Our apologies to those of you who are better about checking our blog than we are about updating it! We did indeed make it safe and sound to Orlando, and by God’s grace, not a single thing we own was scratched, cracked, or broken! We arrived on Wednesday afternoon, had our walk-though with the realtor (who has been great), and located the nearest Wal-Mart to get cleaning supplies and food. We cleaned all day Thursday, and later that evening some kind folks from a local church (Reformation OPC) helped us move our stuff in. What a great help and blessing that was! Friday was spent unpacking, as was Saturday morning. All was well, until Mike learned Saturday afternoon that he was supposed to have read an entire book by the first day of class the following Monday!

Thus began the whirlwind that has kept us spinning until today. I (Mike) have been so busy with reading books, writing papers, and completing various assignments that I’ve hardly had any time for much else. Jen has been a great support in these last 2 weeks, making some deliciously healthy meals (a welcome change from our excessive eating out after coming home) and continuing the unpacking process while starting her job hunt! More on that later…

School has been really great so far –I’ve been learning a lot and growing a lot. I can see why they say that counseling is different from every other profession in that it requires you to deal with the deepest areas in your own heart before you can help others! It really has been wonderful so far–my 16 fellow counseling students are great. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to develop some great friendships in our 2 years here. Here’s a picture of the main building that I see every day as I walk to class:

RTS Building

So, given that our little townhouse is mostly unpacked (pictures to come next time) and we’re finally settled in to life in Orlando, I’m sure the next question on everyone’s mind is, “How’s the weather?” The answer: crazy! When it’s not sunny and blazing hot, it’s super-cloudy and rainy. The thunderstorms, which are an almost daily occurrence, are truly amazing. Both of us have already experienced some incredibly loud thunder, along with simultaneous lighting-bolt! (In fact, just as I wrote that last sentence, I heard a blast of thunder outside our office window…) And as for the weather forecasts, well, they are almost worthless here. Check it out: this is what my Yahoo! Weather Widget looks like almost every single day:

Orlando Weather 1Note that every day of the 5-day forecast is the same: ” Scattered Thunderstorms .” Granted, sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes cloudy, but you’d never know it from looking at the extended forecast–it hasn’t changed once since we’ve been here! It’s the same thing on Weather.com:

Orlando Weather 2See? ” Scattered T-storms, Scattered T-Storms, Scattered T-Storms …”—talk about a meteorological cop-out! This is just their indirect way of saying, “We have no idea what your weather’s gonna be like, so don’t even ask us.” Think I’m being a little cynical? Then check out the daily weather report and see for yourself:

Orlando Weather 3Give me a break! I want to know who has the job of updating these weather forecasts–all you have to do is change the high temps and viola! Your job is done! Hey, maybe they’re hiring part-time—I could use some easy cash…

Anyway, given that you never know what the weather’s going to do, you tend to find yourself surprised—either by torrential rain and wind or by refreshingly cool and beautiful moments. We’ve had a few of those as well, like the night we were eating dinner and glanced out the back sliding door just in time for an incredible God-created light show. Behind our house is a little yard with some big trees, and beyond them is a little lake and more trees. Well, the sun was slanting at just the right angle that our whole backyard lit up like a fluorescent green Christmas tree:

Our backyard at sunsetJust another reason why we’re really coming to love our new life here in Orlando! 🙂

-Mike