July 17, 2015

Arizona Living

Oh, hey there, blogging world!
Did you forget about me?
Did you forget about us?
I hope not!

I never forgot about you... I know that a move or two and no internet connection has really hindered our relationship, but I promise to do better!

For now, I'm shooting for once a week posts about the crazy, everyday lives of the 3 Johnson's, and hopefully, that will keep our relationship going strong!

So, a whirlwind update will start right... about... now!

On April 22nd, we moved back home to Cedar City and lived with my parents while we figured out where we wanted to be and while Dan helped out his dad, Steve, with work as he finished out his chemotherapy for Cancer.

That went great! We loved being near both families, and we especially appreciate my family for making that sacrifice to have three added house guests for an extended stay!

We definitely made the most of our time in Cedar, even making frequent visits to St. George, spending much needed time with all our family and friends... because we also made a major family decision while there that would move our family 6 hours from home, to a whole new state!

Dan and I decided I'd put my teaching degree to use and I'd apply for elementary education jobs. I first applied in Southern Utah to stay near home, but the more we thought about it, the more we felt we needed to do something else. I joined a great website for teachers that lets you select states you'd be willing to work in and all the jobs available in those areas--I put in all states surrounding Utah and quite a few jobs came up.

We researched those places and weren't feeling good about any, until jobs came up in the small town of Parker, Arizona.

We'd never been to Parker.
It's pretty much as big as Parowan, Utah... small.
We had no idea why Parker sounded good.

But I sent in my resume, and the principal of a school in the district contacted me to set up an interview.

I interviewed over the phone and it just. felt. right.

Two days later, he offered me the position as the new third grade teacher at the school and two days after that (and much praying and discussing), I accepted!

With a job in place and a home to rent from the school district, we made plans to move to Parker, AZ!

Dan worked his booty off to get our family prepared to move and I am so grateful for him and his willingness to support me in this new venture!

On June 22nd, we packed up our Budget moving truck and our family of three, and we were on our way to our new home... having NEVER seen it before! We broke the trip into two days, and stayed one night in Las Vegas, Nevada at our friends, Dan and Amber Shoemake's (that was so fun!).

On June 23rd (my birthday!), we made our way from Vegas, down through California, and across the Colorado River into the Colorado River Indian Tribes land and outter farming communities of Parker, Arizona to our new home right down the street from my new elementary school.

The drive was desert views; barren, harsh, desolate, and Dan and I were nervous as ever as we awaited the sight of our new area, but I will never forget the beautiful views of HUGE palm trees, gorgeous green farm fields as far as the eye can see, and the refreshing, blue water of the Colorado River as we came into Parker. Wow! Our nerves were immediately calmed and we were ready for the beautiful adventure we had ahead.

Fast forward to almost a month of Arizona living and we are loving it! We have been SO blessed and I know, our prayers are being answered! THIS is where our family needs to be. So many things have fallen into place; it's insane!

♥We have been able to see so many beautiful sights all up and down the Colorado River; from Lake Havasu City down to Yuma.
♥Our only neighbors when we arrived were my principal, Brian, his wife, Heather, and their son, Tillman, and they have made us feel so welcomed!
♥Despite having to first move into the house next to the one we were really supposed to move into, and then a week later, having to move again into that house, we were blessed with a cute little 3-bedroom home to live in!
♥My classroom is HUGE and there is SO much stuff there already for me to use...I am so happy, I could cry!
♥Dan got a job with the school district at the bus garage driving school bus for the school year almost immediately, AND they offer paid training! Then today, he was offered a position in their warehouse for the hours in between bus routes, so that we can successfully navigate living 20 miles outside of town, having one car, and one spouse work in town and the other 20 miles out.
♥We found TWO wonderful babysitters for Aurora; one Monday through Friday, and one as a fill-in on the days the other can't. She will get to experience so many fun things with both and friendships have formed between us already!
♥We have been blessed to be in a small ward, where we feel like family; the ward party is tomorrow and then Sunday, we've been invited to dinner with another family in the ward!
♥Dan and I already feel so much closer to one another, as we've had to rely on each other more being away from everyone and everything we know... Our family relationship is already growing stronger and we've become better friends!
♥And although, moving is always financially stressing, we have been able to make it...

Blessed! We are blessed!

So that's the fast version of our lives over the last month. It's different than Utah, but we love it.

AND as of today, it's officially official... We both have Arizona driver's licenses! haha

OH! And I helped another guy rescue a scared and lost little baby boy from the middle of the street today! I was driving to the park with Aurora when I drove past a boy around Aurora's age wandering in the street in nothing but a diaper and large shoes... in 104° weather. So I continued around the block to see if I could see some family (no luck) and as I came back around to the boy, I pulled up to a man in his car who had the police on the line to report it. We talked briefly and I let the man know that I would get the boy from the street while he was on the phone with the police department, then together we waited for them to show up.

By the time the police arrived, the cute and sweaty little boy was clinging to my neck crying as I held him in my arms and wouldn't budge. The other man gave his statement and left. Then I waited with the boy and the police officer for Child Protective Services to arrive since there was no sign of his family. Luckily, I got the boy to drink some water and got him cooled off a bit in the air conditioning of my car... and then just before CPS arrived, the boy's mom came walking down the street! She thought that maybe he had followed his older brother out the door without anyone knowing... Needless to say, I held the boy (and Aurora) for about an hour before his mom came... crazy. I gave my statement and my license to the police and then I went to pick up Dan from work.

It was an eventful trip to the park!

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