Saturday, March 16, 2019

Renovating and life updates!

First of all, let me start by saying I'm sorry for not posting sooner.  Life has been flying by these past few weeks.  I can't say that anything huge has happened, but in general, regular life events keep me busy.  In the first week of March, I made Fastnachts for Fastnacht day.  I enjoy doing this each year.  It's not that I actually make them to celebrate fat Tuesday...it's just that I absolutely love donuts, and its fun to have a family tradition. 
 

 

 
The way I see it, if you're going to get out the fryer, get it running, and use a huge container or oil, you may as well fry everything in sight.  So I also made apple fritters.  Dan really enjoys them. 



 
Aside from donuts, Dan has been working VERY hard on the house.  I mentioned a few of the big projects he was working on in the last few months...furnace, kitchen and mudroom floors, and re-plumbing the house.  After finishing those things, he started in on the next big job...resurfacing walls. 
Just to give you an idea of the changes that have been made, I'm posting before and after photos. 
This is the downstairs bathroom before.  There was a large heart-shaped tub rather than a shower.  Besides the fact that the tub didn't work, it hadn't been plumbed properly.  In fact, the pipes had been duct taped together, and in one place, an old vacuum hose had been used rather than pvc pipe. 
 
 
Dan installed a new shower instead.  It's hooked up and fully functioning. 
 
 
 
In the dining room, wallpaper was falling down, and there were several holes in the lath and plaster.
 
 
 
Dan has started patching, and mudding all the holes. 

 
This one is hard to see, but the staircase on the left is the one that goes upstairs.  Some years back, a former owner changed the stairway to be a narrow, low ceiling with a sharp turn.  So sharp in fact that the plywood Dan bought for the floors in the upstairs bathroom wouldn't fit up them.  So you'll see the change Dan did to the staircase opening in the next picture.


He took the ceiling up (not pictured) so it's much higher and more open now.  He widened the doorway, so now large items can be moved easily upstairs.  I also just have to mention that I love the banister posts he built...they fit the Victorian style of the house much better than having none.

 
This is the upstairs bathroom before.  I took down all the wallpaper last summer, and now....

 
Dan removed the hideous purple tiles on the walls and the peel-and-stick tiles on the floor and redid it.


 
He resurfaced the walls, put in a newer shower surround, and removed the toilet (we'll be putting in the new one this week).

 
What a hard worker!  I'm very proud of all the work he does.  Dan is trying hard to finish the house before the baby comes in May.  This week, my father-in-law is coming to stay with us for a few weeks, and will be helping with the renovation projects.  We've already purchased all the drywall needed to complete the upstairs...and that's the goal for the next two weeks. 

 
Be expecting to see some more photos soon! 
 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Life as I live it.

Hello readers!
     I don't know about you all, but this time of year is absolutely flying by for me.  As hard as it is to believe, Spring will be here soon.  They say that in upstate New York, March is the worst month for blizzards and storms though, so I'm still prepared for the winter weather for a few more weeks.

     This post is going to be picture-less, for which I apologize.  Besides taking a lot of photos of Gwendolyn, I haven't been active with my camera lately.  Besides the fact that not much different has happened. 

     Life for me consists of taking care of Gwendolyn, keeping house, teaching 5 piano/violin students, attending community choir practices, attending and serving in the church, and visiting people as much as I can.  When the weather is too cold though, Gwen and I stay hunkered down in the house. 

     Dan has been working really hard at the house we bought.  His goal is to have it finished by June. 
I guess the biggest set-backs have been unexpected problems he found.  The kitchen floor, for instance...  We knew we'd be taking up the peel-and-stick tiles that were there because they needed replacing.  When Dan did that, he discovered that the whole floor was rotten, the plywood and sub-flooring, as well as some beams.  After replacing all of that and rebuilding the floor to be level, the man who we paid to put in our new furnace and ductwork didn't follow through and finish the job, so Dan did all of that.  While he was replacing heating ducts in the basement, he saw how old and rusty the sewer lines were, so he tore them out and just finished replacing them with all new plumbing throughout the whole house. 

     Now, the house is re-plumbed, has new ductwork and furnace, new floors in the mudroom and kitchen, and has two new showers, toilets, and sinks in the bathrooms.  Like I said, Dan's been busy.  As much as I would love to go there and help him, it's so hard to do with Gwendolyn.  She is crawling and walking and everything she finds goes in her mouth.  The only thing we can do is put her in a playpen while we work...and she hates the playpen.  It ends up being miserable hearing her scream, so it doesn't make sense to take her until she's through this stage. 

     I enjoy taking Gwendolyn on walks in the stroller when the temperatures get above freezing.  The other day, we went with Chula and our neighbor.  Unfortunately, a pit bull came running out and attacked Chula, our white German Shepherd.  Despite my efforts to get the dog's owners to come get their dog, they stood on their porch and just yelled.  To say the least, it was traumatizing.  I'm just so glad that my neighbor was with me, because she managed to get the stroller pushed away from the dogs.  Our dog, despite her size and breed, is NOT a fighter.  She yipped and cried, trying to get out of the pit bull's bite, but she wouldn't fight back. 

Thankfully, we managed to get away with a very frightened, shaking Chula, and a shaking and angry me.  I admit, I was so angry I could hardly think straight.  It doesn't seem fair that people leave their dogs unchained, unattended, and untrained to attack me, our dog, and could have very seriously harmed my baby...yet they get away with it. 
This is the third time something like this has happened in this area.  People just aren't thoughtful.  I can't dwell on it too much or I get upset.  You can be sure that from now on, I will travel armed with some method of defense.  😀😀😀😀

For Valentine's Day, I had a talk with Dan and reminded him that I didn't want for him to spend money on overpriced flowers or chocolate.  I've been telling him this for years, but this year he finally listened.  :)  I'm one of those people who doesn't want anything for Valentine's Day...I'd so much rather get a random bouquet of flowers sometime during the year, or a bag of chocolate spontaneously.  Is there anyone else like me in the world?  haha   😀😀😀😀

Gwendolyn is growing fast.  She loves to talk, and walk.  I got her a little walker, and she walks all over now.  She has two teeth and I think will soon have more.  Baby #2 is growing as well.  Sometimes it seems hard to believe that I'm still not at 30 weeks yet...
I've already purchased all of the birth supplies I'll need for a homebirth.  This time around, I've been ahead of the game.  I've organized the baby room to fit two, and organized all of the clothes for newborn up to Gwen's age. 

Right now, we are immersed in planning for our first Missions Conference.  It's going to be so exciting. 
Hope you all are well.  I'll be sure to take pictures of life, so that my next post will have a few photos. 
Until next time!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Snowy Weather in NY

 
Well, I was wondering for a bit there when we would get more snow!  It snowed about four times in the month of November, but then December was pretty snow-free.  A few weeks ago though, we got enough snow to make up for all the snow-less weeks.  We got about four inches, which was like nothing...and there was a weather prediction for the weekend for us to get 6-10 inches.  Then it changed to 12-16 inches.  The last update we saw before falling asleep Saturday evening, it said 20-24 inches.  When we woke up, there were 10 inches, so we had to cancel church. 
 
 
 
Dan went out to start his truck to plow out our house, the church, and the neighbors who he usually takes care of...and his truck wouldn't start.  After charging it and trying to jump it using my car for about four hours, we finally got out the snowblower and cleared the driveway. 
 




 
We ended up getting 24 inches, so it was fun!  Gwendolyn wasn't too amused with it, so she and I stayed inside mostly. 

 
And made blueberry turnovers, blueberry pie, and shoofly pie!



 
And Gwen played a few songs on the piano as well. 

 
Other than the snow (which has now turned to ice), our lives are pretty uneventful! 
Hope you all are well. 
 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Shedd Baby #2


The other week we went to our 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound of our baby Shedd #2.  With Gwendolyn, we didn't find out the gender because we never did the 20-week ultrasound. 
 
This time, we decided to go ahead and find out, though I've been certain for awhile now that it's a girl, and Dan has been adamant that it's a boy. 
 
 
 
And guess who was right????
 

 
Yours truly.  😁😁😁😁
Gwendolyn is ready for her little sister to come in just four months!
 


Monday, January 21, 2019

A Very Happy New Year 2019

I hope you all enjoyed ringing in this New Year, 2019!  I know I did. 
I was so happy for us to be able to make a quick trip down to Pennsylvania for to spend New Years Day with my family.  See, New Years Day was always the day when my family would celebrate "Christmas", so it is still very special to me. 
 
We drove down on Sunday night late.  I was glad to be able to visit with my grandparents on Monday.  We went to their house, where Grandma prepared an absolute feast for us.  It was nice to be able to spend some time with them.  We made sure to get some photos of them holding Gwendolyn as well.
 
 
 

 
The next day, New Years Day, we all went over to Katie and Ryan's house for a delicious meal and terrific time spent with family. 

 
I took so many random photos, so please forgive the very long post. 
 
Martha with Felicity.

 
Gwen with her cousin Lillian

 
We were able to snap this photo of four cousins together!



 
Lydia and Charlotte

 
Katie always prepares stockings for each of the nieces and nephews over the age of One.  This year there were 12!  SO hard to believe. 
 
Anyway, it's fun to watch them take all the little stocking stuffers out and look at it all. 






 
And then the adults did our gift exchange.  This year the guidelines were to bring either a book or a movie.  It made it nice, because you knew in advance you'd get one or the other. 
 
This is Sarah opening hers.

 
And Billy

 
This present was a jackpot for sure.  Someone gave a whole box full of complete seasons of Little House On The Prairie Dvd's. 

 
Daddy, showing me his dvd.

 
My parents

 
Dan and Mark, conversing.

 
My mother opened 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'

 
Gwennie and I

 
After we finished our exchange, my mother opened the present that was from all of us.  Lydia did all the work to put together a photo book with photos from all of us throughout this past year.  It was a really nice gift and I know my parents really liked it. 


 
Tammy and I, the two pregnant family members.  😊

 
This is our annual New Years family photo using the self-timer on the camera.  It'll be only a few years before it'll be hard to fit everyone in the photo!

 
The next morning, we ate breakfast with my parents and then were just getting up to get ready to head back to NY when a mouse scurried across the floor.  My dad then trapped it behind a wood box and was determined to get it when it eventually came out.  I couldn't stop laughing, and made sure to snap this photo of my dad, armed and ready to tackle the mouse when it showed itself (which it never did). 

 
We said our goodbyes and then headed home to New York state. 

 
I treasure every moment I'm able to spend with my family.  It probably won't be for awhile that I'll see them again, so we try to make a few trips each year. 
 
I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year!  As you can probably tell, I'm a little bit behind on my posting these days.  It seems every time I sit down to write a post, Gwendolyn has some catastrophe.  Keep your eyes peeled for a post soon though about our Shedd baby #2!