A Glimpse of Our Garden

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Well, the week is rapidly winding down, and I’ve been really busy with our Munchkins, but thought I’d share a little glimpse with you all of our family’s first attempt at gardening. We’ve wanted a garden for several summers now but it’s never worked out until this year. It’s been far more work than I anticipated, but we’re enjoying the fruits of our labor. The picture above was taken just after a lettuce and kale harvest so the greens are looking a little pathetic. They usually look much nicer: bigger and fuller. We’ve gotten a lot of salads out of this garden.

On our deck are some flower boxes that we filled instead with dill and baby greens this year. They’ve done amazingly well and we’ve gotten three harvests out of the baby greens already.

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Green beans have been our easiest and most rewarding endeavor. I pick them three times a week now and we’ve been enjoying lots of cooked and raw green beans. I’ve even made some baby food for Paul…for when he’s ready.

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This is my favorite part of the garden. Back in the spring we were given several organic bell peppers. I pulled out some seeds, just for fun, and planted seeds from red, yellow, orange, and green peppers. And just look, they’ve done beautifully. This picture is about a week old and this morning I counted at least eight little baby peppers going strong. Now we’ll just see if they change colors. 🙂

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That’s about it, other than Lydia’s sunflower patch. But, as I hardly have enough time and energy to keep up with weeding the vegetable garden, I’ve let that go. Surprisingly, the first flower bloomed this week, and was on a mammoth sunflower that had fallen down during a storm. Lydia and I propped it back up and are hoping that’ll be the biggest flower of the summer. If they do well, maybe I’ll put up a picture for you all in a few weeks.

Taylor Home Tour

Welcome to our new home! Would you like to take a look around?

Before we get started, I have a confession to make. I spent the whole morning running around, cleaning, and moving things out of the pictures before I took them. No, our house is not as clean as it looks here. But this is a blog, after all. Maybe I’ll hold this post up as inspiration in the future to keep things clean. 🙂

Anyway, come on in.

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Here is our living room, but let’s start with the upstairs, shall we? Turn to your right.

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Up we go.

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Don’t trip over the baby gate. We recently bought a new one that swings open (much safer for pregnant mommies carrying toddlers!), but it hasn’t arrived yet.

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To your immediate right, you’ll find the Master bedroom.

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The family who sold us this house also gave us a lot of their furniture, including an entire bedroom set for this room. However, we priced out king size mattresses and decided to stick with our queen. Then we couldn’t get our box spring up the stairs so we ended up buying a new bed frame from Ikea. Now I enjoy our new headboard every single night when I read before going to sleep. Then I enjoy it again in the morning while Lydia snuggles with me and I read my Bible and pray. But, go ahead, and have a look around.

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Now we’ll head across the hallway to the baby room/office.

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Glider for Baby. It needs new cushions. Or the current ones need to be washed. Not sure which we’ll do yet.

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Desk for Dan…

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Books and a few other boxes we have yet to sort through…

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Now we’ll head further down the hallway to the girls’ room. Shhhh, Abby’s napping.

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You also probably noticed that I’m in the process of washing Lydia’s sheets.

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The closet does have doors but they have to be reinstalled. When we had the floors put in (did you notice the beautiful new floors?) the workers took out the closet doors in here and they have to be cut to fit above the new floor now.

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I love this part of the room. Eventually Lydia’s kitchen will go in this little nook.

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Just a little further to our “dumping grounds”, that is, the third bedroom that currently holds all of the kids’ clothes. I have to sort through it all, but it’s not my top priority at the moment. This is also where Baby’s bed currently resides, although we plan to move it in to the Baby room/office.

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You’ll notice all that storage across the hall, from the ceiling…

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…down to the floor.

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At the end of the hallway is the bathroom.

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I love the girls’ puppy and elephant towels hanging there so happily. We really do need to install some more hooks though.

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And now we’ll go back downstairs to see the first floor. Notice the nifty shelves on the way down? This is the first time Dan and I have had more shelves than books. It’s nice.

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Here we are again in the living room. Notice the short open door to your right? That’s Lydia’s “dressup closet” and it’s nearly always in use. To close that for all the pictures would have been impossible. It was hard enough keeping the Munchkin in her tutu out of the pictures.

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There’s our Christmas tree.

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We ended up rearranging all of our furniture to accommodate the Christmas decorations. I love having this setup where I can read or work on little projects while I sit between all the Christmas lights. It’s cozy.

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There’s our Beloved Christmas Moose.

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Stockings and the kid-friendly nativity scene arranged by our own Munchkin. Yes, I realize we could have hung the stockings from our fireplace mantle like you’re supposed to. We tried but the hooks we were using just fell off. I looked up real stocking holders, but they weren’t in our budget this year.

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Now through this doorway is the kitchen.

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This breakfast nook is also Dan’s favorite spot to grade papers and plan lectures for the class he’s been teaching.

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Lots of cupboards, lots of counter space. I love this kitchen.

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The kitchen pictures are the most deceiving. The counters are actually covered in appliances. The appliances were under the island, but we’re installing a pretty massive water filter system there and I have to find new homes for everything. I love having my counters nearly bare (easy to clean!), and we’re currently deciding whether or not the coffee pot deserves a permanent spot up there. Dan votes “yes”, I’m leaning toward “no”. Thoughts?

Moving along…

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Here’s the island with a prep sink and everything. So handy.

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Through that door you see just past the island is the laundry area. It cuts right through to the piano room. We’ll get there.

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Washer and dryer behind those closets.

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Drying rack, hamper, and broom back here. We’d like to get that broom to hang up. Haven’t figured out how to do that yet. The hooks just fall down…might have to actually put some holes in the wall…

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Just past the kitchen is that back of our house and the dining area.

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This is the door we actually use. You, as a guest, came in the front door.

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Across from the back door, the first thing you see when you walk in, is our family-less tree. One day it will become a family tree, but that day hasn’t come yet.

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Here’s where all the meals happen. And my sewing.

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Adjacent to the dining room is the piano room. It also currently holds our chest freezer, closet doors to the girls’ room, Abby’s “standing toy”, and that massive water filter system I mentioned earlier.

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It also holds more decorations than any other room in the house. Sparse, I know. We’ll get there.

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And here we come around to the hallway that takes you out. We did a big loop, if you followed all of that.

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Before we go that way, I’ll open this closet door to give you a sneak peak into one of our many closets. I have unpacked sufficiently for now, but the closets are a mess. This is my “mom closet”. It has random toys that haven’t been put away yet, sewing projects, homeschool research materials, and some other miscellaneous items I don’t want the girls to get into.

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We’ll just shut that closet door and make our way out.Did you notice I even closed Lydia’s dress up closet for you? Feel free to use the restroom on your way out. First door on the left. You can just move Lydia’s potty seat. There’s a nifty little hook for it on the side of the sink.

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Well, it’s about lunch time and Abby needs to get up from her nap, so I’ll let you let yourself out. We won’t explore outside today as it’s getting late and it’s pretty cold out there. Have a nice trip home, stay warm, and come again soon!

The Story of Our House

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Back in August I shared the story of our housing hunt.  Today I’d like to share the story of our house.

It had been a long hunt so far when I started praying that we just wouldn’t even look at anymore until it was the “right one”. I was weary of getting my hopes up and then the crushing disappointment that usually followed: the house or neighborhood was no good, or someone else made a better offer.

There was a two-story home in a neighborhood that we liked so we went to go see it. The owners had kept it immaculate. Every inch was decorated to their style but, as they showed us around, it was hard to picture is as ours and not theirs. The price was within our range, but seemed high for the area. We prayed and talked about it. And we waited. We prayed more, talked more, asked our parents for advice. We walked around the neighborhood, talked to neighbors, and even went to look at it again.

It seemed like a good match. Everything in our minds said to go for it. I was desperate to finally end the hunt. But whenever we prayed, we felt unsure. It was confusing. Over and over we had prayed that when we found the right house we would know right away, and with this one we just weren’t sure. Again and again we tried to figure it out, but it just felt like God was giving us an unclear, “Maybe not.”

After a couple weeks with no changes and no new prospects, I started apartment hunting online. It just felt like we’d never find the right house. We still didn’t know if we should offer on the two-story, and we were waiting to see if maybe the price would come down. Then, one weekend, our Realtor took us to look at three more houses.

One was on a busy road. One was moldy-smelling and old. One was huge, but with a small yard. All were out of our price range. We prayed and again felt like God was saying, “Wait.”

At the end of the three viewings our Realtor asked me again what was wrong with the houses so far, what did I want that they didn’t have. I attempted to explain the things I wanted in a home, the most important things. Suddenly her face lit up as she said she had the home for us. We knew the owners, she told us, but she had to get their permission before telling us which house it was because it wasn’t even on the market yet.

Dan and I spent the ride home trying to guess who it could be. The next day he found out and emailed me. My first thought was, “I love that house, but Dan probably won’t want it.” To my surprise, he told me he had prayed and felt this might be our new house.

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The next day we went for a visit and our friends showed us around. We loved it and had no question we wanted it to be our new home. The next weeks were so happy. We had found a house that we loved. It was bigger and more beautiful than anything we had expected to afford. It had a huge yard and was just down the road from a park. It was better than anything we had looked at so far and anything we had hoped or planned for.

Because the house wasn’t on the market yet, we were able to offer the asking price without any competition. The inspections and appraisals went forward and, after what seemed like a very long time to us, we closed on our own house.

Dan and I truly believe that, by praying about every home and trusting the Lord’s leading, God kept us from offering on the other houses because He had something better for us. And now we are enjoying the fruit of the waiting, the prayers, and the obedience, by getting settled in a house that really feels like a home. It’s not the starter house we had in mind. It’s a home we can imagine living in for a very long time.

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I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1