Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SHOUT OUT!!!!

If you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, then you already know the huge amount of excitement I have to share--excitement that's worth sharing on all my social media sites lol.

ADAM MADE RANK!!!! 


What a blessing!!!! Couldn't have come at a better time in our lives-right after we purchased our home. I knew he could do it, but he just had to believe in himself. Adam now goes from being an airman to a Petty Officer 3rd Class. Watch out world, here he comes!!

**SO PROUD OF THIS GUY RIGHT HERE!!!** 


From such a proud Sailor's wife,
 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Must Needed Return of Saturday Laughs

I'm a girl who doesn't mind insects. If they are bothering me or in my way, yes, I will politely kill them or try to "save" them. But if they aren't bothering me, well, so let them be. I'm not going to scream or cry that they are there. God created them (which at times I wonder if it is truly to annoy us, because you know, God does have a sense of humor) so we need to deal with them. However, there are times when I too will flip out over a spider. Not just any ol' spider, but a whopping humongous one that is living in my shed!!! Take a look at this bad boy (or girl. Are there sex's to spiders? Um, I can answer my own question--dumb me).


 It truly, truly scares me that this spider was calling our shed home. I mean, we don't live by the mountains and we don't live in South America. WHERE DID IT COME FROM?!!?! What scares me even more than that, is see that gray blanket behind the spider? I touched that blanket yesterday while packing up my car with things in the shed, and that is where I found it today. SCARY!! I could have died from this thing. What's even funnier is that I sent this picture to Adam and he replied back in his email, asking me "Did you kill that spider in the picture you sent me?" This was my response to him, verbatum. "HELL NO!! Did you see the size of that bad boy??!!?! There's no way I'm gonna try and mess with that thing! BUT I did try." (sorry for the use of word choice) Haha. Oh boys. Did he really think I would try and mess with this spider? I don't even think he would! haha

Well, I just had to share my laughing matter for the day. I feel like it was worth sharing, because I can at least laugh at myself, knowing this is silly.

Happy weekend all!
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The One Whom With all Blessing Flow

Let me just start this off by saying that God is so good. Not just good, so good. There definitely needs to be an emphasis on the so, because He really is SO good. Let me just prove to you, in my tiny weekend, how good He has been in my life, for me to say He is this good. 

It was very last minute, very, very, very last minute that my mom and aunt decided to come up here to the PNW (Pacific North West for all you non PNWers ;) to help me out with some house work. Literally, it was just 1 week ago that my mom was talking with me on the phone, asking me how my progress was for the day, and she said "I love painting. I really wish I could come up there and help you out. Hmmm...I'm gonna look at plane tickets to see if it would be reasonable." That happened in the morning. Then in the afternoon I received an email on my lunch break saying, "I'm thinking about Veterans weekend, would that work? Oh and I'm thinking about bringing along Aunt Sue." Ummm....ok!! Then that night they booked there tickets and it was "official:" they would be helping me out with MUCH needed house work!! Want to know the funny God moment of this occurrence: This was the one day since owning the house that I started to get stressed out about all the work I had to do/needed to be done ON MY OWN for my scheduled move-in day. Can you say, what a blessing?!?! All in one day I felt stressed, but how quickly, literally quickly, God moved right in and said, "Jasmine, there is no need, NO need to be stressed. You have these people who are willing to come help you. I have your back AND your best interest in mind." WOW. Speechless and in awe of how He works! Moving on...

I also got stressed out about my scheduled move-out date. I called early last week to schedule it and all was well. Then (there is usually always a then in stories) the office calls back the next day to say they are scheduling a project for my housing unit during the day of my scheduled move-out day, and I need to reschedule, for either earlier or later than my scheduled date. I was ticked off at first and politely told the guy that I never got a notice in the mail of this "project" and when were they planning on telling me? "Oh, next week is the meeting about this project." Oh, so I would get 1 1/2 weeks notice that I do not have access to my house for 4 days?! GREAT! So obviously I was irritated at the Navy in that moment, and just went ahead and told them I would do the earlier date and just stress out and get it done. 2 hours later, a sudden thought occurred in my mind: the later date would be MUCH better: Adam's dad is coming to the PNW to help me move that weekend, and leaves the day before this later move-out day. DUH, this date would be MUCH less stressful on me, none-the-less convenient too!! Another moment God is quite frankly telling me that I need to not stress myself out. I'm so glad that I listened to that little thought occurrence! Moving on...

So it quickly came and went that my mom and aunt came up here to help me out. It seemed that as soon as my reinforcement team came up to WA, they quickly had to pack their small baggage and go back home (saddly without the whole house being finished! ;) We only had one small, 2 hour non-working fun time in this short trip of theirs, when I took them out to lunch before I had to drive them back to the airport. My mom said on the way to lunch, "This trip has passed by too quickly. We never really got to visit with each other and there was no time to miss you, too!" Aww...Gotta love moms! I miss you too mommy! 

We worked 12 hour days to accomplish this:
  • The Kitchen is ALL.DONE!!! From painting the cabinets, to the walls, to the appliances being in the house--it is all done. And at this very moment, everything but the dishwasher is installed! 
  • The master bedroom is all done, except for a very tiny portion where this vanity we took out was. Everything else about it is done and painted!
  • The kitchen is cleaned and ready for usage!
  • The master bathroom is cleaned and ready for usage!
  • One of the guest bedrooms is all done, except for the final coat of paint!!
  • Took 7 car loads full of stuff, including my load today! About 60% of our small items (everything that can fit into a box or is already boxed up) have been moved!!

So here are the current standings of rooms completed:
  1. Living Room
  2. Dining Room
  3. Kitchen
  4. Master bedroom
  5. Main Guest bedroom (counting it done, because as of Wednesday it will be!)
Rooms left to do:
  1. Guest bedroom #2 (prime and paint)
  2. Guest bedroom #3 (prime and paint)
  3. The office (sanding, prime, paint)
  4. Hallway ( 1/2 already primed, just needs painting. The other half needs sanding, prime, and paint.)

 That to-do list is really short if you ask me, and by next weekend, it should be even shorter (maybe done with if my fingers are crossed!!)!! God really wore us out to get these things done, but we all feel really good with the amount we got done. At times it seemed to go by real slow and we all thought, "It's been an hour and this is all we've gotten done?!" But things took time, like letting the coat of paint dry, painting a second coat, putting back on all the cabinet doors, etc. We made for a great team! My mom even remarked that we should all do a show where we fix up houses and sell them. To which my aunt and I replied with a big "HAHAHA!!!!" It's fun doing it now, but that's a whole new ball game. Oh mom, haha. Moving on...

Today Lowes had a Veterans Day sale, where military can take and additional 10% off their purchase, allowing their discount to be 20% instead of its usual 10%. Definitely took advantage of it!! Last week I purchased all of the appliances. Well, I asked them if I should wait til this weekend for any sales, and they didn't know what the special sale would be, they only find out a couple days before the actual ad comes out. So I went ahead and bought the appliances then. On Saturday I learned of this sale and I told them about how I bought my appliances last week, could I still bring in my receipt and get that extra 10% off that purchase, even if it was last weekend. The lady told me it shouldn't be a problem as long as I brought in the receipt and probably talked to a manager. Well this morning on my usual purchase before going to the house (I basically live at Lowes. I have been there every day since Thursday, even 2 times today haha!!), I brought in my receipt and was all ready for my big discount of additional savings. Well the lady told me that yes, she could do the sale transaction, but I needed to have a physical coupon in hand. She would not be able to do it without it physically being there. I searched and searched through my emails to find one, but failed. Ugh, I had to go all the way back home and come back to Lowes AGAIN?! As if I'm not there enough! Well, the discount I knew I would be receiving would be way worth the price of gas, so of course I made the inconvenient trip back home. Well once I got at home, the coupon I had forced you to enter the code online, but it wouldn't send to your email for 2-3 days. BUT I NEED IT NOW dumb discount!! So I searched the web fervently, but couldn't find one where I didn't have to download a stupid coupon application. So I just thought to myself, I'll bring in the paper with the code, although it's not the actual coupon, at least they'll see I have access to the coupon. So I went in with my big girl panties on, all prepared to talk to a manager, cry if I had to, use my husband's military deployment sob-story sagaa and everything. I was prepared for a battle--I KNEW I WOULD WIN. But yes, I did pray as I was walking in to Lowes and all the way up the counter that this idea of mine would work. God is so funny y'all!! Yes, my idea worked, but without any fight at all--and as you could tell, I was seriously prepared for a big fight. However, God is not always about fighting, burning bridges, and anger. Sometimes God is about using something as small as having no coupon and simply just explaining your circumstance to the right person. To me, that just made me laugh. When I think I need to fight a battle, sometimes God is funny, telling me "Jasmine, no. Just simply be kind and patient, and explain your circumstance, and I'll do the rest. Just soften your heart." Oh boy, I'm glad He softened it with what I was prepared to do! So glad that I got that additional discount!! Moving on...

Another blessing that came from Lowes: they were having a $5 rebate, per gallon can of signature paint bought! SCORE!!!! Stalked up on the rest of the paint needed for the rest of the rooms. YEAH FOR DISCOUNTS!! :D Moving on...

Earlier today the contractor we have hired was talking to me about the bid we have in place for the work he is doing for us. We originally had planned that we would purchase all the materials, and pay him per hour. Well he came to me and told me that he threw away that bid, since he ended up replacing all the doors and all doors weren't on the bid. He said that he's not using a "bid" anymore, but we are just going to pay him hourly. He asked me if I knew what contractors or plumbers usually make hourly. I said I have NO idea. He said, in quote, "They usually make $75 easily, if more. I'm not cutting you and your husband a break because I feel sorry for you guys or anything like that. No, rather not. I don't have to work (he's retired) but I continue doing work for people at the church (widows usually--but my case is sort of like being a widow) because I like what I do and I feel called to help people out." I am utterly BLOWN away by his full on generosity of all the work he has done, and has yet to do, because I can tell he has a heart of gold--a servants heart that is, for the Lord. I'm not going to tell you what he's charging us per hour, but lets just say that it is $60 cheaper per hour than what he said they usually make--you can do the math! 

God is just watching out for me (and Adam) and I would be blind or stupid if I fail to recognize that this all leads back to Him. I was talking to my grandma earlier and told her this story about our contractor, and she said something that put things in perspective for me. She said, "It's so amazing to see how God is fervently blessing both you and Adam at such a young age-and you both being married for the short amount of time thus far. Usually it takes awhile for couples to fervently see the blessings in their life." I'm not saying this to be cocky or to say, "look at us and all that God has done for us." No, not at all. If you know us, we certainly aren't those type of people. Rather, it is to show you how if you look at your life and your circumstances, how God is there. He is a real God and if you just look in your life, you CAN see Him, you just have to be looking. And the key to looking is this: when you can truly, 100% know that you are receiving a blessing from God-it is nothing other than that: a blessing. BUT, you can certainly not lose sight of where those blessings are coming from. When you do, that is when Satan steps in, and greed takes over and you feel as if blessings are supposed to happen--which is completely NOT the way it works. When you are faithful to God, God is faithful to you. That again, is not to say we are 100% faithful in every aspect of our lives. Again, no. We are only human, and we fail--more times than we can count. But God forgives, offers grace, and plenty of second chances, which we are so grateful. We are learning, day-by-day how to give back as much as we are given. We are SO thankful, beyond words. 

God has been moving here at the Zickefoose home, and I would be naive if I would not relate it back to the one whom which ALL blessings flow. I hope you can see God through your circumstances. Sometimes we have to step back from our situations to truly see Him. Other times, we just need a different perscription that allows us to see things through the right lens!

Here are some pictures of our work-around-the-clock weekend:

 **Deer use our property to walk through. We spotted deer throughout our working time.
 Baxter even chased one the first night we were there!! Too funny!**

 **My new best friend: the electric drill.**

**Doing work on your own, really feels self-gratifying!!**


 **Painting our master bedroom**

 **The king of the thrown always had his eyes on us!**

 **Took a break from painting, to craft! Painting our house sign**

 **Drilling in the numbers**

 
**The end result. Our house will forever be patriotic!**

 **Our completed kitchen!!**

 **Another view**

 **Got our American Flag up just in time for Veterans Day. It is now, and will be, proudly waving for our hero and Sailor!!**

Love to you all,

 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A House Update

Sorry friends and family, I've been so busy with house stuff that I've neglected to share any updates with y'all. My bad. It's actually with good intentions: I want to have multiple things to share, rather than just posting one thing at a time. I guess I'm different. So, with that said, here's a little update on our home and what's done so far, as of this very moment in time.

Adam's aunt graciously, oh so graciously, was willing to come and help me out for a weekend. We had ourselves a painting party and got done as much as we possibly could with amount of time I had her there. I'm so, so thankful that she came and helped jump start me into gear-I'm still recouping! Here's the progress we got done while she was here:

Rooms that are painted and done with:
  • Dining room
  • Living room
Rooms that are so close, you can taste it:
  • Master bedroom
  • Master bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Hallway
Since the prior owners thought it would be fun to paint every wall with the most atrociously bold or bright color possible, it's making the process take a little while longer. Plus the texture was terrible and it needed some sanding, which was unexpected.

After 2 coats of primer, the living room is completed. (Please excuse the pictures, the lighting is terrible in the house and it's usually dark when I'm finishing up and am thinking "oh snap. I need a picture.")

 **I just had to take a picture of the first brush strokes!!**

 **Living room colors: bumble bee and bay waves (gray). It's not as blue as it seems, just certain angles with certain lighting. It looks so much better in person!**


**Once I saw the living room with their colors, I decided to flow the bay waves into the dining room as well. The bay waves looks great with the crisp white window seals and trim!**

 
**Baxter decided he wanted to help out with some painting to (of course, right?!), so he got a bath after the weekend was over. I love my wet pup!!**

In other house news, we got a contractor from the church, and the ball is rolling. I got his name from the pastor at our church, I called him up and it's a fit. He does this for a ministry, which really makes me feel like God was orchestrating this. One of the main things he's helping us out with is fixing all the doors. Literally, the prior owners put in every single door wrong, in some shape or form. Either, they're on completely upside-down, there's not enough door frame for the door to close properly, or the door is 2 inches higher than it's supposed to be!! Anyways, he's already making progress with fixing them. By days end, they should all be working. YEAH!!

 **Hallway closet (without trim on yet)**

We also finally picked out our carpet and laminate flooring. We decided on carpet because we're in the mountain area, and who wants to step on a cold floor?! Not me! So carpet it is. Laminate will go in dining room and flow into kitchen/laundry area and the hallway leading up to the back bedrooms.

**Going with the gray on the right, since it will go nicely with the living room!**

 **Going with the laminate on the right. A lighter color to go with our lighter taste**

I also ordered our appliances today and they should arrive next weekend!! YEAH!!

Things are starting to roll. Already have my move out date picked out, just have to call and schedule it on Monday. So with that said, this next month is going to be busy, busy with trying to get everything done that I would like, in order to meet that date. 

This last week was the first time things started to seem overwhelming and unbearable, but mainly I think that was due to me slipping away from being with God, and making my intentional time with Him. However, He's still a gracious God and He always lets me know that He has my back. How? My mom randomly calls and asks how the process is coming along and says she's missing being close so she can help me out-she loves to paint! I get an email later in the day saying she's looking at costs for flights, and then she calls me later that night saying that she's booking a flight and bringing my aunt along with her! WOW. All in one day! There's God bringing me my reinforcement team, who will be here by the end of this next week!! Again, WOW!!! Then, the week after Thanksgiving, my father-in-law is coming down to help me out, and just finalized his ticket too. WOW. AND my friend Kylie has been helping me out, and things with the contractor fell into place. All of this was occurring, and yet I'm still here feeling overwhelmed. Guess I'm human, and we all have our days. 

Well, here's to looking up, knowing reinforcements are prepping to come, and God is always by my side. So glad He is! I think it's also helped that I actually got to talk to Adam today and hear his voice after not hearing it for 3 weeks. Have I ever mentioned I just LOVE his phone calls. They really do always come when I need them the most. <3 him="him" p="p">

Here's to looking forward to a girls afternoon with my girl Kylie tomorrow. SO NEEDING THIS!!! 

Hope you all are well, and can see that God is with you, putting things in place for you, even when you don't realize it at times. He has a master plan, that sometimes takes awhile for you to see. But it's in place, always in motion. Sometimes, you just have to have a bad day to be able to truly see things in His perspective.

Love to you all,
 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Steps to our Future

So many excited things have been happening in our lives, behind the scenes, from what I've disclosed on my (our) blog. So basically.....

WE NOW OWN A HOME!!!!! :D 

It may come as a surprise to you, but I didn't want to disclose any of the process until it was all official, with every detail. It was so hard to keep it a secret, but it was so worth it, because now you get a bunch of crazy excitement from us (me) all at once!! And now you will get it along the way throughout our renovation and DIY projects! Lucky you! 

Here is a little background info on our home: 

  • It was a short sale [taking us one week short of 7 months to process--that's a long kept secret!!]
  • It's a manufactured home on a 1.25 acres!! 
  • 4 bedrooms and an office 
  • 2 bathrooms 
  • Perfect for my already thought of garden and chickens [when Adam comes home!!] 
  • Perfect space for our pup to explore and play!
  • Perfect for a crafty soul such as myself, with all the DIYs needed
So last Friday I signed all the paperwork--so it was semi-official. It was a bummer not having Adam there, but he was definitely thought of with the amount of times I had to sign my name, his name [and since I was using a POA, I had to sign his name, by my name, his attorney-in-fact EACH AND EVERY TIME, along with the date for both of us] Yes, that got old quick, but there wasn't as much as I thought and what people had warned me of. It actually was oddly fun. 

 **The last and final paper I signed, that led to the end result: home-ownership!!**

 Obviously signing papers for our future house calls for some sort of celebration, right?!!? So what better way to celebrate, than to spend it with some family-Adam's Aunt and Uncle and cousins in Bellingham. Couldn't have arrived on a better weekend. We had a blast from carving pumpkins, to watching the kids chase Bax, to going to the touch pools by the harbor, and going out for Mexican! The kids are great and it was fun to talk handy-projects with Adam's aunt, who is super excited [and I am so grateful] is coming down to help me paint this next weekend. I'm actually looking forward to painting!! eekkk!! :D 

 **Pumpkin carving**

**This is gruesomely awesome!!**

 **We should get an award...these are awesome!**

 **A 36 pound Octopus-definitely isn't claustrophobic, as he's crammed in that corner**

 **We laughed and said this starfish had to go potty**

 **Never have I seen a purple starfish--I want one!!**

Today was also a special day in our journey of home-ownership, because it is now OFFICIAL, with the county, the bank, and everything: I got to pick up the keys to our home today!!!!! SO EXCITING!! I waited to open the envelope to right before bible study, and had my friend picture document my opening of the envelope. This was so Adam could see my excitement and be more apart of the moment. What a fun night. Here is the official picture reveal:


 
**The official envelope...**
 **Getting distracted while opening...**

 
**What's inside...**

 **Peeking in...**

**Hmmm....what are those??!!??...**

 
**OUR HOUSE KEYS!!!**

 
 **The process in short-story format [not my typical style lol]

This is our first home, our first dive into having a mortgage, our first real plunge into being "grown-up." This is where we plan to live, laugh, love, grow, learn: to ultimately live our lives for the next few years. We're so grateful for the blessings we've been bestowed and we can't look up to God and be any more thankful for this opportunity than we already are. He is SO good.

I promise that pictures of the actual house will come-probably on Thursday since I have nothing planned. DON'T FREAK OUT, they will come!!!

♥ your very own homeowner,
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pit Stops Along the Way

So far on this deployment, Adam has been to Malaysia and Thailand. Out of those two countries, Thailand was the only new one. When he goes to different countries, he doesn't go and get drunk and not remember what he saw. No, quite contrary. He loves to experience their culture and eat their food and experience their town and what it has to offer. In addition to doing this, he also got to go to the beach--and get a tan!! OH MY! Who would have thought?!? lol. Glad he was able to soak up some Vitamin D while he could. Hear are the few pictures he was able to capture, before the camera had a minor dysfunction (stupid camera-just our luck with cameras!). :D

 **Adam with his delicious Pineapple drink**
 **getting off the ship**
 **the beautiful beach--so which I was there with him**
 **Soaking up the sun**
 **Look at that tan!!**

Happy new week all. Hope you enjoyed these (limited) photos
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My New Favorite Book

...of the Bible that is. 

So I've been doing good so far with reading my Bible each day. Last night I read through the tiny book of 1 Peter, a book that I don't really know if I've ever read on my own before. Let me just say I was blown away! I felt like I wanted to underline/highlight the whole 5 chapters that entail 1 Peter! There is some really, really good stuff, especially in the 1 chapter. I had share, because I want to exclaim these words with everyone, as they are so encouraging to my soul- especially this section below:

 "3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Why have I never read this book before?!?! God really is so funny, because I know I needed to read these words, where I am now in my relationship with Him. How does He know me so well?--that just continually blows my mind away. He knows the standings of my heart, as they are at this exact moment. He knows the depths of my souls--AND STILL He loves me and continues to show me His grace and mercy. Wow. He is so good.

As I read verse 3 and 4 again, I am speechless.

What does your inheritance look like?
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crafty Crafts

I haven't shared much of the crafts projects I have made recently. Gotta share these ones, because I just LOVE 'em!!

 **Re purposed the bottles on the right, to be wrapped with yarn. Bam! You can't tell they're dirty, and they're super cute! Can't wait to use it as a table decoration!**

 **K is for Kylie. Love how this project turned out for her birthday!!**

**My fave of all is the Scrabble coasters I made. Saw the idea on Pinterest, but there were no instructions. SO....with a long trip to Michaels {discussing the best possible way to do this with the manager of the store..haha...it turned out fabulous!!}**

Can't wait for my projects this week! Tune in later for them!