Fun with free Gimp

May 30th, 2008 . by Melissa

Now...

Our house now.

Later...what we really want our house to look like in 5 years.

Our house later…hopefully completed in 5 years.

But……..

May 29th, 2008 . by Jason

Me: Hey, so what do you think……..

Melissa: (silence)

Me: No, really what do you think…….

Melissa: (silence)

Me: (walking into the other room) Sorry, I thought you could hear me.

Melissa: No, I could….. I just thought that maybe you would think that I couldn’t hear…

Abnaki Way

May 27th, 2008 . by Melissa

Well, Jason is kicking my trash with all of his blogging. When we started this thing I thought I would be the only one writing and he has definitely proved me wrong. I’ve decided to write about the biggest thing going on in our lives right now, Abknaki Way. So, we weren’t going to buy a house, not at all (see post # 5). But I couldn’t keep myself from looking anyway. I’ve wanted a house since we got married, I’m not sure why, I think it has something to do with my addiction to HGTV. I found our house in the MLS it was a pretty penny over our budget but in one of the nicest, family-oriented neighborhoods in West Lafayette. The report said it was 1600 sq. ft., that’s 2 TIMES our current living accomadations. And it housed 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, that’s 1.25 bathrooms per person! Despite the price tag, I was VERY excited about this property. I noticed that the home was a foreclosure and that we would have to bid for it, like Ebay…like Ebay meaning we could possibly getting it for A LOT less than what the government was asking. This changed everything, the only think I didn’t like about the house was the price. So after a lot of persuading, and I mean a lot , I was able to talk Jason into letting us meet with a realty to tour the property. The pictures online did the interior of the house a lot more justice than it deserved. As soon as we walked in we were hit with the smell of smoke…oh no cancer stick people! The paint job that the former occupants had attempted was sloppy and uninspired. Crown moulding had been imitated by a painted white stripe near the top of the wall, do these people think we are blind!? Anyway the carpet had dirt stains in the living room and the kitchen had disgusting lineolium. But the cabinets were beatiful and the pantry was large and there was a dishwasher! Onto the sleeping quarters. Upstairs the second bedroom was larger than our current bedroom and the closet was very nice and roomy. I began to imagine my scrapbooking and sewing materials fill up the room. The 3rd bedroom was smaller, about the size of our current second bedroom, it would be a nice office. The full bath upstairs was pretty typical, nothing special other than it’s existence. Then we found the master suite…that’s right I said SWEET! The room was HUGE, 19 feet by 15 feet, it felt even larger with the vaulted ceiling. The two windows in the room really brightened the place up. Then we headed into the master bath. It was also very large, MUCH larger than the full bathroom down the hall. A linen closet was also in the bathroom. And then there it was, a walk-in closet almost as spacious as the master bathroom. It was a beautiful thing to see all that shelfing just waiting for my clothes. I ignored the weird purple stain on the wall in the bedroom and the built-up tar on the ceiling fan when I found another closet in the master. It was much smaller than the walk-in but it would be nice for luggage and coats. Needless to say, the master suite is what sold me. The large 2 car garage and the corner lot were also nice perks. After even more convincing, Jason and I decided to make a bid. And 3 bids later…we got the house! The purchase price was 87% of the asking, right within our budget. We expect, with all of the improvements we have scheduled, the value of the home will be hopefully 130% of what we paid for it by the time Jason is finished with his graduate studies in 5 years. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we know it but I can’t wait. There will definitely be more posts to come, as this will be our lives for the next 4 months. Stay tuned for before and after pictures…

Interesting Conversation

May 21st, 2008 . by Jason

Mom: So I have some bad news…..

Melissa: O no… :(

Mom: Little Luke broke his leg….

Melissa: That’s so cute!!!!!

Dr Pepper

May 17th, 2008 . by Jason

Among my favorite things Dr Pepper is definitely high up on the list. What a delicious blend of 23 different flavors. If I were on a desert island and could only take three people with me, I would well be tempted to trade one of those people for Dr Pepper.

Tower of Goodness

French Lick?

May 12th, 2008 . by Jason

Although I don’t recall it, Wikipedia reminds us that according to Brad of Home Improvement, French Lick is the only good thing in the state of Indiana. While I would disagree, French Lick was quite the treat.

A couple of Melissa’s friends graduated last weekend and Bryana’s mother, who has an insatiable desire to please her children, organized a graduation party for Bryana. After the graduation ceremony there was a picnic outside of her dorm with all the food you could ever wish for, and then dread the entire next week as you are still eating it. The food was great, but what was even better was the cake. This was not any ordinary cake, but it was a cake meant to please the masses. It had amazing frosting and featured a photo of Bryana in the frosting. Underneath the frosting one side was chocolate and the other white cake, which was great because I love chocolate and Melissa prefers the white. My favorite part about the cake was that it was labelled by the store as a Full Sht Cake, they really need to use a different abbreviation.

After munching and mingling for a while we helped clean up and everyone went their ways. Bryana’s family went back to their hotel to get ready to go to French Lick, and Bryana and Ethan, her boyfriend, went to feed her friend’s cat who she is cat sitting. This left Melissa and Me with Diane and her fiancé Andrew in Diane’s apartment. I had not really yet had the chance to meet Andrew and this gave us plenty of time to get acquainted. It turns out that perhaps Diane and Andrew are high up on our list of favorite couples. Unfortunately, they will soon be joining our list of favorite couples who do not live anywhere near us once again leaving the list of favorite couples within desperate reach of us pretty sparse (although Melissa and I have devised a plan of attack in attempt to populate this list, again).

We began our journey down to French Lick a couple hours later. French Lick is located in one of the most mountainous regions of Indiana. Nearby Paoli is home to Paoli Peaks, a popular ski resort (in Indiana? no lie!). Paoli peaks is situated on a hill with a vertical drop of 300 feet (that’s no typo and I would dare say that the hill in French Lick may well rival it) and features 18″ of annual snowfall. Anyways, we pulled into French Lick in the late evening and began the search for where Bryana’s grandparents had procured a condo. Their condo was nestled away in the trees on top of French Lick hill. The drive up was a little unnerving with a sheer cliff of several feet falling on one side and the occasional oncoming car in the oncoming direction. We made is safely to the top and were greeted by Bryana’s family. The condo was actually quite awesome, no lie. It felt like we were up in the mountains with trees all around us and being up on top of the hill was awesome.

French Lick Springs Villas

That night we played one of our favorite games, Pop 5, with everyone. There were 4 couples our age, and then Bryana’s family and grandparents. It was a lot of fun. Earlier in the day Bryana’s grandparents and parents had made their way down to the casino and had come back with elastic springy cords that they attached to their players cards for the machines. Someone (no one would admit to it) taught Bryana’s little sister, who is in 3rd grade and believes in the Easter bunny, that her Barbie dolls could bungee jump from the loft down into the family room by clipping the cord around Barbie’s neck and then throwing her over the railing. Brooke thoroughly enjoyed the activity and we enjoyed teasing her by grabbing onto the dolls and replacing the doll with other items for her to fish up. We’re sure that whoever gave her the idea just reveled in the fact that Brooke was hanging her own Barbie dolls (reminds me of a story about my aunt Nancy’s barbie dolls being hung….).

The next morning, Mother’s Day, brought more lounging, chatting, and game playing. It was quite rainy outside so we were fairly restricted to indoor activities. We enjoyed a nice rousing game of scattegories, which I failed miserably in. I couldn’t compete with the likes of Andrew, Diane, or Julie who came up with absurdities such as Green Goblin Grappling Ghost Ghouls or Red Rock Round Ruby Rectangle Regular Registered Rock. Brooke continued to hang her Barbies, and Bryana and Ethan attended the local submarine races.

Later in the day we ventured down to the Hotel and Casino to check it out. The hotel was very lavish and ornate. It was a place fit for a king, or the birthplace of Larry Bird, although the hotel was around well before him. The casino is another story. Indiana has a law where casinos are alright as long as they are on water and not land. Down by Melissa’s house there is the Casino Aztar, which I call Azkaban, which is an actual river boat which up until recently actually took an occasional stroll down the river. This casino was a little different and is a clear indication of Indiana’s more relaxed definition of what a river boat is. From the outside it looks like any other river boat with its water wheel and pipes coming out the top; however, it is all for show, this river boat is not going anywhere. In order to pull off the casino they built themselves a moat and placed the casino in it!

The casino river boat in its own personal moat

We donated a few dollars to the casino and then were on our way. After the tour of the hotel and casino we ventured over to another nearby hotel, the West Baden, it was pretty cool. The picture is of the interior dome and explains most of the coolness.

West Baden Dome
Our weekend getaway to French Lick was quite the adventure. Melissa and I hope to someday make it down to nearby Patoka Lake in the future, and who knows, I may even attempt to brave the slopes of Paoli Peaks.

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