While You Were Out

I used to really enjoy watching a show called "While You Were Out"...back when we were watching TV...that is a home improvement/decorating show about a surprise room makeover for someone who is coaxed away from home during the project.  I always thought it would be fun to be involved in something like that...really fun to be the surprised recipient! 

Jakob is away this week at Leadership Camp (formerly known as Altar Server Camp).  Tim is with him.  On a side note, I could not be more happy to know that Tim is off work for an entire week to spend this amazing time, not only with our son, but ninety-some other boys and young men as they become even more excited about their beautiful Catholic faith and draw closer to our Lord.  On an even farther side note:  The camp is geared toward teaching these boys to become leaders, so there are new campers, junior counselors, senior counselors, etc.  There are also several seminarians that spend the week inspiring and leading and learning.  Tim has enjoyed his "adult time" last year and this year with Fr. Courtney, the other dads there and these young men studying to be priests.  He called last night to chat a little and informed me that a conversation arose about Fr. Courtney baptizing Jonathan, which transpired into a notification that in three years, one of the seminarians will be looking forward to baptizing our next child.  This of course turned into "fair is only fair...if he gets to baptize one of your kids then I get the next one in four years..."  This is funny to me because of all the thoughts I have been having about the size of our family and if it will become larger.  That is for another post.

Now, back to the orignially intended content of THIS post:  I have always thought it would be nice to have nicely decorated kids' rooms.  You know, like the ones in magazines?  I was recently inspired by a friend who redecorated her son's room while he was away at the 1st session of Leadership Camp.  "What a fun idea", I thought.  And I really thought about it a lot!  Then I received the newest edition of Pottery Barn Teens catalog.  I must admit, that when it comes to home decorating, more than 50% of my inspiration comes from Pottery Barn.  If I could afford it, my actual furnishings would come from there too!  Now I was really thinking about things, but how in the world could I pull something like this off with three little--LITTLE--kids running around?  And then I started thinking, "What if he doesn't even like it?"

These were actually my primary pieces of PB inspiration...$69.00 each.  YIKES.  (Still waiting for my money tree to grow!)

Additinal PBTeen inspiration pieces.  Totally set if I could come up with about $700!

I had my inspiration.  My motivation came while I was continuing to clean and organize and purge throughout the house.  (I must add that it DOES NOT look like I have cleaned, organized or purged ANYTHING right now in this house--why does that happen???)  I re-discovered a box of books that I removed from my room last fall when we were having our floors done.  I love reading at bedtime, and these were all of my bedside books.  I have a new stack beside my bed, but oh how I have missed some of these books.  In particular, a couple of my journals.  A long while back I started keeping a journal for each of the kids.  I thought I would write in them each month on their birthdate day that month.  Hmph!  That worked just like all the other things I think I'd like to do!  I also started journaling my prayers.  I did a better job at this, but still not great.  As I thumbed through my prayer journal and Jakob's journal, I found myself sitting on the floor almost sobbing. 

I am so incredibly blessed!  I read my own words about how in love with my son I was.  I still am of course, but I was reading words written YEARS ago.  I have good children.  No, I have great children.  Reading my words to Jakob and then even my prayers over the years...some answered the way I wanted and others not so much...reminded me that I am clay.  His clay.  I am a vine...His vine.  I must let Him mold me and prune me, and it is not and will not be easy.  He has given me seven amazing children, but I am to learn something through each of them. 

We know that as parents, we are tough on Jakob.  He is our first.  He sets the learning curve.  We make our first mistakes with him.  He has also always been one step ahead...it is often challenging to remember that he is 11, because we've seen him act like he is 15, so when he acts like an 11 year old, we get irritated!  PLUS, he and I are two peas in a pod, and we butt heads big horn style! 

He has had such a tough summer with his broken arm.  When the cast was to come off, his doctor felt it necessary to recast it for a few more weeks.  His mother felt it necessary to question other options.  Days later, he underwent what is called an open reduction with fixation...or a plate and screws to straighten the bone that wasn't healing well and hold it into place.  This meant a minimum of 4 more weeks.  When he went in for a follow-up, he was told three more weeks.  He has been in a cast or splint now for 9 weeks.  He has not gone swimming, played baseball or participated in really anything that boys do during the summer.  My heart has ached for him since the day he broke it, and then again especially this week, knowing that he would have to sit out during the physical highlights of camp...mudslides, dodge ball, archery, etc. 

Yes...yes, I will surprise Jakob with a "room re-do".  I was excited, and I rallied my 3 and 5 year olds to be excited with me.  I informed his other siblings so they too could be excited, but they of course wanted to know first why Jakob?  Why not them.  I'm just going to fast forward through that.  :)  I sucked it up and took three little kids shopping for three hours on day one and another hour this morning (not fun for them--or me really) to find the perfect pieces to create a PBTeen inspired room at a thrift shop price.  We started painting last night and I finished tonight.  I have to take some things back to the store that aren't going to work and decide if I'm willing and able to spend the extra money to buy appropriate replacements tomorrow.  I figure we will have one more half-day to pull this off.  I'm excited and I hope Jakob likes it.  I know that even if he doesn't, he's the kind of kid that will totally pretend while I'm looking.  Ben LOVES it, and bless his heart, he is even extremely excited about surprising Jakob with it now that he has gotten past being upset that it isn't for him. 

The "fantasy grey" is the new color.  The "papya" orange is the now previous color.

I had to make the before picture look as awful as possible.  This is actually the result of me painting while three little monsters occupied themselves in the same room!

I think turning 12, starting junior high, being really mature about missing out on so many things this summer due to his injury, and making a willing committment to grow closer to Jesus are pretty good reasons to get a new and improved room.  Oh, and, just because I love him.  He'll be home Saturday night...

And just because she's too cute not to include...here is Millie sitting in the dental chair for her first dental visit.  It lasted all of 5 minutes, but at least she smiled to show her teeth a little!