Monday, October 20, 2014

Menu Week of October 20-24

I may be changing this menu up a little bit if I find some great soup recipes.  We are supposed to have 3 cold, rainy days this week and soup is always the perfect meal for those types of days.  We went to CT this past weekend and my sister-in-law made pumpkin pancakes for us on Saturday morning.  They were so good that I was almost tempted to put them on our menu every day this week.  

Cereal x 2
Bagels & Yogurt
Fried Eggs & Whole Wheat Toast
Scrambled Eggs & Cheese

PB & J Sandwiches
Turkey Sandwiches
Leftovers x 3

Pumpkin Pancakes & Sausage
Chips, Chili, & Cheese
Chicken Tacos & Refried Beans

My Song For the Day - "Cornerstone" by Hillsong

We sang this song at church yesterday morning.  I've sung this many times before but it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday.  

This move has made me a roller coaster of emotions.  One day I'm praising God for working out details and providing for this move.  A couple days later, I'm discouraged and wondering where God is.  Why is it taking so long to close on a house?  Why do we keep running into hiccups?  Where are you God?  Isn't this where You wanted us?

We received bad news on Thursday from Wells Fargo saying that the title on our house was "cloudy".  Basically the house was foreclosed and a company bought the house to sell to a contractor who then flipped the house and then sold it to us.  All of this in 30 days made red flags pop up everywhere to Wells Fargo.  They consider it "messy" and they don't have to deal with the mess if they don't want to.  If they decide to approve the loan, we won't be able to close until the end of November.  Our housing allowance ends one week from today.

The weight of the world was on my shoulders Thursday night.  Where do we even start?  We can't afford the hotel we are currently at.  Everything we own is in storage and that contract is up too.  It's overwhelming to think we need to have it all delivered to a temporary place only to have to move it again by ourselves to the new house....if it ever gets approved.  You can definitely say I was questioning everything at this point.  

I was not a nice person to my family this weekend.  I was very crabby and my sweet, patient husband had to deal with the brunt of it.  I forgot all of God's blessings and how He has brought us this far.  I only focused on the big problem starting at me in the face.  I wondered where God was.  I didn't want to wait for answers.  I needed to know right away what the end result was going to be.  I allowed Satan to work in my heart rather than giving it to God.

As we sung this church yesterday morning, God spoke to me in the second verse. 

"When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace,
In every high and stormy gale
my anchor holds within the veil."

The bad news we received on Thursday didn't change God's grace to us.  He was, is, and will always be there for us.  As quickly as my praising changed into questioning, God's grace didn't change.  He may not be working out everything in my timing, but in His big picture, it's perfect timing.  He didn't stop loving me just because I doubted His goodness. 

 Instead of making me "pay" for not trusting that He in control, He has allowed Mike's company to extend our housing allowance until November 15th!  Instead of making me "suffer" and  start the process of finding a new house, He provided another mortgage company to give us a loan at a lower interest rate!  Yep, I'm pretty much in awe and humbled by God's love for me right now.  Nothing I can ever do or say will ever change God's love for me.  He continues to show His grace to me over and over again.

Nothing can stop God's plan for our life.  
Isaiah 14:27 says "For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His out-stretched hand, who can turn it back?"  
Jeremiah 10:6 says "There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Menu Week of October 13-17

We have two more weeks in the hotel and then we can finally move into our new home!!  I keep saying to myself "I can do this, we are soooo close!"  And yes, we are having sandwiches for lunch almost every day this week.  It's going to be one of those weeks I'm keeping it simple.

Cereal x 2
Egg & Cheese Bagel Sandwiches
French Toast & Sausage
Fried Eggs & Whole Wheat Toast

Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Mac & Cheese
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

Crockpot Chicken with Carrots and Mashed Potatoes
Lasagna, Breadsticks, & Salad Bar
 (Mike really wants this meal that the hotel is serving)
Stuffed "Baked" Crockpot Potatoes with Broccoli
Meal on the road 
(we are headed to CT this weekend)

Our Weekend Recap

We took full advantage of the gorgeous weather we had this past weekend and went on a scenic drive on Saturday and a nature walk on Sunday.  I'm quickly falling in love with Maine.  Now to master their harsh Winters!

On Saturday, we drove the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire.  It was gorgeous!  It reminded me a little of the Smoky Mountains in TN except the mountains seemed larger in NH.  There are so many hiking trails that we will definitely have to schedule another weekend just to hit some of the trails.  And of course we managed to get our driving directions messed up (it's not a road trip without getting lost), and thought we were headed home to to Gorham, ME but instead ended up in Gorham, NH.  It was quite the drive but we saw some beautiful scenery!  Some of the best pizza is found at local pubs and we found one of the best!  I don't even know what town we were in but the pub was called Pizza and Beer and we ordered a pizza with white sauce, steak, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.  It was incredibly yummy.  It was a great day making memories with my family!

On Sunday morning we visited a church in Gorham.  It was somewhat disappointing and it's one more we can cross off our list.  We missed the church we visited last week so that could be a great sign that God is leading us to that church.  We have a couple more on our list to visit and then we will start revisiting some of the ones we liked.  We went back to the hotel and grabbed a quick lunch of leftovers.  We were going to go hang out at Old Orchard Beach but then stopped at the Eastern Trail and decided to go on a nature walk instead.  It was 60 degrees with full sun so it was a perfect day for walking.  We started in Scarborough and walked 5 miles starting at Pine Point Road to Black Point Road back to Pine Point Road.   My flip flops prevented me from walking the full trail of 65 miles.  :)  It was a beautiful trail of both water scenery and wooded areas.  We even saw a seal in the water which was super cool!  It will definitely be one of our new favorite places for walking.  Bradley was in bed by 7:30 pm last night and slept for 12 hours last night.  He's having a blast with all this outdoor recreation.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Song for the Day - "Stand Still and Let God Move"

This song was perfect for me today.  I needed to hear these words today.  It reminds me of Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are nothing like your thoughts", says the Lord "and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."   He promises us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  

 I was pretty discouraged this morning.  God keeps gently reminding me that He is in control of my situation and disappointments.   Answers will come but only in His time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Menu Week of October 6-10

It's time to get back to menu planning!  The hotel offers free breakfast every day and supper Monday - Thursday.  It was really nice not having to worry about supper plans and saving money but eating so much processed food has caught up to all of us.  "Real Food" does make a difference!! I have a small, somewhat limited kitchen in our hotel room and very few kitchen utensils and cookware.  In fact, the other night I had a blister from cutting vegetables with a dull knife.  It takes prepping meals twice as long when you don't have the right utensils but, it's still manageable and I just have to get back into the routine of planning.  Mike was laughing the other night because he can sit at the table and reach into the refrigerator, take something off the stovetop, put something in the sink or dishwasher all without getting out of his chair.  It's a very tiny kitchen.  I'm still trying to figure out why they even put the dishwasher in.  As much as I hate washing dishes, I'd still trade an oven for the dishwasher.

I'm learning to shop in new grocery stores and Shaw's has become my most "go to" store right now.  There is a Whole Foods but it's downtown Portland and extremely crowded.  I get very overwhelmed shopping there.  I miss my Earth Fare deals so much but Shaw's has a program right now with every $10 you spend, you get a stamp.  And for certain amounts of stamps you can get free cookware.  Right now they are giving me 2 stamps for every $10 I spend which is even better.  I'm saving up for a lasagna pan!

I've also recently discovered a new app called Snap by Groupon.  The app is so simple to use and it allows me to receive cash back by buying certain foods and products.  For instance, I received $1 for buying milk and $1 for buying bread.  Once you reach $20, you can request a check to be sent to you.  You can sign up here.

Cereal x 2
Eggs & Cheese with Whole Wheat Toast
Homemade Pancakes

Egg Salad Sandwiches & Sweet Potato Chips
Leftovers x 2
Annie's Mac & Cheese
Special Lunch Out

Black Beans and Wild Rice
Chicken Tacos
Spring Rolls with Fried Rice

Monday, October 6, 2014

Our Weekend Recap

 We had a very encouraging weekend.  Hotel living is starting to get to all of us.  Bradley is anxious to have all his toys and books back, I'm anxious to have a full kitchen to cook in, and Mike is just ready to have Bradley and I in better moods.  :)
On Saturday we met Mike's sister at Shedd Park in Lowell, MA.  They were in that area buying a new puppy for the family.  We were very excited to see family and Bradley was so happy to play with his cousins. 

Mike has one more test to pass for his work so he was busy studying on Saturday night while I went downstairs to walk on the treadmill.  Eating processed food for 4 weeks has finally caught up to me.  I have gained at least 5 pounds, have no energy or motivation, developing skin issues, constant bloating, etc.  As much as I wanted to save money and just eat breakfast and supper at the hotel (the meals are free), it's not worth feeling like crap every day.  I started making meals for us last week and in just a week I can tell a difference. 

We visited SouthCoast Community Church on Sunday morning.  What a great service and a sweet group of people.  The weather was gorgeous on Sunday so after church we went downtown Portland.  We ate at Becky's Diner which has been featured on Diners, Drive-In's, & Dives.  It was a super cute Diner and the food was delicious.  Of course it left us all feeling like we ate a diner later that evening, but isn't that what diners are supposed to do?  After lunch, we took Bradley on a car ferry which he loved!  It was just an hour ferry ride that took cars to and from Peaks Island.  Bradley thought it was very cool to see the cars drive onto the boat.  I'm pretty sure he's going to be asking for a boat for Christmas very soon. 
A must visit diner if you are in the Portland area!
You know Bradley is tired of eating out when he asks for a PB&J sandwich.
Bradley has discovered "selfies".
My two favorite guys!
The ferry ride was so relaxing and soaking in Vitamin D was much needed.

People actually live on this small island! 
Arriving at Peaks Island

Watching the cars drive onto the boat before heading back to Portland. 

He loved this part!

Almost back to Portland.
We stopped for ice cream after the ferry ride and walked by the waterfront downtown Portland before heading back to the hotel. 
I love Bradley's expression in this picture.  He didn't want me taking any of his ice cream and just getting close to him for a picture was enough to make him grumpy at me.

Checking out all the love locks.

This little guy was exhausted by the time we go to the car.  He was just dozing off here in this picture and was completely asleep as soon as we buckled him into the car. 
 I'm so grateful we had a wonderful weekend that lifted all of our spirits!  I'm ready to tackle another week of transitioning to Maine.