Friday, May 12, 2017

Third time's the charm (we hope!)

Jason completed his last final exam today and officially finished his third college degree. So so proud of him for taking on the challenge of a career change at this point in his life and in our lives. The last three years have not been easy, but it's so awesome to know he now has the potential to work in a career that he actually likes :)

(Special thanks to my friends Rebecca & Sydney who let Jason borrow their graduation gear from previous years so we could take some photos since he decided not to walk at this graduation)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Trying to find our kitchen

For the past two weeks our house has been in a serious state of chaos as we've been frantically trying to get needed projects finished. This is what our kitchen looked like this week ... no repainting project in this house seems to be complete without a huge of amount of peeling paint to be scraped/sanded off. Grrr. Has definitely meal prep & clean up quite interesting! We think (and dearly hope!) that this is the last of our larger, multi-day house projects that needs to be completed before we move!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bathroom Makeover - Complete!!

We finally completed our bathroom do-over -- it's been in-process since October, oh my!!

We had to have one final {flooring} fiasco of course, but it's done. The new flooring is in and we learned how to pull & re-install a toilet -- a skill to last a lifetime :)

In case you can't tell which is before & after, I labelled them ;-)

Here's a couple of the step-by-step on the flooring project - for earlier in-process photos try here and here ...

What we got when we moved in ... stick on vinyl tiles with black goo constantly seeping up in between them. Ick.

Toilet pulled and Dad always has helpers right at hand :)

Floor looks SO SO much better taken down to the sub floor and also with the initial layer of coating. Why didn't we get rid of those stick on squares earlier???

We had a professional lay the new flooring - hurray! We really wanted something {on the cheaper side} that went with the vintage of the house ... this seemed to sort of fit that. The design includes "distressed" markings. Not totally sure what we think about that, but our motto -- it is better.

I was looking back at photos from when we had a pre-purchase walk-through ... not awful, but I have to admit, I like what we've done :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trying to finish strong

Jason has 12 school days left and we have 28 days left to finish any/all house projects, pack & move! Woo-hoo and ay-yi-yi!

It feels like we spent the first 2+ months of the year getting the house in shape to show to prospective renters, then showing it, reviewing applications and picking tenants. Of course how life is, the first person backed out two weeks after signing a lease and making a deposit. So we got to start all over again. Not my favorite, but we're hopeful that our current folks will be great tenants.

Since then, we have tried to balance house projects with a tiny bit of family time, but we realized last weekend (as we were hanging rain gutters) that due to some travel commitments, we only had two more full weekends in our house. That really got our adrenaline going because there still seems to be SO much to do on the house.

When I saw this last week, I realized maybe I needed to adjust my priorities a bit ...

When my kids are falling asleep at the table, there might be a problem :)

I was thankful for a small miracle today ... a friend (who had no idea how frantically we've been working on our house) asked if she could take Luke for a couple hours this afternoon to have a playdate with her daughter. What a lovely thing and couldn't have come at a better time. Feeling very thankful!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Feeling fallible & our first beach/lake day of the year!

It's interesting to me how a day can be completely planned out in my head and then all of those plans can immediately come to an end in the briefest of moments and remind me SO SO thoroughly how I really have no control over my life. How all my plans are only that and how I should not cling too tightly or confidently to any one of them ...

This morning after Jason left for school we had a brief but very strong windstorm during which a tree came down just down the street from our house. The kids didn't have shoes on, but I hauled each of them onto a hip and took them out to see the destruction ... then came in and bent down to pick up a laundry basket and realized I was NOT going to be able to unbend. Ugh. So ... change of plans for the day (and probably the weekend) and a reminder that God is in control and HE had different plans for me.

As I type, I realize that rarely credit God with changes in plan that turn out to be great ... only the ones where I don't get to do what I thought I wanted. Why is that?

My friend Kaitlyn & I did have an awesome spontaneous beach day on Wednesday and I will totally credit God for what a fabulous day it turned out to be. She & I have been loosely planning on doing a few area day trips and when we saw that the weather was going to be OVER 60 degrees for the first time in a long, long time, decided to head up to Coeur d'Alene to the lake for the day. It was fabulous and I am so thankful to God for the lovely outdoor day with a good friend.

I learned when we were at the beach during our California trip that it is absolutely the best place to be with the kids ... they are really entertained and it makes for the most relaxing environment to be in as a parent. Hurray for that :)

No trip to Coeur d'Alene is complete without a stop at Dockside Restaurant for a Gooey :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Turning 4

Luke turned FOUR years old on Sunday!

At this point, it is hard to believe that he was ever a tiny baby. He is incredibly active and energetic and LOVES to talk, and LOUDLY. We are used to the way he talks (& working with him on having an 'inside voice'), but a lot of people have mentioned that he seems to talk with an accent. Not sure where he picked that up, but it's fun. Luke is curious about everything and has a great grasp for understanding how things work and has an endless supply of questions about every topic imaginable. He exercises his independence frequently and often not in productive ways which sometimes scare us. He love, love, loves his Dad and has an incredible extra energy boost whenever Jason is around. One of his favorite foods is toast - I think he asks for it nearly everyday. Jason & I pray constantly for patience and for wisdom on how to be good parents for him -- how to encourage him to grow up to be a man of character who seeks God's heart. We are so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to have Luke as our son.

We were glad that his birthday was on the weekend so that we could spend some quality time together as a family --  we even got to have a good "boy" outing with him -- a Lumberjack Games event through the university.

Luke was very clear about the menu for his birthday -- toast for breakfast, waffles with blueberries for brunch, Bernie's Farm mac-n-cheese for lunch and hot dogs for dinner. Along with a a chocolate cake with sprinkles with Wallace & Gromit on it. All pretty easy except for the cake, especially for the artistically/crafty challenged. :)

We were fortunate to have grandparents, cousins and an auntie join us in celebrating his big day.

They were GREAT sports about playing 'pin the tail on Shaun the Sheep.'

Luke received lots of presents (and yes! that's a vaccuum! one of our presents to him :) - he loves to clean!)

Cake time -- the Wallace & Gromit cake. Ay yi yi.

Four years ago & now. So so grateful to have Jason as a partner in this and in everything.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Counting down

Jason has 32 class days left of school -- woo-hoo!
The paper chain to help us countdown is officially UP!

Although we're feeling pretty ready for this season to be over, we continue to try to focus on the many blessings that have been given and just how fortunate we are ... especially with our health, our sweet Moscow community and our cozy home.

And Mabel's latest ... trying to stand on her head :)