Thanks again for all the responses! We sat down last night and all day today and thought about how we would really live in this house, where we would sit, when we would sit there, where the kids would be, ect. We are still working out the kinks, but I think we have alot better idea now what to do. The playroom thread really got me to thinking, too. I need the play room to be on the same floor as my office, so my office will go in the basement, and I don't know what we will do w/ that study room? Probably rob some space for our bathroom, but still keep it a room incase of more kids one day. We might put the girls a computer in it or something? I fix 3 meals a day, so I need lots of extra room in the kitchen for the kids to hang out. THe plan we have now has a 13x17+ kitchen, w/ a door into it from the porch so the kids can go in and out while I"m inside, and I can also see out from 2 sides of hte house from that room
There is also ample counter space so that they can "help" as they LOVE to do, without getting in my way! The landry room is going to have a door to the back, DH can use this one or the kitchn door, and we decided to go ahead and put a "powder room" on this end of hte house just for DH, so he won't have to track thru the great room, ect. to go to the bathroom (we did think of hte basment, but frankly he won't actually want to go thru the basment just to go to the bathroom!). He comes in usually 5 or more times per day (eating, making phone calls, ect.) so we need a place for him to take off his boots, use the bathroom and eat
When the day is over he can use the basement intrance to come in and shower off, before coming up to relax in the Great room (or the basement). I am really happy w/ that part for now. The kids playroom I still need to think about. As for the laundry being close to the bedrooms, that makes sense, but I think having it at the back of hte house allows me to keep an eye on the kids while I fold a load of landry (they would play outside all day if I let them) adn then they can take their baskets to their own room. I might try to find some kind of toy storage for a handful of toys in the LR. I just want it to look nice for when people stop by. As for the dining room, I think we just need to plan on using it sometimes! The breakfast nook is small, but servicable for our family. If we need, we can always use the DR as a main eating space.
This thread really has been VERY helpful to us! I will continue to go over the things we really need, and we will take our plans to an architect after we think about them a couple more months to make sure we have everything we need (we haven't started planning the basement yet, that should be fun!)