Monday, June 3, 2013

The. House.

I did a bunch of updates. Click on older posts to see them or click here:

Father's & Son's
A little about Clark (his piano recital!)
Field Trip
Young Women's Activity

Welcome to my most recent novel post.  I've been meaning to write various posts about our house, but never got around to them.  May was incredibly busy and the blog took the back burner.  Just thinking about May makes me tired!  After this post I will be "caught" up with my blog.  And will soon have more posts to do, which I don't mind.  I like blogging.  First off, for the record, yesterday we went to a pot-luck cookout our friends hosted.  My friend Megan made these grasshopper cupcakes.  A chocolate cupcake with a mint oreo inside, and green mint frosting with Oreo good.  Lee had to work yesterday so we all rode in with him.  We did some shopping, then the potluck, then went to the pool to get our summer pass.  It was pretty busy at the pool and apparently we weren't showing up on the computer (or the computer was being really slow) so the lady told us to just go in and do the pass later. After that we came home, cleaned out the van, Lee washed the vans with the older boys, cleaned up the house, did a little laundry and later went to bed. I was hoping to watch something last night, but I was wiped out.  Lee too.

First, some pictures of Lee's free sign at Walmart that Acuvue made for free. It's nice to have his picture and name out advertising.
June 1 2013 Lee ad

June 1 2013 Lee ad (2)

I actually did a real shopping trip at Walmart.  I haven't done that for a long time.  With Lee being at Walmart I will ask him to buy things now and then.  Plus, I try to buy a lot of stuff at local stores closed on Sunday. 
June 1 2013 Lee ad (3)

Oh, and Cal wanted this picture taken took.  I think it's a dog house, complete with a dog. Lego pets are so easy to care for.
May 15 2013 Cal and lego creation

On to the house. I've done a lot of painting in the house.  I might have mentioned it earlier...can't remember.  I painted the family room, the dining/living room, kitchen, girl's & Elden's room, hallway and stairwell. I LOVE the color of the paint.  My sister sent me a blog link: and I fell in love with her paint color and kitchen.  I am not the creative type to envision things--especially when it come to design in the home.  I found her paint color and got it matched at ACE.  We are also mimicking her kitchen in a way.  I love her tile floor pattern, white cabinets, and light granite.  We are doing something similar in our kitchen.
May 8 2013 painting (2)

Most of the outlets, switches and plates are cream colored in our house.  Lee indulged me and we got a BUNCH of white ones to replace the cream ones where I painted.  Lee has already installed a couple.  There are lots more to go.  We'll get around to switching them out.  Hopefully in June.
May 15 2013 outlets and switches

On Memorial Day we put tile in our kitchen.  Lee was a rockstar and prepped everything. We decided that he would take Memorial Day off, as we figured not many people, if any, would come in for an eye exam.  Lee got up at 5am, ripped up the linoleum, took off the baseboards and kickplates and moved the appliances out of the kitchen. He even made a straight line for us to get our tile going.
May 27 2013 (2)

We wasted time on the straight lines.  We made two of them, and we only needed one.  Oh well.  Better spend extra time on it then mess up the straightness of the tile.
May 27 2013 (4)

Here is the pattern we used.  I am glad I printed this off as  reference.  Even with it as a reference I would get stuck by what came next. Thankfully Lee was there.  A few times we'd put down a tile, then come to realize we were supposed to put down a different size in its place.  Which of course we switched out.  There is one corner spot in the kitchen where we did the wrong size. But I don't think anyone will notice, and I actually forgot about it till just now!  
May 27 2013 (5)

Love those spacers!!!  It was especially fun when we could lay the tile without cutting any pieces.
May 27 2013 (6)

We did have to do a lot of cuts though.  Thankfully last Sunday my friend asked me about my house or my Memorial Day plans, and I found out that they had a tile cutter!  Not only did they loan us their tile cutter, but their wet saw, trowels, grout floats, sponges, spacers, buckets, and the drill bit mixer attachment. They saved the day.  Thank you Cory and Courtney!  The wet saw was fun and easy to use, and I even had a go at it a few times. 
May 27 2013 (8)

May 27 2013 (9)

I was really happy about our tile waste.  Or lack of it. The guy suggested that I get 10% more tile for waste.  Well, we have two boxes of 12" tiles left (minus one) and about 3/4 of a box of the 6" tiles left.  Plus grout and mortar! We have two bathrooms that we are going to tile in the future, and we have enough tile do to at least one of them.  YAY!  We finished tiling about 9pm. Not bad.  We skipped FHE that night (okay, that sounds bad to write!), but in lieu of it we got more $.49 slurpees at 7-11 for everyone.  The kids sure enjoyed Memorial Day.  Unlimited TV and computer all day, ha ha.
May 27 2013 (10)

Twenty-four hours later we grouted.  We watched a good movie on youtube showing us how to wipe away the grout in between the tiles so that the grout line would be lower than the tiles. We started grouting way too late though.
May 29 2013 (2)

An ocean art project Haley did at school.  Shanna did a similar one.  Thought I'd throw that in there.
May 29 2013 (3)

Now waiting for the grout to dry a little.  On our floor is our first house payment!!!  It was pretty exciting paying our first payment! So we let the grout sit about an hour.  At 1am we started cleaning it off. About 2am I told Lee to go to bed since he had to work in the morning.  Our big mistake was that we didn't properly clean off the grout when it was wet.  You don't clean it all the way off when it's wet, but pretty much.  A big tip of advice, don't leave a thick coating of grout on top.  I kept scrubbing, and the grout kept drying.  Well, I stayed up till 7:20am.  I got Lee up about 6:45am and we read scriptures, then I went to sleep.  Lee got the kids off to school and left for work. My visiting teachers were coming at 10am, so I set the alarm a little before that.  When I got up I raced to straighten up the house some.  That woke me up, ha ha.  They were SO SWEET and helped me with my tile.  One of my friends kept an eye on the kids, and the other scraped off grout with me. I definitely felt loved. (Later that night is when I went to the concert for the young women at the high school, and then the next morning is when I went up to Lois....busy, busy.)
May 29 2013

The grout didn't wash off very easily.  I had to pick at it some.  See my nails?  These are kind of long for me.  It felt SO nice cutting them. 
May 30, 2013 Lois' Baby Shower

I got a lot of the tiles scraped and clean but we still had a big section to do.  Okay, not that big, but when it's dried on grout, it was a several-hour project.  After scrubbing for a couple of hours, Lee pulled out the steel wool and basically got the rest of it off!  Lee to the rescue again!  I still need to go over it and fine-tune the edges.  And I better do it soon, or I'll indefinitely put it off. We are REALLY pleased with the end result.  Now we just need to finish off the baseboards and kickplates, along with building in some other stuff--in addition to a few other projects.  And the kitchen will be done!
May 31 2013 floor

The same night I got home from Lois' shower, we ripped out the counters.  Well, I should say, Lee ripped out the counters.  Whoever installed these counters wanted them to last forever.  Or at least another 500 years. Lee started about 8:30p, and we finished around 12:30am. Here is the "bar" area.
May 30, 2013 ripping off counter

Creating a temporary kitchen space....  The stove wasn't hooked up, and I pulled out our handy-dandy emergency stove for a few nights of cooking.
May 30, 2013 ripping off counter (2)

May 30, 2013 ripping off counter (3)

See where the crowbar is touching?  In that area the particle board was glued onto the cabinet base and it didn't come off all the way. On Friday afternoon I got the crowbar and hammer, and hacked it away because it wasn't level. Make sense? At least I contributed a little, ha ha.
May 30, 2013 ripping off counter (4)

We have two windows in the kitchen area.  Several years ago the previous owners added on a sunroom, but kept the windows.  Instead of putting in glass, they put in plexi-glass.  Well, that is what was in there when we bought it anyway.  Lee had a great idea of putting in some bubble privacy glass. I love it!  It still lets in light; but the images are skewed, which is what we wanted.  We want to straighten out the curvy trim. 
May 31 2013 New windows

May 31 2013 New windows (2)

After doing all the tile work and ripping out counters, it was great to pay someone else to come and install the glass.  We could have saved a little bit of money, but not a whole lot (a little over $100).  The guy who does this stuff on a daily basis was here for a couple of hours.  I am sure it would have taken us A LOT longer.  With the tile though, after getting a quote from a big company of $1200, and then a quote from a local construction guy of $1200, we decided to do the tile ourselves.  So glad we did.  I was happy to pay the extra $100-ish and save $1200.  So, my grandpa bought several coins years ago.  I got a silver one.  I still need to sell it, but the proceeds from the coin will go to the glass windows.  It will be a sentimental reminder when I see these windows, that my grandparents helped give me them.  In a roundabout way.
May 31 2013 New windows (3)

Friday afternoon (tired yet??!!) the granite people came and installed our countertop!  I love it!  There is a section for a "bar" area that isn't done yet.  They cut the piece of granite the wrong size for that area.  I was kind of surprised that it was cut wrong.  He told me about a solution to fix it with creating some back splash pieces or he would cut me a new piece.  I told him to cut me a new piece. That should be installed sometime this week.
May 31 2013 new counter (3)

May 31 2013 new counter

Here is the faucet.  I can't wait till it's actually installed and working! I am really excited about the soap dispenser...silly, I know.
June 3 2013 sink with faucet (2)

June 3 2013 sink with faucet

We have been without a dishwasher since about April 16th. That hasn't been super fun.  But since Friday morning, we've been without a sink.  (Thursday night technically, but I made sure and washed all the dishes that night before Lee took the sink out.) Now I am grateful for an operating kitchen sink!  I still need to be thankful though for running water in the house right?  I have been washing the dishes "in" the tub.  Well, the thought of filling up the tub and washing dishes directly in it grosses me out, so I make sure I bring bowls in with me.  One for washing dishes and one for holding the dishes after they've been washed, but waiting to be rinsed.  And tonight there was quite the pile of dishes, despite using disposable bowls for breakfast, plus disposable cups, plates and forks for lunch. Hopefully tomorrow we will have a working sink.  I have never bought a sink before, and there aren't any drain catchers or anything.  I need to call the granite place to see if they forgot to leave me something.  Likes I said, maybe when one buys a sink, that person literally buys just a sink. And that's it.  Lee could have hooked it up Saturday but I never called the granite place.  I don't want to buy extra sink pieces if the guy forgot to give them to me.

People have been asking me if we're settled in our new house.  I tell them that we unpacked everything, except three book boxes, within the first week.  But now that we are doing renovations, things are becoming unsettled. It has been nice being in our "first" house and as I mentioned earlier, paying our first house payment.  We were very blessed to be able to put 20% down on our house, which made our house payment just a little more than rent.  It definitely gives me a peace of mind that if for some reason Lee couldn't work, I could go to work and easily pay the house payment. Also, we went with a 15-year fixed rate loan, as Dave Ramsey recommends...I know you're shocked! If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that I am a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan.  It's actually been really fun listening to his show while painting, and scrubbing down tiles. And I enjoy listening while I am cleaning up or doing things around the house.

All of our home improvements we are paying for with cash.  I was hoping to do some big projects throughout the summer, but since last summer was slow business wise, I am now planning on not doing hardly anything.We are back on track now with our savings and that feels great.  When we first moved here things were incredibly tight.  I would worry that we might not have enough money for basic necessities (thankfully that never happened!).  Our budget then was probably the tightest it's ever been too.  One fault of mine is that I LOVE doing the budget. So much so that I didn't communicate with Lee about it very well--we are working on that though. One time he bought a can of spray paint for Clark's pinewood derby car.  I hadn't communicated with him about the money, and each dollar was important.  I ended up crying over a can of spray paint.  We obviously worked something out, but yeah.  Money was tight. It's nice that his practice has grown and that there is more wiggle room. I feel content about our current situation--I definitely didn't feel that way a year and a half ago. We want to pay off this house fairly quickly, so we still want to keep the everyday budget down as much as we can. But it's nice buying more meat, and not putting water in our milk anymore! I have been adding a little here and there to our food storage.  Hopefully by the end of the year we'll have a three-month supply of food, and a good start on a year-supply.

The plan right now is to finish up the kitchen, get central air downstairs and maybe do a few little things here and there.  OH, about the central air again, we are just putting it on the main level.  Next spring we are going to save up and put a mini-split system upstairs.  Basically they're like individual hotel room air units.  My friend gave us two window units and we are using them upstairs for the time being.  Thanks Janet! Okay, enough about the house, ha ha.  More to come, that's for sure!!!!


Risa Stumm said...

I LOVE how it's turning out!!!!! Way to go DIY-ers!!!!

BWei said...

I am so impressed. You guys are awesome.

Lois said...

You are braver than I ever was. Love the way things are coming together. --MOM

Unknown said...

Wow you guys inspire me on every level! Great work on the house so far! I can't wait to see the finished product!