"...In the dance of sun and water and sky. In the faces of the people who need us most and of the people we most need. In the smell of breakfast cooking on a charcoal fire. Who knows where we will find Him or whether we will recognize Him if we do? Who knows anything even approaching the truth of who He really was? But my prayer is that we will all of us find Him somewhere, somehow, and that He will give us something of his life to fill our emptiness, something of his light to drive back our dark"
-The Great Dance -Frederick Buechner

Sunday, March 25, 2012

back entrance progress...

Alrighty, so here is how the back entrance is shaping up:

(I would like to preface this round of pics by saying that it is REALLY hard to take pics in this room because there's so many windows so during the day there's always a glare and at night the lights make everything look yellowy)

Here's the tile all grouted and some of the baseboards going up

The boys putting the trim around the windows and measuring/cutting boards for the bottom half of the wall


Here's the first vertical board going up on the wall

One wall done!

Even though the colour is wonky, you can get the gist of what's going on in this pic

There's the back door and the wall that will be painted and have hooks on it

Back door... to the right is the washer and dryer, to the left is the hook wall

It might be blurry, but here's an action shot of the painting getting started.  2 coats down.  Now we've been dapping and sanding and we'll do a final coat tomorrow.  So excited!!

 And then because I couldn't help myself and because Nelson and I are all sentimental about our house I bought him these two prints from here for his birthday... LOVE THEM and can't wait to see how they look in the room

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back entrance is looking saweeeet!!

So I don't have the pics ready yet but our back entrance is looking AWESOME!!  The floor is finished... the boards are mostly up for the wainscoting and I'm going to be painting today.  So stoked!!!  Now I'm searching out some art, hooks and other things to put in the room.

On another note we visited the Red Deer home show yesterday and it was fun fun fun.  We ran into the sales guy from Nelson homes who sold us our package... we're so happy with the company and would go with them again in a heartbeat:)

I also stopped by the Watkins booth because I love Watkins... their packaging is AMAZING I don't even really care what the product does (even though its good product too).  Also, they had the cutest lady ever named June selling their stuff... oh my goodness how can you not buy from a cute lady named June selling Watkins?!?!?

I got the grapefruit scented all purpose cleaner to add to my tub and tile cleaner... it smells awesome!  I should have bought some lotion as well because I just want to spray this on myself.  Oh, and they have a baby line!!  June almost convinced me to start selling myself!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Let me tell you, that word has never made more sense to me or consumed more of my thoughts than this winter.  We live in Alberta. in a house in the middle of a field. with no trees. and boy howdy is it ever windy at times.

The real funny part is that I grew up literally a stones throw away from where our house is and I NEVER remember thinking it was particularly windy.  This is where the whole idea of the shelter belt comes into play.  My parents have a great fortress of trees around their house so even in the craziest winds, their yard is pretty calm

When you are homesteading like the settlers did or in our case what we are doing right now YOU NEED SOME TREES.  The hard part is that not all trees grow well and they are expensive and when you pay for something and it dies it is a real kill joy.

Before we built the house we planted 400 caraganas around the Northwest perimeter of our land.  they started as small sticks and have actually grown alright but because I was crazy pregnant last summer I didn't really weed them and the weeds took over.  Thankfully they're still thriving but this summer if you want to know what I'll be doing everyday, the answer is weeding caraganas

In the very first summer we planted, what started out as a twig turned to this...

Last summer they were looking even bigger and better but so were the weeds, however I am very optimistic about this summer.  If you ever want to feel good about yourself as a tree planter when you really have no clue what you're doing i suggest planting caraganas... those suckers are survivors!

Besides Caraganas we also had the opportunity to plant a whole load of Blue Spruce which we know are not crazy fast in the growing department but give us 15 years and we will have one sheltered house.  In the past week or so to our dismay our Blue Spruce's have been looking a bit brown:( 

I might have had a bit of a major freak out when the trees started to brown but we called our local Blue Grass and they told us to see them pics.  They told us most of the trees would probably be fine.  Of course we weren't expecting them all to survive anyway so the ones that are totally brown are probably toast but we're hoping the ones in the above pics are ok.  Apparently the Chinooks we get (and we've had some CRAZY ones this winter) are really confusing for trees because they think they should come out of their frozen hibernation state and start growing but then it freezes again and they get confused whether its growing time or sleeping time.  We're told the best thing to do is to pack them with snow so that they'll stay frozen until the real springtime hits and then the thawing/refreezing won't cause them to brown so much

But we're amateurs and didn't know all that so hopefully by next summer we will be experts in the tree planting department

This summer we're looking to plant a row of lilacs which grow really well here as well as perhaps some willows or poplars.  We'll see what the ol' budget allows for but I have been frequenting this website to figure out our best line of defence for the winds next winter

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


So I made a few printables today.  One for the playroom and one for our bedroom.  Thought I'd share them before I print them off.

You can find this file to print out here

This file is found here

Monday, March 12, 2012

Making our back entrance awesome

This is the title of one of my boards on pinterest so on Nels' days off this week we started actually doing this.

Here is my #1 inspiration for the room... absolutely love what this girl did with her front entrance!  You can find the link to her project here

Our back entrance was looking super scary and that made me sad so i started cleaning it out one day and Nels and I got to talking about whether to use the tile we had for the floor or get some cheap linoleum (the room is about 190 square feet) so we decided to use the tile we have to save on the cost and then Nels could lay it himself.  

This is what the room was looking like a few weeks ago...yikes, here's the cat food and the freezer and the drying rack and the shoe rack and the laundry hamper all in the same ugly picture:(

This pic was taken before we had the doors in for the bathroom and kitchen (which did make it look much more 'finished' anyway)

here is our beautiful washer and dryer with a fairly ugly plastic shelf beside them... that had to go

First things first for the flooring, we had to move everything out.  The freezer and shelves for tools went in the basement and our washer and dryer found a new home in the kitchen.  Not gonna lie... we kinda like them there:)

Here's the sub floor going down and the head of my handyman. 

The home of the washer and dryer and the lonely shelf

Sub floor is finished and you can see the doors are in and now all they need is some trim.

Closet looking cleaner but in need of some doors and trim

Sub floor looking from kitchen into laundry room

Ok, enough subfloor pics, lets get to the tiling!!!  Here's the first bit of glue going down...

... and the first few tiles.   Wahoo!!

So this is how far we got on the first day after we realized that we were short 8 boxes of tile.  Lets just say the people working at Carpet One might have failed "measuring 101"

After a quick trip to Calgary (complete with and Ikea run for some pic frames to put up in here) we had more tile and grout and glue and whatnot.

Here's the last bit of tile waiting to go in

We were all excited to see the big scary room looking a lot more awesome already:)

So obviously the next step will be to grout and then paint and cut trim for the doors and baseboards.  
My job comes in when we have the trim, baseboards and wainscoting up and its wall painting time.
Then we'll put hooks up and add a bench and get some art on the walls and we will have one sweet looking back entrance:) 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Painting projects

I have painting projects stacked up a mile high.  Nels has picked up a few sweet finds at Michael's lately so now I just need to find the time to paint them.  Molly and I are currently suffering from gross, horrible colds which means no sleep at night so painting has gone down a few notches on the priority list.

A few weeks ago we did manage to get a table painted for Nels' sister for her birthday.  We actually have another one to do for ourselves too.  I just love how it turned out and it looks sweet in her awesome new place.

Along with the table I had also picked up a little shelf and towel rack at jysk for the guest bathroom so those had to get painted as well.  Can I just talk about jysk for a second??  Sometimes you'll find stuff here that is quite overpriced and cheap quality but other times the stuff is phenomenal.  We found duvet covers and sheet sets for 30$ and curtains for super cheap too.  Even if you wanted to do some DIY projects and just needed fabric I would recommend checking it out.  I was really impressed.

So here are our 3 painting projects ready to go.  I didn't use a primer for any of them, just a few good coats of paint.  In the future I might even sand off the shelf and towel rack for more of a distressed look

We covered the table in Benjamin Moore Blue Nose and then I debated doing some sort of a design on top.  To keep it clean and simple we taped off the edge with painters tape and did 2 or 3 coats of Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow over the blue

This is how it turned out...I think it looks super sweet.  The colours go well together so I'm trying to think of another colour combination I could do for the next table.  I actually liked it so much I'm considering doing a yellow top for our coffee table that I painted which you can see here

Here's the bathroom with our finished projects, you can kind of see where they are in relation to each other.  The shelf is above the toilet and the towel rack is next to the shower

Here's a close-up of the towel rack... i might need to fill those holes and paint over but for now I'm just glad there's a place for towels

I love this shelf!  So cheap and functional:)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


We've been going through the thousands of pictures (seriously!) that we have on our external hard drive and its been so fun to see all the pics of the house building process.  I've decided to try to organize them all room by room so we can get a clear picture of progress we've made.  This has seriously been such a fun process and continues to be even as we work on the nit picky details of the finishing work.  

First room to see is the kitchen...

Here are the drawings our cupboard guys gave us... I was so excited to see what the kitchen would look like:)

Framing:  This is looking in from the living room.  The window to the left is where the sink is, the centre window is what we changed to our door and to the right is where the kitchen table is.

Here I am pregnant and happy that the cupboards are going in:)


And now here is a view from the four corners of the kitchen as it sits right now...  I'll update as we get back splash in etc...