Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Other News

Here's a quick recap of some other things that have been going on here recently:

We tilled up some earth and planted us a garden.

We've got some tomatoes, tomatillos, squash and pumpkins started inside.  Hopefully come June 13th or so (the magic planting day around here) they will all transfer well.

The kids helped Tom plant some corn.  One of Tom's co-workers is Navajo and said that they plant it early but plant it 6" deep.  So we're giving it a go.

We also planted some lettuce, potatoes, asparagus, onions and peas.  The peas are already coming up.


We bought a piano off of craigslist down in Phoenix.  Livvy and Sammy have been taking lessons from a 13-year-old homeschool girl for about three months now.  They really love Miss April and playing the piano.  The kids are even teaching Tom and I to play.  It's so much fun!


Ben learned how to ride his bike without training wheels - he's our youngest one yet.  He had the benefit of riding on friends' Strider bikes,  I think it has really helped.


For Mother's Day we took KFC to the park.  For the first time in three years the weather was nice enough.


We went hiking for our last official Discovery Day.  We hiked down to some caves that are in Walnut Canyon.  I love this group!


I gave all the boys a haircut, including Jonathan - his first. Sammy and Ben requested "summer" cuts, which means short.  I was sad to see Ben's curls go, but I know they'll grow back.  He will be a lot cooler with it short on top.  I kept Jonathan's longer on top.  I'm not ready for him to look too much like a big boy.


Sunday we watched the solar eclipse.  First we had Livvy hold up a piece of paper with a hole in the center.  We watched the sun go from a fat banana shape to a skinny crescent.  Then we realized that if we stood in the shadows of the tree, that it did the same thing except bigger and with overlapping images.  It was pretty cool!


And lastly to our great surprise and joy, our apple tree has apple buds!!  The tree bloomed beautifully this year but then, as usual, the wind blew all the blossoms away.  We really thought that we had lost our chance at getting apples again.  I'll definitely have to invest in a canner come fall!

That's all that I can think of for now.  I'm sure there will be more adventures to share, there never seems to be a lack of stuff going on around here.


Last weekend we checked one more thing off of our house-to-do list (which, honestly, it feels like one thing on, one thing off, you know what I mean?).  The driveway has been poured!  We still can't park on it. That'll happen this weekend sometime - apparently you're supposed to wait around a week.  Also news to me, you're supposed to water the driveway once a day to help it cure.  I've heard of watering your lawn (which we don't have one, so that doesn't get done around here) but I didn't know anything about watering driveways.  Learn something new everyday.

Before the new driveway and sidewalk could be laid out and poured, the old one had to come out.  A friend from church blessed us with his time and machinery.

Forms were built and a bed of cinders laid down.

Then the pouring began.

I even was able to put Noah's handprint in using the stamp from my necklace.

Now we not only have a great entrance into our garage, which we fully intend to park in someday soon, but we have a great place to draw with chalk, ride bikes, and play basketball.  Hip, hip hooray for concrete!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Final Inspection

Yup, that's right!  Yesterday morning the county inspector came to give us our final inspection on the house. And...

Some of you might think that after four years of working on and living in this house that we already had our final inspection.  That we were free and clear from the county and were just now maintaining our blessed abode.  Well...some things take a little longer than others.

Let's do a little recap, shall we.

Way back in May of 2008, we bought this:

And immediately started doing this (plus a whole bunch of other stuff): 

 And then added this:

Remodeled this (and a whole bunch of other stuff):

And now we live in this:

Wow, that seemed easy.  Ha!  
With a little help from Tom, Jim, Bob and Craig (craigslist of course) you too can buy a true handy-man-special and turn it into the home of your dreams - it just might take several years. Which is OK.  Really.

People will often ask me if I'd do this again.  Go back in time and buy this house and remodel it?  Heck yeah!  It's been so worth it!!  But, would I want to buy another fixer-upper, live in it while adding onto and remodeling it while having babies, raising little ones, homeschooling, becoming a chicken farmer, trying our hand at gardening, etc?  Hmmm...not so much.  It has been a wonderful adventure, but if and when we move again, I think I'd like it move in ready, thank you very much.  We can find other adventures for sure.

But, I digress...

The big news is that we,

without so much as a, "Fix this..." or "Paint that...",

got Approved, Signed Off, Finaled or whatever you're supposed to call it!!  The important thing is that according to the county, we are done! 

OK, you could probably see from the pictures that we still have some decorating to do.  Not to mention window dressings, adding a back patio, driveway (happening in two weeks from now!!), front patio, etc.  So we're really not done, done.  But on paper we're done, which is so worth celebrating!

Great job honey, my love!!  I love how you dream!  Thanks for taking us on this crazy adventure with you.  You are a wonderful husband, father, thinker, worker, leader, truth-seeker, visionary, lover (*blush* Can I say that?  Well, why not?  It's my blog isn't it? I can say whatever I want. Yeah. So there.)  Anyway...I am so incredibly blessed to have you as my man!  And that's worth celebrating anytime.