Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day - Part 4

Random parts of our long weekend...

Strawberries, dipped in white chocolate and sugar, that I dyed blue. Yummy! I forgot to take a picture until all the pretty ones were eaten already. Here are the "ugly" ones left. Delicious! Happy Memorial Day, and thank you to everyone who serves in the military. We have a few good friends deployed that we miss very much, and can't wait until they return!
Campout! They fell asleep watching movies together.
We had a music practice on Saturday too, for this song on Sunday - Only Ben knew the song, so we all had to learn it. It turned out very well, although I believe the sound balance was more "even" in person/live, than it is on the video. In any case, fun, a great song, and a worshipful Sunday!

Josh, Ben, Whitney & Jonathan, Anna, and Me
A cook out at Auntie Noni's! The kids love this tent, but not the bugs that get in it:-)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Part 3

Botanical Gardens! It is a very hot day today, so we need to cool off a little!
There are pretty gardens everywhere, but we were too hot to browse around. We needed to find the water!

Not completely impressed. It took him awhile to get used to the idea of spraying water

True to their personalities. Kenna is in the middle of the action, Brooks skirts around the sidelines, nervously

I brought a book to read, but didn't really get the chance...

She is in love with water, and fun!

playing together

Getting accustomed to the water. He really loved it at the end and was soaking wet!

Memorial Day - Part 2

If you count the phases in the bathroom remodel by trips to Lowes or Home Depot...this is phase 462. Or so it feels like...:-) It's coming along very well...

A new crawl space access point was created for easily fixing future plumbing issues. Trap door thingy is being made to cover the hole.
This is what happens when you leave children with their food, and go to help hang drywall...he could reach the linen drawer, and it wasn't closed tight. He decided to wear a few towels.
Plumbing is all in, and no leaks! Lighting and fan are in, and work. That room had never been grounded before, so it was a little ordeal to get everything grounded and squared away. Thankfully we have an expert at our disposal. Drywall and durock are being cut and hung. It's coming along folks!! We're very anxious! I checked on the shipping status of everything we ordered online (sink & body sprays), and they should be here tomorrow!! So we have a toilet and a tub...we can't use the shower portion quite yet (and only the tub if we don't splash!)

Memorial Day - Part 1

We've had a busy long weekend! I'll break up the posts so one isn't so obnoxiously long. We started off Saturday with a trip to the beach (minus Daddy so he could work on the bathroom)

We played Frisbee

We "surfed"

And splashed

and collected rocks & shells to show Daddy

we saw a blimp

it was a very large blimp! Look!

Cutie in his memorial day shorts!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spelling Lessons

Here is a re-post of the post I lost when blogger went awol earlier this month...not sure its' 100% the same, but it's close. (Come on, my memory ain't THAT good folks, seriously:-)

There is nothing wrong with changing up the spelling of any name. Guaranteed no one will ever know how to spell Ashleigh, Rylee, Emmalee. So you will have to learn to live with that. Don't let it bug you, if your wacky spelling makes you happy, go for it. Just try to keep it as classy as you can. (Let me pick on Lauryn/Lauren for a minute, 'cause they're tough and can take it:-) My sister Lauryn is a great example of this. I love the Y in that name, it's so pretty. Y's are pretty letters. (My mom has a thing for y's:-). Lauren is a popular name though (it wasn't when she was born in the early 80's...she was at the start of that trend), and that is just what she gets most of the time, Lauren. What can you do? Nothing. Change it when you can, ignore it otherwise. As you age, it will only be the ladies at the drycleaners spelling it wrong on your tag. Who cares. My sister's name is Lauryn Amanda, by the way. I love the way it looks, it's very pretty when written out, and I also love it because I am used to it. Well done by my parents...her name is one of my faves among us Kennedy's.

That being said, it does also depend on what your eye is used to, as I just mentioned. My sister in law is Lauren, and Brian prefers that spelling, mostly I think, because he is used to seeing it that way. Partially because he doesn't share my love for the beauty of Y. And also because he's much more traditional than I am, and so changing up the spelling of a common name is pretty taboo for him. Is there a right or wrong? It would seem that most of the world prefers Lauren. That would make Lauren right and Lauryn wrong. Changing up spelling will definitely put you in the minority...but there is no right or wrong about it. Popular opinion should not matter. You have to go with what you think looks the best.

Consider all the options. Jonathan, Jonathon, Peyton, Payton, Paityn, Jaydon, Jaeden, Jaden, etc. Just because you've only seen it one way, doesn't mean it can't be changed. Keep in mind that certain spellings may work to feminize a name, like Paityn. We had a similar choice with choosing the name of our son, Layton, Lleyton, Leyton, Leighton... Vowels are oftentimes switchable, so try it out, and see if you love it! There is no right or wrong, no matter how normal or strange your particular tastes may be!...But on the flip side, try and dampen your enthusiasm for the creative and know that Aaleeshya might be taking it a little far:-D

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just another Wed.

Last night was the Cubbies graduation! Next year Kenna will be in Sparks, and Brooks in 4/5 yr old Cubbies. With all the crazies around the house, I forgot to grab my camera as I left, so I didn't get any pics. (This one taken by Kaye, stole from facebook). Kenna was hamming it up, waving to everyone from the stage, sweetly, yet dramatically. What? You mean all these people aren't here to see ME? She'll be great at theater:-)
The reason I forgot the camera...my house is DESTROYED!
All the new lighting is wired up, and we're putting in a FAN! We didn't have one at all before!

Some plumbing re-workage.  I don't really have any idea what I am looking at here, but Brian said the way the toilet was hooked up was ridiculous, almost like it hadn't originally been there or something. He has it a little better now I guess. Replacing lots of OLD cast iron pipes.
Brian's super excited about the body sprays in the shower, they're all plumbed in!

The sink is being delivered on Tues, and the body sprays on Wed-ish. We have a long weekend coming up (YES!), so I am sure we'll pick out our tile and get the drywall up. Tonight the remainder of the subfloor is going down, and new toilet hooked up so we can potty at home again:-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Instead of posting more gross, ugly, fixing plumbing pictures I thought I'd post some inspiration we are drawing from, as we put this room together!

We knew we needed to save space in the entry way area, and at least give the allusion of a larger room, and we decided a bowl sink would be the best way to maximize our spaciousness. We bought this sink below. It should be delivered soon!!! Can't wait. It's chrome on the base and faucet, which is more mod than our normal style, but it was such a STEAL, that we couldn't pass it  up and decided to go for a slightly different look in that little room!
Our new sink! Should arrive in a couple days
Lighting...we will be putting recessed lighting in the ceiling (one in shower, two in room), so we just need "accent lighting" not really for the purpose of making the room brighter. We bought 2 of these at Lowes as our first choice to hang on either side of the mirror.
Brian was having minor doubts about the spacing and electrical issues, so if we can't do the 2 sconces on the sides of the mirror, this is the backup plan. We bought it, since we saved 10% off that whole bill, and will just return either of the two choices that don't work out.
We are doing some modern-ness, but pulling it back a little, with some of the features of the room (like the style of the mirror, etc). We are thinking of doing shelves, similar to this pic above the toilet...for towels. Glass or wood...we haven't decided yet
Source: hgtv.com via Darla on Pinterest

I don't want a towel bar beside the sink, just a hand towel ring, like this one. We have bath towel hooks on the back of the bathroom door, so we don't need a towel bar I'm thinking!
Source: hgtv.com via Darla on Pinterest

See that tall cabinet way in the back? We will be building a similar 'floating' cabinet (a bit narrower and not quite as deep), for storage purposes. It'll have a solid door. Since we don't have a vanity, we'll need to keep things in there. This will go in between the toilet and the sink. We are still keeping the linen closet in that room too, which has storage in it as well, obviously.
Source: hgtv.com via Darla on Pinterest

Right beside the sink, on the other side, on the wall, we will put floating shelves, again, either glass or wood, they have yet to be purchased. This will serve more for practical purposes than decorative. Just so we have a place to set the curling iron, makeup, etc, that we are using, since there isn't anyplace around the sink to set anything down. Loving the look below...

So what do you think? We're on our way for sure! We have settled on a travertine floor that we can afford, and travertine in the shower surround too. We want to keep it clean, fresh and simple in there, so the only thing I am not 100% decided on yet is paint. A clean shade of white, or a really pale crisp colour? I have a feeling, if we go for wood in some places, we will likely make it dark (my fave), and then we'll do a white. But if we go with glass in a lot of places, we'll do a colour. But WHICH colour? Love the look of dark brown and turquoise together, and the sink is that colour, so maybe something pale turquoise? I've got my thinking cap on!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Destruction

Monday night - more demo. Empty out vanity and medicine cabinet, remove everything including toilet, and we discovered a small crack/leak. New toilet goes on the list. Begin more demo! ...Break a pipe, have water shooting all around the room. Shut off water to entire house, Brian - go to Lowes, exchange tub for a non-cracked one, and pick up a little plumbing piece to replace the broken one. Darla - go get pizza. Back home - fix plumbing, turn water back on, continue with the demo...
Enlist the help off all our tall friends:-) Thank you Jordan and Tom! It went much faster with you here! I send the kids over to Jack's house for a couple hours, it was easier to get things done without all their under-foot excitement:-)
Ready for a dump run!
The only thing you can recognize here is the window!
the little white pipe at the bottom of pic is the one that broke (now replaced!)
Here's where the sink and mirror go!
So today, I have spent the day not only with no tub, but with no toilet either! Can I say, we would not be able to do this (at least not like this!) if it weren't for our dear Lauren next door, letting us use her toilet & shower. It's like going to a bathhouse while camping! :-)

Tonight is Tues - we'll aim to get the rest of the floor cut out and the subfloor in, the new toilet & tub installed, and some other plumbing/pipes and electrical issues worked out and changed around (or started on anyway).

A huge blessing we are very grateful for...no termites! Thank you Lord!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pretty Dresses

When I was little, my mom used to make all our clothes. She used to do smocking on my dresses. Not sure if it's really in style anymore, or maybe no one makes things by hand anymore...anyway, I don't think I see that much these days. When I was little, lots of my dresses had smocking on them. It's so pretty!

I recently found (hanging in my closet) a yellow dress that I used to wear when I was Kenna's age. I thought I had a pic of me in that exact dress, but it seems I don't. Here is me, age 5, in a smocked dress, made by my mom
It kinda looks like Brooks in a dress, doesn't it?:-)
Here is Kenna, age 5, wearing one of my old dresses!

Piggy Banks!

The kids are getting older and earning money now. Look what I made for them to help sort out their money! Three little milk cartons, "spend", "save", "give". It's never too early to start teaching them what to do with the money they work hard for!!

Brooks' is the bolder coloured one, Kenna's the more feminine one. Grey doesn't get one, he thinks money is food. They are SOOOO cute!
They are easy to add money into, through the little spout, and then, in case the bills are tricky, I left the top "open" by closing it with the small clip. Can't wait to start using these! (Just made them Sunday night)
Early Saturday morning K & B were outside picking up more pine cones to earn more money to spend at the store. They each had $5 to spend!! From now on, we'll be splitting it all up, so they can't spend it all:-) Here they are will their spoils!
I am nice to the cashier, by trading out the thousands of pennies for 1 bill at home:-)

My Favourite Things

On Saturday night we watched the new Narnia movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I remember my dad reading us this book, and I believe it's my fave of the serious (although I have not read the Magician's Nephew).
I loved Aslan's words in the closing of the Dawn Treader movie... here is the quote from the book:

“It isn't Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.

In any case, quotes are some of my favourite things. They are so inspirational and fun. I love reading them over and over. Click here to read Narnia quotes I posted a few years ago. Read the comments for excellent ones from my Aunt.

The Carnage - Video

Alright, well, here's the story...the destruction of the bathroom!! We had a really nice weekend, it was relaxing, and Brian was HOME almost the whole day (short bit of work to do only!). So rare and wonderful. We actually spend a good part of our afternoon working on a budget.

Because of the excessive amount of tools Brian moves in and out of the house daily...and because we've been robbed (from his truck) way too many times, we would like to get our portion of the house rental ready - that way we could purchase or rent elsewhere, with a big 2 car garage etc. So we're slowly working toward that goal, we would like to not have to sell this house, because it's such a good money maker, being a duplex.

Three main areas needing attention, Kitchen, Bathroom, and Trim. - We don't have enough money for the kitchen, so we began pricing the bathroom out, item by item, deciding what we want to do in there. We figured out we could do a new tub, new sink, tile floor and tile surround.

We've been having problems with our tub drain, and it's not able to be snaked (something wrong - old pipes), for awhile, but Sunday morning was the end. It stopped draining TOTALLY. Brian tried again to snake it etc. It wasn't happening.

So we bumped up the bathroom remodel from June, to NOW:-) I know Brian was wishing this happened on Saturday, giving him that one more day to work on it. We can only afford materials, not subcontractors, so he is doing everything himself, which will be in between all his other work obligations.

Brian went to Lauren's to shower, I got the kids ready for church, I loaded them in the car and left the house to the first sounds of the sledgehammer. The goal was to get the old tub & tile out, and the new tub in, and the durrock up (the underlayment for the new tile). All in one day...

Coming home from chruch, this is what we saw: !! I wasn't planning ahead, obviously, so this is as close to a "before" pic as you will get, if you have never seen our bathroom. Notice how large the vanity is, making the entryway very narrow (something we aim to correct).
A hole cut in the floor...you can see Brian down there, fixing the plumbing
It was a lot of hard hard work! The tiles were cemented, literally, to the wall.
Now everything's out, it's time to cut out the sub floor! (Apparently tile cannot go down on that diagonal stuff, Brian says, so I believe him:-)
Holes in floor, everywhere!! Or 50+ year old tub was cast iron and a beast to get out of there. Brian can be grateful I'm so super strong and helpful;-). Sub floor was ready to be laid under the tub for the installation...
Issue #1: floor went down nicely, tub, almost in place, when...Brian noticed the new tub had a crack in it. It was about 10 minutes after 8pm...which is 10 mins after Lowes closes. That means we're done working for the night. Booo! The new tub is hanging out like this, until it can be exchanged. We made a plank to cover the hole, so we can still reach the toilet.
We're ready for that tile!...Some good news, we purchased everything we needed, except the tile itself, we saved 10% on our whole order, and we are under budget! Wahoo! We still have to decide on the tile...once the sink is delivered we'll have a better idea of what colour direction we want to go. Two frontrunner choices are slate or travertine. ? Who knows what we'll decide. Leaning towards travertine at this point, we think!