Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time to Move-Part 4

The kids bedrooms actually were not touched during the process, or very little was touch except for some closet rearranging … but they have changed since we first moved here and I just never got around to posting about it before (even though the girls kept bugging me to).  So to complete this process I guess I better show pictures of them as well.

The Girls Bedroom when we moved in, (not the clearest because I stole them off the blog post from here, as I’m too lazy to try find them back on the other computer)


The Girls Room now

This is a different room.  In the summer of 2010 the kids decided to switch bedrooms.  We had one tall captains bed and with a bit of looking on kijiji we found a matching one.  We love these beds with two shelves of storage.  We put long under-the-bed storage containers on the shelves and it’s amazing how much stuff they can get under there … away went their dresser and their desk that they stored their odds and ends in.  It has made for a much neater room overall as they have enough room to store all those things they like to collect.  Having small rooms makes these beds great, the only problem we ran into is that the one bed is higher then the other … and with a sloped ceiling this means Rebecca needs to watch her head when sitting up in bed.  The good part for Marietta was that they got separate beds AND she still had room to keep Thumper


At one point the girls asked to have their room redecorated … it sounded like fun to them … not so much to me who doesn’t do that type of stuff.  I kindly reminded them that I am fine with them hanging up whatever they want on the old walls (which haven’t been redone for over 20 years), but if they redecorate they couldn’t hang stuff all over the “new” walls … they are now happy with the old walls

And last but not least … Matthew’s Room

There is no point in putting up a picture of Matthew’s room when we moved in.  He was in a different room at the time with a crib and change table (wow was he really that little when we moved here).  His room went through various changes when he moved to the toddler bed then big bed, got rid of the change table and lazy boy as he got bigger. So this is the room that was the girls room when we moved here.

We debated getting Matthew a similar bed to the girls bed (actually the first bed we got like that was for Matthew when he moved into a big bed … but the girls took that over when they switched bedrooms), but decided that having bunkbeds is definitely handy when having extra’s over.  So instead we just bought under-the-bed storage containers for him and put his clothes in there so that he doesn’t have to have a dresser.


Some of Matthew’s toys are downstairs in the Family Room and the rest are in his bedroom.  He has quiet time after lunch on days he’s home and so these toys get played with at this time.  His wooden train track stuff has also been moved upstairs … the black mat is for building tracks on … and he often plays with this during quiet time.  We had just cleaned the room when these pictures were taken, he was going to build a new track for on the pictures, but somehow that didn’t happen.  But most of the time when you walk in the room there is a train track on the mat.

We recently set the keyboard up in his room as he’s now taking piano lessons (from time to time when Marietta has time to fit it in) and he loves music.  So he either tinkers on it or just puts the pre-recorded songs on and listens to them.

Now a couple shots of some more minor changes that were done just to finish thing up.

The Entrance Hallway

Just some pictures added to the hallway.  I could never find a big enough picture (in my price range) for about the coats so it was always blank before.  This one is smaller then my preference, but at least breaks up the wall.  On the waterfall theme … since we love waterfalls around here, I added one my waterfall pictures to the other wall (used to be a family picture collage in that frame).



And the Kitchen.  There was some discussion about getting rid of the desk in the kitchen, putting a different desk in there, getting rid of the cupboard under the window, etc. So when we started we weren’t 100% sure if changes would be made to this room. So here are my before pictures.

The Kitchen before


In the end little changed in this room.  The cupboard under the window is still under debate on whether it will stay.  This used to be the craft cupboard and now that we have the new cupboard in the other room it’s not really needed, except it has a lovely shelf for our Bibles and psalm books for after supper, as well as stores Pete’s (the bird/canary) night time blanket and food.  So it was quickly filled up with miscellaneous items and at this point has stayed, also because, as the pictures below show … Pete got himself a bigger cage somewhere in this whole process.  Guess we figured if we needed more space so should he … no, just kidding.  We had been looking for a cage with more width as canaries like to fly back and forth and so they are better in a wider cage that allows them this space.  So the new cage was a cheap find off Kijiji … a bit taller then is necessary for one bird but definitely has the width for him to fly back and forth and he seems to really enjoy it.

So besides Pete’s cage the only other thing that changes is that we put a photo collage on the wall … a wall which I didn’t really capture in my before picture … but here is is in my after pictures.

The Kitchen after


So there you have it.  We still have the old carpets, the old flooring, the same wall colours (and wallpaper in one room, altho it’s mostly been covered by pictures), those are things we’re just not ready to invest in a rental home at this point.  But we are thoroughly enjoying the changes we’ve made.  We are absolutely loving the extra space it provides.  The kids have also commented on how it’s easier to keep the house clean now also.  I do have to say that it seemed as much work as moving, by time we pretty much moved everything around, but the house has been purged again and cleaned and organized and we’ll see how long it lasts before it’s time for a change again.

And that finally brings me to the end of 2012.  Wouldn’t you know that only a few weeks after I wrote my post on Blog2Print (and a couple months after I spent a ton of money with them) they finally decided to give people the option of what size photos they would like and to start a new page with each new post.  So we’ll see how this years blog book prints in comparison.  Almost makes me think it might be easier to continue with blogspot instead of making a book in Blurb … but we all know how good I am at this blogging thing :)

Time to Move–Part 3

Here’s the Old Living Room (I used to always say it was only the living room on Sunday. The rest of the week it was the LIVING room aka playroom, reading room, music room, tv room, snoozing room, homework room, everything room … it was meant for living in)

Note the french door by the piano in this picture … that door was removed since it was never used and put on the new living room door frame to give the room a parlour look.  We’re loving being able to close the door if we want to the noise going on outside the room


We turned the living room into The Family Room.  We had to debate what to call the room so that we didn’t get confused on what we were talking about.  In reality this is the LIVING room and the living room is the Parlour … but we don’t use that language now-a-days … so Family Room it is.


The amazing part is that I actually got a picture when the room was clean … where the table was actually cleared off.  There always seems to be some project on the go on the table.  Partly Matthew who has to learn to put things away when he’s done, but otherwise there is homework spread out on there or Rob’s computer and books.  It’s a busy center … one that everyone is enjoying.  And lego has it’s way of making itself around the room as they are well used items that are thoroughly being enjoyed by Matthew.



It took a bit of work to combine two offices into one, but it has been done and I must say that I love having my desk back in a busy part of the home where I’m not tucked away in my room.  Rob does miss his office as he doesn’t have a quiet place to do his catechism prep or committee work. But he realizes that we couldn’t keep that room for the couple hours a day (if that) during the “study season” that it is used. We’ve seemed to have figured out a way to make it work, with the filing cabinet used as his desk storage area for his laptop and things he’s working on to be stored on, plus he has the shelf on the printer side of my desk for storage/books/binders. He does his work at the table along with the kids. Sometimes he takes over my desk, but mostly he likes to use the table. It’s great that we are actually working in the same room now and if the kids are up we’re all together.

So we tackled the basement and we tackled the main floor …. we figured we might as well do a thorough job and so the upstairs was tackled also … well I wouldn’t say also, it was part of the process to make everything fit.  The Upstairs Hall aka Extended Playarea


now The Upstairs Hall aka Library

The toys were purged and we got rid of the things that weren’t being used often enough to justify keeping

At the top of the stairs is the matching tallboy dresser from our new bedroom set.  It’s a little bigger then we’d like for the spot it’s in, but it had to go somewhere … so there it is.


Another great find on kijiji was the cube book shelf.  We have a litter trained bunny that runs around upstairs.  The problem with bunnies is they like to chew … this often goes in stages and by time we realize he’s back in that stage it means something has been chewed … and that often means the bottom books on a shelf.  So we have learned not to have books on the bottom shelf or to have them covered.  So when we seen this shelving system we though it was perfect.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time to Move– Part 2

So once the bedroom was moved we were ready to tackle the next room … our Old Bedroom/Steph’s Office


Having my desk in our bedroom had worked but now that I have my desk in the family room I realize how much better it is there and how buried out of sight I was to the kids when it was in our room.  I see that these pictures were taken after I had already stripped some of the shelves of the photo albums.  The old bedroom set was sold to pay for the new.  You’ll have to keep following along to see where the new “office” ended up as well as the treadmill.

But for now we’ll go to what we changed our Old Bedroom into … The Living Room … yes I go that right …. The Living Room … and I must say we’re quite happy with how it turned out.


Some of the pictures are a bit on an angle … my “stuff the camera in the corner and take a snap” wasn’t very level … gonna have to work on that techinque ;)


It took a bit for me to finish off the living room as I had to do the pictures above the couch.  After some thought on what to do I decided to do three picture and went out searching for some cheap large frames.  It took a while but I finally stumbled across the right colour frames for $15 each. It was hard to get a close up of the pictures without the flash shining in the pic … and I couldn’t get enough light to get a good picture without the flash.  The two fall photos were taken at Albion Falls, we had climbed down to the bottom of the falls and then walked along the ravine and enjoyed the beautiful fall colours.  The butterfly photo was taken at Sam Lawrence Park


The Living Room is treated like a parlour.  It is to be used for reading, visiting and TV time (which isn’t very much around here).  Toys do not belong in the living room and it’s not a play area.  The door can be closed when kids are over so they stay out … it’s great.  I love that the living room stays clean and when I want to sit down and relax I’m not in the middle of a disaster of toys and papers and crayons and what-not-else.

So this means the old Living Room is now partly empty and we’ll have to move along to see what happened to that room.

Time to Move–Part 1

After Rob decided not to return to school in the fall we had some questions about where our future was heading.    Suddenly a whole new world was in front of us.  We now had to think about housing, something that months earlier we had not thought we’d have to bother with for a long time in our lives.  Did we want to stay where we were?  Purchase our own home? Continue to rent?  Are we planning to stay put in this area for a long period of time?  How long is Rob thinking of working where he is right now?  Are we ready to put down some roots?

We didn’t expect answers to these questions immediately, nor were we actively trying to answer them all so that we could draw our map of where we were heading.  They were just simply questions running through our heads as the reality of a change in our lives settled in.  Those questions continue to work through our heads today also, but probably with less discussion and more just dreams and thoughts here and there.  We really don’t know where we’re heading, none of us really do, although some of us have a better idea of where we hope to head in the coming years.  Rob enjoys his job and there’s lots of work for him, so for the time being that is where he’ll be.  If the Lord puts something else on our path we’ll work with that when it comes.  We’re flexible and willing to change, decisions are never easy but we realize that the Lord keeps guiding us along the way and so we just need to continue to trust in Him also when we’re uncertain of our future.

I think the biggest reality that sunk in when Rob finished school was the financial reality.  We have much to be thankful for and we truly are, but the reality that here we are in our mid -thirties with no more then we had when we got married … actually less because when we got married we owned (mortgage) our house, sort of makes us want to better understand what the purpose was of these years of schooling.  We’re at a stage in our lives where buying a starter home isn’t really what we have in mind anymore.  With the kids getting older we’re looking for something a bit more long term that will accommodate teenagers, nothing big, but something a bit more spacious.  When we got married we weren’t pay elementary school and high school … now we’re paying full elementary tuition and pre-tuition for high school.  We won’t even touch on finding a downpayment after 6 years of school.

I’m content with renting.  The math at this time says it’s more efficient for us.  A mortgage and property taxes would easily double our current month housing fee.  Rob has a harder time with this … he wants something that is his own, something he can work on and show pride in.  To me it’s all just earthly treasures … we have a roof over our heads, food on our plates, free natural gas (another factor when thinking of buy … we’d have to actually pay for our heat),  clothes and we are lacking in nothing.  We did some research on rent vs buy … in the end it’s a long fought battle of opinions and it comes down to what works best for you. We settled on settling in at our current place for the long run, unless the Lord shows us another path to take.

And then … in our attempt to find a friend a rental home we stumbled across a “too good to be true” deal.  A magnificent home – 4 bedrooms, sitting room, craft room, main floor laundry, lovely kitchen and dining area and rec room downstairs.  Beautiful gardens and a the selling feature was a gorgeous large screened gazebo … Rob said he’d take the place just for that, never mind the large property, secluded area, even more country then what we’re at now.  And it was only a small amount more then what we were currently paying.  Suddenly our settled minds on staying put were unsettled and we were ready to pack up and move again.  We had just told the girls we would be moving and then the following day we received a call.  The owners real estate buddy informed him that he could rent the place for much more then what he was asking from us … the price nearly doubled. *Crash*.   We had to put away the dreams of the last days and go back to being content where we were.  

It being almost three years since our last move it just seemed like we were meant to move again (sort of seems the pattern we take) … we decided that instead of moving from one house to another we would move within our home. Does that mean we’re good for another three years before the idea of moving comes up again?

The one thing we found lacking in our current house is space for the kids.  A space to do homework, a space to do crafts, a space to hang out with friends while not being right on top of the adults, And as the kids are getting older this seems more important as we want them to feel the desire to come home with their friends and that the door is always open and yet that they have a bit of room to do their thing.  We don’t have a basement for this and the upstairs doesn’t have any space, so we needed to do some revamping.  To follow is what we accomplished during the fall months.

Here’s the room that began the cycle of change  … Rob’s officeP1130782


Here’s what we changed it to … The Master Bedroom


For the summer months the door of the office remained closed.  The room was not used and it seemed a waste to have a unused room in the house when we didn’t have a huge amount of space to start with.  We did a lot of talking and blueprinting to come up with our final plan.  It took a lot of work and pretty much felt like we had moved.  Rob had to figure out what to do with all his office items, we had to turn two offices into one.  We had to find room for the books that were to stay and Rob spent a lot of time sorting through what was to stay and what was to go. 

As you will note from one of the pictures above the office had a deep freezer in it.  We also had another deep freezer in the shop outside.  With lots of kijiji searching we managed to find two freezer (actually four as the first two we got were duds and so we had to drag them back out and buy two more) that were narrow enough to get down our basement stairs (25” wide) but still large enough to hold all we have (both my freezers are usually full most of the year).  This was the first task … but in order to put two freezers in the basement that meant I had to do some purging and making space to fit these freezers.  Once I had tackled the basement and the “new“ freezers were in we were ready to move forward with the rest of the house. 

The Master Bedroom

It’s small, it’s cozy … well more like breezy due to the lovely old window, but it’s cozy under the blankets and we’ve always preferred to sleep with the window open in the winter so now we can keep the window closed and still get the same effect as we used to with the window open.

We decided that we really don’t spend any time in the master bedroom except to sleep and get changed so there is no point in having a larger room when that room can be more beneficial to everyone.


The first few days of sleeping in the room I felt like we were trailer camping … that feeling of walls right beside you when you wake up.  And yes, we know that if there is an earthquake while we are sleeping then we will be buried in books … thanks everyone for so kindly pointing this out ;)

As the following pictures will show,  in order to fit in this room we needed to purchase a new bedroom set.  We found the ideal price for a great price off of kijiji.  We originally just wanted the tallboy armours/dressers, but in the end it was a good enough deal that we were convinced to buy the matching dresser and  headboard (which you can’t see behind the pillows, but it’s great because it all all kinds of storage space in it and then a shelf like area for us to put our alarm clocks and light … great use of limited space.  We decided it was a good price and it made sense to have the whole set so that if we ever do have enough space we’d have a complete bedroom set for our room.  We love the tallboys … for years I had said that if we ever bought new bedroom furniture I want something with shelves and not dresser drawers … I love this set, it’s great having shelves!