Monday, October 28, 2013

Floors, DONE.

Can I finally say that the floors are pretty much done?  Wohoo!  The whole process, moderate.  The prep work is pretty meticulous, laying the actual flooring is actually easy, but when you come to angles, and areas that require custom cuts, it's pretty un-fun.  We busted out the whole room in pretty much two days, but the final patch in front of the front door and around the stair area took an entire day in and of itself.  Poor Kristoffer.  I am so impressed with how it looks, and amazed that I'm liking a laminate floor this much.  Honestly, this stuff was cheaper than our carpet...a STEAL!!!

Take a look!!

It opened up the space SO much, and the whole house jumped 20 years into the present considering that blue carpet that used to be there.

It truly brings everything together.

I'm still planning on giving those two chairs a makeover.  Well, there is a third chair, so all three.  No rush.  This floor has kicked us, we need a little break.

Yeah, I need to capture the moment when it's actually nice and clean....
Today Kristoffer finished running electrical to his shed.  So happy for that.  The shed just needs power, and I will need some power for my chicken coop.  Just finishing up some big projects feels great, so happy to breathe and soak in the fall...which, seems as though it ended, well, today.  I took Owen for a nice long walk at the park and it sure was breezy, and then around 2pm, the winds got cold and blew off all the leaves from the trees and rain came.  Sounds like November weather to me!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Perfect Fall Saturday

This past Saturday, we really needed to just be together as a family.  It had been a busy week, and we were ready for some fun.  We headed to a, honestly, I don't remember the name.  It was a perfect day, so gorgeous.  Sunshine, a light breeze, blue skies, just perfect, I couldn't have picked a more perfect fall day.

It was just the right size, too.  Not overwhelming like when we've been to other places...just way too huge.  Our kids are still little, so this was fun, they had some medium and big slides, a tube slide, a corn-box (like a sand box, but with corn), hayrides, tractor rides, corn shooting, animals, etc.  

I tried to get a shot of Owen sitting in the pumpkin box, but he had his sights on something else.... this giant wheel that, to him, resembled a wheel on a pirate ship.

 Awww, there's my cute babies, I guess they aren't really babies anymore.

 Feeding the baby cows.

 Owen loved playing in the corn box, he just laid down and rolled around.  I didn't really mind.  I much prefer these corn boxes over dirt sand boxes.
 They had a couple of these slides fixed to some hay bales, this was the bigger one.  It was actually really fun...I know, I tried it ;)
 The other one was smaller, and both kids played so well together.  Marin would climb up and wait for Owen, and they would hold hands and go down the slide together.  Priceless.
 They also inflated a hot air balloon, which was just neat to watch.
We had a minor scare, Marin went missing for about half an hour.  I was waiting in line for some popcorn and hot cider, and Kristoffer had the kids playing on the slide, and she must have run off to do something else, and we couldn't find her.  The whole area was fenced in, so I knew she didn't wander into the wilderness.  We thought maybe she was waiting in line (up the stairs) to go down the tube slide, so we waited at the bottom for a while.  No Marin.  Finally I started to make the round and look for her, I found her on the opposite side of the 'field', and she was just running around looking for us.  She started crying when I found her and the poor girl was so scared we were going to leave her there.  We'll have to make sure we decide on a plan next time in case anyone gets lost.  

All in all, so glad we had the day together, it was just what we needed as a family, and soaked up the fall sun.

A Change

Saturday was a happy day, and at the end of the day, Kristoffer needed to stop by Home Depot on our way home.  I told him I would join him since I wanted to look at tile for the kitchen.  We had just bought tires for my car, which turned out to be not as pricey as I thought, we found a killer deal on nice tires at Wal-Mart, and had some cash from a mild fender bender a few months ago.  ANYWAY, as we were walking toward the tile, we passed by some flooring, and I was actually really impressed with one particular laminate flooring.  It was extra thick, looked like hardwood, didn't have that shiny-laminate look to it, and was the right shade.  The price?  A STEAL!!  We talked to the associate who is putting the same flooring in her own home, and she mentioned she called another dealer (haha, dealer??), and the best price they could offer was still way more than what HD had it priced at.  So....we jumped in with both feet.  This is pretty typical Lyman shenanigans.  BUT, we can FINALLY say goodbye to the blue carpet!!

I took a bunch of before's, even thought the flooring isn't fully installed yet.
 Oh-so-blue in the dining room.  So glad I'm not going to have carpet in the dining room anymore.

 The living room all cleared out, and my little Pirate boy to the right.  He loves his Halloween costume.

 We let Owen take the pliers to the carpet, he loves to help, of course!
 Just after ripping it up.

 Towards the end of the day, I started to really not feel well at all.  My back was killing, and I was starting to come down with a nasty cold, so Marin stepped in to help daddy.  She's getting to big, and can really actually help out!
 This was a picture of where we stopped that first night.  The actual laying of the flooring goes pretty quick, but the prep-work takes forever.  Especially when your ripping out tackboard and nails and staples, oh my.  We've completed more since this picture, and have ripped up the small strip of actual hardwood that was in front of the door...which was in pretty rough shape anyway.  I'm super excited to finish this and take a full on AFTER pic, so hopefully by this weekend??  This is about the last BIG project we had to do.  Now, it's all know, things that won't put my house into chaos, that will be nice!!
Stay tuned for a finished room!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Some Lyman Family Fun

We've been loving fall, ok, well, I'VE been totally loving fall.  We've been working on this house full tilt throughout the summer...the hot weather, and now that we have a some of the big items done, it's nice to slow down with the weather and take a nice deep breath of cool, crisp air.  We still have things we'll be working on over the winter, but nothing huge.  PLUS, with cooler weather, you get to decorate for fall (which I LOVE), it's my favorite season to decorate for...not as cluttered as Christmas, not as flowery (which leads to dead flowers) for spring, and more dressed up than summer.  AND you get to bake delicious fall treats, mmmmm!

So here's my little guy, and I think we have reason to celebrate, he's pretty much daytime potty trained!!  Wohooo!!  I was dreading it, honestly.  I hate potty training.  It's just messy and gross.  It goes against every little fiber in my mother-being...which is to prevent messes!  And I have zero tolerance for those kinds of messes, knowing I created the situation to have a mess.  Kristoffer totally heard me, and we decided to spearhead the potty training the weekend of General Conference, since we would be home all weekend.  Kris totally helped out SO much, and that was a lifesaver, especially in the early days...with the messes.  My hubby is so patient, love that man.  It's been almost two weeks, and Owen is doing *great*.  He runs right in when he needs to go, and tells his teacher in nursery at church.  Such a big boy.  So glad not to be using diapers anymore (well, except at night)..

 This is a mouse.  We were cleaning out the garage Saturday, and I heard some squeek-squeeking from behind the freezer...I listened closely, and no doubt about it...mice.  We set some traps and we've caught six mice so far.  Yeah, not sure how I should feel about that.
 Where I work, they make these *amazing* baked apples, they are really so delish.  So I experimented and made some the other night, and they were YUMMY!  I'll need to practice a few more times to get it just right, but it sure was a tasty start!
 Oh, and we had breakfast for dinner one night, gluten free banana nut brown sugar fave.  So so so good.
 I saw this at the NPS store the other day, it totally made me laugh.  This was an actual ream of paper, haha!
 My cutie girl.  She loves to play pumpkin shoppe, so she gathers all of my pumpkins/gourdes/halloween decor and sets up shoppe.  Cute girl.  This was Sunday before General Conference.
 Oh, my son.  Owen found the bleach spray the other day.  That boy.  We just bought these two articles of clothing...fortunately at DI...and he bleached his own shirt (my favorite of the bunch) and daddy's new sweatpants (his new favorite).  That little boy, my Mr. Mischievous.
So here we are, just loving fall and breathing deep.  Enjoy it before the snow comes!!

A Rooster Named Bertha

I'm sure you all know by now that I have chickens. to be exact.  I've watched them grow from tiny little peepers, into big fat chickens, and I've had many a vision of happy, egg laying years ahead.  The thought of what to do with my hens when they stop laying has also crossed my mind.  I've always known that whatever I choose to do, it's my responsibility since I'm the one wanted them, cares for them, etc.  It's like having any other animal, really...but with chickens, when they stop laying, they need to be killed...which is unlike any other animal.  As the one who took responsibility for them from day one, I knew the final responsibility would also be mine.  BUT, I knew I had a few years a least to prepare myself for that day, until the one day when Big Bertha let out a big, FAT cock-a-doodle-dooooO!

We had been wondering for some time whether or not Big Bertha was a rooster.  She didn't really have many rooster like characteristics, she didn't have that extra long neck, or the super long tail feathers.  Her comb and wattles were only a smidge bigger than the rest of the ladies, and her body was a little larger.  I never saw her try to mate with the other chickens, and she was a terrible protector; any time I came through the fence and tried to pick up a chicken, Bertha would squawk loudly and be the first one to run away....every chicken for them self, evidently.  I thought I had head a faint crow last Sunday, and on Friday, while I was at work, Kristoffer confirmed our worst fear....Big Bertha, was in fact....Big Daddy.

I was super bummed.  Mostly because I hadn't prepared myself for doing the deed this year.  So because I was at work and wouldn't be home until almost 7, and I didn't want this rooster crowing all day after Kris left for work at 1, I asked Kristoffer if he felt comfortable...doing the deed.  He did, and I felt awful for pushing the responsibility off on him.  So Kristoffer whacked him.

I told Kris to put him all wrapped up into the freezer, and I would clean him out the next day.  I watched a multitude of chicken plucking/cleaning videos on YouTube that night, and felt relatively prepared.  So I got to it the next day.  The hardest part was stripping the feathers, not physically, that part was easy, but because it was my chicken, you know?  I dunked it in hot water, tied it up and they came out relatively easily, although, it would have been easier if he were fresh, not quite as easy after freezing and thawing.

Then I took my sharpened knife and got to work.  There are a couple of tools I wish I had to make it a little easier, but I got the job done, although it wasn't the prettiest butchering job.  I ended up slicing off the breasts (which were quite small) and the legs and planned on using them for biscuits with chicken gravy, which I did.  The breasts were quite yummy, I wish there was more to them, the legs were very tough, not my fave.

All in all, it was tough, but I'm glad I did it.  I'm a country girl with a dad who hunted and cleaned his own animals, and I like to think he would have been proud of me.  I've always tried hard to push myself to do things that may not always be easy, but that give me experience and wisdom and mad skills that make my hubby a proud man.  I'm a great wife, by the way, and if the government ever shuts down and the grocery stores can't afford to ship in their food from heaven-knows-where, this girl right here can get it done and feed her family.  And anyway, I totally have a new appreciation for where food comes from.  It's tough plucking and cleaning your own chicken!

So here are a few pictures, if you're interested.

Ripping off the feathers:

 Hard at work!
 Here's my final product!  Some meat on the right, and a carcass that I made into chicken stock.
So there you have it.  One rooster dinner!

A Rather Large Wall

Since we've moved into this house, I've been doing little things here and there to love my new home.  And it's really warmed right up to all this loving and has loved me back; except this rather large wall that you see here.

 Granted, I've hung one teeny tiny picture on it, but it's because I've totally struggled with what to do with this wall!  I don't want to just throw things up on the wall without having had a clear vision as to what this room was know, blind shooting.  (Sorry the pics are so dark)  But the other hit me.  There is no clear focal point.  that's the problem with this room.  There are so many things to focus on, they eye scatters and almost creates a bit of optical chaos (Is that even a term?  Sounds good.).  We bought the house because we *loved* all the windows and natural light and the gorgeous mountain view out the dining room window in the back; but there are almost so many windows, and so much light, and nothing to really rest your eye on and steal the show in order to ground all of the other lovely things.
 So, as you can see, the side wall in this house extends from the formal living area in the front of the house (where there is yet another window (not wall), to the back of the house  which is the formal dining room (where there is also another window, no wall).  The layout is a bit tricky as far as where to put furniture, but I think once I get my "focal point", the furniture arrangement will just come together.
 At first, I thought that a faux fireplace would do the trick, and I pinned a bunch of super cute ones on Pinterest.  And they were pretty easy peasy as well as cute.  And then I realized....there is no ROOM for one!  Oy, I was sad.  So I continued to think and think and think.  At first, I thought, well, maybe I could do a huge reclaimed-ish wood wall, aaaallll along that whole big wall.  That really scared me, I'm not that good of an interior designer.  So I scratched the idea, but what I liked about it was that the reclaimed wood would have drawn the eye upwards towards the vaulted ceilings that have and love.  It was a focal point.  THEN, I had another idea.  My final idea which I'm going to implement.  It's a going to be a gallery wall!
 I've loved the idea of a gallery wall, anyway, and with this particular size, height and length of wall, it's really going to look great.  It will certainly be quite a focal point for both rooms and draw your eye up towards the high ceiling, which you really need in here.  And, it will bring that warmth to the area that I just haven't been able to get in that area; my kitchen (kind of) and family room have regular ceiling heights, and feel cozy and warm, and that's what I want to mimic.
I've never EVER done anything this huge with pictures, and I'm looking for tips on how to make it work right, so if ya'll have any ideas on this, please let me know!  I'll be trying to complete it over the winter, it's a good cold weather project, you know?  So, I'm going to be on the lookout for great frames!  Keep an eye out for any progress!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Kitchen!

I can *finally* post some pictures for y'all on my kitchen, wohoo!  I would say we are about 90% done, and that makes me SUPER happy.  It has been  Way more time and effort than I initially thought, but way cheaper than I initially thought, surprisingly.  We've spent about $300 give or take a few on the kitchen so far.  All we have left to do is put up the backplash and hang on additional open shelf.  And in case you were wondering, I *LOVE* with a capital "L" tha way this kitchen has turned out.  Just amazing.  

So take a look at the before pics:
Lots of gold/oak-ish pink cabinets/ orange-y red on wallpaper.

 We had also just moved in when I took some of these, hence the mess.
 Big, boxy cabinets next to a bright open window....oh yes, they came down.

 Functional, but we just prettied them up a bit.
 Whoops, there's my cutie in the kitchen.

 Clearing it out a few weeks ago.
AFTER: TADAAA!  Well, almost done anyway...
 I love love love it.  It looks so great.  Perhaps because we put so much effort into the kitchen is why I love it so much?  If you are thinking about painting your cabinets, take some time off and plan on finding a babysitter for a week. 
 Removing everything from our kitchen was very....strange.  It's not normal for a woman to do this, my friends!  And when your kitchen is in shambles, the rest of your life is chaos.  It made my skin CRAWL living in a big fat mess for 10 days, ugh.  BUT, totally worth it.
 So let's talk, sand, prime, sand, prime, paint, sand, paint.  Yup, you will be ready for the mental institution by the time you finish.  And the crown molding?  Yeah, we had all sorts of fun adventures learning how to cut it at the angle it needed to be cut at.  Let's just say there was a veritable crown molding graveyard just off our back porch.
 These, are my open shelves.  I LOVE them.  We have one more to hang, but look how pretty!  They balance out the big window *perfectly* and I love the way my white dishes look on them.  No, the painters tape isn't permanent....
 Someday I'll get some lights up above the shelves.  But that's a loong time from now.
 Still deciding on a backsplash.  I'm hovering between round-sparkly shell like, or long, thin carerra marble.  My girly side likes the sparkly shell concept, but my adult side likes the marble strips.  Hmmm.

 Beadboarb wallpaper, love it!!
 Who's got two thumbs and is smiling now?  Uh this gal.

 The drop station.  I love that I have a cabinet to hide all of our paperwork.  Kristoffer and I each have a black basket inside to separate our bills, which is working really well for us.  And now, with a little lamp in the corner, Marin has a spot to do homework, and she loves it.  It's so cute to see her sitting on the stool being a big girl!
So there you have it.  One MAJOR project, almost totally done, and it feels goooood.  I'm so happy with it. Oh, and we chose 'Swiss Coffee' from Behr.  It's not a full on white, and it's not quite cream, maybe a milky hue?  Anyway, not too bright, not too soft.  And it's getting cold outside, so I'm not sure how many more furniture projects I'll be able to get done this winter, we shall see!