Thursday, April 9, 2015

Furniture

It's been fun to see how God has provided furniture for me along the way. I bought the buffet below for $35. I have had fun staining and painting it to make it my own. I wasn't sure how I would like the blue, but I love how it turned out.  I look forward to doing more of this in the future.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Living Room

I have been working on all sorts of different projects around the house. It seems like I rarely get a chance to complete a project, but am instead in the midst of a bunch of different things all the time. Last week I was able to complete (for the most part) my living room. It has been so much fun having people over now that my dining room and living room are livable. Here are some pictures from the project.  

Come to my Kodai Tamak (God meal) on April 12th to see it in person. A Kodai Tamak is something Kazakhs do to celebrate the blessings God gives. In this case, I would love for you to come and celebrate God's blessing of a house with me. Drop by anytime between 3-5pm. Email me for my address.  
 Thankfully, wallpaper removal for this room was fairly painless
Finished (mostly) product

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Living Room Remodel

I have been working hard to revamp some of the rooms in my house. The first project I started on was removing the wallpaper in the living room.  The wallpaper came off easily.  I then fixed up some of the walls and did some priming before I was able to paint.  I was able to find some inexpensive used furniture. I also installed hung some new curtains. I have some more work to do related to decorations, but it's coming along well.  My next project is removing the wallpaper in my bedroom. Here are some before/after pictures of my living room as well as some flowers I found in my flower bed.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Making Changes

I returned back from a great visit to Kazakhstan in early February. Since then, I have been doing some subbing, setting up life here in Muncie, as well as doing things around the house to get more settled. In the last week, I have been able to set up my internet as well as purchase a car. Things are definitely coming together quickly, although at times it feels kind of slow.  

I am learning that being a home owner means having lots of unfinished jobs. My biggest challenge right now is prioritizing what should come first. I have started with my living room and game room (dining room) and things are slowly starting to feel more like home. 

The dining room is definitely the easier of the two projects. Since it was already painted, I just had to do some caulking, spackling, and sanding in order to prep for a new paint job. Some friends came over last Friday and we got the first coat of paint on the walls. Then, I was able to finish up the second coat yesterday. Other friends came over to play games and helped me hang the pictures I purchased in Kyrgyzstan as well as one photograph I took while living in Kazakhstan.  

The living room has been a bit of a bigger project. First, I had to remove the existing wallpaper. Then I had to caulk and spackle. This was followed by a coat of primer. It is now ready for two coats of paint (whenever I am ready to paint again).  

In the process, I have learned a lot about what it takes to prepare for painting and painting itself. I am thankful for all the friends who have given me advice and helped along the way. I am excited to see how things come together. 

Here are some pictures of what I've been working on.  

 My new car - 2001 Honda Accord

 Photo I took in Kaz (stairwell)

 Dining Room

  Dining Room

 Dining Room

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Three Months of Change (Craziness)

I have been really bad at updating my blog, but will try to do better in the near future.  Here are some highlights from the last three months.  
  • I have been living in Muncie, IN since October. I have really enjoyed catching up with friends from Muncie. During my time in Muncie I was able to complete two practicums and graduate with my Masters in Special Education. I thoroughly enjoyed both classrooms for different reasons. Both teachers taught me so much, as did the children in each class. I was surprised to be drawn more to the children with severe disabilities. Maybe it is because I see fewer people wanting to teach these children. 
  • As many of you probably know, Interlink Resources has decided to close their doors in Kazakhstan.  As a result, I am in the States for an extended period of time.  I will be visiting Kazakhstan for a few weeks in January, which I am really looking forward to. I can't wait to see my friends there.  Interlink has offered to continue my salary until the end of August, since that is when I will be able to find a full-time job as a teacher.  I am so thankful for Interlink and the opportunity to have lived in Kazakhstan. I don't necessarily sense that my time in Kazakhstan is completely finished, but for now I expect to be in the States for a while. 
  • On a whim, back in November, I started to pursue the possibility of purchasing a house in Muncie. I had heard rumor that it was cheaper to buy a house than to rent in Muncie and decided to look into it. A friend from Taylor University is a real estate agent, so I asked her if she thought it was doable with my salary, etc. Long story short, I will be closing on a house on January 6th.  It is a beautiful old house (early 1900's), that needs cosmetic updates. I was able to qualify for a grant from the government to help with my downpayment and closing costs. Having lived on the East coast for so long, I was shocked at the low purchase price of the house. I am looking forward to having a place to call home, no matter where life takes me down the road. As I work on the house, I will upload before/after pictures for you to enjoy. 
  • I have had the joy of spending Christmas with my family. My niece is almost three years old, so she was able to really enjoy Christmas for the first time. It has been fun to play games, do puzzles, and just spend time with my family. 
On January 4th I will be heading back to Indiana, where I will be for about 10 days. I will close on the house on the 6th (as long as everything goes as planned) and will have a few days to get settled before heading to Kazakhstan for about three weeks (leaving on January 15th). I will probably spend some of my time searching flea markets for furniture and starting to get settled. I will also need to buy a car during the ten days I am in Muncie and figure out transportation during the time before I purchase a car. So far everything has come together really smoothly, so I am anticipating the same to take place for purchasing a car. I will also work on gathering the things I need to apply for a teaching license. It will be busy, but fun, as things continue to move forward. Upon my return from Kazakhstan, I plan to substitute teach in Muncie in order to gain more experience in the schools and get a feel for the schools. My desire is to get a job in a severe disabilities special education classroom in Muncie in the fall. Eventually, I would like to take what I learn in the classroom back to Kazakhstan in some way. Stay tuned to see how things come together in the next few months.