Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hotel # 3 & Vacationing Styles

We had a very long day yesterday. I would be subjecting you to the loads of pictures I took at Busch Gardens except I can’t because of a couple of unfortunate events.

Reason #1- I took all my pictures with my brand spankin’ new iphone.

Reason #2- Said iphone’s battery died last night.

Reason #3- I left my phone charger at Hotel #1.

Reason #4- My NEW car phone charger stopped working.

On the bright side- My in-laws have generously stopped in Chattanooga on their way down to Florida to pick up my charger. We shall be reunited later today.

Hotel #1- Microtel- Nice. Comfortable. Easy access off highway. Good breakfast.

Hotel #2- Holiday Inn- Okay. A little dingy. Nice location. No Breakfast :(

Hotel #3- Hyatt- Amazing. New. Very clean. Okay location. Great amenities. Awesome breakfast.

Favorite- Hotel #3!!!!





Not the greatest pictures, but I wanted to snap them quick before the boys invaded. They were by the door and foaming at the mouth to take over the place.

Tonight we will be staying at my in-law’s timeshare in Daytona and will remain there for the rest of our vacation. It’s not new or fancy. But it is clean and the location is the BEST. Can’t beat it. Plus it is where everyone else is which makes it the favorite location.

Vacationing styles-

Scott is early to bed and early to rise. He loves getting up early (weird, I know) and working out. He is out by the pool by 9am. He is the first one to bed.

I, however, love to sleep in (a little) and stay up late. I take my time and bum around our room in the morning. Then, I love to stay up late and play rousing games of Euchre, Spades, Golf (the card game), or Dutch Blitz with anyone else still awake.

The kids do a little of both.

It’s a little difficult with our different styles, but we manage. Anyone else have such polar opposite styles of vacationing? Or are we just weird?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun in Florida

Boy! I am very thankful we don't have to spend a lot of time in the car today. Instead we will be walking around Busch Gardens. I wore an appropriate outfit.

Our hotel for last night was okay. The bathroom was a little gross. Here is a picture of our room.

I tried to get a picture before the bed was jumped on without much luck. The boys were a little wound up to say the least.
The boys slept on a pullout couch connected to our room.
Stay tuned for Busch Garden reviews and another new hotel tonight!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:N 30th St,Tampa,United States

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tennessee Greetings

Hello from Tennessee!

We had a long, but good, traveling day yesterday. The weather was beautiful and everything went great. My littlest got a little tired of the van towards the end, but nothing too bad.

We stayed the night at a Microtel. We stayed at the exact same place last year. It is very nice and has a nice breakfast. We arrived at the hotel around 1am. So we were very tired and looking forward to sleeping in a little. We only have to travel 8 hours today, instead of 11 hours like we did yesterday.

We were shocked to be waken at 7am by the loudest and most obscene alarm I’ve ever heard. Scott and I both scramble out of bed looking for the snooze button. Only then did we realize it was the smoke alarm. It lasted only about 15 seconds and then stopped. We got back in bed, dazed.

Then it started going off again. This time it lasted for more than a minute. I called the front desk just to make sure we shouldn’t be exiting the building. The lady at the front desk said this- “The steam from the laundry room was setting off the smoke alarm. No need to be alarmed. We apologize.”

Seriously? Can steam set off a smoke alarm? Is that possible? Or is that some lame excuse they gave to cover up hooligans playing with the smoke alarm pull?

Who knows?! But our day has started a little earlier than planned. No big deal. They can sleep in the car!

We love this hotel room because they offer this neat little feature-


It’s nice to have one of the boys sleep on this so they aren’t so crammed.

And I love how a lot of hotels have gotten rid of the disgusting and outdated comforters in favor of a more inviting and washable choice. So much better!


This is after sleeping in it, so it looks a little sloppy.

I’ve got to get down to breakfast. I’m starving!

Happy hump day!

By the way- Anyone else freaked out by the runaway truck ramps when traveling through the mountains? I was driving that area, in the dark, and constantly looking in my rearview mirror for a rogue semi truck barreling down on me. Luckily, I never saw one Smile

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Road Trip Begins

We are packed and ready to go.

Our house, on the other hand, is not.

I wasn’t able to reach that 90 percent. But I would say we have about 83.5 percent of our house packed and moved.

I believe I will be able to relax while sunbathing. What we have left can be accomplished in the one week we have remaining after vacation before we must evacuate the premises.

The next 10 days we will be-

~staying in Tennessee the first night

~arriving in Florida on Thursday evening

~going to Busch Gardens on Friday

~traveling to Daytona on Saturday

~swimming, sunbathing, and beach going for the days there after

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(these are from last year)

I will still be adding to my blog. Hopefully the same schedule I’ve been keeping, but we will see how the internet connection goes.

Anyone else leaving for vacation soon? What do you do to keep the kiddos busy on a long drive? I’d love to hear any feedback!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Little Skamper

I’m on a mission today. I have limited time before we leave for vacation and that means limited time to get things moved out of our house for our big move (next door).

Today I have to bring our camper up to my dad’s house. Like I’ve said before, my dad lives on a farm and he has ample space to store my little, old camper for the summer.

We found this camper a few summers ago. We got it at a bargain basement price- $300. It is from the 1970s (I see a theme here) and grossly outdated. But structurally it was in good shape. It says Skamper on the side of it. It just needed a makeover. So that is what we gave it.

Here are before pictures:


(This is actually after because I forgot to get it before but the outside didn’t get changed at all)


(This is a shot during the process of the makeover. That cabinet was actually the color of the fridge before I primed it.)


This was the flooring.


This is a good shot of the orange sink, retro flowered cushion, horrid curtain, laminate tabletop, and part of one of my children’s head.


This shows the ugly table with the newly laid peel and stick tile flooring and primed cabinet benches.

For the curtains, I just used the old ones to make new ones. I laid them out on the floor and cut them to size (leaving room for a seam allowance). I even cut the old snaps from the original curtains and sewed them onto the new ones. That way I didn’t have to buys new ones.


I then got some heat-safe spray paint and painted over the awful orange on the stove top and used the same paint for the sink.



For the tabletops and around the sink and stove, I found a very thick self-adhesive shelf liner from Lowes. It was a little tricky getting it perfect. But it is much better than it was.


For the cushions, I found an outdoor fabric in the clearance section at Jo-Ann’s. There wasn’t enough to cover all the cushions so I combined this with some other coordinating fabrics I found there. They were also what I used for the curtains. It was missing two cushions when we bought it. So I bought some foam cushions from Jo-Ann’s and cut them to the right size. This was probably the most expensive part. But it was necessary since the table sections fold down into beds.

We used a different shelf liner paper (the diamond pattern) to cover up the dark paneled walls around the table. It turned out pretty good and much brighter and fresher.

I’m too impatient for before pictures (as you can see) and not detailed enough to keep track of all the expenses. So I don’t know how much it all cost to do. But, in my opinion, it was well worth it. I love doing it and we love using our little Skamper.

Soon we will outgrow this camper and will be forced to sell. That will be a sad day for me .

But then someone else can enjoy it like we have.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Plum Tuckered Out

Already. And the week, containing lots to get accomplished, is just beginning. I am exhausted. If there was a more severe word than exhausted, that would be me. But I’m charging ahead and looking forward to relaxing days soon to come.

This is how I’m feeling-

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We had a busy/great weekend. The Pistons game wasn’t very exciting, but we had fun anyway. The boys had an awesome time at the Red Wings game. That was an exciting game! The girls had a fantastic shopping experience. It was fun just being all together and spending quality time together.

Then we came back to get some serious work done. We have a busy schedule this week with lots of things to get done. We went to work moving our stuff next door into my in-laws so we could spend our first night there. Mission accomplished!

Next, I need to make sure all of our stuff is packed and ready for Florida. I can’t believe we leave on Wednesday! Yikes!

We got a lot of big items moved out of our house and into the storage unit. But we still have a few pieces left to move. I would say we are about 75 percent done. I hope to be 90 percent done before Florida, but we will see.

I promise I will start writing more interesting posts. Something other than about our packing and moving. That is just what I have been consumed with lately. Hang with me and better things will be coming soon.

Scott is doing good. His eyes still look gross, but his vision is perfect. He says they are a little itchy. He has problems falling asleep at night because he feels like he needs to take his contacts out. Hopefully that stops soon.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Updates

1. I love birds. Don’t get me wrong. But I remember why it’s impossible to sleep much longer than the sunrise when it gets warmer.

2. We are heading to Detroit this weekend. Going to a Pistons game tonight and just the boys are going to a Red Wings game tomorrow. The girls will be shopping! First time going to Trader Joes and Home Goods.

3. Scott’s vision is 20/20. He is feeling great and loving the outcome. We all have a hard time looking at his eyes because they are a little red and kind of disgusting.

4. We met with our realtor. Had a great chat, but didn’t make an offer. He says the house can be ours if we want it. But we are taking a couple of weeks to think things over and go over ALL of the options.

5. Last night was our last night in our house. We are hoping to be moved in totally and sleeping at my in-laws by Sunday night.

6. I had frozen yogurt last night and it was very good.

7. I talked to my dad and he isn’t sure what this crazy weather is going to do to his crop this year, but he said it makes him very nervous.

8. I have been cutting back on carbs and drinking more water (and less lattes). I see a noticeable difference in my waistline.

9. I still don’t have one single room completely empty in my house. But a LOT of them are close.

10. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Second Hand Stores are dangerous

I have a problem. I can admit it. I love the thrill of the search at second hand stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and many, many others.

I went on a mission to look for baseball cleats for my ever-growing like a weed eleven year old. At the first store I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.

I got these. They fit perfectly and I’ve been wanting to get a pair for awhile now. $2!!


Ha ha. The filter I used in Instagram makes me look like I have really white ankles!

I have another weakness. I am attracted to cute small chairs. I know, I know. What am I thinking, right? Why would I buy another piece of furniture when I’m trying to empty all our STUFF out of our house. But it already has a home at my in-laws.

Here’s what it looks like- $15


Isn’t it cute? This is a slipcover. So, when I’m ready, I can use this as a pattern to make something new. Even though this is nice it isn’t in colors I would want.

I’ve had trouble leaving a second hand store empty handed lately. And I didn’t even find any cleats. Then I called my husband and he had already found some earlier in the day. What?! I did all that shopping for nothing. But I’m glad I did because I found some good deals. And it gave me a break from constant packing, packing, packing.

What do you think? You guys have any similar problems? Or am I alone in this?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lasik Surgery Day & Perry House

Today is the day. Scott is sooo excited. I have to leave at 11am to pick him up from work and bring him to the surgery. It is at noon. Pray everything goes well!

I feel like our house has a never ending supply of STUFF. Just when I think we are getting close I open another closet or cabinet and there is more STUFF! It’s amazing how much you can accumulate in six years. Wow!

We had our chimney fixed. Scott found a great guy from Hudsonville. His name is Tom Schimmel and he works for Blowkamp Masonry. It was a small repair and he did it on the side to earn money to go to Missouri to aid those devastated by the tornadoes. Isn’t that awesome?! He was so nice and did a great job.

Once the chimney was done a guy came to do the appraisal. Then yesterday a guy came from Carpet Bonanza to take measurements. The buyers also asked for the measurements of the fridge and stove. Turns out their parents are buying them new appliances as a gift! I wonder if they will let me come back in a couple of months to see all the changes they made?!

We are meeting with our realtor on Thursday to discuss our offer. Scott is telling me we should live with his parents for longer and buy a business instead.

Yes, that’s right. I have officially pulled out all my hair.

For the fun of it, here are some pictures of the downstairs full bathroom in the Perry House. Be very afraid.



This bathroom is next to the Master bedroom but not connected. I’d like to eventually close off the hallway door and make a door from our bedroom. And change just about everything about the bathroom. The floors and sink faucet were updated but everything else screams 1970.

My dilemma is this- Do I keep the tub (it has jets) and try to update it or get rid of it altogether and do a big tiled shower instead? Would I miss the tub? I like the idea of soaking in a bathtub. (Our present bathtub is WAY too small).

Of course I would paint all the wood. I’d like to do some sort of tile on the floor. An interesting vanity would be fun. That storage next to the tub would be so nice (not in its current state of course).

What do you think? What changes would you make? What do you do when your husband doesn’t share your dreams of a new house but instead dreams of owning his own business and has had that dream for the past 10 years and his dream would mean you would not be buying a new house any time soon?

*big heavy sigh*

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Productivity Pill

Don’t you wish there was such a thing. I’m not good about taking pills regularly but if there was a pill to make me more productive, I’d find a way.

But something happened this morning. I’m not sure what. I ate a lot of protein for breakfast. Could that do it. I had energy and motivation. It was a strange thing. But good. I got a lot done. And then Scott came home and got a lot done. He must’ve taken a pill too.

Here are some of the emptier rooms in my house. Believe me, not all of them look like this-





This is what we have resorted to. Mattresses on the floor and a folding card table in our dining room. Such is life!

We are running short on storage space. We rented a 10 x 20 but are now afraid it won’t be big enough. So I am going to purge some things. Lots of things, in fact. You will be the first to know when the garage sale is happening. I am getting rid of the hutch in our dining room. Any takers?


You can see it on the right hand side in this picture. It is dark brown and great for storage.

I’m debating on this item. I really don’t want to let go of it.


(don’t mind the dog and all of the clutter around the couch)

This couch has a cool retro vibe, a nice low profile, and it folds down into a bed. It is comfy and in great shape. I got it from a garage sale (someone we kind of knew) for $2.50. It has been residing down in our play room in the basement.

I don’t think I can let it go yet. I had dreams to recover *someday*. What do you think? Is it a keeper or no?

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Gladness

This has been one crazy March! I don’t ever remember one quite like it. But I worry for my dad and other farmers like him. I hope there won’t be a late frost to ruin the buds that have opened so early.

Around here we are making some progress. But my house is driving me crazy. We keep going to a new room and boxing up some stuff and leaving other stuff that still needs to be sorted. My house is a chaotic mess to say the least. My hubby and I have committed to completely finishing the basement today. I hope that will happen. We are just about 40% moved, I would say.

Speaking of hubby, he is pretty pumped for his Lasik surgery on Wednesday. He is so sick of wearing his glasses. It is at noon and then he is instructed to take a three to four hour nap afterwards.  What a hard life!

I am loving my new phone. It’s practically been attached to my hip since I got it. Here is a picture taken with it-


This is what my littlest one’s socks have looked like lately. He has made friends with the little neighbor girl across the street and is frequently running out in his socks to see her. It is both cute and annoying. I’m glad for him to have someone his age to play with.

We are meeting with our realtor this week to discuss our offer we want to make on the Perry House. I will let you know as things progress.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Perry House Basement

The basement in the Perry Street house has a lot of potential. I was told that it stays dry and has never had any leaking issues. There is a TON of space. There is even a room that I didn’t take pictures of that would be great for a new craft room.

Here are the pictures that I took-


Stairs leading down to basement.


Rooms to the left and right. To the right would be that great craft room. To the left is a room with access to the outside through cellar doors.




The ceiling is a decent height. Isn’t the carpet beautiful? Candy-striped would be my choice any day!


Nice big open space.


Furnace room.


So, in the basement, we plan to have

- a craft room

- an exercise area

- a play area: we have a ping-pong, foosball, and air hockey table

- a storage room

It seems like there is plenty of space to do those things, right?

Of course, the changes I’d like to make are pretty much everything- new flooring, drywall, ceiling, and all of that. This is for way into the future. What do you think? What would you do to it? Divide it up by more walls? Or leave it open? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great weekend everyone! Get out and enjoy the weather Smile

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 Random Updates

1. I am one-third of the way moved out of our house

2. I’m officially stressing out

3. My husband has his eye surgery scheduled for Wednesday- after that- NO GLASSES!

4. I keep crossing things off of my to-do list but I also keep adding things to it

5. I have about seven cardboard cuts on my fingers

6. I am loving this warm weather

7. My boys are obsessed with video games (this is more of an on-going thing)

8. I ate two Reese’s peanut butter eggs 10 minutes ago even though I’m trying to eat good (they jumped into my cart while at Meijer!)

9. I will be showing pictures of the Perry House’s basement tomorrow

10. I turned to the dark side- I got an iPhone 4s



(pictures from my new, amazing, spectacular phone)

I love Instagram. Download the app now if you don’t have it!

Random and weird. That’s how I’m feeling today.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Craft Room Details

I have gotten a few items checked off my to-do list and that feels great.

Check! –acquire a storage unit

Check! –move some boxes into said storage unit

Check! – finally mail out my Mom’s b-day present

So here is the craft room details-

My brother lived with us for a few months and stayed in our basement. When he moved out I felt inspired to turn the space into a craft room. So that is what I did. Here are some before pictures (kind of boring)


Through that door is a full bath and the laundry room.




The toy room is spilling over from the room next door. The stairs are across from that blanket covered foosball table.

Now I will show you what the room looks like now- almost packed up. I couldn’t find any pictures of the room before packing, when it was in it’s glory. Just try to use your imagination.


(The craft room is also home to, Sage, Ethan’s bearded dragon)

The shelf on the end of the room housed all of my fabrics. It was completely full and organized by color.  Next to it is my sewing table. It went from this-


to this-



My sewing chair was a goodwill purchase- I believe for under $10. The big picture frame was a $4 purchase from a secondhand store. I intend to do something with it someday. The same goes for the gold framed shadow box with velvet liner. It has a makeover in it’s future.

My craft table was made from an old closet door and file cabinets.


This was the closet door before I painted it.

The small file cabinet was a dull grey and I just painted it with an espresso colored spray paint. That was a second-hand store find also. The big file cabinet we had when we moved in and I just spray painted it to try to match the small one.


The glass jars sitting on the table held all of my pencils, markers, scissors, and paint brushes up until a few days ago. On the wall there used to be a set of three prints that I bought with that floral arm chair at a garage sale for about $3 total.



The lamp was a $10 secondhand store find. I love it. The old windows are a project waiting to happen. The wardrobe held all of my photography equipment.

There is a desktop computer sitting on a small desk a little more to the right. It doesn’t get used so I’m not sure why I still have it.

And that is my craft room in a nutshell. Sorry it couldn’t have been prettier for you to see. I will definitely miss it. It’s so nice to have the sewing machine set up and ready to use- but not in the way. I think I’m starting to get really sad about leaving this house. It has been our home for six years and has served it’s purpose well. But I know there are good things to come. I can’t wait to start fresh in a new (to us) house.

I hope you will still be following along to see what the future holds for us. Lots more projects to come- for sure!