Monday, May 20, 2019

The House ~ Part 3

Salvageable is a big word.  It's also a scary word. Worth rescuing is one of its definitions. I decided the house was salvageable.  But, that also means a lot of work. Work on a house.

I mentioned in my last post that my husband doesn't really like working on houses.  He CAN do it, but it's not something that excites him. Which, is totally understandable.  I, on the other hand like working on houses. Although, sometimes, that means that I like coming up with things that need to be done to a house that I can't actually do, which translates to me liking HIM to work on houses...which he doesn't like to do.  See an issue here?

(Photo of one of the many projects. Someone had removed drop ceiling only to find MANY wires, pipes and other fun things up above it, and had given up.)

I had fallen in love with this house.  However, many of the critical things needed to be done to the house would require work that I can't do.  The roof needed to be patched.  The windows needed to be replaced.  The siding needed to be replaced.  The porch needed to be repaired.  ALL the surfaces in the house needed to be painted/updated/new floor laid, etc, etc, etc.  Now, I COULD do some of the work, but not the very major things.  This meant I had to get my husband on board, or this was a lost cause.

My prayer now changed from praying that the house was salvageable, to praying that my husband would get on board to buy it.  But, baby husband had to SEE it first.  He claimed I could go forward with bidding at the auction even if he never saw it (he pointed out that he didn't even go to see the other house we put an offer on-even though he wanted it more than I did).  Yet, I knew that if he wouldn't even go see it, that God was not in agreement that we should get this house.

(My favorite of the bedrooms. In need of major attention, but has high ceilings and tons of bright light.)

I went home from seeing the house and talked it up!  I showed all the pictures I took to my mother in law and my husband.

My brother and sister in law and I all talked about it at length.  They were sold.  In fact, they seriously considered bidding themselves, even though they live hours away.  My father in law was the only one not very interested.  Too big.

I prayed quite a bit that evening and into the next morning.  The open house was from 10 until 2, and we wanted to get there pretty early.  At 9:45, my husband agreed to go.  I was thrilled! Prayer number two had been answered!! 

All 7 of us piled in the van, and headed to my in-laws.  My mother in law, father in law, brother and sister in law, and their kids all descended on this big old house in excitement.

When we got there, we found friends looking around.  They were somewhat interested in the house and had walked from down the street to check it out.  It was an extra blessing to have them there, because one of them repairs houses for a living.  He, my husband, and my brother in law went down and checked out the heating, air, and water systems (to the best of their knowledge with a flashlight), and were all pleased with what they found.  They were also pleased with the foundation and overall sturdiness of the house.

(Another favorite spot of the open banister at the top of the staircase.)

My children happily ran through all the big and spacious rooms picking out their favorites.  They tried out the backyard swing, and played with the sweet stray cat that lived under the deck. I loved that, even with all our family, some friends, and a few other people checking out the house, it still seemed open and spacious.

(The staircase looking up.)

It was a house we could invite people to.  A house we could let neighborhood kids hang out at.  A house we could turn into a home to love on our family, friends, and anyone who needed a hug in. Yes, I was falling in love with it.  But, I've fallen in love with things that weren't to be mine before, and there were others interested in the house. Plus, just looking at the house did not mean my husband was on board.

But, my first two prayers had been answered. One, the house was salvageable, and two, my husband had gone to see it.

Continuing the story:
Part One
Part Two

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The House ~ Part 2

Over the years that we have been renting our current house, there have been a number of houses that have come and gone.  Even one that we put in an offer on.  That was a slightly odd, or even shady deal, in that our offer was never even submitted to the bank selling it.  But, well, it wasn't supposed to be ours, so I guess it was just as well.

With each house that didn't work out, I've learned to get less and less attached to the idea of owning the house when I see one. And, with this house, I knew very well it needed a lot of work.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to tackle such a project, and had no idea if it would even be worth the effort of being interested in it.

The day before the open house was Easter.  It was a beautiful Easter, not too hot and not too cold, with the sun shining bright. My brother in law and sister in law were in town for the holiday, and they were very interested in seeing the house, as was my mother in law.  My husband wasn't too interested, which was typical.  My brother in law and sister in law bought a foreclosure about 15 years ago and have been working hard to remodel it ever since.  My brother in law likes to work on houses.  My husband does not like to work on houses.

After dinner that day, my brother in law said, "Let's go look around the outside of the house." I couldn't interest my husband, but my brother in law, sister in law, and father in law, and I all loaded up and drove to the house.

I hadn't braved the idea of really looking around until that day.  So, that was the first I took a look at the true condition of the house. Because it had so much damage to the roof, I sincerely thought there was a 75% or better chance that it was too far gone to be repaired.  I expected there to be rotten floors and mold everywhere.  So, I was still quite hesitant, but got excited when I noticed the house had nice looking storm windows, and a very nice looking air unit.

While I, normally, wouldn't have noticed these things, I knew these would be important to my husband. I also knew that, since it is a big old house, these were very important features!

We looked around a little further.  We admired the large (one acre) yard.

Noticed a rustic barn that turned out to have steel I-beams to hold it up.  Very sturdy.

And, one of the favorite features, a giant old Sycamore complete with a swing.

We were about to leave, when we found out that we were able to see INSIDE the house!  Completely surprised and excited, we went in for a quick tour.  Again, totally expecting a hazard filled, totally decayed house.  But, that was not what we found.

Instead, we found a huge, sturdy, diamond in the rough.  It needed TONS of work.  A new roof and windows were needed.  There was a question about the water.  No one knew if the air conditioner would work, or if the electricity would turn on.  BUT, it was SOLID.  There was a leak in the roof-caused by a chimney, and places throughout the house that looked as though they had previously had water, but overall it was GOOD!! 

This is the dining room.  Its high ceilings, along with my favorite paint color, pushed me over the edge to want this house. Of course, it needed a ton of work.  But, the bones were there, and it was totally salvageable.

I left there knowing that I really wanted to live in this house.  But, I'd wanted to live in other houses, and I do not live in them.  I'd been down this road a number of times before.  And so, I knew that a LOT of prayer would have to go into this process.

But, my first prayer had been answered-the house was salvageable. And, I certainly wanted to salvage it.

Continuing the story:

Friday, May 17, 2019

The House ~ Part 1

I haven't blogged in forever, but I have a story to tell. It's a very important story and one that I don't want to forget the details of-ever.  And, I want to share it with anyone who is willing to listen or read.  And so, here I am.

There's really a lot of backstory to my story-that's the nature of stories, right? But, those backstories are painful and deep, so I'll save those for now.  We'll start with the happy story, the ending.  The end of the story is ALWAYS better than the beginning. And, while it won't seem like the end for a bit, really, it is.  Of course, it's its own beginning, too. But, well, let's just begin, and the pieces will come out as they are supposed to.

We've been renting for a very long time (backstory number one).  Those of you who have rented know that, while it is a wonderful blessing to be able to rent, there comes a time when it's time to look for something that is yours.

In our case, it really isn't so much the part where we don't like where we live, it's that we no longer FIT in this house. To be fair, really, we should fit, but there are 7 of us.  If we had stuck with only 2 or 3 kids, it would have worked for a lot longer.  But, we didn't.  God sent us 5 kids.  Thankfully, all five of them are healthy!  That means, they grow, and grow, and their clothes get bigger, and their shoes get bigger, and well, next thing...the room that fit them a few years ago, no longer does. We actually have started a Konmari journey (its own story), but even purging things (many still to purge) brought to light that our rooms were not getting any bigger, and the people in them were.

However, just because you see a problem, doesn't always mean that your solution and God's solution are the same. He might not even see it as a problem.  This is where trust and hope and prayer and more trust come together to create patience as we wait for God's solution. Sometimes, these answers take a long time.  Sometimes, the answer is no.  And, sometimes, the answer is yes. But, almost always, the answer doesn't look at all like we had planned.

Last fall, our town got a Dollar General.  Don't worry, this really is an important part of the story!

First off, we live in the country. We live about 8 minutes from the nearest village, and another 20 to the city with stores. Before this fall, all we had here was a gas station that carried the basic necessities.  So, for us to get a Dollar General was kind of like when towns got a Walmart back in the '80s.  Yes, I'm old enough to remember how that felt. No, I'm not old.

Once the Dollar General opened, we would stop there often.  Sometimes daily. Sometimes more than once a day.  Thankfully, the newness has worn off and we don't go in there as often. But, it ended up being a very big piece of our story.

The road we would take home after leaving the Dollar General would take us down a road on the edge of town that we didn't usually drive down before the store opened. Once in a very long time, maybe, but certainly not often. But, because of the Dollar General, I saw the sign.  The for sale sign. The for sale sign in the yard of a house I had wanted to live in for a very long time.

Since I had decided many years ago that it was time to move (see how God and I have different plans), I was usually pretty up on the local real estate market.  I would check the local online listings, hoping that the right mix of house and cost would, somehow, be listed there for me.  It didn't happen.  I did help my father in law find out about possible rental houses, though, so all was not lost.

Believe it or not, I had finally stopped looking at listings.  That is another story of its own, but I hadn't looked at the real estate listings in many months. But, it wouldn't have mattered, because this house was not listed on the sites I usually looked at.  So, I would never have seen it, except for the sign.

In an unfortunate situation, the previous owners had stopped making payments on their house and it had fallen into foreclosure.  This particular home was foreclosed by the USDA.  We didn't even know they made house loans, but they did, and this one didn't work out. So, it was now going for auction.

As with any foreclosure, the house had not been lived in for awhile.  And, there was a huge catch. Three years ago, our area had a wind storm.  It took out many trees and caused a lot of damage. For this house, it caused extra damage.  One of the large trees in the front yard had fallen on the house.  It caused roof damage, and took out two of the windows, in addition to less significant damage. To be honest, it looked a lot like a train wreck.

I had always been interested in the house, but wasn't sure it would even be livable, or even salvageable.  And, I wasn't sure if we were really ready to undertake such a large project. The house was to have an open house a week later. So, I put it on my calendar and said a small prayer for God's will, not knowing what might come of it.

And, with that, I will end this post.  Here are some photos of the outside of the house when we first saw it.

Continuing the story:

Part Two

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tutorial for Waseca Biomes Reading Boxes

Hi all!  It's been forever since I posted, lol!  But, I agreed to put together a tutorial for another guide at our co-op and decided I should share with you all, also!  My phone would only take little videos, so I have a few of them. 

I enjoyed making these.  I may have Mustang help me make longer videos with her camera soon.

These are for the Waseca Reading boxes.  We have found this material to be a wonderful addition to the co-op shelves.  They are used for Kindergarten (and a rare 4 year old) and up.  There are four steps to each box.  These videos show the four steps. 

You can order the program here (not an affiliate link):

Hope you find them helpful!

God Bless!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hi there.  I bet you thought I fell off the earth.  I did, sort of, well not really, just fell out of the blogging world.  I'm not sure exactly how it happened.  It was a slow processes, but somewhere I just stopped.

I honestly was unsure if I would ever take blogging back up again.  But, lately, the bug seems to have bitten again.  I don't know if this will be a long term blogging stint, or if a short run will be enough, but I feel like I want to post about things again.  So we will see!

I will use this post to update you on what I've been up to.  I mean it has been over 2 years...that's a super long time!  But, there have been some extremely neat and surprising changes that have occurred in that time-specifically this last year.

If you happen to follow my Facebook page, you did get a little update this past fall, but if you don't I will update you here!

Last fall, a few families in the local large town started a Montessori school!  It is a co-op style, with the parents forming the school, board, and teachers.  I am the 'guide', and a few other moms are the aides.  Two come once a week, one has various rolls, and one is a backup aide.  We just meet two days a week, so we aren't a full school, but it has certainly been a huge undertaking!

It has also been a huge lifestyle change for us.  Mustang goes to public school 5 days a week.  But, everyone else is homeschooled...sorta.  We now go to the co-op school two days a week and do work at home at least two days a week.  It has a new flow, but has been very good.

We have had so many growing experiences this year, and I'm looking forward to sharing them!  Now, I just need to figure out how to get my pictures off my phone and onto my blog, lol.  Not seriously, but kinda!  My technical skills are a little dusty.

More to come very soon!  Hope all is good with you all!

God Bless,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up! 1st Week of 2015

Howdy!!  I know have been MIA for over 6 months (well except the super brief, 2 day, attempt at daily posting in November...what was I thinking?).  To be honest, it has been a mixture of not knowing where my head is, to not having 2 hands to type with, and not feeling like I had anything worth posting about!

But, we are back, with REAL Montessori (or at least Montessori inspired) schooling.  Last semester we used workbooks and curriculum.  So, we are finishing up on those and transitioning into more Montessori lessons again.  I'm ready!  

We started out this year with a new theme for our calendar.  We use the Calendar Connections from 1+1+1=1, and we are using the cards that focus on the Arctic and Antarctic.  Seems about right, since the high yesterday was all of like 4 degrees, and the windchill was below zero ALL.DAY.LONG.

Our discussions have included ice, glaciers, icebergs, and polar lights.  We've also talked about latitude and longitude, hemispheres, and the arctic circle.  

We used these wonderful Arctic Animals set from from Trillium Montessori. 

And I was thrilled when Mini Cooper, completely on her own, went and found a journal and wanted to draw pictures and copy the names so she could remember her work!!

We had a refresher course with our Little People animals and the Article and Noun presentation.  I also presented Grammar Box 2 (which I see I have no photos of).

Working through Grammar List 1.  We enjoyed the discussion of what some of the words meant.  We even watched a Youtube video of a wringer to learn what that was!

Explorer completely enjoyed getting to work on the Continent puzzle.  We also sang the Continent song, which she loved.  We used this to talk about where Antarctica was at.

Mini Cooper had a really fun day when she spelled her first word!!  She is certainly at a language sensitive period.  Always wanting to know how to spell things and write them down. She had no idea it would be possible that she could spell her own word!

When we started pulling out the Montessori Materials, it apparently brought inspiration to the sensorial materials.  The girls spent a lot of time building together this week.

For Christmas, Charger got this super cool Snap Circuts set!  We will be working on this a lot!  

We made the fan fly!  Super cool!

We learned about how ice melts by using a fun experiment I found from Art and Creativity.  First, we sprinkled it with salt, and then we put food coloring on it.

You could then watch the salt make tunnels through the ice as we watched the food coloring go through the tunnels.

The kids spent a good hour watching their ice cubes melt, adding food coloring, and experimenting.  Mustang was adding salt to get hers to melt faster and even pulled out a magnifying glass so she could get a better look.  Very fun experiment.  

One last little fun activity the big kids have been doing is to play the Oregon Trail.  This was a flashback for me and we've all been enjoying trying to get to Oregon without having our oxen stolen, our friends die, or to get sick from dysentery.  Lots of strategizing, planing, and discussion has come from this game!

All in all, it's been a great week back!  I hope yours was as well!  See you next week :).

God Bless,

We're going to link up:

Montessori Monday

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankful Post #2

Today, I am thankful for my Heritage.  My parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, my family.

My father is a minister, so I guess it's probably because of his profession that we were at church anytime the doors were open..I mean he was the one who usually opened the doors, lol.  Let me tell you, though, I am so grateful for all those times!

My parents could have chosen a million different paths in life, but they listen to the call of God for their lives.  Through their willingness to serve the Lord, not only were hundreds of other people touched...I was touched.  I came to know the Lord and His salvation.

I am so thankful to know Him as my savior and so thankful that they know Him, too.  I'm so thankful that I have their support in raising my children knowing all about Jesus.

I am so thankful that He is part of our everyday life.  I'm so thankful that our holidays and dinners and conversation include learning about and worshiping the Lord.

Some families pass down money or companies or valued possessions (and yes there are a few of those in our family), but I'm so grateful that our family has passed down the most important inheritance they can-knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope you know Him, too!

God Bless,