Thursday, January 16, 2014


There is so much going on here these days, but nothing really "newsworthy".  It's just the normal busy-ness of a family of nine.  We've celebrated birthdays (mine and Rob's), and we've hunkered down as the polar vortex forced our school to close.  There has been basketball and dance and midterms and one crazy baby who is bound and determined to keep up with all these big kids running around.  

It all leaves me exhausted by the end of the day, but I still look for those little pockets of contentment, those fleeting moments of calm in the midst of the chaos.


This is NOT a pocket of contentment . . .  this is the midst of the chaos.


But my dear dad has been working so hard on this masterpiece, to help me reclaim the calm.

I love it so much that sometimes I just stare at it.  These shelves really are a thing of beauty.  All the shelves and drawers are tailor made for my hooligans.  The drawers completely extend and can hold up to 100 pounds.  

The shelves can be moved around, the toy box has specially designed hinges, and the most genius part is the very bottom.  Where it looks like decorative scroll work along the baseboard, my dad actually left the backing as a solid piece of wood and painted it black.  No toys can roll under there and get trapped.

Do you know how many tiny cars and doll brushes we have?  I am in love with the fact that I will never have to squeeze my hands under there for a lost toy.

Plus, you know, it was all hand made by my dad.  That's the very best thing about it.

Oh but wait, I'm not done.  My dad also made this beauty for our dining room:

Even though our old table was still in good shape, we were shoe-horning ourselves in there at dinner time.  In truth, we would often eat in shifts.  Kids first, and then Rob and I would sit down.

Now we have a gorgeous table that can fit all of us and more.  My dad put 7 coats of polyurethane on it - one coat for each child, so it should stand up to their messes.

It is such a blessing to be able to sit together at dinner, all thanks to Pop-Pop. He's the tops.

We're also doing The Jesus Project from A Holy Experience.  Ann has some beautiful free print-outs of bible verses to commit to memory and they are perfect for everyone.  God's Word is beautiful and I think it's important that it look beautiful when it is displayed.  

I printed out the first set, and each week I will cut one out, glue it on some pretty card stock, and display it on the table.   

I made the card holder out of a broken candlestick and some 14 gauge jewelry wire.  I wrapped wire around the top of the candlestick, and then twisted the other end of the wire into loops tight enough to hold a card.  It's sort of like a very tall place-card holder. It works perfectly.

I didn't tell the kids anything about it, I just set it out on the table.  I've heard each of the independent readers reading it aloud several times as they passed the table.  I love that.


  1. Your dad is awesome! What beautiful work, and seven coats? It will take a long time to scrub that off.

    Enjoy these days, especially with the wee ones. Their problems are all manageable (by you) for now. Joy!

  2. Wow wow wow! It is so great to have handy Dads. I think mine needs a new project now :)

  3. Love those built-ins and that table is gorgeous!!! Your dad is so talented!

    And I keep meaning to print off some of Ann's printables to help me memorize some Bible verses. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Oh my gosh. First I was like "FINE-AH-LEEEEEE!!! Someone's house looks like mine" (1st set of photos) THEN I was like, "Whoa... that's amazing". (stunned silence. 2nd set of photos) THEN I was like "Ok, I SO am in love with your Dad. Uh, but not in a weird way" (3rd set of photos).

  5. WOW! Your dad is amazingly talented and what a blessing to have some unique heirlooms to keep and be able to simply admire and know the love that went into them. God bless!

  6. Amazing! That's a handy talent to be related to!


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