Thursday, April 04, 2019

Master bathroom remodel...a year later!

There are lots of things I’ve missed recording over the past few years, birthdays and family adventures in particular, but for today I thought I’d do a quick post about the bathroom remodel we did last March.  Hard to believe it’s been a whole year!  Jim had some time between jobs, so we decided to jump in and renovate.  We really needed to reinsulate the walls and ceiling, and I was tired of the ripped and peeling border.  We had most of the materials on hand already (the PVC ceiling boards were leftover from a job, I think.  We didn’t have to put much money into the project, which was the best part!  We spent $5 on discount paint, and I think almost everything else was "free."  I did buy a new trash can for $1 at the Dollar Tree, too. 😉

Back in 2009 we had finally put up a wall border in our bathroom, and this is how it looked then: cream-colored walls, beige floor, lots of neutrals.

Fast-forward 9 years...the pretty border was all ripped up, there was some moisture damage in the walls, and we were ready for a change.  Demolition began, and we completed the whole project in a week!  (Using the term "we" very loosely, of course...most of the work was done by "HE!" 😉)

 The new beadboard ceiling turned out so nice!  We decided to go with a deep brown paint, named "Coffee Grounds," for the walls.  With the white contrast, it ended up looking so nice.  A year later, I still love this look.

 Since these pics were taken, we also hung up my hair dryer holder, so the wall above the scale doesn't look quite so bare now.
 The sink doesn't always look this uncluttered and tidy, either...still, I'm having a lot easier time keeping things neat now that we have more storage space.
Like this built-in shelf that Jim made from extra beadboard!
Even though this is a pretty small bathroom, and the slanted ceiling doesn't help, I feel like the changes we made helped improve the look and feel of this room a lot.  We are thinking about expanding this bathroom at some point to include a garden tub (once the boys' new room is complete in our future addition), but for now this update makes me so happy!

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Wednesday Medley: April 3

Today is National Film Score Day!  What a fun theme.  Here are my answer for today's Wednesday Medley, hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida.

1.  Let's talk about film scores/songs.  What is the first one that you thought about when you saw today's subject?  The first one that popped into my mind was the Star Wars theme.  I didn't "discover" Star Wars until I was a newlywed (thanks to Jim!), although I have an early memory of seeing a movie poster for Return of the Jedi at the grocery store, I think!  Plus we went to an Ice Capades show that had Ewoks in it, but I had no idea they were from Star Wars till years later.  Anyway, I digress...I love the Star Wars film scores, as well as many others!

2.  Do you remember the first movie you ever saw on the "big screen"? Would you tell us about it? Yes!  Believe it or not, I never saw a movie in the theater till I was an adult (my family didn't go to movie theaters when I was growing up).  The first movie Jim and I went to together was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. (The LOTR movies also have fantastic scores!)  We've seen a few movies in the theater since then, but don't go very often because it's pricey and there aren't usually many movies we really care to see.

3.  Who is your favorite female movie star?   Who is your favorite male movie star?  Go ahead and list more than one if you must.  I definitely have to list more than one!  Female faves: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Maureen O'Hara, Julie Andrews,  Meg Ryan.  Male faves: Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck (I happen to share his  birthday!), Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Tom Hanks, Tom Selleck, David Suchet...  Hmmmm....I seem to have more male favorites than female!  Also I prefer actors from a long time ago to most current actors, with a few exceptions.

4.  How about those old black & white movies!  Which one do you always stop and watch, even just a little, when channel surfing?  We don't have regular TV so I never actually channel surf, but if I favorite old movie would have to be Roman Holiday.  This is another one I didn't discover till I was an adult, and I absolutely love it.  Except the ending...I find it rather dissatisfying after the rest of the movie!  Still, I love it and have watched it over and over, thanks to owning it on DVD.  I also love some of the old suspense movies such as Charade, and North by Northwest.

5.  Is there a movie quote that makes you laugh or one that you repeat often in life that you can share with us?  Will we know what movie it comes from without you telling us?  "Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something."  "This is true love.  You think this happens every day?"  "Have fun storming the castle!" "Inconceivable!"  These are all from what is possibly the most quotable movie of all time...probably some of you will know it!

6.  Please share something random about your week with us.  My week hasn't gone as planned, due to sickness still lingering in our family.  Josiah came down with it on Sunday, then Sam came down with it yesterday.  Both boys have had throwing up and stomach issues as well as the cough and fever. 😞 So, we haven't had a normal school routine going, and everyone's been sleeping as much as possible.  It's been a full week of sickness now, and I am so ready for everyone to be healthy again!  On the plus side, the weather has been warming up slowly but surely, the snow is melting, and I think spring may really be around the corner! 😊 Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Under Construction!

Yes indeed, if you notice some changes in the layout & design of the blog, you can see that I'm working on a new look for spring/summer!  Right now I need to get some work and school done around here, but hopefully later today I'll be able to get the blog header enlarged to the right size.  In the meantime...this is the look I'm going for, but with all the red part covered up (eventually).  😊

EDIT: Ooooo, I think I just about have it how I want it now!  May play around with the header more at some point, but for now it's passable.  And I'm totally LOVING the new look!  I love how I can change things up quickly with help from The Cutest Blog on the Block.  I was sad when the former blog design website I used was no longer available; I had my favorite background ever from them, but at least I have been able to find some other fun options for the seasons!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday Five: the spring decor edition

It's probably a little "high-falutin'" to title this the "spring decor edition," but I've had fun tackling a few areas around the house to freshen things up for spring, and couldn't think of a better title.  Last week I showed you my sugaring decorations, which will stay up till sometime in April, but since now I'm starting to get itchy for real spring weather and colors, plus the fact that we're gearing up for a busy April, I decided to change up a few other areas now.

1. Easter hutch: 
I really had fun coming up with this, with a little help and inspiration from Pinterest!

2. Dry erase calendar:
I found this brand new (though slightly warped 😆) dry erase calendar/bulletin board at the dump this week.  I decided to brighten it up with some washi tape and hung it up on our chalkboard wall in the office.  I'm sure April's calendar will look more interesting, but I just wrote the March dates on for now.  I hope to add some pictures and maybe some of Ari's artwork on the bulletin board part.  Certainly it's nothing fancy, but kind of a fun addition to the office area.  I'd been thinking about buying one of these sometime, so it's neat that I can try one out for free.  We can always get a nicer one if we end up using it a lot.

3. Spring chalk wall:
Ever since we painted our office/hall area with black paint and let the kids use it for a chalkboard, we've had this note that Jim scrawled up there for fun (and Sam later added originally just said "kiss the cook"😉):
Around Christmastime I thought about changing it up and having Sam draw a vintage truck with Christmas tree scene there, but we never got around to it.  Today I decided to do something springy, and I totally copied this idea from this link that I found on Pinterest

I really like how the darker chalk lines make the wall and the artwork stand out more!  While I'm certainly no chalk lettering artist, I didn't think this was too bad for a first attempt.  Now I'm looking forward to searching out more inspiration for future seasonal designs.

That's all for decor, so moving on to two random things to round things out:

4. Girls are feeling better!  
There's still plenty of coughing and sneezing going on, but fevers are lower and Julia was even able to do a little bit of schoolwork today.  Her appetite is coming back and I'm hopeful that a restful weekend will help them be back to full health again next week.

5. A new book to read:
Actually, I have PLENTY of books to read, but I got this one on sale from CBD last week, and it's kind of messing with me in a really good way.  I'm only a chapter or two in, but I'm finding it's turning some of my preconceived ideas upside down and making me really stop and think about hospitality in a new light. 
I have several other books on hospitality on my wishlist as well, and I'm thinking maybe this will be an area I can dive more deeply into over the next year or so.  It's something that's been on my heart for a long time, but we aren't so good at actually practicing it as I would like!

And that's it for this week's Friday Five...thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday Medley: March 27

I'm joining in again with the Wednesday Medley, hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida.  Today is "National Joe Day" and all the questions this week have to do with names.

1.  Who is your favorite "Joe/Jo" and what can you tell us about him or her?  My favorite "joe" is coffee...haha!  Actually I have a number of "Joe/Jo's" in my family.  My sweet sister is a Joanna (but I normally call her Jo), my sister-in-law, whom I consider a dear friend, is Joanne (I don't call her Jo, but she was called that by her family growing up, I believe), and my husband has a brother named Joe.  But my favorite "Jo" of all is my Josiah. 😊 However...we never call him Jo or Joe; his nickname ended up being Siah!

2.  Who were you named for and do you or did you know that person? I was not named for any relative or friend, BUT there is a neat story about how I got my name.  When my mom was pregnant with me, she was reading the Little House books to my older brother, and he asked if they could name me "Baby Carrie" if I was a girl. So, they did!  I have always thought that was cool since those books are some of my all-time favorites, and it's special that my brother chose my name.  Of course I didn't know my namesake in real life, but how I would have loved to meet the Ingalls family, even if the real-life family was somewhat different than the ficitional version.

3.  Do you have a middle name and do you like it/use it? Yes, my middle name is Elisabeth and I do like it.  I actually wanted to name Ari that, kind of after me and kind of after Elisabeth Elliot, who is one of my heroes of the faith.  I would have liked to use the nickname Betsy.  Alas, Jim wasn't a fan and so we went with a different name for her, which I DO love, too.  (Now it would be hard to picture her as a Betsy, for sure!)

4.  Have you ever named your car?   Tell us about it, please! When I was a kid, our cars were often named.  Then when Jim and I got married he had an old red Ford truck (1977!) which we named "Fergie" because she was painted "Massey Ferguson Red."  I also had a little car which we called "Bunny" for a while, but she didn't last long. After that we somehow never got around to naming our cars, and it isn't really a thing for us anymore.  I would kind of like to name our camper, though!

5.  Tell us the name of a fictional character you have never forgotten and why you remember it so well.  I remember tons of fictional characters' names...I have a good memory for names, I guess.  A favorite is Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's famous little Belgian detective.  I have always loved those books and also the movies with David Suchet, who will always be Poirot in my mind!  

6.  Share something random with us about your week.  I have 2 sick girlies sicker than the other.  Julia started in with a fever last night and hasn't felt well at all today.  In fact, she and Ari both took a 2 hour nap this afternoon. 

On the bright side, today was warm and springlike, even though we still have tons of snow in the yard. Our road is getting muddy (a sure sign of spring in NH!), and Josiah and I even spied tiny points of green in the flower bed in front of the library today when we stopped in for a few minutes.  So happy that spring is on the way!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Five: the rainy day edition

Just a quick Friday Five before I head to bed!

1. It's been a rainy/snowy day here and really shows NH at its spring "worst."  Lots of mud, lots of dirty snow still waiting to melt...and gloomy weather.  In spite of that, we had a great day with lots of busyness...moms' group, and visiting with friends at their house in the afternoon.  It's been a good day.

2. Phew!  Helping a teenager with a writing assignment (essay) when said teen doesn't like to write, is not for the faint of heart.  Just saying.  I'm wondering if I need to outsource writing next year, too... seriously considering IEW because while *I* think the Sonlight language assignments are quite doable, they are harder for my reluctant writer.  On the flip side, he is an excellent writer when he's coming up with the ideas on his own, so there's that! 

3. It's been a traumatic week around here as we lost all 18 of our chickens to 2 separate weasel attacks (we assume both were from the same weasel).  Thankfully Jim was able to kill it the second time, but now we'll have to rebuild our entire flock.  Very sad.  On the plus side, the kids are kind of enjoying the break from daily chicken chores...

4. I'm still in the process of taking down my Christmas/winter decor and replacing it with early spring stuff, which for us equals sugaring season.  Unfortunately Jim has no time for sugaring this year, so we are taking a break from that, too.  But it's still fun to decorate with maple in mind!  Here are the two areas I've changed so far:
 It makes me happy to use the vintage syrup tin and the copies of signs from my great-grandfathers' sugaring businesses (one on each side of my family!).  The blue lantern is from my grandparents' house, too.

5. I didn't do so well with my "one tiny thing" each day this week, so I have some catching up to do around the house tomorrow.  Good thing I don't (currently) have any plans to go anywhere.  It'll be nice to have a day to stay home and focus inward.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 18, 2019

My Word for 2019: Care

Yes, I realize it's already mid-March of this year!  But I never posted at all back at the beginning of the year, so I wanted to at least share what I chose for this year's word to focus on.  I felt God put this word on my heart just before the beginning of the year, and while I have had some "doubts" along the way if I should have chosen this word, I decided to stick with it because I honestly felt that it came from Him!  Let me explain...

The word I felt called to focus on for 2019 is "care."  At the end of 2018 I was feeling pretty worn out and like I hadn't been doing a good job caring for myself spiritually or physically in many ways.  It had been a GOOD, full year, but I was just tired!  I knew I needed to make some changes in several areas.  "Care" seemed to me to be a multi-faceted word that would remind me to take better care of myself, to care for my family and home and others, and most of all to remind me that God cares for me!  At the same time, care can also mean worry.  I thought of the verse "Casting all your anxieties (cares/worries) on Him, because He cares for you."  I Peter 5:7.  Over my entire life I have tended to be a worrier, and this word could be a good reminder to me in that way as not worry because He's got my life all planned out and under his unchanging love and ultimate control.  He sees the big picture!  We had a few things coming up this year that I knew could bring out my tendency to worry: financial goals, some medical needs, work responsibilities, and still the question I'm pondering for myself about whether to apply for an online job that I could do to help provide for our family.  Lots of things to think about, nothing super overwhelming or burdensome, but "cares" nonetheless.  So anyway, I chose the word care and was excited about it. 

Then...I kept seeing thoughts from other believers online on the topic of self-care and how some people (not all) use that terminology to really make it "all about them," (aka selfishness, not self-care).  While that wasn't and isn't my intention at all, I wanted to take time to think through my word after that, and make sure I wasn't motivated by feelings of wanting to put myself first, to the detriment of others.  I think perhaps a better word is what I've heard Sally Clarkson say, "soul-care."  I truly believe there is nothing wrong with caring for and nourishing ourselves, but obviously the most important part of that is learning and growing in the Lord.  (This is an area where I have much growing to do!)  I also believe that it's not selfish to take time for caring for ourselves physically and mentally (i.e. taking a bath, reading a good book, exercising, etc.), as we are then refreshed to be able to pour into others more fully.  I hope that makes sense! 

Anyway...there's my word, and I'm excited to see how God works in me in the area of caring for others, myself, and seeing specific ways He cares for me over the course of this year. 

Do you choose a word for each year?  I'd love to hear if you do!