Thursday, June 4, 2015

Catching Up--What's Up!

As I mentioned in my last post, we have been super busy.  I thought I would use a post to catch up on what we have been up to lately.  As I mentioned, Luke and Abbey just finished AWANAS, and we just finished BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) as well.  We have only lived in our home for a couple of months, so we have been slowly moving in, organizing, decorating, and remodeling.  Our house actually included a guest house/pool house, which is really wonderful.  But, it appeared to have not been touched since the 80's (as far as flooring, lighting, wall colors, etc. goes).  So, we spent a lot of time these past couple of months remodeling it.  We replaced the vinyl floors with mostly wood laminate, tile in the kitchenette and bath and carpet in the bedrooms.  We also brightened it up by painting all the woodwork white, we removed the popcorn ceilings and we painted the walls a nice neutral light color.  Want to see a couple of before and after pics?

Main room in the guest house--a before pic from the original house listing
another after picture

the biggest bedroom before

Before picture, looking into the kitchenette and bathroom area.
We still want to eventually replace the countertops, sinks and faucets.  But, a fresh coat of paint and new flooring make a huge difference!
There are two upstairs loft bedrooms which we also painted and replaced the flooring, light fixtures and door hardware.

We painted black the stairway rails that were originally beige and the flooring installer did a great job replacing the old carpeted steps with stained wood.

One of the loft bedrooms before the remodel.

Here is one of the loft bedrooms after the remodel.
Outside of the pool house/guest house

We still need to replace some of the windows and window coverings, but we decided to wait a little while, since the renovations we have already done cost plenty!  Plus, we just need a break to enjoy it for a little while!

And, we got the house ready just in time!  15 of my family members from Oklahoma came to visit us last weekend.  On Memorial day, just a few days before they arrived though, we had the craziest rainstorm I have ever seen.  It was a night that we were expecting friends over to celebrate the Holiday with some fellowship together.  But instead of fellowship with our friends, we watched rivers (literally rivers) flowing from our home's front yard all the way down the back of our property.  Never in my life have I witnessed rain coming down so hard and for such a great length of time.  The whole city was flooded.  It was the first time I have heard the "flood emergency" warning signal (usually I just hear the flood watch or the flood warning signals).  It was so bad that there was a raging river that went through the black mulch we threw down a few days before around our backyard trees and picnic table, and the river spilled out right into our pool.  So, when the rain was all finished, we had a black (I'm not kidding) pool!  The pool was full of dirt and mulch.  So, I had just 3 days to get the pool back into working order before all my family arrived.  After a TON of hard work (including tons of vacuuming, tedious instructions for when to do which step) and lots of chemicals I finally got it looking normal again.  Oh--we also had a lot of flooding into our front formal dining and living room, which warped our gorgeous hardwood floors.  So sad!  But, I know a lot of people who lost much more, so I really cannot complain.  On Thursday night, my family began arriving.  My brother Jason, and his family were the last to arrive around 12:45am.  Then, at 1:30am, we lost power due to another crazy storm that blew through the area with over 60 mph straight line winds.  It was a rough night--most of us getting little to no sleep.  And, when we awoke, we realized a tornado must have come down our street.  Every home on our side of the street suffered some big tree damage.  These were not weak trees--these are huge, old live oaks.  We lost enough limbs out of our large live oaks to create a new tree!  The power didn't come on for 12 hours later--so we just stayed away from the house until then.  We have a well which provides all our water and that runs on electricity.  So, no well meant no water and no flushing toilets.  That's not the most ideal time for that to happen when you have 15 guests in your home.  But, it didn't get us down.  In fact, when we came back from doing some fun things away from the home, the power was on and the weather was just perfect for swimming.  So we did that.  And, we did a LOT of it.  We all had a blast and enjoyed the rest of the weekend!

Here are some of the photos of just some of the fun we had.  I didn't get the camera out much--we were having too much fun!      

There were pool races.

Abbey chatting with cousin, Lilly.

our sweet nephew sawyer, enjoying some relaxing time poolside. 
Our sweet niece, Natalie.
Abbey was pretty much attached to cousin, Kaylee the entire time!  :-)
And while the little kids were all enjoying some pool fun, even the "big kids" were having some pool fun.  My brothers, brother in law and hubby, Drew, practiced many times to get the following ball throw trick down.  It just wouldn't be right if I didn't include a video of it in this post--ha!

We hung out most of the time at our house.   Here's a photo we took on the bridge behind our house right before taking a little hike:

It looks like Natalie and Abbey were less than thrilled with the photo op!
We get to see all these wonderful people again really soon when we travel to Oklahoma for my cousin's wedding.  I'm so glad we get to all hang out more frequently than usual over the next couple months.  My mom's health is really deteriorating quickly now.  She was diagnosed with something called Creutzfeldt-Jakobs disease (CDJ) earlier this year.  Although, we are actually awaiting confirmation on the diagnosis from the experts on the disease out of California.  We are all praying it isn't that, but rather that it would be something treatable.  My mother can no longer care for herself.  She can't speak well or form thoughts.  When she does speak, it usually doesn't make sense.  She has a lot of difficulty walking and uses a wheelchair when going out and about.  It is such a strange disease.  It is aggressive.  I really miss my mom.  I miss our daily phone calls.  My heart breaks for my mom, as I am sure it is awful to watch basic skills deteriorate rapidly like that.  And my heart also really breaks for my dad who has to endure the stress of taking care of my mom (showering, dressing, cleaning up messes, etc), and taking care of the home and their small business.  My mom used to work 12 hour days at their business just before her sudden diagnosis.   She did all the grocery shopping, and cooked all the meals.  My dad is having to pick up all those responsibilities she once held while also on a chemotherapy drug that makes him feel ill every day. Please pray for relief for my dad (good at-home care for my mom), and that they can find a suitable buyer for their small business.  Also, prayers for healing for my mom would be greatly appreciated.   Thanks as always for reading and for your prayers!  They really help immensely. 

Anyway, that's what we have been up to lately.  More posts to come soon! 

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