clay camp

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A few weeks ago, the two older boys participated in a clay camp offered through a local park district. I admit that in the last two years of home schooling, I’ve let art slide. I’ve been hyper-concerned about getting a handle on the core subjects, and regrettably arts and crafts too often seemed to get pushed aside. This summer, I enrolled all of the kids in several art camps or classes of some kind. My mindset is shifting a bit (maybe a lot?) and I’m making a conscious effort to bring them back to the creative side of learning and living. They loved being at the potter’s wheel, and I loved watching them work carefully to make each piece just what they envisioned. Last night the park held a student art show, where the kids were encouraged to display one of their pieces. Both boys chose a bowl. Landon called his “Bumble Bee” and Hunter “Black Star”. Landon had a little extra twinkle in his eye this morning when he saw me enjoying my morning cup of coffee in the mug he made. Proud boys. Even prouder mama.

home

The end of July marked six months of living in our new home.  We’ve been settling in slowly. I’m not sure exactly why, but until just recently, I’ve had little desire to decorate or even hang a picture. I don’t mean to sound like things haven’t been good~ they have. Maybe it sounds strange, but I guess I just wanted to get to know the place first.  After spending many, many months studying blueprints and pouring over every. single. detail. of this house, one would think I already knew it well.  And I did. But not in a personal way. Drawings on paper and real live spaces are quite different.  We never walked through a “model” home of our house (there wasn’t one).  When we began drawing up plans with our builder, it was all in my head, and I imagined it in a certain way.  The spaces that I had such clear vision of in my mind didn’t always match the reality that they became. It wasn’t disappointing – most of it exceeded my vision. But it was strange and hard to explain. To know something so well, but not really.  Anyway, I still feel like I’m getting to know our new place and I believe we will be here until we’re old and gray(er) so I’m not in a rush to get done.

A couple of weeks ago one of my close friends who lives out of state reminded me that I hadn’t sent any photos of the new place.  I snapped some quick pictures on my phone and texted them to her.  It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to do the same on the blog and so finally I’ve got some photos to share.  I don’t know if the kids will remember the long and sometimes tough road we took together to get here, but someday maybe they will want to look back on the house as it was being built, and what things looked like when we first moved in.

Starting the driveway!

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The above photo was taken July 31, 2013. They look so young to me here!

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The tree wrapped in orange above almost didn’t make the final cut. We knew it was going to be very close to the house, and went back and forth on whether it would survive construction. Our builder received many conflicting texts from me…”Let’s try to save it”…”Go ahead and cut it down”…”Wait… Save it!!”…  We saved it, and it has become one of my favorite things. Its’ decades-old limbs perfectly “hug” the house, and from Braedan’s bedroom window it feels like you can reach out and touch it. You almost can.

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As I type this, I’m sitting in the far room of the photo above, looking out that window at the same tree trunk.

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Main floor staircase (above).

(Some of the following photos are smaller size and a little blurry because I took them on my phone.)

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The house before it was painted (above).

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Above is the view as you enter through the mudroom door.

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The mudroom view from the kitchen. On the right is our walk-in pantry. The door in the middle (still on the right) is a bathroom, and the very far right door is a closet. I wanted to do something fun with the color of the main door, and went with Benjamin Moore “Venezuelan Sea”.

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This corner of the kitchen is probably my favorite spot in the house. I spend a lot of time here, and am grateful for the view out of this window…especially of the incredible variety of birds that we have on the property.

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A wider view of the kitchen. To the right of the ovens is the mudroom and a second utility room leading to the garage.

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The sunroom off of the kitchen. We loved the sunroom in our previous house so much, we basically replicated it. You can barely see a black door handle on the right of the photo. This door is in the sunroom, and is the entrance (exit?) to the future deck. (Look closely…sleeping babe on the couch;)

DSC_1254Here I’m standing in the kitchen looking toward the front of the house. The staircase is in the center of the house. Dining room is in the left of the photo. Informal dinette leading to the great room to the right of the photo. On the other side of the staircase are the main front doors and the office. That small brown door you see under the landing of the stairs was built to be a doghouse. After moving in, I decided promptly (within hours) that Tebow need not enter beyond the mudroom. It is now a fort for the kids. The girls especially love bringing flashlights in and reading there. In case you were concerned, Tebow has a very comfortable spot in the garage and is still allowed in the mudroom. He is (mostly) quite obedient of the boundary, and only occasionally attempts to slip in further. Love that dog.

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Front Doors above.

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The front porch (above) which wraps around the side of the house.

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View as you enter front doors. The dining room is to your right, office and coat closet to the left.

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Same view with afternoon natural light.

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The office (above).Hard to get a good shot of this room as it’s shaped a bit odd.

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Above is a view of the great room as I’m standing on the landing of the staircase.

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Another shot of the great room. The window seat is a favorite reading spot.

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Above is another view from the landing overlooking the dinette. Here you can see better the door in the sunroom which leads out to the future deck.

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Heading upstairs, this is the view to the left as you reach the top. This room is what we call the movie loft (for lack of a better name?!?) It was originally planned to be a bedroom, until I pulled a fast one on our builder and changed the entire upstairs floor plan on a whim one weekend. He was great about it, which is the reason we worked so well with him. He’s practically like family now ;)

If you went straight down the hallway with the wood floor, you’d end up in the study loft.

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Looking back at the stairs (above shot). You can see our bedroom and the hall closet. The older boys’ room is to the right of the hall closet. Girls’ room is to the left of the photo (on your right as you reach the top of the stairs.). Behind me is the study loft, laundry, and Braedan’s bedroom.

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Hunter and Landon’s room above.  During construction, this was the only window I had trouble walking up to.  I would feel dizzy and unsteady looking out of it. Not sure why.

Below, another shot of the older boys’ room standing at the windows looking out toward the hall. You can see their walk-in closet on the left.

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Girls’ bedroom. Their bathroom/closet is on the left as you enter their room.

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View from inside the girls’ room looking out to the hallway and movie loft. You can see their bathroom on the right.

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The study loft. You can barely see the entrance to Braedan’s bedroom near the left of the photo.

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Remember the tree I mentioned above that we nearly cut down? There it is outside Braedan’s window. It doesn’t translate well in a picture, but it’s really close, and we watch the birds and chipmunks running in and out of that hole you see.

Below, a wider shot of Braedan’s room. Apologies for the poor lighting.

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Back on the other side of the house, this is a partial view from our bedroom windows (above). Again, it doesn’t really come across, but we feel like we’re in a tree house up here.

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Above, a wider shot of our bedroom.

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View from the windows above our tub.  Those leaves are so close, I can touch them when I open the windows.

Below, a wider shot of the bathroom off of our bedroom.

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That’s the house friends.  We’ve met some lovely neighbors here, who we are all looking forward to getting to know better. We do miss our old neighborhood and the great friends we made there. I’m so glad we’ve remained in each others lives. We’re glad to be just a hop, skip and jump away from them.