Tuesday, November 29, 2011

(Not Very) Wordless Wednesday: Bathroom Overhaul

Nine and a half years...one very very old house...nasty bathroom with chipped paint, rotting wood, moldy walls, and falling apart surround. No money for redo but a woman fed up with being grossed out every time a visitor uses her "facilities".


A trip to Home Depot, a quick lesson in scraping, mudding, priming and painting a bathroom and the woman goes to work...

There required an additional trip to Menards for goggles after dried putty invades her eyes during the sanding process, but having forgotten a mask, a kitchen towel and clothespin suffice quite nicely for protection against the "elements".

After four days of stealing time between working two jobs and running a household of men and beasts (and the same number of days taking baths instead of showers)...

Above the window before and after

The divider between shower and sink area before and after

Two holes over the toilet left over from a falling cabinet before and after

It is by all means NOT a great looking job. It's really not even a fair looking job.

But it's fresh, clean, probably much safer (I'm sure one of the exposed layers had contained based paint) and it is no longer a room that makes me cringe any time someone (including myself) needs to do some business.

Someday I hope to do the room correctly. But for now, I have to admit that I am quite pleased with myself.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Noah's Poem of Remorse

Sometimes the nine year old in our house just makes me smile, no matter how angry I can feel at him at times.

I am feeling quite horrible today, cough, headache, sore throat...you know the drill. So I went to take a bath while the boys were happily trying out a new Wii game I had rented for them for the day. I was so impressed at how well they were sharing.

About ten minutes after I get in the bath, I hear screaming, crying, and banging around. Hubby and two boys were in an all out battle about the Wii game. Of course, I got out of the bath a few minutes later and sent everyone to cool off in their own respective rooms.

I sat down to the computer to try to cool down myself when Noah came out to present his note of remorse, as he does very often when something isn't right. It is on a TINY piece of paper, as all of his drawings are minuscule in size. I had to read it twice before I realized it was a poem:

I hate to admit it
I yelled quite a lot
And I did get punished
But mad I am not

If you are reading this
It might seem tart
But your sons love you
With all of their hearts

Where did he learn the word "tart" ?

Yup, gonna keep this little scrap of paper forever.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Concert High Post

Hopefully others who have experienced "concert highs" will understand this :)

I just got home from my first performance with the symphony chorus for this concert season. We performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (the Ode to Joy one) and it was by far the best the chorus has ever sounded. It is just SO much fun to do be part of this ensemble. It is one thing that I do for myself and I love being part of a large singing ensemble performing wonderful music. Since I'm not on facebook anymore, I will probably post the review here just so I have for future reference.

So because of my concert high, I am feeling pretty happy so I was reflecting on this past week and thinking about the many good things that transpired. It is always good to think on the positive when I can...

A. Symphony performance-already stated above...went well and another one tomorrow night

B. Conferences- also went great.
No surprise with Noah, still holding straight A's at this time, although he has made it clear to both his teacher and myself that 4th grade is hard. It's about time the little stinker was challenged :) The best thing that came out of it was seeing that for the second year in a row, he has a teacher who recognizes his amazing creative talents and she is actually nurturing him by letting him doodle his comics on his papers. As she put it, "I know he's listening so I am okay with his doodles and besides they make me smile." She is even entering some of his comics into a scholastic contest. It is amazing that a first year teacher can be so in touch with kids like Noah. We are so lucky to have found the right place for him.
Aaron's conference was CRAZY. His teacher started out by stating, "You know, this kid should technically not even be here and he has the highest reading scores in the entire class, which consists of kids almost two years older than him!" She went on to discuss him in great length about how special he is and how I need to stop worrying anymore about having made the wrong decision to go ahead and put him right in first grade last year. She said that even though his writing is indeed at the first grade level, which matches his age, his reading and math scores are at second (or third in the case of reading) grade level and he talks, acts, and looks like a second grader in every way. He fits in well with his peers and as she put it, "Aaron is really discovering who Aaron is this year". It was so amazing how she talked about him. So I need to FINALLY stop worrying about whether we made the right decision last year and just continue to focus on the special little guy that he is. He will be working with the speech therapist once a week to help with his stuttering.

C. Work- went well this week. It is partly knowing that this is my last week of working all five days and it feels good to know I will get a little breather next week. I even spent some time painting a turkey on our front window which was hilarious because as talented as my son is artistically is how UNTALENTED his mother is. I will post a picture soon just for laughs.

D. Health- Got Aaron on antibiotics for bronchitis and had his well child visit as well. Got Noah scheduled for tonsillectomy five days before Christmas so it should be a interesting Christmas break. I am sick yet again like I get every symphony performance so I'll just keep pushing through knowing I will have Monday to relax and rest (in between loads of laundry).

E. Christmas Preparations- Almost finished shopping for one of the boys. Thank goodness since my income is about to drop drastically. All Christmas music has started on one of our local radio stations and it makes me smile to listen to both boys singing "O Holy Night" out loud in the car as we drive from place to place. Noah is asking for decorations, which may start appearing next week some time.

F. It snowed! I know in a month from no I'll be complaining but there is nothing like the first snowfall of the year to make a true Michigander smile.

G. Noah's Basketball Placement-Went well. He tried to say the night before that he didn't want to do it but that is the way he is with trying anything new. He gets nervous and works himself right out of trying. The Upward Program is a church league for children. It will have around 600 kids playing this season and there are devotionals before games and during half time. The kids are also expected to memorize scripture as part of the program as well as learning all of the skills of the game. I hope it will be a good experience for him. As of now, he is excited about it, which makes me happy.

So my concert high is starting to wind down. I wrote about my "joys" from this week and now that I am coming down it is time to take a bath and head off to bed. Tomorrow afternoon I have three piano students performing downtown and two of the three are not ready so it may be a shaky afternoon but we'll get through.

Have a great weekend!