Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010

Overheard just now, while the boys were playing: Ben: "Bow down to me!". Nick: "I will not bow down to you!" They were using their little men to play and this is what the men were saying to each other.

This morning the boys were playing with an inside type of ball, throwing it back and forth in the hallway. Nick had a baseball glove but Ben did not so he went to look for it. And then I heard: "Mommy, I can't find my mitten!" So I let him know that it is a baseball glove, also sometimes called a mitt, and I helped him find it.

Every time we go out to the new house, they end up finding some other stick or pipe or pole or something that they MUST keep in the van. The van is not looking so good these days. To be fair, it has not looked so good since soon after it came home. We clean it up every once in a while but I would guess that my long time friends who knew me well when I was single would be quite shocked to see the messiness of the vehicle I drive these days:). This also applies to our home quite often. Although, after a few warnings I finally got out a trash bag the other day and started loading toys from the floor into it, with the intention of putting them in the attic for a long period of time. The boys were quite upset about that and things have improved drastically since then. I am now able to walk around the house without having to step over toys all the time. If things start looking bad again I simply say "looks like I need to get out my trash bag" and the toys are picked up quickly without complaint. Once we are moved into our new house this might not be as big of an issue. In this house we are limited on floor space for walking from one place to another so it is also the floor space for playing, for the most part. They do have their bedroom, the upstairs playroom and the guest room where they can play and leave things out more but they tend to want to play in the main room and hallway. I am soooo looking forward to moving.

The new house is coming along. They are hanging sheetrock now, the garage doors are suppose to be put on tomorrow and the gas is suppose to be turned on so they will be able to turn the heat on, which is good because they will need it for most of the next steps. After the sheetrock has been hung, the next crew will come in and do the floating. After that, they will put down the unfinished wood floors and will also start installing the tile in the bathrooms (we still need to pick out the tile).

We have a bunch of errands to run today so must go now. Later!

Monday, December 06, 2010

December 6, 2010 Part 2

Click on any picture to see a closer view. The first picture shows the rock that is going on the front of the house. It will be wainscot across the front and the side where the garage doors are. It will goic all the way up to the roof on the two areas of the house in the front that stick out further, one with the windows to the garage where the scaffolding is and the other at the other end of the house.
The picture below shows the house from the back and part of the side. The brick will be painted with a coating of something (can't remember what they call it but it is thicker and more durable than paint). It will be a bit darker than the stucco that will be over the remaining parts of the house. You can see in the pic below where the screened in porch will be and also where the outdoor patio will be. I have not posted any pics of the inside yet because it is just too confusing to look at pics of stud walls. I will post some once the sheetrock goes up.
Nick had his birthday last month. We were singing happy birthday to him and he had this really cute look on his face, as he was watching his brother sing to him.
Opening birthday gifts is always a team effort:).
Trying to have a fierce look, like a real pirate.
And here is our happy pirate.
And here they are both trying to look fierce. Aren't they scary? They love to play dress up and have been playing in these pirate costumes every day since Nick's birthday. The boys are both 5 now, much to Nick's delight. He really hated being 4 for the six weeks when Ben was already 5. That was very hard for this child who always has to be first...but also probably good for him;).
This was just one day in November when I caught them looking at books together.
It is impossible to get a good, candid photo of them these days and, when they see me coming, they are either not very cooperative or they give me these real cheesy grins.
Ben watching a movie. I love this picture of him.
And Nick watching TV. They get so engrossed that they don't even notice my picture taking:).
That's it for tonight. Christmas pics coming soon! Merry Christmas!

December 6, 2010

As I type, the boys are busy painting beautiful pictures and the dad is out buying a tarp to put under the Christmas tree, since we can't find the one we normally use. It is probably in storage. The tree is outside, just waiting to be brought in and decorated.
The boys and the dad went to the Christmas tree farm this afternoon and cut down the tree. On their way back, they stopped off at the new house, where I met them. We were expecting to see good progress on the spraying of the insulation but, alas, nobody was there. I called our builder and he said the insulation guys had said they were delayed but thought they would be there by noon. Not so. Hopefully they will start tomorrow. This morning the builder had thought they would be ready to start sheet rocking later this week but who knows now.

The rock and brick are looking very nice though. I took some pictures and will post them later this evening, as I still have to download them from the camera and I am resting now before fixing dinner:).

It is 42 degrees here now, although even a slight breeze makes it feel much colder and it is getting very cold at night. All of the rock/brick work at the house stops when it gets this cold at night. They have already finished all of the brick work though and they don't have much left for the rock. Not sure when they will start the stucco.

In other news, my two cats are now 15 years old. I can't believe they are that old. I hope they live long enough to move to the new house because I am planning to let them outside some there. The male cat has always wanted to go out and will try to get out anytime the door is open and has escaped many times. They still act as if they are young kittens at times and seem to be in very good health so I think they will make it.

Not much new going on here. It is just so wonderful to be back to good health and have energy again. My poor sons and husband deserve a medal for putting up with me while I was sick. Nick just showed me the picture he painted and said it was a picture of heaven. Isn't that sweet?

They are finished painting so time for me to get busy. I will post a couple of pics of the house later.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 08, 2010

November 8, 2010

I am overdue for posting more pics. I meant to take some today but did not have time so I will try to do so tomorrow and post them soon.

Monday we had a very long meeting with the builder and electricians to go through the house and decide where all fixtures and switches go. It took quite a long time but I am glad we have that finished. Tuesday we had a long meeting, but not as long as Monday's, to go through the house and discuss all of the cabinets.

Today I took our friend and real estate agent (the one who, with her husband, sold our old house and found us this rental we are in now) up to the house and she had some good suggestions. I also went to a local store and finalized our selection of the tub that will be in the master bath. We will hopefully finalize our selection of appliances on Friday. Earlier this week, we also (finally) finalized our decision on the fireplace that will go in the living room. I am soooo glad to have that one finished.

They have had people out to clean up the work site and it was really looking much better today. The house is very close to being dried in. There are some very large windows that go up high in the living room and the screened in porch that are suppose to go in this week and the front door is suppose to go in this week too, I think. After that, I think we will be dried in.

The electricians have already started putting in the electrical stuff in the house. Between this week and next week, they are suppose to have all of the electrical, heating and air and the plumbing all in. After that is inspected, they will be ready to spray in the insulation and then will come the dry wall. We still have the dead trees laying all over the place, although a huge portion of them have been cut up into firewood and taken away by several different people. I think they will be taking out the large tree root balls and all remaining tree remains either this week or next. I think after that they will be ready to start working on the stone and stucco for the exterior.

I am exhausted. All I do these days is go go go. I am craving a day or two of just staying home but that will not be happening any time soon. I think the boys are feeling it too as they have really been at each other lately. Nick's birthday is this week so he is very excited to be 5 like Ben. He is already having a fun birthday week, as we had to celebrate early because the dad will be working on the true day. But my mom and sister will be coming to celebrate and my sister is bringing one of her absolutely wonderful homemade apple pies, so I am really looking forward to that:).
The boys had personal safety day at their swimming lessons on Tuesday. They had to wear jeans and a long sleeved T-shirt on top of their swim suit. I thought they would have this safety lesson thing at the beginning of the lesson and then they would take off the jeans and shirt and continue on with their swim suits. They did do a good safety lesson at the beginning but then they had them do their entire lesson while wearing the jeans and T-shirt. They really struggled to swim in those clothes.

That's it for today. I'm exhausted and need to go to sleep. I will post more pics later this week.

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

I continue to be amazed at how quickly the house is going up. These framers are really good at what they do. The foreman on the job told me today that the shingles will go on next week and they will probably be putting the windows in on Tuesday. He also said that his framing crew will be all finished by the end of next week. After that, they will be ready to start working on the stone and stucco on the outside and the plumbing, electric and heating and air stuff on the inside. I'm not sure when they will put the septic system in but it may not be until they are finished with the stone and stucco.

The boys are excited about it and are talking about decorating their rooms. Ben has said several times that he would like to have his own room so I think we are going to shoot for that and see how it goes. I predict we will have some issues with Nick being frightened to stay in his room alone and we may have to sit with him until he falls asleep for a while, but I'm sure we can work through the issues. I think it will be good for them to have their own rooms and Nick may find that he really enjoys it.

Here is the progress made on framing the house this week.

The boys are never bored when we are at the house. They can play happily for hours.
We were getting in the car, preparing to leave, when the builder came over to our car to talk about a couple of things. We ended up talking for a while and the boys were in the back of the van trying to find things to keep themselves busy. They took the camera and took tons of pictures of all kinds of things. I ran across this one below this evening and it had me laughing out loud. This is the inside of Nick's mouth. Kids are so funny.
The pictures below this point are all from today. I could not get over this guy working up so high. He was amazing to watch. He would put the next sheet down, hammer it in on one side, measure the next piece and call it down to the guy on the ground who was cutting the pieces, finish nailing in the sheet and then he would slide down to that little piece of board that stopped him, kind of like riding a skate board only on his shoes. I held my breath every time he did the slide thing but he did fine. I'm sure he has had lots of practice. This is the same guy who was always standing up on the very top when they were framing the roof. He must have really good balance.
This guy in the overalls is the county inspector. He is cutting wood for his wood stove. The builder is waiting to haul off the downed trees until the inspector is finished cutting all of the wood he wants.
These last two pictures were taken today, just before we left for home.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

It is amazing how much builders can do in just one week. First, here is the final picture that should have been in the last post but we left that day before they finished the foundation. This picture was taken the next day, Oct. 15th. The builders took the weekend off so nothing changed on Sat. and Sun., the 16th and 17th.
We were not sure if the framers were going to start that Monday or Tuesday. So, on Monday, Oct. 18th, the boys and I drove up just to see if anything was going on and we found this:
When we left that day, before the builders were done for the day, it was looking more like this:
For some reason, I did not take any pictures on Tuesday, Oct. 19th. But this is what we saw when we drove up on Wednesday, Oct. 20th:
And, when we left that day, it was looking more like this:
I didn't take any pics on Thursday, Oct. 21st. We ended up arriving later in the day, after the builders had already left. As it turns out, we arrived just as the storm shelter was being unloaded. That was quite a feat to watch. It is extremely heavy and it was a bit tricky getting it into the spot where it needed to be.

Today (Friday, Oct. 22nd) when we arrived, this is what we saw:
Here it is a bit closer in. This is the front of the house. The first two windows are in the garage. The third window (see pic above) is the laundry room. In the picture below, you can see they are building out the bedrooms on the second floor. Just below that, they are started to frame out the front porch.
Below is a view from the back of the house. The large window in the back is the master bedroom. The square window on the side of the house will be above the tub in the master bath. The four little windows will be, one each, in the, master shower, toilet room, master closet and guest bathroom.
Another view from that same corner of the back of the house. First window is that same window in the master bedroom again. Outside of this window there will be a concrete patio. Next to the concrete patio, you can see where they are starting to frame out the screened back porch. Looking through those windows facing the camera is the eat-in dining area of the kitchen.

Below is a picture looking in through what will be the screened back porch, into the living room. The eat-in dining area is through the windows on the right and you can see there is also a door leading from the dining area to the screened porch. On Monday, they will start building the cathedral ceilings above this living room and screened porch.
And moving down further, to the right of the dining area in the picture above, the picture below is of the gameroom/family room/library/class room/whatever room. Hopefully we will know what to call this room someday. You can see the storm shelter being framed in below the staircase landing. Behind this staircase is the garage and there will be another staircase near the garage entrance to the house that will also lead up to this same landing. They were building it today when we were there but it was not done yet when we left. They are also planning to start framing the cathedral ceiling for this room on Monday.
The boys and I got to walk up stairs and take a look around today, very very carefully, always holding hands and we didn't stay long. But we all enjoyed getting to walk through what will be their rooms and bathroom.

Can you believe this? All of this framing work is only one week of work! I can't believe they work so quickly. They will be starting to frame the roof in the upcoming week, which I know is a big job. And the windows will likely go in the week after that. They predicted two to three weeks of work for framing, which included windows and doors and roof (not shingles), basically getting it to the dried-in stage, depending on the weather. They certainly seem to be on schedule, or maybe even a bit ahead of schedule.

This is so much fun to watch! Ben said something to me the other day, indicating he had not really understood when we talked about building a house but now he gets it. It was really cute. They love going up there and watching. They find loose nails on the ground and use scrap wood to pound them into the dirt or other scrap wood.

We sure are having lovely fall weather these days though. I always forget and think we should be having fall weather in September but it seems it is more an October thing here. The trees are now really just starting to turn. We are in the 70's most days but still getting close to 80 degrees a lot of days. We are definitely still in shorts weather, although we sometimes need a long sleeve shirt or sweat shirt in the mornings (really only a couple of days so far though). It is beautiful.

Tiredness is setting in. Must read, relax and get ready to sleep. Goodnight!

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15, 2010

Wow! The house is really coming along quickly, considering we are only 2 weeks into it, as of tomorrow. But first, a little something from our little somethings.

Nick riding his bike without training wheels. He goes as fast as he possibly can and tends to be a bit reckless but he sure has fun and he has not had any bad wrecks so I guess he is doing OK.

And here is Ben, riding his bike without training wheels. He is more steady and also goes just as fast as his little legs can pedal. Yes, he is riding a girl's bike. They are now old enough to know it is a girl's bike but they don't care. If anything, they think it's funny. When I talked about getting them bigger bikes, I think it was Ben who said he wanted to keep the girl's bike too.And back to our house story. Since I posted last, we have watched them dig and pour the footings.

We had tree trimmers out to cut out damaged tree limbs and we have selected a great tree for the future tree house.
Every time we go to the lot the boys have so much fun. They love playing around and climbing on the huge trees that are still laying around the lot, although today Ben fell and scraped his arm on one and he was pretty upset about it. The dad was cleaning it and putting bandages on it and he said to me under his breath, let's hope he never breaks a bone. Based on how he acted today, I think he might just pass out if he broke a bone.
Here they have put up the forms, roughed in the plumbing and they are putting in the fill dirt.
Below is a view from the front corner. The part without the form is the entry to the garage.
These two little dogs really bark up a storm. Unfortunately, the tree that seems to be the best for the tree house is right next to their fence. Hopefully they will get to know us and quit barking at us all the time. They are really cute though. I think my cats are bigger.
Nick playing. Never a still moment the entire time we are there. He is never ready to leave and always covered with dirt. Such a boy!
Ben has been wearing his sun glasses a lot because he injured an eye the other day. He was jumping across the ditch in front of the house and, when he landed, he was bent over at the waist and a long piece of grass poke him in the eye. Fortunately it was on the side of his eye, in the white part, because he scratched it pretty good. We are doing antibiotic eye drops until it heals a bit.
Here they are hauling in and spreading out the fill gravel.
They leave an empty area along the edge, which they will fill with concrete when they pour the slab. This will make the concrete around the edges of the slab thicker.
This is what it looked like today. They had the boom to pour the concrete for the slab.The contractors are all so nice and friendly. He was showing the boys how to use this device to operate the boom. He even let them use it to move the boom around. They thought that was pretty neat.
This was fun to watch. The concrete comes out of the boom thing really fast.
The rest of the guys were moving the concrete around and spreading and smoothing it out.

We ran some errands and then stopped back by to see it again and they were almost finished with pouring the concrete. They were still smoothing it out. We left the camera in the car though so I will have to get that shot next time.

They believe they will start framing either Monday or Tuesday. Is that fast or what?