Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Round here

Just before school started,
Dan's mom came over from Orange Beach
with his sister's kids and took them all to ice cream and a movie.
Fun times!

Dan took a day off just before school started,
and we spent the day at Big Kahuna's for one last hurrah!

I wrote a post on Facebook a few days before school started,
and it went viral-ish.
As of today, it has around 84,000 shares, and 6,000 comments.
Lots and LOTS of positive comments from teachers;
interestingly enough,
most of the negative comments came from parents 
grumbling about buying supplies.  Fascinating, really.

Pepper wasn't quite sure what to do with herself when the kids went back to school;
I think she's in recovery mode!
She's spent a lot of time doing this:

Since we started back to school,
Wednesdays have become our date days.
It's Dan's long day at church,
so he takes a break for about an hour for dinner,
and we split up with the kids for dinner.
One night he takes Lana and I take Tucker,
and then the next week, we switch.
We are absolutely loving this one on one time with the kiddos,
and we find we have to be intentional with it on our calendar like this 
or it doesn't happen!

I love when he is creative and uses his imagination.
This time backfired, though: 
he forgot to clean it up, and we wound up with fruit flies.  Ugh!

Tucker started playing flag football at Hillcrest.
His coaches are fantastic,
and the best player on the team is a girl!  
Loving it!

At practice one evening,
we looked over and found Dan & Dustin had moved all the way over to another set of bleachers to talk.  We teased them, but I don't have words for how thankful I am that they are friends and partners in ministry.

Tucker had his vision rechecked,
and it turns out he doesn't need his glasses anymore!
He was so excited to give them to his penguin.

Our kids like to listen to podcasts as much as we do!  :) 

The night before Lana moved up from Kids Ministry to Student Ministry,
Dan sat at the table for hours, and wrote her a letter that I still haven't read.
I wonder if she'll ever know how blessed she is to have a daddy like him.
We tucked the letter inside a new Study Bible,
and prayed for her time in Student Ministry to be profitable in every way.

This little pipsqueak has stolen our hearts - 
we love to watch him and hold him and give him treats.
Pepper is the only one who isn't completely enamored with him: Pepper and Pip

I've been training for a marathon with some friends,
and finally broke the 5 mile mark that has been a block for me for so long!
My time isn't great, but I did it!

Lana's first Sunday morning in student ministry.
She insisted on walking down by herself!

The night before school started,
Tucker started having trouble sleeping.
I think it was just nerves that night,
but now he's kind of psyching himself out,
convinced that he's going to wake up and not be able to sleep again.

We made him a pallet on the floor near my side of the bed,
and he comes in sometime during every night to sleep there.
A few years ago, I never would have allowed this.
I would have insisted that he stay in his bed;
I would have been very strict about the routine.
But as the kids grow, I'm learning that their problems won't always be as easily solved as resting near momma, so for now, this pallet will do just fine.

One of the administrators at the kids' school texted this to Dan.  Ha!  Look at those sweet girls hanging on his every word.  He's so much like his daddy!

One of Dan's co-workers is an incredible artist, 
and she gifted this beauty to me!
I hung it in my office in an inconspicuous place - 
I like that I'm usually the only one that sees it.
I love its simple, organized beauty.

Tucker started piano lessons with Ms. Block last week -
he was SO excited!
He begs every day to practice more than his allotted time.
I hope this excitement lasts!

Dan & I had a meeting downtown one day,
and as we walked past a restaurant, there was a squirrel in a tree,
chattering so loudly at us.
One of the employees told us he was yelling for a french fry,
and gave me one to feed him!!!  He ate it right out of my hand!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back patio renovation

When we moved to Pensacola 5 years ago,
our house was a foreclosure that was, miraculously, move-in ready.
We painted the bedrooms, and changed fixtures, and moved in.

The back patio was an eyesore, though, and has been on our to-do list forever.
The tile was the wrong kind,
so it was coming detached, popping up, and molding.
The space wasn't well-laid out, flooded when it rained,
and was just not a pleasant place to be, honestly.

Here's the before/beginning stages:

Well, Dan has spent several months working like crazy to renovate this space.

He pulled up all the tile himself,
and rented a sander to grind it down smooth,
which is a way bigger job than it sounds like.

He pressure washed and cleaned,
then had an insulated roof put on.

Once that was done,
he painted the floor with Granite Grip;
it took about 5x the number of coats we though it would,
but man is it beautiful now.

He hung fans and rewired outlets.
He changed out fixtures and floodlights.
It was starting to come together....

However, after having the roof put on,
we realized the extent of our drainage problem.
What he thought could be fixed with a simple French drain
turned into an enormous project:
trenching, piping, cutting into concrete.
I can't tell you the hours he put into it.

We had a farmhouse table built 
for the outdoor meals that we love so much;
a family in our church sold us a seating area.
Our friend Dustin custom-built two counter height serving tables.

This past weekend while I was gone,
Dan put it all together:
he rolled the rugs out and hung the bistro lights,
and it's turned into the most magical space.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Raising Royals Leader Retreat in Laguna Beach

This weekend, I took my business leaders on a retreat in Panama City.
We stayed in Laguna Beach, which is absolutely one of the most beautiful stretches on the Gulf Coast.

 We really did retreat from everyday life!
We worked a little as we talked and dreamed about fall,
but we also did lots of laughing and eating and resting and crying and praying and laughing some more.  It is a JOY to get to have friends and business partners like these.

I call myself an accidental entrepreneur, and it's the truth.
I never meant to have a business,
but I'm SO glad God knows better than I!