Kitchen work continues

Remodeling an older home is never an easy task!  Andrew has had to figure out all the old wiring, that were in the walls, as well as the newer wiring done by previous owner.  Next, try to either relocated them to another spot or at least fix what was there.

A couple outlets had to be moved down on the kitchen side, an outlet that wasn't working had to be fixed on the dining room side, the kitchen light switch had to be moved down and rewired in a crazy way (down the half wall, under the walkway to the living room, up the wall by our fridge, and over the the light fixture), and the dining room light switch had to be relocated and rewired (from the half wall side to the other side of the walkway).

My dad has also been busy with getting the header looking nice and smooth again. Mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding, etc till he gets the end result he is looking for.   
On the outside wall, the kitchen side of the wall and the dining room side of the wall were at different levels.  I guess the thickness of drywall was different, so that also posed as a challenge to somehow taper it off so it is not as noticeable and hope that the shelves I am putting there won't accentuate the problem.  With the wall there, who have known the difference....until someone had the crazy idea of taking that wall away!  Oh well.  It added to the character of an old home, right?

This is the tedious part, that always makes a project feel like it is taking forever!  Cutting open the wall, seemed to go so fast, because you get big results with each step.  Once we start painting, and installing the counter top, things will start coming together again quickly, and then you start feeling like you are really accomplishing something again.


Kitchen remodel has begun

Remember this post [here] where I talked about sometime in the future removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  I can say with excitement that it is finally happening!  My kitchen will not feel so small anymore and I will be able to see and talk to anyone sitting in the dining room.  I can not wait for it to be done!

We have decided to do this in several stages.  Stage 1 is opening the wall, installing a bar height counter, and some open shelving on the outside wall.  Stage 2 and maybe even 3 or 4 will be working on the rest of the kitchen cabinets and counter tops.

Here are the begining details of stage 1:
We emptied the cabinets and took them down

View from the dining room side

Drywall is down and they are working on the electrical (whatever was in the wall now has to go elsewhere).

We tried to cover things to keep the dust from covering it all, but everything was still covered in dust!  Oh well!  It's all part of having construction going on in the house, while trying to make it livable. :)

Things are looking nice and open already! (What you see hanging down on the half wall is our thermostat, which is currently being rewired and installed somewhere else.)

Another view from the other side.

The drywall and mud is covering the bottom of the header now and down the side.  Even though it will a bit yet before everything is done, this kind of gives you an idea of what the end will be.

The next few steps for completing this first stage of kitchen remodel are finishing the drywall, painting, installing a countertop on the raised half wall, and installing open shelving on the outside wall between the two windows.


DIY Roman Shades - No Sewing

I had the itch to do something creative around our house, as it has been a while, so I thought about areas in the house that could use some attention.  The one area that came to mind, was our front porch.  I really had not done much in there since we moved in and I have been meaning to do something with the windows or walls, but had not really settled on anything that I fell in love with.  But with the urge to do something again, I revisited the ideas, I had going in my head and decided to focus on the windows and what I can do to add a little more life and color to the space.

Here is what the room looked like when we bought the house (Sorry it doesn't give you a good view of the windows.  Some how I lost my 'before' picture I took of what the porch looked like right before I worked on it):

The walls are painted white and there are white mini blinds in the windows.  I had pinned several diy roman shade ideas on Pinterest that I wanted to try someday, so I figured why not try they out now, with the current mini blinds.  Romans shades is the best application for that space, as I have six windows all in a row and I didn't want any rods running the whole stretch, or curtain panels hanging all the way to the floor.  So, I looked through all the tutorials I pinned on Pinterest and decided on {this one} for this project.

Avery and I went off the the fabric store and spent some time looking at all the different colors and patterns they had to offer.  I wanted something that would fit well with the current color pallet I have in the house, while still giving me some flexibility of still working with any changes that I want to make in other areas in the house, in the future.

The fabric we ended up coming home with is a Sunbrella material which is suppose to not fade as fast. 

I wasted no time in taking down the blinds and getting started on them.  I cut the ladder cords, but saved the main pull cord.  I took off the bottom rail, so I could slide off the vanes I didn't need.  Put the bottom rail back on and retied the string at the proper length.  Then I switched my attention to the fabric.

I cut the main decorative fabric slightly bigger than the opening of my window.  Windows were 25"x45", so the fabric was cut to 28"x48".  The extra 1" or 1.5" is what is used to turn over on the other side.  Then I cut the lining fabric to the exact size of the window.  I glued the perimeter of the liner, with special fabric-tec glue, centered on to the back of the decorative fabric.  Then I folded over the edge on one side and glued it in place.  When I went to the opposite side, I made sure that when I turned it over as well, it would measure the 25" that I needed for my width of the window.  Next I folded over the top and glued it down.  Then did the bottom side, again making sure it measured the 45" that I needed.

After I let the glue sit for a little bit, I proceeded to glue the mini blind to the shade.  First starting with the head rail, then moving down with each vane, measuring each one as I went along.  Because I didn't have super tall windows, I only had 3 vanes that I glued along the blind.  Finally, I glued on the bottom rail.  One some of them I has to adjust the bottom rail a bit, as where I have tied the strings, it left them still a little long.  But that wasn't hard to do.

Last, but not least, I hung up my shades and smiled at how much more color they bring to the front porch.  Even Andrew, who doesn't like change, commented that it is so different now anytime he steps up in there!

Well, there you have it!  Super easy, no sewing, roman shades!  The most expensive part of the whole project was the cost of the fabric.  Even on sale, it still adds up quickly!

Have you tried these before?  How did yours turn out?  I would love to see them!


Summer 2014 Recap: New Job, New Jersey, New York, etc

This summer has been busy and full of all kinds of adventures.

First, Andrew got a new job at GE Aviation for which we can only thank and praise God.  We have been praying for a full time hired in position (which included benefits) for a while and now God has led us to that.  We are very thankful for the secure job position and he greatly enjoys working with his new team members.

Second, we celebrated our 4th Anniversary in New Jersey.  We didn't do anything special, just hanging out with family and friends at the rehearsal dinner for my brother's wedding.  Which brings me to....

Third, we traveled 11 hours to New Jersey for a very special event in the family: my brother's wedding!  1st brother to get married, 1st sis-in-law for us girls, and 1st out of state wedding for our family!  That is a lot of firsts for us, but we enjoyed every bit of it!  We welcome you into our family, Leah, and hope you will soon feel at home with all us crazy Moerdyks here in Michigan. :)
(You will have to forgive Avery in this photo, as it was 10pm and she could hardly keep her eyes open.
The poor girl fell asleep in my arms on our way out to the vehicle, 10 min after this photo was taken.)

Fourth, we toured Ellis Island and Liberty Island the day after the wedding.  We listened and learned lots of information from the audio tours, admired all the architecture, and enjoyed the scenery of the city skyline.

 An old Fire Boat 

Now that things have settle down into a regular routine, I hope share things a little more frequently.  No promises, because I know how quickly time can fly by before you know it and it has been a while since the last post.  Well, that is all for now.  Hope you enjoyed our little visit through our pictures.  :)


Learning from God's Creatures

Recently we had the opportunity to visit a christian owned family farm, called The Critter Barn, as a family outing.  Avery had a blast petting and watching and seeing all the different animals.  They allow kids to be very hands on with petting, holding, feeding, and even milking.  They even have a washing area for everyone to wash their hands after petting and holding the animals.  They have lots of volunteers and staff around in every department.  This definitely a place we will be visiting frequently as Avery gets a little older and would appreciate holding and helping out more with some of the "chores".

We started it out with watching a baby calf drink from a really big bottle
 then we saw this friendly goat with really big floppy ears

 she had fun petting the super soft rabbits
 even this extra soft angora rabbit

 and got to go into one rabbit box and chase then around a bit
 she didn't want to hold the chick but was willing to pet them
 this pot belly pig kept grunting at her
 another friendly goat

 some turkeys, the male had his feathers all on display
 posing in front of this ram with big horns
 this girl was trying to get Avery to milk the goat, but she didn't to touch it
 so daddy tried it instead

We loved it so much, we want to got back again!


Recent Visit To See Canadian Family

Our family visit was enjoyable and relaxing.  These pictures are of our walk at an animal park and an authentic carousel that was only 5 cents per ride.  We made sure to ride it twice!

 Avery was a little scared and would not let go of me the whole ride