Monday, June 25, 2012

Where Did the Walls Go?

I wanted to get caught up on here with our projects at the farmhouse.  This weekend I made sure to get some pictures of the missing walls.  There is still much work to complete this area, but this is a big change and so far we are all loving it! 

 Don't you just love how open it all is?  We have an island that will go in the kitchen some where also, to add to the kitchen.  Not sure where we'll put it quite yet. 

After a morning of work and visiting with Jonathon's mom and husband a bit, we gave grandpa Dan, grandma Deborah and Aunt MaryAnn a tour of the house, then headed to Adams Lake to do some fishing.  It was a successful fishing trip catching blue gill, bass, war mouth, and sun fish.  This was the last catch of the night and Diella did it all by herself.  No help needed.  We didn't even know she had one on the line until she brought him in.  A bull sunfish and what a whopper he was!  All the children caught fish, the men did a little trolling and we all practiced patience when both boat motors stopped working as we were headed in for the night with full bladders needing a bathroom.  : )  Thankfully, the main motor was able to start after cooling off a bit and we high tailed it in and rushed to the restroom.  Memories! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Walls Are Coming Down

This family has been busy, busy.  The remodeling is well underway with some major changes having been done.  We are so blessed with all the help we have had so far.  The biggest project that we almost have done is taking the walls out between the kitchen and living room and the small wall between the foyer and living room.  We wanted a more open/welcoming concept to the house, so we decided to take these walls out and here is our work of doing that.  We actually have more done than what this post shows, but sadly I forgot the camera at the last work day, which was the biggest one of taking out the wall and putting in the header.  Pictures of how that all looks now will have to wait til a future post.  Sorry.  

 This picture shows the walls between the foyer and living room and the wall with the fireplace is between the kitchen and living room.  Both walls came out.

 To the left is the foyer/living room wall and to the right is the closet with dark brown doors which we have removed to open up the closet as well. 

 Let the demolition begin!  The boys were sizing up the wall to see how much damage they could do.  Ready, GO!

 He's so entertaining!

 Phil Junior took the better route in using his foot.

 With the wall between the kitchen and living room being a support wall, we needed a professional to help us figure out what to properly do.  Steve Taylor came and lended not only a hand but all of his expertise in the area to help us get the job done correctly.  Thank you soooo much, Steve!

 Benaiah worked at getting nails out.  I think he mostly banged them in. 
Everybody helped!

Look at that!  The wall between the foyer and living room- Gone!  The wall between the kitchen and living room is waiting for more hands to help with placing supports on both sides of the wall and placing in the header before the supporting wall is removed.  There is also some duct work that needs moved, so Jonathon will be attempting that project here in the next week or so before drywall gets patched and mudded for painting.  That wall is now gone and the header in, and the house feels so open.  I will thoroughly enjoy being in the kitchen and being able to see who my guests are coming in the door.  Loving how it is all turning out so far! 

We've done much more cleaning out of rooms and painting.  Lots more painting to take place yet.  And the floors all need replaced.  Whew!  Lots left to do, but we're getting there, and we've got some time before this baby decides to come, so I think we are right on track thanks to all the helpers we've had.  Couldn't do it without any of them!!!

This momma is feeling the work though, so I'm learning that I have to do less work and more sitting.  I've been doing my share of boxing and wiping down walls, but it's beginning to wear on me.  So thankful for the ladies in my life that are willing to help me out with these areas.  And my girls have been good boxers too.  : )

Now that our vacations are all over with,  most of my posts from here until a baby is born will be about remodeling.  Although, we did schedule a boat ride with my parents for next Sunday, so they can see the changes we've made to the house and let Benaiah have a ride on the boat which he's been asking for for weeks now.  That little guy sure loves his Grandpa Dan.  So, until then, try to stay cool in this hot weather and enjoy your friends and family around you!  We sure are!    

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bay City, MI Fishing Weekend

We started our weekend out wet and cold.  We had food to fix over the fire supper, so the men got started, in the rain, working at getting a fire going.  The ladies got unloaded and got the cabins set up and ready for supper.  The cabins were tiny, but we don't require much room really to survive, so we made it work.

 I think at this point the men were not impressed with having to sit watch over a fire in the rain.  There make shift tent helped, but they were still quite wet and required some drying out before bedtime. : )

 The umbrellas were kept on hand all evening.
After a delicious supperof beef sausage, potatoes, carrots, onions and red peppers over the fire, we got out the fixings for smores before our fire went out.  Well, in my rush at the grocery store to get in and out, I grabbed a box of graham crackers sticks instead of the square crackers.  So, we made little tiny smores and used only half a marshmallow per smore.  It made them go further and were just enough for the children to handle.  Still they are so messy!

 After reading some brochures, we decided to head for the visitor's center which was also called a nature museum.  When we got there we saw what the hours were and then noticed a deer in the woods right beside where we were parked.  The children enjoyed that of course and wanted to see how close they could get to her.  We decided to walk out to a pier that was there to see if it looked like good fishing, then we took the trail to the beach around a pond. 

 Why is it we keep going to beaches when it's cold out?  We aren't doing something right here.  : )


 Benaiah found himself some mighty machines to climb up on.  That boy moves quicker than anybody can think, I think.  : )

 We were walking along and saw some white moving through the branches.  Since this was a popular area for bird watching, and Benaiah had already been pooped on by some unknown bird over head, we knew it must be a bird.  We were able to get quite close to this bird (a great white egret perhaps?).  We watched this bird catch fish out of the stream here.  Such enjoyable moments in nature.

The next day, the rains cleared off but it was so windy that the boat we had scheduled to go out on canceled our chartered trip to go fishing.  The man who was going to do the charter lived on a little pond though and welcomed us to play in his yard and fish from his pond.  It was fun since all the children caught at least one fish a piece. 

We didn't spend too much time there as the fish kept swallowing the hooks and it made it not so good to see the fish floating then in the water when we released them.  So, we headed back to camp for some hotdogs and fruit.  When lunch was over and naps were taken, we went back over to the visitor's center to check it out.  It proved to be very enjoyable for everyone.  The best part was the bird viewing window.  It was so relaxing to sit in and enjoy the birds that came and went and the little critters that paid a visit here and there. 

 It was close to closing time so we headed out and found Jonathon who was watching a momma bird and her babies out the window at the entrance.  So, we stood there for awhile watching as the mother would fly off and come back with a mouth of worm and choose which baby to give it to.  Then she would leave and come back and choose a different baby to feed.  We really enjoyed watching them and marveling at how creatures just know what to do.  And Alegra spent her time drawing the birds and the creatures that she enjoyed while we were there.  We were so glad that we were able to fit this stop into the day.  It proved to be momentous the next day as well.

 After we left the visitor's center, my parents each took a vehicle and drove to he local ice cream shop.  We chose to take the trail that went from the visitor's center to the ice cream shop.  It was a lovely nature trail with reading signs along the way, which is something that we enjoy doing.

 Diella's smiley face cone.  So fun!

 We got back to camp and were ready to bake our biscuits for breakfast the next morning and get hamburgers grilled for supper.  We were able to get it all done through more sprinkles and wind.  Just wasn't a great day, weather wise, but we sure had a relaxing day just enjoying nature and each other.  After supper we played a couple rounds of UNO, then played Name that Tune with songs the children could figure out too, then sang along with the guitar before we called it a night.  What a blessed time!

 The next morning, the men took the children to the pier to do some more fishing.  Josiah had studied one of the boards at the visitor's center that talked about which fish were in the area and what lure to use to catch them.  He was wanting to catch a pike.  So, the grandpa asked him what lure he wanted to use and he must have picked the right one because himself a nice size pike.  Sorry no pictures since I wasn't along and other things caused pictures to not happen by Alegra.  She went to the van to get the camer, but couldn't unlock it.  By the time she got back to them, they were having other problems.  Somehow the fish jerked its head and got the treble hook stuck in my dad's finger.  So, they had to cut the fish off, then come back to camp to pack everything up and take him to urgent care to get a hook out of his finger.  So, we ended it with a little excitement. 

We actually headed back towards home while they went to urgent care.  We had a letterbox we wanted to look for on the way back so we made that our lunch stop and took a nice long walk at a park where the box was hidden.  Once again, we were unsuccessful at finding it, but the walk was great and in a gorgeous old forest with huge trees of different kinds.  Our family enjoys forests that have old trees in them.  They are just a wonder that only God could create. 

Our last stop of the trip was to Jonathon's twin nieces' graduation open house.  They had a great turnout, and it was good to sit and visit with family for a bit.  Seems we don't get those chances much these days.

Overall, it was another mini vacation that was filled with good exercise, good memories and exciting times.  Now we get back to the grind of work and remodeling and get ourselves ready for a baby.  This summer is going to rush right by, I'm afraid.  Hopefully you are enjoying yours as well!