Tuesday, October 21, 2014

For I know the plans I have for you

Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

This passage of verses has found it's way to my mind many times on this journey called life. 
In late June we finalized plans with our builder. Since they were custom plans they had taken a bit longer.
Many of you have also asked about Jake. Jake finished school in May. He completed the diesel tech program at DMACC and earned his associates degree. Hi program was much more than just mechanical, which is why he continued in it. He took advanced welding, wiring and hydraulics classes as well, which fit in what he really wanted to do, because he had nothing to do with being  diesel tech, but rather to operate heavy equipment. In May a buddy of his told him about a company in Pleasant Hill, who was hiring. Miller the Driller had been bought out by Horizontal Boring Company, and they were now going by The Driller. So Jake started with them in May. He send us pictures like this occasionally. 
He spent most of the summer working out of state or far enough away in Iowa that he got used to Hotel life working 12+ hours a day, but it keeps him out of trouble and it has enabled him to get much more independent. He once told a college recruiter at our home that he wasn't sure about going away for college as he was not very good at "domestics" but now he does his own laundry, his own cooking, and dishes. He is totally domesticated..... 
Jake is college loan free. That is something big in this day and age. He has saved enough money to purchase a couple of toys. His company has a couple of projects they are working on closer to home for the winter, so he is enjoying an occasional hunt in Dad's new timber. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

June A Camper's life for Me.

We have had a number of people ask why we just didn't stay in our house and live with Jen and Grant while we were waiting for our house to be built, or why we did not rent a place, and why we chose to stay in our camper. Well, we did not stay with Jen and Grant, because we felt they needed to start making the home we had lived in theirs, and if we would have stayed, that just would not have been the case. Plus they were newly married, and there are enough problems with newly married coming together and this would have just added to the issues. We chose to stay in our camper, because we eventually wanted to move the camper down to our building site so that we could be there to work on what we needed to when we needed or wanted. My in-laws welcomed us to their yard. "temporarily". We thought temporarily meant a few weeks. A month or so at the most. WRONG.

Site where the house will go, starts to take shape
Most of Dan's time is spent trying to prepare the site for the home. With nothing else going on, this is about the only thing we could do, besides pray. Here is is preparing the drive to put drive fabric and rock on it. 

On occasion though we had great bonfires with friends and family 

On Rainy Saturday's we started shopping for finishes.

 We transplanted a little cedar tree that would have needed to be destroyed to a section we are going to landscape in front of the house. I named it Ralph. Ralph got a little brown, I'm not sure that he liked his new home, and if he will survive.

 So this year will be remembered for the abundance of rain. If you have ever built a home, it is not uncommon for it to be a bit muddy, but this year, it is known as crazy muddy. We could not even get into the property several times because the drive was dirt, and because of the rain, mud. We finally caught a dry spell, and were able to arrange to get a couple of loads of rock, but they could not deliver if it was muddy, as the trucks would tear the drive up. The day we ordered the rock, was not supposed to be rainy. BUT, it was, in Des Moines and the surrounding area north. But just south of us, it stayed dry all day. We had schedule the rock for 3:30. Dry in Pleasantville, although storm clouds were edging closer. We got the fabric all pulled out, and waited, and waited. 3:45 and we waited. Sprinkle, sprinkle, 4:00 sprinkle, sprinkle, light rain. 4:10 light rain, still waiting for the rock that was supposed to be here at 3:30 and at 4:15 in steady rain, it came.

Dan does not wait patiently or quietly

By the time the rock came the drive was pretty soaked, so the delivery guys pretty much had to drop the rock at the end of the drive for Dan. Dan then spent the next two hours on the tractor in the rain, moving the rock onto the drive.

Dan was completely soaked, and it wasn't exactly a warm day when we did this. But, you do what you have to do. And at least now, we could what we could get in if it was wet. Which was necessary, as it was wet, a lot, this summer.........

Finished entrance

More looking at fixtures. Dan just wants a stove big enough he can cook hunters breakfast on
     So this is our kitty Stache. When we first moved into the camper Stache had some problems adjusting. He found a place in the camper by our bed that was literally about 4 inches wide by 8 inches long and he would hide. If we came to the bed and talked to him and petted him, he would come out and see us and snuggle, but then go right back to the hiding spot. Little by little he adjusted, and here you see him, fully adjusted to camper life. He has another hiding spot under the couch. Dan was laying on our couch one day, and Stache popped his head up from behind the couch. It is the funnest thing to watch him getting this hiding spot. He basically goes head first into a hole and all you see is these feet in the air. He has put on a little weight int he camper. The kids think it war stress eating, we just think it is lack or exercise.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Saying Goodbye

During the wedding rehearsal my grandfather had gotten up on his own. He fell and fractured his hip. Jen was completely unaware of this until after the wedding. On Saturday we were told that Grandpa would either need surgery or would need to be placed in Hospice. My aunt and mother made the decision with Grandpa to allow the surgery. Keep in mind, Grandpa was 102 years old at the time, and had just suffered a heart attach, so surgery was very risky, but hospice was not for Grandpa, and they knew that and we supported that. From Saturday evening to Sunday and the next couple days each one of Grandpa's grand kids, with the exception of one, who was out of the country. Made time to go see Grandpa. They finally were able to preform the surgery on Tuesday. The surgeon said the at the break was fairly bad, but Grandpa made it through. Two days later though Grandpa went to be with the Lord.
On Wednesday of this same week, Jen and Grant were coming back from their honeymoon, and we needed to be out of the house. Through the past several days, I had taken a number of walks through the streets of this little town I had called home for 25 years. Through the process of 25 years I have met such amazing people. Some of these people I would occasionally take walks with or, would take regular walks with. One person was Nanci Herrera. Nanci and I had walked these streets through rain and snow, frigid temps and soaring heat. Nanci and I had met while I was working for Drake Headstart and she was providing day care for one of my students. We started walking early in the morning, and we continued for walking together until their family moved just outside of town. We would see each other every once and a while, and tell each other how much we missed walking together. One day when we ran into each other, and she told me she had moved back into town. We started walking again, and it was like we had never stopped. Walking with Nanci was always so much fun, because we looked at so many things the same way. We walked by unoccupied homes, and would sneak up to peek in windows. We would walk by other homes and imagine what they looked like on the inside, and the history the walls might have seen. We'd catch whiffs of someone doing some early morning laundry, and skies as they prepared to storm. About a year ago, Nanci and her husband Joe got an opportunity to move back to California, and to the family and friends they had left behind. At the time, Dan and I had been working on buying our place and were anticipating a move of our own. So on my last few days in town Nanci, I walked and took in so many of our sites. I miss our walks Nanci, and I miss you, but I am so glad you are back where you belong, and that we have Facebook to keep in contact with. Though Nanci, Jen and I found our "Cake lady" from her on out Kim Battani of "Kims Cakes".

 So many things I had to say good bye to, including the building my kids attended elementary in, and the building I had worked in for 5 years while with Headstart.

Last look at my classroom from the outside. 

Window of my classroom. It's now gone.

Mtchellville Elementary- The day the staff went in to demolish 

The view from the west. This part of the building is all new. 

  But, at the end of the week, just a week after my daughter was married, we said our final goodbyes to my grandpa, and this was the hardest goodbye of all. Good richly blessed several people with an amazing couple for years. At the funeral, my cousin Jeff told how he talked to grandpa about his impending surgery. He said "Grandpa you are in a win win situation and no matter what you are surrounded by love. If you wake up from surgery you will be surrounded by lot's of us who love you. and if you wake up in Heaven, you will wake up to see Jesus and Grandma Mary." There is something to be said by living your life where you loved ones "know" where you will spend your eternity.  There is a peace that cannot be explained.
My grandparents, Mary and Joe Shore and me at their 60th wedding anniversary. We lost Grandma a few months after this celebration

Grandpa and Aiden Gillespie
 100 Years Young!!

Aimee, Grandpa and Addie, and Aunt Joann at Jen's graduation party

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Big Day

Things in the past few weeks have been just a little crazy with work so I have been someone neglectful of this blog. I will attempt in the next few days to bring everyone up to speed.

An hour before the wedding rehearsal Jen and Grant were signing their closing papers for our house. They had had a few glitches in the process, and it took them a little longer than they had wanted. But everything went off without a hitch. I found out later that evening that my grandfather had slipped and fallen while we were at the rehearsal, and fractured his hip.
The next morning, we arrived at Talking Heads Salon.  The days events were going to be shared with a very special family, The Cummins. We met the Cummins years before with their three young daughters. Heather, Holly and Tiffany. Dan and Duanne had began hunting together a little bit, and then after the death of Dan's best friend and life long hunting partner, Andy; Duanne helped Dan get back to the field. Holly became a hair stylist, and did all of Jen's hair and make up, and Tiffany a photographer who took the wedding pictures. Heather became a nurse, but thankfully we did not need the nurse. I cannot imagine life without this family in our lives.We could also not have put this wedding together without the help of our dear wedding coordinator Denise Heilman Beirdon. We were so fortunate to have this lady as part of our wedding. God used her in many ways and she was such a blessing. Chuck as well, put so much into these two lives becoming one and in the future. Here are just a few pictures I took on this day. 

Holly's work from Talking Heads Salon in Grimes
Flower Girls/Cousins/Neices
Dotty at Hy-Vee in Altoona is the BEST!!