Saturday, February 28, 2015

Still Painting

We are nearly done with the painting.  I haven't been able to ask for help because several jobs were a one-man gig.  But now that we are rolling (instead of spraying), I have recruited the children.

These two painted the entire room pretty much by themselves.  I cut in and they rolled.  It was so nice to have someone else do the work!
They paused for a photo and made these goofy, happy faces.

They were so much fun to have around.  Instead of my same old boring thoughts, we visited our way through the work.
Eventually, some of the other kids took turns.  I tried to make a big deal about Look how much work this takes and Think of how long we have waited.  Let's be sure we take such good care of our new house!

Because we had some more incredible sunshine, I took some time to get the corbels stained before they are hoisted high under the eave.
Here they are before.  Aren't they completely darling?!  I absolutely love the lines!

I used Woodscapes by Sherwin-Williams in Riverwood.

Another sneak peek at progress.  This time in the kitchen.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Painting is Underway!

Happy news!!  We are painting!
Here is the laundry room. It is a bright Robin's Egg blue called Watery by Sherwin-Williams.
It feels like a bit much for the size of the room, but once the shelving, cabinets, trim and tile is all in I think it will be about right.

I really wanted a bright, happy place to do laundry because it is my least favorite job.
Think it'll work?

After we primed the whole place, we taped off the ceiling and painted the walls of the main rooms.
That was a long job.

Because we have warm woods for cabinetry trim and flooring, a stone fireplace, and dark tile, I wanted a light color on the walls.  Light, but warm.  We wanted ivory, but there are 92 colors that are in the "ivory" range.  We picked Polar Bear.  It was TRICKY, but we did it; 
We achieved the goal of a pretty ivory wall color.  The pictures don't do it justice.

(I apologize for the smudge in the middle of the photos.  It is in the lens.)

The library will be moody and the master bath is to be like a spa.
They are both this warm gray called Mink, by SW.

We still need to paint all of the upstairs, the master bedroom and touch-ups throughout.
Part of that is because we don't have the necessary supplies (I'll not into that here).
Part of the blame is because we don't have electricity to the house yet so can only paint until about 5 PM.
Part of it is because I am still a mother and must
tend to the needs of my children.
Ah, well.  Progress is progress, no matter how slow!

A hand print from my littlest sweetie.

Here is a sneak peek at what is happening right now:


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Behind the Scenes

We are working steadily over here, but there are always things going on behind the scenes.

The Baby Brother loving on the Big Brother
After cutting down a couple of scraggly trees, we had a pile of branches that needed to be burned.  Add to that an old picnic table that was beyond its usefulness, several incorrectly built trusses, lots of scrap plywood and whatever else that would burn, and you have a ridiculously large bon fire.

We invited a bunch of the kids' friends over and I set out hot dogs, chips, marshmallows (+_S'more fixings), sodas and Peeps. (Have you ever roasted Peeps?  Super yummy!)  Everyone did the best they could to cook their meals.

But it wasn't easy.

No one had eyebrows by the end of the night, but we sure had fun!

The yard looked much better by the end, too!  Sometimes you have to invite guests so you have motivation to get your jobs done.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Front Porch Changes

 Here is the front porch a few weeks ago.

And here it is today.
(No, that one corner of siding is still not completed. Grrr.)

The weather has been unseasonably warm here so I was able to stain the front door and the beams.
These giant beams are so beautiful that I really didn't want to mess them up by using the wrong product.  
I've seen outdoor wood flake, fade, turn white and rot because of the use of the wrong product.
I searched online for, I'm not kidding, 2 hours to discover the best way to treat and protect the wood only to be more confused than ever.
I finally called a local guy and asked him what to use.
4.5 minutes later I had all the information I needed.
After removing any seeping pitch with acetone, I scrubbed it all down with soapy water and a stiff brush.
Justin took a wire brush and took off some of the greasy and muddy stains from the lift used to heft the beams in place.  Everything was hosed down thoroughly and allowed to dry.

My "helper."
Then, I stained using Sherwin-Williams' Woodscapes.
I think they turned out nicely. 

Also, just for fun, here is a little treat that showed up!
The corbels for my fireplace mantle.  Aren't they gorgeous?!

Welp, I'm headed back out.  Justin got about half of the interior primed yesterday so I'm going to get my brushes moving.  More pictures when I have them!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mud, Tape and Texture

Two weeks.  
Two weeks is all it took for these guys to drywall, mud and tape, and texture the entire house.
Do you know how long that would have taken me?!
And I guarantee that it would not look this pretty.

None of our utilities are hooked up to the house yet, but the house has to stay warm or the mud will crack.
Our contractor brought over this big ol' heater and it is keeping the place comfortable.
This week's changes have been so exciting and the house so warm and inviting, I have a hard time leaving!

I was supposed to start painting today, but the drywall boss man saw a few mistakes in his very thorough walk-through.  He's going to have them fixed tomorrow.
I have to sit on my hands for one more day.

But after that, you won't be seeing me for a while.
We'll be priming and painting the interior, staining the beams and corbels out front, spraying that epoxy top coat on my tub (it got too cold for me to do it outside, so I had to wait until the house was warm), laying tile floors, installing tile in the shower, around the claw foot tub and all of the back splashes, and building a floor-to-ceiling rock fireplace in the living room.

We have a full plate for the next month or so.  
I'll continue to share progress, since we are, once again, seeing progress!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Walls. Real walls.

Look at my kitchen:

I KNOW!!  It is so beautiful!!  I can't wait for the double ovens, the deep sink, the fridge that doesn't freeze food, and the induction cooktop.  The last is especially anticipated.

As I was making breakfast this morning, one of the three working elements on my stove sparked and sizzled.  It was not the element I was using.  I am freaked out.  We are overstaying our welcome in this trailer!

Plus, also, an acquaintance started their house three months after us and just moved in.

In addition, I am going crazy.  My children decided that after the trailer is gone, they will erect a monument in its place:  
In loving memory of Mother's Sanity;
lost in this place.

But it looks like we get to start painting this weekend!  As soon as the paint is on, I'll lay the tile so the cabinets can make their appearance.  (I think it's a slippery slope after that, but I've been wrong before.)

Ready for more amazingly good news?  I got to do my first actual work on the house.  Not sweeping or moving dirt or sorting lumber, but actual work on the house.

I stained my front door.

Do you hear the angels singing?  It is a simple quartet right now, but the angelic hosts are assembling.  Soon, so soon, there will be choirs singing above, welcoming me to the end of this struggle and into a bright new future.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


This week in our journey to have our family learn skills that will help them be prepared for all kinds of life surprises, we discussed burning.

We started our evening with a lesson from the Book of Luke.  Two disciples were on the road to Emmaus, a journey of approximately 12 kilometers, which is equal to about 7.5 miles.  Since they were discussing the events of the last few days (Christ's trial, crucifixion, resurrection and so on) with the fellow traveler and since said traveler was explaining the purpose of those days and expounding upon scripture, I think they were walking no faster than a 20 minute mile.  That would have been a 2.5 hour journey.  Then the two, who were generous and righteous men, invited the stranger to stay with them.  He did.  As he broke bread and prayed upon that broken bread that those who would partake would remember Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, they knew him.  The previously unrecognized traveler was the resurrected Christ.

"And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Saying, The Lord is risen indeed."
                                                                                                Luke 24:32-34

Last week we learned how to use a lighter and a fire extinguisher.  We also learned about Stop, Drop and Roll. This week we learned how to treat a burn.

The first things to learn in any kind of first aid is to: First, not panic, but to be in control, and Second, shock can be as serious as the wound and can be experienced even with a smallish injury.

Dad taught the family how to treat shock.  Even the six year old can recite the steps to treating someone who might be suffering from shock.

Now that we know how to treat the very possible effect of a burn, we started in on treating the burns themselves.  I wanted the children to be able to quickly identify the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns.  They needed to see pictures.  1st and 2nd were not that scary, but the 3rd degree burns were pretty gruesome.  Knowing that some of my children are particularly sensitive, I didn't want to freak them out, but I do want them to be prepared!  It was hard to find pictures that told the story without making the children unnecessarily frightened of fire.

At one point, our 9 year old covered her face and groaned, "Why are you teaching us this?!"  I gently reminded her that as difficult as it can be to talk about these scenarios, it would only be more terrifying if one of the scenarios occurred and she had no idea what to do.  Knowledge is power, though there are some things I wish I didn't have to know either!

After the lessons and role playing, we made cold compresses for those 1st degree burns (and other injuries). I'd seen two different recipes, so we tried them both.

#1 = 1 cup Dish Washing Detergent + 1/2 cup Rubbing Alcohol
#2 = 1 cup Water + 1/2 cup Rubbing Alcohol
 I like the one made with the dish soap better because it turned out more gel-like than the other. Now just to see how these hold up with the children!  I'm going to be double-bagging them at the very least!

My favorite ice pack is the dish detergent and rubbing alcohol.  Better gel-like consistency.
There you go!  I'd never made candles or ice packs until I made this goal to teach my family.  It is amazing what stretching you'll do for your children.