Miracles, Blessings and Grateful Hearts

We are in a beautiful house in Pennsylvania.

This subdivision has more room than our old one, but we’re still believing for land of our own.

God took care of us. He answered our prayers in the nick of time and used a miracle or two to do it.

Our beautiful grand house that God provided
Our grand stairway
Our breakfast nook/dining room windows
Bushes of holly in front of our house
See, it really is holly!
Our grand entryway
We did Christmas "light". I bought each child one gift and they opened them on Dec. 26th.
Kelsey decorated the mantel the minute she found a box marked "Christmas".
Us on our grand staircase
Thankful kids
Celebrating Morgan's birthday with a Conga line
Giving thanks
Big back yard
We had a Tea Party and read 4 books about Princess Emma and Princess Abby
Cuteness incarnate
Emma's happy because...
... we made Christmas cookies!
Enjoying our gas fireplace
Birthday present? Christmas present? Gift from God!
Now our Christmas begins! Photo taken Jan. 6

We love Christmas. It is a season of remembering the birth of Jesus and celebrating our family’s love and togetherness. The whole atmosphere is uplifting, joyful and wholesome. Nobody can take that away from us. Our Christmas tree is a signpost that something exciting is coming. We will put gifts under that tree. We give each other gifts because we love and want to bless each other. We constantly point our children to the reason for the season.

Jesus is a gift beyond compare. Our gifts are paltry compared to that great gift that God gave us. But the desire to give is God-given and blessed by Him. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. This season is a set-apart season for giving and blessing and loving and thinking about Jesus. I love it that my children have the memories of past Christmases and enjoy making new memories with their family. These are precious and holy to them – the joy, excitement, family time, and Jesus – not the tree.

There’s nothing pagan about that.

We’re celebrating it now in the time frame that God has given us for it. We do things a little different around here…

And now for your listening pleasure…

Little girls sing a happy song from Penney Douglas on Vimeo.

‘Tis the Night Before Christmas Eve, and We Have a House!

Hallelujah!

Yesterday when I got up, I was pretty sure we were going to get a phone call and we would have a house. God had filled me with His faith. But I didn’t know how much of a struggle it would be to get into a house, especially before Christmas! There were two possibilities. The first was the house that a Christian couple was hoping to find someone to lease to own. They would have rented it, but they would have kept it on the market and showed it while the renters lived there and would have made the renters move out within 30 days if they found a buyer. We didn’t want to live that way, but we were getting rather desperate, so I called them to see if they would just rent to us at least until we found somewhere else to live so that we would have some place to unload all of our stuff from the moving truck. I couldn’t get a hold of them because they were on their way to Hawaii. The staff of the realty sent them voice messages, but they never called back.

The other house was the 3000 sq. foot one that we had been turned down for because the agent thought we had too many kids. He knew about the “rule” that only two people were allowed to occupy a bedroom. According to that rule, we would “have” to rent or even own a 6-bedroom house, no less. We have never even seen a 6-bedroom house available for rent. Gary called some commissions and some other agencies and found out that the rule is for unrelated people and that when a house exceeds 2900 square feet that rule doesn’t apply. He also found out that a den could be considered another bedroom, too. He called the man back and told him what he had discovered. I was so proud of him for fighting for his family that way.

The guy turned out to be a great guy. He was out of town yesterday, but he made sure that he showed us the house today at 11:00 AM, in spite of other pressing appointments and traveling he had to do. We had sent him all kinds of information through email to try to speed up the process. Yesterday, I asked him how soon we could move into the house. He said his record was 25 hours. I think we beat that record! We saw the house at 11:00 AM today. We brought a completed application with us. We went ahead and gave him a security deposit. He said he had everything he needed to present to his broker. He couldn’t say for sure whether we would be accepted, but he said he felt very good about the whole thing. He gave us the phone numbers for the utilities. We called to put them in our name.

He called a couple of hours later and said they were working their tails off to get us out of that hotel. He said that our package had been approved and that they were writing up a lease agreement for us to sign. They were making another key since there was only one. He called a little bit later and said that one of their representatives was going to meet us at our hotel so we could sign the lease and take possession of the key!

So we hurried home from the bank where we were opening up an account, so we could deposit Gary’s paychecks and continue paying for all of this stuff. Then we signed a lease agreement (which felt like we were signing for a mortgage) and got the key to our new house!

The house is beautiful! It is going to work out very well for us. There’s even an intercom throughout the house. I will be able to gather everybody for school without resorting to yelling and throwing tantrums.

I don’t have any pictures yet. My camera batteries died, and the ones we bought from Dollar General are no good! But I promise to put some on here as soon as I get some.

Thank you so much for praying for us and for interceding. There was nothing easy about any of this. We had to fight for everything that we got. This was a battle, but we knew we had the victory. Because God gives us the victory. I was so sure that God would give us the house before Christmas. And He did! It’s our Christmas miracle.

PS I’m so looking forward to cooking again. I can’t believe I said that!

Good Tidings of Great Joy!

We got a lead on a house that has over 3000 square feet.  The man we contacted about it told Gary that we couldn’t live in that house because we had too many children!!!   Gary called some agencies of the city of York and found out that the addendums to that rule state that if the children are all your own children, that rule doesn’t hold and square footage of the house makes a difference, and a den can qualify as another bedroom.  He called the guy back and told him what he found out.  The guy called Gary back, rather apologetically, and said that he’s not well-versed in these things, and that he sees the worst of situations in his business and hardly ever sees a family with our situation where all of the children are our natural-born children.

He is very eager to show us the house as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, he is out of town and won’t be back until tomorrow.  I have an appointment to go see the house at 11:00 tomorrow morning.  I think this is it!

It looks like we’ll be able to be in the house by tomorrow or Friday!

Our moving truck is sitting outside of our hotel room just waiting to be unloaded into our new house.  And the house is only 10 minutes from here!

So everything is looking WAY better today.

Another praise:  I went to rent a van so we could go see the house and do a few other things (like eat out) and I asked for a mini-van or SUV.  I had previously mentioned the fact that we had 10 kids.  He pointed out the window and said, “I know something that would work even better for you.   That 15-passenger van just came back.”  I couldn’t believe it.  Those things are so hard to get a hold of.  It had come back in moments before we walked in and nobody else had reserved it.  So we got a 15-passenger van for the same price as a mini-van!

I am so grateful for the way God is moving for us.  I knew He would.  I just wondered when.

Grandpa came to visit us at our hotel in York! He drove the last leg of the journey. Nelson's leg is sore from sliding on ice and straining his whole leg. He packed and loaded our stuff and drove 3 hours in a terrible snowstorm through Indiana with a very sore leg. He has to walk with a crutch. But he is a very determined and faithful friend! Dad saw his condition and offered to drive the truck the rest of the way. So we get a visit with Grandpa as well as all of our stuff that will fill our NEW HOUSE!

Eating Grandma’s fudge. Grandma sent a care package with Grandpa. Of course, it contained FUDGE!

Nelson icing his foot in his hotel room. It's getting better! He is full of faith and rejoicing with us that God is providing our house.
Abby and Kelsey played beauty shop.

Silly pictures – the LAST ones at the hotel!

Anna and Patrick went out to see the lunar eclipse. This is the picture they brought back from it.