Monday, April 30, 2012

Demolition Day

Whew it's done! Yesterday we lucked out with some perfect weather and some wonderful friends and family to help us demo the deck we have to redo before we move. I first mentioned it last week HERE that we had hoped to get most of the demo-ing done this weekend, and thankfully the stars aligned and we were off!
So first off, I'll share a couple before pics of what our deck looked like. This first one is facing our front yard and driveway,

And this next one is taken from the driveway, looking up. As you can see, there is a carport underneath, and you can sort of see that wall on the right how the concrete is leaning in, well that is not a good thing and that is one of the major reasons why this had to be redone. There is also some of the wood that is starting to rot through as well.

You can see in this picture below where the hubby started a bit of the demo last week. The wall underneath was covered in plywood and those two squares (rectangles?) had windows in them. We might change this set-up a bit, but we still have to discuss with the contractor.

Also, notice how the concrete is sloped? Apparently that is not the proper way to build a concrete retaining wall!? From what we gather, it is much better (and easier) to have the wall come down in steps and 90 degree angles to make it easier to build on. We figure whoever built this was a bit of an amateur :)

Progress! The railings are down...

You can see a little better in the picture above how much the wall on the right is leaning. Then, we (and by we, I mean the hubby and the other four big, strong men who generously gave their Sunday to help us out!) started prying off the top layer of decking etc etc.

(Hubby and his dad, aka Grandpa working together)

I enjoyed watching this big strong man at work ;) I think he was the cutest of them all :)

Gabe was right in there as much as he could be (and as much as mommy and daddy would let him :)

Then came the rest of the deck, piece by piece...

The guys sure seemed to enjoy breaking out the tools, especially ones that made lots of  noise :)

 We are very lucky to have friends with some big machinery at their disposal to help us with the really big heavy stuff (thanks Al!) and Gabe had a grin on his face the whole day as he got to go for a ride in it :)

Then the boys had to show off their muscles for awhile :) My mom and I hauled a bunch of that wood out of the way (had a nice picture of you with the wheelbarrow on here mom, but I didn't think you would appreciate it :)

We were trying really hard to not break or crack the concrete floor as it was fine and we didn't want to replace it, so Al did a great job with the backhoe of being very careful and delicate (or as delicate as one can be with a backhoe :) He did a fantastic job and I'm please to say that we shouldn't have to replace the concrete floor.

Next, we decided to break up the concrete the old fashioned way (with sledgehammers) and haul it away in a couple pick up trucks. I'm not exactly sure whose idea that was, but it was sure a lot of hard work and heavy lifting!


What started out like this...

Ended up like this....

And demolition is done! 
It was a long day, but I can't believe we got it all done. We never could have done it if it weren't for some very special people in our lives. So, thank you again, Mom and Al, Dennis, Al F, Kevin, Sheldon, Sam, Nora and Griffin. We owe you big time!

Once again, before...

and (8 hours) after...

Feel free to ask any questions and have a great week!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Project Life Update

I've been really bad at keeping up with updating things I say I'm going to update (sorry about that!), so in the spirit of updating, here is my Project Life album from January to the end of February ( if I update it till now it will take all day to get through all the pictures so look for a March-April update soon! Promise!). If you are interested in what the first page looks like, I shared my title page HERE

Actually, I shared this first page too, but not with journalling cards :)  

This is the week of Jan 1st to 7th.

Jan 8th to 14th

Jan 15th to 21st 

                                                                           Jan 22nd to 28th

Jan 29th to Feb 4th 

Feb 5th to 11th (don't worry, no one was hurt it was just a training exercise :) 

Feb 12th to 18th 

Feb 19th to 25th (oops still need to print some pics!) 

And last but not least, Feb 26th to Mar 3rd 

Hope you enjoy and have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

This Girls' Life...

Since it is finally spring here, I've been going through all the kids clothes and switching from winter to spring/summer and figuring out what I need to pick up for them. I already got rid of one huge garbage bag of clothes to the "Sally-Anne" (or Salvation army, similar to goodwill) and have been doing tons of laundry (not my favorite "chore"!) 

While I've been sorting and packing for our big move, Gabe has been pretty artistic, he and Cady made this "airplane"...

I think Cadence made up the airplane idea and Gabe did the decorating :) He cut all the striped wrapping paper and glued it on as well as other various stickers, stamps and drawings. He even made himself a soft place to park his butt inside with some leftover felt material (you can see that in the picture below). Pretty creative I think :)

As we have a lot of empty boxes waiting to be filled up, the kids seem to think it's their personal mission to transform as many boxes as possible into various stuffy homes and cars and airplanes etc etc. :) 

Our various seedlings are doing pretty good, I think I have to transplant a bunch into bigger pots soon.

Oh, another of Gabe's artistic endeavors was to paint the railings on our deck! Normally I probably wouldn't allow this, but, this is the deck we are tearing down(hopefully this weekend!) and rebuilding.

I had to laugh and then take a picture as he got himself all ready to go outside while I was on the phone with my brother (hi Matt!) and I just love his outfit of tigger PJ's, matching spiderman toque and mitts (hey at least he matches somewhere right, my boy can match his accessories :) a spring jacket and his rubber boots. Love that boy!

These clothes have been hanging out here almost a week :)  I hung them last Sunday, as it was warm and sunny, and was going to take them down on Monday, but I forgot. As I was laying in bed that night I was thinking, " OK, gotta take those down tomorrow morning." Next thing I know I'm waking up to the sound of thunder rumbling and rain pouring down on the roof! and it's been raining off and on since! This morning during a break in the rain I took them down and threw them in the dryer as Nyla came downstairs in the most stained and holey pants and said she had no other clean pants (it's all her clothes hanging out there :)

Well, that's about it for my life lately, adding in the fact that the kids have their first week of soccer this week (first year all three of them are involved and Gabe is so excited!) Life is getting pretty busy this spring as on top of the soccer, Cady is still in gymnastics twice a week with a competition coming up, Nyla has a writing course at the library I signed her up for (she loves reading and writing and already has a couple novels started!)  the girls have swimming lessons with their school and we are moving in two months (and rebuilding a deck before that) whew!

How's life in your neck of the woods? Any major building projects or anyone else moving soon? Anyone else feel a little like a chicken running around with their head cut off? Do tell :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Frustrating technology!

       Well, I had hoped to share with you some neat pictures from a field trip I went on with Cadence's class, but for some reason I can't get them to upload from our iPhone to the computer! Now, normally I would take all the pictures with our camera, but the camera's been acting up lately and being unreliable so I decided to take the pics with the phone today instead, which worked out great, except I can't share them yet, boo :(
       In other news, we had fantastic weather this weekend, gorgeous and sunny and warm finally! This spring has been so cold up till now that it is great to see and feel that great yellow ball of gas in the sky :) So good, in fact, that I forgot to put on sunscreen and ended up with a wicked sunburn on my chest and shoulders( I was wearing a tank top). All I can say is youch! Got a lot of work done though in the gardens and digging for the greenhouse foundation (more on that later!)

So how about you, did you have a good weekend? Anyone else as frustrated with technology as me? 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A {messy} House Tour

Why a messy house tour you may ask? Well, believe it or not, I actually enjoy when bloggers share their not-so-perfect houses, messes and all. The blogging world is so full of perfect looking houses that I like seeing people's houses in real life. Plus, after a long time of trying to keep our place somewhat showing ready (we just recently sold our house!) it's kinda nice to just relax and let the creativity, and some messes, roll.
So,if you are interested in seeing what it looks like around here, messes and all, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy (and please try not to judge to harshly :) 

This is looking from our front door to the left where the living room is. Lego galore! And notice the picture frames I made (you can read about them HERE ) Yeah, they've been sitting there while I decided where I was going to hang them, and there they will probably stay until we move :) 

I should apologise first that some of the pictures look a bit dark. Since this is a log house, even though we have a ton of big windows, it still seems a lot darker than most houses (plus our house is surrounded by huge tall cedar trees that block a lot of light) 

Oh yeah, that's a disaster :) In the picture below you can see the fireplace and mantel (my husband designed the mantel and built it for me because there wasn't one there when we moved in, and what is a fireplace without a mantel to decorate??) :)

Here's a closer picture of the mantel, it's looking a little boring cause I just threw a few random things up there after I took down the valentine mantel decor. I love my little owl guy, I'd wanted an owl for so long! The other thing I love is the picture on there. I ordered it on Etsy here. I just love it cause it's a family of five, with two girls and a boy (just like us!) dancing in the rain and jumping over puddles :) such a fun springy feeling picture.

Here's a closer look...

This is facing the other end of the room towards what is now the dining room ( I have a habit of moving our furniture a lot so that part of the room has had many incarnations :). To the left, behind the green chair, is my scrapbooking desk,nice and close to everything.

Now, to the right of the front door, we have the family room. Our main floor is quite open, it is basically one big wide open square with the huge rock chimney and staircase in the middle. The only closed off room is the bathroom/laundry room :) This is the room where we do the majority of our living; t.v, computer (where I do my blogging), kids' art table and the wii are all in this room as well as our family scrapbooks and some books.

As you can see in this picture, the family room is open to the kitchen, so it nice for me to keep tabs on t.v shows the kids are watching and computer time. It is also nice for Friday Special Movie Nights where I can finish making pizza and still feel part of everything :)

Here's the view from the kitchen:

Oh boy, now we come to some more messiness! This is our eldest daughters' room. Her room is the brightest bedroom 'cause it's on the south side as well as having two large windows.

She's also lucky 'cause she has this neat rock wall ( which is actually part of the chimney, our chimney goes through the basements to the roof over 30' tall! The whole way up it is this river rock) Behind that hanging quilt on the right is a neat little cubby "secret hiding spot". Her bookshelves are looking pretty empty as we've already started packing!

This is the view from the door...

And this is my youngest two's room.

I just love gallery walls, so awhile back I went a little wild and did one in this room and in the master bedroom too. Some day soon I want to paint the dresser a fun colour :)

This is Cady's side of the room,

and this is Gabe's side :) sorry it's so fuzzy.

They have their own bookshelf that's looking a little empty. I started packing a lot of the decorations on the shelves and a bunch of books  that we probably wouldn't use in the next few months. Last year, this was the girls' room and Gabe had his own, but Nyla (being the eldest) wanted her own room and the other two wanted to share a room with somebody so this switcheroo worked for all of them :)

And next we have the master. Again a gallery wall that I'm currently tweaking :) The door on the left leads to a private deck, perfect for leisurely Sunday morning coffee, sans kids :)

This is my side of the bed with my stacks of books :)

Next is the upstairs bathroom, this is one of the rooms I wanted to renovate, but that won't get done before we move. Luckily our buyers aren't scared away by the mauve toilet, tub and sink and look forward to personalizing it themselves. I guess mauve jetted tubs were pretty classy in the '80s. :)

and the sink side...

Maybe you noticed there was no shower in the bathroom above? That's because in this house, it gets its own room! The shower room is tiny, but here's a picture to get an idea,

And now for some outdoor "rooms". This deck is off the french doors in the kitchen (which is notably absent in this post, oops! You can check out some kitchen pics here, before our little reno, and some more updated Christmassy pics here) You can also see some of the ways I've rearranged as I mentioned before :) So, onto the deck, it is pretty big 15'x30', and has a sweet swing and is perfect for barbecuing as, like I say, it's just off the kitchen. In the top right you can see some logs and these form the floor of the deck off the master bedroom.

Like this....

And this...

You can catch a sneak peak of a project I'm currently working on in the background :) This deck is also going to be reno'd in the next few weeks as there are quite a few problems with it.

So, that is most of our house, excluding the basement (maybe on another day) Thank you to anyone who stuck through this very looooong post. I hope you enjoyed it!

Anyone else like to see other people's messy or real life houses? Any big reno's you are planning to do soon? or maybe you're in the middle of one now? Please feel free to ask any questions either in the comments or you can email me @


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