Monday, June 29, 2015

Hospitality to "strangers"

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Hebrews 13:2

While we sure are enjoying this house and are so glad we get to live here, we did not purchase it wholly for our own benefit.  We could have lived in our small house for years to come and our family would have done fine in it.  What we felt we were missing was hospitality.  It was hard to host families/gatherings in that house.  The layout did not lend itself to hospitality and the size was limiting especially in the winter.  We were looking specifically for a house that would allow not only for regular hospitality, but plenty of room for families (or missionaries, pastors etc.) to come and stay.
I smiled at this sight.  So many cups sitting out day after day was a sweet reminder (the few times) the house was quiet that week...all the dear souls that were staying in this home and the fellowship they represented. :) 

Very quickly the opportunity presented itself to host a family that we did not know but was in need of a place to stay for a bit.  How could we pass it up?  They joined us for dinner and family worship after church on Sunday.  We just love sharing that time of worship with other families and it tends to bring a special closeness.

The family had some sight seeing destinations planned during their stay, but it was great to see our kids enjoying some time together as well when they were here at the house.

By the time this sweet family left we were no longer strangers, but friends.  This is why we love this sort of hospitality, we are able to build up and encourage others and we are left encouraged as well.  It is the building up of the Body of Christ.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nana comes to help move in...

This was our 9th move in 17 years.  My mom has come to help after nearly every one of those moves.  She comes about 3-4 weeks after we get into our house.  She comes at the point that we are DONE moving but there is still so much to do.  This time things were different.  Even the little kids were saying things like "Nana's not gonna have any work to do when she gets here!"

We relaxed in the back yard....

and played with squirt guns.

We played some games.

Oh, and I did manage to come up with some work for her.  Some fabric showed up early so she hemmed up a couple of valances for me. :)

Thanks for coming to visit Nana!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A quick house tour

I know many of you want to see the inside of the house, but are too far away to just drop in...I'm thinking of many of you as I type and hope you will make it here some time soon.  We're still moving in, but its coming together....

Yes, we tilled up the front yard.  I had plants to transfer from the last house so we started the process of making this into an herb/flower garden.

As you walk up to the house you may find some little ones playing on the front porch.  I love this spot, and they do too!

The house has a Great Room style floor plan, you walk right into the main room and see the great view.

The girls' room.

The Powder Room is right here....incase you need it after your long drive through the country. ;)

I love having the kitchen in our main living area, it allows for better fellowship while preparing meals or cleaning up.

The master bedroom is right next to the dining room.

The stairs are hidden behind the kitchen, they lead to the BIG area that we're using as a family room/school room.

The boys' room is here too.

If you're desperate you could use their bathroom, but I wouldn't recommend it. Boys....

Just past it you'll find what we're calling "the extra room"  It has no purpose, as of yet, but if you are coming to visit as part of a large party it'll be made up as a second guest room.

On the other side of the Family room is the Guest Suite.  It has a private bath and a walk-in closet You know, incase you're staying for a LONG time, or (more likely) brought a large crew with you.

There's the quick not-quite-moved-in tour.  We're still hanging pictures, shelves, hooks etc but it's been feeling like home since our first week here. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Stitch Fix fun in June!

I'd been hearing about Stitch Fix for a while and was interested in trying it out.  Then I saw a friend of mine wearing a darling outfit; when I complemented her on it she mentioned using Stitch Fix.  I mentioned it to Rob and he thought it was a great idea.  That was early in May.  While we were in the process of buying a house and moving.  This month I got my belated Mother's Day gift in the form of my first "fix."

When it arrived Miss E was excited to find out what would be in the box too.  It was fun to open it up with her.  Just the experience of opening the box and seeing how pretty everything was was great.

Almost everything in the box appealed to me, and it all fit.  I had so much fun trying it all on.

I loved that the stylist listened to my input and requests, but also stretched me a bit.  You know that feeling when you get a gift that you LOVE but wouldn't have picked for yourself?  Yea, that was the feeling I had.

While I did like most of the items in my shipment I didn't LOVE them all.  I ended up keeping the 2 great tops and sending the other 3 items back.  Part of what makes this service so great is how easy it was to return what I didn't want.  I just tossed it into the (included and pre-labeled) envelope and put it in my mailbox!

This is a great service for anyone that would like help with their wardrobe or does not want to have to take time to shop for new pieces for their wardrobe.  I knew I wanted a couple more items but REALLY did not want to have to take the time to look for what I wanted either by going out or shopping on line.  This was the perfect solution for me.  No, it's not something I'll do all the time.  The items are not bargain prices, but I did like that I could give them a price range that I was comfortable with.

Next month it's my birthday.  I'm looking forward to another Stitch Fix as another fun gift.

I've included links to Stitch Fix in this post.  While this is not a sponsored post, I do get referral credit if you follow my links, sign up AND receive a "fix."  The opinions are my own that I would have posted anyways...the referral links are a bonus. ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Our new house...a gift from God.

When we moved back to Colorado we moved back into the house we purchased last time we lived here (we rented it out while we were gone).  It was the house we had purchased when we had four kids, and we were done having kids.  Ha! Ha!  Yea, 9 years and 4 MORE kids later it was a bit small.  We were praying, saving and waiting.  We really thought we would be waiting 3 more years in this house.  3 more years active duty Air Force.  3 more years to save so that we could afford the house we were wanting.  3 more years to pray for God's direction.  3 more years being content in the "too small house."
The old house

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

By December we had gotten back in contact with our realtors.  We were interested in purchasing an investment property, but were not opposed to looking at houses for our family as well.  We looked at several houses, some in each category.  None were right, but the "family" houses we looked at really helped us figure out what we were and were NOT looking for when the time came to buy our "20 year house."   God was working in our hearts in so many ways through so many people and circumstances.   

Then I saw this house on zillow.  It looked great, but I didn't think the land was what Rob wanted.  A few days later he sent me a link to this house.  What did I think?  We looked at the pictures and talked.  There were a couple other homes that interested us as well.  We couldn't look at any of them for another week though.  Science Olympiad was happening in the next week.

We made plans to look at 4 houses.  3 one day and 1 the next.  The first house was nice, but both the house and land were NOT "ours."  We headed on over to that big blue house.  There was trouble getting the key out of the lock box.  We all went to look around the land while our realtors (whom we've known for 9 years) worked on that.  By the time I got back to the door they had already been in and came out saying "this is your house!"  Rob was nowhere in sight.  He was still looking around at the land....

I silently looked through the house.  It puzzled me.  WHO builds a house like this?  It looked like they only had 2 children, but the house was made for a LARGE family.  _I_ would have built this house.....but, what did Rob think?  I kept quiet knowing that he had to know I loved the house.  Sure enough he started asking about making offers etc.

Just to be sure we went on to the next house.  The land was nice, but the house was NOT for us and much farther out than we wanted to live.  The next day we had plans to look at 1 more house.  Most of the kids opted to stay home, they knew it wasn't ours. ;)  We were just going to make sure there were no "what ifs" in the back of our minds.

Those questions I had about WHO would build a house like this?  Yea, a family that adopted 11 children builds a house like this!  They lived here 20 years.  Those 2 littles still in the home?  The grandchildren. :)  This house was built for us long before we knew to start praying for it.  God is good!  There are so many big and small prayers that were answered through this house.  Prayers that were spoken and shared, silent prayers and even those that were just hidden away in my heart.  Some answered in the loud "THIS IS YOUR HOUSE" way, and others in the whispered "I care about even this" sort of way.
We MAY have been at the house for a whole 15 minutes before Mr. M got the lawn mower going.

When we got into the house even the "baby" Miss A seemed to know it was "home" even without any of our stuff in it.  We've been enjoying the space and great floor plan as we've been moving in this past month.

For those that are wondering... We can't know what God has planned in the future, but unless He says otherwise we do intend to settle here.  



Monday, June 8, 2015

Moving!

We've been busy packing up, moving out, moving in, and settling in.  I'll post more about the house and how we ended up moving but for now here are some pictures of what we've been up to....

I had lots of helpers packing up at the old house.

This guy was a HUGE help, and loved every minute of it.
By the last day he had injured his finger...playing basket ball.  No, this was not all "all work and no play" sort of move. :)
No, it wasn't that bad.  We just decided to give that finger some extra protection knowing he was not likely to want to slow down.  It's fine now. 

Taking a break in the afternoon.  The freezer was loaded with frozen treats in hopes of good moving weather.

Of course the cat decided to have her kittens on our big moving day.  Under the dining room table. 

Everyone pulled together to finish up ahead of schedule at the old house.  We've got some great workers!  We were also greatly blessed by friends showing up to help in big ways and small ways.


EVERYBODY helps!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Barefoot Mile

Someone at our church organized a Barefoot Mile walk to bring awareness to the very real problem of Child Slavery and to raise money to rescue children.   Dr. Jeff Brodsky runs JOY international and has been going barefoot for nearly 5 years as he goes about the work of rescuing children and bringing awareness to this problem.


The older 5 kids (except one that had an injured foot) walked barefoot (as did Rob and I).   Miss C walked the mile with shoes on.   Not a peep or complaint in the bunch.  I'm thankful God has given my children compassion for, and a desire to serve "the least of these."

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40



We were thankful that the weather cleared for this.  It had been raining for weeks, but we had a bright sunny morning.  By the time we got home the sky was pouring buckets again.