Wednesday, July 22, 2009

finger painting

I'm sure many have heard the story, but it started with one contract after another falling through and ending up without a home, and wanting to move forward with our family and life. So we entered through that door. Sunni took a few steps, a sniff of the place and walked out. I continued with the "potential/visionary" glasses on. I can only say that it must be a God given gift, because with the amount of "sight" needed to view this house as a home was significant. It really is funny to think back over the last year. At this time in 2008, I was stroking Sunni's hair and saying, "It's going to be ok. Really?! We will do a little work and it will look day".

And after this last weekend... approximately one year from when we put an offer on this fixer-upper... ...we are still married ...we still love each other ...we still laugh at the process ...we know there is still more to do

...soon and very soon...we'll paint the door. (and patch the hole on the other side of the light:)

These are some of the illustrations on the pages of our story. Look forward to seeing yours.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Almost a year old

It has almost been a year since we began this adventure called home ownership. A fixer upper can be any house. It can be large, small or somewhere in between. On the whole, I think we have been ridiculously lucky in our venture. We have been blessed with friends and sales that have kept us afloat and smiling. We laugh more than we cry, and we even take pride in what we have done. We continue to make small improvements as the days go one. Most important, we have made this our home. We love our neighbors and the surrounding area. The joys of using this house to form and enrich relationships has been well worth the sweat and tears.

THEN: August 1, 2008
NOW: July 17, 2009

Our CURRENT Adventure: I have spent the last few days prepping the house for a full painting. I am sorry for those who have grown accustomed to locating our home by the faded mint green siding. From now on you will just have to look up and be guided by those ridiculously ugly eye-sores, also known as solar panels.

Never too young!

(You will need to turn the monitor 90 degrees, sorry).

The joys of being an uncle. Just think of all the videos we will be able to post up here over the years?!

Gender Neutral Baby Stuff

As we journey through the adoption process we are learning, enduring and growing. How do you plan and make goals when you have little knowledge of what you are getting yourself into??? You don' simply take one step at a time. With that in mind, the nursery begins to get a face lift.
Thank you to my (Ryan's) mom as she begins working on the bedding for the baby-to-be. During a recent visit, we did the quilt shops, debated and chose colors. A boy? A girl? We don't know. So...greens, yellows, browns...the world of neutrality.

This is the beginning of the quilt. (The swatches and background.) The finished product will have a bunch of little blocks surrounding the large patches...We'll show you a picture when it is all done.
Soon and very soon...

Friday, July 3, 2009

God's canvas...(Cannon Beach, OR)


We just spent the last week on vacation. One would assume that after a week away from the typical "grind" of life, I should be rested, rejuvinated and ready to resume the several hats that I wear. I guess I would agree with that...that is until I spent a week with my beloved nephew. This little 19 month old spitfire kept the activity in our vacation. Sand castles, ocean water, playing with a new tent (from his favorite Uncle:) ), feeding the geese, blowing bubbles and running everywhere. What a character?! Oh the Stories?!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Celebrating Cement!!!

One of the biggest transformations has occurred at our home. We have cement. And not just any masonry but a new Front Porch, Sidewalk and Patio...Seriously exciting! The biggest change happened at the rear of the home... when we moved in there was no rear door to the yard...and no patio...Our yard has truly become one of our favorite places to be. We look forward to many a BBQ, cook out, picnic! Join us?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring has sprung!

Much to our excitement...Spring has arrived. And it brought forth hostas and a mysterious plant. Any guesses? (currently 3 feet tall and growing)...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

H1N1 run amuck

"Let me out, let me out!" she cried from inside the prison walls. She longed for the days when she was free; days when she could come and go with ease.
Stricken with a head cold turned respiratory infection then add in a fever and a country freaked out by the pigless "Swine Flu" you get a recipe for house arrest. The area schools were closed with potential cases of the pandemic flu. Lucky for the pictured prisoner the results of the flu test led to a thumbs up and "all clear."
"Free at last, Free at last, Thank God-Almighty. I'm free at last"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Don't Judge a Book by it's cover...or a house.

When we moved in...the house was in need of much work. (understatement) We began work August 1st of is shocking that it has been 9 months of sweat, blood and tears...many tears...many. As some of the previous posts show, we have done a bunch of work. In fact we have only done a portion because we have been overwhelmed and blessed by our friends and family: Painting parties. Pastoral carpet removal. Late night drywall smashing. Mold abatement. Kitchen demolition. Kitchen renovation. Flooded basements. Landscaping. Donated Perennials and the list goes on and on...

After nine months and much reliance on our sense of humor, this house has become our home... To answer the, we're not done. But like all of us, it is a work in progress.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Like most married couples we celebrated our 6th anniversary (April 12) as one would expect...
1) Ryan's parents were in town, and 2) Sunni had the stomach flu...

...another year and counting...Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The HIGHLY energetic World Of Melvin Cooper

(be patient while the video loads) We have told you time and time again...Melvin is a couch potato. Here is proof. He is a a sleep-junky! Now this is contrary of how he will act when you visit the house. IF you show up, he will put on this happy dance of excitment (and most likely urine) but don't let that fool you. He is a bum!

Biggest Loser Update...

For those who care...and for those who don't (since you are still reading):
The Family Biggest Loser competition has be re-energized. A couple has been faithfully going to a local gym. One member of the family registered a loss of 8-10 lbs... So the journey continues.

FYI: Some of us need encouragement, some don't...either way it is your job to be an encourager of healthy living and eating. (Thanks, on behalf of all of us :) )


It seemed like a harmless thing, get a set of your fingerprints and send them into the FBI. So like any desperate-to-be-a-dad I head on down to the local police station and subject myself to a very STRETCHING moment.

For those who know me, you know that I hate to have sticky, messy or dirty fingers. I refuse to eat with my fingers if utensils are available. I strongly dislike the residue lingering on my fingers...(perhaps a little OCD?)... Some may agree and even have similar convictions. Just to reiterate and emphasize the point, I use a fork to eat french fries, rice crispy treats, and pizza. (for those thinking...those aren't healthy foods, you've missed the POINT of my rant. So come back to the point: I hate schmutz on my fingers).
Back to the story...

I am welcomed by a waiting area full of "interesting" characters. I go up to receptionist, pay my money and turn to take my seat in waiting. A couple of those waiting grinned at me, as if to say, "Dude, you totally got Hosed! I've never paid to have mine taken." The door opened, and I am welcome by Officer "I have a large semi-automatic gun strapped to my waist"...I'm already a BIG FAN of this guy. I follow the officer down a series of hallways to a small office, show him my ID, remove my jacket...and that's when it happened...My ten digits were defiled by Officer "leave black, oily residue on peoples' fingers."

Some will read this and say..."Boy he has issues." Others will say, "What a strange man?!"

I prefer to think..."Oh, the things we do for our (future) children!" (The journey to adoption continues!)

Monday, January 5, 2009


It started off so innocent. It started off "fun". It started like many things do, with good intentions...But one thing led to another. And now I type before you as a man of regret and fear! 

Forgive me Father, I know not what I did...

T'was the week before Christmas and all through the house
not a creature was stirring not even a...Melvin
(much bigger, louder and clumsier than a mouse, but hey, he's ours).

Sunni, talking with the folks and I surfing the net,
we schemed and dreamed about our Christmas bet.

The T-Shirts were made the bandannas bought,
now to sell the family on the vision we had caught.

A dare, a challenge, a competition if you will...
nothing simple that could be fixed with a pill.  

The 4 Johnsons and 2 Coopers struck a 6 month target,
Half a year of weight loss and healthy living we will not forget. 

Oh MY, What did we get ourselves into!!!  
We will be our own, Biggest Losers!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Who wouldn't want an Indoor Pool?!

In an effort to keep our renovations on the cutting edge and keep up with the "Jones's" we were welcomed back from our trip by our new indoor pool.

The water had subsided significantly, so like the main floor tub, I will need to make sure we get a plug to keep the water in.

With that said let me introduce you to my closest friends.
1) The Shop-Vac...a Hardy tool...always there to work hard no matter the condition...and BOY does it Suck! (I am so immature)
2) The original Box Fan. This mighty warrior of wind has the potential to blow the water away...(perhaps this is what God used to part the waters for Moses?!)
3) The wonderful DE-Humidifier. (If Water is "life-giving", this will literally SUCK the LIFE out of anything:))
This perfects the flood recovery materials. I have used them all extensively in the last week.

(The salvaged items all crammed together...drying off)

On a more positive note...

Since we were in "clean up mode" we stumbled across the visible and hidden mold (from years of untreated and unacknowledged water leak and continual damage...)
Evidence of our fledgling pool. (Happy New Year!!!)

The removed drywall, trim, paneling, and framing...(I should re-write the 12 Days of Christmas version..."5 trash bins of MOLDing Drywall, 4 corroded walls of paneling, 3 closets gutted, 2 rotted out door jams, and a basement (bath/bedroom) remodel pushed to the front of a list of "to do"."

...and OUR story continues.

Twinkle, twinkle little star...

STAR 1) n. a five pointed shape (that has taken over the Cooper home).

I'm BACK!!!

Since the last post was made on November 12, I thought it best to take you on a FAST FORWARD version of the last month and a half. As this will be a quick montage, I encourage you to strap on your seat belts, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and remember "in case of an emergency the exits are..."...You get the point.

1) A day of abundance...Our church community has an amazing way of responding to a need. HIGH FIVE to God for using them (us) to bless others during November.

2) Jason comes for a visit and gets his first piano lesson with Uncle Ryan. (Who cares if he learned anything...we all know it was just to humor Uncle Ryan)

3) Congrats and YAY!!! for Sophie (and Evan and Stephanie)...she is going to have a little sister! (sorry to post this picture...remember this from Sunshine's party...circa 2000?)

4) During house renovations, you can find the strangest things! The previous owners had good taste (in soup) but apparently lacked in garbage disposal (this found when we removed a ceiling tile in the basement.

5) Just one of the many reasons for our family to celebrate Thanksgiving. (Glad you are ok, W, M, and K)

6) Swedish Breakfast...apparently there was also a program going on...(Like that mattered!)

7) Christmas vomitted at our home...(I have to give her credit...she makes it looks good!)

Ladies and Gentlemen, this completes the in-flight entertainment. Please place your tray tables in there upright and locked position. Thank you for flying Cooper-Air.