Today, we finished Kim's nitcho. It took us nine months, but it was worth it!
My neighbor, Brian, engineered this effort. We had the idea, and the desire, he had the know how...and the tools to make this happen!
Our idea was, to have a place to be able to connect with Kim, in one of her favorite environments, whenever we wanted to. We needed to decide on a saint and candles. Angie and Andrea helped, finding the statue and Andrea and Janene provided candles (Our Mother of Guadalupe and St. Jude). We just needed to finish the altar itself.
Cody and I played around with the remaining block, trying to finish off the shape of the nitcho. Once we got that the way we wanted it, we cemented the block together. Next step: Stucco.
Now, this is where, for me, I was stepping out of my comfort zone. Kim was the handyman. She had the artistic abilities and the confidence to take on any project. I turned to Cody for help. He stepped up. Next, we went to You Tube to research stuccoing. It looked surprisingly easy. And it was. Like icing a cake!
Tonio prepares the block wall for stuccoing by giving it a healthy dose of water. In his pajamas.
Cody became the master of mixing the stucco. He had a knack of knowing when we had the right amount of water in the mix. He quickly caught on the best way to apply it, too.
Autumn helps put a coat of stucco on the nitcho. Tonio helped too.
We applied two coats of stucco over the coarse of a couple of days. The bambini did a great job! It was fun teaching them how to prepare for this work, how to layer the stucco and how to clean up working together as a team.
Here's Cody, following coat number two! Proud of his work!! If you have a computer that shows pictures, you can see the progress as if you were there!
Time for a coat of paint. Cody decided that it would be nice to choose a color that was close to the slump block retaining wall we have for the garden. The bambini did a fantastic job working together. Cody rolled out the large sections, while Tonio and Autumn cut in the corners.
Coat one is done and drying!!
Cody meditates as we prepare for the second coat of paint on the nitcho.
Autumn and Antonio really did a fantastic job helping to stucco and paint! Their first home improvement project. And one with deep meaning. Tonio was such a great help in cleaning the brushes when we were done, too.
Second coat of paint really came out nice! Yesterday, the bambini and I went down to Civano nursery and I let them pick some flowers that they thought would look nice in front of the nitcho. They enjoyed walking the grounds of the nursery, petting the goats and picking out flowers that they thought would attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Tonio made this stepping stone for me last Father's Day. He helped me make its home here in front of the nitcho in Kim's garden.
These guys were hot, sweaty and tired when they were done. But, they felt good about what they had accomplished!!
Here, we have placed the St. Francis statue and candles in place.
Tonight, when we went out back to say goodnight to Mama, Autumn carried the Mother of Guadalupe candle. Cody carried the St. Jude candle. We lit them together, joined hands and said a Lord's Prayer together.
I told the bambini this was their place to connect with Mama. Any time they wanted to, they could come out here and talk to her. Or pray. It is a comforting feeling. The kids were excited.
We said our goodnights and blew out the candles...
I am so proud of these guys. Their resolve, strength and love, day in and day out are amazing!!