I cannot believe that we have been living in Texas for almost two full months!  I am happy to report that, all things considered, we are doing very well, and are very happy in our new home.

Which is not to say we didn’t get off to a rocky start.  Not quite a month after we arrived, Gaylon got laid off.  Now, most of you remember that we moved here because Gaylon had a job working for his family’s commercial plumbing business.  To say that this layoff was a huge shock for us would be a gross understatement.  However, after a brief time of wallowing in extreme self-pity and misery, I managed to pull it together and start counting blessings.  I would like to share some of those blessings with y’all now.

  1. First, we have found an awesome church: St. Williams in Round Rock.  It has three wonderful priests, and it is only 10 minutes from our new home.  There are two masses every weekday, and seven on the weekends.  We have been able to attend the 12:15 Mass on most days.  They also have a full-time Middle School Youth Ministry, complete with Lock-Ins and Diocesan-Wide Youth Rallies.
  2. Our neighborhood is terrific!  It not only has a community pool just half a block from our house, but it also has a walking trail, complete with deer.  Actually, our entire neighborhood is full of deer.  (I refuse to say ‘overrun’, but that might actually be the correct term.)  There are lots of children riding bikes, playing football in the streets and folks walking all over the place. Right now, though we seem to be having an epidemic of graveyards, six-foot spiders, zombies and glowing skeletons.  I love it!!  We have been stockpiling candy for Halloween night, and Alex is planning to carry on my father’s twisted tradition of donning a werewolf mask and sneaking up behind trick-or-treaters.  Actually, Alex is planning to take it to the next level, and intends to jump out of our oak tree as they come up the sidewalk.  Daddy just hid behind the planter, LOL.  I sure hope our neighbors have a sense of humor!
  3. We are also loving being so close to everything!  The grocery store is only five minutes from our house.  We are ten minutes from three or four cinemas, and a couple of really good malls.  So, while we have a lot of ‘country’, like the deer and lots of beautiful Live Oak trees, we still get all the perks of being ‘city’.
  4. F.I.S.C.H.E. (Families In Support of Catholic Home Education).  This has been a HUGE blessing!  This group meets every Friday for Mass, then they have some sort of activity for the teens.  The activities rotate between spiritual, service and social.  So far, we have had a Spiritual Retreat, Bowling, Campfire, Paintball, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Lunch with Fr. Jonathan and Eucharistic Adoration.  In a couple of weeks we will be doing a Murder Mystery Party!!  This group has made all the difference in the world for Abigail.  She told me the other day that she really is happy here, and is glad we moved here!  Wow.  I floated all day after that announcement. 🙂
  5. Alex got a job at a grocery store called Sprouts just after we moved here.  He is making pretty good money, and has already made plans with a new friend to go to some Comic Convention next summer in San Antonio. I guess you gotta do all that while you’re young, right?
  6. Gaylon and I are making new friends, too.  We are so amazed and impressed by the spiritual family leadership of the men we are meeting, and the way they take their roles so seriously, yet still have fun doing it!  We have been invited by one couple to attend the Texas Alliance for Life’s Annual Benefit Dinner next week at the Hilton Austin.  The guest speaker is Abby Johnson, who is a former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and is now a pro-life advocate.  There is a lot of controversy and hoopla surrounding her decision to abandon Planned Parenthood’s ship, so I am very excited about getting to hear her speak!  I am also beginning to wonder if we will have to pass by protesters on our way into the Hilton. . .  it is, after all, Austin.
  7. Gaylon has been able, with the help of our homeschool group, to find some side-jobs to keep money coming in for now.  We have decided to believe in God’s promises, and are trusting that He will provide whatever we need.  So far, in the past 24 years, He has never abandoned us!

We do not know exactly what our long-term future holds. But for now, the short-term looks very promising.  We are headed back to North Carolina in December for Kendall’s graduation from UNC-A, and are looking forward to reconnecting with all of our friends out there.

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