Monday, July 27, 2015


Since we are virtually "family-less" here in VA, we adore getting to see so much family when we visit Ontario! I am from a very large extended family, and everyone still lives "in town" except for my parents and most of my siblings - so we don't get to visit them in ON, but do get to see just about everyone else! So fun!
My kids, my sisters kids, and then Mylah, Avalyn & Ellory - these are my cousin Dale's kids, so 2nd cousins to my kids

My kids & Lauryn's kids with my cousin Nicole's kids - so that makes Jackson and Aaron their second cousins

These cousins are actually not related, technically! They are cousins of Lauryn's kids, through her husband. Even though they're on the "other side" of the family, we'll still claim them! ;-) This is all the boys except Canaan. So we have Rome, Chase, Noah, Dante, Grey & Brooks

Now all the girls (and Canaan): Kenna, Mattea, Bella, Kayla

All the cousins again at Swiss Chalet

And the girls + Grey:-)

Cousin hot dog lunch at Ikea

Holden is my first cousin, and just a little bit older than Kenna. He slept over one night, and they all had a blast! So here are the 1st cousins once removed, eating a healthy (haha) breakfast together!

Kenna, Brooks, and 2nd cousin Hayden

Grey and Teegan (my first cousin) hit it off so well!

This is my cousin Scott's youngest son. Scott is about 10 years older than me. Kenna and Hayden are 2nd cousins and the same age.

Brooks, Holden and Hayden, beginning their paddleboarding adventure
Holden, Hayden & Mattea with my kids

my first cousin Keeley Shae, playing with my daughter Kennedy Shea

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Great Room

Well, I have had a very busy July and have been neglecting to post, and now I'm way overdue! I'll get to all our vacation posts one by one. I'll start off with a house post though.

This was obviously a major task to say the least. The beam is 30 feet long, and spans 27 feet across the room. Brian had to -

*Take down all walls
*dig footer under the house
*reinforce the walls/add a pillar under the house
*add a header above the hallway entrance
*reinforce the walls under the header
*install beam
*re-work all the electrical in the entire open space
*wire up and install overhead lighting in open space
*pass building and electrical inspections

ok - if you're at all familiar with building, that list is a heavy one! Literally, as the beam was 700lbs. Thanks to a group of might men for lifting that into place while Brian tied it in to the joists. He was able to accomplish all this in 2 weekends, 1 day off from regular work, and 9 evenings. That's...really incredible. Certain things, like the electrical ended being more complicated than normal, because the house was originally wired very strangely.

We came home to this!

 We hired out the finishing of the ceiling and walls - the ceiling was going to be a monster to fix, as each of the 4 old rooms had very different ceiling finishes and 2 of them very difficult to cover over. The walls in each room were also finished in a different way, some smooth, some swirl, and some under paneling never even touched. Getting a perfect and matching finish "like new" is really an art form - and we know our limits:-) They can do in 3 days what it would take us 2 weeks to do, and poorly at that!
Leaving the house on Friday morning

Coming home at 2pm

Leaving house at 4:30pm! Massive improvement in one day!

So we've purchased all the finishes, it's now just a matter of installation, after the walls & ceiling are done (which should be Monday/tomorrow). First will come ceiling paint, then trim, then walls, then flooring, then kitchen! Then were done!! Easy, right?! Haha!!
We choose Lazy Gray and Serious Gray from Sherwin Williams - most of the house will be Lazy Gray - Serious Gray we didn't get much of, and will likely only be the hallway.

Colour of cabinets

Colour of flooring. It's pre-finished solid oak, and the stain is called Kona. It's not as dark as the darkest - but pretty dark.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Ok, here's an oily recipe that everyone can appreciate - it's poo-pourri! You know when you go, and sometimes, lets just say, you wished you had a room full of potpourri. Ok, well, now you do! The way this works is that supposedly it creates a "layer" over the surface of the water that doesn't allow odors to come back out into the room. Brian literally laughed at this idea and said it wouldn't work...but wouldn't you know it - it works!!

In a 4oz spray bottle (I mixed mine up and put in two 2 oz bottles) mix together

2 T rubbing alcohol
10-20 drops of essential oils*
1 t liquid castile soap (like Dr Bronners)
Shake to mix. Fill the rest with distilled water. Shake again to mix.

To use, spritz a couple times in the clean toilet, and flush when you're done! It does a great job at keeping odors to a bare minimum, and I like it in the 2oz spray bottle because it fits easily in my purse for travelling.

*OILS TO USE: The original recipe I saw use Eucalyptus, Lavender and Peppermint. I used Purification, Lavender and Peppermint. But really any strong smelling oil would be fine. I did about 7-10 drops of each.

Friday, July 3, 2015

And We Have Action!

Well, here we go!! We've got the permits, the dumpster, and the day's a perfect storm!

If you want to see the house before it got demolished, click here for a quick video through the space.

The day started around noon, as we had a few things to take care of at the rental houses. And then...
This was the first wall section to come down

The kids were allowed to draw something on the wall. Kenna's is a girl, Brooks' is a snorkeler, and Grey's is a stun gun (lol!)

They worked hard today, for sure. They carried out all the debris and stacked the dumpster with only minimal help from Mom & Dad - it was a LOT of work. Daddy bought them their own little work gloves "with grippers" from Home Depot, and that seemed very exciting to them, and was quite motivating I think!

Second wall section to come down

So here you can see from the dining room to the front door, all 4 smaller wall sections are down now, and our friend came over to help smash things for a bit:-) He's working on the main wall, which can't come down quite yet, as it's the supporting wall

View froo the kitchen door

From the former front hallway

From the hallway 

Buh Bye fake wooden beams. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

They got really really good at hammering and pulling out nails, and they were so dedicated to it - it was HOT outside, and they didn't complain or ask for breaks:-)

30 yard dumpster, and we've filled it up a bit!

Living room & dining room

View from the laundry room door - the kitchen cabinets and fridge are gone!

From the dining room into the kitchen. Temporary resting place for the fridge:-)

View from the dining room

From the front door
And well, thats all we got done before dinner:-) More tomorrow!