What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, May 02, 2019


Our Easter weekend was a FULL one.  We were invited to TWO different places on TWO different days.  That meant no Easter feast for me to prepare single-handedly!

It also meant making two double batches of cream puffs.  (Oh darn.  Cream puffs.)

Saturday was heading to Jonathan and Mary's house (my bro and sis-in-law): a small house on the side of a hill.  It was brave of them to invite not only our big family, but all the big families on the Cantrell side.  That's a lot of people all added up!  

  But they are great hosts and great cooks and it was a great time.

Though the forecast called for rain, we were able to eat (and play) outside the entire time without getting wet!  

(Unless, of course, you are INSANE and decided to play in the freezing cold creek almost stark naked.  a-hem.)

(The smaller pictures were taken by Mary)

The Hosts' with the Mosts

That's my Mom

That's my Dad

That's a girl who maybe regretted swimming in the cold creek for so long

And on Easter Sunday, we headed down the road a bit to John and Holly's (Matt's brother and sister in law) for the afternoon.  Again- rain in the forecast but despite some gray looming clouds, nary a drop was felt.

That's Matt's parents with their grands (minus Cricket, for now!)

That's Holly's parents, who love on our children frequently.

And them, with their real grands

John and Holly and their peeps

Andrew would find eggs and then take out the goodies and put mud in its' place.  This is what Ineke thought of THAT.

the loot

I loved how she would gather up her skirt as she went hunting for eggs.  What a lady.
I am seriously jealous of all the gorgeous Easter family pictures that blew up on social media right after Easter.  I didn't even think to do that!  And poor Cricket, with his/her impressively large wombspace, didn't get a bit of recognition.

I think I am losing my touch.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Papa Project: The Girls' Room

So around January/February, I start to get ants in my pants about clutter and mess and *stuff*.  I think it has something to do with being cooped up indoors for months at a time.  By March, I am practically going insane.  I start filling and dropping off donation bags like a madwoman.  

And this March, this insanity was a million times worse.  A million.

We finally had saved up almost $1,000 to re-do the girls' room and Matt knew it was either do it now or do it when the weather was gorgeous outside and he wanted to be anywhere OTHER than doing inside house projects.  

So it was time.

Even though it is a very small room, given Matt's ridiculous work schedule and LIFE in general... the project has taken two months and is only now nearing the finish line. 

Which means... my anti-chaos and clutter freak-out has been in overdrive.  

Because the whole upstairs has looked like this (on its' BEST day...)

The hallway- which stored as much furniture from the girls' room as it could plus the clothes rack for three kids- added to my fabric stash and photo albums which was already there.

That little bit of wood between the desk and the edge of the photo is the width of the hallway now- which makes an oversized pregnant woman with a fully loaded laundry basket coming through, a near impossibility.  

Or imPASSability, as it were.

And here is the "Spare Oom" which held the rest of the stuff from the girls' room as well as mattresses for the girls to sleep on.  You literally have to walk on the mattresses to put laundry away.


Eventually, because it was already a mess, things just got messier.  Clothes got dropped instead of hung.  Books found their way around mattresses.  Mess.  Chaos.  CLUTTER!

I've been going a little bit nuts.

But while I have been weeping, wailing and gnashing my teeth, Matt has been a bit more productive with his time.

First- let's take a look at the room BEFORE:

Even though it is CLEARLY in need of a facelift, the object of the re-do was not purely cosmetic.

The wiring was the original stuff put in- totally inadequate and likely dangerous.  (The boys' room had been.)  There was only one outlet for the entire room and no overhead lighting fixture at all.  And- the biggest deal of all- this house has no insulation anywhere.  So we have been trying to take one room at a time and 'get 'er done'.  

Oh yeah- and there were a few obscene holes in the walls too.

Without strategically located furniture:

The floors, too, had cracks so big they swallowed up jewelry, pencils, barrettes and small toys.  

Adele, checking out if they should pull up some floorboards to retrieve anything:

They pulled up a few boards but only found a few small trinkets.  

Nothing like the secret hidden stash of gold I was hoping for.  Ah well.

Step One: Destroy walls.

Whoops.  I was wrong.  I guess there WAS insulation in the walls.  A teeny little patch of it.  

My bad.

Step Two: Lay down plywood flooring

Step Three: Wiring

Just look at all those glorious outlets!

Step Four:  Insulate

Step Five: Hang up Drywall and Spackle.

Super fun.

And maybe do a bit of high-class graffiti on the walls.

This looks like a guilty culprit:

Step Six: repaint the ceiling using texture paint to hide all the imperfections of the old ceiling.  

And then, paint the rest of the walls.

We wound up keeping one of the walls uninsulated because it would have been a major job to undo that one.

The girls' couldn't agree on a color-  I just couldn't seem to figure out a way to make pale pink and lime green and turquoise look good in my mind- so we opted for white.  

White is a great mediator of personalities.  

Step Seven: Lay down the cheapest flooring you could find, no matter what it looked like.

Because anything is better than nothing, right?

Not bad...not bad at all!

Step Eight: Trim work and moulding.  

Matt opted to make the moulding himself to save money.  And then we painted it.  And then he hung it.  

This step feels like it could count for a couple.

Step Nine: Caulk.  Paint touchups.  Hang Light fixture.

Getting sick of all of these steps...

Getting sick of this never-ending project!

The girls' were having a hard time deciding what type of light fixture to put up- one being a girlie girl and one being a bit more of a tomboy.  Meanwhile I was aghast at how much ANY fixture cost as- whatever the style- with our rapidly diminishing envelope of cash for the room.  It was a stressful time.

It was such a wonderful godsend when our pals offered us a duplicate light fixture that they didn't need.  And by godsend, I mean God send, because He cares for these little superfluous details in our lives too and He orchestrated it all just perfectly.  The week I told the girls they NEEDED to just PICK SOMETHING ALREADY (said in a very sweet and endearing tone, a-hem) was the very week it was offered to us.

It was free.  There was NO FIGHTING involved and no ultimate 'winner'.  Bonus points for the girls' having a matching light fixture with their friends.

It also happened to be perfect. Not too low for the already low ceilings.  Awesome shadows on the walls.  And the little ball, when hit just right with light produces rainbows- which, when Ineke was asked what color paint we should use for the walls, was her answer.  


Overhead lighting is a glorious thing.  NEVER take it for granted!

When we emptied the girls' room of all the furniture, Matt couldn't get the bunkbed apart easily and it broke.  

We hated that bed anyway, since it was evil.  

Matt said he would build bunkbeds to replace the broken one but I knew what that meant: 

more TIME.

Praising God for another perfectly timed godsend He sent our way: neighbors who were getting rid of a trundle bed and asked it we would want it.

Why yes, yes we would!

The day we moved the bed and mattresses in was a happy day indeed!

We still haven't moved anything in except the beds yet because we are waiting on the last little detail.  A bookshelf running across the top of the room.  I figure it will be easier to hang that up without maneuvering around stuff.  Then, we can finally move everything back in (!!!!!) and get things settled once again.

And someday, Matt will make amazing bunkbeds- but in the meantime, there are girls!  In a girls' room! Able to sleep in beds!!!

Or able to read in them at the very least.  ;-)