Our Schoolhouse Home Update!

We finally moved into our new schoolhouse house in February and have been working like crazy to make it our home. Several people have asked for updated pictures. It's the kind of place where we will always have projects going, but here's a little bit of the changes we've already made. It is far from done and far from decorated how we want it to be.

Oh yeah, side note: We got a call a few months ago from the TV show "You Live in a What?!!?" to talk with us about being on their show. But we didn't meet the qualifications because the entire schoolhouse is not completed yet. Boo. Maybe they'll come back in a few years when it's further along!

Before: Dining Room and Kitchen (kitchen is through that little doorway)
 After: The half wall is not finished yet. It will be lowered and made into a peninsula with a gas range stove, cabinets, countertop space, and bar stools. We also want to get a huge farmhouse dining room table that will fill up a large portion of that dining area. The lighting is horrible in this picture, but these two open rooms is my favorite place in the morning. There is so much light in here. 
 Before: Kitchen cabinets
 After: These are still halfway done, but soooo much better than before! The cabinet doors are still being worked on and will have glass pains in the middle of them. The cabinets on the bottom are also being finished. The top four small spaces at the top/middle will remain open. Jon put rope lighting in the back and also changed the ceiling light fixtures. 
 One of my favorite little corners. It's only half completed. Still need to finish decorating this little area. The large chalkboard is about 3ft. x 4ft. and the frame is one of the original schoolhouse windows that we found in the attic. So cool. The door is also an old door that was used in the house at one point that we also found in the attic. 
I included a few little nooks and small things I like. Here's the old phone ledge. For now it's where we chuck our keys. Eventually we'd like to find an old phone to put there. 
Before: Living Room
 After: Living room 

It's so hard to get the right lighting for pictures in this room and I can never get a good pictures of the hanging curtains. But this is what they look like. 
Built-in book shelves. Eventually I will paint the back or put some kind of neat wallpaper on it. But for now, it's just the color of the walls. 
 Every day, that little round red candle at the bottom ends up sitting on top of the blue piece of pottery. Mekonen puts it there every day. He doesn't know I know he does it, and he isn't doing it to be funny. He just walks over and puts it there, like "that's where it's supposed to go" and someone must've moved it out of place. It's cute. 
The kids art table in corner of the living room. They looove this. It has a chalkboard top. The old toolbox holding their crayons and markers was found in the basement. 
A little space the kids love. Evie sits in her little rocking chair and reads. :) 
A super sweet under the stairs reading closet that my dad wired to put lights inside. I used spice racks for their book holders, and to the right are big pillows they read on. 

The chalkboard sign above the closet. 
Before: Fireplace. It also had a screen around it that we took out before I was able to grab a picture. (The mantle was not decorated in this pic. Stuff was just thrown on it).
 After: Painted it white and decorated the mantle a bit. (Jon's pipe stand made the mantle, although the tobacco jar in the middle was elsewhere when I took the pic. Jon was very happy it made it up there!) I was having a hard time getting a picture that did justice. It looks better in person! We can't use it as a real wood burning fireplace until we get a chimney person out to make sure it's safe. So for now, i need to get some candles for the bottom. 

Side view of our property from the far corner of the yard. Cant wait to get those huge trees and carport down in front of the house down. You'll be able to look at it and actually see that it looks like an old schoolhouse, but probably not this year. Today, our 60 fruit trees arrived that will border the property (20 apple, 20 pear, 20 peach), 20 blueberry plants, and 3 different grapevine varieties. Planting starts this weekend! Then the vegetable garden will go behind the white detached garage. We also have 12 egg laying chickens. They're still growing and not producing eggs yet, but we can't wait for when they do!
 The kids favorite part of their yard! Thanks to the Coster family at church, they swing and climb to their hearts content! 
So there you have it! So much more to do, so many more ideas to put into place! But a little at a time! 


Happy 2nd Birthday Evie!

I'm finally getting it up on the blog! The celebration of the life of our littlest. Evangeline Rae turned two years old on March 28th.
For her big birthday celebration we went all out with Minnie Mouse (about the only character she seems to care about or recognize. Once she got Minnie slippers from Auntie Beka for Christmas she excitedly points out Minnie Mouse everywhere we go). Mekonen kept referring to Mickey Mouse as the "Daddy Mouse." Apparently we don't know much about Disney around here! Haha. 

In the quiet of my living room, with my sweet girl napping in the room next to me, I find myself choked up as I try to think of exactly how on earth I'm going to put into words all that she is and all that we feel towards her. I'm amazed at how "complete" each child makes your family, even if you desire to add more children to your family. When Mekonen came home, life felt complete. Sure, we wanted more children, but he was everything. We were complete. Then 1 1/2 years later, they finally called out "It's a girl!" and laid that sweet thing in my arms. I didn't realize how badly I wanted a girl until they said it and I just cried...life felt complete, again.

I feel a bit more anxious and fearful raising a daughter. I'm well aware of the world she's growing up in that tells her what she looks like, what she accomplishes, and what people think of her, is her worth, her identity, it's what she is to strive for. But as Christian parents we pray Jesus becomes King of her life and that she finds her worth and identity solely in Him.

So in celebration of my dear Evie Rae, for who she is, not who she might become, or who others think she is, or should become, here are 24 things (for 24 months), that make Evie, well, our Evie.

1. At 2 years old you are a pint sized little pixie weighing 24 lbs., wearing a size 5 shoe, and 24mo-2T clothes.
2. You speak in almost full sentences most of the time (although sometimes we don't understand every single word).
3. Daddy calls you Eve, Mommy still calls you Dolly-Doo and we all call you various names like Eve-Bo-Beeve, Beeves, and anything else along those lines that rhyme. Haha. You poor thing.
4. You love, absolutely LOVE babies!!! Most days you can be found nurturing your baby dolls.You want to bring a baby with you everywhere. Your favorite babies are these little mini ones from Target that come with a mini carseat, booster seat, etc. The carseat carrier is your favorite. You can always be found with a baby doll. You put it up on your shoulder, or lay it in your arms and bounce it up and down saying, "sh, sh, sh, sh." You love when Mommy swaddles your babies and you are obsessed with changing their diapers and wiping them. I am amazed at how natural this is to you and that no one taught you any of it.

You like to nurture anything really. Once you even had Mekonen's Bullseye horse swaddled in a blanket and carried it around all day.

5. You are an independent player. It's hard to tell how much of this is your age and how much is your personality. You don't necessarily like to be alone, but you don't need to be played with or entertained all the time either. You tend to drag all your toys into Mekonen's room just to be near him, and then play independently.
6. You are a snuggler to an extent, and only usually on your terms. You like your freedom and space!
7. You love to hang from things and are crazy strong for a 2 year old!

8. You love to read books in your bed, dialoging the entire time. You rarely ever go to sleep without a complete conversation with your babies or your books.
9. Your favorite phrase right now is "I do it," from your carseat buckles, to putting on your socks.
10. You call your big bro "Tonen" and have gotten out "Metonen" a few times. You two have really become best buddies. You always want to know right where he is and can't wait to join him!
11. You are a complete Daddy's girl. Almost always preferring Daddy to Mommy!
12. Your responses to life and its situations are often unpredictable, as you have quite the determination and passion inside that teeny body of yours. We're continuing to work on this!
13. You are a crazy sleeper! You've fallen out of your bed a couple times. We often find you right on the edge of your bed!
14. You are not a huge carb fan and almost always prefer vegetables over any other lunch or dinner food. But if fries are on the menu, that's all you want!!!
 15. You absolutely love to color! Here's a picture of one of your first real masterpieces! You worked on this one page for severals days in a row. You kept coming back to it and adding little scribbles. So cute.
16. When you have a question, you tilt your head to the side and ask it in a very intense, but quiet voice. It's hilarious and very hard to describe. 
17. You love horses! Horse books, your horse barn, and going to see the neighbor's horses. 
18. Your blankie is still your most prized posession! 
19. You love to help! Everytime you see me doing something you grab a stool and push it towards me saying, "Help! Help!"

20. Everyday, as soon as Daddy gets home you say, "solders. solders." (a.k.a. shoulders) to take a ride.
21. You still wake up in the middle of the night, for reasons we are almost never sure of! 
22. You love pushing your shopping cart around the house. You fill it up with all your stuff and bring it all over the house. 
23. You sit on the back of the booster seat, not down in the seat part, because you aren't tall enough. 
24. Macy steals food from your hand on a daily basis. You just freeze, unable to move, and she grabs it right from your hand. It's so common now, you don't even usually cry, unless it was "tandy" (candy).

And now, on to the party!!! Boppy & Grandma Magz, our friends Adam & Allie and their two boys,  Josiah and Isaiah, our friends Michael & Kenean and their little boy Moses, Jon's cousin Brooke & her little girl Avary, all came to celebrate with us!

Evie was so surprised to see what transformed that day during her nap. A Minnie Mouse wonderland! 

The birthday girl's place setting
I made the banner with the help of my friend Liselle. 
 Liselle and I also made these cute little stand-up Minnie's with the Cricut craft cutter.
I made Minnie ears for the girls and Mickey ears for the boys! Evie wore these for about 2 seconds and much more preferred her Minnie Mouse hairbow from her Auntie Ruthie. :) 
The cake! (We also made the cake toppers).

Trying to figure out how to blow out the candles. It was too cute. 
 Oh sweet baby, we love you. 
 Little friends! (And a dog waiting for food to drop. She's no dummy).
Presents. She knew EXACTLY how this part was supposed to go! 
 Family pic! Evie refused to wear the ears. Typical. haha. 


Happy Easter

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of Easter Sunday. We had a really great day and the weather turned out to be nice after all! 

The two munchkins in their Easter outfits. Evie was very excited to wear her new shoes. The whole week before anytime she heard the word "church" she said, "Shoes?!?! Church!?!?!" 
After church, we went out to eat with Grandma Magz and Boppy. The kids were beyond excited about their special root beer soda drinks. 

Family pic at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Easter basket fun. Every year, I go back and forth about doing Easter baskets, worried that it will be what my kids look forward to instead of celebrating Jesus. But then I think about Christmas and balancing gifts with celebrating Jesus and decided we'll give it a whirl with balancing and enjoying cultural activities with Easter too. We're not holding fast to either at this point, just re-evaluation every year as our family grows and changes. I do get great joy out of making and creating things for the kids. I was super stoked to decorate their baskets this year. 

A fun thing the kids have enjoyed the last couple years is an Easter egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's. I love how excited Boppy gets hiding the eggs and videotaping. So sweet. Thanks Grandma for all the goodies!!

2 zonked out kids within minutes of leaving Grandma's house. They sure enjoyed their day!