Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Room of Many Colors

The room we now use as a dining room has undergone a number of changes over the years. When we moved into our house almost five years ago, we used the dining room as the classroom. The boys were almost four and five and completing pre-school and Kindergarten. I divided the room into sections and set up a center in each area. I painted a picture on the wall above each center that depicted the subject area of study and the coloring coding of that center.

This is our pre-school/Kindergarten classroom. The lines on the floor were made with different-colored electrical tape, and furniture was turned to divide off areas. There was a meeting area and a center for math, reading, science, social studies and music.
The electrical tape on the floor established the color-coding. You can see in this picture how I extended this to the paintings, the storage baskets and the trim work in the room.
This is a close-up of the painting in the science center. I chose to use a lot of green in it because that was our color code for science. There are also signs on the wall which have instructions for the center and a Bible verse that directs our goals for the study of science. I had these in each center.

This blurry but cute little guy is a four-year-old Wilbur enjoying the Social Studies center.

As the boys got older, our classroom needs changed, and we moved school to another room. We decided to use the dining room for its actual purpose... eating. I painted over the art work. Yes, I did cry and got a little sick to my stomach. I painted the room the first time with plain, old white. After some time, the ceiling, covered in tiles, began to sag. There was no water damage; it was a product of age. I am not sure what kind of tiles they were or what they are called, but they were hung with an adhesive that was losing its stickiness.

We tried to find replacement tiles but couldn't, so I had another one of those "What Was I Thinking?!?!" moments and decided to paint the ceiling a dark color with the hope of camouflaging the sagging tiles. I chose really dark grey for the ceiling and a lighter grey for the walls. I also covered over the old, worn-out linoleum with peel-and-stick tiles. The tiles on the floor did not match the over-all grey theme of the room, and they lost their stick after a year and started sliding and chipping... not good.

A Grey Room with a Brown Floor!

The Saggy Ceiling
The final remodel of the room of many colors is now complete. Tonight we ate dinner at our table for the first time in weeks. I enjoyed the new floor, ceiling, ceiling fan, windows and peach-colored walls. I am a peachy girl, after all! Most of all, I enjoyed eating with my dh and our olive plants gathered round about our table. To celebrate the completion of one more room, I made our favorite meal... a "breakfast dinner" of pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs.

View of Dining Room from the Kitchen

I framed and hung the boys' art work on either side of the wreath.

A New Sag-free Ceiling!

Happy Men Enjoying Their "Breakfast Dinner"!

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Was I Thinking?!?!

Occasionally it happens. I make a change, thinking I am exercising good judgment, but it just turns out wrong. What was supposed to be the styling choice of the century, ends up being awful, and all I can do is step back, look at the mess, and exclaim, "What was I thinking?!?!"

Like the time I got this perm...

The braces had just been put on, and I thought I needed a new look to match.

However, the spiral perm did not turn out as well as I had imagined it would.

Then there was the time I chose this dress for my senior picture...

Wow! Not my most stylish moment.

But, the doozie of all my doozies was this bathroom...

Yes, I actually did pick out that shower curtain!

Then, I chose the horrible chocolate brown paint to match.

I can't really explain why. Temporary insanity, maybe. Perhaps, I thought it would hide dirt.

Fortunately, hair styles grow out.

This is what the perm looked like after it relaxed and I learned how to use hot rollers (oh, and after the braces came off)...

Likewise, fashions change.

I came to my senses around my high school graduation and toned things down a little...

How glad I am that there are no gigantic flowers on my cap and gown!

Likewise, ugly paint can be painted over.

Here is the newly remodeled bathroom...

Much better, isn't it?

I am so thankful for second chances. Sometimes I have to get it wrong before I can get it right. As I (and others) worked so hard to correct my mistakes, I could not help but reflect on God's grace and patience with me. How thankful I am that God is Love, and Love is Patient. I pray that I will in turn exhibit Christ-like patience towards others.

For more on God's grace and Christ-like patience, visit again soon for "Magic Erasers".



P.S. This is a list of the changes made to the bathroom, for those of you who are interested.

The ceiling was replaced with a mold/mildew resistant dry wall, and new lights and fan were installed. It was painted with Kilz Colors "French Bistro". New cabinets, wains coating and chair railing were installed as was new linoleum. I added a border bought at Wal Mart for the finishing touch.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Send a Pro-Life Message to Obama

Red-Envelope Day will be held on March 31, and you can send a message to President Obama voicing your opposition to abortion.

You can purchase an empty red envelope here with a message to the President printed on the back. The message will explain that the empty envelope represents one child who lost his life to abortion. Each envelope costs $1.10, and you can purchase as many as you like. Follow the link for more details.

I would love to see the White House filled with 48 million of these to truly represent the number of lives lost since 1973. Pray that the Lord will open Obama's eyes to the truth as these cards pour in.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

The first room to be picture ready is our classroom. We used this room as the boys' bedroom before the remodel. Here are a few pictures of what it looked like then.

Pretty bad, huh?! Granted this was after I had begun packing and realized I had not taken before pictures. Normally, the beds were made and the room had a little more life to it.

A lot of work was done to this room. The window was replaced, and the wall beneath was replaced as it was crumbling from water damage. The carpet was removed, and the hardwood floors underneath were refinished. The old ceiling fan was much too large for the room, and so we replaced it with a much smaller one. I painted over the drab aqua blue with primer and Wal Mart's Color Place "Salmon White". It is a pretty peach, my favorite and signature color.

Here is how the room looks now:

What a difference!
I have added some elements to my classroom now that I have a little more space than before and will post about them later, but first, be on the look out for "What Was I Thinking?!?!"

Spring Reading Thing

It's time for the Spring Reading Thing at Callapidder Days. Finding more time for reading is one of my goals for 2009, so I have decided to participate. This is the list of what I hope to read over the next three months. If you want to participate, follow the link above for details on how to join in on the reading fun. You can click the title of each book I have listed for more information on how to purchase it for yourself.
Check Spelling

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
by Chancey and McDonald
I read this one in January but want to reread it. The authors are both mothers of large families and offer much wisdom for all moms, whether you have a small or large family, are just starting your motherhood journey or have been at it for years.

by Sally Clarkson
This is another book that I have already read but am doing a reread. The author is the mother of four children and writes to encourage moms to view their children as blessings and motherhood as a calling. She reminds us that our children are our disciples and we should look to Christ's relationship with his disciples as a model for how we interact with our children.

by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
I have been reading this one for two years and do not intend to complete it within the two month challenge. I read about a chapter per month as it is a very challenging book. It is not challenging in the sense of being difficult to read. It is written very plainly and is easy to understand. There is, however, layer upon layer of insight, wisdom and good teaching. I am taking my time so that I may fully digest what this book has to offer.

by Bill Potter
This book is a compilation of letters written by Stonewall Jackson to his wife, Anna, whom he affectionately called his Esposa. I am gearing up to teach my boys about the Civil War. Stonewall Jackson lived an inspirational life. He was a man of faith, courage and commitment who loved his wife well. I look forward to learning more about this great hero and teaching my boys not just about his life as a general, but also his life as a man of God and head of his home.

by Steven and Alex Kendrick
I am not usually one to read trendy books, even those found at the local Christian bookstore. However, I really enjoyed the movie Fireproof, and this 40 Day challenge based on the one Kirk Cameron's character takes in the movie looks to be edifying. There are forty chapters. Each one has a short (about two pages long) devotion on an aspect of loving your spouse. Then, there is a dare you must complete that relates to the topic of the devotion. I am praying and ask the Lord to guard my heart from any selfish motives. This dare is to be completed solely with the motive of learning to love better, not to transform your spouse.

The Bible:
The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles and 1 and 2 Kings
This is where we are in our family read through of the Bible and morning Bible lessons in school.

Audio Books:

I hope to listen to one audio book between now and summer: Twenty-Four Hours Is All You Get by Susan Bradrick. This talk is designed to help homeschool moms manage their time more wisely to accomplish all that is required of them in a day with joy, not frustration.

Now that I have put my goals in writing, I will be more apt to complete them, so I appreciate the reading challenge. I look forward to posting again in June about all that the Lord has taught me through these reads.

I hope you will join me for the Spring Reading Thing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

House Update 8

I am glad to announce that the work is complete. The windows are in. The walls are repaired. The kitchen looks like new... as does the bath. The walls are painted, and the floors are finished. The furniture is even back in place.

I appreciate your prayers and encouraging words. It has been quite an undertaking and has required hard work on the part of Michael, myself and several others who have helped us. The fruit of that labor is beautiful, and I look forward to sharing pictures soon... but first, I must unpack.

I have not posted any in the past two weeks... even to leave prayer requests/updates. This was because I did not have internet access at home due to the renovation process. I am back online and ready to write. So for the first post in quite some time, allow me to share...

Ten Things I Learned While Remodeling My House

10. Rent the floor sander with the bagging system. Unless you enjoy cleaning dust off everything you own... including the house itself, it is worth the extra cost... seriously!

9. When re-doing every room in your house at once, rent a storage facility and move all belongings to it until the work is complete. Playing musical chairs and boxes and tables and... okay, you get the point... gets old really fast.

8. Don't re-do every room in your house at once if at all possible. You'll save yourself many gray hairs.

7. Magic Erasers are the greatest invention of the 21st Century. I know we still have over 90 years to go but I'm calling it now. They erase all your splatters and mess-ups. If only they could resize windows....

6. Don't try to order replacement windows yourself. Let a professional do it. I'm convinced the good folks in the window industry use a different measuring tool than the rest of us.

5. Glidden's "Barrister White" paint and Wal Marts' Color Place "Country White" paint are basically the same color. You'll understand this one better as I post pictures later in the week.

4. I can live without the internet for two weeks... though it was a close one, folks.

3. If you don't know, don't be afraid to ask the guys at Home Depot. You really can do it, and they really can help.

2. There is never enough painter's tape.

1. For every house is built by some man, but he who built all things is God. Heb. 3:4