Friday, January 30, 2015

Dining room transformation

It's hard to believe we have lived in our house for almost a year now. We have had so many changes and still working on some future plans.  This is what our dining room looked like the day we moved in. The chandelier was beautiful but way to big, I was able to sell it on Craigslist for quite a bit of money because it was real crystal. I remember I was able to buy a new light and use the rest for other lighting.
This picture was from a couple months ago. I painted it a light beige initially but it never looked right with my gray Revere Pewter walls, so I just decided to paint it all RP since my house is so open it looks better all being the same color in the entrance. It looks much better in my brain when I look at it now so I am happy. Next I wanted wainscoting under the existing chair rail, let me say it was the biggest pain ever. We did not want to remove the existing chair rail thinking it would be easier, save money, and wouldn't ruin the wall after removal. Once the plan was made we discovered the wall was uneven in certain spots amongst other issues. Rob and I had a few words about all of this, lol. We weren't really mad it was just very time consuming it took almost a month of figuring out how to do the molding, what would look best, and then all the finishing work. On top of our normal day to day life, it was a mess.

I initially thought maybe it would be easier just to do faux painted walls with board and batten. Since we live in TX textured walls are the norm, can I tell you I'm not a fan!! Maybe I am not used to them but I really don't like textured walls but for us to remove them all would be ton's of work so I'm hoping in time just to deal with them. They are not horrible just lightly textured. I talked to the Home Depot guy he told me to sand the walls to get the texture off. So after a day of sanding and killing my arms I was skeptical. I painted one section it still looked textured and defiantly not like real wainscoting. I figured since we are going through all this work we need to do it right. So we bought all the thin wood paneling for the back, cut around outlets and got to work. We bought the thinnest  paneling because buying thicker would mean removing the base boards, see nothing is as simple as blogs make it look. After using a nail gun and glue some of the boards seemed not tight on the wall because the paneling was so thin the nails would not grab it, fun times for sure!!
 We decided to go with frame looking boxes instead of board and batten look since I wanted my dining to look a little more traditional.  This took forever, Rob must really love me because he had to keep sanding spots because the wall was slightly uneven and the paneling would not fit in certain areas under the chair rail. Let's just say Pinterest makes all this stuff look easy, the problem is that they don't always show the odd things like what do you do with a curved wall at the end of molding or unique areas where molding can't fit etc.. 
In the end it turned out great!! After priming, caulking and painting...I love it. I do have one seam that was a pain in the you know what.. but all in all it looks good.
 Under the chair rail I added more molding to cover uneven gaping. Caulk is your best friend when you do woodworking or at least for beginners like us. Adding the molding made it look a lot more finished and not with unnatural amounts of caulk under the chair rail. To the right is my seam from hell. I think what happened is that the wood paneling was pushed to tight next to the other one, and it left a little bump. When you sand this material it just falls apart like paper. Then when I caulked it it never would lay even with spackle and all my other tricks. During the day you don't see it to bad and in the evening not at all but I see it of course. 

Then it was onto making the boxes and measuring the sizes and how big and how much space in between, lots of work!! If you have curved walls and don't know how to end your molding I came up with just adding a piece of molding going straight down. It looks really good and a natural end point. I hope this helps someone(: You can see it below left of the cabinet.
 I love this little cabinet it's one of my favorite pieces that I thrifted a few years ago.  I hate covering up my molding but I love this little cabinet.  
There are so many great tutorials on pinterest, but I have found that each home is different and different problems arise. So glad this is over but I love the results.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

A day at the beach

We do in fact live close to a coast but it's not the pretty clear water I dream about. It's still a ocean and I love the ocean!! I am so far behind on blogging these were taken over Christmas break. 
Jaden got a metal detector for Christmas, we took it on a walk one day in the neighborhood and dug up metal cement pins, nails, a old can opener. It's actually kind of neat and a fun little hobby for him. We decided to take it to the beach and we found more junk. 
 Then some crazy play time

We had a fun day, stopped at Buc-ee's on the way down and and few stops on the way home.
I sure miss the blue water but I still can collect shells, and feel the ocean breeze. We just planned our summer vacation it's hard to believe that only 7.5 hrs away is the whitest sand I have ever saw and beautiful emerald coast.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thankful For The Gift Of Adoption

It's hard to believe that Lauren was once this little. I was reminded this week of what a awesome daughter I have. As Lauren is getting older she is asking more question and is more observant to other kids and their reactions. I want to always be open with her and show I care when she is struggling with her self image or adoption issues. Recently a girl called her a few nasty things, it really wasn't random this kid in particular is having issues with others as well. It did hurt her feelings and she did tell me which I was comforted that she feels safe telling us what's going on. The girl said Lauren was ugly which for any girl is hard but when you are adopted I think probably even harder. I asked Lauren what she said to the girl after and she said "Well, I think your beautiful!" I could not believe it. It's very humbling when your child teaches you something about life. I did not have words to even say after she told her response, it just made me cry. Later we also thought of ways to handle this situation if it happens again. I made suggestions along the lines of you need to be kind but firm and not let someone hurt you like that. Say something like..
"What your saying hurts my heart that is very mean" Lauren then says..."NO Mom, that would hurt her feeling and she would feel like she is a mean person." Anyway I have a great kid on my hands, our world needs more Lauren's.
 Just the other day we were walking to go get Jaden from school. I like to take walks with her because she seems very open to talking without any distractions. On our walk I asked her if it bothered her that we looked different? I know at school everyone always asks if I am her real mom, and I am sure it probably confuses her and makes her feel awkward at times. The kids are friendly enough but each time I go in to volunteer they hound her with a million questions. I always ask if they know what adoption is and most of them don't. So I am able to gently explain and show them that I am Lauren's real mom. I really don't mind doing this since children after all are curious and mostly innocent. As we walked that day I asked Lauren if she wished I was brown like her or she was white like me? I really didn't know what she would say but I thought it was important to see where her thoughts were and see if there was anything I could do to help. She answered with a quick, NO!! "Mom I like you white and me brown" I then went into the story of how God picked us for each other and that our skin doesn't match but our hearts do, she got it. It was a moment and was a good moment and what followed next just made me look up to heaven with awe and I felt God's love. It had just rained earlier in the day and the sun was now out drying things up. There was a tiny little rainbow, and Lauren of course saw it. She loves rainbows!! I said, "Do you know what that mean Lauren?" She replies, "Yes mom it God's promise that he loves Me." 
 As we walked we saw yet another rainbow I said, "Lauren Oh my goodness God really loves you!" Lauren replied.."Mom and he really loves you too!!"
 This was one of my favorite moments of being a mom (: Not only does my child know and love God but her heart is right and made me feel loved by God too. Adoption is a gift like no other. Since I am a mother through birth and adoption I know each is special but special in different ways. Adoption is remarkable in many unique ways.  Some things that are sad or not pretty He turns into a beautiful story that only He can. It's a humbling feeling that God trusted me and ordained her life through her birth mom by giving her a chance. Out of all the kids in the world He gave me this one so he could change my life! 
I love you my daughter 
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Crosby Cat

Crosby is a good cat, he has adjusted well to our family. The kids still ask about Lincoln and we make references but the new cat is doing well. He is a stinker though and likes to knock over homework, cups with water in them and generally like to cause cat ruckus at around 2:00am. He is a very handsome boy and he keeps getting darker on his back. When we first got him he was very white, now he is getting grayer on his paws, ears, and back. He is some sort of exotic mix and for a homeless kitty I will take him.
 He looks so innocent. He likes to sit on the two story balcony railing and look down at me. He even gets on the ledge and walks. Now we know why they say cats have nine lives.
Yes, we see you even when you think I can't. Nothing joys me more then to see him cuddled up next to one of the kids. They love him and he tolerates all the carting around he gets. 
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cold And Rainy

I don't know about all of you but all this cold and wet weather is depressing me. Normally our weather her in Houston is mild, we may even have a nice 70-80 day in January here and there but mostly 60-70. We will get a cold front for a a few days but it normally is sunny but not lately the last couple weeks it's been chilly and damp. I just feel like eating, sleeping and complaining. I don't like to complain much but after putting all the Christmas stuff away, the kids going back to school and lots of homework last week it made for a long week. I am trying to get my pre- spring cleaning going around here and projects moving along, that makes me happy!! I decided this year to put all tree #1 and tree #2 decorating in baggies and keep them in my new built in. I really liked putting stuff away in the baggies and I am hoping next year it's a breeze to put on the ornaments and keep organized. I love being organized it's the secret to life. I actually have to work at it and it's not natural but I feel so much better when I am organized.
Lauren I know how much you love going to Home Depot, you would think I gave this kid a dollar for this smile. I must have caught her at a good moment. I finally painted my boys rooms. They were the band-aid beige that the my whole house was painted previous. What a great change, I went with Stonington gray. It's a great color, masculine yet light and airy.

 I was on a role and I had to get rid of the last room in our house that was that horrible color. My art room is now beautiful Sea Salt. I think this color is my favorite color besides Revere Pewter. It's the most beautiful color ever!! I may paint Lauren's room this color in the future even though I finished her room not that long ago. Maybe I will do our bathroom this color, maybe inside my closet. I just love this color. Needless to say after a week of painting I was worn out. Painting is fun and exciting to see the change but after a couple days the excitement turns to exhaustion.
Before Christmas Drew went kayaking with his friend Ethan. Right where Ethan lives you can go in the lake, its really neat. Ethan is a sweet kid with of course a great mom who I love to be with. Don't you love it when your kids make you friends? Drew has his friend over and I get to have my friend over too, it's worked out well (:

Tomorrow is Monday already.....boo!! The weekends go so fast. Between a birthday party, grocery shopping, church and couple movies the weekend is over. It was a nice weekend but ready for sunshine and warmer weather. 
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Friday, January 2, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Wrap Up

We started with some fun traditions like sugar cookies. Okay either I messed up the recipe or I am just getting older and less patient. It was so messy there was flour everywhere all over the floor and none of the shapes really turned out. The kids decided to use non Christmas shapes, Jaden had a huge lobster cookie cutter. Needless to say the Lobster did not turn out very cute more like a huge bus with a horn. The boys had more fun making up their own creations in total potty humor. These boys are to much lately all they talk about it bodily function.

 I guess at 12 this is not so fun unless of course it includes potty humor.

Christmas Eve we played family games. This was fun! I let the kids open up a gift early it was a game called Totally Gross. It was kind of gross but in more a of a science interesting way. 





 My mom and Dad bought Drew Beats, he was happy
 My boys are Nerf crazy lately and I can't say I am thrilled with the amout of Nerf darts I have found all over the house and yard.
Rob had a Ohio State Christmas
Christmas Day is so fun, but the house looked like a bomb went off. 
Rob making his famous Christmas breakfast
Lauren really wanted this Crayola Paint Maker. Her and Drew seemed to enjoy mixing the paints but really it was not my favorite toy. Lots of effort to make very small amounts of paint. They enjoyed it so that is what counts. We had a wonderful Christmas and I am enjoyed the kids and Rob being home and having lots of family time, it's the best!!!
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