Friday, July 3, 2015

And We Have Action!

Well, here we go!! We've got the permits, the dumpster, and the day's a perfect storm!

If you want to see the house before it got demolished, click here for a quick video through the space.

The day started around noon, as we had a few things to take care of at the rental houses. And then...
This was the first wall section to come down

The kids were allowed to draw something on the wall. Kenna's is a girl, Brooks' is a snorkeler, and Grey's is a stun gun (lol!)

They worked hard today, for sure. They carried out all the debris and stacked the dumpster with only minimal help from Mom & Dad - it was a LOT of work. Daddy bought them their own little work gloves "with grippers" from Home Depot, and that seemed very exciting to them, and was quite motivating I think!

Second wall section to come down

So here you can see from the dining room to the front door, all 4 smaller wall sections are down now, and our friend came over to help smash things for a bit:-) He's working on the main wall, which can't come down quite yet, as it's the supporting wall

View froo the kitchen door

From the former front hallway

From the hallway 

Buh Bye fake wooden beams. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

They got really really good at hammering and pulling out nails, and they were so dedicated to it - it was HOT outside, and they didn't complain or ask for breaks:-)

30 yard dumpster, and we've filled it up a bit!

Living room & dining room

View from the laundry room door - the kitchen cabinets and fridge are gone!

From the dining room into the kitchen. Temporary resting place for the fridge:-)

View from the dining room

From the front door
And well, thats all we got done before dinner:-) More tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Quotes Archive 2015

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. C.S. Lewis

There are good young men who need someone to show them they are trustworthy by entrusting them with worthy work, who take the time to inspect their work so they know what to expect, who give them confidence to do hard things by giving them hard things to do. Ann Voskamp

I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church. Put your finger on any properous page in the Church's history and you will find a little marginal note that says: 'In this age people could readily see where the Church began and where the world ended.' Charles Spurgeon

It is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.” CS Lewis

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. Thomas Szasz

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition. Martha Washington

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Music Camp

Kenna had the chance to attend a music day camp last week. Brooks didn't want to, and Grey wasn't allowed to because he swallowed a coin and it still hasn't made it's appearance, so I couldn't send him and risk "not seeing" it. KIDS! Anyway, Mon - Fri, 9 to noon for $40!! (And, a $100 family cap off, so affordable!!)

The camp is put on by Academie de Ballet, and they are run by a Christian family. The boys did choir and tumbling, the girls, choir and dance. They held a recital for all the parents on Friday, and honestly I was amazed at what they were able to accomplish with these kids in a week! After seeing the recital, Brooks thought he'd give it a try next year too:-)


Brooks had his very first recital this past weekend. He's only been taking lessons officially for 6 weeks or so. All the teachers had no more room for students! Anyway, he's been loving learning!

Here's the first song, "A Song About Cats" fitting, haha. Then the next one is called "I Like", and then after that, a small portion of his teacher Rebekah playing for us. She is a girl in our youth group, and quite talented!

Kenna's recital was a few weeks ago, and she'll be moving on next year to Brooks' teacher, because her current teacher is off to college and is moving away this summer.

She played There is A Redeemer, and she only started learning the piece a couple weeks before the recital, so she tried really hard to get it perfectly recital ready! And then she played a duet with her teacher Katrina, Praise the Name of Jesus

Reno - Video

A video to capture the "befores" of our Willow house project!

Monday, June 29, 2015

TV Cabinet Rehab

Tv cabinet back in Hugo house in 2010
Well, we needed a new tv cabinet. Like need not "need". It was purchased in 2007, from Walmart for about $100. This tells you about its quality, and also, that it really lasted longer than it should have! Moving it to the Willow house was not kind to it, and it was just so wobbly and unstable. Falling apart really. Knowing that it would have to move across the room in the Willow House, we knew it wouldn't be able to make. Moving it at all again would have it crumble. We needed to replace it, but decided we wanted real wood, nothing cheapo, but a quality piece of furniture. Which is pricey! Like, pretty much definitely over $500 for anything similar to what we'd want.

So, I came up with a diy plan: I have a friend who frequents thrift stores, (and you have to be a frequent shopper to find the best deals), and so I had her looking out for me. She sent me a few pics on her trips, but nothing grabbed me. Until she sent me this one:
It was exactly what I wanted! - Although, not just exactly like this of course. But I could see the potential. It spoke to me, as it were, and I could envision the perfection it would become.

I had my awesomely compliant husband oblige my demands with minimal sarcasm. We threw away 5 drawers ("I don't know why your mom buys something to throw half of it away" haha), and I had him cut away the bars between the drawers, so it was all an open space.

 I used Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue to paint it. This paint is a DREAM to work with, and goes over any surface with no sanding or scuffing needed.
 The paint is sealed with a soft wax, and then antiqued with a dark wax. This was very easy to do, and made it all look just perfect
The drawer at the top as been sealed with clear wax, and then antiqued with dark wax, and the drawer on the bottom has only been painted. See how the wax deepens the colour and the dark wax brings out texture? I sooo love it!
We made a shelf for the open are

We drilled holes in the back so cords can fit through

It's so gorgeous! I kept the existing hardware, and just painted over it. Brian was skeptical at my decision, but I am so glad I did this. I adore the way it turned out. I aged it also with the dark wax.

Our poor old tv cabinet on it's very last day in this world

In order to take down the walls in here, we have to change a few things around - so it's time to move the tv! First, we had to remove this ugly paneling.

It took a whole evening, but we moved everything across the room, and got it all working again. Not an easy task:-)

One of my favourite things: Our charging station. We drilled a hole though the back of a drawer, and through the back of the cabinet, and so now, all our charging items are hidden! No more phones, tabbies, etc all over the place out of every outlet in the room charging away.
A lot of charging going on!

 We decided to place the tv here, because once all the walls are down, it will seem more centered to the room, if centered on the wall, it will be too "in the corner" once the whole big room is exposed.
So for now, it's kind of blocking the door way, but it won't be, once there is no doorway!

So now, here's the other side of the room, where the tv used to be. Gotta say, loving this new arrangement!

In the daylight. I am so in love with this cabinet, it's not even funny. It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to, and what can be better than that?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Orange Room

The play room/school room/extra room in this house is affectionately called The Orange Room because of the orange-y peach paint that is on the walls, and was there when we moved in. Well, I'd had it up to here with the orange room! It's super nice to have such extra space, but from when we moved in, I just felt we put things in there, and somehow it just wasn't laid out well.

My goal was to change that! I had a few ideas for cube storage and such to deal with our school stuff - but I really don't have a lot of money to dedicate to this little rehab right now, since we are doing some major renos to the house on the whole. But I just needed it fixed now, or at least improved for my own peace of mind!

We don't keep any toys in the bedrooms (or any other room) outside of a Playmobil table in Kenna's room, and our spare tv, crafts, books, school stuff - all of these need to be smushed into the only spare bedroom we have.

Here are some very real pics of the orange room right before the revamp.Very real.

View from the door. Lego all over the floor - and !!! I just figured why clean it up as I was about to destroy it, in order to put it all back together again.
Tv cabinet is to the left, toy bins to the right.

Tv cabinet and game storage. It never fit well in this spot and always blocked half of the closet door

The weird corner. An old desk, printer underneath, and an open styled filing cabinet I use for school

Sorry the lighting from the window made this pic very dark and I tried to lighten it. Maybe that's ok though:-) It's a messy corner with a little desk and plastic totes - and school books everywhere (new stuff for next year has arrived and no where to put it...)

The toy bins
Okay, well, it was almost like - where do I start?! I was able to transform this room for a grand total of $10!!

Here are pics of the "new" orange room. Unfortunately still Paint is coming later, but that's out of my domain right now. Everything is a process!

View from the door. There are two stains on the carpet that was a from a marker or something that got caught under the edge of the couch in it's old position without a lid on - I thought about trying to get it out - but I'm not going to bother since it's all getting replaced soon enough:-) (The white stripes on the couch is so that the cats don't scratch the leather)
Opposite wall from the couch. TV cabinet & kids games storage, toy bin, and a school shelf
The closet, which contains my crafting supplies, and some school binders, books, "extras" etc

This has a few toys on the top rack bins, but it's mostly school supplies. A bin for dry erase stuff, pens & pencils, pencil crayons, flashcards etc. I really love having them in bins like this!

I got all the old books put away, all the summer stuff in their school boxes, and next years stuff sorted well! 
I threw out the desk that had been in there, holding basically just the printer, and then "stuff" - it was just unnecessary. The tv cabinet now holds the printer, and everything was able to be sorted and put away in a proper place. I moved the childrens desk up stairs to the boys room. A place to do quiet work when the distractions of the dining room table are too much for a trying-to-concentrate child.

The plastic totes that had been stacked 4 high in the corner - I swapped them out with the black totes in Brooks closet - there is only 1 dresser in their room (Grey's clothes), and Brooks uses totes on the floor of the closet for pants, shirts, pj's, socks & undies. It works pretty well! Anyway, I wanted a less busy look in the orange room, so using all black totes works well. Now Brooks has a colourful closet:-)

We do our school at the dining room table, mostly, which means lots of carrying books back and forth. My initial idea with the plastic totes is that each kid has their own tote for their books. I used this idea even back at our old house. But it's never worked out because the totes are too heavy and large for the kids to carry. The idea is a good one though! So here is where my $10 cost came in. I'd love to someday invest in a "cube storage" bookcase idea, with the removable baskets. I decided to make it work with what I already have.

I used the black plastic totes, and inside them placed smaller cloth totes that I already owned! They fit plenty of books perfectly, and I think it will really be a good solution. And if it's working, someday, I can buy the real deal.

These are the totes that I placed inside the plastic bins - the bins aren't super deep, so these fit well "sideways" as you can see in the pics above. They are from Thirty-One, and I had been using them in the front hall closet for hats, mitts, sports clothing (when it's baseball season, I keep all the socks, shirts, pants and hats together so I'm not tracking them down in each kids drawers each week).

So the $10 comes in because I needed new totes for that shelf, since taking the other ones away for school books:-) So, real pic of my closet! One tote (they are larger than the Thirty-One ones) for sports stuff and hats, and one for winter stuff. The gap in the middle is currently filled with things I need to return to friends - they've left things here accidentally:-) 
I bought these totes at Walmart for $5 each.