We Bought a House!

We really did this crazy thing.

We bought a house.

And not just any old house. This one is special. This house was built by Hubby's grandpa on 24 acres of land in Michigan.

Yes, we are crazy. No, we are not moving.

So how did this happen?

Last summer, Hubby's grandparents were planning to sell their house as they didn't need to be on their own anymore. It's a beautiful place that has always been special to Hubby and we were devastated that it might leave the family. We figured there was no way we could afford to buy it, especially with the amount of land that came with it. After discovering the actual estimate was much lower than we expected but still more than we could manage alone, we asked our family for help.

To make a long story shorter, we were able to save it.

Although we are now broke, we are so happy about this unexpected turn of events! The bones of the house are good but it does need some work. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it and figure out how we are going to make this work with us still renting our current place in a completely different state.

We really want this place to stay in the family for generations to come!

We bought a house.  And not just any old house. This one is special. This house was...built with cedar siding and white front door

We really did this crazy thing, y'all.  We bought a house.  And not just any old house. This one is special. This house was...built with cedar siding, deck.

We really did this crazy thing, y'all.  We bought a house.  And not just any old house. This one is special. This house was built...with green 60's living room

We really did this crazy thing, y'all.  We bought a house.  And not just any old house. This one is special. This house was built...with 60's wood paneling and green carpet

We really did this crazy thing, y'all.  We bought a house.  And not just any old house. This one is special. This house was built...on at least 20 acres, backyard hill with garden shed

That view from the back of the house is gorgeous! It's one of my favorite things. 

We're still in the process of cleaning the house so these are just a few shots I took with my phone while I was knee deep in plastic bins and boxes. I can't wait to share more once it's all cleaned up! 

Can you imagine how exciting it is for an interior design student to suddenly have their dream fixer upper dropped in their lap? I know renovating it will be a slow journey but I'm happy to be on it. 


How We're Homeschooling this Year

It's time again! We are heading back to school! Technically, I did have a math class over the summer so I really just got a few weeks break before the fall semester. Good thing I love school.

This year I'm taking Art History. It will be so much fun after almost two years of math classes(you can read more about why it took so long here). I only have two more general education classes to go before I start my interior design classes next year.

This is also the first school year of officially homeschooling our little kindergartener!

Last year we enrolled him in a program called Classical Conversations and we are still doing that this year, but this is the first year we are required to notify the state of our intent to homeschool. Last year, we were just trying out new things. This year, it's for real.

So what exactly are we doing schoolwise?

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Classical Conversations Foundations Guide

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Classical Conversations Foundations Guide Cycle 3

Classical Conversations is a Christian, classical education program. Little Man's age group is called Foundations as it is memorizing facts to lay a foundation to build upon as they get older. You can see some of what Little Man will be memorizing this year in the above photo.

Classical Conversations covers several subjects, as well as art and music. While there is a lot of material, it doesn't include formal math and language arts so for that we are using other curriculums.

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Math U See

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Kindergarten and Classical Conversations with Math U See

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Kindergarten and Classical Conversations: Math U See manipulative blocks.

For math, we are using Math-U-See. I already love it because you can get a teacher manual, workbook, teaching DVD, and awesome counting blocks. It's designed to teach to all three learning styles: visual, audio, and kinetic. The boys already love playing with the blocks so I'm hoping that having these will help keep math fun for them.

It's time again! We are heading back to school! So what exactly are we doing schoolwise? Kindergarten and Classical Conversations with Alphaphonics

For language arts we are keeping it simple and simply working on basic handwriting skills and reading. We are starting with this worn Alphaphonics book.

My mom used it to teach me and my siblings how to read. It went through six kids and fell apart over the years. We all love to read and read well aloud so I figure it must work pretty well!

So that's our school year plan. I'm excited to see how it goes!

I'd love to hear other moms or teachers that have any teaching tips they want to share! Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. I'm even open to healthy debates!


How to Design a Room from a Fabric Swatch

Sometimes, I walk into a store and just see something that inspires me. My thoughts start whiring and before I've even left the store, I'll have a vague picture of a room already formed in my head. Unfortunately for my friends and family, this means that I tend to daydream my way through shopping trips.

My cup of coffee and I can get lost for a good three hours in the home decor section of any store.

So I saw this tablecloth in Target several weeks and fell in love with the print.

How to design a room from a fabric swatch. This watercolor floral is the inspiration for an entire room design. All the other colors and patterns are in harmony with it. Even the style of the room is drawn from the fabric: laid-back traditional with a fresh, modern twist. All pulled from this one floral tablecloth from Target.

Why is Interior Design Important?

Why is interior design important? Interior design is more than just decorating. It is intentionally creating a space that not only functions well, but also functions beautifully...
Interior design has always been one of my passions. When I was little, I would create paper dolls and draw elaborate rooms and houses for them. Bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms...I drew them and laid them all out on the floor in the order I wanted.

Every time we would go to my Aunt's house, I'd look for the new Better Homes and Gardens magazines that had arrived since our last visit. I'd curl up in a chair and go through every single one, soaking up all the designs and colors like a sponge.

Rustic Independence Day Decor from Target

12 rustic, yet subtle, Independence Day decorations for the fourth of July! Any of these things mixed with a few small flags in a glass jar would be the perfect red, white, and blue Independence Day decor for me!

If you are anything like me, today is your day to pick up all those last minute things for the 4th of July festivities. Because, as usual, you forgot to do it before today to avoid the other crazy people buying beer and burgers. In my defense, I’ve been slightly preoccupied and housebound because of the bathroom renovation(Yes, it’s still going on. More on that to come). 

At least my kids have flag shirts from grandma. 

Because I will be out doing my last minute shopping today, I put together a list of all my favorite rustic 4th of July decor from Target. Because Target gets my style. And, all too often, my money.

These items are things I would use in my own home. I’m not too keen on obvious decorations; I like to be subtle. Any of these things mixed with a few small flags in a glass jar would be the perfect red, white, and blue Independence Day decor for me! 

A Vintage-Inspired Bathroom Idea Board

It's been so long since I've written and I have so much to tell you! The last couple months for us have been filled with unexpected happenings. Good, bad, neutral: it all hit at once.

The biggest happening isn't quite finalized so I can't share it quite yet. It's so exciting, I can't wait to tell you all! It's a super big thing for us so I want to make sure everything is settled first . What I can tell you is that our small, dated rental bathroom is getting a renovation!

It all started with a clogged toilet that overflowed one weekend. Exactly one week later, the sink backed up and then overflowed because a certain little one forgot to turn off the water. Both incidents involved water covering the floor and water pouring through the kitchen ceiling.

A few days after the sink overflowed, water started pouring through the ceiling again while the tub was being used. A small chip in the tub had given way and there were two additional slower leaks in the tub plumbing. Not only does all the water damage have to be fixed, but the tub also has to be replaced.

Since replacing the tub involves taking out the toilet and fixing the floor and walls, the whole bathroom is getting redone!

I've been on cloud nine. Who cares about not having an upstairs bathroom for two weeks if it means a new, pretty bathroom! And I get to help design it? Icing on the cake.

Positive Negativity

We're all about the power of positive thinking but is that a good thing? Negative emotions have a power of their own. Maybe we should rehtink them. Can a little negativity be a positive?

If you have ever seen the movie Inside Out, you know the story is from the perspective of five emotions in the head of a girl named Riley: Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, and Joy. The emotion in charge, Joy, can always find the bright side of anything and tries her best to make sure everything is always upbeat and happy. One of my favorite things about the movie is that it showcases the importance of all the human emotions and the roles they play in our lives.

Much like Joy, we all want to be happy. Radio stations and blogs pride themselves on the positive environment they create. News outlets receive complaints about their coverage of depressing news stories, as if the journalists themselves decide the events that happen each day.

When I'm feeling down, I reach for the coffee and chocolate for a pick-me-up.

Fear, anger, hurt, disappointment...these are what we think of as negative emotions. We want to avoid them. However, these negative emotions plumb the depths of what it means to be human. They are the emotions that show us who we are and why we do what we do. They are complex. They beg to be analyzed.

I find the "negative" emotions fascinating and mysterious-it's why I'm drawn to them. I can't be distracted from feeling them, nor do I want to be distracted. There's a kind of satisfaction I get from allowing myself to dive down and go through the depth of emotion and rise up on the other side with a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. 

It seems there is no such depth to happy. Happy is what it is. You usually know why you're happy. It doesn't need to be figured out and, unless you are a scientist, you don't want to think too hard about it.

I'm not saying that people should stay negative and wallow in emotional pain. I am saying that there is a place for feelings like discomfort and sadness, that they have a beauty and depth to them that is underappreciated. We should not be so quick to run from them.

At the end of Inside Out, Joy realizes that the one emotion she has pushed away for Riley's entire life is the the only one who can put everything right again. She finally understands that Sadness has a valid purpose, as do Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

It's a fun movie meant to entertain but it teaches a lesson most of us, like Joy, would do well to learn: that all emotions are important. We shouldn't feel like we've achieved something by being positive all the time. We too need sadness just as much as we need joy.

Sometimes, we need it more.



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