Thursday, June 16, 2016

House updates and we're building Guest House!

It has been forever since my last update and the more time that goes by the more overwhelming it seems to update!  I'll try to just cover the highlights to keep it as short as I can.

First up, the master bathroom is finished.  Yeee-Haw!!! It's always super exciting to have a room completely done because that's only happened twice so far, lol!


It's been finished for a while now and I still haven't decorated or put anything over the toilet.  I'm thinking open shelves there for bath towels and as far as decorating goes it need some color but I kind of hate decorating with knick-knacks so I'll just live with it for a while longer like it is while I think about what I want.  


It's practically covered in small white tiles which even though they come in 12" x 12" sheets they're still quite fiddly and I'm pretty sure installing them had Jeff questioning his entire existence. Thankfully, he managed to endure to the end.  I tried to pick some classic designs that I won't hate in five or ten years but I think I'll have to quit Pinterest once the house is finished or the house will never be finished, if you know what I mean!


The shower doors were a steal we found in the returns at Lowe's which saved us 50%!  There wasn't anything wrong with them so we're thrilled to have gotten such a great deal.


Next up is the master bedroom and closet.  The bedroom is finished except for base trim and outlets but it has become our work room for the time being so it's a complete disaster right now.  We finally made a wood floor decision that I couldn't be happier with so I'll fill you in on that later.


The closet is a smallish 8' x 7' and will have a vanity in it with a gray granite counter that has little purple/amethyst color flecks all over it.  Jeff was surprised by my granite selection but I think it's girly which is perfect for a vanity.


We're almost done building all the shelves and drawers for it so hopefully it won't be long before we move into it.

Last, but definitely not least, we are building a guest house for my parents!  Actually, we hired a builder, Jeff Royer, to build it because we don't have time to do it ourselves and my parents are funding the whole project as their kind of retirement home away from home. They'll be keeping their house in town and visiting us more often here and there.


I had so much fun designing this house because it had to be small as it is sitting catty cornered to our house on our property and they had a list of desires that made it pretty challenging, like two bathrooms, a layout to possibly accommodate a baby grand piano, a tall wall of windows with view and all the full sized amenities of home all in under 800 square feet...and it has to be pretty!  I actually love design challenges with lots of boundaries and limitations because it requires so much more creativity to make it work than a blank slate where the sky's the limit.


We've been talking about getting them out here for the past few years and now that's it's actually happening we're all really excited.  They live less than an hour away (in the same house they've lived in for over 40 years) and they could have built a lake house or bought an RV and traveled the country or so many other really cool things, but the fact that they want to spend more time with us than any of those other things is pretty awesome.  They're living proof that people and relationships matter so much more than any other earthly possessions God gives us and it's worth the time and effort to always make the best of those relationships and really enjoy them!

This is such an exciting time for us so I'm going to try to start posting more often to stay on top of things but you can also follow me on Instagram where I post from time to time. Oh, and Jeff started vlogging on Youtube so you can catch up with us there too!  (That's a whole other story in itself!) Talk to you all again soon!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Fall 2015

Hello!  I hope everyone is doing well.  We've been sick off and on since late October or early November, but as of right now, everyone is back on top.  I hope and pray we stay that way for a while!

A few months ago we caravaned to Ikea with my family to get a few things including and most importantly a new dining table.  The seven of us have been eating around the same little table that Jeff and I bought as newly weds many moons ago.  I'll be keeping that table in the same little corner of the house because it works well for crafts and school and has so many great memories etched into its top.  Now we gather around a table that seats up to twelve which means each kid gets their very own chair!  They're loving that but I kind of miss all of us crowding around the little table, sitting elbow  to elbow with them.



We broke it in on Thanksgiving and plan to fill it up again on Christmas so we're already making great memories at this table too.



I've recently been on a crazy crocheting jag where I crocheted chargers for each of our Thanksgiving dinner plates then declared to the children that there shall be only crocheted ornaments allowed on the Christmas tree this year.


I did eventually allow glass bulbs and a few candy canes on the tree, BUT THAT'S IT!  Everything else must be crocheted.  That's just the kind of mood I'm in.

I made gingerbread houses for everyone to decorate this year and my palms were bruised and sore for a couple of days afterward from rolling out all that dough.  This is something my mom has done a lot of for everyone and I had no idea it was so physically demanding, but I could just be wimpy.


Last week Jeff built this breakfast bar out of a huge, solid piece of mahogany that friends gave us years ago. We've been lugging it around with from house to house waiting for just the right project and this was finally it.  I couldn't be happier with it.  He ran metal pipes into the wall and then into holes he drilled in the back of wood to give it a floating look.  He's so creative! 


Now for some really exciting news...we have a second bathroom!!!

                             

There's still some work to do but the toilet and sink are functional which are the most important parts to us.  We'll be tiling the wall behind the sink and there's trim and the shower to finish.


You have to walk through a small construction zone to get to it which makes it too scary for the little girls to use when it gets dark but I'm okay with that.  Less sharing that way.


Oh, and one more very exciting thing is mostly done...the deck has a roof!


Those are all the major updates on the house I can think of so till next time, Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hardwood floor dilemas

Summer went by waaaay too fast.  This month started my 12th year of homeschooling and now all five of my babies are in school.  It breaks my heart.  It's the end of another era for me as a mother and I miss having actual babies and toddlers and preschoolers in my house but there are perks to having only kids that can communicate coherently and get their own dadgum snacks.  Really, heh-heh, those are the two biggest perks.  Mamas with little ones, savor every moment, even the sticky, stinky, exhausting ones because it passes by so quickly whether or not you're enjoying it so you might as well soak it all in and enjoy it.


Besides schooling, we've been eating a lot of veggies lately.  Madison loves, loves, loves to garden. It's right up there with painting in her book and every day this summer, and still now, she spends time tending to her huge garden.  She has brought in loads and loads of vegetables, a grocery bag full, every day. Everything she has grown this year has been delicious and we really hate seeing the growing season end.  Well, except for Sophia, she does not like vegetables.


This is only a portion of the produce that we have at the moment.  There's more in the freezer and all over the kitchen counters.  Yesterday, she brought in a THIRTY POUND watermelon!  The watermelons she grew this year have been fantastic.  (The pretty potted flowers in the background are also Madison's doing.)


This month Sophia and Evelyn turned six and eight.  Thankfully, that's still young enough that I get to do all the baking for their birthday's. I always combine their birthdays to keep myself from too much baking in one month but I still manage to get a little bit carried away and make more than necessary.  I had so much fun decorating sugar cookies for them, especially the ice cream cone cookies.




Okay, now onto the housey stuff.  A while back we finished the spare bedroom upstairs and I'll show you the pictures in a second.  It's the first room in the house that is completely finished (except for one light switch cover).  It makes us feel like there is hope for this place yet; although, we're seeing that it would take a miracle for the house to get finished by the end of the year.  Time, energy, and drive are resources that are hard to come by so we continue to plod along slowly.

For the floor we used low odor, water based polyurethane on unstained tavern grade oak flooring and I absolutely LOVE the way it looks.  However, the polyurethane caused some pretty bad allergic reactions in a few of us that forced us to come up with a new, safer plan for the future floors.  We decided to try pure tung oil mixed with citrus solvent on the next floor we did as our safer alternative and I'm not loving the way it looks...but it's safer.  Now I'll show you the two to compare.


This is the tung oiled floor in our upstairs living room/craft room/school room/play room...I don't really know what I'll use this room for yet.   It takes a month to fully cure and we're a bit over half way there.  The color keeps lightening ever so slightly but it's just too dark and rustic looking for my taste...but it's safer. Behind the door is the finished bed-now-storage-room with lighter, more contemporary and glorious floors that I love, love, love.


You can see the big difference in colors between the two floors and the lighter floor only accentuates the aspects I don't love about the tung oiled floor...that's safer (lest we forget).

If I were more dedicated to my blogging craft I would have taken pictures of the bedroom before we shoved it full of crap but evidently I am not.  Below is the only portion of wall that isn't hidden behind piles of stuff (because I moved said stuff for the picture).


And while I'm showing you bad photos of my house, I might as well show you the other side of the room I have yet to purpose.  (For the record, I would like it to be a second living room which would be way more fun to decorate than any of the other more reasonable/useful options.)


You and kind of see that this room is in a large dormer which is why it has such an unusual shape. Jeff almost didn't build the dormers which would have meant the upstairs would have been one long, dark, narrow room with one little window at the end.  I asked for dormers a few of times in the drawing stages and Jeff always said it would be too much work, time, and money so, no.  Then while he was framing the addition with the help of JJ, who must be his very-best-friend-in-the-world-in-all-times-ever!!!, JJ suggested building dormers and Jeff thought it seemed like a pretty good idea so they did. Now every.single.time we're in that room Jeff says, "Can you believe we almost didn't build these dormers?!"  Sigh.  Thank the Lord for good friends. 

So that you can get a feel for what I'm talking about, below is an outside picture of the back of the house. Can you imagine that as one long room with only one little window???  Also, please don't judge us based on the level of redneckedness you see in the picture.  Aw, who am I kidding.  It's really much worse than what you can see here.  You should see an aerial view of our house, it's really sad. If you look closely at the background in the birthday picture you'll get a glimpse of what I'm talking about.  Home sweet home, gotta love it!!  :)


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Project wall

We moved out of the living room and back into the old part of the house.  I resisted that move as long as I could, probably too long, but now we're back in a good working grove and we have very defined goals to keep us on track.  We have six months left on our construction loan so we made a project board on the living room wall with post its to help us stay focused.  We are a list loving couple.

And now my living room looks like this...


Here's a side by side of the transition.


Pretty impressive before and after if I do say so myself.



A few years ago, back when lockers were all the rage, Jeff brought me several including a big set that we never got around to fixing up till just recently.  He stripped and repainted them for me and put them in the hall by the back door for us to use as shoe storage.


Jeff wasn't thrilled with the color I chose but I think it's a lot of fun and I know lockers are so 2010 but still, I LOVE them!  Kids dirty shoes have been the bane of my existence for years.  They were like a terrible infestation and I would continually consoled myself by saying they're just signs of all the precious kids that live here.  While that was very soothing and I was usually pretty good at overlooking them EVERYWHERE, I've got to say, I do not miss always seeing the shoes!  At some point down the road we may case them in with wood to give them a built in look.



I made a little video the other day, just for fun and one of the clips is of the kids painting mugs for themselves with ceramic paint.  I think they turned out so cute!





Right now, between typing sentences, I'm helping Jeff plank the walls in one of the upstairs bedrooms which is just one of the 154 post it notes on the project wall.


I set up a little blogging work area for myself nearby.  I like to keep the kids red play phone handy while I work in case I need to make an important pretend phone call.  It just makes it feel more official that way.


Here's the video documenting bits of an ordinary day for us if you're interested.  Just be sure to take your dramamine first because it's a little rough.



Ta-ta!