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Time for Framing – New House Update

Progress is being made on our home. The builders have been working hard the past few weeks. They are nearing completion of the framing. They started on Wednesday and even worked on Thanksgiving and as of Friday morning the second floor was almost complete. They will probably be finished with the framing by Tuesday of next week.

The beginning of November they poured the foundation.

All of the framing supplies arrive, like our roof. They still have to add the brick to the foundation.

On Wednesday, November 22 they started the framing.

They worked on Thanksgiving Day and by Friday morning they were nearing the completion of the second floor.

The due date to complete the framing is December 4th. After the framing is finished we will do a walk through with the builder to make sure everything is correct.

Follow along as I document the building of our home.

Thanksgiving Juice Box Craft for Kids

This holiday season make the whole family envious of the kid’s table with these adorable turkey juice boxes. They are easy to make and a great craft to make with kids ahead of time. My kids get super excited about crafts and are very creative once I let them free to create as they desire.

I set out a bunch of craft supplies so they could create juice box turkeys.

Our supplies:

  • construction paper (brown, red, yellow, white)
  • craft feathers
  • googly eyes
  • glue
  • scissors
  • Juicy Juice boxes

I let the boys help me create and assemble the first juice box turkey.

This is our joint effort juice box turkey.

Then I set them free to make their own juice box creations.  Jude made a juice box pilgrim to accompany the turkey.

We love spending our time during the holidays together being crafty. If you’re looking for more family time ideas check out Juicy Juice Family Time activity ideas.

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Thoughts on Year-Round School

We are in the midst of our first track-out on the year-round school calendar. After every 9 weeks of school the boys get 3 weeks off for track-out. This is our first year not only sending our kids to public school but also adhering to a year-round calendar. And I have to say that I really love this schedule, once I got past the typical mindset of 3 month long summer breaks which is how I grew up.

We have completed 2 weeks of track-out with this next week being our final. What makes this time so great is that while Jude and Noah are out of school Simon is still on a traditional calendar so he goes to preschool every day from 9-1. With Simon in school during the mornings I’m able to take Jude, Noah and Abel out on little outings around town. That one child difference make things a little bit easier. Then because Joe works from home I’m able to take the big boys out for afternoon adventures while Abel naps.

So far we’ve visited several parks, met up with friends, visited our favorite museums, gone bowling, and even took a short trip to Great Wolf Lodge. It’s been such a great break. I’m glad we have one more week off but I’m also glad the boys go back to school next week.

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Jude read the first 2 Harry Potter Books over break. Photo Oct 12, 3 26 16 PM

We went bowling and Noah scored almost 100 on our first game. Photo Oct 12, 12 04 21 PM

Of course we had to get some Halloween Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Photo Oct 12, 11 29 48 AM

One of our favorite places, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science     Photo Oct 07, 11 34 15 AM

While the big boys were off selling popcorn for Cub Scouts, Abel and I visited the fire station. Photo Oct 07, 1 31 13 PM

We even got to see Santa Photo Oct 09, 4 06 46 PM

Jude built and epic castle at Marbles Kids Museum

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We checked out the Ninja Warrior park in Apex Photo Oct 03, 10 06 32 AM

The carousel at Pullen Park is only $1 and was on the top of our to-do list. Photo Oct 03, 6 45 30 PM

Knightdale Community Day Photo Oct 04, 6 47 01 PM Getting ready to Trick-or-Treat at Great Wolf Lodge

Design Center Meeting – Building a House

Last week we had our Design Center meeting which means we selected all of the interior finishes for our new house. It was a 2.5 hour meeting (which is surprisingly shorter than I was expecting). We selected everything from flooring to door knobs to bathroom tile to the fireplace mantle.

Since we are building in a pre-planned community we had “standard” options which are built into the cost of the house and “upgrade” options. Some of the upgrade options were ridiculously priced so in a lot of areas we stuck with standard options because it’s just cheaper to upgrade some of the items after we move in. (For instance 1 cabinet in the kitchen to be upgraded to a pull-out trashcan was $600!) However, most of the larger items like flooring, tile, cabinets, counter tops, etc… were reasonably priced to upgrade.

I tried to take a lot of pictures of our selections so I would remember but also so I could share them with you.

The very first thing we selected was our kitchen faucet. Weird right? Well, there is 1 standard style of faucet and you can upgrade the finish of the faucet but we just went with the standard which was the Moen Arbor in Chrome.

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Then we selected our bathroom faucets. Same deal except we had 2 standard designs to choose from. We selected the Moen Eva set because it looked easier to clean.

Photo Sep 13, 9 55 42 AM Then we picked our fireplace mantle. We were given two standard design options and several upgrade options. We picked one of the standard options, it’s called the Wescott and we selected a slate fireplace surround which was also a standard option. (we had a few different materials/colors to choose from) *Note the picture shows a brass fireplace screen ours will be black and a different style.

Photo Sep 13, 10 02 25 AM From there we started selecting our kitchen finishes. This part took a little bit longer since we selected our cabinets, counter tops, back splash, grout, and flooring. Everything we selected was an upgrade but still very reasonably priced. We selected white shaker cabinets for the main cabinets and pewter shaker cabinets for the island. The counter top we selected is a quartz called willow white with a standard edge. We also upgraded our kitchen sink to a single bowl instead of 50/50. Our back splash is a arctic white matte subway tile, Datile Rittenhouse with gray grout. All of the cabinets in the house will have Richelieu Hardware, transitional metal pull in brushed nickel.

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The flooring we selected for almost all of our downstairs is Armstrong Classics Country Side Hickory.  We have carpet in all of the bedrooms and upstairs, we didn’t upgrade the carpet because I know with 4 boys it’s sort of useless at this point to invest a lot into carpet. We picked a simple beige color Mohawk carpet.

For the boys bathroom we went with the standard shaker style cabinets in a standard color option, espresso. The counter tops in all of our bathrooms are standard quartz in willow white. The boys bathroom will have 2 round under mount sinks.

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The flooring in their bathroom is a standard vinyl, Armstrong Initiator. This will also be the flooring in our laundry room.

Photo Sep 13, 11 36 46 AM As you can tell we aren’t investing too much $ in the spaces the boys will use because I know they will be hard on any surface they encounter.

All of the doors in our house are a 3 panel style and all of the door knobs and hinges are a standard brushed nickel.

Finally, the master bathroom. We went with the same white shaker cabinets and quartz counter tops in willow white. However, we will have rectangular under mount sinks. Our flooring will be Shaw tile, Serenity 13 x 13 dark gray tile with matching gray grout. Our shower tile and bathtub surround are a glossy subway tile with gray grout.

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We also went with all the standard lighting which I will probably change all of it after we move it. It’s a basic brushed nickle ceiling lights and chandelier.

Finally, we upgraded the entire interior paint color from Kilim beige to Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.

That’s pretty much it for now. We had some upgrade options that were just too expensive and in the end really didn’t matter. We spent a little extra money on some upgrades we knew we would appreciate years from now.

We’re building a house

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Our future backyard at sunset

So last week we signed the contract to build a home. This is huge because not only is this the first house we’ve built but it will also be the first house we will own.

When Joe and I were engaged and planning our wedding (10 years ago) we had a lot of friends that were also getting married. While they were planning their weddings they were also buying their first homes together. We decided to wait to buy our first home and I’m so glad we did. Never would we have imagined that we would have 4 kids. We most certainly would have bought a house that was way too small. Also, as we’ve lived together in several different homes over the past few years we have a good idea of what kind of space we need and what works best for our growing family.

I don’t know if this new house will be our forever home but we are treating it that way. I’m trying to imagine our 4 little guys growing into large teenager boy it’s difficult to imagine but I’m trying to plan ahead.

We still have a lot of work to do before they even start building the house (there are so many choices to be made) but we are extremely excited, and a little bit anxious too. However, we are terribly sad to be leaving our current neighborhood. We have the best neighbors ever and our kids have made so many great friends. That being said, we are only moving 5 miles away. The hardest part of this move will be leaving our great neighborhood. But I see this opportunity as a chance to make more friends.

I’m going to try to document and share our home building process on here, and Instagram too. I’ve had so many questions answered by reading blog posts and have loved reading about other people’s experiences of building their home.

Weekday Adventure: J.C. Raulston Arboretum

The other day the boys and I took a field trip to the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. It was a gorgeous spring day and we needed a fun and free outdoor activity. We’d never been to the arboretum so I thought a new adventure was due. The boys liked exploring the expansive park for a while but Jude just wished to find a shady spot so he could finish his book and Simon kept laying down wherever he could. Noah however was interested in some of the more unique and beautiful plants… and the bees.

The arboretum is a beautiful place to explore and hopefully as the boys get older all of our outdoor nature adventures will lead them to enjoy such places. I think they would love one of the kid programs they offer so I might look into what events are planned for the next few months.

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Easter 2017: Jude gets baptized

This past Sunday was Easter Sunday and Jude (8) got baptized at church. It was such an exciting day. He has been asking about “bapatism” for over a year now. We’ve talked on and off about it and he watched baptisms the last time they had them at church but this time he said he was ready.

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After church we had lunch with my parents and grandmother and had a small Easter egg hunt for the boys. It was a pretty great day.

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How A Snack Became Our Family Time

Every day around 3pm my kids are begging for a snack. I’ve learned to have a snack ready or else they will start to raid the pantry when I’m not looking. So each day we set aside a few moments to have a family snack. Sometimes it’s something quick and easy like crackers or a cereal bar but there are days when I put forth a little effort and put together something fun and healthy. That’s the key with making healthy snacks for kids… make it fun too.

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Now that the weather has started warm up I’ve been making Juicy Juice Ice Pops with our fun Ice Pop molds.

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The kids get a giggle out of the silly characters and of course love the delicious flavor of the Juicy Juice.

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We typically eat our Ice Pops outside so I don’t have to worry about drippy juice on my kitchen floor! As we sit around the patio table we talk about our days and just enjoy a sweet moment together as a family. The time may only last as long as a kid can get through their ice pop then they’re bouncing off to the next activity, but sometimes they linger at the table a little longer to talk. I love my afternoon snack dates with my boys.

Did you know that all Juicy Juice products are made from real juice, with sweetness that comes only from the fruit and no added sugar? Plus, Juicy Juice contains no high fructose corn syrup, no cane sugar and no artificial sweeteners.

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CONTEST: Search for Chief Family Time Officer

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This post has been sponsored by Juicy Juice. All thoughts and reviews are my own.