Completed projects:

roof, kitchen, master bedroom, main bathroom (sans shower tile), fireplace, hardwood flooring, windows, office, front entry, stairway

Ongoing projects:

shower surround, dapping/painting woodwork, ensuite vanity/lights/mirror, painting outdoor trim, finishing front entry tile work, interior door painting and hardware, decorating

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recieving the BIG NEWS!

My neighbour Janette called me over a few days ago and showed me this article that had been advertised in their church bulletin. It was called Extreme Home Makeover - Yarrow Edition. This is what I read:

Extreme Makeover - Yarrow Edition is an opportunity to serve a family in need in our own community. Are you interested in helping renovate a house in need of repair? Do you have strength or skills to share? From roofers to cooks, we need to work as a team to make things happen. Anyone interested in being a part of some hands-on service in Yarrow this summer, please share with Bonnie your ideas and willingness.

I got excited and exclaimed, "Would you like me to volunteer for it? That would be cool!" as she knows my love for pounding nails and handling any power tool nearby.

She replied, "No, I want you to read THIS letter."

The letter was about me. She had written all about my current life, hardships learning the sole parent deal, what I have been going through in other areas, and what a valiant attempt I've made in doing my own home renos to date, however was indeed in need of some major help, as I couldn't seem to get it beautiful. My funds were applied to problems, not beautification which slowed my progress down tremendously.

My eyes welled up. I knew what was unfolding. With a loving gleam in her eye, she put her hand on me and told me, "YOU have been chosen for this home makeover!"

Relief and gratitude engulfed me. I requested a kleenex box NOW and heaved sobs. When I came up for air, I made direct eye contact with her and with all the love I could muster, said, "I'm so PROUD of you."

She looked abit stunned, thanked me and then asked "But why?!"

"Because YOU heard me."

I've never once complained about how hard it was to stay on top of things reno wise. I love it. But I was indeed over my head and she burst through my daily optimism that it would be ok, and saw it for what it was. And she did something about it.

She said, "I've watched you over the last year and I've so wanted to help you but didn't know how. I don't know how to fix your house. All I've been doing is praying for you and bringing over paska and bread."

"I know... that was awesome..." She knows I adore her baking LOL..

"I wanted to do MORE and then this opportunity came up. I nominated you two months ago and I've known you won this only for 2 weeks but had to keep it secret."

I was speechless. All sorts of emotions ran through me. Elated, ashamed, excited, embarrassed, worry. And then the final one hit. Relief and gratitude.

When I looked back on all my grand efforts to keep up with my place, I heard Cody's voice asking me to find the time to play with him. To actually have my house in a place where I can stop running after it and chosing to enjoy it and puttering as artistically desired when I had time is where I desire to be. But I'm no where near there. Yet. So when this little announcement came my way, my first thought was time for my boy again.

But there's alot more I've been going through. Accepting help is the hardest lesson I'll ever have to overcome. I know now that's alot of what this has to do with for me. I've gotten somewhat better over the last while with it, but I have a long ways to go.

It takes a very long time to open yourself up to others that have no intention of letting you down! I had to make the friends I have today in order to fully see that. It was easier to just learn to do things myself and be proud of my efforts. Learning has changed my world to which I'm very grateful to my friend Dan and the crew and his family. But there are just some things that a 2nd or 3rd or 4th pair of hands would make a huge difference with.

I'm also looking to broaden my circle of relationships. Right away, I thought of all these amazing folks coming into my home. How can you not fall in love with people like that? I am SO excited to create new friendships that I hope last for a very long time! It will only enhance Cody's and my life. My heart is so ready for that.

I finally started to see all the pros. It wasn't just about the house renos, which you'd think it was at first. Nope, it was about so much more. For every event, there's a reason behind it and by golly, it was my turn to grow in new and wonderful ways. And what a way to do that!

I accepted what was about to embark.

The pastor came by the next day and we walked through every room in the house. He knew the house well as he looked at it when it was for sale. It was fun to bounce back and forth with him what had been there. He remembered the wine celler which ate up half the garage, remembering it to look like some sort of dungeon. LOL That so made me laugh! And he was amazed at how different it looked with the little effort I did already.

Pastor Eldon requested I make a need and want list. His intent was to have many of the needs met if possible and hopefully wander into some wants area if they could. Depended on volunteers, funds and donations.

I will say this. Two days prior to recieving this generous donation, I had felt defeated. The house thing was getting to me. I had entertained the idea of moving as a lovely little house on 1 acre with a barn had come up for sale. I had allowed myself to dream and hope. My view started to change as I placed myself in a world that had a home suitable to just move into and not worry about gutting, but just enhancing. I prayed for God to give me strength to make the right decision. He promptly replied by allowing me to find a major flaw in the place I was looking at! When reality hit that it couldn't be, I had resigned myself to start to love my own place again and somehow make it work.

Feeling totally deflated, I dragged my feet home from yet another visit to that property, walked inside and the phone rang shortly after. It was Janette asking me over to show me the letter.

I've had a pretty emotional week. I'm excited beyond belief to plant myself in the middle of dust and banging and work with the top guns on this project! No matter what we do, I'll be so grateful. If it means getting my electrical finally looked at, or leaks fixed, that's enough for me! Anything! I have no expectations so whatever comes my way, my smile will be the biggest I can muster for that's what I feel inside.

Thanks for sharing our special news with us!

Donna & Cody


  1. Tania/Nicamorena BBCSaturday, April 05, 2008

    I am so happy for you and cody. I know exactly what you mean about accepting help. I often try to do everything myself and yet many people don't see that sometimes I'm drowning. Sometimes I need help even though I may not ask for it. It amazes me how some people are so open hearted and actually want to help without expecting anything in return. Enjoy this time!! You guys deserve it.

  2. Hi Donna,
    Wow...your story is overwhelming and wonderful. I just read about it, and what you've been through in your life, and finally the wonderful gift your friends gave you. You sound like an amazing woman, one who is very deserving. I really love your decorating style, and REALLY love the coffee table you made! So so so creative. I wish you and Cody the very best - I look forward to reading your blog, and your future projects!

    Hugs from California, Rhonda


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