I know it’s been another week since we’ve moved, but I’ll keep going with the “Part Two” thing…
And let me warn you: it’s a long post. But feel free to just look at the pictures!
Saturday, October 2
We were supposed to sleep in, but that’s pretty much a non-existant thing for us now. For some reason, I’m turning into my father and can’t sleep in to save my life. At least we woke up rested!
Michael and I went to Target and Wal-Mart and came back with everything we need for our new guest bathroom (we’ve only had one bathroom up until now) plus lots of other goodies for our house.
Our families actually did get to sleep in, and they came over later that morning. We got right to work unpacking boxes! Let me just say that I have NO clue what we would have done without our moms and my sister — they helped SO much!
We ordered yummy pizza from a local Italian restaurant, and some people from our church brought dinner that night. We were still just blown away by everyone’s welcoming-ness.
Michael’s parents headed back to their hotel (we’d be seeing them in the morning) and my family stuck around for a little while longer. We snapped this picture before they had to leave. (Side Note: I am REALLY short. I think I just re-realized that.)
All of “the girls” cried when they left. It killed me that we wouldn’t see them for a long time since we’d gotten so used to seeing them at least a couple of times a month. But I’m thankful for my husband who hugged me and let me cry. He also reminded me something we’d been telling ourselves and each other over the past few weeks:
“At least we’re close enough to our friends and family that it’s tough to leave them.” So true.
My mom called after a little while and by the time we got off the phone I was lots better. It helped that we knew that this is where we’re supposed to be — and that our families and friends support us in our decision.
Sunday, October 3
We met Michael’s parents at church so we could go to the 8:00 service. Let me say that I didn’t know that church could start that early. It was tough to wake up early the first week, but by last week, we’d already adjusted.
Church was great, and we went down to join the church after the message. Everyone was SOO friendly, and it was great to meet everyone on their way out of the sanctuary.
We made our way over to the youth center and met a TON of youth students and some parents. It was a little overwhelming, but really good at the same time.
Michael’s parents had to leave about halfway through our first Sunday School hour. I really wish that we would have taken a picture with Michael’s parents before they left! Thankfully we’ll be able to see them for Thanksgiving.
We went to “meet the church” at the end of the second service, and then repeated everything during the third service/second SS hour.
As soon as church was over, it was time to unload a SEMI full of pumpkins! We ate a quick lunch at the church and then got to work. A lot of the students from one of the schools in the town came to help so they could get service hours. There were people everywhere! It was great to see everyone working so hard to get the Pumpkin Patch all set up.
I just realized that I need to explain the Pumpkin Patch a little more. Our church has been doing a Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser for 17 years now. The pumpkins are grown on a Native American Farm in NM or NV or somewhere over there (I can’t remember), and then a place somewhere around NC or VA or somewhere puts them on trucks and sends them to people all over the USA. We got one truck-load on the 3rd and we’ll get another this Sunday.
All of the proceeds (after costs) go to the youth for our summer mission trips! They usually make enough to cover almost all of the mission trip costs. It’s so great to see people of ALL ages coming together and making this fund-raiser possible. The Patch is open every day, and people from the church volunteer to work it. They also open it up in the mornings for day-schools and pre-schools to come for storytime and a little pumpkin. It’s been adorable to watch the little kids come and look at all of the pumpkins! There have also been tons of photo-ops. One little girl (she was a year and a half old) was in a huge orange tutu, and it was just about the cutest thing ever.
But I’m getting ahead of myself….
On Sunday, we unloaded pumpkins for a few hours. Since I can’t lift the big pumpkins, I helped the little kids put the baby pumpkins on flats. One little girl kept finding all of the “cuties” and hiding them under the flat so they “wouldn’t get hurt if it rained”.
The grown-ups and big kids unloaded the truck. They made huge lines all the way down the grass to pass the pumpkins.
Our pastor made sure I got one of him passing the pumpkins. He and his wife are both hilarious! The lady that is passing him the pumpkin is the one in charge of the Patch this year. She’s done an amazing job!
There were rows and rows and ROWS of pumpkins!
And there were all kinds of different pumpkins too!
Normal Pumpkins and Fairytale Pumpkins:
Pumpkins with “warts”:
And even Acorn Pumpkins (I’d never seen anything like this before!):
We also have Swan Gourds and even White Pumpkins:
There were pumpkins EVERYWHERE! We had a lot of fun helping unload and set everything up. It was also a good time to get to know some of the youth students and other people from the church. Even though it was a lot of hard work, we’re both looking forward to unloading another shipment in a couple of days.
After the pumpkins were unloaded, Michael and I borrowed our new friends’ truck to go to IKEA for a few things. We went in search of a dresser for Michael, a pantry, a storage thing for our office, and an end table/place for our blankets to be stored.
That store is NUTS. The first time I went, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even buy anything. And there were still a few times that I was completely overwhelmed when we were trying to figure out all of the million pieces that we needed to buy for the pantry and storage thing. But we eventually found everything we were looking for (or so we thought…) and headed home.
It was a LONG but good day. There’s nothing like a million gazillion pumpkins to welcome you.
Monday, October 4
This day was a WHIRLWIND. We went to Burger King at 6:30 to meet with some of the students from one of the high schools. (They meet every week for CrossTalk — a time for the youth to come and get free breakfast and pray before school.) Even though it was “an ungodly hour” (my words that morning), we were thankful to get to hang out with just a few kids and get to know them better.
We came home, tried to get a quick nap, and then headed to work. Since we’re the youth leaders and the Pumpkin Patch is a youth missions fund raiser, we’re in charge of “opening” the patch every day and making sure everyone has everything they need to get started. So we opened the patch and then came back home for the cable guy to set up our internet (yay!).
We headed back to the church to meet with the ladies that have been serving as interim youth directors. Talk about information overload! But it was good to be getting the info. Then we went to lunch with Robert (our pastor), Pam (his wife/the children’s minister), Mark (the assoc. pastor) and Erin (his wife/the newsletter and supply closet coordinator). All I can say is our calendars are now FULL. We flipped from Nov to July to Sept to Feb to Oct and back (plus all of the other months) about a million times. But it felt good to get some dates down and start to see what all was going to be coming up. And we love both couples (and their families) already — they’re so great!
We went back to the office and met with Robert, where we got a TON of our questions answered (like schedules, youth work, office stuff, etc) and received a lot more information. By the time we left, we felt like our brains were going to explode. But in a good way, if that makes any sense.
That night, we put together Michael’s new dresser! I felt like Bob and Bobette Villa.
I told Michael to smile for the camera, but he said that real men don’t take pictures while they’re building. And that’s why women aren’t allowed on the building site.
He smiled. Hehe.
I, on the other hand, was all ready to cheese it up and show off my mad building skills!
(Side Note: I just realized how “daintily” I hold the screw. I guess I don’t have mad building skills after all.)
Anyway, after we put the dresser together, we Skyped with my family and gave them a tour of what we’d done since they left. (Isn’t technology amazing?!) And then it was off to bed. We were pooped.
Tuesday, October 5
On Tuesday, we worked really hard in the office, trying to start getting the bookshelves organized, put dates in our calendars, figure out email and things, and all kinds of stuff. It was busy, but we felt like we were finally accomplishing something tangible.
That night, I worked on unpacking some more boxes while Michael had a meeting to go to. I started working on the guest room shelf unit thing and Michael worked on the pantry. He got a lot done! I got one of the parts put together and then I realized that we’d forgotten to buy two main things: the base and the top unit where the filing cabinet goes. We had the filing cabinet mechanism, but no unit to put it in. We’d have to wait to finish it until we went to Houston again.
Wednesday, October 6
Wednesday was another super busy day. It started with CrossTalk at 7:00 for one of the other high school’s students. There were a ot of kids who came, and it was good to get to know a few more of them in a smaller setting.
Even though I’m just part-time, I decided to go in to the office most of the time for the first week so that I could help get things organized and set up and everything. And let me say now that we LOVE working together! It’s so much fun to be able to work together on all of the ministry stuff and planning and just all of it. We love that we can feel like we’re both truly involved, and we’re able to get paid to be a ministry team! We’re so blessed.
Anyway…a little while after we got to work, I was asked if I could go to the Patch to help with storytime. There were going to be little pre-school classes coming all morning long. Of course I’d like to help! I just love little kids, and watching them in the Patch was so much fun.
The kids were so cute as they listened to the story. And afterwards, they were able to pick out a little pumpkin and put it in their goody-bag.
There were a lot of families and individuals out buying pumpkins as well. I loved seeing how much fun everyone was having!
That afternoon, Michael was interviewed on the local news station! They wanted to do a story on the Patch and let people know when they could come purchase pumpkins. They also interviewed a lady who has made a tradition of coming from Louisiana to take her grandchildren every year. (By the way, some people have told me that they’ve been coming since their kids were in elementary school, and they’re out of the house now.)
Michael did a great job! It was fun watching him be interviewed (the segment was live, by the way).
Hehe — less than a week in Beaumont, and he’s already on the news! Our children’s pastor, Pam, asked for his autograph. I told her he would sign her bulletin.
That night was our first Wednesday night with the youth. For the rest of this month, the couple who has been teaching on Wednesday nights is going to continue their lessons. They were supposed to teach last week, but we found out that the youth are in charge of “rolling” the pumpkins so that they don’t rot as quickly. We spent a long time rolling all of them (there are a ton!) and then the hay bales arrived, so we had to move them. We also took all of the scarecrows from the contest and placed them around the Patch. It turned out to be a really good thing, because we were able to just visit with the kids and get to know them a little more.
And then Michael had a major break-through with the guys. He taught them how to play this game where you have to try to poke the other person while making sure they don’t poke you (think a big-scale “thumb war”). And that’s all it takes with guys. He’s automatically “in”.
It was a really good night, and we felt, once again, that this is exactly where we’re supposed to be.
Thursday, October 7
On Thursday, I went in to the office with Michael and we got through some more of the books and binders files. Then after lunch, I stayed home and Michael went back to work. It was SOOOO good to have some time to relax. I read some more of my book (I’m still working my way through the Harry Potter Books — 1 – 4 again and now I’m on 5 for the first time) and took some time to get some house work done. It had been such a busy week, and the break was greatly appreciated.
That night, we ordered pizza and watched “Matilda“! It was one of my family’s favorites growing up, and Michael had never seen it. We both really enjoyed it.
Friday, October 8
Friday was our day off. And let me say that it is AMAZING to have the same days off! In the past, we’ve always only had one day off that’s the same: Saturday. Michael got another day in the week, but I was always at work. We kept thinking it was Saturday all day. It was great!
After Michael opened the Patch, we got ready and drove to Houston to buy our missing pieces at IKEA. While we were there, we bought a few toys that we just couldn’t pass up (I’ll post pictures later…I haven’t taken any yet). It’ll be nice when we have kids so we can have an excuse to buy kids’ toys and books. We just act like we’re buying them for someone else and then add them to our kids’ area in our guest room/office for little kiddos to play with when they come to visit.
That night, we went to our first football game in Beaumont! I was trying to remember the last time I’d gone to a football game, and I’m thinking it’s been about 6 years. We sat with Robert and Pam and a lot of people from our church and just had a great time! The people really are so, so friendly. And it seems like they have a blast everywhere they go.
This officially ends “Our Past Two Weeks” but I’ll go ahead and do a brief update on this past week as well — since I let a whole ‘nother week pass before I updated again!
Saturday, October 9
We worked around the house and finished putting together our pantry and office shelf thing. And then we could empty a lot more boxes! We also went grocery shopping at some point, but I can’t remember if it was this day or another. We had a nice, low-key morning and afternoon.
That night, we went to see some of our new youth students before their homecoming dance. We visited with the parents before “picture time”. We’re really enjoying getting to know so many of the parents. All of the kids looked great!
And then Michael and I went on our first date in Beaumont. We had dinner at Pappadeaux (which was wonderful!) and then came home and relaxed.
It was a perfect way to end the week.
Sunday, October 10
We got up bright and early for the 8:00 service. But by this time we were used to getting up even earlier than this for CrossTalk. It’s funny how quickly your body can adjust to new times.
It was “Children’s Sabbath” which means the kiddos were in charge of the service, and Pam preached. We really, really enjoyed it! The kids were so cute.
Sunday Schools went well, and we opened up the Patch in the middle of the second SS, so we spent the rest of the time doing that. Oh–and we bought some BEAUTIFUL olive tree things after the first service, but I haven’t taken pictures of those yet either. They deserve their own post.
We went to lunch with Robert and Pam, and Mark and Erin, and their kids. We had a great time!
That night, we were thrown a welcome party at the church. We were able to meet a lot of the students and parents we hadn’t met yet, as well as visit with others. It was SUCH a good time. Once again, we were blown away by everyone’s welcoming attitudes and generosity. We’re blessed.
Monday, October 11
My brother turned 21! We called him on our way to CrossTalk to wish him happy birthday. It’s weird that we’re all growing up. The rest of the day went really well. Some of our youth had a Boy Scouts Court of Honor Ceremony, and we were able to go to that. It was really neat to hear about all of their Scouts stuff. I hope our boys are able to be involved in Boy Scouts someday.
Oh — and before the Scouts Ceremony, we ate a really yummy meal. In fact, Michael didn’t want to eat his food until I took a picture of it. We’d bought pre-seasoned pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon at HEB. And then I fixed mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, and Michael made some bread. It definitely hit the spot. If you have an HEB near you, try this meat!
Tuesday, October 12
I actually stayed home on Tuesday and got a TON done around the house. It felt so good to get so many more boxes unpacked and housework done. Michael spent the day going through tons of computer files and contacting people and things like that.
That night, we went and ran errands. We bought a Christmas present, some games that were on sale, and a map at Toys-R-Us. (Oh — and we’d bought the Sunday Paper on Sunday so I could get some coupons, and we’d found GREAT deals!) After that, we went to Hobby Lobby to get some 1/2 price fall decorations with our gift card. Then we went to Wal-Mart to get bread since we don’t like HEB’s bread. And then we finally made it to HEB for our grocery shopping. Let me just say that we have been BANKING on the sales! I’ll probably write a whole post about it later, but we’ve saved a lot of money over the past week.
We were also talking to my mom off and on the whole night. Something super exciting was happening, and she was keeping me up-to-date. It definitely deserves its own post though!
Since it literally took 4 hours to run all of those errands, we just got Papa John’s and brought it home. We put in a good-ole episode of “Growing Pains” (Season 1) and then chatted with my brother. It was a good day!
Wednesday, October 13
Wednesday started bright and early with CrossTalk. It was revealed that I’m not the greatest morning person. It’s not that I’m grumpy, I’m just not functioning at 100%. I couldn’t hear anything, and I kept thinking that people were saying the craziest things. Let’s just say I provided quite a bit of entertainment without trying to.
We got lots more done in the office and even had a chance to come home for a couple of hours before evening church. Church was good (except for the disgusting, rotting pumpkins — one of them were so nasty that it made one of our students throw up!) and we had a good time with the students again.
Thursday, October 14
Since it was Boss’s Day yesterday (actually, I think its tomorrow, but we celebrated yesterday), I stayed home to make some brownies in the morning. I went in a couple of hours late (but not for me since I’m part time! Woo-hoo!) and got to work on the bookshelves again. We had a wonderful Boss’s Day lunch with yummy food and LOTS of laughs. And then I went out to check on Michael at the Patch (he was helping for a few hours). We worked in our office and did some more work, and then it was time to come home.
We ate a snack and then headed to a JV football game to watch some of our students. We sat with the parents again and had a really good time. We all went to eat afterwards at the new restaurant in the town (it’s a little bitty community outside of Beaumont). The burgers were good but we waited a really long time for the boys to get their food.
When we came home, Michael and I decided to play one of our new games: Scrabble!
Michael won — 272 to 214! But we were both happy because we both scored “Expert” (over 200 pts for 2 players)!
It was a great way to end another busy, but great week!