An idea, tabled.

When we first moved into our house we lacked a dining table. At that time, my brother, who manages rentals, had a table from one of those houses that the tenets had left behind. This happily filled our need and along with folding chairs has served us well for the last four years. However, as the family grew the table filled and we really needed something bigger.

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We had looked at tables and chairs several times but had always remained undecided on what kind of surface would prove most durable under the use of many children. Then, on a date night several months ago, we went to Cotton Patch and found what we were looking for; metal tables! So Brian started researching options online. This table option proved hard to find however so Brian emailed the restaurant and asked where they purchase the tables – and so starts the story:

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A response to Brian’s email is met with an offer – they are remodeling a Cotton Patch in Tyler and we can have the tables. And the chairs. For free! So we pack ourselves in the van, grab a trailer and head to East Texas. We packed in 8 booth tables and 40 chairs! Wish I had a picture.

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Since booth tables aren’t big enough for a family of 9, Brian set about figuring how to put several together. First he  bent down a metal lip that had secured the table to the wall. He scored the metal with a grinder then hammered it with a rubber mallet. Skye attempts to don ear protection.

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Brian’s parents came for a weekend and his Dad enthusiastically helped with the table while his mom, my mom and I cleaned the chairs. Brian took each booth leg and cut the end off square.

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The legs were arranged just so, where they gave support and didn’t interfere with packing as many chairs as possible around the table.

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At Amy’s request, Brian ground off some metal corners that she kept bumping with her leg. The kids were quite impressed and all watched from a safe distance.

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While the table production happened in several stages, chair work took place as well. First, to clean off the chairs, hopefully to rid them of restaurant smell.

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Then stripping the finish on the tops where grease and oils from many hands had made it gunky. Finally a wipe on poly was applied to protect the wood again.

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Unfortunately, the poly dried sticky – so it had to be wiped off with paint thinner and reapplied. This time Amy used a different product – just in case. Redoing a finishing times 40 chairs is a lot of work but Amy’s mom and sister, Stacie, lent a hand. The weather cooperated with lower humidity and the chairs dried hard and smooth.

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14 chairs now surround an indestructible metal surface. 10 chairs are going to some friends who needed some, another 7 will go on the back porch for outdoor meals and the rest will be stored under the house until some occasion when they are needed.

Someone asked how we find deals like this and I answered “you have to be very patient.” That, coupled with some clever thinking and sweat brings us a table and chairs that will serve our family for years. Thanks to God for providing the idea, the supplies and the means!

The Ice Storm

Texas winter 2017 proved to be quite severe. Subfreezing temps gripped the land for two whole days, causing everyone to bundle up and sit by the fire!IMG_7700

This report centers around an extremely localized ice storm that happily landed in the backyard of a family here in the Brazos Valley.

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Having missed the winter of 2016 due to having a baby on that frigid night, a local father determined to take advantage of the fleeting season to make some memories for his young brood.

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Wielding ice powers (and a sprinkler) greater than those of the acclaimed Elsa, this father created not one…

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but TWO ice castles!

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There are even reports of an abominable snowman.

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Dawn breaks over the the frozen landscape.

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Every living thing is encased in ice. It seems the White Witch has been here, leaving a spell of Christmas-less winter behind.

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But the spirit of youth and joy can create fun and break any spell..or at least the ice.

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Even little Tumnus the fawn has thawed out in the warming sun.

Rubber boots are a far cry from silver skates but Hans Brinker lives on in the hearts of these children.

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All aboard the Polar Express!

It seems the pools in the ‘wood between the worlds’ have frozen over allowing exploration with no worries about green and yellow rings.

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This little snowman may not be walking in the air, but she can touch the frozen sky!

Looks like the abominable snowman was really a Wampa and young Luke makes his way out of the treacherous ice cave.

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The adventure was too good to keep home alone, so cousins were invited to partake in the fun.

One word: wheeee!

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And to finish the party, hot chocolate for everyone….

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….and a mess for mom to clean up later. Good thing the cold only lasted two days.

And that is how one family likes their winter – short and fun!

Looking Back

We invite you to a look back on our year via our annual family newsletter. Click on the picture below to read it.

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And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

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To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

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And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

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And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

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Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

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Merry Christmas!

Announcing…..

2016-12-18

Garrison James Cahill

Born December 18, 2016 at 6:25 am

Weight: 8lbs. 2oz.  Length: 19.5in

Garrison means Strong defense and James means substitute.

He will stand up for those who are oppressed, championing the cause of those who cannot defend themselves.

The verse we have picked for him is Psalm 82:3-4

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

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Garrison is number 7 in the Cahill family – he will enjoy plenty of love! His big brother is especially excited and ready for the new roommate!

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The name James was chosen in honor of Amy’s Dad – a good father and faithful servant  of the Lord.

2016 – A kids eye view

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Hi I’m Lance (8). I like playing with Legos. I started earning money this year. I wash dishes, do laundry and pull weeds to earn money. I bought a carving set with my money. I am learning words this year. I like collecting things and got a drawer carrier to organize my collections in for my Birthday. I am excited about getting a baby brother. We had a scavenger hunt to figure out if the Baby was going to be a boy or a girl. I am able to clean the ashes out of the fireplace and help Dad start a fire. I can’t wait until Christmas.

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Hi I’m Ivy (7). I like ponies and the herd your horses game. I have learned how to read and you can often find me snuggled up on the couch reading a good book. I am becoming Mommy’s helper and can wash Skye and get her out of her high chair. I am also helping her take showers and start to potty train. I liked playing in the Mississippi river. I am saving up my money to buy Christmas presents for others. I am taking care of the barn all by myself now. I milk the goats twice a day, gather eggs and let Mom know if there is a problem.
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Hi I’m Flora (6). I empty the dishwasher and put food away after each meal. I like to play my little ponies. Iris had her birthday this year. I had my birthday too, we played on the playground and we opened up presents and I had a cake that looked like a quilt. We are making crafts for Christmas songs. I like to play Garanimals matching game.

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Hi I’m Eden (4). I like playing the headband game. I am learning to clean the bathroom and I am cleaning the bathroom Flora used to clean and Iris is cleaning the bathroom I used to clean. I am reading my sight word books in school. I loved being at Nanas house, I played with stuff. I am learning how to sweep the kitchen floor. I didn’t have cake at my birthday. I like playing with my bobbly heads. I love reading books. I have lots of eyes. I love to see the nutcracker at Christmas. I love to be gentle with glass stuff and I love doing my chores.

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Hi I’m Iris (3)! I like to play the dress up doll game. I am learning to pat my knees and how to sing in school. I have started cleaning the bathroom and I know how to wipe the table and am learning to sweep the floor. I am learning how to play baby dolls. I like to wear zippy zebra clothes. I love doing crafts. I like when Eden and I wear matching overalls.
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Hi I’m Skye (18mo.). I am starting to learn how to communicate. I love playing with Baby dolls. I get a treat if I go Potty in the potty. I like doing barn chores with Ivy. I like all kinds of animals and will stop whatever we are doing to “talk” to them. I also like to wave “hi” to cars. I watch the big people doing things and then I try it myself!

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