Thursday, April 30, 2009

How many siblings is TOO many?

I'm reading the Duggar book, 20 and Counting, for the third time. I really enjoy this book! The stories, the testimonies, are all so real. I love the fact that they are willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly, rather than sugar-coat their lives to make it seem like everything in their home is perfect. No one would believe that anyway.

So many people are critical of the Duggars, though. I find it astounding how people will nit-pick at things and create scenarios that don't exist or exaggerate what they think is obvious because they only see what's on the surface. I thought I'd take a look at their family from the perspective of how I grew up, and see just how different they are from other families.

There were 4 kids in my household. I'm the oldest. My mom's intention was to have just 2 children, but lo and behold, her second pregnancy produced twins. She went from one to three in one fell swoop. It was hard for her, because I was 4 1/2 years old and the twins were born the same month I started half-day kindergarten. It was a lot of work, that's for sure. Just when she thought she had everything under control, along comes my baby sister when I was 9 1/2. The difference, of course, was that now I was old enough to help, and even the twins were almost 5 so they could do their part as well. It was expected that we all pitch in, but as the oldest more was expected of me. At the age of 9 my mother began teaching me to cook. I could prepare breakfast for my brother & sister so my mom could tend to the baby, and even prepare lunch if necessary. I was in charge of fixing the beds because my younger siblings couldn't reach so well. I also kept them entertained whenever my mom was busy doing laundry, making meals, or cleaning.

Now, many people hear this and think, "Tsk tsk, she had no childhood, she had to help raise her younger brother & sisters, too bad." Nothing could be further from the truth! I had FUN with my brother & sisters. Yes, I was expected to do chores & help around the house. That's what families do. It doesn't mean I was raising my siblings. My mom was a stay at home mom. She was there all day with us. The fact that I helped out was for 2 reasons: 1) so that my mom could get everything done without killing herself, and 2) so that I could learn these skills for the future. Remember the old saying, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime? If my mom did everything for us, how were we going to learn to take care of ourselves? We'd grow up being useless to ourselves and to everyone else. The best way to learn is hands-on, and that's the kind of teaching my mom gave us. Of course, I won't tell you I became an expert at everything. Mom taught us to sew, knit and crochet, but these were skills I flopped at for the most part. But I can cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner that everyone enjoys.

Being the oldest meant I had to set the right example. I admit I didn't always like this part. How many times did my mom say to me, "You're older, you should know better. They're only (blank) years old." Oh, I hated that! Because, of course, it was true. I DID know better, but once in a while I wanted to be babied a little. That's part of growing up, I suppose. There's moments when you wish you were already an adult, then 5 minutes later you wish you were still being rocked to sleep by Mommy & Daddy.

What bugged me the most, however, was that my sister's were always imitating me. Ugh! If I watched TV, they watched TV. If I wanted to read a book instead, they wanted to read a book. If I made a sandwich, they wanted a sandwich. I felt like I had 2 shadows following me around! I would actually complain to my mom, "Can't they stop doing everything I do?!" I didn't understand it then, but they wanted to be just like me. This is something that happens to all older kids, whether you have one sibling or 10. The oldest is always looked up to. It's something we have to accept. We can't change our birth order. Thankfully I learned to appreciate this, and my younger sister is my best friend because of it.

As I look at the Duggar children, I put myself in their place. Yes, there are much more siblings to contend with, but I think the circumstances are the same. The older children are watched by the younger ones and are expected to set a good example, just like I was. As the kids get old enough, they're expected to help with chores so they can learn life lessons, just like I was. They have their responsibilities, but Mom is always there, and there's plenty of time to have fun, just like I had.

This is not to say that everyone's situation is the same as mine, or as the Duggars'. I've heard people who came from big families complain about the amount of responsibilities they had. Upon digging deeper, though, you find the circumstances weren't the same. Maybe their mom had to work and the oldest was left tending to the younger ones. Maybe dad wasn't in the picture at all. What I am saying, is that just because a family is large doesn't mean the older children lose out on being kids. It doesn't have to be that way at all. For me personally, when I had my first child I was sure he wouldn't be my last. I'd loved and enjoyed my own siblings too much to deprive my son of that joy. I suspect the same will be true of the Duggar kids. The more the merrier!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, April 27, 2009...
Outside my's very breezy. Warm, yes, but breezy. Still no rain, though we're expected to get some showers towards the end of the week.
I am thinking...about kids. Yesterday my son and I went to the park to fly his kite. A boy, probably about 11 or 12 years old, rode over on his bike and asked if he could fly the kite too. He was so excited to see this kite in the air! I let him fly the kite for a while, then he played with my son for a bit before telling me he had to go. "Thanks for letting me have fun with you!", was the last thing he said as he rode away. Oh, to be a kid again and live such a carefree life!
I am thankful for...heating pads. My leg was hurting bad yesterday from a pulled muscle. I put the heating pad on it and it's so much better this morning.
From the learning rooms...the teacher should be sending me daily updates on my son's progress. I need to keep these so I can present them at his next SST meeting. With all the headaches I have to go thru with the school system, homeschooling looks more and more attractive each day.
From the kitchen...ground beef sloppy joe style with white rice, fries, and veggies. It's my son's favorite meal.
I am nightdress. I'll go change soon.
I am creating...nothing right now. That's sad. I need to get more creative.
I am reading...Job for my morning devotions, and the gospel of Mark for SOAP devotions.
I am hearing...the computer keyboard, and the tv in the distance. I put the news on this morning but just walked away after a while. News can get depressing. I just want to know the weather forecast, thank you very much.
I am hoping...the cabinet doors and drawer fronts will be ready today. Yes, that's the same thing I was hoping last week. They were supposed to be ready Friday, then Sunday, now Monday. I just want to be finished already.
Around the house...I need to clean the ceiling fans. I love having them, since they help keep the house cooler, but boy do they get loaded with dust!
One of my favorite springtime. The weather warms up but isn't as humid as summer. There's usually a breeze, not too warm but not too cool either. Spring in South Florida is nice!
A few plans for the rest of the week: My small group finished our study of Really Bad Girls of the Bible. It was an excellent study. This Friday we're getting together at our hostess's house just for a ladies night. Popcorn, soda, and the new Tim Hawkins DVD, I'm No Rockstar. If you haven't heard of Tim Hawkins, you need to check out his website. Tim is a Christian comedian, which means he's extremely funny without using foul language or dirty jokes. You can sit with your children and watch his stuff. He's absolutely hilarious.
Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...actually I posted all my pics, so I don't have anything new right now. Sorry! I'll try to get something in here this week.
To join the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Quick Review

Doesn't the week seem to fly by? I'm having trouble believing it's already Friday! Here are a few things that went on this week:

I'm still battling the lizard problem. Here in Florida we have little geccos (not Geicos) that are about 3-4 inches long. When we had our sweet dog Tobey, we had no lizard problem. Tobey was a soft-coated Wheaten terrier, and they're hunting dogs. We could count on him to keep critters out of the house. Since Tobey is no longer with us (and we miss him terribly!), I've noticed an occasional lizard in the family room. At first I didn't pay much mind to it, after all I live in Florida and it's to be expected. But it seemed like overnight they were in the house constantly, and not just one but two. My son's best friend suggested they may have laid eggs somewhere :-(. I did NOT like that idea. At. All. My son R didn't agree. As he was chasing one out of the house, he looked at the sliding glass doors and mentioned that maybe there was an opening small enough that they were getting in. Sure enough, a couple days later as I was looking down, I realized the little critters are getting in from UNDER the stationary glass door. UGH! I've informed my husband, and this weekend that opening WILL be caulked. The nerve of these little geccos!

My son E had fun this week. Wednesday his class went to see the new Disney movie, Earth. He said it was very interesting. Afterwards the class went to the park to have their lunches and play for awhile. He really liked that. Earth Day was also Daddy's birthday, but since he's been working so much we just had an ice cream cake and sang Happy Birthday. One of my hubby's salesmen had gall bladder surgery this week and my hubby has had to cover for him. Thursday was take your child to work day, and since he's in the third grade E was able to join his daddy in the work force, for which he's expecting to get paid :D. I guess he learned more than daddy intended him to.

Thursday I also went to meet with his teachers, yet again. E had brought his report card home, and I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I've been after the school to have him tested because I believe he's dyslexic. At first the teachers were calling me in telling me the problems they were having with E, and that he had a good chance of failing the FCAT, meaning he'd be retained in the third grade. I raised a big stink because I'd been telling his teachers since the 2nd grade that I suspected he had a learning disability and all they kept telling me was to practice more, read more, try harder. One of his teachers didn't seem to like the fact that I was going over her head. When we had the SST meeting with the school faculty, she made it seem as though he had some problems but they could easily be resolved. She doesn't agree with me that he needs additional help for dyslexia and has subtly fought me along the way. I noted this immediately when I got the report card. My son, who by his own teacher's admission is terrible at spelling and never passes a spelling test no matter how hard he studies, got an A in language arts. My son, who is struggling with reading comprehension, raised his reading grade to a C. His science teacher, however, gave him a D for her class. So I asked why E, who has always enjoyed science, had such a low grade. It seems that all the work they're doing now is reading and answering questions, and he's having a very hard time understanding what he reads. So how is it he raised his reading grade? His English teacher didn't show me the work that got him an A in language arts last marking period, but she showed me the work he's done since then till now. All D's and F's! How did he go from an A average to a D- average in just a couple of weeks? I'm getting a very bad feeling about this, and I intend to bring it up at the next SST meeting in early May. I have a suspicion the school doesn't want to have to pay for further testing, so they're trying to make him look good. I don't want a rose painted picture; I want the reality, because unless I know the reality I can't help him. I left there very dissatisfied but not discouraged. God will give me the wisdom and knowledge to do what's best for my son, that I'm certain of.

Today I got my hair done (see previous post) and I can't wait to go to my small group so the girls can see my new look! This is our last study of Really Bad Girls of the Bible. We've learned so much, not just from the book but from each other. I'm gonna miss this group, but we'll start up again in the fall. In the meantime, I'm bringing some snacks, and we'll have a fun and relaxing time together. Hope ya'll do too! Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My New 'Do

This was me this morning:

I have naturally curly hair. No, let me correct that. I HAD naturally curly hair. As the years pass hair changes, and my hair has gone from being curly to more like wavy, frizzy curls that look like I just crawled out of bed even when I've just finished washing and styling it. So, I blow dry it and use a straightening iron to get the curls and the frizzies out. I can't really do that with very long hair, a) because it takes forever, and b) because my hair is more fragile now and ends up looking worse than when I started. Besides, all that treatment plus dyeing my hair every 4-6 weeks takes its toll. So this is what I do...

I go to my very favorite hairdresser, the lovely Miss L, and she takes me from drab to fab in less than an hour. I feel younger, prettier, just overall great. I love it when my hair looks like this! Now let's see how long it lasts. My hair grows like a weed. Guess that's better than not having it grow at all, but I use up a lot of hair dye!

What's Miss USA about anyway?

Monday April 20, 2009, Miss North Carolina was crowned Miss USA in Las Vegas, Nevada. Interestingly, she isn't the big news. Miss California, first runner-up, is. And it's the opinion of many that Miss California would have been the winner had it not been for the answer to one question.

Perez Hilton, one of the pageant judges, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, if she believed all states should follow the example of Vermont in legalizing same-sex marriages. Miss California answered honestly, stating that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. She stressed that she meant no offense to anyone, but that this was her belief and the way she was raised. In the end the crown went to Miss North Carolina. Even Donald Trump, owner of the Miss USA competition, acknowledged that her answer probably brought her score down and caused her to lose the pageant.

This proved to me what I have always believed to be true about pageants. The winners of these competitions are judged on 2 things: 1 - their outward beauty, and 2 - their ability not to think for themselves. Miss Kristen Dalton, the new Miss USA, stated that the questions being asked of the contestants "showed America that Miss USA is relevant. It shows that we are not only beautiful but intelligent women." I beg to differ. The questions asked proved that Miss USA is expected to give a "politically correct" answer, one that pleases everyone and doesn't promote controversy. That was exactly what Perez Hilton said in an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show: "I want [a Miss USA] who is going to be politically saavy, and that means saying things that will make everyone feel welcome." (Apparently this doesn't apply to Perez Hilton, who lambasted Miss California and called her vulgar names.) There's just one problem: You CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE! No matter what answer is given, it's always going to ruffle someone's feathers. In this case, Perez Hilton's feathers went into a frenzy because, as an openly gay man, he felt that she answered the question contrary to what was expected of her. He wanted something more like what Miss North Carolina later stated: "I think that all couples...should be able to be recognized legally. They should be able to enter into a union. Whether or not it should be defined as marriage, I'll leave that up to the politicians." In other words, everyone should do as they please, after all it isn't her decision. A very non-specific answer that doesn't compromise her in any way. Miss California couldn't give this kind of answer. She spoke from the heart, and it cost her the earthly crown she'd worked so hard for.

As Christians, there is a much more valuable crown we strive for. "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev. 2:10b). Thankfully Miss California didn't have to give her life for this pageant, nor did she lose the most precious of crowns for standing up for what she believes in.

Every experience in our lives is a learning experience, and I hope Miss California will use this experience wisely. Several websites and forums have run polls which show the public appreciates her honest answer, whether they agree with her or not. Maybe it's time the pageant officials realize this too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, April 20, 2009...

Outside my very deceiving sunlight. Deceiving because the forecasts call for rain and thunderstorms this afternoon and tomorrow. Much needed rain, thank the Lord!

I am thinking...about the study in Revelation that we're doing in church. Finished chapter 4 yesterday.

I am thankful relationship with Jesus, my family, my home. In that order.

From the learning rooms...E will be working on a biography this week. He chose to do it on Nascar race driver Tony Stewart.

From the kitchen...meat patties, white rice, pink beans, and either a veggie or salad.

I am wearing...haven't changed yet into regular clothes. Wearing a house dress in black with yellow and green embroidery.

I am creating...a neater, more organized home. Or at least that's my goal.

I am reading...Esther for morning devotions, Mark for SOAP devotions, last study of Really Bad Girls this week.

I am hearing...the hum of the computer. Just love quiet mornings.

I am hoping...the cabinet doors and drawer fronts will be ready today or tomorrow so we can finish with the bathroom remodel already.

Around the house...washing linens, vacuuming furniture, cleaning up bathroom.

One of my favorite reading. I'd much rather pick up a good book than sit in front of the idiot box all day. Plus I learn more from books than tv.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Hubby's birthday is on Wednesday. Turning the big 4-0! We're keeping it simple for him.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...

This is me a couple of years ago in Sarasota. I went to visit the Ringling Museum with some friends, then had dinner at an open air restaurant. We had a great time.

To join the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Blessings Continue

Let's talk about how wonderful God is, shall we? As I've posted over the past few weeks, we've been remodeling the 2nd bathroom in our home after God lovingly blessed us with the funds to fix not one but both our bathrooms (you can read about that here). The budget for the 2nd bathroom is tight, and as anyone who's ever remodeled can tell you, it's very easy to go over budget. We were already maxed out and still had to purchase the vanity top. I'd looked at several, some pretty, others nice, and some downright ugly. There was one top at Home Depot in a beige granite that was okay, with a bone colored sink, that cost $199.00 (the toilet and tub are bone colored, so I wanted everything to match). The side-splash was sold separately for an additional $25.00. I didn't want to have to go over another $225.00 on our budget, so I decided it would be a good idea to keep shopping around. I had to go back to the tile store this week to return some unused tiles, and since they have some vanity tops there I thought I'd check them out. There was a lovely brown and black granite top that went for $209.00, but wasn't available with a bone sink. Although the granite was beautiful, it didn't feel right to spend the $209.00, so I left. I knew I had to buy caulking and some other supplies, and since the tile store is just a few blocks from Lowe's I figured I'd stop there and buy whatever I needed. Just out of curiosity (not that I thought I'd find anything), I went to the bathroom area to see if there were any vanity tops. Lowe's can be more expensive than Home Depot, but I had nothing to lose by checking. There I found a granite vanity top, the last one of its kind, in the exact size that my vanity is, in a crystal green very similar to the greens that I decorated my bathroom in. To my total shock, the vanity top was a close-out item selling for $83.20! I could not believe it. I moved the box around to verify that I wasn't hallucinating. I even called an associate to ask if I was seeing it correctly. There was just one problem: the sink bowl was white. This was my dillema: go with this exceptionally well priced vanity top even though the bowl is the wrong color, or walk away and keep looking. I called my hubby and told him what was going on. Thankfully he was in the area and swung by the Lowes to see the top for himself. There was none on display, but the associate was kind enough to open the box and let us see the top, which was absolutely gorgeous. The sales associate seemed very interested in getting the item sold, since it was a closeout that had been returned, and we were very interested in saving money, so it worked out for both of us! And the best part is, we got what we wanted at a price we could afford. God knew what we could pay, and He made sure I didn't purchase something that was not to our advantage. Instead, He led me to where I'd get the best deal, and wow, did I ever!

This is the vanity top. We brought it home and dry fitted it. The side-splash, which would have cost us an additional $25.00 at Home Depot, was included with this top, so we didn't have to pay anything extra. Yay!
Hubby and I installed the faucets this morning. Although the sink bowl is white, which was not what I originally wanted, we both agreed the price justified having it be a different color from the other porcelain items in the bathroom. Once it was installed, the difference was not as noticable as I'd thought it would be. Or maybe I just don't care. Regardless, the sink is staying. By the way, aren't the faucets cool?! They reminded me of Aladdin's lamp. I love them!

The light fixture in this bathroom was another thorn in my side. It was just hideous. I never liked it but kept it, don't ask me why. I guess I just ignored it as much as I could.

Of course, with everything else new the yucky light fixture had to go too. I saw one light fixture at Lowe's similar to this one for $54.00. I was able to purchase this beauty at Costco for $19.98. I just love a bargain!
We are close to wrapping up this remodel. The vanity doors and drawer fronts are on order, as are the doors for the medicine cabinet. There are a couple of little details to finish up but the bathroom is in working order which is great. I am so thankful to the Lord for His generous provision. Two beautiful bathrooms for the price of one - who would have thought?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time to Paint

Bathroom update: I spent a good part of the day yesterday painting. I thought it would be so much easier, since it's a small bathroom. The size actually was what made it more difficult. Maneuvering the ladder inside this small space was challenging at best. Still, the job got done. Check it out:

It's starting to look like a bathroom, isn't it? I got this cool shower curtain at Target for under $25.00. It looks very high end and modern. They call it brown but the color of the curtain is more like a dark olive green so I went with that theme throughout.

I was afraid the color would make the bathroom look dark, but it's a fairly bright room. During the day it's light and the color looks vibrant.

The wall under the mirror is where the vanity will go. I left it for my son E to paint, since he wanted to help. The space is too small to let him do much more, but he loves to paint, and this way if it got messed up no one would know because the vanity will be there. He did a pretty good job for the most part, and he's satisfied because he made his contribution.
We're rapidly approaching the finish line. It may just be completed before the weekend. I hope so! Keep watching...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Simple Woman's Time Journal

For Today, April 14, 2009...

A Blue Jay!
(This picture doesn't do it justice. The colors on this bird are magnificent. God really knows how to make beautiful things.)
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Time Journal. God bless!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, April 13, 2009...
Outside my seems we've skipped spring altogether and gone directly into summer. It's in the 70's right now, going up to the 80's, and tomorrow we should be hitting 90 degrees. It's also been very humid, though we haven't gotten a whole lot of rain. Frankly, it feels more like June than April.
I am thinking...about the wonderful time we had at church yesterday. Pastor Bob was ON FIRE! There were loads of new people, too. The place was packed, worship was awesome, and the kids had a blast. We had a HUGE Easter egg hunt, over 10,000 eggs in the school's football field. I hope the people that came to visit enjoyed the service enough to come back.
I am thankful for...the Resurrection. It's the basis of our faith. Without that, there is nothing.
From the learning rooms...back to school today.
From the kitchen...fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn. A simple yet delicious meal.
I am wearing...a peach tank top, brown & white shorts & flip flops. Believe me, it's hot outside!
I am creating...hmm, not creating much right now. Need to start getting creative...
I am reading...Ezra for my morning devotions, and finishing up my study of Really Bad Girls of the Bible for small groups.
I am oldest son outside getting the wet saw ready. Hubby has maybe 2 or 3 more tiles to cut before we put the thing back in the box and try to sell it. It was a great investment, worked like a charm and was much less expensive than renting a wet saw, but we don't need it anymore. If we can sell it, it will have more than paid for itself.
I am get the bathroom finished this week. It's been a lot of work and I'll be happy to be done with it!
Around the house...laundry, laundry and more laundry. I also need to clean the refrigerator. Not one of my favorite jobs, but a necessary one.
One of my favorite blue jays. We get them quite often in our backyard, but I never get the camera out in time to snap a picture. I hope I do soon. They are just so beautiful.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Lots of cleaning up needs to be done to get rid of as much dust as possible. Finish up the bathroom (hopefully), and the regular stuff. We have 2 chapters left of Really Bad Girls, then the group will have a fellowship time. That should be fun.
Here's a picture thought I'm sharing: I felt like a total idiot when I realized, there was my son ready to pick Easter eggs and I forgot my camera!! Duh!! Thankfully, our church photographer Omar snapped a pic and will be emailing it to me. Thanks Omar, you're the best! I'll post it as soon as I get it.
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bathroom - The Home Stretch

I haven't had a whole lot of time to get any blogging in, because my time has been consumed by either working in the bathroom or cleaning up afterwards. There are muscles in my body that are so sore! My hips are especially painful, because I've been bending down so much to clean up the floor, and I suffer from sciatica. To top it off, I was rushing to finish up and as I was coming into the house from the garage I took a nasty tumble, got back up and kept running, but oh am I hurting now! Still, the bathroom is close to complete and life will be back to normal real soon.

My hubby was so thrilled when he was putting in the last couple of wall tiles. (That's his brother in the corner. He did most of the tile cutting).

This is the tub area. All that's left is a couple of tiles around the inside of the window and tiling is complete. Like the small border design? It's my favorite part!

I came home from the paint store to find the toilet installed and working. Hallelujah! No more little feet walking into my bedroom in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Of course there's no sink yet so there's no where to wash our hands, but hey, it's a work in progress, and I'm thrilled to see the progress!
Grouting is next, either tomorrow or Saturday. Then the plumbing fixtures can go in, and once the vanity is completed it will be installed also. Looks like we'll be done before my daughter gets home from school! Thank the Lord!

The Simple Woman's Time Journal

For Today, April 9, 2009 (Sorry, I'm a little late this week)

An Uninvited Guest
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the The Simple Woman's Time Journal. God bless.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - April 6, 2009

For Today, April 6, 2009...
Outside my's very sunny but SOOO humid. It's been like this for days but we haven't gotten a whole lot of rain. I hope we get rain soon; when the weather is like this it affects my allergies. We've also got tons of mosquitos right now. My son is covered in bug bites, poor thing. Gotta keep him inside for a while. Bummer.
I am would have been my parent's 46th wedding anniversary. My father passed away in 2001.
I am thankful...for my Savior. This week is a time to reflect on His sacrifice.
From the learning rooms...spring break this week, so E and I are working on a project: planting seeds. I picked some of my grandmother's favorites, dahlias and marigolds. My grandmother was always in the yard planting something. She had a real green thumb too. The woman could plant a nail and grow a Home Depot.
From the kitchen...fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken.
I am wearing...a dark green t-shirt, brown & white shorts & sandals. Very light clothing.
I am creating...a home management journal. Well, I'm starting to work on it slowly. With this whole bathroom remodel anything I plan gets tossed out the window because there are so many other things that need to get done. But I am preparing myself for after construction is done.
I am reading...chapter 8 of Really Bad Girls of the Bible. I'm on 2 Chronicles in my morning devotions. I've also started reading Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage by Lee Strobel. I've read a couple of Lee Strobel's books and they're excellent. I'm gaining a lot of insight from this book also.
I am hearing...the a/c just turned on, and my youngest son watching cartoons. I love having him at home with me this week.
I am come up with some more projects for E and I to work on while we aren't working on the bathroom. Poor little guy was bored on Saturday because we did bathroom work the entire day and there wasn't much for him to do.
Around the house...there's dust everywhere, but that's to be expected. I'm going to work on lots of laundry today.
One of my favorite seeing my husband's satisfaction as he works on the bathroom. He doesn't like to admit it, but he's enjoying tiling the bathroom. He looks in on his work at least twice a day, and every chance he gets he's measuring or adjusting. Anyone can pay to have a project done; it's so much more satisfying to be able to say, "I did it myself."
A few plans for the rest of the week: construction continues. We'll be focusing on Easter, helping prepare for our church's Easter Egg Hunt by stuffing Easter eggs. I volunteered to teach one of the children's classes so the other teachers can enjoy the service.
Here's a prayer request I'm sharing...this is the most important time of the year for Christians. It's a time to reflect on the true meaning of the Gospel: Christ is Risen! I pray that we all will dedicate time to prayer and to helping others understand how this truth can impact their lives for eternity.
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week and a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

We're at the Half Way Point!

I know I haven't posted much about the bathroom remodel. Progress is slow due to several reasons. One, my hubby and his brother are doing this a few hours after work each night, so they can't really get a whole lot done. Two, travertine tiles are very heavy, so you can't stack too many before the mortar hardens or they'll start to come off. Three, my hubby has only laid tile once before, about 7 years ago. They were porcelain tiles which he laid on the back porch on freshly laid cement that was plumb and square, unlike our bathroom walls. It's taken him much longer to get familiar with these tiles and work comfortably with them. Still, progress has been made slow and steady:

Once the floor was done, the easiest wall was started. I say easiest because there wasn't a whole lot of tile cutting needed for this wall like the other two.

Hubby was getting about a row a day, not wanting to put more up and risk them moving around.

Hubby at work. We looked into renting a wet saw but found out they run $38.00 per day. Since the walls are not square (after nine years the house has settled quite a bit - typical in the South Florida sandy soil), and since work is limited to a few hours a day, it was going to get very expensive. My hubby got this wet saw at Home Depot for $160. It ends up being cheaper, and once we're done we can keep it for other projects or sell it. Either way it's more cost effective for us than renting.

This wet saw is great. It has a strong motor, and a laser to guide as you're cutting. It made the work much smoother.

What precision!

This is how the bathroom looked when we got started this morning...

...and here's how it looked by the end of the day. Alot was accomplished. We're just about half way up the walls and the floors are complete.

See the decorative tiles I got for around the bathtub? I thought my hubby was going to throw them at me! Seriously, they are so much harder to work with than the large tiles. Even though they're on a mesh sheet that keeps them together, it's pretty flimsy. Getting the tiles to set evenly was quite a project. Thankfully there's only one wall left to tile with the border.

The baseboard is a two part design. The first is the same travertine tile as on the floor. Above that will be a marble border in a rust color that is in some of the tiles in the border. It'll give plenty of visual interest while at the same time tying into the decorative border around the tub. It's also a lot easier to install than the tub border, since it's a 12X12 tile that is cut into 4 strips, 3" wide. That will probably get done on Monday. Tomorrow, some much needed rest.
I'm praying the top half of the bathroom goes as smoothly as the bottom half. We need to get this finished, or else the dust will drive me out of my mind! Besides, I can't wait to see the finished product. I know it's going to look fabulous. Stay tuned!