Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sweet Contest!

If you read my blog often, you'll know that I don't post about many contests, but I just had to on this one.

My sister bought me a wall decal as a house warming gift and I love it (she also bought one with each of my boy's names for their room---thanks Aud!). Anyway, I want more, but just haven't ordered any. I was at my friend Christi's blog and read about this and just had to jump in.....

Lewa's Designs and A Soft Place to Land have teamed up for this contest offering the chance to win an awesome dandelion wall decal that is over 5 feet tall! There are lots of really neat designs there. Something for everyone, I'm sure, so go take a look!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Learning Experience....

I must say that t-ball is certainly a learning experience....for both Logan and myself! I have learned that Logan is a pretty typical 6 year old boy. I've been around kids before, but never a bunch of little boys all at once. I was really struggling with Logan's behavior lately and thought that I was failing as a mom. However, since starting t-ball, I have learned that he really isn't as bad as I thought he was.

For Logan, he is learning what a team is. He is learning that he has to listen and that if he doesn't, there will be consequences. Of course we discipline Logan, but I think he was under the impression that since we weren't out on the field with him during the games, he could do as he wishes. I have noticed that he has a hard time listening, but at the last game it was really bad. So much so that I had his coach put another little boy on first base to replace Logan and I pulled Logan off the field (I'm team mom and I'm in the dugout at this point). I had warned him already that if he didn't listen to his coaches that he would sit on the bench rather than play the game. Boy, he wasn't happy when I followed through with that. I was really afraid he was going to get hit in the head with the ball because he wouldn't even pay attention when the kids were up to bat or when a ball was being thrown to him!

To add to being pulled off the field, I am having him write letters to all FIVE of his coaches apologizing for his behavior. Working on handwriting with Logan is like pulling teeth. Truly, it might be just as much of a punishment for me....LOL! Logan is actually working on his second letter while I type this. After he finished up the first letter and I told him he had 4 to go, he said, "Can't I just send out an e-mail to all of them?". Oh my!! Um, NO!!

When I told Logan that he would be writing letters to all of his coaches, he acted as if it was no big deal. Then I told him he had to write 5 and he told me that he knows that I will "just forget anyway". such luck mister! When I pulled out the paper and pencil and told him why, he said, "What? I thought you had forgotten. That was like a week ago!". I knew that having him write these letters would be a struggle, but I'm hoping it will make him think twice about his poor behavior on the field. I guess tomorrow will tell!

Here are some more pictures from our games.

The boys are certainly eager to get their hands on the ball, as seen here

and here....

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mother's Day gift...

My mother in law called on Saturday and she asked if there was anything special planned for Mother's Day. I told her there was not, but it was looking like I would have a sink, dishwasher, and stove installed! She said that was a pretty nice present, and I couldn't agree more.

You know, I never realized how much I love having a kitchen sink. Yes, I missed the dishwasher and the stove, but I missed the sink the most. It didn't take me too long to realize that after bending over to wash dishes in dish pans in the tub. You see, I could cook just fine in the electric skillet and crock pot, but I dreaded having to tote the dirty dishes up 2 flights of stairs to bend over a tub and wash them. I bought plastic cups and utensils and paper plates to cut down on what I had to wash, but there were still a few dishes to wash. I decided that having a dishwasher is very nice, but to just have a kitchen sink to rinse dishes off and stand rather than bend to wash dishes is a MUST HAVE!!

So, my sweet husband stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to get my sink, dishwasher and stove installed. I'm very happy to report that I now have a functional kitchen. I think we've finally got the hard part behind us and it should be down hill now! We still have a little more wall to paint and then we just have to sand, prime, paint, and hang the rest of the cabinets. Oh, we do have to cut counter top for one more section, but now that we've done it once, we know how and it won't be too hard.

Here are a few pictures of where we are now. I know they don't look too much different than the last ones, but our sink is in and everything is hooked up and working with no leaks!

We also still have to put some end pieces on the counter top that will hide the little gaps between them and the wall. Even though the counter tops were cut straight, there is nothing square in this house. We gave up on trying to make things fit in perfectly and just bought end splashes (just like back splashes, but on the ends). All in all, I'm very happy with how it is coming along. I haven't added up our out of pocket yet, but I think it isn't too bad considering all that has been done in there.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Noticeable progress....

It has been a while since I've updated on the kitchen remodel. We FINALLY have some noticeable progress. I was telling hubby that you can actually tell we've done some work now instead of just telling people "we've applied 3 applications of mud with sanding in between each, we've applied 2 coats of primer, and painted". All of that is time consuming, but it doesn't really show how much work you've done. Since taking this picture, we've even made more progress. The hole for the sink is cut and the sink is in place (not fastened down, but in place). Previously, there was nothing in between the stove and dishwasher and there was nothing to provide support for the counter top over the dishwasher. We've painted plywood and placed it in between the two. That gives the counter top the support that it needs and keeps me from seeing the insulation around the dishwasher that was driving me insane! You can't really tell in the picture that the board isn't between the stove and dishwasher, but it isn't. Also, whoever put the gas line in for the stove didn't think it through very well. It is so high up with the cut off valve sticking out so much that the stove can not be pushed against the wall. You can probably tell this in the picture. The stove sticks out a good 4-5 inches. Since this picture, we've pulled the stove out and painted the wall behind it. I knew that being able to see the green drywall would drive me insane. Anyway, here is the latest. I also included a couple from before the counter top was on.

The walls on each end are also painted with the new color we are using. I love it! The goal for the next couple of days is to get the plumbing hooked up for the sink and dishwasher. We have a t-ball game followed by an HOA meeting tonight, so we likely won't get any work done today. In case you forgot what it looked like before, see here. It certainly isn't a top of the line kitchen, but it is a major improvement if you ask me! And the best thing----no leaks!!

Oh, I also realize that some outlets are crooked. We'll go back and fix that. All in all, I'm pretty proud that we have done this work on our own and it is looking pretty good if you ask me!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My pantry...

When I posted about cleaning my pantry Sunday, I was being lazy and didn't take pictures. I took pictures Monday evening to share. It still isn't 100%, but WAY better. I don't have a before picture to compare it to though. However, you can look at two previous posts about my pantry organizing and can see I how much I would typically have in it here (this one is probably the closest to how full it was this time) and here.

The empty spot on the top shelf is where I keep my blue bin that I keep chips in. It is currently in the basement where we've been eating, but it currently only has one bag of Fritos in it.
I'm addicted to lots of different sauces, vinegars, wines, etc... Can you tell? Bottom bin on left has all cake mixes/brownies. I bought them on sale and these were the ones that weren't expired. All the boxes of Jiffy are also cake mix. There is a recipe on them that I love for cookie bars. From the looks of it, you'd think I bake all the time, but I don't. Next bin over is pretty much nothing but chips..chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, you get the idea. Go up one shelf and that bin is peanut butter and jams/jellies and syrup.
In the Top Ramen box there are also the large size cans of crushed tomatoes. I would typically keep the tortillas in the cabinet with my bread, but well...I don't currently have any cabinets hanging.
The bin under the Top Ramen box has rice, beans, lentils, bread crumbs, etc. Next bin down has nuts and Crisco baking sticks.
That pizza box you see is our solar oven. Under it are paper towel rolls that I keep for crafts. I also store my cookbooks and recipe boxes in my pantry. The blue bin on the left has hard candies, jelly beans, and I'm not sure what else without going and looking. The right white one has a varitey (M&Ms, Fig Newton snacks, Marshmallows, cookies, and a box of Junior Mints).
Blue bin on left has extra Goldfish and nut snacks (nut clusters, pumpkin seeds, etc.). White bin on right beside it has gummy fruit snacks, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, and a couple other misc. snacks. White bin on bottom right is full of apple sauce and pineapple sauce. White bin on bottom right is Pop tarts and cereal bars.
This shelf is two different kinds of nuts (almonds and cashews), Fruity Cheerios, leftover Subway cookies, a little bit of chocolate (behind the crackers) and Cheezits.
Here we have Goldfish, M&Ms, Ritz crackers, Aldi brand vanilla wafers, graham crackers, and ice cream cones behind those. Bin next to the Nutri-grain has my Ziplocs (extras stored on top shelf in a previous picture).
As you can see, the floor is not clean, but there is still lots that isn't normally in the pantry in there. The cleaning supplies on the left plus the 2 trash bags (more cleaning supplies) all go under the kitchen sink. I typically keep my mixer on top of the fridge. Then you have my 2 Cansolidators. Next to that is contractor bags and our giant bag of Jasmine rice. Keep going around and you'd find diet coke, Capri Sun 100% juice packs, an ice cream maker and plumbing supplies that will be out of there once the kitchen is back together (even my disposal is in there....LOL).

Anyway, I'm very happy with the pantry now. I even went back in after cleaning it and stood there admiring it...LOL!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free summer bowling!!

Since we last took Logan bowling, he has been begging us to take him again. Truth be told, we haven't. It is just so expensive! Not the case anymore! I signed my boys up in the kids bowl free summer program. After signing up, I was offered a family pass for only $23.95! That entitles all of us to 2 free games of bowling per day from June 1-Aug. 31 (I think that was the dates). Of course, we still have to do shoe rental, but it will still be a relatively cheap family fun night. Of course, we likely won't go everyday, but I'm sure we'll get our money's worth! I know Logan is going to love it! Best part---say it with me--AIR CONDITIONING!!

If you want to sign up for this, you should hop to it. The website said that only a small number of family passes will be offered per participating site.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I'm starting to feel totally overwhelmed by the state that my house is in. With the kitchen torn apart, there are bits of things that don't belong in nearly every room in my house. I have no motivation to clean the house, because even if I clean the living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms, the house STILL isn't clean. Really, they all desperately need to be cleaned, but I just don't have it in me to clean them and then sit down to them still looking messy.

However, the pantry was in such bad shape that you couldn't even get into it. Everything that normally goes under my kitchen sink is now in my pantry in 2 trash bags. So, I decided that I would at least tackle that today (since we sprayed cleaner on the floor to remove the adhesive from the previous linoleum and have to wait on that before we can proceed in the kitchen).

I didn't stop once I got the things on the floor organized. I moved on to the shelves. Oh my....this is the embarrassing part. You see, I have this slight need to stock up when I see a sale. Only thing is, I'll buy it just because it is a good deal and have intentions of using, but never do. So, today I purged my pantry of all the things that we weren't using up (had opened and used part of but still had some left), all the things that were expired, etc.. Wanna guess how much I had in there? Yeah....embarrassing....a whole 40 GALLON contractor bag FULL!!

I vowed to hubby that once my kitchen is put back together, I will do my best to stop that habit. I'm also bad about buying tons of various snacks and I've really started cutting back on that. The amount of junk I used to let my boys eat is embarrassing and I'm working on that, too. I still have a lot of stuff because I can't bring myself to throw it all out (suckers and hard candy that I only allow occasionally), but it is major progress.