Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas at Loon Lake Lodge 2010

Christmas at Loon Lake Lodge was a grand weekend. Mother nature gave us a wonderful white Christmas without nasty roads and weather for traveling. Temps were mild enough on Friday to spend a lot of time outside enjoying the snow and ice. Poppy and Mike started with the sleds and the hill from the road to the side yard, which seemed HUGE to Elizabeth and Kate. You can see they were pretty excited.

The real fun began when Mama (AKA Amanda) who is 6 months prego with baby brother came out for some photos and to watch first hand why all the screeches and screams were coming from outside. Not to be outdone by Daddy Mike who made the slide, she grabbed the sled and took a run much to the delight of Libbers & Katers.

Friday night we picked up GG and all headed to the Christmas eve candle light service for some singing and worship. We came home to a delicious pot of creamy chicken & wild rice soup and biscuits. After donning their special new matching pj's, the girls were soon tucked in and fast asleep while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads. The adults quickly brought out all the packages and set them out around the tree and stuffed the socks to the brim.

Here are the girlies still dressed in their Christmas fancy after church and awaiting their special pj's.

Christmas morning arrived right on time (well, a bit too early for the adults) but we were all soon up and rearing to go. Here Jillian is the first to dig into her stocking for all the goodies Mommy & Daddy put inside.

Grandmommy had been a very busy knitter this fall and each girl received felted clog slippers and reversible stocking caps. Here Katers gives hugs & kisses for her new slippers.

Here Libbers & Katers both don their new warm stocking caps, which can reverse to a different color scheme and stripe.

Christmas afternoon brought more fun outside. The sun was out making it a wonderful day for the ice. Poppy had cleared off a large "rink" out front and we borrowed a tiny pair of double runner ice skates, which Elizabeth was very eager to try after watching Poppy skate. She was amazing on them and promises to be a pro in no time. On Sunday morning while discussing the skating at breakfast she said (quite seriously I must add), "I just have to keep trying until I am good at it."

She even wanted to try to pull Kate on the sled like Poppy & Daddy were able to do.

Here Kate gets her try with the skates on, but she wasn't so sure.

The most fun they had was twirling around and around at the end of the rope as Poppy or Daddy pulled and let them fly in circles on the ice. A few times they tumbled off, but always got right back on for more. Here Kate enjoys a ride with Daddy as the "tow boat"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Exterior is Complete!

YEAH!! Today the contractors pulled their trailer and tools out of here and left our finished project. We love the new look of the house, complete from the outside. Can't wait to do some new landscaping now and spruce things up outside come spring.

Here is a closer view of the bay around the front windows. Now tomorrow is window washing day to make it all shine. Thanks for such a great job Jeff!
Now I can't hardly wait for the INSIDE to be finished too!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More July Fun

On July 17 we attended our first mystery party. What a fantastic time. Despite the VERY hot temps, a great time was had by all in attendance. Carol & Faye really went the extra mile to make this a wonderful experience. Everyone attending was to decorate their pontoon as a section of the cruise ship might be decorated. We were the galley and we hung pots and pans from the top and had a small gas grill to fix Italian sausage for appetizers. There were a dozen boats in all, tied up side by side coming out from two piers. There was a spa, a coffee shop, a ball room, a cocktail lounge, a casino and much more. We have some very creative friends.

Here the "crew" and "passengers" of the Mystery of the Sea as we gathered for a group photo. The two creative ladies who put this all together are there on the first step, trying to play the part of Gillian and Mary Ann. Notice Officer R. (Rusty) Bullet kneeling in the front row. Poppy made an OUTSTANDING Port Authority and presided over the crime in a very professional manner. He took his important roll very seriously and played it to the hilt.

We mingle as everyone tries to learn as much as they can about those under suspicion and figure out who the murder was. For a little while I was afraid it was going to be me, but fortunately Officer Bullet figured out the true identity of the slime ball killer.

On a calm afternoon, Poppy tried out his skiing skills after a VERY long break from the sport he used to love every summer. It was like riding a bike, he popped right up out of the water and did a fine job. He actually went twice before summer's end and vows that he will go more often next summer and plans to ski yet when he is 60! I hope he can...he was always so great at it. Next year he wants to try dropping one ski to slalom again like in his younger days.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Past Month's Wonderful Exterior Make-over

On August 26 the contractor and his assistant returned to finish the outside make over. The old siding came off and the ugly foam board was exposed. Step one!

The following Monday they returned to remove the old roof, the last section of original roof to go. This was not structurally necessary, but a cosmetic, elective step. When this 2-story section was added on in the early 90's, for some odd reason the peak was off-centered. We are still wondering why they did many things when this house was built. But, this really bothered Poppy, so we opted to redo this oddity. They took it right down to the rafters and removed the extremely large overhang at the eves.

The roof was then rebuilt with new rafters to raise the pitch and center the peak. Racing the darkening skies and strong winds, the young assistant carried the 4x8' sheets of OSB sheeting up the rafters with ease. I was so afraid the wind would catch him and off he would fly over the lake. Unfortunately, they only got one side totally sheeted before the sprinkles began. Quickly the tarps went on and we were as weather proof as possible for a couple days.

By Sept. 1 the weather cleared off for them and they were able to continue. This shot shows how the north wall had to be built up about a foot or so to allow the peak to be centered once new rafters were set at the same pitch to match our new addition on the opposite end of the house. Before putting the sheeting in place, they also ran additional insulation across the existing rafters to keep us cozier in the heat and cold.

You can see from the end views on these next two photos how the roof pitch changed and how the peak is now centered. From the road side now, the peak is centered between the two upstairs windows.

From the lake it is hard to see the front through the trees, but now here you can see the old roof line where the white siding was still in place. The plywood sheeting is all the newly added part.

This view also shows the huge, flat roof over the bay windows. This also was a bone of contention with Poppy, so now it has been scaled down and a bit of slope added. Just today that was accomplished as they worked on siding the front side and we are anxious to see how this smaller roof looks once shingled by the end of tomorrow.

The next week in September they got to replacing the old windows in the back of the house. My kitchen window over the current sink location was totally removed. You can see in the opening (where the window used to be) the blinds still hanging inside. Then, we took the smaller casement window they are removing in the above photo and installed it in the proper location for the new kitchen plan. They also removed the old double hung windows from the back of the "lodge" room and the other small casement from the back of the family room. Now, this was a cool, windy day when they removed these windows and the house was open to all the weather. I had to bundle up a bit while I was exposed to the elements INSIDE my home. When they left for lunch, it was sort of like, "why lock things up, anyone could crawl in!" Larger casement windows were then installed in these locations to give us a brighter, clearer view.

That evening when Poppy got home from work, he put the window tape around the newly installed windows, preparing them for the siding which was to start the following day. Due to rain and a weekend, the siding actually began five days later. Join me in the next blog to see the awesome transformation that has taken place in the past two weeks!

A House Transformed - Well, Almost

Here we are after the first day or so of siding. It was so good to see the Quiet Willow color finally wrap the rest of the house. This color is hard to see in many photos, as the time of day and light can make it look anywhere from very gray to very green. We love it and with the bright white wide trim, it sets it off so nicely. The contractor's assistant was left to get this started when Jeff took off for a fishing vacation. Poppy was also out of town that whole week, so some decisions were left to me. I was out there each evening making sure it was running level and setting Josh straight if I thought things were not as they should be. Poor guy battled some nasty winds trying to hang the house wrap by himself. Rain also slowed down progress, so most of the big progress has been made just this week when Jeff returned and it went much easier with two pair of hands and legs. There was a lot of ladder climbing this week.

These photos taken early yesterday evening as the sun was low in the western sky really make the color look dark. Here you can see the larger windows that will be the back of the family room and the double set at the back of the lodge room. In the future as I stand at my sink, which will be placed in a peninsula coming out from back wall of kitchen, I will be able to look to my right and out the back window and to my left out front to the lake. I am really looking forward to that!

I tried to get this shot without showing all the mess of the siding boxes, saw and trash in the driveway. We will be very glad when all the tools and materials are GONE and cleaned up! Yesterday they were buzzing along on this south side of the house and were half way along the upstairs windows when I came outside to go to town about 10:30. They were rushing to get that side done before lunch break. I looked up and noticed they had not done the wide white frieze board! I asked Jeff, "doesn't the frieze board go on around that side too?" He couldn't believe they had rushed right past that point and had to remove several rows of siding in order to do it right. It would have looked mighty plain without that detail we love so much.

Today's progress focused on the front of the family room and the big bay windows facing the lake. That upstairs section has been our master bedroom for the past six years, but will be guest quarters when our new master is finished in the new section on the main level. We have fondly call this bedroom our "tree house" as it looks out among the branches of the ash and maple trees and you get a birds-eye view of the beauty beyond. They will be using white around the windows with the little scalloped "fish scale" type siding on the bay. We hope that tomorrow evening we can get a final photo to share with everyone. This big step in the process is almost finished! Praise the Lord!!

Come on back soon for a look at the finished product. I will also be summarizing the rest of our summer from mid-July to the end of August with more photos and progress made inside. We love sharing all of this with our family and friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday USA!! 2010!!

The month of July started out with a very special day. We had a house full of family. Not only GG was here and Amanda's crew, but also Great Grandma Jordan! They sure enjoyed watching the great grand girls giggle and play. We even got them both on the pontoon for a beautiful afternoon cruise. How special for Libbers to share a seat with not just one, but both of her great grandmothers.

On Saturday it was pretty hot weather, so there was a lot of swimming going on. Poppy quickly realized the Toy Story float ring did not work too well for him. But, isn't he cute trying to tease the girls into swimming with him?

Cousin Matt came for a visit and he charmed Elizabeth out to deep water to float with him. He has always been a lady's man!

Uncle Bubby stopped by too and had some fun swinging Elizabeth and Kate. They thought he was pretty fun!

He was really taken by all of Jillian's smiles and laughs. She charmed him big time!

All the fun on Saturday, the 3rd had started with Amanda running in the 5.5K around the lake. We were very proud of her! Then, we all boarded the pontoon for the annual boat-in pancake breakfast. Jillian thought it was really fun eating her breakfast on the boat!

The afternoon included lots more water fun, including the slip and slide. Although they didn't do much sliding, they sure enjoyed sitting in the water and laughing their heads off.

This year Kate got to stay up for the fireworks for the first time. Here she is gobbling down her supper, her favorite - HOTDOGS! She knew how special the night would be, so hurry up dark!! They even got a jar from Grandmommy and caught fireflies. Of course, once caught, they were afraid of them!

There was a bonfire and 'somores before it got totally dark and the fireworks started. Such a wonderful day with two very tired little girls when it all ended.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Should I Begin???

Whew, it is hard to believe I have not added new photos or news since right before Memorial Day. Now the days are getting shorter and summer is about over. Guess I better take some time (lots of it!) and catch you up with what has been happening around Loon Lake Lodge over the past three months! The next few nights I will be working to catch up.
I must go back to right after my last post. We had gotten the carpet down and the upstairs was basically ready for occupancy for the Memorial Day weekend. So, they arrived! Everyone was thrilled with their newly finished rooms. Here is a shot of the girls new room and Kate was thrilled to have a "big girl" bed just like Sissy's at the lake!

The weather was beautiful for swimming and of course Amanda was so anxious to "coax" her girls into being water lovers just like she was as a girl. They were not near as excited as she wanted them to be, but here Libbers was about as brave as she ever got all summer.

Kate was more occupied with all the toys to play with in the water and spent most of her time on dry land "squirting" everything in sight. Even GG at one point, which really surprised GG! These toys somehow got tagged by Kate as the "users" so now all water toys are "users." She would see a shovel floating out away from the sand and yell, "get that user!" Poppy even bought a special big tote to store the "users" in! I guess you "use" them to play, hence the "users!"

Of course, this was only Jillian's 2nd visit to the lake, so it was fun to see her explore and see what kind of trouble she could get into crawling all over the deck. She is such a happy-go-lucky girl and always smiling!
She was so near walking, we thought for sure she would take off anytime.

On June 1st, Poppy's birthday, Shell & Richard arrived in the evening. It was wonderful having them come from NC, as Richard had not been to the lake since 2008! He was amazed at all the changes and pitched right in with offers to help Poppy. Of course, we wanted this to be a relaxing vacation for them, as Richard had been busy for the past two years going to school for his master's degree. So, we did not make them work. We PLAYED! The kids gave Poppy a beer brewing kit, so for about one whole day they worked to "brew" his first batch. Poppy also received a Ladder Ball game for his birthday, so we had several fun games to test our skills.

Nice form Michelle!

Amanda and their crew had returned for the next weekend so the whole family could be together. It was fun and we were so happy to have plenty of space for everyone! GG was here one day and for supper we had to set up the card table and all gather around.

Saturday was the Kid's Fishing Derby and everyone "helped" Elizabeth and Kate "catch" fish. Of course, they were scared of them once they were hooked and wiggling all over.

Unfortunately, the rain began just as we returned to have the fish weighed and collect prizes and hotdogs. But, a little rain didn't dampen our spirits too much.

The rest of June was rather uneventful as we enjoyed beautiful summer weather and continued to work on all the remodeling. After several weeks the "home brew" was ready to sample. Here Poppy sits back to relax with a taste of his own refreshing wheat beer. He was quite proud!
Now tomorrow night I will try to summarize July!