Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Getting Ready to Pour

So I'm learning all about this home building stuff.  I've never been aware of the order they do things.  Apparently, the first thing they do is get the dirt ready to put the forms up.  Then they put the forms in (the wood around the perimeter of the house).  After that, the plumbers come out and put in a line to the underground sewage.  Then they put the plumbing in the house.  That's the white pipes sticking up.
The one closest to you is my kitchen sink.  Where I will spend many, many hours.

It was fun to see the first visual of the house's footprint.
How they can figure out where all this stuff goes is beyond me.

One of the trenches.

Then magically these tension wires appeared.  

Then the next time we came, it looked like this.

Kinda cool.
I hope my home builder's not reading this because he would seriously laugh at my explanations.

Who would have thought this is what's in your foundation.

Graham and Asher having a moment together.

Surveying the land like the great explorers once did, or something like that.

We even had some special visitors, all the way from Lubbock and Dallas.
They were sweet to get excited about things like forms, plumbing, and water lines.

Next up, the foundation.
I know the suspense is killing you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Then and Now

I've carried a wallet size of this photo in my purse for years.  I can't get over how little they were.  At the time, Graham seemed so old to me because he was the oldest, but look at him... he's just a baby.  Well, isn't anything below the age of 5 a baby?  And Samuel's cheeks, where are they now?  This was one of the last pics where Asher had all of his teeth.  Shortly after, they had to pull one of his front teeth.  And Jopie, he was hanging out, like he always did.  Not making one sound.
[Christmas 2006]

[Thanksgiving 2011]

Now they are an older-looking bunch.  On the brink of when they will begin entering, one by one, that awkward preteen stage.  I don't feel ready for that.  But I guess I wasn't ready for 4 kids, 4 and under.  Or 5 kids, 6 and under.  His mercies were new every morning during that stage.  I'm excited to see what He has to teach me in these next years.  

So blessed to be raising these boys.

Friday, February 24, 2012

They Say it Better {Luther's home}

We've spent months and months looking at things like tile samples, window designs, and floor plans.
Sure, I hope to have a pretty home.  I'm also excited to have more space.

But I want it to be about so much more than that.
I enjoyed reading this article by Justin Taylor about hospitality and generosity in the home.
I hope you like it, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let the Fun Begin {Building Our Home}

For those of you who know us well, you're probably thinking, "It's about time."  We've been talking about building this house off and on for 6 years.  I distinctly remember when we bought the lot in December of 2005.  We met the owner at Starbucks, signed the papers, shared a toffee nut latte, and got into our car.  We were so excited about building our new home.  At the time we had Graham, Asher, and Samuel.  They were 4, 2, and 1.  I was just about to find out I was pregnant with Joseph.  We hadn't started home schooling yet, but we knew we wanted to head in that direction.  Urban home schoolers!  That was our motto.  We delayed the building process when Chris's mom passed away from cancer just a few weeks later.  Then I found out I was pregnant with Joseph and was sick through the spring.  We stopped and started the building process several times during that next year, and ultimately moved our family to Minnesota in the fall of 2007.  We kept the lot in our back pocket, in case Minnesota didn't work out.  We're glad we kept it now.  

All of that history, well, is just history, but it makes this an extra big day.
 The day they started to move the dirt.
This is our lot.  It's never been built on.

Until recently, we'd visit the lot and imagine what might be.  The boys like to run around and talk about what it'll be like to live there.

But on this day, something happened.  We packed a lunch, stood on the sidewalk and watched.

It's amazing how fast they work.  And how different it looks after a couple of hours.

So here we go.  Let the fun begin.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Whatever Craft Weekend

 I went to my very first blogging event this weekend.  I packed my bags and drove north on 35, wondering what in the world I was doing.  Would these women like me?  Would it be worth my time?  As all you moms out there know, getting away is hard.  We are hard people to replace.
I had a wonderful drive.  I could stop whenever I wanted to, wherever I wanted to.  I listened to MY music.  It was a peaceful seven hours.

I arrived and got to hug Meg and Kimberlee.
My first impression was that Meg's house was every bit as amazing as you think it might be. It's a perfect space for Craft Weekend.  

This was the room we crafted in.  Gorgeous.

Notice the banner says YOU ARE CREATIVE.  This was a good reminder throughout the weekend.  In a room full of creative women, I felt a little un-creative at times.  Isn't this a lovely mantle?

Even the ceiling in this room is inspiring.

Of course, our take home goodies were a favorite.  We got an amazing stash of handmade stuff.  Thanks to all the sponsors.

Our lovely hostesses.  Kimberlee, on the right, is the one responsible for the extra body fat I brought home.  Her food, especially her peanut butter chocolate cake, is wow!

Ashley, me, and Cindy in our aprons.
Ashley was sweet to talk camera with me for awhile.  Her blog is amazing with lots of great photography tips and creative ideas.  I think she has as much creativity in her pinky as I have in my whole body.  Ashley was a wonderful resource to have throughout the weekend, and I feel as though I made new friends with her and her friend from home, Cindy.  It doesn't look like it, but they are both "pregnant" with little ones soon to be brought home from China.  I'm so excited for both of them.  

Meg and me (I'm not quite sure why I'm tilting my head to the side like that).
So fun to meet Meg after reading about her life for over a year now.

This is one of the things I made.  I'm thinking that I'll put it in my new kitchen.

We made pendants.  I've wanted to make a "happy birthday" banner to pull out on the kids' birthdays.  I'm glad I can check that off the list because I'm not sure that I would have accomplished it anytime soon.  And Meg had such fun fabrics to choose from.  When I pull it out seven times a year, it will be a fun Craft Weekend memory.

As I was recapping the weekend for Chris last night, I told him how pleasantly surprised I was with the other women who showed up.  I thought that surely out of the 12 of us, there had to be some crazy internet stalker person  :)  Maybe everyone else thought I was that person.  Please don't tell me if you did!  But I could honestly describe every woman in the room as caring, sweet, friendly, fun, and warm.    So the moral of the story is that bloggers aren't such crazy people after all.

Thanks for hosting us all, Meg!

{insert group photo here when I can steal one off Meg's blog}

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Perler Beads... I'm a fan.

These pictures were taken over the summer.  But in past couple of days, the perler beads have been pulled out again.  Actually, yesterday, Graham, (my oldest and most responsible child) accidentally dumped the whole bucket of them on the floor.  That was fun.  Luckily, Chris was home, so we just laughed.  Especially since I had just uttered the words, "Be careful you don't spill those."
 I like them because for the most part, they aren't very messy... except when you spill all the beads on the floor.

I like them because they can be creative with the colors.

And they can make all different shapes.  I believe this creation turned into a wolf.

And even the youngest can do this.  
They can make something fast enough that they don't lose interest. 

And it has to be good for those small motor skills that sometimes boys lack.

These were Italian bullets that he ended up using with a sling shot he made out of a popsicle stick and a rubber band.  Boys and the strange things they think of.

You can get these at your local craft store for less than $10.
They also have them at Ikea.

It's been quite cold and rainy here.  And these have helped us pass the time until Daddy gets home on more than one occasion.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's... and a Valentine's Craft Night

This is our Valentine to friends.  We put these in an envelope with some candy.  
I was lacking any creative juices, but I still love seeing their smiling faces.

Now, on to crafting.

When it was my month to host Marmalade, at first I thought I wanted to make Chinese food.  Then I looked at my day and figured that was nearly impossible... with a full school day, and piano until 6:00, I had to make all the food ahead of time.  I knew that dinner had to be somewhat simple, the make-ahead kind.  So I thought it would be fun to make a Valentine's craft together.  When I saw this on Danielle's blog, I knew this was the one.  
This is Danielle's banner.  Don't you love it?

The hardest part for me was picking fabrics I thought everyone would like.  These girls know how to make and create beautiful things.  This is what I chose.  There is cooler fabric out there, but I limited myself to what was on sale at JoAnn's because I'm cheap :)

Table full of supplies.

Place cards at the table.

This was fun.  Watching everyone pick their fabric and paper colors.  Very intense.

It's strange to see grown women at my school table, which is normally filled with little boys.

The others were working at the counter.

Or the coffee table.  
I loved how the craft made people gather in little groups and discuss colors and ideas.  

We took a break and ate.  PW's vegetable lasagna and greek salad.  Panera bread.  All yummy.

And a cake specially made for 2 birthday girls.

Then it was back to work.

I think she watched a little too much Charlie's Angels growing up.

The first completed banner.

Love how each girl choose a different style...

This one took the cake.  Leslie just so happened to show up with a pink boa.  
Isn't it the perfect addition?

All in all, such a fun night.  It made me want to have people over to craft more.  

Speaking of crafting, have I told you I'm going to Craft Weekend in 3 days?  I can hardly believe it's almost here.  Time is flying.  It seems like long ago that signed up to go.

 What are you all doing tonight?  We plan on taking the kids to do this.
And I have the hankering to watch Sabrina, but I don't own it.  I may have to find it today.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!