Jan 31, 2016

Weekend fun!

The twins had an extra fun weekend!  Ryan was in Asheville for a CE course Friday so I took them to the movies with a friend!  They have always loved movies and I think this is our 6th movie together with just me and them and once again they did great!  We saw the new Kung Fu Panda movie and it was adorable!
 Saturday morning Ryan played golf and I took twins to a birthday party at their little gym.  They are the cutest playing in there together...and it tires them out for a good nap later!

Today we took them to the circus.  Ellie opened her closet this morning and I asked her what she was doing and she said "looking for my circus shirt"....I guess I normally have an outfit for every occasion!  I dug up the outfit from last year and it still fit so we wore it and she was a happy little girl!
 I could have spent the entire 2.5 hours just looking at their sweet memorized faces!

 I captured the person flying out of the canon ball in this pic!
 Someone told me this was the last year of elephants at the circus.  This makes me sad because it was Grahams absolute favorite part, but also understand because they are wild animals and probably not the happiest in this environment.
 This little boy is eating so much lately it makes me nauseous just thinking about it!  He loves events like this because he just eats the entire time!
 Love these crazy kids more than anything.

This year the kids made it until the very end.  I am so proud of them because we had lots of kids around us who were not very well behaved and they sat still and we quiet and sweet the entire show.   Now we are off to bed early after a long fun weekend!

Jan 23, 2016


Friday morning we woke up to this beautiful scene.  

 These two snow bunnies absolutely loved the snow!!!  I thought for sure after a few minutes it would be too cold but we have gone out two days in a row and they lasted almost 2 hours today and we had to force them in for dinner!

 We made a little snowman in the backyard Friday and they got up this morning and immediately ran to the window to say good morning to it.

 After naps we walked up the street to join some neighbors on our main hill on the street!

 We were sharing sleds and at one point I noticed they didn't have one and were both sliding on their bellies....lots and lots of laughter followed!
 They realized they would go faster together and tried every slide out there together:)

 We also raced each other!  Normally whoever Ryan was pushing won haha!

Love the snow, but love our real fire place after mostly!  So thankful that even though we got mostly ice we never lost power!!!

Jan 19, 2016

House Project #1

We have had major internet issues and a virus on our main computer so I am just getting around to this house blog post!  I do not want to forget one detail of our dream house transformation!  I will start with saying our new street has always been our favorite street in Charlotte.  We looked at several houses over the past year on the street and finally got so desperate we wrote hand written notes and put them in the mailboxes.  After about a month an older couple called and said they wanted to sell us their house!  We could not believe it! It worked!  We closed on the house first of November and did about 5-6 weeks of renovations before moving in.  Here is a picture of the front and back of the house that the inspector took.  

Here are a few more before!
The house overall had great bones, but was super outdated, dingy, dirty and very dark!

We did a lot of fun things before moving in, but also a lot of not fun things too haha!
I am still trying to remember what all we had to do, but here is a rough list:
Total paint job!- every wall, ceiling, trim, closet, door....every single inch!
All new receptacles, wiring, plates, vent covers, vent returns
All new toilets- two were broken and several leaking
New floors- wood on main two floors, carpet on the bonus level and finished, sealed and painted basement
New lights- except for the bathrooms (which all need to be renovated) we replaced every light and can light in the house
Finished basement stairs and painted
New ceiling tile, trim and can lights in basement
Added crown moulding on entire second level and downstairs bath
New thermostats and smoke detectors
Installed security system
All new wiring for cable and tv
Windows cleaned inside and out
Gutters cleaned
Chimneys cleaned and serviced
Added built ins to living room
Removed and repaired windows from all old blinds.
All new hardware for doors- door knobs, hinges and door stoppers (we have a ton of doors!)
Weather proofed several doors
Installed a fence in backyard
Power washed stairs, walkway and driveway
Got all three units duct work cleaned and serviced
New countertops and appliances in kitchen- eventually we will redo entire kitchen but this buys us a lot of time
New washer/dryer and had to reroute the vents and electricity

Here is the pile of receptacles and some vent returns!!!
 Door knobs were brass and the front door was coroding
We would go to the house almost daily and our old house turned into a design center haha!  Here are paint samples and all the window shade options.
 We removed old blinds and it really opened up the kitchen.

Love these two troopers who were so sweet and patient during all of this!
 Right side of master after floors and subfloors were removed.
 The left side of master
 Hallway upstairs
 Bonus room/kids playroom
 Bonus/playroom looking into the guest room
 stairs prepped for painting
 Dining before
 Unfinished basement stairs

 Basement...can't tell here but this room was yuck!!!  They used it as a rec room but mostly extension of the garage for storage.
I'll be honest.  The day I took the majority of these pictures we were a little nervous.  Did we make the right decision in taking on this outdated house?  What were we thinking?  Will we be able to fix it and make it our dream home?
Finally a week later we started to really see some improvements and were able to focus on the renovation again!  A creative friend of mine (hey Sarah!) told me to do this!  We wrote a bible verse in every room before the new floors were laid down.  
Ellie's room:
 Grahams room:

 Floors leading to stairs:
 Stairs leading to playroom/bonus level:

And I can't find the picture for our master, but we did that one too!  We used Colossians 3:14
And finally some after pics!  The new basement stairs!
 The basement in middle of remodel
 Ryan office is one of my favorite rooms now!  We are installing built ins there next week so more of those details to come!
 Here is Ryan with the kids feeding the ducks one day while we were visiting the house...also before the fence went up.
 What a dream for the kids to be able to fish or feed the ducks whenever they want in their own backyard!  I actually have a place now in our fridge for old bread (mostly the ends that no one eats) so whenever they ask to feed the ducks we are prepared!
 Main floors being prepped.
 Playroom after new carpet and lights!
 Bonus level stairs.
 New hardware!!! Oh happy day!
New door and one of my favorite things we splurged on...this custom front door knob!

 Fence going up!
We got custom gates made for the stairs in the middle and the "boat entrance" to the far right.
And one of the last things before we moved was front door and shutters painted!  Just looks so fresh and clean now!

Although we have done a ton to this sweet house we still have lots and lots and lots of projects to do! Can't wait to report back with the next one on the list! And more after pics to come!