Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yo...What UP!?

Aren't you excited to see the inside of our silverware drawer?! Our kitchen has four drawers. One extremely narrow. Two that are pretty narrow. And then the work horse of all drawers. The mother of all our drawers, if you will.

I had her jam packed...after rearranging kitchen drawers forty-eight times...and had finally figured out the best configuration. Only, there was so much more potential inside that drawer. Potential that just couldn't be realized with plastic, shallow silverware dividers.

I shared my ideas with The Engineer...who promptly brought in his measuring tape, graph paper, and pencil and we set to work...both of us spewing ideas, him sketching...

The next time I saw the drawer it looked like this. Get this, it's all easily removed. Like, comes out in one piece. I was floored. The man is amazing. AMAZING. The grooves...he hand sanded each one. It's perfect.

And then he painted and installed it...and now I've filled it and we are SO enjoying it! I love the contrasting colors. It feels like the space in that drawer is doubled. Everything has a home. It's awesome. The compartments are taller than the plastic dividers were, so more can be stacked in each compartment. I'm lovin' it. He's good, y'all.

While he worked on that, I took this baby out (on loan from friends) and pressure washed the house and sidewalk and driveway. Pressure washing is messy business. I decided I'd sport my running shorts and an old pink tank top. The Engineer okayed my clothing choice - which I'd NEVER wear in public. Our house is set back a decent bit from the street. I really thought I'd be fine...you know, far enough away that anyone passing by wouldn't really notice my, um, choice of clothing. In particular that top that was fitting a wee bit snug across my belly.

I was wrong.

I had two different neighbors (both men) drive up our driveway to visit. One came back a second time. I was slightly mortified. Lesson learned.

Anyway, the house and sidewalk, etc. look fantastic! I'm pleased with the results. And I had a blast knocking that stuff off the house. What instant progress...that's not quickly undone! (smile!)

Hands down this is my fav piece of art Sister produced this year. I'm in love. The bottom corner says, "I speak chic." That's so her. Every time I lay eyes on this fine work, I smile. BIG. (It's a self-portrait.)

And this...this was sort of one of those out of body experiences that occur every once in a while. This would be Little Man and his kindergarten class walking into their kindergarten graduation to "Pomp and Circumstance."

I mean...I feel like I'm about to offend a bunch of people. What's up with kindergarten graduation?

I kind of cringed during the whole thing...there were a handful of women weeping. Hicky-snot crying. Little Man nearly burst into tears when they sang their closing song...it was about leaving kindergarten and moving on...He was adorable. Precious. This was a really big deal to him.

I mean...I don't know. I was just happy kindergarten was over because it meant I'd have my baby back at home with me. No tears here. I'm thinking a program would be more than sufficient. The cap and gown seemed a bit much to me. Thoughts?

In closing, one of the ministers of the church affiliated with this particular school went on and on about how fortunate we are as parents to have had that school lay a foundation for our child's life...and now we could go forth and build upon the foundation they had laid. He went on to encourage us to begin getting involved in our child's life...to begin training him in the way he should go...it was offensive. I have friends who adore this program. I don't mean to step on toes. This just isn't our thing. We've been working since before this boy was born to build a foundation...with Christ as the cornerstone. We've prayed for this child long before conception. We've been involved. We are involved. Very involved. We've been training. We are training. And by the grace of God, He will redeem our mistakes and shortcomings and utter failures. We pray that his sins will find him out, that God will hold him close and that when he grows old, he will not depart from truth.

But - all that said, it meant The Engineer took the day off and we got to hang as a family and that was super fun! Celebrating Little Man and his year in kindergarten was special! We made a big deal of him...and he glowed.

The in-laws came in town for the weekend - again, super fun!

Sister, sweet Sister. You are getting so big! You are so thoughtful. So precious. My heart swells with love for you. You're a little bookworm, too.

And my Little Man. You are a dear. A fearless, wild and crazy little man.

It is such a sweet journey seeing the Lord work in their hearts and lives...every now and then I get a tiny glimpse of the fruit of our labors, of God's faithfulness...in their choices and actions. Oh, don't get me wrong, we totally don't have it together, I just mean I see fruit in their lives...little, tiny glimpses...just enough to encourage me... and it is good. (No worries, nothing like a throw-down, head turning, screaming tantrum in Target {by a three year old} to keep me humble!)

They love their grandfather.

LOVE this pic!

And this one, too.

Switching gears...Mother's Day 2013...HOME RUN!!! BEST EVER!!! The Engineer and the children gave me hydrangeas. One of my most favorite flowers EVER!!! My grandmother had two huge hydrangeas planted against the back of the boat house at the lake...I remember summer after summer of taking in the beauty of those blooms. And now every time I look out my kitchen window or the back door I smile. And every time I pull in...I grin. They are beautiful and they scream "LOVE" to me.

We have four days of school under our belts...so far I LOOOOVE having them all home. It's still pretty early, huh!? Sister loves the companionship. Little Man is flying through math. I'm wondering if we need to move up a level? Ahhh...the beauty of homeschooling. Little Bit is working the Sing, Spell, Read, & Write for 4-P...her words every morning, "dis is boring." Oh well.

I'm reading Managers of Their Homes...recommended by a sweet new friend. The book is challenging me. I've never and I mean never scheduled every thirty minutes of my day. I'm not sure I can survive doing life like that. But, the authors are quick to pour in grace...the schedule is there to help you, to serve you...not to make you a slave. So anyway, I'm going to implement a schedule for us (maybe not every thirty minutes)...we need one. I don't think I can teach two children and not have some type of schedule in place...we'll figure it out. (smile)

That's one convincing black eye, eh? The children had me for a split second. That's a lot of eye shadow...

We've taken down every door in our bathroom...that would be 14 bi-fold doors...and have nearly stripped and sanded every one of them. (And yes, we were in a very well ventilated space and I wore gloves, glasses, and a mask!) That peach paint is going. Soon. The Engineer and I both dread sanding down all the trim and walls. Peach latex right on top of "institutional green"(The Engineer's name for it) oil based paint...so it's already peeling pretty bad. Nice.

It's been fun working on these projects together. You get to do a lot of talking when you strip 14 bi-fold doors. (And - oh gross! The roach eggs on the back of some of them. Eek!!! Gross me out!-They're all old...remember, I love some Demon WP!) So anyway, it's been hard work, but a lot of fun. I'm so thankful for The Engineer.

Oh...we have our homestudy in hand and have begun putting together our dossier! Woop woop! Basically, we are in an intense "paper work" stage. Lots to gather. Lots to have certified. And somehow we missed that we needed our passports as part of our dossier...so we have a bit of a hold up there. I was frustrated at first, and then was reminded that it is all in the Lord's timing. He has already orchestrated the precious one He has for our family. I am trying really hard to drink deeply of these last few weeks of just the five of us...and yet I can barely wait for it to be the six of us and a little while after that, the seven of us!!! Yay!

Changing gears entirely. My heart is so heavy for our dear friends who are walking through profound loss. Watching them...reading their words as they flesh out their faith...standing firm on the truths in scripture...clinging to Jesus...preaching the Gospel to themselves and everyone they are in contact with...it is amazing. In the midst of deep, deep loss and heartbreak, their eyes are fixed on Jesus. They make me want to love Him more. If you are so inclined, read her most recent blog post, and be spurred on to love Jesus more. And please, pray for them. And if you don't know the Lord, I pray that this family's story might be used to draw you to Him. He is radiating from their lives, from their brokenness and pain like a BRIGHT ray of sunshine. It is only because of Christ that we have hope. To God be the glory.


  1. So I have a confession. When I first made my "schedule" I couldn't think of WHAT to fill in those boxes. So I just wrote in what I needed to do and filled out so many "Free" boxes, just because I see a box, a line, a place to fill in information and I cannot leave it blank at ALL. When I get really overwhelmed, I usually pack in activity/break/activity/free for the first part of the day and the after lunch it's rest/free play/project/reading time...Very, VERY rarely do we keep the schedule. It's like a map. You know you need to get from point A to point B, but there are several different roads to choose from. Right now, we're on "House back in order" mode, so I am doing one day in each room, deep cleaning and reorganzing, one day with each child until I feel like it's settled again.

  2. As usual, I have missed your blogs and am so excited and encouraged to read the latest one! I sooo wish we were neighbors so that I could gain all the wisdom and insight that you have on raising kids - you are just enough ahead of me that I think I could learn a LOT from you :-) I'm praying for someone like that in my life now...I need it! Love all the projects (I am a huge fan of pressure washing!) and the summer school. Can you buy that curriculum for 4-P alone or do you know of anything I could do w/ my Kate this summer? Keep bloggin', friend!!

  3. Love you, Jenn! It's good catching up on your lives.

  4. Wasn't Camille's post precious? Oh man, crying...

    Great to see that picture of you pregnant and beautiful! You are living a wonderful life, my friend. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.


  5. Jenn,

    I would like to say a big ole fat, "DITTO" regarding the kindergarten spiel and being a part of the lives of our children. I actually forgot I had a kindergartener! :) But I do know her name and what she does and does not love. Miss seeing you around town, so I'm glad to see your blog. Blessings!

  6. Congratulations on your son's graduation! And the custom-made shelf on your drawer looks neat. The home improvement projects you and your husband have been embarking are certainly looking to be more and more useful by the day. And as long as you get the job done with the pressure washer, I don't think anybody cares that much on what you wore. You can also use them for light-duty cleaning as long as you adjust the settings, and if you used them with an industrial cleaning detergent, you could have probably achieved better results.

    Total Clean Equipment

  7. Congrats on moving on to the dossier stage! How exciting! I'm thinking about y'all often. Anxious for both your babies to be with you!