Thursday, April 30, 2009

And YES - more brick

We enjoyed another beautiful day here in AL. Thank you all for your prayers! There is a chance of rain/thunder showers tomorrow, so please pray with us that it holds off.

Status on the brick: incredible! They have finished one full side, the front left side, almost the entire back, 1/2 of the other side, and 1/2 of the right front.

As promised, here's a picture of "Doc".

John worked hard all day putting up insulation and 2x4's. I really should have been helping, but I also needed to do laundry and school the kiddos some. I did help a little at the end of the day.

The whole gang at the end of another hard day ...

Still enough energy to do a goofy shot! :) And I had confirmation that this is indeed a goofy, havin' fun kind of bunch! It is a pleasure to have them here working. Thanks a million again!

Guess who? See, I did help a little.

How much do you trust your spouse? I trust mine ttthhhiiiiisssssss much! (and more)

Beautiful brick and sunset in the background.

Beautiful end to another beautiful day!

We continue to thank and praise the Lord for all of His provisions. He is truly an amazing God!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And more Brick!

We have had wonderful weather for the brick crew to work - mid-80's and sunshine. This afternoon looked to be threatening rain, but it held off.

I feel like a broken record saying how amazing these work crews are ... but they just are! At the "end" of today, they just kept on working to finish up the front portion of the house. So, that means that some of them put in around a 13 hour day - in the heat - all day. A huge THANKS for their perseverance and hard work.

And, I have to say that I LOVE THE BRICK and all they have done! When they pulled the scaffolding down this afternoon and revealed the whole wall, I just stood there staring at it. It just looks so good!

This is the only picture from yesterday and Savannah took it.

Ryan was helping out putting insulation up to try to stay ahead of the masons. I had Savannah take a picture while I was up on the scaffolding. Getting up was easy (fairly) - getting down was a whole 'nother story!

These guys work together up in PA and they are a hoot!

Tom - pulling down scaffolding.

Benny - "The Talker" (that's what he wrote on his cup). He does an extraordinary job maneuvering the lift.

Ryan and Rance - tearing down scaffolding.

Taken from the tower walkout - I went up there to secure the hatch in case it rained and thought this would make a cool shot.

Ben and Jordan - working extra hard to finish up the front top corner. (Josh was also right there with them - I just didn't get him in the shot).

I plan to get a picture of Doc tomorrow to round out the crew.

Voila!!! What do you think? If you said "WOW" - me, too!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Here are some pictures I promised! This is another hard-working crew of talented men. We are blessed to have them here helping us. This time is unique in that we really knew only one of the work crew before this week. I am still in amazement that they would come and help out like this - we appreciate it very much.

Scaffolding up and ready to start.

Bricks arriving! It's just a cool thing to see two tractor trailers up here - no easy task to make it up our road.

One of the drivers (this one is for you, Kendra :) (Oh - and we knew him before, too, but he has headed back now)


This one is for you, Tricia :) Josh is the other one that we know - he has come down for prison crusade the last couple of years. He is also the mason who organized this crew - thanks, Josh!

Sand and mortar - and lots of it.

Artsy shot.

Shot of the mud - doesn't it look fun to play in?

I gave them popsicles this afternoon - here is how all of them ate their popsicles. Hands free!

Later this afternoon - major progress! I had to run out for baseball/softball games, so I didn't get a shot at the end. In my opinion, it looks GREAT!

Got the kids involved in the fun :)

Good night!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The brick masons arrived safely!

This morning, a crew of men from PA arrived to put the brick on our house. Later this afternoon, two tractor trailers arrived with the brick.

WOW - it's really happening! Again!

We are praising the Lord again and again for His kindness to us in sending all the help on our house.

Would you pray for protection for them and that the heat wouldn't bother them? We are supposed to be mid-80's all week.

Pictures coming soon :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Need I say more?

And lots of it :) Now that we have kind of gotten into a groove with the schedule, it is easier. They are both enjoying playing and we are enjoying watching.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Playing catchup!

I have good news and bad news (and other news, too).


First, the bad news. Our newest little addition, Buddy, is no longer with us. We are pretty sure he would return if he could ... so. I called the shelter today to see if someone had turned in a beagle, but unfortunately no one has. My hunch is that he was attacked by another animal. Mercy returned that day with a limp and a bloody spot on her. Also, John had heard a bobcat a few days prior to that. I guess we will never know what happened, but we miss the little fella.


How about the good news next? We have another crew coming! We continue to praise the Lord for the blessings that He is providing! This time, it is a crew of masons to put the brick up ...


they are bringing the brick because there just happened to be enough left over from a job


we can have them


they want to bring them down for us


put them on the house. Simply amazing, isn't it? I think so, too.


I am still working on my thank you notes for the first crew. I certainly haven't forgotten - I have just been very busy for the past month.

Now, that's better news, right?


Sports Camp

The first three days of this week, our church offered a sports camp during spring break (kind of like a VBS, but with sports). The kids and I participated all three days and I was the huddle leader for the soccer team. So, I was with 16 wound-up kids for 3 days ... 8 hours per day ... can you say t-i-r-e-d? On top of sports camp, we had baseball both nights! Whew - but it was fun!

Women's Day

Tomorrow is a break! The women of We Care get a day of relaxing and having fun together. Just the women are heading to the headquarters and enjoying a day and night of hanging out. I am looking forward to hopefully getting some thank-you cards done :)


Ok - enough jabbering, already! Here are some recent shots of the house. We have all the windows and doors in the main and second floor (except for transoms above the sliding doors). We are putting insulation around the exterior of the house to help offset the heat/cool loss from the windows :) Just kidding about the windows, but we are putting insulation around - or I should say John is, as I have not been home much the past three days.


Easter Sunday was a beautiful day so we enjoyed a nice hike to Chimney Rock and then went the long way around to end up on our property.

Pretty wildflowers on a rock ledge.

John and the kids on part of Chimney Rock.

1 Chron 16:23-27
23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
proclaim his salvation day after day.

24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.

26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.

27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy in his dwelling place.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dried In (at least mostly)

We have had crazy weather, but we are very thankful that we have not had the severe weather that other states have had. My heart goes out to those in Murfreesboro, TN who have lost loved ones and for those that have lost their homes.

I am looking forward to having a garden again someday, but this year is just not going to be the year. We have trips planned to PA and OR in May and just won't be around to take care of a garden. Also, something just had to "give" in the priorities for this summer, and the garden was it. We did get some fruit trees last week at the local farmer's co-op - 2 apple, 2 pear, and 2 peach. I had planned on planting them last Saturday but ran out of time before Savannah's softball game and am glad I did. Tuesday and Wednesday nights, we had frost again! So, on Thursday, part of our homeschooling was to plant the fruit trees. I didn't have the right materials to stake the trees, so hopefully they didn't blow over in the wind yesterday.

Savannah and Hadden loved helping and chose their "favorite" tree to take care of. Savannah chose the smallest and homeliest tree - she is like me that way.

btw: Yes, Hadden is wearing tie-dye AND camoflauge AND black socks AND crocs! Oh, how sweet it is that we live out in the middle of nowhere! And nobody would have ever seen it had I not posted it on my blog :)


On Good Friday Steve, another friend from We Care, came up to help us install doors - what a huge help yet again! Thanks, Steve! We now have all of the windows and doors in above the basement level, so we can rest a little easier and not have to worry about the floors getting wet and ruined.

Here, John and Steve are removing the framing above the door to put a transom window in. Oh, I LOVE how the transom looks and allows more light in! In the middle floor, the ceilings are 10' so each of 3 doors along the back of the house will have transom windows. Yippee!

John was putting the final nails above a sliding door as storm clouds loomed in the background.

Question: how would I make this shot brighter on John's face? I didn't use a flash because of the glass in front of him. If I lighten the picture, the storm clouds in the background turn to beautiful sunny day clouds and I lose the effect. I have paint shop pro, and I fiddled a little with the little fixer tool, but I am just not that patient to make it look great. Any suggestions?


Our next project on the house is to put the pink insulation up all around the outside. It is a very fun task only slightly complicated by the height of the house (and the wind!). We are able to use leftover supplies from the flat roof section of the tower to screw the insulation on (John loves that!).

Hadden wanted to try his hand at the drill, so we had him put the plates into the insulation before we put it on the house.

We had to encourage Savannah to try it, but then she really had fun doing it, too.

This picture cracks me up - it is screaming for a caption!


We are into the thick of baseball and softball - both kids are enjoying playing. Although the running practically every night of the week gets old, I am enjoying getting to know some of the other parents, so that has been fun.


Happy Easter!

Mark 16: 6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book Review - Rachel's Tears

I am a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishing and this is my first review. Note: You can also become a book reviewer by going to their website and applying.

Review of Rachel's Tears - 10 Years After Columbine ... Rachel Scott's Faith Lives On by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott.

What a beautiful testimony of a lovely young girl who lived her life of faith out loud.

Pros: A loving tribute to their daughter, Rachel. Seeing this tragedy through her parents and friends' eyes brings the tragedy to a new perspective - a closeness that does not penetrate our mind through just the media coverage of the events. I appreciate their willingness to share through their pain and through their brokenness. Rachel's life and testimony is one that we can all learn from - to walk a clearer path following Jesus, as He intended. I found the insights that God had given to Rachel very interesting - insights into her death and into her reaching others for Christ.

Cons: The book is divided into separate sections - those where Darrell "speaks" and then where Beth "speaks" (and occasional others). For me personally, it was more difficult to keep the story on track. With this approach, some information is repeated from each of their voices. There was also the constant reminder of division in their family.

Overall, I would recommend this book and want to express my condolences to them for their loss of a beautiful daughter. May God continue to use her story for His glory.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Orchids and update

Have I said yet how much I love orchids? They are my very favorite flower and my husband is so sweet to spoil me with them! (hint, hint: any guys out there reading - these are great gifts. A little on the expensive side, but well worth it)

Do you remember this little guy with 7 blooms?

Just look at him now ...

13 blooms! I can't find an angle that will show all of them, so you will just have to trust me. And, there are 3-4 more that will likely bloom soon.

Here are some of the flowers - they look very delicate, but they are actually very hardy. These very same blooms will last for months - yes, MONTHS!! This seems to be a pretty good climate for them, so I am excited. All the ones from the previous picture in February are still beautiful.

And, here is their little buddy - I haven't named him yet. Savannah made it out of pixo's. I call it a penguin (just to tease Savannah), but she calls it a bluebird. Isn't he cute???

We took a trip to McWane last week - Savannah is playing tug-o-war.

I love this shot of Hadden and Buddy. It has been really fun to watch Hadden take to him.

Stan from We Care came back on Saturday and he and John got the tower section waterproofed. Stan drove up and back all in one day and worked hard the entire day. He brought his two boys with him and the kids had a very fun day playing together. Thanks so much, Stan! Your help was greatly appreciated.

Have I said how much I love orchids? :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Thanks for your patience - I have a few minutes to write this post now.

Last Thursday morning, John and I tackled putting the smaller windows in the tower portion of our house. It was just us and we were a little bit nervous to figure out exactly how we were going to do it - especially when we got to the second and third floor windows.

We started at the ground (for obvious reasons) and determined our plan. As the ladders went higher and the further we had to climb, the more we had to concentrate and focus on the task in front of us. We had to fix our eyes and our minds on nothing else.

Interestingly enough, as we traversed the tower, the weather started to become a distraction. At first, a gentle breeze started that complicated the situation. Then, it started to drizzle - just a little, but enough to cause us some concern.

At one point, John looked nervous (for my sake, I'm sure) and wondered if we should try it ourselves. I reminded him that it was the same window, same process we had been doing - that nothing had really changed except for the height (ok, and the weather) .... so we proceeded. We were able to successfully finish installing the remaining windows in the tower.

This can apply to our lives, too. We are fine on the "ground" level - everything is going well, life is easy. It is easy to fix our eyes on the Lord and follow Him. Then ... the weather hits - circumstances happen that distract us - pulling our eyes away from following Him. For one reason or another and we find ourselves in desperation. But, if we fix our eyes on Jesus, our desperation can change to hope and faith. The circumstances may not change immediately or just how we would like them to change, but we can cling to the hope that we have in Him.

Hebrews 12:2-3
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

John's turn up the ladder

John stapling down some of the paper that had come loose in the wind.

My turn - what fun!

Nailing the top of the window

Updated picture with windows.

Front showing windows

We have had very spring-like weather ... as in lots of rain. I haven't had a chance to take pictures when the sun is shining.

More updates from progress on Saturday and some fun pictures of my orchid next time ...