In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.
The ceilings and lighting are pretty much completed - it was a long few days of people caulking and painting. The mistake I made was showing up last Saturday with all the kids and a bunch of groceries, in the rain of course, to open the front door and not be able to walk in because everything was draped to spray the ceiling. We ended up carrying everything around to the back basement and stashing it there. The ceilings look so nice though; definitely worth it!
We had a flooring rush on Wednesday before Thanksgiving; the entire main area was finished that day except for some baseboards.
Mud room and bathrooms floors -
We were able to get the dining room table out of the pod for Thanksgiving dinner - it's back covered in saw dust now, but was great for Thanksgiving! It's the first dinner that we were able to spread out at the table and not have to file in single file between the table and wall!
The purple wall looks like an accent wall now; I promise it isn't staying!
Things are moving along over here; I'd love to say quickly, but most days are noisy and chaotic (with Spanish music playing that we can't understand) and I'm relieved when it's quiet bedtime. About everything is covered in saw dust so I finally relocated school and Oliver toys downstairs, so we can spend longer stretches in the slightly cleaner and quieter basement. I'm hoping we have floors by Thanksgiving so we can bring our table out of the pod, but that may be optimistic. Some things currently being worked on are new trim on the doors and windows .
Friday, the new counter tops went in. We are still awaiting one faucet and some touch ups, but we love them. We made the island smaller, taking out the seating along the one side, and created the peninsula larger and put the seating along it instead.
They are still working on the ceiling, but yesterday, the electrician put in the recessed lighting in each square.
Yesterday was Chris' college graduation open house at his and Moriah's new home. This was the picture I snapped on the way out the door. The guys are good sports because there are always kids and dogs weaving through the living room area where they are working.
We are super proud of Gabriel, who is excelling beyond our best hopes in the military. He recently was awarded Sailor of the Year in CO where he works; he will now be coming out to MD to compete on a national level. It also sets him up as a very hopeful for another early promote. JD put on a uniform and flew out last week to re-enlist him again for a few more years. I know the Navy is very happy to hold on to him! He, Alayna and my adorable grand-sons will be moving all the way back to the west coast, which stinks for this Mimi, in the spring. He plans to head back to our area after that three years is up. The re-enlistment was done in the Bronco's Stadium, where Gabriel has done color guard for the team the last few years.
Here's Gabriel and Elijah at the touchdown line -
JD and Elijah heading home in their new matching "Salute to the military" Steeler hoodies Gabriel ordered them.
Monday is my only day that Oliver comes and hangs out with us while Alyssa works, she only went back two short days a week. He enjoys the kids very much.
This particular Monday I thought the guys were just swapping doors, but it turned out that it was rip the flooring out day. It was rough with the noise and mess with Oliver, but we made it. Here was the living room area -
And the kitchen -
We have our first hold up also, the dishwashers were evidentially leaking under the cabinets, so now the cabinets have to be ripped out, sub flooring replaced and NEW dishwashers installed. Counter tops have been delayed. Today the siding guys came and took the siding off the entire back of the house. The windows were not sealed to code, so now we are having them fix this portion as doors and windows were being swapped anyway.
Just this morning, I put the last clear coat on the bathroom vanity cabinets and drawers. I intended to also paint the actual bathrooms before the new flooring went in, but they are doing that now. So, I will just try to beat the new counter top and cover the floor!
Here are my cabinet doors curing against the living room wall.
And last, but definitely not least to the kids, we are putting in a very large above ground pool. For years we have hoped to put in an in ground, but the cost is just so high and it doesn't seem to make it up the priority list. So this the compromise - the kids will have a pool and we won't go totally broke!
We have talked about expanding the main living area for the last several years. When Moriah moved out, Julia moved downstairs to her old room and the dining room is now expanding into Julia's old purple room. JD cut costs by doing the demo himself. This is a load bearing wall, so we had a design engineer sign off on JD's plans.
We host a church home group in our home every Friday. This was about 1.5 hours before guests were due to arrive one Friday. We had everyone working very hard to have it cleaned up before arrival time. Yes, we have continued to meet with the half walls, etc, but are going to have tonight and next week off as it will be even more unlivable.
This is the view from the kitchen.
After the walls were down, we removed the glass cabinets that were between the kitchen and dining room. It's so much better open now.
The one break that JD was out of town, Alei and I painted the hutch -
The island is actually going to go down in width where the bar stools are in the middle of the kitchen and the counter here will extend for bar stool seating.
After much trial and debate, I decided to go with painting the current cabinets over staining or replacing. They are good quality cherry but very, very worn by a dozen children over a dozen years. After research, I went with the Dixie Belle chalk paint regime that is many coats, but I'm confident it will last.
The outside has gone from brown to "fluff".
The island is "gravel road," - the doors will all be sprayed in the backyard. The rush for the cabinet frames was to get them some curing time before the new countertops come in next Thurdsay. There won't be any doors back on, or drawers inserted, until close to Thanksgiving as they take 21 days to cure.
We have the building guys starting Monday on moving a few doors, installing a new large window, putting in a woodburning stove and a few other exciting things before the new floors go in. The goal is to be down by Thanksgiving!