As you now know, we have a “brand new fixer-upper” house on our hands! We are totally loving life in our new home!!! We made the decision the first week of December to put the bigger projects on hold until after Christmas. We just really wanted the entire season to be a major celebration with Christ, our family, and our friends so we could truly praise Him for all He provided for our family. Going into 2014, we never would have believed how it would end…selling what we believed to be our dream house and going on to make a purchase solely with the equity pulled out from that house for our new home. We knew clearly the challenge that was presented to us when presented with that final decision, but we also knew that we had little choice at that point (or desire, really) to limit God’s great power. Well, we clearly see, feel, and experience this amazing miracle on a daily basis from the moment we sold the other house (just a couple days after listing it) to finding this one (just 3 weeks before everyone anticipated us to be essentially homeless) right up to this present day. Brian held tight to his belief we were not to lease an apartment, and our only “plan B” was a hotel if we could not find another home in time. However, our God is NEVER late!!! We went directly from one house to the other.
The exciting part is that the surprises keep coming! On Christmas eve, we made a discovery that we had a fully operational gas log in our fireplace. Our dream was to save up to purchase a gas log in the future (hundreds to buy and install the size needed for this giant fireplace). So, we opened the glass doors, moved back the iron curtains to place a clean burning log into the fireplace, and discovered the most beautiful sight we ever could have beheld!!!
It didn’t burn totally even for the first couple of days, but now it looks so real and gorgeous that we have had it running every single day since its discovery! Our Living Room has become a precious quiet and restful place. Even our kids feel the serene quiet of it as I often discover them quietly sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace doing a floor puzzle or looking through a book instead of in the Den watching TV. What a treasured gift, indeed!
So, our Christmas was truly special. We had so very much to be thankful for. We pretty much did just one main very special gift for each of the kids, Lucy and Chris had a couple of extra little things to go with their main gift. However, not one of the kids was disappointed at any part of how we did Christmas this year. As a matter of fact, they seemed far more happy and content with how simple we made it all this year than I can remember them being in previous years. Our focus was strongly where it belonged…on whose birthday we were celebrating. Our focus was also strongly on how fortunate we were simply to have this place to call home.
So, moving on…we are now into 2015, and the many projects are not going to do themselves. Our first and most important agenda was to gain some sort of accessibility for the two wheel chairs to pass that giant step that extends from in front of the front door all the way over to the hallway…essentially blocking the wheelchairs from getting to the hallway, bathroom, or the office (our 4th bedroom) area.
So, Brian rented a jackhammer for a day on the first week of January…and the result was that he blasted out enough of the concrete to fit the chairs through to the hallway and essential areas, for now. He will revisit this project in the future when we get some of the other vital areas started.
On to the next vital necessity…a bathroom that the wheel chairs can actually enter. The kids bathroom is wonderful with double sinks, built-in cabinets, a separate room for the tub and toilet, etc. It also had a very narrow door, and a hall-like layout. The chairs could never even get near the sinks let alone the tub area. So, Brian got out his handy-dandy sledge-hammer, and got all his frustrations of life out on that wonderful wall between the hallway and bathroom. The process is as follows:
Chris greatly enjoyed this therapy session right alongside of dad! Here are the results…so far:
Our poor dog was hiding under the desk the entire time…
The plan is to completely customize the cabinets, sinks, counters, and tub/toilet area (which will become a shower and toilet area). This wall was a weight-bearing wall, so he will build a pillar and remove the studs. Once he cleans up this area as much as he can, and finishes reconstructing the plumbing and electric, he will move on once again before completing it fully. Our den is “raised”. The wheelchairs do not have access to this room at all just now. So, I will finish painting while he constructs a ramp going in.
Flooring throughout the house is a plan for much further on. We are trying to refrain from ripping up as many of the carpets as we can until we are ready to start flooring. However, some areas were just too hard to keep. We are slowly, but surely, moving on through this house and turning it into our brand-new fixer-upper “Dream House”. It will have all of our dreams within its very walls. The kids will have essential roles in bringing it all together as they work alongside of us in the process. They will discover the beauty that can come from our hands through the love of our Lord! He is building a new dream within our family, and we are anticipating the excitement as it all unfolds over the coming years. An old chapter has closed, and a new one has only just begun.