With great gratitude, almost there

February 18th, 2016

As Josie’s room and the rest of our addition is nearly finished and our family’s circumstances begin to widen outward from the decidedly narrow place we just passed through, I’m reprinting a statement I wrote some time ago on our YouCaring page for the benefit of those who may have missed reading it there.

Don’t miss the handful of random photos I included at the end of this post just for fun!


Last summer when we were waiting on God for direction, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous offered us a breathtakingly large sum toward Josie’s room and told us they want us to be free to move ahead and begin building and to use our HELOC loan to add a second floor to the addition.

We want to thank everyone who has donated to Josie’s room so far!

All funds given through this YouCaring fundraiser and the large donation given by the donor mentioned above are being used to help build Josie’s room.

Our family is paying for the materials and labor (minus donated materials and labor) for the second floor addition, for converting the master bedroom to a second floor laundry room with changing rooms, for the widened driveway with ramp/sidewalk, wheelchair pad and railing, for the extensive septic work we were required to do because of building this addition, for the propane tank and HVAC system we had installed in the whole house, for the laminate flooring in the living room and school room which will make it easier for Josie to navigate those rooms with her walker, and of course, for all the furnishings for the new rooms.

Every laborer who volunteered time and skills understands that his or her labor is being applied to the project as a whole. There have also been donations given outside the YouCaring fundraiser, some stipulated for various purposes and some given to be used as needed toward the general project. In every case, we are being conscientious to ensure that the wishes of each donor are honored.

We are so grateful to be able to implement the most economically sensible plan–to add the second floor at the same time as the first floor rather than some years down the road. Adding 1000 square feet of carefully designed space to our 1300 square foot home will be a tremendous blessing for everyone in our sixteen member household.

However, an even bigger blessing is the many, many of you who have shared with us and rejoiced with us at this unexpected gift God is seeing fit to give us.

In a world that is too often cynical, selfish and harsh, we are blown away by your generosity!

We love you and thank God for you!



A short little person in big tall boots~



The big tall person who belongs to the big tall boots happens to be a fun big brother.



Vacuuming the carpet that is no more.  We were glad to see it go.







Companions in crime, oh my, and you don’t know the half~



John Michael and Peter hung out with the carpenter and were subsequently put to work…



…to their great delight.



He said that for the laminate job, the two of them were as good as a skilled helper.



The five of us who were camping out downstairs moved into temporary quarters in Josie’s room while the laminate was installed in here.



Intent on creating~



Josie Joy-bringer~



We pulled the wheelchairs inside during a recent snow and ice storm.  Strange as it may seem to the uninitiated, I love these chairs for the stories they speak to a contemplative heart.



Paint color is actually robin’s egg blue.  My cell phone pulls all color over into the cool zone.



The space that is emerging here nourishes and refreshes the beauty-seeking soul my Maker created me to be.




See you next time for the big reveal, Deo volente!


Share it!

10 Responses to “With great gratitude, almost there”

  1. Esther Paris says:

    Oh so beautiful! My whole being laughed with the big boots photo! Will you be doing that wall decal of the tree after all?

  2. Susanna says:

    Esther, yes! :)

  3. MamaV says:

    I love the laminate! Everything looks wonderful!

  4. This is wonderful!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Louisa says:

    Beautiful….such a blessing to all of you!

  6. Sarah says:

    I had not heard the term ‘prosperity gospel’ before, but I have known several people who have lived with those beliefs. They are pretty foreign to me and to the version of Christianity I read in the gospel. Time after time, Jesus tells us that earthly riches are nothing, that they are an impediment to entering heaven, and that he stands with the poor and the broken. And I have seen people who believe the gospel and live it with their whole hearts suffer and suffer, and find God in and through that suffering. The Bible says that those who mourn will be comforted, but it does not say that the comforting will come in this life. I think that it is important to remember that the Kingdom of Heaven is not on earth. The path I read in the Gospels is not an easy one, and the riches that are promised are not those that many think they are.

  7. Sarah says:

    Sorry, I meant to comment on your previous post, not this one!

  8. Sandi (bbcooker) says:

    The bunk bed in Josie’s room – is that purchased or built by you? I’m in the market for bunk beds, and that one looks great! Is the bottom bunk a twin like the top? Thanks. :)

    I like the decorating you do! You have a gift for that. :)

  9. Susanna says:

    Sandi, hi friend!

    First, I must be quick to say that while I am ardently appreciative of many forms of beauty, my gifts lie in the practical areas of logistics, organization, orderliness, and balance, and I am not an idea person when it comes to original decorating. So I rely heavily on the ideas of others whose style I admire. This time, I borrowed the talents of our oldest son’s mom-in-law, who’s also a good friend of mine. She convinced me to join Pinterest, and the girls and I found that resource to be a big help. I didn’t choose the colors and style of either Josie and Laura’s room or Jane and Verity’s room, I just designed the layouts and am helping make their chosen decor happen. I am enormously enjoying this opportunity for creativity. :)

    Josie and Laura’s bunk bed was moved from our former girls’ room, and used to belong to Jane and Laura. We carried Josie up the steps each night when she stayed here on a respite basis, and she slept on the bottom bunk while Laura slept on the floor beside her. It is twin over full, and that works well to give Josie plenty of sleeping room and head room at the edge of the bed to sit up and get into her walker. Someone gave us the bed years ago when we were expecting our third born. It actually came as two twin beds, a higher and a lower, that were designed to be placed perpendicular to each other, making an “L” shape. Two houses and several children later, Joe took it apart and sawed and bolted it into its current form for the two girls when they were small. After it spent a few years dismantled in our barn, Laura painted it white when we redecorated the old girls’ room while we were adopting Katie, if I remember correctly. The friend who helped us move it this time raised the upper bunk to its highest point. And that’s the story of Josie and Laura’s bed. Thanks for asking. :)

  10. Lauren S. says:

    I love the picture of the wheelchairs. My mother’s MS is advanced. The wheelchairs she has been gifted are such answers to prayer, always arriving when most needed.

RSS feed for comments on this post. And trackBack URL.

Leave a Reply