Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen...A Simple Painting Project

I'm seriously behind on my reader reading. I am actually way behind on pretty much everything because I got carried away with a tackle this week. I will be sharing the full story with pictures on Tuesday.

But for today...

After six years in our very old house, quite a few things still haven't gotten done. The bedrooms have each been painted a few times, but the kitchen has not. After so many attempts at cleaning the walls, I had HAD IT this weekend and decided NOW was the time to finally freshen up the kitchen.

Here are 13 "discoveries" I made as I tackled this huge project.

1. The light above the sink actually has no encasing and as the peg board above came loose, TONS of blown insulation came pouring out into the sink and ONTO my head

2. If you move a cheap computer desk just ONE TOO MANY times, it will COLLAPSE in your lap, along with the numerous things piled on top.

3. If your computer desk collapses, your kitten will be the first one to inspect the damage.

Thanks for the help, Pumpkin

4. If you move the refrigerator to clean and paint behind, and it has been several years, be prepared for nastiness beyond all comprehension

Minnie's turn to inspect

5. Ditto for the stove

I STILL can't imagine how all that stuff got under the stove...ewwww!

6. When you buy special "kitchen paint", it will take two or three coats to cover, unlike the bedrooms where I got away with one, sometimes two.

7. If you take three days to paint a room, it will take that many different roller covers if you are not talented at washing them out (me)

8. If you put tape around a window that still has sticky from the plastic window insulation from last winter, then the tape will be REALLY DIFFICULT to take off when the project is over

9. If you paint the kitchen a completely different color, then everything that used to match no longer does

10. When you change the color of a kitchen, you now need to purchase all new window coverings, chair pads, etc. that there is no money left for, but need to be done...WalMart here I come.

11. Every painting project makes a bigger mess than before the project started

12. Now the adjacent rooms need painting even worse than before...just because the difference is so noticeable

13. I love the feeling of a "new, clean" kitchen, even if it means that I will spend the rest of the week playing "catch up"

I can't wait to share the pictures with you next week.

Wordless Wednesday... "Catch!"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Top Five 9/28/08/

Disclaimer: Sorry about all the blurry pictures. I am having a VERY hard time with the camera I borrowed from my dad until I can get one of my own again.

So, here it is...Monday again. Lately I have been struggling to think of five interesting things we did within the weekend. I didn't struggle so much this time. We kept pretty busy.

5. Child Safety and Fire Safety Day

Steve discovered on the computer Friday night that there would be a safety day at the children's museum for a few hours on Saturday. Well of course we NEVER pass an opportunity to go to the children's museum.

There was a firetruck and ambulance for the kids to sit in and explore and a lot of rescue exhibits. The neatest one was an imaginary house. In the kitchen was a tic tac toe game where the kids could identify items that were potential fire hazards

and then through the door was another room with a pretend bedroom and an actual fire alarm on the wall. The boys would lie down on the bed and practice different techniques of what to do if there was a fire. They practiced crawling instead of walking and also feeling a door to see if it is hot

but my most proud moment was when the fire fighter told Noah to have a meeting place if there was a fire and even though it has probably been six months since Noah and I talked about it, he still remembered that our meeting point was the fire hydrant a couple of houses away.

And related to #5..

4. Fun with Cousins

About five minutes after we walked in the door, Aaron came running up to me shouting "Mommy, my friend Jamie is here!" Sure enough, my sister had brought her kids to the museum as well and the kids were so excited to play together. All of the boys hugged each other when they first saw each other.

All 4 boys "treating" a patient in the pretend ambulance

3. Mommy/ Daddy Date night

As I've mentioned before, we like to periodically split up with each of us taking one boy and doing something one on one. I think the boys cherish this time as much as we do. So Steve took Noah to Wall E (for the second time thanks to a gift card Noah was given at church a few weeks ago...thanks Jen) and I took Aaron to the toy store.

I had an ulterior motive. Aaron's birthday is in a few weeks and we have no idea what he wants. So though I would take him and take pictures of things he wanted like I did with Noah. It was a bit less successful than Noah's.

Aaron and the jack in the box he wouldn't put down for 20 minutes

2. Apple Orchard with grandparents

I warned you the pictures were coming...

After church on Sunday, we drove about an hour northwest to an orchard that we hadn't been to before. We didn't tell the boys that Steve's parents would be there too. They were very excited to see them waiting when they got out of the car. The visit was PACKED with activities...

feeding the goats

Noah on his pony ride

Aaron picks apples

they both loved the big tube slide

especially climbing up on top

They even got mommy down the slide

wagon ride to the pumpkin patch...I love this smile on Noah's face

there were a ton of other activities too, but #2 got a little long

1. Tackle that will take several days (or weeks) to finish.

I won't share any pictures yet, but after six years of living in a REALLY yucky kitchen, it is time to do something about it. So after I put the boys to bed Sunday night, I started the first wall of painting. It really is going to take quite awhile and I don't want to share pictures until the entire thing is done. So hopefully mid-October, there will be one heck of a Tackle It Tuesday post.

Believe it or not, this is just a smattering of pictures from this weekend. I actually downloaded over 100 shots (after erasing probably 50 more)

As always, I wish you would share your top five with me. I also wish I could finally learn (hint, hint...Deb) how to do a Mr. Linky for weekend posts like KC did. It is such a fun idea.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Noah's Story

Noah's class writes a story about a different child each week. When all of the stories are written, they get put into a book and the child gets to keep the book.

The other day, Noah was told to write a story about himself. Let me share the story first, and then I will share with you my thoughts.

I am a Boy
I am 6
I have 2 cats
I lick (like) PB and J
I love you
and daddy.
I am funney.

There are a few things I love about this story. The first is that I think it is interesting that he sees himself as "funny". That gives me some insight into his self image. But my favorite thing about this story is that, even though he was supposed to be writing a "story", he seems to have written to me. I almost cried. Maybe I'm actually doing something right after all.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

13 Things I Learned This Week

1. If on your behavior chart in first grade, you lose your lion, it "doesn't mean anything" but if you lose your tiger or bear, you're in "big trouble"

2. If you send your kitten away for 24 hours to be neutered, even after he has become great friends with the older cat, they will fight worse than they ever did when you bring him home again.

3. If you finally get out all of the fall clothes for school, the temperature will immediately hike into the 80's for a week straight.

4. A six year old is capable of coming home, doing his little homework, and putting back into his bag with very little coaxing from his mother.

5. MRSA is a disease can happen anywhere and can be avoided (no...no one in our house has it)

6. Bell choir can be a highlight of my week

7. Our family can survive 5 hours at church on a Sunday morning and still be talking to each other when we leave

8. Ditto for Wednesday nights

9. I CAN be a nice teacher on Wednesday nights

10. We can actually be in our fourth week of school, and arrive to school ON TIME every day (except for the day we dropped off the kitty). This is HUGE after last year.

11. The threat of oatmeal for breakfast does wonders to get a six year old to eat his sandwich quickly before school.

12. We can survive an entire week with no more than $10 in any of our three checking accounts

13. After a week of only $10 in our three checking accounts, I need to go grocery shopping REALLY badly.

Happy Thursday and thank you for responding to my "followers" post.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Fall!

I love Autumn. It is by far my favorite season. Last year, we went to at least five different orchards in September and October. We go pretty much every Sunday after church, as well as school and family trips. Both boys have school trips scheduled and our annual family trip is also on the calendar. I am so excited.

I thought I would share some Autumn fun from past years...

My boys with Beth's boys last fall Dylan, Aaron, Noah, Alex

Daddy and Aaron picking apples last fall

Noah in the kitty barn at one of the orchards we visited last Fall

Cousin Jamie watching Aaron inspect an apple during my sister's preschool field trip last fall

Leaf piles 2006

Annual family pumpkin patch trip 2005

Annual family pumpkin patch trip 2006

Annual family pumpkin patch trip 2007

Sunday afternoon at Robinette's Apple Orchard 2005

I imagine the orchard trips will probably start this coming weekend and last through October...you're in for MANY apple, pumpkin, and other adventure pictures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Top Five 9/21/08

I know these are pretty much the most uninteresting posts I write, but it is kind of fun for me to have a record of our weekend events, and maybe share a laugh or two from our life.

5. Ladies night Out

Deb received two tickets to review The Women, so we went. I thought it would be pretty good because of the star-laced cast. It was okay. About half way through, I made the realization that there actually wasn't a single male in the entire movie (until the baby in the last scene). Not a movie that I need to own, but kind of a fun one for a night out.

4. Family Trip to the Library...Puppet Show Extraordinaire and another lesson for Mom

I take the boys every week. But it was kind of fun to go with all of us. I was treated to several puppet shows. Noah came over and started showing a puppet kind of "beating up" another puppet and I started scolding him, but then he kept going...complete with another beating. Then, when I was ready to put a stop to it, Noah picks up a different puppet and shows it being nice to the first puppet, and starts saying things like "and gives him money and pours oil on his wounds" and then I realized that he was telling the story of the Good Samaritan that they had learned about in Sunday School this morning.

I thought it was pretty cool.

3. Lunch at Moe's

It's a highlight because we haven't been in awhile and I was craving it terribly.


Ringling Brother's was here. I have only been to a circus once in my life when I was young and I barely remember it. Every year I have wanted to take the boys when the train rolls in, so we finally went. I didn't take a lot of pictures, because we were busy watching the show, but here is Aaron with the free clown nose.

Aaron declared at bedtime, "Mommy, I want to be a clown so you and Daddy can come see me in the circus." to which I, of course, replied, "Aaron, you already ARE a clown."

So, of course, following a visit to the circus, we needed to...

1. Create our own Backyard Circus

Complete with our own "trapeze artists"



and even a clown

You gotta appreciate Noah's latest "invention" around his waist. This is a toy ball, wrapped through a belt, stuffed with paper to allow his pen and a pumpkin straw to stick out the sides. He has put a play shirt OVER his pajamas and the gloves and glasses are to make him a super hero as well.

I can't wait to hear about your top five.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The True Son Of a Music Geek

"Hey, Noah, how was school today?"


"What was something good that happened today?"

"Music class"


(Background info: This was strange. Music class did not go well for him last year because the teacher had formed a strong, non-positive opinion of either him or his class. I know it is partly because I was a music teacher, but I think her programs are less than impressive and Noah gets far more music education in my choir at church. He got in trouble constantly, along with three other boys, for pretty much goofing around in music class every week. When I tried to communicate with the teacher so that we could get Noah's behavior better in her class, she continually blew me off, and then gave him low marks on his report cards. I hadn't had high hopes for music class this year, even though Noah is having a great year so far.)

"Yeah, Mom, I told Mrs. W that I can harmonize (which he REALLY can) and she told the rest of the class what that means."

Nothing warms my heart more than when Noah feels good about himself. It shows how far we have come.

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend Top Five: 9/14/08

A wet, sticky weekend. What happened to make this weekend memorable...good or bad?

Let me share...

5. Truck Woes

I called Steve to ask him to stop and pick up some "scoops" chips on the way home to go with the taco salad for dinner. About 30 seconds after I got off the phone, he called back to say that his back window had just EXPLODED. As he was driving down the road, it just shattered. He can't see anything that hit it. So after several calls to window places, the estimate to replace it is more than the truck it worth. So for now, my husband will drive his truck around with a duct taped back window. And at some point this week, Steve will be visiting junk yards trying to find a back window that the neighbor can transfer to his truck. We are such icons of class...

We are thankful that the boys weren't in the truck when it happened.

4. Another adventuresome ride in the car

It seems to me that a few weekends ago, our trip to visit my brother and sister in law had one bullet JUST for the travel there. Well, here is a repeat performance but for different reasons.

Long story short...the next time there are FLOOD WARNINGS for an entire travel journey that we have planned, the better choice would probably be to heed the warnings and not travel the roads. Silly us. As we were driving, we would encounter various degrees of lack of visibility due to down pours of rain. Add on top of it, hydroplaning and you would think that would be the worst of the trip.


As we passed the Michigan border into Indiana, we noticed a slow down ahead... Then, cars turning around in the middle of the highway...then a stream of cars driving BACKWARDS toward us on the shoulder. HMM.... Let's turn on AM 530 to hear traffic conditions...

Oh yeah, the entire highway is shut down due to flooding.

So now comes time to do the same 180 in the middle of the highway that three other lanes of cars are also attempting and join the parade on the shoulder, drive off the nearest entrance ramp, and detour south to a different highway.

Notice the WRONG WAY sign we are about to pass as we travel UP the entrance ramp to get OFF the highway.

Then of course, discover that this highway is a toll road and we left the house with NO CASH! So now, it's stop at an ATM at a truck stop to acquire the $1.25 toll necessary to pass.

On the way home about 6 hours later, we were less surprised to see that the highway was still closed but now we knew the detour route and we were not even slightly phased.

3. Birthday Celebrations

Once we finally got there, the kids had fun even though it poured all day and they were stuck inside. My sister in law puts me to shame every year with the cakes she makes.

My nephew Ronin had his 1st Birthday. They have discovered that he has several allergies so Jenny found a gluten free, egg free, cake recipe and it was quite delicious. How cute is this dragon?

Ronin had NO desire to eat the cake whatsoever, so there will be a lack of chocolate all over the face first birthday pictures in his baby book.

The other guest of honor, my niece Kira, turned three. Her cake was just as impressive and I was glad that I got her a crown and wand to go with theme.

She played the part of the princess so well.

2. A Costume party?

Noah started the madness coming into the living room wearing this, complete with the very loud roar. Although most of the kids got into it, there were two little daughters of my brother's friends that got so freaked out that they cried until the costumes went away.

Every few minutes, a different child came down wearing something else...

Kira the kitty cat

Noah in an INFANT lion suit

You truly can't get the full image here. Odin has a beast nose, knight armor on his arm, and a dragon tail.

I guess the daddies were jealous and wanted to join in on the fun...

My brother with the mask inside out...

and my adorable husband with the bunny ears.

Who says we need to wait until Halloween to dress up and act silly?

And after an eventful Saturday, what do you do on a cold, wet Sunday when everyone is tired, grumpy and worn out?

1. Sunday Family Movie Afternoon

Although the humidity has subsided, it was still very wet and cold all day. Stuck inside again! Noah found a movie that had received from a bloggy friend awhile back that we hadn't watched yet. "Joseph Prince of Dreams". Everyone is so far behind in their sleep from the nine hours total in the car yesterday, that we enjoyed lounging around watching the movie together.

I will be interested to hear if anyone else's top five were affected by the weather this weekend as well. And my thoughts and prayers are with all of you who are returning home after Ike's destruction down south.