Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Family over the Years....

I thought it would be interesting to do a post of our family photo's from the past 16 years! :)

This was taken Easter 1998, about a month or so after I found out I was pregnant with Daniel. Dan's whole family was together for pictures and we got one of just the two of us! :)

December 1999- Danny was 1 year old.

I guess we didn't get any family pictures taken when Tamara was a baby. 
This was taken sometime in spring 2003, I think, My entire family gathered at my brother Lynn's house and the photographer set up in their living room.
This was our family proof. I don't think I actually ordered any prints.

Late Fall of 2003, Blossom Hollinger took this one.....
Danny was almost 5 and Tamara almost 3.

Family pictures at Sears in 2004, before we moved to Florida.

 In 2005, our first winter in Florida, we just did a picture of the children.

2006 St. George Island
Taken by Marilyn Martin :)

Augusta, GA
Taken by Dan's sister Miriam! :)

Took the children's pictures in Blountstown

Sam and Trina were here to visit. I took pictures for them and they took some for us! :)

Pictures taken at the Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown, by Jennifer Bates.
Dan was still recovering from hernia surgery. :) It was not the most pleasant photo shoot for him!

Taken by Michelle Yoder at Thistledew Farm in Clarksville.

Taken by Jennifer Bates in a cotton field beside our church.

Taken by my nephew's wife, Vironica Horst at Mexico Beach.

Taken by my friend Aleshia Keene in Grand Ridge, FL.
Danny will be 16 on Dec. 3 and Tamara 14 on Jan. 2!!

Looking through these pictures, I feel so blessed! So many good memories and big changes took place in our lives. Sometimes, when the kids were little and nights were short, I wished for this time of my life. Now it's here, and while I enjoy it immensely, I am seeing that it is going to be gone so fast! It doesn't seem real that I have a son who is about to turn 16 and a lovely daughter who is going through some of the same struggles I did as a teen. I only pray that God will use me during this crucial time to build my children up and make memories that they will be proud to remember as they grow older and eventually start families of their own!!

God has given us a great responsibility and I want to do my best with the years I have left. Not looking back at the mistakes we made along the way, but looking forward to the future we have on this earth, and later in heaven, I pray!!

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

John 16:21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

A poem I love! :) You know children (and adults, too) can be the master of excuses......

“I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox.

And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in.

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There's a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...
What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is .............. Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!” 
― Shel Silverstein

I Said Yes!

On November 25, 1995, 19 years ago today, Dan and I went to our friends, Vernon Wadel and Karen Weaver's wedding. Mom had made me a new green dress with big red-ish roses and gold highlights in the print. I loved the dress because it had a belt {remember that}and a straight waist....Mom used to always make me elastic waists dresses which I hated! Anyway, I think Dan and I were gift receivers at the wedding.

Later that evening, we went out for supper to Chi-Chi's in Ephrata with two other couples who were both engaged to be married in December and February. {Yes, love was in the air!!} :)We had a great time....and remember that belt? While we were eating, Dan sneakily used it to tie me fast to my chair. When we got up to leave I was stuck! Silly guy! :)

I don't remember what all went on that night but after Dan took me home we were sitting and talking. I don't even remember what we were talking about but I told him I love him so much I don't know what to do with him? :) He said, "I have a suggestion.....will you marry me?" Would I? Would I? OF COURSE I would!! :) I was so excited. My parent's were still up so we went and told them.
We pulled out a calendar and since Dan was teaching school, we chose a summer wedding, July 13, 1996. And so it began.....

We had no idea what the future held, but I am happy to say, I'd do it all over again!! :) :)


Our engagement picture..... 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bathroom Saga...

For some time now, we have been concerned about the softness of the floor around the commode in our hall bath. One day, mid-October, I was cleaning the floor around the commode and as I leaned on the commode to wash the floor beside it, I heard a "crack" like rotted wood snapping.

I decided it was time to investigate. I put up this sign on the door and closed the room down. 
It's really hard to keep your hand off the knob when it's such a habit to use that room! :) :) :)

So the next evening, we pulled up the linoleum and Dan removed the commode. And this is what we found.......serious termite damage.....AND LIVE termites!! :O

The room sat like this for a few days till Dan had a chance to explore and see how far the termite damage had gone. We were hoping not too far!

In the mean time, the termite inspector came out and sprayed the live termites.

When Dan was pretty sure the damage went under the shower, they began tearing out the wall between the commode and shower.

He had to cut the shower in pieces to get it out of the bathroom door!

I will take a break here and explain our living conditions, for those who don't know.
We moved to FL in 2005 and Dan worked as a missionary chaplain under GEMS for two years, then he was hired as an OPS(little pay and no benefits) chaplain, for the next 6 years. Part of our support was to live in the front part of the ministry house in Blountstown. When Dan got hired as an OPS chaplain, we were able to continue living here. Now that Dan is working at a private institution, we were able to continue living here, just paying rent now. We are so thankful for this!!

So, this project is falling on the ministry and as an attempt to help the ministry fund this project, we volunteered to do what work we can and we also set up a GoFundMe account. The bathroom project alone is going to cost close to $2000 then we will also have to replace some carpet. Please consider how/if you/your church family/your business could help this ministry. Every few $$ helps! GEMS does not have a large bank account and supports 8 chaplains and their families monthly. Your help would be a blessing!! :)

So, onto the project. We could tell, after removing the shower, that the floor damage continued under the vanity. After removing it, we also found mold/mildew behind the vanity and on the floor.

This is a pic of the rotting wood on the bottom of the vanity.....seems there had been a water leak in there at some time!??

Most of the top layer, the most damaged part of the floor, tore up.....

Mold/mildew behind vanity....

So then we pulled up the hall carpet outside the bathroom door and found more mold/mildew under the carpet padding. The floor out there was also loose, which just required some new screws to hold it more squeaky floor outside our bedroom door! :) :)

Closer up of hall floor. :P Yuck!

Because the worst of the termite damage was right at the wall that connected to Danny's bedroom, we pulled up his carpet too and discovered more termite damage in there. Thankfully it wasn't a big area, and we found no live termites there. But some of the boards were almost completely eaten up!!

So, Danny's bed and "stuff" got moved into Tamara's room.
(we are waiting to get a quote for carpet, hopefully next week, then he can move back into his room.)
We will all be ready for this project to be over. :)

I will say, I think the kids are enjoying this temporary arrangement....I hear them talking quite a bit after lights are out at night! :)

More work in the bathroom......tearing out the sheet rock to check for wall damage. Thankfully there wasn't any in the walls. You can see where Dan cut out some of the bad flooring.

Tearing out the bad boards in Danny's room....

This is what they looked like!!

Down under the house, putting in some reinforcements and then putting in the new flooring that had to go under the wall separating Danny's room and the bathroom.

Having fun in the midst of it all! :)

New plywood in the bathroom....

and in Danny's room....

Drew Ayers, a contractor friend from church, came out and checked out the project and gave GEMS an estimate to finish it. It was approved, so this week the plumber came and changed the plumbing a bit to put in a tub, instead of a shower. The commode will also be at a different place and we will have to put a little smaller vanity in, but I think it will be SO nice to have a tub in there!

Drew came on Wednesday and put up new sheetrock and textured it. He will be back Monday to paint.

We were SO blessed by a good friend in GA, Mark Peachey, who offered to donate tile and his time to lay it!! He will be coming next Saturday! After that, the plumber will come back and install the commode and Drew will put in the vanity. Then it should be mostly finished!! :)

We will be getting a quote for carpet this week. The carpet in the hall and Danny's room need to be replaced, but we may also replace the carpet in the other two bedrooms. We are really hoping it will be approved and we hope to see a difference in the amount of dust in the house and sinus issues!! :/

Hope to post more pics soon!! :)

Picture Post :)

First week of November.....first scrape worthy frost of the year! :)

That same morning, heard the dogs barking. Went outside and discovered a pig in our yard. Wasn't sure if it was wild or not? Danny was SO ready to get out his gun. We later discovered it was the neighboring farms pig. They got him back in the pen, only for him to show up again later in the morning! Not sure what his fate was? 

The teens who volunteer with the local Calhoun County Teen Court were treated to a day in Tallahassee with Judge Grover and Cissy Barfield. I went along as a chaperone.

Our first stop was to the State Supreme Court to watch a case.

Then we toured the FL capitol and met Senator Bill Montford.

The whole crew....

The chaperones! :)
Myself, Brandy, Patty, Denise and Troy.

GEMS (Gospel Express Ministries South) Annual Benefit Auction

This little girl cracked me up....she did a good job of displaying the item that was selling and then getting it to the highest bidder! :) Later she came and sat beside me and she wasn't shy! :)

The Covenant House guys are such great helpers, setting up for the auction and being runners....they add some humor to the auction, too! ;)

The RHE (our homeschool group) Jr. Board planned a surprise graduation party for Ashley Hunter. They called it a costume party and she knew about it....she just didn't know it was a party for her! :)

 Tamara and Kayla were the decorating committee.....they did a great job. Kayla did great at organizing everything....Tamara helped where she could.

Danny went as a Pirate...

Tamara (dressed as a female Hobbit from LOTR) with her friend Anna (r) and Ashley's surprise friend, Miriam, from Atlanta.

After we surprised Ashley......she was surprised a second time by her friend from Atlanta! :)

Me (dresses as a redneck hillbilly) with my friend Elly Mae from the Beverly Hillbillies! :)

The evening ended with Karaoke.
The boys singing YMCA! :)

Our homeschool group had a 5 week Co-op art class. The most fun week was when we got to splatter paint on canvases! :)

My art! :)

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our lives in the past month..... :)