Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Patches

 Three and a half years ago, we found ourselves a sweet and hyper little Springer Spaniel puppy.
We named him Patches.

 We had waited a long time for a dog because our tiny neighborhood lot wasn't big enough for the children, much less a dog.  When we finally relocated to a bit of land, finding our puppy was a first order of business.

He was a beautiful dog with the softest coat.

He was so good with the children, always wanting to be in on the action. Patches loved hikes, playing in the snow, swimming in the lake and every other kind of outdoor play.

 He was funny, too.  Especially when he slept.  He talked in his sleep and it always made us laugh.

 He was kind of like a spazzy kid and didn't slow down much. 
But every once in a while, he would cuddle right up.

 After the youngest started eating, Patches was his constant companion.  He knew right where the tastiest bits of forbidden food were going to be handed to him!  Patches also knew the giant hugs that would come from his little buddy--hugs, or laying on the dog's back, they did both.

Patches always came when I called, he jumped out of his skin to greet us when we came home, protected our family and made me feel safe in this out-of-the-way place.  He was a happy dog who, in his fourth year, was finally beginning to settle down.  

Unfortunately, Patches also ate everything in sight.  Yesterday afternoon, as far as we can tell, he ate something that he shouldn't have.  The sharp object caused internal bleeding that was severe enough that he could not be saved.  Patches really tried to get better, but his body eventually gave out.  
Right at the end, he looked at me and made a sound like, "I'm sorry, Mom."  
You dang dog; why couldn't you just stick to your dog food?!  
We sure loved you. 

We thought we had 10 more years with him and he hadn't been sick a day in his life. His unexpected death has been quite a shock.  We will always love our hyper, loving, beautiful boy.
Goodbye, Patches.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Every Thing in its Place

Something like forever ago (Ah, Pinterest keeps track.  It was 3 years ago.), I discovered this product:

I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I bought some for my new house.
We installed them over the weekend.  In reading the installation packet, we discovered that the doors could be stained with a gel stain!
Since we had gel stain leftover from staining our fiberglass front door, we decided to try it.

Not a bad result!
We then painted on two coats of Helmsman Spar Urethane to protect the stain from being scratched off.

After they were fully dried, we just put the doors on their hinges in their new happy homes and

This one is in the girls' bathroom.

Open the door and it holds the stuff you need.  
I'll need to get cleaner and air freshener.

It is the little things!

All but finished with floor tile.
Here is a sneak peek at my next two weeks . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Prom and Laundry Room Shelves

Last weekend was prom for our boy.  

Our area has a Clean Prom that is separate from the school proms.  Everyone dresses modestly, the tickets aren't outrageously expensive, and the music and dancing are clean.

These four friends rode together.  They went to dinner before the prom and Isaac said he couldn't believe the response.
So many people stopped them on the sidewalk or came up to their table at dinner.  Every single one commented on how beautiful the girls were in their modest dresses.

My husband and I have been out to dinner on a school prom night and have seen many young people all dressed up for their dance.  The girls don't know how to walk in their shoes or sit in their dresses.  Most of all, however, they are dressed like, (I'm sorry to use the word, but here goes) sluts.
It IS refreshing to see girls who are beautiful in their coveredness.

Anyway, they had a great time, stayed out late, enjoyed their friendships and ate great food.
It was fun for the five women in Isaac's life to help him get ready.  I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and learned how to make a wrist corsage, we smelled cologne, offered tips and fiddled with hair.

Not bad for a first try.  Looked better on Alyssa!
The 9 year old gave the best advice:  No bathroom jokes.

On another front, our laundry room now boasts incredibly useful stainless shelves!
I can't wait to fill those babies with individualized sock baskets, laundry detergent, Windex, paper towels, and who knows what the heck else!

This corner of the laundry room cabinetry was left open intentionally.  It will house rolling laundry carts,
but I have a feeling those will be pulled out frequently.
Our little boy has claimed this perfect spot as his own!

Tile pictures coming soon . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cabinets and More

So, one day, these showed up.

I'm not going to lie.  I got a little misty-eyed.
Several times that day.
And maybe a few times on subsequent days.

When the house is all finished, I'll give you a detailed tour . . . and there are many delightful details!
  For now, though, you can get a good idea.

From the beginning, I wanted a wood grain to disguise my skilled housekeeping, so we went with quarter-sawn oak.  The color is based off a gorgeous antique secretary in my mother-in-law's house.
My son unwittingly gave the best compliment when, with a curled lip, he said, "It looks like an old house, now."
YES!  That's what we're going for!

After having a butcher block counter in our last house, I knew I wanted one here as well.
I absolutely love how they feel and don't mind that they get dinged up in their use.
On the perimeter, though, we want something that holds up better to water and heat.
We wanted a solid surface counter (Corian), but granite turned out to be cheaper!
We are going with a matte granite because I like it. It is called Black Mist.

Also, the shower pan is taking shape and tiling starts today.

Exciting stuff!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Still Painting

We are nearly done with the painting.  I haven't been able to ask for help because several jobs were a one-man gig.  But now that we are rolling (instead of spraying), I have recruited the children.

These two painted the entire room pretty much by themselves.  I cut in and they rolled.  It was so nice to have someone else do the work!
They paused for a photo and made these goofy, happy faces.

They were so much fun to have around.  Instead of my same old boring thoughts, we visited our way through the work.
Eventually, some of the other kids took turns.  I tried to make a big deal about Look how much work this takes and Think of how long we have waited.  Let's be sure we take such good care of our new house!

Because we had some more incredible sunshine, I took some time to get the corbels stained before they are hoisted high under the eave.
Here they are before.  Aren't they completely darling?!  I absolutely love the lines!

I used Woodscapes by Sherwin-Williams in Riverwood.

Another sneak peek at progress.  This time in the kitchen.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Painting is Underway!

Happy news!!  We are painting!
Here is the laundry room. It is a bright Robin's Egg blue called Watery by Sherwin-Williams.
It feels like a bit much for the size of the room, but once the shelving, cabinets, trim and tile is all in I think it will be about right.

I really wanted a bright, happy place to do laundry because it is my least favorite job.
Think it'll work?

After we primed the whole place, we taped off the ceiling and painted the walls of the main rooms.
That was a long job.

Because we have warm woods for cabinetry trim and flooring, a stone fireplace, and dark tile, I wanted a light color on the walls.  Light, but warm.  We wanted ivory, but there are 92 colors that are in the "ivory" range.  We picked Polar Bear.  It was TRICKY, but we did it; 
We achieved the goal of a pretty ivory wall color.  The pictures don't do it justice.

(I apologize for the smudge in the middle of the photos.  It is in the lens.)

The library will be moody and the master bath is to be like a spa.
They are both this warm gray called Mink, by SW.

We still need to paint all of the upstairs, the master bedroom and touch-ups throughout.
Part of that is because we don't have the necessary supplies (I'll not into that here).
Part of the blame is because we don't have electricity to the house yet so can only paint until about 5 PM.
Part of it is because I am still a mother and must
tend to the needs of my children.
Ah, well.  Progress is progress, no matter how slow!

A hand print from my littlest sweetie.

Here is a sneak peek at what is happening right now:


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Behind the Scenes

We are working steadily over here, but there are always things going on behind the scenes.

The Baby Brother loving on the Big Brother
After cutting down a couple of scraggly trees, we had a pile of branches that needed to be burned.  Add to that an old picnic table that was beyond its usefulness, several incorrectly built trusses, lots of scrap plywood and whatever else that would burn, and you have a ridiculously large bon fire.

We invited a bunch of the kids' friends over and I set out hot dogs, chips, marshmallows (+_S'more fixings), sodas and Peeps. (Have you ever roasted Peeps?  Super yummy!)  Everyone did the best they could to cook their meals.

But it wasn't easy.

No one had eyebrows by the end of the night, but we sure had fun!

The yard looked much better by the end, too!  Sometimes you have to invite guests so you have motivation to get your jobs done.