bathroom, day 2

Yesterday was an extremely productive day in so many ways.  Our bathroom went from this:

to this….

to this…

to this!

(And just because you didn’t see me in any of the pictures doesn’t mean I wasn’t helping.  I was there the whole time, except for the part when we got a surprise visit from my cousin who needed to “layover” at our house last night before catching a flight home today.  Fortunately,  Stevens not picky about much so he didn’t mind the not having access to a full bathroom.  I don’t think we can expect the same from our next guest.)

Today we are going to put a sealant on the tile then hopefully, tomorrow, I will be able to grout.

Our neighbors are also hoping that we’ll find time to make it to the dump this week…

They love it when we do home improvement projects.

Though we are on a tight schedule, the weekend wasn’t all work:

We celebrated my dad’s birthday, watched a 7-yr-old’s soccer game and,  later,  a larger-than-average moon appear over our mountains.


Though, if I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it looked about the same as all the other moons….

I’ll keep you updated on our progress as our “countdown to company” continues.



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I can’t wait to share about the weekend trip I just made to be in my friend’s North Carolina wedding, but since I opted not to bring my camera (crazy, I know), I am at the mercy of those who did to send me some pics.

Until then, I can tell you about a little project that is getting underway this week.  Unfortunately this is a re-project.  I don’t know if that is the technical term, but what I mean is in the slow process of redeeming every corner of our home, this corner is one that is requiring two visits.

The kid’s bathroom was in dire straights when we moved in, besides the cabinetry being very worn and the walls covered in pink and blue southwest print wallpaper, the sweet old couple who first customized the house chose to put carpet in the bathroom… gross.  SO, the summer before last we tore out the old carpet, vanity, wallpaper and mirror and put in a new vanity we found at costco, wainscot and some cheap slate tile.  After only a year the vaneer wood on the vanity started peeling off, and we realized why it was such a good deal,.  Also, the slate I was set on getting did not go in as well as we had hoped.  It was different thicknesses and made for a very bumpy floor.

So, a couple weekends ago we removed the vanity, took it back to costco and with the giftcard we received from the return, bought them out of travertine tile.

I started removing the “old” slate on Tues.  Equipped with a sledge hammer and a crowbar, I was able to remove about half of it in an hour and a half.  Usually Jay loves the demo, but since I was the one who insisted on this subpar flooring to begin with, I have taken on the task of removing it.

… and I carried it downstairs and outside in this.

We do like deadlines for projects, but this one is going to be close.  Our deadline for having this completed is the end of the month when we are having a stranger stay with us for a couple days.  Hopefully she will have a functioning bathroom … without having to brush her teeth in the shower.

stay tuned…

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needing you

If you have avoided my emails and are fasting from FB for Lent, then maybe you missed  my plea to join the campaign for the orphans of Ethiopia.  Within the past week, ET’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) has proposed cutting the number of adoptions of Ethiopian children by 90%.  This would bring Ethiopian adoptions to a virtual standstill, leaving waiting families languishing and the fatherless of Ethiopia little hope of being a part of a loving family.

My heart has been heavy since hearing this news.  Havi has been home for a year and a half and I often forget the wait and the difficulties that we endured.  I cannot imagine a day without her and until this week I rarely tried.  I think about the other kids at Hannah’s Hope, dreaming, hoping and praying their forever family will be the next ones through the gate.  They don’t understand the politics nor do the care about the agendas of high ranking officials.  They just want to be home.

Please join me in signing the petition that will be sent on to MOWA asking them to reconsider this proposal.  It might just be the most influential minute of your day.

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name dropping

There are few people in this world I would rather be stuck in an elevator with than Cousin Steve, I also can prove that there are few people in this world that know Cousin Steve that wouldn’t say the same thing.  He is a sort of urban legend around these parts; And while many may call him “Cousin Steve,” I am one of only six people who can claim this relation.

While you may never have the chance to meet Cousin Steve in person, it just so happens that if you turn on your tv this

to this show

you might just see Cousin Steve

representin’ in our family’s first ever game show appearance….

though I don’t know if they were able to fit his whole name on the little tag.

They might just have “steven” for short.

…. and just to prove “I knew him when”


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James F. Gregory

born January 7, 1920 – glorified February 13, 2011

me and grandpa 12.79


Yesterday my grandpa died.

While death is always devastating, there was a beauty in watching Grandpa Jim live out his last months here on this earth.  I am thankful for the week we spent with him in November- the memories we have of him reading to Havi and playing board games with Gracyn and Noah.  I am grateful for the sacrifice made by my aunt, and parents who left  their homes so he could spend the last year in his.  I cherish the stories of recent conversations had in his living room as my parents read Bible passages about the glory waiting in death for those who believe.  As his body slowly gave way to the cancer, he hungered for the promises of his perfect body to come.  He is not hungering anymore, he is not weak or frail, he is with his Maker in peace and eternal glory.  We morn as our loss is great, but not as ones without hope.  We will miss so many things about him, but we will see him again.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Phil 3:20-21

havi and grandpa 11.10


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before the fall

I actually thought this trip to the library was going well.  Besides Havi rolling around on the ground near my feet and Noah asking the antisocial librarian about each weird trinket on her desk in a semi-inside voice, we had had a farely successful 3-child library raid.  (Somewhere between the “one child trip” where you browse the isles and pick up books, open them, and possibly put them back and the “4 child trip” where you grab the first 10 books off the library cart- the “three child trip” consists of moving up and down the isles rapidly with Havi on my hip looking at the books the helpful staff has placed on top of the shelves and grabbing the first 15 with intriguing covers.)

Anyway, I was trying to get the dang electronic check out scanner to scan my first book and the librarian looked at me and said,

“You are more than welcome to have the front desk check you out, its clear you have your hands full.”

I don’t know if it was her tone of voice or the pitying expression on her face or the fact that she might have been the 3rd stranger that week that mentioned me having my “hands full” that ended my benevolent attitude.  I completely ignored her and went about shoving the spine of the book, less gently, under the translucent red line.  When I had finished I irritatedly told the kids to follow me to the exit.  Of course, then my 3 year old darted in front of a group of elderly people trying to enter the building I apologize to them and then grabbed Isaac and had a less than self-controled conversation with him about “selfishness”, “lack of respect for authorities”, “being a ruckus” etc etc.

This incident has haunted me for the past week.  Unfortunately it’s not because I never wig out on my kids like that.  It’s actually a common scene if we have had an unpleasant experience in a store, restuarant, playdate- whatever.  No, I think that God is showing me something even more unpleasant than disorderly children, my own nasty sin….

The things Jay and I expect from our kids are not bad, in and of themselves:   Listen and obey, be mindful of others, respect your elders, don’t lick the windows in public places- there is nothing wrong with our rules .  But so often the sin happens in my own heart when I am upset with my child for the embarrassment an infraction has caused me instead of actually addressing their heart.  The difference is h.u.g.e.  Loving vs shaming.  Restoring vs punishing.   Yes…I’m afraid pride is the ruin of godly parenting many days in this house.

I really don’t like noticing my sin.  Usually because when I see it in one area it starts showing itself all over.  So, I am busy these days… busy noticing how far i have to go before pride is not an hourly battle.  Busy appologizing to my kids.  Busy taking this sin to the cross and praying for a humble heart that can hear annoyed patrons at the grocery store say, “wow, you really have your hands full” and genuinely smiling knowing whose hands we are actually all in.

(for those who just check my blog for pictures of my kids…. eat your heart out.)


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delicately put

today isaac wanted to play some football out back.  i told him to get the ball and meet me outside while i finished what i was working on.

the irony in his attire was outdone only by his explanation:

“If the ball hits me here,” he said patting his groin, “this will protect me.”



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