Tuesday, November 15, 2011

House Updates

We bought this house last year because it has great potential. In Real Estate speak that means it needs work, and it does. Nothing big, just a pretty upgrade, because we like to say that while this house was build in 1990 it looks like it was decorated in 1970. We had about $80 on a Home Depot card after we took back extra stuff from the renovation on the house before we left KC. So that, and maybe $30 extra has funded the upgrade so far.

 Our first re-do was Caleb’s bedroom on the first floor. The kids really hadn’t had their own space since we left Lenexa in ’09, so we wanted to get bedrooms done first. When we first moved in we gave him the slightly larger room since it shared a wall with the bathroom. That way he got the noise J It was a lovely mustard color (I don’t know if I can really infuse those written words with the sarcasm that the spoken word conveys) and had Kelly green curtains. I went through the house the day we got here and took down all but one set of curtains. Randy couldn’t understand my mania but they were awful. The mauve plastic mini blinds in the kitchen survived slightly longer, but that was only out of necessity.

Since he was back in KC last winter we moved his stuff out of the room, scraped the ceiling, and painted the trim, windows and walls. We didn’t paint the doors; I think we will replace them later. That was one thing we learned from the flip. Replacing doors is relatively inexpensive and made a HUGE difference in the overall look of the house. Painting the cheap, flat, wood doors just made them look cheaper

 We moved into that room after it was finished and started on the, I can’t think of the proper adjective, avocado green room. It was a surprise for Caleb when he came back home for the weekend. I want him to feel like he has a place here even though he has been pretty transient with college and everything.
 We scraped the ceiling here too. Odd thing about the house is the different types of ceilings. Living room is smooth, kitchen and upstairs rooms are bead board, all other rooms are popcorn. The big chunky kind. I hate scraping ceilings. Randy does the big parts I do the areas around the light fixtures and edges. I will say though it is totally worth it to go to the trouble. If you dry scrape and paint them they look like they were knockdown from the beginning.

We also replaced the light fixture. We had one left over from the flip. It’s crazy how those simple things can have such a big impact. The ceiling fan in our room was actually really nice already.

I will post pictures of the other two bedrooms later. We haven’t done anything to Em’s she is having a hard time figuring out what to do. I think I have almost convinced her to just let me make the decisions for her!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I've Been Thinking..........

I was standing in the kitchen last night staring blankly at my kitchen “renovation” (I use that term very loosely, I think you actually need a budget for a renovation) but that’s going to be a whole ‘nother blog.
Anyway, as I was staring at the floor, Randy asked what I was doing. I said “thinking” His immediate response was “Stop!” He knows me so well. My first step to every disaster starts with those words. So believe me when I say I will understand completely if you close the page J
I know Thanksgiving has a tendency to wake us up from our daily slog through life to see the things for which we are thankful. (Even if it’s only at the Thanksgiving dinner table as we scramble to come up with something to be thankful for before we have to take a turn around the circle) And, since it’s that season, I’ve been thinking about the past few years, and all we have to be thankful for as a family. Honestly there is no way I can even process all that has happened, all that God has provided. Several years ago I remember my oh so impressionable oldest child in a moment of drama, crying over being homeless and living in a box on the side of the road. (all over a not so great class report in third grade mind you.) At the time I remember telling him that we had family and church friends who would never let that happen, and that God would take care of us. Kind of a knee jerk response, not that I thought it was untrue, I just really hadn’t thought about something like that ever being possible. In 2009 when everything started to crumble financially around us, we really did have family and friends step in and act as the hands and feet of God in service to us. “Thankful” seems like a puny word to describe how I feel about them. But I still have to say, I am so thankful for those people who stepped up and helped, loved us, and listened to my whining (on blogs, Facebook, and in person, I am a very prolific whiner)
I am thankful that in the last two years God has provided jobs for us, a home for us and financial options with college tuition for our kids. He has allowed us to start paying off debt left over from the hard times, and given us hope that one day we will be financially stable again. God has shown Himself to be faithful, even though we made stupid decisions, and mistakes, which proves to me that it is so much more about God’s faithfulness than my goodness!!
Don’t misunderstand me however; this has been a rough couple of years and I am not simply saying as I did before, that God took care of us, not really thinking about what that meant. God has taken care of us when things were hard, but not by sending a magic check in the mail to ease our suffering so we could go back to our clueless, status quo existence. God allowed us to go through stuff that wasn’t fun and to be confronted with hard questions about what our purpose here really is. I have gone from the SUV driving suburban stay at home mom who loves Jesus cliché to someone who has experienced the grace of God is so many ways that I am changed by it.
I am thankful for hard times, which is much easier to say on this side of them! I know I am supposed to be thankful in the midst of hardship, and I’m still working on that.
I am thankful that God has used these circumstances and my failures to  force me to depend on Him. Ultimately all I want is to be used by God for His purpose, whatever that looks like in my life.
1The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established.
                                                                 Proverbs 16:1-3 ESV

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I have watched people I know and love go through the process of adoption. I've failed miserably in the "after". I wondered myself what that would look like for my family.  I have to share this link for those involved in supporting friends and family "after" . PLEASE READ Jen Hatmakers blog. Not only is she hysterically funny, she opened my eyes.