pain, and sometimes through joy and excitement. He was with me through both. I've never felt so close to Him. 

On April 1, 2014, beautiful, sweet, strong Christa Johnson went home to her Father in Heaven after her 4 year struggle with breast cancer. 

But, as her husband Morgan said, cancer didn't beat her. Nope, it didn't beat her, it just showed the rest of us what a miracle she was. She is Home now, playing softball, watching over her family, and probably organizing some form of arts and crafts :). 
 Because of God's mercy and wisdom, we were able to go to Arizona for the funeral because our closing date wasn't until April 25, and we already had plane tickets for a previously planned trip to visit Arizona. When I called the airlines to see how much it would cost to change the tickets to this-coming weekend, the operator said, "I happen to be a manager, and I can change these tickets for you without any charge, saving you around $3000. I'm glad you got me, no one else would have been able to do this for you." I was so grateful. Mike's coworkers generously offered to work for him, and we were able to go to Arizona for 5 days to be with Morgan and his sweet family.

So, with 2 days notice, we were off to Arizona. Two weeks early, and with heavy hearts, but still excited to see family.
 Archie "taking a bath" while waiting for the plane.
 It didn't take long after we got there, for Archie to realize that Uncle Morgan's backyard is pretty amazing. I love these pictures because he gets to be a "real boy"; get dirty and run amuck!!
 The service was beautiful. Each member of Christa and Morgan's family participated in some way. I was even able to sing in a musical number with my dad, Lund, my sister, Ruth, and Christa's daughter, Cassidy. We sang "Nearer My God, To Thee", Christa's favorite. There were pink ribbons for everyone to wear. The people whose lives Christa touched, filled the chapel, and reached back through the entire building. She was loved. Morgan's talk was all about the miracles that showed God's Hand in their lives these last 4 years. There was such a Spirit in that room. Heaven was near.
 We were there on General Conference weekend, so we enjoyed some down-time to listen to the prophets. It was perfect.
 In the aforementioned amazing backyard, the kids enjoyed Dot the Turtle... (side-note, that's Aunt Juliet there with the kids. She was able to go through the temple for the first time while in Arizona. We were all able  to be there with her. It was a beautiful reminder that our mortal lives end, but we go on through eternity...)
 and Will playing with his "best friend" cousin Elliott...
 There must have been a lot going on, because Archie NEVER falls asleep on us!! He was not excited about the authentic Mexican food, I guess ...
 Christa's family arranged for a balloon send-off in her honor. All her family and close friends were there to let them go in her backyard. We wrote things she taught us on slips of paper and tied them to the balloons.

 While in Arizona, you have to visit Aunt Alicia's salon for the best haircut in the West!!! It was actually Archie's FIRST haircut, he did so great. He was a little curious about the process, and a little scared of the clippers, and those two factors kept him still and attentive the whole time. He looks so good.
 And, Lovely, Generous Lucy decided it was her time to donate her hair to Locks of Love again. Thanks Alicia.
The kids loved seeing their cousins. Lucy and Sara, Elliott and Will. We love you guys.
 Don't judge us. This is the only sure way to keep Archie still for a 2 hour flight!

Once we were home, it was time to get moving...LITERALLY. We were faxing paperwork, and emailing realtors through our whole visit to Arizona, but the ball kept moving, and so were we!