It's been a trip down memory lane. You can view part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.
Home Number 4:
We drove over and around the mountain and came into view of our home.
We wanted to arrive at our new home with just our family.
We opened the doors and the boys FLEW through the house checking out each room and detail.
New friends and some old friends that were on this same journey helped us unload the next day.
It was a new beginning.
A beginning that brought loneliness in our new home.
In this home we went through a season of change that was hard.
We tried not to be the annoying people that started every sentence with, "Where we used to live we ... "
We painted, redid bathrooms, and made each room our own.
We set up the big sandbox that we had managed to move.
Jason adjusted to a new job and dived into building relationships with youth.
It was in this home we brought PINK home with the birth of our daughter.
It's here we longed for familiar friends that we could introduce Tatum too.
It's here that we opened the door one day to TWO HUGE boxes of gifts from friends - a shower in a box.
In this home we learned new things about a God that cared about the journey He had us on.
Eventually we turned a corner and no longer felt lonely.
We felt the new normal and it was good.
Our family of 6 tightened through all the challenges and changes.
We would look out our windows and from our backyard up into the sky to see mountains.
These mountains assured me that I served a BIG God.
We settled into this home for the long haul.
In this home I learned to juggle my role as mother or four.
It's here I walked Ian to the bus stop for the first time and then cried.
It's here I built one friendship after another just by stepping outside onto my porch, my driveway, my street.
It's here we would build fires in the backyard and roast marshmellows as a family.
It's here we would stand outside for hours laughing and talking with other adults.
The group would slowly grow as each dad arrived home from a day at work.
It's here I had co workers in mothering.
It was on the front porch I would sit and read while the kids played.
It's here we had countless BBQ's learning to know our neighbors.
It's here we had youth over.
In this home we listened to college kids wrestle with life and faith.
In this home we hosted friends form afar for visits.
In this home Tatum learned to walk and talk.
The twins left toddlerhood in this home.
We had a grade schooler, two preschoolers, and a toddler in this home.
All of those stages brought so many changes.
First Teeth were lost.
Training Wheels disappeared.
We went down to ONE crib.
Our first and only (so far) bone was broken here.
Many JAMM/DANCE sessions were had.
In this house we took up a love for hiking and being out in God's creation.
We experienced Fall in such rich colors.
In this home passions were ignited in us.
In this home we went through the journey of unemployment.
In this home we saw God provide though friendships at church and in our neighborhood.
In this home we struggled with the questions of what to do? where to go? how do we leave this place? what's next?
Many tears were shed in this home.
Tears of questioning, tears of trusting, tears of joy, tears of the unknown, tears of hope.
We drove away with our next door neighbors standing in our driveway.
We let the tears flow.
They kept flowing.
In many ways they are still flowing.
But the memories are good and they serve a purpose - just as house number 5 serves a purpose.