Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Well, I'm sitting in the recliner listening to Joel practicing through the hymnal - after a good nap this afternoon;. Joel and I were at the church this morning by 6 am; our first concrete truck arrived at 7:30 and we finished 24 and 1/2 yards by around 2 pm.

I'll try to get a lot up here this evening.

The building project is moving along. Much of the nursery work is completed, though there are still a few little "finishing touches" that are waiting for more time. It won't actually be used as the nursery until the restrooms are finished.

Here are some pictures of it.

From the outside of the nursery before the carpet was installed . . .

Inside the new nursery:

Looking out the door of the new nursery:

Before I post any pictures of the rear of the building showing the addition, here is one of the West side which faces the road. A couple of our men have painted it (if you remember from previous pictures of when we bought it last summer, it used to be kind of a purple with windows painted on the side) a sandstone color to match the siding. We've also put a sign on the building. (The final coats of paint where not on yet if you notice the different colors).

I took a time out from the blog; had supper and now Carol is playing the piano while Joel and Laura do the dishes. . .

Back to the building project . . . starting with digging the footers. The only pictures that I've put up so far have been one where we were taking off the siding and of the painted marks showing where the addition would be placed.

You'll see a lot of change in the next several pictures.

The day we broke ground - I guess we forgot to have a ceremony . . . :-)

Ken Massey did most of the digging with the excavator.

Joel got to drive the excavator a little bit . . .

We still had to do quite a bit of hand shoveling . . . corners against the building, around plumbing lines, water lines, gas lines . . . we found an old septic tank . . . many people did much work.

Lowell Mest and Darin Kennelly.

Allan and Mark Stilley; Allan is using the jack-hammer to knock out the corner of the old septic tank that was right on the corner of where the new addition would sit . . . we never knew it was there until we started digging.

Joel took this one "for mom."

Even the younger boys helped some. They filled the wheelbarrow with loose dirt that had been shoveled out of the trenches. (I think they like playing on the dirt piles more.)

They would have rather used the back hoe than shovels, but I don't think that would have been acceptable at this point . . . but they did at least get to have their picture taken with it. (John's head is by Joel's left hip.)

Jump ahead a couple of weeks . . . the forms are finished, the plumbing is in, gravel is packed and the rebar is laid . . . ready for concrete!

Today we poured the concrete . . . (Right to left) Dave Cook, Les Young, John Houston, me - eating a hamburger . . . :-) - Also present, Joel Deatrick, Donnie Wright, Cale Fleming, Jeremiah Houston. He wasn't here today, but Josh Young (Les' son) helped do a lot of the forms.

Finished product - not a professional finish, but sufficient for what we will be doing. I'm very thankful for the help of everyone who was there and for the advice or prayer of those who weren't able to make it! I took this picture as we were driving away much earlier in the day than I anticipated . . . (otherwise I wouldn't have had time to do this blog post).

This completes the stage of the building that has concerned all of us the most. That's not to say that we still don't have more to figure out, but all of us are far more comfortable with the actual building of the addition. . . however, as is true Biblically and in all of life - you ought to have a good foundation before you build.

I'm going to stop, read the Bible and pray with the children, and then update you on a few things with our family.

I'm back to finish this post.

Some things that have happened in the last two months:

- John turned 6 on July 7th. He was born the day before we moved to Illinois, so that also marks our 6th anniversary here in Paxton. John has a very healthy respect (fear) of fire. When we were purchasing candles, he specifically requested to have the numeral "6" instead of six candles, because that would be less flame (it wasn't because he thought it would be easier to blow out that way :-). I think he looks strikingly like my youngest brother Michael at this age (see previous post from June).

I have now officially made it to middle age - 35. "Middle age" is a relative term. I told my wife that I really don't feel that old. A couple of reasons for my personal assessment: 1) I feel like the first 20 to 25 years of my life were all preparation for what God had designed for my life. I've only been ministering as a pastor for 8 years and so when comparing that with the prospect of another 35 years of pastoring, I feel like I'm just getting started. 2) I think I'm in the best physical condition that I've been in since I've been married (I did have an elbow issue last fall), so quite simply, I just don't feel like I'm getting older.

Things that make me recognize that I'm aging are things like seeing Joel drive an excavator and a Bobcat or the fact that he is nearly as tall as his mother. Or that Laura is not a little girl anymore. Speaking of, Laura just got glasses. She had been complaining of headaches for a while, she was not able to read the eye chart at the Science Center in Rockford with Grandpa this summer, and - she asked me at one of Joel's ball games this summer, "daddy, how do you know the score?" I said, "it's out there on the scoreboard." She replied, "there are numbers on it?"

Her eyesight is unique. She is farsighted in one eye and nearsighted in the other; this is no doubt the cause of her headaches as her eyes were actually working against each other. The eye doctor told me that often this condition leads to one eye turning in or having a lazy eye.

(The kids are in bed, quieted down, and I'm now eating a bowl of bugles.)

Other news:

Carol's brother and family visited us for several days early in July. We only get to see them once every couple of years. It was good fellowship and of course busy with a combined 12 children between us. Carol's Dad & Mom and Aunt & Uncle joined us one of those days for lunch and we had 20 at our house for a meal. We also spent an evening at a park with some friends from church who have 5 children - 17 children that time (although several of the older ones hardly classify as "children" any more). Somehow, I didn't get any pictures of the Bumgardner bunch?

Gardner turned 1 in June and he skipped the walking stage and went to running . . . as one of the ladies at church has observed, "he has one speed - go!"

Joel and Laura were able to experience "flying" for the first time in July. There is an association that gives free rides to young people between the ages of 8 and 17. The Paxton municipal airport had a "fly in" (open house in airport terms) and there were several pilots who brought their Cessna's and Piper's to give out rides. Joel and Laura were both able to go up in a little Piper with a pilot named Dr. Snell who made their weekend (and more). I took several videos, but not many pictures. Sorry the video is a little long, it is of their plane landing and then them running up to tell me all about it . . . you may want to skip to about the 3:30 mark on the video.

Well, I'd better go for now. My evening project has caught me up on this for a while . . . though there is much more that has happened this summer. It has been a busy summer, but a good one, though most of it has revolved around the building project at the church (baseball seems like ancient history). Quickly, the kids are well: Joel has been a big help in our projects and is constantly demonstrating that he is maturing as a Christian. Likewise, Laura is growing in grace; she also is a big help with Kara and Gardner - she'll have much experience by the time she has children of her own. Grant has also professed Christ and is being given more responsibilities as his capabilities increase. Carol has worked with John to help him learn to read this summer; he, with the others, is delighted with their bi-monthly trip to the library. Josiah is getting tall and more independent, though he still does not like change. He is asserting himself with the others more and more to make it quite obvious that he is not a little boy anymore. Kara is . . . Kara . . . she has the ability to light up a room and she does everything with all of her energy. Gardner - as mentioned before - has one speed, GO!

One final picture - I have a wonderful mate . . . keeps so much of our life together in order; kids, meals, laundry, house, me, etc . . .

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