Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Want to tour the "downstairs"?

When we bought our house there was a garage off of the kitchen. The laundry room and a bathroom were studded up and the laundry room was plumbed (the bathroom was not). We added some walls and created some extra rooms for us. This area now has the laundry room, a full bathroom, a pantry, an open area we are currently using for an exercise room and a play room. It's four steps down from the kitchen so the children call it 'the downstairs'. I should dig up some before pics, shouldn't I?

The Playroom, Reorganized...and Ready For Play!!!

And the children's computer area.

Here's a shot of the bathoom, we call it 'the monkey bathroom' -- not to be confused with 'the ducky bathroom' LOL!

And here's the open area we use for an exercise room. That tall cabinet has school stuff in it and there's a smaller cabinet to your left that has vhs tapes and dvds in it. The pantry is behind the tall cabinet, beside the window.


This is the doorway that leads from the kitchen 'downstairs'. That back left corner is now a bathroom.

This is the area that was studded up and plumbed as a laundry room. This was a garage but did not have a garage door so all of the wood had been subjected to the weather to some degree for thirty years.

The window to your left is now the window right outside the pantry in the exercise area. The other window is in the playroom.

And here's one more before shot:

The Next "kitchen project"

Well, Charlotte, since you asked...
This is the tall cabinet beside the refrigerator. Tony put beadboard up on the sides. Here are the doors but they aren't hung yet -- use your imagination! It has to be sanded and then prestained and stained before the doors are hung. I don't have a 'before' pic... or Wait, maybe I do?!

Let me go scrounging for old pics...
Yep, this is the kitchen when we looked at the house before we bought it. Yes, that is marble printed contact paper on the cabinet and walls. Yes, lovely avacado counter tops.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Thunder Puppies"

I'm sure many of us remember our younger days with both affection and chagrin. Surely I'm not the only one who was bold and firm in my convictions of what is true and right. I can't be the only one who spoke truth barely tempered with any love or affection for the recipient or mercy for their humanness.

I will say, I was right. Truth is truth regardless of circumstance. There are many truths that I spouted with absolute certainty and little tact.

1. Children do not have to be brats.
2. Children who are brats are that way because their parents have not trained them properly.
3. If we don't seem to have enough time in our day, it is because we are doing things we shouldn't.
4. Emotions try to rule us and we need to suck it up and deal with life.

I had a lot of other opinions. I was loaded with them. I carried them in my pistol and was able to shoot them with remarkable accuracy. I still hold most of my opinions. Most were, and are, rooted in truth.

For example. I once knew a young mother who had a thousand theories on how children should be reared. I used to smile at those theories. I remembered my theoretical parenting days. It's easy to be a know it all when you don't have to live it at all. A mutual friend and I spoke about this woman and her very condemning comments about our parenting. My friend said... "She'll get a rude awakening about things when her son can crawl or walk."

I remember thinking that what the woman said wasn't so wrong. Children should obey. They should stay nearby so we can hear them. It was the attitude that because they should do these things, if they didn't happen automatically, it was because the parents had already failed that was the problem. No... if that is how children came, we wouldn't be instructed to TRAIN them. And when a mother is already down for the count, had a horrible day fighting her flesh to make sure she does what is right, the last thing she needs to hear is that she's a parenting failure. If she has just been lounging on the couch eating romances and reading bon bons... that'd be another story.

Judgmentalism isn't a word I like to use. It's often overused and ill used. It is prevalent amongst thunder puppies.

However, they say we mellow with age? I don't think that's always true. I think with age we learn discernment, grace, tact, mercy, and a host of other social skills that are usually in short supply when we're young.

When we're young, bold, and daring, we feel free to lower the boom on anyone who doesn't march to the appropriate drumbeat. Failure is not an option. Stumbling is not an option. HICCOUGHS are not an option. Get it done, get it done right, and get it done right NOW.

Message boards are fun places to spot maturity. Thunder puppies often have a LOT of correct information but little maturity. Because their information is correct, they often sound wiser than their years. People often like them and respect them for their incredibly wise and accurate posts. Then, inevitably, it happens. Someone has a bad day, their child has a bad day, their mother does or says something wrong... they take something in a way that it was never intended to be... something happens. The thunder puppy lowers his or her boom. What they say is correct. The timing and method in what they say often is not. There is a time and a place for strictness. This rarely is the time. The other board members scratch their heads before rallying around the wounded member who now has a kick to their gut to deal with.

The sad thing is, it doesn't have to happen. It's not necessary at all. See, what thunder puppies eventually learn (unless they grow into arrogant jerks!) is discretion, mercy, and timing. They learn to wait... give people space... let them fix their own flubs without suffering the humiliation of a public or even private dressing down.

I was fortunate. I learned of my thunder puppiness at a young age. Several of us were congregated at our local park for a 'Park Day'. Official socialization of homeschoolers the world over. Gotta get that socialization in... for mom! One lady and I began debating theology. We were having an absolute blast. She was almost as animated as I was and was beyond her thunder puppy years. However, I guess I appeared to be angry in my discussion. I wasn't. I was excited, enjoying myself and eager. I was a thunder puppy and TRUTH MUST BE SPOKEN!

One woman left very upset. I learned from a third party that this woman thought I was angry and that the park days were an inappropriate time to debate theology. I immediately called her. I thought it was only right that I assure her I wasn't angry (don't want to give the appearance of sin you know!... can you say PRIDE)... but also I wanted to apologize. I owed her an apology for making her uncomfortable around me. Her response was disheartening and puzzling at first. She said, "When I found out how old you were I just thought, 'oh she's young'."

What she meant was... "Oh, she's still a thunder puppy". She excused my blundering eagerness because of my youth and inexperience. My pride was hurt. I was accustomed to people considering me quite mature! After all, I was 21, married, and pregnant with my fourth child. I usually impressed people... not amused them!

I walked away from that experience a wiser person. I'd love to say that I learned not to blunder after that.... I didn't. Just like most thunder puppies, I was easily excited about new and dogmatic sounding theories. Fortunately, I have enough logical thinking ability to see fallacies in theories or suggestions before it totally holds me ensnared... as a general rule.

Yes. I confess. I was a thunder puppy. I hope I am now a wiser and more reliable hound dog. Maybe a lovely collie? I'd take a smart and hard working German Shepherd... Just don't tell me I'm a Yorkshire Terrier. BLECH.

[Copied with permission from the author. Read more of her insightful musings at Chatty's Fence Post found at ]

New Blog

I love to take pictures and wanted a different blog just to post photographs I've taken over the years.

I chose the title Worth A Thousand Words from the saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. I tend to be very wordy :-) so I thought it would be a special self-challenge to have a blog with only pictures and no excess verbage.

Kitchen Corner Shelf... before...during...

Can you see from these pictures the awkward area here? The counter ends in one place, the backsplash in a different place and the cabinet in still a different place. Look at the ceiling and you can see where Tony removed a bank of hanging cabinets to open the kitchen up to the living room more. Anyway, there was an awkward space there and we couldn't decide how to bridge the gap. We came up with the idea to build a corner shelf there.

Here it is in the 'during' phase. There will be beadboard facing on the insides of the back and side walls (to match the beadboard that's on the lower cabinets and tall cabinet beside the fridge -- that cabinet is NEXT on our list! Watch for pics...)

What do you think? We are not cabinet builders! This took a long time but I'm happy with it!!! I think it 'bridges the gap' wonderfully!

Oh! Look here. I found a picture from when we looked at the house before we bought it. Looky here!!! This is the true BEFORE picture!
And then Tony stripped the paint off and got to the original stain, it looked black.
Tony sanded all the stain off and got them back to naked wood. They've come a long way!

Woohoo!!! The Pantry Shelves are DONE!

Yippee!!! Tony finished hanging the pantry shelves last night!! The pantry is almost 10 feet tall so I couldn't get one shot that shows the whole thing. I am SO excited to have this finished!! Woohoo!!!! This is the left wall, I'm standing outside of the doorway.

Dancing with God

Got this as an email forward from my mom-in-love... wanted to share it with y'all...

When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw "G: I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i". "God, "u" and "i" dance." God, you, and I dance.

As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead. My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you.

Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life. I Hope You Dance.

This is Hilarious!!

If you are a mom or have a mom... look at this video!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

We are not builders...

which would explain why it took us all day to partially build a small corner shelf in the kitchen yesterday... whew.

We are back on the Huge Kitchen Project (that had kinda slipped to the end on the 'to do' list) and we worked all day yesterday on this little corner shelf. It's gonna be cute when it's all done!

What? Oh... pictures? You want to see pictures? ...grin... okay Sure. Remind me to do that.

Really. I will. I will. You know I love photos anyway! I'll do that this evening. Off to get everything and everyone ready for church.