Saturday, April 24, 2010

Coming Clean.

Today was a jam-packed day. You know the kind. There were so many things on the calendar for April 24, it kind of leaked over onto tomorrow. That was before the rain, though. Thanks to the hourly deluge we received, every single activity we had scheduled, like baseball practice and Scout-a-rama and the district Pinewood Derby and the Irish Festival, was cancelled. So what do you do with a suddenly sparse schedule on a Saturday?
You clean like never before. At least that's what I told the kiddos.

This is Tanner doing his best to earn $1 per room. That may seem generous (and I don't usually pay for cleaning) until you see what was coming out of these rooms.

He earned every cent. We did have to recount the number of rooms though, when he told me I owed him $20.

Margaret is our enthusiastic cleaner. She loves to help out and be a part of whatever project we are working on. She pitched in some elbow grease today to help us get the job done.

And Andrew helped by, um, what DID he do? I can't remember. But doesn't he look great trying out our new furniture? We are going for the industrial look.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let's Shed Some Light on the Subject.

So our carefully-chosen and long-awaited windows arrived this week. Half of them are installed and, um, well. Who knew bronze would be so much like black?

If you look carefully, you can see that they really are brown. I think the black paper around the windows made them look much darker than they will look when trimmed out. (Right? Tell me I'm right. Please.)

On the brighter side of things, the interiors are white and look awesome installed. In fact, I love when you look into the house from the front door. There is so much light coming in through these windows, and the view is of nothing but trees and green.

And do you like the prairie grill pattern as much as us? It is craftsman all the way, and offers some design without obscuring the view. We really love the pattern.

So, why didn't we just go with white windows? Remember, we are house stalkers extraordinaire. Our favorite house ever has awesome craftmans details and (you guessed it) bronze windows, trimmed out in cream, with green siding. I'll try to scan some photos of it and post them for your viewing pleasure. She's a beauty.

Check back tomorrow...

...because at the rate we are progressing, things will be different by then. I love that so many things have been started on the house this week. They all make me happy!

Like plumbing...

...and shingles...

...and windows...

...and our column and beams.

I also discovered I love tiny toes on new concrete. Didn't know that before.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Personality.

Every house has a face and, I think, a personality too.

Doesn't this wide center dormer make our new house seem so much more welcoming? Like an old friend, you know you can count on to be there when you need her, saying "Come on over and stay a while."
I hope so.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Warning: New Home in Progress

There are certain challenges to assisting the general contrator on your own home. We have a great general, who builds quality homes and is patiently helpful to us. We know this because he built our first home and it was lovely. His patience is tried and true. I bring at least one child, often more, to each of our many meetings. He and his wife are so kind. They now have Margaret hugging them and asking if she can go visit them. I mean she actually wants to tag along to our debates over facia color and roof pitches.
So our general aside, there is a lot of busy work that keeps me hopping. I was warned before we ever started. "This will strain your marriage." "Building is a headache." "Let someone else do the work." But Jason and I have been through worse, and I couldn't resist the chance to save money by being involved in this whole building process. So, I manage affairs with our bank, prepare lein waivers, and basically drive all over the countryside seeking out the best deals I can. We are busier then ever, but I'm enjoying learning about all the different products we are putting into our future home.
There are some things I was never warned about though. So I thought I would warn the rest of you.
1. You do not have to check every single dealer of a certain product. Price compare at 3 different dealers and call it quits. The result of not following this warning is bald tires and an empty gas tank.
2. Of course, check products on line- But ask for a sample before you order anything major. Those 2 inches of moss green on your computer screen, may become 200 linear feet of puke green in person.
3. Ignore at least half of the voices in your head. If you are like me you are imagining critiques from your friends and family every time you go to select a product. I have to tell myself, "This is my home, not a show place." It should look good and suit MY taste and preferences. So even though granite countertops and stainless steal are so cool, I can be just as happy with other finishes.
4. You don't have to tell every person you meet about your project. Blog about it instead.
5. Anyway, one look at the stone veneer samples falling out of your minivan which is crammed with carpet squares, paint chips, idea books and at least 19 empty juice boxes from driving 54 miles to find just the right garage doors, and they'll already know.
Consider your self warned.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Well...Come on in!

Miss Meg is now offering tours of her new room. Anyone interested should come on over.

This is what Andrew thinks of the new backyard. I agree. We are excited about the big, flat space. Its ready for a soccer goal.

Tanner got a kick out of inspecting the work that was done this past week:

The roof decking was put on. This next week they will build the center dormer above the porch.

The black paper that goes under shingles (what is it called) was begun.

Also, Jason started his new weekend job of wiring the house. So now the bedrooms are ready for fixtures...

and switches.

With the roof on a lot of work can proceed; plumbing, wiring, installing windows. I can't wait for the prairie windows. We ordered our windows in bronze and are triming them out in off white. I think they are going to look so great. I'll let you see soon...

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Homes That Inspire Us-III

This home is our latest victim. Jason and I love this cottage in Laurel Grove in Cape. (Umm, who doesn't love ALL the homes in Laurel Grove?) The sage green is fairly close to what we are looking for in our siding color. I love the contrast with the stone. Seeing this house sold me on that stone color. I guess Jason was right all along.
I think we are both attracted to the Craftsman style because of its welcoming and casual feel. I want friends to walk right up and feel like our home is a place they can enjoy. Wish us luck!

What a difference a ROOF makes.

Building a home is a lot of work- mental and physical. For me it is also a lot of guess work. Is it too big? (Who wants too much house to clean?) Is it too small? (We have a growing family and after living in a little apartment for a year, it better not be too small!)

So I was very pleased when the trusses were placed last week. Having the beginning of a roof is making the whole project take shape. I can finally see what the house will look like.

It looks not too big, not too small, but just right.

Back on Track

Mondays aren't really my favorite. I think its the extra time it takes to get the boys off to school that I dread, or maybe its the necessary evil of stopping by WalMart. Today was an extra challenge though. Not only is it the day after our fun-filled Easter, but also the first day back to school after our Spring Break. The boys were troopers and got ready on time. (I think it was the fact that today was the first day of the year I let them wear shorts AND short-sleeves to school. Big deal around here.) I'm giving them cheers, because after all the fun of the last seven days. I would have had a hard time going back to school.

Here we are, in all of our wind-blown, allergy-eyed, sans make-up, and missing-hairbow Easter Glory. Note to self: Do not wait until the end of the holiday to take family photo.

My Easter Boys.

This is exactly how Andrew ended up with fewer eggs in his basket than Margaret. He would spot a beauty, get excited and tell me about it. Then when he finally went to grab it, one of the little kids already had it swiped up. He just doesn't have a competitive bone in his body.

Margaret was happy to show off her hunting skills. Too bad she was almost blown away.

It was so windy that we thought flying the kites would be easy this year.

Uncle David and his boys were the most successful in the kite department.

Noteworthy- Tanner has graduated from finding eggs, to helping hide them. He might have been a tiny bit bit proud of this.

We were glad we also got to stop by Nana and Poppa's house earlier in the day.