Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Life Continues....

Whoa, what a summer! Jayne, Ben and I volunteered at diabetes camp last Tues-Fri, then flew home in time to leave early Saturday morning for Hills Alive in Rapid City. VERY FUN!!! We got home yesterday and I spent the day piddling. Got up late, Got some laundry done, Took a nap.... Jayne spent some time with her friends Tanna and McKenzie and Matt finished up his bow hunter safety course - Good Job Matt!!!

I am still working on finding just the right upholstery for the upstairs furniture and also trying to find stuff to put on the walls! I see too much of HGTV to just leave my walls a blank slate. I did find a great rug for the living room.....$900 for an 8x10 rug..... I just decided that it means I have great taste and I need to keep looking : )

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The End.

Today we went to the bank, signed who-knows-how-many different forms telling us the same thing in 5 different ways... and now the construction draw account is closed and we have a mortgage!!! The Loan officer asked me a week ago if I was excited about closing and I said "not as much as I thought I'd be...." After all, we've been done for awhile, living in our house and just waiting on paperwork...but I was more excited afterwards than I thought I'd be. It really is nice to be officially done with everything.

My two assumptions about building a house was that it would take longer and cost more than we wanted it to. It DID take longer, but our mortgage is less than we budgeted so that is a very good thing. There are definitely things we'd do differently, but overall we are very happy with how it all turned out!

The busy month of June is not slowing down a whole lot, but some. Beth passed her driver's ed driving portion of the test today. (Yay Beth) I made it through my Kansas City training last week. I was in SD yesterday, will be tomorrow and possibly Saturday too. Jayne helped cook at camp this last week and Jon and Matt were campers. They are taking a mandatory nap at the moment.

Thanks for stopping by - stay cool!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Busy June

My blogging has been fewer and farther between! I doubt anyone is reading this anymore - I imagine I have frustrated away any fans : )

I guess I need to transition this to a "family happenings" blog. House news is tapering off especially since the walls are so void of decor and my house is not really feeling homey yet. Bare walls, bare windows aren't exactly warm and welcoming but we will get there and I will post pics of any exciting changes. The only changes in the last month were that the phone line was finally buried and we got to pay $400+ dollars for the surveyor to come back and verify that the house is actually on our property. That was a little bit of a "grr". Did we really need a professional to do that?!?!?

In the last month, Matt broke his foot. Beth is getting ready to start drivers ed next week and will hopefully be a fully licensed driver after that wraps up. I am going to work in SD tomorrow, take 4 kids to the dentist on Thursday, work in Bassett Friday and in SD again on Saturday. Sunday I leave for a conference in KC. Jayne goes to UNMC this week to participate in a science camp. BUSY JUNE!!!! I am anxious to get it all behind me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Officially Finished!

The appraiser was here yesterday and all went well. Our house has been declared completely finished - that is a really great feeling, but a little weird too. We have been at this for awhile and no external pressure to work on stuff is a really nice, but odd feeling.

We have grass growing outside (weeds are starting to pop up too...) Cool and rainy for the next few days so that will help, hopefully get it off to a good start.

I am planning on doing a picture walk through, so stay tuned! Thanks for all the prayers and support over the last year. It has been a good, growing, stretching, learning experience! I can't say we'd "never" build another house, but right now I can hardly watch sheetrock/painting on HGTV : ) Decorating shows I can handle!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Done and Undone!

Well, Joel and I finished up everything on the inside of the house! Then the wind took the door and actually split the jam through one of the hinges so we aren't done until that is fixed : ) We also decided to hire out the seamless gutters and that is supposed to be done soon. The backfill went well. Joel rented a baby bobcat (another way to say that it was a very small machine!) so it took a couple of days to move the huge dirt pile but I was very pleased with his backfill job. It looks like we have the makings of a nice yard. We have planted our grass seed but are struggling to keep it evenly watered. Some places get dry while other are soggy. God watered it last night, so this morning it is all nice and damp. We hope it grows!!! The apple trees I planted last summer are budding out - that is amazing since I am about the worst for remembering to water things. :) The garden is tilled and ready to go, so I guess we are settling in to the spring. I am thankful for my mudroom and it is living up to its name!! Constant dirt that I can't quite keep up with but at least it is contained.

I also added a picture of us enjoying our new space. You might want to notice that although there is just one "real" guitar player, we have a couple who are pretty good on the air guitar!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Late Breaking News

In regards to the story below, after visiting the UNMC website, I found out that the top 100 scores from the whole state were the ones picked to go. This makes more sense becuase the kids had to wait until all the regional meets were over to find out if they went to Omaha - so BIGGER congrats to Jayne!! : )

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Congratulations Jayne!

We found out today that Jayne was one of five 8th graders selected to take their project to the state science meet. My guess was there were about 60 kids at our local preliminary meet, so that is really quite an accomplishment and we are very proud of her! Way to go JK!!

Joel also had a great day - he and Dave finished up the outside stucco and did nail holes upstairs as well as finishing up little odds and ends - Yay Joel!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter!

I know that I am a little late, but Easter is actually a day we can celebrate EVERY day, because the life of Jesus is what makes our life worth living. : )

I feel like I am falling a little behind in the blogging but not a whole lot is happening. Joel is just trying to tie up lose ends house wise and also managing his other construction jobs. I have been working a lot too. Just busy in a good way.

The picture of Jon is the result of my saying "Boys, wear your good clothes, it's Easter Sunday" : ) His pants are last years dress pants (identical to this years, so that wasn't really his fault) and the shirt/tie combination is his version of "casual/cool" It was one of those picture moments!!

I also had to post a pic of my brother and his new baby. She is so cute and tiny : ) I love to look at her pictures, I don't know when we'll get to see her but I am very excited to have a new niece!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Our construction draw termed out in March, now we are going to file a 90 day extension so that our credit report doesn't get a black eye : ) More papers to sign, but our loan officer said that with all the refinancing going on, it would be at least 3 wks before we cleared that paperwork hurdle, let alone the need for the appraiser to come and do his report too. SO, better safe than sorry there!!

We are also filing another type of extension today, though no paperwork involved. Today is our 18th wedding anniversary!! : ) We both would like to keep on going, so we plan to extend this little agreement 'til death do us part.... The last year was certainly hard in several respects, but we decided that if we got a divorce, he'd want the house since he did all the work, BUT my job covers most of the expenses so he needs me to pay for it... Since we both like the house, we decided best to stick it out together :) HA HA HA - just joking : ) It is nice to be married to my best friend : )

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One Year Ago.

A year ago today, we started this big project and yesterday Joel finished the staircase. That was the last big project of this whole "Mt Everest" home building adventure. I made two predictions last year, that it would: Take longer and Cost more than we wanted it too... Well, Joel thought it would take two years to build, I wanted it to be more in the 6-9 month range... As for cost, we stayed under budget! BUT we have plenty of things around here that we could spend money on : ) That will never end!

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. We couldn't have made it this far without you!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Finishing the Stairs

Joel went out to a job site this morning got it ready for the snow and now he is upholstering the ends of the stairs! It is looking really good. I am planning a virtual tour here in the next week or so where I will post pics of all the rooms. If you are in the area you NEED to stop by and visit, because if you are following our blog we'd love to give you a VIP tour. (That means you can look in our closets...)

I am hoping the kids will be home tomorrow. Sounds like a lot of snow. I have spent my morning doing laundry and now I better get bills paid so they can get out ahead of the storm.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Okay Okay Okay - I'm back already : )

Here I am again - :) I actually sat down to post this weekend, but it seemed like there is a lot of other stuff to do around here; I am working on hanging pictures and organizing. I also finished the taxes today - yay - just 5 minutes later the DSL quit, if that had happened in the middle of e-filing it would have been a big pain in the neck.

This afternoon Joel is home. He poured cement at a job this morning. He was planning on getting all the downstairs closet doors hung, but that looks to be an evening job now since he kept getting interupted this afternoon and now he has had to run to town.

The bank called this morning and it looks like we will get an excellent interest rate. They also told us that they can't loan for more than 80% of the value. Our preappraisal put us at borrowing around 75% of the value so hopefully it will still appraise well or we'll have to kick in some cash.

One of the pics is of the boys washing the cars. We were just about convinced that "Spring had sprung" but now it's about to blizzard :) That's March for ya'

All we have left is a little outside stuff and the staircase rails.... A few lights to hang and nail holes to fill.... Joel told the bank that we should be ready to close in 3 weeks!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Joel hasn't started on the carpet yet. Yesterday we built, primed and painted a big set of bookshelves for the office area. Today Joel built the closet for the kids' bathroom, I have been caulking nail holes in the trim and Coralee came over to paint basement doors. Busy and tired are the best words to describe us today but we are ending the climb to the top of Mt Everest - almost there! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Joel is just finishing up all the trim in the basement. The door casings are up, the baseboard is up and now he is just going around the windows. There are just four of them, so he will hopefully finish that up before supper. He is hoping to paint doors tomorrow and then work on carpet Thursday and Friday. Can't wait :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Going for the 2nd (3rd or 4th) Wind!

Last week we laid carpet in the bedroom!! It feels so nice to sleep in a room that actually looks like something other than a warehouse.... I had lots of boxes and all our office stuff in there so once we moved it out to lay the carpet, I said "we are not moving it back in!" The desk, filing cabinet etc found another temporary home in the dining room until the basement is finished.

We also finihsed the wall around the stairway so Yay! Now Joel is finishing up some odds and ends upstairs and then it will be on to the trim downstairs, then carpet then those pesky little things that were forgotten (like, the other day I noticed there was no light hooked up in the storage closet...)

Ben decided he wanted to arrange all my cabinets so here is a picture of his work. He hasn't quite made "professional organizer" status but he sure has fun trying.

I asked Joel what we should title the post and the above is his suggestion. He is tired, but happy with the progress, just ready to be done! (Can you imagine that!)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Still At It!

Here are some pictures of the progress. I think that 90% of all the trim is ready to cut and put up. The front is on the peninsula and all the upstairs doors and closets are trimmed out! Lots done, lots left to do but it's FINISH work :) We are really happy with how it is all turning out.

The last picture is of Tanny out on her porch. I was thinking that I should start blogging on my "product reviews"; to tell you the things we used that were really good and the stuff that was less than expected... This vinyl floor is a super dirt hider - just want I need in a porch that houses the shoes of 7 people and a big dog. So it gets a...... "10"!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last BIG Trip!

Today Joel and I took our last major trip to Menards. We came home with around 50 pieces of trim, a ceiling fan, 3 rolls of carpet and 4 rolls of pad, several big sheets of plywood, and MORE! I am so thankful for the safe trip - always a little nerve wracking with a fully loaded trailer. Joel changed a trailer tire this morning before we left and then when we got to Norfolk the spare was leaking air around the rim...

Ben came with us and we had such a great time with him. He was sitting in the back and looked over Joel's shoulder to ask how many "pernhour" (miles per hour) we were going... He just said funny things all day long and was very patient. It was a great day.

One thing that kind of made my day was that when we ordered the carpet we did not order the pad - neither of us can remember why we didn't. Pad is now on sale as "free with carpet purchase" so they adjusted things out and our pad price came down to 8 cents per foot instead of 44 cents. Yippee :)

I am also excited about my next trip to Menards becuase it will probably involve at the very most the pickup, hopefully just the car and certainly not a big trailer!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

God Cares About Stain Color...

Through this entire house building process I have prayed about things like the building site, paint colors, cabinets etc. We started to stain the other day and I realized I hadn't prayed about stain colors. I guess I just felt a little silly considering that it really isn't that important. We'd already started and I felt like it was a little late but I prayed anyway asking God to help us get this right...

After applying and wiping the first coat I wasn't happy with it at all. The pine grain just seemed to loose for the maple cupboards and teak floor and then the color seemed so washed out compared to the richness and depth of the cabinets... Joel came in for lunch and I said "Let's do another coat..." he agreed and we brushed the second coat rather than wiping it with a rag. What a difference!!! Here are the pictures of the doors and it couldn't have turned more like what we wanted although the sample boards we tried were just nothing like what we ended up with. Thanks to the Lord for guiding us, even in the smallest, most insignificant detail of our lives. It is NEVER too late to ask for help : )

Jayne also celebrated a birthday this month. She baked and decorated her own cake. She only asked for a 50 ct. set of colored pencils and then for her birthday supper she chose subway sandwiches and insisted on taking orders for everyone and "packaged" them up in napkins. Pretty easy day for Mom!! Wasn't such an easy day 14 years ago, so I guess I will enjoy this :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joel's Favorite Board

Joel and I spent the entire day staining the trim for the upstairs. We are really happy about how it turned out. We ended up doing two coats on some of it because it was just too washed out and we are NOT going to cut corners to get done quickly at this point, too much invested to take a shortcut now!! I got a kick out of Joel because as we worked he made the comment, "This one is my favorite board" You have to be a woodworker to truly appreciate that! He beleives that building a bow (as in a bow and arrow) is a piece of wood's "highest form" but for pine, our trim is as good as it can aspire to.
We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Joel has been so thankful that work has been slow becuase he has a lot lined up for the spring/summer and fall and his spare time will be nonexistent in just a few of weeks. Our goal is to be completely finished by the end of March.

The other pictures are of Jon and Ben's school of barracuda and Beth's room. She had a friend spend the weekend. It was so great to actually have a comfortable place for company and that extra bathroom!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Kids

Real Quick,

Beth spent her first night in her OWN ROOM! She said that she was "so happy" when she got home and saw her bed and desk all arranged. Jayne was also happy to have her drums in her room. Those two have been waiting for a long time. They had about a 6x10 room for 7 months in the trailer house and then haved shared a 10x12 space with a queen bed and twin bed since we moved into the new house. It's nice that they appreciate their new spaces :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Morning Report

Jon and Ben's room has the closet finished, everything else is primed and the ceiling and part of the walls are painted. The little boys are having an "ocean room" so we have to do it in stages. The sky is finished, so now the water and sand... This is going to be a Joel project. He is a little nervous about how it will all turn out. I'm confident that they will love it :)

Beth's room is all painted and now she is scrubbing the floor getting that ready for paint. Yesterday she scraped, swept and scrubbed it with a brush. She will finish up with mopping tonight and then we'll take over from there. She and Jayne have both been told that they will need to keep their doors shut - Beth's room is a teal and it is also a little bit of a shock when you walk in the door...

Moving along - slowly but surely!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The End Of All Dust

Joel just finished sanding the last two bedrooms downstairs. He came upstairs and did a little happy dance and CLOUDS of dust were billowing off of him. I know that this won't be "the end of all dust", because there will be saw dust, but saw dust smells nice and doesn't make your hands instantly dried out and gross feeling. Thankfully we had another beautiful day so we could leave the heat off.

Tonight we are going to have a little picnic with friends, then I imagine we will clean like the wind. Tomorrow we are hopefully going to have some friends for lunch (if they can make it) and in the midst of that we want to get things primed and painted so that everyone can get into thier own rooms.

WOW and YAY!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's Been Awhile!

Wow - the time is flying by! I need to update, but I don't have a whole lot of exciting things to report. I was happy to spend my Monday cleaning. It was nice to not have to go to town or work on the computer, just clean :)

Joel is about ready to sand the remaining two bedrooms. Then on to painting those. Beth has picked out a dark teal, Jon and Ben are going to have an ocean theme and Daddy is going to do a shark and some other fish on the walls. Then on to trim, the stairs and the carpet.

Yesterday the banker stopped by to take pictures. He just took a few shots of the outsidea and stuck his head in the door. I guess they trust us that we are actually spending money on our house and not taking extended Hawiian vacations :)

Talk to you later!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I think that Matt says the same thing every year on his birthday "This was my best birthday ever!" What he really wanted was to get moved into his room and we got that accomplished. Another reason for celebration at our house was that for the first time in 17 years we have two bathrooms!!! For a family of seven, that is a really nice addition. Joel has been keeping busy wiring outlets and hooking up lights. He is going to get started on mudding Beth and Jon/Ben's room, so hopefully we will get them into their own rooms soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Glazing and Purple Jayne

Just wanted to add a couple of pics. Joel spent the whole day yesterday glazing the family room walls and I put the finishing touches on Jayne's room. It is PURPLE and Jayne and I love it... Daddy says that it hurts his eyes. I think it is fun without being so bright that it will keep her up at night.

Carpet Ordered!

We had a dilemma earlier this fall when we started to look at carpet samples. Joel is a plain, plush man. No pattern, no color variation. I am a fluffy, frieze, color-speckled person, so I really wondered how we were going to compromise on this one.... Well, Joel was at Menards last week and brought home some samples. He just got off the phone wiht Menards(we like to call 10 minutes before closing...) and ordered a nice frieze for his wife. :) The biggest factor was that the frieze was a great match to our paint color, it wasn't the lightest choice, but it wasn't the darkest and it was also on sale through today! Instead of carpet beign the hardest choice, it actually turned out to be the easiest. Yay!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Prayer Request


The above is a link to a website by a family who's daughter is fighting leukemia. She enters a difficult, dangerouse phase of treatment today so if you'd like to pray for her, they would all appreciate it, I know!

We are just hanging out today. Ben and Jon both had stomach flu trouble yesterday. They are better today, just tired and getting back into eating mode.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Optimism Wins One!

The new job Joel is starting was supposed to get going yesterday, but there were some scheduling issues on the other end, so Joel got one more day at home and what a day it was! The sprayer officially died about 3/4 through the job, but we primed and painted almost everything that was ready to go. The lumber yard ran out of the base for the color in Jayne's room and so I still have that to do. Also another coat of moth, and we have to decide for sure what will be on one of the bathroom walls. Other than edging and the glazing, we did the living room, office, Matt's room and bathroom. It was a busy day! Ben even made his own makeshift dust mask out of a sock :) He was pretty cute.

We are really going to miss not having Daddy around all day - we got a little too used to his company!!!! He accomplished so much in the last few weeks of his "winter break". I asked him, "if I'd have told him last month that we would be where we're at right now", would he have believed me??.(no).. Yay - one point for optimism!! :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Joel and Pam Gothic

Jayne has become my little Saturday chef, she made us lunch last week and volunteered again this week! Dave and his oldest son were here on Saturday and so Jayne needed to take orders... you could have any combination of ham and cheese, grilled or not grilled. You also could have your choice of Chicken Noodle or ABC soup, milk, water and peaches. I was really proud of her - I had to be in town at noon, so she really helped me out!

Joel and I are in the midst of priming and hopefully I will be painting this week too. It's exciting!!! Primer was raining on my head, I even had it in my eyelashes.

Ben said that his tummy was a little upset last night so he slept on the couch. Tanny gave up her usual spot, but I thought they made a pretty cute picture!

Talk to you later, hope to have some pictures of the color on the wall by the end of the week!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lickety Split!

I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last checked in! Joel has been hard at it and we are just about ready to paint in the basement. I think we've nailed down the colors for the family room, Matt's room and Jayne's room. Jon and Ben want a jungle theme so that may be a little tricky and Beth is still undecided. It will be great to get the painting started in the basement... I can't believe that it's gone as quickly as it has. I am NOT complaining :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Last Piece

Today was the day that Joel hung the last piece of drywall!!! Hip, Hip, Hooray!! I wanted to celebrate a little bit, but Joel is grounded in reality and said, "Now we mud and tape..." :) We don't run the heat pump while we are making a big mess, so after the drywall was up, we swept and vacuumed so we can run our heat again. I have been amazed at how well the house holds its heat. If the temp is in the 20s or 30s outside, the house will stay around 68 all day. One sunny day in the 40's the temp inside actually got up to 75!! There is a lot to be said for big windows on a southwest exposure. Today with the temp outside around 5, we had to run our "Mr Heater". I have always got a kick out of that name... "Mr Heater" just doesn't sound like tough construction-guy equipment, more like something Mr. Rogers would own... :)

Ben sure enjoyed helping today. He carried a sheetrock scrap that was bigger than him all the way up the stairs. He loves to do "big" things as you can see in the picture, he is a good little helper and enjoys spending time with his Daddy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year and Opinions Please!

Here's the question.... When we first hung the picture under the saw I thought, "The saw and the picture are too far apart..." Now that it's been up there for a week, I think it's fine, but I wonder if I am just used to it... So tell me what your first impression was when you looked at the pic. Thanks!

The picture of the kids is just a funny one. Joel and I were grilling steaks for supper and when he said that they were "charcoal", he wasn't kidding. Jayne gnawed away on one though, but they were pathetic. Joel and I ended up going to Pizza Hut.

We are still working hard on the house. Joel has 80% of the basement sheetrock hung and the kids helped haul out scraps last night. I think he took 800 pounds to the dump today, so those chunks really add up!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful 2009!