So, we are in Michigan…I mean we have moved from Minnesota to Michigan. I preached my last sermon at St. John’s in Norwood Young America, MN on June 9th (we”ll call it Sound-check <– click there to hear it). We then packed up our home over the next few days and made our way here… In keeping with the last few blog posts I will give you all a nice, orderly recounting of the events.
In my last post I let you all know that we had put in an offer on a bank owned home. We put in our first offer on Mon. June 3rd. We heard the next day that there were multiple bids on the house. The bank wanted our “highest and best bid” by that Wed. at 10 a.m. We made our final offer on Tuesday the 4th.
Well, we waited and waited to hear if our offer was accepted, or if the house went to someone else. The longer we waited the more I felt like somebody else would be offered the house. I prayed about it…I put it in God’s hands…I asked for peace. I felt like the house would be offered to somebody else, but I still thought that we would wind up getting it in the end.
We finally got word the following Wed. (June 12th) that the bank had in fact sent a counter offer to another bidder. We were out bid. I prayed. I told Kristy that I felt that someone else would be offered the house, but that for some reason the deal would not go through, and that we would end up in the house when all was said and done. I was content with the thought of us not getting the house…but I still felt that we would get it.
But we had other things we needed to take care of. That very day we were supposed to pack up our moving trailer (the one that came the night before…that we reserved just the night before that). It was about 10:45 a.m. when we got the call saying the bank was negotiating with another bidder. At 11:00 we were expecting people to show up to help us pack up. And I forgot to mention, it had been raining all morning with no signs of letting up. At about 5 minutes to I went outside to open the back of the trailer and set up the ramp. In a few short minutes the rain turned to a drizzle and then simply stopped.
Just at that moment people started showing up one by one. I was expecting some of the youth from the church to show up and help…none of them could make it. One of my friends showed up. The sons of our former nanny came (moving dolly in hand). A few guys from church came. One of them had his adult sons come as well. About a half hour before they showed up I realized that we had yet to pack our kitchen. I called one of the women from church to come and take the lead on that. She was one of the first to get there and her husband came a little while later.
There weren’t as many people as I hoped would come but I don’t know that I would have known what to do with any more people than the ones we had. We loaded all the boxes that were packed, and we put everything that was not in a sealed box in the garage or in the dining room for Kristy and me to go through and pack the next day. It continued to be overcast throughout the day but it only sprinkled for a short while one more time while we were loading. (I have helped a lot of people load and unload moving vehicles. even on nice days it is usually boiling hot inside the trailer. But for us it was perfectly pleasant all day long.)
Kristy and I planned on finishing up in the morning on the next day. One of the church members who runs a home daycare took all of our kids for the day so that we could pack, load and clean in peace. Well, the morning came and went…and the afternoon. We worked non-stop into the evening. The new home owners came for their final walk through at about 5:30…we were still doing our final clean up. But we didn’t care. Nothing could discourage us or stress us out on that day anymore…and you know why? Because at about 4:30 our realtor called us and said the bank accepted our offer on the house in Michigan. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but suffice it to say, God answered our prayers. We now knew where we would be moving to…eventually.
That night we took everything we hadn’t loaded in the moving truck and went to my parents’. We finalized the selling of our house the next day at noon, walking away with all the money we will need for the down payment and closing costs on our new home in Michigan. We spent the weekend at my parents’ place, then went and spent most of the week with my grandparents in southern MN. We had a great time with them, and then journeyed back through the Twin Cities on our way to Kristy’s parents house in Central Wisconsin. There was a fun gathering at their place while we stayed with them. On Sunday we headed down to the Chicagoland area and spent the night with some friends from the Seminary. We left there after breakfast, and by the afternoon we had reached our destination. Oh yeah, and another big blessing happen on the way…
Up until we were at my mom’s we had not decided the exact route or timeline of our journey to MI. So, we had not been able to give the Michiganders anything firm as far as an arrival date. And we had yet to make definite housing arrangements because we had been holding out on the possibility of purchasing and getting into the house in early to mid July.
When we talked with Pastor Jim in MI about temporary housing we asked him to put the question of housing out to the congregation. A few options were presented (like renting one side of a duplex, or house hopping while church members went on vacation) but one family in particular said they would be willing to open their home to us. Their upstairs had 2 bedrooms, a bathroom and a t.v. room. Kristy and I both thought this sounded like a great option. The thought of house hopping and living out of our vehicles, while doable, was less than desirable, and we did not want to have to unload and unpack into temporary housing only to then re-load, move, unload and unpack again when we finally get into our new home.
When we were at my grandparents I called Kara (the mom of the family who offered to house us) and let her know that we would love to see if things would work out at their place for our family…and that we would be arriving in MI in less than a week on Monday June 24th. She graciously welcomed us.
We got to the Garcia’s place Monday afternoon and took over their upstairs…and parts of their kitchen. They have been great hosts and we have tried to be good house mates.
They have a five year old son who our boys have made quick friends with. They have a trampoline in their back yard and a wii in their living-room…the boys are adjusting very well!
Our girls are doing well also. Little lady K tries to keep up with the boys and seems to have a generally good time until they team up on her when playing monsters or superheros. She also enjoys just going off and playing on her own with the plethora of new toys at her disposal. Baby girl E is great as always. She did start sleeping through the night sometime during this whole transition but that was short lived. Other than that she is still the world’s easiest and happiest baby. We have had to resort to putting Sunny’s (the Garcia’s chihuahua) food and water dishes up off the ground so that she doesn’t topple them over (or eat any dog food).
We decided for a number of reasons to enroll the kids in the Open Arms childcare center at Kristy’s new job, and have registered the boys for first grade and kindergarten at our local public elementary school (which is only a 2 minute drive from our soon to be new home). The school system has a gifted and talented program that starts at Kindergarten (Awesome!) and their cut off is Dec. 1st (not Sept. 1st like in MN) which is why little man T can start Kindergarten this year. M is technically old enough to be in 2nd grade, but we think he will do well with a younger class socially and since their is a great gifted and talented program he should have no problem being challenged academically.
Kristy started her job on Monday July 1st. It will be interesting to see what this position actually becomes and how God uses her in this community. I met with and Assistant to the President of the Michigan District of our church body on Wed. the 3rd to give them a better feel for who I am and how they might best use me in the ministry of the Michigan District. The meeting went well. I am excited.
Finally, since hearing that the bank accepted our offer (on June 13th) it has taken until July 1st for them to return the signed purchase agreement. After my Wed. meeting at the district office I walked down to the loaning organization that we are purchasing our home through. I popped in to meet the woman who has been handling our case, and to make sure that everything was in order (and our interest rate locked in). It was not.
I quickly called our realtor and my wife to make sure that all of the paperwork would get in that day (the following day being the 4th of July). The office would be closing early that day and would remain closed until the following Monday, at which point interest rates were scheduled to go up a quarter percent. I drove to Kristy’s work, we had lunch, we filled out the paperwork, we made sure all the proper signatures were attained and we faxed the papers off. Done and done. Our loan amount is fixed for the next 15 years at 3.5% (on a 30 year loan). One more day and this would not have been possible.
As you can see God has continued to answer our prayers and prove that His timing is perfect. I hope that this “little” update is a blessing and encouragement to you. Seek God’s direction in your life. Follow where He leads. Trust in Him to direct you. And hold on! That is how God led us from MN to MI…who knows where He will lead you.
Living forever, Now
Michael (a.k.a. revgrannis)
“The path is made by walking in it.”