On Monday, I began a new job.
This summer I was looking through job listings, with my teenage children in mind, when I came across something that made my heart leap. It was a job working with teens in a group/foster care setting. I can not even totally explain why, goodness knows it was not too much time on my hands, but I immediately wanted to pursue it. It has been a long time since I felt that way. Practical or not, I just wanted to serve. My heart has long ached to have more knowledge and experience in working with older kids from hard places. I have all sorts of dreams for our home as it clears out, many of them include teens, yet I know I do not have the knowledge or experience to truly pursue any of them. This job seemed to be a God send. It would give me training - both classroom style and hands-on. The problem, of course, was time. Chad agreed to me working one shift a week and one weekend a month. So, I applied with those boundaries in mind. I was hired to work as a sub. Though I have gone to several trainings, which have been great, I had not met the kids until Monday. I am very intrigued and excited to see just where all of this leads.
While I was at work Monday night (my shift is 3pm to 11pm) Mataya took a leap off the couch and hurt her foot. Though she cried long and hard after the fall, she slept well. Chad was hopeful that she was OK. By mid-morning, I was not convinced. While she was as active as ever, she was limping. Two-year-olds don't limp. So, we enlisted Grandpa Scott to watch Wyatt while Mataya and I went to see the doctor. She was a champ through the visit and x-rays. BUT, she came home with "the boot." Because of a hairline fracture on the top of her foot near her pinky toe, she was sentenced to 10 days in the boot. The pain from her fracture is not too bad. Her hatred for the boot comes and goes. Sometimes she is OK with it. Other times, she is NOT. When Mataya is not happy, she is really NOT HAPPY. It has been exhausting.
On Wednesday, a long time dream of Chad and myself began to unfold.
We purchased a lake lot. For many, many years we have prayed that in His time, God would open a door for us to have a lake property. My dream was very specific - it needed to be within 2 hours of our home, at a lake that was good for both fishing and playing, in an area that Chad and the kids could also hunt, with lots of gravel roads for me to run and bike on, right on the water, and not over crowded, and it needed to be affordable. Chad and I have carefully watched listings for years and there was NOTHING that would fit my list perfectly. Honestly, nothing even came very close. However, in July, we found it!
I am still in awe at how it all unfolded, and as of Wednesday it is officially ours! One little lakeside acre that we will develop into a haven away from home. Mataya and Wyatt were both with us at the closing and together, and we spent a fun afternoon exploring our lot. Though I had dreaded having two toddlers with us that day, in the end, it was super special to have Wyatt. One of the reasons Chad and I wanted a lake lot so badly was that we wanted a place where ALL our kids and grandkids could gather to just BE. Having Wyatt there at the beginning of this new venture was precious. He toddled all over the lot, gathering sticks and yelling for "Gampa." Oh, Wy-guy, we are going to make so many more memories on that plot of prairie!
Here is a sneak peak:
The whole development is on top of a hill. We do have lake access, but it is at the bottom of a steep embankment. That is both good and bad. It is safer for the littles and the view is amazing, but cutting steps into the cliff side will be a JOB!
The sandy area is being developed as a swim beach.
I swore I would never build another home - unless it was a lake home. Believe it or not, I am totally excited to begin building next spring. We will do almost everything by ourselves, on a shoestring budget. I am soooo up for the challenge. We will live in the camper while we build the cabin and sell the camper once it is complete. We have three years to complete the cabin, so we are planning to build and play on our weekends there. We want to get it done - but NOT at the break neck speed we had to build our home. I am hoping to enjoy this process. HOPING!!
This will be the view from my bedroom. The cabin will be small. One of the reasons we love camping is that we all share the same space, we want to make sure the cabin is snuggly. The plan is all our own and will be submitted for a permit tomorrow! If all goes as we hope, we will build a detached garage yet this fall. Our garage at home is too full! Getting the boat and water toys out will be a huge relief!
In the spring we will begin working on the cabin.
In the spring we will begin working on the cabin.
I am not even sure I can adequately explain how humbly grateful I am that God opened this door. I nearly wept as we drove into the development after closing. THIS opportunity to create a space for people to hang and connect and rest is such an incredible blessing.
Thursday, I had an all day first aid and CPR class.
It was an emotionally exhausting day. So many things discussed brought back far from healed memories of the morning my grandma died. I was exhausted to begin with, which never helps - but it was NOT a fun day. The bright spot was knowing Mataya was happy and safe with her Grammy though.
Friday was chaos.
Mataya was a total barracuda. She had had enough of the boot. I had a ton of work to do at my office. My house looked like it should given the level of crazy the week entailed. I was completely wiped both physically and emotionally - but payroll got done and Mataya was kept safe, if not happy. And as the sun went down. Brenna celebrated an important Dietrich milestone when she harvested her first deer.
She was so incredibly pleased. It was so very wonderful to celebrate with her after such a hard day.
A few things I want to remember about that night:
- the first person she called to tell of her success was her Great Grandpa Hoff who is the source of the family hunting fettish. He was waiting up for her call.
-next she called Grammy. I LOVE all the family connection.
-she group texted Sierra, Jamison, and I of her harvest. Jamison's response of "ATTA GIRL!" brought tears to both my and Sierra's eyes. Man, we miss that guy.
-when she got home her eyes were sparkling and happy and proud, as were her dad's.
They headed to the garage to get that stinky animal on ice, while I crashed, feeling incredibly thankful for sleep.
Saturday was a very special day for my husband.
You see, when her was 12 or 13 he bought his first car. He worked on it constantly though out middle school and high school. He took me to the Prom in it. We drove it to our wedding. And then life happened. Kids and business and lack of space and time and money caused his first love to spend about 20 years in storage. She (the car) became mouse infested, scratched, stinky, and in need of a major overhaul. Chad waited patiently,and finally last winter he began working on the old girl. The goal was to have her up and running for Jamison's graduation, and although that did not happen, SATURDAY it did.
Chad still has a list of this and that he dreams of perfecting, but all in all this car has never looked better. And it has certainly never run better. It was so fun to just drive, feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair and chill next to my boyfriend of forever. It was incredibly therapeutic. Seeing Chad drive with his "car grin" plastered on his face was pretty therapeutic as well.
Chad and I went to lunch, and then we headed over to his grandparent's home.
The first time I ever met Chad's grandpa it was very late at night. We were on a date and this very car was struggling. A hose had blown and Chad needed tools. He woke up his grandpa, who patiently got dressed and came out into the dusk to help him repair the hose. When we finally had this beauty out and running like a top, we both knew Grandpa needed to be among the first to get a ride.
Chad and his grandpa are two peas in a pod. Chad looks more like his grandpa than anyone else, by a landslide, and they share many of the same interests. Seeing them together makes my heart ache a little these days. Time is fleeting, and I want to soak in every moment.
We headed home and took the kids for a cruise. (Mataya is in a car seat.) They were hilarious! Mataya and Joshua loved the wind in their hair. The giggled and goaded their daddy to drive faster the entire time.
Today, Chad and Joshua brought the camper to the lake lot and did some garage prep work. The girls and I played catch-up at home. It was noisy. Mataya is struggling. The boot is making her crazy, which makes me crazy, which makes us all crazy. UGH!
While I am thankful for the BIG highs of last week, I am hoping for a calmer, gentler week ahead.
As I tucked Mataya in tonight, I prayed her usual blessing "Mataya Hope, may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him." In spicy Mataya fashion, she repeated every phrase like this "No Taya Hope. . . No fill you. . no joy and peace. . . no trust Him. . . no like bedtime!!!!!" And as I think on it now, that is often how I approach His joy and peace. Things are good. Peaceful. Blessings abound. And I am busy thinking of the next thing. Rushing. Refusing the moment. Refusing to chill out and trust.
She is so like me.
(I'm sorry baby girl!)
This week I vow to savor, to allow Him to fill me, to trust and to embrace His rest. By His strength.