Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Life as It Is

A lot going on lately. We've been finishing up the projects I talked about previously. Unfortunately Rick has been battling some infections so hasn't been up to par.




River gets around really well now, so it can be exhausting (in a good way of course) to keep up with her. She's been hanging out while Mama works and even stayed overnight Sunday night.




I think I totally missed sharing about the beginning of the new year. I started a new tradition--our own polar bear plunge with breakfast cooked at the beach and hot chocolate afterward. Of course it's not as cold here as up north where they have true polar bear plunges.


Before

Hamming it up after
Looking at the video taken on my new Go Pro and Jessica's, we discovered that the three "littles" cheated by not going all the way under. Next year we are thinking of going to the springs where there's a ledge to jump from and all jumping at once.






We all made our goals/wish list/ to do list for 2017, read them aloud and toasted them with sparkling blueberry/grape juice.





Afterward three of us went to a combination birthday celebration. When Jessica was dating Hunter and Adam was dating Deja, we had four late December/early January birthdays. So we started going out for them. Deja dropped out of the picture, and River joined the team December 30, 2016. So we still have a four way celebration. Anyone can go, but everyone pays for his/her own meal.









I have more to post about, but this is already getting long. So, next time.

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Home Study Visit

Remember a few days ago I posted about all the repairs we decided to do at once. Well, we didn't get them all done in time, so we hid what we hadn't finished. For example, there was a spot on the deck where the boards didn't line up quite right, so I lined up everyone's work boots on that board, and the flaw was no longer visible. Problem solved.

Our caseworker's name is Billy. Don't know his last name. But when he came in, he asked how we knew the Millers, a family we used as a reference. I said they were just down the street, and we got together at the bay for jet skiing several times a year. You've seen them in my photos.



(Josiah comes down often to see if Tyler is available because his own older siblings are all out of the house.)
It turns out that our caseworker knows the Miller family because their churches get together once a month. So we have a Christian case worker, which is nice. They are both pastors who  have small churches so work a "regular" job during the week.

At this first visit he said he was just going to do a quick walk through and get briefly acquainted, and then next time he'd talk to each of the kids. I told him the three younger ones were psyched up to talk to him, so he interviewed them one at a time. Adam, Tara, Sierra and Kealen all came in during this time. I'd made cream cheese chicken chili. It made the house smell good in case there were any pet smells. It was Three Kings day, so we had Three Kings cake with strawberries and cool whip. Later we tried it with caramel syrup. Yum.




 The caseworker said he'll look around more closely next time. I'm not sure when he comes back, but I hope we have the rest of the repairs done. Right now I am making wreaths to sell so the living room looks like Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby threw up in it. 

Here are some of the wreaths I've done:
Diaper wreaths
 Frozen party wreath (once the little gifts are off it can be used as a holiday wreath)

Princess Valentine Wreath

I have some other updates that I'll try to get to on Wednesday.

Friday, January 13, 2017

"Fun" Friday: Track Cleats

I haven't had much time for my blogs lately and didn't come up with a fun Friday brain teaser. So I am going to post a story I posted yesterday on facebook.


So here's kind of a cool story. I took Kayla to counseling (that's not the cool part) and on the way back to school I decided to stop at Catholic Charities because I'd heard they had cleats in all sizes, and I figured she could use a pair to grow into. Well, there were none in her size so we left. When we got outside she asked if we could go back in and look in the cart of $1 shoes. Well, why not? I saw what looked like running shoes on the top of the cart and turned them over to look for a size, and they were track cleats! A size too big for her, but not for long I'm sure. But the cool part (besides getting track cleats for $1) was that there was a Scripture reference written in them. Habakkuk 3:19 which says, "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." I told Kayla that must be God's message to her for track this year.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Doing it All at Once

I haven't been on my blog as much as usual. The reason is that we have had several projects going on. A couple of months ago we looked at a waterfront house. We were really interested, but it didn't seem like the right house for us because it was a duplex, and I have a drummer and two trombone players. The location was great though. We also realized we need to get our house paid down more and also make some repairs.

The list of repairs was long, but mostly things like new flooring in the kitchen, new decks on both sides, replacing woodwork that is water damaged and so on. So I decided to use my birthday money (today is actually my birthday, but we bought the tile three weeks ago.) We also sold our wooden swingset and bought boards for one of the decks.

About this time, an adoption caseworker from the state called to say he was coming on January 6. Yikes! That gave us less than three weeks to do the decks and flooring. We jumped right in with the flooring and the first part went pretty well, but cutting the tile to fit around door frames and the little pieces around the edge got crazy.
When we pulled the old linoleum, we wrote our favorite verses on the wooden floor before we laid the tile.






First tile laid.



Replacing water damaged bottom piece.







We also started pulling apart both decks thinking it would just as easy to do both at once. They are both very small. One deck was built under Jessica's direction a few years ago. The other was here when we bought the house. It has steps up both sides, so we left one side so we'd have a way to get into the house. The problem was, it turned out the risers were rotted on those steps. Risers were $200 each so Rick made a pattern and cut the risers himself. We also decided to have just a single set of steps on that side.




So the past couple of weeks we've been laying tile, cutting wood, building steps and so on. Also during this I've been dealing with an injured elbow, so didn't get to do much of the building. So I did a lot of waterproofing boards and painting woodwork. We didn't get everything quite done, but did a good job of hiding it!

I don't have pictures of everything finished, but I do have a few of the inside of  the house in general.
My office that I share with everyone.





I will get some of the finished projects next time and also share the cool part of the adoption home study visit.