Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

The LORD is near.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension, 
will guard your hearts and minds
in Christ Jesus.
(Phil. 4:4-6)

It was a good week of learning to be more intentional about being thankful in my heart and expressing gratitude. There were many great stories on Christian radio that reminded me of more specifics to include in thanksgiving.
Daily decisions are pressing now. Sunday afternoon we strolled through furniture stores with Sam and family. You'd think these were amusement parks the kids were having so much fun.

Monday Mike and I spent several very successful hours shopping at another furniture place. We finally found what we liked and ordered most of the remaining big items.
By afternoon I was feeling really sick, so instead of doing something special for new teenage grandson Malachi's birthday (like collect embarrassing baby photos and post them on Facebook), I stayed in doing nothing, missed the dinner at chef-son's, and called the clinic.

Malachi, age one
Tuesday I saw the doctor--ear and sinus infection worse and possible pneumonia from the sound tho' the xrays were clear. Just finished the second round of antibiotics today. Coughing spells are fewer now. On the mend at last.
I was really disappointed to miss the last painting class of the year. I was going to fix or finish a couple recent pieces and sign them, but alas, they remain thus.

Wednesday was little Zion's second birthday.

Zion, day one
 I was sick so did not host Thanksgiving dinner, instead Stephan invited us. I coughed my way through a wonderful family time. The food was great, just wish I could have enjoyed it more. Even so I had to try all three kinds of pie.

Perfect pie trifecta: pumpkin, chocolate, peach
SIL Diane spent a couple nights with us. Friday we took it easy. No Black Friday craziness for us! In the evening we watched Julie and Julia again. Such a great movie.
DIL shared a special deal on her blog. I keep buying and giving away her book with great responses each time, not only from those who deal with infertility. Go take a look at Hope for the Barren Heart (

Saturday already and I finally made it back to the house and took a look at areas painted with Basque Green, a color I chose by name more than loving the shade at first sight. It is definitely bold, dark, deep, masculine. And now I like it more than some of the blue shades.

Pottery display area

Ship Room (guest bedroom)
Kitchen cabinets are all in place--so much more storage space!

The siding is almost finished.

So while I've been sick taking it easy, the guys have been working long hours. Mike is at the house every spare moment. There are still issues with the heating system. He's had to drain the boiler five times so far.

"Not again!"
"in everything give thanks
for this is God's will for you
in Christ Jesus."
I Thess. 5:18

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More decisions and deadlines

We've had beautiful sunny days though the cold is definitely creeping in. That is why Michael has been working so diligently on the heating system--fixing, testing, tweaking, adjusting, making changes--until finally tonight he announced, "The heat is on!"

Last Sunday he stood pondering the next step in the process, after church on our way to my Uncle Bud's funeral. (Eldon "Bud" Hoyt, the youngest of eleven siblings, passed away November 3rd.)

Mike's three afternoons at the Red Barn certainly add excitement to his week as students and projects continue to increase in number.  When I stop by, the pottery studio is always buzzing with activity.
Looks like they are behind on the glazing process and may soon run out of space.

One student is glazing her teapot.

I believe some are working on Christmas gifts.

About a month ago Mike gave a talk at a Junior High in the nearby town. This week a state senator from that county sent him the following newspaper clipping.

Another article came out in our own local paper this week, describing Stephan's work. The interviewer did a great job considering all the information she was given. (To see a better color photo go to this previous post.)

Stephan and Mike, father and son, have been out hunting almost daily, sometimes even twice. Finally they were rewarded with five hits, but only three deer they actually found.

We will have plenty of venison this year.

Son Sam has slept very little all week to meet the deadlines for delivery and installation of cabinets and vanities. Last Sunday in the wee hours my neighbor left several voice-mail messages:

1. "I can see two shadows moving around your house. Tell Mike somebody is over there."

2. "We're sure two guys are over there. We're looking out for your place. Bobbie is going over with a gun."

3. "False alarm! It was Sam!"

Two nights in a row Sam and his helper were there working late into the night. The lower cabinets had to be in so the contractor could measure for the counter tops.
And this weekend again they were delivering all the other pieces, and working long hours. I worry.
Last night Mike insisted they go home and come back Monday. Other aspects are holding up the work now, and when we move in is not so critical anyway. Before or after Christmas, or on Christmas day? Como Dios quiera. As God wills.

These pics may give you an idea of the quality of the wood and the work.

Last week
This week

Mike and I spent one long day mostly shopping for floor tile for various areas, but also looking at appliances, lighting, flooring. Oh, so many decisions!

Work is happily interspersed with some play as well. Like Monday Night Meal with our family and friends, always a lively fun time. Here are the oldest and youngest of the grands.

Mrs. Kern :) and Zion
Yesterday I enjoyed the company of the two younger ones all day so Mom could get some work done.

Zion and Elijah

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back to Routines

...and more.
Sunday was Sam's 33rd birthday. To give them a break, the boys stayed here overnight Saturday after Kayla and Matt's party. So in the morning this is what I saw on the way out to go to church--all four grandsons sitting on the swing.

My Boys
Singing the silly Koch birthday song

Monday I received gifts from friends in Mexico, hand delivered by a church team that returned from there last week--a sweet little angel, and a salt and pepper shaker.

The young lady we supported graduated last summer with high honors. I am so proud of Mary and just wish I could have been there.
Tuesday I was happy to rejoin painting class and also one of the Bible study groups. These are the two books I am working through and enjoying greatly.

Grandson Skye stayed with us most of this week. Wednesday we introduced him to a favorite family card game--Nertz. Here is our running score.

State of the House:
Sunday evening I got together with my neighbor-friend to finalize color choices due the next day. Glenda loves interior decorating and gives me helpful advice. It is so good to talk over these decisions with someone else. Even so, I have been hesitant to go and see the newly painted rooms. What if I don't like what I picked? I did finally venture in.

Michael has been working long hours every day, on his feet all day long, dealing with water leaks, buying more parts. It is a very involved system but will be well worth all his efforts and the endless hours. I am so grateful for his patient perseverance.
He is very tired, however that did not stop him from going hunting as soon as deer season opened, early Saturday morning. Stephan was at his stand bright and early as well even though he had a very busy day ahead.

Karen and I enjoyed running a local 5K together this time. My dear DIL stayed with me the whole time which is why I did not walk even once and finally came in 40' 22". Not my best but considering I have sinusitis and a foot that aches, not bad either. I sure hope the axiom is true: Exercise is medicine.

Cold Start

Warm Ending
Cold is coming and is here. Oh, yes, we saw snow this week.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Whirlwind Week

Is it possible to cram more life events into one week?
I am convinced by now that our normal is the unexpected.

The daily hunting expeditions were successful, in spite of an occasional debacle (a favorite descriptor that brings back treasured memories of hunting with Grandpa Koch).

Sunday was our last day together with the Koch relatives. Brother Terry and SIL Sandy left a day earlier than planned for their drive back to Wisconsin, so as to avoid the snow. (The last time they were stranded eight hours in the mountains!)

One member was missing at our farewell dinner, teenager Cody out with friends, so I got his photo later.

Halloween Monday, Kenzie (16) celebrated with friends.

Tuesday we said goodby to Idaho and flew back to Indiana.

That same day our granddaughter was married in a quiet ceremony before the Justice of Peace.

We arrived in Indianapolis in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, spent the remainder of the night in a hotel and before heading home stopped at some major stores to begin thinking about appliances and furniture.
It was fun to get back to the changes awaiting us at the 'new' house--the drywall up and some of the siding.

Mike's Studio

My Writing Center (the loft)
That same day, Stephan finished his masterpiece that tells the story of our family's journey and the overriding theme of God's blessing. The icons represent the various phases of our lives. He didn't miss anything. cup runneth over...
The rest of the week was a blur of preparation for the marriage celebration and farewell.
Saturday evening we had a house full of family and friends.