Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bathroom Progress

Progress in the bathroom is slow going. The walls have been a HUGE challenge needing many layers of drywall mud, sanding, painting and then when an imperfection is made visible through the paint, the process starts over again. However gruelling and time consuming it may be, it is the most affordable method and also the most my opinion anyway;) So here is a shot of part of one wall that is nearly complete. We also framed the mirror using trim to add a little embellishment. The cost was $7.50 for the trim and Liquid Nails Mirror adhesive both purchased at Jabara's Damaged below.

 I really love our new soap dispenser...a Christmas gift... from Bath & Body Works.

 One issue we had after removing the old tile was that it left an enormous gap between the floor and wall. One visit to Jabara's fixed that with $3 trim with a wide base that easily slides into place.


Close up of the mirror trim, it still has the star shaped mirror clips, but they are not nearly as noticeable with the trim.

Good for hanging mirrors and it worked well to apply the trim frame.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunroom/Art Studio

Every year our homeschool group hires a wonderful artist to give our kiddos instruction. She is very reasonable in what she charges.

 Previously, we had rented a room in a rec center which is very pricey. Although, we were able to split that up amongst the families, it was still cost prohibitive. Last year, I offered to use our sun room. So the families are able to save the cost of the room rental. I hope it works out for everyone.

We obviously use our sun room as a laundry room. I have dreamed of having a beautifully furnished room out there, but this seems like a more practical short term use.
We are still awaiting a few more chairs from some of the other families.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inside the Atrium

I wanted to share some pics from our atrium at St. Francis for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. These photos are of our Tuesday 3-6 year old class.
Working with a tracing packet from the Pearl of Great Price presentation.

Silk flower arranging, a practical life work.

Adoration of the Shepherds

Annunciation materials

The Pearl of Great Price materials

A sweet girl praying after setting up the altar. (grown-ups light the candles and sit nearby.)

Plant polishing, another practical life work

This little girl is coloring the 4 liturgical colors we have learned about.

The art and practical life corner of our atrium.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bathroom Reno Peek

No matter what our future holds, one thing's for sure, the old harvest gold upstairs bath has to be redone. Many of the tiles are cracked and falling off the wall and the grout is either gone, stained, or chipped.

Eli helping peel off the glued on drywall



So here are a few shots of the demo and a pic of the new laminate, sink, faucet, and tile. If it looks familiar, we used the same laminate and tile from our kitchen makeover. Not only was this the most cost effective route, it keeps the house consistent.

We were hoping to stay under $200 for the far we're at :

  1. Faucet     $25
  2. Sink        $25
  3. Laminate $27
  4. Glue        $12
  5. Tile         $14.50
  6. Adhesive & Grout $0-Leftover from Kitchen Makeover
         TOTAL- $ 103.50

We have chosen Raffia Cream by Behr for the walls:
This looks much better on the's a very rich and deep creamy color.
The walls are in BAD shape, I've been removing 2 layers of wallpaper and some of the wallboard is chipped up. Ugh! I do have to say it was pure pleasure tossing that tile in the trash!!! Bye-bye harvest gold!!
One of the pretty layers;)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Response To Comments

Hi! For some reason, I am unable to respond to comments on my blog???
I just wanted to post a response to Josette who said, "wow! I am ashamed at all that I don't do and yet inspired at the same time. Wow!!!!!! On the "Meet Katie" post.

Josette, I too am edified beyond words. God is calling each and everyone of us to help care for our neighbors whether they live next door or across the ocean. What is our response? I can only speak for how He has spoken to my own heart. Little by little, Jesus has gently spoken to my heart and asked me to seperate myself from the distractions of life in the sense of materialism. He wants me to pull away from media that would be damaging to my fragile soul. He wants me to listen to Him through the Mass, our priests, His word and works, to my husband and to His sweet whispers to my heart. I believe now that Don and I have been praying for over a year about a call to mission life, that call has only increased and become stronger for both of us. We are going through a time of discernment with a priest and with friends who have walked this path before us. God only knows what the next few years holds for us. My only prayer is to do the will of God and not my own.

 “Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.” Proverbs 24:12

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet Katie

This is Katie Davis. She is 21 years old from Nashville Tennesee.

1 year of mission work in Uganda changed her life.

After graduating from highschool, she signed up to be a kindergarten teacher in Uganda.
Even though she agreed to attend college after that year, God had different plans for Katie.

She returned to Uganda.

She loves the forgotten.

"They are real people. They are my friends. They are God's children."

"Please pray specifically for Nabakoza as she may be nearing the end of her life. At 23, she weighs just 37 pounds (not typos.) She has been severely neglected all her life. My sweet friends Renee and Shana drove 2 hours to the hospital in Kampala only to be told that they would not take her, she was too far gone. After trying four different hospitals, all claiming they couldn't help, they brought her home where we are just trying to keep her warm and cuddled and covered with the love of Jesus."
She adopted 14 girls.

She feeds 1600 orphans and poor children everyday through Amazima Ministries, that she founded when she was 19.
She opened a school, started a work program for mothers so they won't turn to prostitution, she helps young men and women achieve higher learning through vocational programs and university assistance.

She nurses babies back to health by providing foster care.

She loves God above everything.
She is just 1 average person.

Meet Katie.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Morning Time

We are loving our "new" school and one of those reasons is because of Morning Time.
After breakfast, we gather together in the living room. I usually let Benny and Charlie play while the older kids are eating breakfast and then right before morning time, I fix Benny and Charlie their breakfasts so they can eat but still hear during morning time. So far, this works for a few moments of quiet, but they have played pretty well after....with a few distractions;)
  • We pray a morning offering.
  • I read the gospel and we reflect and discuss it. Benny surprised me today with explaining to me what he heard.
  • The focus is then directed to our monthly art piece that has been laminated and displayed. The pieces are from a program called "Art Masterpieces: A Liturgical Collection" available from Catholic Heritage Curricula...I've mentioned this before. One special project a month is required from learning about the painting, scripture passages, and artist.

Below is a page from the Art Appreciation Guide that comes with the set. 

  • We also read Blessed Pope John Paul II's weekly segments from his book, "My Dear Young Friends" Each segment includes a Think About section, a Take Action section where the kids have to do a challenge, a Prayer section and a trivia fact about Blessed John Paul II.
  • We read a poem from Laura Berquist's "The Harp and the Laurel Wreath" There is a section in the book that has discussion questions after to reflect on the poem's meaning. We discuss this as well.
  • Finally, this week we are reading aloud "Hind's Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard.  
  • We follow up morning time with an overview of expectations for the day including assignments, chores, and projects.            
Morning Time usually takes about an hour...depending on distractions.     
Then while the kids do school, I turn on classical's amazing what a calming, yet focusing effect this has had on all of us.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Very Best

As most mothers do, I want the very best for my children. Early on, I imagined that meant living in a comfortable (well decorated) home, driving a safe vehicle with car seats,  allowing them to explore their hobbies and interests by enrolling them into classes, having appropriate entertainment, making sure they were well dressed, or at least know the typical "Middle class American Dream." 

Pondering the feast of the Epiphany and reflecting on Fr. Jerome's homily this morning, I too have had a revelation of Christ. The "best" has taken on a whole new meaning.

I asked the kids, "If you die today, what will you take with you?" A couple of the kids half rolled their eyes and responded in unison, "nothing."
"You are wrong." I replied.

I explained that while we can't take our favorite Lego model, dress, video games, or DVD, we could take many other things. For instance, our faith, virtues, memories, grace, relationships, prayers, love and endless spiritual attributes. It is these things we must try to acquire in our life.

Our life span is similar to a drop of water in the ocean, our soul represents all the other drops. Life is short, our soul continues forever. However short our life is, it is extremely important because what we do in this life affects what happens to our soul in death. In every moment, in every breath, in every thought, in every word, in every deed, we are called to glorify God.  We should work hard to build up our spiritual suitcase for the journey. The truly best we can take with us. This is what I want for my children and all of God's children.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Catching Up

It's been awhile since I've posted more than just a single thought post. Our family has been making some major changes. This time away has been an immersion in prayer and seeking God's will for our family.

Change #1 After much prayer and promptings by the Holy Spirit, we have withdrawn from Lawrence Virtual School/High school. Education at home is MUCH different now. We focus on prayer, daily gospel readings and our faith.
We are still trying work to out all the kinks, but we are really at peace as a family....finally. The kids are THRILLED with this new approach.

Change #2 As a family we feel called to share what we have in a more significant way. We are in the process of simplifying our lives and our home. The first step was going through the storage room, filling up the van and leaving our treasures at the Goodwill. This will be an ongoing effort as we have never lived very simply, except for on vacation;)

Change #3 I am trying to be a more submissive wife and allow Don to be the true head of our family that God has intended him to be. This is hard for me as I am a super control freak. Christ be my strength!

Wishing you all Christ's peace, love and happiness in this blessed New Year!!