Summer, Children, House Update
I love gathering pictures for this type of post: one that simply documents a slice of time for our family and the progress of our home. Today marks the 3rd anniversary of that famous day at the Jackson County Courthouse steps, so I spent the day with my camera in hand to mark the day.
As for a house update, we're still plodding along, at our own pace with all the things. I sometimes wince thinking about what others think, but right now, in this moment, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for every single thing that these images represent.
Last summer, we gutted the future kitchen by removing all the old plaster from the ceilings and walls. Luke fixed a bunch of electrical issues and brought the wiring up to code. He's removed old chimneys, sealed existing chimneys, installed a wood burning stove, took a few birds out of our bedroom wall (lol), replaced master bathroom sink, replaced main bathroom sink and toilet and subflooring. I kind of settled on a dining room (current kitchen) color, "Americana Egg" -- a sweet little nod to my green-egg laying chicken out there.
This month we've tackled the main living space in effort to get the homeschool space up to snuff for the fall. I dream of the day when all of Luke's theological library is under our roof and out of storage, and when all of our schooling books are organized and easily accessible. I intend to paint the walls an off-white which motivated the over-due repair to the ceilings. For the past several weeks we've nibbled away at patching and painting the ceilings (sometimes after kids are in bed). We will soon have either Billy bookcases from IKEA or built-ins if Luke gets involved (lol). He's threatening to get involved! I'm often found with ceiling paint on my elbows, but I love that I can finish something I started three years ago when I scraped all that dang popcorn off! We're grateful for old plaster that didn't need anything more than patch and paint (no drywall).
As far as outside, Luke patched the front stoop and steps and took out an old chain link fence from out front so I could start working on my "island" garden bed. We are still in the planning stages for a fence installation along the front of our property and re-directing the circle driveway. About a month ago we were victims of major theft on our vehicles, rendering Luke's truck inoperable, so we're working to get cameras installed and the front of the property more secure.
Even though that was a setback, we see it all as work, and good work toward our end goal. We're counting our blessings that we still have one operating vehicle and that we're all safe and the perp didn't come inside the house.
Another update is that my dear husband got me chickens for my 40th birthday. I mark these baby chicks' age by the first week of April, so we're getting close to laying age! The children have learned so much about caring for a flock and we're all so very excited to eat our very own eggs in a few weeks.
Sometime after Luke started insulating the kitchen and began framing the window above the sink, we noticed water coming in along the flooring by the sliding glass door from all that wonderful spring rain. This door was next on the removal and framing schedule, as we intend to replace it with a beautiful picture frame window (another Restore find), but the subflooring along the back of the house is now all rotted out. In order to move forward with the framing of the windows and door for the kitchen, we've had to pause and focus on the structural work on the deck and back wall of the kitchen. I'm never surprised at one project morphing into another. We've all learned to accept that as part of how this lifestyle works. It takes gratitude, flexibility, and joy in the process not just the end goal.
I have to remind myself almost daily of where this began and of our priorities. Luke and I wanted to be free of a mortgage payment for many reasons, but one of the main reason was the desire to live on one income and raise kids independently of the public school system. I've had to calibrate back to those priorities several times in the last few years and I imagine I'll have to continue to do so for many years to come. One thing I'm sure of, though, is that this home, like the people who live inside are more than just works in progress. It/they are treasures and worth every hardship and our full commitment. When God calls you to something, you stick to it and him with everything you've got.
All of Us