Before a complete trip 'round the sun, I need to post Andrew's 16th birthday photos from last April!
But before I do, can we just take a moment and admire these few little photos of Andrew I stumbled upon recently? My little brow baby.
Bestill my mother's heart. He was a cutie patooti.
He still is. (but shhh! Don't tell him!)
Andrew refused to allow me to throw him a 16th birthday party though I tried many times to convince him.
Instead, he just wanted copious amounts of hot, piping calzones and fulsome funnel cake.
Easy to please, he is.
I was particularly proud of these calzones because my oven had been broken for over a month at this point and I was making EVERYTHING in the roaster oven and I wasn't sure how it would go for calzones.
It went great- other than a few burnt tips from being too close to the edges. (Pro tip: If you ever find your oven broken and the necessity to bake calzones in the roaster oven, the key was overlapping parchment paper so they could be drawn up and out easily.)
(During those several months, I learned you can do anything in a roaster oven that you would an ordinary oven- even down to muffins and breads. I guess it kind of implies such in the name roaster OVEN, but I had always just used it for turkeys or chickens or roasts and so thought of it only in that context. You learn something new every day, as they say.)
And here we must pause again...
I feel compelled to note here that it took six children but I finally got one who thought it would be a good idea to cut his own hair. For my own prides' sake, I do not want you to believe that *I* cut Moses' crown.
I am not that good at hair cutting.
But I am better than THAT.
|Andrew has only one candle because he had only one wish... and if you continue to read on, you will see it has come true.|
|(Andrew- proof you always make this face first when I take pictures!)|
Papa and I made him this hatchet target with throwing hatchets.
Well, Papa made it. I painted it.
But that was NOTHING compared to what came in that small package from Uncle John and Aunt Holly.
You know what they say about brown paper packages, after all...
It was a Willy Wonka's Wooden Ticket for a free day sawing of lumber to make Andrew's biggest wish come true.
You see, Andrew got it into his head that he wanted to build a cabin in our woods.
(This idea likely stemmed from the tumbled down cabin in our woods that Grandpa once built when he was a teenager.)
Andrew's vision included all scrap wood, scrap metal and rummaged supplies. He talked about it incessantly and to anybody who would listen.
Apparently, Uncle John and Aunt Holly were listening.
But this Wonka ticket upped the ante considerably from his original vision.
As long as he was getting free sawing, it might as well be timberframed. (Said the Papa.)
As long as it is getting timberframed it should have a proper roof. (And Andrew started saving up.)
As long as it is getting a proper roof, we should make a loft for sleeping. (Said Andrew.)
And so it went.
This was the big project of 2022 (and it still isn't finished...)
|Andrew brought Moses and I up to see it after we got home from church late one afternoon before it got dark. Hence, the church clothes.|
The goal was the get the roof on by before Old Man Winter.
And sure enough...
As people have heard about this project, people have contributed things to it.
Wooden steps here, a big wooden cupboard for inside when it is done, screws, a few windows... it has been amazing. Andrew has been saving/paying for everything else.
I really can't believe the great blessings bestowed upon Andrew...
To live in this place where his Grandpa had built his own cabin, inspiring his own dream.
With opportunities (and trees!) enough to make dreams about building a cabin in the woods even a possibility.
With friends and family who generously give of themselves, their time, their talents, their cast-offs to support and encourage a young man who dreams.
With a birthday gift that was so much more valuable than the $1,000+ dollars it saved.
With a job that allows saving for the costs of everything else.
With a Papa who is talented and capable and willing to come alongside Andrew and teach him how to build a cabin, step by step.
With a Grandpa, fit enough to work alongside his grandson living out the dream that he had so many decades ago.
With the incredible life lessons that are being learned throughout this process.
It amazes me every single time I think about it.
What a blessed boy.
And what a blessing Andrew is to us, to be the person that he is with the desires that he has, the skills and talents, the focus, the ethic, and the dreams.
(Andrew, when your birthday comes 'round in a few months- don't expect much! You'll never top this one!)
He truly is a remarkable young man and so blessed to have a loving, supportive, talented family to help him achieve a dream and learn and perfect valuable skills.
What an exciting and beautiful project! Such a skilled, ambitious, handsome young man. You are so blessed.
Wow, it's amazing! His dream and the skills he is learning will bless him the rest of his life. You are raising an amazing family.
Absolutely awesome!!!! I wish we had the location you have. No trees to be seen here on the praire.
What a fine young man! We are proud of him and what amazing skills he has already! My 20 year old, Emory, loves anything to do with timber framing—I must show him this post. Can’t wait to see more of the cabin.
Thank you everyone!
Anonymous- yes, without the available trees, there wouldn't be much happening around here, that's for sure! My menfolk wouldn't know what to do with themselves. But it sure does sound romantic to say "here on the prairie." :-)
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