What’s with Sundays?

This morning I woke up positive that today was going to be good.  The past 3 or 4 Sunday’s have just not been fabulous so I went to bed feeling a little bit dreadful but woke up feeling great! I was able to drink my entire cup of coffee while it was hot, got myself and the kids all ready for church- on time, and was about ready to head out the door when it started.  “those shoes are too tight!”  I know they are not.  I just bought them a few days ago and they fit great.  but I couldn’t convince her.  So I quickly decided it wasn’t worth the fight.  I offered a different pair of shoes- tears and crying…… “I want to wear those!”  Wait, what?  The ones you just screamed were too tight?  The tears and crying continued and I threw my hands up, taking both pairs of shoes and the child to the car where everyone else was already waiting.

Phew!  We are still on time! I silently celebrated as I put the car in reverse.  It sounded funny as I backed up, but our driveway is gravel so I put it in drive and started out, only to quickly realize that funny sound was my wheel grinding into the gravel.  Flat tire.  I put the car in park and jump out as I call my husband- who is at work (ask any firefighters wife, it all happens on their shift!) I have never changed a tire.  I go back and forth about how i feel about it.  On one hand I don’t want to be the damsel in distress calling for help over a flat.  On the other hand I don’t really feel like I have missed out on life by never changing a flat tire.  But suddenly, I had this deep desire to take care of it myself.  As Joel insisted he would come change it, I insisted I could handle it.

My oldest child and I got the tire out and started the process.  I watched a quick youtube video and up the car went.  I worked on the lug nuts and I got all but one off.  The last one was not wanting to come off.  As I was about ready to give up, our good friend showed up to help!  I didn’t know it, but Joel had already called him and asked if he could stop by since he was just a few minutes away.  He helped us finish changing the tire and off we went to church, 30 minutes late!

I get there and realize Harvey fell asleep.  A 3 year old with a 20 minute nap is no good.  I took a very cranky boy in the church.  Melt down. Nothing was right.  He was just mad.  I finally got him to stay in his class just in time to hear the sermon.  As I sat down I realized that in the madness Harvey had wiped his glazed donut all over my black shirt- oh well, I was just glad to be hearing the sermon!  The final song was about to wrap up when someone taps my shoulder “Harvey pooped in his pants” WHY?  Harvey….. Why?  He does so good, until he doesn’t.  Any way, potty training is stupid. the end.

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If we go back to when I got in the van this morning, there was a smell.  I addressed it- told the husband what I thought it was and he said to come by after church and we would take the seats out and find the source.  So that is what we did.  He pulled the seats out, vacuumed and found nothing.  I got in with some cleaner to really detail it since the seats were out.  I had already told him I was sure I knew what the smell was, but as I cleaned, it was confirmed.  I found mouse poop.  IN MY VAN.  Are you kidding me?  Where have we moved?  We have lived a lot of places and I have never in my life had so many mouse issues.  Is moving an option? I mean before we buy land again can I get a mouse survey?

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So, after taking off panels, finding a LIVE baby mouse IN MY VAN, taking off my wheel, 3 hours of searching, the dead mouse is still in there somewhere.  Why?  I mean seriously?  Who has mice living in the panel in their car?  Of course, I do!  UGH!  I don’t even know what to say.  My little kids loved the baby mouse and wanted to bring it home as a pet.  They squealed with excitement and kept saying “mommy its so cute!”  As I die inside just a little.  At what point will they both loose the “its so cute” attitude and turn into “oh my gosh there is a LIVE mouse in my car”?

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Just a few short weeks ago, I had a similar Sunday with all kinds of crazy things.  Honestly, that Sunday had a Harvey poop incident, a dead mouse (in the camper), and a flooding situation.  The Sunday’s in between have been crazy too.  I use to love Sundays.  Jesus, friends, family, food….. But now it seems like Sundays are more like poop, mice, and madness…..

Friends, I don’t know if my life is just that crazy, or maybe It is just that I don’t know the right people and others have just as many crazy things happen,  But here is my plea- if your life is full of crazy “incidents” that when you tell others they all look at you crazy and laugh, asking why weird things are always happening to you, please raise your hand, leave a comment, something!  We can start some sort of support group.  I keep wondering if maybe God is like “Hello, Mrs. Meinardus, I am obviously giving you really good material to work with!  Write it down, make lots of money with these crazy stories!” Or maybe He just likes to laugh!  If it wasn’t my life, I would totally be laughing!

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Home Sweet Home: part 3

Here we are, a little over a month from my last update.  I feel like things are getting so exciting!  All the planning and decision making is coming to life!  So many people ask if we know when we will be finished.  Nope!  Joel is pretty much doing all of the work from here on out and so it is a little bit slower than if we were to pay someone.  We are so close to the end, but all these last few things take a lot of time.

Since I last blogged the progress, we have finished sheetrock!  This process took about a week and a half total time.  img_8718img_8727

Harvey was all about helping with all the things!

The front doors were stained.

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Joel sprayed primer on all the walls and ceilings.  I think he did 2 coats of primer. As you can see, it is a messy job!

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In our main living area, we wanted to use wood on the walls.  We had reclaimed pine tongue and groove that we got from an old house and decided to use it.  This room took a long time- everything we do in this room takes a long time because it is huge, 29×32! img_9132img_9123

I was not prepared for how much I would love the raw wood on the walls.  The plan was always to paint the wood white but it was gorgeous raw.  After a few days of debate, we decided we would still paint it and leave one accent wall.  We felt like we wouldn’t love it raw once the wood floors were laid.

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Joel also hung reclaimed wood in our bathroom.  We spent some late nights and long days painting all of the walls and ceiling.  I have loved the time we got to spend together working.  I haven’t gotten to contribute as much to the building process as I would have liked, but I help when I can!

Next up, wood floor.  We got an amazing deal on oak hardwood floors. Thank you Craigslist!  We bought it months ago and had to store it in our little storage building, so when we were ready to use it, it had to be moved.  It took several days to unload all 3000SF of flooring!  Thankful for a very sweet college student that has helped us the last two weeks!

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We spent Christmas morning inside the house.  It was dusty but we loved being able to be in there!  It is a Christmas we will never forget!

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After Christmas, the floor started being laid.  We are doing hardwood everywhere except the bathrooms which is a lot of flooring!  Joel, Kamden, and Callie (our fabulous college student helper) worked hard laying all of it.  I have been so proud of Kamden and how hard he has been working!  He has learned so much over these last few months.  img_9528img_9534img_9740

This process has been tiring.  We work long hours- and I am saying we because when Joel is working on the house, I am working trying to manage the camper life.  Some nights I go in to check on Joel and we chat for a few minutes which might be the only time we really get to talk that day. One night he was exhausted and while we were chatting he used Harvey’s new roller coaster as a bed.  I laughed because he looked so comfortable! I have to brag on him- he has worked so hard on this house and continues to do so while having a full time fire fighter career and running a business as well.  I couldn’t be more proud of him! img_9744

Most days I feel like this…. Exhausted and over it all!  But then something exciting happens and I get strength to push through to another day! img_9788

img_9856We did get snow and the house looked so pretty!  I can’t wait to see the outside finished.  Joel isn’t working on the outside until the inside is finished.

Here is the main living area before stainimg_9914

And Joel staining….. Which he finished last night at midnight!  The entire house is stained!  Today he will put a few coats of sealer on it and we will wait for it to dry completely.

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Although I do not have a time line for a finish date, I am so excited to be this close!

 

 

Happy Camper Christmas

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This year just hasn’t felt like Christmas.  We didn’t have a tree up or any decorations.  Time has flown by and it doesn’t even seem like it should be 5 days until Christmas.  A few weeks ago we were discussing a tree.  Every year we go and get a live tree and love that tradition.  But this year, we live in a camper.  Our tree decorations are all in storage and not accessible at all.  I had pretty much just decided that we were not going to be able to have a tree.  We are so busy, things are crazy with building, and time was running out.

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Then one night I asked Joel if he thought there was any trees on our property that might work as a Christmas tree.  I told him I didn’t care if it was perfect, that really it could be a Charlie Brown type of tree.  We discussed how much fun it would be if we made popcorn garland and dried oranges to hang on the tree.

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So that is what we did!  We decided to make the best of what we had and guess what?   It turned out to be amazing!  So much fun and so many memories.  The kids all talked about how we should make this a new tradition.  I bought one ornament and we all agreed that we will put it on the tree each year to remind us of the time we spent Christmas in the camper!

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As we worked, Joel started crafting ornaments out of scrap wire from our house.  He even created a copper star for the tree topper!

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I love that even though this camper life isn’t ideal, some how we all encourage each other through it and find ways to be thankful.  Each of us have bad days where we are tired of being in the camper, but it never fails that someone else reminds whoever is down, just how much we have to be thankful for!

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Jesus is truly the reason for the season and without a tree or decorations that doesn’t change, but the memories made decorating this sweet little tree are irreplaceable! Camper Christmas has had many obstacles to figure out (like where do I keep all the presents until Christmas) but I sure am happy to be here with all of my family and our Charlie Brown tree!  And most of all this Christmas I am thankful for a savior who was sent to us as a baby on Christmas day!  Thank you Jesus!

Home Sweet Home: part 2

I am a little sad that I haven’t blogged more of our adventure.  Camper living while Joel literally builds our house is an adventure to say the least.  I am hoping to update on camper life soon, but this will be a long post updating construction over the last 2 months.   Slowly but surely, we have chipped away and gotten this far!

When I last wrote about the house, we had just finished framing.  Since then, a lot has happened but a lot of it wasn’t super noticeable so I didn’t even want to blog about it.

The windows went in and then then roof going up was the next thing.  This took several weeks to complete because it is really hard to roof alone.  Joel had to wait for help and when he didn’t have help, you can see he improvised.  It was nerve wracking at times watching him up there! img_4182

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Thankfully his dad, brother, Kamden, and our nephew all helped out several days.  We chose a galvenized metal roof which I am excited about!  I love the way it looks and can’t wait to see it with our siding and rock.

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We wanted a very open floor plan and our kitchen, living, and dinning are all one big room.  I was probably most excited about this part of our plans.  But, when it came time to design the kitchen layout, I found it very hard to envision what the big open room was going to be like.  I spent many mornings with my coffee, floor plans, Pinterest, and a tape measurer trying to make decisions.

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I finally was able to communicate to Joel and my father-in-law (who is building the cabinets) what I was wanting!  Joel was able to roughly draw up what I wanted and I showed lots of pictures and I am confident that I will love the end result!  I am so excited to see them finished!

Over the next 2 months, lots of things happened.  Electrical was ran, as well as plumbing.  Joel did this mostly on his own with help and guidance from a few experts. Joel set bathtubs, installed outlet and switch boxes, and spent lots of time in the attic and under the house.   He also has run all the duct work for the heat and air and the units in place.

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Any time I got a chance I was in the house writing scripture on the walls.  I knew I wanted to do this and had lists of scripture for every room.  I enjoyed praying the scriptures in each room and dreaming about how they would be lived out within those walls.

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In between each step we clean up.  Kamden & Jade have been a huge help and we are so thankful they willingly help!  Vera Jane spent lots of time supervising!

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Our fireplace was installed and the exterior doors went in as well.

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Insulation was up next and we did pay someone to do that.  We decided to go with spray insulation.  We have been impressed that the inside temperature of the house is pretty nice, even without any heat and air!  It was so messy during the process but they came back through and cleaned all of their mess up!  img_7274

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After insulation we were ready for sheetrock!  I was so excited for this step and to finally see what the walls would look like.  We decided to pay someone to hang the sheetrock because they can get it done so much faster then we could.  They got here at 8am and were gone by 2:15!  I was impressed!

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So here we are, sheetrock up!  Finishing should start next week and then we will move on to paint and floors!

Joel fell through the ceiling a few nights ago.  Luckily he caught himself and didn’t hit the ground, but there is a little patch job that will need to happen!  I am thankful that he was ok and just a little sore!

We have all had to learn a little patience through this project.  Each step has come with delays and unexpected things.  We haven’t met the deadlines we put in place and I have especially had to learn to just go with it.  I am not good at it by any means and I have spent more days disappointed then I would like to admit, but when this is over I know I will look back and be glad we chose to do things this way- even if it wasn’t the easiest way!

Home Sweet Home: part 1

We have just gotten started with our house and we already get lots of questions!  If you haven’t ever built a house the details are probably pretty foreign.  I have decided to blog the process in sections so those curious minds can see and understand a little more and so I can look back at our timeline!

Building a house is something that we have been dreaming about for a long time.  We have been looking for land and trying to find that perfect place to call home.  In May we made an offer on what is now our beautiful land.

The first week of July we closed on that land!

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The first thing that had to be done was pick a building site and start clearing and getting the pad ready. This was happening around the end of July and first of August.  After this the footings were dug and poured. Joel did all of this with help from friends and family. fullsizerender

Then we had to take a small break to have a baby!  We welcomed baby #5 on August 9, 2016img_2653

Block work was done on August 19th and since we had just had a new baby Joel decided to contract out the block work so this was the first part in the building process that Joel didn’t do himself. fullsizerender-1

Next there is subfloor and again Joel did this himself with the help of some amazing friends! This was happening at the end of August.  img_3230

First week of September the decking was put on.  Once again, friends and family helped Joel knock this out! img_3668

Here comes everyones favorite part!  The framing!  It goes up fast, (1 week) and so everyone suddenly sees the shape of a house and it feels like things are going to be happening quick.  Good news is, it is another step done, bad news is, you won’t see a ton of changes in the next few steps! This first picture is day 1 of framing.img_3713

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Day 6 framing is done! We did contract out the framing and if you need a framer let  us know and we will send a great one your way! This gets us current in construction because this happened today! img_4030

Joel up in the rafters!img_4028

Joel and I in the window that will be in the dinning room. img_4027

Harvey in his room.  He gets so excited to go in there and tells anyone who will listen that it is his room!img_4026img_4025

The girls in their room.  All 3 girls will share a room at the request of Jade.  Don’t worry, they have a massive closet! img_4024

Kamden reluctantly posing in his window.  He has helped with every step of this house so far.  I am so proud of the work he has put into it! img_4023

That is it so far!  We have really just gotten started and have a long way to go but we are excited to have the bones of the house!  Joel works so hard everyday doing something, even if it isn’t noticeable.  There is always something to be done at a construction site and when you are building yourself you have to be willing to do all the little things (that can become big things) like clean up! This house is being built with love labor for sure!