weekend update

the weekend isn't over yet, but it has been fantastically productive. ben took friday off of work to work on the house, and we accomplished quite a bit: taking down wallpaper, taking off siding, narrowing tile choices to two for the fireplace surround, picking up roof samples, and other small things. our new front door, garage door, and a window were delivered, too.

kristen graciously volunteered to spend her saturday morning helping me and ben outside. we started tearing off the masonite siding on the back of the house. man, was it hot and humid!

(kristen takes it to the house. literally.)

(and she holds the rope for my man on the roof, while i snap pictures.)

(hanson sisters unite!)

(at one point, i'm sure it was "the lovely white house on the corner.")

(ben takes a sledgehammer to the fireplace.)

(admiring his handiwork. better already.)

(today, three tiles came off the vanity. i heard a crash and this is what i found. this bathroom has to last us for a while, though...)

(decisions, decisions.)

we are going to push hard to get a lot done in the next month. we're finally getting the summer weather here in minnesota, but fall isn't too far off and we want to have the windows, siding, and roof finished soon. then we are going to take a break.

art project with miss bef

last night, beth and i completed the second-to-last step of last weekend's art project. the mission was to do something on the walls in the tiny half bath to mimic wallpaper. i've been loving wallpaper lately, as there are tons of modern wallpaper options these days. my favorites are from walnut wallpaper. here are some inspiration photos i've collected.

but wallpaper is expensive, and kind of a commitment. we were in a hurry to finish whatever wall treatment we were going to do because we had to install sconces for our electrical inspection.

now, beth has serious artistic talent so i enlisted her in my art army. i thought we might be able to mimic something natural-looking (like trees) with paint. recently, i saw a design*sponge post with a similar project that encouraged me that we could pull this off. so with these pictures as our inspiration, we set off.

i had already painted the adjoining mudroom in "dorian gray" by sherwin williams, so we carried that into the bathroom, too. (of course, i had a semi-brief period in which i was convinced we should paint this bathroom bright kelly green...but i realized the error of my ways. but i guarantee green will appear throughout our home...i love it!)

beth just sketched some tree outlines in pencil right onto the wall. then we filled them in. i initially bought the shade of white that was at the top of the paint sample strip, but when we put it on the wall, it was too stark (i think it was four shades away). we went back and bought the shade right next to dorian. after a few hours of painting last friday, beth finished up the details last night with a small brush. here she is in action:

and here are a few shots of the bigger picture. (we only painted the tree silhouettes on one wall - the one that is visible from the mudroom.)

in morning light (and with the green tape removed):

i am really pleased with the results. we need to do a few touch-ups, but it is pretty much finished. once we get the window painted white, some trim, a toilet and sink, and a few accessories, i think it will look really sharp.

thanks for your help, beth! now i'm off to tile the floor for the mudroom and bath. pics to come!

great success!

today we're going to play a game! what in these two pictures is not the same?

picture #1: taken at 9am this morning. study it carefully!

picture #2: taken at 4pm this afternoon. what's different?

yeah that's right. the porch is gone. just to refresh your memory, this is what we have been using it for:

it was a great storage room, but the time had come for us to lose it! it was in really bad shape - broken windows, etc. tearing it down was actually a lot of fun.

dave, klaas, ben, justin, and i worked to move all the house debris to the dumpster. then they did this.

we were amazed at how well it came down! here are some more pics from the day.

the dumpster started like this:

and ended like this:

and praise God for fantastic weather today. He held off the rain, and it was nice and cool to be working outside. we are so thankful for friends and family who sacrifice their saturdays to help us out.

while the boys were working with crowbars and chainsaws, i started raking out our garden. crissy and "favorite aunt patty" came by while we were eating lunch. they scoped out some of the existing landscaping and put in their guesses for what perennials would be coming up. looks like we'll have lilacs, peonies, chives, and some other plants i can't remember. :)

God is so good, and so faithful. today i just felt this overwhelming sense of peace and thankfulness that He provided this home for us. this is our home - we don't have to move out any time soon! what a blessing. something we do not deserve.

i see God's goodness so much in this situation. we've been looking for houses for about two years, and it amazes me that God had this perfect home in store for us all along. i love that God orchestrates these things to be just so. i am a fool to not trust Him and His sovereign grace.

one funny story from the day: dave and i were taking the sledge hammer to some cabinets in the front yard. the activity drew over a neighbor boy and his parents, so we were thankful for the chance to meet them! the little boy was like, "i wanna smash stuff, too!"

we've met quite a few of our neighbors, actually. one family in particular has been especially kind. they told us they have been praying that a young couple would move in and really work on the house. that really touched me. we met another neighbor, too, who told us some interesting news: apparently the last three owners have all divorced. it was so sweet to see ben look our neighbor in the eye and say, "for us, divorce is not an option." i love my ben.

the house is really coming along. on the first level, we've had the HVAC guy, electricians, and clyde (the plumber) come to get us set up. those projects are fantastic and necessary, but they don't give a large visual difference. tearing off the porch was just what i needed to remind me that the things we are doing to this house will make a BIG difference. here are a few shots of the kitchen.

you can see where the sliding patio door and window above the sink are framed in. we're moving along, slow and steady. now i think ben and i are going to go watch zoolander. as a parting shot, here's dave in his zoolander pose:

have a great weekend!

we're in!

we moved! we had tons of help last saturday. we got into our new place relatively smoothly!

here's a few shots of our amazing friends and family who sacrificed their saturdays to help us move.

my mom putting together our bed and avoiding our half-dead palm tree:

ben and his little buddy, marquis:

everyone in our dining room/workshop for lunch:

me, ben, and quis:

a piece of toast we found in the basement:

more pics TK! (that means "to come" in editorial speak.)