Thursday, June 22, 2017

Painting Essentials

Cody helped me paint the basement this last weekend. As we were painting I thought about the amount of painting we have done since we moved into our home. We are on our eighth room! Then I thought, I will ask Cody what his number one tip would be for those that are thinking about painting in their home.

His answer: Hire someone to paint for you.

I laughed hard. He is right though. If you can afford to hire a professional, it will save you a lot of work, sometimes heartache, and will likely look better.

Then I thought about what tip I would give for those that, like us, can't hire a professional right now.

My answer: Just get started and get the tools to make the job easier.

It is almost always worth the investment to paint. Usually you are painting a room a color that makes you happy and your walls will look sharper and cleaner after you are done. Getting started, like when you are wanting to exercise, is easier than thinking about or anticipating it.

Tools/Essentials that we use:

Quality paint rollers
Lots of paint trays and liners for the different colors
Paint pails for detail work
Quality paint brushes
Painting ladder and or step stool
Large drop cloths to protect flooring
6-in-1 painters tool
Paint roller extension
Plastic Wrap: we wrap our paint rollers in between painting sessions so we don't have to clean them out every single time.
Paint lid

Paint Edger

As far as progress in the basement, we are done painting the walls. Look how much brighter the room looks with white walls! I bought two colors with the intent to have an accent wall, but once I put the paint on the walls, I decided that I wanted to keep the walls one solid color. There will be lots of room to add color through the decor and since there is low lighting in the basement, I feel really good about having the brighter white (Sherwin Williams Snowbound) reflect more light.

The next step will be to paint the smaller doors that cover water elements and then to lay the flooring. Cody says the flooring should go quickly. My goal is to be able to replace baseboards and door trim before we leave on our trip to Utah.

If you ever have questions about painting, please let me know. I am always willing to share anything that I have learned from my own experience.

Have a blessed and productive day!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Asking vs. Demanding

Yesterday, Maurie was in her carseat and the babysitter was going to help her get out, but before she started she asked, "Maurie, can I help you get out of your car seat?"

I was nervous about how Maurie would respond, but she said yes. Even though seconds later she changed her mind and gave the babysitter trouble, her initial response was yes. Maurie's boundaries and rights as a person had been respected when the babysitter had asked for permission first. If you force Maurie to do something she will fight, and I mean literally. She hits, kicks, screams, spits, pinches, bites and the list goes on, but if you ask her to do the thing you wanted to force her to do, she complies with sweetness.

I have thought about Maurie's responses since yesterday's incident, and I have been filled with some guilt. I tend to demand things of people instead of asking.

Cody, come and do the dishes, please.
Jane, pick up the toys.
Brooklyn, sit still.

Most of us are not trying to be defiant, but when someone expects something of me, or demands something of me, my first response is to run the opposite direction or do nothing, just to show them that I have a choice.

Everyone wants to be recognized as an individual with choices to make.

Cody, will you help me with the dishes please?
Jane, will you pick up the toys please?
Brooklyn, will you sit still so you can stay safe?

When we ask, we are saying, Yes, you have a choice and I will respect that choice. Of course, with kids, we have to keep them safe and sometimes that requires doing something against their will because they don't understand, but generally, it really does make a difference when we ask instead of demand. The Golden Rule really is the best way to live life. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Here's to showing respect for the best in each other!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Movie Review-Wonder Woman

Holy Smokes, Wonder Woman! I was impressed with this movie. I honestly didn't process it completely because it was too much to take in.

I nearly ate an entire box of Raisinettes, drank some of Cody's Dr. Pepper, and nearly passed out from the muscle tightness in my neck and shoulders caused by all the intense action. I came home from the movie SO sick. I was dizzy, shaking and crying uncontrollably and didn't calm down for awhile. I believe it was a combination of a pre-diabetic response and the intensity of the movie. I keep my life very quiet, so the loudness of the theatre and the constant action was an overload for me. Cody took care of me, but I was pretty shaken by it. I have not eaten any treats since then and it has not been hard because I don't want to experience that again.

Now that you know about my traumatic experience, I will share my review.

My favorite part is the scenes on the island of Themyscira where all of the women are strong, disciplined leaders and warriors. Outside of the chance of getting my butt kicked (and no men), I was ready to join the ranks. I loved the idea that Diana grew up not knowing what she was capable of and lived an educated, but innocent life. I believe that her innocence was what made her so powerful in the most trying times of the movie.

Train children when they are young and they will not depart from those ways when they are older. The battle in the world really is hard and unforgiving, and I am eager to equip my daughters to fight a good fight through their own hero's journey.

I loved the role of Steve Trevor (Diana's love interest) and the friends she encounters on her journey. When she nearly looses hope, she thinks of the love, goodness and sacrifice they offer and stays in the fight. I also like the pattern of the society outcasts/troublemakers being much more than what they seem (in the case of this movie, heroes) and the tidy politician that ends up being the ultimate villain.

For comedic relief, Steve Trevor's secretary enters. She is funny, feisty and a lovely contrast between the women on Themyscira and women in England during World War II.

The only scene I didn't like in the movie was when Steve Trevor is acting as a German soldier and talking with the poison lady. I didn't believe her interest in him and found it unlikely that she would divert her loyalty to anyone else. Of course, I didn't love the darker scenes that involved the chemical weapon development, but where there is great good, there is great wickedness and this was well illustrated.

Compared the following clip of Wonder Woman in the original TV series, it is an amazing movie. 😜

Friday, June 16, 2017

New Curtains, a Gift and a New Start

New Curtains

new curtains
 I found these curtains at Target in the clearance section. They are not perfect, but they look nice in the room. After buying and returning literally five sets of curtains, I was so happy to find some that look decent.
new curtains
I found these at Shopko and the solid yellow will be hung on the other window in the front room and the gray and yellow set will be hung in my dining room. I will post pictures once I get them up. They were only seven something each panel!

A Handmade Gift

handmade gift
 One of my dear friends is moving this month and I am really sad about it. I thought a long time about a gift that would have meaning for her. I decided to make something that will remind her of her time in Wisconsin by cutting out a silhouette of the state. I gave it to her last night and she seemed to like it. 

New Start

With my sister in town for the last ten days, I did not get more done in the basement, but today I arranged for a babysitter to come watch the girls every Monday, and I am very excited because it will mean I have four un-interrupted hours to do projects around the house and to work on my blog. Cody has been very understanding about me wanting to have childcare while I get some of my personal projects done, and I have finally found someone that can watch the girls. Life gets so hectic, and I know having some time carved out for me will help my productivity and my spirits. Now I just need to get more organized so that everything goes smoothly for the babysitter. I actually love this new motivation to be more efficient! 

Hope all is well with you! Have a lovely Friday!

Until next time,


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Don't Judge

Don't judge

Yesterday, I was working on making dinner and Brooklyn kept crying, whining and asking to be held. I was really frustrated that she wouldn't let me work on dinner. One of the times I picked her up, she cried out in pain when I put my arm under her bum and then I realized the awful truth. 

She had a poopy diaper and she had likely had it for awhile. I had not smelled it, and I had not thought to check it earlier because I was occupied with dinner. When I changed her diaper, her bum was red and hurting. I felt so bad. It took a long time to clean the diaper because she cried every time I tried to wipe or put diaper cream on.

Later on, I was reflecting about what my children have taught me lately and this moment came to my mind. I did not know that she was in pain and I simply judged her and got frustrated with her because she was not allowing me to do what I needed to do.

I think we do this to each other sometimes...we judge only what we see and we get frustrated before trying to understand someone. Brookie just needed me to change her diaper. She was not asking me to hold her just to sabotage my dinner routine; she was trying to communicate that she was hurting and it was falling on a distracted mind.

Brooklyn has taught me that I need to slow down and really try to understand the people around me. I especially need to do that with my family. I can get ultra focused and I am truly blind to the good in my life sometimes. Also, I need to remember that I don't see or understand everything. I must always try to judge with compassion and patience because much of what we carry or fight is hidden from our eyes, just like I couldn't see, or smell, Brooklyn's poopy diaper and once I knew that she was poopy, it changed everything. Could your attitude towards someone change if you could see their heart and their experiences as a whole?

I challenge you to pay closer attention to those who may be struggling. Don't judge, but seek to understand and help.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Initiation

Brookie cried until the ride started. :)

Adell and Maurie

Selfie on the train ride

This was my second time and I enjoyed it better than the first. Maurie was a little scared.

On Wednesday we went to Bay Beach in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is an awesome amusement park that has no admission and the tickets for rides are only 25 cents a piece. My sister Adell came into town the day before we went, and I was so glad she was there to hang out with me and to help me with the girls. The day was spent putting the little ones on rides, eating a picnic lunch and then more rides. As you can see by the pictures, it was a sunny, warm day and everyone was a good tired afterwards. It was a great way to start out our summer. What did you do to start out this summer 2017? Do you have summer traditions?

I am eager to keep healthy routines for my kids this summer. I asked a friend about what she does to prepare for summer and she sent me an example daily schedule for one of her children and a list of fun activities they brainstormed for when they have finished their morning chores and routines. I was super impressed and I was inspired. When I get my own version made, I will share it with you. Do you stay structured during the summer? I'd love to hear how you make your summers productive and fun.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Home Project Updates

pink peonies
Pink peonies from my yard. A dream of mine is to have a large cut flower garden, but I am grateful for the beautiful flowers I have.
strawberry patch


 Jane beat a bird to a strawberry. We really need to cover the strawberry patch. Maurie is concerned about Brooklyn, who is ready to dig with the shovel and get some more veggies planted. =)
home improvement
I have finally got a coat of primer on the basement walls. I always use Kilz primer. Prepping for painting, and painting, is exhausting, but the transformation is very fun for me.

© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.