Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Before and After's

I figured it was time to get some "Before and After" shots on here, since the lion's share of our reno's have been completed.  I'm going to start with an easy room (or two)... so we'll start with a bathroom.  This is the main bathroom on the upper floor, and the little girls use it to shower, as well, company uses it when they are here. 
 
 
 
And here's the finished product.  We planked the ceiling and walls, took out the floor tiles, changed out the cabinetry, lighting and sink, as well, took out the really lovely plastic doors on the shower and put up a shower curtain.  It's kind of hard to get a decent picture of this space, since this bathroom is so wee.  I think this might be the only room in the whole house which is totally completed.  

 
Next is the little girls' room.  This room is in the back corner of the house, where the floor slants up  towards the window.  There was a "built in" bulletin board as well.  The really great thing going for this room is the exceptionally large window and closet. 
 

 
We replaced flooring in the whole house, as well as planked the ceiling on the entire upper floor, so that's a given for this room as well.  I had to paint 3 coats of paint on these walls because it was doing something super funky, but it ended up alright.  This room now seems so much larger, even though we've crammed 2 single beds in there, as well as dressers, a nightstand and various other articles which little girls seem to collect.
 
 
These next few pictures are of the kitchen.  In our original planning, I was alright with keeping the cabinets (for now) and painting them, but when we moved in, and upon closer inspection, we decided that there's no time like the present to make some changes.  That, and I know a great kitchen guy (my husband!!), and he insisted couldn't live with those cabinets.  The laminate in the kitchen was newer, but since we were replacing everything else, the new flooring continued in here.  The nasty, mouse infested cabinets had pipes running through about 8 ft. of them.  It was....interesting.  I think the pictures speak for themselves....
 



 
We planked the walls and ceilings, replaced the flooring, put in new cabinets, lights, appliances and plumbing.  Basically, we gutted it.  We also made the doorway bigger to go to the dining room to be more accommodating for a larger family.  We still have a few things to do in the kitchen, such as install the hood fan and finish up the door to the basement.  The lovely thing about this kitchen is that there's lots of natural light, with that huge window above the sink that looks out onto the front porch, as well as garden doors which lead out to the back. 
 


 
The last set of before and after pictures I'll do today is our main living area.  The before pictures are a bit hard to explain, but I'll try.  The picture below is taken from the doorway to the kitchen.  There was a wall there, with a closet in it.  It made the entrance area extremely small and cramped (which it still is, only a little bit less), and it felt like you were coming into the house and walking into a wall.  Once we took out this wall, we realized that it was a supporting wall done wrong, so we had a friend come and put in a beam in the attic to do it right.  It was probably the single best decision we made in this reno.  It opened up the room completely.  The closet has been replaced with a row of hooks (we're not really closet people anyhow...hooks are so much easier!)
 
 
This picture shows the large windows on the south and east side of the house.  I especially love the lace curtains.  Unfortunately, they HAD to go!

 
Lastly, this is the wall in the dining room, from where I stood to take the last picture.

 
The After's:
This picture is taken from the front door, looking at the large picture windows.  Those windows are so wonderful - great for watching the birds out of!
 
 
This view is front just in front of the dining room table... I have big plans for the fireplace area - I'd like Art to build me a mantle, and we'll do something with that brick too.  For now, I've just painted it white (of course!) to get us over the exceptional ugliness of the brick.

 
And lastly, the dining room, with that long wall.  We left space for ourselves, if we want to put some cabinets there.  I wasn't sure if I felt like I'd have enough storage space, with our kitchen being substantially smaller than our last home (and by substantially smaller, I mean it's a third of the size!), but for now, I think everything has worked out fine.  I will keep my eye open for some cool pieces at farm auctions over the next few years, but I'm wondering if that'll make the space seem too cramped?  We'll have to wait and see. 

 
The only changes we made in this main living area is flooring, paint, planking the ceiling and removing that wall.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?  (Yikes!)
 
I'll do some more Before and After's in the future, when we've got some more projects completed, but until then, here's a pretty good overview of what we've been up to for the last year!
 
 
 
 
 





 
 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring!

Even after a mild winter, we are still so excited for Spring.  So.  Darn.  Excited.  It comes after months and months of looking outside and seeing white.  I'm not sure who is more excited though.... us, or our animals. 
 
The Girls have been spending lots of time outside in the steer pen in preparation for their 4H achievement day in May.  They spend lots of time brushing their steers to get all the tag off them, leading them around, and just hanging out with them.  We put in a whole lotta straw the other day for them in hopes that it would help keep them a bit cleaner.  This guy is Ellie Mae's steer.  He is my most favorite of the bunch.  Such a handsome guy, no?

 
And this is Abby's steer.  If he's laying down in the straw, Abby will come and sit on him and talk to him for a bit.  They both like the company of each other. 

 
The chickens have been enjoying the longer days, and we're looking forward to making an enclosed pen for them to spend more time outside.

 
And finally, the horses.  Ah, the horses.  I do love to look out in the pasture and see them.  The other night, Art and I went out for a walk, and I managed to capture a few pictures of them.  Normally, they come running up to us, sniffing in our pockets for grain.  We had nothing for them on this night, other than a little rub for their necks.  They quickly left us alone once they realized that we had no grain, but it's ok.  They're beautiful all the same...

 
 
I am looking forward to riding this girl again, out in the pasture.... (we just have to wait for the 8" of snow that fell on the weekend to melt...)
 

 
I think they'll be very excited once the grass starts to green up!
 
Speaking of green... I found this in my garden the other day.  I was very, VERY excited to see some green out there.  Too bad it is now covered in white... But soon, it'll be back.
 
 
I'm not sure that this view will ever get old...especially in Spring!

 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another Addition

 
Hannah has been working and saving for the last 9 months to buy a puppy.  She's been very specific in what she's looking for.  She wanted a border collie/Australian shepherd cross.  And she wanted a female.  After months of searching and saving and waiting, we came across a puppy that we thought would be a good fit.  The only problem?  He's a "he"....not a "she".  Hannah decided that she'd take a male, and I'm not sure who's more taken.... the puppy with Hannah, or Hannah with the puppy. 
 
 
Meet Bandit.  He came to us at 6 1/2 weeks, because his mama had died a few weeks prior.  Poor little guy....
 
 Bandit LOVES Hannah.  LOVES her.  He wants to sit at her feet, and be with her at all times.  It's really quite sweet...

 
The other day, Hannah wasn't feeling well, and was laying on the couch.  That little guy wouldn't sit still until he was laying beside her, his nose buried into her hair.  He didn't want me...or Art.... just Hannah.  Frankly, I think it's a match made in heaven.
 
 
Of course, all The Girls want in on the puppy action, and they've all been "helping" to care for this little guy, but you can tell already where his loyalty lies.... and it's all good.
 
 










Saturday, March 14, 2015

Adullam Decorating

We've had such amazing weather 'round these parts for the last couple of weeks.  Ah. Mazing!  The Girls have been spending loads of time outside, and are anxiously waiting for me to bring out their bikes.  Problem is, I know that we will still have snow at some point... maybe Sunday, even.  And every year, I wash all of their winter outerwear, and then it ends up snowing, again, and I have to do it all over.  Not this year.... I hope! 
 
Ellie Mae was outside the other day, doing some decorating of the yard.  When I saw what she had done, I'm not gonna lie, I had a bit of a lump in my throat.  There are many times that I'm brought to tears as I think about, and am thankful for our life on the farm.
Adullam, which is Hebrew for place of refuge, is what we named our ranch years ago, when it was just a hope, a wish and a dream.  It's been exciting to see how The Girls have taken the name 'Adullam', and run with it.  We'll often find our brand or name of the ranch in different places, and they use it in their play also.  I love it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Going-Ons of Girls

The Girls (usually) love to help.  Some of them love to help with inside chores, they all love to help with outside chores, and they especially love to do things to surprise me....
 
We've been using our fireplaces all winter long.  They've been lovely and warm and cozy, and the girls love to cozy up on the couch in front of a fire and read.  It hasn't necessarily been the Girls' job to stack wood, but they know that if there's wood accessible, and it's extra cold outside, I'm more likely to light a fire.  Many warm(ish) afternoons this winter, the girls could be found hauling wood from the shed to the front door by using their sleds, and then stacking it neatly so that we could easily go and get it to start a fire.  We've almost used up our wood that we cut this fall - this is the last bit of it which the girls' stacked last week.   
 
 
See?  Told ya.... Sitting on the couch in front of the fire.... I have been trying to read books aloud, many days after lunch for a short time.  We've been reading through the Little Britches series, which every one of us has enjoyed.  I am so happy that the girls love to read!
 
On Family Day, we took the Girls' on a little adventure to the Reynolds Museum.  We took them there several years ago for our first Goerzen Family Adventure, and it was fun to go back and visit.  They remembered a few things from the first time, but it's been a few years, so it was fun to go back and for them to see it again, being a bit older.

 
I've said for many years that Molly is my mini-me.  In real life.  She has the same hair, same inappropriate-almost-crossing-the-line humor, same skinny legs that I most definitely had a child.  She is also my "dump buddy".  Every time I have to go to the dump, she wants to come along (even though we no longer get ice cream, since the nearest ice-cream store is half an hour away!).  Last weekend, I was heading out to the dump, and she comes out of her room to come with me....dressed exactly like me.  It wasn't planned, but she sure is cute!
 
 
Here is one thing about Farm Life that I don't love...a child bringing a dead animal into the house, with its' guts hanging out, excited to show me because "it's SO cool!".  Really, I'm happy to look at it outside, will cut it open so we can examine it's insides, but when it comes into my domain, and my second daughter is exclaiming, "Ah!  The guts are stuck on my gloves!", it's just a little too much.  Abby found this weasel, dead, out by the chicken house the other day.  It was just a wee one, but I was glad it was dead - those stinkers will go for my chickens, come spring!  She said she had to fight off the cats and dogs to bring it to me....how nice of her!!


 
The sun.  The trees.  The blue, blue sky.... I don't know that I'll ever tire of this....

 
Art's been working on finishing up some more projects around the house.... God bless that man!  He made up an open shelf for me with barn wood we dug out of one of our outbuildings.  It adds a bit of visual interest in the kitchen, and I'm super happy with it.  Good job, honey! 


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Another Birthday to Celebrate

At the end of February, we were able to celebrate another birthday of one of the Girls.  It's hard to believe that Elizabeth has turned 8!  She is growing up right before our eyes...  Here are a few things to remember about our baby....
 
1.  She LOVES camo.  Seriously.  Loves camo!  She loves to go out and hunt coyotes with Art, and for that, she feels the need to be "suited up".  We bought her this buff for Christmas, to match everything else, and she wears it all the time....often even to bed!  And no, Elizabeth doesn't need glasses - they are simply an accessory these days.  If you look closely, you'll see that these glasses don't even have lenses.  She just likes the look of them.
 
 
2.  Elizabeth still loves to ride.  This was taken one day at the barn, and there are often times that after she's ridden, Ellie Mae will remind us that she needs to "practice her tricks".  She REALLY wants to be a trick rider.  She asked for a trick riding saddle for her birthday, but that didn't happen...
 

3.  The girl loves owls.  LOVES.  She talks about them regularly, sleeps with 2 of them, and is always looking out for our resident owl.  She actually knows lots of facts about them as well, and can be found reading more in our bird book.  We got her an owl watch for her birthday, which I don't think she has taken off since then.


4.  Ellie Mae is a cutie.  Bright eyed, always willing to help, laughs inappropriately (what can I say, she's her mothers' daughter!) and excessively.... This girl wakes up in the morning with a big smile, and goes to sleep with a big smile.  She works hard to keep up with her sisters, and loves to cuddle.  She's a keeper, this wee one... Happy Birthday, little lady!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Spring Has NOT Sprung

Well, after that last post about how warm and wonderful the weather has been, Old Man Winter wanted to remind us that he's still hanging around these parts....most likely for a while.  We had our driveway down to asphalt in some place, the snow around the trees was starting to recede a wee bit, and the dogs found a few patches of brown grass to lay in the sun and start working on their tan.  Until last week, that it.... I knew that we weren't done with winter, and I knew that when the cold and snow came again, it'd feel doubly rotten since we had been having spring-like conditions.  All of these things I knew....and yet, I found myself biting my tongue to not complain about the blizzard we had last week.  I think we received about 8 inches of snow.  It was very pretty....and very cold!  I got the fire crackling, put on my warmest sweater and socks, and tried to stay home.   In the midst of it all, I'm not gonna lie....the snow is beautiful! 
 
Because of the warm weather, I actually had a few trees that also had been fooled into thinking that spring had sprung, and therefore had started to bud.  Here's hoping they won't be too traumatized...
 
I don't know that I'll ever tire of seeing sunrises....
 
 
...or sunsets

 
We definitely have some "old charm" on this farm of ours.  I just love these old, hand painted signs that are placed at various points around our land.... Friendly and welcoming, don't you think?


 
The steers secretly loved this blizzard.  Ok, maybe not...
 

 
....but they sure are cute!
 
 
The Girls found a new pastime.... jumping off the deck into a deep snow pile.  They kept shoveling to fluff up the snow a wee bit, and had loads of fun!

 
I'd like to hope that this is our last major snowfall, but alas, this is Alberta.  And I know that can't possibly be true.  Winter roads, studded tires and slow moving snowplows are a way of life for us hearty ones, and we'll be seeing them for a few more months yet, around these parts.   

 

 
It makes the idea of spring so much sweeter though, doesn't it?