Monday, August 25, 2008

Remodeling Again!

We're at it again!!! We have started another remodeling project. The back porch/sun-room is in the process of being transformed. The walls all have some cheap paneling on them, and due to a very slim budget, we decided to cover the walls with a textured "stuccoed" type of paint and then cover that with a paint that's called "Gobi Desert". We've never worked with this type of stuff before so we have run across a few little snags. But, over all, I think it's going to look nice. I'm thinking--Tuscan, but whether or not I achieve that look is yet to be seen. The picture on the left is what the porch looked like when we moved in almost two years ago, and the other picture is what it looks like now. Not much difference. You wouldn't know that we've already put about a week's worth of work into it. Oh, well...that's the way it goes. Phil is going to build a bench to cover the dryer duct work that you see in the picture. This is the last room on the ground floor of our home to be remolded. I'm excited about that!! Stay tuned!!! Well, you don't actually have to stay right there until this is done, because it may take awhile.

While I was at it, I also decided to put together some before and after pictures of the rest of the rooms that we have remodeled. Hope you enjoy! Well....I had better get back to work!! See ya soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stay connected!!!

Staying connected with friends and family has been a concern to me of late. It seems that we can get so wrapped up in our daily duties, obligations and concerns (all legitimate to be sure) that we could easily push aside those who have been a very important part of who we are.

It was approximately 24-25 years ago that we Arnolds met the couple that you see pictured above. It was while we were living in Caro, Michigan (which seemed in the middle of nowhere), we were pastoring Bethel Lower Light Church on Lee Hill Road. The church and parsonage were located wayyyyyy out in the middle of beautiful country, with only a few other houses on the road. We were young with three small boys. Phil had to supplement our meager income by working at a car dealership in near-by Cass City and I was selling Home Interiors. It was at a weekly meeting that I met, and quickly become friends with, Ronnie Setla and eventually we got acquainted with her husband Jim and their two children, Kirk and Sadie.

Our life, at that time, was difficult (to say the least) with many many problems (medical and financial). Ronnie became my closest friend and confidante. She was always there to care for the boys whenever I needed her to, and Jim was always handy to fix whatever needed fixing in the parsonage, as Phil was bed-ridden because of his heart problems (he had to have open heart surgery while we were up there to fix a hole that he had been born with and had gotten bigger).

I honestly feel that God had sent Ronnie and Jim our way. They were a huge blessing and we became very close to them and their children. It is hard to believe that almost 25 years have gone by. We moved back down here, had another child (Becky) and much has happened since first meeting them. They lost their daughter in a car accident (she was 18 and would have graduated High School in a few months), their son has married and has two children, our children have grown and we have grand-children. But....for approximately 25 years, Ronnie and I have made the effort to stay connected. Because we have pastored and have had obligations that have kept us "at home" for week-ends, it has been difficult to make time to go there to see them, but every year since we moved back down here, Ronnie has come for a visit at least once a year, and sometimes twice, bringing her grand-children with her. What a wonderful thing to have friends who are friends through "thick and thin".

Well, this week-end Phil and I went to their house for a visit. Phil had been asked to "Fill-in" at a church in Vassar, where we had attended periodically while living in Caro (some more wonderful friends!!), so we took the opportunity to spend some time with Ronnie and Jim. Ronnie had a brain tumor just a year and a half ago, so she is still not able to drive. She is improving at a very impressive rate and we thank God for that.

Our time spent with them was wonderful. I have to say that Jim spoiled us rotten. He insisted on doing the cooking while we were there and he also insisted that I sit in HIS recliner with my feet up as much as possible.

I know this is quite long, and maybe boring to some of you, but the point I'm trying to make (yes, I do have a point) is this: If God has blessed you with friends, do whatever it takes to stay connected. If God has blessed you with family: stay connected. I'm preaching to myself as well. When my friends and family come to visit, do I love them enough to treat them as "royalty"? Would I give them MY favorite chair?

God help us to cherish each other's company and STAY CONNECTED!!!! Love ya!!!! Sue

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Keeping Busy!

It has been quite awhile since I have even messed with this here blogging stuff. So, I guess it's high time I tell you something about what I've been up to. I will try to be brief. As some of you know, I can get a bit long-winded.

I have been enjoying our new grandson, Keaton, as well as our two-year-old Emma. I spend just as much time as possible with them, as they grow soooooo fast. I will share these photos of them. We love them and cherish every moment spent with them. Aren't they just the cutest ever?!?

Well, Becky and I had agreed to direct the VBS at the Adrian Lower Light Church. We had a blast planning, preparing and finally sharing what we had planned with a total of 27 children. Not bad for a "little church". Our theme was "Custom Garage". Teaching the children to "Love God and Others". This was a very easy one to plan since Phil works at a Car Dealership. We had access to an aray of parts, parts totes, car parts (which we used for relay games), hub caps (for decoration), and we even used a real "oil pan" (we put Coca-Cola in it to represent "oil" wrote on large warshers parts of scripture and the children had to take the washers out of the "oil" and put them in the correct order). We had lots of fun with this. I hope the children had as much fun as we "Big Kids" did. We had four stations, or as we called them; "Service Centers". There was the "Road Map Service Center" where the Scripture Verse for the day was learned, there was the "Custom Design Service Center" which was the craft area, then outside there was the "Gearshift Games" which is self-explanitory, and finally "The Filling Station", you guessed it! The Snacks! They made "Dream Cars" out of Tweenkies and Oreo Cookies, a "Garage" out of Graham Crackers and Frosting just to name a few. Yum!!! Here are just a few of the pictures that were taken during VBS. God sure blessed, and we had fun!! Isn't God good? Isn't it just a blast to serve Him? I think so. Well, enough for now. This isn't all that we're up to, but I'll have to wait until another time to share more. I don't want to bore you. Hee. Hee.