Friday, August 24, 2012

Other Projects

One thing we've learned from a Very Visionary Husband and Daddy is to keep other projects going so we don't rearrange his:) 

When he staggers in under armfuls of books, films, his laptop and road atlas, it's tempting to do something (anything?) more than just carry things for him.

Last weekend I was still thinking up plane tickets he needed to book and made the mistake of peeling (ever so slightly, of course) the kitchen wallpaper. 

It just seemed so rowdy with all those funny butterflies, fruits and flowers everywhere:) 
Everyone was so cheerful with their little napkins and cookies that I peeled again, which was the infamous beginning of Project 1. 
Though we managed to un-wallpaper and repaint the whole kitchen before the campers returned the next day:) it still looks suspiciously like an operating room. 

So, Carolina made a lovely canvas for the space, 4 feet tall with the chorus to "He Giveth More Grace". So fitting. 

All that scraping the walls at midnight gave me time to think, which led to Project 2.... t
he Family Closet. 

This is really great.
The girls kindly donated their room to the cause, because after searching the house for space....this was all we could find.
Everybody's clothes are in one central location...labeled in bins (we never fold anyway) or hanging. And WAHOOO! The other spots this has freed up are amazing.
And the men in the family got to drill holes. 

Who could ask for more?
(Well, the girls might: they set up shop in the living room until we move the school room to the porch so they can move in. Have I mentioned they are sooooo flexible?) 
But it was wonderful to think of hangers, hooks and what to do with the white in the kitchen all week. 

Praise the Lord for other projects!

I know my husband is most grateful, too:)   

Saturday, August 11, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Greetings from Pile-ville, USA!  

Wish we could say we'd been drinking iced minty tea and watching the kids play while we grill lovely things, but we're not quite there.

You might say we're still in the, "How are we supposed to live with all this stuff?" phase of joining the real world, a strange thing some folks encounter when returning to the States after being in third world countries.  After the last trip we filled huge bags for Goodwill until the trauma passed and our life felt simpler.

This time? HA! 

Here goes:

Packing and sending the oldest 6 kids and Curtis off to Family Camp today. Bus wouldn't fit at the campground, and taking the Littles to hang out in a tent 'til Monday with people we love..... and  2000 mosquitoes?!  Looking forward to naps, baking gluten free cookies and picking apricots.

(Recalling life with no big sisters and thinking.....Hmmm. Maybe we'll just nap:)

Figuring out who still has decent shoes and who needs to learn to read. 

Moving from the trail mix, string cheese menu back to real meals.

Packing dvds.... Dr. Jobe Martin's family visited Thursday morning as we were loading up about 407 Priority boxes in the living room. But! Cousin Angie and her tribe are blessing our world by doing all of our shipping and phones for a while longer.

Organizing plane tickets and interviews with 35 folks for AGENDA 2 in September and October. Praying for just the right ones with just the right words.

Continuing the blog, because the upcoming season here looks rather interesting, and I wish I'd kept better track of the Lord's goodness along the way with AGENDA:)

Praising the Lord for being so loving to our family, for supplying our every need, and for giving us unique opportunities to serve Him.

We are so very thankful for your prayers and are so glad (I think?) to be home.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Last Stops on the Way Home

Chick-Fil-A Day in Des Moines

Line of support for Chick-Fil-A was around 500 deep both directions....
Carolina, Carver and Christian got the crowd to join and sing "America the Beautiful". 

Still smiling after 5 weeks
Still singing after 5 weeks:)
Taking a break with friends in Des Moines to reload the marshmallow guns
Copybook Heading's Executive Assistant

Our cousins the Hucksteads also have 6 boys: here's the full dozen!

Had a great afternoon....yummy lunch, visit to the lake, coffee on the porch and lots of running:)

Studebaker Museum....Great Grandfather Charlie Bowers was an engineer at the factory.
Campbell with President McKinley's Carriage

100 degrees and 100 percent sweat at Notre Dame

"Under the shadow of the goal posts"

Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus

Homeschooling questions: What is a confessional booth? Is holy water from the drinking fountain?
Does that coffin really have a father in it? Are the chalices actually gold? 

"The Fighting Sullivans"  is one of our favorite true stories
(made into a film) about 5 brothers who fought and died together in WWII.
Loved visiting their museum.
Two of the Fighting Bowers, who found the only puddle
 left in Iowa since the drought
Thankfully...we did not actually stop.
They look so harmless:)
Some of the truckers and toll booth workers we gave tracts to 
Practicing "Frozen" on the way home: No one talks, no one moves.
22 hours to go....