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Home sweet home

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There are still a few things left to complete at the Statens' new house in Snoqualmie, but they still think it is perfect.

There are no mirrors in the bathrooms, no shower curtains hung up and the ceiling in the living room may have to be repainted due to rain damage.

Their front and back yards are a mess of mud and building materials, and the closest blade of grass lies on nearby Snoqualmie Parkway, which runs by their new neighborhood.

But none of these deficiencies have prevented the Statens from already feeling right at ease in their new house. Before any of the family of six had stayed one night, there were the markings of kids and parents setting up their home. A small castle made of multicolored bricks was built in the empty living room. Children's books were already starting to litter the floor. And a list of "things to do" was posted on the refrigerator.

"We couldn't be happier," said Cyndie Staten, a mother of four. "I am so happy with it."

The Statens were one of the seven families who moved into their houses at the Snoqualmie Habitat for Humanity of East King County site last week. Although the move-in date for the homes had been pushed back several times from the original date in October, there were nothing but smiles as the families carried their belongings into what had sometimes seemed to be an impossible dream.

"It's been a very festive mood up here," said Mia Walterson, manager of administration and operations for Habitat for Humanity of East King County, based in Redmond. "The sense of community is immense."

Walterson said another eight to 10 families are scheduled to move in this week, with the remaining families moving in next week.

Although last Wednesday was the first full day of occupancy for the Statens, the initial load of large furniture arrived from their Bellevue apartment on Friday. One by one, the kids helped haul in chairs, computer parts and bags of cosmetics. Their Snoqualmie house is the sixth residence the Statens have had in the last four years and they are ready to put down roots.

"You'll have to carry me out of here in a body bag," Cyndie said.Although the Statens live amid what is still essentially a construction site, the kids have begun exploring their new house and neighborhood. The two oldest Staten boys, Sam and Ben, have already found they can slide across their kitchen floor to get out the front door, and they have designated a large, moss-covered boulder in their neighborhood as a play area.

There are plans for landscaping the yards, but that will probably not happen until next spring, when the site will be alive with more construction as work begins on the remaining 30 houses slated for the area.

The Statens' oldest child, Nichole, gushed about the size of her new house.

"It's so big," Nichole said. "I love it."

The Staten children have been attending classes in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, so Cyndie is thankful their commute is over. Her husband, Curt, is a counselor at Echo Glen Children's Center on Southeast 99th Street, so the location of their house couldn't be better.

Now that they are starting to become settled after so many years of uncertainty and anticipation, the Statens are looking ahead to becoming part of their new community.

"We're looking forward to making a life here," Curt said.

The Statens were able to celebrate their first Thanksgiving in their new house last week. They saved the wishbone from their turkey, which was drying out on the kitchen sink. Cyndie said she's unsure yet of what to do with it.

"My wish already came true," Cyndie said.

You can reach Ben Cape at (425) 888-2311, or e-mail him at ben.cape@valleyrecord.com.

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