Pre-House – Pennsylvania

We left Maine on a Friday in April after packing extensively for two days. Remember, we thought we were buying a home there so we made ourselves at home! We made good timing all the way to New Hampshire and then we hit traffic- for 5 hours.  The kids were so good about it. The next day was tiring as well. We came into our vacation home outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania hard, but felt sooooo relieved to arrive. We felt like we were in our own home, we had plenty of room to spread out in with five bedrooms, a darling home on acreage and Amish farms all around.

I was so happy, I woke just before 6:00 and had to get out of bed to start the day. I came outside in the quiet morning to see this beautiful sunrise. I felt so peaceful in this home.

Our kids had so much fun here and relaxation. I could tell that it felt homey to them as well. It made us happy to be here. Devon and her husband the owners were so delightful to meet. They now lived in the beautiful stone house next to the one we stayed in. I believe it was her husband’s grandmother who used to run a Bed and Breakfast type thing in the home for many, many years until she could no longer.

The only reason we took this route through Pennsylvania was to meet our dear brother in Christ, Dan. We’ve known him for many years now and my husband and him have talked through some hard times for hundreds of hours this past year and a half. They love each other so much – true, genuine brotherly love. They remind me of David and Jonathan in the Bible.  : )  The kids were so comfortable with Dan and I was so very happy to meet him too. We love you dear brother, you enrich our lives and others so very much. You have been nothing but a blessing and enhancement to our home.

I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures of the inside of the home other than this. Here our family ate and fellowshipped with Dan. We asked him what he wanted for dinner… We had meatloaf, lima beans and some other things that I can’t remember. Brownies, yes, they were good!

The view from the front porch…

The stone house where the owners live… we never saw them hardly, except for when they were driving out of the driveway. They own farm land all around.

Another view from the front porch. Oh, how I wished my mother was here with us. She would have loved it here.

The Amish house to the side of the house. I would see an Amish boy throwing a ball up to the roof of the house and catching it as it fell down. I’d see the women hanging laundry and their family going off to church in their buggy on Sunday morning.

The backyard

The morning view I had when we first arrived, but during the day now. We stayed 3 extra days than we had planned. It was all worth it.

We enjoyed it here so much. It was good for my soul after leaving Maine…

Three happy crittters!!!

 

 

The Last Big Post of Maine

I found my other pictures of Maine. Don’t mind my unorganized “photo dump.”

Shells…. the kids loved collecting shells while we were there.

We had a beautiful view with sights of boats, barges, tankers and other watercraft. More pictures below…

Benjamin wondering what I am doing with my camera. Miriam had this look about 3 years ago.  : )

Dad and the kids played chess a lot.

More pretty pictures from our backyard view…

Lobster boats…. hundreds of them that day all around.

Making Snickerdoodle cake…

Taking turns…

Paper Dolls

Homemade paper dolls

Our pretty view we had…

Every night these three girls would perch over the couch here and wash Dad and I or the big kids do the dishes. It was cute!

Many of these are Elisabeth’s writings…

Dad drew this hand… I shared with him that hands are the hardest part of the body to draw, he surely did exceptionally well!

Elisabeth looked at dresses at The King’s Daughters. She made some drawings of the dresses. We just ordered a dress from there for her birthday just yesterday.

More homemade paper dolls.

The hill where the kids sled down all winter long. I had to take a picture before leaving.

The beautiful shells found on the East coast.

Sweet memories…

The best memory of our stay in Eastport…. our neighbor, Susan. She and the kids hit it off right away. Every day when she took her dogs for a walk by our house, she’d slow down as the kids would come running out to greet her and chat for a half hour or so. She has such life and happiness in her soul! She was a joy to meet and be near for such a short time. We miss you Susan!!!!

Happy, lovely woman who brought out so much joy in our children.

The beaver we saw pondering down our yard, a couple of days before we left….

 

Elisabeth

Elisabeth’s drawings she taped all over our walls…

Matthew (little), started this apple tree from seeds of apples from the store in Maine. They are 4″ tall now.

Daddy drew this bird… so gifted. Hannah colored it in.

Another of Daddy’s drawings… I love this one.

I got in on the fun and drew this woman.

Pup’s drawing and some more down below…

One of our 500 piece puzzles

Playing chess again….

Tabitha’s messy face…

Learning about different kinds of birds…

Another big sight to see…

Little Matthew reading about our cells and good health.

Twin lovey doveys…..

 

 

Catching Up – Maine

I knew this day would come where I would take the time to catch up on our time from Maine so I can happily share with you about our new house and surroundings.  : )

Matthew standing with his snowman friend.

New England style hot dog buns (or rolls). It’s a long piece of fluffy bread with slits in it.

Benjamin a few months back. Just look at that curly hair. He looks much older now that he’s walking around everywhere. He started walking at 22 months old. He’ll be two years old next month. Where does the time go? I want another baby again….

Benjamin’s dear, innocent look that I love. Matthew and the kids made sentences with the alphabet letters that I bought them while we were cooped up in the house.

Little Anna. She and her twin sister Tabitha have such kind mannered dispositions. They are very loving.

Hannah doing her math. At least she looks happy today… she usually doesn’t like doing math.  : )

Elisabeth – She’s growing up! She’ll be 11 on July 6th.

Leah, she looks a little like my sister Natalie and acts like her some too…. she’s very sweet and fun to be around. Hardly ever mopey, always in good spirits.  : )  You’re fun to be around, Leah!

You’re looking older. It’s hard to see you looking a little older. You’ve always been the baby of the first set of kids we’ve had.

Here you look just like my daughter Christine who turns 29 this month. Same, exact smile.  : )  Very sweet.

Excuse our dark picture. We did lots of coloring, puzzles and drawing pictures while we were here. We found some crowns for a dollar, the girls were just elated about this find!

Your look is changing, Pup!

Tiny Tabitha. Whew, you’re still little.  : )  I must have taken this when you woke up.

Dear Hannah. You exhibit your feelings the most… good and ehem, bad.  ; )  We love your tender heart. You have good energy at this age.

I just love your smile here.

… and here.

Benjamin, you look so tiny here. You have grown into a toddler since this picture was taken a few months ago. He always put his back to the back of this futon couch and bounced forward and back.

This was a sad picture for me to see today. My friend Neysha had our kids over while we signed papers to buy a log house in Maine. They made baskets that day. My heart was so broke over leaving Maine that I cried for over a month, every. single. day. That’s why I haven’t blogged these past months. I love Maine, the quiet culture there, the place of safety and refuge that it offers. Most people who leave find themselves returning later… I can see why. We were there only 3 1/3 months and I did not want to leave! I felt like I came back home! We really wanted to live there but the Lord kept closing the doors. we couldn’t deny it, He made it so evident in so many ways. It was truly a culture shock for us to come back to the rest of the states. I read of others leaving Maine and experiencing culture shock as well so it made me feel at least justified.

Now that we have a farm home we love, I feel much better.

Good on the Appraisal

The house had a good appraisal. We should be closing on June 15th…. we’re getting close!

I found a website (one of many), in which I was able to put in some numbers. I found that if we add only $200 a month towards our new mortgage payment and once a year, so what we call a fasting month in which we pay $4000 extra, we will have our home paid off in only 13 years!

http://www.calculator.net/mortgage-payoff-calculator.html

 

Update

Staying in the home we’re in, we are only on cell phone mobile service with a hotspot for our other computers (no internet here). I am not able to load a lot of pictures due to using too much data so I am unable to do much of a blog post. We are buying a home here in Missouri for $150,000 on 34 acres. It is a 3 bedroom, one bath with a good attic, central air and heat, barns and outbuildings and in wonderful shape. We’ll be adding a bathroom, mudroom and bedroom in the next year or so. Our closing date is set for June 14th.

cover1

 

ISuw8hmszd9jwz0000000000

 

ISuk74mqwow5d01000000000

We will be in Northern Arkansas for a week later this month as they had this home we’re in reserved for that time. They do have internet there at the home in Arkansas so maybe I’ll be able to do one last catchup post before we get into our new (1904) home!    : )  The kids are doing great. We’ve had some wonderful fellowship with our friends already and are going to a homeschooled graduation party this Saturday.  : )

One More Time

We love Maine. We love it here so much that these past couple of months we’ve tried to buy two different homes. We were told by our agent that we would have a difficult time in buying a home up here VA but we love it so much here, we thought we’d give it a try. The first home we were told that because it had some chipped paint in the front of it that the Appraiser would not appraise it without the entire side being painted. We have come to find that if a home isn’t in perfect condition here in Maine, they will not appraise it until it is. We are buying a home VA so it is the VA Appraisers that I am talking about. Anyways, we knew that the home had many things other things that were cosmetically imperfect and this would be against us so we backed out of the home as the owner wasn’t going to have it painted and it was too much of a financial risk for us to do so. It was a beautiful home on 55 acres, a mother in law apartment for my mother, (another thing against us here with the Appraiser), beautiful, huge barn and so much more. It broke my heart. I still love that home. It was only $180,000.

Next, we tried to buy a log home built in 2006. Barns and outbuildings on the 20 acres, gorgeous land with rolling hills of beautiful pasture around for miles and miles. The basement had radiant heat and the best part, because there were wind turbines behind the home, the owner receives a $3,000 a year noise easement for life as well as $2,000 for the next 17 years. We were going to put this towards the home and some additional funds and pay it off in 15 years. Unfortunately, the wind turbines became our hinderance to buying the home. An Appraiser went out there, took a look at the home and left. Next, they tried for weeks to find another Appraiser who would appraise it. They resubmitted our package to try once more. Prior to this they were going to not give us the loan even though we had been approved with Underwriting, because they could not find an Appraiser who would touch the house because of the wind turbines. We came to realize over many weeks that if the seller was having such troubles in selling it to us who are qualified, what about us when we one day need to sell the home in 20 years or so? My husband will be coming up on 80 then so it’s a good possibility! We felt the Lord wanted us to back out.

Every door has closed here in Maine regarding buying a home. Even the cheap homes going at it from a conventional loan (as we looked into) would not work for us. They either needed new plumbing and pipes, a new septic system or was sold as is where we didn’t know what we’d be getting into. Matthew went to the local oil/heating company in town today. He spoke with a woman there about what has happened and she shared that she completely understands. She has a son who served for 26 years in the ARMY and because he could not buy a home here through the VA, he and his family had to buy in North Carolina.

We have friends here who are dear to us. We had to say our tearful goodbyes. It was hard on all of us. Very hard. I won’t forget my sweet friend’s words while we were crying and hugging each other, “I love you so much.” It is a precious memory but it hurts. We had always hoped to meet, we lived so far apart all these years – Maine and Washington State. We will miss them dearly.

This is my favorite State. We absolutely fell in love with it here. Where else can you pull up to get gas, wonder where the debit/credit card machine is on the pump, go in and they tell you that everyone just pumps first then comes in to pay? Where else can you find people leaving their cars running while they go in grocery shopping? If you ever want to go back about 50 years, come to Maine – North of Bangor to Aroostook County (where we wanted to live) or the Northern coast such as Lubec or Eastport. It is so peaceful here, you will not find another place like it here. It is like being on vacation where you don’t want to go back.

We have felt the Lord calling us back to Missouri, not just because of all the physical that is apparent but by His Spirit as well. In Missouri the taxes are much lower, we can have some dings and cosmetic imperfections in a home and such and be able to buy (so we can buy a cheaper home). The closing costs were atrocious here…. $8,800 (more for conventional) – Missouri would be around $1500.

We also still have two sets of dear friends in Missouri.

It is hard on me, I don’t like the heat and it’s hard to leave a place where you feel like you’re on the most peaceful vacation you’ve ever been on. The colors, the noise…. all of it’s muted here. It’s very quiet, safe and we wanted to make it our home.

We know this is the Lord though and that Missouri will become home to us. Already the doors are opening, we get to stay in the same little place we stayed in, in Pittsburg Missouri where the kids played in the leaves. While it’s peaceful in Maine, you’ve never met a friendlier and more comfortable people as we met in Missouri. It is by far our second choice – though God’s first choice.  : )  They are a generous, happy people there who talk freely about the Lord everywhere you go. While we were only there a short time, when we left Missouri we both shared how much we loved it and that it was going to be hard to beat Missouri.

We are already packing and getting ready to leave on Friday the 14th of April. We are going to meet some dear friends in Pennsylvania first and arrive at our destination on the 20th. We will begin house hunting right away. I am more than ready to settle in a home with my own things as they are still in storage on the ABF trailer in Kansas City Missouri. I wish I could fast forward a few years as this land is a new land to us and I know it won’t feel like home for the first couple of years. We know without a doubt that this is the Lord’s will though so we have peace about it that surpasses all understanding and that I am so grateful for.  : )

The kids are handling all these moves just wonderfully. I am so happy they will get to move right back into the home we stayed in before in Pittsburg as they already know how it is… the neighbor’s dog who comes to visit them every day, the walks we’ll take as a family around the big loop in the neighborhood. We all very much loved the beauty of the land when we had to drive down to Boliver for big shopping. By the way, food is so much cheaper in Missouri too. I can order from Azure again and I do love shopping at Aldi’s.

I have more pictures to post later of our time here…. our wonderful neighbor who comes over to visit the children almost every day, the kids playing in the yard, etc… I hope to get a picture from my friend Neysha of our families together.  ; )  Our time is short and it would be a bit emotional to view them right now so I will wait a while.

Please keep our family in your prayers for safe travels, one last time…. hoping to visit my friend and Maine again one day soon.