Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer is Here (i.e. IT"S HOT!)

We did a lot of work this weekend.  Most of the work involved moving things from one part of our house to another so that we can tackle our last MAJOR project (yes, there are still some minor ones left too). 

The last major project is finishing the rest of the basement.  It is about 900 sq. ft that is currently a disaster.  Here's a reminder of what this part of the basement looked like when we first bought the house.


Yes, it was bad, confusing, and moldy.  We can only assume that they planned on this being a separate apartment (although not a legal one).  We've opened everything up and (with the exception of the bathroom) will be one large space.   

After a little demolition, we were able to install most of the foam insulation before the weekend was out.  We have to leave a few of the half studs in place because there is wiring on them currently.


We did have a lot of fun this weekend too.  My parents came down and we celebrated my dad's birthday on Friday.  On Saturday, we drove down to Karsyn's Karnival.  It is a carnival to raise awareness for Down syndrome.  A family friend started the carnival for her youngest daughter and it was a great event.  The kids loved the petting zoo and the pony rides in particular (even though Josh doesn't look very happy!).

I'll finish with a couple other kid pictures - Josh enjoying dinner (after playing in the pool) and Samantha with one of her huge block castles.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Laundry Room - Little by Little

We've had a busy couple weeks.  The work we've done lately include planting the rain garden and starting to work on the laundry room. 

Even though we had about two weeks with no rain, as soon as I planted the rain garden we had two big storms.  We'll see how the plants do with so much water. 

The very exciting work though is the laundry room progress.  Our goal for this space is to make it a place where I won't dread doing laundry.  This includes paint, drywall, new floor, better lighting, better storage, and reconfiguring everything. 

Just as a reminder, this was the laundry room when we first saw the house - it was tiny, disgusting (look in that laundry tub!), dark, and scary.

Since we bought the house, the laundry room hasn't changed much.  It is still dark and disgusting but we made it over twice as big.  Still not a place you want to spend much time!

The first step was to remove everything - this took awhile.  Besides the washer, dryer, and cast iron laundry tubs, there was also the beer fridge and large sink/cabinets for beer brewing.  Once it was all removed, it was obvious how disgusting it really was. 

The floor was not at all level or flat so we poured some self leveling concrete.

Once that was cured, we painted the wall (even though most will be covered) and installed a vinyl floor that looks like hardwood.  It turned out really nice - I can't wait to finish everything else and get my dream laundry room!

Fortunately, some of the changes just require some time - the laundry tubs look like new after just a few coats of paint. 

We have some plumbing to reconfigure before we can put the appliances back but hopefully they'll be in place by the weekend.

Some other fun things we did included a picnic, Mother's Day, and getting the kids' portraits taken.

The kids keep enjoying playing in the turtle (we've been using it as a pool on hot days).

Some big news - Josh can walk!  He still prefers to crawl but he is definitely capable.

And last, Samantha had her last dance class - she had fun and got her exposed to taking instruction from another adult.  I got a short video of her - she saw me so stopped dancing like she was before though.

Hopefully next week we'll have a nicer laundry room to show (not finished of course!).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Garden is In!

It's been very warm (hot) here and there are no signs that we'll be having another frost any time soon so we decided to plant our garden a little earlier than normal.  At the beginning of the weekend the garden looked like this:

After many hours in the garden over two days, it looks much more like a garden should. 

This year I made three trellis systems out of bamboo and twine for our tomatoes, beans, and squash/cucumbers.  I really hope this helps them grow well and keeps the groundhog/bunny damage to a minimum.  We also installed the first part of our drip irrigation system and weed mitigation.  I still have more to do and hope to finish up this week.

We planted corn, okra, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, winter squash, pumpkins, watermelons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and beans.  Our planter boxes contain our strawberries, lettuces, peas, beets, carrots, and chard.   Hopefully we'll have a productive harvest. 

Another big change in the garden this year is that Chris was able to find time to build a gate to keep Tucker out.  It only took 4 years to get one installed but it's already doing a great job!

One fun thing I did with the kids was to go to Kinder Farm with friends.  Josh loved the goats and chickens and Samantha loved the pigs (well really all the animals).  It was great catching up and getting the kids out of the house at the same time.

With nice weather most days, we've been spending a lot of time on the patio.  Even though we only put out cushions when we have company, the kids enjoy playing on the furniture anyway.  

Josh is enjoying using his walking toy on the patio a lot.  This weekend while we were working, the kids played in a shallow pool.  Josh left the pool and grabbed his walking toy.  Due to his wet feet, you can see the path he took around the patio.  Maybe we can teach him to walk in a straight line when he finally starts walking by himself.

The last picture of the week is the kids thoroughly enjoying our shredded paper.