More Excitement

This post could also be titled "Man makes his plans, but God orders his steps." Chance got up early and rented the tile saw (again) to try and finish the floor tile in the kitchen and bathroom. He still had the area under the stove to to scrape though. So, after breakfast he moves out the stove and begins breaking out tile. The scraper blade was dull, so he was going to attach a new blade. But the scrapper was also a little bent, which meant the blade didn't go in easily. You know what's coming next right???

Yep. Screaming, blood spraying all over walls, counters, ceiling, floors, and little brothers. He's yelling "Mom, it's bleeding everywhere! Help me! Please!" over and over and I see blood all over the place. I couldn't even tell where he was bleeding from. I direct him to the bathroom and grab a rag. After determining that his hand is bleeding I start wrapping it without even looking at it because he seems to be in so much pain and there is sooo much blood. But he tells me "No, not my hand! My thumb!" Your thumb?? Oh.. okay. Then I take a good look at it. It is obviously a pretty deep cut, but we can all take a deep breath. It's on his thumb.

Still, with all the blood and the obvious pain, along with yesterdays drama, I decide we will load up for the emergency room and get some stitches rather than me cleaning it, comfrey soaks and all that jazz.

So, here we are, 5 hours later, all stitched up and numbed. Home. To attempt to rid every surface from the kitchen to the bathroom of blood.

The tile saw was never even plugged in and it will likely be a little while before I have my tile man again. Maybe today God just wanted my children to have some practice in sitting quietly and dying to themselves when hunger strikes :) Or maybe I just need to relax and trust that we are in His hands and it will all work out in His time, and stop stressing about how long everything is taking and how helpless I feel.

So, what's going on in your neck of the woods?


On Painting and Passing Out

I got a whole room done today! My friend Tonya came to my rescue and drove and hour and a half each way to help me paint. She was such a blessing. We painted the dining room, which means that all of the sunshine yellow in the house has been banished. It has been replace by two hues of mellow green. The aforementioned Frosted Kiwi (also known as white) and Italiante Villa, which we call pale green. It's amazing how much changing the color changes the whole mood of the room. It really is much more relaxing in there now. Tomorrow I'll put everything back where it goes and try to get a picture or two. I should have taken some "before" shots! I don't seem to be very good at getting before shots.

We had a bit of excitement with Sierra today too. Hailey came tearing into the house screaming that Sierra had passed out. Seems she tried to grab onto Hailey as she took off on the zip line and she fell off onto the ground. On her head. And promptly lost consciousness.

Now, Sierra is my, um, dramatic child. As a toddler she lost consciousness and turned deep shades of purplish/blue with a fair amount of regularity. But it has been a few years. Still, you never know if it is a Huge and Horrible Injury, or if she just needs a little time and space to breathe and a bit of TLC.

So, I dropped my paintbrush and went running out there in my bare feet. When I got there she was semi-conscious. Sort of moaning with unfocused eyes. Then she started crying. Sobbing that her head hurt and she couldn't move. Once I decided she was okay to move, I picked her and and carried her to the house. Picked. her. up. and. carried. her. allll the way to the HOUSE. Did I mention that I am 8 months pregnant? That she is 8 YEARS old? That I am heavy, and awkward, and out of shape? I do believe that barring some adrenaline fueled, God granted, superpower in the face of danger; that I will never carry her again :) We have a wagon for crying out loud!

Anyway, I carried her as far as the dining room table where we cuddled for a few minutes and I wiped her face with a cool cloth while Hailey laid a sheet over the couch. She landed in the mud after all, and it's not like it was a Huge and Horrible Injury. Then Tonya carried her to the couch.

It took her an hour or so to feel better. But her only lingering complaint seems to be a sore jaw. She has forever sworn off the zip line. Bad, bad, zipline that it is, and the accident certainly having nothing to do with her trying to hitch a ride on Hailey's back.

So, that was our excitement for the day. And I went back to painting, where I contemplated throwing myself off the chair so that someone would carry me to the couch and let me take a little nap :)


Moving Forward

Today I got the stairwell and entryway painted. I cut them in yesterday and rolled them today. I know, it doesn't seem like much. But it is forward motion and I could give you a long list of other things I also had to do over the last few days :)

Anyway, the sunshine yellow has been banished from those walls and it has been replaced with a much mellower pale green. I know it is pale green because the can says Frosted Kiwi. And the color swatch is green. Chance insists that due to it's utter lack of color it must be white, but everyone knows a kiwi is green. It's just very frosted, as in completely covered with snow.

Being a color person, it isn't my favorite. But there is something very satisfying about freshly painted walls. You really feel like you are accomplishing something when you see each pass of the roller cover the old with the NEW. And when it is done it all looks so fresh and clean.

I'd paint a lot more often if I didn't hate it so much. There are some things that I forget are really unpleasant. But, much like labor, I never forget that I really don't like to paint. But at the end of labor you have an amazing little baby, and fresh walls just don't compare. In a day or two the walls will have grimy little handprints and scuffs where someone tossed their shoes. So, I guess if I can paint this whole house I can totally go through labor again!


Lessons from Life

I am learning so many things since Mike has been gone!

For instance, I've learned that
  1. Pools turn quickly to ponds under my care
  2. I can caulk pretty well. I just can't stop caulking. Who knew that caulk guns have a little locking thingy that will just keep pushing the caulk out of the tube?? All over the floor, your clothes, the wall...
  3. That when a screwhead is stripped and you decide to just pull it, and the little drywall screw sleeve that it is in, out of the wall that you will get a hole the size of your fist.
  4. That when you walk on tile that is just laying on the foundation, not applied with thinset yet, it will break.
  5. If you lose the decorative brass bolt in your light fixture, you will have to buy a new light fixture.
  6. Remodeling exists in a sort of parallel universe, where everything costs twice as much and takes three times as long.
  7. When you let the lawn go too long, the fireants will build mounds so large that the big, riding lawnmower will actually get stuck.
  8. When children drive their cars forcefully and upside down, it makes large scratches in new hardwood floors.

These are just a few of the things that I now know. By the time we move I ought to be a genius.


Just Rambling

As I look around my house I am frequently overwhelmed. Thick dust covers everything, no matter how often we dust. There is not one room that is clean and organized. Everything seems to be in various states of remodeling/repair/organization. There is MUCH to do, and find that if I look at all that is before me I am paralized. I don't know quite where to begin and the task seems insurmountable. I have to pick one job, or one room, and work on that. Attempting to make a little headway each day.

I have been tempted to throw a little pity party for myself. But the Lord has been convicting me of that attitude. He has been graciously reminding me that 'I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." When I am weak, He is strong. When I recognize that I am faced with an impossible task, I also recognize how utterly dependent I am upon Him. That is right where Christ wants me to be.

My patience, never my strong suit, seems daily to be pushed to the limit. Daddy is gone, my children are needy and a little more disobedient than usual, and there is a lot to do. Did I mention that? I have been told many times never to pray for patience, because you will daily be called upon to use it. But if my desire is to grow in Christ, to be sanctified and conformed to His image, then I ought to welcome and rejoice in the opportunites for growth that He brings my way. So often I falter, I react instead of saying a silent prayer and maintaining a joyful attitude.

Yesterday I was painting (walls, not pictures) and Eli was coloring. He had a new picture for me to admire every 3.2 seconds or so. "Mommy, look at my picture! I made it for you, where do you want me to put it??" Sierra was reading a book she found very entertaining, and so she wanted to share each amusing part with me. There were a LOT of amusing parts. One child, taking advantage of the fact that mom was otherwise occupied, decided to direct the play of all the others, and it was going to be their way or the highway. Snotty attitude and whispered threats. You get the idea. These sort of things, combined with the general chaos of the house, the timeline, being nearly 31 weeks pregnant, and the standard needs of 5 young children made for a day of real sanctification for me :)

I wish I had it mastered by now. I wish I remembered at all times how blessed I am to have these children. I wish I always remembered to be grateful that they want to share their stories, make pictures for me, be where ever I am. I wish I always remembered that discipline is for their good, not my convenience, and that I have been given a great responsiblity and honor to raise these children for my Heavenly Father. Too often I forget.

I am so grateful for His patience with me. So grateful that He continues to show me, to remind me, to forgive me.


Decisions, Decisions

I am trying to get a few pictures for the frames I want to hang on my walls, so I took some of the kids out this morning for a few shots. I already have one of Ezra that I want to use, I think. I still need Ethan. And here are some that I took this morning. Not sure if I will use one of them or not. What do you think?? I want one of each child. I might make them into black and white too, I really miss that feature on my other camera :)

I really like the flowers in the background on this one, but the expression isn't my favorite.

I like the smile

Like this one too, maybe cropped a little.
I like this one best, though maybe not enough.

I like this one too.

He really should be wearing the ever-present "cowboy shirt" that I wrestled off of him this morning.

Sierra loves the camera. Everyone else is like me, at a loss for what to do with themselves. I probably need to spend an hour out there just getting them comfortable, rather than 15 minutes of "sit here and smile". :)


Into The Wild

As we have been working on the interior of the house, the exterior has been sadly neglected. The most obvious result of that neglect is our "lawn". At first I didn't want it mowed because it was full of the most beautiful wildflowers. But now the flowers have all gone to seed, and even if they hadn't they wouldn't be visible over the "grass". I'm sure the chiggers are very happy with the way we have let our yard go, but the children are swallowed by the jungle every time they step out the door, and the man eating bugs are thriving.

So, Chance has begun the task of mowing down our 3 1/2 acres of greenery. I thought you would appreciate a few photos, just in case you thought I was exaggerating :)
First is Eli, raking what Chance mowed yesterday. Notice the attire. Cowboy hat, boots, shorts, and his "cowboy" shirt which has been worn, slept in, and worn again. Oh, and he's wearing it again today. I did order 2 new "cowboy" shirts today, so I am hoping to wash this one soon.
Here is Chance on the mower, entering the abyss. See Eli hiding behind him?

And finally we have the kids acting as chigger bait so that I could go out and snap some pictures.

That's it for now :) Have a great night!


Kind Words

Chance was blessed to attend the annual Memorial Day celebration at the home of the Scott Brown family. This is a big shing-ding. This year they even had an Apache attack helicopter land during the event.

I thought I would share with you some kind words that Mr. Brown wrote about Chance and his friends. I am pasting the contents of the post here, minus the picture, because I can't get my post to link directly with the post on Mr. Brown's blog. If you would like to read the original post, see the picture, and perhaps read a bit more about the celebration, you can read the blog here and scroll down to the right spot.

Chance has very fond memories of the time he spent with the Brown family. He said their home was full of love and their hospitality and generosity were obviously heartfelt.

Three Real Men from Vision Forum

Joshua Harris, Chance Winberry and Nathan Barnes

Over the weekend, three men came from Vision Forum to stay in our home to help us with our Memorial Day Picnic. Five things were observed by all:

1. From the moment they arrived it was obvious
that they were looking out for the interests of the Brown family and Hope
Baptist Church and seemed to care nothing of their own interests.

2. They looked for ways to lighten the loads of others.

3. They worked happily and were a constant source of indiscriminate encouragement.

4. They worked heartily, as unto the Lord.

5. They worked tirelessly.

And, when it came time to leave, they thanked us for all we had done for them, when in reality, we did nothing for them, while they did much for us.When the men of Hope Baptist reflected on the behavior of these young men, the conviction was unanimous - let's spend the next few years training our sons to be just like them!
posted by David Brown at
Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Sierra's Scarf

I mentioned in a previous post that Sierra had knitted a scarf when Nana was here. I thought I would post a picture of her handiwork. She did a really great job, especially for her first effort. She did decide to make it a little short though, I think she wanted to make sure it was finished before Nana left :)

Fireplace Face Lift

Mike was able to get the fireplace done before he left. I just have to fill the nail holes, primer, and paint it. I think it will really make a big difference in the room. We are trying to modernize things a bit and make them more like what we are seeing in model homes, to better compete with the new home market, especially since resale homes are moving so slowly right now.

This is before, except that the mantle has already been taken off.

And after! It looks like it is covered with plywood, but it is actually beadboard. You just can't see the pattern in the picture. Won't it look nice?!?



Things are moving along here. Mike leaves on Thursday. Yep, THURSDAY. As in 2 days from now. The wood floors are done, the kitchen counters are tiled (and waiting for Chance to grout the backsplash), 2 bathrooms have been gutted and redone, ugly ceiling fan in kitchen eating area replaced by pretty chandelier, new kitchen sink, upstairs hall and boys room/game room painted, barn roof and siding replaced, pool liner replaced, and myriad other small projects tackled. It has been BUSY here.

I am so proud of my husbands ability to jump in and tackle what needs to be done, whether or not he has ever done it before. His artistry, skill and attention to detail always yeild great results.

And now, without further ado, some pictures of the latest projects.

This is my new sink. I LOVE the sink. Can you see how deep it is? I can put my roaster right in it, or my whole cutting board. There is a removable basket (you can see it in the 2nd picture) that separates the sink into 2 sides like a traditional sink.

The formica is gone! New tile counters and backsplash. You can't really tell in the photo, but the biege colored diamonds in the backsplash are 4 little stone diamonds formed into a larger diamond, and then bordered by stone.

The picture doesn't do it justice, these walls were really ugly. The entire house, with the exception of bedrooms and bathrooms was done in this brown and biege sponging technique. It made the house REALLY dark, but more than that, they did a terrible job. Painted around things on the walls, lots of drips and smears. We hired a painter to do the downstairs before we moved in, but we have been living with the upstairs. Of course, the new people won't have to :)

Again, you can't tell very well, but the new color is sort of a creamy yellow. I really like it and it makes the house so much lighter!

That's it for now! As you can see, we've gotten a lot done. Lot's more to do, but making really good progress :)