My parents and Grandpa drove out to visit us (and my Auntie) last week. We had a lovely visit with them!
Here are some pictures from around the house. Grandma gave us her football helmets and the boys each arranged them in order of their favorite teams. Micah loved playing a newly invented game called, “Stinky Socks” with Grandma.
And Grandpa made the boys a tree house in the backyard! This was incredibly exciting! The boys have been playing in it every day since.
The boys also rode their bikes with Grandpa and jumped in the leaves.
They got to be around for a lot of fun weekly activities. Grandpa and Daddio were at Micah’s harvest program.
And Grandma and Grandpa sat in during our Classical Conversations class.
And everyone enjoyed the morning at PE plus. Afterwards, Great Grandpa and the Jonker clan came over for lunch.
We spent some fun time at the Jonker’s house over the weekend, too.
We loved having these guys visit! Thanks for coming!
When we moved in to our home, the backyard was pretty overgrown. We don’t have a master plan in place for the space, but we knew we wanted to get rid of a lot of the bushes that had been neglected over the years. Not only were they overgrown, the bushes were falling over because of all of the snow we had this early spring. Anyway, we rented an electric chainsaw and went to work! It’s definitely a work in progress and we’re not sure how much more work we’ll do on it this year, but we’re pleased with the progress thus far.
As you can see, it really opened up that area. But, as many of you know, the boys’ hideout was exposed when we removed all of those overgrown bushes. They were, thankfully, perfectly happy to move their fort to a different spot in the yard.
Their fort is behind the big tree in the garden section of the yard shown here. I spent quite a bit of time weeding and pruning this area. It’s still pretty overgrown and whatnot, but I think it looks very much improved!
And here is where I am debating building some garden boxes to have a little veggie/herb garden. This whole section is a crazy mess, but it gets a fair amount of sun so it could work. We’ll see. And maybe a new fence. Haha! Yikes! =D
I don’t know whether Mike would say he enjoyed doing all of the work back there, but I thought it was a blast! =)
One of the biggest (and probably silliest) highlights of moving for me is the chance to make a new place into our home…it involves moving furniture around to different places in different rooms, putting up pictures, getting different furniture, and refurbishing the old! I’ve spent a lot of time at Goodwill and other consignment shops…and Ikea. =) Here are a couple of the projects we’ve done since our move.
Painting bookshelf and dining room table to match our canvases:
Purchase barstools (Ikea) and chairs for dining room table (Goodwill – incredible find for $4.50 each! – will get painted white eventually):
Our former couches of 8+ years were too big (and pretty beat up, too) for this home, so we didn’t even move them. We purchased an L-shaped couch for the living room downstairs instead:
Sadly, two of our three dressers were badly damaged during our move…to the point of no return. SO, Mike and I got our very first bed frame that has four storage drawers under the bed and that will work as our dresser. We are loving it. We bought Ethan a new dresser from Ikea and he helped to put it together.
Our final purchase was a chaise for the upstairs living room. We really aren’t sure quite what to do with this space, but I have always wanted to have a bay window / prayer area / reading nook. So, we got this chaise today and are really pleased with it. The rest of the room is a mystery to me, but that suits us just fine! =) Also, it snowed today and that was beautiful. You’ll see that I hung up my first things in the house…and they match wonderfully with our table. Woot! =D
Mike also took down part of our fence and I caught him on camera, so it gets to be posted on here, too. =)
Hopefully I’ll get some pictures of our rooms set up soon. The school room is fairly organized, which has been super helpful, and we are officially ready to host guests. We’re still a work in progress, but it is definitely starting to feel more like home.
So, when you are doing some remodeling to your new home, you spend a lot of time at Lowe’s and The Home Depot. We also have spent time at IKEA, American Furniture Warehouse, Goodwill and other consignment shops. The boys have been excellent sports about all of these little outings…most of the time. =) They were cracking us up at IKEA a couple weeks ago. They had maps of the store and were checking off each place we had been with their pencils.
I’m not even sure how to post about the progress of our home thus far (my word, it has come a long way!), although it will be fun to do before and after pics. We have loads of pictures, as you can imagine, but posting all of them would be just plain boring to most of you. So, I’ll just post a couple to give you an idea. =)
In the midst of all of this, the boys have been eating outside, on the ground, on the go and being completely flexible. They spend a lot of time outside playing in our backyard and were VERY happy to finally see their toys again this week.
More updates to come. But for now suffice it to say that we are living in our new home and loving it thus far.
On Wednesday, I drove the 9 hours to Denver, CO. Mike worked in the car, which worked out perfectly. The boys spent most of the time reading books and listening to audiobooks. We started The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which they seemed to enjoy quite a bit. The Chronicles of Narnia are some of my very favorite novels, so I am really excited to start sharing them with the boys. The boys were each given a whole roll of quarters by Ms. Mary Alyce and Mr. Charles at church to spend on snacks on the drive. Here’s what they bought and they were both SO excited and proud to be spending their own money on special treats! What a wonderful idea! Thank you!!
The snow from the big storm was still on the roads for part of our drive, but it didn’t slow us down much. The boys were excited to see all of that snow! It had been a while for us! Here’s our first family picture in Colorado:
That evening, we headed right over to our new home to see it!
The indoors looked (and still does) like a construction zone, so it was exciting, but didn’t look like home. We have some really wonderful connections out here, so we were able to do some bigger updates/fixes throughout the house at a fraction of the cost – a HUGE blessing, for sure! It’s been a fun and humbling project.
After a stop at our new home, we went by my aunt and uncle’s to pick up my car. They were out for the evening, but our cousin, Ike, was home so we took him out for dinner with us before we headed to our friends’ house for the night. I didn’t get a good picture, but I did snap this one quickly so that I could remember it. =)
We will get into our home this coming weekend. In the meantime, we’ve been staying with our generous friends. I’ll post more about that soon.
We loved spending a week with Grandma Cleve this month – what fun we had with her! We enjoyed a few special outings with her, but also spent a good amount of time just living life…reading books, playing games, learning German, studying Presidents, etc. All four of us went to pick her up from the airport. Our intention was to surprise her when she came up the escalator, but her flight was very early! We surprised her at baggage claim instead.
Then we went out for lunch downtown and explored the city a bit. We wanted to go to Centennial Olympic Park and show her the inside of the CNN building. Unfortunately there was a big conference downtown so there were tons of people everywhere…that, combined with the heat, made for a shorter afternoon there than we had planned.
The whole thing exhausted Micah… He slept on the couch for a while after we got home.
We spent the rest of that evening (Saturday) at the house. Grandma Cleve came with lots of gifts for the boys and she happily surprised them with little things throughout her visit with us. We also celebrated Mike’s birthday that evening. His Aunt Sandy sent him a Rodgers jersey – awesome!!
We went to church on Sunday and then went to Ikea that evening so that Mike could go with us. We took apart Ethan’s bed, so the boys each got a dresser.
Monday we spent mostly at the house, though I think we also went to Webb Bridge Park for a bit. That evening we continued the birthday celebration and went to the Dodgers game! We were given free tickets and the seats could not be beat – so much fun!!
Tuesday we went to Kid to Kid – boys picked out gifts from Grandma Cleve (please note, we did not purchase the sunglasses!) and then we worked hard on building the other dresser:
On Wednesday, Grandma Cleve and I took the boys to their very first movie at the movie theater. We saw “Muppets Most Wanted” for $1 each person! The boys didn’t love the movie – “there was too much stealing. Stealing is bad.” – but the experience was a blast. We also got a little treat at Luv-a-Bowl afterwards.
We went back to work on the dresser and finished it! Micah insisted that I wear a construction hat, too.
On Thursday we went to the aquarium. Grandma Cleve had never been before, so this was an especially sweet treat for her.
Mike stayed home from work on Friday, but he was sick. Micah was sick, too. I don’t remember much about this day and I can’t find any pictures from it, so I guess it was pretty laid back. On Saturday everyone was feeling a bit better so we headed over to Autrey Mill.
Sunday the boys were sick…big time. It turns out that they had hand, foot, mouth disease. What?! So Grandma Cleve stayed with the boys while Mike and I went to church – thank you!! – and they spent some time playing games and some time sleeping. That was our last day with Grandma Cleve.
We had such a great time with her!! Can’t you tell?
It seems a few weeks have passed since I last updated…so this will be a random post of playing catch up!
The park at the school by our house is STILL under construction, but a little bit of progress has been made. We are hoping it’s finished by this summer! We stopped over one afternoon and found our neighbors there. Fun! The boys didn’t even want to go because they were worried they would miss out on playing with their friends!
We had some pretty warm weather a couple weeks ago, so we decided to try to “run” to Chipotle again. It was lots of fun, but we need to keep practicing….we’ll be running 2.7 miles to benefit “Out of Darkness” with our church in May. =)
Here’s Micah, looking so grown up, leaving Bible Study a couple weeks ago:
And here’s E putting stars by all the books he wants to get:
Reading quietly at the library, while I search for new books:
Playing construction at the house:
Micah has been working on his ABCs a bit more intentionally lately:
He may or may not have been bribed with a scone. 😉
And E lost his 4th tooth! Unreal! He was SO excited to tell his Daddio!
We are SO happy to report that our yard has officially been transformed. We have been taking baby steps since we moved here in January of 2013, but the last month has brought about new life to this place and we are so excited to show it to you. My apologies for the over-abundance of pictures.
Here’s the side of the house, sometime in March of 2013 (I believe):
Here’s the other side of the house:
Last summer, we worked with our friend from church to build a beautiful patio. We are SO grateful to him for all of his hard work and for showing us how to do everything!
We took out the big bushes in the front by ourselves and planted new bushes/plants sometime last fall:
We also took this beast out and worked with our neighbor to build a retaining wall and plant roses there instead.
Here’s what our place looked like in early June:
And here’s what it looks like now:
We still have some more to do, but my word, for right now we are going to enjoy this!!
Well, the front of our house is close to being completed. We spent much of our weekend doing the landscaping to the other side of the front of our house. We also helped our sweet neighbors move their rose bushes over to the area in between our houses. They have been SO helpful, knowledgeable, and encouraging through all of these updates. Such wonderful neighbors! Always willing to lend a helping hand to us…or to allow us to borrow their tools. =)