Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Vivid Vision

Hey Sis.

I'm writing you from the desk in my NEW log home. I am so pumped! I can't wait for you to come visit. Since I know it's hard to schedule a trip I thought I would send you some pictures and descriptions. Enjoy. :)

The first picture is taken as you are coming up the gravel drive. Notice all the trees. Yes, those are leaves mixed with the pines, not like back "home." We are set quite a ways back from the main road. Although there isn't a lot of traffic up here in this part of the mountain, it's still nice to have some space. Besides, it allows for a great veiw of the lake. (picture 2)

Picture 3 is standing in front of the house. The covered parking for the RV and truck are off to the right there. We also built it big enough to keep the wood pile there. We have the garage attatched to the house as well; it's turned sideways so from this picture it looks like that set back part on the left side there. We wanted a big porch. The builders had to motify the roof line some to accomadate the large porch. Isn't it cool? The large window on the left is the "family room" and the one on the right is the "living room." (When we walk in though, you'll see it's all open in this part of the house.) Close your eyes for a minute and imagine you walked up those wooden steps and sat down in that porch swing. We would be sitting out here drinking hot chocolate talking about the kids. You can smell the freshness of the mountain air. You can hear the birds singing, a squirrel climbing a nearby tree, and if you are real still, the stream babbling along about a hundred yards to the south there. You're gonna' love visiting here.

Ok, picture 4. This is standing in the front doorway. In front of you are the stairs going up to the master suite and kids rooms. Like that little landing about 5 steps up. I designed that little turn there. I love it. Also, the "open" loft-style walkway on the second story there was my own doing. It doesn't really come across in the pictures, but there are vaulted ceilings in this part of the house. Also, you can't hear in pictures so I'll tell you we have the house wired with speakers throughout so I keep soft music and nature sounds playing in the backround a lot.
picture 5 is standing on that landing looking at the fireplace in the "living room" area. All that rock work is custom done. I have a real mantel! Can't wait for Christmas! Picture 6 is looking th other way into the "family room." Bookshelves, bean bag chairs, the kids easel and art stuff. Not your typical family room, huh? If you were standing in the "family room" and looked towards the back of the house you would see a door (slightly visible in the earlier picture from the front door.) That is the guest room. It has a queen bed, dresser, a little tv, and a bathroom with shower. That's where you get to stay when you come. :)

OK, if we go upstairs to the left is the door that goes into our room, ok our suite really. Picture 7 is from my door. You can't really see the veiw in this picture, but it is beautiful. It looks smallish from this angel, but the room goes to the right here. Picture 8 is my "sitting area." That door with the big windows goes out onto a balcony. (That's where picture 2 was taken from.) Beyond is the bathroom. Wait until you see it! I love the jetted tub! The walk in shower is big enough for both Jim and I to be in ther with shower heads installed custom for Jim with the head being at 6' 6", not the pipe mind you, the shower head! There are also several "heads" that spray in lots of different directions. It's so cool. ANyway, enough about that.

At the top of the stairs to the right is a little hall. Down there are the kids rooms and their bathroom. The boys sometimes wish we would have built the girls their own bathroom, but the girls are learning to be considerate. It helps that they have their own "vanity area" in their room for hair and make-up. All the men of the house are happy we opted for the instant hot water system and the larger hot water tank. I don't think this thing ever runs out!

Back down stairs. Picture 8 is the dining room. This is shot with my back to the fireplace. I had the half wall built to help break up the space a bit. On the other side of that wall is the kitchen.

Picture 9. This is the kitchen. Marble countertops. Although the main living areas have real wood floors I opted for the highest grade Pergo in here. Tough, stain resistant, scratch proof and cleans very easily. Gotta love it. The island is bigger than normal so all 4 of the kids can eat breakfast there in the morning. We eat at the dining room table in the evening, but mornings they tend to have varying schedules. Check out the flat range top. It is so easy to clean! Tons of cupboards, the world's largest dishwasher, I swear, and a walk-in pantry! It's so cool.

At the back to your left is the "mud room." Picture 10. Sis, you so need one of these. It's fashioned a bit after Trina and Edgar's. It's almost as big as the kids old bedroom. Right by the back door are cubbies and hooks for coats, shoes, backpacks, and anything else they feel the need to bring in and out. The shelves right after that are for sorting their clothes. The washer and dryer are to my left while I am taking the picture so you can't see them. I pull the clothes out of the dryer right onto the folding table. As I fold they get sorted by owner or hung on the bar over the folding table. Then it is everyone's responsibility to put away his or her own clothes. It's working pretty well so far.

So, off the kitchen is the stais leading down to Jim's office and the rec room. The kids have had friends just "hanging out" every week-end for the past 2 months. The pool table and ping pong tables are down there as well as the big screen that Jim decided "the kids would really enjoy." My favorite part is the snack bar area. I had a jukebox put in and a wood dance floor. Just 6x6, but fun none the less.

Next, picture 11, we are out on the back deck. Gas grill, brick fire pit off the side there, lots of built in benches for bar-b-ques. Off to the right where it looks like another door going in the house actually goes into the shop end of the garage. There is a bathroom there with a shower for cleaning up after hot tubbing.

Picture 12 is the last picture. It is in an upper level above the garage. This is our school room. We talked about putting the kids in private schools, but it would be so hard pulling them out for all the traveling we do that we decided on a private tutor for them instead. It helps them a lot to have a seperate place to study and a set schedule. The boys still go part time to a local school for a couple of subjects and sports, but the majority is done here.

So, that's basically the house. Yeah, it's not your dream, but it fits us perfectly. I really look forward to you coming up and seeing it first hand. Next time you have a 3 day week-end perhaps you can fly up. I love you, Sis. Take care.

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