Thursday, May 28, 2015

The New Digs

We are officially moved out of our trailer!  We will continue to shower, launder and refrigerate in it until the bitter end, but we no longer live there!

Now, we live here:

We are having another adventure. Or is it the same adventure we've been on these last four years? Who's to say, but we are, nonetheless, having an adventure!

I have to say, that even though I am in a tent, I woke up feeling happy and optimistic this morning. I awoke to the sound of birds and the warm sun shone on my face, gentally nudging me out of my unconsciousness.

The children are happier (mostly...we have a holdout) and the change will be fun.

Work is slowly progressing on our house, too.

Does this house look ready to close on Monday? Yep. Not to me, either.  Sigh.

One step at a time.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Strength in the Sabbath Day

Yesterday was the Sabbath Day.  I didn't lay a single stone on my slow-growing fireplace.  We didn't pack a single box.  We didn't haul anything to the dump, sweep any floors or paint any surfaces.
We took the day off from our labors.

"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." 
Mark 2:27

Yes, the day that was made for me helped me take a step back and focus on my Savior.  I recognized my ingratitude was what fueled my feelings of hopelessness and frustration last week.  I was given the opportunity to turn from my bad attitude and to turn toward my Heavenly Father.

Today is a big day as we move out of our trailer and continue work on our new house.
I love my life and am thankful for the blessings I have.
Forward, Pressing Forward!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Something Good

The county is making us demolish the trailer before they will give us a Certificate of Occupancy.
Most of our belongings we will store in the garage and we ourselves will be in a tent during the in-between time.  This is fine because: 1. We are good campers and 2. W hope the tent living will put pressure on our contractor to get the job done.
The exception to the stuff-in-the-garage rule is our piano.
You do not store a piano outside.
If the county throws a fit, I will throw a bigger fit. I have it in me, believe me.

Yesterday, we made the move.

I backed the trailer into a tricky nearly 90 degree angle so it was right up to the porch, then pulled the trailer around and backed it up to the front porch of the new house.
Let me rephrase for clarity.


This is very stressful for me.  Remember another backing up the trailer story?  So, ya, not a strong suit.
But, I did it!

Anyway, Justin always says the sign of a true friend is someone who will help you move a piano.

We didn't ask anyone for help, though, because we figured we had enough help with our 92 children.
My 19 year old nephew showed up with perfect timing!  He couldn't help lift because he'd had another bad bicycle accident, but he helped guide and cheer . . . and having a friend around helped us all keep our cool.

We don't have electricity.
We don't have plumbing.
We don't have heat or all of the door knobs.
But there is a piano in this place (and, oh, my goodness, does it sound good in there!).
Music, more than any other factor, makes a home.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Electric and Emotional

After being "on the list" for months and months, our local electric company came out to hook us up to the grid.

 None of the utilities are hooked up to our house.  We have gas to the house, but the HVAC guy wants electricity before he will install the furnace and A/C.  The electricians, obviously, can't do their job until there is juice.  The plumbers won't finish until they have water and septic hookup, but our contractor wouldn't dig the water or septic lines until he knew where the electric company was going to dig their lines.
So everyone was waiting for today.

They dug a ditch and put down our line (saving most of my trees--yay!), then left for what I thought was a really long lunch.
Turns out some guy somewhere cut a tree down and it took out his power line.  My long-waited-for guys took off to assist the foolish mistaken man.

Eventually, they came back and put in this green box.

AND, lest they be wise with money and resources, they also put in this green box.

This was when one of the guys approached me with the inevitable news that another project on our house would remain unfinished.  Typical.
Anyway, at 3 o'clock, they wrapped up for the long weekend and "wouldn't be able" to finish up until Tuesday afternoon.

I packed up the kids and we went to the lake.


Every single one of us is at the end of our rope and, though I would have rather continued working so we could get out of our trailer faster, it was impossible to ignore the needs of the children.

They needed to escape, to laugh, and to play.
And to collect rocks . . . as if we don't have enough rocks in our yard!

This one was taken to the lake under protest, so she wore boots and jeans.
(Don't worry, she wasn't actually mad!  :) )
She needed to get out, too!

We are supposed to be out of our trailer in three days so our contractor can demolish it.  I doubt he'll be ready to do that in three days, but I'm not going to let him say we had anything to do with ANY delays.

A little beach time and a good night's sleep did actually renew our spirits.  
We woke up ready for a new day and for more hard work.
Deep breaths, everyone.  We'll keep moving forward.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tough Week

Normally, I'm resilient.  Normally, I'm optimistic.  Normally, I'm hopeful.
This week I have been none of those.
I've been hopeless, skeptical, cynical, downtrodden, and just plain beat.
This week we had bad news from the bank, no news from the electric company (we've been "on the list" since March 3rd.....), and absolutely no one here working on our house.
The house is supposed to close on May 31st.
That is just over one week away.

Several weeks ago, after yet another giant irritation, my husband tore the Bon Prix sign off of the trailer.

Then, more recently, our daughter recorded this message in Sharpie:

As the trailer continues to crumble around us, even as we are packing up to leave it,
our son added this sentiment:

 Once my husband and I realized graffiti was inevitable, we jumped on the bandwagon as well.

We are, all of us, sick, sick, sick of this house and the sum total of the building process.
Next week, a four day work week because of Memorial Day, the house is supposed to be wrapped up.
There is at least a month's worth of work yet to do.
Good gracious, will we make it??!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

By Small and Simple Means . . .

Are great things brought to pass.

Door knobs.


Touch-up paint.

One rock at a time.

We are now on a count-down.  Just a couple of weeks until we move out of our trailer for demolition (it has to be gone before the county will give us a certificate of occupancy).  Then, we'll be in a tent until our house closes.  Good thing it is getting to be a warmer time of year.  Tent camping in the winter, with no guaranteed end date, would get cold!

The packing is underway.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

An Odd Problem

I am working my tail off to get my part of the house construction finished.  I have now started work on the rock fireplace in the living room.

It is slow work, but at least it isn't endless small white tiles!

Here is my current non-problem problem:

My work jeans are not going to see the job through and my good jeans are still too good to be made into work jeans! Maybe it will be warm enough soon to adopt a pair of work shorts. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Place Prepared

 When I was a child, maybe from 9-12 years old, my dad had his sailboat moored at a lake about 20 miles from our house.

Most Saturdays, and many of the other days, our family worked hard in the morning and then hurried to get ready to go sailing.

I loved it. I loved the quiet of the boat, the wind blowing on my face and whipping my hair around, and the brisk communication required to keep the boat upright and moving forward.  I loved the windless days when we would soak up the warm summer rays on the bow of the boat, then jump in the middle of the lake to cool our scalding skin.  I loved when we were all tucked in the very cozy cabin playing cards and telling stories. I loved when everyone else was inside the cabin and Dad and I were the only two maning the ship, rain and storm be darned!

On the way to the lake, there was one particular vista that captured my fancy, so to speak.  The field was well tended, the forest was thick and inviting, the backdrop mountain was commanding without being so domineering that the sky was crowded out. I looked forward to spying that place during our regular drives to the boat. I imagined what kind of house might be tucked into the edges of the trees.

This is that spot.

I drive by it nearly every day and love it now just as I did then.  As a child, I had not developed my sense of direction or place in space.  I didn't know where this spot was, so you can imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered it to be only a couple of roads down from my new home.

Coincidence? I think not.

I live in a beautiful, prepared place!

Saturday, May 2, 2015


"You don't love me as much as the other kids." 
"Why do you say that?"
"Because you never take pictures of me. I was looking at your blog and there are tons of pictures of everyone else, but not very many of me."
"That is because you banned me from posting candid photos on my blog without specific approval."
"Well, you should try to be more equal in your picture posting."

I then proceeded to take a roll of pictures of him.


 Yes, my darling boy.  This is why there are fewer pictures of you on my blog.  It is impossible to get a decent picture of you!

Oh, my goodness, do I ever love you!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Life Goes On

As work progresses on our house, there is still life happening for us and our six beautiful children.
So many people have generously brought meals or otherwise supported us in this uphill slog to the end!
People are good and kind, despite what is splashed all over the news.
While waiting for workers to show up
or materials to dry
or goods to arrive
or, in other words, the second coming,
we live our lives and fulfill our other responsibilities.

Daddy teaching the 2 year old how to swing a bat.
 Two of my girls needed bras.  
Every girl knows that, like jeans, you can't just look at the size and say, "Yes, this will fit me."  
No, no.  You have to try on bra after bra to find the right fit and material.
So we did that.  
I kind of loved it, but my two anti-shoppers couldn't wait to get out of there.
We went to Applebee's so they could be introduced to the Oriental Chicken Salad.
Nothing says Girl Date like bra shopping and Oriental Chicken Salad.

Last week was a piano recital.
Eliza and her friend Adaline played the theme to Star Trek: Outer Darkness.
It is intense and discordant and fun to listen to, but it is more fun to watch the girls play;
They are so physically involved in their music making.
What good girls and good friends!
Aren't they adorable?

 This guy removed the removable sink in the play kitchen and then crawled in this way.
It took him a little experimenting to figure out how to get himself back out!

And she was delighted with her fat lip.

Can't get enough of Osh Kosh B'Gosh
 Yes, it has been two years.  Incredible, this speeding up passage of time!

These two helped me haul rocks for the fireplace.  As soon as my shower floor is done, the rocks will start going up on the fireplace.  It is going to be a beaut!