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Archive for the ‘Moving Plans’ Category

Whirlwind Last Month

Well we are in Virginia! WOW! Everything happened so quickly. The house went on the market on Monday, April 16. We accepted the offer on Friday, April 20th! Since we didn’t have a place to live I made a quick trip to Virginia to try to find a house or apartment. It was a very frustrating trip because I was hitting dead ends. We needed a short-term lease and somewhere that would accept all of our pets! No luck at all. But I  was able to get my car inspected and registered in Virginia. My plates were going to expire on April 30 in Pennsylvania so the timing was great! I returned home still not knowing where we were going to live! In the meantime we had to wait for all of the other closing details to come together. We started packing up the house. Rick needed to be in Virginia so once again we jumped into the car just 2 days after I came home! My goal was to find an apartment before the end of our visit. I prepared with a list of places and set out on my quest! I visited 8 places in a matter of a few hours. Rick and I went back to see one I had found and signed the lease! So we went from a 4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage and a basement to a 2 bedroom apartment with a 1 car garage and a storage unit! Wow! We really lightened our load!

Over the next month we started saying our good byes and packing up the house. In the middle of everything we had a sweet visit from Sean and got to meet his delightful girlfriend, Yelena! They made Mother’s Day and our Anniversary extra special. Yelena is a sweetheart and she will be the strong woman who we have prayed that God would send to be his partner. Maybe by the end of the year we will have more news! LOL

They left on May 20 and the mover’s were scheduled to come on the 24th! Packing went into hyperdrive! We sold our washer and dryer, gave away some other furniture and started packing up the rest of our life! Our first Oops moment happened on Monday morning. I was cleaning the downstairs bathroom. My cell phone was in my pant’s pocket. As I leaned over to flush the toilet after cleaning it, my cell phone fell out of my pocket and down the drain! Wait don.t go!! I turned off the water and went to get Rick. Imagine this conversation: honey I was cleaning the toilet and my cell phone decided to dive in for a bath! It was jammed into the bottom of the toilet. So Rick had to take the toilet off, carry it outside and turn it upside down to dislodge the phone! Needless to say my phone was ruined but after a new wax ring the toilet was fine! So my minutes were flushed away…….

Back to packing minus a cell phone! Thursday morning the movers came and by that evening we were in an empty home. We spent the night on air mattresses so we could be over our very confused pets. All 4 of them slept by us that night. They weren’t going to let us out of their sight! Friday morning, May 25th we finished packing the 2 cars, stuffed animals into carriers and harnesses, closed on our home and started the journey to a new home.

My verse for this entire change has been:  The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1 NIV84). Well God has obviously been totally in control of this move. From the land that we found that was less expensive than we planned to spend but bigger than we planned; To selling our home in 5 days! God has a plan now I have to let go and start walking as He directs. I will admit that it hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. I have cried saying goodbye to friends. I have moped when my stuff has been packed away. When we finally got into our apartment I became overwhelmed by all of the changes. People whom I have come to depend upon are hours away and right now I have to allow time and intimacy to build new relationships! My emotions are on a roller coaster. Excited over the possibilities, scared about the changes and even overwhelmed about meeting new people! Usually Rick says that I can walk into the ladies room and leave with a new best friend, but right now I am overwhelmed with the thought of taking the time to get to know anyone. I think it is a part of the protection mechanism that I have developed as a part of each move I have made. What I need to remember is that God is walking with me and God knows the reason we are here. So I need to dive into the deep end!

So as of Tuesday, June 12, we are living in a 2 bedroom apartment with a 1 car garage and a storage unit. We have learned to take the time to open boxes before we go out or start a project! Our pets are happy as long as they have us and have a few pieces of furniture that reminds them that this is home! This is truly our temporary home and for now it is good! A new place, a new season equals new opportunities! God is a God of mercy and grace!



Wow! God is so good. After the whirlwind of painting and fixing up the house, it went on the market on Monday, April 16. Our first showing was that evening at 9:45. 5 days later, 5 showings later: Friday evening we received TWO offers on our home! We accepted one of the offers. So our house is SOLD! But we don;t have a place to live…..yet. Today’s goal is to make phone calls to find our temporary home in Virginia. I know that God has the perfect place set aside for us but I admit I am a little bit anxious about finding a place that will accept our many pets and fit the rest of our needs.

It was a bittersweet night on Friday because the reality of our move hit me right in the face. I cried knowing that we will be moving away from our church family! I am excited knowing that God has gone before us. I can’t imagine what the future holds for us but I know that God has led us through every decision and path. It was still very hard knowing that in 32 days we will be leaving Pennsylvania and starting over in Virginia. This is our first move without kids! When Rick and I moved into our very first apartment together Tonia was already 2 years old.  This was in 1983. We have lived in an apartment in Valparaiso, Indiana and a house in Valparaiso, Indiana. Then Sean was born in 1987 and when he was 10 months old we moved to a house in St. Charles, Illinois. We then moved to Nazareth, in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1994. Western Pennsylvania welcomed us home to Moon Township in 2001. Now here it is and we are empty nesters. So 2012 we will be moving to a rental home in Virginia and then in 2013 we will move to Powhatan, Virginia and into our new home. WOW!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace

So now it is a time to pack up and move! So until I write again: Aloha!

Planting Anew

I was on my way back to Pittsburgh from Virginia when I started writing! We have had a whirlwind week already. Sunday was Easter and it was also Rick’s birthday! We went to church in Chippewa and then drove to Virginia. We had dinner out that evening in Virginia for his birthday. Very weird sense of time and place! Woke up celebrating Easter with our church family and then having dinner in the location of our future home.

Monday, Rick went to work while I ran some errands. That afternoon we met with our builder to go over some of the details for our home. I have 10 pages of homework from him. Decisions on hardwood vs carpet. What kind of doors. Basic stuff for now! Monday afternoon we went to the lawyer’s office and closed on our land! We now own 3 acres of Virginia land with trees and a creek. It is real.

God has sent us into a new land but we still have to write the final page of our Pennsylvania life! We will always have a draw to Pennsylvania and we will be traveling back to the area a few times of the year. When I get back to Pittsburgh I am buying some new plants for the cemetery! Mini purple mums. We are also trying to find a craftsman we saw at the Christmas In The Woods. His name is Dan and he is known as the Rockman. He carves stones with various sayings on them. I found his listing at the show but  it didn’t have any email or website. I want him to carve a memory stone for a special corner on our new land.  A place where I can go and just remember Tonia. I think I have the corner picked out but I have to see once the house area is staked out. I want to put up some wind chimes an a bench. I am also going to plant purple flowers all around; hydrangea, hyacinths and more!

Back in Virginia: On Tuesday I was able to visit with two new friends, Sondra and Mary. I was driven all over the area so I could find shopping and the Post Office! That evening Rick and I went to our new lot and I planted new purple gladioli bulbs by the creek. The next time I go there they might be blooming. This would be a really sweet reminder of the future growth that God has planned for us!

In the meantime our home in Pennsylvania goes on sale this Sunday! We have been busy getting it ready. Boxes of stuff have been packed up to go into storage or to give away. I have thrown away more junk in the last few months then I have in the last few years. We also gave away 10 bags of stuff to Goodwill! Amazing how many things we just didn’t need. There is nothing like moving to clean out your house!

God is replanting us! He is sending us out into a new land that He has chosen for us. It is a bit scary but I know that wherever I go God is with me. He has never left me. He is the same as He was yesterday. He is God today and tomorrow He will continue! So no matter what life holds I know that I have the presence of God in me. It is Good!

Everyday we get to plant our feet in a new day, a new opportunity. My biggest question is how do I choose to respond? More to come…..

Journey Markers

Stops and Starts and Hiccups! It has been a crazy time in our household. We have been scurrying around trying to get the house ready to go on the market but we have also been trying to live our life. One moment we are waltzing along and then God changes the music to a tango!

Since the middle of February we have been involved in the Family Fitness Retreat weekend, I spoke at two sessions for a local MOPS group, we went to the Pittsburgh Home show to look for ideas, 4 rooms have been painted, 2 PODS have been filled up and I started a new full-time job! No wonder life has felt so crazy!

It is time to create some markers and memories along the way!

The Family Fitness retreat in February was held at The Gathering Place bed and breakfast in Darlington, PA.  Ed and Annie Knotts were our hosts for the weekend. Three couples attended the weekend. We had not met two of the couples prior to the weekend and I was a bit nervous about the interactions. It was a wonderful weekend. The couples were able to take a deep breath and focus on God and on each other. There were tears and hugs. Lots of great conversations happened at all hours of the morning and night! By Sunday morning it was so evident that God had worked His magic and lives were touched. We have new friends to pray for and to remember. What a sweet time. Ed & Annie spoiled us all with their warmth and with the great food!

Then the very next day I was scheduled to speak to a MOPS group at Mount Olive Lutheran church in Chippewa. One of the ladies who attends the group asked me to talk about Boundaries. This is a tough talk for me. Everyone is different in their needs and every group reflects this diversity. I never know exactly what I am going to say until I get there and start meeting the ladies. This is one topic that I do not have a script written. I have some notes and stories jotted down but my talk is geared to responses I get from the women there. I spoke to the morning group and again to their evening group of moms. The atmosphere was totally different between these two groups. They were all mothers of preschoolers and they were all struggling with the same issues but there focus was so different. The morning group was laid back and this was a time for them to socialize and enjoy the company of other moms. The evening group was still looking for the fellowship but they were much more focused in their use of time. They worked during the day and they had a time agenda and wanted to get home. What a wonderful group of women. They are all looking to be the best mothers they can be and their questions reflected this.

In this time we also had a quick visit from Sean! He came home to get his driver’s license renewed and we were able to have a great weekend hearing about his plans. His packet to become a Navy Chaplain goes to Washington DC on May 11! He has had to jump through hoops to get everything accomplished. He has changed recruiters three times and he had to get recommendations resubmitted when they were “lost”. Paperwork has disappeared and one recruiter never returned his phone calls or emails. It has been a journey for him but through it all he has persisted. I asked him if he thought that God was putting up obstacles to stop him from joining the navy or if these obstacles were there to test him! His response was that until God closed the door completely he had to continue to move forward and just when he would get discouraged something would encourage him in this journey! This last recruiter has been great. He has helped him essentially put together his entire packet in the last 2 months that had taken over a year to put together before! So in May Sean should get his answer! Please keep him in your prayers. He has also been dating a young lady and he is bringing her home to meet us over Mother’s Day weekend! WOW!

I have also started a new, full-time job! I was supposed to be quitting on March 15 but due to some significant changes in the Cancer Center at The Medical Center I was needed! My boss asked me to stay on until April 5th and to switch to full-time in the Radiation Oncology center. It has been stressful, learning a new job, especially because I was the only nurse for a week! It has also been fabulous. The team there is wonderful. They have been a joy to work with and to get to know better. I have absolutely loved being able to spend time with my patients and their families. I have been able to hug so many new friends. I have been able to pray for and with the families! But the best part is just to be able to hear the struggles, the victories and to be able to listen and love on everyone. It has been a joy and I am going to miss them all when I do leave in April!

Life continues to move on…. we close on our new land on April 9! Our home goes on the market on April 9! We met with the builder to choose materials on April 10th! New markers and memories are right around the corner. I have no idea what the future is going to hold but judging from the last month it is going to be a whirl wind. I am so glad that God has this journey in His control because I can’t see how all of this connects but I know it does!

My job is to continue to be faithful in where he has me right now and to trust him in the future! I love the memories we are creating and I love being able to journal about these markers in our life!

Have a joy filled day of HUGS!

Rick & Kathy’s Big Adventure

Wow, It is January 16, 2012. Our life has been so crazy as God starts us on a new journey. Over the last 6 months we have been praying about where we are in the season of life. What would God have us do and where? We have been feeling that it is time to move out of the Pittsburgh area. The “hooks” that were holding us here have been slowing coming undone. I didn’t mind the idea of moving out of this house, it has been the scene of a lot of tension and frustration over the 10 1/2 years we have lived here. I really had to allow God to move my heart to a place where we could say goodbye to our church family. Yes I know we will be back but it isn’t the same as seeing them when ever the need arises! One of the biggest hooks in this area is the fact that Tonia is buried here. Yes I know that she is not here, she is living in God’s reflection in Heaven! But the memorial to her is here. The place to take flowers and to remember. We are going to do 2 things to help me with being able to move away. First Rick has promised that we will come back once a year around her birthday to tend to her grave and to share the sweet memories. We are also going to set up a corner of our new land as a private  Tonia corner. I am having a stone engraved with her name and a verse. I will have hydranga bushes planted there and I will have a chair so I can sit and read.  It is good!

So we knew that we were being prepared to move but where and what would we be doing there? Where seemed to be the easier decision, Rick accepted a new job in September 2010. The company headquarters are in Glen Allen, VIrginia which is outside of Richmond. They were not requiring him to be there but they were encouraging him to seriously think about it. Well we did and we also thought about other places that we always said we could retire to. We are praying that this move would be the last one for a VERY long time. We want to build a ranch house that we can stay in, even late into our retirement years! So we thought about Tennessee and Arizona. We thought about lifestyle choices in each place. We thought about the weather. We thought about where Sean might eventually settle. We had to take where Sean may live out of the equation because he will probably be moving around as a pastor and as a Navy chaplain.

The more we talked and prayed about our future the more apparent it became that we were to head to Virginia! So in December we began to shop around for land to build on. Now the next question is what does God have in mind for us in Virginia. I know that we can’t answer that question completely but we think we can see the tip of the iceberg. We want to be able to run the marriage retreat weekends that we have facilitated here. We have had to rely on the generosity of others to open their homes for the weekend retreats. We want to be able to host them in our own home so… We will be building a home that can hold 3-4 extra couples in their own rooms. So the design is going to be a modified one. The main living space will be a ranch home that is accessible to someone in a wheelchair or walker. No steps to get into the house from outside or from the garage. There will be our master suite on the main floor with a guest suite with a handicapped accessible bathroom attached. We will also have a family room with a fireplace and the eating area of the house. The kitchen will have a pass through into the great room where we can watch movies with a group of friends.

The 2nd floor will have 2 guest bedrooms with a bathroom and we will also have a walkout basement with 2 more guest bedrooms and a bathroom. Rick’s workshop will also be in the basement. The basement will be accessible by a long ramp from the driveway for entertaining purposes also.

But ……… we have to find the perfect piece of land where we can build our home. We are looking west of Richmond in Powhatan and Midlothian Virginia. We know that God will show us the perfect place. In the meantime we are preparing our home to put it on the market. We have been putting “lipstick on the pig” as Rick says! We are painting the entire house inside off white. We have had new Pergo floors installed in the kitchen, dining room and foyer. New carpeting will be coming next month. Our target goal date to have the house on the market is March 20! Lots to do! My last day of work is March 15. We decided that with 2 dogs and 2 cats I needed to be here when the house is being shown. We are packing up all of the stuff that we have accumulated over the years. It is going into storage starting this week.

Photos of current home:








I am excited over the new season that we are starting and I am overwhelmed by the ideas of moving and starting over. My verse for this time is: The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1 NIV).  God is sending, we are going, He is in control!

In the meantime I am cherishing the time I have here with my church family. Every conversation is precious. Every hug is given and received with a little more tenderness! I am blessed!

Well I will keep you up to date on our big Adventure!