A couple of weekends ago all of the boys and I met in Lynchburg at their house to do a deep cleaning. While we were in Chile, their septic backed up and they had pulled out the carpet and never replaced it. Robert had also brought his bedroom furniture to live there but soon found out his bedroom was way too small to hold it. So, in true boy fashion he pulled his box spring and mattress out to the middle of the living room and it stayed there all year. They loved it. It didn’t bother them. Made it easy for guest to know where they could sleep if they stayed over! So, between the furniture filling up the small rooms, no carpet in the entire downstairs, and our dog’s kennels and hair all over the place we had a busy weekend ahead. It was actually fun to see the change. I love a project that you can see a difference even if it’s small!
So, we had the carpet installation scheduled for Monday which would give us time to clean and paint. Robert got the painting stuff out and he put a bright color (I picked out) on two of the walls to brighten up the room a little.
Then, Michael decided to paint a mural of one of their favorite bands on the wall. Michael and Robert have a basement band and enjoy playing Blink 182 songs. Michael has a tattoo of the “smiley face” on his back. He is artistic and free-handed one of Blink’s album covers on the wall before the carpet came. I think it turned out well especially for the basement of a bunch of college kids.
Michael and Robert left Sunday afternoon and Timothy, Andrew, and I hung out another night for the carpet guys to come. After the installers left we pulled a few things in the room, but left the heavy couch, TV, and some other things for them to bring in. It was fun just seeing the improvement we did make.
As for Kent, me, and the younger boys, we are in the process of planning to leave for Scotland. Trying to find a house and secure a student visa are two major obstacles we’re trying to jump now. Kent returns from Chile this weekend- yeah! I’ll keep you posted……
I am so fortunate that my grandmother is still alive. She is 90 years old, and although she can’t see or hear she still has her mind. She can remember lots of memories of her life. I love to ask her questions about her life growing up and about when my mom was a teenager. My grandfather worked for the mines so they have a lot of stories about growing up in the 50’s. For example, there was a company store that the mines owned and they would buy stuff from it. Everybody knew each other. The houses were small and very close together and the front porch almost sat at the street. Oh, and there was a lot of dancing! My mom said they would go to school and dance in the cafeteria before school, at lunch, and after school. It’s so fun to hear stories about times gone by. I wish it was more like that nowadays.
I went with my mom to see her last week in the nursing home. She lives in a very nice home which doesn’t smell when you walk in and the nurses are attentive. Many nurses have been there for years. They plan events and do activities throughout the day. Here is a picture of her from last week, and another picture of her dressed up for a party they had.
My Grandma Edith is a neat lady that I love very much. She hasn’t had an easy life. She grew up in the coal mines of West Virginia. She married at 16 and had my mom when she was 18. She said people thought she was pregnant when she went off and got married, but she wasn’t. She and my grandfather provided a good home for my mom and her brother to grow up in. My mom has fond memories of her life growing up in West Virginia. My grandmother took her kids and their friends to church and taught Sunday School most of her life. She wasn’t perfect, but who is? This is a picture of her as a young woman.
I can see she has gone down physically even in the last few months. I don’t know if I’ll see her again once I leave for Scotland, but I do know I’ll see her in heaven. This is a picture taken just a few months ago.
Finally, here is a picture of me and my mom with her.
So, thankful I still have both mom and grandmom in my life.
Living in Chile made me appreciate our little farm out in the country. I have enjoyed being out there, and some of you know that hasn’t always been the case. We found this farm on the internet and it was supposed to be just a “place to go to in the summers.” But Kent fell in love with it and all that it required- the mowing and baling of hay on his new tractor and implements. He even bought overalls which I asked him not to wear when we went anywhere together. Unable to leave well enough alone, Kent took something old and run down and turned it into something super nice and restored. The house went from an old, dying, lifeless house to a sweet, lovely home. I can’t wait for him to come home to sit out on our front porch and have our coffee and to make s’mores on a campfire in our fire pit. For those of you haven’t seen the farmhouse here are a few pictures.
After we bought it we updated everything on the inside. This house is over 110 years old so the rooms are very small. We like to call it “homey”. Here are some pictures of the inside after some changes.
Here are a couple pictures from outside.
Lastly, our dogs, Bauer and Lilly! We missed them while we were gone. By the way, if anyone is wondering about our African grey parrot, Fader, she is staying with friends while we are gone. They have been so kind to keep her even for this short time we are back. She is such a stressed bird we didn’t think she could handle the move back and forth.
We moved to Richmond in the middle of Michael’s kindergarten year. All of the boys went to Grove Christian School until we moved to Texas in 2007. Michael grew up with a great group of boys and it was sad to leave them after his 8th grade year. These boys were an anomaly because they were very inviting to new kids that came to the school. Michael and his friends did not change how they acted but somehow when new boys came into the classroom they were able to get them to change their behavior for the better. The new kid would start off in one direction but soon realize that they needed to change for the better not the worse. It was a cool thing because it rarely happens like that.
Moving to Texas was hard on Michael as far as the schools and making friends went. He was an outgoing leader in VA ,but in Texas he was not included like he had been to so many kids before. It was disappointing because these were Christian schools where the expectation is higher. Robert and Timothy thankfully did not have the same issue. Anyway, Michael always kept in touch with his friends seeing them every summer. Even though they are all in college they still remain friends to this day. I have a very soft spot for these young men and if you knew them you would be impressed with their Godly character.
The other day when I was visiting with the boys they had made a time to meet to re-enact a picture that one of the mom’s had found and put on Facebook. It is a picture after field day one year. Timothy is in the original picture and he looks to be about 3 or 4 years old so it makes the older boys probably around 11 or 12. So the older picture is about 10 years older. David and Michael are the oldest and will be 22 this August and September. They ended up cropping out Timothy because he wouldn’t go up there with them to do the second picture. I’ll include it below.
So, without further ado. Here is the first and last picture. They plan to meet every 5 years to re-enact again. Oh, we are still trying to figure out why Michael has those clothes on if it was field day. He borrowed David’s (the tall 6’9 friend) for the newer picture.
I’ve only been home about 2 1/2 weeks but I have crammed a lot into them. The first thing I wanted to do was to go see my older sons. They have been working in different places each week for work this summer so I knew I had to wait until Friday to see them. They are living with close friends of ours this summer and they had graciously invited us to come and stay as long as we wanted. We headed up there and enjoyed several days with them and just did stuff we always do- workout, eat out, church, catch up on haircuts, etc. It was a great few days just spending time together.
Working out was really needed since I found out when I finally weighed after 6 months that I had gained over 10 pounds. Michael straightened my diet and exercise out and we all went to the YMCA several times. He and Robert are both good at helping. Michael is the pusher and Robert is the encourager. Kent was helping me in Chile so I had built up some muscle already. He had started me on this light weight focus which I am actually enjoying. I think it was the peanut butter, cocoa, oatmeal snack I was eating every night in Chile that was harming my waste line though. I am back on track now.
Then we went to get the haircuts. Everyone except Robert needed a cut because he had shaved his months ago and it is now grown out and looks nice. Michael had not cut his hair in months. Same with Andrew. My friend Debbie helped us out though.
Didn’t realize I need to get an “after” photo of Andrew. His looks great too. Until next time……
Our last Sunday in Chile was emotional for me which was kind of funny because we were only there for about 6 months. But we made such good friends so fast. I am going to just post several pictures of our friends.
I have really enjoyed being home and seeing my boys. I spent as many days as possible with them with their work schedule. I am missing my husband though. I am working hard to get things caught up here so he is not burdened with lots of stuff to do when he returns. We had lightning strike our home so I have been making appointments for our phone line, internet, alarm company, garage door openers, refrigerator repair along with cleaning up the mess of a shattered glass table that flew all over our stairs. The boys have been working on their “to-do” list which includes LOTS of weed eating and weeding flower beds.