Monday, June 15, 2015

Happy Born-Wed-Dad Month Lucas!

      June is a busy month.  We're always scrambling to finish up indoor projects so we can make the outside presentable usable......working on the garden, trying to replace more and more dirt with grass....while also wanting to enjoy the nice weather.  It's also Luke's birthday, our Anniversary, Father's day...and now will feature the arrival of our littlest one.  We don't do much for these occasions in the way of gifts and parties...but we do try to stop and reflect....stop and be maybe a little more aware of how blessed we are.  And so, as I did one year ago, I'd like to brag on my husband a little considering we've just celebrated his birth, his role as husband, and will soon be celebrating his role as father....and maybe, just maybe, this will be the second blog entry he will have read to date :)

       He always says he'd forget his birthday if someone didn't remind him....which is probably true....and it's just another day....which is entirely true, BUT even if he doesn't consider it an important day, I do....because on that day, God brought into the world a little boy who would one day impact many people, and whose qualities would be worth celebrating.  He's one of the most hard working, humble, talented, intelligent, ethical, godly men I have ever known.  And he's never half-hearted about anything he does....how is that possible?!  

        In the midst of working two jobs and dedicating a good deal of time to his family, Luke is a huge project man.  We have endless projects to do around here, as comes with home ownership...but some have become sort of essential with the baby coming so he's really kicked things into high gear.  And then there's me....complicating and adding to the list left and right.  It's not intentional....and I really don't consider myself to be high-maintenance...but the following may make me appear so....
I always have these "great" ideas....something I'm looking for or a new way to organize things and it pretty much always goes the same way.  I try explaining to Luke what I'm looking for...I show him pictures of all of the lacking options online, and he says...."I can just make it!"  And the list grows. 

         When I say these are only a few...I mean these are only a fewwww.  And beyond making them himself, he also tries to spend as little as possible, re-purposing old items, or using scraps from other projects.  Most of the time, it costs little to nothing for his wonderful custom projects.  I am so spoiled!  I really wanted a desk for the kids under this big window....but there had to be room for shelves to be built, and the bookshelf below and...etc. etc.  And so...he built it all....


          My garden did surprisingly well last year, so I wanted to get a bit more ambitious and plant more....but that meant more garden beds, and there's not much to work with on the one side of the house that gets all the sun.....and so he figured out a way to build more space in....and fill it and prep it for me to plant....


I really wanted a shelf with cubbies to hold these fabric bins back when we just had Caleb and were getting his room ready.  But it had to have larger shelves on top for his big books and puzzle rack....of course none in the stores were as I imagined them, nor were they in our budget....and so, of course, Luke made one.  It's since changed color and rooms a few times :)

        I've accumulated quite a few oils over the past several months and they've sort of been all over the place.  I was looking at some racks, but of course didn't want to spend the money, nor did any of them fit perfectly in this spot I wanted to hang them.  "I can just make one for FREE," he tells me...and the next day, this was up!


        And then there's the things that drove us both crazy, like the endless dirt flying where grass will never grow with all the kids running and using the playsets....so he used some old wood that was here when we moved in, sectioned off a portion of the yard, and filled it with woodchips....what a difference!  (ps. all play things you see here, FREE, courtesy of craigs list....seriously, if you check often, you can probably score a free playset too!)


          We weren't really loving the pink counters that came with the house so we ripped them out pretty much first thing....but there was this little portion in the living room that we never got to.  Luke pulled it out this winter and used some old wood to piece together his own custom counter....it's one of my favorites!




         These obnoxiously large spools have started taking over our yard recently.  Free wood?  He can't pass it up....and the wheels were spinning as soon as he saw them.  Within hours he'd started making a chair out of one....and then a table with benches from another.....

         


   One of the biggest projects has been tackling the basement.....we really don't need the space, but now that we're using most of our rooms with our ever growing family, we figured it may be nice to have a place for guests to stay.  It was supposed to be a simple project, but that never happens.....the ceiling, an entire wall, and the multiple layers of flooring ended up coming out.....and all by himself, with as many materials he could recycle, Luke transformed this space.....


Including the lovely "secret" door (the unfinished bookshelf).....





            These are seriously just a few of the pictures I found quickly when looking for projects he's done....but as I look around the house, I see his handiwork, time and attention in every room...in so many details of our home....and I am so thankful...and proud.  He's been blessed with so many talents and abilities and he does not allow them to go to waste.  And while he enjoys building and being creative, he doesn't allow this to consume him or take over every moment.....he manages to build in plenty of time for his family....it's not an easy balance, having to work full time and part time, having so many projects beckoning, and having the four of us vying for his time and attention....but he handles it all with grace and ease.  We are blessed.


        These kids have one invested daddy.  A dad who stops to teach them new things constantly.  Who is much better than I am at teaching them how to do things themselves, even when it takes more time, may be slightly frustrating, and they may not really want to learn.  It's not just all about getting things done as fast as he can...it's about using everything as a teaching moment, so that some day they have the skills they need...many of the skills he's been blessed with.  I love that....and am often much too task oriented to stop and do the same....



       When he spends time with them, it's not half-hearted or forced....and there are often LOTS of giggles along with pleas for moreeee!


          He expects a lot from each of them, but consistently teaches, trains, encourages and firmly reinforces that which he expects.  They know he means business, but they respect him and know that he is strong and one they can always trust.  He's calm, even in the chaos....even when I am exuding stress and anxiety....even when everything is uncertain or everyone is at their worst....

           He's always up for an adventure, even when it means taking all three on his own because this very pregnant mommy can't keep up.  Just this past week he took the boys on a hike, then they all went on a bike ride and did some rock climbing.

           He'll stop working to help one with their homework....spending the time to teach it well so that she can feel proud of herself...and confident in her ability.  Sometimes I'll bite my tongue as he attempts to teach them something that I think will be so beyond them at their age.....and most often, I find myself surprised at how capable they are...how I would likely have underestimated them.

           He encourages each of their interests, working on special projects for and with each of them.  Sometimes they make the mistake of asking me....oh, mommy, can we make this superhero weapon?...ummm, I wouldn't know where to begin! We'll have to wait for daddy on that one....

           And most of all.,...he loves them wholeheartedly and unconditionally as he models the loves Christ has for each of us as his children.    




   
             Happy Birthday, Anniversary and Father's Day Lucas....we love you so very much!

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