Monday, October 29, 2007

Moving Day...

Things have been a little crazy and abnormal since we moved, but still good. We have been able to bid farewell to most everyone that we wanted to before we left. We are thankful to the Casey family for allowing us to crash and work at their house during our last week.

Our moving day was very frenetic at first. The movers arrived at 7:30 AM on the dot (which if you know me is earlier than I like it) and they immediately installed the electric ladder. It is a ladder with a platform that raises and lowers. Check out the pics below.

Jason, Brian, Heather and Heidi all helped us throughout the day, which really helped the process happen. Jason wrote a great article describing many of our feelings at his blog found here:

We are not homeless. Tomorrow we head out to America where will be staying with family and traveling until December 1st. At that point we will move into a small apartment in Tulsa that we will stay in during our Home Assignment.

It has been hard these many months as we prepared to leave. We went through many different goodbyes throughout the months. It seems we are always saying goodbyes. Fortunately we only have a few more before we leave Ancona and then we won't have to say goodbyes like this for some time. See you on the other side of the ocean.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Moving Tomorrow...Really?

We are moving tomorrow. Even though I am sitting with boxes stacked up all around me and each room of the house looks more and more bare with each passing hour it still isn’t sinking in. Yes, it looks like someone is moving but is it really us? We have moved seven times (this will be move 8) during our eleven years of marriage. But we have lived in this house for six years! This has been home to Matt and I longer than any other place we have lived our married life! For me it is hard to say goodbye. It is hard for my mind to understand that this is my last day to call this home. I am sure it will sink in……probably about this time tomorrow when I look around and most of our things are outside on a moving truck…but for now I want to enjoy this last day as much as I can. I love my home here in Ancona and I want to remember this last day.
One more tidbit about moving. Out of the seven times we have moved it has rained every single one of those days. Guess what’s in the forecast for tomorrow? You guessed it….rain! Looks like we could be 8 for 8. I wonder what it is like to move in the sunshine?

Friday, October 19, 2007

How God Takes Care of Us

So....these last couple of weeks, we are constantly reminded of how God is there taking care of us, when we ask and even when we don't.

For instance, two days ago I was out for a meeting and was returning home. I had just talked with Angie and told her I could stop by our favorite pizza by the slice place and pick up some pizza for lunch, when she asked if I had been able to pick up some dishwasher calcium cleaner. I hadn't and she said not to worry about it that she would get it later in the day. I decided to go ahead and go by the store to pick it up to help her out. As I was walking I thought of the two air conditioner holes in our windows and how I needed to call the glass guy (in Italy you have a glass guy) to replace the panes before we moved. I thought of how difficult it can be to get ahold of this guy and kind of started to worry (my bad). You see we don't have much time left. So, I got to the street where our grocery store is (in Italy you have a grocery store - it's one block from our house) and I walked right by a guy carrying a pane of glass. Funny, I didn't think a thing of it...yet. I looked in at the grocery store at the line was extremely long...I thought about it and didn't think that Angie would want me to wait in the line that long just for the cleaner, so I turned around and headed home. Then I passed the guy carrying another pane of glass. I walked right by him and then stopped dead in my tracks. At first I just thought he was putting up some glass shelving in the store he was going in, but the panes were big....was he a glass guy? Could this be God's way of setting something up with some other glass guy so that we could get things moving in the glass department? I turned around and he was bringing another pane of glass up and I asked him, "do you work for this store or do you work with glass?" He said, "he was a glass guy." I said, "Good because I have two windows with holes that I need to get replaced before we leave." He said, "You'll have to ask the boss," then pointed behind me. When I turned around, there standing before me was our glass guy! I explained what we needed and that we were moving and he said he would come over right after that and measure them. He came and the next day they came and installed the new panes of glass. It was only 60 euro!

Then today, I planned on solving our moving problem. You see living in an apartment has some problems when you have large furniture. In Italy, they have these elevated platforms that you can rent that come up to your balcony and you put your stuff on it. You can also put smaller stuff on it and it saves you from using the elevator or going down the five flights of stairs (we're on the fifth floor). So, Angie helped me find some numbers and I started calling. We had a friend who had told us he knew someone who did moving and he would try to get some information for us. He didn't come through. So that's how we found ourselves four days before our moving date looking through the yellow pages. After calling a few places, it looked bleak. Many couldn't do it that soon because they were booked. And the prices for renting the elevated platform, moving van and having them help move was looking to be too expensive. The average move has a cost of 2,000 euro or more. Just the platform has a cost of 450 euro for a five hours. Remember we take even our kitchen with us, that means it needs to be taken down and then moved to storage as well as the rest of our furnishings. So, I finally called one guy by the name of Pino and he said the elevated platform was available for Tuesday, but we still needed a rental van. He graciously said he could be over in thirty minutes to give us a precise estimate for everything. He came and fifteen minutes later we had hired three movers, the moving van and the elevated platform. The Ancona team is going to be helping us that day too and he took that into account for how many other men he needed to bring. It is going to cost 600 euro for everything. God is awesome and he always takes good care of us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Newsletter - October 2007

Here's our latest newsletter, enjoy. Click the thumbnail above to view it or right click and choose "save target as" to download it to your computer.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Missing Ancona Already

Boy am I going to miss Ancona. In two weeks, we are moving out of our apartment and staying with the Casey's for a week. In three weeks we fly out from Ancona to Tulsa. We will no longer be residents of the city of Ancona. We have been moving towards this for over nine months, but now it is real. Now it is happening. All around me is the evidence. Boxes clutter our home constantly reminding us of the coming changes. We are excited about Verona and what the future holds, but that doesn't mean we won't miss Ancona when we go. When we left Tulsa to come to Ancona (via Perugia for language school) we missed Tulsa, even though we were excited to "finally" get to Italy after raising initial support for almost two years. This December we would have lived in this same apartment in Ancona for six years. Except for our parents' homes, Angie and I have never lived as long in one home. And since we have been married, it has been the home that we have lived in the longest, six out of eleven years in December. That too is interesting, because we moved in our apartment on our fifth wedding anniversary, December 21, 2001. We have celebrated our marriage and our arrival in Ancona on the same day for almost six years now. As we go through these last few weeks here, we are saying goodbye to people and places that have been a large part of our adult lives. And we will miss them. That isn't to say we won't visit, and people from here won't visit us in Verona, but the convenience of being in this city near these things will be gone which causes a bit of sadness. We won't be sad forever, and each city we live in here on earth will pale in comparison to what God has in store for us in heaven. It's okay to allow ourselves to experience sadness, its part of our humanity and God made us this way. He also provides the wings of cover for us to run under and rest in his comfort. So, to Ancona.....thanks for all the memories, friendships, christmases, thanksgivings, beach days, short term teams, birthdays, ministry, laughter, church community, life, love and happiness you have provided through the providence and blessings of God. God is great and he has always provided what we needed and we believe he always will.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Look at the Size of That...

Have you ever seen a strawberry this big? It fit in the palm of our hands!

Monday, October 01, 2007

What's That Smell?

So, Angie and I were at church yesterday when I leaned over and asked her, "do you smell that?" She looked at me and replied, "No, what did you do?" I was referring to the good smelling food that was being heated up for the monthly potluck. She thought I had meant something else and we had a laugh about it.