Wednesday, July 1, 2015

14th Anniversary at our Little Brown House

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15

It was 14 years ago that we woke up for the first time in our new home. It was a dream come true!

We had prayed for months for a little rancher in the country, close to State Farm, most preferably in Downs. We also wanted the land to remind us of our home in Virginia; in other words to have trees, lots of trees! It was important that it be affordable, yet large enough in size to fit our  recently expanded family of nine comfortably. I personally added to our prayers that it would have lilac bushes and a long driveway!

It seemed like an impossible prayer list to be filled, but we believed God!

Bob learned of property in Downs from a co-worker who learned of it from his barber. The barber's girlfriend was selling-by-owner at tax value. Bob called the number he was given and requested a viewing of the house.

We had already been through enumerable homes with our realtor. Many were 'ok', but none fit our entire prayer list.

Until that wonderful day we drove into a cul-de-sac and right up a rather long driveway to see a little brown house nestled on 5.97 acres of land surrounded by trees, lots of trees!

We were early so we walked around the back of the property first. It was everything we had hoped and prayed for, including not just one but 4 lilac bushes! 

But what convinced me this was 'home', as my husband was already convinced because of the yard, was when we came around the house and I got a good look at the front doors. I knew deep in my soul that this was the place the Lord had prepared for us!

As we toured the inside of the house, it was quite evident that this 1976 house needed a ton of work to update it and to make it 'ours'. But we also knew in our hearts that it was 'home' and by Providence, in answer to all of our prayers, we moved in on June 30, 2001! 

As mentioned there was a lot of work to be done and we tackled it as we do a family!

Our first night home, was spent in the living room to comfort the children with the new sights and sounds of the house. Plus we wanted to rip-up all the carpet in the bedrooms before moving everyone in to theirs.


Because of all the work we were going to do on the house, we had put our stuff in storage. However, we did have one bit of unloading we could do...the fort Gramma and Papa gave us.

The yard was so big, Dad allowed Josh to drive the van around to the front of the house with Garrison as co-pilot!
Meanwhile, the girls enjoy climbing!

The gutting, stripping, ripping, sweat and tears began in earnest with everyone pulling their weight; except for these two who enjoyed their huge backyard.

All the work was a family team effort. I only wish I had taken more photos. Here are the few we did take:





When not working, the children would enjoy some video entertainment in the gutted living room.
The day the hardwood floors were to be installed we had a little dedication ceremony of the house to the Lord at the front door. We wrote the verse Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" on the subflooring and then signed all of our names.


The renovations continued, including all new windows, until the end of July when our furniture and things came out of storage. There was still work left to be done, but here are some before and after photos.
The living room before:



The kitchen before:


Over the next year we would finish the trimming and painting as well as add an addition of a laundry room and master bedroom.
And over the next 14 years.....
Children would come and go.
circa 2007
And more children would come and stay.
circa 2015
This Little Brown House has seen much joy and sorrow, love and anger, as well as sin and repentance. But it has always been where we have faithful learned about the Lord and served Him - our Shiloh!
He blesses the home of the just.
Proverbs 3:33

Monday, September 9, 2013

Apples to Applesauce 2013

 From Me is thy fruit found.
Hosea 14:8

Each year, our four apple trees provide us with abundance fruit.
And this year was no different; although, we had a bumper crop!

One of our favorite things, by which to preserve this gift from the Lord,
is to make applesauce. 

It all begins with 'apple-picking'.

In order to reach the choicer fruit up in the top, some 'contriving' had to be done with the ladders.

It worked great with team effort...

one holds the ladder, one picks the fruit then drops it down, one catches and tosses to one closer to the bucket.

These two worked hard and enjoyed their 'treat' early. 
(Actually, they were picking apples that were too small,
so we gave them something else to do. :-)

The guys moved to another tree...
and took turns at the top...

while the girls worked on a tree whose branches were bending to the ground from the weight of the apples.

The branches began to raise as the apples came off.

Our very busy crew!

Before long it was all finished. 

A well rewarded treat after hard work.

The ingredients include only these...

....and these!

It is also a very simple process.
One washes...

the rest cut and slice...
this year two little ones look on...until the roaster is full.

This over-full roaster will only be half-full once the apples
have cooked for 6-7 hours with a few stirrings.

The final process...The Processor! 

Loaded into wide mouth quart size jars to cool then freeze.  

From Apples...

to Applesauce!

You can look here for a more detailed instruction on how to make our Applesauce.

To the glory of God!