Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We're Moving to Texas?

Last summer, we planned to build an addition onto our home. Though our nuclear family isn't growing (which makes me sad), our extended family is and we wanted to have a place that is comfortable when all the kids and grandkids come home to visit. We put together plans, got bids, and even had the financing ready to sign.

Then we got nervous. The election was looming and were were worried that if President Obama were re-elected he'd continue with his plan to close coal-fired power plants. We decided to wait it out and when he won, we put our plans on hold indefinitely.

In December, the company my husband works for announced they would be pulling out of the area because the coal-fired power plants would be shutting down, hopefully only partially, but enough that it is no longer profitable for the company. We learned that in 3 years, the company for which my husband has worked for 24 years, will no longer be in the area.

We had decisions to make. Can he find another job in this area? What about his retirement? Our healthcare? Should we move? Can we leave family and friends? How would our kids react to moving? What other options do we have?

We have a great life in Colorado. We've worked hard for 19 years on our home and property. We were in the midst of changing over to solar power. We have animals. We just built the barn my husband has been dreaming of for 15 years. We live across the highway from my sister and her 12 kids, who've all grown up together. My husband's family lives here. We know what it's like to live here--we know how to ration water in the summer, what teachers are good and not-so-good, how long it takes to get to town, where to shop. We have a doctor we love and a dentist we love. We know the weather patterns. My son, who will be a senior was going to be a yearbook editor and seminary co-president. And, did I mention, my sister lives across the highway? Right across the highway.

We've spent months thinking about it, talking about it, praying about it. The bottom line is, in 3 years we won't have a job and we risk losing everything. So, we've decided to move. To Houston.

I hear it's hot down there. And humid. And h-u-g-e. Probably a little bigger than the 20,000 that live in Durango.  Not a small town feel like we have here. Lots and lots of people. And it's hot. Really hot.

But, Houston is thriving and it's full of opportunities. And it's the only other spot in the US where the company for which my husband works is located. So that's where we're going. We can hang onto our retirement, keep our healthcare, and we know this company.

Everything will change for us, but we hope there will be good changes. Our youngest will have more opportunities. He's right on the cusp of starting to speak more. We hope we can find a good school with teachers that will help him blossom. Our other kids will have new opportunities--new friends, new schools, new classes. My oldest son at home wants to go into aerospace engineering--we'll be right next to NASA and close to Texas A&M. My kids will have more choices for community colleges. We can save them each 3 hours of their lives every day by not having to ride the school bus. Schools will be within a mile of our home. The church building will be within a mile. And a temple within a few miles. We can go to the temple on a more regular basis because it won't be a 7-hour commitment.  There will be a grocery store within a mile or so, too. I won't have to calculate a 45 minute drive to everything. We can go on day trips to visit losts of new places. Go to museums. The coast. I'm sure there are many more things we'll learn about as we live there.

We are excited for this new adventure. We hope things work out well. We hope it isn't too hard to adjust. We hope everyone can make friends. We hope we can deal with the heat. And the humidity. And the big city.

But, did I mention, I have to leave my sister and her family? Yeah, that stinks. No matter how I try to look at it, that part doesn't ever get better--that's just going to be hard, hard, hard. But, we plan to come back to Colorado for Christmas and summer, maybe that'll make it a little less painful. Or not.

So, say a prayer for us that all will work out!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Aura is $.99 For a Limited Time

What if the greatest weapon in the age-old war between good and evil was inside of you?
Crystal Scott has always felt different but tried hard to blend in.  Now that she's scored the lead in the school play, has a boyfriend she adores, and a best friend she can't live without, she finally feels like she belongs. 

A few days before prom, a mysterious young man appears and suddenly she has to figure out how to use the weapon of Light she has inside her or mankind is doomed.

Demons are determined to tip the war in their favor no matter what the cost and they're hot on Crystal's trail.  With danger around every corner, she doesn't know if she can save herself, never mind anyone else.  When things look darkest and there's nowhere to turn, Crystal must find the strength to use her newfound gifts against the tide of evil threatening all of them--or die trying.

You can purchase Aura here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crazy Summer

I've been absent from blogging for a while. It seems like life became so crazy I could hardly breathe for a bit.

The end of the school year was hectic and then I started potty-training my youngest. I'd tried potty-training him before, but gave up after a few days. This time, I decided to stick it out. The first week was a bear with plenty of accidents, but now, more than a month later, he's potty-trained. Yay!!!! He sleeps in underwear. He has an accident here and there, but he's doing great. I'm going to write about what I did more in-depth on my blog about my son The Upside of Down if you're interested or know anyone else who might be.

My 20-year-old daughter came home to be a counselor at a theater camp. Just prior to the beginning of the camp, we all went to the lake with my sister's family. We were playing in the water and having a great time when my daughter, Olivia, had to leave to attend a meeting for the camp. We didn't get an reception out at the lake so when we left an hour later, we had some strange messages on our phones. We got the "call" parents don't want to get: our daughter had been involved in a serious car accident and was on route by ambulance to the hospital.

It took us almost an hour to get the hospital, all the while worried and stressed at what we'd find. I rushed into the ER and found her on a backboard with a neck collar waiting for x-rays--not an image that I'll soon forget. She was bloody and crying. A state patrolman was there giving her a ticket when we arrived. Yep, giving her a ticket. We didn't even know how injured she was and he was giving her a ticket.

Thankfully, she ended up with only a concussion. She should have died. She definitely had angels round about her. She was in the passing lane when it was about to end so she merged into the right lane. the car ahead of her was going slower than she anticipated, so she slammed on her brakes. She went off the highway and the car went up on its nose, turned a circle or two while on its nose, then came to rest on its roof. She'd left the lake not wearing her seat belt, but had been prompted to put it on. That saved her life. Had she not been wearing her seat belt, she would've been ejected and she would never have survived the accident.

Those who watched it happen and were on scene shortly afterward, were amazed she survived. Even the insurance adjuster who saw the totaled car was amazed. I am just so thankful Heavenly Father protected her and kept her safe.

She is now walking to work and everywhere else, but she is walking.

I'll blog more about our crazy summer in the next week or so.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Penumbras by Braden Bell

Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are back! Just when they think life is normal again, a dangerous shadow creature begins to hunt them. The trio must develop their powers in order to conquer this new peril and protect their school. Filled with action and even more magic, this book continues the exciting adventure in the Middle School Magic series.

My review:

5 stars

I LOVE this book. I LOVE the characters. I LOVE the magic system. I LOVE the message that's woven into this exciting and fun story about friendship, love, and discovery.

Penumbras is an engaging read for everyone. It targets middle-school readers, but I found myself cheering for the characters. It also has some tender scenes that made me teary, especially at the end.

There's plenty of action and some intense scenes as well, but I loved the relationships between the characters and their growth.

Bell is a master storyteller and the depth of this story is amazing. Those who love a great story with realistic, layered characters will want to read this one because it's so captivating. 

You can learn more about Braden Bell here.

You can purchase Penumbras here.