Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Year of Homeownership

One year ago today we officially closed escrow on our home. We had already been working on the house for a few days (with Dad's help), trying to get it move-in ready. The call came as I was standing on the kitchen counter scrubbing dead bugs out of the kitchen cabinets already thinking "what did I get myself into?"

This year has been filled with those kind of moments--the never ceasing dust, the increasingly high amount of money we've spent, the always appearing dead, stuck-on bugs, the months of unfinished projects, and the overwhelming exhaustion of working constantly.

In October, when all of our friends were over carving pumpkins and making carmel apples it felt like our "home" for the first time and I was happy. This Christmas with the decorations up and the lights shining, it felt like it was all worth it.

I am incrediably proud of my husband who has worked hard every day creating the change that you'll see below. Not only has Dave taught himself 101 new things, he has put up with my ongoing pressure to achieve my "home" image! Some rooms you'll notice major changes have already taken place, some minor changes, and some with almost no changes.

Front of the house: replace front door and repair stucco around door, remove bells from above windows, began removing paint from fireplace brick, removed green paint from porch,
remove old sprinker system, add new sprinker system with automatic time and valve manifold and sod
Living Room: removed plaster of paris fireplace, replace front door, repair plaster, textured walls, painted walls and trim, new light sconces, curtains hung
Office: major plaster repair, mailbox elimination, textured walls, paint wall and trim, Dad's custom desk built made and stained, Mom's custom curtains made and hung
Kitchen: bugs removed, cabinets cleaned over and over again, painted everything Swiss Coffee white, removal of gross floor, level/scraped, vinyl floor laid by Dad, curtains hung, mess made (lots more to re-do)
Red Room: room used for storage for seven months, rug added, dining room table and bunnies added (really this room hasn't changed at all).
Front Bedroom: major plaster repair, textured, paint wall and trim, closet scrubbed and cleaned, curtains from Target hung (used as our Master right now)
Hallway: walls scrubbed of dead, stuck-on bugs, painted wall and trim, replaced bathroom door, replaced hardware on linen closet
Hall Bathroom: stripped down to the studs and floorboards, replaced tub, moved toliet six inches, tile floor/wall/shower, vanity/toliet/sink/etc installed
Master Bedroom: nothing itself has changed, added queen bed and paper fold curtains (there is even still bugs on the walls)
Backyard: Removed the desk, dug giant hole for gas and water lines to garage, rototilled ground and laid soil preparing for grass.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve with the Pfeffers

After finishing at our house in Riverside, Dave and I drove down to Lakeside and attended the Christmas Eve service at Shadow Mountain Community Church.
Dave's mom, sister and brother-in-law (Pauline and Ralph) joined us and my parents for the service.

After the service, we went over to the Pfeffer's house for a very yummy Christmas ham and presents!
Everyone loved their cookie-cutter wreaths that I made :)
Dave got his very own slippers.
Dave's dad got his very own "toy" for the computer!
The big suprise--a toaster oven for Kay from John!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bakersfield Christmas

On Monday, December 21 all five of us met in Riverside, loaded everything (including the dog) in the Escape, and drove up to Bakersfield to spend two days celebrating Christmas with grandma and the Bennett family.
Melissa and I decided that we would make sugar cookies with Grandma on Tuesday morning! We had so much fun! Grandma was a crack up as she decorated the cookies.

All the counsin made it this year (Matt, Grant, Sandy, Carolyn, Jennifer, and Melissa) along with our spouses and the two second counsins (Ally and Aiden).
Two year old Ally was a crack-up and we enjoyed each other. We talked and pointed our way all the way through Grandma's village and played with anything else that I could find that was kid-friendly.
Without fail, Grandma filled all of our cans with goodies. Every year the picture of us with our cans grows--this year David (Carolyn's husband) had a can for the first time!
After a wild present-opening session with 22 people in the room, this picture was taken! Look closely to see Reese sleeping soundly under the presents and wrapping paper. She did very well with all the noise and commotion. She reveled in the attention!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Butter Cookies

I finally got to use my cookie press that Dave suprised me with. These little one inch cookies are a dream of my childhood and remind me of my mom. This container was full just two days ago :) I'm sure that if I hadn't remembered to take a picture, they'd be gone!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


The Pfeffers

Dave, Jennifer, Reese, Mr. Darcy, and Charlotte

A Photo Tour

First Christmas at the Pfeffer's House
Thought that you might enjoy a look around; we have years to add more and make sure that every room is decorated, but we've made a pretty good start this year!
Beautiful ceramic Noel made by Kim Walker as a wedding present.
My mini-navitity scene on the entertainment center, above the TV
The tree
Santa and his helpers
Hallway decor :)
Kitchen goodies
Peace on Earth
Yes, Santa, I have an issue with dirty dishes, please don't put my on the naughty list for it.
Even the oven is celebrating Jesus' birth!
Bunnies, in their hutch, are even ready with stockings ready for Santa (Charlotte on top, Darcy is hinding below).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm so excited I want to shout to the world-- the CMS yearbook has moved on to the finalist round of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association crown competition! This means that our book is one of ten in the nation. We're guarenteed either a silver or gold crown at this point and will find out in March of 2010 what level we place!
Read about the crown competition and see our name here.

Christmas at Disney

Although it was Dave's birthday, we enjoyed celebrating some of the Christmas magic at Disneyland.

We have found a favorite, less-known, placed to spend time while at Dland. Back in the far corner, stands the petting zoo; however, for holidays, this is where you can take place in some family style fun. For Christmas there were real reindeers, Mrs. and Mr. Claus, and coloring pages. We had some fun with Mrs. Claus. We also got to watch the Main Street tree lighting (which we always seem to miss on other days).
California Adventure's decorations are disappointing, but the bridge is pretty magestic. Sorry for the blurry pictures, other tourists don't always understand "focus."
We didn't stay long after dark because the park became CRAZY BUSY, but the tram ride was nice and empty :)