Daily Life, Remodel

Under-Construction

Pretty much all I have been doing every day is demolition. So much work! I keep going all day. And just when I think I can take a break I get a phone call. The window company wants to know if they can install the windows the next morning. Of course. Wait! I’m not ready for this yet! I figured I’d have a weeks notice not a few hours. I called Alex to tell him the news and then I got to work.

Armed with wasp killer spray and a crowbar I ventured out to dismantle the facade on the front of my house so we could remove the windows. My neighbor was watching, of course, but so were all the construction workers that were replacing the gas line on my street. My neighbor tells it that he saw me slightly lifting one board and spraying some wasps. He thought I was just out there to kill the bugs. The the next time he looked out his window he saw I had ripped off a bunch of the house. Kind of a bit much. I am great at tearing out the old. Putting up the new? Not so much. But I really have to because as nice as the new windows are, it doesn’t matter if the rest of the house looks awful.

The problem is that a lot of it got destroyed in demo and taken to the dump so I can’t put the old stuff back on. It is a veritable can of worms that I have opened. Not sure how to put it all back together. Well, I have an idea but executing it might be a little bit of an issue. I guess I haven’t learned to have a back up plan yet. Pretty sure I should because renovations always have unexpected setbacks.

I will say this for the new windows and door- Awesome! The yellow 70’s glass is gone and there is so much more light and view. I walk into the room and because there is so much light I think the door is open. It isn’t. It is just new windows that let in so much more light. I love it. The kids say they miss the yellow windows. Really kids? They’ll get used to it quickly. They have no choice because I am not switching back.

Now that the windows are done I think it is on to the electric. If I can get that squared away quickly then I can get the drywall back up on the walls and back to a sense of normalcy. Wish me luck.

Remodel

Demo Time

This is what we’ve been up to this week. So much work! I spent the week cleaning out all the cupboards and moving back into the basement kitchen and then Friday and Saturday was spent ripping it all apart. The more we tear into the house the more we see how much it needed it. Wood that has seen better days, mismatched paneling, paneling, plastic trim, wood trim, fiberboard trim, moldy subflooring, non-working electrical outlets, burned out outlets, worn out cabinets, mismatched cabinets, and so much more. My son’s friend was over and asked why we were taking it out (before we’d done any demo) and I drew a blank. I couldn’t remember why we were doing this whole thing. Oh yeah, electrical issues. The rest was livable but when some outlets just stopped working we got worried the house would burn down.

As we planned I thought it would be funny to put a plastic skeleton in the walls when we put them back up. I’d leave a note on it but it made me laugh. While we were taking the walls down we actually found skeletons. Mouse skeletons. Lots of them. Ugh. You can guarantee it that I am going to make the walls mouse tight.

Alex and I didn’t do it alone. We gave the kids gloves, chisels, hammers, screwdrivers, and drills and told them to get to work. It was a “fun” family activity. It was good to work together and I hope that they, like me, will be proud of their work and when it is done they can say what parts they did and helped with. Turns out Lauren is lot like me. Give her a task and she will keep going until it is done. Alex had to tell us we needed to stop to go and eat.

I am going to call the electrician on Monday and get the electricity all fixed so the walls can go back up in the next week or so because it is difficult to live in a construction zone with exposed studs, insulation and wiring.

One thing that came to mind as Michael and I were dismantling a 70’s decorative fixture is that trends and decorative fashion doesn’t last forever. It was a big pain to remove. Luckily it was just nailed in (with 100 giant thick decorative nails). I look at the farmhouse shiplap walls that are so in style right now and I cringe. I love the way they look, don’t get me wrong, but I can see how big of a pain it will be to remove years down the road when it is no longer the style and everyone tries to remove the glued on boards. I guess everything is like that. Styles come and go and eventually stuff wears out and needs to be replaced. But I would rather just change paint color and curtains than rip off shiplap and wallpaper. Just sayin’.

We’ll see how long the style I pick holds up.

Daily Life

Weekend Ramblings

The weekend started out with busy waiting. In order to save gas money I took Alex to work. We drove the 45 minutes to get him there at 7 a.m. He was off to work whilst I had errands to prepare for. Grocery shopping for two weeks worth of food so I don’t have to go out again anytime soon. I sat in the car in a parking lot and planned the menu while I waited for the stores to open. Sam’s Club opened at 9 so I had two hours to wait. I planned all the meals (tedious- but since they are written in my planner maybe I’ll be smart and reuse them at a later date), I planned the day out, read my scriptures and then called my sister to talk for awhile. I’d left all the kids home with my oldest babysitting. I love having a built in babysitter.

I decided to go to Hobby Lobby first because I needed a couple decorative storage boxes. I walked up and down every single aisle (love that they are open again!) and they didn’t have what I was looking for. But I did find a few things I love and couldn’t resist buying. Then I thought I would check out Tjmaxx and see if they had what I was looking for. Waste of time. It is sad to see a store so empty. The shelves were mostly empty. There were just a few knick-kacks. Hopefully things get back to normal soon.

I finally got to Sam’s and managed to get through in less than an hour. They even had toilet paper stacked super high. And there were no limits on items like the were last time I went.

I picked Alex up and we went and had lunch. There is an Indian restaurant we’d been wanting to go to for years so we had lunch there. This particular restaurant has two locations one was where we were and the other is in our old college town and is connected to a gas station. In spite of the location, it has really good food. The last time we’d gone I was two days away from having my fourth baby and barely fit in the booth- like I had to squeeze myself into the booth and I was pinned between the table and chair back. It was ridiculous but made it memorable. The new coronavirus measures put in place made for an interesting meal but the food was good. What is interesting about Indian cuisine is how it resembles Guatemalan food in flavor. Alex said the flavors are reminiscent of each other because they use a lot of the same ingredients.

Our plan after eating was to go get some new shoes for both of us. We’d worn ours out. I found a new pair of workout shoes and Alex found some comfortable ones for work.

Shopping days aren’t my favorite. It takes so much time. Planning, driving, shopping, driving, and putting it away. Luckily the kids can help with putting it away. I don’t think they mind so much because then they see what I got and can see what they get to eat. They eat so much!

Later I did give two of the boys haircuts and Alex as well. They all needed it. I like when its warm outside so I can cut their hair outside and keep the hair mess outside. Cutting hair is low on my list of things I like to do. Actually it is not even on my list of things I like to do. But when I can save a bunch of money then I’ll do it. Then I can go pay someone to cut my hair soon. It is down below my waist and it is getting a bit out of control. I just don’t know what to do with it.

A storm came blowing in on Saturday afternoon and Alex and I went outside in the windstorm for fun to watch it. The actual rain was just blowing by about a mile to the east so we enjoyed seeing the clouds speed by. The wind gusts would come in waves and I could hear it coming as it whipped through the trees with a low, loud whoosh!

Sunday we had church at home and probably will for a while yet. I can’t see us being able to keep masks on all the kids at church. We’ll see. The lesson I gave was on making good choices and being kind. We had singing time and it was so fun. We went through some longer songs with 7-8 verses and sang them at different speeds. The kids loved it.

Since it was a chilly and rainy afternoon we worked on a puzzle I had been saving. It was an Eric Dowdle puzzle of Old Nauvoo. Alex and I were married in the Nauvoo Temple so it was a fun reminiscent puzzle to do. It was 500 pieces and I’m surprised we got it done in just a couple hours and one sitting.

Before bed we watched a scripture video about what we’ll be studying this coming week. I love all the stories but this is a particularly good one. The kids all sat and watched it and we discussed some of the doctrine if talked about.

Right before it got dark I checked the weather. That storm Alex and I watched, that was a cold front coming in. Snow was forecast for the next morning. Yep. Snow. In June. Alex and I went out and covered the cold sensitive plants- tomatoes and squash. The weather wasn’t supposed to freeze but we covered them just in case. We didn’t want to lose the months of work and have to buy big plants. This is the first year we’ve grown the whole garden from seed rather than get the plants from the store. It’s looking good. We have tons of tomatoes, squash, carrots, cabbage, onions, strawberries, raspberries, and radishes. So many radishes. Alex pickled radishes last week and we have so many more. We have 13 tomato plants. If all goes well, I’ll be super busy canning tomato sauce this fall.

That was the weekend. Just kind of a chill weekend which I am totally okay with.

Daily Life

Keeping Busy

Boy am I beat. I just kept going all day today. And yesterday, come to think of it. There’s no middle ground. Go go go or sit and veg. I sat down and wrote out a list and we knocked out 90% of it today. I finished painting the baseboards in the living room and cleaned the room up. Mopped it all under all the furniture even. Then the boys mowed the lawn. I organized the toys and I didn’t have the kids help me. They had a chance and I did show them the garbage bag. I threw a couple of broken and miscellaneous toys away. They will never know.

I got the kitchen floors all mopped while Alex was building a closet. Later when I was supposed to be watching a movie I was working on my planner and when I started getting antsy I got up and deep cleaned my bathroom. Like took the toilet seat off and scrubbed it deep clean. It was after nine at night and I was cleaning.

But it was a good day aside from the cleaning. When i was about to wash the door to paint it Noah came running up with what I thought was a mouse in his hand. It was a baby bird!

It is a sandpiper. So cute. It ran away as soon as we put it in a safer place. It could run but not fly yet. I hope it is okay.

Later Noah gave me another gift. We play this game where he puts something in a box and gives it to me and I act so surprised. Well he brought me a box and I opened it and it was a real surprise- an old container of worms for fishing. I told him what it was and he was grossed out. I hope he continues to play the game with me but just not with worms.

Elizabeth had a rough kind of day. She licked an ice cube and her tongue stuck. She had no experience with that and ripped her tongue away. Some of it was left on the ice cube. Her tongue was bleeding and she was screaming. I guarantee she won’t be doing that again. I felt bad for the poor dear.

I am tired now and whether or not the kids want to go to bed they have to.

Daily Life

Plan to Fail

You know that saying, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail”? It felt like my motto lately and I was tired of it.

Yesterday I was tired and a bit ornery. I did not want to get up and walk. I did not want to get up and exercise. I’ve been down this road before and I knew where it went. Skip one day and it turns into two and then you stop all together. I got up. It’s why I walk on Sunday- it is just something I do no matter what. I’ve been at it for a month now and I don’t want to quit. I even exercised and it was hard but it didn’t hurt. Until this morning. Then I thought about it and realized that I did at least 60 push ups. They weren’t all the way down and I was on my knees but I did them and I have never done close to that amount before.

I am starting to grow up. Is it fun? No. Is it hard? Yes. Can I do hard things? Yes.

Yesterday Benjamin was assigned a video to watch for geography class. He didn’t want to watch it. What else is new? These kids fight me every step of the way. As hard as this homeschool thing is, I am starting to figure it and the kids out; when to push and how hard. Now that it is almost over.

This speech is so good. I made him watch it. I had seen a bit of it floating around Facebook weeks ago but the whole thing is worth the watch. It was motivating for me and applicable since I’d been thinking along those lines lately. I needed to change up how I was operating.

I bought a planner yesterday. I gathered my stuff together and started listing what needed to be done. On an old schedule I had made I had a deep cleaning task assigned to each day of the month with the idea that if everything is deep cleaned once a month then it only takes a little chunk of time rather than hours. I looked and the days task was living room baseboards. Hmmm. They weren’t painted yet. Wiping primed baseboards is a pain. It wouldn’t look clean if I did it. So I got the sand paper out, sanded down the nail holes Alex had filled when he installed the baseboards and then found the paint. What?! You read right. I not only painted the baseboards (the half that had been prepped- I have the other half of the room to do still) but I washed all the trim around the door, entry, and windows and put a fresh coat on them. It looks so nice! It had been looking worn down and dingy. No more. I was so proud of myself. I felt so accomplished. I made a plan to finish the rest of the room this week.

I used to do projects all the time. All the time. There isn’t a corner of this house I haven’t done something to (for better or for worse) and I had lost my steam, my motivation, my desire to do anything really. I just did the bare minimum and was just getting by and passing time. It is a bad rut to be stuck in. But I think I am finally clawing my way out.

I realized as I was thinking over all the little things that are slowly changing and shifting, that my prayers are being answered. They aren’t all lighting and thunder bolts, heavenly visions or anything. Just an idea here and there, a shift in perspective, little changes, course corrections that make a big difference in the long run.

Noah is a funny kid and lately he has been saying this phrase in a funny voice akin to Roz in the Monsters Inc. movie. He uses the voice and says “God is always watching you. Always watching.” It is so random and so funny. And so true. God is invested in us, in our lives, the little things. All we have to do is pay attention and we’ll see it.