It’s been 7 months today, since our last post, while I worked on a great big work project. But we are back now, ready to really rock and roll again! And with a whole new brand design look, too! What do you think? Do you love our [Read more…]
After intending to for far too long, I am finally sharing with you our kids’ little gardens, today!
All 4 of our kids help in our family gardens at some point or other through the gardening seasons; although some do with more joy and ambition than others. There is always some weeding, dead-heading flowers, or picking vegetables, that needs tending to. I do much of it myself, but sometimes I could use another pair of hands, and the company is nice sometimes, too.
But just prior to the gardening season in 2013, I pitched the idea to the kids, of having their very own little garden.
I explained that they could plant and grow whatever they wanted, but they were also responsible for keeping it up. That meant keeping it weeded, watered, dead-heading their own flowers, and generally tending to it with love. Not only that, but after their father built the frame base, they had to be a team and prepare the bed themselves. They all loved the idea, and each have had their own little garden ever since!
It may have been more work than they anticipated, that first year! Because although we have had loam brought in by the truck full for our other garden beds, we had a perfectly good dirt pile next to the driveway that we didn’t really want there. It had been overgrown with weeds and grass, though. Basically, it was less of a dirt pile any longer, and more like a grassy hill, riddled with rocks! So they did work hard, like a team. The boys dug the hill up, pulling and shaking out the grass and weed clumps, and putting shovel fulls earth onto the handmade screen on the wheel barrow. The girls sifted the dirt through, to remove all of the rocks, and then wheeled the barrow over to the garden bed, and dumped the dirt in.
That was the less than fun part. But they made the most of it, and it was good and done for many years to come.
Now let’s look at their gardens, today…. [Read more…]
Now, to all of you, this is likely just going to look like an ordinary bathroom. And in many ways, you’d be right.
But to our family of 6, who has lived with one bathroom all of our growing family life, it is . . . . . .
the end of never using the bathroom, without someone waiting just outside the door.
Or, 2 or 3 people in the bathroom at the same time, getting reading to go somewhere. At least the one bathroom we’ve had is large, and has a great sharing-layout, with the sink and vanity on one side, and the toilet and shower on the other side of a vertical half wall. So there’s been privacy on both sides, with proper communication, at least.
This second/new bathroom is far simpler, and smaller at 5×10′. It’s been waiting to be finished for . . . . . . too many years. It was just a plywood floor, studding walls, and the tub, behind a sheet of plastic, at the top of the stairs. Where paint cans and milk crates of art supplies collected. We either didn’t have the money, or the time, or both, to finish it after the expansion of our home in 2006. But life has gotten easier, as God has continued to bless us, and we’ve finally been getting our house done room by room. Who would think a bathroom would be so exciting?
We’ll be sure to appreciate it in the moments of urgency, that are bound to come.
It’s considered the kids’ bathroom, as it is upstairs where 3 (out of 4) of their bedrooms are.
Once Michael got going, it came together quickly.
Here it is in the very beginning stages, sheet-rocked and plastered!
(Ironically, as I type this blog post right now, I just heard, “Are you almost done? I have to go to the bathroom. BADLY!!”
Michael has been building the custom farmhouse door today, for this new bathroom, and it should be up and swinging by tonight.)
So now let’s take a look at the bathroom all done.
This is the best shot I could get in such a small space, of the bathroom completed, by shooting from just outside of the doorway.
We’ll be stepping inside in just a moment to take a closer look at some details.
I chose a cool gray paint color for the walls, feeling it was a nice neutral color for boys and girls.
(Not sure of the name of the color at the moment, but it was a Valspar Signature paint.)
The bead-board style vanity cabinet is in keeping with the style throughout our house.
It very much needed modifications, to fit and accommodate the special kind of sink we needed it fitted with.
Thankfully Michael is capable of problem-solving such challenges. It’s been built way out from the wall, and customized with a back splash.
I really dig the style of the lights over the sink.
We had special requirements regarding the sink in this bathroom. In addition to the regular use as this bathroom’s sink, it’s also the sink right beside the art studio. Because we are often working in the studio, and needing to dump and refill paint water buckets, wash our brushes and pallets, etc., we really needed this sink to be deep and wide enough to be able to do those things, and easy to clean as well! We’ve been having to go down and use the kitchen sink.
So I not only love the look of this faucet, but it’s height accommodates filling buckets, etc.
As I hope you can see, the sink is very wide, sloped in, and completely seamless to the vanity.
This will make easily accessible, and easy to clean when paint, and toothpaste, and whatnot, is everywhere.
This is just the towel rack on the left wall of the sink area.
For some reason I thought it was a cool photo.
I still do.
The bath towel double-racks. There will be 4 towels always drying, so the kids and I were ecstatic when we found these.
We decided we needed to put them well-spaced, over each other, to prevent one from being partially behind the bathroom door, and always getting hit.
So, by now you’ve probably felt like you have the style of this bathroom pegged, right?
How would you describe it so far?
Well if you ask me, and you think about it, it’s the shower curtain that really sets the mood or style of the whole bathroom. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I knew it needed to either have some gray in it, or look nice with gray. And be gender-neutral, since the kids are 2 boys and 2 girls. Right?
Interestingly, I wasn’t all excited about going shopping for the little things, much of what you’ve just seen, such as the towel racks, toothbrush holder, toilet paper holder and trashcan, etc. This bathroom has been a project that has just needed to get done. Not fancy, not creative, just DONE.
But I was excited for finding a great shower curtain. I was looking forward to finding a design that I’d really love, and have it tie everything together beautifully.
The thing is, I took the kids with me, and that changed everything. We had let them have input in everything we had to pick out for this bathroom, but they were pretty non-chalant with their opinions, up until this point. But suddenly, they felt strongly about the shower curtain. Like, as much as I did! And it was all 4 of them, against me!
They insisted it’s their bathroom, and they should be able to choose the shower curtain together.
And so I let them . . . . . .
Ohhh…. my crazy kids!
You’d think this is rather…..elementary. A bit childish. Yes?
Especially for the almost 17 year old, right?
But “Oh NO,” they tell me, “it’s just FUN!”
I have to admit, it looks pretty o.k. with the gray walls.
And it does make me smile inside, when I see it. The kids really love it, and that actually makes me smile on the outside, too.
It really speaks of just how silly our kids are. They really get a kick out of this stuff.
And hey…..shower curtains aren’t permanent.
There is just a touch of decor left to do. I haven’t decided what yet, but I think I’ll know it when I see it.
When those touches are added, I’ll be sure to take photos and share on our Facebook Page and InstaGram, so you can see.
(So hope you are following us there!)
But I do believe I’ll be moving this sign from our current bathroom up into theirs, since I made it with them in mind anyway, and it matches……
And there you have it. The bathroom everyone has been waiting for!
There’s been a story behind almost every vehicle we’ve ever had. We’ve been through a good few since the start of our family, beginning with our marriage. We’ve always bought pretty used vehicles, and have managed to never have a car payment, until recently. Michael is quite mechanical and can fix almost anything that needs to be fixed, and we could never afford to buy anything nicer before, anyway. We’re pretty much “make do’ kind of folks. But this vehicle, our 1995 Buick Roadmaster in particular, really has a story.
Before it became ours, it was a dear friend of Michael’s, who passed away. Mr. Bill was an old man in his early 90’s we met at church. He was always there, and always dressed spiffy for Jesus, with his hair groomed just right, and his bow tie just so. He made it to Mass not only Sundays, but weekday morning as well. As a result of those mornings, when he helped on the altar, he was known as the oldest altar boy ever. As he grew older, and his health started declining, he fought not making it to church, tooth and nail. It often took every bit of strength he had, to drive to church, and get inside, eventually pulling his oxygen tank behind him. In due time, he was in and out of the hospital or too sick at home, and it was in those periods of time that Michael began visiting him where ever he was. Michael very much enjoyed hearing Mr. Bill’s stories, or just sitting quietly with him, and Mr. Bill surely enjoyed the company. So it was a sad day when Michael got the call, that Mr. Bill had passed away during the night. He was 96. We all attended his services, and Michael was a pallbearer.
The opportunity to buy Mr. Bill’s car for quite a deal, was presented. We happened to need one very soon, as our large conversion van was DONE. Mr. Bill’s wagon was in great shape, as it was always garaged, when not in use. It was big enough for our family, it was available immediately, and well…. I could also tell, Michael just wanted it. It was Mr. Bill’s, and I knew he would treasure it for the time he could. just as he does one of Mr. Bill’s bow ties.
I told Michael when he wanted to get it, that it was going to be so temporary. I mean….come ON! A mini-van had a bad enough rap for a family vehicle!
But a wood-paneled station wagon?! It was almost like a joke!
I knew driving this thing was going to draw some attention, but [Read more…]
How ironic, that one week after the groundhog says that spring will arrive early, do we get hit with the biggest snowstorm of the whole winter! Although we didn’t get as much snow accumulation as we were half expecting, we did lose power for 36 hours straight. That’s an event that will burn some memories for our kiddos, of their childhood. What fabulous family time we are blessed with, when we are forced to stop all activity, and huddle together by the fire. Oh yes……thank goodness for the fire. The beloved family heirloom; a WESO ceramic wood stove. It makes any power outage so tolerable. We also are so thankful for being taught/reminded only 2 days earlier by my sister and the kid’s auntie, how to play the card game, Rummy. I am sure we played a thousand games (by the fire and at night by the light of a kerosene lantern), in the 36 hours. No I am not exaggerating, People. 36 hours! That’s a lot of time.
So this post is not about anything other than snow, and family time. And family memories. As many fun projects as we love to share, the kids love being featured on our family blog. And you can bet I took lots of photos of them having a ball in the snow. During the actual storm, there was not enough light to get natural photos, even indoors in our all-windows room. But I got lots outside.
About half way through the ‘blizzard’.
Our wood-burning stove; our most treasured family heirloom, passed down from Michael’s paternal grandmother, down through his parents, who had it in their home for quite some time as well. To say we appreciate this in our possession, is an understatement. We’ve got a fire going all winter long. We hang out in this room, eat in this room, and school in this room, all by the fire in the winter months. We LOVE it.
But during this blizzard with no power for 36 hours, we not only kept warm because of this stove, but also cooked on it, and heated water.
Our other little saving grace, in the span of 36 hours; a Kohler Power play 500 watt generator. We basically used this to hook up to the internet now and then. ; ) It was great to hear the weather updates, and update our little fan base.
And now just some photos of the kids in the snow. Family, far and wide (and some in warmer climates!), like to see these too. To see the kids, and also all of the snow and cold they are missing.
Every good snowfall, as small as our .22 acres of property is, the kids (and their Daddy) manage to make an impressive sled trail from the top of our dirt piles/property . . . down to the bottom of our driveway.
Here is a slideshow of many photos of the kids (and their daddy) sledding in our yard.
Except; Wouldn’t you know it. There is yet another great big snow storm in the forecast for this weekend.
Darn groundhog and his shadow, need to retire.
Still, God knows what’s best. And I’ll take memories like these.
Please tell us about your own family memories, due to weather.
* * * * * *
Please come follow me here and there: