Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Colton!

May 28th was Colton's birthday. This year he turned 8. Wow. 8.

For years Colton has been very close to me. Just like a shadow. He's gradually growing away from me, which makes me sad. Four or five years ago I probably wouldn't have believed I would feel that way!

He's a very sweet, considerate boy. He loves to play. Way more than he loves to do school. He's great at taking care of the little kids during school time, which can be a mixed blessing. This year he learned how to multiply and divide. He's great at math, and likes science, too.

Colton is the high scorer on his soccer team. He loves to be outside and run around, but his most favorite thing is to be doing some sort of craft. We recently gave him a 6 foot countertop downstairs to use as a craft table, and he thinks it is wonderful.

We celebrated Colton and Papa Joe's birthdays on Sunday at Papa Joe's house. We also had a party at church Wednesday evening with his Sunday School friends.

We love you, Colton!

"The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning." Proverbs 16:21

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Downstairs Bathroom Remodel: Take One-Demo

We started out on Thursday with demoing. We pulled off the paneling, ripped down the dropped ceiling grid, tore off some linoleum-like wall board, knocked down some plaster, and ripped through some lathe board. We removed the door and jamb, then installed a new one that hangs squarely in the jamb. We removed the cabinets that were hanging on the wall, and are debating where to hang them now--in the basement or in the garage.

This is the before picture of the bathroom. Green walls, yellow/gold vinyl flooring. Lovely.

Crooked door. Vanity with door that won't stay closed. The ivy was covered up by the laundry folding table.

These are the different layers that were on the wall. Paneling painted white, then green. Green and black vinyl-like wall board behind that. Behind that was pink and green plaster, which was attached to the lathe board. There were studs in very odd places. There was once a door behind where the washer and dryer were.

Instead of running the plumbing through the walls, the hot and cold pipes came up through the floor, as did the drain pipe.

This is what we found above the dropped ceiling, along with a bunch of insulation with years and years of mouse droppings. Ick.

Where my new shower will be installed.

The framing for the drywall ceiling.

Naomi just couldn't stay awake any longer, so she laid down on Shannon's back as we began laying the new flooring and fell asleep. Not all of us were as fortunate.
I had hoped to get the project done over Memorial Day weekend, but no such luck. Although we've spent many late nights, we're not even close to being done. As is typical, this project has been 'one step forward, two steps back'. That's what you get when you're do-it-yourselfers.

Tomorrow I will post some pictures of the progress we have made so far.

"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." Proverbs 14:1

Laundry Switcheroo

Last Tuesday we started our laundry room project. We decided that we needed another shower in our house, since having only one just wasn't working well anymore. We had our laundry room/half bath on the first floor, and our plan was to move the laundry room upstairs to the walk-in cedar closet and install a shower in the first floor bathroom.

The kids helped with the demo in the closet.
It is adjacent to the bathroom, so plumbing wasn't too much of a problem. We wired in the electrical, and by about 10:00 that evening, we had a new laundry room.

I'm so thankful for big, strong boys to help carry the appliances upstairs. A couple years ago it would have been me grunting and groaning, trying to get them moved.

They're good sports about it.

We have added a 6 foot countertop for folding, and were able to keep Hudson's dresser and hanging clothes inside as well. I still have some organizing to do, and may add some more shelving or a cupboard, but for now it's functioning well with no leaks. It's a lot easier to get everyone's clothes put away, too.

"A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother." Proverbs 10:1

Thankful Thursday

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I last posted. Where does the time go?

I have lots to fill you in on, but first, it's Thankful Thursday.

*I'm thankful that God chose to give me Shannon for a husband. I don't think anyone else would still be hanging around putting up with me. He's amazing (both God and Shannon).

*I'm thankful that my children love me. Most days I don't deserve it.

*I'm thankful that Bryce buckled down, worked hard, and finished school a WEEK EARLY. He's had a great school year and has done very well with his courses.

*I'm thankful for all of the work we have accomplished in the past 9 days. I'll post pictures soon.

*I'm thankful that Alex's team won their soccer game tonight, and that he was able to contribute.

*I'm thankful for the opportunity to take a drive and visit a friend on Tuesday. I think it benefited me more than her. Happy 50th Birthday Mary!

*I'm thankful for my blogging friends. They encourage me.

*I'm thankful for cereal. We eat lots of it around here.

"The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens." Proverbs 3:19

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We have discovered foam curlers at our house. I was inspired to try them after reading about it at Becky's blog. It sounded like fun, so we gave it a try.

The girls are really good about sitting still and letting me roll their hair, and I'm amazed that they sleep in them without complaining.

I was given an ingenious tip for keeping the rollers from falling out during the night. The solution: panties! The girls were beside themselves in giggles, and thought they were incredibly silly.

The results were pretty cute! Naomi has just enough natural curl in her hair that the smaller rollers make her hair WILD! The big pink rollers work better for her. Katie can do the little blue ones, but it looks better after it relaxes a bit. The bigger rollers don't produce curls that stay in her hair for more than a couple hours.

The joys of having girls.

"He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend." Proverbs 22:11

Square Foot Gardening

We are attempting to grow some fruits and vegetables again this year. I heard about a system called Square Foot Gardening, and bought the book. We decided it was worth a try, so we bought the supplies and began building. It was a family project, and the kids enjoyed being outside and getting some fresh air.

We began by cutting the boards to the correct length.

Then we screwed them together, and added plywood to the bottom.

We built saw horses to support the boxes, and keep them up off the ground and away from snakes.

Colton and Bryce painted the boxes for us.

We mixed together a special dirt recipe consisting of peat moss, compost, and vermiculite. No weeds!

And then planted our seedlings and seeds.

We will eventually build a trellis to attach to one side to accommodate the tomatoes and other vining plants.

We also started our own compost pile. We dumped our green and brown organic products into the garbage can (after drilling holes in it), and simply roll it around the yard daily.

"The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing." Proverbs 20:4

Thankful Thursday

I'm planning to post some pictures and interesting stuff soon. I just haven't taken the time to do it. Check back soon.

*I'm thankful that all of my children are safe and healthy.

*I'm thankful that the sun is shining today.

*I'm thankful that I'm married to the best man in the whole wide world.

*I'm thankful for our vehicles.

*I'm thankful that our garden is growing.

*I'm thankful that school will be over soon.

*I'm thankful that I've been able to purchase brand new shiny school books for this fall.

*I'm thankful for the food in my kitchen.

*I'm thankful for petunias.

*I'm thankful for baby smiles--and big kid smiles, too.

*I'm thankful that track will be over today.

*I'm thankful that Katie and Naomi are excited about learning to read.

*I'm thankful there are no major catastrophes in our lives.

*I'm thankful that if there were a major catastrophe in my life, I have an AWESOME God who will carry me through, no matter what.

"Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." Proverbs 20:5

Friday, May 1, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I might have to rename these posts to something like 'Forgetful Friday', of 'Thankful Thaturday', because I never seem to remember on Thursday. Just for the record, I remembered at 11:58 last night that I had forgotten to post my list, but I was too tired to get up and do it.

So. Here is this week's installment of Thankful Thursday.

~I'm thankful for cars. It makes getting to and from a lot faster.

~I'm thankful for math rules. They never change, unlike phonics/grammar/reading rules.

~I'm thankful for bread. We had no milk in the house this morning, it was toast for breakfast instead of cereal.

~I'm thankful for Shannon. He got up early and exercised with me today.

~I'm thankful it didn't rain during Alex's game last night, and the forecast looks good for tomorrow, too.

~I'm thankful for the USPS.

~I'm thankful it's May. School ends on the 29th (if all goes according to plan).

~I'm thankful for my crafty closet full of stuff that I've accumulated over the past 20 years, and for my sewing machine. More on this later...

~I'm thankful for my family. They make me smile.

~I'm thankful that the rain has stopped.

"Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth." Proverbs 5:7