Monday, September 27, 2010

The Kitchen Beginnings

The kitchen is coming along!!!  And I was quickly reminded why I'm not a "projects person".  BUT, before we get into that, let's see some more before photos of this "rigged" kitchen.

During my path of destruction around the kitchen, I also noticed this horrible molding hanging from the cabinets.  Other than holding grime and dirt, it's only function was to hide the under-cabinet florescent lighting.  Which was "rigged" and cords were hanging all over the place.

(Why this didn't bother me before now is completely shocking to me.  The only reason I could come up with would be that when we moved in I was pregnant (with Lillian) and wasn't all there, and then I guess I just got used to looking at it for so long I didn't "see" it anymore!)

Here's another place the previous owners "rigged" some lighting.  There are cords hanging all over the place above the cabinets.

So, we will be figuring out new lighting.  Especially under the cabinets.  But it'll probably be florescent lighting that doesn't need to be hidden.  Decorative florescent lighting, if you will.

Here's the opposite wall of the kitchen.  Hello, welcome to my world.  Yes, I put random things on top of shelves...we're pressed for room in this house!  I keep telling you I'm not perfect! Ha!

Saturday morning, I started taking cabinets off the hinges and hardware.  Yes, all 20 doors and 7 drawer faces.  (But we only have 5 drawers...I told you we're pressed for space!

And this was how we ate breakfast! Watching Robert staple gun things back into place.  Oh, and I threw away that toaster up top.  I guess if I haven't used it in a year or so, I probably won't use it again!  And maybe I can score a new toaster oven out of this project.  We'll see!

THEN, Robert gets all crazy and construction-man-like and decides to rip out the windows in the kitchen too.  Yeah..that wasn't in my plan, but something that NEEDED to be done!

The kitchen is in shambles at this point.  Not fun when there are 4 kids running around pulling things out of shelves!  AHHHH!!  Add in chainsaws and it's TOTAL CHAOS!

The cabinet doors and the bases were primed only on Saturday.  BUT, 2 windows were completely torn out! :-)

So day one was, how shall I say it, not the most "marriage building" of days, but we got through it unscathed.  :-)

Onto the fun part...PAINTING.  {insert Robert groaning}

We actually DID work as a team on this.  And he didn't get onto me too much about my bad painting.

Landon was actually a HUGE help.  And wanted to help.  Loved seeing his servant's heart come out!

Rhodes was toddling around while we were getting set up and he started walking with a leaf on his (left) foot.

So he tried to wave it off.  It was kinda funny.  He stood up and went back down twice to try and get it off.  Then just pulled it off with his hands.

The boys played around in the rain for a minute.  The girls stayed dry in the playroom watching "Annie". 

See....I'm painting!  I'm really doing it!

Unfortunately, it was SUPER humid so the cabinets took long to dry.  Hopefully, only one more day with a cabinet-less kitchen!

On the paint choice.  Let's just say I was more told, than got to choose.  Robert likes this Dove White Semi Gloss paint.  It's like $60 a gallon ($60.19 to be exact), and it's super tough.

Since we were basically working with "fake wood" that was underneath the vinyl-ish stuff, there weren't too many options for paint.  We just needed it all to STICK to the cabinets.  Plus, we can't go too crazy in the kitchen because in this area and home prices, etc....we would not get our money back if we went all out.  So we are doing the best we can with the house and area we are in.

But it doesn't rule out glazes.  We may or may not experiment with them.  We need to see how these cabinets turn out first.  There's absolutely no doubt that a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen will do it wonders.

We are also wanting to change out the lighting to two matching lights.  But one step at a time.  So far we've spent less than $100 (primer was $25), but we have so much leftovers, it's sure to go to more projects.  For Robert's business at least!

Another good thing about ripping off all the cabinets in your kitchen is it kinda forces you to go through your cabinets.  You see things and realize they're expired, or you have a better place for it which then frees up more space for other things!

Now, am I going to color code and line up cups smallest to biggest in my cabinets?

NO.  I'm not that OCD.  But it was nice to throw some stuff out!

Hopefully I can post "afters" soon!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guess I Have A Project On My Hands

Y'all, I am NOT a "home projects" person.  It's just not me.  I don't pull pages out of magazines wanting to "get that look" or buy cute little things for my home very often.  I guess one day, when the chances of a random kid throwing up, or writing on walls, get super low...THEN I will desire a nice home and put our personal touches on it!

But by golly, I got SICK of looking at our kitchen!!!  You see, we have this fake, plasticy covering on the cabinets.  And with as much as all the drawers and cabinets get used, they started peeling off.  See below.

Well, regardless how long we stay in this house, it needed to be dealt with.

And let's face it....I needed a project.

Robert said he could get me a heat gun and start taking them down this weekend.  Well, I thought to myself...."I have a heat gun.  I just call it a hairdryer!"  And went to town about 2 days earlier than we planned!

Really, if I hadn't have gotten the ball rolling, who know how much longer we would have sat looking at it!!!

Here's what it looks like now! ;-)  Still in need of sanding...and then paint of course.

Please ignore random toaster on top of cabinets, nasty toaster oven on counter,  crazy rigged light over sink, ugly, multicolored floor mat, and baby that was SUPPOSED to be napping!  Mmmk...thanks!

Look at this gross stuff!  I can't believe we left it on as long as we did!!!

Good riddance!

My cute little helper!!!  Who clung to my leg whenever the hairdryer was on.  Then reached for the knives!  Seriously, there are way more forks and spoons to grab...why the knife?

So here is my question for YOU GUYS!!!

What color paint!?!?!?!?!

The counter tops are blue.  And we ain't replacing those....right now at least, so we have to work with those.  And the floors are dark.  There is so little natural light in this house already, that I hate to go too dark in the kitchen!  We need it as bright as possible.

On the other hand, super light colors show every.single.little. finger print and grim!

Sooo....any thoughts much appreciated!  Oh, and hardware suggestions too!  I'm not good at this stuff AT ALL!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Domestic Support

I'm going to try and continue to post about the topics in my small group - assuming they're worth posting about.  So far, they are!  I do not know the topics ahead of time, but I'm sure over the semester they will cover many different areas we moms/wives face daily!

So the past couple of weeks have been on Domestic Support.  It pretty much looks different for every couple and family.  BUT, the key is communicating it to each other with clear expectations and role definition.

In the book His Need, Her Needs by Dr. Williard Harley, he ranks the 10 most common emotional needs in a marriage.

1.  Affection
2.  Sex
3.  Conversation
4.  Recreational Companionship
5.  Honesty and Openness
6.  Physical Attractiveness
7.  Financial Support
8.  Domestic Support
9.  Family Commitment
10.  Admiration

Obviously, the level of each need ranges for men and women and person to person.  But Domestic Support is possibly a bigger need for our husbands than we realize!

Men want to come home life free of stress and worry!  Which, as I'm learning, looks different for each man.

So our "homework" was to go home and discuss and identify our Household Responsibilities - basically anything that keeps your house functioning.  Then divide them up.  Ours is pretty much divided up as "I do the inside, and He does the outside".  And this is mainly because I'm a stay at home mom and not working outside the home.  Probably, no, it WOULD be completely different if I worked a 9:00-5:00 job!

Then I asked Robert what is his ideal scenario when he walks through the door in the evening.

Is is having a home cooked, meat and 3 meal on the table every night, but maybe the house is a wreck?

Is it have a spic and span house where there is not a single spot of dust anywhere, but no dinner on the table?

Is it having a PERFECT house and dinner, but unhappy kids and wife?

You get the point.

Anyway, his response was (and I really already knew it), "I just want the house picked up.  I clean up my job site right before I come home and the last thing I want to do is pick up when I get home."

I told him, "I think that's why I call you (bug him) everyday on what time you will be home.  I need a 30 minute heads up in order to do my little rounds around the house!"

Then we got to talking about what we thought we each others top three most important tasks to concentrate on, and others that can slide a little.  The last thing each of us want to do is put all our hard effort into something that doesn't matter very much to our spouse!  I want to concentrate on the things that Robert thinks are the most important!

I have to say, it was a very fun conversation to have.  I felt like it helped us refocus and get on the same page again!  With 4 little ones, it's easy to just do your own, when it's SO much easier to work together.  Although "teamwork" hasn't always been my strongest quality, I'm working on it!

Side note, Robert thinks it's crazy that I have never played on a "team" before.  Sports or what not.  I always grew up playing piano, riding horses, ballet....all "solo" extra curricular activities.  No wonder "teamwork" isn't easy for me! HA!

Anyway, I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and get talkin'!  It's fun and you just may learn somethings you never knew about him!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

These Two

These two have been spending a lot more one on one time lately! Which I think is GREAT! Though, she may be teaching Rhodes the ropes a little too well....

ISO 400 f/3.2 1/40 31mm FLASH FIRED

I've been playing around lately with my {gasp} pop up flash!!!  I don't think I've ever used it until now!  I've kinda figured out that if you drag the shutter speed just a little (keeping it open longer - especially compared to the speed the camera picks in AUTO mode), more of the ambient light around gets picked up and results in a (much) less harsh flash.

Like here...Rhodes isn't "whited out" by the flash.

ISO 400 f/5 1/25 44mm FLASH FIRED

And here again.  I'm learning that there IS a way to get decent shots (with your pop up flash) indoors!!!  Shocking!  :-)

ISO 400 f/3.5 1/40 26mm FLASH FIRED

Not here though. 

He has a new face these days...he makes it A LOT!

ISO 400 f/2.8 1/40 31mm

ISO 500 f/2.8 1/80 50mm

Some more pics at the ball park!  Which actually doesn't have totally bad lighting! ;-)

ISO 500 f/1.8 1/50 50mm

Clapping and cheering Landon's team on!!!  By the way, we killed the FOURTH team in a row!  15-1 - and the only reason they scored is because we completely changed up the field to see how the kids would do in other positions!  :-)  So proud of their team!

ISO 500 f/1.8 1/50 50mm

Lillian asked me to take a pic of her blue tongue!!  Love some ballpark Airheads! ;-)

ISO 500 f/1.8 1/50 50mm

Brother's tongue soon followed....

Hey, whatever keeps him happy and in the stroller at the ball park!

ISO 500 f/1.8 1/40 50mm

Olivia has a new spot at the ball park!  She get's to keep score with one of the players Grandfathers!!  She LOVES it and feels so special.  We're all jealous, because she's in the air conditioner!  Though the night game wasn't too bad!

I am thoroughly enjoying the ballpark...seriously, I had my doubts.  But I'm finding myself fitting in just perfectly out there!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eight Is Great

Happy Anniversary to my HUSBAND!!!!  I can't believe it's been Eight Years!!!

You always keep me laughing!!!!

Some people wake up after years of marriage and think to themselves, "Who did I marry...They aren't the same person....I wish they would go back to the person I walked down the aisle to!"

But not I! :-)  Can you imagine if we were still the way we were when we got married!

Things are leaps and bounds better!

Not to mention the 4 little ones....that (as you put it sometimes), "Just showed up one day!"

But wouldn't life be boring without 'em!

I LOVE YOU ROBERT!!!  Thank you for a wonderful, exciting eight years!

I look forward to at least several more decades with you!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baseball Galore

More baseball pics!!! :-)

Landon's team blew the other team out of the water yesterday at their game!! 

Apparently, there is a rule that you can't score more than 7 points in an inning.  If you do, it automatically switches it up!

The other team never did get 3 outs.  We ran it up to 21 then took it easy on them.

Which meant only running one base at a time, and switching up all the players and their positions.

Landon got to play pitcher for a bit.

Love this pic...they were losing interest!

I'm really starting to believe that we may actually be a really good team.  All of our players hit really well, and the team seems to understand what to do when they're out in the field!

And our coaches are SUPER patient and great with the kids!

I'm so glad Landon finally likes it and WANTS to go play now!  He loves hitting and it's finally nice to see him enjoy something so much!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday

Going way back to 1982!!! Robert at 2 years old!!!! I think Rhodes looks A LOT like Robert. But with blue eyes that are slightly rounder!!! :-)

Wasn't Robert SO CUTE!!!!

And still is! ;-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Push Through The Problem...Focus On The Blessings

I'm taking a slight detour from the type of posting I do around here, but I just had to share something that was so simple, yet so profound to me. 

At my new women's small group this week, we were talking about our words (as wives) and how important they are in impacting our husbands.  I don't know about you, but I always have room for improvement in this area.  (I can just hear Robert saying "Amen!" to that last sentence)

For me, it is easy to sit and nit pick at what Robert is doing, why he's doing it, and what I think he should be doing.  That's a bad attitude to have as a wife and not one that makes your husband desire to come home and help out.  If you sit and dwell on the negatives that you think may come, you will plant some MAJOR bitter roots that will grow into HUGE bitter weeds one day.

So, at my small group, we were sitting around talking about holding our tongues instead of speaking our minds to our husbands if they are out working, etc., and it (whatever they're doing) doesn't quite go like WE think it should go (or should've gone).  I hope you are following me here...stick with me.  I think I'll make a point.  :-)  Writing was not my forte in school!

The leader shared how her husband was out teaching their son how to "do the lawn" and while "doing the lawn" he cut one of her favorite bushes down pretty bad.  She wasn't happy when she saw it, but held her tongue and went inside.  She share how instead of dwelling on the "bad" that had happened, she decided that she would be thankful that her husband was AT HOME (instead of the hospital working overtime) and investing time WITH HER SON (instead of golf/tv/hunting)!!!!!!!

It was then I asked her, "How do you make sure it doesn't get pent up and come out later?"

Her answer, "You push through the problem, and focus on the blessing!"

WOW.  Light bulbs went off for me!

Pretty simple if you ask me.  Because I'm blessed to have a husband that WANTS to be home with us.   That works SO hard so that I have the privilege to stay home and take care of our kids.  I could go on and on about the little blessings that are all over our home and family.

So, next time you find your mind drifting towards negative thoughts about your spouse, take a step back and look at their heart motive.  And then find the blessing in the situation!  You never know how God will use that in your life to impact others! Not to mention your HUSBAND and FAMILY!

I'm sure I've heard this phrase a million times...or maybe said many different ways, but it has really stayed with me lately.  (Isn't it funny how the Lord opens your ears at certain times!?)  I feel like I can apply it to so many areas of my life.  But most importantly, my marriage!  I'm not perfect at it but I hope this will help me refocus on what matters!

I hope this encourages you today like it did me!!!  Maybe I'll have some more tidbits to share as my small group goes on this semester!  I think it's definitely going to be a good one.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Deuce...that's what Landon's baseball nickname is and his number.  And speaking of baseball...y'all I'm hooked.  I get it.  I just didn't understand before.  But, oh yes, I get it now.

After a few practices, Landon had his first game yesterday.

Half of the cheering section.....

I had no idea what to expect going into our first game.  I don't think any of us did.  But let me tell you...our team ROCKS!  For now at least.  Landon's first time up to bat, he was super nervous.  Not to mention the CROWD that is staring at him.  Which he isn't a fan of.  But he struck out his first go round.

Well, one inning down and he was starting to catch on to what was going on.

Second time up to bat.....

I think there's a slight smile on his face!!!  He's ready this time.

He hit a SINGLE on his FIRST swing!!!!

Here he is running from first to second!

And y'all, I'm proud to announce that I caught my baby's first run into home plate....SCORE!

Of course, I spared you the other 10 pictures since I had my camera on high speed continuous shooting.... ;-)

His team won!!  They're named the Rough Riders.  hehe

Landon scored 2 runs and batted several other runs in!  He had 2 more base hits!!  We were so proud.

He played right field and second base.  I think he did pretty good out there.  Sometimes the kids get the ball and don't know what to do with it!

But it's SUPER cute to see them all playing! 

So, now, instead of a bunch of lake and pool pictures, I'll be treating you to my new obsession. 

Little League.