Friday, September 24, 2010

Queen of My Double-Wide Trailer, Part II

Hey ya'll! Are ya ready for more trailer talk?? If so, please read on!  Preparations for move in day on the country castle, as I like to call it, are finally near completion.  This last week was spent polishing off interior work.  Many of you may have visions of seamed walls covered in textured panels adorned with mauve flowers and teal accents, wall so thin that you can hear tinkling in the bathroom and bacon frying in the kitchen in the other end of the home.  Lint laden teal carpet and polyester drapes round out the look (if you've never been in a trailer house, just forget that last bit.).  When choosing our home, I was surprised to learn that trailers can be built much like a "stick-build" home, made to look modern and personalized.  My first thoughts were to say "adios" to the white walls and bring in some color.  This would take a crew.  Meet the crew:

This is my #1 go-to girl, my fabulous sister-in-law, Jennifer.  Better known to the paint crew as DJ Jazzy Jen.  She took off an entire day of work just to help me seize the color change goal.  Talk about family devotion!

Meet Steve's Aunt, Marilyn.  She drove all the way from Ness City, stayed for two days, and is so good at painting, she can do it with her eyes shut!  Just kidding, that would be my photography error. Merci, Merci, Merci, Marilyn for all of your help....and really most of all for the huge pan of cinnamon rolls you brought.  One for me, one for the baby, one for me, one for the baby....

This is Peggy, Marilyn's friend, painter extraordinaire.  I was so happy to have her expert advice on color and technique.  She is a true farm gal with a big heart, and made the experience fun for all of us!

Forget Handy Manny, we have Handy Henry in the house.  Ladder inspector, climber and dragger-around-wherever-you-are-mommy-in-case-you-need-it-boy.

Finally, there's Chris, on the left, kind of a slow-but-steady wins the race kinda guy.  He did all of the finishing work in the entire home, which consisted of trim, flooring, carpet-laying and joining the two halves together.

Just a guess, but I believe they are discussing just how impressed they are with our transformation of the walls, the beauty of the color and precision of the application.  Yep, that's definitely it!

Saving the best for last....this is Granny and Grandpa.  Kathy spent hours playing with kids, cooking meals, advising and encouraging us through this process.  Bob, the jack of all trades, did electrical wiring, plumbing, installed gas lines, hooked up appliances, went on paint runs and kept everyone on task, and on time.

Now, we are all patiently waiting for Monday, when the movers arrive and our country castle will finally be home to 7 happy inhabitants!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Queen of My Double-Wide Trailer, Part I

As Steve and I announced to friends and family that we were moving from the city to the farm, a frequently asked question was, "Where will you live?" To which we responded, "In a trailer house." To which they (often, but not always) displayed either 1. curiously raised eye-brows, or 2. a snicker implying "That's funny, but seriously, where are you living?" To which we replied (again), "Yes, it's true, we're going to live in a trailer house!"
"Mom, Dad, we're moving to the a trailer house." (Pause)

These are my parents, Karen and Ed.  No raised eye-brows here (well, margaritas always help).  Seriously, we've got a double-team of support with Steve's parents, too.
Now, while this living situation is only a temporary one, we hope to build someday (see plans at left),
(Just kidding! - this is a replica of the home Pa
Ingalls built for his family southwest of Independence, KS, from which the story "Little House on the Prairie is based." Wowzer!)

I feel it is my duty to dispel many miscalculated assumptions about trailer houses.  "Many" being the operative word here...."all" would have to include the trailers painted random shades of pink or mint green, with huge TV satellites in the yard to which a pit-bull or some breed of terror is chained.  Nope, no defense for those...but I'm sure they are a happy home, no less, for some.

When buying a trailer house, you have many options, one of them is to choose a floor plan and "design" it using this options available, which is what we did, hoping to sell it in a couple of years.  After a couple of months of planning, the house came in two pieces to the site of delivery.

After the two halves were centered on the foundation, a crew of men came in to super glue and staple the two halves together (kidding!) finish the roof and exterior.

No matter where a lady lives, with two knights to guard here castle,  peaceful rest, playful days, and a joyful life is to be lived.

Coming up....a peek at the interior, an introduction to our fantastic crew of design engineers (i.e. painters, craftsmen and all things plumbing and wiring magicians), and the castle complete!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Two small arms to hold you tight,
Two small feet to run,
Two small eyes full of love for you,
One small son. ~ Author Unknown
This is the first year that our youngest son, Henry, actually understood what it meant to celebrate his birthday.  He walked around all day saying, "Is today my birthday??" and "Is that cake for me??"  He even joined in singing the birthday song! So sweet and innocent.  The best part for us as parents was seeing his siblings and cousins truly celebrating his life, being happy for him as the recipient of many exciting new gifts and enveloping him with hugs, attention and praise.

The triumph of the cake! "Now that I've consumed more sugar in 2.1 minutes than I have in 2.1 years, I am fully prepared to rip into my presents with lightening speed."
"Holy smokes! My own set of John Deere farm tools!"
"George, my new Case tractor is gonna leave Uncle Doug's in the dust!"
"Watch out, Future Farmers of America, here I come!"

Though little, I'll work as hard as a Turk,
If you'll give me employ,
To plow and sow, and reap and mow,
And be a farmer's boy.
~Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Football Is a Lot Like Life....

"Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority." 
                          ~ Vince Lombardi

Ever since I can remember, sports have been a part of my life.  Early memories of playing outside with my siblings, which soon evolved into a variety of competitive sports, still brings a smile to my face. Running, jumping and playing is written in the nature of a child.  Those simple, carefree movements, with a little encouragement, can foreshadow a future of athletic form. There is an exhiliration that comes from exerting the will, a self-propelled determination to run a little faster, jump a little higher or to play with a little bit deeper intention - an intention to win. 

Beyond the physical aspects of athletics, perhaps the most enduring benefit is that of the gain of virtue. As in Lobardi's quote - sports require perserverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice and dedication.  These principles prove themselves to be of vital necessity not only in sports but in life, primarily the spiritual life.  This is no man-made idea, or accidental function:  God has made the human body to work, play, endure...those things not being an end in themselves, but an action towards a greater good: holiness.

Evryone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it for a crown that will not last; but we do it to gain a crown that will last forever ~ 1 Corinthians 9:25

In the movie, Chariots of Fire, runner Eric Liddell is asked why he runs, his reply is simple, yet profound, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." Last weekend, we had a little football practice on the farm - and I believe that the boys did indeed feel God's pleasure through the sport...For in Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
Andrew (7), Cousin Ethan (8), Benedict (9)


        KSU 31, UCLA 22

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Evolution of a Yes

Last weekend, our family traveled to Garden City to celebrate the life of Steve's grandfather, James Arnold Wehkamp, who passed away on August 25th.  During the funeral mass, I could not help but look upon Theresa, who is only known as "Granny" to her family, and contemplate the relationship she shared with Gramps throughout 61 beautiful years of marriage.

Then, to look around at the rows and rows of family that seemed to envelope her in the center of the church not only with their physical presence, but with their love, prayers, support, empathy, compassion and yes, the shared joy of knowing her beloved, I realized that the seed of her "yes" given to Gramps 61 years ago had floursishd in fruitfulness.  The evolution of a simple "yes" is today an unmistakably beautiful family - evidence of a blessed union, a union that has a specific and certain presnce among us still.

Yes, I will marry you!!....Becomes, yes, we're having a baby....babies!!! And, so the weight of the yes is mulitiplied, deepened and recited over and over again, as sacramental grace fortifies and strengthens us and our dedication to the vows for better or for worse, in sickness and in health in good times and in bad....till death do us part.

Thank you, Granny for saying "yes!"
Gramps, your memory will live on...around us, within us, through us and among us.