Today I am pleased to be linking up with Our Reflection for the There's No Place Like Home linkup to tell you all a little about my home.
Everything about our house screams "children live here!" Happy children, sticky children, rambunctious and lively children. While my house doesn't look anything like the pictures on Pinterest or in my home and garden magazines, I consider myself very blessed. I am blessed that I have a warm, cozy home in which to live. I am blessed to have an overabundance of "stuff" to clutter it up. And I am blessed to have 3 crazy, healthy, wild kiddos to tear it apart.
We are also in the process of designing and building a new, much more efficient and kid-friendly home (i.e. no carpet, fewer stairs, the laundry in its own room instead of off the kitchen, etc) - so some improvements we might have otherwise made on the house (decorating, painting, tiling etc) have been abandoned until we move.
So please join me on a tour of my kid-friendly digs (for privacy purposes I have not included any exterior shots - but it's your typical 'new neighborhood' house with a postage-stamp yard):
This is big brother's room. As you can see, there's not a lot of furniture. Our boys are very curious and energetic and they had a nasty habit of climbing on (then falling off) their furniture. They don't seem to mind the sparse atmosphere, though. Big brother even proudly hung up his pre-school art show projects in his own room when they were sent home.
This painting was done by a friend of my parents' and it hung in my own room when I was a child. I love that my kids can enjoy it now.
This is little brother's room. Also no furniture - we just hung a closet organizer and put all his clothes behind closed doors. He still has the wall-sticker remnants of his nursery set, though we sold most of the rest of the items. His room is "monkey themed" - though we're waiting to do the real decorating till we move.
These curtains were in my parents home when they were first married. I absolutely adore them and treasure having them in my own house (also, they are the same pattern that you see on the opening menu to Napoleon Dynamite - which we found hilarious when we rented the film).
This painting was done my my mother and I adore it. It will probably go in my room in the new house. This used to be our guest room and the picture just stayed when we turned it into a nursery.
Here is baby L's nursery. She now lives in what was the master bedroom. When baby #3 was born, we added a room to the basement and moved out. Her room is supposed to be owl themed, but most of the photos remain from when we lived there.
I made the owl wall hangings to match her quilt which is still not finished. *sigh* Grandma crocheted the great flapper doll on her bed. And I made her name sign, but didn't have room to hang it all in one line. Again - for the new house.
I won this adorable wall hanging in a giveaway (isn't it amazing!?) and Auntie sewed her the stuffed owl (big brother has one in blue). You can see owl sitting on big brother's bed frame - poor baby L's bedroom has become a catch-all for migrant furniture unfortunately.
And our kitchen. The main area of the house is where our family really 'lives' so it has to be kid friendly. As you can see, we used to gate off the kitchen, but now that the kids are older, we've started letting them in.
Here you can see my "command center" where I keep my menu board, daily schedule and to-do list. Also, our solution to the kids' getting into the fridge and breaking all my eggs all over the couch - we moved the big fridge to the garage, and got 2 minis. The kids know that the top one is off limits, and they are welcome to rummage in and eat anything from their own bottom fridge. We like that the alcove gives us more space to store things like pasta and lunchboxes, too.
Nothing says "big family" like the big family calendar. I'd be lost without my Sandra Boynton staple - one slot for each family member every day. You can also see the coffee filter mother's day flowers the kids made me at church. Precious!
The dining room. We had to mount lots of shelves to the walls so we had a place to put all the things we didn't want the kids getting their hands on. Also, if they do climb up there, they can't tip them over. We were finally brave enough to bring up the 'nice' table and chairs - but now they're covered in old fitted sheet for a table cloth, and cheapo chair covers I made out of a vinyl tablecloth. And that folding chair is destined for the dumpster when baby L has outgrown it. I do adore my new Scripture board though - a cheap picture frame and some chalkboard paint has become the new focal point of our whole dining area. (Also, the new house will have some place to put the vacuums other than the corner of the dining area).
The living room is all about the kids. Bunny butts garland (thanks Poofy Cheeks), play kitchen, climber. We used to have family portraits hanging on the walls, but the kids kept knocking them off while they played, so now it's a gallery for their art work. I love having a place to display it and they are so proud of their work.
More built in shelves. Cacti (the only house plants I can keep alive), kids' books, diapers, toys. Big brother managed to move his whole art gallery from his room to out here in the time it took me to photograph the rest of the house (he's hung it on a yoyo string - inventive boy).
I LOVE this spot in my house. My Dad drew those mushrooms from a photo I took years ago. It was his first of many gorgeous pencil drawings he's done. A new skill he acquired well after retirement. I was so touched that he wanted me to have this in my home. Also the Bible verse that my husband spent many hours cross-stitching for me as a college-graduation gift. He is NOT the crafting type, so I was really surprised and blown away that he'd take the time to do that for me. It's Ephesians 2:19 if you can't read it.
And now to "our" part of the house. When baby L was born, we quickly realized we'd need to move out of her room. We had the basement partially finished and hastily moved down there, telling ourselves we'd 'get around' to mudding, taping and painting - some day. But since we're not planning to stay here, we never really got around to it. Our bedroom is mostly a concrete box with a bed and some night-stands - but frankly, it serves its purpose and we feel blessed to have our own private space, so it works just fine. (Yes, we do have a window - with the same Napoleon Dynamite curtains as little brother :)).
Again, our bathroom is unfinished. But it's amazing how far a few pretty wicker baskets will go toward cheering a place up. And, it's a HUGE bathroom with lots of bright lights which makes things feel cozy despite the lack of paint.
So that's it - home sweet home. It's not going to wind up in Better Homes and Gardens, but it serves us well, is easy to maintain, and most of all, it's full of love. And that, is truly, what a home is all about!