Friday, July 29, 2011

The Library

When Justin and I first looked at this house, we couldn't believe the spaces in it. It was too perfect for our home schooling family. We looked at it despite the fact we knew it was above our budget and would take some financial wrangling to get the owners to sell it at a price we could afford. When we found out that the price was pretty well non-negotiable, we were heartbroken, but in a last ditch effort after running the numbers and finding them out of what we were able to pay, I called our insurance company. The numbers I had been working with in my estimates were based on our payments in Kansas (admittedly with a different company--this one refused to insure us there because a tree over hung that house). Evidently with using this company and being in Tennessee, the insurance costs were half of what I was expecting, dropping our monthly payments to a place we were able to make the purchase. What a huge blessing.

This room is one of the reasons we loved the house so much. It is listed as a formal living room, but we already have two common living spaces, so we knew right away this would be a library.

We were able to have my Daddy build us the bookcases, we just have to pay for the supplies.

He delivered them in pieces

and assembled them here.

The desktop computer needs to find its way to a permanent spot still and some day the little fellow won't be so intent to empty out library books from book bags and clothes from his diaper bag, so we will be able to down size the little table here. For now, this little bar works great for keeping things at least some what protected! We would eventually like to replace the task chair with something white, so it doesn't stand out so much and we're debating art for above the desk area, but it is such a wonderful blessing to have all of these books and supplies at easy reach. Last year our home school supplies were scattered about the dining room table, bookcases, my closet, and even in some piles on my bedroom floor, as there was just no where else to keep them.

Once the cases were here it became obvious that the wonderful storage underneath was a great temptation for Nate, so my Daddy put in some locks to keep out the curious little fellow!

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of our new home! If you missed some, the links are below.

The other rooms:
Dining Room
Family Room
Living Room

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kate wants horibly to be a flower girl. All of the sudden a light went off in her head. She could decide what her flower girls will wear (Kate has been talking about her wedding lately.). Yes, girls. As in three of them. They are to wear her pink dress up dress (an obvious choice), a pink a blue floral cotton that she had worn on Sunday (not quite your typical wedding formal wear, but okay), and a blue tie-dyed dress. Hmm. One of these things is no like the others... Then she made a very specific request that all of the girls had to have blonde hair. No raven haired beauties, red hair cuties, or brunette sweeties need apply. Their hair must all need to match, since the dresses don't!

Next up she announces that I would be her one and only bridesmaid. I will wear a "big purple dress" and have red roses to carry.

And the last part of her little mini planning session was to decree that her wedding cake would be made from five layers of The Pioneer Woman's Mocha Brownies.(note: These are in the cookbook, not on the website, but feel free to drop by and look at her other brownie recipes and gain a few pounds just reading the ingredient lists!). She decided the flower girls couldn't have any because it would be to thick.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dining Room

There isn't a lot to show here yet, but this is the dining room. Justin and I have debated on whether we wanted one if we built our own house one day. And, while the location and its openness to the rest of the house has changed over the years, we always decided we really wanted one. At this point, with three kiddos, a little breakfast nook would not suffice. I really liked our eat in kitchen in Kansas. It had enough of a dining room feel for me, but this. This I love.

I have some plans for the walls, but other things have taken the dissertation and getting everything else set up before my extra little projects. With a good bit of space on each side of the china cabinet, I'm hoping to put up some shelves to display some pottery we were able to purchase from a friend when she was throwing pots before having babies to care for. We also have a tea set that I bought that would be housed on the shelves. I'm sorting out some framed pictures to hang on the wall opposite the window too.

We broke in the room really well the other night, feeding 6 adults and four children in there with three more kiddos at the kitchen table!

The last stop in the tour is a goody, so be sure to stop back by on Friday.

Family Room
Living Room

Monday, July 25, 2011

Or Else!

The girls had been in bed about 90 minutes when Kate stumbled out, squinting against the light. "Gabby bit me."

"She what?!"

"She bit me."

I checked Kate's arm and didn't see even a faint red spot, so I went to chat with her sister.

"Why did you bite your sister?"

"Well, my eyes couldn't close and the tree was lit up?"


"The tree. It's lit up!"

"What does that have to do with biting Kate?"


"Would she not get up to look at the tree?"

Looking sheepishly down, "Uh, yeah."

So we bite our sister when she behaves by saying in her bed at night...lovely.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Living Room

The living room is more formal in this house, since we have the family room.

It houses four chairs, a book case, the computer desk, and the curio cabinet, as well as the children's rocking chairs.

The fireplace has gas logs, but can be converted to a wood burning fireplace as well. The hearth is flat, which is kind of nice with little ones. It and the face of the fireplace are both marble.

Some of my favorite things in this room are the mantle clock my sister gave us, the cross one of Justin's buddies gave him, the burial flag that Justin was given (it was his great uncle's), and the denim teddy bear I made with my Granddaddy's overalls.

The other rooms, so far:
Family Room

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Potty Humor

The little fellow has a diaper rash. It hasn't gone away with the regular diaper rash cream. I'm blaming it on summer fruit for the moment, so no need to visit the pediatrician at this point, but of course we want to clear it up. So I broke out the hair dryer--on low speed and cool. But it is still stubbornly red.

Then in a fit of desperation, after his bath I let the little boy run around sans diaper in my bathroom. He peed in the floor (hence the reason we were in my bathroom, since it has tile floor). I wiped it up, and then I took the opportunity to introduce him to the toilet. Both girls had occasionally 'gone' by this point. I'm not expecting anything yet, as he is a boy and quite honestly, I've learned that it is much easier to change diapers than to potty train. But since we were in the bathroom and as he is terrified of toilets, I thought we'd take a look at it. He eventually got brave enough to stand near it and touch the seat with a little finger. Definitely not going to sit on it yet.

Then I had Justin bring me he potty chair. We completely skipped that step with Gabby (a lovely step to skip--no emptying and sanitizing), but since he seems truly afraid, I thought the intermediate step might be helpful. He sat on it for awhile. Then he got up. And he peed again. And he pooped. On the floor.

We sent the kids off to bed after I scrubbed the floor down. We laughed about it, because of course that would happen.

In the morning, however, we weren't laughing. I was making breakfast when Nate awoke, so Kate went in the chat with him as I got finished with what I was doing, but she shrieked. We found his perfectly dry diaper in the corner of the crib, along with his pajama pants. His crib, his blanket, his stuffed dog and bear, and he (from head to toe) were covered in urine and poop. He hadn't made a peep all night.

Needless to say he got a bath and his things have all been washed. But his bottom looks a bit better. See, Mama was right, he just needed some time with his diaper off.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Family Room

Here is where the kids hang out. At least theoretically. It seems as though if I have need to work in the kitchen they are under foot. If I am on the computer, they want their turn. And if I am upstairs I have a little crew at my heels.

Here is an over view of the room.

Next up, the toys...since that is the most important role of a room like this, right? Well a least if you are still in the single digit age range it is! We've talked about pool, foosball, air hockey, or the like when the kiddos get older.

There are storage bins and baskets for storage. And of course a little kitchen and table with chairs. The kids have the privilege to pick up after dinner every night... And I do mean privilege. Otherwise I clean up. They don't like that, because I weed out toys and put things up for later.

The kids occasionally watch some TV, but mostly it is where Justin and I vegetate once they are off to bed. We don't have cable/satellite/etc, but we do have home made antennas. We haven't watched anything that way yet. We have to figure out something before NCIS comes on in the fall (I have to find out whose paperwork was in that file!), but for now we use Netflix. We're as disappointed as everyone else about their rate increase, so we may revist our subscription this fall.

The dresser is mine from high school. It has resided in the Master bedroom, the guest bedroom, Kate's bedroom, and the girls' combined bedroom. Since the kids rooms are a little smaller here, we opted to use it in this space and I think it works well. The DVD player, Roku player are all hidden away. There is storage for our DVDs and linens for the hide-a-bed in the drawers. We like it anyway!

The other rooms, so far:

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Grandkids

Kate: When I grow up, if my kids go straight to sleep on Saturday night, everyone is having donuts for breakfast.

Gabby: Yeah, well when I grow up if my kids DON'T go straight to sleep they will get donuts for breakfast.

Me: So you want your kids to stay up late?

Gabby: Yeah.

Me: Why?

Gabby: So they can have donuts!

My thought: (Duh! Sorry I missed that one.)

Kate: Well my kids are going to be better behaved than your kids.

And I have recorded here that the grand kiddies are getting donuts for breakfast on Sundays...I'll bet they will love me for that one!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Continuing in the is the Master.

Most things in this room are old...the youngest piece of furniture (aside from the one wants an antique mattress, right?) is the hope chest. My Daddy made it for me as my high school graduation present 14 years ago. The pictures above it include a cross stitch piece I made when I was in high school and a quilt square that was made by my great-great grandmother.

The room also houses an antique rocker from Justin's great grandparents. We saved it from auction when his parents had need to down size several years ago and we reupholstered it in a vintage print.

The sewing table has been in my room since I was twelve or so. I believe that my parents purchased it at a yard sale or the like. It has a working treadle machine inside, which only lacks a belt and a whole lot of foot power to run!

Then there is the chest of drawers. It was a wedding gift to my mother's parents.

It is nice to have so much history and pretty furniture tucked away in our room. It makes for a pretty space and it keeps the things safe from the little ones! The room needs a piece of art over the bed, but I've not decided on what just yet.

In contrast to the antiques, we have a modern bathroom,

with a standing shower and tub (one of these days I'll actually take a bath in there),

As well as a double vanity. I have to say I don't entirely get double vanities... I can wait two minutes to brush my teeth on he rare occasion that we both would have brushed at the same time. Perhaps I just don't spent enough time primping, as they are very popular!

It has great light and is a pretty shade of blue--one of only two rooms in the house that aren't the neutral beige. I feel a bit guilty having such a nice bathroom with the girls sharing a room, but, alas I didn't design the house, so I guess I should just enjoy it.

The other rooms, so far:

Next week we'll head down stairs into more of the living areas.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Gabby: When I disbehave [sic], you're a mean Mama, 'cause you don' [sic] know any better.

Kate: I found fabric I want for my wedding dress. It is shiny and white, but it has little holes all in it, so I will have to wear leggings and a shirt under it, because it would be inappropriate. Or we can sew little purple dots on all the holes! We better get started now so it will be finished when I'm 21.

Nate (almost every night when he is asked what he is thankful for) doe [door].

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Room Fit for a Princess

(or Two)

When we started talking about moving (again), Kate was very reticent. She was content in her room and in the house we had. We told her we'd have more room and she balked. We told her we would have a better library: she was unimpressed. We told her we would be settled, and she couldn't have cared less. We told her we would hang things on the wall and make her room like a princess's and she was sold.

From the start I knew I didn't want Disney princesses everywhere. Kate is nearly six already, so I'm not sure how long this phase will last, so I wanted more a room fit for a princess that they could grow in for awhile. So, while I didn't decorate their room the way I would do it if I got to make all the choices, I did lead them a tiny bit.

We started with a bed. Gabriella's was one that my mother found and cleaned up to use for herself as she was growing up. My sister, our exchange student, Kate, and I have all slept in that bed. I did some searching on Craig's List, but my parents found one that is as close as we were going to find in their town.

I had a quilt that Kate got when she got her 'big girl bed,' when we first moved to Kansas. She said she'd like to keep using it, so I made Gabriella one to match.

The girls chose a flower decoration from Hobby Lobby when it was half off.

They also wanted butterflies. I found these at Target and put them up for them.

Next up, the girls both had letters for their names, but they were plain white. We must not have plain white in the princess room, right? So they each chose a color of paint--Gabby picked a light pink and Kate chose a vibrant purple. Neither one a surprise! I painted their letters and then topped them with stickers: ladybugs for Gabby and butterflies for Katie.

I Modge Podged over these to help them stay. FYI: don't stack modge podged projects, not that I know anything about that...

Justin put up shelves to hold their trinkets. This was especially important since they gave up their large dresser for a smaller chest of drawers.

The biggest surprise for the girls was probably the least expensive. I bought some tulle and made it into a canopy for their beds using a little sewing hoop and some ribbon.

Justin painted the hoops white for me.

I made a running stitch to gather the tulle and placed it between the two hoops.

I wrapped ribbon around the outside of the larger/outer hoop, and I tied a bow at the top to gather the fabric. Then I made a little loop from thread to hang it from the hooks over their beds.

A room for our little princesses!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dish Washin'

We bought this house nearly a month ago, knowing that the dishwasher wasn't usable. We opted to wait to order one until after closing, since there had been a few bumps along the way and we didn't want to have a dishwasher show up and not be able to get inside to hook it up. Besides, we weren't moving in for a week, and I could wash dishes by hand for a few days if it came to that.

Then the dishwasher wasn't immediately available, as we were ordering directly from the manufacturer. When it was to be available, our order had to be delayed due to Kate's camp, since I couldn't be available the entire day while I was with her in the mornings. Since then it has been delayed three more times. In the course the the past month we've used disposable plates a grand total of once (when we had company over for pizza and I was expecting to have 19 of us). That's a whole bunch of dishes we've been washing for a family of five!

Then today the delivery company I set a day and time with yesterday called and said, oh yeah, we don't install. I already paid for installation! And while I consider myself moderately good at doing things around the house that don't require heavy lifting, I don't know how to install a dishwasher.

I asked why the manufacturer picked them (out of all the available delivery companies in the world) and why, oh why, did they accept the order. Well, it seems that the fellow who set it up on the delivery company's end didn't know they don't install dishwashers (How did that happen?) and the manufacturer assumed that they did install. You know, since he didn't tell them otherwise. So now what do we do...

Since we ordered through Justin's dad, who worked for the manufacturer from which we ordered (we get the family discount...which truly is a good price), we have to go through him. We're asking him to see what can be done if anything to remedy this. So one of these days I'll get my nice shiny dishwasher, and one of these days we'll have it hooked up so that it works, but I'm not precisely sure which of these days that will be.

So if you need me,

I'll be here.


Kate had a first this past week--she went to summer camp. It was a mornings only thing that was closer to our old house. We made a nice little haul very day, since I signed her up before we knew we were moving in June instead of mid-July. She really enjoyed it though.

"Camp was good. I could go fishing. It was good I could cook. It was good I could eat a pig of a cupcake." -Kate

She went fishing with a net. She fell in...twice. She really is my daughter. She had the opportunity to cook. They made crafts, read books, and she made a friend.

One day as the smaller kiddos and I were playing in the main part of the museum where she was at camp, her class came through and I got a picture of her with the group. (She's in the middle--purple and yellow tie die and black skirt.)

The rest of the pictures are of the reception they had the last day:

A life sized self portrait

A table full of her crafts


As you can see, she is still going by Katie Beth. We still don't call her that at home...not sure I'll ever be able to switch that one over in my head, but I do sign her up for things as that, since that is what she prefers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Kitchen

To continue the tour of our casa, here is the kitchen.

It is nothing horribly fancy, but is nice sized and very functional. Everything is in pretty easy reach, other than things up high. The cabinets go to the ceiling, which is very nice for storing all those things you use once a year. I currently have some cleaners stored atop the fridge, but that should clear out as I finish putting the rest of the house in order soon. In case you are wondering, the fridge is curently working fine with the tape that is holding the vent open the correct amount, so we can order a fridge more at our leisure.

When the kids are a little older, and less likely to fall, we will probably put in some bar stools here at the counter, but for now it houses some of my Meadow Lane pieces (a discontinued Pfaltzgraff pattern that coordinates with my Filigree dishes) and a napkin tray that was sent to me as a gift from Denmark.

This might be the most important part of the kitchen... Justin thinks so because of the coffee pots, I think so because of the calendar/organizer, and the kids think so because of the paper towels.

The dishwasher has been broken since before we purchased the house, but there have been some delays in getting a new one, so the dish rack has been getting good use. The sink and I have been spending some quality time together three or four times a day, so I am thankful for the new faucet that Justin and my Daddy installed (the old one only let through a trickle) and the water pressure that Justin turned up for me!

Don't let the child proofing fool you. Nate is able to remove it--I just can't get it clicked tight enough, but I can hear him remove it and intervene. It is my alarm system. For now I don't have anything that he could hurt himself with down there, just in case...hence stuff on the fridge! Speaking of child proofing--this house has very little. There are no gates. Nate learned to use the stairs the day we were here for the home inspection. He can't quite reach door knobs yet, so we don't need door knob covers. There are some outlet protectors in and we have a safety latch on one drawer (the one I keep all things sharp, flammable, and permanent (think makers) in). It seems odd not to have everything 'child proofed', but I suppose we're moving out of that phase of life.

Here is the range with the nifty over the range microwave that my Daddy put in for me last week, as my parent's food warming house warming gift to us.

Of course this is the eat in portion of the kitchen, with a table that was my grand parents. This is used for breakfast and lunch on week days, since Justin is at work and we only need room to seat three or four of us then. The nice sized pantry is just behind it.

Nate's Room