Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Room makeover

When we moved in this house six years ago, "J" got to pick the colours for her room.  She was 6 at the time and picked a pink and purple room.  Because she didn't have to share, she got the smallest room.  Her sister came along a year later and ten months after that it was time for them to share a room.  Because she had the smallest room, we decided to give her our master bedroom while we took her room.  So we used some leftover paint and painted her beautiful pink and purple room to suite our needs (well truth is, I don't think hubby would like having a pink and purple room)  Our master bedroom was painted a lovely caramel colour.  Lovely when I was in that room.  Not so lovely to my 7 year old daughter.  We promised her that we would change her room colour as soon as we could.  To make it a bit more girly, we did paint a beautiful tree in there.  

Over the years, we have tried many things to keep the room organized so they could share comfortably.  Unfortunately as "J" gets older, she is needing more and more privacy.  A place to call her own.   Recently I came up with the idea of building "J"  her own private bed complete with a curtain.  So I enlisted my wonderful father's help and so began the bedroom makeover.

Her last bed was mounted up on the wall to give space for Sweet Pea's bed underneath but even still we had two dressers in the room and it just felt so crowded.    Here's a picture of their previous beds..

"J" was tired of having a bed so close to the ceiling and I didn't blame her. As you can see, she didn't have a ladder, just a dresser to climb up with.  In order to take out the dressers, we needed to build the bed with a dresser built in.  Let me tell you, my dad is a genius!  I scoured the internet looking for ideas.  All I had to do is present these ideas to him and he starts building.   What he came up with was beyond my imagination!

 To "J's" delight, because we were going to be taking down her previous bed, we were going to have to do some crack filling and repaint the room.    When she told me what her colour choice was going to be (And yes she convinced Sweet Pea to want that same colour) I wasn't so sure about it, but I got some colour swatches and with a little compromise, we came up with something we both loved.

And now without further ado,.... The pictures....  (p.s. I tried to find a picture of the other side of the room but couldn't so just imagine it.. it's basically a wall and a closet hehe)  Also I didn't get many pictures of the bed building in progress but I did take pictures of the installation when I could.

Bed is in, enclosed, the end wall is drywalled and it is primed.  The hole at the end of the bed is the access point to some storage space we made sure to have.

We decided on this purple for the accent colour since it matches well with her comforter.

Dad built some beautiful shelves to put all her treasures on.

Got colour on the interior wall.  Excuse the mess.. We didn't have a place to put the girls while we made over their room and goodness it's hard to have a workspace and girls living in that same place.

We liked the bookshelf on the other end of the bed so much, we decided to build another one for above her head.  Also found these perfect curtains for cheap and got them up.

Oh and like I said, my dad is a genius so he went ahead and added a pot light to the shelf as well as an electrical outlet so she could charge her ipod on her shelf.

another picture of the shelf at the end of her bed already filled with stuff.  Oh notice that little lap desk?  My dad found it at value village for her!  Isn't it great?  It opens up and dad built a little box under where it opens to store paper and her pencils.

After a LOT of painting and lots of days since I took on this project on my own, I finally got the room completed.  Now you may notice that Sweet Pea's matteress is on the floor.  That's because dad is working on a captains bed for her so we can completely get rid of the dressers all together. It will come probably for not a few more weeks though as time seems to be not in my favor these days.

Behind the door 

Sweet pea's side of the room.  We are still looking for a perfect comforter for her but for now her sister's old rainbow bright quilt works.  Also if you look up in the previous pictures, that white shelf shaped like a house that was on the wall above J's bed, will be installed on the wall above Sweet Pea's bed so she can have a shelf of her own.  She is very excited about this.  I didn't want to put it up until we got her bed in there though just so we don't put any unnecessary holes in the wall. :)

Middle of the room.  That dresser will be gone as soon as Sweet Pea's bed is made. J is asking me to build her a desk in that spot but I may just enjoy the open space for a while.  

J's side of the room.  Can you tell she is just a tiny bit obsessed with zebra print?  My dad gave her the rug for her birthday this year and she was just over the moon.  The curtains are see through so she doesn't get as much privacy as she would like but I have some wonderful plum colored sheets that my dad found in his stash that I am going to sew into the backs of them to make them thicker.

End of J's bed and the closet is to the left.  

And there you have it, I know I had a few of you curious from the remarks I've made on facebook but I really wanted to wait until it was all finished before I shared pictures.  Like I said before, I wasn't crazy about the idea of mint green in the room but I have to say, I love how bright it has made the room.  I never realized how dark that wonderful caramel color made the room until now.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I wrote a whole update on our life but it seemed trivial compared to what was really on my heart to share. What I really was writing this blog post about was what I feel as though God is speaking to me.  In the last few weeks and months I've been struggling. I feel sometimes as though my emotions are out of control. And before you go thinking the worst about me, I do have some valid reasons. However because my very being is so raw and hurt right now, things don't necessarily roll off my back as easily as they once did.  I find myself getting offended and hurt over the littlest things. I've been finding myself becoming resentful and bitter about things that wouldn't have bothered me before.  Anyway, when I am at church, during the worship time, that's when I feel Gods presence in my life the most. That's when He talks to me.  When He teaches me.  Last Sunday morning was not the best of Sunday's. Sweet pea our spirited one woke up with a scowl on her face. As soon as I saw it, I knew we were in for a rough morning and I was right. Getting her dressed for church was a nightmare. It actually required both of us to dress her. One to hold her while the other one dressed her as she kicked and flailed her arms.  It was so bad that she was actually still crying as we were walking into church. I didn't even bother trying to suggest she go to kids church.  Anyway, I was wiped out before church started and as the music started I closed my eyes and just rested in the words that were being sung. The worship team sang a new song but it was a song I had listened to over and over at my house in different times of my life.  Some of the words go like this "You know when I rise and when I fall. When I come or go, You see it all. You hung the stars and You move the sea, and still You know me". As those words washed over me, my mind saw the scene of this morning where we were struggling with our daughter. The scene was a bit different though. I felt as though God was there watching and seeing.  I felt as though he was saying "I see you, I see your struggles, I am here."  I pondered that all day and then promptly forgot about it as I went head first into a very busy, very stress filled week. Then today during the worship time at church, as my emotions rolled around inside me, I was feeling unimportant, even invisible. The instant that thought came into my head, another one crowded it right back out and it was this. "Even when I am feeling invisible, I am NOT invisible to the one who matters most."  And that's what I felt like I needed to share with the world.   We will have times where life isn't going as planned, where we feel as though we are not seen by anyone but I want everyone to know and remember God sees us. He knows us, He is there no matter what.  That brings me so much comfort in the hard times. I hope I don't forget it this week and remember His promises. I hope this message has reminded you too.  Even when you are feeling invisible, you are not invisible to the only one who matters. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Books versus movies

Tonight my small son said something that made my heart sing.....

Wait let's go back. 

A long time ago, when I was first toying with the idea of homeschooling, I envisioned children settling in with their noses in books. I thought surely homeschooling will give me the opportunity to turn my children into lovers of the written word. After all, I love to read and their father loves it even more.  

I had heard that reading to your children from an early age helps to foster the love of reading.  We started collecting books and reading to that girl before she was even born. But as we started to teach our oldest how to read, it became apparent that this was not as easy as we thought. Much to my dismay, she struggled and struggled to learn to read. Although she was reading small words at an early age, it took her years to learn to read well.  By this time reading had become a chore to her.  

When it came time to teach the second child how to read, I changed my strategy and though he learned to read much quicker he still did not love to read. For these two children reading is not something that was fun for them, they only read when they are asked to.  Sometimes I can get "J" to read by finding something that interests her but it is not often that I succeed.  As time went on, I had to assign books and force them to read things just to keep their skills up. I came up with reward systems and incentives. These worked a bit,"T"was allowed to stay up after bedtime and read. This is when he started to really improve. 

Then it was the third child's turn to learn to read. After my first two experiences, I dreaded the thought of teaching him.  "I" was eager to learn to read like his siblings. I marvelled at how good his memory was and how quickly he understood concepts.  Reading clicked with him quickly and a month into first grade he was already reading well above his age level.  I would find him reading by himself nobody around. But still his brother and sisters influenced him. They thought reading was boring and so he must think that too.  He would much rather watch a tv show or play a video game than read.  Still, I would find him curled up on the couch reading his little sister a story or just reading to himself. Where ever he saw words, he would be reading them. Signs, cereal boxes, whatever. It got to the point where we had to be careful what we were reading around him because he was a quick reader and would read over your shoulder.   Phew. Finally a child who didn't think reading was the worse torture imaginable. 

So a couple months back, I decided that I would read "The Chronicles of Narnia" series to him. I had tried before to read to them but they didn't have the attention span. I wondered if we would be able get through them even now because he is a very active boy and gets distracted easily.   Low and behold, when we started the first book, (The Magicians Nephew) the story captivated him. We finished that book and moved on to the second book (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe). Now I have a rule and I declared that rule years ago in hopes it would get my older two reading that if there is a movie about a book, they were not allowed to watch that movie without reading the book.  So when we started reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I told him at there was a movie about it. He was so excited because he just loves movies.   This book captured his imagination even more and we ended up reading the book in two days. (He would read until he got tired and then I would read for a while). So finally tonight was the night he has been waiting for.  TV night. (Another one of my rules, we only have so many nights where the tv goes on, I am a meanie I know). 

So after supper we settled down to watch the movie. We were three quarters through the movie when he said it.......

"You know Mom, I like books better than movies."  When I asked him why he thought that, he said "Books tell you what the people are thinking and movies don't." 

There you go. My heart sang.   I finally have a lover of the written word. Now that's not to say that he isn't going to grumble about having to read something or that he is better than my other two. I will still continue to encourage all my children to find things to read that interest them and I am open to suggestions. I gave "J" a list of books I would like her to read over the summer, she has already read one of them and has found a series at the library that she likes. My sister has also introduced Archie Comics to her and she is reading those.  We will be going to the library three times a week for reading clubs this summer and I have taught both "J" and "T" how to look up books in the library's online catalogue. Both of them have their own library card.  Reading will always be something that I encourage but I am glad that at least one of my children does not need to be prodded or nagged into reading. 


Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Days....

Well, summer has finally arrived!  It's 30 degrees outside, the kids are playing with the hose and I'm sitting inside in the air conditioning!  We got our heat pump last fall so we never got to try out the air conditioning and on a day like today, oh it's nice to have!  Anyway, here I sit in the air conditioning and I thought I better up date my blog. It will mostly be pictures.  I've been trying harder to take pictures with my real camera more.  I found that I was only ever taking pictures with my phone and those were always blurry or pixelly.  So I've started pulling out my big camera and now I have to show them off!

Isn't this just the picture of summer?

A couple of weeks ago, poor "T" caught a virus that left the inside of his mouth and tongue covered in sores.  The poor guy didn't eat anything but pediasure for two weeks.

Last week, I decided to teach "J" how to make a spaghetti dinner.  She did a wonderful job with it.  I had her do all the steps while I documented the whole thing!  

This one was taken by my phone.. see the difference in quality?
She even cut her finger and kept on going!
She doesn't like mushrooms can ya tell?
Opening cans is hard!

Learning to cook is not a clean job!

Ready to eat!
Very pleased with her work!

She even made dessert!!  

Now for today's pictures!  I found an idea to make a sprinkler out of a pool noodle so we set to work.  The kids had a blast with it as well.  

"I" ready to start the hose!

Love the look she gives "I" after he throws the water in her face!

Lollypop wanted to have some fun chasing kids too.

"I" got knocked to the ground.

Lollypop saw her opportunity and "I" didn't suspect a thing!

AND IMPACT!  Not sure if that was what Lollypop meant to do or not but it was pretty funny!

They got thirsty.. haha no they were just trying to get Lollypop to come and take a drink again so I could get a picture of her.  I had missed it when she was drinking earlier.  

She's a pretty cute puppy all by herself anyway.  Anyway, all in all, it's been a pretty wonderful summer day! And that's all the pictures I have for now!  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Self esteem

I realize I have not posted in quite a while. I've not given up being grateful just haven't found time to blog about it.   There is something I've been thinking about I've been thinking about lately and wanted some input. As "J" is getting older and in that tween stage, one of the things I worry about is how to guide her through this stage and her teenage years while keeping her self esteem intact.   One thing you need to know about me is that I've never really cared about fashion or what looks right. My old roommate used to always ask my advice in what she should wear and it always drove me crazy. Lol. Now I find my own daughter doing it to me.  I usually tell her that I am not the fashion police!  The other day, she was having a fashion crisis and couldn't decide which shirt to wear with her pants and was making quite a big deal about it. I lost my patience and said "who are you trying to impress anyway?"  She said "Myself! And I'm not impressed!"  I laughed but then it occurred to me that this is what I want her mindset to be. Not dressing to impress someone, but dressing to impress herself. I realized by rolling my eyes and telling her I was not the fashion police that I was telling her that how she looked didn't matter.  I want her to feel good about the way she looks but I don't want her to think that looks are the only thing that makes her beautiful. I want to tell her all things about her that make her beautiful.  She is loyal, friendly, kind, generous, creative, polite, talented and much more. She has such a wonderful spirit and these are the things that make her beautiful. So those out there is internet land, how do you or did you instil in your daughters that sense of beauty in a world that puts so much stock in the outside appearance?   Or those of you who don't have daughters, how did your parents nurture your self esteem.  Thanks!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Being alive

Today I'm grateful for little moments like having my two youngest climb up on my lap (the dog tried to as well) with books for me to read before bed. Grateful for these two little beings that make my life so joyful. Grateful to have some time reading a book to my oldest as well. Grateful for the conversation I had today with "T" about being grateful. Grateful....

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Tonight hubby and I attended the monthly extended leadership meetings for our church. We recently have been asked to join the team as servant leaders.  Tonight I am grateful for our church leadership. The Godly men and women that make up our pastoral team. It is so awesome to see how wise our leaders are and how open they are to our questions and concerns. Being part of this leadership team has really opened my eyes to the amount of work and thought goes into running a church.   It makes me want to pray for our leadership that much more.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Healthy again

I'm back and today I'm grateful that for the first time in 5 weeks, everyone washealthy  enough to go to church.   Although Hubby has the cold that is going around, the kids are all healthy and I am healthy.  I'm hoping hubby will feel better soon.  

Anyway, even though I wasn't blogging it,  I have still purposely thinking about what I was grateful for each day. I know the kids were as well. As I was passing our grateful bulletin board, I noticed some new notes. One said "Dad's mashed potatoes".  So sweet. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014


On top of three kids having chicken pox, I've been slammed with a nasty cold. I'm still being grateful... Just not blogging about it. I'll be back when my house is healthy. Today I'm grateful that hubby is doing dishes in the kitchen while I'm tucked into bed. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My boys

Today I'm grateful that my boys are pretty easy going when they are sick. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

3 days of grateful

It's been quite a weekend. Both boys came down with chicken pox on Saturday.  Sweet Pea has some sort of cold/fever/cough but no spots.  I've been working on crocheting slippers for people so I didn't get to blog my gratefuls. So here is three days worth. 

Saturday I was grateful for a night out with some fun ladies to celebrate my wonderful friends birthday.  After being mostly stuck at home for the last  two weeks and looking at another two weeks at least stuck at home, it was good to wt out, laugh and relax. 

Sunday I was grateful to be able to go to church and have my love tank filled up. We have such an amazing church family and I love being in community with them. 

Today after Sweet Pea coughed all night and woke up this morning crying, trying to cough and gasping, I am grateful to have a doctor who is not overbooked and can see my little sick girl on such short notice. And that the appointment lined up almost perfectly for Jeff to come home for a late lunch to watch the rest of the sickies.  

I am so thankful for this life. As crazy as it gets sometimes, I am so thankful. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Our grateful board

Today I am grateful for my kids and their enthusiasm for life.

Today we repurposed a bulletin board that was hanging up in our hallway. This board had coupons that expired over a year ago, random old papers, drawings from when "J" was 7.  So we decided to make it into our grateful board.  I have been loving this grateful project. Even when I have had a terrible day or feel really down, as I reflect on my day to the things I am grateful for it lifts my spirits. I thought it would be great to get the whole family in on the project.  As soon as the kids realized what I was doing they couldn't stop writing things down. I eventually had to make them put their pencils/pens down and get back to their schoolwork.   I took a few pictures of the things they were grateful for just to share. I love my kids hearts.

This one was Rhinos. It is hard to read because he wrote his G backwards but it says "Our God"

Sweet pea loves school. I think she is probably the only kid who would put this on the grateful board. Haha. 

There you have it our new family project.  The kiddies can hardly wait to fill daddy in on it when he gets home for lunch.