Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Week Six

We are still settling in, and the past two weeks we are feeling more settled and a little more like this place is becoming "home" to us.  We are still working hard on all of our projects and then there are the horses.  The horses, the horses, the horses....I can't say enough about these lovely creatures that are sharing this space with us.
They seem to have settled in well.  We have adjusted to having them here well so far.  And we love having them come up to the fence when they see us.
We love watching them interact with each other out in the pasture.  We sit in chairs and watch them like they are the best entertainment ever.  Because they are the best entertainment ever.  And we love having them come up the fence when they see us.
In fact, I can't grab a picture of any of them in the pasture except for Chevy.  Because as soon as they see us, they are at the fence line.
Beyond marveling at the horses and learning how to be horse owners, we are working on house stuff.  My Mom came for the weekend (thanks Mom!) and we had a painting marathon that was very productive.  Here is the progress on the reading room so far:
I love how the green drop table turned out, although half way through the project I kept saying "that's a lot of green!".  Once it was done, I adored it!
Here is the progress on our bedroom:
My Mom painted the two cabinets that we got along with the one in my Reading Room.  We don't have a lot of cabinet space in the kitchen, so Nathan built shelves for me to give me extra pantry space.
We are probably half way done with the inside projects on the house, except the flooring which may not happen for a very long time.  We are planning to do the fencing for the front next and then we have more horse news.  In the meantime, we are working hard and enjoying the horses.  Which is just how we like it right now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seven Acres=A lot of mowing!

We had three acres when we lived in Virginia, and we spent a lot of time mowing our lawn there.  Now we have seven acres and we are really glad we have horses to eat much of the grass.  I mowed the front yard last week:
Tonight, I finished mowing it all for the second time.  We need more horses so they can take care of the front too!
I am joking of course, because four horses is more than enough.  We will fence this in and rotate the horses and from what we see next door, they can keep the grass down very well if they are allowed to graze the whole area.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014 Weekend with the Family

It was an insanely busy week last week!  In fact, I am still recovering from it.  First the horses arrived and that same day my family started arriving for the holiday weekend.  Aric surprised me on Thursday night, and he wanted to go out and see the horses right away even though it was dark.  He seems to have the touch with the horses and seems to really enjoy them.  The next day Brittany and Austin came over and later that night everyone else arrived.
It worked out well to have the RV here because some of them used that to sleep in.  Between that and air mattresses, we had enough space for everyone.  The guys helped Nathan tear down some buildings we did not want, and that gave us lots of material for a great bonfire at night.  
During the day they flew kites and played volleyball.
We had tons of food to eat.  They did not eat much of it for some reason, which just means I don't have to cook for a few nights!  Noah had really grown since Christmas and I enjoyed hearing all he had learned since then.  He was such a doll and so smart and athletic!  He is the most precious thing and I loved every minute with him!
I realized a few things during the weekend.  I am really content being the age I am, and I'm so glad I chose the path I did in life.  So often I have wondered if I "missed out" on things in life due to having kids and getting married young.  
I see now that it not only didn't set us back any in meeting our life goals, but we most likely used that time more productively than we would have otherwise. I'm so grateful that because I enjoyed the path I did chose, I am now able to chose wisely for this chapter in my life too.  It isn't that I chose the "right" path.  I just chose a great one for me.  There is truly nothing I would have enjoyed more in life than being a Mom to my five beautiful, full of life kids and there is nothing in life I would enjoy more than being foster mom to the full of life four beautiful horses in our yard.

Easter 2014 was a very special one for us!  Looking forward to more in our new "family sized" space.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Horsecoming Day!

Today was the day I have been waiting for since the first time we decided to buy a house so I could foster the horses: our horsecoming day.  We were up at 5 am, and out working in their pasture as soon as it was light.
We worked until around 10 am and then headed over to the sanctuary.  Robin already had the trailer hooked onto the truck and in the loading zone.  We started with Hanovi and Gypsy, who both loaded beautifully.  Gypsy was more keyed up, but she went into the trailer fairly easily once she saw Hanovi in there.  We drove the short trip over to our place and let them out.  It did not take them long at all to take off and check out their new pasture.
They found the neighbor's horse, Peanut and ran the fence line with her for a bit.

I wish I had a picture of it, because Diane S from the sanctuary came with us to say her goodbyes to Gypsy.  She has been her sponsor and loves her dearly.  She graciously agreed to us sponsoring/fostering her and she is now sponsoring Nova who will love the extra grooming from Diane.

After we knew they were settled in ok, we headed back to the sanctuary to get Chevy and Savannah.  Chevy was a bit trickier to load, but overall he did well.  Savannah loaded like a champ.  She is such a smart girl and Robin is such a pro, they made it look easy!
And we were off for round two.  This time Barb and Bob from the sanctuary came along.  Barb gifted me with treats for the horses.  I love the people I volunteer with so much, so it made the day extra special to have them there to share the day with us.

When Robin/the trailer pulled into our driveway I got tears in my eyes.  When we got to the pasture, Hanovi and Gypsy were waiting at the gate.  We drove in and let Chevy and Savannah off of the trailer.
The Fierce Foursome, together for the first time:
I spent the rest of today hanging outside to watch the horses and smiling from ear to ear.  I'm tickled pink to have them here and can't wait to see what this leg of the journey brings for all of us.  
It is a really cool thing to us to be able to sit and watch them.  We don't have a TV yet, and I'm not sure we will ever get one when we can do this instead.  Ava is not quite as thrilled with the idea so far.
She has never paid attention to the neighbors' horses, so it was interesting to me how much it bothered her to have them in our yard.  Hopefully she will come around, because I really like looking out my back door and seeing this view:
This weekend my family is all coming for Easter, making this week even more fabulous!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Preparing for the Horses to Arrive

We are beginning the part of our house renovations that are exciting to me: the prep for the horses.  Mainly we had to put a cross fence up in the back.  We (or rather Nathan) started with fence posts.
Austin came over on his one and only day off to help with the rest of the fence.
 Not only did Austin help, but one of our wonderful neighbors came over and helped too.  I truly can't get over what incredible neighbors we have here!  While they all worked on the fence, Brittany mowed the lawn for me.  I am so grateful for all the help we had!
Robin sent over a water tub for me, and it felt so "real" that the time is close that we will have horses here.  We are SO excited!
After our hard work, we went down to Arcadia and ate at the Chinese buffet there.  It was a great day!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Week Five in the House

We are gearing up for the final thrust of the biggest house projects because the horses are coming soon!  This week we worked on tons more wallpapering.  I did the dining room.  Then Nathan helped me do the living room and reading room.  It made a huge difference when we were done.  Again, the place looked so much brighter and cleaner.  We also finally managed to hang kitchen and dining room curtains.
The other project I worked on was painting more furniture.  We bought a three piece set that we will use in both the dining room and the reading room.  I only have one piece painted so far, but I love how it turned out.  We still don't have any decorations up on the walls but that will just have to be done over time.  I still have to paint all the wallpaper and more furniture and redo the bathrooms.  But for now, I am thrilled that the main things I wanted to accomplish are done!
Here's some more "after" pictures of the projects I have accomplished so far.  Or maybe I should say "mid-progress" because none of the rooms beyond the kitchen are finished yet.
As of today, we started the fencing for the horses and our plans are to have them moved over here Thursday.  We are really excited and hope the preparations and transfer go very smoothly.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Weeks Three and Four in the House

I am beginning to feel like the Energizer Bunny in that I keep going and going and going.  I am hoping in the next few weeks, it begins to really look like there is progress and it is coming to an end.  I need to have all of the physical things done before the horses arrive because I don't see my body being up to handling both things well at the same time.  So what else has been checked off the list since I last blogged?  We (mostly Auburn and Nathan) got all of the staples pulled up and the floors are successfully sealed and painted!  That was a huge thing.

Beyond that, we have been making furniture and appliance runs almost every day.  We didn't have any furniture at all when we moved into the house so that meant furnishing the entire thing.  I am hoping to furnish and remodel the house for less than $5,000, so Craigslist has been our best friend with our purchases.  We had an RV sized washer and dryer so we needed to sell those and buy new.  I was thrilled when I sold the old and bought the new for even less than what we sold the old set for.  We also found a great price on a gently used dishwasher so we replaced that.
We managed to buy living room, dining room, bedroom and reading room furniture.  They were all incredibly cheap (read ugly) so I have been busy repurposing them.  We also made a Goodwill run for odds and ends that we needed, mostly storage items and I am trying to redo those more to my style.  So lots and lots of painting!  I have no idea of any of the paint colors because I am using whatever paint we find at Lowe's that we find for $5.00 a can on the clearance table.  So far it seems to be working through.
On top of all of that fun, we have been making trip after trip to carry things from the RV over to the house so we can clean that completely out.  We've had a few fun things like the kitchen counter top buckling up the first time we used the crock pot on it.  I ended up putting bricks on it and after about a week and a half it settled down enough that Nathan could gorilla glue it back in place.  Overall, things are going very smoothly though and we are really happy with what we've done to the house so far.

We are hoping to have the horses here this coming week and the kids are going to be here for Easter so I need to have a final push of productivity and then hopefully our lives settle into our new normal.