Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple Pictures

I snapped a few photos throughout my day of simple things that made me smile!

Trinity's long forgotten ice cream cone.

Baby girl holding her puppy.

Cheetos in tiny fingers.

A stack of new patterns.

Matilda Jane on my doorstep.

A pile of hand-me-downs for a little girl.

A new verse for the girls to memorize.   More on that tomorrow!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our New (old) Home

Since the spring of 2009 I have had my eye on this beautiful home for sale on the main street of the town we live in.  I LOVE old homes, and have always wanted to buy one to restore or remodel.  It sits on 3 lots and has large oak trees in the front lining the street and a HUGE one in the backyard.  We had been in the market for a home for a while.  I called my mom, who happens to be our real estate agent, and set up an appointment to see the house.  We looked at MANY other houses during this time, and nothing seemed to be a fit for our family.  The moment we walked into this house we all looked at each other and  just knew this was it!  We didn't even see the rest of the house before we started talking about how this was our house we had been looking for.  The house needs MAJOR remodeling, but we knew what we could do with it IF we bought it at the right price. 

We made an offer, they didn't accept it.  I was crushed.  We made another offer...they turned it down also.  My mom called me told me to wait a few months and see what happens.  She said, "I bet you will get it super cheap if it goes into foreclosure."   I told her "yeah sure" sarcastically.    I prayed about the situation, and just said, "Lord if this house is meant to be ours I know you will make a way."    A few months passed and every time I drove by the house I was happy there was still a "for sale"  sign out front.  Eventually the house went into foreclosure, like my mom said, and we looked at it again.  We made another offer...they turned down it again!  By this time I have to say I gave up.  We started looking for land to build on. 

This past November we noticed that they lowered the price of the house again.  We offered again...didn't accept, but we kept counter offering until we finally got close.  The bank said they would respond to our final offer after Thanksgiving.  That Monday morning we got a call that they accepted our offer!  What?  I was shocked!  I will tell you why...we offered less than half of the original price.  We bought this house for $22 a square foot!  That is cheap!  The Lord has his hand on the situation the whole time.  We totally feel blessed and a bit shocked at the outcome of  the house. We are now starting to remodel the entire house, and it will take a couple of months to finish. 

The house was built in the 40s and is about 4,000 sq. ft. and 2 story.   Everything is original inside and out.  We plan to change the outside of the house. 

The entry.  All wood walls will get sheetrock.  To the right is a half bath and behind the door is a coat closet.

The view of the living room from the entryway. 

Living room again from the other side of the room.  You can see the entry to the right of the wall in front. 

Dining room.  The wall to the left will be opened up to the kitchen. 

We call this room the library.  It won't be used as a "library".  I just like the name.

The library has another fireplace.

Sun room opening up from the library looking out to the backyard.  This room will be our home office.

Stairs.  Celeste and Trinity will have their room and playroom upstairs.  I didn't take any pictures yet of the rooms up there, but the girl's room is very large, and has a "secret door" in the room that leads to another room.  That "secret room" will be their playroom.  There is one bathroom, a walk in closet, and my sewing room upstairs.

The kitchen.  Is soooo ugly.  We are going to extend the wall with the vintage vent hood out and make the kitchen bigger.  Everything will be ripped out. 

I will not bore you with pictures of all the other bedrooms and bathrooms.  I plan to update on the progress of this house.  Now you can see why we needed to buy it right.  It needs sooo much work, but will be beautiful when we are finished.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Disney World...again!

Every year we try to take 2 or 3 really good vacations.  We are owners with the Hilton Grand Vacations Club, and booking a reservation must be done about 9 months ahead to get the largest suite.  Over the last  couple of years It has seem to slipped my mind to plan these vacations WAY ahead.  So back in June my husband asked if I had booked anyting yet, and I said no....He said "I'm not going to Disney AGAIN."  We have gone to Disney 4 times in the last 6 years.  He wanted something new this winter, but everything was booked but Disney.  You see, secretly this is my FAVORITE place to go.  I feel like a child when I am there.  I'm Just so giddy about all the rides and attractions.  My husband always says that I love it more than the kids do.  Anyway...I talked him into going again.  We arrived the Monday after Christmas and stayed for a week. 

Yes...I do it everytime.  I take a picture as we drive in.  Just like every tourist!  The sign never changes, but I still take a picture!  This year Trinity was the most excited.  She loves Mickey and Minnie, so one of the first things we did was stand in line to see them when we were at Epcot.  Lilah was tall enough (and brave enough) this year to ride the big rollercoasters, so she decided to do that with her daddy instead of standing in line to see Mickey and Minnie.

The last time we went to Epcot we watched this beautiful candlelight chior.  It was so great that we couldn't miss it this time.

Every week they have a different celebrity read the story of Jesus's birth out of the Bible, and the choir sings along.  This year Marlee Matlin was the speaker.  She is deaf so all of it was in sign language.  It was just beautiful. 

 Animal Kingdom was great.  The safari ride is always my favorite there.  We saw a baby elephant and giraffe that were only 4 months old.  They were so cute!  And yes, that tall giraffe is just a baby!

 Lilah wanted me to ride the rollercoaster with her.  I tried to talk my way out of it, but I ended up getting on with her.  I'm glad I did because it was so much fun.  My husband got a picture of us going down the first drop.

(we are in the front)

This year we finally made it through the 3D show "It's tough to be a bug" for the first time.  All the other attempts ended in screaming and a quick exit out the side door.

The morning we went to Magic Kingdom my husband played golf, so the girls and I headed out early to have some fun!

 We saw the princesses...

visited Minnie's house...

rode the teacups...

rode some horses...

and rode my favorite...It's a small world!

On new years eve day we went to Hollywood Sudios, and the girls were so excited to see playhouse Disney... 

We also finally rode the new Toy Story ride.  It is always a 3 hour wait everytime we have tried to get on, but this year we had a family fast pass to ride.  It was sooo much fun!  One of my favorites!

I didn't take any pictures of the rest of our day...or night.  I'm not sure why, maybe we were having so much fun!  But we were all so exhausted at the end of our trip...

On the way home my husband kept talking about how much fun he had this year.  It was probably the best time at Disney we have had!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Update your blog please!

It has been way to long since I have updated my blog.  Not because I don't want to, but because I have been so busy these last few weeks.  The little time I did have I would spend with my girls or catch up on housework, and we took a long week vacation to Disney after Christmas.  I seriously thought about doing away with this blog until someone who I didn't know read my blog, told me how much they loved reading about our family.  That one person's comment about this little blog who has few followers and fewer updates must go on.  So one of my New Years resolutions is to blog more often...very often.  It's already 8 days into the new year and I am just now writing a new post.  So it starts now! 

I'm going to back up a bit to December.  The girls and I went to the Nutcracker.  They were so excited about going, and before the first act was over Celeste and Trinity we ASLEEP!!  So all  through the entire performance I had two drooling girls on my shoulders.  I enjoyed the show and laughed a few times as my Lilah told me everything that was going to happen in the show seconds before it did.  She saw it a few days before with her school. 
Celeste and Trinity had a Christmas program at school, and they were both so excited to sing.  I took this picture before the program.  I was so proud of myself for making these cute dresses for them, and actually finishing them on time!
Our church's children's choir practiced for weeks for their Christmas program.  This was Celeste's first year actually singing.  All the other years she just stood up on stage and clung on to her sister.  Lilah had a solo, and she did great.  Made us cry as she sang about our Saviour. 

 After church we took a few family pictures, and I just love this one of my girls.  They look so beautiful.   

 My mom and step-father were able to make it to church that Sunday.  It was such a blessing to have all of our family together for that Christmas service. 

We all spent Christmas eve at my parents house.  I just love that time together with fellowship, food, and all the children just full of joy.  The children asked ALL day if it was time to open their presents.  I remember being the same way as a child. 

My husband read the Christmas story out of the Bible before we opened gifts.


All the children took turns opening their presents in front of everyone.  This seems to make things move a little slower than everyone just tearing open all their gifts in 5 seconds.  The girls loved everything they got.

(I probably should have cleaned her face before taking this picture)

My husband surprised me with an iPad.  I had NO idea!  Lets just say...I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
The next morning the girls woke up super early 6:30am to be exact. (that's way early for me)  They opened gifts from each other.  Each year the girls pick out a gift for their sisters.  They try sooo hard not to tell each other, and this year they kept it a secret except Trinity told Celeste one of hers.  They were so excited to give the gift they picked out to their sisters.  Santa came by and brought more things they asked for.  (yes we "do" Santa.  My girls know the true meaning of Christmas.  Santa is just for fun, and they wont believe in him when they are teenagers.  That's all I am going to say about that.) 

My step-father was admitted to the hospital again on Christmas day.  This past Tuesday he was released to a rehabilitation facility so he can start regaining his strength back from all the weeks he has spent in a hospital bed.  He seemed to be making progress, and last night we got a call that they were taking him back to the hospital because his oxygen level had dropped low.  So today he is in the ICU.  Please pray for him, and my mother as we all try to make it through this tough time.

I will write all about our Disney trip next time.  I think I have overloaded this post, but here is a little sneak peek...