Monday, October 15, 2012

And.... We're back...

Life is busy.
Writing through this blog has not been a priority over the last... let's see... SEVEN (7)!!! Months.
I don't know if anyone really reads this, but for my own journal purposes, I would like to write about what has been happening in the Newman family over the last... half a year!
For starters, not much had changed over the summer. Andrew was still working for Stone's, and I had landed a job at a local nursery in Rexburg. We were enjoying life, but still weren't sure that Rexburg was where we needed to be.
July was coming up fast and we took a much needed vacation. Andrew had never been to Glacier National Park so we cruised up north for a few days of R&R. We took some fancy pictures in the park and stayed in a fun little cabin in West Glacier. (Sadly, my computer has stopped charging so I will have to post pictures at  a later time.)
We had the opportunity to meet a few really nice people... The Seeley's. Loren, the main man has a small shop up on the west end of Kalispell and he and his son(soon to be owner and operator of Loren's Auto Repair) were impressed with Andrew. They just happened to be looking for a new mechanic before we arrived, but had brought back a previous employee and closed the position. They told Andrew they would call him in the spring of 2013 to see how he was doing. They might need more hands by that time.
We went home rejuvenated and set to work again. Praying and asking where we were supposed to be, for the feeling that we both had that Rexburg was just not for us.
Well life went on. Summer suddenly became more excited with the wedding of my little bro'. We were looking for a new hacienda because our apartment contract would be ending in August. (We could have stayed but didn't want to pay more than $600 a month for a two bedroom apartment.) We were feeling slightly discouraged when looking at available places and comparing them with our budget. We just couldn't see how it would work. Then, 3 times we found great deals, but they fell through. We were running short on time and getting very nervous.
To clear his head, Andrew took 3 days off work and we left Rexburg to head out to the farm in Monteview. This was the week of August 14. Sixteen days before we would become homeless. We helped stack grain and on Tuesday morning set out to go swath half a circle of alfalfa when Andrew's phone rang. The number was a Montana area code. Andrew answered while I shut the tractor down for it is almost impossible to hear over the rumbling engine. I could hear bits and pieces of the conversation and my heart began beating rapidly.
He finished, turned to me and said, "Want to move to Montana?"
That was it. We knew instantly why our prayers of finding a new home were not being answered! Heavenly Father had something different in mind for us! We went to the house and announced the news to Andrew's folks. Andrew's three day away from work was cut short. We returned early to Rexburg and gave our two weeks notice to our employers. (Andrew would start work on September 4.)
We worked for a week, then left to look for housing (on our 1st anniversary).
We spent two days driving and I felt like I had seen enough potential dwelling places to last a lifetime. Still, we did not feel that we had found the right place; and this, my friends, is where the story gets interesting...!
We had called so many renters that we were forgetting who we had talked to and who we were still waiting to hear from. We were getting really short on time, but we were exhausted and went back to our hotel for a siesta. We woke up around 6:30 PM. It was a Tuesday, and I suddenly had the brilliant idea that we should find a church and talk to the Bishop there because mutual was starting and there was bound to be someone that might be able to help us.
We headed into Kalispell to the Stake Center, but we not excited to see the parking lot so short of vehicles. (We later found out mutual is on Wednesdays up here)
Still, we felt we should at least try the doors, which surprisingly opened up to us. We passed a younger man in the hallway, who said nothing more than "How are ya?" and we walked until we found the Bishop's office, which was open, but empty. We waited a few more moments when that first man we had seen came walking back toward us. He asked us if he could help us in any way and we told him we were hoping to find a Bishop. Well, he introduced himself as Bishop Westover and invited us into his office.
We told him what we were doing and asked if he or any one he knew of might be able to help us find a place to stay.
We waited as a huge grin spread across his face. He sat back in his chair and said, "Interestingly enough, I had a lady call me this morning to ask me if I knew anyone that was looking for a place to stay." He wrote down the information and told us where to go. We thanked him and set out to go look at the place.
We called on the way and left a message as no one answered. Still, we wanted to at least see if it was in a good location, so we drove on to find a splendid (although huge) house tucked into the woods near a lake called Blaine. We thought for sure the Bishop must have been mistaken, for the rent would have been only $100 more than we were paying for our two-bedroom apartment.
We went back to our motel and left it to fate hoping that this was the answer to our prayers because I had to be back to work for my final few days.
The next morning, we packed up our things and called, grateful that this time there was an answer on the other end! The Lee's told us that they were meeting some contractors there in a few minutes and we were welcome to come look while they were there (They were getting bids to replace the siding).
On the way, I noticed the name Lee (Andrew's mother's maiden name). We knew they were from Canada, and I joked that they were probably related to Andrew's Lee family. He thought it was funny but highly unlikely. And this is where we were both given a slice of humble pie from the Lord, for sure enough, upon mentioning his grandfather, the Lee's piped up that they were first cousins!
We saw through the home, talked about family and decided that this was the place for us, at the price that we had hoped for! We went back home to check out of our apartment and grab our things. We turned right back around and departed South-East Idaho before the sun rose on Labor Day morning.
We couldn't believe how smoothly everything had worked out and we were elated to know that we would soon be residents of paradise!
It is now October and we are still counting our blessings! We love living here and a fascinated with the wilderness that surrounds us. We were blessed to move just before the change of seasons, so we could enjoy the last-lings of summer, but witness the breathtaking onset of Fall. More and more we feel that this is where we were meant to be (at least for this time in our lives). We don't know why we have been so blessed, but we are indeed grateful everyday for the beauty that surrounds us, and the happy peace we have found in our lives!
I hope to keep this blog updated more in the future, especially now that we are so far from home. Here are just a few pictures that we have taken since moving up here: