Monday, May 24, 2010

Open House

We are finally at a point where we can start inviting people over. Skeeter's baby blessing was on Sunday and we decided to have lunch for the family at our house. We scraped off the paint on the inside of the door in preparation for the big event.

Nate was a stylin' little man in his blessing outfit. Daddy gave a wonderful blessing to his favorite little guy at church where we had at least 3 full rows full of family.

After the blessing, we all headed up to our house for some lunch -- all 40+ of us. Thankfully the weather cooperated beautifully. Our house is bigger than it used to be, but it's still not big enough to have a party of that magnitude inside it. It was nice to be able to show off the work that has been done. Lots of people have been watching the blog but had never seen the progress in person. Even Brian's cousin Andie from RI was here and was able to visit the awesome pair of shoes she gave me in their new beautiful home :). And she's right -- I do need a red pair of shoes!
We had lots of fun with our funny family and the food was amazing thanks to my incredible mother. Thanks to my mom for pulling this together and to everyone else for coming and sharing in our special day.

After we partied 'till we couldn't party no more, we spent the evening cuddling together. We even were able to get the kids to settle down in time for us to watch the Lost series finale. What a great day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You Might Be A Redneck...

...if the top of your lamppost is covered in tinfoil. Last fall, a windstorm blew our patio umbrella over on top of our lamppost. The ceramic top was destroyed. Brian recently put tinfoil on top of it to keep the rain out...Classy. We finally bought another one to replace it and Brian put it up today. Much better.

We also decided that since Brian starts a long year of nursing school on Monday, we better get our front door refinished this weekend otherwise, it just might not happen. The door was pretty shabby looking. The construction caused quite a bit of weather damage not to mention it wasn't in the best shape to begin with. The first thing we did was take the door off the hinges and sand it. Not a fun job with all those raised panels, but once we started, there was no turning back. The hardware came off and it was on!

After around 2 hours of sanding, Brian put the stain on. You'll notice that the panel that was a little darker in the middle is now almost white. This is because after 6 years of thinking that panel was just a wood panel they had replaced we found that it was actually a glass window that they had painted over. Brian scraped no less than a dozen layers of paint off the front of it. We were thrilled to find this treasure. We've got big plans for this little window. Look for it in a future post.

After a second coat and drying in the sun for a few hours it went back up. We'll have to put some polyurethane on it for extra protection tomorrow. I have to say the dark stain is definitely different from what I am used to seeing, but I really love it.

Putting the old hardware back on this door after its face lift would have been sacrilege. It was a cool old door handle, but it had no lever and we have no key for it. We have never come in the house through the front door in the 6 years we have lived here. Since the garage and driveway is in the back, its not entirely necessary, but it will be nice to open the door from the outside instead of having to walk around when the wind blows the door shut behind you. Since the old hardware was a mortise set, I spent some time on the Internet and was finally able to find a new handle with that old charm. You'll notice that the inside doorknob matches those that were put in the upstairs. I can't believe we have a front door that actually works right! Thanks Brian for all your hard work today. You're a good sport for executing all my harebrained ideas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Elephant Bank?

One of our favorite pieces of decor in Izzypop's room is the piggy bank her Great Aunt Fig gave her right after she was born. She loves putting any spare change she finds in it and let's face it, her college fund needs all the help it can get.

Note: No, that is not cousin Abizella holding Izzypop's piggy bank :)

We loved the piggy bank so much that we decided to find one for Skeeter's room. [Incidentally, Great Uncle Jay came up with the alias.] I searched the internet for a new piggy bank to suit this little boy's room for hours and after wading through a ton of "Little Prince Pigs" (just a little too precious) and some wierd folkart ones, I finally found this one:

Technically, it's not a piggy bank and Izzypop reminds me every time I call it that -- "It's not a piggy bank Mom! It's an elephant bank!" Regardless, I love it! I also had to put up one of my favorite pictures of Skeeter's just ties all the colors in his room together so perfectly. There will come a day when he won't let me proudly display pictures of his toosh, but today is not that day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Why is our water heater outside on our lawn? Funny story. Not so much "funny-ha-ha" funny as much as "funny-we-could-have-died" funny.

A couple days ago, our carbon monoxide detector went off. We thought it might be the furnace, but our furnace was brand new. It didn't get keep going off, so we figured we get it checked out in the next day or so. Then yesterday, Brian went into the furnace room and water was everywhere. Our 19-year old water heater was leaking. We had a plumber come out to see what it would cost to replace and much to his (and our) chagrin, he found that the water heater wasn't all.

When they put the second story on, they had to come up with some other way to vent the water heater. Brian and I thought this had been taken care of, but apparently we were wrong.

It's kind of scary when you think that I was sleeping literally 2 feet away from that thing for 6 months, let alone while pregnant and had a 3 year old not too far away. That whole time, though, the CO detector never went off so I'm sure we weren't in any huge danger. And it is good to know that the detector actually works.

What I really can't figure out is how the heck it ever passed inspection. Scary. Anyway, we got a new water heater today and it's 10 gallons bigger. I'm anxious to see how much longer that gives me in the shower :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

1 Year -- Making History

That's right. It has been one year since we started construction. All in all, I have to say it has been fun. There have definitely been some bad times like the flood and that windy night I was up all night because of the flapping tarp. But all-in-all, it has been worth it. We love the result. We have totally changed this house and how we live in it. As part of our 1-year celebration, I thought I'd take a little walk down memory lane and document some of our home's history.

The only thing we really knew about our house before we started this process was that it was built in 1937, was 1955 sq. ft., had 3 bedrooms and 1 3/4 baths, and the previous owner was named Teresa Smith (we still get her mail sometimes). We decided to start by going down to the Utah State Historical Society building and doing some research. We found this early photo at the Historic Preservation Research Office.

Then, after searching microfilm for an hour or so, we found the original permit to build our house. It was taken out in October of 1936 by C. L. Schettler. The builder was J. E. Jensen and it looks like it cost $4000 to build. According to the inflation calculator I used, that's about $62K in today's money.

We then searched the phone directory books and found the following lineage:
DatesOwner's NameOccupation
1951-1970Christian Leopold SchettlerSalesman for E.B Wicks Co. /
Chief Department County Recorder
1970-1987Mrs. Hilda K SchettlerWidowed (Christian L) Retired
1987-1989Paul W. FineUnknown
1989-1991Gordon HeningerClinical Therapist
1991-1998Jeffrey HeningerUnknown
1998-2004Theresa A SmithUnknown

The other place I've looked for info has been the Salt Lake County Assessor's website. There I found the following two pictures. The second one was taken the right around the time we bought the house (March 2004).

The last item I found on that website was a drawing of the dimensions of the house -- never knew the back porch was only half the width of the house. Currently it spans the entire back of the house.

We're still trying to find out more info about our house, but this is a good start.

Here's a picture of what the house looks like today:

Our contributions to the history of this house can best be summed up by a look at the layouts before and after we started this renovation. The house is now about 2825 sq. ft. (including the balcony), has 5 bedrooms (one of which is part of a master suite) and 3 3/4 baths (when we get the master bath finished). The following table shows the basement, main floor and new upper addition before and after:


As far as what we've done on the house lately goes, the answer is not much. All that we've done is add a few fun things to the master closet: some hooks for belts, a tie rack, and a nifty jewely organizer. I need more earrings.