my hero

I love this man!
I tell you, there isn't much that he can't do.
Every time a problem arises, he's able to fix it.
Just like that.

Electrical? No problem.
Plumbing? He'll just move the pipes over, thank you.
Knock out this wall over here...
Raise that floor over there...
Pour cement to fill in this hole...

You name it? Done.

He's pretty amazing.

the boys' room

This picture was taken when we walked through with our realtor and the previous owner was still living in the house. It's my only "before" picture of this bedroom.

The first thing we did was pull up the carpet, then we tackled the wallpaper. Unlike the wallpaper in the girls' room which came down in sheets, this stuff had to be picked and scraped off. It took 3 days!

One of my little helpers

The night I started on this room, I immediately felt discouraged because the stuff was caked onto the wall. I sat there and asked God for help. About a half an hour later one of my boys came into the room, sat down and started to work alongside of me.

Then he asked, "Want me to sing to you?"

"Deep in the hundred acre wood
Where Christopher Robin plays..."

So we sat there together for almost 2 hours peeling wallpaper, talking, and singing "Winnie the Pooh."

When we stopped by the Home Depot to look at counter tops he found a paint color called Christopher Robin's Swing.

So here it is...the new and improved boys' bedroom in Christopher Robin's Swing.


becoming home

all done peeling the wallpaper in the boys' room--it only took me 3 days

Today was our big day!!! Phil rented a U-Haul to move our things from storage into our new house! The kids were overjoyed to see their things again. It felt like Christmas morning, for sure.

We still have a little ways to go, but things are coming along well enough. We'll probably be able to check out of the hotel within the next couple of days.

The kitchen floor is sanded and ready to be stained.

It was so good to see our things again! Seeing them in the new house certainly makes it feel like home.


kids, floors and more

I must say, I have the best kids! They've done so well this year with all of our craziness. As I was upstairs tonight peeling wallpaper, I could hear them playing together happily and I thought about all the transitions they've gone through so far this year...

we started packing in late June and they lived in a pretty toy-less house for the month of July

we drove down to Oregon, put our things in storage, stayed in a couple of hotels in order to look for a house, then went camping on the California Coast

we drove down to California to stay with family. During that time we flew down to Arizona for a family wedding and then Phil and I drove back up to Oregon for another house hunting trip

we moved up to Oregon and into our hotel room August 29 so the kids could start school and Phil could start work

they started a new school, which is really a big deal, because they started school--they've been homeschooled up until now

we've visited a few churches since our move, which means they have to try new classes every Sunday

we've taken 2 quick (5-hour drive) weekend trips down to California for family parties

and for the past week and a half, we've been to our new home daily to do repairs and renovations. The kids just explore and play while we work and then we hop back into the car to sleep at the hotel

They're great kids, I tell you! And I'm so proud of them.

Here's what's going on at the house...

We're plugging away in the kitchen. Phil is going to knock out this wall to open up the kitchen into the dining room.

The kitchen is basically gutted. I've sanded the cabinets and have started to paint them white.

Phil's sister is staying with us and she broke up all the floor tile and hauled it outside to our dump pile. Under the ceramic tile, she found 4 layers of linoleum flooring. Four layers, folks!

Once they stripped it down, look what they found...

Yep! That's hardwood flooring, and it matches the older hardwood in the rest of the house! A friend of ours from California is up this weekend and he's sanding the floor for us right now. I had a really great slate-colored tile picked out, but I'm hoping the hardwood cleans up nicely.


my little helpers

My fingers are so sore from peeling wallpaper.
It's a good thing I had these two little helpers today.

They asked if they could work in their room while I worked in the bathroom.
I wish you could have heard them giggle and sing as they worked.
It was so sweet!

just dreaming

I think I need this.


plugging away

We had such a looooooooong, yet productive day yesterday! We have awesome friends and family who work hard and who work quickly! In a little over 24 hours, we had the carpet out of every room (including one bathroom) in this 2100 square foot house. They pulled up carpet, padding, tack boards and every single staple in the entire house, sanded, then swept all the dust, applied a coat of paint thinner and finished up with a coat of finish. We also peeled more wallpaper and sanded several kitchen cupboard doors.

We were able to drive down to a flooring store and to Lowe's and pick out the kitchen and bathroom flooring, the kitchen counter tops and sink, and we bought the paint for the upstairs bathroom, the kitchen walls and the kitchen cupboards. A friend of mine came with us--while her husband was pulling staples out of the floor--and she picked out the perfect red for the front door, the back door, and for the french door dividing the kitchen and the mudroom.

Here's the upstairs hallway looking into my room (left) and the girls' room (right). The upstairs bathroom is to the left of my room.

my bedroom

looking down the stairs from outside of my bedroom

The hardwood upstairs and in the downstairs bedroom are made from a different wood. The slats are a lot wider and the color is nice and rich.

where the oven used to be...

It's been fun discovering all sorts of things that have been covered up in this old house.

Here they covered up the large cold air return vent in the downstairs hallway.

This was the bathroom with carpet...not a good idea for little boys! When I removed some of the wallpaper, I found a hand-painted mural hidden beneath.

This is what we found when we pulled off a set of kitchen cabinet doors...old flour or potato bins that pull out with hinges on the bottom. There are two stacked on top of each other.

I love these floors!

The kids had so much fun playing on one of the carpet scraps we pulled outside onto the back patio.

I know this isn't a great picture. I wanted to take a picture of the house at night without the flash. This is what I saw as I drove up to the house last night and it took my breath away. It's like it's all lit up inside!


renovations underway

I've been bitten by the renovation bug! At first I thought we'd just make a few changes here and there, but today I said it. The tell-tale sign of someone who's gone off the deep end...

I actually uttered these words, "Yeah, I think we could knock out that wall."


So here's what we're up to in this new house of ours. The kitchen wallpaper is coming down. Have I mentioned that there's wallpaper in EVERY room of the house? Baby steps.

This is the wall that will come down. We're going to open the kitchen up to the dining room. We decided this after I removed the wallpaper. :)

The plan this week is to paint the cabinets white and the walls a soft, buttery yellow. As I was peeling the wallpaper, I noticed a huge change in the feeling of the room. It was so dark with the maroon wallpaper and dark cabinets.

My husband removed the carpet from the living room, dining room, downstairs hallway and the stairs. Here's a before shot:

This is what we found when we pulled back the carpet:

Lovely "during" shot:


We had such a great day today. A couple of family members and a friend drove up from California and will stay the weekend to help us with lots of projects like pulling up all the staples from the floor, knocking out walls and painting.

And then we were abundantly blessed by new friends who brought over dinner and dined with us on the patio out back. As it got dark, all the kids took off running and they played in the field with flashlights. It was the perfect ending to such a sweet, sweet day.

I must mention one very traumatic event. I took my sister-in-law out to the shed that holds the water tank and I saw a dead rat. I almost threw up. Welcome to the country, Jenny. I'll never forget that image as long as I live. Why couldn't it have been a mouse? Yuck! I don't like mice, either, but if I had to chose one over the other, I would definitely choose mice. I can't even believe I just typed that. I wouldn't choose rodents for anything. I hate them.

So, the renovations are underway. They can be a bit stressful, no? I took the kids back to the hotel tonight while the others stayed to finish up a few things. I know they'll be longer than they said they would. I have a feeling this is what it's going to be like for awhile. I know, because I said we were only going to paint, and now I have them knocking out a wall. It's kinda fun, though, when you start to see progress. But not when you happen upon dead rats.


memo to self: laugh

At bedtime the other night, my boys asked me, "Mom, why don't you laugh anymore?"


I try so hard to keep it together on the outside, but when I'm home with the people I love most, my comfort zone, I let them see all the ugly stuff.

And the sad thing is, I don't even realize it. I guess I could blame the chaos of the move; but honestly, if it wasn't the move, I would probably find something else to blame. There's always something else, right?

I want my kids to remember me as a happy mom.

Time to go back and read this again.


i'm home

I could write 10 blog posts about today. Really, I could. But it was just too wonderful for words. Our realtor called this morning and said he was going pick up our keys later in the afternoon. I waited and waited and faithfully carried my phone with me--even into the bathroom. Just in case. He called while the kids were playing on the playground after school.

As we drove out to our new home along those beautiful, autumn-filled country roads, my heart was so full. There was beauty all around me. And then I looked into my rear view mirror...beauty, still. My kids' sweet, smiling faces looked back at me. "We're going home, Mommy!"

When I drove onto the property, I felt like I was trespassing. This was the first time I've been there without our realtor present. I wasn't sure what to do. Do we just go inside?

Let me just say that my kids played and played and played! Funny thing...they were so happy in this new house of ours with absolutely no toys. It sure makes a mommy happy...especially one that's been cooped up in a hotel for awhile. I loved walking around barefoot and feeling the grass between my toes. I loved hearing my girls say, "Let's play Little House on the Prairie," and then, "Let's play Anne of Green Gables." I would have joined them, but I wanted to explore, too. We explored inside, then outside and everywhere in between.

My favorite memory of the day though, is this. When my happy toes and I went back inside, the house was extremely quiet. The kids didn't answer when I called, so I headed upstairs. This is what I saw as I walked into one of the bedrooms...just a little bit of light shining from underneath the closet door. There they were, playing clubhouse!

We lingered for about 2 hours before heading back to the hotel. We'll stay there until this weekend when Phil will be off from work. But we'll head up there again tomorrow to do a little more dreaming and to put 4 little pumpkins on our new front porch.