Wednesday, March 15, 2017

First Week

Well, we've been staying in the house for a week now. Whew. We have survived! We went ahead and went full throttle and had some walls knocked down right when we moved in. The thinking behind that decision is that we will never do it if we wait, which would probably be the case. We talked and talked about doing that in our Deer Park house, but we lived there for 6 years and never touched it or even painted the kitchen (and we left the dated wallpaper up)!

Here are some BEFORE pictures. We ended up taking out the small pantry you see in the picture below too.
We also had this beam repaired. The previous owner apparently took out a wall and it was not braced properly and had begun to sag.
This wall is being removed from the countertop up. And all of the upper cabinets along the wall where the sink is along with the soffit.
And this wall straight ahead is being removed as well. This entry going into the formal living/dining area. We will set-up a table in there and it will be our main homeschool area.
Here we progress.
All of the sheetrock is gone!
Walls are gone, beams are up, pantry is gone, and upper cabinets and soffits are out.
Another view.
It took them about 10-11 hours and once they finished up, plumbers came to reroute the gas line for the stovetop. Since then we have had an electrician come out and give us a quote on hiding all of this electrical and putting in some more lighting. We are currently waiting on his quote for the work. Today we also had a foundation guy come out and inspect it and we are all clear...NO ISSUES! That was a concern.

Our current (and I say that loosely) plan of action is to get in contact with someone to work with us on putting the kitchen back together. We want to do some of the work, but some of it we will leave to the professionals. We need to pick out paint colors for all of the bedrooms and start painting them. Once they are painted, we can having floor installed and put the rooms together.

We are only a week in and this has been a journey for me already. This has been a huge change in living conditions for all of us. The kids have been very flexible and have barely complained at all. In fact, they have been outside playing so much that it confirms this was the right decision.
And we could end up in a hotel at any minute if I'm being completely honest. I'm trying to hang on until we really need to be out (like when we have workers here) to get a hotel. Until it all gets finished we are trying to live with minimal items in the house, which is nice in a sense of keeping it simple and basic, but on the other hand you feel like you are camping! Just keeping it real over here.

We've had a few meals on the back patio and the weather has been super nice, which has been a blessing.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

New Beginnings

Yesterday was a big day! Shawn and I sold our existing home and bought another home! I gave some details about our move in this blog post and today those loose ends were tied up. This home buying process has definitely been a journey and I am thankful to have turned a corner with it all, BUT looking back I can definitely see God's hands at work.
There are so many scenarios that could have gone the other way and would have completely changed the outcome. For example, the appraisal on our home came back super low initially and the appraiser wasn't budging at all, it was a mess. The buyer could have completely backed out, but they stayed right in there and ended up paying for another appraisal through a different lender and it all came back fine. The house we are buying needs some work putting it lightly. There currently is not one piece of flooring in it, and we are fine with that; however, I did not know that usually in order for the lender to approve the loan, there has to be flooring. It was not an issue for us. Our mortgage lender and realtor were worried about it appraising for the contract price, but it ended up coming in higher than expected, which was the best case scenario. I could go on and on, but reflecting back on the process I can totally see God's hand in it all. And while we will miss our neighbors dearly, we feel like this is where God wants us and we are excited about the future.

My mom came into town to watch the kids for us during both of our closings, which was a huge blessing! Thank you, Mom! After our last closing we ended up going over to Nebraska Furniture Mart, which is a HUGE store with anything for a home that you can imagine. We mainly went to look at raw materials, such as carpet and title, but it was fun to look around at what all they had on display.

Right when we walked in there was a large Magnolia Home set-up {from the show Fixer Upper on HGTV}. And of course we both were wearing our t-shirts from Waco, so we had to get a pic! We had on these shirts in dedication to our Fixer Upper that we just purchased. Here are a few of the items we will be tackling: completely remodeling the kitchen which includes taking down some walls, updating the master bath that currently doesn't have running water in the tub, scraping the popcorn ceilings in the main living areas, and installing flooring. Many other items will be addressed, but that is the bulk of the work. Shawn and I are both excited about getting in there and figuring it out together. I hope to blog some of the updates along the way.
Here is a light I found that would be fun over the kitchen sink!
For the month of February I documented each day with 1 second clips {and a few pictures} and here is our video for the month. I really enjoyed doing it this past month and hope to keep it up.

Monday, February 27, 2017

At Home

While I do post a lot of pics of us out and about, we are at home quite a bit too. There are several days where my car does not leave the driveway. Here is a glimpse while at home over this past week.

This girly is so strong willed. She has been picking out her shoes months before turning 2 years old. She now picks out her outfits and doesn't usually budge on it! One day last week she picked out her Cinderella dress to wear. She is going to be a handful...oh wait, she already is!
Mr. Geography! He loves to look at maps and study them. Just like his Daddy.
Ally working on fractions and quoting an English Grammar song.
Finn loves his Hankie. Hank will be 14 this summer and has literally become a couch potato! He spends probably 22-23 hours on the couch these days.
When someone is in the bath, Mae wants to join them. Luckily Finn allowed her to get in this weekend, as he normally likes to bathe alone. Today she took 3 baths, not even kidding. She does squeal at the beginning; you've been warned.
Here is Ally working on the hundreds place value today. Math is day to day for her. Focus is definitely the key for her and patience is the key for me.
We have enjoyed this home for the past two and a half years. I look back and still can't believe we've been here this long. The plan is to close on both homes (new and old) this Friday and move-in and start demo on our new home next week! Busy and crazy days ahead, but we are super excited about what is in store. God is good.

Minnie Mouse Party

You know I am a sucker for a fun party!! Well, we attended one this past weekend so I thought I would share a few pics. It was a super cute Minnie Mouse party, so Maebry and Ally loved it of course! And me too!
A little photo booth fun!
The kids had fun with the piñata out back. Once the kids choked up on the broom handle all was well, but there initially we feared for our lives! Ha! Looks like Jase still has his baseball swing in tact, even though he will be sitting out this season; he opted to play flag football.
Me and the blondies!! What a fun evening playing with the kids, visiting with sweet friends and meeting some new ones.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

We had a productive weekend. It was a good balance between work and play.

Friday, the kids and I drove into Denton and we rode the train into Dallas with our Classical Conversations group. The ride wasn't bad at all and it was nice to be on there with friends. It took a solid hour and a half on the train. I made sure I did not have a lot of water prior to our ride!

Here are some of the older kids while waiting to connect to the Dallas train. Not sure what Ally was doing!!
When we arrived in downtown Dallas it was too early to get into the Dallas Museum of Arts (DMA), so we walked over to Klyde Warren Park for a few minutes.
We walked back to the DMA and went to the hands-on section (C-3 Space) where the kids got to create their own art. Jase is tracing some Dallas architecture.
Maebry is practicing her Old English!
Allyson has started becoming interested in learning cursive lately. She can write her own name, but that's about it. We will start working on it more this spring. 
Ally's drawing of the dress on display.
Another one of Jase's creations.
Kids making objects out of cardboard, tape, twist ties, popsicle sticks and their imagination!
Allyson and Mae with Nina.
He was focused!
Allyson has told us on numerous occasions that she wants to be an artist when she grows up. Her mind works completely different then mind. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.
Her creations: basket and something with wings! I forgot what that was, but I did remember it had wings!
Our group with our director, Mrs. Frankie!
 Mae and Moana! Yes, Moana went everywhere with us on Friday!!
Checking out some of the ancient instruments.
Water Lilies by Claude Monet. A few weeks ago we studies Monet and the kids did replica of this painting, so it was super cool to see it on display.
Here is Finn working on his Water Lilies painting in January!
The artists we have been studying this 6 six weeks have been Impressionists!
The girls wanted their picture taken under this cool painting by Henri Jean Guillaume Martin, "Corner of a House" circa 1930s. 
Just like big sis!
After the DMA, we headed back over to Klyde Warren Park for lunch. Most of us pitched in and order pizza from a local pizza parlor. 
When Shawn found out where we would be all day, he told me about an office close by that has a cool pendulum inside and that we should check it out. Lo and behold it was literally across the street!
We gathered around and watched the bob swing back and forth and back and forth.
This was right next to the pendulum and is a great explanation of how it all works! Pretty interesting!
After about 15-20 minutes, one of the pegs finally got knocked over! And the crowd went wild! I'm sure the people working in the lobby were ready for us to go! HA!
We walked back to the train station to head home.
She really did a great job all day long. I didn't bring the stroller, so she walked most of the day, but she didn't last very long once we got situated on the train! Do you see Moana creeping in our picture? LOL!
Saturday morning we woke up, loaded up our vehicles and trailer and headed to the storage for our first drop-off.
Putting the first few items in the storage building.
We came home and walked across the street to a birthday party. Our sweet neighbor turned 1! We have had the privilege to watch Cale a couple of times recently and the kids just love him. Cute sports theme party!
 Cale digging in!
Ally had to get a closer look!
Ahhh!! He had it everywhere! SO cute! Even today Maebry told me "Cale blue nose" meaning he had it up his nose! I remember these days! It sure does fly by!
Later that evening, we dropped the kids off at church for DATE NIGHT! We didn't do anything too crazy or fancy, but it was nice being together. We ran some errands, ate at Chuy's and might have had a scoop of ice cream!
Sunday morning Shawn ran another load over to the storage before church, making that our 3rd trip this weekend. Progress! Here are our excited kids when Mama asked for a group photo at church. Little Finn was NOT having it.
At lunch Ally told us all about Jesus' family tree, which she learned about in Sunday school. Here is a little clip of her! Pretty impressive!
We ate at McAlister's Deli. If you are reading this and have kids, do you know about this place?!? $.99 kid meals when you dine-in. Our whole family can eat for under $20, which is amazing. We usually all get water, which keeps the bill low too. There is one right by our new house, super excited about that.

And let me leave you with a family picture that Allyson drew today in Sunday school. I guess since they were talking about Jesus' family tree, they encouraged them to draw their own. See her name in cursive, love it! Shawn asked her what was going on with his mouth and she told him that was his teeth!! Hilarious. And his hair too, so funny. She told Finn "I gave you a mohawk!" Great weekend!