Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Una semana en EspaƱa

Our girl made it back from Spain this weekend.  She's exhausted from losing seven hours on the ride back (six because that's the time difference between here and Madrid, and then the extra one because of daylight savings) and she was extremely busy trying to unpack and catch up on homework before heading back to class on Monday.  Consequently, I haven't gotten to hear all about her trip yet. 

But I have seen some of the pictures! And they're exactly what I expected.

She had a blast on her first flights!  Even ate some of the nasty food. 



She found someone to play with.  She made friends easily. She formed relationships with people she had never laid eyes on before, and she did her very best to speak their language.   




She said she was somewhat wary of speaking her style of Spanish in front of lots of native-speaking families.  So she prayed that God would help her recall what she had learned and use her words for His glory.  And He did.  She found that as soon as she opened her mouth the words started flowing. The Spanish people appreciated her attempts, understood her well enough to carry on conversations with her, and were happy that they could communicate with each other. She even ended up translating for her group quite a bit.  She was so glad!


Of course, there were children involved, and Heather LOVES kids.  She seems to connect with them instantly.  Probably because she IS a big kid at heart.  She loves getting out there and playing hard, giggling and laughing, challenging and organizing. 



I know she was impressed with the architecture.  She took some incredible photos! 


She even touched a chunk of the Berlin Wall!


It was life-changing, she said.  Now that she's gotten a small taste of what the rest of the world has to offer, there will be no holding her back.  She wants to go again.  To Spain.  To Italy.  To France. 
 To anywhere! 
She hopes to collect tons of stamps on that brand new passport. 
We'll see what God has planned.


As for this trip...I'll let her share all the details.  She's coming home soon and she says as soon as she's had a chance to "process" her time there, she'll tell us all about it.
So, if I can get her to sit still long enough, I'm going to try to get her to write about it,too.




In the meantime, here's the latest on the house:

Friday, March 9, 2012

We've got walls!

And adorable babies, too! 
Clayton loves crawling to the back door and tapping at Lucy.


Lucy prefers to ignore the squeals and shrieks of excitement whenever she approaches. 
She's obnoxious like that. 
She always comes right away when called, but then she acts like she doesn't see the baby there.
Maybe if I hand him a piece of bacon?



A crew came this morning, and by lunch time, we had walls. This is the window in our dining room looking out over the back screened porch.  Well...eventually there will be a screened porch.



I'm pretty sure this is looking into the great room?? 
I can't tell for sure from this picture, but yeah, probably.





Two of the supervisors.
I think Ryan is glad he doesn't have to run around up there on the tops of the walls.




Like these guys!  They must be part lizard or squirrel or something.  They just hopped on up there and walked around like they belonged in the circus.



And the view from far away.




They got a lot done today, don't you think?  I especially like the turrets!



OK, so this is the castle that Heather got to tour on her last day in Spain. It's called Segovia, and supposedly it was an inspiration for Cinderella's castle. Not sure if that means in the movie or at the theme park.  Are they different?  I have no clue. Heather's coming back to America tomorrow whether she likes it or not!  I can't wait to talk to her and hear all about her adventure.  And get a huge hug or three...or a hundred!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making progress

Our new front door.  Solid mahogany.  Beautiful glass detail. 
And you would NOT believe the deal we got on it! 
Lesson learned.  ALWAYS ask if anyone may have special-ordered anything and decided not to take delivery on it.  If we hadn't asked, no one would have shown us this door.

I love this door!

The only thing is...I'm not entirely sure it's going to look alright on a red house.  I really wanted the  house to be red. Like barn red.  I may have to choose another color now, because the little stained-glass bits in this door probably won't go with red.  Ugh. 


So...day six. 
 The guys came and nailed together the floor joist system, and screwed it into the huge bolts that were cemented into the foundation blocks. 



For some reason, the house looks way bigger than it did with just the outline of blocks.  Standing inside the blocks a couple of days ago, I had this sense of panic!  Oh no!  We've made a huge mistake!  This house is going to be incredibly tiny and where in the world will we put everyone?  We'll have to get rid of all our stuff!  Keep the teenagers in a tent in the back yard!




It seems much more normal-sized with the boards down.  When you stand up on the edge of the joists, and look out over the "floor" you can get an idea of room sizes and all.  


The picture below is taken from the same vantage point that I try to shoot from at every step.  That way, you can see it as it goes up. 



As the house goes up, life goes on and school continues.  For the past couple of weeks, the Beginning Biology class has been dissecting creatures.  They started with earthworms and moved on to crayfish.  This Wednesday they dissected perch.
Nothing like getting your hands on a smelly dead fish right after lunch!


Zach and his lab partners snipping off pieces of their perch. 
(Just in case you're wondering...no.  Homeschoolers do not dress in mid-19th century clothing to come to co-op each week.  They only dress this way when they have mandatory character assignments for the upcoming play.  And if you think it isn't difficult cutting into a nasty animal while wearing a lacy blouse and floor-length skirt, just ask McKenzie.)



Here's Ryan & his group.  They had the best fish.  It was all nice & drippy.
  



In fact, their fish was so good, all the other groups came to inspect it. They were able to locate the air bladder, the liver, heart, and gills.  They couldn't get to the brain.  Oh, they certainly tried, but they ran out of time and had to move on to the next class. 




An excellent view of the "window" they created in the side of their poor fish.  You can see the innards and the gills.  Aren't you glad you stopped by today?!  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

And they're off!

Darling Daughter and friends left yesterday afternoon for their week in Spain.  She called from D.C. and let me know that the flight was a little bumpy, but everything went well and the pilot was "so CUTE!" 





They landed in Madrid around 3:30 am our time, so I imagine they'll be crashing somewhere for a few hours at least.  If you're interested in following their trip, you can go to this link to the team's blog.  That's the best way to keep up with them, since I'm not sure we'll be hearing directly from our girl until she lands back in the States next week. 

As for the house, with all the bad weather, there hasn't been much done this weekend.  Things will pick back up on Monday. 

 If you were affected by those terrible storms, our hearts go out to you and our prayers are with you. 



Friday, March 2, 2012

Laying it on the line

OK, so please be praying for Darling Daughter as she and some of her college buddies fly to Madrid tomorrow.  They'll be traveling in some serious weather. This is her first time on an airplane (that she can remember...she did fly at three months old but that doesn't count, does it??) and her first time out of the country.  She doesn't seem nervous at all, but her mama sort of is!  The group will be ministering by doing community service and having a block party near the home of their sponsor, inviting locals to join in food, fun, and a soccer tournament, and just showing kindness and love to others.  Also, they've been asked if they would be willing to share their testimony or experiences as Christians, and I don't know much about Spain, but it sure seems like much of the world (including America) is hostile towards anyone sharing the love of Jesus these days, so pray for their safety, please. 

About half of the masonry was done today, and a few dead trees were knocked down.  Since the weather is supposed to turn bad overnight, the guys may or may not finish up the blocks tomorrow.  If they do, the framers will be here first thing Monday morning to get busy!

This will be the back porch.  It doesn't look like it here, but it's fourteen feet wide and twelve feet across.  The sun sets over the back of the property, so we can sit out here and relax in the evenings and enjoy the sound of the wind blowing through the trees.  Ahh....



The front of the house.  There will be a porch here, too.


I walked the land tonight and picked the perfect spot for a bench and some flowers (the kind the deer won't eat) and maybe a hammock to swing in and read!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pouring concrete. (Day 2)

The big old cement mixing truck arived today.  And the boys and I totally missed it!  We had homeschool co-op, and learning about force and velocity, dissecting creatures, and practicing for the drama play next month are just a tiny bit more important, so we couldn't hang around watching a bunch of guys pour concrete into holes in the ground.  Luckily the hubby videotaped it so we could watch it later.  We're easily impressed by things like that.

Before the poured the cement, the bug man came out and sprayed all over the place so that termites can't (won't?) get up under the foundation.  We missed that, too. 


While the foundation guys were busy with the concrete, my multi-talented man tapped into the water line for a temporary spigot.  We have water!  Water and a port-o-potty!  And...


A front porch!



OK, so it's only the footing for what will be the front porch. 
But we're getting there!

No updates tomorrow since it's supposed ro rain.  The men will be back Friday to lay the block for the crawl space foundation and I'll take some more pictures then!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Can you dig it, baby? (Day 1)


Cause these guys sure can!



House building is underway!  Or, well, scraping out a place to PUT a house is underway. The men arrived with the tractor (backhoe? front loader?  super-dooper dirt scooper?)  and started leveling for the foundation of the house this morning.  The boys and I wanted to drive straight over there, pull up a concrete block, plop our butts down, and watch all day long but...

School, you know?

And napping baby.

So yeah, the hubby and his dad went out to supervise the digging (read that: talk and spit chewing tobacco on the ground)  and I will take the boys out around lunch time.  The Little Boss Man has already given his approval on the most important issues such as house location and such...


He picked a place for a tire swing and marked out an area for his four-wheeler track.  The big guys have staked out the trees they want to build their zip line and man-cave in.  They have big ideas for airsoft wars and games of "capture the flag" with their friends.  Can't wait. 


The Supervisory Crew of menfolk:



Big and Little Boss Men having a conference:


Digging & leveling:


Marking it up:

The "trenches" and holes are dug for the footers. 



And that's as far as I got before the Little Boss Man requested to come home and be rocked to sleep for a  nap. Tomorrow I'll update!