Sunday, January 31, 2010


Who needs cartoons when you have real life? :)

I was cleaning up the homeschool area last night and came across our son's reading comprehension books. Here are some of his answers:

1. Would you like to be in the White House? Explain.
Yes. I would like to be in the White House.

2. Which do you like better: day or night? Explain.
day. Because I like to play on our trampoline.

3. Do you think you would like to be a beekeeper when you grow up? Explain.
no. Because I will probably get stung.

4. Would you like being a child in an early American colony? Explain.
yes. Because I like working on farms.

5. Would you like to visit the Statue of Liberty? Explain.
no. Because it's so big.

6. Do you think it's fair that Washington and Lincoln are the only presidents that have a holiday? Explain.
yes. Because they are cool presidents.

7. Would you like to visit the moon? Explain.
yes. Because you can jump high there.

8. Do you think it's important to save the blue whale and great white shark? Explain.
yes. But not the white shark.

9. Would you like to become a nurse? Explain.
No. Just because.

10. If you were a slave, would you have run away with Harriet Tubman? Explain.
No. Because he was a stranger.

8, 9, and 10 are my favorites. It is just cute to me - maybe it made you chuckle a little, too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Only God …

He truly amazes me. This group of men sacrifice their week (and vacation time), time away from their families, opportunities to make money, etc – to come to Alabama to spend a week in the prison system. They share the love of Christ to the lost and hurting, lend a listening ear, encourage a brother, pray for one another and just be there long days, long hours because He called them to.

Matt 25 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

And, what amazes me the most? I hear them saying what a blessing it is for them – from many of them. Only God!


This is the group from this year.


From the top of the tower – this is most of the group. Yes, the sky is really that blue! It was a beautiful day today!


Some more near the kitchen.


4 of the framing crew from last March.


Love this shot – love the shadows.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crusade week

Very exciting week for us here in AL - it is the annual We Care Crusade. We spent Saturday and Sunday in Montgomery for orientation and it was fun to catch up with friends that we only get to see once in a while.

Please pray for John and the men and women volunteering to spend time with inmates this week. We Care has a record number of volunteers this year and we praise the Lord for each and every one willing to come. You can follow along at the We Care website.

The team from our home church in PA has 10 people - and 5 of them are 1st timers! Please pray especially for them as this is a new and likely stretching experience for them.

I am especially thankful for those 10 (and all those at home supporting them) - it is always a boost for John to have his friends here. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kitchen is finished

Well, almost completely – just a couple of finishing touches here and there. The countertops went in yesterday and the appliances were installed today. The plumbers were also here to do their thing. VERY excited!

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We chose two different kinds of granite – one for the black pieces and another for the brownish pieces. These pictures show the detail a little bit.


View from the next landing on the stairs.


1/2 bath vanity (mostly finished)


Kids vanity


Master bath vanity – the faucets we chose don’t fit properly, so we have to replace them.

And … we still have quite a bit of work to do. Here’s a peek at what’s going on upstairs. Master bedroom still needs painted. Hadden’s room (blue) is ready for flooring. Savannah’s room (purple) is 2/3 covered in flooring. Tomorrow, her floor will likely be completed.

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Monday, January 11, 2010


It has been very cold here – unusually cold. I know the whole nation has been this way, but we just aren’t used to it down here in Alabama. Until today, I don’t think our temps rose about freezing for at least 5 days.


So … here’s John’s idea to stay warm while working at the laptop (hi-d – that is my scarf that you made me that he is wearing). It cracked me up to see him inside bundled up.

But, believe me, we are VERY thankful to be enduring this cold in the house instead of the camper. Often, wind has been accompanying the cold and that would have been very unpleasant.

Sunday after church, we took a trip to Noccalula Falls to see the icicles – very beautiful.


We decided to take our predictable shots of us in front of the falls.


I took this one … aren’t the falls lovely?


John took this one … he did even a better job of showing the falls …


Stranger with really nice, expensive looking camera with really big lens took this one … we had a really good laugh after seeing it, however. Do  you see anything that seems to be hidden in this picture? The Falls! Hee!


View down the gorge.


It was my birthday today. My day was exceptional in feeling loved by my family and friends – thank you all so much for your well wishes on fb! My day was quite less than exceptional in progress on the house. The original schedule had kitchen appliances being installed today. That didn’t happen. Countertops were supposed to come. That didn’t happen. Plumbers were supposed to come. That didn’t happen. I guess you get the idea. I was rather disappointed and discouraged, to be honest. So, we wait for tomorrow …

In the meantime – stay warm!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tile and snow

Happy 2010!

The house is moving along pretty quickly sometimes, and then not so quickly others. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever been through this process.

Right now – we are very close to moving up to the main level. The flooring is complete, the kitchen is almost complete, and John is finishing up the trim work. The extremely cold weather in Alabama has made things interesting. In order to finish the kitchen, each step has to be finished prior to the next one starting.

  • The tile floors had to be finished for the cabinet guy to come back and set the vanities. He also installed all of the hardware for the drawers and cupboards.
  • The counter tops have to be installed. The guy making the counter tops has had major problems with water freezing at their shop. Supposed to be here tomorrow, but I am not holding my breath.
  • Plumber needs to come to prep for the dishwasher and install sinks (they will also do many more tasks while they are here).
  • Finally, the appliance installer can come and install the cook top, oven and dishwasher.

So far, only the first thing has been completed. Everything else is “scheduled” – somewhat loosely depending on the weather. It’s really not that big of a deal – another week after this long – but it is also so close that it can be frustrating at times to have to push it back.

So, in the meantime, more painting! I have finished both upstairs bathrooms, ceilings of kids’ bedrooms and I will hopefully finish their bedrooms tomorrow (if I can get paint, that is).

Here are a couple of shots from the bathrooms. Kids on the left, ours on the right. I LOVE how the kids turned out.

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The nice thing about all of this cold weather – we had a little skiff of snow and it even stuck for a while :) Just enough to completely deplete the bread supply at any grocery story and enough to close roads all over the county. John had to take the long way home last night to avoid a closed road. It’s amusing to me, but I totally understand, too. Alabama doesn’t get enough snow to warrant having equipment or means to take care of it. Easier just to shut down.

This next series of shots just cracks me up. I was upstairs painting when they went outside. They have no idea that I took these (except the first one, of course). Hee!


Bye Mom! (don’t let look innocent?)


Gathering ammunition.




First throw.


“oh yeah – take that”


running away so fast I couldn’t get her in the picture!!! Notice Lilly …


Hadden trying to throw it anyway. Lilly just gives up.

The fun lasted about 10 minutes – they ran out of snow and their hands got cold. Ah – winter bliss!