Sunday, April 17, 2011


So, wow.  I haven't blogged in bad. :)  Quite a bit has happened since.  The most important thing is that we have moved to Pennsylvania!  Sheesh!  God is good and Kelly was offered a promotion within his company the Thursday before Spring Break, which he accepted.  He is now the General Manager of Hollywood Theaters Crown Center Stadium 14 in Washington, PA.  The company paid for us to travel up to PA from March 22 - 26 in order to find a home.  That wasn't a whole lot of time but God is faithful and we found one!!  We came home and had a whirlwind experience getting packed up and finishing out our last week in Oklahoma but God was in this all the way, and while it happened quickly, it happened so very smoothly.

Our new home is in Houston, PA which is a borough right next door to Chartiers Township and on the other side of the borough of Canonsburg and all of this is in Washington, I'm not sure what all of this means but at least I can find my way to and from our house!  :)  We left Bartlesville and Oklahoma on Saturday, April 2 and arrived in Pennsylvania on Sunday night, April 3.  So we have been residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for exactly 2 weeks today.  Just to give you a small example of how wonderfully God has provided for us and really fulfilled the promise He made in Jeremiah 29:11, Hayden had ZERO issues traveling here in the car.  She was amazing!

Moreover, while we were here house-hunting, I was able to get in touch with a person from The Arc of Washington, which is an advocacy group that operates locally but is based on a national group.  The person I met from this organization, met me at our hotel and gave me a wealth of information on our new home.  Through her, I was able to connect with a variety of individuals who helped me get Hayden placed and she started school last Monday after only a week of being here!  In PA, there is no Pre-K program but thanks to her IEP she was eligible for Early Intervention services and was able to start a class called LEAP:  "LEAP stands for Learning Experiences: Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Parents. It was founded by Phillip S. Strain, who received a three-year federal grant to create a model program that placed autistic children in a classroom with those who do not have autism."  Interestingly, the guy who created LEAP first tried it out as a preschool program in Pittsburgh in 1981. :)  (Here's a great article on how the classroom works.) She attends school Monday through Thursday from 12:45 to 3:15 and is sooooo happy to be back in school!  Her original love for school from the beginning of the school year has returned!  And she asks for "friends" all the time. :)

Her classroom consists of a teacher, 2 paraprofessionals, 8 neuro-typical kiddos, and 4 kiddos with autism.  Further, the Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist are on staff at the school and come in and work with whomever needs their services. They have 10 vocabulary words each week and have a "test" on Thursday.  She had her first one last Thursday and she got 9 out of 10!  There is also an art project each week that is meant for the parents to do with their children.  The teacher sends home a template of something and the parents and students decorate it however they want.  Last week, we decorated a template of an Easter egg.  We used markers, stickers, glitter-glue, and crayons.  One last thing on Hayden's schooling:  the elementary school that she will attend next year is literally in our backyard. :)  In fact, on the evenings and weekends, we can walk about 500 yards from our back door and go play on the playground! 

I am so amazed at God's obvious movement in our life...over the past few weeks, in particular.  He is our Rock and our Salvation!  And while moving so very far, so very quickly has been somewhat daunting and a little scary, we know that He is faithful to provide us what we need.  I am excited about this new place.  I am excited about the hope of a fresh beginning.  So often, we wonder if we really are following the path that God laid out for us.  We seek to follow His will and get a little paranoid that we've made a mistake...especially when things go wrong or feel hard.  But in this move, I am assured that this is absolutely right for us.  I am encouraged of this when we have rough days.

So that's the past 2 months in a nutshell. Most of you are on Facebook and if you've been following there, this is old news.  But I wanted to post it here, too, as a record of our new trek in a new place.  We love you all and hope that this Easter, you remember Him who became sin that we may all have new life!