Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Internationally Bound!

There once lived two girls who had never ventured anywhere outside of the USA. They had traveled to many places within these boarders such as Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan,Washington D.C., and of course Disneyland. But they were now getting ready to go on their first international trip ;)

After months of saving up and many conversations on the subject, they settled on the plan to spend three weeks in Japan. 

They waited for the perfect time to buy their plane tickets and picked out a nice little hotel in Fukuoka city, where they would be landing. 

Their flight is scheduled to leave on the 2nd of February. Of course since travel is all part of the experience, they chose the flight that would give them an 11 hour layover in Seoul :)

They will be arriving in Fukuoka on the 4th of February, where they will get 4 days to spend some time with Ryusei, the young man who stayed at our home for a month last year. 

Then they will be spending two lovely weeks with these special people at their home in Nagasaki.

I am sure that these two girls will return with some stories to tell, many pictures to show and some wonderful memories to treasure!!!!
They're hoping to keep y'all updated a bit through this blog...but we'll see how that goes ;)

Needless to say, Kayleen and I are both so thrilled to be able to visit Japan; so thankful for these wonderful people and their hospitality, and thankful to the Lord for His provisions throughout all of our planning!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Contracting 101

It has long been dad's dream to build a shop where he could store his tools and and work on woodworking projects (among which would be some promised hope-chests ;)
It seemed like for a while, this dream was a long way off...

Then he finally decided if he didn't start now, it would never happen. 
So, plans were made.
One cold day in January, three people headed outside with wooden stakes, a tape measure, and hammer...they were going to stake out the dimensions for a barn.

At first, it was our all-too-ambitious Daddy's idea to build the barn himself. But it soon became obvious that we would never be able to get it done by the end of the year.

The barn! The topic of all conversations...countless meetings were held, numerous phone calls were made...till one day, we found ourselves in a licensing office picking up the plans for Dad's shop.

Of course the first drawing of the barn was to have been much larger then what the finished product ended up being. As the planning went on, it slowly decreased in size. 

Very soon after that, the days became filled with contractors coming and going and our house became a regular construction site. Leisel became Dad's #1 contractor, making all of the phone calls, setting up the meetings and dealing with all of the workers.

Each morning began with a meeting between Dad and Leisel, discussing the plans for the day, and each night ended with dad and her meeting in a little corner of the house and going over the progress made.

Pretty soon, it was time to put up the actual structure. 

Over the course of the next several months, we had huge trucks arriving at our house, delivering wood, laying concrete, and bringing supplies.

Throughout the building of the barn, Dad made sure that plenty of pictures were taken to document it's progress. Dad's shop was finally being built!

As it began to come together, we would take different trips out to the barn in the middle of the night to look it over. One night, Leisel, Cosette, and I penciled our names on a piece of roof sheeting.

The barn had come together beautifully over a period of a couple months and it was now time for the roof to go on.
Leisel, Cosette and I packed up our sleeping bags and pillow that night and headed out to the barn. We were going to spend the last night in there, before the roof was put on. Cosette placed her sleeping bag atop a stack of wood, and Leisel and I placed ours on the floor.
 The stars shown beautifully in the sky that night, and the crickets serenaded us. The cold just made us snuggle in even further under the covers. 
That morning, we woke up to the rooster's crow. There was dew all around us and covering our sleeping bags. We decided it might be best to make a pot of coffee and bring it out with us to help us brave the cold while we read our Bible's. The sun was coming up over the hills in brilliant hues of pink and the air carried with it the scent of fresh country fields. 

We had gotten rather used to people constantly being at our house. Our builders had a fresh batch of cookies or brownies baked for them daily. When it came time for their last day, we all gathered outside to take a picture together.

Austin had become best buddies with our builders and had taken every opportunity to talk with them over their breaks. When it came time for them to clean up at the end of a day, Austin was there to help them.

The barn still waits to be filled with tools so that dad can begin woodworking again.

It was a great controversial subject for a while as to whether the barn was to be red or brown (the color of the house.) It was Dad's opinion against nine of us...it being his barn, Dad won.