The Rest of the Story


Hmmm… where was I? Oh yes….

After the Clifton’s told us for sure they were coming again, it was time to celebrate! (and get the house ready again.) Jordon was given the task of painting the downstairs a brighter hue (because we needed a cheery color to replace the hunter green, that really was too dark for a basement anyway.) The Clifton’s also told  us they had purchased a out of state license so we knew they weren’t backing out on this one. 😉
A couple of days before we were to expect the Clifton’s, my throat started to hurt. I thought it was the cornbread that we had eaten for breakfast that had irritated it but, I didn’t know. Nobody at the F.E.W had a sore throat that I knew of, and I didn’t think it would show up so late afterwards. Had I asked around I would have found out that I wasn’t the only one. I started gurgling with salt water, but wasn’t faithful enough, so it gradually got worse.
(Yes, this is where everybody starts to say,  Oh no! and realizes what’s going to happen.) 🙂
Wednesday around 4:00 the Clifton’s showed up, and Daddy took them outside right away to show them the places they would be hunting tomorrow morning. Esther and us girls retreated to the downstairs, and Aunt Anita and Mama talked in the kitchen. Downstairs I gave her a necklace I had made (Which Esther promptly put on.) and we had a rather interesting conversation, (which if you know anything about woman, they tend to jump from one subject to the next, which is what we did!) 🙂

Finally after a awhile of that we decided that the guys upstairs were probably wondering where we were and what was going on, so we took ourselves upstairs to where they were trying to figure out what to have for dinner, and sneaking Aunt Anita’s cookies out of the bin. Esther then gave Jeremy a much needed haircut, and it was after that time that we got hungry. IMG_5194 It finally was decided that the ladies needed to go out and purchase needed items, ( involving a toothbrush for Noah who had forgot his.) (Mmm-hmm, Noah.) 🙂 and that the guys would go get pizza from someplace while we were out. That is basically what happened too, Aunt Anita, Esther, Corissa, Hope and I went out to Walmart, and choice menfolk got the pizza.
After pizza Uncle Tim gave the devotion, from Deuteronomy.
We stayed up pretty late that night, (although we kept telling each other that we needed to get to bed.) And I don’t know who started it because I walked in on the middle of it, but someone made up a game that if someone threw a couch pillow at you, you had to name something you liked and throw it to someone else. That went on for awhile and then Aunt Anita got us to go to bed saying that the guys had to get up early tomorrow to hunt. Thus ended the first day.


The next morning was Thanksgiving and I heard the guys all get up, so I got up too because I knew Mama would need help with the cooking for the meal later, knowing that she always gets up extra early on Thanksgiving. After the guys all left I started to get going on the roll dough for later, when Aunt Anita and Uncle Tim got up. Aunt Anita asked if Mama was up and I said she was, and that she is probably doing her devotion, and then she wanted to know if we needed any help. I told her I was just going to make the dough for my rolls and put it in the fridge and that Mama was probably going to need help later. That’s when Uncle Tim got up asking if the guys had left yet, and then upon finding out what I was doing, set out to entertain me until I was done. 🙂 After awhile I told him it was going to take me some time to make the dough so he went back to bed, while Aunt Anita stayed around and told me a story about Seth putting her car keys in a light socket at church when he was just a youngster.  I responded to her story  with one about my Daddy, and told her that Seth sounded a lot like our Jonathan. After awhile she went back to her room and Mama came out and we really started cooking. 🙂
(I just realized if I keep giving all my readers a minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day account of the time with the Clifton’s that I’ll never be able to fit Thanksgiving and the trip up their into one post!!! Maybe I need to start writing shorthand!! )


After devotion, (Daddy did it in the morning, Uncle Tim in the evening.) Uncle Tim took us to Dicks Sporting Goods,( which claimed on the internet to be open, but wasn’t-) and we had a hillarouis scene infront of the store as Uncle Tim went up to the doors and after placing his hands on the closed glass, groaned very loudly, “OH NO!!!!” Esther told Jordon, Noah and I to just ignore him and while we were pretending to not know him, he ran to the car and drove away. 🙂 After he circled back around and stopped at the curb, we all climbed in, but not before I saw several people in the Martin’s parking lot looking at us strangely!
  We ended up going to Walmart to get what he needed ( Some air bake pans were on the list, so that Aunt Anita could show me how to make her cookies.) and at the cash register he tried to talk to the lady about Jesus but she wasn’t very responsive and asked if Uncle Tim had had his meds yet today. Looking back on that I wish we had spoken up for him instead of being uncomfortably silent and just laughing it off.  Jesus means the world to me, and I should want the world to know it, instead of being uncertain and silent. You can’t always just be a silent witness, you sometimes have to come out and share. I thank God that Uncle Tim had the courage to say something, even though he was laughed at.


The rest of the day progressed like this; We had Grandma over and ate our Thanksgiving dinner……played games….had devotion…….Uncle Tim sang to us…. and I finally said something to Mama about my throat which resulted in almost everybody looking down my throat and everybody else’s (who now came out saying that their throat had been hurting them too.) As a result we looked up what would cause white spots in your throat and swollen tonsils and found that the best thing to do is just gurgle. So everybody started gurgling!!!

IMG_5237Friday was shopping day and all us ladies went out to thrift stores!!! The Clifton’s were able to get some nice clothes as well as all the Johnson ladies. We also had some choice items needed at Wegman’s and Walmart so it was dark before we were able to get home. Seth and Jordon pitched together to make the meal which was simple enough, ( Just leftover casserole made of mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing and gravy) but it certainly didn’t sound simple when they called us on the phone for directions. Seth was Jordon, and Jordon was Seth (according to them) and Esther and I couldn’t distinguish their voices  over the phone. (In fact I think I still am confused!!) I got a little irritated with them, but they sure got a kick out of it, so I’m glad we gave them the pleasure, I suppose!! 🙂 
The evening ended as we all gurgled and then went to bed, even though everytime Esther and us girls went to bed, Esther and I never really did go to sleep right away, the girls would usually fall asleep while I talked and Esther listened, or Esther talked and I listened. Either way we still stayed up into the wee hours of the morning!!!
Saturday we had all decided to match since we had gotten white and blue striped shirts at the thrift store the day before. So after I washed a shirt for Corissa, we all wore stripes!! (Which Jordon, Noah and Seth now claim is our prison picture.)IMG_5263

This was also the day that Aunt Anita showed me how to make her chocolate chip cookies, so that took up a good portion of the day. The kitchen was pretty crowded with everyone trying to eat the cookie dough. Uncle Tim also insisted on showing me how to make a nicely rounded cookie, so he came in and took two of the cookie scoops off, and then proceeded to drop the biggest scoop of cookie dough I’ve ever seen onto the air bake pan. I clasped on the floor and he retreated saying that he had to go to Walmart, he had just wanted to show me that. I felt like I burst internal organs and Esther proceeded to fix his cookie dough “mess”. (No, Uncle Tim you didn’t think I’d remember that, did you?) 🙂
Our throats now felt a lot better now because of the salt water gurgling, so that night we joked about doing a duet at church the next morning featuring us gurgling with salt water at different tones because we sounded like a choral in the kitchen while we were all gurgling. This made Esther laugh so hard that she almost choked. Then we told the guys that we had hid the oreo cookies somewhere last night, and Seth and Jordon demanded to have them. I replied no, while Esther was still gurgling so they proceeded to tell us just what they thought of us, and that was when I told them to prostrate. Esther had no clue what was going on, while I ran downstairs to get my camera and take a picture. (So folks here’s your picture of what prostrating in the Johnson and Clifton family looks like.) Don’t they look humble!!!??



Sunday we had planned to go to church, and even some of us were dressed and ready when we got the text, (sent the night before, but Daddy had turned off his phone.) saying that the Wilkes had the flu in their house, and there would be no church.  Uncle Tim then wanted to leave right then, but we insisted that we give them breakfast first, and said that we planned on french toast so they couldn’t leave yet. He told “Uncle Scott”( Daddy) to get out the door quick with Seth and get the ingredients needed because french toast was his favorite, so we got to keep them for a little longer! 🙂IMG_5231
Once they got back and we had breakfast, the Clifton’s taught us a game over the breakfast table (that the Staddon’s had taught them) called Black Widow. I can’t tell you the game because it would ruin it, so you’ll just have to request it one time when you visit the Johnson’s dwelling! ( I’ll also know how many of you visit our site!! 🙂 ) Then came the sad time again when they had to depart. After a quick couple of sets of pictures, we said “so long ” and “farewell” once again, and sent them on their way.IMG_5251

And now Uncle Tim !!!!
IMG_5360(Uncle Tim, just say the word and it will be removed)

A Job In… West Virginia?


I mentioned in an earlier post that we were recently working on a job in WV. Now to some of you who are reading this, you may not know that we currently live near Culpeper, VA, NOT Romney, WV! The first time we got this call I confess I hoped it would be just an estimate, nothing more. We do have jobs like that sometimes! Not because I didn’t like the couple or anything, but because I just didn’t like the idea of a two hour, ten minute drive one way every day.

IMG_0030In the end, that works out to be four hours, (and twenty minutes!) both ways, every day. (Not that the drive wasn’t pretty.)

We got the call. Bid accepted. Kitchen reno. Big Uh-Oh. My mind ran to the idea of waking up at 4:00 every day for two or three weeks. Now, I am no a morning riser by ANY stretch of the imagination. My idea of a good start to a day is at LEAST sleep till 8:00 to 9:00, THEN up and head for the coffee pot. Not wake up at 4:30, realize we’re late and BANG, we’re out the door. (And no, there was no Hazelnut brew, light on the cream to reach that bittersweet taste involved in that car scramble. Not to mention the fact that Chick Fil-A doesn’t open that early! No help there either!)

Long story short, the first words out of mouth were,

“Oh No. What have I gotten myself into?!”


Day One:

4:00am EST, Fauquier County, VA.

Brilliant light burns on the outside of my eyelids.

“Come on fella’s, time to get up and go.”

Dad’s voice. My brain spins,

“No, it’s not time already, is it?”

IMG_9965I lay in bed for a minute, staring at the ceiling of my bunk. Was that a dragon shaped pattern on the wood? Boy, I must be losin’ it. I sit up in my bed, bare feet hittin’ the floor.

“Welcome to the next two weeks of great fun. I’m already loving it.” I’m thinking.

Thankfully I had the whole drive up to sleep since I don’t drive,though it was a little difficult to sleep with Max McLean’s deep voice pouring out of the stereo system. Then Tim Gregory next. FIMG_9970irst day went well, I had to admit at the end of the day. I had heard rumors that we would be getting back at 9-10 each night so that was one of the things I was dreading. Instead we ended up leaving by 4-5 and getting home by 6-7 most days. That was a blessing. Still, I wasn’t ready to admit it was fun. It wasn’t, yet.

The days passed, gradually seeming to speed up as I began to enjoy myself more and more. The drive there and back was truly beautiful and the cIMG_9979ouple were very friendly. The experience began to get more and more enjoyable for me. Each days schedule was generally to get up, some days stop at Wal-Mart and/or Lowes to get food and Materials, be at the house by 7:00, work till 4:00, clean up, be on the road within the hour, back by around 6:30, wash up, take care of the next days load of sandwiches, take care of anything else, (give myself some extra Audiobooks or Music to listen to on the job.) bed and repeat the next day. (Wal-Mart sells Starbucks iced coffee too,IMG_0029 in multiple flavors! Still don’t beat a good Chicken Biscuit and CFA Iced coffee though.) In the end, I really enjoyed the whole experience, all things considered. The place looked great once we finished, (Not just because of what we did, they also had new appliances set in, countertops redone and the cabinets were refinished.) We did the walls and ceiling, which were built medieval style. Literally. These walls weren’t your typical 16 inches apart based on tIMG_0028he center of the board. No, these walls were built with whatever wood the builder literally could have found in his yard. Need to run a wire? No problem. He sliced grooves into the drywall and tacked his wire inside the groove, leaving the wire exposed. Well, how did that pass inspection you’d ask. Easy. The owners say there are no codes in WV! We shimmed and worked on the existing walls till we were sure it was good for drywall then drywalled that. AlsoIMG_0038, the owners had what I like to refer to as a commercial building ceiling, in other words, a drop ceiling with pop tiles. The customer removed the old ceiling and we went ahead and refinished that. By the time we and the other contractors were done, it was really nice.


I guess I sort of wrote all that to not only bring you all who read our site anymore and haven’t given up on us up to date and also, there is a bright side to everything we experience. We just gotta have the eyes to see it and recognize it for what it really is.