What a Weekend!

Friday afternoon found us at the home of some new friends, for an enjoyable visit and (hopefully) an intake of the chicken pox. Our older Blessings have been exposed multiple times and have not yet broken out in the pox, but I keep trying whenever the opportunity arises. That doesn’t seem to be very often; Stephen had not been exposed previously in his four+ years. We shall see what the next few weeks bring.

Saturday afternoon, we had a wind turbine raising, complete with chili supper. Dad and Mom Smith joined us, as did James, Wendy, and Shay. We’re thankful for family help! I took scads of pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were gifted with some venison on Sunday evening, so Jonathan left our weekly pancake night to go pick it up, then spent quite a while removing the meat from the bones. I roasted the bones and have had bone broth simmering all day, about which I’m excited. I’m not certain yet how we will be processing the meat, but we are thrilled to have about thirty-five pounds of venison to deal with!

Advertisements

Time for a This-and-That

House stuff – we’re making progress! The main living areas are pretty much settled, except the library, which needs a ton of work (floor patched so that we can put up bookcases in a currently unusable corner, lots of books to unpack, etc). We are loving our expanded space, and are so thankful. Really, truly, I will get more pictures posted soon.

The garden is coming along. Slower than we’d like, but the ground is ready for planting now, so once the fence is complete, we can get some goodies growing. I did get peas planted this last week, and we lined up tomato cages along the row to protect them from the chickens. The chickens are the reason we need the fence; they adore scratching up seeds that I have planted. For instance, this afternoon I went out and planted some morning glories at the base of the windmill. I had more seeds than I could use there, so I went to the other side of the house, planted some near the garden, and watered them. When I got back to water the seeds by the windmill, the chickens had already decimated the area. Perhaps some will come up despite them. But you can see why we don’t want to plant the garden until it is fenced!

We will also be planting some things out in the yard, as the actual garden area is pretty small. Tomatoes and peppers will be in cages, and we hope to have our winter squash fenced in another area of the yard. Summer squash might fit in the main garden, but we’ll see.

Settling in to the neighborhood is a fun experience. Our closest neighbor, Bethany, has been a friend of ours for almost four years now and helped lead us to this house. She lives with her aunt, who is super sweet and has come over a couple of times to visit. Another aunt and uncle live on the other side of Bethany, and came to meet us/bring us a meal soon after we moved in. We’re looking forward to getting to know more folks in the immediate area as time goes by.

We are out in the country in between a tiny town and a shopping/business area, and are about 15 minutes from Hutchinson. It has much more of a “country” feel than where we used to live, and at the same time is closer to town. It is also closer to work for Jonathan, who is working for a company in the aforementioned shopping/business area that builds storage buildings/barns. What a blessing to be only a few minutes from work! He is working long hard days, and is adjusting to working for someone else again after almost 6 years of being self employed. I’m so thankful for his hard work and diligence.

It has been a blessing to be back fellowshipping with folks who are dear to us and who have known us most of our lives. There are actually three meetings in Hutch where we might have landed, each of which has many folks who meet the above description, but we feel that we have “landed” where we should be.

We had an educational and fun experience yesterday. A small town nearby has a monthly “poultry sale,” and we are eager to get some guineas to eat our ticks, so we headed out there yesterday. Many of the sellers and buyers are Amish or Mennonite, so there were many tractors pulling truck-bed trailers or horse trailers behind them (these are locally considered an acceptable alternative to a buggy or car for family transportation). There were rows of animals in small cages in the sale area, and we learned that it was an auction, not the type of seller-to-buyer type sale we were expecting. We filled out our registration, got our number, and set out to learn the ropes.

The auctioneer moved up and down the rows of animals and other merchandise, and folks would bid on each item in turn. There were lots of poultry – chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, peacocks – of varying ages. There were eggs for hatching and eggs for eating. Also for sale were an interesting variety of other animals and merchandise – goats, sheep, horses, ponies, cages of all sizes, buckets, fencing, even a hammock.

We had no idea what it would be like; we forgot the cage we were going to bring for transport; and the poultry seemed to go for a good bit more than we expected. Perhaps we were just being cheap, but we decided to mostly observe. Jonathan did bid on some guineas, but other folks though they were more dear than he did. Adding interest to the day were the 30-50 mph winds, which sent some of the Blessings back to the van to wait after walking around a bit. Over all, it was a very interesting and fun learning experience. We’re certainly planning on going again.

On a personal note, my weight-loss efforts have been greatly abetted by a great website, sparkpeople.com. When I started with them on 3/26, I had gotten down to 8 pounds under my pre-pregnancy (with Andrew) weight. I’ve taken off an additional 13ish pounds as of yesterday’s weigh-in. SP is totally free, has tons of helpful tools, and it is helping me make lifestyle changes, not just diet. I think the biggest impact has been from tracking every thing I eat and exercising more, and their tools have been a tremendous help in that. It also is a terrific encouragement that two dear Missouri friends are also on sparkpeople and inspire and encourage me.

By way of disclaimer, sparkpeople does not “allow” nursing moms to use the site, and, at the risk of the SP police coming after me, I will admit that I skipped that box when I registered. They want to avoid promoting weight loss at cost to babies, and I appreciate that! Not all moms are well enough educated nutritionally to be trying to lose weight while nursing a baby. I didn’t sign up with them until Andrew was almost 11 months old and eating solids in addition to nursing. I also aim for the upper end of my “calorie range” to insure that I’m getting enough. If I’m hungry, I eat. I am motivated by tracking my food to eat stuff that is good for us, instead of just filling. That’s how I’m making it work for me and Andrew. I think I’m honestly giving him much better nutrition now than I was before I started SP, when I was still eating way too much junk. Also, I will not eat fake “low fat” food. If the real thing is worth the calories, I eat it. If not, I don’t. (*steps away from her “fake food” soapbox before she gets wound up). I don’t want to encourage moms toward weight loss that in a way that is going to cost their precious babies the nutrition they need. Nourishing babies with good quality milk is soooo much more important than losing weight.

While I’m sure I’m leaving out many things that have been on my mental blog-about list, this hopefully gives you a little taste of our “new” life. No pictures, but they’re coming!

We’re Here!

We loaded up trucks on March 30…

drove to our new home in southcentral Kansas on the 31st…

and unloaded trucks on April 1st.

We were blessed by a fabulous amount of help from loving friends and family on both ends of our journey, and are so very thankful.

Jonathan spent this week back in Missouri, finishing up work for Lowe’s and working on our old house. Tina and Sue had come and cleaned the house, shaving many hours off of his work time there (thank you again, dear ones!). Alan came out and helped one evening, and Dad and Mom Smith made a big contribution to finishing up things at the old place – thank you! Jonathan got home in the wee hours of the morning this morning, and we are all thrilled to have him back.

The Blessings and I spent the week organizing and unpacking boxes and getting a little bit settled – they are wonderful helpers. We had visits from friends several times, and got to meet some of our neighbors (who brought us food!). And we took some lovely walks.

It has been a joy to see the Blessings’ growing appreciation for the beauty of this area which is so dear to their parents’ hearts. For instance, one evening Katie and I walked out in the field to see the sunset. She took a deep breath and sighed out, “I just love the open land.” Me too, sweet one. Me too.

While we all are missing our Missouri friends, it is also a joy to begin to reconnect with friends from the area. Many folks we haven’t yet gotten to see, but it’s a blessing to move and to already have a network of familiar faces, and friends eager to help and fellowship. Becki and I got all teary yesterday hearing our children laugh and play… so many years of missing each other and longing for our children to grow up together.

There will be more pictures in the coming weeks, I’m sure, but here’s a glimpse of our new place from when you turn into the driveway.

Finished Siding!

Once upon a time (last fall), the Lord worked things out for us to rent our current home from some friends. It was a two bedroom home, however, and it was agreed that we would do the labor while they paid for materials to convert the two-car garage into living space.
Here it is before we started working on it:

The once-garage is now our bedroom/office/room-to-hide-the-tv, and we love it.

Here are some along the way shots of the outside of the house…
In June. See the raw wood?

Also in June, but after I painted the wood white so that it would blend better:

And the beautiful finished product, with the siding done today by the siding experts:

Me like!

We’re In!

I am thrilled to be posting from our new house this morning while my man snoozes in bed a few feet away.  Praise the Lord!

The work is not over yet (we have lots of clean up to do at the old house, some finishing to do in our new room, and, of course, the whole unpacking thing), but we are so thankful to be officially moved over (aka – sleeping in our new home).

I haven’t been good about posting progress reports, so I’ll recap:
On Sunday we painted the new room.  It was thrilling to see paint finally going up on the ceiling and walls.  There were times in the last month that I have wondered if it would ever happen.

Here’s Jonathan cutting in on the ceiling:

Me painting the ceiling:

Dad Smith cutting in on the walls:

Mom Smith cutting in:

(a note about pictures:  I’ve just started a new habit of of shrinking pictures before I upload them to the blog.  So, when you click on the pictures, you’ll see a bigger picture, but not as big as you used to see.  If I ever post something you’d like a full-sized copy of, just email me and I’ll send it to you.  Not that I’m expecting you to want full-sized copies of our painting pictures.)

Monday we didn’t get to work over at the new house because Jonathan’s work-for-money day was very long. So yesterday, we brought over three loads. When we brought the first one, we took time to mop the floor in the new room, scrape up drywall mud, sweep, and mop again. The second load was beds and clothes, and the third load was office stuff. Jonathan got the computers up and running last night (or was it technically this morning…).

Today, I hope to get a bit of pre-cooking done and establish as much order as possible in my home. We’ll see how it goes; I’m learning to be flexible and let go of my expectations more often. I even bought myself frozen pie crusts last night at the store!

My composition teachers would be appalled at my lack of writing finesse this morning, but I wanted to get an update done. So there you have it – we’re in. Wootles!

Checking In

I realized today that I haven’t posted an update on the house for a few days.  It’s just that pictures of the various layers of the drywall process aren’t distinguishable from one another.  However, though I haven’t pictures to post, I can report that we are making progress!

We have a few ceiling joints that need one last layer of mud.  Hopefully, Jonathan will be able to finish up that tonight and we’ll get the rest sanded.  Work is running late, so we’ll see how much we get done before we crash.  We’re planning to paint the ceiling tomorrow, and hope to be able to get both coats done so that we can move over the beds and such on Saturday and start sleeping in our new house!  We’ll paint the walls next week probably, but we can scoot furniture away from the walls for that.
No profound thoughts from me today, but this post from Molly shook my boat (she has that way about her, I’m finding). 

Drywall

Last week we started drywalling our new room. Monday night, Jonathan and I worked on it some Monday night, but were only able to get a sheet and a half up on the ceiling. Tuesday, Jonathan and his dad got quite a bit done.

Then Wednesday, Alan and Joe (and their lovely families) came over. The guys worked together and got almost the whole room drywalled!

And no, it didn’t take three of them to put up every piece, but they were obliging and posed for me.

Then, while I was gone this weekend for the doula training, Jonathan and Joe finished the drywall and got on a first coat of mud. Yay! Yesterday afternoon we went over and started the 2nd coat. Later in the evening, Dad Smith helped finish up the 2nd coat.

Serious progress!

Previous Older Entries