Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today I finally finished all the Wilton Courses available! I finished the Fondant and Gumpaste course tonight and here's my little cake:I was trying to mimic a watercolor painting I found online. Tried a different technique on the fondant then we had learned. I like it. Hope you do too!

In move-related news, Phil was able to reach his detailer today he's being transferred to another detailer to take care of this new set of orders. Hopefully we will have the new set of orders in hand a week or two!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring!... well, kinda

Spring is finally starting to be around... kinda. We had probably one week of warm before this shocking cold again. In spite of that, my daffodils have started to peek out. The boys are very excited about these new little decorations.

Even though it's cold, we're still enjoying soccer enthusiastically! Josh smiles probably the entire time through practice and lets me know he doesn't want to leave with equal enthusiasm. Jeremiah would much rather be on the field with the big kids, but we've been able to find a few distractions for him to help pass the time.

In other news, our orders to the pre-commissioned ship have been canceled. We are in the process now of deciding what to do next instead. We're leaning toward Virginia still but for a different position. I'll post more about it later when we know more for sure. In the mean time, please be praying for us as we are again in the place of having to make big decisions in a short time frame.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cold Toes and Warm Cookies

As you might have guessed, things around here have been a little crazy and even a bit overwhelming this last week as we figure out how to live life and get things done under these new circumstances. Lots happened yesterday! Phil got his cast on finally! Just four to six weeks from now he'll be a free man and will probably never let me drive him anywhere ever again! For the record, it rained a lot on Friday, so... sorry there's mud on the floor... and the Mickey is totally Jeremiah!
Somewhere along the way we finally got Phil's MTS certificate, so thought you might like to see it.
We also found out from our team of experts on Friday that we still have a lot of work ahead of us with the garage. They will lend us the necessary ladders to get the rest down and the new stuff up, but since the building is so big we'll have to use that trailer again just to get the ladders here! On top of that there will be a considerable amount of window work and more supplies to get before we can even start putting up the new siding. The unfortunate part with all this is we're expecting another week of pretty cool weather which may slow progress a bit.
We were at least able to have some friends over Friday night and stare at the building a while. It at least looks like progress has been made at least!
This morning was Josh's first actual soccer game. It was also freezing cold and windy enough to blow Jeremiah over. With two layers of sweatshirt and Daddy's beanie (it was all we had in the truck) we survived with little to no frostbite and got a very proud son to show for it! The score for this first game was 0-0 (not that we're keeping track, of course.) The entire game consisted of 10-12 kids running in a group trying very hard to get a kick in at one little soccer ball. Josh got to throw the ball in once, at least!
Last bit for now is Joshua drooling over cookies we made last night. I started up a blog mostly for my own purposes to log my favorite recipes with pictures of them for future reference, so I went to take pictures of a cookie recipe that's been a big hit here... and this is what I ended up with...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Step Forward and a Step Back

Today Phil was brought home from work by Eric (seen in next picture down, blue shirt) who then helped make more progress on the garage. This was a huge blessing to us since I was already skipping work to take Phil to his podiatrist appointment at 9. The big step forward is that this entire wall of the garage is done!! The sliding door is down and every single piece of the old stuff is gone! Thanks so much, Eric!!
The step back happened at the doctor's when we found out that because of Phil's foot still being so swollen, they still can't put the permanent cast on it. So now we need to get the swelling to go down and maybe when he goes back on Friday they'll put a permanent cast on... which means 4-6 weeks from then he'll be getting it off. This poses all sorts of problems and difficulties, the most important of which is the timing of being able to list the house. I'm trying hard to sit back and trust that this is all for the best and God has lead us to this point just like all the others we've been through, but it's certainly not easy to understand. We're hanging in there so far. The help we've gotten from our friends has been a huge help and my job being understanding about me not being able to be there has really taken the stress level down a notch! Please be praying for us as we maneuver these waters each day trying to make this all work.
On a side note, doesn't the garage look like it's straight out of an old western now?? Accidentally had the camera still on the B&W setting when I went to take this picture, but love how it ended up! Yehaw!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Just a few updates...

We were able to borrow a trailer from someone in the church to go and get the siding and bring it back home yesterday. John Bychowski was so much help! We put a trailer onto the truck for the first time ever (which I had absolutely no idea how to do!). Our friend Andy helped drive the truck (since I was completely certain that if I drove I would hit someone or something or get it stuck somewhere). The trip was uneventful for the most part and now the siding is waiting patiently to find a new home on the sides of our garage.
As for Phil we're waiting for the podiatrist to call so we can get Phil in sometime to have it looked at. His LPO called today and arranged to have Phil work the mid-shift. That won't be a lot of fun, but that means I can drive him down at night and he'll have someone to drive him home so I won't have to load the boys up to go get him. The one who is bringing him home has even offered to spend some time on the garage when he brings him home. It's going to be very interesting few weeks trying to just get through regular life stuff, not to mention the big projects we have in the works, so please be praying for us!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Getting by with a Little Help from Our Friends

With Phillipp still laid up because of his foot we had a couple friends come today to help out with the garage project. They got so much done and were only here a couple hours! We'll have some more help tomorrow. I'll still have to go get the new siding to put on soon, but it's been so much work just getting the old stuff off! Thanks so much, guys (if you ever read this:P).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Plans of Mice and Men...

Today was a day of surprises, I guess. We'll start with the biggest one and work our way back. Phillipp broke his foot... kinda. He rolled his ankle and called me to tell me so while I was out running errands with the boys. He has a 1 inch fracture is about as much as we know. They told him if he puts any weight on it he will break it. Good thing he had been trying to walk on it before, huh? We will know more after he goes in again tomorrow morning whether he'll be in a permanent cast or not. I never thought I'd ever say this but our truck is too small! I went and spent a small fortune on siding for the garage today and pulled around to load it on the truck only to find it was a foot or so too long (even with a flag) to drive home with in the back of our truck. There was thing we could do to get it home that wasn't really likely to break it along the way. Fortunately we have a really awesome church family here that has told me they'll help us go get our siding from Gurnee and bring it home. Now to get finish getting that old stuff off and to the dump so we can work on getting the new stuff on. Trust, me for these reasons and more we really did consider having someone else do it, but we just flat out can't afford to do it that way. I'd just like to point out that in light of all this how great of timing this is for Phil's foot to have failed him! Neither of us are pleased about that.
Oh and not so much a surprise, but I'm finally done with our back porch/ sun room. The hardware part of it has been done for a month or so but I finally found the finishing touch for the decor out there. Hope you like it as much as I do. Josh asks to eat breakfast out there every morning now!
So with all that said and done, please be praying for us! We were hoping to list the house in just a couple weeks but have two major projects that have to be finished before then and with these recent developments, it seems like that might just be plain impossible. Pray that we will have patience and trust with all this. Oh and if you want to come help work on the siding or basement projects, you are more then welcome! I've found tearing the siding off actually releases a lot of stress and aggression. You're more then welcome to try it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Little Cake and a Little Boy

This is my next to last cake. It's a sample of three different new techniques I learned tonight. The left is supposed to look like a piece of cloth draped around. The center is called a handkerchief. You'd make probably 7 more of these to cover the entire top. The one on the far right is more like ribbons. You can do the garland look and then the bottom is folded around. I think they all look really cool in their own ways. My very last cake for all the classes will be in 2 weeks.
Grabbed this picture of Jeremiah earlier that I love, so I thought I'd share. He definitely got Daddy's eyes.

While we're working on updates, Jeremiah said his first word today! He looked at the cake I was putting on the board to get ready for tonight and very carefully said "k..ake.." Later when we were getting ready to go he pulled "sek" out of his newfound vocabulary (referring to the sock I was presently putting on his foot.) It's nice to have a little more then "Dada" and "this." We'll see how long it takes him to catch up to Josh now!

In the Name of Progress

With LOTS of Phil's help and a beautiful day, we actually got a lot done! Phil worked this morning and I this afternoon. Out of 4 sides, one is stripped as far as we can get it. This is the first time all year it's been over 70! I actually got a teensie bit tan out there today. OH, and the last few rows are left so far because we don't own a ladder tall enough to get any higher! Need to try and get a bit more tore down before dinner and rushing out the door for my cake class tonight. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Finally some progress out here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And the Walls Come a Tumblin' Down

Josh says "you need to finish ripping the wall down." Which I find ironic considering his name and my favorite old choir song, "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho." Might not be the actual title, but you get the idea. So yesterday we got our permit and promptly went to work tearing up the ugly ugly garage we bought when we purchased this house. Today during nap time I got a bit more work done and have filled our garbage to the brim with siding!
I have touched more dead bugs today then I'd like to admit, but got a sizable portion taken down. I did also find out that it would be far cheaper for us to haul all the siding in our truck to the dump then pay for a dumpster to be delivered! Thank God (literally) for our truck! Looks like we have quite a bit to do this weekend! Hopefully we can get another friend with a truck to go with us (hint hint Matt;) ) since it will cost us less that way. Either way it looks like our siding project that has always seemed to daunting is starting to become doable one step at a time! Talked to the realtor yesterday and her reaffirmed the necessity of completing this project before listing, so please be praying for us with all this work we have ahead!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Course 3 Final Cake

I have to admit, I'm somewhat impressed with myself. A couple months ago I would have never attempted something like this! This is my final cake from Course 3 which I completed last night and set up this morning. I had to borrow a friend's camera since my battery was dead, but you get the idea. This is a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate buttercream and dots to carry the theme from the girls retreat this weekend here at our church called Meant for More. There are more then 140 women and girls signed up and we're so excited around here! Please be praying for the conference this weekend. I think it's going to make a huge impact on these girls!!
On a personal note, I've already started my 4th and final course from the Wilton series this week. 3 weeks left and I'm done! I still have two cakes left to make before then, so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's Done!

Actually it's two different things that are done. Phil passed his board for his MTS today so that means we're done with it. Months and months later after countless hours of work and study it's finally over. No more worries about not getting it done in time or not passing. It was such a relief this morning!
Secondly, the floor is done. It's not even sticky anymore. Tomorrow we can start moving furniture back in place and actually walk on it. It will still need to cure for 2 weeks so we'll have to be gentle on it and can't move the rugs back, but simply being able to walk through our own house will be a huge blessing! In the mean time, here are the "after" shots for now:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Busy Weekend!

This weekend was one of studying and soccer, birthday parties and dedications... not to mention a huge flooring project underway! Josh LOVED soccer. We all had a great time at our little friend, Kaylee's, party. Jeremiah got the most excited when he got some help playing basketball. I have never seen a smile so big! The last coat of seal goes down on the floor tomorrow but we can't put furniture back until Wednesday. It should be another crazy week for us, but at least this project will be done! Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Start of Something New

Here are the "before" pictures to the latest big project (and the most expensive). After lots of hard work and help from a friend (thanks, Jake!) all our furniture is elsewhere in the house and as I write the hardwood downstairs is being sanded and stained. Tomorrow it will be sealed. In the mean time the 4 of us are stuck upstairs trying to entertain ourselves in cramped quarters. It will be one of the major projects we needed to do in the house completed, but it's going to be a long few days before we can move all the furniture back! We still have all our regular things to do (work, doctor's appointments and a cake class to prepare for). From here on out we're going to have to walk around the outside of our house to use the kitchen for anything. It will be an adventure trying to figure all of it out!


Another hint captured just last night that Spring really might be coming!