Remodeling The Kitchen - When You Stop Counting The Weeks

Well, this has been quite a journey, hasn't it?  Sinks and sub floors, tile and cabinets, saws and drills Oh and BRAD not to be confused with Brad Pitt mind you but the battery powered brad gun that we have all come to know and love around here. Yes, it has been a long and educational journey.

I can't even begin to tell you what week we are on with the kitchen job but it is at least a million, isn't it? And I just know that I should be nominated for some amazing award like the purple heart of the DIY world and any day someone is going to knock at the door and show me the beautiful shiny (it has to be pretty, right?) award. Sigh...  This entire process has been one step forward and a hundred back with crooked contractors and shoddy workmanship to meeting some really great people that will hopefully be lifelong friends.


Right now we are up against the calendar as Mr. Cottage has to go for training for his new job and we need to get this done before said company demands his attention and his person elsewhere. This to be covered in another post.

We have all the cabinets built and installed and were under the misguided idea that we were ready for the counters (insert laughter). We are all really just want to get this over with so we can have a sink back. For the last few weeks we have been using plywood for counters and although it is not glamorous or really fun (those splinters hurt!) the truth is that they are a flat surface and are amazing. But a sink my friends... ahhhhh a sink. You see the bathroom sinks are really shallow and the counters almost non-existent and the faucet very low so it has made doing dishes... ah hem, interesting. So, at this time we are still having to do dishes out in the back yard and with temperatures dipping into the teens at night this has become not so fun. 

No longer can I try to amuse my senses with, "But look, it's like camping only better because you don't get eaten by a bear or get sprayed by a skunk." Ok, that really never worked but it was better during the warm summer months and I was determined not to complain. But I must say summer is long gone and fall is a memory. We have even had a bit of ice /snow and this is not fun and I can't even remember the minute that it was fun but, I have tried to put on a brave face. I know... I have lost my happy place, right? Sigh. 

But doing dishes outside reminds me of all of those times I had to read Little House to the girls and them having to break the ice from the water basin in the morning to wash their faces and waking up with snow on their blankets and me acting like, "Oh, how charming" with the girls while inside thinking - Can NOT imagine having to do this.  (God has a sense of humor because that winter we lost power for about four days and I had to cook breakfast lunch and dinner in the fireplace - which I might never have thought of if it had not been for that repeated reading of said little abode in a terrible location that gets horrible winters.) 

Deep breath. Continue.

We drilled holes in the back and the right-hand side of the sink base to allow for the hot and cold water, the drainage for the sink and the water lines to the dishwasher and drain lines to the same. For this, we used a 1" hole saw for the hot and cold water and for the drainage we used a 2 1/2" hole saw. For the dishwasher, we used 1 1/4 and 1. To cover the holes and to surround the pipes we used these shallow flanges

Cutting holes for water in farmhouse sink base

OK, so we thought we were about done and didn't know if we would install the sink or the counter people that we had still not chosen. Boy, it is really HARD to have those guys get back to you! We finally found out it was all us so with the date careening for Mr. Cottages training we headed for the sink box in the foyer (Hey, don't judge, this has been a long process and where do you keep your monster sink?) Up until this point we never even took the sink out of the box. I did look at it (for a moment) to make sure it was the one I ordered (see sink fiasco here, here and here) and then closed the box not even wanting to look at it at that point. Oh look, there it is. It's a sink. Close it!

Magnus 33" apron front stainless steel farm sink

After we got the sink base built and were needing to get the sink in to prepare for the counters we opened the box again and pulled out the beast. Should a sink be so heavy?  I mean, what happens when I fill this baby with water?  Is it going to crash around my feet?

What we bought was a Magnus 33" apron front stainless steel farm sink. We were told from the cabinet company that we didn't want to go any larger than a 33" sink with a 36" base cabinet and while that made no sense to my brain at the time... I get it now.  At the time I was worried about there being a big gap to the left and right of the apron front but, now I understand that some things only God understands (and maybe your cabinet person... Thanks, Sophia! ).

installed farmhouse sink base

So there we are pulling the sink out of the big box and removing the styrofoam, cardboard, plastic, etc and hefting it over the island and hovering it over the top of the sink base and lowering it gently down on the said base.  We found (with looks of true horror on our faces) that the front of the 36" apron sink base cabinet was not deep enough and the sink stood up 3 1/16" over the top edge of the cabinet.

So without much deliberation, we carried the beast back over to the box and put her back inside and then dumbly looked at one another (secretly wanting to kick the thing but knowing that it would probably break my foot with my luck and I didn't need that pain too. This was already too painful.) At this point, we were really happy that we didn't get the fireclay sink after all because all of this lugging of the sink... well we knew it would have been way heavier!

There is no photo of us putting in the sink because we frankly had no extra hands to hold it and take pictures too (and who wants to see a grown man cry?) The sink weighs about 45# and it has sharp edges that make holding it... interesting. 

We contacted the cabinet people and when we described the trouble they thought they had given us an older model cabinet that was more shallow in the front and offered to put a new one in the mail but  with it being so near the holidays and the mail being so far behind and since Mr. Cottage had worked his last day at his job and was off of work he decided to go with his daughter and pick up the right one. So off they drove and fought the traffic back home but soon realized when he got home that it was the same exact cabinet.  We talked to the cabinet place again and gave them the information and found out that we had to cut the front of the cabinet out to make room for the 10" deep sink because the base was made for a 6" deep sink. It also didn't have a shelf or support system to support the under mount sink so we had to build that. Yeah...

mr. cottage unboxing new power tools
So, we had to figure out how to cut the cabinet front without destroying it or making me want to cry which was already too late. So we returned the new cabinet and planned on how to cut the front of the existing one. Mr. Cottage started pulling out his tools to determine the correct one for the job and then determined by keen skills and great deductive reasoning that every tool loving man must have he didn't have the right tools and needed to order another one for the job (WHOO HOOOOO another trip to the hardware store!).

A family member (Thanks, Jennifer) recommended getting this saw to make a clean cut of the cabinet face. We were all scared stiff to mess it up. We measured about a zillion times to make sure we didn't mess it up and then threw in a couple more times to make sure we got it right (You have done that before, right?). Then it was a matter of just saying a prayer and doing it. Tomorrow...

I think truly that Mr. Cottage just likes to have an excuse to go to Lowes at least 10 times a day and then at the end of the day say, "Whew! I am sure tired... time for bed!"

Shhhh... don't tell him that I am onto his plot. He thinks he is slick and has me tricked. 

Installing Farmhouse Sink Base diyCutting Farmhouse Sink Base To Fit Sink diyCutting Farmhouse Sink Base To Fit Sink diy
So, the next day he measures again, tapes up the thing with painters tape and fires up the beast. There is no way to truly describe to you the sound of a saw cutting into the face of your new kitchen cabinet or the smell of burning wood wafting through your living room after you walk out not able to even look at what is happening to that cabinet so I guess I will leave this alone. There was much groaning and growling from the general direction of the kitchen and then another admission that we need yet another trip to the ... all together now...

Hardware Store to buy a bigger blade.

Yep, that is me

So after the trip to the hardware store number whatever that day he was able to cut the base and after much stress here is the sink base with her crown jewel in it. 

Magnus 33" apron front stainless steel farm sink

He went in with 2x4s and made a support system to hold the sink safely and here it sits. 

Magnus 33" apron front stainless steel farm sink


But, in all seriousness, we have not just had times where we wanted to cry or just throw something but there have been moments of laughter and fun (can I call it fun?) in all of this. We are making memories here, and that is a good thing.
Now, onto the molding.

And counter tops.

New to our story check out weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7,13,1415, 16 , 17, 18 & 22 .You can also find more of our DIY articles in our DIY Tab

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Revive My Heart In This Desert Place

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The desert will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the Plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2

For the last few months, my life has felt like a wilderness- one I've settled in and "pitched my tent" in and gotten comfortable. I've let myself get comfortable, gave myself permission to settle in and unpack on that parched desert floor.


How much I need Jesus to come in like a spring rain and turn my wasteland to green plains. To revive my heart like a flower in the heat of summer. To bring joy and singing to my weary heart.

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to the fearful hearts, "Be strong and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you."  Isaiah 35:3-4

Your God is coming, he's coming to save you. He's on His way, he will not leave you in a wasteland of pain and sorrow. He's here, to refresh your tired hands and strengthen your weakened knees and to whisper to your fearful heart "Be strong,". He's here to fight your battles, to take those burdens off our shoulders. Lean into Him, open your heart to His presence and let Him revive your heart.

...Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. Isaiah 35:6-7

How beautiful is that verse? Springs will gush forth in the wilderness... streams will water the wasteland... the parched ground will become a pool... springs will satisfy the thirsty land. Plants will flourish where nothing would grow before.

Father, let springs gush forth and flood my wasteland, my desert of pain and sorrow. Let the parched ground of my heart become a pool so that once again it's soil will be fertile and beautiful things will grow along the shore. Fill the craters with you so that once again I can be a soothing rain to other's parched claims in this desert so many of us find ourselves in.

Homemade Beef Stroganoff Recipe

This is a simple recipe that we all really love, it's perfect for those cold winter days when you need some comfort food or you have some leftover cream of mushroom soup sitting in the fridge. It will forever, remind us of Grandma Cottage's kitchen. I can see her now sprinkling in seasoning from her little tin canister labeled 'love'. It's a great casserole to bring to a neighbor or friend when sick or in need or if you live in the south to a church pot-luck. This has always been a great crowd pleaser!

Picture of Homemade Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:


1 Bag of Egg Noodles

1 Pound Top Sirloin steak (cut into slices) or a nice roast (if you're in a pinch) sliced thinly against the grain, (not too thinly, it's not a sandwich.)

2 Cup Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Cup Organic Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Cooking Sherry

Himalayan Pink Salt To Taste

Black Pepper To Taste

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Related Article Cheese Enchiladas

Directions:


Boil noodles according to package directions. Slice beef into thin strips. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute beef until browned, stirring often then set aside. To the skillet add the mushroom soup, sour cream, cooking sherry and spices and Warm gently on low while stirring. Return beef to skillet until heated through. Serve over noodles.

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Fear Fighting: Are you a People Pleaser?

God told me to pray with all my heart. So, I did. I don't think they liked it very much.


I think they had thoughts about it. Opinions. Perspectives. Perceptions.


Ouch!


What do you do when God prompts your heart, but man judges it? They may not say it. They may not whisper it. They may not even admit it, but somehow you know, under the cover of their Christian guise it brews. What do you do with that?


This is what I've been considering. Do I take care of man or do I take care to follow God's lead?


There's risk, big risk, in following God. Moving outside norms, beyond bounds or having an air of "different" can feel like a punishment waiting to happen.  It can feel like you're letting people down. It can feel like their charge over you marks you condemned.


Even more, the fear of being judged, ostracized or talked about behind your back - is real. It is really real. Even worse, in some cases, it is likely to happen. Add that to the enemy, who spits out ugly words, like: "Bad child, you are messing things up and stirring up problems," and, at this point, you can be thrown into the sea of doubt, in a split-second.


Still, I want to do what is right by God, don't you? I want to live for Him - first. I want to answer to Him - above all. I want to be like Christ - in every way.


God knows, I want to be brave. I think he sees my heart. So, like a gracious father, He leads me, his child, to truth; He brings me to these words:


Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10




I can either win the approval of man. It's fleeting and tiring.
Or, I can win the approval of God. It's enduring and up building.


I can either please people. It's short-lived and peace-depleting.
Or, I can serve Christ. It's long-lasting and peace-giving.


What man gives today, is gone tomorrow. What you put into satiating him, is eaten up by his desires for more - the next day. However, the will of God does not waver. It does not grow old. It does not change course. It has a destination. There, lives joy, His glory, and grand purpose. 


Will we push into it? We can't do it if we are sitting on man's lap and eating up the delight of his face of approval. Jesus didn't get a face of approval on the cross. His on-fire pursuit of doing God's appeared nuts to man. It appeared worthy of their highest condemnation.


Still, Jesus didn't change course. He stood fast to his belief in what his Father had called him to. He walked the road assigned to him, anyway.


What road do you need to walk anyway? What person's demands do you need to release? What calling of love do you need to pursue?


Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Jo. 12:26


About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:


Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. 




About Kelly Balarie:
Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear at http://www.fearfightingbook.com/.

Cottage Oatmeal


1 cup of oats (not quick oats)
1 3/4 cup of spring water
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt (optional)
Raisins
A bit of raw sugar for the top
Walnuts
Cream or milk

Boil on your stove the water and salt. Add oats and raisins and cook 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with raw sugar and walnuts. Add cream or milk if desired.

Soul H2O Book Review

Hello, friends! Today I'm sharing with you an awesome devotional, Soul H2O by Sherry Stahl. I LOVE this book! It truly has been a wonderful way to start my mornings. If you're like me you love starting your day spending time with God, but sometimes it can be hard to fit in long devotionals.


This is perfect because there small but meaty chunks to encourage you through your busy day. It also has a prayer to pray (one of my favorite parts! Why don't more devotionals do this?) and bible verses to help you to "draw from the well" by actually getting into the word of God.

I have it sitting next to my laptop so I can read it before I get online and interact the big beautiful world outside my door. Trust me you need this in your life! And no I'm not just saying that because I'm on the launch team everyone needs a little #SoulH2O!

You can pick up a copy at the following retailers:

I received this book free from the publisher/author but all opinions are my own.

You can find Sherry on FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinYoutubeInstagram Indigo & her website.

Kitchen Remodel Week 22

Apparently, it's a trend for delivery trucks to not drive up our driveway, rather than drive up the delivery guys drug our new dishwasher up on a dolly. Yep, all the way up, around large holes, over small bumps and through the gravel right up to the back door. They promptly left the very large, and quite a bit grimy box in the living room and disappeared back out the door.



Over the course of the week, we finished installing all of our lower cabinets, hang on! Do you hear it? Angels singing! Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing ore' the plains and the mountains in reply...- ok, ok sorry.


Until we decide on counter tops Mr. Cottage has laid pieces of wood that he cut to fit the tops of the cabinets over them so we have something to work on.  We're still in a toss up as to what to put on them, granite, quartz, porcelain or butcher's block we're trying to hustle before Mr. Cottage heads to Germany for three months. It would be so much easier if the fabricators would actually get back with us.


In the meantime, we are hunting something rather large something that came in with the house plants. Dude, seriously? Did we say you could make a home out of our hibiscus? The manners of some people... Don't even ask to come in, talk about an unwanted house guest.


It's been unaffectionately dubbed ROUS (you know The Princess Bride- Rodent's Of Unusual Size), and Jaw's jokes are flying around our Cottage like bread before a snowstorm. Now you should know something about we girls, we hate ROUS (unless they are bunnies, or chinchillas, or hamsters- you get the idea), snakes, and spiders. Here you are saying to yourself "But you live in the country". Hehehe, yeah Ironic isn't it?


Anyway, Mr. Cottage got the window seat in, it's to swoon for. Seriously, I think it's my favorite place in the house, you don't even have to get up to get coffee. I'm going to sleep there next time we have a house full... set the program brew on the coffee pot and use it as an alarm clock. We also got the under cabinet lights up! Yay!! They kind of remind me of a movie theater, but they are awesome!

New to our story check out weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7,13,1415, 16 , 17 & 18

When The Holiday's Find You Lost

She hugged herself in the backseat of the older car, the seats speaking of its well used years. Beside her on the seat a battered pink backpack held all of her worldly possessions, it wasn't much for her five years of life but it was hers. Her shoes were scuffed and half a size too small and her coat pinched her arm when she shifted in her seat to look out the window.

The social worker called something from the driver's seat as the turned on to another street, she was only slightly interested in where her "new" home would be. After all, she wouldn't be there long, just long enough for them to discover she wasn't worth the trouble and then it was packed up and back in the back of Ms. Cole's car.


Really she didn't blame them after all, mom had always said she wasn't worth much... her eyes shifted back outside to the snowswept lawn. One day she'd like to build a snowman in that pretty snow, to sled down a hill and have someone cheering for her like the normal kids. But she wasn't normal, she wasn't like the other kids, mom was in prison and dad was who knows where.

The blinker sounded as she blinked back tears, she'd learned long ago not to let others see her tears, or that the words hurt her. The door opened and cold air greeted her slipping trough the too small jacket and into her soul, another Christmas in a home that wasn't hers. She looked up at the pretty garland and dazzling lights, the house looked... warm, inviting, homey- but she's been fooled before. Ms. Cole pushed her towards the door and rang the doorbell as she held her breath hoping that maybe, just one time it would be different.

The door opened spilling light across the threshold, the adults conversed as she stared at her shoes afraid to meet their eyes lest they see just how unworthy she was. Someone knelt before her, she couldn't help it- she glanced up to see who would stoop to her level. A woman smiled brightly back at her,

"Hello Jenny, welcome to your new home. We're so happy you're going to be a part of our family," and just like that, the seed of hope was born, one more lost child found their way home. Because everyone is worthy of love and Christmas is a magical time.

Battle Ship Potato

Looking for a fun meal to serve the kids? Look no further! Delicious protein packed baked potato fully equipped with blast 'em out of the water carrot stick cannons and a tortilla chip sail.  Sail away to adventure with this fun meal!


Baked Potato
Grassfed Butter
Himalayan Salt (just a bit)
2 Carrots
Cottage Cheese
Black Bean Chip

Slice the baked potato, sprinkle with salt and add butter. Spoon cottage cheese on top, place carrots on either side of the potato across from each other and place a chip in the middle.

This article contains affiliate links.


When The Holidays Find You Forgotten

Duke is out on his walk once again. He makes this journey daily- it is better than sitting in his place alone thinking of the old times. He pushes his walker down the bustling street; cars pass him their drivers taking no notice of the little old man and his battered walker as they speed by caught up in their own little world. He makes his way to the bank, the same as every other day. He opens the heavy door, and the crunching leaves blow in with him. The tellers wave at him as he makes his way over to the coffee pot- during the war, he learned to like it strong and black.


He looked out the window as he sipped on the brew. Jack would have said it was strong enough to strip paint; he smiled at the memory of his son. How many years since he'd seen that boy? He couldn't quite remember. He'd been leaving on deployment, that last time he saw him. Man had he been proud of his boy. But he was gone now... He watched the dark clouds gather, looked like a storm was brewing. He turned and hobbled to one of the chairs; he shouldn't stay long he'd have to walk through the rain to get home. The last thing he needed was a cold, but he longed for companionship, the sound of others voices.

He pulled a newspaper from the table and caught up on what is going on in the world while sipping at the steaming cup of 'jo'. Another school shooting, a lawsuit over Christmas decorations, an article on how Merry Christmas was too exclusive and some new fangled electronic gadget being released. He snorted softly, before taking another sip. In his day none of this happened, people had time for each other. They looked out for each other, helped when it was needed. Children used their imagination to keep them busy not little boxes with screens. Now it seemed everyone was so busy with their own lives know one cared about anyone else.

He looks up at the sound of the bell over the door, for half a second he expected to see his son walk through that door- that all these years had been a mistake, that somehow he still had someone that cared about him. But that was silly, Jack was gone and wasn't coming back. He blinked back the mist suddenly covering his eyes and a new face greeted him with a smile. A young woman, bundled in a bright red coat, her cheeks kissed by the wind until the matched. She blew on her fingers to warm them before heading over to one of the tellers.

She greeted him as she passed, her cheerfulness enough to warm even the hardest ice cycle. He couldn't help watching her as she conducted her business, asked after the tellers family; maybe the world wasn't spun quite so far out of control. She bid the teller "Merry Christmas" he smiled at that and to his surprise sat in a chair beside him. Her hazel eyes held his with a warmth that cut straight through to his heart, she began to talk to him. Not the "how are you" that people ask but don't really care, she was... genuine. She cared about this puttering old man before her.

A gust of wind spiraled a newspaper down the street and he remembered he needed to get home, he didn't want to leave this lady, didn't want to go back to an empty house but he needed to get moving. He wished her a Merry Christmas and hobbled toward the door, stopping on the sidewalk to wait for a passing car so he could cross the street- the bell rang and a flash of red made him turn. She stopped beside him and smiled,

"Crossing?" he nodded not sure why she cared, why a sweet thing like her was even bothering with the likes of him. She stepped off the curve and helped him ease his walker down "Me too," together they crossed the street and meandered down the opposite sidewalk. All the time he held his breath waiting for her to turn off, to disappear like the snow each spring from his life. But she didn't, instead she chattered away, and he listened, enjoying just the sound of another human. Finally, they reached his rickety porch, and she helped him up the stairs.

He shut the door on her retreating form and settled into the big chair in the living room, he must have dosed off because he suddenly awoke to the sound of a knock at his door. He pushed to his feet, his muscles stiff and wobbled to the door, swinging it open he found the red-coat-lady standing there a steaming casserole dish in her hands and a basket on her arm,

"I thought maybe you'd enjoy some company,"

Triple Threat Chocolate Chip Cookie

These cookies are just truly amazing. Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate together make this organic cookie a special treat! 


1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
1 Cup Raw Sugar 
2 Free Range Eggs 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract 
1/2 Cup Organic Dark Chocolate Bar Broken Up
1 Cup Organic White Chocolate Bar Broken Up

Stir together in a large bowl flour, soda,and salt. Then add butter and sugar. Mix until combined then add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Then stir in chocolate. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes then pull out of the oven and allow to cool.

This article contains affiliate links.

Conspiracy Of Silence Book Review

Ok, here I am with another great book for review.  For the last few days, I have driven my family nuts by randomly laughing, chewing my nails to oblivion and hiding with a flashlight late at night to finish this amazing read! Conspiracy Of Silence by Ronie Kendig. 



I absolutely Loved the story line, the characters are fun and relate-able, it's action packed and shrouded in mystery and a thread of history that keeps you turning each page. Truly an excellent read! I could read it over and over. Can't wait to read the next one! 

If you are a suspense fan you are going to love this book. 




Received this book from the author. This post contains an affiliate link.

Kitchen Remodel Week 18 | Oh The Irony

Week 18 of the saga of our D.I.Y kitchen remodel job. Today, our third blind corner replacement arrived- the shrill ringing of the telephone intruding on a pre-caffeinated morning with a rather grumpy UPS delivery guy on the other end. He quickly informed us that we would have to come down and get the "package" because they don't deliver things like that...

You don't deliver packages? Oh, the irony. In the back of my head, I'm wondering when that happened. Seriously? You don't deliver large packages? Our sink, which you delivered to the top of the driveway weighed more than the cabinet.

So...we scrambled to get dressed, seriously- why is it every time I come downstairs in my Pj's I end up showing them off for the neighbors. The last time it was chasing neighborhood dogs away from my chicken coops, but that's a story for another time.


Anyway, we piled in the mini-van for the short drive down the hill (he told us to back down the driveway. *Snort* Yeah, no I don't think so. We drove like a normal person and pulled into the street so he could drop it (and drop it he did) in the back of the car. Of course, everyone decided that was the moment that they needed to use our little one lane street with massive drop-offs and no shoulders.

Don't get me wrong, I love our street- it's gorgeous, even when everything is brown and dead because of the drought. In fact, it's my favorite part of our neighborhood, but people like to think they are the only ones on it and anyone else has to get out of the way. One time a friend was driving us home and her daughter seated in the front seat covered her eyes and screamed the whole way to the driveway- did I mention we were in a full-size van?

So after explaining to the elderly neighbor who saw our hazard lights and stopped to see if we were ok (he's always been so sweet to us, we just found out him and his wife are selling their house and moving closer to their daughter. Going to miss them dearly), he got a good laugh from it. The best part of the whole thing was the UPS guy was an hour early- when does that ever happen?

Our dishwasher is supposed to arrive tomorrow, hopefully to the top of the driveway. In the meantime we're going to carry in the corner and put it together so we can finally (fingers crossed) can get the sink put in because we had to turn the water off to the only bathroom sink with a faucet tall enough to wash dishes under due to the fun fact that it's leaking. Doing dishes in the bathtub are so fun... like a tooth ache.

"I don't care," interspersed sporadically with Christmas carols throughout the day.
Over the last 18 weeks (Really thinking it's been longer but for the sake of our sanity we'll stick to that number) we've clung to our paleo diet like a rock climber to a cliff but this week we've had to let our paleo diet slide out the window. Between no sink, no stove for awhile, plumbing issues and late nights working in the kitchen we just haven't been able to stick to no grains, dairy, sugar etc. Today we went to Kroger and bought as healthy as we could find frozen meals that we can make with little to no dishes.

Can you see it- the diet ship sinking, flares shooting into the sky as the lifeboat lowers into the water as the last notes of "nearer my God to thee sound". Dear chiropractor- please no comments about our diet I don't think I could be civil.

New to our story check out weeks 1,2,3,4,6,7,13,1415, 16 & 17

My Heart Responds 'I Am Coming'

So picture this... A woman is walking down a street late at night, puddles mar the pavement from a recent rain. Everything in her gut tells her shouldn't be on this street- not by herself and especially not at night. A figure steps up behind her and a hand wraps around her mouth-  she freezes as a knife touches her throat, the umbrella she is holding falls to the ground,

“The last thing you will feel is the tickle of my blade,” a cold voice hisses in her ear, a mental image of a snake plays at the back of her mind. She begs the man to take her purse, but he only laughs.


“Help! Please help!” She screams but no ones around. No one is there to hear her screams. She tries to wiggle free of her attacker's arms but he holds her firmly, the knife presses harder against her throat, she stills,  “I've been hunting you for a long time- now I finally have you," She knows she is going to die.

“Freeze,” suddenly someone stands in front of them. “Let her go. She's mine.” The knife drops away from her throat and her rescuer pulls her away and pushes her behind him.

“Are you ok?” he glances over his shoulder at the frightened lady. Yet she doesn't respond- in fact, it's almost like she can't hear him. He repeats the question but she still doesn't answer. As if nothing had happened she stoops to pick up her purse and umbrella tossing in the small bible that had spilled when the purse had dropped. Then promptly she turns and strides away back up the street leaving her rescuer to stare after her.

Here you scoff- how dumb of her. He just saved her life- rescued her the least thing she could do is say, “Yes I'm OK.” and thank him. She is either crazy or stupid- maybe even a little selfish. Christ died for us, to save us from our sin- so Satan couldn't have us because we are HIS. But how often does He swoop in and save the day and we simply pick up our scattered things and walk away with out a thank you?

 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4

We pray- often beg Him to fix the problem, when we need something, need someone to save the day when something horrible has happened. When we need to be rescued- but the moment He does - we put the genie back in the bottle and walk away. Only to pull the lamp back out to rub like crazy when we need something else.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalms 27:8

He doesn't want that kind or relationship- He wants a friendship with us, a conversation, not an occasional wish when the world is crumbling at our feet. He doesn't want two seconds here and there.  Just long enough to drop a list of wants and needs at his feet and say have at it. He wants us to spend time with Him.

How long would you stay friends with someone who just dropped off all their dirty laundry at your house and said I'll be back to pick it up after awhile- I'm going out with friends?

The one thing I ask of the LORD--the thing I seek most--is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his Temple. Psalms 27:4

Teach me how to live , O LORD. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Psalms 27:11

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries, and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. Psalms 27:1-3


He wants to be the friend that is always there for you. The one that walks with you on the brightest day and on the darkest. He's ready to hold your hand and face life with you. But you have to let Him. You have to want to spend time with Him. He wants to be the first person you tell about what made you happy.  He wants to be the one you tell your fears to, the one you cry with because as your curled up in bed and feel all alone- He is there with you. He wants to be the one you lean on when life is hard. But you have to make Him first in your life, all of it.

You have to spend time with Him- He is there waiting for you, all you have to do is open the door and be there. Tell Him your coming and then show up. Make the time to spend with Him. I know your busy, trust me I understand. But make it a priority. Carve out the time- it will change your life.

Spaghetti Squash

For those of you who have never heard of this unsuspecting veggie, I will introduce you.  
Friend this is Spaghetti Squash. This is a really easy squash to cook and it makes for a tasty meal. You can serve it plain with a bit of butter, salt and pepper or add it with your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe.


First, wash the outside and cut in half from the flower end to the stem end and just like a pumpkin scrape out the seeds.


Next get a stock pot and put some water in the bottom of it. We don't need much because we are steaming this baby. Place the squash on end and lean against the side of your pan and place the lid on it firmly.  Now turn on and let it steam.  

Once in awhile I open it up and take a steak knife and attempt to stab it.  When it is done, the knife will glide in easily.  

At this point, I take a fork and remove them to a large bowl and pull the water off of the heat (I usually add this to my soups.).  

Take a second fork and use it to hold the squash still by stabbing into the flesh of the squash.  Then with the second fork put it into the squash just past the skin at the edge and drag down toward the empty center of it where the seeds used to be.  Rotate and do this all the way around the squash until it is all like spaghetti.  Scrape it into a bowl and put the skin into your compost.  Season with some organic grass fed butter, salt, and pepper.  It is great just like this!  Or you can top with your favorite spaghetti sauce, etc.  

Let us know what your favorite way to serve spaghetti squash and what you think of it if you decide to try it!  

Enjoy!