Thursday, October 27, 2011

Days of Fun, Furniture, and Football

Here's my two scare-ers from the party last Sat. night! Those masks are actually Paul's from his boyhood. I knew we had them and I managed to find them last week in the mess that we call our shed.

The party went so well. We had perfect weather, which helped. About 75-100 people showed up, which is more than the entire population of Swan (people invited others from outside). My neighbors, Jen, Lynne, and I worked for most of the day getting ready.

I had a moment of concern on Friday night when I heard that Jen and her boyfriend had broken up because the boyfriend had agreed to drive our wagon for the ride around town and in the cemetery! But she borrowed another truck from someone she knew and Paul drove it. So, the day was saved. Will worked in the haunted house and about lost his voice from standing inside a coffin and then jumping out and scaring people over and over. Sam did not like the haunted house - he was probably too young to go through and we shouldn't have had him to that.

The fellowship (can you use that word with a group of non-Christians?) was really good and we just had a wonderful time. People brought so much food and after the wagon ride we all loaded up on more of it and roasted marshmallows. Now, we just need to start thinking of ways to top this for next year...

Sam's birthday was also on Saturday. We managed to squeeze in a little party for him that afternoon. He seemed to enjoy his presents but has been scowling since last Sat. when we informed him that he was now 4. He lifted his arms above his head and said, "No I'm not - I still can't touch the ceiling!" If anyone asks him how old he is, he just mutters, "I don't know!" and runs off. Poor kid. I think he's going to have to have a lot of birthdays before he can touch the ceiling!

Tuesday was quite the banner day in our household. We got two sets of new (to us) furniture in the same day! Paul took the afternoon off because he had borrowed a truck and trailer and had filled them up with 7 yrs of of scrap metal that had been collecting behind the garage. Getting rid of that stuff alone made my happy! But we also got a new kitchen table and benches. A couple of weeks ago after we got the washer and dryer moved to the basement we moved the dining room table out of the kitchen. Then, I had Will re-assemble our old 42" round table that we've had since our first year of marriage when Paul's mom picked it up at a "divorce" sale for us. Paul saw that and mused out loud, "You know, what we really need is a table with some benches, rather than chairs." Well, wouldn't you know it, but just a few days later he was in a customer's basement, working on the furnace when he spied that very thing. It was a gorgeous, hand-crafted 52" honey-oak (the exact color of our cupboards) rectangular table with a three-piece bench set (the pieces together form an "L" shape). Paul asked the homeowner if he might be interested in selling and he was! So on Tuesday Paul picked that up. I will have to post some pictures. It's so beautiful! I got white heat marks on it yesterday and I'm about beside myself now, trying all different kinds of remedies. I may end up refinishing the top at some point because it does have some nicks and dings from use. But it will have more than that once we're through with it!

Well, then, also on Tuesday I was going through Craig's List, as I have been for the last week since our case worker told us to get a bedroom ready. I found this precious, precious set of furniture. It was exactly what I wanted - white, feminine and it had everything - the bed, the mattress, the dresser. I dropped them an email and then just hovered around the computer hoping I'd hear back. They ended up calling me and said it was mine if I wanted to come get it (I had mentioned the purpose for the furniture which definitely swayed them!). So while Paul and Will were still in town I met them and we headed up to Ankeny to look at the bedroom furniture. I could have just cried - it's everything I've ever dreamed of having for a little daughter. The bed is a white sleigh bed and has delicate flowers painted on the headboard. The dresser is long and has 6 drawers, with the same flowers on the top drawers. And it comes with a tall mirror that sets on top - something every little (and big) girl needs. The top of the mirror is arched and has the same flowers on it. The couple told us they paid $900 new for it, but sold it to us for $150 and it's only 4 years old.

As we loaded up the furniture, it really hit me that this is real - or else we just made a foolish purchase. In some ways, it's like a huge step of faith. We have the furniture; now God will provide the little girl to use it. Of course, we haven't been approved yet, and even if we do, there is always a chance we won't get a child. I'm honestly not trying to jump ahead of ourselves here, but they did tell us to get a bedroom ready! Worst case scenario, I guess we can always re-sell it and give the boys back their bedroom.

Right now the furniture is in the back room. We need to move the boys to the basement, paint (baby pink, I'm thinking), and re-carpet the room. And then we'll get to set up the new furniture. But it has to happen by mid-December, which is when we'll be licensed and have our 3rd and final home visit.

I'm still perusing Craig's List, but now I'm looking for the perfect bedspread. I never dreamed I'd ever get to do this! It's more than a little fun!

Will's final football game of the season was last Friday night. They lost, but it was a good game. Each team kept scoring on each other and creeping up on the scoreboard. Will's coach, whom he just loves, is quitting, and Will is pretty sad about that. In fact, he came home after the game, red-eyed. I know it's hard. But we tried to make it easier - we got pizza from Caseys and surprised him with it when he got home.

Tomorrow evening we are going to see "Courageous" as a family. It's the latest Sherwood Productions movie. They are the ones that put out "Fireproof" a few years ago (my all-time favorite movie). This one is supposed to be about fatherhood. I think I'd better bring a tissue box. That's a subject that tends to get Paul choked up anyway, and I have a feeling he'll be more than a little emotional during the viewing of this one! I might need a hankie or two, myself!

I have a Jewels post up today. I drew a parallel between breast cancer awareness month and becoming aware of sin in our lives: Now I've got to come up with something brilliant in time for my next deadline of Nov. 10.

Next Wednesday is Will's birthday. On Friday night he and some friends are going to meet at the Indianola High School to watch a couple of the youth group kids perform in a play. Then, a few friends of his are coming over here to pig out, play video games, and sleep over.

I don't think my weeks are about to get any less busy! I have had paint purchased and sitting in my bedroom for a month now. I just have not had the time to get it on the walls. I don't know when I will. And now Paul is talking about digging out more of the basement next summer, in order to give Ben and David a larger bedroom since they are moving downstairs soon (Sam is moving in with Will). I dread the thought of that mess all over again since we're just now getting cleaned up from last summer's basement project!

But it's worth it. This home where we bought the bedroom furniture from was in a newer section of Ankeny. If you're familiar with Ankeny, you know it's a pretty upscale city, anyway. I don't even think they have a bad section of town! As we were driving our old mini-van and even older (and rustier and noisy) truck up to the house, I definitely felt a little self-conscious and out of place! The home we were ushered into was a showplace - absolutely gorgeous and pristine. The furniture was mostly modern, the walls had interesting paint colors on them (I found out later that the husband is the art director for a major magazine published by Meredith in Johnston), and nothing was out of place. Gorgeous. I was talking with the mom as the guys were loading up the furniture and she commented that she was one of six children, but she had stopped after she got her boy and girl. "That's enough for me!" she laughed, "We're good!" Now, I don't have a problem with people only having two children. I totally believe that God has different plans for different families. But as we left I commented to Will, "I would rather have our smaller, older house and have it filled with children than to live in a house like this and only have two." Ideally, both would be great :) but I really meant that. My children are a gift and a heritage and I'll take the number and mess any day over an outward life of perfection.

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