Sunday, March 11, 2007

Welcome to our home!

I've been working on stuff for our application to adopt again. So I have been taking some pictures of the house. It occurred to me that it would be fun to "invite" you all over! So here goes... a virtual tour of our house. I am going to take better pics of certain rooms when they are a little bit neater for the application but- oh well. This is the real deal folks.

This is our street. We live in an older neighborhood. I love it. It is super safe and quiet. I love that I can open my windows and hear nothing but birds, wind chimes and the occasional lawn mower or kid screaming with joy. It is also a lot less expensive than living 15 minutes further into town. Taxes all of a sudden shoot up a bunch when you drive closer. I like it though. I am a city girl who loves peace and quiet!! I want to see squirrels and hear no traffic and then drive 15 minutes to Banana Republic and Super Target. So this place is perfect for me!
I know you people in New York and California may think we live in a freakin expensive neighborhood. Seriously, Texas is TONS cheaper. This house and neighborhood are very inexpensive. When we moved to Seattle we almost flipped our lid at the cost! It was crazy. I thought we would never be able to afford a house if we settled there. Michigan was the same. To give you a clue... we spend the same amount on our 4 bedroom 2,800 sq ft house as we did on rent for our little 2 bedroom apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Can you believe that?

I think of our house as kinda "beaver cleaver." It's not fancy. It's just really comfortable.

You know- everyone has to decide their own priorities. When we were younger we used to buy fancy stuff but we figured out really fast that it wasn't good for us. It didn't make us happier. It just made us want MORE stuff. We aren't against nice things by any stretch. We just want to keep our priorities in a very strict order.

So we made a decision to switch our focus. "Stuff" is not a priority in our house generally. Of course there are times we are tempted to focus on it but we work really hard to keep our attention on things that matter to us. For us-as a family- it is a priority that I am home with the kiddos and our children go to part time private school. We want to be able to adopt and be generous. We also like to go on fun family vacations and have savings for the future. We cut a lot of corners to make sure that is possible while we still live a comfortable life.

Like I drive THIS!! Hee hee... Are you jealous of my super cool mommy van? It has always gotten me from point A to point B and the payment is really low and almost gone so I love it! I really never thought I would get a mini-van when I was younger!! The funny thing is that I was never any happier driving my Mustang Convertable with the leather seats than I am driving this. I liked it- don't get me wrong- but it isn't important. It's just what I drive. It isn't who I am. You should see Russ' car! It's even better. I'll get a picture of that soon and tell you the story. He loves his car.

Come on in..... I use those baskets under the bench for stuff that goes with us in the car. My purse, keys, the girls bags... when I get ready for the next day I put everything we will need that day in those baskets. One is for for the girls.

We are going to paint that bench mahogany... really we are, eventually. I just haven't gotten to painting it. I LOVE decorating on a dime. I would much rather be spending my money on things that are more important to me. So our house has been a work in progress. BUT I do want it to be comfortable...soooo here goes. I'll give you all my secrets. Hee hee.

Take a right and you are in the family TV/ hangout room. Putting down those wood floors a year ago was our first BIG home project. It was pretty easy really and cost half the amount. You just snap the boards together and you have a floor. Very cool. We were so excited! Go through those green curtains and... are in the kids playroom/ TV room/ office. This room was originally a dining room but we aren't really dining room kind of people. We like having the girls' area right next to our TV room. Then they can be with us playing or watching their own show while we hang out and we can always see them. The shelves and baskets were my birthday present from Russ. I LOVE having the girls' toys all organized. Worth every penny! Take a left and...

you are in the kitchen. That table has been four different colors. We got it as a gift when we got married from Russ' mom. It was from an unfinished furniture place. We just paint the table and chairs to match each new home. Only bummer is we need to repaint the table. We did something wrong this last time and the paint is coming off! Arrggghhh!!
This is the backyard.

Right by the kitchen is the sitting room. I call it the "water room" because I have my beloved water wall and pictures I have taken on the beach framed as the wall art. It is such a peaceful room. See ALL the laundry PILED on the khaki couch. Yeah, that happens A LOT!

Here is the pantry- otherwise known as the art gallery. Also, the girls' craft table.

This is our "mud" room and to the right of it is the laundry room.

Both of these rooms now hold the big toys and dress up stuff. See the stuff on coat hangers?? That would be tons of dress up outfits for the girls.

OK. Now we will go upstairs. That basket is the "upstairs basket." We put everything in it that needs to go upstairs. You can see it is very full!

Up, up, up

Straight up the stairs and to the left is our room. We just put in all these wood floors a few months ago. It was pretty easy but we still haven't done the trim.

Here is our bathroom. This one still needs work! :0)

Coming out of our room here is the hall.

To the left is the girls bathroom. We are working toward a surfer Hawaii theme but we haven't quite gotten there!! Hee hee.

To the right is the guest room. Do you like how I moved the bed but not the picture yet??

Straight ahead is Zoe's room. Our sweet friend helped us to decorate it with her sewing skills. Our canopy is drooping. OOPS! Need to break out the hot glue!!!

Other side of Zoe's room... I made the sign over the window. It is one of my favorite sayings. "It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us." I think that was Dickens... Isn't that sweet?

KK's room.. We redid this for her 3rd birthday present. She picked the colors and everything. It used to be dark blue. We put up the chair rail. I was scared but it wasn't very hard.
Other side of KK's room. :0)
This is the most important part of my house. The people in it. This is where I spend most of my time and energy! :0) That's where I want to spend it.
These people are the difference between a house full of stuff- and a home.
I really love living in our home. It is full of memories and love. I hope we don't feel the need to move up or out. I suppose if God sends us many more little blessings we may need more space but I think I would want to just add on somehow. I hope we are content to stay in this home as long as God has us here. We have everything here that means anything at all.
OK... that's it for now. Hugs! Angel


Amanda said...

Your house is gorgeous. Your words are so wise. I'm trying to become cheap so that we can have more blessings. You have a beautiful family. I hope God brings your next blessing soon.

Kris and Mindy said...

Your comment about "these people are the difference between a house full of stuff and a home" is so true. It is so easy to focus on all the things "we want" in life. Material things. But the most important things are our family. You are so right. And your family is beautiful!
P.S. Love the mommymobile...that was out 1st choice van color but we got silver, our 2nd choice, instead:-)

Jane-Jane said...

Angel... what a cool laundry room... love the party dresses! :)

I look forward to the day we get to pray for your third child by name!


The McKenzie Crew said...

You guys are awesome and the house is great too:):):)

The girls rooms are adorable - Love the entry way too:)

Tricia said...

Thanks for the grand tour! You have a lovely home!! :)
Could Zoe's room be any cooler??!

Crystal said...

Your home is gorgeous and so filled with love!!!--You are an inspiration Angel --you are an inspiration--you are just the best!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

Lou- Http:\\ said...

Thank you for inviting us all into your home. That was very gracious of you. I too like to decorate on a dime and only buy things that are really on sale. I have splurged on a glider for the baby's room and one for our living room. I love to rock! I am so ready to rock my baby in my house!!!! You are such a precious person, and you always inspire me. Maybe I'll get my house clean enough to invite you all over too!

Betsy said...

Absolutely gorgeous house. You are so young to have so MUCH. My house is 2048 sq feet and my mortgage is $3k a month! I ain't livin' high on the hog here in California! You house would be well over a million bucks in my neighborhood. (I'm dead serious).

Anonymous said...

I am truly sorry for coming off so rude. You are doing a wonderful job raising your two daughters. I didn't mean to sound so blunt, but with all the information that you put on your blog I just wondered how you home schooled. You have a wonderful schedule and I wish you the best