Saturday, October 10, 2015

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Yes, I know you are dying to see and hear (read) all about our life in Doha, Qatar. And I am dying to share it! (Trust me...I have TONS of pics waiting for you!)

BUT, I truly do need to finish sharing our summer recap (for myself as much as for family and friends who need/want to see pics of what all we did). So, without further, where did we leave off?

Oh yeah...

More Wrapping Up Our Time on the Louisiana Northshore 
(in Southeast Louisiana...our home-away-from-home for several years)

Packing the house we have lived in for over 3 years! Longest we have ever lived in a place and had to pack it up to move. Never an easy task. I say it's like having a forget how excruciating the moving process is and embrace the joys of new places, new people, and new expeditions.
I cannot move on from the above pic without telling you how unbelievably selfless, helpful, loving, and amazing my mother is! Y'all...she did probably the majority of the packing of my house while I was away at work every day. She did this WHILE she was caring for my less than 6-month-old baby AND helping me get my 9-year-old son to and from school.

She is an angel! 

I wish I could repay her even slightly in comparison to what all she has given me and others in her life.

Baby Girl hanging out with Mommy after work one of the last days of my work before moving.

The things you come across and ponder while packing to move... Our son made this in preschool in New Orleans (actually River Ridge) the first time we moved from South Louisiana to Shreveport (North Louisiana). Doing it again...this time only temporarily before moving across the globe.
Found this. Just had to share some pics from it. :) This was from the year between Kindergarten and First, which in St. Tammany Parish Louisiana School System is called Transitional First Grade. Anyway, it's adorable! ;)

Not sure who the HUGE one is...
Still his fave...

Baby Girl sleeping in her makeshift floor pallet/play area in one of the empty rooms while we continue packing.
Just too cute...
Really. Does it get any cuter?!
Our bunny friend in our front yard telling us bye.
And a beetle friend even came to tell us bye.
Our 10x15 storage room in South Louisiana after our main (and first BIG) load went in. This was done with MAJOR help from some wonderful friends of mine - The Romage Family! Major props to them!!! They were a BIG answer to prayer! One of the many in this moving process. Thank you so much for your help! I miss y'all sooo much!
Believe it or not, after that load above we still had a TON to do at the house--both in packing and cleaning. By the way, I gave away and threw away a TON of stuff! Sold a couple of things, too. I know it doesn't look like it, but we probably would have needed 2 of these if I had kept everything. No joke!

Now for another HUGE thank you and answer to prayer. 

Picture this. 

It's nearly midnight on the last night we have the house. My mom, myself, and my children are supposed to be driving away in just a few hours (in two STUFFED vehicles that aren't even nearly packed yet) headed for North Louisiana. Instead of being ready to plop in the bed and get some rest at the hotel in town I booked at the last minute (when I realized we would still be in town through the night), I am looking around at the piles of things that are still yet to be taken to "the giveaway place" (a.k.a. Habitat ReStore), taken down to the curb as trash, packed into the last few things to take to storage, packed into the car after we get back from the giveaway place and separately the storage facility, then cleaned (with hopes of getting back our deposit for this multi-year rental).

At this point I am completely at a loss. 

Completely overwhelmed. Can't throw in the towel, but want to. Can't imagine how I (and my mom and young children) are going to get this done and get through this. So, I just keep working. Crying a little, but working. Can't stop. Won't stop. Nose to the grindstone. One foot in front of the other. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

All the while, I am praying...and praying...and praying.

Then, a bit freakily, in the middle of the pitch-black night, my son starts yelling to me from the front of the house that somebody is coming up our driveway...our long driveway surrounded by trees. SCARY! I come up front and look outside only to realize that this is a young teenage boy that we know from church. (My husband also used to train him for football before my husband moved overseas.) The young man and his friend were coming by in his friend's pick-up truck to take the lawnmower and a few other outdoor things we told him he could have. (He used to mow our yard, also.) I had been wondering if he forgot all day. He didn't forget. God planned for him to come now. The young man probably didn't expect us to still be in town, much less there at the house. But we were. 

Who knew?! God knew.

So, thanks to my mom's wonderful quick thinking since my brain was far past fried, I offered them a little money if they would help us load up the stuff for the giveaway place and take it there then more money if they would also after that help us load up the rest of the stuff for storage and take it there.

Not only did they kindly oblige, they even brought back one of my young friend's younger brothers to help. This is all now past midnight at the point that they came back from dropping off their load at their house so they could help us. Let me just say that the next hour or two that they helped us, I kept thinking how amazing this answer to prayer was. I still do. I made a point to use this as a major teaching moment for our son about the power of prayer and God's love for us in all things at all times. I also made sure he saw what kind servants these boys were being, not complaining for a minute. He was helping right along side them as well. I was very proud! And very thankful for these wonderful real-life role models for him. 

Another awesome answer to prayer was that, once again, eveything that still needed to go in storage did fit! And the friend that my young friend brought along had quite the Tetris-like brain for putting the last of our things in the storage unit. He took charge and we were done in no time. Here are the final pictures to prove it. :) Whew! 

Thank you boys!!! (and your parents!!!) 

And thank you and praise you, LORD!!! 

Yes, there IS a God!
And yes, He does love us in BIG and small ALL ways!

Now, even after all of that help, which finished around 2am, I still had to load my car for our move to Shreveport and ultimately Qatar (with a pile that didn't look like it could possibly fit) AND I had to do the final full-house cleaning. All while Mom did her best to keep Baby Girl happy. (Except when I had to stop to nurse her, of course. Oh yes. That too.) By the way, Mom had already loaded her own car all by herself while I was working in the house. 

She is amazing! 

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did not plan to take 2 car loads of stuff to Qatar...EVER! BUT, I had no mental capacity to make the final adjustments there in that house that night when I knew I still had at least 3 months before the actual flight out. Also, I did need to bring some things to use in Shreveport while we were there that I would ultimately give away, throw away, or maybe somehow store somewhere (but as little as possible for that one).

Our short mailbox that was a victim of mailbox tipping right after we moved in that house.
All that said, we pulled away from that house for the last time at 5:30 AM and headed to that local hotel I mentioned earlier!!! Thankfully I am a Rewards Member at the hotel chain we stayed in so I got a discount as well as a late checkout. After we got some good, quick sleep we even got to swim in the swimming pool before we pulled out of town. That was definitely a much-needed time of relaxation and fun together. Another answer to prayer!

Are you tired with me now? Whew! It stresses me just to think back on this, but it also encourages me to remember the goodness of the LORD as has been so often shown to us in real life through precious family and friends! 

How about you?

One last cute baby pic of her sporting her New Orleans Pelicans onesie. :) You better believe that is here with us in Qatar!

So again, there you have it! Until next time...