Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day 2009

I have no Father's Day picture. Didn't even think about taking one.

Shannon got home from Idaho at 10:30pm on Saturday night. He had spent a week with a group of 12 teenagers and 5 other adults during the first week of their Mission Trip. Bryce, Colton, Katie, Naomi, Hudson and I picked him up at the airport in Cedar Rapids.

Let me sidetrack here a bit and tell you a story of God's mercy on our family. All day long the children were asking me what time we were leaving to go pick up Daddy. The plan was to leave around 5:00 or 5:30, go out for dinner, get some groceries, then head to CR to meet Shan's flight at 9:10pm. Early in the afternoon he called to tell me he was being rerouted, and the earliest he could make it to Iowa was 10:30pm. No big deal, but the kids were so anxious to see him, that we stuck to the original schedule and left home at 5:30. We ate dinner at Subway at Wamart, then spent a couple hours walking thru Walmart and shopping.

Our next stop was at Lowe's. As I returned to the car, I noticed that the front passenger tire was a bit low, but didn't worry about it much. We took off for the next leg of our journey. As we hit the highway, I asked Colton to pray for Daddy's safety travelling and our safety as well.

We made it to Cedar Rapids at about 9:15. Shannon was still in Chicago. We went to McDonalds and had some apple pies. The kids played there a bit, then we loaded back into the van and headed for the airport. But I took a wrong turn. It took me a couple miles to figure out I was going the wrong way. We turned around and made it to the airport around 10:00pm.

Earlier in the day we had made some posters to greet Shannon. One said 'We love you!'. Another said 'Welcome Home Daddy'. The third one said 'Happy Father's Day', and each of the children wrote a note to their Daddy. At the airport we unloaded everyone, gathered up our posters, and headed inside to find Daddy, looking a little bit like a parade. His plane arrived a few minutes early, and we had a happy reunion with him, just in time for Father's Day.

As soon as we got to the parking lot, Shannon noticed at the tire was getting pretty flat. We stopped and aired it up, then headed home. The next morning it was completely flat. After church we took it to be repaired, and found that there was a big chunk of the tire missing.

*I'm so grateful to God that he did not allow me to have a flat tire on the interstate, in the dark, with five young children, by myself.* Nor did we have trouble on our way home from CR with a tired Daddy. We also discovered that the brakes were in very bad shape and needed to be replaced. So many bad things could have happened, but God protected us.

Back to Father's Day. A good portion of the afternoon was spent at the auto repair place. Not the ideal place, but we were all together. Except Alex, Jackson and Chase, who were still in Idaho. Did Shannon complain? No. That's the way he is. He puts others first. He protects our family. He guides our children. He is an excellent example of what a good man is. The mens' choir sang a song at church yesterday called 'A Few Good Men'. Shannon is one of those men.

Happy Father's Day, Shan. I love you. I hope our boys grow up to be just like you.

"My son, keep your father's command, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; When you awake, they will speak with you." Proverbs 6:20-22

Monday, June 22, 2009

Almost Finished

We have been working diligently to finish the bathroom remodel. I can't believe I actually thought at one point that we could finish the whole project over Memorial Day weekend. I just went back and read the first blog entry about this project, and realized I am WAY overdue in posting the progress pictures.

At the conclusion of Memorial Day Weekend, we had new walls, floors, and functioning shower. We ran into problems at every turn of this project. We had to redirect plumbing, electrical, heating ducts were right where the shower drain needed to be, and the list goes on. Our home will be 100 years old next year, so we knew we would be working with corners that were not square and other such challenges. One of the major problems of this project was that the walls not only weren't square, they weren't flat, either. They tend to bulge in the most inconvenient places!

The older boys have been the primary users of the new shower. They left for camp before we installed the new medicine cabinet, so haven't been able to move their shaving things in yet, but that won't take them long to settle in when they get back.

I LOVE the new flooring. It was easy to install, and has been easy to keep clean. I'm glad we decided to install it on the diagonal. It complements the angled shower and adds interest. We chose to match the wall paint to the blue vein in the tiles.

The shower, although it takes up a lot of space, was really the inspiration for the whole remodel. We built the adjacent wall so that it did not go all the way to the ceiling, allowing more sunlight from the window that was partially blocked. Because the room is only 6.5 feet wide, there were limited choices in design. It has been so nice having the extra shower.

This is a picture of the new ceiling. No more gross mismatched dropped ceiling tiles. No more discolored grid. Now it's just a smooth white ceiling.

We installed wainscoting with a chair rail on two of the walls to match the new sink cabinet. All of the fixtures are brushed nickel.

The toilet remains the same. It still gets dirty. It did get pulled up and then put back down after the flooring was installed. The cabinet in the corner was the only storage in the room.

These are the new custom cabinets we built. They extend from floor to ceiling, from wall to sink. The doors have wainscoting as well. There is another cabinet behind the shower wall that is 18" deep and 24" wide. The best thing about building the cabinets was that Shannon bought me a NAIL GUN! It's so much fun to use, and makes me feel like a real carpenter. I even built an end table this week in about a half hour.

I now have TONS of storage. I was able to move all of my baking things, serving dishes, extra china, extra glasses for entertaining, and other various things that had been stored upstairs in the closet that is now my laundry room. And I got to use my handy dandy label maker to identify everything. Shannon thinks I'm such a nerd.

The cabinet holds six 24 packs of pop perfectly, and I didn't even plan it that way. It's been nice to stock the pantry with food, and clear out my kitchen cabinets a bit.

It was difficult to get good pictures of the bathroom. It's just too narrow. I'm pleased with the outcome, and we have added over 80 cubic feet of cabinet space to our home. There is still some trim work to be done. I need to paint the inside of the door and install the trim. I have about a foot and half of baseboard to install once the door is done. I have to stain the outside of the door and do that trim, too. There are paint spots on the floor still, and some of the trim needs to be touched up. I'd like to add a couple more shelves in the cabinet behind the shower wall. Maybe we'll get some art on the wall eventually, maybe not.

All of the hard work and LAYERS of paint have been worth it. I'm no longer embarrassed to have company use our downstairs bathroom.

Did I mention I got a NAIL GUN?!?

"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established." Proverbs 24:3

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

~I'm thankful for the opportunity to support the G-R Rebels in the State Soccer Tournament this weekend. The boys have worked hard, and weren't expected to make it this far.

~I'm thankful for our friends who are pulling together to help out with our kids this weekend. Jeff and Farah watched our 5 youngest last night during the game. James and Heather will be keeping the 4 youngest over night tonight and tomorrow, and Troy and Theresa will be getting Jackson, Chase and Bryce to their Cedar Valley Cup tournament games in Cedar Falls this weekend.

~I'm thankful that Shannon can take off work when needed.

~I'm thankful that Alex is a contributing factor to the Rebels' success this season. He's had a great season, and has been healthy.

~I'm thankful for freezer foods that are easy to prepare when we are running around with crazy schedules.

~I'm thankful that my kids adapt well to chaos. After all, what else have they ever known?

"The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty..." Proverbs 21:5a

Boys State Soccer 2009

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels Boys Soccer team has qualified for the Class 1A State Tournament.

Last night they played their first tournament game in Urbandale. Their opponent was the Center Point-Urbana Pointers. At halftime we were behind 0-1. The Rebels pulled themselves together in the second half and scored two goals to make a final score of 2-1.

We play again tonight at 7:30 in Urbandale. If we win, we will play tomorrow at 12:30 in the Championship game. If the Rebels fall short tonight, we will play in the consolation game tomorrow morning at 10:00 at South East Polk.

Shannon is so excited. When he played soccer for GPBS in high school, the school was not accredited, so he wasn't able to participate in the state tournaments. I think he sees this as a way to play vicariously through the boys on the Rebels' team. It's been so much fun!

Say a prayer for the Rebels!

I'll post more pictures after the weekend.

"The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him." Proverbs 20:7