Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Blame the Fractured Hand {Updating our Home}

It all started because of the cast and a too dark dining room. Really! :o) When in the cast there wasn't a lot of things I could do -- except manipulate a computer mouse with my left hand and a few other simple things. I would spend way too much time on Pinterest.

While perusing Pinterest, I had a lightbulb moment. I finally figured out why our dining room was so dark. Duh! The paint colour. Although flowerpot orange is a bold colour, it was way too dark for our northern exposure dining room. Ugh! I was tired of it. So I started looking at rooms and colours. Grays or greiges (a mix between beige and gray), are hugely popular now and I find them stunning, so my dining room is now Benjamin Moore's Edgecomb Gray. (I will show photos once the room is complete. I need to accessorize yet. Nevermind that it's an absolute disaster at the moment.)

This post isn't supposed to be about the dining room however, but one of the girls' bedrooms. All the kids rooms, with the exception of the three youngest girls are still the original colours they were before we renovated. I began thinking about changing them up too. My parents are moving into a condo, so they are happily forcing on us asking us if we would like the possessions they are not taking to the new place. So, we have inherited a double bed complete with bedding that we couldn't pass up. Based on room size and child dynamics, it ended up in Beans's room. It was time to repaint!

Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray became the colour of choice.

She loves yellow, so I accessorized with yellow -- and strangely enough, black. I am thrilled with how it turned out. It's a very eclectic mix of furniture, but the gray, yellow and black pull it all together.

The dog wall. She is passionate about dogs -- especially pugs. :o) The colourful pillows are made by me. I have to make one more yellow one yet. The Ooh Fancy pillow is from Walmart. (I happen to like Walmart a lot.) The black lamp is also Walmart.

Despite the furry cuteness on the bed, the big expanse of empty wall is already driving her crazy.

So this image will be made into a canvas to hang above her bed.

Extreme cuteness. He's my reason for regularly washing bedding -- especially in the spring.

A clean dresser top. The yellow sheers are from Walmart. (Have I mentioned that I really like Walmart?)  I made the tie backs. She loves light!!

They're real and oh. so. pretty! She calls them Daffadillydums. They're one of her favorite flowers.

Arts and crafts.

I bought the black and gold mask in New Orleans. She made the silver one and the canvas as well.

I made this super simple substitute for a bulletin board. We found the 'S' at Michaels (another favorite, but seriously overpriced store). It's made from pressed board. The clothes pins are from Dollarama. I pulled apart the clothes pins and pulled out my trusty spray paint (I love spray paint!!) and went to town. Then I enlisted helpers to put the clothes pins back together, hot glued the clothes pins to the pressed board, and voilĂ ! She has clipped to it motivational notes and special things. :o) (They may not be dating, but it doesn't mean they don't spend time together.) :o)

Last but not least, her shelf of collectables. The shelf is almost as old as me and hung in my room as a child. I gave it a quick once over with spray paint before hanging it again. (I am going to touch up the screws with white paint as they stand out too much for my liking.)

Ultimately there are a couple things that I need to finish yet, but otherwise this room is done! I am pleased with how it turned out and Beans is too! So, it's on to the next room! Tomorrow!......... Maybe.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Today I would really like to wash my floors. I mean really deep down scrub my floors! I actually enjoy scrubbing my floors. I'm not a mop kind of person. I have a steam mop for in between jobs, but when I want my floors really clean, I get down on my knees with my bucket, my cloth, and a scrub brush. It's a good feeling! Crank the tunes and away I go! I kinda feel like Cinderella, but I already have my prince. :o)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

So This Happened

So this happened on the weekend. I had just returned home from dropping a child off at a friend's house Friday evening and decided to let the dogs wander the yard to do their evening business. I was following Leo down the lane in the dark and slipped on some ice. I went from vertical to horizontal in a matter of a blink. It wouldn't have been so bad had I not been carrying a shovel in my hand used for cleaning up after the dogs. It just reinforced my, hand hitting the asphalt. On the other hand (no pun intended! Hehehe!), it could have been a LOT worse. I fractured the fifth metacarpal. Good thing I am left-handed! And woo-hoo, no dishes for this Momma for five to six weeks!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

No High School Dating Allowed?

We had successfully managed to avoid the dating phase of life with our first two children while in high school. (Well, Peach isn't quite finished high school yet, but close enough.) Nathanael starting dating in August just before he went to university. Peach continues to say, "I don't have time for that silly stuff!"

With child number three, it isn't proving quite as simple. Beans has always had male friends. It started way back in her home schooling days. Then, when she started in school in grade 5, she couldn't handle the girl drama and again found a male best friend. By grade eight though, she did have a number of close girl friends too. She also continues to maintain a friendship with another previously home schooled (girl) friend.

When she started grade nine she ended up with both boys and girls for friends. She still hates girl drama and thankfully her closest girl friend at school does too. :o)

Late this past autumn, a new male friend joined the group. He and Beans have become great friends. Very great friends. We as a family have had the opportunity to get to know him as well and we think he is a gem! So far though, we are still maintaining the idea that dating in high school is not a great idea. We have no absolute rules on this, but here are our reasons why:

1) We believe God has a special plan for each of our children. Some of our children might not ever need/want a life partner, some might meet theirs in their thirties, and some might meet theirs at thirteen. Believing that God is in control of each of our lives means that even if our child has met their life partner at thirteen (I wouldn't say that they or we would necessarily recognize it at such a young age) it doesn't mean they need to date. We trust that if  God has chosen this individual for them then that person will still be the right person at age twenty three, or thirty three, or even seventy three, so there is no rush to start dating super young.

2) We want our children to know who they are before they fall into a trap of defining themselves by what/how another person feels about them. They need to have a strong relationship with the Lord. They should know their own strengths/weaknesses, their gifts and talents as well as what they are and are not capable of. Eg. We have some children that need a lot of sleep and others who can get away with very little.

3) Dating -- especially often, allows other friendships to fall by the wayside. It is important to us that our children maintain their friendships throughout the high school years as some of these friendships will last a lifetime and even if they don't, they will likely learn valuable lessons from them.

4) The purity factor. Yes, I am talking sex here. The longer a teen waits to date, the less chance of a sexual relationship occurring before marriage. Of course I may be out to lunch here, but in our home, we regularly have discussions about, dating, faith, purity, marriage, etc. With age comes wisdom. Yes? That's why the Engineer and I continually talk with our children on these things -- especially in today's sex saturated society.

Now that I've written our reasons why we haven't allowed our children to date in high school (besides the fact that until now it hasn't been an issue), I guess I'm going to have to write a post about what we're going to do if/when we change our mind on this subject. However, more research and reading is required before I write that post.:o)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dog Friendly Flooring {A Science Fair Project}

Our grade school alternates years between doing a history fair project and a science fair project. This year was science fair year -- and the first time in six years that we have only had one child doing one. As with every other year, there were some tears and arguing, but this one had to be the most uneventful one yet.

Squirt is becoming more and more like her oldest sister, meaning she organizes her time and is very self-motivated. It also helped that this was a topic that she was very interested in.

I will let Squirt tell you a bit about her project.

For my project I was testing which flooring was the best out of hardwood, bamboo, cork, laminate, vinyl flooring, vinyl composite, vinyl plank, and ceramic tile. I found out that the tile was the best because it does not warp or change in water(soaked all pieces of flooring in water for 24 hours and checked at various amounts of time up to 24 hrs) or dog urine (same procedure as water except this time with ammonia added to the water to imitate dog urine), and does not scratch.

Although tile (which was correct in my hypothesis) is the best flooring to have with dogs, it is very cold on your feet and in appearance, and can be hard on your legs -- especially when standing for long periods of time. 

All three vinyl floorings were a close second although they did get scratched. The way a dog walks across the floor is not the exact same as how I tested it. I dragged a rake across the flooring with varying weights on top. The way a dog walks is different so it would probably (and does as we have vinyl flooring in our home) leave less marks. So vinyl is a very close second and an other good choice. 

Another important observation I found if that if you spill water on your laminate, cork, bamboo, or hardwood floor you have about 2-5 hours to clean it up with little damage to the floor, whereas with dog urine you have 15 minutes to clean it up. 

Over all even if something looks really pretty like a hardwood you may have to do some testing to see if it is actually going to withstand your family and pets (if you have them) daily wear and tear. 

I am in love!! :o) Image source: Hucker Floor Coverings 

It was a fun and interesting project to do. In 100 years  another ten years or so, when we are ready to put in new flooring, I'm pretty sure we will be going with one of the vinyls again. Although I love hardwood, the vinyl floors have proven their durability and they are now available with virtually any look you want such as hardwood.

A special thank you to Hucker Floor Coverings for all their samples and additional information!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dressing Up

I have girly girls. However, they are also country girls. My definition: they are girls who love to be outdoors doing things, and when they play, they play hard which means they are hard on their clothes. They also all love to wear dresses (or skirts) even while playing hard outdoors. This can be a bit of a problem. (See illustration below.)

And yes, even my teenagers will still do this. I say it's because they have so much joie de vivre. I know they know better, but when you live in the country, don't have nearby neighbours, and dogs who will warn of impending visitors, you just don't care!

Great for everyday! Image: She In

This spring, over half of my girls will need new dresses. Dress shopping is a bit of a nightmare. Oh, not because dresses (or skirts) are hard to find, but appropriate dresses (and skirts) are hard to find. Peach is 5'10". Short dresses and skirts are exactly that on her. Very short! The other girls have similar issues. They are all at an age where they want to look feminine, but still be able to do things in their feminine attire. Their mother (aka. me!) draws the line at strappy dresses. Yes they all have strappy dresses and wear them -- with a shrug or sweater! No naked shoulders -- especially in church! (Some Momma legalism here.)

Also great for everyday and to go into the city too! Image: ModCloth

We have a Maurices not too far away and they have great sales! Fortunately they also have very cute dresses and usually appropriate dresses too! I think for the two oldest girls, almost all their dresses are now from Maurices. If not, then they are from one of our local thrift stores. (We often find great things!)

All my girls love lace! This one is for dressy occasions and well, church too! They still like to dress up for church even though our church is pretty casual. Image: ModCloth

For the four youngest girls, we still have great success finding their dresses at the thrift stores or handing them down. It's starting to get more difficult for Squirt and Bella though as they're in that tween stage. I'll have to pull out the boxes soon and see what fits them yet. I have suspicion though that there isn't going to be much. Never mind that some of these dresses I have now been seeing for ten years and I am getting tired of seeing them!!

Super cute and functional!! Image: Shabby Apple

I am beginning to think that shopping online might be a good option. I found a few sights that have a huge choice of seriously cute and decently modest dresses! Modcloth is one that the girls and I all love! Now I just have to get brave enough to make an order.

Have any of you ever ordered online? What has your experience been?

Friday, February 26, 2016

University Round Two

This girl is off to post secondary education in the fall. She was accepted to all three schools that she applied to and has decided to go to her first choice school. She is pretty excited. It's a five year program because it includes co-op terms.

She will be taking Honours Psychology and getting her BSc. and then possibly taking a Masters in Genetic Studies. She is very intelligent, studious, organized, and driven, and knows The One who has blessed her with these gifts, so we have no doubt that she will succeed!

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

    and he will establish your plans.
Proverbs 16: 3 (NIV)



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