...and perseverance produces character

It seems that our move to Utah, and all that it entails, is not going to be blessed with a smooth ride or ease. It has been remarkable how many events necessary to moving have been temporarily thwarted in small and grand ways. For example, when I, Jennifer, went to see my new doctor (a very important thing to do when half way through your pregnancy and haven't seen a doctor in a month), the entire insurance company's system was shut down for the morning and they weren't able to process our information, so they weren't going to see me. However, since we were leaving to come back to Denver to close on our condo, it was a big deal to try to post pone the appointment (which would have been another three weeks). In the end, after giving them enough information to steal our identities, they decided that they would see me. Little and big things alike have been happening like this for the past few weeks. Yesterday was no exception...

Benjer and I started out our road trip to Colorado so we could load our condo in a u-haul truck and get Benjer back on the road, driving a 26 foot van back to UT the very next day, so that he could help lead a trip to L.A. with about 50 youth at our new church. We were making great time after leaving at 3:30 in the morning. But, about half way through the trip (8:30 a.m. around mile marker 241 on I-80 in Wyoming) Benjer's car stopped accelerating. It was kaput. We were amazingly blessed at this point because not only were we within cell range right there so we could call a tow truck and our insurance agency, etc, but we were also only 20 miles outside of a town called Rawlins. We could have had to walk miles to find the next cell or been very far away from the next town. Very long, long story short, we were able to get a tow truck within an hour and then he took us a U-haul/gas station in Rawlins where we were able to rent a trailer hitch to tow our own car back to Denver. Apparently there are no car rental companies willing to do one way rentals there, and the cost of a tow to Denver would have been about a thousand dollars or so. We were in conversations with friends in Denver and along the front range hoping we could figure something out when a friend, Cassie, who just miraculously had the day off and no major family obligations was able to drive up with her Trailblazer so we could hook the trailer up to her car! God is so good to us. We still needed to wait for about 5 hours before Cassie could arrive in Rawlins to get us. If we hadn't had a one year old with us, the day might have been a little bit easier, but Bethany was such an amazing trooper! She was willing to play with the rocks in the awesome terrain that Wyoming has to offer and was delighted with a ball we bought at the City Market there. She was such a great little girl since we had no where for her to nap or be comfortable during this whole time of waiting. We were also blessed with good weather (it could have rained the whole time), and we even had a McDonalds with a playplace!

Meanwhile, we were supposed to be picking up the big truck from a u-haul in Parker during this time. My wonderful father drove out to get the truck, where they informed him that Benjer had not paid (which he had in advance), and they were missing some of the things we had reserved. Benjer spent some time on the phone with u-haul sorting this out while my father waited patiently and then drove to get the other things we had reserved. At this point we decided this had become a comedy of errors :). During the day we also found out that very, very few people were going to be able to help Benjer load the truck the next morning, which has never happened to us. Since I'm 5 months pregnant, I was going to be of no use here whatsoever either. So, Benjer and I decided to hire some movers to come and load the truck instead.

Once Cassie arrived, then began the difficulty of hooking up the trailer to the hitch. It took two trips to car part stores to get two parts we needed and a very nice old man helping us hook up the car so that we could get it on the trailer to get it down to Denver. Another blessing in this was that Cassie's teenage daughter, Abby, just so happened to want to go on an impromptu road trip to Wyoming and also loves Bethany, so Bethany had a someone to love her and play with her during a lot of this waiting time. The drive back to Denver was quite a bit longer than normal because now we had a truck trailing another car on Wyoming hills with Wyoming wind. Abby was amazing and played with Bethany in the back the whole way home, helping keep her from completely losing it. I don't know how Bethany did it, to be honest. I would have thrown in the towel a lot sooner if I were her yesterday. After dropping our car off at a garage, we finally arrived at my parents house around 10:00 p.m. Bethany had only had two 20 minute naps all day at this point and was still awake!

Today worked out much better and Benjer ended up being able to leave Denver by 2:00 after loading up the u-haul with all our stuff and even stopping by the hospital to see our brand new nephew born this morning (yay!!!). He drove the whole way back to Ogden, WY (about 550 miles) by himself and I have just heard that he has made it safely with no lightning hitting the truck and no plague of locusts had come...


A New Home

When we realized we needed to move out of state for Benjer's new job, we also realized the process of selling our condo in Denver and buying something else might be very difficult and costly at this time; however, as we continued to see so many ways God has called us to be here in Ogden we knew the Lord would help us find a way to make the move possible financially and otherwise. It seems like each step of the way has had us waiting to the last minute or the last day to have things work out in our favor, stretching our trust in Him and teaching us patience (really fun lessons to learn, too :). 

Here's how it went/is going [if you want the short story, skip this paragraph :)]: This past Friday was the last day that we could get an offer on our condo in Denver without having to rent for the month of July (and past, since most places require a minimum of a 6 month lease) in Ogden. We got an offer on Friday and then we countered it and they accepted it! We got in touch with our mortgage broker to get a pre-qual letter so we could put in an offer in Ogden this week, but as of Wednesday we were still waiting to here about it. I found out at 3 p.m. that the entire mortgage department at the bank we were trying to go through will shut down on June 30th, so we weren't able to secure a letter through them. I started praying that the Lord would step in and help us work this out. So, I called our real estate agent out here, got a recommendation and called the mortgage broker here. Thankfully he was willing to work late Wed night to approve us, which he was able to do! :) Yesterday we had planned on looking at houses in Ogden and at first it seemed as if things weren't going to work out very well here, either. The first two houses we went to look at we couldn't get into (problems with the locks) and then it started pouring on us. I prayed again that the Lord would help us work this out. Pretty soon afterwards we drove down a street that had a house for sale on it that was not on our list of houses to look at originally, but our real estate agent stopped and said we should take a look. It was a house that another agent, who works in her office, had bought and updated to re-sell, so she personally knew the agent/owner. This house is perfect for us! She was able to call the agent and see if he would be willing to accept our offer and after a little finagling today we have settled, and it's a great deal for us :). The last big issue for us was that we were going to have a period of time between having to move our stuff out of the condo in Denver before we could move into the new house in Ogden. He is even letting us store our stuff in the new home before we occupy it so we don't have to figure out storage (for two weeks) and renting a truck to move it twice!! 

So, for those of you who are interested in the details of the house...
It is in the heart of Ogden, near 29th and Monroe, but a safe neighborhood :). It has 1900 sq ft with 2 small bedrooms upstairs and 4 small bedrooms in the basement. The downstairs has a separate entrance, full bath and a living area as well, so we think it will be pretty easy to rent the bottom floor out to 1-2 college students. We can also choose to use it ourselves later if we need to. The upstairs has a nice kitchen, two bedrooms, a big mud room, full bathroom, and a great room. The great room is about 25 x 12 and has hardwood floors, which Benjer loves. It has a garage that is painted like an old fashioned barn (red with white trim) and the yard is pretty big (the lot is .17 acres). The yard needs a lot of work, but rest of the house has very little work needed, so I think it's a pretty good deal. We basically need to buy some appliances. The man who updated it updated all the plumbing and electricity, put in new cabinets, counter tops, paint, carpet, finished the basement, etc. So we are getting a great deal! It's a cute bungalow type house, with a porch, too :)


Two Days and Counting...

The past couple of days has been a whirlwind.  Lots of going away parties and such.  God is good, and has blessed us in so many ways.  We are thankful that he has been guiding our steps and putting the pieces in place according to his timing.  No pictures to post and not much to say (we our off to bed before a big day of packing), but I definitely wanted to take a minute and give thanks for what he's doing in our lives.