Friday, July 31, 2015

Project (after) Project (after) Project ...

I cannot believe how fast this summer is flying by.  It seems that all we've been doing is {much needed} projects.  But, Dan & I are really feeling good about the way things around our house are coming together. 
I finished painting our kitchen/dining room area (that included our "chocolate" wall as Lucy & Tag call it)... and then it was on to our sunroom.  We were pretty tired of the cream-colored walls, so we went pretty drastic with the color.  And we learned something new too... you can actually tint primer -- most people already know this, but since it's been years since we've gone with a darker color, we hadn't a clue!  It sure would have saved several extra coats of paint had we known.  But, now we know!

Kitchen/Dining --
Bronze Amulet {Chocolate} ...
Wild Porcini
Sunroom --
Bold Sangria

 And then our next project that we've had for a few months on the back-burner... Dan worked from home last Friday so that we could {finally} install our backsplash!

We had gotten the tiles a few months ago during tax season, but just could not get a full day to install them until a week ago.

And we're very pleased with our
12 hour project!

Tomorrow marks the end of Lucy's summer dance class.  The big Summer Showcase!  This fall she will most likely be with us a couple more days a week since she received a "by invitation only" spot in a new pre-intensive class that will be 2 days a week
(Mondays & Wednesdays) ... so, I'm looking at the last couple of areas that need painting -- living room and hall/staircase.  Not sure what colors yet ...
but since I'll have a few days next week to myself ......

Have a blessed weekend!
{{This weekend we also have to load-up my laptop & send it off for repairs that will take a couple of weeks.  Sure hope I can hop on Dan's home office one to check in with my blogging friends!}} 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Granny's "Movers" Week

This is one of our family's most favorite television shows of all time ---
Imagination Movers
These guys are from Louisiana and they have one of the most creative television shows ever!  They encourage kids (and adults) to use imaginations to figure out solutions to problems and various situations.  If you haven't seen
Imagination Movers, check out some videos on YouTube and get inspired!
Well, this week the four kids are on their family adventure! It seems like for the past 3 1/2 years since Michael was WIA, they have hit one obstacle after another with his medical treatments, income, insurance, housing ... and this family adventure almost did not happen up until a few hours before they left our house to hit the road southbound.  And it's exciting and good -- I will share more later when I get the go-ahead!

Dan & I had talked about us having a little get-away when they all took this trip, but we just couldn't get out of town this week. Too much at his office and too many projects going on at the house.
So, if you haven't guessed from my Imagination Movers video... Granny is painting some more! And I must admit that cannot stand to prime walls ... I want to just jump right in with a roller and a gallon (or two) of paint and just get it done!  But, since most of our walls haven't been painted in 15 years, I must prime first.

My house is a disaster area when I paint... but I think the finished product will be worth the extra day of priming.

And this week I'm doing the hall, rest of kitchen & dining areas AND the ceiling in these areas... along with our sunroom
(but no ceiling repaint on this!)

I plan on having everything completed and put back together by the time the kids come back through this weekend.  And then this ol' Granny is taking a painting break until this fall. I still have some more summer projects to do, and we still have our living room, foyer hallway and stairway (and all ceilings) to prime and paint. 
And I will... this fall.
So, until next week when I can actually have time to sit down to catch up on my dear friends' posts ... I think I'll turn on YouTube to listen to the Movers ...
I'm gonna paint... paint... paint... paint... paint... paint
Paint the week away! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Lazy Days of Summer ...

Where are you, Lazy Days of Summer???
 Dan & I have been getting projects done that we haven't been able to get to for the past few years... so the "Lazy Days of Summer" has pretty much skipped our house for a while.
And that's okay.  We've actually been getting quite a bit accomplished ...

Dan has wanted for several years to lay down outdoor carpet around our pool deck... we are half-way there!  He & I laid the biggest parts down and then the weather turned too hot & humid.  So, the rest of the carpet will wait until cooler weather arrives.  

We've also transplanted some of our shrubs from the front of our house to our rock walls along the driveway.  It's been challenging uprooting some of these, so we are still "babying" them to make sure the roots get grounded in their new soil. 
And we've been busy creating a new look in front of the house ...

Still a work-in-progress, but our new landscape is taking shape! 
And then ... the inside of the house that has not been painted in about 14 years (we moved here on July 1, 2000).  So, we decided on some colors ... then changed our minds.  This is one side of the wall in our open dining room-kitchen area. Changing to a darker color is not as easy and smooth as I had wanted it to be.  But, the results are well worth every moment I spent up & down the step stool!

Tag asked if we could leave up the green tape because it is his favorite!  I almost hated letting him down...
it took Dan close to 2 hours to get the tape off. 

Now I just need to find a few new switch-plate covers. 

And we're already starting on the corresponding walls too ... new paint and a backsplash! We've never attempted a backsplash, so we are planning on several days to get that project done.  Thankfully it won't be too big of an area to cover.
I'll post some more pictures soon of a little summer fun with our little ones...
they had a spectacular July 4th celebration!
But for now, more wall preparations await ...
Have a blessed week, my friends!



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dancin' Week & Thinking Praises

This has been a very busy week in our house ... our sweet dancin'-machine Lucy has been here this week for her dance camp -- ahumm -- Musical Theater Dance Camp.

From 9am to 4pm... this girl is on-the-move!
So watch out Dancing With The Stars -- right here in our household is the next dancing star!
We've all been so proud of her this week ... this is the first time ever that Lucy has been away from either me or her momma for an entire day -- let alone doing this for 5 full days!!!  And yes, Granny had some serious teary eyes when I dropped her off Monday morning!

And so now, here we are at Thursday already! I still haven't gotten much of my household chores completed, but I have been keeping busy during the day while the house is quiet.  And I've been looking back at some pictures from this past weekend.  Dan & I met Jacqueline and the kids at our kind of half-way point on Sunday ... Father's Day was pretty hectic with change of schedules & plans for Lucy's week with us, but God always has His perfect plans laid out no matter how many times we set our schedules "in stone".

and these are the priceless moments that we wouldn't trade for anything.  Schedules will certainly be rearranged a thousand times in a week, but
 God is ALWAYS good and He is ALWAYS faithful. 
And this brings this Granny to today ... with so many household chores awaiting and so many thoughts running through this mind of mine... you know, there's always other things that we can set our minds on and be consumed with ... but I choose to focus on the positive. Paul reminds us in Philippians what we are to think about ...
... whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
It's so easy to get caught up in the here-and-now ...
but God sees our whole book.
He knows our next page. 
He is the Author of our role in His creation.
And so it's my endeavor to
enjoy the little things ...
enrich those around you ...
embrace the now as we have it ...
God Bless, my friends!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finding That "Something" ...

Over these past several months, I've caught myself saying what a hectic schedule we've had in our household.  And as true as that may be, it has occurred to me that I've been allowing something to creep in on me. Now, I'm not talking about something "creepy" ... but this thing can happen to any of us at any given time under any circumstances.  So, as I was traveling back from taking Lucy back to her house this morning, these are the thoughts that I have prayed about and actually wrestled with today ...
I will preface this post by saying this -- I am no expert.  God has given me this one life to live and quite honestly, there've been times when I have decided to ignore Him and His promises ... that I could "figure it all out myself" ... that I could "do it all on my own" ...

but ... I'm older now and hopefully a bit wiser as well. 
 I've learned over the years that no matter the circumstances I'm going through at the time, there's
"something" that's always there if I just open my door and allow it in
"something" that I cannot buy nor earn
"something" that can only be taken away from if I allow it
I will admit that it's easy to say that certain situations are warranted without this "something".  However, in my opinion as a 50 year old Granny, we do not get to "pick & choose" when we accept this "something".  Here's a passage that I know some people will say that I am taking out of context ...
and I agree. I am. 
But, it opened my eyes this morning ...
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
(Psalm 30)
JOY ... JOY ... JOY
is at my front door ... waiting ... for me ... to open ... and let it come in!
In the midst of trials ... in the midst of enemies ... in the midst of warfare ...
The enemy does his best to steal our joy ... he distracts us from what truly is The Truth in our situations ...
And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep." For the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy your Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved." And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.
(Nehemiah 8)
I know that sometimes it's simply "easier said than done" ... but I have a choice to make on a daily basis.  Either I accept ... or I reject.
That's it ... my choice
And that's a legacy that I want to leave my future generations ...
I want them to be able to say that "Granny chose joy" ...
and hopefully they will too.
Then Jesus said to them again, Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10
Whatever we go through ...
whatever lies ahead ...
whatever is in the present ...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Of Course We Miss Them!

I just got back home from spending a couple of days hanging out with my grands.  Our daughter sent me a text on Monday asking me if I could stay a couple of days when I took Lucy back from her summer dance class on Monday. 
And of course ... I could not refuse time with the little ones. These two have my heart and I love spending time with them.
Grandparents may see it even more than parents, but these little ones are growing up fast! It seems like we blink ... and then they're climbing trees and doing cartwheels.  And then we blink again ... and the time on the clock keeps ticking.

And so, Dan & I have been asked many times if we miss our grands not living with us (because they had lived with us until last summer when they got their housing straightened out on the military post).
And, our answer is
of course we miss them!
It's been just as much of an adjustment on us as it has been for the four of them.  All of them have always lived with us due to military assignments, so this is the first year that Dan & I have even been "semi" empty-nesters.  However, there's several aspects that we all hold on to that is fitting and works for all of us.  Granted, not everyone has our family circumstances, so I'm just writing this post from mine & Dan's perspective.
And perhaps the #1 aspect we keep in mind is this:
the four of them really need to experience the "military life" on post during this period of Michael's medical treatments & ultimate medical retirement.  I'm only going to touch on the "if he hadn't been wounded" very briefly ... their family would have been moving throughout the next 15 years or more (pre-explosion).  The military life would have taken them to various assignments and different parts of the world. So, for the time they spend just a couple of hours away from us and still coming to our house for visits & activities ...
 we know their family needs their own home.

My verses that I cling onto for ALL of "our kids" ...

 Jeremiah 29:11 --
"For I know the plans that I have for you" declares the Lord "plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future"

Romans 8:28 --
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose

We miss all of our kids ...
but they are being molded and shaped by the One who knows what His plans are for each of them.  And each day brings them further into His plan and His will.
And as I write this post, they are all in the Emergency Room with Michael.  He has had shrapnel surfacing and is being treated for an infection in his leg.  Apparently he had some complications after I left today, and now is at the ER.

Yesterday evening the USO hosted a BBQ on post.  Lucy & Tag got to meet
Miss District of Columbia!  She told them that she was an "Army brat" too (using the term "brat" very respectfully) ... I think all 3 of them felt the connection!

... and of course, there was cake!

One thing for sure ...
whether we see these little ones every day or every week --
that second hand on the clock just keeps ticking away



Friday, June 5, 2015

The First Week of ... June???

I simply cannot believe the calendar says "June"!  This week has been cool and rainy for our little corner of the Mid-Atlantic... okay, maybe more like COLD and rainy (when the temperature says 50s in June -- it's cold!)   And more outdoor projects on hold.
This little triangle was "supposed" to have been leveled, terraced, mulched and planted by now... hopefully by NEXT weekend now! We have some pretty awesome plans for our yard and we have completed some mulching along our driveway (waiting to transplant some of the above along our rock walls).

Dan has his plans all diagramed so that we will know what plant will be transplanted where, so hopefully we can get a bit of work done this weekend.  I think it will really brighten our landscape up when we're all done. 
We had originally intended on putting our house for sale this spring, but I just could not get rooms painted and the outside landscaped. As we get deeper into cleaning and maintenance, we see more and more potential here. So, we will continue to do our projects and maintenance and then see what God has for us... either staying here for a while longer or bringing us the perfect family who will make their home here. But, we are fine no matter which way we are led.
We are gearing up for a very busy summer (that's one of the reasons we've been working so hard on household projects)... Monday begins Lucy's summer dance classes, so she will be coming down here to stay with us a few days a week just like she did this past year. Then she has a summer dance camp for a week... which is the same week as Mega Camp at church (like Vacation Bible School) that she & Tag will be down here for... as well as regular church activities and events/activities they will have on the military base. There's so many awesome organizations that provide some stress relief to all of our wounded warrior families.
She brings joy to everyone
 Jacqueline had the kids at the base pool last weekend and Tag scraped his foot getting out of the pool... upon seeing a little bit of his blood, he passed out.  He checked out good, but it was very stressful and scary for the girls. Michael had stayed at their house because his leg was bothering him -- a lot. 
I melt in his smile
 By Tuesday evening Jacqueline & the kids had Michael in the ER... there is an infection in his leg that took the direct hit from the rocket over 3 years ago. They took him back to get the wound redressed yesterday and now he is under the care of a wound specialist. She told them that the abscess has been growing for "quite some time" so they will closely monitor it. They're trying to get rid of the infection by medication... and praying for no more surgeries (he had numerous surgeries on that leg within 2 weeks of his injuries). He can barely walk on it, but is determined to help Jacqueline give the little ones a good summer on the base. This is (hopefully) their last summer there before he is medically retired.  And they have weekend events today & tomorrow... and we will bring Lucy down with us Sunday - Tuesday.
So ... a busy summer indeed ... but a good kind of busy!
I am so very thankful that God sees what we cannot ...
that He knows His plans for each of us ...
that He loves us.

Wishing you a blessed weekend, my friends ...
and until my next post
{whenever that may be}
may God continue to be your Light
and your Direction