Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jamestown and Virginia Beach (Day 7)

We started the morning off by playing in the Peterson's beautiful backyard.  The girls loved it as it has a bunch of huge trees and a big tree house/playset.

Riding laps around the back patio.


There was a huge spider in a web just outside the dining room window.  I was going to take care of it, but Austin was adamant that the spider not be killed, just relocated, so I obliged.

Jamestown was the first English Settlement in the America and it was located just a short drive from the Peterson's house.  We loaded up and drove the beautiful Colonial Parkway which runs from Yorktown to Jamestown.

One really cool thing at Jamestown were the glassworks.  The have a functioning glass-blowing operation going on as this was one of the first industries that the settlers tried their hands at when they first arrived at Jamestown.

One of the glass blowers at work making a vase.

We visited Historic Jamestown which is located on the site of the original settlement and administered by the National Park Service (we have an annual pass to National Parks, so this made the most sense).  Here is a Jamestown Monument:

Some Native American lady:

Ada, Kate and Sally in front of the 17th century church:

Captain John Smith:

And finally, a model of the original fort, located within the footprint of the original fort:

We returned back to the Petersons where we gathered our swimming costumes and towels for an afternoon visit to Virginia Beach.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't really cooperating and it was a bit chilly (I think it was in the 60's, but there was also a breeze from off the ocean that chilled us as well.

However, it wasn't too cold for most of the kids (and I joined in as well), although we did spend most of our time playing in the sand.


Kate, Lyla & Ada.

Austin and Lyla.

Ivy was happy for the first little while.


Me and Lyla looking out over the Atlantic.  There were a bunch of fighter jets that flew overhead while we were there. They must have been out doing training exercises.  Nothing like listening to the sounds of freedom while we enjoyed our afternoon on the beach.

Austin and Ada without any legs.

After the beach we made our way to Rigoletto Italian Bakery & Cafe in a strip mall that had been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.  The food was good, but it didn't knock our socks off.  We did buy some eclairs that were the size of a small loaf of bread.

I convinced Ada to get the stuffed meatballs, which were one of the items featured on the episode.

After dinner, we stopped by Handel's for ice cream and shakes, then while the Petersons headed directly home we took the scenic route which took us to a gas station in North Carolina (new state for the girls!).  It felt as though as soon as we crossed into North Carolina we were truly in the south.  There were Confederate Flags and the gas station had a huge tobacco and cigar shop attached.  It was a worthwhile detour.

I think all would agree that it was another fun and successful day.  Tomorrow we make our way back up to the DC area.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Yorktown (Day 6)

Today was Sunday, so we tried to take it reasonably easy.  Emily and a few of her kids went to Stake Conference while we hung out at their house.

Ada could most often be found drawing and coloring at the kitchen table (much like at home).

While Ada colored, the other kids hung out with Alison on the couch.

After lunch, we took our kids and Austin (Sally wasn't feeling well) to the Yorktown Battlefield, part of Colonial National Historic Park.  Our first stop was at the Visitor's Center, where we found out that we were just in time for a reenactment and cannon shooting demonstration. They only do these demonstrations once a month, so we were pretty lucky to have stumbled upon it.

Here we are listening to a description of the cannons and artillery used.  I like this picture because you can see Ada smiling at me.

Alison notices her smiling and turns to scowl at whatever Ada is smiling at.

Then it's back to just Ada and me smiling at each other.

Here we're watching the cannon loading & shooting reenactment.

Austin didn't love the cannon shooting, it was a little loud for him.  Here's a video clip of the blast.


We were able to take a closer look at a few cannons from the Revolutionary War that were displayed.

Kate, Ada & Austin.

Lyla was so excited to be able to hold her newest little cousin Ivy.

That night we Skyped with Angie and Hyrum.  The kids had some extra energy to burn off, and for some reason Lyla was in her skivvies.


It was a lovely Sunday in Yorktown, Virginia. Tomorrow, we visit Jamestown.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The House - Week 19

Week 19 - March 2, 2015

Not much to report this week. There was a pretty good snow storm on Monday that created a muddy mess around the house for the rest of the week.

Questar stopped by to install the gas meter.  We'll have to get the furnaces going once the mudding and taping starts.

The top two floors of the house were stocked with sheetrock.

That stuff is heavy. What a miserable job!

The weekly checkup on our neighbors.

We had coordinated with the architect to have the brine tank for our water softener located in the garage (no more carrying heavy salt bags to the basement, yay!).  This was shown on the plans, but I had noticed that the rough-in for the water softener was in a different location.  I emailed our contractor and that morning they had the plumbers back out there to rough-in the water softener per our plans.  This complicates the water distribution in our house as the water heaters and softener are on opposite sides of the house, but no more carrying heavy bags of salt to the basement, yay!

Alison and I walked through our neighbor's framed house and took a picture of our house from there.

This week: Hopefully we start hanging sheetrock, but we'll have to see...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The House - Week 18

Week 18 - February 23, 2015

This week the focus was on insulation and continued work on the exterior.

The Hardie Board installation took pretty much two weeks.  Still to come, caulking and painting.

Our last window finally arrived.  The stack of three 2' square windows are extras, we originally had plans to have some small windows into the basement, but the slope didn't allow us to keep them in.

The daily view of our neighbors to the south.

Soffit installed under the deck.

Side view.

The first day the insulation guys were on-site, they installed most of the batt insulation in locations where spray in insulation wasn't feasible.

This is at the garage ceiling, between the garage and the bonus room (toy room) above.

The first day was also spent sealing around all doors, windows and any other penetrations.

At the end of the first day, they were working on putting plastic over all of the doors and windows in preparation for the spray-on polyurethane foam insulation.

Even penetrations between the floors were sealed, which I found surprising.

A view of the batt insulation above the front entry.  There isn't really any truss space for spray in insulation in this area.

In locations where attic vents or exhaust fans go through the attic, there is a little piece of cardboard that has been added, I think mainly to keep the fluffy spray in insulation in the attic.

Batt insulation all around the bonus room.

Batt insulation above Ada's room, where her tall walls from the vaulted ceiling meet the attic space.

This week I also took videos of all the rooms and rough-in throughout the house, just in case I ever need to figure out what's behind a wall.  I ended up with almost 4GB of videos. Here is a typical video, this one of the toy room:


Today's view from the front.  Working hard on the exterior.

The back view.

The back and the side.

A new day, another view from the front.

I'm just loving how our house looks from the front.  Not too large, lots of interest, not all garage.

Nobody was allowed in the house while the polyurethane foam was being sprayed.

Pretty much all exterior walls were covered adding around an R-7 insulation value, but more importantly sealing all of the wall cavities.

Insulation in the master closet.  The wiring on the right side is for the solar PV system.

The daily view of our neighbors.  Footings are being formed, framing is ongoing.

Insulation in the great room. On the other side of that wall is the master bedroom.  The insulation extends down below where the ceiling and attic space meet.

Another view of the same wall.

The spray on insulation above Ada's room.  It looks like a big blanket.

Above our deck in the back we have a metal roof that has been installed.

One last view of the tall wall.

In the basement.

In the basement bedroom. On the right is our water service in to the house.

The door to our backyard garage/shed.

The back of the house.  The long narrow window shown earlier will be mounted in about the center of the picture.

Looking up at Ada's room from the family room.

Looking back towards the kitchen from the family room.

From the northeast corner.

The front.

The front, #2.

Next step is for the blown insulation in the walls. All of the walls to be insulated were covered with a thin fabric to hold the blown insulation in place.

In the upstairs bathroom.

In Kate and Lyla's room.

The thin fabric was placed across all of the walls, then they went back through and cut out the windows.

Batt insulation was added in the joist space above the theater room.

The theater room walls ready for the blown in insulation.

Blowing in the insulation.

Here is a video of the blown in insulation in action.  Be forewarned, it is thrilling:


When we came to visit the house on Sunday we had a visitor in the house. All of our windows were installed except the two sidelights at the front door.  The poor bird couldn't find its way back out.

The bird owes me. I was able to help usher/scare it out of the house.


Insulation in the living room.

The tall wall full of blown in insulation.

Lyla making her way through the sidelight window.

The theater room in the basement all insulated..

The Bischoffs and the Steeds came to visit the house before Sunday dinner.

In one of the basement bedrooms.

From the back, note the long window is installed and the Hardie Board siding has been installed above and around it.

A couple last views of the front of the house.

This week: Hopefully we will start sheetrock and more work on the exterior.