Friday, September 23, 2016

Porch makeover

Before we purchased our home last year, the inspector had pointed out some rather suspect looking support posts on the covered front porch. We'd also noticed that the floor boards seemed pretty worse for the wear. Last winter when we had precipitation coming through the gaping, rotten floor boards into our basement, we knew we really were going to have to do something about it before too long.

Finding a trustworthy, economical & skilled contractor became our next task ... not easy in the middle of their busy season. Thankfully after several rounds of dead-end phone calls, we finally found someone with availability for the right price. Thank you!

I don't have a really good "before" photo of the porch, but came across this one of my Mom & Luke from a year ago which gives an idea of what it used to look like.

In process ...

Support posts were definitely rotten and the lumber originally used is now not considered adequate support.

Now that the more serious stuff has been completed, time to get stain, varnish and paint on.

Finished ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A happy accident & a trip to the fair

Ever have a situation that should have turned out really poorly turn out great instead?

I have known for a long time it was inevitable that I would lock my keys in my car -- I am just too scattered with trying to remember what I am doing in the midst of Luke's ceaseless chatter & juggling both of them in & out of the car.

Last Thursday was the day --

I'd just gotten milk at the store and nervously realized my keys weren't in any of their usual spots. After a few minutes of calmly trying to find them and before calling AAA, I called Jason. He answered. He usually has his phone on silent since he's in class or in the library studying, etc. Next great thing, he didn't have class for a bit, so it was no problem for him to ride his bike to the grocery store and rescue us. Then, since he had a free hour, we all got to go to our (free!) county fair together. Something we had not expected to be able to do this fair season. So, thanks God for that unexpected gift of some family fun-time together.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Picking exterior paint colors

***Warning ... this post is completely about a first world problem & I know it***

Since before buying our house, we've known it would need new exterior paint ... and we've very much wanted to update the exterior color scheme. Since our homeowners insurance was requiring us to fix some of the peeling paint, it seemed like this summer would be the right time.

We had absolutely NO idea just how difficult it would be to pick the right colors though! Or how excruciatingly tedious scraping/sanding/primering could be. Or how incredibly stressed we would already feel just trying to accomplish a few small home projects in the midst of Jason's independent study course, his job, being present with our kids and trying to have a few fun moments.

We were completely blessed by a friend who referred us to apply for a program through the university where a group college students come paint your house, for free. We applied and were one of three families accepted. What a huge praise! Although we were warned the students would likely not be as detailed in their work as we might be, we came to the realization that prepping and painting the house ourselves would have to become an absolutely all-consuming endeavor if it was going to be completed at all. We were so so so thankful to be part of this program.

So, back to picking colors ... we had decided early on that we wanted to do a beige house with white trim & a black door/accents, but we had no clue just how many beiges there are ... or how many whites! It is truly crazy.

Then, in the midst of searching for house photos with different beige paints, I came across a photo of a house with a green door and realized that while the black looked really crisp & sharp, how much more inviting the green looked to me. So that began a whole new hunt ... finding the right green, then finding beiges/whites that also looked good against it. Oh my.

We were fortunate to have our detached garage to practice on.

The before picture -- from last winter (brrr!)

Starting to narrow it down ...

A little closer ...

And, we think we have our winner -- we liked Naturel but it wasn't a whole lot different than our current house color and so went with Stone Lion. Ta-da!

Then we really started to get serious about which white to use for trim -- Aged White, Dover White, Aesthetic White or Alabaster. While picking these out, we came across the (rather boringly named) Khaki Shade which was a great in-between from Stone Lion & Naturel. Alabaster (white) was listed as a coordinating color for both Khaki Shade and Olive Grove making the white paint decision much easier.

Here's the final decision applied to our garage. The house has also been completed at this point ... photos soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Turning ONE!

Mabel passed her one year mark yesterday. As it was when she was born, I really could have used one more month before this happened. Things have been a bit chaotic and we were scrambling just to get a photo of her with her birthday cupcake on her actual birthday. It was way past her bedtime and all she wanted was to sleep, not have cake. Poor thing.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! We have been so blessed to have you in our lives for the past 12 months. You bring us so many smiles :) We love you!

Monday, August 22, 2016

First day {of the last year} of school

We dearly hope this will be Jason's last year of school :)
Here he is as he tried to leave for class this morning ... in front of our house which is in an interesting state of repair/dis-repair.
He'd spent of 3 hours scraping peeling paint from the eaves this morning before he left (after spending nearly 10 hours doing the same thing over the weekend). What a fun way to start the school year!
Ahh ... the last month has been very, very full of mostly good things (birthdays, travel & visitors), but we are really worn out and surprisingly glad to have the school year beginning. Although I know it will wane, there is a certain level of excitement that comes with feeling close to the finish line.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Spokane Stay-cationing

Since the very first time Jason took me to Spokane, he's been a great area tour guide ... taking me to many wonderful parks, hikes, cafes/restaurants and other places of interest. We recently realized that in the past two years of living so close to Spokane we've rarely taken advantage of the fun stuff to do there and vowed we needed to have a tourist day there with Luke. So we did.

Our first stop -- Frank's Diner, a beautiful train car turned restaurant that serves an awesome breakfast.  Luke was especially thrilled with the scoop of butter that came on his pancakes (which he ate in one bite! Yummy!)

Next stop was my favorite Rockwood Bakery on the South Hill for a fancy coffee ... would have loved to had a date there without kids, but ... I got to stand in line for 5 minutes on my own and just soak in the ambiance. Almost as good ;-)

Next South Hill stop, the beautiful Manito Park (Man - eh - toe ... I always want to pronounce it with a Spanish pronunciation which isn't right). A place for Luke to run and us to enjoy some of God's spectacular creation.

Next, armed with some take-out from Chicken-N-More, we met up with Jason's family at Riverfront Park where you can slide down a giant radio flyer wagon, "feed" trash to an iron goat and ride a 100 year old carousel.

The whole Schlaf-clan together :

Luke getting some much enjoyed cousin/auntie/uncle time in --

Lastly, although we had melting down kids in the car, Jason was kind enough to let me hop out at Trader Joe's and stock up on "necessities." All-in-all, a really perfect (& exhausting) day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hanging out with cousins

We had a GREAT visit with my sister's family last week. We are incredibly grateful that they made the 20 hour drive from California (withOUT air conditioning in their car) to see us. Love making memories with these guys!

Exploring our arboretum ...

Heading to Plummer Point at Lake Couer d'Alene ...

Enjoying the Saturday Farmer's Market ...

Hanging out at home ...

At our local aquatics center :) Luke LOVED wearing his cousin's goggles!

Mandatory photo with everyone for 4th of July

There wasn't much going on in Moscow for the holiday which was disappointing, but a friend recommended visiting a parade in the nearby farming community of Johnson, WA.

It was a dusty drive getting there, but a fun morning with an almost surreal quality ...

Afterwards it was time to hike Kamiak Butte --

One more family photo

And then it was already time to say goodbye :(