Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Barnwood Projects

Sooo..remember that old barn we tore down back in November? 
Well, it has been reduced to this...
After weeks,  months of it taking up all of the room in our big 3 car garage/shop, it finally came to the point where more organization HAD to happen.  Spring is here and it was time to dig out our lawn mower from the piles of rubble around it.  A few weeks ago, Brad and I spent a whole Saturday out in the garage sorting and stacking it all up.  I love watching my husband work.  He goes to great lengths to try and explain something to me about his ideas for it all but it doesn't usually sink in till I actually SEE it.  When he told me his plan for stacking all of this stuff, I went along with it, most of the time thinking he was nuts and that this was never going to work.  But work it did, and splendidly too! 

So now that everything is organized it is so much fun to work out there.  Yes, there is still a GIANT pile of the bigger timbers that we really have nowhere to go with, but for now, we can at least move out there.  Oh, and the tractor is out which is a very good thing.  Our lawn is in dire need of some grooming.

Brad's been spending lots of time out there and I join him whenever I can.  We've been trying to come up with all kinds of things to make with this ole wood.  Some of the ideas came from online sites and some of it is stuff we just came up with!

We salvaged a trap door from the barn and weren't sure what to do with it.  After more thought we decided it would make an excellent lid to a chest.  This was the result.  I so love it but there is no room in my house for it.  It can be yours for $100.00!
We also made a BUNCH of these ladders out of the old tobacco lath that was on the roof.  According to sites we visited, they are a hot item!  You may own one for $5.00!

We also made "baskets" and candle boxes.  I think these baskets would look great with pansies or summer flowers planted in them  $5.00 if you want either one of these. 

I had been wanting to make some signs with some of the siding.  For now I made a bunch like this , but want to get a stencil to make the letters a little more uniform.  I have 2 of these signs around our house here and LOVE them!  One can be yours for $5.00!
Brad also made signs like this for our kids room (more coming later on that).  I painted the letters A, B,C on them and simply love how it turned out!

There are still lots of doors.  We're thinking of making a table with one of them.  I have heard they are in high demand, I just don't now how to connect with the right buyers...
There are also a few of these cool pieces that were part of the frames above the doors/windows.  I think they would look great with WELCOME on them or even a last name.

If you would like to custom order something, or if you've got any ideas of things we could make, let me know!  We're also looking into selling some things wholesale to a shop somewhere.  Also, if you want to buy some wood to make your own thing, we will give you a great deal!  For now, if you have a hard time getting ahold of us, guess where we'll be?!  Hubby's in the middle of making a great toybox for all kinds of kids toys.  Only problem is that it's turning out to be bigger than I thought it would be so we may have to sell it.  It's the size of a traditional like cedar chest but I was hoping for something a little smaller.  We'll see if I can bear to part with it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grief...Once Again

Grief..this word is becoming all too real to me.  It seems like there has been so much of it in my life lately. 

Monday, April 4th, something prompted me to take a pregnancy test.  Maybe it was the fact that I was feeling yucky, maybe it was the fact that a week before, my "period" had only lasted 1 day, I don't know.  But finally, I took one.  I did my duty, left it lay on the sink and went about my morning chores.  Then I remembered...and went to look.  There before my eyes were 2, yes 2, pink lines.  So many times in the past year there had been only 1 line and I just thought it would be that way again.  I burst into tears and left a message on my hubby's phone.  He only gets his calls at break and lunch time so I knew it would be awhile before he called me back. Then I called my doctor's office and the nurse asked me if it was a test from the Dollar Store.  Why yes, it was.  I had gotten so tired of spending so much money on test after test, so I had bought a bunch at the dollar store.  She told me that sometimes they are not as reliable and advised me to go and get another test.  So I jetted off to Wal-Mart and bought a pack of 3.  Came home, did my thing again and right before my eyes 2 pink lines shot up.  My heart skipped a beat.  I still had not been able to talk to Brad but had been on the phone with my sister.  She was about as delighted as I was and thrilled to pieces.  I was a little worried that I had been bleeding about a week before but honestly thought that things would be ok.  My doctor wanted to see me as soon as possible so we set up an appointment for the next morning.  In the meantime she had me come in and do bloodwork to see where my levels were and also to check my progesterone level.  The rest of the day I didn't do too much other than smile! 

Tuesday morning as soon as my doctor walked into the room I could tell something was wrong.  I don't really remember exactly what she started out with but something like..."I'm so sorry, but things don't look good".  She said my HCG levels were way low (142) and my progesterone level was 1.2.  Had it been a healthy pregnancy my HCG levels should have been in the thousands and my progesterone level a LOT higher.  I sat there numb, not knowing what to say and think.  I honestly thought she would tell me that things are looking good and get this..I even had myself thinking maybe she would tell me that I was like 12 weeks along!!   Once again, my hopes and dreams were dashed in an instant.  She set up an appointment for bloodwork again in a few days and sent me on my way. 

I got in my car and the tears came in torrents.  I couldn't believe this was happening again.  When I got home, I went straight to bed and just cried for a while.  Tuesdays are the days I work at the auction so I decided to go, hoping maybe I could block it from my mind for a while.  WRONG.  I lasted about 2 hours before nearly breaking into tears a few times.  Thankfully, the people I work for are very understanding.  The next 2 days were spent on the recliner.  My heart was broken.  It;s hard to explain how I felt towards God.  Not really angry...just kinda offended that he didn't see our prayers for a baby as one to answer in the way we wanted.  Evenings when Brad came home from work he would just hold me as I cried and said over and over again about how sad I was.   Speaking of Brad....he has been amazing through all of this.  He has been so strong and yet crying with me.  Yet, there was a peace that wasn't there with the other 2 losses we had been through.  It's like we have so come to the place that we honestly want God's best for our lives.  That doesn't really make things any easier though.  I knew that if I didn't let myself grieve, be angry, sad etc...that one day it would be even harder to work through.  So for 2 days I did just that, and felt I was ready to move on.

Thursday morning I had another appointment for bloodwork and also a meeting with one of the doctors.  He refered me to a specialist and said that we will wait for my numbers to go back to zero and then their office would set up an appointment for me.  Thursday afternoon, his nurse called telling me that my numbers had gone up.  I was in total shock again.  WHAT?  It seemed like some kind of cruel joke.  It had been hard for me to believe that I was miscarrying because with my other 2 there had been sooo much pain and blood.  This time, it was just a day or 2 and nothing painful at all.  I had thought that maybe there was some blood there from implantation or something, but had also accepted the fact that from the looks of things, it was actually happening or had already happened.  So when the report came back I was shocked.  We thought maybe it could be that I was only a few days pregnant but had indeed miscarried one before.  We didn't know what was going on.  So it was back to the recliner for me with orders to come in for more bloodwork in a few days.

Meanwhile that Friday we got a call from our foster care agency wondering if we would take in 2 brothers.  A 10 month old and a 2 1/2 year old.  We talked about it but knew that with everything going on with me it just wasn't good timing.  I wouldn't have been able to care for them the first few days and I just didn't want to put them through that.  We said "No" but now I wish we would've taken them!  Hopefully we'll get another call before too  long.

Monday morning found me back at the doctors office.  By the way, I hate doing bloodwork.  They always have a hard time finding a good vein from me.  The nurse told me to call back around 2 to get the results.  When I called back, they informed me that my numbers were at 42.  So it definitely was a miscarriage.  I cried all over again.  The doctor talked to me about all kinds of things and was very patient in answering all of my questions.  We spent about 25 minutes on the phone.  When I got off of the phone, it was almost a sense of relief in a way.  It had been so hard for me to believe that things could actually be ok after all and I kinda knew in my gut that things wouldn't turn out right but it still was the finality of it all.

Yesterday I had bloodwork once again and my numbers are now at -1.  We plan on seeing a specialist to see what could be causing this.  Now that it is my 3rd miscarriage it is considered more of a diagnosis. "Habitual Aborter" is the word they use.  Sounds awful.  I hate the word ABORTION and it almost feels like that diagnosis makes me and my body an abortion machine.  From research I've done I am almost positive that it is a progesterone issue and from what I hear that is a pretty easy "fix". 

When I tell people that I am at peace with everything they question whether I am sincere.  I love being challenged like that, but I can't explain the peace that I have.  As much as I would love to be pregnant and bear a child from the fruit of my husband and I, I honestly feel like I have left it go.  That doesn't mean that there haven't been times when I am sad or cry or get angry.  We have been surrounded by SO many family and friends who have been praying for us and believing with us.  Alot of times these past few weeks I felt too angry and weak to pray and it felt so good to know there were people "standing in the gap" for us.  THANK YOU.  Yes, it still hits me and affects me, but honestly under it all, I feel carried and just at peace...

Monday, April 4, 2011


This 4 letter word used to have such a grip on me.  But now, through a series of God teaching me things in all kinds of ways, I feel like, for the most part, I have conquered it.  Almost 2 years ago, Brad and I did the Take Back Your Life Seminar.  The session on fear hit me hard.  Then, last year in Sunday School, I was part of a great group of women who shared openly with each other.  One of the books we studied was called So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.  I learned so many valuable truths through this class.  Insecurity is often fear based.  Brad has helped me with so many of my fears, by praying through them with me and gently correcting me.

But then there are nights like last night.  Out of nowhere, fear comes back.  Brad and I were laying in bed just chatting when all of a sudden I started sobbing.  That familiar thing called FEAR was gripping me so hard.  All I could think about was..."What if Brad would die".  That seems to be one of my biggest fears.  I think alot of my married friends feel the same way.  I couldn't control myself and Brad just held me as I cried.  He had no idea why I was crying until I finally gathered myself and told him what was going on.  I am so so blessed with such a patient loving husband.  He left me cry for a while.  And then, we prayed together, holding onto each other as hard as we could.   He prayed for me and my fears and I prayed and gave it all over to God once again.  I could physically feel relief after I gave it all up again.  The hardest thing to pray is that "I place my husband into your hands, Lord".  Yes, I pray for his physical safety, but in the end, I need to place him once again into the hands of his maker. 

Love is such a scary thing in a way.  It makes you feel so vulnerable to love someone so much.  In the book So Long Insecurity one paragraph goes like this...

     "I have always been afraid of losing my most cherished loved one.  When giving way to particularly advanced forms of self torment, I have even pictured myself at their caskets, (morbid, I know, but don't try to tell me you haven't done it).  But I never once pictured myself several years later, back on my feet to the Glory of God, heart sore and scarred, but pouring my life into hurting people.  Helping other people get through what I've gone through is redemption to me.  It's the only way on earth to plunder the pain."

This paragraph so says it exactly.  Yup, I have done that, and did again last night.  My mind was filled with thoughts like...what would my future look like without him, there's no way I could move on, what would I do with the house.  My head was spinning with fears that are not even founded.  What a good feeling though to know that God is in control.  Imagine trying to control the world and all within it.  As much as I like to be in control of things it feels so much better to give it all over to the one who knows best.

After praying, talking through things and connecting with my husband again...that big ole fear again took a hike!  I'm learning how to work though the fears in my life but am so thankful that they don't come around as often anymore!

This morning, things looked brighter!  There was a sweet note waiting on the counter from my husband, thanking me for all that I do for him and letting me know that I will be in his thoughts all day!  I had also gone out to the kitchen after Brad was asleep last night and stuck one in his lunch box so I thought it was kinda neat that we had each written notes to the other without knowing it. 

It feels like Spring is here to stay...the windows are wide open, birds are singing and my heart is at peace...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ohhhh Reuben

Ok so before you start assuming there's a new man by the name of Reuben in my life...think again!  The only man in my life is my hubby dear!  Well..other than my dad and brothers and..ok you get the drift. 

So the sandwich Reuben always kinda grossed me out.  Then I discovered I LOVE sauerkraut and then one day when my hubby and I were out to eat, he ordered a Reuben.  When his sandwich came I persuaded him to let me try it.  OH MY WORD.  It was SO yummy!  Now, it's one of my favorite things to eat. 

A few months ago I came across a recipe for Reuben Casserole and thought I had to try it.  It was delish.  Last week, my hubby said "Hey, sometime when you need an idea for supper, make that good Reuben Casserole again".  I LOVE when he does that.  So often I ask him what I should make and he says..."Whatever you make, is absolutely fine with me".  I love that he's not picky and eats anything I make, but sometimes it would be good to know if he's hungry for anything in particular.  Since he suggested it, it went right on my menu plan.  Ok, in reality I don't have a menu plan per say but would love to be that organized.  But I do kinda plan them in my head.
Here's the recipe.  Super simple and so so yummy!

Spread a 2lb bag of sauerkraut (rinsed and drained) in bottom of lightly greased 9 X 13 pan

Put a layer of corned beef on top of sauerkraut

Spread dressing on this

Layer of swiss cheese

Scatter buttered Rye bread cubes over the cheese. 

Bake at 350* for about a half hour-45 minutes

My mom has been saying that they want to come for supper one of these nights so I called her and asked if they like Reubens.  She was totally into it, so we had guests for supper tonight.

I also made 2 pies.  Lemon sponge and a chocloate chess pie.  They were both so good and I was a teeny bit proud of myself! : )
This is all that was left of the Reuben Casserole by the end of the night.  Everyone loved it! 

2 lb. bag or can of sauerkraut
1lb. cooked corned beef, sliced thin
1 cup Thousand Island Dressing
1lb.  Baby Swiss Cheese (thick slices)
12 slices Rye bread, buttered and cubed.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Rinse and drain the sauerkraut.  Spread on bottom of pan.
Layer the corned beef evenly over kraut
Spread the dressing over the beef, top with cheese slices
Scatter the bread cubes over the cheese.  Press down in pan

Bake at 350* until heated through, about 35-50 minutes.