3 months later...

Whereever did these past three months go?  It has been a busy time for sure.  Here's a long recap with a few mostly unrelated pictures.

We are moving, and we know where we are going!  Come late summer, we will be heading to Jacksonville, Florida where the mister will be joining the CardioThoracic Sugery team of Mayo Jacksonville.   That's five hours closer to home being a 12 hour straight shot down I-95.  :)  At least you can do it in one day, right?  I am hopeful that the job will be the right mix of interesting, challenging, and rewarding for the hubs which plays big time into our family and home dynamics.   One positive thing is the lack of traffic that we expect in JAX as compared to some of the other east coast opportunities.  Easy, pleasant commutes make for a happier Thomas family, that's for sure.

What are we looking forward to?  The beach, the ocean, the pool, being close to Lego Land and Disney World the kids will tell you.  Sounds like I will need to get over my fear of the kids and water and get these guys in swimming lessons.  Actually, I might have to take some too.  I am eager to explore the area, find some yummy local treats, and settle into a home.  I am trying to keep a positive outlook because once again, we will be starting out completely new to an area.  We don't know anyone going in, although because of the Mayo connection we are already starting to meet people.   It's daunting and exciting all at the same time.  It definitely brings the family closer as we huddle close to each other and face a brand, new adventure.

What are we not looking forward to?  According to the kids (and their daddy), alligators.  Yes, there are alligators.  The Clinic even has signs to beware of the wildlife and has an alligator removal service.  Hilarious.  The heat and the humidity is what I say.  Oh, I would much rather be in the cold than in ridiculously hot, muggy weather.  But, I figure if we could survive three MN winters, we can adjust to a FL summer. 

We have finished our first year of homeschool. As with most things in life, homeschooling was a journey with both the good and the bad. Overall, I feel that we had a good year. We liked and used most of the curricula we had selected at the beginning of the year. I think the twins have a better understanding of their world and a stronger grasp on reading which we will continue to work on this summer. Nathaniel has gone through his second grade material with relative ease. His greatest struggle is creative writing. It's something that he can do, but on his own time and schedule.

We have decided to continue our homeschooling adventure into next year and then we'll research and decide on school options in JAX.

We are almost out of our house in Rochester.  This house selling business is a lot of work!  We put our house up on the market and showed it 18 times.   We have signed an agreement and are waiting to close, oh right about the time that baby # 5 is expected to make his appearance.  I think the hardest part was getting everything stored and put away so that we could actually put the house on the market.  It was probably a blessing that we showed the home so many times because it was easier to keep it clean.  The boys did a stellar job of putting things away and helping me tidy up when the time came to skedaddle.  Now, if I can just find the motivation to keep up with it.

Ezra turned two!  Special little man who really does think he's about 4 years old.  I'll leave his update for another post, but notice he has been inducted into the cleaning crew.

We are three months closer to having a baby.  I can't believe baby boy is scheduled to arrive in a couple months.  I feel like come July, I am going to be in for a big shock when we bring home a newborn.   Thankfully, it seems like things are slowing down just enough so that I can "nest" and prepare for having a tiny one in the home.  Baby boy is kicking and moving a whole lot and growing at a good pace.  It's so sweet to hear his little heartbeat and feel those not so subtle kicks reminding me that he's here with us.  I am so curious what he'll look like - like one of his brothers or some other mix, and I do have a thing for baby fingers and toes.

We have spent time with our friends here in Rochester.  I am, once again amazed at the people He has brought into our lives in our three years here.  I always worry when we move if we'll connect, who will the kids play with, who will watch the kids if I need to be somewhere?  God has blessed us for sure with a fabulous church, our neighbors, a good preschool where we met lots of friends in our first couple years here, and of course, my women's bible study group, Side by Side.  I had hoped that there would be an established Side by Side that we could plug right into in JAX, but that would be too easy.  :)  So, we'll wait and see what happens and where God takes us.  One thing is for sure, we are going to miss our friends.  The kids feel it more than they did when we left Pennsylvania.

I have high hopes that since we are pretty close to Disney World and since some of our friends will be rotating through Mayo JAX, that we will see each other again.  Consider this a standing and open invitation to come visit the Thomases in FL when you're in the area or just because...

Now, it's time to focus on what we'll be taking with us to Florida and what we'll do when we get there.  We have a house hunting trip scheduled and then after that no more trips until baby gets here.  We are looking forward to spending a couple more months with our friends here and family.

A couple weeks ago, I gave my departing "talk" to our Bible study group.  We call it a love gift.  I ended it with these few sentences, and I'll do the same here...

There are overwhelming moments when I realize we're supposed to sell a house, have a baby, find a new house, maybe temporary housing, and resituate ourselves all in the same month or so... and then I hear the echo of lessons past and that ever constant voice, "Who do you say I am?  Do you know who I say you are?  I have brought you this far, and I will lead you on.  I've got this."  He has indeed been good, and I trust that the Lord will guide our paths as we surrender to Him.


Handbags*N*Pigtails said... Best Blogger Tips

Indeed He will guide our paths. I just wish it were closer to ME this time lady! I'll be praying for you with all thats coming up in your near future. These pictures make me miss you even more!

ohio bed said... Best Blogger Tips

Love this update and all the pictures. Precious. Praying for you all during this time. What memories you will make!

ohio bec said... Best Blogger Tips

hahahaha you know who i am!!