Friday, August 28, 2015

The "Vacation/Find a Place to Live" Story

Hey guys! We made it!
Yes~ we moved our family/ranch/life from the
 "little" (500 people population) town in South Dakota to- the "little" town of: Cedartown, Georgia. (9,800 people population). 

It has been.... a whole bunch of different things!

We are so excited to start anew- and stride out to do our own thing. 

We are sad that our life long friends back home did not fit into our packing boxes...

We are in a place we have never been before- this applies to the territory, the lifestyle (rented house in town), the financial flow... about every aspect of our lives has completely changed. 

What I can say right now is that-
 with the blessings come many struggles. 

I'll add some details soon, but let me catch up a bit, 
and share about, how we got to where we are! 

The end of May we took off on a:
"family vacation/go find summer/ find a new place to live" 

Our first stop was in Sioux Falls to see Family, then on into Iowa to see some of our SMA family, then into Atlanta, Georgia to see my sister and brother-in-law. The time spent with family was priceless. We had so much fun in Atlanta and filled each day as full as we could get it! While we were in Atlanta- a real-estate property came on the market, and our realtor (from Alabama) strongly encouraged us to look at it. (We never had Georgia on the "list of places to move to", but we agreed to go ahead and check it out.) So, after spending the weekend and a few days with my sis, "Vacation" was over and "find a place to live" began!  We headed out to visit the property in Georgia, and It was BEAUTIFUL! We loved it, but... we still had Alabama and Texas on our minds. 

So on we went! 

That same day we looked at a place in Alabama. 
It was pretty as well. But, not like the first ranch in Georgia... 
Nevertheless- Texas was still on our minds! 

"On the road again"... We continued down the road and drove across Alabama, down through Mississippi, and on into 
New Orleans, Louisiana. 

What do you suppose the entire City of new Orleans consists of?!?


For sure- it was not my happy place. But, the kids loved it, we had some great food, took a trolly down through the city: to the river, walked through an"oyster festival" (I had to giggle, because I doubt they know what "oysters" from our part of the country consist of...ha!), stayed in a not so great hotel, and got back 
"On the road again"... 

Next up- Houston Texas! 
ahhh- we had made it to Texas, and it was BEAUTIFUL!
My heart was happy... 
We got settled into a hotel late on Saturday night, I googled churches to attend, found a good one close to the hotel- (by the way, Houston is HUGE! (roughly 2.2 million) ) and slept well. 
For Sunday breakfast- 
we ate at our first Waffle House, (BIG thing here in the south) 
then headed to church. 
The church was awesome!
 I can now remove, 
"being the only pale skin person in church" from my bucket list! ;) 
After church, we went to a nice dinner provided by fast friends we had made at church, then later went to the park and got to know our new friends a bit more. 

Then... you guess it- "On the Road Again..." 

San Antonio was next! 
We spent a couple days in San Antonio looking at ranches and property, but it was just too dry and prices too high to make things work for a cattle Rancher. We did go and tour the Alamo, and took a ride down the "RiverWalk". It was really neat- and the kids throughly enjoyed seeing all the sights and learning some history!

Now our van was pointing in the Northern direction, and we drove on through Austin and finally parked the van in a town outside of Dallas, called Corsicana. Corsicana was beautiful! Our realtor (from Texas) had several properties lined up for us to see in the Corsicana area- and we were ready to tour them! 
 Oh- my heart was so happy!
The properties we looked at were absolutely beautiful. We narrowed it down to a couple we loved, did the paperwork,
 made the offers- 
and were turned down- time and time again. 
We tried our best- but the "doors were closed" wherever we looked. After a few days- we decided to get back on the road- holding out hope, that something would open up.  Previous to the trip- I had stated it time and time again- that I was going to live 30 minutes from Dallas. And I was just sure it was going to work out!
But on we went- right into Dallas, and decided to check out the 

Texas Motor Speedway.


The kids were so excited! That night at the races, they did the world truck serries races. The crowd was small, we were able to get in SUPER cheep, and we had an amazing- memory filled evening. One more night in Dallas- 
then it was back into the Van, and onto Amarillo, Tx. 

The drive got a little long- so a stop in Childress, Tx was the happy place for everyone. That night we played soccer in the wide open hotel parking lot, and soaked in the Texas Summer Night. 

The drive through Texas was everyones favorite. We all loved the wide open skies, the plains, the canyons, and the diversity you could see within an hr of driving. 

The next day, we dove through Amarillo, 
and continued up through the corner of New Mexico, 
and on into Colorado Springs, Colorado. In Colorado, we were able to stay with family, which made everything so much more enjoyable! (Everyone was having "home atmosphere" withdraws from all the cold, lonely hotel rooms we had been through...") 

Time spent with family is always time well spent. 
To say the least- 
we had a fabulous time!!
Casey was able to visit the main campus of his bible college school, there in Colorado Springs, and the mountains were majestic.  While in Co. Springs, we drove back down to the Royal Gorge- and spent the afternoon seeing the sights... 

~Memories- Memories- Memories~ 

One more day in Co. Springs- 
then it was onto Denver/Fort Collins.
 Another night- another hotel. 
The next day we were able to spend a couple hours with a very dear friend of mine in Cheyenne. 

Then- back on the road- with HOME as the destination!

My, oh my- It was so good to see home again! 
We made it back during daylight hours, and the kids were so, so happy to see their dogs/horses/cows/BEDS! 

Through all the traveling, crazy schedules and ~3 weeks of 
"life on the road" 
The Kids did AMAZING! 
We read the "Little House on the Prairie" series, 
played games, sang songs, played car games, slept, and sometimes watched a movie.

(Not gonna lie- at some points in the game, I was ready for a "vacation" myself, but by the time the sun set, and rose again- 
I was ready to take on a new day/adventure!)

We were so very blessed to have been able to take the once in a lifetime trip and gather up all the memories we did.

 Growing up- I always heard how "expensive" a vacation was... 

and I quickly learned- ITS NOT! 

Sure- if you have to do everything to the "tens", then you may want to save for a while. 

BUT- if you don't mind a ham samich here and there- 
I don't see how you can afford NOT to take a family vacation. 

We traveled over 5,500 miles, we were gone for almost 3 weeks, we throughly enjoyed and filled every day as full as we could possibly get it, and kept the total spending under $600/person. 

Maybe thats expensive to you- 
but to us, the memories are PRICELESS. 

I encourage you to make a way to make it happen. Take your family on a Vacation- Plan, Budget, Save- 
Make the Memories! 

You won't regret it... I promise! 

 Well- off my soap box, and off to bed!

Ill catch up soon- and tell the "moving" story. 

Thanks for reading! Thanks for supporting us!
~ One BLESSED mommie~