living room update.

fullsizeoutput_2706

I’ve taken a couple of blissful months off thinking about house projects; no scouring of Pinterest or spontaneous trips to Home Goods. It’s a very restful feeling to find myself not even really caring that things still aren’t completely finished.

And it’s true: they aren’t. Our builder still needs to come wrap up a few items, and we’re going to have all the windows in our house replaced. And we still haven’t touched up the paint in our bedroom or put the final coat on the baseboards. But Scott’s working a job now that he said is over two times the size of our bedroom addition, so we’re squeezed into the cracks of his time. Oddly enough, I’m okay with it.

David and I just really, really needed a break from house projects.

But we did get the living room back in order and Judah and Amie’s bedrooms finished, so I’ll show you our progress!

IMG_0075

IMG_0076

We’ve always loved our long, spacious living room. It was a non-negotiable for us when house-hunting, because we have groups of people from church over. Our living room is perfect for New Members’ class, during which we’ve been known to squeeze 35 people into this space.

However, surveying it post-addition, it just didn’t feel right. Losing our reading corner made us suddenly feel like there was a lot of wasted space.

IMG_0090

So we made the (for me) excruciating decision to transfer our wall of books to a different place to make way for another little seating area. We decided to give away our India bookcase as well, to simplify.

Call me superficial, but I mourned.

That glorious color-coded book wall felt like our trademark. It set the feel of our home when you walked in the door. It made me happy every single time I looked at it (am I being dramatic? yes, of course). But it just wasn’t practical for us anymore. So it had to go.

Thankfully that IKEA bookcase is easy to rearrange, and we stowed the extra column of shelves in a closet in case we change our minds down the road.

IMG_0072

After the construction, I knew that every single book needed to be removed and cleaned anyway. The dust was overwhelming. If I did this addition process again, I would’ve used more tarps, but oh well. The truth is all of that would’ve needed to be cleaned regardless. Thankfully the kids were troopers and pitched in to help.

We also took the opportunity to purge books. Again. All the books in our dark glass-front bookcase are David’s theology books and will eventually have a home in his new office. Want to know where they are now? Well, the trunk of his car and here:

IMG_0110

While rearranging, I took the opportunity to admire our Wendell Berry collection. Um, yes, I may have added to it since this photo was taken:

IMG_0081

It was actually fun and therapeutic to go through all our books, to choose which we love most, and which we’re okay with passing on.

Some books remain classics in a family, but isn’t it funny to flip through others and feel that you’ve kind of outgrown them?

But now, here we are!

IMG_0500

IMG_0496

Does the new bookcase location make the same statement? Not at all.

But I do love that cozy new reading nook. We talked about getting a loveseat for the space, but actually like it just the way it is.

We had our electrician add an outlet to that wall, and eventually I’ll figure out some art to hang.

IMG_0512

IMG_0510

When I thought about updating our living room, it was really important to me to create a space that’s inviting for the kids to play; especially our little guys. So we have a basket for their Magna-tiles, a basket of wooden blocks, and a book basket.

The decorator in me wouldn’t mind finding another chair to round out the sofa area, but then my kids wouldn’t have room to spread out. I want them to know this is their space too.

When they saw the wide open floor they said, “Mommy! Did you make a play place for us!?”

IMG_0504

IMG_0514

If you look back the other direction, the room hasn’t really changed.

IMG_0501

IMG_0502

Our living room felt really chaotic for months. We love that it’s relaxing once again!

IMG_0492



good-bye goose and penny.

IMG_2516

Before we left for our beach vacation, it was time to say good-bye to two of our girls. All along we planned for six hens; David built a coop and a run for six hens. But then when they all lived and all turned out to be females, our emotions got in the way and we wanted to keep them.

But the chickens started getting aggressive towards each other and David wondered if they were feeling overcrowded. So we decided to give away the two who were getting picked on by the others. Sadly, that meant they were also our sweetest-natured girls: Goose and Penny. But that’s the way life works sometimes.

gabe

Amie cried and cried when we told her. She was heart-broken. But a family in our neighborhood was happy to give them a home. They have one chicken and seven children, and so there are lots of helping hands to take care of them. Amie was comforted to know the new owners are our friends and she can go visit the girls when she wants. Their new owners even told her, “We want to keep their names!”

Really, it was a perfect scenario.

We read that moving chickens in the evening is less traumatic because they can go right to bed in their new coop, so Goose and Penny’s new “dad” came over for them with two cat crates and a wagon. Judah and Amie walked over to see them settled into their home.

And I had a very sad girl on my hands that night. She cried and I made chamomile tea and we cuddled in bed and read her current chapter book together until she dozed off.

noah

The next day we left for the beach, which was a great distraction. By the time we got home, Goose and Penny were happily settled and laying eggs for their new family, and Amie felt much better.

And our remaining six chickens seem happier too. A friend told us they may all calm down a bit after they start laying, and it’s true. I’m so happy that Gabe and Noah can now catch them. While we were away Mum-Mum introduced them to their new favorite treat: dried worms. Now they’re hooked. If we shake the bag; they come running.

If only the girls would quiet down a bit, I’d be relieved. They’ve gotten noisy and I’m always worried about what the neighbors think. They are very opinionated and do not like to be kept waiting for breakfast in the morning, or to see us walk out into the yard without opening their coop so they can range free. Turns out we’re kind of push-overs, so for the most part, they range free.

We’re pretty sure they’re all laying now and we get an average of 4 eggs a day, sometimes more. Yes, the eggs taste delicious. If you can believe it, we actually can keep up with eating all they’re producing, although we also want to share.

Amie, Gabe, and Noah make me laugh with how much they adore playing with the chickens. All three of them have gotten pecked in their actual eyeball, have cried about it, and go on cuddling them as much as ever.

We miss you, Goose and Penny!

IMG_2514



here we go again!

fullsizeoutput_2751

It’s been two weeks since we moved into our room, which has felt like an eternity to Amie, who’s been waiting and waiting for her bedroom to be finished. We temporarily moved her into the space, and then right back out again yesterday to make way for our building crew.

It was actually great to see the guys again! Amie had made them friendship bracelets and passed them around, and was anxious to show them how much her chickens have grown.

Yesterday’s project was to remove the crown molding from the bedroom, tear out that old sealed exterior door, and seal up the space. We talked about putting a window there, but there’s plenty of natural light in the room already, and dry wall is less expensive and leaves more storage options for that space for the future.

fullsizeoutput_2750

Here’s the view from outside:

fullsizeoutput_274f

fullsizeoutput_2755

That area will have brick eventually. So basically now we’ll forever have a staircase that leads to nothing, but oh well. Thankfully it’s not in a visible part of the yard. And honestly a staircase that led to a window felt more creepy to me.

fullsizeoutput_2752

Here’s one more view of the old ceiling before we get a new one!

fullsizeoutput_2753

The dry wall crew showed up bright and early this morning and said they’ll be completely finished today.

That means we’ll just need new crown molding and some paint and we’re good to go.

Hang on, Amie, we’re almost there!

fullsizeoutput_2754



the condition: may 2017.

IMG_8816

Hi friends, our bags are packed and David and I hit the road at 7:00 am for our backpacking overnight. All the hard work of prepping is finished, and now we’re just excited to be getting away. We promise to tell you all about our trip.

In the meantime, here are some photos of our addition progress!

Above is a little reminder of our “before” living room. Here’s what that corner looks like today:

fullsizeoutput_2706

We not only got a doorway, we got a nice wide doorway and a sunlit hall nook. I thought I’d miss our brown chair reading corner, but we’re so charmed by that light-filled hall that we don’t mind one bit.

I haven’t decided what to do with that wall to the right of our TV. Any ideas? It used to house another tall pine IKEA bookcase, but we much prefer the open feeling without it.

Clearly we’ll paint over that living room patch, but it’s so low on our priority list, I can’t even guarantee it’ll be done this year. We’ll move that big chair and maybe get a larger rug so the kids can play on the floor in that space.

fullsizeoutput_2716

Steve and Linda gave us the vintage pie safe awhile back. They’ve stored it at their house for months because we knew it simply needed to go in the addition, we just weren’t sure where. Doesn’t it make you happy?

fullsizeoutput_2708

Here we are looking back into the opposite corner. You guys! I have a built-in bookcase!

The bottom half will have doors very soon. It’s nice to have a place to stow our not-so-pretty books. I’ve basically commandeered the whole thing for homeschool books and materials.

fullsizeoutput_270a

And now we enter our bedroom hallway! How about those floors!?

The smell was pretty crazy for about a week-and-a-half after they were stained and sealed. Migraines were suffered. Brain cells were killed. We learned from a friend that setting out bowls of coffee grounds helps.

I’m so thankful it’s just the beginning of summer so we’ve been able to keep the windows open lots.

fullsizeoutput_270b

Here’s truly the best part about the whole addition: the bathroom. The phone pictures just don’t do it justice.

fullsizeoutput_270d

fullsizeoutput_270e

fullsizeoutput_270f

You know, it’s funny. It looks so simple now, but I can’t describe how much work it took to put this thing together. Well, not physical labor work on my part of course, but so.many.decisions.

It was worth every emotional outburst and every Lowe’s trip. We love our bathroom. It’s clean and big and restful. It’s truly a game-changer, you guys.

I can’t really explain why, but our tiles remind me of Florida. They’re cool and clean and lovely. I’ve dreamed of getting Turkish bath towels ever since discovering them in India years ago. I love their flowing, mis-matched look. The texture takes some getting used to after big fluffy bath towels, but they dry amazingly quickly. And since David, Amie and I share that shower (who am I kidding, the whole family uses it), it’s fun to have color-coded towels.

fullsizeoutput_2710

Next up is the closet. We saved hundreds of dollars and bought an IKEA wall system for clothes organization, although after going through the process I now understand why people spend the money for custom wood shelving. The opposite closet wall is still blank; we’re trying to decide what kind of organization we need most (definitely a hanging rack for clothes).

I love having a walk-in closet!

fullsizeoutput_2712

fullsizeoutput_2714

fullsizeoutput_2713

And here’s the bedroom.

That first night, when we spent our anniversary setting everything up, I walked in here and looked around and burst into tears. It’s just so perfect. Of course at that very moment my kids and in-laws walked in and said, “Wait! What’s wrong!?” David and I keep saying to each other, “This feels like something we don’t deserve.” I hate to think that one day it will become our new normal and we’ll take it for granted.

A very sweet friend gave David and I money to shop for our new bedroom.

We had so much fun picking out the console table, David’s gray reading chair, rug, and that fun India travel poster. The colorful quilt was made by my grandma many years ago. It’s been sitting in the attic, just waiting for this bedroom.

It still looks quite simple, but we decided to take our time with the remaining walls and curtains. It’s funny to try and bring balance to David’s desire for “minimalism” and my desire for “coziness.” We’ll work it out!

fullsizeoutput_2715

Finally, here we are looking back down the hall toward the rest of the house. A friend told me, “I enjoy looking at your photos, but I just can’t get ahold of the layout of everything.” If you live in Columbia, you’ll just have to come see it in person!

We have some bits and pieces left to finish in the addition, but mostly in Amie’s room (even though she couldn’t help temporarily moving into her space), and the outside of the house. Scott told me he hopes to be back here Monday to get started. Next week I’ll show you Judah’s bedroom!

Thank you so much to those of you who have been praying for us and celebrating every step of the way. We’re so happy!



i’m still here!

IMG_9394

Hi friends!

I’ve been pretty terrible at keeping up with the blog lately, and I feel bad about it. Not that I expect you to be sitting by your computer waiting for a post.

It’s so odd, really. For years I wanted to experience a home renovation so that I could take pictures and blog about the process, but I neglected to factor in one very important thing: that during the renovation I may have zero — and I mean zero — energy for blogging or really anything beyond laying on the sofa with glazed eyes and watching Netflix every night.

Ah well. I’m sure some of you could’ve told me that was a pretty good possibility.

I have absolutely no idea how these DIY-ers manage to do enormous home projects and also blog about them. They have all my respect. Meanwhile, I’m most certainly not a DIY-er, and I’m still just hanging on for dear life.

Things got a whole lot harder here during the last third of the addition when a giant hole was cut in our living room wall, and various and sundry people began traipsing in and out every day. Oh and there’s the dust. And the noise. And the piles of clutter around our house. And a lot of kids to keep out of everyone’s way.

And the shopping. I know, I know, you’re like, wait, she’s complaining about shopping now? Must be nice. But as anyone who’s ever experienced a house or yard project can attest, you go to Lowe’s or Home Depot on average 1.5 times a day. There are so many decisions, about things I never in my life expected to care about, but are suddenly vitally important. And remember this: whatever you buy will have to be exchanged at least once.

Yesterday I’m pretty sure I blanked out at least two times in Target, and when I came to I was wandering aimlessly in an aisle and had no idea how I got there. It’s bad, people.

For all their challenges, here’s where Gabe and Noah are just the best.

Me: “Hey, guys, I’m sorry to say this, but we actually need to go back to Lowe’s.” Amie and Judah: “Noooooooo!!!!” Gabe and Noah: “Yay!!!! Lowe’s!!!!!”

And enough of my whining already, right? I mean, I’m getting another bathroom! And a bedroom! And a closet! And a lovely little hallway for books and plants. Truly, I’m very very thankful, and David and I say constantly that it’s going to be worth every inconvenience and every penny we’ve spent. It’s turning out better than we ever imagined it could be.

Also, we couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant group of people working on our house: not just our builder and his crew, but all his subcontractors have been so nice that Amie said, “I’ll be so sad when all the workers leave” (that’s my extroverted child speaking).

We’re almost there! We’re so close we can just about reach out and touch it. Maybe two weeks until we can move in? That’s nothing, right!?

Tell me that’s nothing.

And now, because I’ve proven to us all I’m definitely not one of those cool DIY bloggers, can I please just give you a hodge-podge of low-quality phone pics to fill you in on our month?

Thanks!

Okay, first, the house!

IMG_9375

IMG_9378

We have brick! Actually these photos are outdated. The brick is completely finished, and I’ll post more after the masons come this weekend and clean of the mortar and it looks all nice and crisp (who am I kidding, I’ll probably post photos a couple weeks after the fact).

IMG_9368

Oh, how much my little guys are going to miss having an “instruction site” in our yard. They were mesmerized by this dumpster exchange. And meanwhile, I was consumed with guilt over the fact that our little house project has generated over a dumpster’s worth of waste. Wendell Berry would be horrified. Please don’t tell him.

IMG_9382

For those who are interested, here’s the roof tie-in from the back yard. Isn’t it cute?

And speaking of back yard . . .

IMG_9384

A few weeks ago, the kids and I went on a lovely field trip to a nearby family-owned farm outside Columbia, and the farmer showed me this whole area where she lets her one-year-old daughter garden to her heart’s content. I told David how inspiring it was, and about two days later he put in a third raised garden bed, for our kiddos.

The other two beds are David’s babies. He loves them. He tends them. It’s one of his favorite ways of unwinding. But we want our kids to learn the gardening process and to be able to do it all by themselves, so this bed is for them. Soil and plants aren’t especially cheap, so it’s more than “digging in the dirt.” There are rules. Think of it as a little hands-on class. They are thrilled.

IMG_9439

And now we go inside!

Here’s our new doorway, in all it’s glory. I love that Scott made it larger than a traditional doorway, in order to let in more natural light from that window. The bookcase to the left will go in Judah’s room to open up that space more, and those books will be moved to the new built-ins, which will be in the nook to the left when you walk through the addition doorway. The brown chair will go elsewhere too.

IMG_9441

We’re doing the painting ourselves in order to save money, and by “we” I mean mostly David, with some help from my brother and me. It’s a whole lot of painting, especially with all the new trim. Some pieces were primed but still need two coats. He’s been wonderful about it.

I really wanted to go with an almost-white to make our space look big and light-filled, but worried that all white would feel a bit stark. So our exact color is Olympic Hourglass, which is a very-slightly-gray white. The trim and doors will be the Behr paint match of Benjamin Moore Simply White (I highly recommend this color if you’re looking for a true white; I got the tip from Young House Love).

IMG_9448

The hardwood floors will be sanded and stained next week to match the floors throughout our house.

IMG_9447

Here’s our closet! After getting the quote for custom shelving, we decided to go with an IKEA metal rack system, which is considerably less expensive. There will be carpet in here too.

IMG_9444

And here, my friends, is the bathroom. In the last two weeks the shower and floor were tiled. We planned to save money and use vinyl flooring in the bathroom right up until this very week. The cost turned out to be reasonable, since we went with larger tiles, and we are so, so glad we did it.

I found our bathroom paint color on an HGTV Pinterest post: it’s the Olympic brand of Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray (from Fixer Upper!), and it’s a Gray/Taupe. I spent some time really stressing that it was too dark (of course it was the one color we didn’t get a sample of), but the light floors and cabinets make it look better. I wanted it to feel cozy and I think it does!

IMG_9442

Look at this shower! We think it’s stunning. We wanted to go with subway tile with an inset and little shelf, and because we were willing to use remnants from our builder and the tile guy, we got the floor tile and that pretty inset design for free. We still walk in the bathroom and look at each other and say, “This can’t really be ours.”

Actually our other bathroom is kind of disintegrating during this building process (for example, we now have to use a wrench to turn on the hot water, and more floor penny tiles pop free daily), so I have a pretty sneaking suspicion that the entire family will be using the new bathroom for the foreseeable future. That’s okay: at least we’ll all comfortably fit, right?

If you’re wondering what all my Home Depot and Lowe’s trips consist of, let me give you a list of things we’ve needed to provide: shower tile, door knobs, cabinet hardware, sink faucets, all paint and primer, light fixtures, mirrors, shower head kit and shower curtain, towels, towel rack, toilet paper dispenser, closet shelving system, not to mention furniture for our room and Amie’s.

Okay, now that I look at it written out, it doesn’t seem like that much stuff. Why, oh why, does it feel like it?

Whew. Let’s move on:

IMG_9440

My baby is a Classical Conversations Memory Master! He did it! He was tested on 400 pieces of information from our school year in the subjects of Latin, English Grammar, History, Math, and Science, and had to achieve one hundred percent in order to get the award. He was the youngest student at our CC campus to become a Memory Master this year.

Words cannot express how proud I am of him. It’s not that I care if all my kids are Memory Masters. But God has given Judah an amazing mind, and I loved seeing him set a new goal this year and work hard for it and do his best. We told him he’d get the reward of a fun experience if he became a Memory Master, and I’ll let him tell you about that in a post after the experience.

We had our CC end-of-year program on Monday, and have just about three days of school left before we’re officially finished. It seems early, I know, but last year we started back during the summer, and that worked really well for us, so we plan to do it again.

IMG_9428

Monday was a big day for another reason: we celebrated two years with Gabe and Noah.

Two years! Can you believe it?

I’ll give you an adoption post here soon, probably after the addition is finished, because I have some thoughts. But I’ll just say now that choosing to adopt our boys is the hardest and best thing we’ve ever done.

It’s a mark of what God has done in making us a family that we had to consider how exactly to celebrate this anniversary, because they don’t even really think of themselves as adopted now. They’re just ours.

But we love adoption and want to celebrate it and support it for the rest of our lives, and of course we know one day they will have lots more questions. And so we decided our family’s annual Adoption Day tradition will be Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. The kids loved it!

Today David took the two older kids on a big hike in the Greenville area, and I took Gabe and Noah to the zoo and to Chick-Fil-A. Personally, it was my favorite two-year celebration because it’s rare that I get to be alone with just the two of them, just having fun. Spending today enjoying my boys felt beautiful. They make my life better.

Thank you for enduring my long-windedness, my friends!

And now will you do something for me?

I know all of you have your own busy, stressful lives, but if you get a moment, shoot me an email or text letting me know what’s up with you! What’s the hardest part of life right now? What’s the best? (those could actually be the same thing)

I love hearing from you and hate that this blog often feels like a one-sided conversation. In all of the construction stress, the most restful thing for me is to NOT think about the construction. I love hearing from my friends and family (and internet friends! you’re not a blog stalker!).

Happy Friday!





the home stretch.

IMG_9298

I’m long overdue for a house update.

Our house addition started February 13, which means we’re entering our eighth week. Can you believe it?

People told me the construction process would feel like an eternity, but February and March were such extremely busy months for us, that it’s flown by. All except the weekend the roof was being replaced. That felt like an eternity for sure. If you’re wondering why, imagine the sound of something like large rodents scurrying and stomping overhead, interspersed with lots of pounding (on your very skull) and every so often, what sounds like bodies hitting the roof.

That kind of did a number on our family, partly because we hosted our two CPC New Members’ classes the weekends they were here working. I truly thought I might have a break-down at one point, from the stress of it all.

But God gave us the strength we needed to just put one foot in front of the other, and what’s more, He gave us joy. Just in the nick of time. We loved having the big group of people over, as we always do, and if anything it was even more special than usual, because they came to us in all our mess.

And then right after, the Lord gave us a wonderful gift: our window shipment was delayed, and so the builders had to take a week and a half off work. They apologized a lot, but David and I felt that the timing couldn’t have been better.

We desperately needed a break: from noise, from interruptions, from thinking about the addition at all really.

When business resumed last week, we felt rested and energized for the home stretch.

Right now Scott is estimating that they’ll finish up at the beginning of May!

Alright, enough talking. Let’s take a tour around, shall we?

IMG_9302

Here’s the current state of our current bedroom. We had this window boarded up a few weeks ago.

IMG_9266

Now I am standing inside the new little hallway of the addition, looking back into the house. As of tomorrow that window will be a doorway (the cord to that Roman shade gave out not a moment too soon, didn’t it?)! Up until now everyone has crawled in and out through a window.

IMG_9267

Still standing at the window, I’m turning and looking at what will be a tiny alcove. You can see the bedroom doorway to the left, and it will open out into that alcove. The room beyond that wall is our bathroom!

IMG_9268

Hooray! Here’s our bathroom! Isn’t that privacy window fun? There will be a built-in linen cabinet on the right, then the double vanity, and on the other side of that half-wall is the shower. To the left across from the shower is the room for the toilet.

IMG_9270

Here it is! The kids are enamored by the fact that someone can actually close a door and use the potty in privacy while other people are in the bathroom. You know what I love about a building project? You can design it to fit your family’s particular needs, and what we need is a multi-user-friendly master bathroom.

IMG_9271

Now we head out of the bathroom and turn to look down another little hall into the bedroom. That door on my right is the walk-in closet.

IMG_9276

I’m looking out of the hall window to our front porch.

IMG_9273

And here, my friends, is our lovely new bedroom. Don’t you love those big windows? And the vaulted ceiling? David gets all the credit for ensuring that it happened. I didn’t have an opinion either way, but now that I see how charming the room looks, I’m thrilled.

IMG_9275

I turn and look back down the hall I came from. The closet is that first doorway on the left, then the bathroom. Turn right at the end of the hall and it leads to the doorway to our living room.

Don’t you like how the addition isn’t just a big box-like room? It has a hallway and an alcove, and I haven’t shown you yet, but our genius architect figured out a way to add built-in bookshelves off the living room. Yes, it is tailor-made for the Gentino’s.

IMG_9274

Hello again, bedroom! Our bed will go against that wall. We plan to go with a minimal look, furniture-wise, but hope to fit a reading/drinking-wine-and-chatting corner in under the windows across the room from the bed.

IMG_9299

And here we are again at the outside. As you can see, we gained most of the windows this past week since I snapped the above photos, as well as insulation and hardwood floors.

If the addition looks large compared to the rest of the house, that’s because it is! It increased our square footage by a third. Here’s one more glimpse:

IMG_9300

Doesn’t that roof look pretty? It was worth all the craziness! I’ve never in my life considered roofing style, but suddenly found myself needing to choose shingles. I went with architect-style, light-black onyx, mostly by looking around and seeing what I liked.

If you don’t think the roof looks all that remarkable, may I give just remind you…?

IMG_8810

The roofers said that our shingles were pretty much crumbling in their hands as they removed them.

And that’s all for now!

Happy April, my friends!



lately

IMG_9093

Hi friends!

I thought I’d do a quick photo update post of what we’ve been up to the last couple of weeks.

If you can believe it, our church just had our first official church-wide picnic a couple weeks ago! It was a lovely, 70-degree Sunday afternoon and a great time was had by all. The consensus was: Let’s do this more often!

And, now, onto the house update . . .

IMG_9096

Weeks 4 and 5 have been all about framing. Yesterday the heating/air guys came, as well as the electrician. We asked our contractor if our friend Ben could do the electrical work, and it’s fun having him apart of the project.

IMG_9107

Seeing the walls and roof go up made it all seem so much more real! Currently we all climb through the windows to work/see inside. Our builder, Scott, is trying to wait as long as possible before he cuts the hole in our living room wall, which I very much appreciate!

IMG_9161

Look at those nice, big windows! Don’t they make the addition seem so cheerful?

IMG_9187

In the meantime, David finished the chicken coop! He has a couple last touches to do, but the girls have lived out there for nearly a week now, and are doing great. We were a bit scared with this extreme cold snap we’ve had the last few days (it was 27 degrees this morning!), but they have all their big-girl feathers on and haven’t seemed to mind a bit.

David and Amie still have to coax them up the ramp into their coop at night, but they make it down in the morning all on their own.

(Also you may be thinking: Girls? Are you sure? The truth is, we won’t know their gender for a couple more months, but we like to pretend they’re all girls)

It’s an amazing feeling of relief to have that project over with.

Now I feel really dumb about the silly fights David and I had over it. Why did I care so much? Why did I have to prove my point all the time and generally be so difficult?

It’s funny how that works.

IMG_9191

We’ve had the strangest weather lately: weeks of 70 degree days, followed by snow flurries this weekend. Seeing ice mixed with a thick layer of pollen on Sunday was a first for me.

Just last week I organized everyone’s clothes and stashed winter things in the attic! I literally threw away Noah’s coat because it had officially been through four boys and had holes in it. So we’ve done a bit of improvising this week.

We all managed to venture out on this freezing-cold morning to swim practice, and were thankful to come home to hot chocolate and heat vents.

fullsizeoutput_2322

If Organization is one of my keys to staying sane right now, Routine is the other one.

With all the construction noise and interruptions, it is so tempting to throw our entire schedule out the window and spend hours scouring Pinterest for bathroom faucets and paint colors, but that makes everyone crazy (myself included). I’ve learned these last five weeks to allow interruptions to happen, and then as best I can, pick right back up with our routine afterwards.

We still do school. We go to CC and swim practice and play with cousins. I cook dinner. We have pretend “quiet rest time” in the afternoon from 1-3 even when the house shakes with drilling and pounding. Am I getting as much done? Absolutely not. I’m just doing the best I can and letting the rest go.

Routine has been our comfort.

IMG_9182

Somewhat ironically, Judah chose to take a really big test for Classical Conversations called Memory Master. He’s working on memorizing every single piece of information we’ve learned this year. The testing starts in three weeks, and so we’re doing what we can in-between answering questions about light switch placement and shower tile. Thankfully we’ve been reviewing ever since August, which makes it not nearly so big and scary.

I just have to laugh at the timing of it all; also I’m very proud of my boy for how hard he’s working even though I know lots of loud noise is not easy for him (he and I hate the noise; the other three kids seem totally oblivious, ha!).

IMG_9160

We’re getting down to all the fun interior details which I’ve daydreamed about forever, but still make my head spin. This weekend our roof will be replaced, and hardwood floors go in next week.

Oh yeah, I’m also head to a homeschool conference Friday and Saturday in Greenville, and we have our CPC New Members class at our house on Sunday! Hopefully all the new members will have a sense of humor when they see our craziness.

IMG_9166

When the busyness presses in, I imagine myself laying on my bed under that lovely vaulted ceiling, in a room filled with light.

All of this is just the biggest gift. There are no words to explain it. I often have to remind myself that it’s really, truly happening.

I walk through the shell of our new bathroom and walk-in-closet and it feels surreal. Lovely and surreal. Like living inside an Apartment Therapy post.

We heard all kinds of horror stories about builder/homeowner relations, but I have to say thus far our builder, Scott, could not be more pleasant and easy to work with. He’s very experienced but never makes me feel like an idiot for the things I don’t know. I’ve taken to asking his opinion about decisions, and I like his ideas.

IMG_9195

We got a whole lot of rain this weekend, and since a portion of our roof is under tarps, we had some leaks, as you can see from the ceiling and the way we had to pull the bed out when water streamed down onto David’s pillow the other night.

The good news is: Amie will get a new ceiling for her room! You can’t really tell but the ceiling of this room has always been a strange, almost drop-ceiling-like material, because this room was actually an addition too. I’m thrilled to see it go. Tomorrow they will be sealing that window on the left off and make it a wall (our new bathroom is just on the other side!).  We also have an exterior door in that room, behind the door, which will be sealed off (pictures to come).

Isn’t this so fun!?

Happy Hump Day!

 

Save

Save





the condition: 3 weeks in.

IMG_8979

IMG_8983

IMG_9022

IMG_9024

IMG_9018 (1)

IMG_9017

IMG_9054

A little recap:

Week 1: Demo, initial inspection, stake out space, footers

Week 2: Footer inspection, lay brick skirt

Week 3: Begin framing, week cut short due to rain (thus the tarps!)

Hardest part of process: the noise!!! And the interruptions. Don’t even get me started on how hard it is to have a homeschool day in the midst of this.

Best part of process: knowing how much the extra space will help our homeschool days in the future, constant entertainment for our kids and our neighbors. We talk to way more neighbors than we ever have before, and at least three have told us that we’re inspiring them to consider their own renovation project!