Look Up!

(All nature photo credits go to Liberty Reidt)

Disappointment and sorrow sneak into our lives at times and take us by surprise.  Over the year I have had multiple conversations with dear friends that are on the cusp or in the midst of situations that are “uncomfortable” or should I say “down right painful!”  I know these times well, as I wonder in and out of these days, I whisper a prayer; “Is THIS part of your plan, the way I feel at this moment? THIS does not feel like you.”  Friends and family have shared their deep thoughts, things like: fear of the approaching empty nest, or the unknowns of if their kids are REALLY going to grow up to be profitable members of society that serve others and God, or the financial situation that seems insurmountable, or could it be that relationship that always seems to be strained, and unrepairable, or the unsettling heart wrenching decisions being made due to the terminal illness of a loved one?  It’s these melancholy thoughts or realities that keep many of us awake at night.  And it’s in these moments we must learn to take the necessary time to recognize the pain, to grieve, cry, process, and then look up. Yep, look up.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

No, our help does not “come” from the mountains, it comes from the Lord.  Yet looking up and seeing his masterful creation reminds us of His greatness.  It puts perspective back into sight.  Living in the Idaho Mountains, gives me the opportunity to hit the trail, when I feel downcast.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

I am always amazed at just the simple fact of getting up and going out into nature that refocuses me on His ability in my seemingly inability to climb out of despair.  If you are downcast in spirit, look up and let His creation return praise to your heart.

 

  

I write this because I need the reminder.  I am feeling a bit melancholy today.  I have dear loved ones that are riddled with huge life changes due to illness.  And paling in comparison to that, we have hit the four year mark of work on this big lodge.  We are weary. We are very close to being done with phase two, but phase three (the basement) follows close on it’s heels.

As I shift my eyes upward I remember we have also benchmarked some important and joyful family dates this summer.  Our youngest, Liberty, is entering high school and our oldest son, Brent is newly engaged to an incredible precious Bobbi Jean.

 

And, while reveling in how quickly time passes, It dawns in me I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 26 years!  This in itself makes me reflect upon so many memories.

Life seems so short lately. Sometimes it’s hard to come to grip with the station we are moving into in life.  My new found prayer is, “Lord, may I live life with gusto, and really live!”  I don’t want the melancholy days to suck the morrow out of me.  I want to live and breath the beautiful that He surrounds me with.  The precious friends and family, the glistening sunset, the quietness and stillness of a summer evening.  So it is with this whispered prayer that I leave you to see what Idaho beauty Liberty has captured on camera this summer (all pictured in the text above), as well as some pics of our newest accomplishments on The Lodge.   Jared has definitely transitioned this big empty Styrofoam concrete house into something so very gorgeous.  Enjoy the views!

Landscaping still needs to be done, but other than that, the exterior is shaping up nicely.


The trellis popped up in just a couple days.


Wilson finished the rocks around the trellis.


Max stained all of the deck and trellis boards

Preparations for winter are in full swing. Wilson and Max splitting and chopping firewood. By the time of this writing we have a full wood shed!


If you look just past the frisbee golf goal, Jared got a new toy. He spends his evenings laying gravel on the driveway, burying the water tanks or anything else he can find to dig or shove around.

As for me, I have kept busy discussing with the county future business plans for the Lodge and updating and overseeing the rental of the carriage house (formerly called the loft).   The Carriage House VRBO.  And uh… lots of project planning and cleaning. 😉

Now for Jared and the boys’ indoor accomplishments, namely, the master bathroom and pool…

 

Jared completed the master bathroom in April. It turned out lovely.

 

Yet another labor of love, Jared wainscoting our master bath.


Wilson and Max removing the basketball court floor, in preparation for the pool.


The hoop is coming down.


Jared plastering the pool walls


Waterline tile is in place and the paster is going up.


Asher helped out a bit this spring when he first returned from GCU. He plans to pick up his studies in the fall at NIC.


Pool room clean up day. Libs cousins, lucie and Zoe, helped repaint the room and scrub the concrete floor.


Pool complete! Now to get dehumidifier and solor heater working.


Jump on in!

Just last week the guys began framing the remainder of the basement.  Here we go into phase III of The Wolf Lodge project!

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Little Bit of Life

“Work, Work, Work, all day long…” We are country music fans up here in Wolf Lodge and this song by Craig Morgan resounds as we press into the task at hand, but if you listen closely, which we must do at times, the lyrics encourage us to enjoy life.  This is the balance we are beginning to find. After two long years of daily work on The Wolf Lodge, our mantra is no so much “Work, work, work”  anymore, it goes more like this, “Balance, rest, enjoy life and the ones you love.”  This summer we found great joy in working hard AND fully relaxing.  Life is short. Life is sweet. Life is ment for glorifying God in all one does, whether it’s work or play.  So, not only did I post pics of the progress on the Lodge, and boy we have made some progress, but you will see some of us just having some good old fun.

 

This was an old barn, 100 years old. One of the oldest structures on Wolf Lodge cr. rd. It will find it's new home as our kitchen and family room floor. Thank you our dear neighbors, the Funks.

This was an old barn, 100 years old. One of the oldest structures on Wolf Lodge cr. rd. It will find it’s new home as our kitchen and family room floor. Thank you our dear neighbors, the Funks.

Truly a labor of love already. Jared spent many hours pulling nails, planing, and evening up this barnwood. he demolished. You can see the variety in lengths and widths that will span our floor.

Proving to be a labor of love already, Jared spent many hours pulling nails, planing, and evening up this barnwood.  You can see the variety in lengths and widths that will span our floor.

A sampling of what the old barnwood will look like in the kitchen.

A sampling of what the old barnwood will look like in the kitchen. Gonna be gorgeous!

Here's prof! I do work on the house. Brent snapped a pic as I got the boys rolling on how I wanted the grout to be applied.

Here’s prof! I do work on the house. Brent snapped a pic as I got the boys rolling on how I wanted the grout to be applied.

Finishing the grout on this wall will bring a completion to the year long process of applying rocks on the front of the house.

Finishing the grout on this wall will bring a completion to the year long process of applying rocks on the front of the house. Sigh of relief.

Brent and Wilson are wrapping up the grout application today! They did an amazing job, it's exactly what I pictured.

Brent and Wilson are wrapping up the grout application today! They did an amazing job, it’s exactly what I pictured.

All I can say is good thing Brent is not afraid of heights. Here he is grouting the chimney.

All I can say is, good thing Brent is not afraid of heights. Here he is grouting the chimney.

The main control room for the house is in the middle of the basement. Dad has spent many hours down here this summer hooking up the radiant heat supply pex tubing to the valves and boiler, as well as installing the air furnace that will help move air around to heat as well as cool the house.

The main control room for the house is in the middle of the basement. Dad has spent many hours down here this summer hooking up the radiant heat supply pex tubing to the valves and boiler, as well as installing the air furnace that will help move air around to heat as well as cool the house.

Part of the radiant floor heating system is to have smaller areas controlled at points like this. This is one for the upstairs commons and kids wing.

Part of the radiant floor heating system is to have smaller areas controlled at points like this. This is one for the upstairs commons and kids wing.

Our Pex tubing was covered with a substance called gypcrete.  It should conduct the radiant floor heat evenly under our flooring of choice.  Sand and a light weight concrete like substance are mixed in with water in the back of these trucks and then pumped into the house.  It took the crew of 7 guys 4 hours to complete all 8000 square feet.

Our Pex tubing was covered with a substance called gypcrete. It should conduct the radiant floor heat evenly under our flooring of choice. Sand and a light weight concrete like substance are mixed in with water in the back of these trucks and then pumped into the house. It took the crew of 7 guys 4 hours to complete all 8000 square feet.

The gypcrete is pumped in through this tube.

The gypcrete is pumped in through this tube.

Once pumped in evenly one of the workers lightly skifs it to even it up.  It is very liquidy

Once pumped in a worker evenly distributes the liquidy gypcrete about 1 1/2 inches thick to cover the pex tubing.  

Jared installed all the newel posts before the gypcrete was poured on the subfloor. This sets him up for the winter job of installing the handrail.

Jared installed all the newel posts before the gypcrete was poured on the subfloor. This sets him up for the winter job of installing the handrail.

spraying the pillars

spraying the columns

Newly painted columns are set are in place and set. You can see the wood for the drop down, stairs, and library in the distance. It's all Larch.

Newly painted columns are set are in place.  You can see the wood for the drop down, stairs, and library in the distance.

Native North Idaho wood, Larch(tamarack) treads arrived this week from our friends at Smiley Lumber in Northeast Washington. Now for the installation, another job for thee winter.

Native North Idaho wood, Larch(tamarack) treads arrived this week from our friends at Smiley Lumber in Northeast Washington. Now for the installation, another job for thee winter.

Study floor, wood sleepers set in gypcrete awaiting some larch hardwood.

Study floor, wood sleepers set in gypcrete awaiting some larch hardwood.

So...One morning I looked out back and this is what I saw.  Brent and dad had strapped a wooden crate to the top of the genie lift in order to prep the top floor of the back of the house for rocks.  It doesn't look all that bad until you zoom out and see how far they really are up.

So…One morning I looked out back and this is what I saw. Brent and dad had strapped a wooden crate to the top of the genie lift in order to reach high enough to prep the top floor of the back of the house for rocks. It doesn’t look all that bad until you zoom out and see how far they really are up.

Um, see...it's a tad bit high for my sight.  As you can imagine I scurried back into the house so I didn't have to see.

Um, see…it’s a tad bit high for my mama/daughter eyes. As you can imagine I scurried back into the house, told my mom to pray for safety and told her don’t ask why and don’t venture into the back yard.  I promptly marched downstairs to Jared to whom I strongly encouraged to get safety harnesses on his workers.  I laugh now, but then, oh no, there was no laughing! 

 

Few, rehearsing all that work makes me tired, now for some summer joy filled relaxing moments.

Liberty turned 13!

Liberty turned 13!

Cousin Lu came for a week. What a sweet heart!

Cousin Lu came for a week. What a sweet heart she is!

A very common view in this house, boys staring at a screen.

A very common view in this house; boys staring at screens.

Jared's stress relief.

Jared’s stress relief.

Jared, dad and Brent using their automotive expertise on Brent's crashed car.

Jared, dad and Brent using their automotive expertise on Brent’s wrecked car. Ouch!

Another driver in the house!  Watch out!

Max, another driver in the household! Watch out!

Another cousin came for a visit. What a tender soul. Zoe and libby went to church camp together for a week.

Another cousin came for a visit. What a tender soul. Zoe and Libby went to church camp together for a week.

Cousin Derek joined the family bball team at hoopfest! Way fun!

Cousin Derek joined the family bball team at hoopfest! Way fun!

Max took a week with his best bud Jacob to attend basketball camp at Whitworth.

Max took a week with his best bud Jacob to attend a NBC basketball camp at Whitworth.

Play time usually includes some sort of sport for these guys.  Here we are relaxing at grandma Joyce's for a spell.

The boys’ playtime usually includes some sort of sport. Here we are relaxing at grandma Joyce’s for a spell.

And this is what my playtime usually consists of, sitting by water with a book in hand.

And this is what my playtime usually consists of, sitting by water with a book in hand. Heavenly.  Yep, that’s Jared with his hair finally chopped off! 🙂

Mom's birthday rolled around and I was able to spend a beautiful lunch with my aunts and cousin.  Aunt Judy is hiding behind the camera.

Mom’s birthday rolled around and I was able to spend a beautiful lunch with my aunts and cousin. Aunt Judy is hiding behind the camera.

More screens...even at seaside. :)

More screens…even at seaside. 🙂

Oh...Seaside. No place quite compares to you on the Oregon coast.  Wilson and Lib are headed in for a dip.

Oh…Seaside. No place quite compares to you on the Oregon coast. Wilson and Lib are headed in for a dip.

Where you will find Jared and I on any given summer evening enjoying our forestry view.  Best. Purchase. Ever.

Where you will find Jared and I on any given summer evening enjoying our forestry view. Best. Purchase. Ever.

The summer season is ending, go to the beach one last time, read that book you wanted to get in this summer or bbq with friends.  Whatever you enjoy doing, take the time to do it before the calendar runs away with your hot summer days.

His Heart beat

It’s everywhere, a newborn baby, trees covered in the crisp frost of winter, the friendly conversation amongst friends, even, or shall I say, even more so, in the midst of heart ache. Not only alive within the four walls of a church, the sweet aroma of His passionate love towards us pops up at opportune times, because it is always opportune to tune our hearts to His beat. It struck me as I routinely prepped for bed tonight. I began to whisper thanks for another day, one filled with family and all the happenings of one. Not unusually so, just ordinary. It’s just that. As I turned to my sweet Heavenly Father the usual became tender. As I muttered my thanks, something spilled over from heaven. Sweetness. Tenderness. Gratefulness. Oh, that my heart would stay in rhythm with His and not wander.

This hymn filters into mind.

Listen to the beautiful rendition by Page CXVI

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I’ll praise the Mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come
Oh, and I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Oh Jesus, sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Ode to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
And let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Now for an update on the build progress

I’ve enclosed the main house original house plans. We have changed a wall here and there, but they will give you a good idea as to the location of each room I’ve been posting pictures of.

Main Floor Plans

Main Floor Plans

Top Floor Plans

Top Floor Plans

Basement Plans

Basement Plans

Commons area between bedrooms in top floor sheetrock is finally all up and ready for mud on the top floor.

Commons area between bedrooms in top floor sheetrock is finally all up and ready for mud on the top floor.

Great room sheetrocking around windows

Great room sheetrocking around windows

Great room, sheetrock complete, first coat mud done.

Great room, sheetrock complete, first coat mud done.

Masters sitting area

Top floor Masters sitting area

Masters bedroom, bath beyond

Top floor Masters bedroom, bath beyond

Office fireplace

Main floor office fireplace

Main floor great room, other side of fireplace in office

Main floor Great room, other side of fireplace in office

Main floor library

Main floor library

Jared is working his way sheetrocking from the left to right on the main floor at the time of this post. As you can see he has the office and library just about complete and ready to move in to the entry/foyer.

Now for some family fun pics…
We’ve had some sweet moments together and welcome visitors from home.

image

image

A very frozen down spout

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Winter

Winter has wrapped Wolf Lodge up in a white fleece blanket. Peace and stillness are ours with the dawn of each day. I have never felt such calm as I do here at winter time. Plummeting temperatures and icy roadways have not slowed down our work or play. Jared has begun to sheetrock in the main house. He has completed the ceiling of the top floor, can you say huge vaulted ceilings, and has set in on the walls. This is, as he says, “the big show.” It is good to see big results after endless hours of work. The boys take shifts throughout their school day assisting him in the icebox of a house. Don’t get me wrong. Our loft is cozy warm. The radiant floor heat is amazing, well worth the money and effort.

Yay!  Jared and Asher are putting up our first sheet of 1/2inch sheetrock in the main house.  The ceiling is complete and now time for the walls.

Yay! Jared and Asher are putting up our first sheet of 1/2inch sheetrock in the main house. The ceiling is complete and now time for the walls.

You can see the Genie lift Jared used to put the sheetrock up in the vaulted ceilings just beyond Wilson and Max.  He got around up there without any exhibit of fear.  I have yet to step onto that lift.

You can see the Genie lift Jared used to put the sheetrock up in the vaulted ceilings just beyond Wilson and Max. He got around up there without any exhibit of fear. I have yet to step onto that lift.

Joyful moments include sledding, quad riding, watching the winter scenery change, rec league basketball games for all the kids, visits to our local community health club, and rousing sibling games of Aggravation and Apples to Apples.

Wilson Exploring the National Forest behind our house.

Wilson Exploring the National Forest behind our house.

The boys are taking it upon themselves to clear an old logging road behind our property in order to quad deeper into the forest.  As you  can see Max is suspended on three wheels after he was flung off the road when his wench broke.  Asher stayed calm, unlike the women in the family, and talked Max through how to get himself back on the road.

The boys are taking it upon themselves to clear an old logging road behind our property in order to quad deeper into the forest. As you can see Max is suspended on three wheels after he was flung off the road when his wench broke. Asher stayed calm, unlike the women in the family, and talked Max through how to get himself back on the road.

The loft is the area that is sided.  You can see the Christmas wreath on our door.  Asher and I are making our descent from the forest road.

The loft is the area that is sided. You can see the Christmas wreath on our door. Asher and I are making our descent from the forest road.

Our search for a church continues. I can’t recall how many congregations we have visited, but it’s been quite a few. The beautiful thing about looking for a church is the opportunity it grants us to see the body of Christ in variation. We know in time we will find a place to call home. A dear friend helped us figure out what we think God’s plan for us and our church attendance is. This has made Jared and I, and the kids, all more aware of what we are looking for and all part of the process.
Always, you, our friends and family are in our thoughts and prayers. As life has its way of charging forward, we love to catch wind of the changes. From family members birthing babies, physical ailments needing a God touch, and major life changes occurring, you are in our prayers.

Libby got a chance to catch up with her cousins, Zoe and Lucie, on our trip back to Bothell just before Christmas.  We all enjoyed the sweet time of fellowship.

Libby got a chance to catch up with her cousins, Zoe and Lucie, on our trip back to Bothell just before Christmas. We all enjoyed the sweet time of fellowship.

As 2014 dawns upon us our deepest prayer is that you know how sweetly you are loved by our Heavenly Father. Much love and many blessings!
winter scene

Blessed

Boxes are unpacked, schooling is sailing right along, soccer season has ended, and the snow has begun to fall. I am mindful of Thanksgiving creeping around the corner and it makes me think of the term blessed and it’s rich meaning. Today I am pondering a few of the synonyms that highlight to word best: granted, favoured, contented, merry, sanctified, refreshed, delightful. I often end my emails not with “sincerely,” but just the word, “blessings.” I do this because I genuinely desire my loved ones to be blessed, or in other words, sanctified, refreshed, and content. I know through life, sometimes blessing is masked behind the busyness or just the mundaneness of daily life. It is especially at these moments I should stop and again reflect on the beautiful, yet impacting definition of blessed from Webster’s 1828 dictionary.
BLESS’ED, Happy; prosperous in worldly affairs; enjoying spiritual happiness and the favor of God; enjoying heavenly felicity.
Isn’t it interesting how being atoned for and happy go hand in hand. So my thanksgiving greeting to you, walk in the blessing that is so beautifully yours given by our precious Savior, because it is only there that one can truly be happy.

For the curious…I’ve attached a few pictures of our loft.

Yay, A kitchen!  The basement makeshift kitchen just doesn't compare.  A little bit more on the floors.  These are dyed with Ameripolish acetone based dye and seal.  They are carmel and highlighted with walnut.  I am sorry to be so detailed, but when I was looking for the right stain color, it was very difficult to find pictures with detailed info, so thus, all the info.

Yay, A kitchen! The basement makeshift kitchen just doesn’t compare. A little bit more on the floors. These are dyed with Ameripolish acetone based dye and seal. They are carmel and highlighted with walnut. I am sorry to be so detailed, but when I was looking for the right stain color, it was very difficult to find pictures with detailed info, so thus, all the info.

Libby and Max send their love from our tv room.

Libby and Max send their love from our tv room.

The barn doors enter into a den, but it is currently being used as Asher's room. To the right you will see the door going into Wilson's room.

The barn doors enter into a den, but it is currently being used as Asher’s room. To the right you will see the door going into Wilson’s room.

The boys bathroom was outfitted on my last trip to Bothell on an outing to IKEA.  Yes, that is the closest IKEA to Coeur D Alene.

The boys bathroom was outfitted on my last trip to Bothell on an outing to IKEA. Yes, that is the closest IKEA to Coeur D Alene.

Max's room, is know as the bunk room, although it has yet to acquire of the built in bunks.  This is one of those pending winter projects.  The dark spots in the floors throughout are not due to dye, but rather it is where the concrete was not fully dry when we sprayed the dye on it.

Max’s room, is know as the bunk room, although it has yet to acquire of the built in bunks. This is one of those pending winter projects. The dark spots in the floors throughout are not due to dye, but rather it is where the concrete was not fully dry when we sprayed the dye on it.

Where our schooldays are spent.

Where our schooldays are spent.

Our sweet daughter's bedroom, for now.

Our sweet daughter’s bedroom, for now.

This bath joins Libby's room and the master bedroom.

This bath joins Libby’s room and the master bedroom.

The floors in the master bedroom are concrete, like the rest of the loft, but are finished with a slight color variation.  We used Ameripolish concrete dye and seal, in carmel, coffee, then a very light coat of walnut. Sound like a yummy Starbucks combination, doesn't it?

The floors in the master bedroom are concrete, like the rest of the loft, but are finished with a slight color variation. We used Ameripolish concrete dye and seal, in carmel, coffee, then a very light coat of walnut. Sounds like a yummy Starbucks combination, doesn’t it?

A fall sunset

May your fall set with a beautiful Thanksgiving spent with family and friends.