February 18th, 2013
I finally got the chance to take a few pictures of the living room. This room still has lots of things left to be done (as you shall see), but it is coming along….just like everything else, slowly but surely!
These pictures are from when we pulled the carpet out. The carpet saga really deserves its own post. What a terrible, terrible job that was.
This is where we are now…
Here is the view from outside the living room windows/balcony. It’s really dead right now, obviously, but during a heavy snowfall or when the trees have leaves, it is so pretty. The sun also sets out these windows, so it is fun to watch every night.
So what did we do to this room? We started by taking out the old drapes and patching the big holes left behind. The drapes were super disgusting (40 years of dust!) and made the room so heavy. I still don’t have window treatments…it’s a big decision, so I’m taking my time! We had the enormous fireplace inserts removed, which was quite the sight to see. The workers had to strap them to their bodies, they were so heavy! We had the chimney insulated and capped, since we don’t plan on burning wood in the fireplace. We had overhead lighting put in. Obviously we painted the walls and fireplace surround. The bookcase was also painted, got new hardware, and the top trim was removed. We still need to finish the trim in this room. The window casings are up, but the base molding is only about halfway done. The crown and corner moldings for the fireplace area also need to go up. The fireplace will eventually get a new tile makeover…not sure where that falls on the priority list! I also have no pictures/artwork in any of the frames…but I couldn’t stand empty walls, so I made Nate hang them anyway!
We’ve had lots of big things done to the house, but the most recent was probably the gas line we had dug in October. I was hoping all that would go smoothly before winter, and other than a few little things, it did. We had a new furnace, AC unit, and air purification system installed at that time. I am so glad we get to be warm this winter! And I’m also so glad we only had to endure 1 summer of no AC!
November 4th, 2012
I already mentioned in a previous post that we bought a house. It will be a while before you get the whole photo tour…that would be much too overwhelming for me at this point. If you’ve seen the house, you know why. I remember in Columbus when I said (and Nate agreed) that I would never buy another house that needed so much work. Those words have come back to haunt me. We ended up buying a bigger house that needed way more work than our Columbus home! We haven’t regretted our decision. In fact, the moment we saw this house, we knew it was going to be our home. That assurance has made is possible to get through the really tough parts of home reno….the stressful, sit down and cry, one surprise after another parts. I’m making it sound really bad. Parts of it have been. But it is also coming along at a constant and steady (albeit slow) pace, and in 10 years it will be the absolute home of our dreams! So speaking of surprises, here was one of our first:
Isn’t that disgusting!? After closing, we went to the house only to discover that we had no water. We did a final walk-through the morning of, but we didn’t think to turn on the faucets like we had in the initial inspection. A plumber determined it wasn’t a problem with our pipes, so we had a water conditioner technician come in to solve the problem. We had to get a whole new iron filtration system put into the house. Our water comes from a well, and the picture above is a result of all the iron in our water. It looked like this for about 2 weeks while all the filters were getting flushed and the pipes were moving everything out. It also smelled like a fish pond. It’s normal now, but still no one will drink it. We had it tested and shocked and everything is normal…so I will cook with it.
Here is a tour of Sam’s room:
There are still a few things to be done in his room. I need to make a decision on window treatments, his closet doors need hung, and the baseboards need installed.
Stats on the house: 4500 SF Bi-level ranch, 4 car attached garage, 4 car detached shop, on 2 acres. We live in an unincorporated village, on the 18th hole of a golf course, in the country. Our street has a row of houses that were built starting around 2004ish. Our house was the only one here for a long time…it was built in 1972. We are the old ones for sure! (Seriously…we have a wheelchair ramp leading up to our front door!) Our house looks almost exactly as it did in 1972, right down to the yellow appliances in the kitchen! I’ll do another post on all the work we’ve done so far…it is a long list! And we have a long way to go…but we think it is a neat house and we love to see the transformation take place. Nate and I are determined to give this house a second chance and love it back to life!
November 4th, 2012
I’m finally getting to post a few pictures of Mage’s baptism in May. It was a special day for her! Despite all the stresses from the baptism, the construction going on at our house, and moving, all turned out well and we enjoyed being surrounded by our family.
November 4th, 2012
Nate is usually out of town during Halloween, and this year was no exception. To make life as simple as possible for my single parent self, I made the kids go trick-or-treating in their pajamas. Luckily, no one made a fuss about not getting to wear their real costumes. Aren’t they a cute crew of skeletons?
Our good friend Natalee came to trick-or-treat with us.
Of course the kids got way too much candy. We live on a street in the country where the only trick-or-treating going on is from other kids on the street. I think it makes a difference knowing you’re only handing out candy to your direct neighbors. So even though we didn’t go to a ton of houses, everyone handed out a fist full of candy bars to each kid. Talulah surprised me and got really into it. She would stick her bag out and say thank you each time. She totally knew she was getting a treasure. The kids were up too late for a school night, but they had lots of fun!
July 23rd, 2012
Has it really been 6 months since I’ve been on here?! Anyone want a quick run down of our happenings since January?
- Nate had his appendix out (during the superbowl…totally inconsiderate, right?)
- We bought a house. Let me clarify…We bought a house that consumes our life. We’re talking major work. It’s backbreaking labor, mixed with emotional breakdowns and lots of stress, and surprises around every corner. Fun times, people. That being said, we are totally in love with it, and in about 10 years it will be the home of our dreams!
- Talulah turned 1! She’s a cute little stinker.
- Magei got glasses.
- Magei was baptized.
- Family came to visit! (We totally put them to work.)
- Nate won an award for his research, and he’s SOOOO close to being published.
- We took the longest road trip ever!
And to that last point, I’ll put some pictures up. Nate’s side of the family had a reunion this year in Arizona. We decided to be completely insane and make a road trip out of it. We hit 12 states in 10 days. There were some good times, and there were some bad times, but mostly it was fun times!
Here we are in Nowheresville, SD. We stopped to rest and explore a little trail.
I had seen a PBS show featuring Wall Drug, so we made a point to stop.
Mt. Rushmore was a fun place and something we had been wanting to do with the kids.
Eventually we made it to my sister’s house in SLC. We went to a working farm and let the kids see some of the crops, farm animals, and feed the ducks.
Grandpa came down and joined us, and the kids totally wore him out at the pool.
There is no zoo here in La Crosse, and we miss it so much! We took the kids to Hogel Zoo and they had so much fun.
We left Utah after a few days and made our way down to Arizona. We stopped at the dam along the way.
Nate has all the pictures from the Farley reunion and our trek home, so I’ll have to do a separate post when he sends me those.
So, does this mean I’m back to blogging? Hmm…too soon to tell. But maybe!!
January 3rd, 2012
Before heading up to Idaho, we spent a few days in Salt Lake City with Rafe and Tennille. We got to have lunch with Nate’s brother Deveren and his wife Kiara and their kids while Tennille and Rafe were at work. We also got to go see the lights at Temple Square, which is something I haven’t done in forever. It was beautiful and FREEZING.
I made the cousins matching pajamas and Nate helped me make the freezer paper stencil shirts. The kids looked super cute!
And Tennille made all of us matching Christmas pillow cases…you can see them in this picture:
Christmas Day was fun and included church, presents, family, and food…and more food! Our vacation was filled with parties, staying up too late, and playing with our family!
January 3rd, 2012
Traditionally, we start our Christmas season by attending some sort of concert. Unfortunately, here in Small Town, WI our options were limited and a major event was no less than 2 hours away. Lucky us, Magei’s violin studio had a Christmas recital…unlucky us, the flu hit Sam hard on the day of the recital and Nate was the only one who got to go. But I watched the video and she rocked!
We spent Christmas in Idaho this year, and since I didn’t want to drag too many gifts with us, we had a mini Christmas at our house the night before we left. Christmas had a little theme going on: getting through long car/plane rides.
I made Magei and Sam car organizers that attach to the back seats. These things weren’t too difficult to sew, but they took FOREVER to put together. Cutting out 2 of each little piece, plus cutting interfacing, plus ironing on the interfacing, plus batting, plus sewing binding on each piece…and then times that by 2…yeah, it was a lot of man hours for something that doesn’t look too complicated! But they turned out cute and the kids were happy with them.
We used them in lieu of stockings and filled them with all sorts of travel snacks and road trip activities.
I made them their own luggage tags using a tutorial from skiptomylou.org (along with my own modifications because her technique for sewing on vinyl was 2 thumbs down.)
And their luggage tags went nicely with their new luggage! The kids were super excited to unwrap these because they were in huge boxes.
I also made the kids crayon rolls, which was something that had been on my to do list for about a million years. The tutorial also came from skiptomylou. They used these things nonstop during our travels.
Talulah did her best to unwrap, but of course had no idea what was going on. Magei pretty much asked for one thing: a robe. She hasn’t stopped wearing it!
December 9th, 2011
St. Nikolaus came to visit the kids on December 6. Apparently they have been good, because they got presents and not sticks. Talulah didn’t have a clue what was going on, but she did think it was pretty fun eating her shoes.
December 9th, 2011
Can you see that tiny blue spec in the picture below? That is Sam stalking our backyard neighbor. He is not allowed to leave our yard when all the other neighborhood kids are at school, so he sat right at the very edge and watched the neighbor dad dig post holes in his backyard. Eventually the nice guy took pity on Sam and invited him over to help. I’m sure it took him twice as long ,but Sam had a blast digging those post holes.
In September we got to go to Janesville and visit the Gurneys! What fun!
We spent Thanksgiving with some friends from church and the missionaries. We had intended on going out for dinner before we got the invite, and so my mind was already pretty set on not cooking. I bought pies, rolls, and cut up vegetables…the perfect amount of work for me!
December 9th, 2011
We had several little Halloween parties this year. Thankfully, the Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes from last year still fit because I didn’t have much time to prepare anything. Magei and Sam weren’t super thrilled about wearing exactly what they wore last year, and by the time trick-or-treating came around, they both just dug stuff out of the dress up box.
Nate’s work hosted a Halloween party and the kids had a super fun time. Talulah was the cutest little skeleton ever!
I think the kids enjoyed handing out candy more than they enjoyed getting it themselves. They planted themselves in front of the door and stayed put until we convinced them it was time for us to go out.