Tuesday, April 7, 2015

We've Moved!

This is everything we have waited for. 
Before we were married we talked about living in an old farm house on some land. We meant to raise our children in such a place. Once we landed in Phoenix our dreams kind of escaped and we found ourselves in a place we weren't happy. We knew all along that that wasn't the place we intended to be but we made the best of it.
Thank you Lord for both of us losing our jobs, dwindling our bank accounts, depleting our savings, losing our 401K
 and handing our house over to the bank.
 Thank youLord for moving us to Cache Valley with no money, no jobs and absolutely no idea as to what the future held.

I feel like life is starting all over especially now that we are unpacking ALL of our boxes after three long years. Nothing is temporary anymore. We are moving on in life.
We have moved into a house that is 106 years old on an acre of land (1.16 acres to be exact) with all its quirkiness.  It isn't much to look at right now but as the years pass I am sure that we will put the Kirk and Pam charm on it.
 The kitchen is probably the worst configuration there is. Jared walked in and immediately saw that the work triangle was all wrong. What 19 year old knows about work triangles? Ones majoring in carpentry. By the look of the cabinets we suspect that the kitchen was updated in the 70's. We found an old cast iron sink from the 30's in the outbuilding with the metal cabinets that once hung in this very kitchen. I had to scrape the laminated green counters with a razor blade and scrub the floor with cleanser to remove years of crud. It was really gross. Kirk and Jared have great plans for this kitchen. I am very excited.

 We have discovered that people will put up anything to disguise the plaster falling away from the walls, weird brick, wall paper......It is quite a mess. This is the laundry room that was once a butlers pantry. Once again, lots of work to do.
 This is the hideous dining room with a 70's style hearth and wood stove. The fun part about a house as old as this one, there are many hidden features such as the brick fire place that is behind the wood stove sealed up with plaster walls. There is also wood floors hidden beneath the laminated flooring.
 This is part of the main bathroom that has the only shower.......here's the kicker, this bathroom is down stairs in back of the kitchen. Yes, there is no master bath upstairs. To think that the house was originally built with an out house and warmed by coal.
 All of the closets had ancient wall paper, some three layers thick attached to raw plaster walls. There were lots of holes. This closet is in the bathroom. I call it the 9 hour closet because it took 9 hours to strip the paper, patch the plaster holes, prime and paint about 3 coats of paint. It was quite an event but I got it done so now it holds all our bathroom stuff and linen.
 Get a load of this "vintage" lighting. I guess someone broke the glass.
 This house definitely has some unique features.
 Almost all the doors have these beautiful knobs. Some actually latch....some don't. Notice the chunks of crayon stuck in the keyhole.
 The living room is much to be desired. It took two rounds on the carpet to get it cleaned. Not every wall exhibits electrical plugs and not all the plugs are grounded. So there will be some electrical work that will be taking place in the future.
 The front window has the original leaded glass. I have noticed several houses around town with the same type of windows. They are quite pretty.
 We have plans for this banister and steps too. The dogs enjoy laying on the window sill watching the activities outside. It drives me nuts, but as soon as we saw where it was located we knew that that was a place that they would find to look out.
 This is the exact door that I grew up with in California but with clear glass. We are currently watching for a new door at the antique store. In time I am sure that we will find the right size. We still need to change the knob so that we actually have a key to it. Nothing like going through it and getting locked out.
 Here is the kermit the frog room that is now a very light pink chosen by Daphne.
 Outside this room is a widows walk. It is now painted a pale blue grey chosen by the boys. Actually, they didn't care what color their room was. We threatened to leave it pink so they ended up agreeing to the pale blue-grey that Daphne and I chose for them.
 This bathroom is hysterical. It was actually once the hallway that lead into the back bedroom. I am thankful to have a bathroom up stairs but this is a little ridiculous.
 The amazing baby poop yellow room is now a beautiful lavender chosen by Victoria. We still have all the trim and doors to paint. Before we moved in we painted the ceilings and walls in the bedrooms leaving all the doors and trim to do. I figured that we could tolerate the rest of the house if the bedrooms and closets were at least clean and liveable.
 The back bedroom is evolving into a desireable place. Unfortunately the green paint I chose wasn't quite what I wanted. Kirk likes it but I am sure that I will be changing it soon. Anything is better than the weird colors that were in there.
 At least we have a nice view of the back yard. Lots of grass to be mowed. The irrigation canal runs along the back fence. There are tons of juniper bushes that we found out Kirk is highly allergic to. We have already started pulling those out in the front yard for starters.
 I have learned how to repair plaster walls. It can be quite an event but I think it is kind of fun. Though something this big has to have dry wall screwed into it. I saw that on you tube.

This is a small example of the ancient wall paper that we found behind some cork board tiles. Lots of work but well worth it. And it looks nice now.
Like I said, you never know what you will find when you move something. Here we have plaster, old wall paper, some funky brick looking board painted two ways that lie behind the stove. Our new stove looks so much cleaner in the space already. It helps coping with the funkiness of the decor.
 We call this the Harry Potter closet because it lies behind the stairs. Get a load of the top layer of three wallpapers and the laminate flooring. One of the layers under this silver paper was actually pretty. It was the bottom layer so it was the oldest. It had an embossed design and was actually quite pretty.
 I took up the flooring and found wood underneath that only needs to be sanded and stained. I spent many hours in this closet as well. The ceiling was falling down and left a gaping hole to be plastered. As I was working I would occasionally find myself in the dark. Sammy was constantly hogging the light.
.This dog loves to bask in warmth.
 So far this is the only picture I have of any work done. We have been very busy with painting, unpacking, keeping up with school and Oh....Kirk has been working nights for the past month!
I love that the walls are nice and clean, sealed with paint.
 I look out into the back and can't believe that this is our place. I feel like for the first time in a really long time we can breathe.
 There has been a small herd of deer hanging out in the yard. Since the house has been empty for quite some time, the deer have some what taken over. The neighbors are happy to see someone move in. They are hoping that the deer will move out and leave their gardens alone. I think it is working because we haven't seen the deer in over a week. They are pretty but very destructive.
 I bet you didn't know we had a pig. Sammy reminds me of one with his extra skin hanging around his neck. The basset hound really shows up in his plug of a body. He even grunts like a piggie.
 In the midst of life we brought home chicks. Kirk wanted to wait a year but the kids and I didn't want to wait. I guess we rushed things a little with these cute little chicks. They are the sweetest little things.
And boy do they grow fast.
 What a great opportunity for Jared and Kaleb to build a beautiful hen house. I can't wait to see it all done but I can't wait to get these chicks out of the house more!
Here they are at just a couple weeks old enjoying the sunshine. They did what chickens do, scratch, perch, peck and cackle, cackle, cackle. They are quite the talkative bunch.

I feel like we are camping sometimes while we are hanging out in our new yard. Listening to the breeze whistle through the pine trees is just like being in the forest. We spent all day outside on Easter. Well, we kind of had to work on getting this chicken coop built. Jared and Kaleb stopped long enough to dye eggs.
These past couple months have felt like a blur from the time we made an offer on the house, packed, moved, unpacked, painted and all the other stuff in between.
We are so thankful to be living within our own walls. I feel like we have finally moved on in life and are feeling like we actually belong here. It feels good. Life is good. There is so much to look forward to.
Kirk has great plans to change the look of the house itself and return it to some of the original 1906 craftmanship. We have definitely moved into a project house that needs lots of tender loving care. Best of all it is our home and what we make of it. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Grand Finale of 2014

 We started December babysitting Zeus for Kathy and Troy while they went to Hawaii to visit Rich! It would have been more fun to go to Hawaii but Zeus was a lot of fun too. 
Though he doesn't look too thrilled being dressed up by Victoria.
 Victoria got braces!
 Who would have thought that Kaleb and Victoria would have braces on at the same time. It is an absolute miracle that we are affording this. 
Our orthodontist is wonderful.
 Victoria and I researched how to make authentic looking clay food for Barbie and AG dolls.  You would be amazed what is out there. Of course that is a post in itself. If you are interested, 
check out my Pinterest board Here.
We tried convincing Kaleb  to retire this sleep shirt. He found this at the thrift shirt when he was only 5 years old. It hung down below his knees. When he showed it to me I had asked him what he was going to do with that? 
He was holding it like a prized possession in his little 5 year old hand.
 He told me "I'm gonna sweep in it!"
So he has been wearing this shirt that says 
Peace, Love and Crabs from Joe's Crab Shack for 10 years!
 We put together this huge, awesome puzzle! We have a funny family thing that happens every time we put a puzzle together. Someone always wants to put the last piece in. 
Can you guess who?
 For years, he has taken a piece and has hidden it so that when we go to put in the last piece it is missing! Daphne and I finished this puzzle around 11 pm at night when we discovered that 2 pieces were missing! Uugh!
We baked cookies. 
Victoria was begging to use her Buffalo cookie cutter. 
Sure, why not, we'll just have Christmas Buffaloes!
I bet you never had Christmas Buffaloes before!
Sam did his best at keeping the floor clean.
Georgie discovered how fun it was to hang out in the Christmas tree while his house was being cleaned. Though he decided that the foliage wasn't very tasty.
 I had help with wrapping presents, which is always nice. 
Notice the direction of the trees on the paper...
We added to our massive collection of ornaments. Our neighbor Chris whittled the wooden Santa. It is amazing. We couldn't find Jared an ornament that related to construction so I sculpted a hammer from clay. Kaleb, of course has the green alien and the minion. He is getting quite a collection of brightly colored beings. Can you guess Daphne's? Yep, the cats, and a blue sea horse for Victoria. Daphne and I burned the snowflakes into wood cuts and Victoria painted the little snowman.
We have spent the winters living here watching trucks....sometimes city trucks.....pull into the library when no one is there and do donuts in the parking lot. We have always told my Dad about this. He told my Mom that he can't wait for the first snow because he wanted to do donuts out in the parking lot for us to see. So on Christmas Morning when we woke to SNOW!!!!!!!
 He called to tell us to look out our window!
Yep, there he was doing donuts in the parking lot sliding all around. He had to stop though because a couple times it actually looked like he was going to get stuck. It brought back all those years in our Jeep growing up with him splashing through mud puddles where the spray would be sent up 20 feet into the air! 
It was very entertaining!
 It was wonderful having Nana and Poppa at our house for Christmas.
 It was our first one together in many, many years.
 It was a good day spending it all together.
 It reminded me of all the blessings that God has granted us over and over again!
 The past few Christmas' have been very difficult for various reasons. Mostly for financial reasons. This was our first Christmas doing on our own....because we COULD! 
Thank you LORD!
 Kaleb....pretty excited about his ORANGE sheets! 
And Poppa happy with his new Popcorn Popper!
 My son, the Carpenter, made three cooling racks for me. He built them after a set that my mom has had for years! I am very proud of him and now we have plenty of racks to use on the table during dinner.
Victoria painted me this adorable snowman! I love it! I found this awesome frame and almost busted it to pieces when I slipped on a piece of ice on our drive way! 
Uugh! Nothing like jarring your whole body.....
 I love these next three pictures of Henry! 
He looks so cute.....

Kirk says they are all the same...but no...his tail is moving!
 Sam loves, loves, loves the SNOW!
 He always gets so excited when he realizes that there is fresh snow on the ground.
 We now know that my parents little dog Sugar, loves the snow too. She was an avid swimmer in Arizona and doesn't have a place to swim...no need, she has a yard full of snow! Who would have ever thought that she was going to love it so much. She was outside catching the snowflakes as they were falling. It was hysterical to watch.
 She has the perfect fur for collecting snowballs.....
 We call this snorkeling. In the pool she would make bubbles with her paws and then bite them. So now, she does the same thing but with snow.
We got in some night sledding which is always fun. It is really convenient using the library's parking lot lights and a nearby drainage ditch. We now have two new "metal" snow saucers. 
We have replaced about 4 or 5 plastic ones. 
We saved part of our tax return from Spring to buy snowshoes for all of us. 
Now we can hike Green Canyon year round.
 It was quite the treat to wake up to so much snow on Christmas morning. 
We measured 7 inches by night fall.
 I love that we don't become hermits during the winter.
We celebrated the New Year with a game night, Nana and Poppa and left over fireworks!
We are discussing goals for the year and actually feel hopeful over our situation in life. I think we are recovering from the economy crash that we experienced when we lived in Arizona. We have been greatly blessed and can't live without God's plan for us.
We have discovered that when we try to do what we want, we just mess it up. 
His plan is so much better.
I can't wait to see what he has planned for us this year!