1.05.2017

Lauren and For King & Country

We recently were blessed to attend a concert with Lauren Daigle and For King & Country.


To be honest, I was more looking forward to Lauren Daigle.  I knew the name For King & Country, but couldn’t have told you what they sing.  After we purchased our tickets, we watched a bunch of youtube videos and realized time and again, “Hey, we know that song!  and “I like that song, I didn’t know they sing that!” 

It turned out that Lauren was the opening act.  She sings beautifully, and she did great.  But she just stands there…singing.   And then I was disappointed when she left after only singing a few songs. 

But not for long, because then…..the real show started!









Wow!  Does For King & Country ever know how to put on a show!  These two brothers from Australia are great showmen!  I really believe it was the best concert I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to a few: Janet Jackson, Back Street Boys, Milli Vanilli!!!, Michael Bolton, George Strait….who could beat those?!?)





They started with their rendition of Drummer Boy.  And my little Drummer boy sat in my lap, simply mesmerized! 





Another song they played that night that we *love* is Baby Boy:






But it turns out we love all their songs!

It’s Not Over Yet

Glorious

Shoulders



And it is precious to hear Abigail going around the house yelling, "Ceasefire!!"


Ceasefire



After we bought tickets, Jas ended up being in CA that whole week and missed the concert, so we took our (13yo) friend Jadyn with us instead.













One of the wonderful things about going to concerts for Christian artists is that you are surrounded by....Christians.  A precious family with 11 children sat in front of us.  And a sweet homeschooling family with 3 children sat right beside us.  They fell in love with A, and the feeling was mutual.

In fact, she sat in the 17yo daughter's lap for a while:





Here is a video I captured early one morning (before everyone else was up) a few days after the concert, when G and A were constantly going around singing and asking for Drummer Boy (A calls the song "Rock a Poc Poc"):







We highly recommend you see For King & Country if you ever have the chance!








1.03.2017

Lily Kay and Elisabeth's Choir


Very shortly after we arrived here in CO, I connected with my sister-in-law's best friend Carmen, a homeschooling mom who gives private voice lessons and had recently started up a homeschool choir.

Elisabeth loves to sing...and loves to perform.  Lily Kay loves to sing...and doesn't love to perform.  I thought they both needed to be involved.





Turn on any Contemporary Christian song and Lily Kay knows it word-for-word, and note-for-note.  She is really amazing.  Just yesterday, we were looking back at pictures of our trip to China to bring LK home, and saw her sitting watching and listening to a Mei Mei video.  She was mesmerized, and was soon singing along with all the songs perfectly.  I thought she just knew already knew the songs from her orphanage, but now we know that she just learned them all super-fast, after watching the video only a time or two on the trip.  She truly has a gift for this!


At the end of the fall season of choir, Carmen's student joined with some other choir students and had a recital.


This is how sweet LK poses when left to her own devices:






And here is how she poses when her big sister gets a hold of her:














The choir sang:

There's a Song in the Air

Silent Night (in German, Spanish, Russian and English)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Feliz Navidad

Let It Snow










With their choir director - Carmen

E with her precious friend, Milly (Milly has 8 siblings!)



Over the next couple of weeks following the recital, Carmen scheduled her students (and a couple of their moms who sing great! (notice I'm not in there)) to sing at two different nursing homes.



Here is the group at the first nursing home:






Here is the second nursing home:



Jason's Grandfather spent his last three years at this (beautiful!) home.




After the performances at the homes, the students (and the rest of us family members that were in attendance) were encouraged to walk around and visit with residents.  This is so very out of this introvert's comfort zone, but we all did it.

The residents were more diverse at the second nursing home.  When I thought about it later, I realized that the resident the girls made a beeline to visit was an Asian woman.  And G had gone to visit a black man.  I find this very interesting.


In some many ways and for so many reasons this whole choir experience was a great one!   They will definitely be continuing with this when it starts back up here soon.

AND....after watching all three performances, G is dying to get involved too!  Carmen says to bring him on...we'll see how this goes!




12.14.2016

**SOLD** Back on the Market

Less than 72 Hours after we put the house back on the market, we received a full-price offer.  Done!  So very thankful for the Lord's provision in this area!



************************************



As we pulled out of Georgia to move to Colorado in October, we were so comforted knowing our house was under contract.

I suppose the saying "It's not over til it's over" is so famous because...well, it's true!  The financing has fallen through.  Our house is back on the market.

I have put it back on FB, and people are (of course) asking for inside pictures.  So I've come here - to my comfort zone - to post some pictures for people to get a better look.

Except - ach! - this isn't really going to be a "better" look.  With our house being under contract within 10 hours last time, when I posted it on FB as a fluke...we never needed to take proper, staged pictures.

So, we're going to have to make do with these random, non-staged shots...



First, some details about the house...



4 bedrooms
3.5 baths
2,480 sq ft.
2.5 acres
We had about one acre of pasture fenced in (pasture contains a 20'x20' pole barn that is less than 2-years old)
Work shed (16'x16')
20'x40' salt water pool, includes a diving board and slide (enclosed by a white metal security fence)
The house was 48 years old when we purchased it...so it would be 51-52-years old now.



We love this house and its floorpan.  Wish we could have brought it to Colorado with us!






Here is a shot of the family room:




Here is another shot - very scary-looking because we'd already started packing to move to CO:



You can see into the kitchen in this above shot


Here is the dining room, right after I took down the wallpaper border and repainted it:








Here is part of the back of the house:

In the far right of the above picture you can see a peek of the sunroom.


Here is a picture out into the sunroom, from inside the family room.  The sunroom is large, and is NOT included in the square footage of the house, because it is not heated/cooled:






Bedroom #1 (already started packing):






Bedroom #2 (two different views): 

Two closets







Bedrooms #1 and #2 have a Jack-and-Jill bathroom between them.  The bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower.  I am sorry, but I don't have any pictures of that bathroom.



 Bedroom #3:


 


This is the guest bathroom, with separate water closet/bathtub:






Two views of the master bedroom:

This bedroom is very large...which we didn't mind one bit!




Here is the master bathroom vanity area:



The master bedroom Water closet/bathtub/shower are off to the left (I don't have any pictures), and the master walk-in closet is the door to the right:






Here is the eat-in portion of the kitchen (we'd begun packing, sorry!):




And here is the other end of the kitchen:


There is a five-burner gas range that is amazing.  And a convection oven.



This kitchen has plenty of counter-space for lots of helpers to...help!  (Many hands make light work!)







Here is the utility room, off the kitchen.  It holds the washer/dryer, utility sink, room for extra storage (we had a 6'x6' shelving system from Lowe's), a toilet (I thought this was so weird when we moved in, but it was SO handy!) and our extra fridge:





Here is a pic of the inside of the 16'x16' work shed in the backyard:





Out back is a 20'x40' salt-water pool (we converted it from chlorine).  It has a diving board and a slide:  




Another view of the pool:






Also out back is perhaps my favorite part of the whole property...the playhouse-turned-chicken coop:





We fenced in about an acre of the pasture (where we kept two cows)...



...and a 20x20' pole barn is in the pasture (we had it built less than two years ago):





It had been our dream for years to move out to the country, and the Lord blessed us immensely with this house.  He has big plans for it...and I pray that exactly the right family is now blessed with it!




12.01.2016

And....He's Off and Running!


Jas opened the doors of his own office 4 weeks ago.




I couldn't be more proud of him.





Leaving the house for his first day!

He let me take lots of pics...but finally drew the line: "I would like to be there before my employees!"


This is such a good fit for him.  Everything he has done educationally and professionally has equipped him to open this office and run his own business.  He really seems in his element.  






This post contains all the "before" pictures of his office.  

I say "before" because we have plans.  BIG plans.  Well, not really BIG, but they seem big to us.  We are going to paint all the walls.  We don't care for the colors that are there right now, and they actually aren't even "compliant" with the home office color scheme.  The tan color looks better on the screen than it does in real life...Nai Nai described it as "Baby Poopoo Squash."  And we want to do some redecorating: changing out some tables and seating and decorating the shelves in the open reception area and in the conference room. 



This is the view as you walk in the front door.

We have just (as of about an hour ago) sold this sofa.  It is nice and comfy enough, and not professional enough for an office.


I've already bought 2 parson chairs (that I LOVE!) and a table to go between them.  (I purchased all these things on a FB group of local moms.)  As soon as we deliver the sofa Monday, we will have room to move the chairs/table in to Jason's office.  I already have him a beautiful orchid to go on the table also.  It is REAL...because Jas totally has a green thumb (unlike his wife).

You can see along the right side of the above picture that there are three doors, leading into the three private offices.





Here is the first office:



This is the office for Jason's full-time employee.



And here is Jason's office:


I am *itching* to paint and decorate in here...but that takes money, so we are taking it slow.



And here is the third office:

yes, that is a gum ball machine...don't ask...we don't know.

It has two desks, back-to-back, and is unused for now.




Here is the main open reception area.  Isn't Jason's part-time employee beautiful??



The young lady who really works here part-time (four hours every afternoon) speaks Spanish...which is wonderful!




Looking back toward the front door:








These built-in shelves will one day (soon!) house beautiful things, instead of files (they have plenty of storage space in cabinets...this doesn't need to be on display):





And here is the conference room:




The view from the other end of the conference room:

These shelves will also one day (hopefully soon!) display beautiful things.



The first weekend after Jas started, we went to rearrange some furniture.  Thankfully, his two brothers  helped:






They were so helpful, and I am so glad they were there (otherwise I would have had to work harder!)....




...but plenty of "play" went on also!



Our kiddos sure do love their uncles....



...and the feeling is mutual!



 So glad we get to be by Jason's family again.




This is such an exciting time.  And at the same time...it. is. hard.  The learning curve.  The financial commitment involved.  The time commitment for all the studying and exams Jas has had to take (and he is taking another one tomorrow!).

There is always some attrition when there is an agent change, and this time is no different. And November and December are notorious for being the slowest months anyway (everyone is busy buying Christmas presents!).  On the bright side, the only place to go from here is up!

I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for Jas (and the rest of our family) in the future!

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