Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Tale From the Un-Handy Husband

As I recently blogged, Jackie and I are moving to her granddad's old place. And that means we are remodeling... everything.

The first thing we tackled was ripping up the emerald green carpet. And it was everywhere. The living room. Hallway. All 3 bedrooms. Every closet.

Even the bathrooms.

Adios carpet!!!
For the most part, the carpet came up easily. After that, we took up the pad and hammered down the staples. There were hundreds and hundreds of staples, and there was often no rhyme or reason to how the staples were placed. You could go several feet and not find one staple, but then there would be a patch with about 20 staples in a space about the size of the palm of my hand.

Working in the hall
After sending the carpet from the Emerald City on down the yellow brick road, we had to paint over the faux marble walls, which meant that every single square inch of wall space was going to need paint.

My future office/Star Trek room/man cave
After picking a color at Lowe's, we got to rolling...and rolling...and rolling...

After a long day of inhaling paint fumes, I serenaded Jackie with my own version of the Reading Rainbow theme song (Butterfly in the sky... I'm feeling really high) and a new twist on Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel" (Jesus, take the roller. Take it from my hands, cuz I can't paint this wall
You call it a duster. I call it a hair piece... a bad one!
Once all the walls were painted, we turned our gaze upward to the light fixtures, which were originally all ugly, round, plastic fixtures. My brother-in-law Matt showed me how to change them out for new ones. And my brother-from-another-mother Keith Warren helped swap out the ceiling fan in the living room.

Today the estimator from Lowe's came by to measure for carpet, and I also hauled almost 20 boxes of laminate flooring from my parents' house to our new place.

After the Lowe's guy left, I decided that I could tackle replacing the light fixtures over the kitchen sink and by the back door. I was worried that the Un-Handy Husband would really screw it up, but it wasn't too bad.
This has GOT TO GO!

So far so good.

Yikes! We've passed the point of no return!

Looking good!

Much better!!!
I still have one more ceiling fan to change out (one in the master bedroom). And we have to lay the floor in the living room, but things are looking good for the Un-Handy Husband.

Jackie and I also owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to her parents for giving a place to live rent-free and for helping us so much, to my parents for the laminate flooring (and my mom for painting and my dad for staple duty), Jackie's brother Matt for his help and time, and to our friends (that are family to us) Keith and Ingrid Warren for their unending help and support.

That's it for now. I'm sure the Un-Handy Husband will have a few more adventures before this remodeling adventure is over. So stay tuned!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Migrant Camp 2011

As promised, I'm finally writing about our Migrant Camp mission trip from Memorial Day week. This was the 42nd (or 546th) year that our church has sent a group to Baldwin County to minister to the Hispanic population.

Traditionally, we have gone into, well, migrant camps to have our backyard Bible study-style sessions. For the past couple of years, we've been able to send groups into some of the local trailer parks that have a large Hispanic population. However, this year we didn't have as many people going, so we planned to go into our main three camps, Nolte, Childress, and Littles.

Two weeks before we went down, I was texting with one of the kids that's been in Littles for years, and he told me that the camp was shut down last summer after we left.

With very little time, we were able to find a new trailer park in Foley that was largely Hispanic. There were about 80 trailers, so the first thing we did when we arrived was split up to go knock on doors. Many knocks went unanswered, but we met a lot of people and ended up with a large group of kids and youth. A few of the moms also came and spent time with us.

Each night we played games, did arts and crafts, and told Bible stories. We had a great time!!! The Lord also set up a divine appointment for us to meet a pastor from a local Hispanic church on our first night in the trailer park. Pastor Raul brought his praise team Thursday night, and we had a wonderful bilingual worship experience!

Friday we made each person that we'd met a health kit, which is a cloth bag that has a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and comb. The kids also get a toy. We also get a lot of other things donated, like lotion, jewelry, mouthwash, hairbands & bows, tissues, hats, gloves, etc. We put these items in the health kits according to who we are making each bag for.

During the week, we made a piñata for each camp. Nolte made a peacock. Childress made the red bird from Angry Birds. For the Thompson trailer park, we made a huge piece of Dubble Bubble gum.

On the last night, we lined all the kids up, and they all got to take a swing at the piñata. Ours was made out of poster board (and packing tape)... so they hit it over and over and over.

It never broke.

My brother had to rip it open and dump out the candy for them. The kids went wild!

Before we left, we passed out the health kits and walked all the kids home. It was so hard to say goodbye. The relationships we formed with the kids in the span of just 5 nights is unbelievable. I can't wait to go back next year. Even though Littles is gone and I will miss the people there, I love our new trailer park.

Also, I have to give props to every single person that went this year. It was a wonderful experience to spend a week living with so many great members of my church family. God also built some great friendships with some people that I didn't know too well before we went on the trip. Overall, this was easily one of my favorite years at Migrant Camp.

Here's the video that I made for our share time service that we had at church Sunday night. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just a Quick Update

Sorry to have been MIA the past week or so. Jackie and I went on a mission trip with our church, the First Baptist Church of Columbiana, down to Baldwin County to do Vacation Bible School-type ministries with migrants and Hispanic families.

Our church has been going on this mission trip, which we call Migrant Camp, for approximately 43 years. (Depending on who you ask, you'll get a different number.) Migrant Camp is completely deserving of its own blog post, and it will get one. So stay tuned!

Jackie and I have also been prepping for our big move. This will be my third move in three summers, but hopefully this will be the last one for a couple of years. We're moving to her granddad's old place, which happens to be a stone's throw away from both her parents' and maternal grandparents' houses.

Yep, we're moving to the Hawkins Family Compound! <gulp>

In all honesty, I'm really looking forward to the move. It will be so nice to have a place to call our own...and to not have to share walls and floors with neighbors!

Today I told the office manager at our apartment complex that we were not renewing our lease at the end of the month. When she asked why we were moving, this was the image that immediately popped into my mind:

Jimmy McMillan from The Rent is Too Damn High Party!!

While I may have been thinking it in my head, I did not tell the manager that the sky-high rent was the reason. However, rent is playing a major factor in our decision to move. I've always hated paying rent. To me, it always seemed like I was flushing money down the drain. You pay all this money for an apartment that you will never own and that will never earn you any money in return. With what we've paid in rent this year, we could easily have bought a nice, new small car (like a Kia or Hyundai).

While I'm looking forward to living in our own place, I am dreading the thought of packing all of our stuff up. (How do two people accumulate so much stuff in just a year?!?!?) We are going to move as much stuff as we can ourselves and then hire movers to move the furniture. (I'm not carrying all that furniture down from the 3rd floor. Momma didn't raise no fool!!)
Hope this doesn't happen to us!
So this will be a month of packing, remodeling, moving, unpacking, and trying to settle in...all while I'm trying to get my independent study done for school this summer. And we're doing all of this in the zillion-degree heat of an Alabama summer!! (I've already decided that when we move again, it will be winter time!)

I have also recently become addicted to Words with Friends. I love that game!!! My handle is BruceFinklea, if any of y'all want to start a game!

So that's pretty much what's been going on and what will be going on in the next couple of weeks. I'll try to type up the Migrant Camp blog in the next day or so.