It’s Like This

Well, my friends, it has been exactly six weeks since we loaded the van and left Atlanta. In some ways, when I’m missing the friends I left behind, it feels like a lifetime ago. In others, when I’m still trying to find what box we packed that Gwinnett County Library book in, it seems like yesterday. I’ve been asked more times than I can count how we like Sleepy Eye, and are we settling in, and how are the kids doing… and I thought, Hmmmm, maybe a blog post is in order. So, here it is. The answers (and pictures!) you’ve been waiting for, even if you didn’t know it.

How do we like it here in Sleepy Eye? We love, love, love it! Personally, I always felt like a fish out of water living so close to Atlanta. I’m more of a country girl. I like the wide open spaces, the sunset view from my kitchen window, and the chirping crickets. I don’t even mind the “fertilizer days” when the breeze has that special, shall we say, earthy scent. I love that the kids can bike to the library or park, and that when Nathanael and I take a walk together we pass at least a dozen houses of people we know. I love the sound of the church bells that chime hymns at noon and six, and how that reminds me of Faulkton, South Dakota – the small town where Mom grew up. I love the sunflowers that grow wild by the railroad tracks and the trees that look like they’ve been in town longer than anyone else.  So, there it is. We love Sleepy Eye!

Are we settling in? I have to say, settling in has never been so much fun because this house if FULL of storage space. There are nooks and crannies everywhere that we couldn’t fill up if we tried, and it’s just as well because they make for great hide-and-seek games. In the basement, there are two big rooms with all kinds of shelves. In fact, for the first time ever there’s room to store all my Christmas stuff in one spot (Joy of joys!). So, my Settling In Strategy has been this: Put it where it belongs, and if we don’t know where that is yet, put it downstairs in the Ping Pong Room. (Because one of the storage rooms has a ping pong table in it. Great for those snowy afternoons, no?) So I think we’re mostly unpacked (except for that library book, wherever it is!) and pretty well settled in. We love the house which has nice, big rooms, lots of closets, and only two bathrooms for me to clean.

How are the kids doing? Most of you know we have been life long homeschoolers up to this point. This year, the five older kids are attending a Christian high school and elementary school. If you told me this a month ago, I never would’ve believed you, but the LORD has opened this door for our family and we have decided to walk through in faith. Luke and Katie are in high school, living away from home in the dorms. I’m planning to visit this week (can’t wait!) but I have every confidence they’re doing well. Katie called just yesterday and told me how much she loves it there. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really worried about them. But sending Hope, Daniel, and Julia off to school was a scary step for me. I’m not really sure why. They were so excited to go. Maybe I was worried that I hadn’t done enough in my years as their teacher. When you home school, you really have to believe in it. And even though I believe in it wholeheartedly, I still felt it was the right thing to send them to the day school. So I suppose I struggled with those conflicting feelings a bit. Still, aside from a few tears (okay, full on wails) over a math lesson, the struggle has been mostly mine. Hope, Daniel, and Julia love their new school, their wonderful teachers, their friends and their schedule. Hope has joined the volleyball team and enjoys learning the ropes, and Daniel has since begged to join soccer. One thing at a time, though, and we’ll try that next year. When six o’clock in the morning rolls around, they hop up to start the day, and when I pick them up from school, they’re never ready to come home.

An added blessing of this arrangement is the time I get to spend with Mark and Noah. I don’t feel rushed with the little ones anymore. There’s time to color and read and take walks together. There’s time for those little things that are so important, like messing around in the kitchen or digging in the dirt together (and by “together” I mean, they dig and I watch. From inside).  I’m so grateful that I no longer have to make the little kids wait until I “have time” for them.

Between shuttling kids to school and his busy schedule, I don’t see as much of Nathanael, which makes for a very happy marriage. (My favorite joke.) But seriously, it’s a blessing to see Nathanael bloom where God has transplanted him, and to know he finds joy and meaning in his calling as a pastor.

So, there you have it. The rather chubby skinny on how the Mayhews are doing. Were it not for the heart twinges that come from missing our Georgia friends, life would be just about perfect. And you can’t ask for more than that!


Our house
Our house


The first day of school
The first day of school
Grace Lutheran Church
Grace Lutheran Church
The back yard
The back yard

Okay, so I don’t have as many pictures as I thought I did! But hey, I’ve been busy unpacking. I’m sure there will be lots more to post in the future of snow, snow, and more snow!




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17 thoughts on “It’s Like This

  1. I want to cry I’m so happy for you!

    (I wonder why that is, that people get teary when they’re happy? Well, I’ll figure that out later. Or maybe you’ll address that in your next blog post? ‘Cause clearly, you–and all those little Mayhews–are happy, too!) 🙂

      1. Oh, we miss you, too, Jenny! Haven’t found a piano teacher for the kids yet…sure you could do it. It’s so nice to “see” you from time to time on facebook though!

    1. Thanks, Cath! Just wish we could hit up Frontera for lunch and some catch up time…there is a Hardee’s and Subway here if you ever happen to be passing through. 🙂 And I have a theory on why you want to cry…It’s because you’d like to come live here, too, but you don’t think it will fly with Dave. Am I right?

      1. Thanks, Karisa! I think about your family a lot and hope all is well in Indiana. Looks like we both made it back to the midwest – too bad we aren’t a little closer! 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh! The kids look great. I love all the pictures! The backyard looks like a park! I miss you guys so much! I’m also very happy and excited for you life in great white north! Ok, now it’s green, but give it a couple of months. Glad things are going well. If you don’t find the library book, let me know, and I will pay your debt to Gwinnett County. We don’t want a warrant going out for your arrest. Thanks for the post! We are still trying to call a pastor — the second call is going out this week. I know God has somebody out there for us.

    1. Thanks, Ann! I’ll be posting more pictures later. It is so green and beautiful right now that I’m trying to prepare myself for the cold, rainy days. A few days ago it hailed and the kids were plastered against the window oohing and aahing. Hahaha! They will be beside themselves when we get our first real snow! And thanks for thinking of my welfare…I don’t want to get arrested either! And the library there is very, ahem, prompt about collecting what’s due! I’ve been following the call news for Zion and keeping you all in my prayers. God will send the right pastor and the right time.

  3. Oh, my goodness — I am overcome with emotion reading this …. I am so very thankful that the Lord has opened this new avenue for your family, but I can also identify with the bittersweet side of leaving Atlanta and the precious friends & souls there. I am so grateful that the Lord chose to move you to Minnesota (obviously, for selfish reasons), but in hindsight, it appears that this move IS the best move for the Mayhew family, and most importantly, the work of the Kingdom …. Welcome to the midwest –We love you and are so grateful to have you here…. xo Love and prayers to all of you here, and also in Lawrenceville at Zion — We are grateful for all of you….Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings to each of us…

    1. I agree, Mom. It was hard to leave Georgia but both Nathanael and I feel the Lord is reassuring us in many different ways that this was the right move. Now I keep praying for the next pastor at Zion because the people there are so wonderful.

  4. Debra, it sounds like you are all happily enjoying your new surroundings, which sound idyllic. The only thing I would object to is WINTER weather. But then, that gives you the time to bake. Isn’t it nice to have storage space?

    1. I grew up in Michigan, Linda, and have very fond memories of playing in the snow. Lots of snow. We have a picture of my mom trying to walk out to the mailbox and the snow is almost waist deep. I’m excited for my kids to experience this and yes, I’m going to be baking A LOT!

  5. Deb, your happiness and contentment shine! And you make me want to sell everything and move to Sleepy Eye. The name is a little chuckle-worthy, not gonna lie, but it sounds like heaven. As I read your post all I could picture was the horrible Atlanta traffic congestion and the fact that in spite of all these years here I still don’t really know my neighbors. I’m beyond happy for you and your family, delighted that you have been blessed.

    1. I know, Lisa, the name is a little funny. The town is named after and Indian chief who had a droopy eye. His “picture” is everywhere around town! I wish they could have come up with something a bit more romantic than Sleepy Eye, but hey, if that was his name… Hahahahaaa! And yes, I don’t miss that Atlanta traffic AT ALL. I just have to remember the speed limit in town is 30, not 75. 🙂

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