Easter 2011

Have I mentioned we are staying at a beautiful home while we await our new house? It's more like a retreat. Today the house cleaners came. We all came home to our beds made, rooms tidied and floor sparkling. I am trying not to get too used to this. It was just lovely.

We have so enjoyed the company of our hosts. They are loving, funny and generous. It is so hard to take kindness from others. Especially when they truly ask nothing in return.

A note on Easter: A few days before Easter Claire asked Jesus to be in her heart. She had all the knowledge but just didn't know how to accept Christ's gift to her. It was a wonderful thing to pray with her - even though it was way past her bedtime. :) Her favorite subject in school is Bible. She hopes to be a teacher when she grows up and, despite her shyness, even read a book to the younger kids at Moms group this last Monday. She does not like to be the center of attention but will talk and talk if in the right situation. My heart rejoices that she has chosen to let God be in the forefront of her life.

Annabelle accepted Christ at 4 years old and now doesn't really remember. Her mind is full of questions and frustrations. She wants miracles, she wants instant answers to prayers, she demands explanations! I pray she learns, as I did, that God works in his own time and when we trust him and not ourselves we will see his miraculous ways every day.

The latest

Well - Matt is on a business trip and life seems dull at the moment.

We are ready to be in the house but we wait on inspections, painting and some final patchup work. The painting starts this Friday - we should see some impressive transformations then.

Here's the latest. This time the kids were with me so they are in most pics in some way or another.


Nearly there...


Entryway - this is where they accidentally put in hardwood floors. I'm glad we had them redo it in tile as originally planned.

The Family/Dining Room - looking in the kitchen. The open door goes into the garage. I can't wait for the new light fixtures and paint in this room. It's going to be totally different.

The Master Bedroom
The basement bathroom shower. It turns out this will only be for the shorter members of our family. It's kindof a funny little shower. But, no mold and it'll have a light on Monday.

The upstairs bathroom. I love this tile! I went to Lowe's and picked it up myself to be sure I got what I wanted. And I'm glad we used the black instead of trying to find little blue tiles. It'll be more versatile this way. We also installed a European vanity - it's so little and cute. Very practical for a little bathroom like this.

We're hoping to get the painting done next week and get ourselves moved in shortly after! We can't afford to have the doors (or windows) painted yet but hopefully that will be a manageable DIY project in the very near future. We are going to have the trim painted white. There are still going to be plenty of "projects" to do, but the big stuff is nearly done and we are super excited.

I'll post some final before and after shots when we are done with the upstairs.

The basement is pretty much the same until the village inspection. And there is no electricity so it is impossible to take pics down there.


Fun with water

Yes - we're homeless. But, we are not complaining. Our hosts are generous, kind, fun and loving. They have allowed us to take over their home, invade their kitchen and even litter the house with crumbs and dirty socks. We are having so much fun staying with them.

And, their parents have a pretty awesome pool. :) We headed over there on Saturday and the girls swam their hearts out. We hope to make it over there again soon.

A big thank you to Mrs. G.!


Beautiful floors! Knock out that window.

It was a busy day at our house the last few days.

Here are some pics of the floors.

We can't wait to tear down the horrendous curtains and repaint these rooms.

The basement is small and the ceilings are low but given our lack of funds to do a complete remodel, we are using the space the best way we can. It will be useful and hopefully we can brighten it up with lighting.

We decided to add backyard/porch access through the dining room and today they took out the window and the wall under it. Yahoo!



They started tiling the upstairs bathroom today and are waiting on some inspections to finish up the basement.


The work on the house continues

Here are the latest photos!

Bride Katherine

This will certainly brighten your day!


I need to upload new pictures. The problem is that I am essentially working outside the home now. I do get to bring my 3 year old with me but I don't have my things, my schedule and I feel like I'm driving around a lot more.

I am thankful to be able to continue watching A. while we are between houses but it means coming to his house every day and still working on moving out of our previous home.

Today marks the final day of moving out. All the items that didn't fit in the moving truck have been slowly taken the storage unit. Many items went to the new house to sit on the back porch. And today the piano and large desk went into the garage. The guys doing the construction have been wonderful, planning the construction accordingly and moving so fast!

I'll post some pics tonight if I have the energy to plug in my camera and computer. The hardwood floors are done and the tile gets put in tomorrow!


neighbor craz-o

We are moving out of this place tomorrow - and it could not come soon enough.

As of this moment, the neighbor is moving her furniture. Again. She moves it almost every 2 days now. It's obvious pounding, scraping of couch legs kindof noise. And today she has kindly placed it right at 12:30, naptime. I guess that is better than her other usual choice of 3 AM.

God give me patience. She has bigger problems than me.

And tonight is our last night here. I can make it.


Moving gifts

My gifts to myself this move:

175 feet of bubble wrap. This is awesome. No messy hands from newsprint. Totally reusable and everything just looks so pretty in the boxes. This is important to me - apparently. Or at least it keeps me happy.

25 file boxes. Easy assembly, no tape and lids you can take on and off. Wonderful.

Furniture sliders. Okay - we haven't used these yet but I'm hopeful they will make moving a 800 lb. piano around the house easier. I'll keep you updated...

Items purchased from Uline.com


Our house renovations continue

Oh yeah - you need an update!

Well, the "finds" continue... They discovered some very interesting electrical work yesterday - the wiring for the family room was just strung around the door frame. Totally unsafe and a fire hazard! Also - the floor in their has a pitch of 2 inches. We'll be reframing the sub-floor.

And then today they discovered some DIY framing in the basement bathroom. Someone used 1x2 scrap lumber to "frame" (if you can call it that) the bathroom. It was literally falling down after they pulled out the moldy drywall. Today they will reframe and redo all the plumbing in that bathroom.

But, there is lots of good news - the 2 new rooms are framed out in the basement and the house is looking great!

American Girl Doll - Birthday treat

Ah yes - 7 years old means American Girl doll in our house. We made a weekend of it and spent 2 nights at a hotel down the street from the store. The weather was cold and windy and the room was small but nobody complained that we were too loud, so it was wonderful!

After spending several hours in the store - we headed out into the mall to open up her new "Kit" doll and try on her new outfit (thanks Coach & Nana!). She also got "Ginger" so Kit would have a pet.

Claire has been super generous about sharing her AG doll with Katherine. She lets Katherine carry it around and play with it. They also played with their fairies and Kit together at the hotel.

Claire is such a beautiful, wonderful child. Our family would be so imcomplete without her. She loves to talk in detail about different events in her life - including how she chooses the right socks for the outfit, why she likes to arrange her dolls a certain way, how she plays with her toys and exactly how she figured out a hard math problem. We work hard to listen to her, give her lots of one-on-one attention (her love language!) and help her rest when she has had too much time with people. She is helpful, generous and patient - and she knows it! I love it that my girls know what their character qualities are. They will tell you what they are good at and why they are important to our family.

Happy Birthday to our special Clairey!


neighbor no see

So - today I let the landlord know that our neighbor hasn't left the house in 4 days and has been up all night for 3 nights (yes, we've been awake too!). Frankly, we are more worried than irritated. She hasn't even collected her much enjoyed New York Times...

we'll see how this week unfolds...


Neighbor update

Well, our neighbor has been covered in prayer. It's the only way to survive. She has not slept for 2 days. We have also been awake at night quite a bit listening to her stomping and screaming for hours on end. Matt & I agreed that prayer is our only option. We don't know if she is angry with us or just taking it out on us. It seems something bad is happening in her life and she is very unhappy.

She doesn't know that I sent the kids outside to give her some quiet today - she probably is fuming that they were inside dancing earlier. But, God knows. He knows our hearts and it doesn't matter what she thinks.

Today when Matt left to work on his dissertation he was a little worried for our safety. But, God is in control. I pray that he heals her brokenness and she can find peace.

Oh and only 6 days left. Cause - I'm totally counting!

Our new house - Before Photos 1

I took some pictures when I went to look at homes:

Matt & the realtor definitely saw more potential than I did. Imagine hardwood floors, new paint, etc. It'll be beautiful!

Our fixer upper - Before photos part 2

Ah yes. The closing went great. The house is ours. Yay!

The demo. began the very next day.

Sorry - we're not keeping the dark brown linoleum that covers almost the entire house. It'll be replaced with new carpet and hardwood. We also gutted the bathroom completely. (By we - I mean the contractor, of course.) Those pink walls are gone!