Some explanation of the dearth of posts, recently...

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(Tim) So where have I been? Busy.

We have been showing and trying to sell our house. May God be pleased to allow it to sell soon.

Then this past week, our youngest son, Taylor, Mary Lee, and I moved into a new house. About three years ago, it became clear to us we no longer wanted to live on Bloomington's east side (Target, Macy's, Borders, professors, and wealth), so we began looking for a home to buy out here on the west side (Lowes, Aldi, Sam's Club, and Walmart). Key considerations were our new church building being just outside city limits and all but one of our grandchildren living within a mile or two of our new home out here on the west side.

The problem was there were very few homes on this side of town built to accommodate large family and church meal fellowship by a large kitchen and dining/living room. So, you guessed it: we built our new home. It's not our dream house, but living in it is a dream and we're exhausted and happy for this gift given us by God through Mike Boles and his excellent suppliers and craftsmen. Mike and his wife, Lisa, gave us the general contracting work as a kindness to one of their pastors, and this is one of the most loving gifts we've ever received...

Thank you, Mike and Lisa, for showing your love for the Lord in this way! (And Aaron and Seth who shared Dad with us.)

Three more men of our church were not paid for their work on this home. Thank you, Pastor Dave (Max), for providing us endless counsel and hand-holding through the entire process. And thank you, Pastor Stephen, for helping us in many ways, but especially with all our design and color decisions. And thank you, Elder Tim Wegener, for your counsel and constant kindness. It's a joy to work with you men, but receiving your help on this home was an over-the-top proof of your affection and Mary Lee and I are so very grateful for you, your wives Annie and Sebra and Anne, and all your godly chilluns.

Many other men of the church helped with the house, and all of them were competent craftsmen well-deserving of their pay. We also appreciated all the men from outside the church who served us so well. Our eldest, Heather, and her husband, Doug, had gone through the home-building process about a year and a half prior to our groundbreaking and were able to give us so very much specific advice and help, even with toting a gun to the house late at night to try to catch the vandals who dogged us with break-ins, theft, and substantial damage. (We built just down the street from Doug and Heather, so the gun and our grandchildren are very, very near.)

One of the first lessons pastors learn is that thanking people is a dangerous business. There are always names left out, so it's easy to come to the conclusion that it's best not to do it at all, rather than giving the inevitable offense. Nevertheless, a very heartfelt thank you to Dan and Jeff and Charlie and Bob and Dave and Jake and James and Andrew and Aaron and Jay and Ben and Leroy and JR and Sean and Kenny and Todd and Paul and Tim and Laura and Lizzie and Mary and and Cheryl and Taylor and Tim...

But last, and therefore first, thank you to my dear wife, Mary Lee, who was steady-as-she-goes throughout the process, regularly making the decisions and sticking to them when I was procrastinating and vacillating. But before that, thank you to Mary Lee and her dear compatriot, Aunt Elaine, who left us the money we used to build. For over six years, Mary Lee tenderly cared for my father's older sister, Elaine Curriden Bayly. Aunt Elaine lived with us and was unable to do much for herself, but Mary Lee and our children served Aunt Elaine up to the time two years ago she went to be with the Lord. So really, this is the house that Aunt Elaine and her dear Mary Lee built, and I thank both of them for demonstrating the grace in old age and suffering that must be the principle testimony of the American church in the coming decades of the dotage of us Baby Boomers.

God be praised that the home is finished, serviceable, and has strengthened our marriage. May we serve our neighbors, beloved church family, chilluns and grandchilluns with these sticks, concrete, and glass. May God enable us to use this home for His Own glory. And if you're in the area, we'd love to have you stay with us. Just send an e-mail letting us know when you'll be showing up.

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And for those interested, basement with OSB walls for world cup soccer games, garage with OSB walls and ceilings for easy hanging of stuff, pine floors with four coats of Waterlox, Amish framing and cabinets, one inch closed-cell foam followed by five inches of cellulose insulation in 2X6 exterior walls, county-required Presby septic system, city water, and geothermal with an ERV.