A couple of weeks ago, I sat down to work on our budget for the first time since we've been home from China. It felt useless to try to follow a budget during the last few months before we traveled, so it's been quite a while since I worked up a budget. I was pleasantly surprised! We're still tight coming off the China trip, but by the end of October, we'll be able to breathe and be back on track again. We actually have extra cash to give and save. We've not been able to do either for a year now. Finances are a huge part of our decision to move, but there are so many more benefits.
This week, we were all very sick with a horrid stomach virus. It was just a 24-hour virus, but it knocked us to our feet! Having a smaller home made it so much less stressful to keep clean. This morning, I got up to a tornado of a mess (after being sick and lying in bed all day yesterday and hubby out of town for work). It took me just an hour to clean the kitchen, work laundry, tidy up, and disinfect the bathrooms. I had very little energy coming off of yesterday's virus, so being able to stay on one floor and take fewer steps was a true blessing.
One thing we loved about our big home was entertaining. We truly enjoyed having people over to swim, barbecue, eat dinner, host parties for others, and just use the space we had to enjoy and bless others. We learned Sunday that size doesn't matter! We had about 13 adults and even MORE kids at the house for our new home group. There was room for everyone and we had a great time. It was our first time to have a large group come over since moving, so it was nice to see that it still works.
We have had issues with neighborhood kids. Bullying, foul language, gossip and drama. I have a whole other blog planned about that, but we just try to see it as a way for our kids to grow character, learn how to deal with people, and give God's grace.
One last fun renting story. Regency truly has very good customer service. They aren't perfect, but who is? I believe I already blogged about the AC getting fixed so quickly the first month we were here. Well, a few weeks ago, Tian decided to flush a ball down the toilet. His oldest brother did the same thing when he was the same age. We were living in Vegas and after taking our toilet outside and rolling it around the backyard, we realized that ball was NOT getting unstuck, so we bought a new toilet. We were quite worried about this toilet, thinking we were going to have to pay for whatever work was done. One of our maintenance guys came up, took the toilet off, broke apart the ball, sealed the toilet back, then left. No stress. No budget buster. Just fixed. That, my friends, is what we need in this season of our life!