Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ceiling Pictures

Roger, Mitchell and Faith have been working long hours on the house. The most recent project was the ceiling on one side of the house. The other side is being saved for after we move in as we plan to use the metal roof on the house we're living in as the ceiling on the new house. Feeling lost with that explanation? Most people are. We're planning to have a metal ceiling in our kitchen, dining and living rooms. It's unusual, but why not? Noise might be an issue, but in our house the noise level is already deafening so who will know the difference? Plus the walls will be covered with shelves that will be filled with books and they will absorb some sound.

Anyway, I finally got to get out there and see the house this afternoon and I am excited. It's a mess, but that is to be expected when you are drywalling ceilings, right? So here are the pics:

This is the boys' areas in the kids' suite--and Sam trying to figure out where Spiderman will go.

This is the "common area" in the kids' suite as we are beginning to call it. Claire and Clark are standing where the sink and counter and mirrors will go. Behind them along the wall we will install lockers.

This is one of the girls' areas in the kids' suite of rooms. Beyond that is the master bedroom (where the wet/dry vac is sitting).

From the living room looking toward the front entry and guest room/nursery.

Master Bedroom

Pantry--with lights!

Laundry room--with lights!

This one I was standing at the end of the bar looking into the kitchen. Those are cabinets you see all over the place. Obviously not installed yet.

Here I took a step further into the kitchen so I could look toward the bar.

Now this one is taken standing near the bar and looking at the living and dining room. Toward the right of the picture you see the front door. To the left you see the side door. The dining area is closer. We've got different ceiling fans over the two areas.

This is Grace in the guest room/nursery looking at the drywall lift. For some reason the pic isn't showing up in the preview, but the html code is here so I'm including the caption in case it shows up in the post. Sorry if it doesn't. You're missing out on seeing a beautiful girl. ;-)

This is from the front door looking toward the living, dining and kitchen.

This is just a big huge bucket of screws that I found interesting. I've never seen such a huge bucket of screws. It just amazed me that we'll need so many and that so many are already gone.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Over Hill Over Dale . . .

Well we finally know where our son is going. That just seemed so weird to me to be sending him off to who knows where. After all these years of keeping tabs on where he is going and who he is going with and when he will be back, etc., we sent him off to who knows where to be with who knows who and no specifics on when he might be back.

He called from MEPS today after swearing in. He was about to leave for the airport. It was a relief to know where he's going, but we still have the rest of the questions unanswered.

I keep feeling like crying, but I just don't have time. I have all these other children to tend to and things to do. I feel like Scarlet O'Hara. "I can't think about that now. . ." So I try to fill my mind with other things or remember things that will be better now. We can eat rice again (Stephen was allergic). We can get the kids to bed and then have a little time to ourselves without staying up until midnight (Stephen had the latest bedtime). I have one less student to deal with.

I've been sitting with the kids doing school this morning and as I check their work, I check it off in my lesson planner. Today was the day Stephen was originally supposed to complete his schoolwork. He got everything done early so there are all these things in there checking off his work. I keep getting a lump in my throat and repeat, "I can't think about that now."

Clark started talking about how he's really going to miss Stephen. I said, "yeah, but he has to go off and seek his fortune like the first little pig." We then had a kind of neat conversation as Clark was making comparisons between Stephen leaving and the story of the Three Little Pigs. We talked about how we hope he won't build his "house" out of straw, but out of bricks and that those bricks should be the Rock--Jesus Christ. Not bad for a 7 1/2 year old to figure that out, huh? Meanwhile, Grace was writing a letter to Stephen. We don't know where to mail it yet, but she'll be ready. That's Gracie--always trying to get her work done early.

So we're sad here today, but still happy. We are excited for Stephen because we know this is a good thing for him. I would never really want any of my children to stay at home forever. I just never realized how hard it must have been for the Mama Pig to let her little pigs go off to seek their fortune.

If you'd like to pray for Stephen, we have a specific prayer request for now. He has to get immunizations within the first few days of Basic. He reacted to them as a little guy. His immune system is much stronger now, but I still worry about him. And he is nervous about them just because he hates needles. We'd appreciate prayer this week that he stay strong and healthy in spite of all the junk they are about to inject into him.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Catching up, a synopsis of September

Sorry, once again, for such a long absence. There has been a bunch of things going on and we will be telling more about them in the days ahead. In about 30 minutes we will leave to take Stephen to Abilene. He will then board a van, drive to Dallas, hang out some more and, finally, report to basic training. It has been such a blur in the last two days that he does not know where he is going to go for basic, yet. We will get a letter from him some time next week and that may be the first time we hear. I am sure Melissa will blog about this topic soon.

The house is moving along. Tomorrow Mitchell and I will begin installing drywall. The plumbing is almost completely done and today will be about getting the loose ends secured. Electrical is all done and where it is not a completed circuit it is simply waiting on an appliance to get attached. The cabinets have been purchased and are waiting to be installed. This will wait until we are done with the drywall.

On a sad note, our roofer died a couple of weeks ago. The roof is on and the problems are minor, but Johnny was a good guy and I enjoyed visiting with him. He was just getting going with a welding business and I was going to be able to help him get going with my regular job. He left a wife and some adult kids and grandkids behind and will be missed by all who knew him.

Joy, Clark and Claire are playing soccer. I am coaching Joy’s team. This was a horrible idea 12 years ago when I coached Stephen’s team. Different kid and older, wiser dad should make a difference this time.

More to come,


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Big Party, Ants in My Pots

The last week has been a blur of preparation and execution as Stephen’s graduation has take precedence over most of the activities of the household. For eight days Faith, Mitchell and Grace, pretty much on their own, took care of mowing our yard. You’re thinking this is no big deal, but it is seeing as how our grass was between three and five feet tall. Two weeks ago I took our riding mower in to get fixed. The engine would run, but the wheels would not turn. This was no big deal to fix and on Friday I got it home and started it up and the engine blew to pieces, literally. There were pieces of aluminum on the ground and mower decking. The best that we can figure, with help from our mower repair man, is that the mower is old and it did not react well to the hoppy, bumpy ride on the trailer.

Friday night Faith and I went to Abilene and we bought a new mower. Not a rider, but a string mower. This is a weed-eater with a big lawnmower engine and very thick string. Saturday morning Faith began mowing and over the next seven days the lawn was reclaimed. Last night the kids at the party for Stephen played kickball in the yard, a yard that only a week before was only good for a game of hide and seek.

The mowing, which was good for the party, had some unintended consequences. For example, the ants that lived in the yard 10 days ago are now taking up residence in the house. Lots and lots of ants and not just from one colony, either. There are little red ants, little black ants, big red ants, medium sized red and black ants and fire ants. I always wanted an ant farm. They crawl around the kitchen, the dining room and the bathrooms. Worst of all they crawled into Gloria’s crib and feasted on her. Boric acid seems to be getting the little buggers out, but not quickly.

The party was last night. We fed 55 people a combination of brisket, smoked pork, cole slaw, potato salad, beans, pasta salad, cake, tea, water and kool-aide. The watermelons went untouched and we are all thankful as this will allow us to feast on them after a summer without. The cookies also went untouched. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we got to visit with old friends from the Metroplex as well as new friends from out here. The highlight was the potato cannon Stephen’s graduation ceremony. It lasted about three minutes and ended with Weird Al Yankovick’s “White and Nerdy”, which is Stephen’s favorite song. Stephen knows I hate Weird Al, so I think it was a big surprise for him when the song blared out for the recessional for the ceremony.

One of our friends from the Metroplex brought a potato cannon and has left it with us for the next little while so that I can get the proper dimensions. This is exciting for a couple of reasons as I have wanted a potato cannon for a while and it means our friends will be coming back out to visit, if for no other reason than to get the cannon back.

If you were here last night, thanks for coming out. We’re looking forward to the next party we throw when we move into the new house. Not sure when that will be.