Monday, April 29, 2013


You know how when you fill a soft shell taco that you start with just a little meat so you can have enough room for the rest of your toppings and yet the stupid thing just keeps growing and the shell busts all up anyway and you end up with a huge, beautiful, and still fabulous taco salad. Well, that makes me think of the project we just completed.

It started by moving the big guy's bed into a corner of the living room cause he hated sharing with his brothers (one snores and the other has night terrors, so who could blame him).  The intention was to slap up some temporary walls to create him a little cave.
The couch marks where the new wall will be.  It is tiny but he is happy. (this is not big guy and the dog somehow snuck in the house)  :)

Then we decided we may as well do a good job on the walls.  There are 4 kids in this house and I'm guessing this cave is going to be THE room for a while.  But we weren't sure what to do about the nasty carpet.  I've wanted to rip it out for a while (I HATE CARPET!) but the King has been hesitant to spend the moolah to get it done.  After all one room is just going to lead to another and we are TRYING to get debt free (a la Dave Ramsey but that is another post entirely).

....Then we started added all those yummy toppings and the little taco turned into the HUGE taco salad. This is how it happened.....

Thursday, April 18: The King went and got his haircut (which does tie into this story).  He was talking to his hairdresser who is also a good friend of the family and mentioned that he is so tired of everyone having coughs.  She answered that they have been so surprised at how little they cough now that they are in their new house with NO carpet.  (God Bless her!)  He came home ready to at least do some shopping.

Friday, April 19: We went to Menard's and found wood laminate on sale!  We waited and thought about it over the weekend (no impulse shopping here) and decided to go for it.

Monday April 22: Since he works near Menard's, he just picked up all the supplies over his lunch hour since we had already chosen exactly what we wanted.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I emptied the front room of all its furniture.  Seriously, I moved every single piece of furniture in the house I think.  I had to make room for the living room furniture and still make the house livable.
our kitchen is clearly not meant to be an eat in kitchen....but we made it work.  The boys are still doing school work. :)

Then I decided to see how hard it would be to rip up the carpet.  It turns out it is not hard at all!  (past the point of no return now right?)  Seriously, patience just isn't one of my strong points.  I had it all ripped up before he came home from work.  But for future reference it may be wise to cut it into sections as you rip it out.  It is REALLY heavy.
not hard to rip up at all.  :)  see that is disgusting.  And the Kirby guy JUST showed us what an awesome vacuum he has.  Pffft!  Whatever!

Just keep going. just keep going.  just keep going.
and the carpet is GONE!  This is one of the rare times my kids have voluntarily picked up a broom.
This is the pile of dirt we found under the carpet. I vacuum.  I try to keep a clean house.  This is disgusting. This is why I hate carpet.  

As you look at those pictures, do you notice the paint?  It is a gold, kinda mustard-y yellow with a chocolate brown accent wall.  I really liked those colors when we put them up.  But the paint was getting chipped and scuffed and we were shrinking the room and the dark was just too dark.  Plus how silly would it be to NOT paint while there are no floors down.  So I begged my mom to help me so we could do it while the King was  at work.  He was not keen on the idea of painting and holding up the project.

Wednesday, April 23: Mom and the kids and I went back to Menards to pick out paint colors.  The walls will be Dutch Boy Homespun Linen and the trim in Superhide White.  Accent colors will all be "beachy" yellows, bright blues, with a little gray thrown in.  The King knew I was doing this and he was cool with it under 2 conditions 1: Don't ask him about the color choice.  He doesn't care.  and 2: (this was unspoken and assumed by me) He isn't helping with it.  ;)  Oh since I decided I wanted to paint all the trim I took it all down too (note to self: number trim as you take it down next time)
all the trim laid out and ready to paint.  

Thursday April 24:  daytime: Mom and I do a first coat on the walls.  I am convinced the change made angels sing.  :)
                               evening: the King and I build the stud wall for the big guy's room (remember that is what started this whole thing)
here is the new stud wall. All done and ready for paneling (which I haven't selected yet).  The first coat of paint is on and I promise it is not yellow.  the color is bad in this picture.

Friday April 25: morning: I did the first coat of paint on the trim.  (note to self: just buy white trim next time)  I also let all the kids paint a picture on the subfloor.  A "time capsule" of sorts.  
one of the pictures
the other time capsule paintings
                         afternoon:  Mom came down and we did the second coat on the walls.  Then since she is earning her sainthood she helped (by helped I mean did it for me) the second (and third) coat on the trim.  Hallelujah!
Saturday, April 26: we cleaned up the floors, swept and swept and swept (you can not believe the amount of dirt and staples there still were).  We reinstalled the ceiling trim so we would be dragging a ladder across brand new floors
                             lunch: we started installing the new floors.  It took 8 hours and was SO beyond worth it.
first went in the underlayment for insulation, moisture and sound protection

just getting started

installed the last piece....perfection.  

Sunday, April 27:   The King had ministry in Indiana and my mom (God Bless Her!) offered to take all the kids to church with her so I spent the day putting things back where they belong and rearranging (of course). The walls on the big guy's room are clearly not finished.  I hadn't decided what I wanted up there....but now I know.  We'll be getting them later this week.
Big guy in his room  He's so excited and it is just stud walls for now.

My new room as it stands now.  That gold chair in the corner is gonna be recovered (it is falling apart) My rocker in the foreground will also be recovered but only cause I have the perfect fabric for it.  :)

My finished room from the "new hallway"....clearly no matter how nice things are I can't keep toys under control  LOL. 

And I'll be moving on to the decorating.  First thing hanging a shelf and some pictures once there is paneling.  Then reupholstering that gold chair.  Fabric is on its way!  :) I'll post updates as I get it done.

And that is why sometimes letting a little project grow and get out of hand turns out awesome in the end.  And we are having tacos for dinner tomorrow night....I think I'll make a taco salad  ;)                  

Monday, April 22, 2013

What is sin? And who are sinners?

I asked my older 2 boys to define sin and these are the answers they gave me...

-lying, doing bad things to other people, like calling them names, and bullying

-like, lying.

I looked in up the dictionary and this is what I found...

1a : an offense against religious or moral law

b : an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible <it's a sin to waste food>
c : an often serious shortcoming : fault
a : transgression of the law of God
b : a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
When asked who sinners are they answered
-person who does bad things
-someone who does bad things and calls people names
The Bible tells us that sin is anything that separates us from God.  Sin cannot be near Him.  And this is what I thought about as I read the articles concerning the Boston Marathon Bombings.  The 2 suspects are sinners.  They've intentionally killed, maimed, and otherwise traumatized a nation.  There is no doubting it.  And I hate them for it.  And that, right there, is the hang up.  I hate them for what they've done to my country.  Many think, and I can't say that I disagree, that they deserve hell.  In one of the articles I read, their father says that "all hell will break loose if his other son is killed" and one of the comments by a reader was "No sir, all hell will not break loose, it will only be a little more crowded"  and I laughed.  I laughed as I thought about these young men going to hell because of what they have done.  That is hatred.  And that is sin.  And it is no longer funny.

It is easy to point fingers and blame when the sin is blatant and a bombing or a shooting.  It is easy to judge that sin.  But what about "everyday" sin.  "Little white lies" (there are no such thing), laziness, bad language, lust, drunkeness, gossip, gluttony, or hatred.  Those sins are easy to hide, to justify, to ignore, or even to convince ourselves that they are ok.  As humans, it is easy to qualify sin.  Put it in a list of ok, bad and worse.  God does not do that.  Sin is sin is sin.  There is no qualification.  He can not abide any of it.  It all separates us from Him.  
1 John 3:15 reads "Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him."  Notice this verse does not say he is LIKE a murderer....he is a murderer. And there is no eternal life in him.  Hatred is a sin.  End of story.
Or try 1 John 4:20 "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen."  - We can not love God and hate another at the same time....that makes us a liar.  Double whammy.  Hatred and lying...sin and sin. That's bad news too.

And if that isn't enough.  Read the sermon on the mount.  Jesus talks about  -Murder (Mathew 5:21-26) and likens it to anger.  OUCH!
-Adultery (Matthew 5:27) and likens it to looking lustfully at another who is not your spouse.  Oops!
-judging others (Matthew 7:1-2)

By these standards I am guilty of murder DAILY as I am angry about something in some way almost every day.  SIN!  I am guilty of adultery any time a new Avengers movie comes out because I just love watching those superheros.  SIN!  And I am guilty of judgement more often than I can count....from the Boston Bombers to the lady yelling at her kids in Walmart or the guy who cuts me off in traffic.  Plus, by the standards of 1 John 4:20, not only am I a murderer (for hatred) but also a liar because I also claim to love God (which the Bible clearly states is not possible).  SIN!  I am occasionally lazy, gluttonous, and I gossip.  SIN, SIN and SIN!  As I make this laundry list though I can be confident that God does not have this list of my daily shortcomings....

He tells us not to worry, to love our enemies, to quietly pray, fast, and give to the needy.  He tells us to turn the other cheek when someone hurts us.  Am I doing all these things?  In a word, NO.  And what does that say?  I. am. a. sinner.  This should not be a surprise, and its not.  I've never considered myself perfect (nor would I want to attempt it....just too much stress since it doesn't come naturally).  But it does kinda sting to feel myself being compared (even in my own mind)to the likes of a person who would willfully and with intent blow up a bunch of people.  Or with the abortionist who murders babies every day.  Or with any other more "publicized" form of sin.  And yet, I am just like them in my sin.  I am a sinner and I am in great need of the saving grace of a Lord and Savior...just like them. 

There is one major difference.  I have accepted the saving grace of the Lord and Savior and I can call Him mine.  Because of that, I do have eternal life within me.  Not because I am not sinner.  Only because I am saved by His grace.  This does not excuse my sin.  With the help of the Holy Spirit residing in me, I become more like Christ each day, in spite of my sinful nature.  I can say that I will never set a bomb off or go on a shooting spree, but I will still fail my Lord each and every day.  A personal relationship with Him and His forgiveness are the only things that saves me.  It is not and never will be my lack of sin.

So I am going to try something.  As I pray for the victims, I am going to pray for the bombers, and the abortionists, and sinners (myself included).  Because although I hate their (my) sin I am told to love them (Matthew 5:43-48).  I don't yet love them.  (It is easier to love myself because I rationalize my sin away)  But in prayer I hope to learn to love them and admit/change my own sin.  I do not think it will be easy but it what Christ called us to do.  Love our enemies.  And my sin is not "better sin" than theirs.  Sin is Sin is Sin and apart from the saving grace of Jesus, which everyone is free to accept, we are all condemned to the same fate.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Greater Homeschool Convention Cincinnati!!!

Just got back from the homeschool convention.  I go each year, usually with girlfriends and NO kids!  Of course, there are a ton of kids there but none of them are my responsibility!  And absence does in fact make the heart grow fonder!  :)

I left with a friend on Thursday morning and we drove for Cincinnati.  On Thursday evening we went to a session by a woman named Dr Kathy Koch (pronounced Cook) on teaching to the 8 intelligences and it changed everything for the whole conference for me.  I had gone through the book and selected many sessions to attend on discipline and teaching obedience and things of that nature.  We have been struggling SO much with school work and defiance that I just wanted to whip them into shape (figuratively, of course). But I went back through and made sure I was going to ALL of Dr. Koch's sessions.  Yep, I became a groupie.  And proud of it!  Check out her website here

And then I realized maybe discipline isn't the problem....maybe these kids aren't ME (duh!) and I need to come around to their way of thinking better.  I mean I only have 2 doing "real school."  The princess is "just" creating confetti and other messes.  And Little Boy is doing some light school work.  Even when all four are in the trenches, won't it still be easier to teach them how they learn rather than how I do.  Talk about a lightbulb moment.

So I chose a different history that teaches to all 8 intelligences.  I love our science curriculum so I just need to actively DO the projects instead of dropping them all the time.  We are sticking with our handwriting program.  It works well and uses Bible verses.  We are also sticking with our math program (it ROCKS!) We aren't even finishing the grammar that we've been using this year.  It is dry and boring and no one is learning ANYTHING!  I bought a hands on grammar program for next year.  Hopefully, it will be better.  Plus, we're adding a activity based US geography program I think we will all enjoy.  Spelling will be done on the iPad (can I get a woooohooooo!)  And sincve writing is such a challenge because they are boys and HATE the mechanics of putting pencil to paper, they are doing a typing program.  I think that covers it.

Little Boy will continue with phonics.  And he and the Princess will be doing a literature based program, as well as sit in on the big boys stuff and pick up what they can.  I am excited!

Here is our list:
Math - Math U See
Science - Apologia Swimming Creatures
Social Studies - History Revealed : Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries
Grammar - Applied Grammar
Spelling - Sequential Spelling (for iPad)
Phonics - 100 Easy Lessons plus a teacher Created Resource for Phonics (wkbk)
Typing - Typing Instructor
Handwriting - A Reason For Handwriting
Geography - Trail Guide to US Geography                  
For the little- Five in A Row

I think that covers it.  :)

So we are also in the process of moving school to the dining table.  I want cubbies for them all to keep their supplies in and found an awesome shelf at IKEA.  But I am cheap at my core and would rather spend that $90 on something else so I've taken a bookshelf that we already have and weren't using.  I turned it on its side and it is the perfect size.  Just need to buy a few brackets and ready made shelves at Menards to make the cubbies and then probably paint it.  I'll post pictures when its done!

So that's the convention report.