Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sweet time with friends!

Little Man got to spend a week with his "brother from another mother," and I got to spend a day and a half this "brother's" parents!  We spent a fun afternoon at a park, playing with their dog,

biking, creek walking,

and fishing in a catch and release pond!

Andrew's friend caught two and Andrew caught this beautiful little fish.

Releasing it was kindof gross, and kindof cool all at the same time.

We are thankful for lifelong friendships!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday's Thankful Things

A delightful time with a friend today.

A BEAUTIFUL day, lots of sunshine, not too hot!

Friends and fun activities for my younger two boys today.

That God is faithful and sufficient, and meets all my needs!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Family Outing

 As the children become young adults, I am finding it more difficult to get us all together for family outings, or even for family dinners.  I am happy to be with whoever is here, but my mama's heart is happiest when all the children are together, and engaging happily with one another.  So it was a delight to spend an evening together this past week!  Daughter G and son L were not able to join us until ice cream at the end of the evening, but it was a joy to be together!

We started the evening with a frisbee competition in the park.

Then we watched "Avengers: Infinity War" at a cheap theater, and then we went out for ice cream!

I know these times are going to become more and more rare, so I soak up every moment that we are together!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fourth of July!

I saw a t-shirt in a store this summer that said, "Party like it's 1776."  It made me think of John Adam's poignant words in a letter to his wife after the signing of the Declaration of Independence (which commenced on July 2, 1776):

"The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."

While many Americans may not know the details of the beginning of our nation, I am glad that John Adam's prophetic words hold mostly true.  All over the country there are parades, games, sports, bonfires, and illuminations (fireworks).  The story of our freedom from the tyranny of King George III is an amazing story, all the more incredible because it is TRUE.  It is worthy of celebration!

We spent the day with relatives and friends at our family cottage, visiting, eating, and soaking up the sun.  Yes, I went in the river, and yes, it was COLD!  But I managed to stay in longer than most of my kids, just to prove that I was not a wimp. :)

Son L with his girlfriend.

One of our nephews with his fiance.

Me and my sister in law.

My favorite 21 year old!!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vacation Bible School - 2018 Edition!

Myself and three of our boys served at our church's vacation Bible school this year.  I LOVE serving at VBS, as I get to be the first and second grade story teller, and it is such a privilege to teach children about Jesus.  Son G and son C both served on the worship band (son C was also a small group leader), and Little Man was a small group leader of first and second graders.  One of the unique things about VBS for us this year was that son C had recently sustained a fracture of his fibula (smaller of the two bones in your lower leg) during his last soccer game of the season, and he served the entire week on crutches and while wearing an immobilization boot!

Son C is on the piano, and just behind him you can see son G in the drum cage.

Little Man was greatly loved by the kids in his group, and ended up "wearing" one during every large group session!

I love serving God alongside my children!

Here is a video of some of their music.  It is the "canned" music that plays as the children are entering the auditorium for the closing session at the end of the morning, but it shows the worship band guys on the platform "dancing" boys are on the far left and the far right.  And you can see Little Man near the back of the auditorium at the end of an aisle, singing and interacting with the boys in his small group.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Family Room Makeover

As mentioned in my previous post, this spring we spent a month remodeling our family room.  This is the "before" picture.  See the hearth under the fireplace that goes the entire width of the room?  It all started because we decided to take the hearth out before getting new laminate flooring.  If we were ever going to take it out, the time to do it was before putting down a new floor.  But the built in bookcases (and by extension, the mantel) were resting on this hearth, so that meant taking them down, too.

My hubs and all our boys, working together!

This is a blurry picture, but my boys insisted on having all their muscles' picture taken. ;)

We tarped off the rest of our house, but we still got cement dust everywhere during the process of chipping out all the bricks.

This was our bagster after just two wheel barrow dumps.

Making progress!

We lived with these two paint samples for about a month, and ultimately decided on the lighter gray color on the left.  The blue color on the right became our new school room color!

Once the hearth was completely out, we figured out how much brick we wanted to be left showing around the fireplace, whitewashed that, and then began putting dry wall up over the rest.

Doing all the final things to get ready to paint!  Painting had to be finished before the flooring guys came to install the new floor.  We did all the work ourselves, including the laying of tiles by my ultra talented husband, EXCEPT the laying of the new laminate floor.

I only wanted to move the books out of this big bookcase once, so we cut out all the carpet except the piece under this bookcase, did all the rest of the work we could in the room, and then moved the books out and lifted the empty bookcase up into our kitchen.  Once the bookcase was out of the family room we ripped up the last bit of carpet and painted the walls behind the bookcase.  This was all done the day before the flooring guys came, so we could move the bookcase and books back on to the new floor as soon as the installers left.

My husband was a rock star with the tiles!


New floor!  I loved it immediately!

Then began the process of touch up painting, painting all the trim white, unpacking and putting together our new L shaped couch (which we were able to conveniently arrange delivery for the same day the flooring got installed), buying an area rug, and placing things back into the room.

What I have no pictures of (except this finished one) is the staining and hanging of our new mantle, and the hanging of shiplap above the mantle to make our "accent wall."  We absolutely love how it turned out!!  It is so peaceful and calming.  Less cluttered.  Enough seating for every member of the family (haven't had that in years).  TV at eye level instead of up too high (major complaint of our children for years).  It's just a room everyone wants to hang out in.  Which was kind of the goal.  Yay!

The flooring was the single most expensive part of the project, but the entire thing including the purchase of our new couch and easy chair, totaled less than $2500.

So, so, so happy and thankful for this space!