Tuesday, April 9, 2013

If we can't buy a new house...we'll just add on to ours:)

For the last three years, we have looked and prayed and looked some more for the perfect house with a bit of acreage in the perfect setting, in the right area for our family. No luck. We've put offers on 4 different houses. Each offer ended at different stages in the home purchasing process, but they all have ended with us not owning a new home. The last couple of months, it has become glaringly clear that the kids needed their own rooms. Our lovely 130 year old home has only two bedrooms upstairs. Which was fine for the first 10 years that we have lived here. So, if we can't move, we'll make the house work for us until that perfect house is found.

We have our Gathering room available to us, it's a large open area at the top of the stairs that I rehabbed several years ago (You can see it Here). We have been using using it as a glorified hallway for the most part. Oh, and also it's that place where things go. For things that don't really fit anywhere else but you can't get rid of yet:) It has purpose now! It is now Gavin's room/nook and our "Library Hall."

Here is where we started...

After a lot of this...

and this...

and this...

We have Gavin's room!

And the "Library Hall" as Gavin calls it. I also have a huge linen closet now. Oh how I love storage:)

I still have some decorating, sorting and touch up to do, but it looks fabulous and it makes our house work for us. It's a bit strange to open my bedroom door and see this instead of a largely empty room. It's lovely and it functions well. We are good to go:)

The Mystery of the Lost Tooth

Actually, there is no mystery:) Gavin lost his first tooth last evening while supposedly waiting for sleep to claim him. He tromped down the stairs about an hour after his bedtime proudly holding his new treasure in his hand, a small and bloody tooth. 

We grabbed Kyla from her warm bed and made the necessary hoopla including skyping grandparents and sending picture texts. (Times have changed a bit from when Kyla lost her first tooth, we just called using cell phones) 

Please notice the adult tooth lurking in the background. That sucker has been there for about a month, just getting bigger and bigger. Making me worry more and more:) I see another trip to the orthodontist looming in our future.

Now the toothfairy has never come to our house for a couple of reasons. Chad doesn't believe in telling the kids an untruth. The second factor, and maybe the most important, is that Kyla will NOT let me have her teeth:) That girl is a hoarder in the making. She has all of her teeth safely tucked away in a little tooth bag that Grandma Lynne made her once we noticed her tooth hoarding tendency. All that to say, Gav was excited to find a special treat under his pillow this morning...from a toothfairy that doesn't exist. He's okay with playing pretend as long as there is a reward:) You would think that I would have something prepared to slip under his pillow once he succumbed to dreamland, but alas, I did not. With Kyla's reluctance to give up her teeth and our son's very rational and down to earth thought process, this toothfairy was not prepared to come out of the dusty bin of make believe. We were saved by Chad's own hoarding tendency, a golden dollar coin  to slip under Gavin's pillow. 

His smile this morning as he unearthed his golden treasure was totally worth the couple of minutes of frantic thinking and digging. He told me on the way to the bus that even though he knows that the toothfairy isn't real, he just can't figure out how we put that coin under his pillow without him knowing. It must be magic:) 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

So the year of 21012 has flown by and we have started out 2013 strong. 

Here is a brief overview of last year (you may recognize it as our Christmas letter:) )

We started this year with Kyla’s robotics team participating in the state competition. No trophies came home with us, but fun was had by all. Chad started a yearlong contract with Bonneville Power Administration in Vancouver. In February, Kyla started horseback riding lessons (a lifelong dream of hers) and Gavin started a round of swim lessons with Grandpa Gary. Gavin celebrated his 5th birthday with a family party with lots of food and even more family. March brought rain and six baby chicks to our house. The chicks are grown now and earning their keepJ We took a short family trip to Great Wolf Lodge and indoor water park in April. Please note the “indoor”-this is Oregon. May was a month for planting the garden, Gavin graduating from preschool, and Kyla having her first experience with our local ER and sutures…that darn swing set. June brought a little sunshine, the end of 3rd grade for Kyla, the beginning of summer break and VBS for both kiddos. And then there was July. We filled it with sunshine, a visit from my Aunt, camping at Silver Creek State Park, swim lessons, bus rides, a robotics competition at the county fair, play dates and friends. By August, we were ready for a little quiet…so we only did more swim lessons, a Lego Camp for Gavin, I volunteered for the school and we crewed for a hot air balloon (Gav enjoyed his first flight one foggy, Saturday morning). Kyla turned 9 and celebrated with her friends with bowling and a sleep over. Just when we thought our life was busy, September came. Gavin started Kindergarten at Wascher Elementary, Kyla started an online public school here at home with me as her teacher (EEEK), Chad took on the position of PTA president at Wascher, and Lego Club started (Double EEK). Oh yeah, add in Awana, piano lessons, Evergreen Science Days, and the continuation of riding lessons. October was the month of travel. Chad went to Ohio to visit his extended family and I flew to Indiana to help celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday. Lego robotics club continued as did homeschooling and Kindergarten, lessons and life. The month of November was full of Lego robotics and our normal routine. We celebrated Thanksgiving with our families and then prepared for the robotics competition. Chad’s contract with BPA ended early and he was able to work from home for a bit as he waited for his next assignment…a computer game rehab. December started with a flourish with the Lego robotics competition where two out of our three teams received a trophy. Kyla’s team was awarded the opportunity to go to the state competition again this year in January.  We’ve had time with family and friends, enjoyed Christmas concerts, dreamed about our future, and did eventually find time and energy to decorate our Christmas treeJ
In the midst of all that, we found time to volunteer at our church and at the local elementary school. I preserved a big chunk of our garden and Chad canned meat for the first time. When Chad wasn’t busy with Lego club, he was working on PTA stuff, when he wasn’t working on that…we were sleepingJ Our life has been entertaining, crazy busy, overwhelming, and so very blessed.
We pray that this letter finds you relaxed and thankful, healthy and happy. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We wish you a happy and blessed 2013.

We had a wonderful Robotics competition in December. We are so proud of the kids!

We enjoyed spending lots of time with Chad's family over the holidays:) 

 We had a blessed Christmas filled with Christ, family, friends and comfy pajamas.

We are continuing to be busy with Lego Club (State competition is on the 19th of January), homeschooling, school, and life. We have made a major diet change for Gavin just recently in efforts to improve his skin and his tummy. He is a gluten free kid now and we've noticed great improvements on all fronts.

We made an offer on a house in the country that we've been watching and dreaming about for the last 6 months. It appears like it won't be the one for our family. We are the back up offer at this time and we get to wait and see if the current sale falls through.Not a great situation, but certainly doable:)

Life is certainly clipping right along. Prayers for our family would be greatly appreciated as the normal stresses of life (and not so normal) try to wedge themselves in:)