Saturday, June 30, 2007

House pictures

From the kitchen sink looking toward the front door, but the open door is the side door.
From the front door looking toward the kitchen.

These pictures are rather old, about two weeks. We haven't been able to get out there for a while because of all the rain. We can't drive out to it or we'll get stuck in the mud and we can't walk out or we'll be too muddy to go in anyway. The floors have been cleaned up since the photos were taken. We did that the week the older boys were at camp. And Roger has framed the bar for the kitchen.


Meals on Wheels update

We got a call Monday morning asking us to fill in for the Monday, Wednesday, Friday delivery. We did it. Wednesday was really busy with 2 separate trips to the library for the reading program, but we worked it out.

We really enjoyed it. Faith and Grace were the ones who pushed me to call and try to sign up. Mitchell, Claire, Joy and Sam ended up being the ones who seemed to enjoy it the most.

Hopefully we'll get to fill in again. Maybe after a while they'll even let us take a day each week. We'll see.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day 2

The house is coming along. The rooms are all framed in with only the half wall for the breakfast bar needing to get framed. I went to Home Depot last night to get that wood and to buy the concrete stain. On my way home I called Melissa and she let me know it had not been raining. I called while the kids’ feet were being photographed, so I did not get her full attention. Turns out it had been raining. I was worried about leaving the wood out as it was lightening all around and wet wood doesn’t cut or nail all that well and I thought I’d get the bar done today. Well, the wood got unloaded at the house site and the truck got stuck in the mud. You take the good with the bad. I walked home through the very wet and muddy field at about 11 p.m. Late this afternoon the ground had dried enough and the truck is now in the driveway. The wood is dry and undisturbed in the house.

Since it was Father’s Day I did a bunch of nothing. Napping and eating. In addition to the feet pictures I was given a “World’s Greatest Dad!” snow globe, some homemade ice cream, chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips (my favorites), a box of Cap’n Crunch and two cards. It was quite the bounty and there are no neck ties in site.

Mitchell and Stephen left for church camp this morning and will not be back until Friday. Mitchell has been my co-worker on the house and the progress would not be as far along without his help. He will be missed this week, but he won’t miss much as cleaning out the house and getting it ready for staining the concrete is the main work ahead of us for now. If we could count on the weather the trenching or stuccoing would be the next steps, but the 3.5’ of rain over the last four days makes both of those tasks a little dicey to plan right now.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day

The plan is to have Roger look at this blog tomorrow. Hopefully he won't get online tonight. But if he does, well, he always figures out his gifts early anyway so it would be nothing new.

We are going to have the following pictures printed--one large and one small, the small one will be big and the big one will be small-- and framed. We're not in a huge hurry since we don't yet have walls to hang them on. With the two photos together, you get all the kids' pictures. It was just impossible to get Gloria to participate in the group shot so we gave up and did her separate. It came out great.

Happy Father's Day, Roger. We love you more than you can ever imagine.

Love, Melissa, Stephen, Mitchell, Faith, Grace, Claire, Clark, Joy, Sam, Gloria

Monday, June 11, 2007

Meals On Wheels

Before we moved here, I understood it would be hard to get to know people in a small town. When I was in 6th grade we moved to a small town in Missouri and I was told the first day of school by one of the girls in my class that "We don't like you because you're new." Well, at least she was honest, huh? But I knew from moving there that it can take a while to get anyone to give you the time of day without being suspicious of your every word. I guess I'd forgotten how bad it can be. Also, that town, while small, was 3 times the size of Coleman.

When we moved here, we went to the bank to open an account. We could have stuck with the bank we were using in Grapevine, but we wanted to support our local community. So we walked in to open an account and you'd have thought we were trying to rob the bank instead! They seemed very suspicious of anyone wanting to move to Coleman. Well, it just so happened that the newspaper ran an article about us that very morning. The bank employee helping us hadn't seen it yet, but apparently she saw it while helping us because she left, then came back all friendly and talking about the article.

Okay, so fast forward to two years later. Other than church, I barely know anyone here. I can't figure out how to meet people. I am pretty busy homeschooling my children. But we try to get involved. We asked at the library shortly after moving here if my older boys could volunteer. I explained they both had volunteered at the Grapevine library and enjoyed it and they would like to volunteer here. The librarian looked at me like I was from another planet. I guess no one volunteers at the library? But she was very friendly and found something for them to do. Well, for Mitchell anyway as Stephen really liked volunteering for story time and there isn't one here. Mitchell volunteered every week for a while. I think he quit due to illness and we just kind of forgot after that.

So I still don't know many people. Neither do my children. We've met a couple of homeschooling families that we get together with each week. But the children want to do something to make a difference. Who doesn't? I really feel that all people of all ages need to feel they have a purpose. Without that, a person can easily fall into depression. I read on the MOMYS list about a family who delivered meals every week for Meals on Wheels. She said her children would bring notes and drawings and such. They got to know the people they delivered meals to and they really looked forward to it each week. And she said several of the recipients of the meals claimed that the visit with her children was the highlight of their week. Well, this sounded like something I could do. I thought it over, then mentioned it to the kids. They loved the idea. They nagged me to call and sign us up to volunteer.

Thursday I called and was told they really needed help, but the person I needed to talk to was already out for the day. Call back after 10:15 tomorrow.

Friday I called at 11:30 and was told she was out delivering meals and probably wouldn't be back. Call again Monday.

Today I called at 10:20 and she wasn't in yet. This time whoever I talked to offered to take my name and number and have her call me back. This person was very friendly. She may be the same person I talked to Thursday and Friday. I don't know. But so far so good. Nothing but friendliness and politeness.

Then C. called me back. I told her we were wanting to volunteer to deliver meals. She told me rather rudely that they don't need help. She said they only deliver on Tuesdays and Thursdays and they have plenty of volunteers. She asked if it was just me and I said, well, myself and my children. Again she said they have plenty of volunteers. Then she told me she has my name and number and if they ever need our help, she'll call me. I got the distinct feeling I was being totally blown off. I hung up the phone and cried. I know it sounds like a stupid thing to cry about, but it really hurt to be treated like a criminal for asking to help! It was such a shock after expecting to be needed. And notice the discrepancies in the stories? She wasn't in Friday because she was delivering, but they don't deliver on Fridays. And they really need help, but no they don't. Why was I lied to? Why were they rude to me? I wasn't asking to receive meals. We eat quite well, thank you. We simply wanted to help.

I just really don't understand. Okay, it's a small town and maybe she doesn't know who I am so she's suspicious of me. But why not ask me to fill out an application or something so they can check on me without losing the opportunity to have me volunteer?

And then I had to tell the kids. They were very excited about doing this. I told them that I was told they don't need any help. Of course, it didn't make sense to them either. They had questions, but I had no answers. What a disappointment.

Now while it's easy to focus on the negative, I'm going to try to focus on the positive. I don't have to re-adjust our schedule one day a week to go drive around and deliver meals to people right at lunchtime when we'd rather be eating anyway.

More importantly, we HAVE met some really great people. We have friendly neighbors that I'm pretty sure we could count on to help us if we needed it. Hey, one of them even OFFERED to lend Roger tools if he needs them. Who could ask for a better neighbor? I love our church. We have a great pastor who is willing to follow the LORD no matter how hard it gets at times and preaches some great sermons. Our youth pastor truly challenges my children to think and not just accept something because he said so. So they are learning to believe in Christ and follow Him AND be able to answer why they believe what they believe. All of my children absolutely love their Sunday School teachers and I think that's because they feel loved by them. They are wonderful women who sacrifice their time to make a difference in a child's life. And it's working. There are the other homeschooling families we've met who, aside from helping us not feel like total freaks as the only homeschoolers in town, are fun to hang around with.

And then there are all the friendly people at the post office, the grocery store, etc that we don't really know very well, but they are nice people and make errand running actually enjoyable.

Well, that helped. Isn't it strange how one rude person can make things seem so dreary when really they aren't so bad at all? One bad apple can spoil the whole bushel, but not if you pluck it out (in this case-- out of my thoughts) before they all get spoiled.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Doors and windows

I thought I'd post a quick update. Roger has been working on the house every chance he gets. Mitchell has helped a lot too.

Before today started, he had doors in and all but the 5 up high windows in the kitchen. He had doorknobs and locks on the doors also. He's been to Home Depot and back and working on the house today so I don't know where we're at right now.

We had a few little glitches with the doors and windows. The dimensions were all off from what we requested. He had to do some planing on the wood needed to get the windows in. He'd planned to use 2 by 8's on all of it, but when it came to the doors there was so much planing needed he gave up and bought 1 by 8's instead. That slowed him down, but was workable.

One of the doors was put slightly in the wrong place. It's the door that goes to the porch from our bedroom. It is off enough that we'll have to put a weird little jog in the kids' room. Otherwise we'd have a wall in the middle of the door and that wouldn't work. It will only throw off one of the sections in the kids' suite so all is not lost, but it's not ideal either. Maybe we'll find another solution before we get there. Who knows.

I was out sweeping the other day and was really impressed with how smoothe the floor is. They did a great job smoothing out the concrete for the foundation.

We're actually considering moving in before it's finished. We have a few basic requirements--bathrooms and a kitchen. Then we may move in so we can start pulling things out of the current house and using them in that house.

That's about all I know. I'll update again when I hear from Roger. I wish I could get out there and help more, but small children can be quite time consuming. When I was out there sweeping the other day I had Joy, Sam, and Gloria with me. Sam kept getting tools he shouldn't have. Gloria was eating sawdust and such. I kept Joy busy piling trash and throwing bits of brick out the window into a pile outside. She loves to help, but we had to watch closely to make sure she didn't throw any through a closed window!

Speaking of small children, Joy is screaming a song at Gloria who doesn't like it and is pulling Joy's hair. Better go deal with that!


Friday, June 01, 2007

Who Does Gloria Look Like?

People keep commenting that Gloria looks like a Nelson, but different from the other kids. Well, I've always heard that all the other kids look just like their Dad and several people have said Gloria looks like me.

You be the judge. Here's a picture my mom scanned and sent to me. It's me a long time ago. ;-) I see the resemblance, but that doesn't mean everyone will. Maybe it's just wishful thinking because I think she's so darn cute. But then, Gloria has her daddy in her too! Especially that sense of humor! She's already teasing the other kids!


Melissa as a baby