Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Play Ball!

Baseball season has begun! This year I just couldn't commit to driving all the way into Bel Air in rush hour traffic so our compromise was to join the Hickory/Fountain Green league which is proving to be a whole new adventure. Our opening day games scheduled for Saturday were rained out so Monday Ben and Philip had their first game of the season. Those player picture packages are a bit pricey so we made up our own version. Here's Ben's 2006 Player Pose:

And here's Philip. They are playing in the 7/8 league and their team is the Cubs (thus the Cubs uniforms). They sure do look spiffy, don't they?!
AND...this year they even got their names on the backs of their shirts. Since we have two Klopcic's on the team, Ben and Philip even got their first initial - big stuff, folks!
They had a great first game, from their perspective anyway. They even played their good friend Gabriel's team which may prove to be a tender spot in their friendship in days to come. The Cubs looked great on the field - they were batting well and fielding well but poor Gabe's team was....well...not doing so well. It was the sort of game where round about the 3rd inning, both sides of the stands are rooting for the same team - just to give them a morale boost. Needless to say, the Cubs walked off with a grand victory - 15 - 0. The highlight of the game for Philip was getting whacked in the back by a ball thrown by a wild pitch. In this league, they actually let the kids pitch and that turned out to be a bit dangerous.
I'm not sure how these two got in here but they wanted their picture taken too. They start gymnastics next week so I guess I'll have to highlight them in their gymnastics leotards later...

On Tuesday, JT had his first game. He's playing for the Ironbirds in the 9/10 league and boy was he unprepared for the changes! This is the big leagues, folks, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Both teams had a couple of pitchers with some impressive arms but still a bit wild and unpredictable. It doesn't help that they seem to hire 13 year old boys with relatively untrained eyes to serve as umpires.... JT was the first to bat for his team in the top of the very first inning of the very first game. He didn't know what was about to hit him! It didn't take long before he struck out and wandered, perplexed, back to the bench. He was feeling pretty discouraged until he watched his next two teammates meet the same fate.
Then it was to the outfield for him. His coach has him playing way out in the outfiled, hoping to use his speed to the team's best advantage - it doesn't take JT long to reach a long hit to left field. He was ready but the other team didn't do a whole lot better that first inning than the Ironbirds did. This was some small comfort to both teams I think. The game became a pitcher's game for the first few innings and then the boys finally managed to marry bat with ball and make a few runs. No one scored more than a double but JT did get walked a base and then batted in for a score. The game was close but the final score was Ironbirds - 3, A's - 4. Not bad for their first time out in a brand new league!
And, well, Davey just wanted to try on the hat! He has a few years to go...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lots More

Things have been going so rapidly that I've not been able to keep up with the pictures on the blog. The painters have now been through the whole house and all the rooms are their finished colors. Although, I think the trim in the basement still has not been finished. The doors have doorknobs, the windows and floors have trim and baseboards, the counters, sink and double oven have been set and the other appliances are sitting in the living room waiting (although I may be sending back the dishwasher which somehow is not what I thought I was ordering!).

On the outside, the gutters and downspouts are all replaced. The electric fixtures have all been installed, new vanities have been set in place in the upstairs bathrooms...shew! So much I'm having trouble listing it all!! Here's lots of pictures so enjoy the tour!

The last big hurdle is the flooring (and the dang-blasted banister for which we've finally come to an acceptable compromise). The flooring should get started this week. There will be wood laminate throughout most of the house, carpet on the stairs and basic vinyl flooring in the bathrooms. The upstairs tubs still need to be refinished, they do plan to reseed the yard at some point and the painting on the outside trim is being saved for last so that we can get the interior finished up. The girls are thrilled to have a PINK room, JT's and Philip's basement room and the first floor bath color were chosen by JT - a lovely sea blue that just makes you feel like jumping in and doing the backstroke! lol... The basement is a light purple which we also used in the girls' bathroom upstairs and the kitchen is all about blue.

This is the electrician finishing up his install of the outdoor lights and outlet. He's standing in the new French doors which enter into the dining room addition. The little window to the left is the new kitchen window. Hopefully there are some steps coming out of the French doors in the making. You can see the new gutters and downspouts also.

Here are the French doors from the inside w/the two dining room light fixtures. At the this point the countertops s had been delivered but not set - the big cardboard-looking thing to the right is the countertop standing up on end.

This is the guest bedroom. I picked out a nice, bright yellow and it turned out ELECTRIC yellow once it hit the walls. We're hoping to tone it down a bit w/some neutral colored texturing. We don't want our guests complaining that they couldn't sleep because the walls kept them up all night!!

Here is the far wall of the kitchen addition and the old kitchen. The shelving and cabinetry to the right will be for our homeschool materials - YAY!! JT is modeling the spot where the refrigerator will stand. We were wondering if a light would go on if we opened his mouth...

Here is the rest of the kitchen w/the counters in place. There is a hole under the countertop for the dishwasher and the hole in the top of the counter is for the stovetop - a 5 burner beauty! The cut-out over the cooktop is for a microhood.

This is the girls' purple bathroom upstairs with the new vanity in place. They replaced the same flat mirrors but with a light bar across the top instead of thee two light fixtures on the sides.

And this is the Beach Boys bathroom that just makes you wanna put on your suit and do the backstroke! I don't have a picture of it, but JT's and Philip's room is painted entirely in this color - it's pretty intense!

And here are the girls in their PINK room. They love this color! It will be the horsey room and Betsy will finally have her own bed. She's been sleeping on the floor underneath Miriam's bed for the past month or so.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Lord Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

We celebrated our second major holiday in our rental house. We have just as many Easter traditions as we do Christmas traditions but, unfortunately, many more of them needed to be set aside this year. In the first place, we puked our way through Holy Week so the week we normally spend preparing our hearts, minds and souls for the celebration of Easter was spent laundering linens and passing around buckets. I suppose there's an essay in there somewhere as well...sigh...

We did manage to hide some Easter baskets on Easter morning, get a few pictures of the children in their dressy clothes, get to church and head to Muffy and Granddad's for the annual cousin Easter egg hunt. There were lots of great missed photo ops there - had the camera but didn't seem to use it. David really enjoyed his first egg hunt and he did remarkably well. He and John Michael got their own category and got a head start on the hunting. It was a nice fun and relaxing day but we're all looking forward to having our big cross and our tomb back to continue with our usual observances next year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Long Waiting

I had to show off JT's writing skill. He wrote this story about our housefire as a school writing assignment. Of course, I think it's just too excellent to keep to myself!!

A Long Waiting
Joel Timothy Klopcic

Chapter one
How it Came to Happeen

Once upon a time on a nice summer evening, the Klopcic's went out to the library. That was very rare ,you see, because there were eight kids in the family. Shortly after they got there it started to rain. JT was ready to go home. So he was telling his mother that their house was going to catch on fire. Before his mom had put meatloaf in the oven. So by the time they left the library there was a thunderstorm. And when they got to the entrance to their neighborhood they saw a lot of smoke, more smoke than you can imagine. There was at least ten or eleven fire trucks there. Fr joel said, "I'll go up and see what happened." Ten minutse later he came running down and said to my mom, "Our house is on fire!!" Then my mom got out of the car and they both went up to the house. A few minutes later, some of our friends came driving up. And they went up to the house too. Then Matt Z came up to tell Colin, our other neighbor. Then he came to say hi to us. Ten minutes later my mom came to us to say she wanted us to go up and see the house. When we went up there, we saw the Prichard's - Ben, Mike, and Steven. We watched the fire fighters tear down our house. Soon we went down to the Z's house where we were going to stay for the night. When we got there they had ordered Papa Johns pizza which our whole family loved. Of course in the mornning the Z's had to go to school. Every one was waking up when Matt was going to school.

The End!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Caution, Wet Paint!

Painting has been progressing nicely for a couple of weeks now but this week we finally got some color on the walls! This was Miriam's room and will now be Cowboy John's room (and David). He gets that sort of Southwest feeling with the beige walls which will be accented with his cowboy pictures.

This is the master bedroom suite. The green is almost exactly the color we had just finished painting our room just weeks before the fire. The bathroom is the same color and we have a color-coordinated closet too! You can see the other big project that happened this past week - the trim around the closets, windows, floors and door frames.

In the upstairs bathrooms we opted to replace the blue fiberglass walls with tile. This tile work is in the girls' bathroom upstairs which is actually painted purple (I promised them a purple room!). Unfortunately, I couldn't get the flash to work to show off that color but you do have a nice picture here of Glen's tile work. He is our construction foreman's boss and tile is "his thing" so we had him on the site for a day or so while he finished up the showers.

In the basement, the gridwork has been hung for the drop ceiling. That had been completely removed and has now been re-hung. I like this perspective shot of Ben. The walls are up in the basement but they have yet to be painted - still rough.

And another dream come true for me. That nasty rust red linoleum in the old kitchen has been removed! Yay!! It will be replaced with wood-grain laminate (we hope - this is one of the last sticking points in our negotiations - the other would be the upstairs banister but that may get a post all of its own since that negotiation has taken on a life of its own!).

Giant Prairie Dog Sighting!

This giant prairie dog was sighted on our construction site about 2 weeks ago. It seems the larger dirt pile has attracted a family of giant prairie dogs which gather there periodically with shovels to create new tunnels and pathways for their prairie dog community.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Doors, Doors, Doors

We now have doors everywhere! Here's the upstairs doors - to the girls' bathroom (which will be the purple bathroom), then the door into the master suite and the last door there is the bathroom door for the suite.

Here Ben is modeling a closet door in what was once John Michael's and David's room and will now be the baby's room.

Mr. Smiley JT is modeling a pocket door in one of the upstairs bathrooms. I've been promised that all the doors will have hardware attached to them eventually...

It was fun to watch the new garage door go up. He built it in pieces starting at the bottom. Notice the dark green trim. This will the color of all the outdoor trim eventually. I do miss our loud and unwieldy vintage wooden garage door.

Here he has all the but the last piece in place.

And this is the finished door!

In the kitchen we have cabinet doors - here is a panoramic view and then a straight on shot of the corner which will house the cooktop, microhood, dishwasher and wrap around counter. Although I dispensed with many of the cabinet doors and had a plethora of drawers installed instead.