Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Perfect Timing

When I was in high school our church youth choir took a musical on tour that included choreography to go along with all the songs.  As I sat here thinking about God's perfect timing and provision over the past few weeks I found the words from one of the songs popping into my head.  And 19 years later I could still stand up and perform the moves, too.

"He's got perfect timing, He's never a moment too late.
He's got perfect timing no matter how long you must wait.
You think your life is on hold, but God is still in control.
And while you're biding your time, keep his promise in mind,
and be faithful to know who you are!" 

Shout-out to all my Arab FBC youth group peeps.  

But truly God's timing has been incredibly perfect this week!  We needed to move out of Gerald's apartment the last week in June, and the guest house we're moving to was emptied of furniture and a sink installed, along with plumbing for a washing machine just before that.  The very week the guest house was empty a team of college students from Missouri were scheduled to be in Paris ready to complete a service project for our church.  When K.J. contacted the moving company storing our belongings in England they said they could deliver the first week in July, just after the mission team left.  Great is his faithfulness in all these details.  

And how could we thank the team from Hannibal LaGrange University enough!  I now know more people from Missouri than I ever have before, and they were all such a joy to meet.  

If you follow me on Instagram you've already seen a few before and afters, but I thought I'd share the progress made here.

This is the biggest bedroom of two, which the kids will share.  I took this picture on our first visit to the house.

Our hostess's sons cleaned out furniture and packed away books.  K.J. and a friend pulled up the carpet one day, and the team sanded, stained, and varnished the wood floor, as well as cleaned, dusted, and touched up paint on the trim.  This week it looks like this, and it's just gorgeous.

I can't take my eyes off those floors.  It feels appropriate to thank the grand organizer of all this work again for providing all the plans and tools and materials.  Nicky, you are amazing!  This is the room that will soon be filled with Legos and school books.  

This room was being used as a guest room but is going to be our living room.  Furniture was cleared out, and carpet was removed, and look what we discovered under the carpet!

It's such fun tile, isn't it?  

The walls had a texture similar to stucco, but it was a lot pointier.  The team manually sanded it down making it a little less dangerous and a little easier to paint.

The light isn't good in this last picture, but we painted the walls and the trim white, and we'll probably spend the next month watching Netflix while we scrape old glue and such off the tile.  This room gets really good light when you open the shutters, and it will be our living room and most likely dining room, too.

The kitchen needed the most work, mostly because it didn't really exist as a kitchen!  The walls were covered with a fabric you can still see in the picture below.  K.J. and Ryan (who helped rip up the carpet) took it all down, and we scraped off two layers of wallpaper, plastered, and painted.  It was a great transformation!  

Day two, and things were looking better...

By the end of Day 3 it was looking much more like a kitchen!  The built-in cupboards got a fresh coat of paint as well as a little pop of color.

We plan to buy a stove to go to the left of the cabinets, and there is a refrigerator to the left of that space.  I forgot to take a picture of it.  Another kind provision from the Lord was buying a fridge, washer, dryer, and microwave from one British family moving back to the U.K.  It was a bargain and we got it all in one place.

We got word today that the moving company will be arriving at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, so the next pictures will be boxes everywhere.  Woo-hoo!!

Saturday, June 30, 2018


Early June held a lot of restful days and a lot of enjoying the city.  Late June held a lot of packing and DIY projects.  June was filled with lots of sunshine and James catching a fever virus and moving in with friends and seeing God provide for all our needs.  Halfway through the year already!

June 2 - Napoleon's Grave

I think he would be pleased with how they chose to remember him.

June 3 - Roses

My phone's camera was all fogged up, but the roses in the park near EIC Ternes were so beautiful this month.  In fact, June is the month of roses blooming everywhere in Paris.

June 4 - Running to the Store

This is a British institution, and it's the place to buy bacon and sausages like we're used to, as well as find things like brown sugar and baking powder.

June 6 - More of Monet's Waterlilies

We visited L'Orangerie, which has oval-shaped rooms with beautiful curved panoramas of waterlily paintings.  They're very beautiful.

June 7 - Pokemon Drawings

I mentioned Art for Kids Hub earlier this month, and I'll say again it's an amazing way to keep your kids happily occupied for several hours.

June 8 - The Conciergerie

I went on a long evening walk that included passing this building that looks like a palace but was once a prison and now houses courts.

June 9 - Bored on the Bus

We bought Cokes as a special treat on the way home from the library, but they don't seem to be perking up the kids in this picture.

June 10 - Street Roses

June 11 - Reading about Paris in Paris

June 12 - Taco Tuesday

June 13 - A Pretty Normal Sight in Paris

June 14 - Coral Geraniums

June 15 - Goodnight, City.

June 16 - Window Boxes

June 18 - Ratatouille!

June 19 - Girls' Library Run

June 20 - Summertime means open windows everywhere.

June 21 - Little Friends

June 22 - My Favorite Flower Stall

June 23 - Brunch in a friend's beautiful apartment

June 24 - Walking to Church

I wanted to take a picture of my scarf to show the friend who gave it to me, and Ella was laughing at my failed selfie attempts.

June 25 - Moving Day

June 26 - James's Happy Place

He's been looking forward to this week so much.

June 27 - IKEA Cafeteria

June 28 - Bathroom Window at our New House

June 29 - Kitchen Cabinet Assembly

June 30 - James loves Parker.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Down the Rabbit Hole

It's that precious, quiet time of day when I'm the only one awake, and the rest of the house sleeps.  It is an in-between week for us.  We've moved out of the big-city apartment and are staying with friends while we do a few projects in our new place.  It's hard to believe that in a week and a half we'll be living in our own home again!  In the meantime, I'm still sorting through pictures from last year, and I couldn't remember if I ever wrote about a small adventure I had one spring night in the barley field.

K.J. and I loved walking in the field up the road from our house in the spring and summer because there was a full-fledged rabbit warren living around the Devil's Arrows.  If you went out at twilight and walked quietly and carefully and no dog-walker happened along, you could see dozens of rabbits enjoying their nightly silflay.  (I read Watership Down last summer, which is full of special rabbit language.) 

About two weeks after I took the above photos I went out again one night.  I walked down a different path and spotted several more rabbit holes as well as a poor, wounded warrior who looked like he'd lost an eye.

I don't know if these pictures are as interesting to anyone else, but I just loved these guys.  

I was snapping away, trying to get as close as possible without making them scatter.  I stopped to look at the screen on my camera to see how the pictures were coming out when I noticed an extra face in the background of one picture.  What is that??  I looked down.  Then I looked back up at the rabbits.  At the very top right side of the picture there is a sly face in the shadows if you look closely.

Look at him!  I couldn't believe it.  I'd always wanted to see a fox but so far I'd only seen one at night and never in Boroughbridge.  I think I saved a few bunnies' lives that night because not long after I noticed him, he looked up and noticed me, too, and bolted.  I left pretty quickly after that, too, because all of a sudden I wasn't sure about what else was concealed in the barley field.  But I'll never forget the night I watched a fox prepare to pounce on these unsuspecting rabbits.