Lance turns 5

Our oldest turned five a few weeks ago!

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I made these cupcakes to take to Cubbies on his birthday – he loves seahorses.

With moving in our new house and getting things ready for a big workday, his birthday had a way of sneaking up on me and I wasn’t ready so we celebrated the following Monday.

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We started with an ocean theme and as I looked for ideas I ended up doing activities that went along with fish Bible stories.

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First was creation – On the 5th day, God made everything in the water, including seahorses!

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Made this cute little seahorse craft, which was also “S” for seahorse, but I think that was lost on the crowd.

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Next was Jonah and the whale – the boat was the Mayflower my mom made last Thanksgiving, the whale was fashioned by Brian out of our refrigerator box. We acted out the story and then everyone and everything was swallowed by the whale.pics 184

A fishing party game was converted to a Bible story too. We made little paper plate fish and then like Peter, we went fishing ….pics 182

….and found a gold coin in our fish!! However, no one had to pay tax with their find.

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Then there was the miracle of catching a net full of fish after nothing all night. I told the story then we watched a “miracle” happen as little capsules that looked like nothing changed into fish sponges right before our very eyes! pics 192

Finally was the miracle of feeding a crowd with 5 loaves and 2 (bags) of fishes. I calculated that the food pictured above would have to feed our party crowd 3 meals a day for 3 months to equal 5,000.

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Lance loves his new seahorse dad and babies. He also received several other creative seahorse/fish type gifts. Thanks to the moms and aunts that helped pull everything off, make food and clean up. It was such fun to celebrate my little man!

Finishing Cabinets

When looking at cabinets, we wanted something very functional and of good quality, knowing we’d put them through a lot of use. After settling on a fairly easy option for the kitchen we realized our bathrooms would have to have custom cabinets due to uncommon sizes (oops). This turned out great however because our neighbor has a cabinet company and we ended up having them do the whole house. They typically do unfinished cabinets but offered to finish ours if we wanted them too. After talking with several people, and feeling a little gutsy, I said I thought we could do it ourselves.

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Day of installation was quite exciting – at this point our house was rapidly making progress towards being livable. This is another neighbor. It was nice to know we were in good hands.

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Kid’s bathroom boxes set in place.

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Our kitchen – installed and ready to be finished!

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Guest bath – isn’t the wood beautiful!

Now comes the real work, finishing them! It seems that I have a streak of Tom Sawyer in me – here’s all the people that helped with with this huge project.

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First to stain the drawers and boxes. Lori and Alicia did all of this part for the three bathrooms. They had some little help as you can see.

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Having exhausted that resource, I invited over an unsuspecting friend to help me with the kitchen. This time I got to experience first hand how bad the fumes can be – open all windows and turn on the fans! We finished the kitchen boxes one day then Lance and I did most of the drawers and doors another day – that boy is a hard worker!

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Lance also helped me put wood putty in all the nail holes. I’m thinking he might turn a decent profit if we hire him out in the next year or so.

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I used a water based topcoat in the bathrooms, it was mild and easy to use. Lance enjoyed helping with this project as well.

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Ivy was good with the sanding block.

Progress slowed when they discovered a new obstacle course.

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Kids bath complete (except countertop). The plan is to use the longer section of cabinet as a changing table, with my cloth diapers stored on the shelves underneath.

Later, I put a stronger finish on the kitchen cabinets – wow, if I thought the stain vapors were bad, this was about triple the power. Pretty much kept all the curious away for a day or so. I worked on this all one evening, early the next morning with Brian’s help before work, and then a good part of another day.

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To save a little time on the re-moveable pieces we set up at a neighbors house to spray on their topcoat. (we sure have handy neighbors, don’t we?) This is just the bathrooms – took about 5 hours.

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Making the lacquer airborne isn’t very good for the lungs, and even though we were outside, I didn’t want to take any chances. pics 041

Having gained a little confidence in the DIY department, we set up to do the kitchen in our own backyard. Good thing, because this time it took all day! We were able to break for lunch in shifts and monitor little ones down for a nap.

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Brian sanded while I sprayed (sorry, no picture of me, I was working) both of us kept busy pretty much the whole time. The older kids played beautifully all day, allowing us to finish up by the time the sun went down.

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As a reward for such hard working, good playing children (oldest helped their Grammy in the garden for several hours) they got to watch a video while we put all the hardware back on and assembled our project!

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Kitchen (with our beautiful plywood counters again – real ones come in about a week). I really love how everything turned out! I like having invested the work in them, and also that others shared in the labor with me – just makes me smile when I see these cabinets and remember.

Lastly, another benefit gained was all the time working with my hands allowed me time to work my brain as well and put my next set of verses firmly in my mind. That is a finish that will long outlast the shiny newness of these cabinets.

Moving day

This post is being written from our new home! This might come as a surprise to you, seeing as my last post had us no where close to moving. However, with much work to do, computer time got less and less – though I do have pictures! So now I’ll give you the “after” pictures and hopefully come back to the “before” photos another time.

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Our moving day began with rolls of carpet, ready to be installed! My parents decided to take advantage of having the carpet people close by and get their carpet re-stretched on the same day. As the men worked on our house, my parents house was thrown into an uproar of boxes and furniture and everything from closets and under beds.

Since all our stuff had to be moved anyway, we decided to just take it all the way next door and move in a day early! I madly rushed around town trying to get some basic supplies (like soap and toilet paper) along with other house building errands.

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The kids were bathed, put in footie pajamas and enjoyed a few puzzles on the soft new carpet.

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Slumber party in Lance’s room! Tomorrow everything else would be moving in!!

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Saturday morning we started hauling all our stuff from the storage shed in the barn, over to our house.

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We had a whole crew to help!

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Most of it went in the workroom to be unpacked at a later date.

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Brian’s parents arrived with a bed for Lance! This is the bunk that Brian used as a kid.

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The girls take a snack break in the dishwasher hole.

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Our “Great Wall” of boxes from the apartment has turned into the “leaning tower”!

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The kitchen is arranged for basic functioning until I finish the cabinets and the counter tops are in – it will sort of be like camping, only with a roof!

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First meal in the new house! Sunday morning breakfast. I made eggs (fresh from the barn!) and canned biscuits.

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I washed dishes in the bathtub while Brian worked to make the sink functional. The rest of the morning was spent acting out the story of Joseph (three times, so each kid could be Joseph) singing and playing instruments, continuing to organize stuff, defrosting the freezer before we move it in, and menu planning crock pot meals. It’s been so nice and relaxing to be a little family again. Thanks to all who helped get us here!

For my children

We had big trucks and lots of fun yesterday! However, my children were not there to witness the excitement. They are at grandma’s for the week while we work hard to finish things up. So this post is for them, so they don’t miss out on what is happening!

Lance, Ivy and Flora – yesterday some men came to pour cement for our garage!

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The big truck backed up and poured all the gray, sloppy cement into the forms with the metal bars and wires that could poke you – remember how we had to stay out so we wouldn’t get hurt?

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Cousins Jenny and Greg came to watch along with most of your aunts and uncles. This was exciting stuff! Mommy wished you could be there to watch too.

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This man has been finishing concrete for 50 years – started when he was 17. The machine he’s using looks like a fan that spins on the concrete.

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There was a little extra so we made a pad for our front steps. Nobody could walk on it until it was dry.

I made a movie of everything that happened so you could see it too!

I love you all – have fun with Nana!

Romans project

We’ve recently enjoyed the addition of some new baby goats! At the same time, I’ve been working on a memory project this year with a challenge from Ann Voskamp. I’ve found that milking goats is a good time to memorize and take in the milk of the word – drinking it line by line to satisfy my soul. And so, because I’m supposed to have a video recitation for accountability I thought I’d do it while you watch the goats enjoy their meal. Maybe one day I’ll be this desperate to get His word into the very core of me:

And just a few pictures of our adventures with these cuties!!

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A minutes old baby. My children then got to experience birth for the first time as two more were added in short succession.

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The triplets – Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

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Twins were added two days later – Ivy and Katie enjoy all the baby cuteness while a mama looks on.

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Someone is sure excited about all these new friends to play with!!

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Cousin Jenny comes over to join the fun.

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Lance is my good barn helper!

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Ivy figures out crowd control at feeding time.

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Mom! Quick, I need a bottle, this one is trying to eat me!!

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