Friday, August 30, 2013

Brick, Brick, Hooray!

Thanks for your prayers, we are totally healing : )  Mary Claire is home today (hopefully on the mend!), but the big boys are at school.  And Ethan is having a friend over today, he's so excited!

We've been keeping an eye on the house..nothing for a couple days, but we are back on track.  (..wondering if the house is a reflection of us and our health)

Brick is slowly going up..and let's just say it's colorful.  We knew it had been on a building:

Parkdale Mills, Inc.
But we had no idea there was so much paint.  All we'd seen was the pallet in front of the brick company for sale.  It was a small sample of the brick available.  Well..let's just say the inside of the factory must have been either graffiti'd or really lively to energize the employees!

We decided to only have about half of the color turned out..and it's still very colorful.  We did agree to turn out all the blue in the backyard since we do like the color..but just some cream and pale colors out facing the street.

Brick, Day One

Brick, Day Two

Whew!  Is there a lot of green, or what?  Again..NO idea. ; )  We even have some random dark ones..maybe the eyes of the big faces on the walls?  Just kidding.  I've no clue what the inside of the building actually looked like.  Opening the shrink wrap on each pallet has been like unwrapping Christmas presents..totally surprising.  (Except when you begged for the Operation game, and you grabbed the Santa-wrapped thick rectangular box that made satisfying shaky noises..and you'd picked at the Scotch tape on the end of the package two days before Christmas..)

And..then I had that light dilemma.  I wanted pale turquoise lanterns over my bar..and they don't exist for sale for less than $5000.  (thanks, Pinterest) So..I found these for sale, ordered, and painted!  And..I'm happy.

..and a baby in a light is seriously handsome.

before next to the after..almost done painting.
Post paint/Pre glass. (and chain and wires and light bulbs and electricity and house..)
..and our sheetrock has been delivered!  We are praying to see some progress before the weekend since they said it'd start on Monday (five days ago..) ; )
And..a last look at our porch/entry (and the neighborhood cat!).  I've heard you can get sand out of your threshold with baby powder.  What do you think?
Praying sand doesn't visit your door (unless you are at the beach!!), and that illness stays out too.  Silly old things, putting their noses in where they don't belong.  At least they allow for lots of family bonding.  Over the sweeping..or reading. ; )

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just Fine babies are all back under the same roof.  The temporary roof, but our home for now. ; )

The house is moving along..slower now because of all the rain we've had!  I have to be thankful for the amazing green grass and lower temperatures in the middle of August though.

And y'all..I have to be honest here.  I am feeling super overwhelmed.  The house, school starting, and my kiddos have been s-i-c-k.  That awful four-letter-word that I hate to hate.  I even hate to say I hate it.  The boys have had coxsackie virus.  The ol' hand-foot-mouth disease.  They had fever.  Then two made it to the first day of school, then just one today.  We'll see about tomorrow when it gets here.  Ethan hasn't even been for his first day yet.  I feel sorry for him.  (and they are so excited at that age!!)

Anyway, it's tough to balance it all.  No one said four sweet kids was easy, nuh-uh.  They said it was possible.  But thank God, with Him, it's possible.  So, today I did have to drop to my knees to pray for the next hour, and the next minutes of each hour.  It's a hard road (that I've chosen!) to keep everyone on the right track, and make sure they are Godly tracks.  I prayed for wisdom, and grace, and mercy for all those minutes that I might not have the time to stop to pray.

All that to say, even in the racing to the school for the first child, then driving to the second school (back on the highway again..), and in front of the school, the little one shows me some dots on his arm.. and we go back home again.

Since Ches didn't have to leave for work until ten, he stayed while I ran Mary Claire's health management plan (for school) to the doctor's office in Bentonville, ran by the plumbing supply house in Springdale to pick out a new bathtub, then to Fayetteville to pick up two prescriptions, then by the school to drop some medicine..then back home knowing I was just beginning the day.

My lighting estimate (for all my indoor and outdoor light fixtures) is over by a wee bit.  (well..maybe a few thousand?) Remember all those gorgeous lights I found in all my research?  Well, they are certainly beautiful.  But the companies actually know it, so they charge more for all that amazingness.  So..I'm back to working on solutions. ; )

And thank goodness we have had a good builder..and that all the King's men are so responsive.  ; )  We are seeing work happen, and it's reassuring that they hear us.  Some things got fixed today, and our front doors are installed!  I didn't actually get to see them in the daylight, but they are there.  And we have some door knobs.  The framers are done.  And all the electrical and plumbing is pretty much finished.  The roof is on and shingled. (finally, hurray!)  Now, we await the city's approval to continue..then get insulation and drywall.  Brick begins on Monday, so we are definitely getting closer.

Every night I finish up those unfinished tasks, pray some more, and somehow am granted more mercy (and grace!) to continue the next day.  I'm wondering.  ..when we tell someone that we are just :fine: is it truth?  Does it make them feel like their lives are less than fine?  Does it make our lives sound better than theirs?

I think I'll just tell the truth.  My kids are sick (throats hurt, want to be held..bored at home..need attention), Mary Claire's pump is beeping (Low Reservoir, Low Reservoir), everyone is hungry, I'm pulling a rabbit out of a hat every minute and performing small miracles (maintaining patience at box/fort/house-stealing in the living room, name calling, and tongues touching people) ..but I'm fine.  See?  Not so perfect, so no need to feel less-than me.  Can't get lower than your knees.

Hope y'all are more than just fine.  But, just in case..I'll pray for you anyway. ; )

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:2

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Brave Mom

Once upon a time there was a cool brave mom.  She loved her daughter so much, that she let her go off with a friend and her mom to a concert.  A Taylor Swift concert.  Three and a half hours away, and overnight!  She read this article, about letting kids grow up and spread their wings.  With all its risks, opportunities, choices (Chicago with family or Kansas City with friend?!)...essentially about growing up!

Once this mom even went to a couple cool parties.  And she went to a concert, an R-E-O Speedwagon concert was her first, and it was awesome.  Back then, there were lighters to hold up.

And she once got to travel to New York City, with a friend.  And she went to the top of the Empire State Building and took pictures, and dreamed big dreams.  And, oh how she'd go back again one day to show her kids.

Sometimes this mom-as-a-girl would stay out past her 10:30 curfew and get grounded.  Sometimes it was even worth it.  But she learned about calculated risks.  And about her parents that cared about the things that happened out there after dark.

She learned about saving her money for a rainy day..because it was so worth those Guess jeans that zipped up at the ankle in eighth grade.  She thinks those things are so funny now..but it taught her to make good choices.  And sometimes she learned from those-not-so-good choices, like when she bought Sun-in to lighten her hair.  ('Cause you have to keep doing it every few weeks..and you can never stop) ( can but then you have that two-tone look.  And that's not good.) 

And she got to date.  To build her self-esteem, to see who she liked to keep company with, to see what she required in a mate, to learn to say no, to learn what she didn't like.  And she got to experience some free dinners and bowling and movies, and that's definitely a perk, friends.

And all that built her up!  She pretty much knew she could do anything.  She worked at a lumber yard, and she could tell those men (men!) what they needed to repair a toilet, or how many square feet a square of shingles could cover, or the difference in a stud and an 2x4-8' board.  She was built up because she had opportunities.  And now she has her own drill.  And chop saw.  And table saw.  And she can build things..and she tries to teach her kids they can do anything.

And..part of that is letting them go.  To Chicago with their daddy for the National Sports Collectors' Convention.  Or with a girlfriend to a Taylor Swift concert in another state.  They'll learn to be brave, bold humans.  And they'll be great parents too.  That momma learned from some pretty brave people how to let her kids go.

Cause it makes you cry to see them drive away after they've made their choice.

But then you get to look at all the benefits you are still reaping after you've taken advantage of your own opportunities.  And it's worth it.

Even when her daughter calls and her blood sugar is 49.  Just wait for all the stories she'll have to tell when she gets home tomorrow.  Be brave, and parent brave kids.  I've heard it's totally worth it. ; )