Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look What I Did!!

One of the only things I have ever regretted about waiting so long for our family to be formed was that our sons have not had the benefit of having grandfathers. My Dad passed away when I was 25 and Dominick's Dad passed the year Joshie came home. We also live far away from grandma's, aunts and uncles, leaving us pretty much on our own in many ways. However, we have been incredibly blessed to have others step in and fill the shoes of those who unfortunately can not be near us.

The boys had wanted to learn more about working with tools and making things this summer, so one of our close friends offered to open "Mr. Steve's Woodworking School" just for them! They have already learned quite a lot, Joshie is adept at using a measuring tape, Kenny informed me today that you are not supposed to sand against the grain, and Matthew has developed a love of the older style drills! He even said he prefers it over a power drill!

Mr. Steve is helping the boys build a couple of their Cub Scout projects, so Matthew and Kenny are working on two different kinds of tool boxes and Joshie is making a bird house which I was secretly told is for me and I am not supposed to know what it is :-) One morning each week this summer the boys have been mentored by this wonderful man...who clearly has to be quite courageous to take on 3 young boys at one time in a wood shop! They eagerly look forward to this more than just about anything they have done, and I am not sure if it is the woodworking or the companionship of an interested elder that means the most. We are very, very grateful for the many people who have contributed to the raising of our children. God has clearly sent us some very special folks to fill the gaps.

This is going to be a photo heavy post, so I apologize, but we have another story to tell that piggy backs on this one, and I had several photos I liked from this afternoon so I am posting them for our own enjoyment...sorry to bore you with them!

The rest of the story is about a poor little red wagon. This little red wagon has served us well, and was a gift from Grandma Alice long, long ago when Matthew was but a wee tyke of 2. It has hauled coolers, firewood, plants, and dirt. It has been used and abused, and for awhile now we have wanted to do something about it...we wanted to show it some love. Today, it got an Extreme Makeover!

Here is our little red wagon, looking as if it has been unloved (or maybe too well loved!). Stay tuned and keep reading, as you will watch it's transformation! By the way, don't you totally dig Joshie's beloved blankie wrapped around him like the Red Baron's scarf? That thing goes EVERYWHERE with him! Raggedy old thing...

They sanded...

And sanded...

And sanded some more!!

And Mom was touched to realize that those once little hands are not so little anymore, and are becoming stronger and more capable with each passing day. One day those hands will be doing great things in this world, and will hopefully will be used in acts of kindness for many others.

Then Joshie got bored and wanted to play truck driver on the riding lawn mower...

While the Big Boys worked diligently.

Then they painted...

While Josh "supervised"!

Then "Team LaJoy" pulled together, "supervisors" rolled up their sleeves, and they got to work varnishing the wagon bed! This was their favorite part...

And, the big "Reveal"....Drum Roll Please::::::brrrr:::::brrrrrr:::::::brrrrr:::::

TAAA DAAA!!!!! It's not perfect, the varnish could have used more coats I suppose, the paint too, but they did it all by themselves, and they are very proud.

One of the hardest things I have had to learn as a mom is when to let go of perfection, in all areas. After all, I had many kidless years before Matthew came along! Everything in it's place, nothing much to pick up but our own stuff. But I have learned that it's OK for the house to be messy sometimes, it's OK for the boys to be filthy sometimes, it's OK if the best laid plans fall apart as long as everyone is relaxed and having a good time, it's OK to have the boys help with touch up paint on the house and end up with yellow blotches everywhere for years on the patio as long as it wasn't intentional. It's OK, because this is how they learn, and someday the standard will come up, the bar will be raised...and they will easily be able to meet it because they practiced and someone wasn't nagging them telling them it wasn't OK. They'll have confidence to try the next thing, they will discover what they are good at and what they enjoy.

And when Dominick came home today, they couldn't wait to say "Look What I Did!".

That's what it's all about!


Hilary Marquis said...

Way to go boys! You do nice work ;) Looks like Mr. Steve is a very special man...and judging from the pictures, he adores your sons as if they were his grandsons.

Heather said...

Well that is just cute! You know I love seeing pic of those handsome boys!

Maureen said...

Hooray for Mr. Steve and hooray for the boys! The wagon looks very nice.

And thanks for the reminder that it doesn't all have to be perfect. I'm still trying to let go of that one. :-)

Lori said...

Love the new "do" for the wagon and I especially loved the blankie around Josh's neck! I noticed it and thought it adorable before I even read what you wrote!

Lisa said...

And may she take you on many safe, wondrous and joyful trips as a blessed family of 7!! It matters not what she looks like, cuz clearly she'll be filled with God's grace, god's promise and so much love!

I for one cannot wait to see the photo when she's full up with that name suits your family to a tea!

P.S. Similiarly, but on a smaller scale, for both our kiddos & following referral(but before they were home!), I would go into their waiting nurseries each night before bed, say a prayer that they be watched over in his grace and wish them happy dreams until we could come for them. It wasn't a leap of faith to believe those cribs would oneday be filled, but rather a reminder that faith works best when believed.