Friday, March 25, 2011

Project: Egress windows

I would say this is the third "major" improvement to our house since we've moved in last fall. The first was getting a new furnace/air conditioner and the second was getting the lighting/electrical situation changed over. Both of those were big deals, but we had professionals do the job. So, this project is the first big project that 'we' did ourselves.
Let me clarify 'we'...Ben, Phil and Sam.

Here's a picture of the side of the house before the project began (well, we had already torn out the bushes)

1. Ben dug his little heart out. He started on Monday, and had almost the entire first hole dug out I think it was 6 feet deep x 6 feet wide.

2. On Tuesday Ben's family came. Phil did ALOT of digging as well. He dug the second window hole.

3. Sam dumped the dirt that Ben and Phil dug from the holes, around the house. We were needing to get a significant amount of dirt to pour around the house anyway since there was a negative slope. 

4. For the start of Wednesday, they had put up wood where the cement would be cut through. Ben tore down the wall, and pulled back the carpet in the bedrooms downstairs as it would get quite messy.

5. The very odd man whose job is to cut through cement came and did just that. I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb to say he's not a Type A person..seeings that he cut pretty much where he thought it should be. A bit risky if you ask me, afterall it is a WALL of our house he's cutting through! Luckily he did an alright job, not a square job, but the size was about right.

6. They framed up the openings to make them square for the windows.

7. Installing the windows!

8. Ben and Phil went to Wichita to pick up the window wells and other supplies to finish the job.

And here is the "almost" finished look to the egress windows! The dirt needs to be filled in yet, and the top needs to be secured in place. I must say...I am impressed!

Thank you to Ben's family for coming to help!

Monday, March 14, 2011

It starts...

We bought our house here in Hesston much for the amount of yard it has. Its exciting...I'm actually really excited. We have plans, both long term and present, spring/summer plans. A couple weeks ago we had a really nice day, so we started tearing out all the "landscape" around the house. Then a week ago they were having a sale at the nursery in town, so we bought a couple trees. Ben just planted those this week. The thought that spring will be here just really exciting. Flowers, plants, garden, yard work, all VERY exciting things!

Christian watching Ben plant the Autumn Blaze Maple tree in our front yard

The next step will be do make the egress windows alongside the east side of the house. Hopefully, we can get this done week! I'm sure I'll have a few more pictures of the progress.

Friday, March 11, 2011


...this is Christian's latest and greatest phrase. If he would like something, or is asked something that could be replied with something other than "no", he says "uh-huh", with some extra emphasis on the "huh" part. He's such a goof. His little vocabulary is just growing quite rapidly. The words may not come out clear as day, but man he sure does try to repeat ALOT. It seems as though is entering a whole new level of being a toddler :)

He had his 18 month check up, just a month late..oops. It was nice timing since he has had a cough/runny nose for almost a week. The doctor said it looks like its just a cold, so that's good. He weighed 23 lb 10 oz...17% for weight, and 2 ft 10 in..88% for height. I guess it didn't seem like he is necessarily light, but I don't have too much to compare him to. Regardless, the doctor said he looked fine, and we'll go back for his shots when he is feeling better.

It seems like he is more interested in reading books, and actually turning through each page. We have frequented the library lately, I think I'm more excited to bring home multiple children books than he is...there are SO many good ones to choose from. He has also developed a pretty intense liking to cookie monster. We don't even watch Sesame Street very often, but the video of "C is for Cookie" is up there amongst his FAVORITE things ever! Also in the last month, he has started trying to put any and everybody's shoes on and/or carry them around like they are a hot item. This is fine, until I can't find my shoes when I need to leave for work :)

We definitely take advantage of the sunny, nice days...we're all ready for those to be EVERYDAY!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

33 on 3-3

Happy Birthday Brent!

He turned 33 on March 3, neat huh. Anyways, we celebrated at Mom and Dad's the next day..with yummy food, gifts, and a game of course. Happy Birthday to my favorite older brother :)

My very special brothers doing "airplane" rides...oh my.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sunday School

Every since I finished high school I had tried going to sunday school at whatever church I was attending at least once. I know not a fair chance on some churches, but others I went back multiple times. I'm not sure what it was exactly that made the idea in my head that until I was "much" older, sunday school is just not for me. I think it was hard to feel connected in many of the churches, it seemed like the group was already established and I didn't have any close interactions with anybody in the group. I'm not a fan of feeling like an "outsider", so I decided that church was good, and I could get alot of good from it alone. You may wonder where I am going with this...I'll get there.

When Ben and I got married in 2008, we thought about getting involved with a sunday school class and/or small group. There was not really any "easy" way of getting into one, and we didn't exactly BEG the church to help us out. So we attended church regularly, and enjoyed the small talk before and after church. When we moved to Hesston last fall, we made the decision to go to Whitestone..where I went from high school-college. We enjoy the pastor that they have now (as of last spring), and my parents and a couple of our friends go there. It just seemed more reasonable to go to a church in our community that we could get involved in. It just so happened around the time we moved, a new sunday school group was starting which we were invited to. To be completely honest, I didn't really want to go. It's not like I had some "terrible" experience, banning all sunday school for life. I just was content on doing my (our) thing by attending church. Its not like Ben had to twist my arm to go, but he really wanted to go. So we went. And we're still going, and the group is GROWING.

Needless to say, the group we have is pretty much at the same point in life. It just so happens that their are 7 regular attending couples. But I think the thing that makes it almost an instant connection is that we are all at a point on our life...somehow adjusting...we're out of school, have careers, we're all married (3 yrs or less), and currently we are the only ones that have a child..but that will be changing in June :) We named ourselves the "Homebuilders", which I think is appropriate as we are young adults doing just that, both literally (seems like 3 of us have bought a house within the time this class has started) and figuratively in developing our own family lifestyles. We're a pretty diverse group in a way, it's kind of a fun process getting to know everyone.

I"m only putting this on here, because for me its almost like some sort of milestone that I want to make note of. I know it seems ridiculous. Over the last 5-6 years I developed a strong dislike to being put in a situation where I need to open up and be vulnerable. And for this reason, I feel like its a stepping stone of becoming both a stronger Christian and challenging my ability to step outside my comfort zone. So I think its just one more sign from God that our move here to Hesston was not merely the fact that we wanted a bigger yard and a house outside of town.

We've done several things outside of meeting at the Loucks' every sunday are some pictures of the latest group "activity" (helping at the Et Cetera shop).

Ronda and Steph sorting lovely clothes

Cindy and Jessica Unruh taking a break from painting
Kenyon and Ben scraping the stairwell

Randall and Cindy...our  Sunday School leaders