Sunday, June 30, 2013


Well, it's official - we are homeowners for the very first time!  9 years of married life having rented, I couldn't be more ready for this.  We found a beautiful home that we were able to get a great deal (price wise) on because the couple didn't take very good care of it.  But we REALLY wanted this house.  I mean, seriously - great neighborhood, great schools, 5!! bedrooms, a playroom, big yard - this is our perfect home.  We were competing with someone else to get it and so to give ourselves an advantage, we said we'd take it "as is".  We thought this meant that we would take it without any major repairs.  They thought this meant they could leave the house a disgusting pit of filth.  Seriously, so gross.  Let me paint you a visual picture (with actual pictures to follow - I am SOOOOO turning this whole thing into blog gold ;P):

Our house funded Friday afternoon, so we beat cheeks over there to get in and see what needed to be done before we moved in.  As I started walking around to write a list, more stuff started jumping out at me.  Some things we knew about already, like:

-cat pee swollen and stained baseboards that needed to be ripped out.  We thought it was only in three rooms.  Oh, how wrong we were...  But the cat didn't pee on the carpet, just the wall and baseboards.  Bonus that we didn't have to pay the carpet guy to use his enzyme cleaner - however, now we have to replace the drywall in those sections because even "Nature's Miracle" enzyme cleaner won't get rid of that stench.  Oh boy...

-a broken window

-cosmetic stuff (making it ours and all that jazz)

A lot of things we WEREN'T expecting, like:

-the cat fur and cat litter that they had managed to sweep into piles and yet conveniently forgot to actually put in the trash.  Oh no, they just left it in the corners of the rooms.  (My sweet father-in-law swept all that up while my husband vacuumed before the professional floor cleaners came in on Saturday) UPDATE:  Ran into their realtor and found out that she was the one who hastily swept up a bit when she saw the condition of the house :/ would have been even worse, if that's possible.

-Dog house left in the backyard, along with a slew of other bits of junk.

-The completely uncleaned kitchen, with leftover food, grime, bits, and grossness over pretty much every surface.  The oven, oh that poor oven.  I don't think it has ever been cleaned until today.  Not to mention the crap they just decided they didn't want to take with them, so they just left it in the cabinets.  It's like they took a sweep at the stuff with their arms and whatever didn't come out with that was left as it fell.  Oh, and the wet towel in the sink.  That was super cool.

...and speaking of leaving their crap lying around...

-the bathrooms, which were not even remotely cleaned.  Hard-water stained shower door, complete with shower gel, poof, razor and soap that they just left there.  But the piece de resistance was the master toilet.  Goodnight, that toilet - I'm talking poop spray and hair.  I'm vomiting in my mouth a little as I think about it.  I went on a nice little rant to my husband about this which may or may not be burned into his memory forever.

-the doors.  I literally spent about 4 hours, a full bottle of cleaning solution, about 3/4 of a roll of paper towels, and half a container of disinfecting wipes today just cleaning the downstairs doors.  You expect food splatter and greasy hand marks in food areas, but on every door on the first floor??  (I haven't even gotten to the second floor yet...)

Instead of rattling on and on and ON with this list, I'm just going to photo dump the rest and let you see for yourselves.  The photos are not great quality because the lighting was pretty bad and I was using my phone ;P  Here goes - try not to lose your lunch...

Entryway - "Meh, you think they'll notice we didn't paint over our horrible patch job?"  "No, Honey, I think they'll be too focused on the rest of our filth to care."

Cat pee in corner #1 of dining room

Cat pee in corner 2 of dining room

Pantry door - Doesn't show up as well in pictures, but if you look closely, you can see the greasy grime all over this.

The pantry shelves AFTER my father-in-law threw away all the trash and old containers they had left in there.

The lovely microwave on the inside

Greasy fingerprints all over the outside.  Yum.

Our poor, sad little oven.  "Why does nobody love me??"  

Just an example of one of the drawers.

Under the kitchen sink

An example of one of the cabinets and the junk they left there.

Another drawer in the kitchen

Under the stove

Next to the stove - if you look closely, you can see all kinds of food splatter stuck to the socket and backsplash

I don't even want to know what that splatter mark in the master bedroom is...

The heavily soap-scummed master shower door, complete with their leftover showering supplies.

The master tub

Master sink #1

Master sink #2

Master closet shelves

Powder room toilet - I spared you the master was even worse.  And that ring?  Permanently burned into the toilet seat.  Barf.

Guest sink

Guest toilet

Guest shower

What will be my craft room...I don't even remotely want to know why that light socket is greasy...although it's POSSIBLE they sprayed with a disinfectant or something.  I highly doubt it however...

The wall in what will be my craft room.  Why is it greasy?  It was a teenage boy's room, so I really, REALLY don't want to know.  The three empty condom boxes that he threw in the little attic access entry in this room makes me even more wary.

Sweet paint job, guys...

Kids' bathroom

Kids' shower

Linen closet.  I guess not everything they left was horrible... 

The freezer section of the fridge we paid $350 for from them...

And the freezer door.  Eeeeewwwww.

I guess we have hard water.  As if I couldn't tell that from the shower door.  But thanks for leaving me this reminder as well.

Laundry room hookups.  Apparently, they used purple detergent??
UPDATE:  This is actually not their fault.  In the process of remodeling bathrooms, my husband discovered that this is some sort of plumbing epoxy.  So, it was the builders who did this O_o

The garage entry door.  Nice greasy marks all over it.

The outside of the garage entryway

Our front door.  Apparently their dog had a disagreement with it.

Some sort of food or drink splatter on the doorbell the top of the wall by the ceiling...

Kitchen window splatter...on the outside...

Food splatter on the door leading from kitchen into the dining room.  At least it makes sense for it to be in this area.

Brian doing his best impersonation of the previous owner's cats on a random unused toilet seat we found in the master closet.

Hey, at least we got a free vacuum out of it!  This was left in the garage and was mostly empty before Brian started vacuuming :/

I think my favorite quote of the day was from Brian while cleaning out the freezer:

"There's enough fur in here for a whole cat!"  ??????

It's been interesting, to say the least.  Cleaning for so many hours on end tends to get monotonous and your mind tends to wander.  After a few hours, Brian and I got a little punch drunk sleepy tired and started getting goofy (hence the picture of him impersonating a cat).  Based on the things we were cleaning, we came to several conclusions about the people we bought our house from:

#1.  They never washed their hands.  Like EVER.  Which is super nasty because I shook hands with them at closing.  Totally wouldn't have done that if I had known.

#2.  They must have gesticulated wildly when they talked, and always with food in hand.  I don't know how else to explain the food splatter in pretty much every room and as high up as the ceiling in some places.

#3.  Their cat was magical and could fly.  I don't know how else cat fur accumulates at the tops of doors.

Oh boy, do we have our work cut out for us ;P  Stay tuned for more adventures of Our Homemade Home!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Perspective - it's an amazing thing.  It can take a benign object or action and turn it into any number of things.  For instance, take an empty toilet paper tube.  To one person, it's trash.  To another (like my son), it becomes a pirate spyglass.  Or if you're like this woman, it's just waiting to become a work of art.  One thing, many interpretations.  I've been thinking a lot about perspective lately, and how it affects my attitude.  So often, I say "I have to do..." - fill in the blank.  The dishes, the laundry, etc.  But each and every one of these mundane tasks has more eternal purpose than I realize.

When I serve my children, I'm showing them how to serve.  Do I begrudgingly wash dishes while grumbling under my breath?  I shouldn't be (though sometimes I admit that I do.)  God desires a cheerful giver.  But how do you change your perspective on things that seem so...tiring and pedantic?  It's as simple as a one-word change.

"I GET to."

I GET to wash the dishes so my children have clean plates to eat off of.  I"m thankful that we have dishes to wash and food to make those dishes dirty.

 I GET to wash and fold and put away clothes.  I'm thankful we have been so blessed with so many outfits and I'm thankful for kids healthy enough to get them dirty.

I GET to clean my house and I am thankful for shelter and a place to live safely.

I GET to stay home and raise my children.  I'm thankful because apart from my marriage, no other relationship on earth has mirrored so accurately and profoundly for me my relationship with God through Christ.

I challenge you all to change one little word in your day to day vocabulary.  You GET to live this life and do the most damage to the kingdom of darkness while you're here.  We are arrows in God's arsenal and He's shooting us straight into the heart of the enemy.  We raise our children to be and do the same. What a gift and I'm so glad I get to :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Princess Birthday Cookies

So, I wanted to write a post of this because I just think these turned out too dang cute not to ;P  I was asked to make some number and letter birthday cookies for a sweet little girl's 1st birthday party.  Let me just say that any order I receive for a special event like that is a HUGE honor - my work will be part of someone else's memories, and that is very humbling.  Makes me work that much harder to make it as great as it can be.  Anyhoo, on to the details.  They asked for different shades of pink, so I decided to do some ombre coloring - though I did it the wrong way.  Instead of starting lighter and getting darker, I messed up and had to go backwards by adding more white icing and some white gel coloring - which by the way, is the BOMB!  I love that stuff!

I found this tutorial, and to be honest - didn't even read the instructions.  I just thought "Where the heck am I going to get a small crown cutter??"  But thanks to Sweet Sugarbelle and her amazing tutorials, I decided to look at what I already had that could be hacked to do what I wanted.  I found this cutter:

Shooting Star cutter

The top has three perfect little points like a crown, so I got to work.  I cut out all my number 1s, and then I cut out a bunch of these.  I figured out where I wanted the crown to sit on the top of the 1, and then used the 1 cookie cutter to cut the "crown" off the shooting stars and squished those puppies together on the cookie sheet.  Then I did the same thing with the "J"s.  

To decorate the crowns, I made grey icing by using only one drop of Americolor black gel paste color.  Once that was dry, I used a paper towel to cover the rest of the cookie and sprayed the crown only with Wilton silver Color Mist spray.  (FYI, that stuff is AWESOME!  I've had a lot of trouble with painting luster dust using vodka - I can't figure out how to keep the frosting from looking a little pitted.  Suggestions, please!  But this stuff always looks amazing.  The only problem is you get spray on the cookie itself, but it's way cheaper than buying an airbrush ;P)  Then I brushed some Pink pearl dust on the pink part of the cookie to give it a little sparkle.  What kind of princess cookies would they be without sparkle???

And that's it!  Really, much easier than they look.  

Hope that helped a bit!  Have fun decorating :D

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...