31 August 2017

The Boy Who

So proud to be two!
It seems like only yesterday that our hardy, handsome, happy boy Henry was born but somehow, we blinked and he's already two! While he certainly is a strong willed, independent kid, deep down, he always has been. It's just now, he can really express himself. He's talking up a storm, often wanders off in search of adventures, can play incredibly rough (just ask his sisters how hard he can bite) yet be one of the most tender, soft-hearted children I know. Seriously, you should see him apologize after he's bitten someone. There's a quiet, "Sorry (whoever I bit)," complete with a pat on the head and a hug. Henry is really the boy who has it all.
He's the boy who's first to volunteer to help.
 The boy who's got an ear for music and rhythm.
The boy who's always up for a game.
 The boy who's never-ending curiosity is a gentle reminder how amazing the world really is.
The boy who loves machines and loud noises, whether it's a garbage truck, tractor, saw, chainsaw, semi truck, police car, fire truck, steam roller, jackhammer, backhoe, airplane, helicopter, bulldozer...
He's the boy who, like his sisters, isn't squeamish about bugs.
Henry is the boy who sometimes has bad ideas, like when he convinced his cousin to drink water off the dirty concrete.
 He's the boy who has an unfailing love for water.
Stacking wood on his birthday.
 He's the boy who's not afraid of hard, hot work.
And he most definitely is the boy who is always...
Good thing he loves veggies just as much as every other kind of food!
 ...ALWAYS...
...eating.


We sure love Henry and are so pleased he's our boy!

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27 August 2017

New Harmony

It's been a week since we moved out of our beloved home in Clayton and started off on a new adventure over in Martinsville. All in all, the process, while it had it's rocky, nail-biting and anxiety-inducing days, went as well as expected. Selling our house was a breeze compared to buying the new house--the couple was, unfortunately, going through a divorce and quite obviously didn't want to have to sell, resulting in attempts to make the process very taxing for us. We're talking about trying to push back closing dates, refusing to fix major home defects, even removing buildings from the property and selling them, even though they were to be included in the property. With a lot of prayer, some mercy, and firmly standing our ground, we still managed to close on time. I have to say, the actual packing and moving part of this who process was by far the easiest part of it all.
But that's a story for another time because we know everyone wants to see the new house.
So, c'mon in! Here's the front room, and though we always come in from the back, it'll serve as a nice spot to welcome guests. It'll get a clean coat of paint, new flooring, and some lighting. It is soooo dark since there's no overhead lighting. Right now, though, it's jam packed with broken down packing boxes. Meh. No one's coming to visit anytime soon.
The kitchen! It's a bit smaller than our last kitchen but with some strategic placement of kitchen items, everything seems to fit pretty well. Of all the rooms in the house, I was super happy that the kitchen has been updated. The cabinets are awesome, the countertops are awesome, the flooring, is, well, awesome.
 By far my favorite room in the house is our new family room.
The original part of the house was built in the '60's but the previous owner added on this sweet room over the garage.
Though some of the decor will change, it's in good shape. Plus, it came with the pool table, which has already been put to good use. Who wants to play??
Seriously, I'm getting really good, other than the fact that I almost always manage to whack the eight ball in before I'm supposed to...
 I think we're going to need to get a bigger couch so we can have an epic movie night...
The master bedroom....ah, where do I begin? Though the previous owner did put some updates into the house, like the kitchen and bathrooms, the bedrooms were not fortunate enough to get much attention. The bedroom that's called the master has orangish-red carpet and this crazy scalloped ceiling texturing that is totally straight from the '60's.

I'm not sure I would have been a good fit for the '60's...
Thankfully, the master bath was professionally remodeled but when I say small, I mean shoebox small. It makes me want to crawl back to my giant master bath and apologize for leaving it but it's too late now.
Evelyn and Kate claimed the bright aqua blue room for their own. It's a decent size but it'll get new flooring, paint, and something (something!) has to be done about the ceiling texture.
The third upstairs bedoom is nothing special. It's pretty small but Henry and Claire don't seem to mind. They moved right in and have been happily calling it their own.
There's a bathroom upstairs for the other two bedrooms to use and it's quite pretty, though there are still some changes I'd like to make if I have time. Like I'd love to put in a bigger mirror so the kids can actually see themselves, a double vanity so they aren't fighting over spitting toothpaste in the sink, and maybe, maybe (but probably not, if I'm honest) a tub. Can you believe there are no tubs at all in our house? It kind of makes me wanna cry. Otherwise, it's a pretty well-done space.
The downstairs about kills me every time I walk in. It does have a great view of the outside but the decor is, well, er, psychodelic.
All I can see is the ceiling. It kind of makes me forget about the blue carpet and faux panel walls. The good thing about it is I can see the potential in it. That's all that's really important--as long as the bones of a house are good, it's only a matter of time and elbow grease until it's a whole different room.
And, of course, it's a got a wood burning stove insert, so I imagine I'll be keeping busying stoking the fire this winter between fixing up the place and playing around the farm.
 One more fantastic view. See? The ceiling. It's all I can look at.
Downstairs is another bedroom. It's a good size though not quite as big as the bedrooms at our last house. We are planning on making a true master suite downstairs, complete with a huge, luxurious bathroom and bigger bedroom.
 A girl can always dream, right?
There's another bathroom downstairs and it, too, has been redone. My only complaint--other than maybe the color not being my choice--is that the ceiling is pretty low. It's because right above it is the "master" bath and all the drains. I'm still tossing back and forth whether or not to leave it as is or take it out completly and make it into a big walk-in closet. Ideas??
There's an unimpressive and kind of under-utilized space for the laundry and storage. Opposite is an empty spot where I plan on expanding the master bedroom. Waste not space, want not space.
The view from the deck is spectacular. See?
Only problem is the deck has seen better days and will definitely have to be replaced, probably sometime next year. It's not all bad, though. I don't love the layout of the deck and if we're going to redo it anyway, might as well make it the way we like.
Jack keeps mentioning something about a hot tub...not that I'm complaining about that suggestion.
I could see myself soaking in some hot, bubbly water while watching the barnyard animals.
 I think right about here oughta do it.
One added bonus about the house is the garage doors are at the back and the driveway is paved. That means we can hide all our junk in the back and the kids will be able to learn to ride their bikes on a smooth surface.
Did you guys know that we have a barn? I can't tell you how excited I am to have a BARN. Childhood dream: fulfilled.
I can already see it full of ponies, cows, goats, and a new foal out of Dancer. It may not look like much but it's ours! I'm already in love!
A little cleaning and maybe some fresh paint on the gates and outside, a new tin roof, and it'll be as good as new! Love, love, love that it already has a concrete floor, which makes for easier sweeping and tidying.
Though we loved our last house and all it afforded us, our new place has twelve acres, more than double what we're coming from. That's more than enough space for the two horses and many, many more animals. My plan to have a complete hobby farm is coming to fruition. Mwhahaha!
While I'm excited about the barn and pasture, Jack is super thrilled to have a pond. That thing has already been a source of never-ending wonder for the kids and we've spotted fish, a non-venemous (phew) water snake, and a giant carp that looks bigger than Henry. We've already taken the paddle boat out for a few spins on the water.
There are several other outbuildings on the place, an automatic waterer for the horses, a shed, etc. Though we haven't decided what all they'll be used for, they will be put to good use. Promise!
When we were considering moving, Jack said he was okay with moving because he thought it would be good for our family to spend more time having fun--riding the horses, having bonfires, playing together, all that good stuff...or at least that's what I heard. With a place like this, I think that'll be possible!

Welcome to the Eliker's newest farm on New Harmony Road!

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