Thursday, July 24, 2008


In recent discussions about what to do with our new family room, someone suggested we get a big plasma TV and a Wii. At first I balked, but after watching this video, I'm inclined to consider it

Be sure your volume is on.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I think I can.....

It's amazing the difference carpeting makes to a room. The echo is gone and the room is cozy (well, as cozy as you can get without furniture). In case you're wondering what color we painted with (or even if you're not), we'll just call it our classic beige-a-vu. Okay, so we're pretty tame when it comes to painting the rooms of our home. There are worse things. Like black wallpaper and pink roses, that's what. (Don't ask unless you really want to know).

Actually, we painted with Sherwin Williams Beach House (darker shade on the brick wall) and Kestrel White (lighter shade and gloss trim). The paint brochure said it was an airy look. To me, it just looks like beige-a-vu.

Now -- the last push to paint three inside doors (both sides), a set of french doors (inside only) and window trim on two windows begins.

Can we do it?

I think I can....I think I can....

A new view of where the rains came down and the floods came up.

I used a latex gloss on these bookshelves. Now I read that I may need to wax them (with car wax, of all things) to keep paint from sticking to books. (sigh) Oh well. I think I can....I think I can....

I'm envisioning two cozy chairs in front of the fireplace. I'm also envisioning a gas log in there. We don't own those two cozy chairs or gas log yet, but I think I can....I think I can....

This little alcove is the space where I'm going to try to fit all our homeschool stuff (at least the stuff that remains in the family room.) I think I can....I think I can....

The boys are envisioning a pool table of sorts in this spot. I did too at one time, but I'm beginning to think.....I can't....
Ah well...we can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel and it's getting brighter every day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's a Blue Ribbon Day!

We're lightweights anymore when it comes to 4-H, but it's always good to bring home a ribbon or two from the county fair.

Joel received a Reserve Champion on his Shooting Sports poster. Joel loves Shooting Sports. Hates making posters. Joel learned that the gal who beat him out of a Champion ribbon won because the judge liked the pink border she added to her poster. I'm not sure how useful that information is since Joel is not likely to be adding anything pink to anything anytime soon. (What can I say.... he has never understood the draw of the "real men wear pink" club.) He also doesn't care for quiche.

Hmmm....I just noticed that Reserve Champion ribbon is pink. (snicker)

He's smiling not so much because he got that pink Reserve Champion ribbon, but because completing this poster also earns him the privilege of 3 extra "shoots". That was a club incentive. It worked better than any cajoling on my part ever did. When he's happy, I'm happy.

Ben was a good sport this year -- not really crazy about shooting sports, but willing to make this his 4-H club in order to simplify our running around. He'll tell you his favorite events are archery and rifle and pistol. And in the shotgun event, he hit his first clay he ever took aim at and likes to say he has a perfect record with a shotgun. Truth is, he does not like the kick of a shotgun, so he never picked it up again after he shot that first clay. Ah well.... Ben earned a Blue Honors with this poster on basic gun safety.

And Ben learned a lesson (again) about the subjectivity that goes into the judging of 4-H projects. His older brother had earned a Champion ribbon on this same submarine several years ago,but Ben decides to smile over his red ribbon. Did I already mention what a good sport he is? Every fair time is an opportunity for my guys to learn to not put too much weight on the judgements passed on from another person. THAT is a valuable life lesson. They seem pretty strong and unconcerned any more when it comes to project judging. And that makes me a happy mom.

And most importantly.......4-H is over for another 7-8 months -- well, except for those extra shoots. ;^)

~Happy Mom.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a Comin'

The family room is finally coming together!
What was a dreadful shiny white painted brick wall...

...while needing some touch-ups in spots, now looks more sedate.

In the fireplace (behind the leaning door) we're hoping to install a gas log to enjoy this winter.

Joel (above) and Ben (below) putting a final coat on the new drywall.

Carpet is to be installed on Monday morning. Almost can't wait -- except there is still a load of trim to paint. Oh, my achin' back.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It Could Be Worse...

Construction has begun on our family room this week and we are so excited to be moving forward. Good things are ahead. In the meantime, I'm posting something Greg wrote tonight that pretty much sums up the week.

This is a true story. Only the yelling has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent....

On June 7th when we got 8 inches of rain, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the water started seeping into our family room, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the insurance company said we weren't covered, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the FEMA said we made too much to receive a government handout, I thought, "It could definitely be worse..."

When the SBA said we made too much for a really low interest loan, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the SBA said the money was disbursed electronically, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the automatic deposit wasn't made for the loan, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When they said the check was in the mail for the loan, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the building contractor said they could start right away, but they needed money down, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the studs were exposed we saw water damage that necessitated re-drywalling more than we had originally anticipated, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When the paneling was pulled off we learned we didn't have insulation, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When they pulled out the bathroom sink, I learned we had a leak that then required a plumber for a couple of hours, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When they fixed the plumbing and as I sealed the walls with masonry sealer, I thought, "It surely won't get worse..."

When they finished fixing our gutter and pointing it away from the house, I thought, "It could be worse..."

When a monster storm came through last night and dropped a huge hundred pound limb on the fence and wires, I thought, "It could have been worse..."

When they pulled off what was supposed to be insulation, and discovered the remnants of termites, I knew it would get worse....

When the termite guy came through he said, "Yes you had termites, and while they aren't in the walls now, we need to treat by drilling holes all around your house and poisoning the colony". He went on to give us a lesson in entomology as he explained (in a jovial way we had trouble appreciating) that termites live in cool comfort underground in the heat of the summer, but will make their way back come fall, I thought, "It could be worse...."

When the contractors left and we decided to order Chinese because we felt like not cooking, I thought, "Well, maybe the worst was over." The weather had turned beautiful, the food was great, and our deck was comfortable (thank goodness as it was the only place we could all sit)....

That's when it got worse. The bluebird of happiness dive bombed the deck and I took a direct hit to the back of my neck and almost my plate of food....the bird must not have liked the Poo Poo Platter!


But that's when I surely, most certainly, without a doubt....can't get worse (at least not for the moment).

How poetic, how ironic, how perfectly appropriate for the day----

I hope your day is better, but never stop thanking God for blessings and good friends that offer help, because it could get worse!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shooting Sports

We're getting ready for the 4-H fair in a couple weeks. Joel and Ben will be completing Shooting Sports projects and Ben will be entering a large Lego display. Below are just a few pictures that will likely go on their shooting sports posters:

Ben on the archery range


Ben taking aim to shoot a rifle


Joel aiming for the bullseye


Joel practicing his stance and aim with the Winchester shotgun his Grandpa B. gave him for his 16th birthday this year. This shotgun is a prized possession.