Saturday, July 26, 2014

Project West to East

This week we also began to move our belongings...transferring our life as we know into a new place.We are excited to close (with the bank and new owners-to-be of our old home) one chapter and open another. One of my sweetest friends called this weekend Project West to East. The Wests officially moved to the east side of Jackson....with the loving and gargantuan load of help from dear friends. These guys "don't play" when it comes to helping or being good to us!

 Loaded up!

 Good bye bedroom!

 Our last cleaning tuckered someone out!

 Good bye living room!
 This may be the only picture EVER of a vehicle in our garage!!

Last West family picture at Stone Spring Circle (sniff sniff)

 Unloaded! The storage areas are the dining and classrooms for now!

Quickly became a disaster!

 These are the sleeping arrangements until we get carpet laud upstairs. They LOVE it.

Now to get all of this UNPACKED!
This could take a while!

Friday, July 25, 2014

38 Weeks

Our last picture by the fence, unless baby shows up before our move! Been sick the past few days. Finally made myself get out of bed, shower and pose! 2 weeks to due date.....never know how many until baby arrives! Trying to enjoy the last little bits of this pregnancy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week #4 Restoration: Filling Nell's Cup

This is our last week of renovations before life begins in Nell. She is really beginning to transform and take the shape of a home.  She no longer just looks like a house. The potential that we knew was there, is slowly becoming a reality. I think I can live here...I think I can...I think I can. She is far from perfect, but she is different. The difference is obvious. After much deliberation, paint colors have been chosen. Paint has been applied to her once smoke filmed walls and now the has color. We chose fun names like Cozy Cottage, Swiss Coffee, Dark Ash and Sculptor's Clay. Cozy Cottage went in the dining room and kitchen. Swiss Coffee is everywhere, adorning all of our marvelous trim work. Dark Ash fills our bedroom ad Sculptor's Clay is basically everywhere else except the bathroom. We have laid beautiful tile flooring and have scrubbed and waxed our wood floors. New appliances have been delivered. Our utilities have been turned on....WE HAVE POWER AND WATER! The bathroom and kitchen is still under construction, but the essentials are there. We have a toilet, shower and sink. The tub will be there soon! He is getting a makeover of his own.

Did the paint colors strike you at all? They did me...just sitting here typing out the names of the paint colors...He speaks to me. Cozy Cottage represents Nell and this place we are making our home. Swiss Coffee....that was just God loving on me. If I have a cup of coffee, I am in my happy place. If coffee is a vice, this is mine. I love them smell, the taste...all of it. Now, you probably are asking yourself why we are painting trim the color of coffee. Well apparently in Switzerland, the like their coffee a little more "fru fru" than I do. Swiss Coffee is actually a shade of white. Probably more cream in their coffee than I like, but on our trim, its perfect. Sculptor's beautiful. I desire to be that clay in the hands of the greatest sculptor of all time. He can make anything out of little, if only we choose to be moldable. There lies the beauty...we have total freedom to choose. We can choose to be moldable. We can choose to listen. We can choose to be obedient. WE CAN CHOOSE HIM. He does not make us. We are not pre-programed robots. He gives us freewill, so that our choices are authentic. He is authentic. His love is real and He longs for the same from us. Our great big God wants to be loved too. But there is always a darkness within, while we wear this flesh. Our Dark Ash, which is only in a small area of our home, is much like the sin nature we will always carry while in this world. It is always present. It will continue to create unhealthy urges that we must resist. If we lose sight of that, we let our guards down and then a little becomes a lot very quickly. Let us resist those dark voices and let the large light within be the power behind our daily lives.It takes constant, deliberate attention to our spiritual lives, to allow the Holy Spirit to continue to transform our minds and actions. Be diligent! Be on guard! Oh my, I think we need a security system....we are now living in the "01"!!

 Living room painted!

Living room and classroom painted!!

Dining painted!!!!!

Kitchen paint

 Cabinets mid-transformation

Kitchen tile laid by Marcus.

Kitchen tile finished! (looks darker than it is)

My new kitchen sink!!!! I LOVE it!

  Bathroom tile laid by Tim and Marcus!

 New antique dresser...that will become our bathroom vanity!

 New bathroom sink

 Mortar....seen lots of it! 

New toilet and new subway tile

New shower and fixtures

Bedroom painted!

 Floors before mopping and waxing!!!

Floors after mopping! Better...

After waxing...the first time! :-)


Friday, July 18, 2014

37 Weeks

Inching our way to being done! Can't wait to meet who is in here! Love this time, cherishing it....but wishing it away all at the same time! Weight gain good, heart rate 125-135.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Week #3 Restoration: Binding Up the Brokenness

This has been my favorite week so far....understandable, considering what we have been through. This week most of Nell's wounds were doctored. I am a visual person....I learn best visually (I love YouTube), I am great with directions when depending on what I have seen, but I could not tell you a street name to save my life, and I appreciate the aesthetics of things. Walls and ceilings have been replaced with new ones. We made it to the stage of repairing all of the MANY cracks in the plaster and priming the smoke filmed walls.

 Closed up a closet here for more space in the bathroom!
 Sanding facings that are screaming for paint!

Wall being put back up in the kitchen!
 My boy with a servant's heart!
 What a difference!

 Bathroom where the closet used to be.
We are on our 4th 5 gallon bucket!

What a drastic change in our home. It is beginning to feel like home. The Lord has, again, shown me how this process continues to mirror His great work in His children. One of my all time favorite passages in from Isaiah, that speaks about the year of Lord's favor..."The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor..." These beautiful words foreshadow the coming Messiah, who meets all of our needs in Himself alone. He was a total game-changer! He still IS a total game-changer! Today His wonderful work can be found through His spirit, through His word, and through His people. My own thoughts are not meant to limit His power in any way. I faithfully believe that he can work in and through any means that He chooses. But, I have certainly experienced Him these ways, merely in the past few weeks of this restoration/renovation process. While I believe we are doing what we have been called to do in this house, it in no way can substitute for bringing His good news and healing to other people. Our home was not created in the image of God, not like people are. 
 I have to recognize those who are responsible for helping make our house a home. One of our dear friends spoke about us to his parents (maybe in passing, maybe asking for advice, or maybe pleading for help). They jumped aboard this ship, that no doubt on days felt like it could capsize at any moment, and worked DAILY to do this hard, tedious work. They have flipped a number of homes and this was their expertise. We knew this sweet couple only through conversation, and maybe a brief passing here and there. We now count them as very dear friends. God continues to knock our socks off with His goodness. I mean, WHO DOES THIS? Who comes to, basically, strangers and says "You need help? We're in for the LONG haul!" God's people do. Let me tell you that this has certainly been a long haul. I have no better words. It has been long and hard and it is not done yet. Nell will be a work in progress for a good while. Right now, she is closer to livable than she ever has been. We still need plumbing and hot water! It will come!      

Psalm 147:3   He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ball Player

This summer we had a ball player! Eva played for Sell's Service!!!!! We kept calling it t-ball to make her feel more sure of it. (It was actually coach-pitch, but they did use the tee after 5 pitches.) She is so unsure of herself. She needed a little self esteem pick-me-up. We asked her if she was interested, and she very nonchalantly said maybe. We signed her up, told her about it and she had a MELTDOWN! Guess it got real for her! As her practices began, she insisted that I accompany her on the field with her and stand with her as she batted. I wasn't the only parent out there. As her confidence grew , she no longer asked me to be on the field with her. She got her uniform jersey and was so excited to see her name on the back. This was a team decision, which gave us a discount and only ended up costing $3. During her first game, she asked me to stand with her at 2nd base. But after that, she never asked me again. She gained baseball skills for sure. She hit several balls pitched from her coach. She even hit her coach with the ball once. She thought that was totally cool! She learned to field well, caught the ball on occasion, and became more aggressive charging the ball along with the other kids. She went from rolling her eyes as we cheered her on when she got up to bat, to smiling and waving from the bases. She grew to love the game, refusing to call it t-ball, or even coach-pitch. It was BASEBALL! She laughed and joked with her teammates, even though she was only 1 of 2 girls on the team (Eva and Kellen). We are proud of her skill, sure, but we are proud of her confidence that has grown tremendously. She is no longer afraid to be in front of a crowd and she has something all her own. She still does not want to take ballet. I feel like it may be because it is her big sister's thing. She wants individuality. I can appreciate that. She says she misses playing with her team. We look forward to seeing what her interests and pursuits become with this newly found courage. We are so proud of our girl!!!