Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Season of Change

One of our rare "snowfall" days :)
Tom has been offered a job out of town so. . . our house is on the market and we are set for a new adventure!!!

I'm happy we're staying in Tennessee -- it's a great place to live.  I will miss where we are. . .truly a place where "everybody knows your name".

The biggest question we get is "what is your timeline?".  We honestly don't know.  His new job was great in allowing him to choose his start date.  We have put our house on the market before (we've been here 8.5 years!) and know that it's a tough one to sell.  The house, neighborhood, and community are *great*, it's just that we're sorta far out of town (for people who grew up around here) so it's not a desirable area for natives.  The Lord has provided this path for our family and He will pave the way. . .no doubts.  We like being out of town, but that's not for everyone, for sure.

We had some work to do to get the house on the market :)

I'm liking our paired-down, neater pantry and laundry room!  It's hard to keep up on a daily basis -- obviously the "before" picture above was an accumulation of about a week of 6 people living together but mostly working and out of the house!

Also busy touching up. . .y'know, all the "little" things you never get around to until you look at the house through another set of eyes. . .
Frederick's bed/desk area

Thomas's bed/dresser (his desk is also along that wall to the left too)
The boys room. . .

Margaret's room. . .

Bonus room above garage. . .2 closets as you walk in to the right and left

Marie worked so hard "staging" her room. . .she did a great job!!!  (My full-on picture, not so great)
This gives me such great insight into who she is. . .she's a neat girl :)

Common area

 We are really fortunate to have this common area at the top of the stairs.  All three upstairs rooms and bathroom come off the common room.  The desk area used to be a crafting area, but we took the "office" out of the downstairs living room and packed up my craft stuff (for now).
The rocking chair and table you see from the bottom of the stairs. . .the boys' room to the right, Marie's room straight ahead.  Margaret's room is to the left of the office/schoolwork area.  You can see the bathroom (and the wonderful light it has in the morning!) from the first picture.  The bathroom window is the dormer on the front of the house.

Walking in off the kitchen (door on left)

 We have a first-floor master, which we weren't sure about when we first moved in but now love and would want it this way again.
Frederick was 2 1/2 at the time. . .but it's never been a problem and is a great guest suite when people come to visit :)
We have 2 walk-in closets and a HUGE bathroom!
Funny enough, this is the only shot I have of the bathroom. . .we have a double-sink vanity (I think I might have taken this picture in the mirror above it) and a window. . .anyone who knows me, knows that the more windows, the better!!
 This is our living area. . .I'm surprised I don't have more pics.  The entrance is straight ahead, as you're coming in through the garage door (in the kitchen).

In the other two shots, the front door is on the left, right to the left of the 1/2 table in the bottom-left part of the bottom picture.  I have always imagined a window between the buffet and chair on that side wall.  We already have 3 windows in the room -- one on each side of the television and one at the bottom of the stairs to the left of the front door when you are looking at it from the inside.  At one time our "office" area was where the chair is at the far end of the room. . .it was a convenient place but I like it so much this way too. . .I find myself sitting in that corner all.the.time (and wishing for a window -- ha!)  I love the space and function of this room the most. . .it is cozy at Christmas and large enough to hold 20 or more people for our Sunday School gatherings.
My cozy Christmas living room. . .
And the place I willingly like to spend my days off. . .the kitchen!!!  We have tons of storage, the bigger island was a birthday gift to me from my in-laws one year (and another year they painted my stools and made me stool covers - I know, I have the BEST in-laws).  The island has 6 drawers in it and behind this picture (I don't have a shot) we have a small kitchen table on that wall.  The garage door is to the right, the entrance to the living room to the left.  On either side of the table behind this picture is the laundry/pantry/mudroom, a 1/2 bath (no pictures), and our bedroom on the other side.

My favorite room. . .by FAR. . .is my dining room (straight ahead in the shot to the right)!

Dining room, looking in through the living room

 First off, it has amazing LIGHT.  My wonderful husband and FIL put that window in a couple of years ago.    And here's some pictures of the actual installation. . .
There is a deck off the back of the house. . .again, any outdoor space is going to rate high in my book.
A few years ago I re-did the dining room table and. . .well. . .I just love how it turned out.  Tom doesn't like the chairs so much but. . .oh well.
Dining room, looking in through the kitchen

That's the house tour!  This is where we have lived. . .made "everyday" memories. . .homeschooled. . .celebrated birthdays and holidays. . .laughed, loved, and gathered.  We hope (and are praying for) the next family that will call this their home.  If you are interested or know anyone who might be interested, our Realtor's information is in the first picture :)  Or you can e-mail me of course (contact info in the right sidebar).  We are moving forward regardless, as the Lord provides.  We are going into this new season together, holding one another up and not alone.  Because we are together.  A family that loves adventure as much as we crave stability.  We know the next season is just around the corner so we are savoring every moment of every day that we are privileged enough to live.  This is now "a place to live". . .a place we will miss, that we have taken loving care of for the new owners, whomever they may be.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

More Christmas 2014

This was our Christmas "mantle" and stocking/gift center this year. . .tucked in our little office space in our living room -- ha!  Again, we didn't have a tree and I really didn't miss it all that much.  I wouldn't want to go *every* year without one because the ornaments are so special to me but for this year, this was enough.

 These were some of the pictures of Marie's village this year.  She has "inherited" the pieces I have always had and tries to add to it every year.  She takes a lot of time setting it all up and making sure it's turned on every night.  This year it was in three different places in our living room!
This was our living room all lit up at night. . .Tom and Marie built a table to go behind the sofa and it's perfect!  The new pieces she got (library & well from Grandpa Foster and chocolate shop from Grandma Wolf) are on the buffet behind me in this picture). 

I took a bunch of pictures of our LR one night and that drove Frederick nuts for some reason.  I just really liked our cozy space this year :)  This is also a way to share it with our Ohio family! 

I did get lights outside this year, too, thanks to my Dad!!  Those stayed on until January 1st :)

The village will stay out until the end of January, probably, but all "Santa" and nativity stuff is put away. . .it's great having kids old enough to help with this stuff!!!

 Gotta figure out the collage thing. . .here are some special pictures of our family Christmas -- always the Sunday before Christmas when we will be out of town on the 24th-25th.

We went to church, then out to eat (our favorite -- El Tap) and then home for gifts.  Margaret felt the need to change out of her Christmas dress first :)

My previous post pretty much details most of this stuff. . .

Notice Frederick's annoyance of another picture here. . . .

Our first night in Ohio we went to a Christmas concert and then my mom took us out to eat.  This is such a special picture to me. . .my brother and sister-in-law are/were in from Florida and my mom with all my kiddos. . .a smile on *everyone's* face -- a Christmas Miracle!!!

Yep, need to figure out this collage thing -- ha.

My sister's beautiful tree.

Christmas Eve 2014
 Cousins picture!!!  Always very important to me. . .these are the 6 most important children in my life.

 My mom and the 3 most important children in her life.  I think the three that come with us are pretty important to her too :)

My beautiful sister and our dad. . .good times together.

Uncle Brad and Aunt Kristin are always so generous with our children. . .
 Always a favorite gift. . .an annual popcorn bucket (you can fill it up for $3.75 each time you go to the movies during the year) and movie gift cards!!

These two. . .there are no words.  They are three months apart and I babysat AVJ for the first 4 years of her life. . .they are so special to me.
They have always been "Miss Marie #1 and Miss Marie #2".
My sister. . .by God's perfect design.

And then. . .it was Christmas Day!!!

The Bells had a beautiful tree too so the only thing we really missed out on was the set-up and tear-down of the trees -- ha!
Santa gits!

We do 3 Santa gifts/kid.  These aren't usually "big" things. . .when they were little it was one game, one book, one toy but now it's just little things that they might want but probably wouldn't purchase with their own money (not needs).

Santa himself this year :)

Fred opening his pancake mix :)  He knows he's getting b'fast now!

It was quite a morning!!!  It's nice that they are older now. . .we get up leisurely (I think the last of us stumbled downstairs around 8:30) and open one-at-a-time so we can appreciate everyone's goodies.  After this marathon, we made a big breakfast for Grandpa Fred (one of his gifts was a box of Cracker Barrel pancake mix) and then spent the afternoon enjoying one another's company, playing games, and preparing for our evening meal with Grandma Wolf and Grandpa Foster and Uncle Brad & Aunt Kristin.  My MIL is the *best* -- she always, always includes my family in *everything*.  (And on that same note, my sister includes my in-laws too. . .they just bowed out this year because Aunt Kathy was in from Utah and they were soaking up time with her.)

Ready for Christmas dinner

Marie, Thomas, Margaret and I made the goodies on the right

Appetizers -- you could fill up just on this stuff!!!

 Grateful to all be together -- not so pumped about another picture.  Oh well.

An abundance of food for sure!!!  My mom brought the Honeybaked ham and 4 side dishes (from QVC no less -- they were delicious!) and Thomas made "Grandma's potatoes".  Nancy had green beans, sweet potatoes, lots of pies (apple, pumpkin, peanutbutter) and did all the appetizers.  My dad usually supplies the wine :)  It really is a wonderful, family, group effort!

More gifts. . .can you believe it?!?  Really. . .

My dad brought over his gifts for my kids (shoes and athletic wear that they had picked out plus some travel mugs and comforters for the girls).

The kids got Grandpa Foster an immersion blender because there's a funny story about that. . .he pulverized some chili with ours last time he was down here.  Hopefully he'll use his for things like smoothies. . .

It's a Keurig!!

 My mom had purchased these additional Christmas Day gifts for my kids. . .Air something-or-others. . .they really like them.  They are mostly fast-paced memory games -- perfect for the car!

Dessert time. . .the holiday food was overwhelming for my new Fitbit -- ha!
 Love this picture

We capped off the night with a rousing game of Apples to Apples after my mom, brother, and SIL left (unfortunately, none of them felt very well that evening. . .and all ended up sick by the end of the week).


I don't think I've ever written a post this long (it took me 2 hours!!!) or downloaded as many pictures either.  This is definitely a journal entry for my and my family to look back on and reflect on our many blessings.  We are fortunate and this is not meant to be anything other than a documentation of God's infinite grace in our lives.

~ Jenni