Thursday, July 17, 2014


After the basement slab was poured, a big truck showed up.  I get excited any time a big truck shows up around here because that means progress!  They brought wood; stacks and stacks of wood.

Joists and beams and 2x6's and treated lumber and boxes of nails and glue . . .
and I don't even know what all!

I tried really hard to not think of it as money.
But it was hard.

Before we knew it, joists were going in.

It has been super hard for me to not stand out there all day, watching and taking pictures.
I don't want to bug our framers because I want them to work, but it is just so wonderful!
Anyway, you know what goes on top of floor joists?
That's right.
A floor.

Otherwise known as a ceiling!
Yippee!  We have a basement!
If a tornado or lightening storm or other calamitous natural even occurs, there is a place for my family to find protection.
It may seem like a strange reaction, but it is the first thing that came to mind.
My children are just that much safer.

And look what happened today:

I nearly cried.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Delay Over!

Yesterday morning, my alarm clock was a beautiful sound.  If fact, it was such a beautiful sound that I didn't mind one little bit that it was 5 in the morning.

I looked out the window and what did I behold under the brilliant light of the early morning sun?

A cement truck.

For one reason or another, which you are not interested in hearing, we have been delayed for three weeks.
Three weeks is a long time, but I have developed patience in my long wait for this house.

After a while, I went outside to bug the guys.

They were working hard and fast because the days have been hot, hot, hot which gives them little time to get the cement manicured before it starts to set up.

They got out all of the major lumps and bumps then got inside on these awesome skids to go in and carefully smooth every square inch.  It was like snow shoes for wet concrete.

Today I'm melting in just my skivvies,
but this time next year I'll be laying on this basement floor . . .
cool as a cucumber.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


My 13 year old daughter is an author.

She has completed a book.

Entirely on her own.

We knew she was close to finishing, which was exciting itself, but this is the face that came bounding into my room at about 11 o'clock the other night.
"Mom!  I'm finished!  It's done!"

She has done a lot of editing, but knows more will happen.  Then she is going to print it to share with a trusted circle of advisers for more revisions and suggestions.

Then, one day out of the blue, I'll post a link for you to buy her book.
And you can tell your children that, yes, kids can write books; kids can be authors.
'Cause you know this girl . . . .

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beautiful, Beautiful Home

In the hours before Isaac was to arrive home after having lived in Russia for the bulk of the last school year, the girls got together and made him a big ol' sign for the airport.

We were soo excited, but we weren't the only ones excited by his being back home.
Isaac himself had been waiting for this for a long time.
Russia was a mixed bag, to be sure.  My perspective is that he had the best and the worst year of his life.  While he certainly learned a lot about dancing, he also learned a lot about himself, friendship, his country, his family and his God.
He was also reminded about the value of 

21st Century Bonding
In return for our months of sacrifice, we got home a grateful son.
Everything that is put on the table is the best food ever.
A tiny act of service (such as putting his glass in the sink for him) does not go unnoticed.
The green of the trees and the simplicity of our wildflowers are a thing of unequaled beauty.

We went into a store at twilight and exited to a glorious scene:

It was wondrous to all of us, but especially to the small-town boy who had been so long in the big city.

Then, we drove by fields of alfalfa with their heavy, fresh scent of summer.

It was . . . how can I describe it?  
It was a moment of joy, love, comfort, familiarity.
He was home.

The joy was catching as we all rolled down the windows and enjoyed
the moment.

"The streamlet, flow'r, and sod
Bespeak the works of God;
And all combine,
With most transporting grace,
His handiwork to trace,
Thru nature's smiling face,
In art divine."
                                                              Emmaline B. Wells

Monday, June 30, 2014

Look What We Have

Them all.
Who cares about the dream house.
I have my dream family.
Right here.

Happy Days

Early summer is such a wonderful time of year.  The weather is warm enough to go barefoot, but it isn't so hot that you are laying in front of the fan.

These are perfect days for wandering around in the wildflowers, laying in the tickly grass and watching the clouds wander by.

The first few trips to the lake feel a bit like voluntary torture, but after months of inside, inside, inside, one can't help but force oneself into the frigid waters.

So long, June.  I'll miss your perfect, idyllic days.
Until next year!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Summer of Dirt Continues

The clouds begin to part after days of very heavy rains.

We got a surprise call from the cousins this afternoon.  They wondered if they could come play.


They immediately went outside and began playing the latest favorite game on the piles of dirt:  

Basically, each child (or team, in this case) has one peak on which to build their kingdom.  
I am The Queen of All Nations, in case you were wondering.  
I rule all--and make treats.

Anyway, they build up their fortresses, gather junk from the yard as treasures and challenge each other to duels.  When 18 year old Kevin showed up, the combats escalated from stick fights to rock throwing.  Eliza could only throw as far as the foundation, while Kevin, on the other side of the foundation, was nearly hitting her!  It was hilarious to watch her trying with all of her might to get that rock farther.  She is such a good sport.

His Giantness makes that hill look small!
These two are best buddies in all the universe.  They were working hard to be creative with their kingdom and were frustrated with the vigilantism of the big kids.  

Mostly, though, everyone played fair and rolled with the nature of imaginary games and their constantly changing rules.  I would have LOVED this as a child.  I cannot get mad at the kids trudging mud in my house all day because I understand how much fun they are having.  They will remember this summer forever.

After all of the rain, mud patties were bound to arrive.

In her bakery. Man I love that beautiful girl.
There was also a bit of war paint.  Even if you are baking mud pies, you never know when you'll be challenged to a dual.  One must be ready.

As usual, Baby Boy was filthy . . .
and completely adorable.

I swear, I can't get enough of this darling child.
After a while of being a pawn in their game, the baby was happy to be left to his own devises.
Patches is always happy to tag along.

No, there is no progress on the house.
Yes, I am disappointed, as are the children.
But at least everyone is having such a fun summer in the dirt.