I spent the better part of a week bleaching siding.
Before I started, the entire side of the house looked nice and green like the left side in the picture below.
Joe and Xandra repaired a leak in the roof of the shed next to the house. There's nothing like being midsentence with one of the neighbors, only to have them interrupt with, "Oh my, your daughter is on the roof."
Fortunately, she, like her father, has a healthy fear of heights.
When I finished painting and bleaching outside, I headed inside with my paint brush. So long my bright red friend.
The list of items for cleaning, repairing, organizing and painting was so long, that we had to call in reinforcements.
Jessica and her sister, Lauren, spent several days with us in late November watching the kids and assisting me with various projects.
Their projects were much more fun than mine. They involved cuddling with the kids in the chair and baking chocolate chip cookies.
We also called in reinforcements from our care group, who voluntarily came to our rescue one Sunday afternoon. They spent an afternoon doing various jobs, big and small all around our home.
Some of the highlights from the afternoon include: Julie helped me iron and hang freshly laundered curtains. Lauren and Kristin cleaned lots of dirt, spiders and spiderwebs from the kids' firehouse. Lindsey found a half decomposed mouse on a glue trap in the furnace room (that's not embarassing in the least). Doug clear cut our front yard with his weed eater. Several men raked and hauled and raked and hauled and raked and hauled leaves. Carpets were vacuumed, grills cleaned, widows washed, spider webs removed, and junk hauled away.
Some were brave enough to get on our roof to bleach gutters and siding I couldn't reach.
Some, like Brad, were lucky enough to be entrusted with the hose.
Joe and I spent most of the afternoon bossing people around. I'm not sure how they captured a picture of him actually doing work...I think this one must have been posed.
He was even smart enough to rub some dirt on his knees in this picture. It looks like he's really been working.
We did allow people to take a break, at some point. But only for a few minutes before we began yelling, "Back to work, you lazy slugs."
Everything was going great until Brad climbed up on the roof.
Then, where previously calm had reigned,
Thankfully no one fell off the roof. The only casualties of the afternoon were a few unsuspecting spiders and Dave's split lip. We forgot to tell him the axe was for splitting logs not lips.
In five short (or long, depending on your perspective) hours the group accomplished what would have taken Joe and I innumerable hours to accomplish on our own. We're so grateful for their kindness and hard work. It is a true picture of God's graciousness poured into our lives through His people.
Maybe more amazing than their work ethic, is that after all that work, they all still speak to us.