great success!

today we're going to play a game! what in these two pictures is not the same?

picture #1: taken at 9am this morning. study it carefully!

picture #2: taken at 4pm this afternoon. what's different?

yeah that's right. the porch is gone. just to refresh your memory, this is what we have been using it for:

it was a great storage room, but the time had come for us to lose it! it was in really bad shape - broken windows, etc. tearing it down was actually a lot of fun.

dave, klaas, ben, justin, and i worked to move all the house debris to the dumpster. then they did this.

we were amazed at how well it came down! here are some more pics from the day.

the dumpster started like this:

and ended like this:

and praise God for fantastic weather today. He held off the rain, and it was nice and cool to be working outside. we are so thankful for friends and family who sacrifice their saturdays to help us out.

while the boys were working with crowbars and chainsaws, i started raking out our garden. crissy and "favorite aunt patty" came by while we were eating lunch. they scoped out some of the existing landscaping and put in their guesses for what perennials would be coming up. looks like we'll have lilacs, peonies, chives, and some other plants i can't remember. :)

God is so good, and so faithful. today i just felt this overwhelming sense of peace and thankfulness that He provided this home for us. this is our home - we don't have to move out any time soon! what a blessing. something we do not deserve.

i see God's goodness so much in this situation. we've been looking for houses for about two years, and it amazes me that God had this perfect home in store for us all along. i love that God orchestrates these things to be just so. i am a fool to not trust Him and His sovereign grace.

one funny story from the day: dave and i were taking the sledge hammer to some cabinets in the front yard. the activity drew over a neighbor boy and his parents, so we were thankful for the chance to meet them! the little boy was like, "i wanna smash stuff, too!"

we've met quite a few of our neighbors, actually. one family in particular has been especially kind. they told us they have been praying that a young couple would move in and really work on the house. that really touched me. we met another neighbor, too, who told us some interesting news: apparently the last three owners have all divorced. it was so sweet to see ben look our neighbor in the eye and say, "for us, divorce is not an option." i love my ben.

the house is really coming along. on the first level, we've had the HVAC guy, electricians, and clyde (the plumber) come to get us set up. those projects are fantastic and necessary, but they don't give a large visual difference. tearing off the porch was just what i needed to remind me that the things we are doing to this house will make a BIG difference. here are a few shots of the kitchen.

you can see where the sliding patio door and window above the sink are framed in. we're moving along, slow and steady. now i think ben and i are going to go watch zoolander. as a parting shot, here's dave in his zoolander pose:

have a great weekend!