Sunday, October 30, 2011

We survived....

I have to start this with a little story about the first time that Jim and I went tent camping. It was at a place that was very appropriately named "Cape Foul Weather." It rained the entire time we were there except for about 5 minutes in the middle, and then for the amount of time it took us to pack up and leave. We later found out that it was the location where the Coast Guard does their high seas training....

So flashforward to this weekend and the first time we went tent camping with the kids.
The tents and cots were provided because we were at a boy scout camp. This was the fall campout for the cub scouts. It had been running to about 80 degrees during the day and only dipping into the upper 40s at night. However, there was a cold snap in the Southeast and the low point happened to coincide with this weekend...

I was worried about the temperture and I did go get the coldest weather sleeping bags I could find for the kids.....

It wasn't too bad in the evening, but with all of the activities the council planned by the time we got back to the tents we had loopy tired cub scouts. The tents were on platforms and had raised cots. I am sure that they are delightful in the summer, but in the winter that is a lot of cold air coming up from the bottom.
We could only have up to three cots in a tent so for our family we had Daddy's tent and Mommy's tent.
Josie and Doug decided to be in Daddy's tent. Doug snuggled down in his bag and only had a little bit of chilliness in the middle of the night. Jim threw a couple of towels over him and he was then fine. Josie got chilly but Jim pulled out every trick he knew and she made it through the night. He had his big coat on top of her. He gave her a heat strip in her bag. He put something under her to help.

In mommy's tent for all but about 2 hours I had Andy in my sleeping bag with me. We unzipped his bag and threw it over the top of us with our heads underneath. I didn't sleep much, but I was very glad when I saw that it was light out and time to get up.

After the morning activities and check out we headed home for warm showers and a nap.

Fortunately someone found that during the night in a nearby town there was recorded a temperature of 32 degrees so that means that every boy who slept outside (no going into the cars) during the campout gets their Polar Bear badge. It is small consolation for such a chilly night and I now REALLY appreciate my warm house and especially my electric blanket.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Costumes

Our Halloween costumes take a bit of

explaining... We are (thanks to Everquest) a barbarian shaman, a fairy princess, and a drakkin paladin.

Finally! Pictures

I finally got around to getting some of the pictures off the camera (which happened because I needed to make room for more pictures due to Halloween costumes....)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It really will happen!

The tear-out and remodeling of the kitchen is scheduled to happen mainly in November; however, today I found out that a 40 ft. semi really can make it around the corner and up our hill. We had cabinets delivered because Jim finalized the plans (and they shipped them) for the cabinets.

I am feeling a little cramped around the house because we have one room that is basically empty (and sealed off for sanding). That furniture is in the living room (which got rearranged in that the TV is on a different wall now to reorient the room). I have boxes of flooring and underlayment stacked up. There is an area where I have a huge 5 gallon bucket of paint and various painting tools out. Now there are also cabinets. They are mainly in boxes waiting to be assembled. At least some of them are wrapped and on a pallet and sitting in our carport (as far away from an openings as I could get them. This weekend Jim and I will decide if that is where they stay.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Making progress

I am super busy! I am trying to take pictures....but I have not gotten them off the camera to here yet.
Here is what has been going on:
  • Finished my last interviews
  • Scheduled more observations
  • I'm trying to proofread (but of course this is not my favorite part....)
  • painted the hallway
  • painted the stairwell
  • we removed the banister and Jim and kids cleaned 40+ years of grime off it
  • sanded one wall of paneling (I have miles to go, but it is a start)
  • repaired the ceiling (this was mainly a Jim thing) where the beams were taken out
  • Andy removed a few cabinet doors
  • Jim made the arrangements for the cabinets and we actually have a bit of a timeline now

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's a God thing

We went to Lowes to buy the stuff for me to start working on sanding the paneling (many, many square feet of paneling....) and happened to walk past an end cap with flooring on sale. It was the best price we had seen so we went home and measured. We knew we at least needed to do the room where the gold carpet had been, but we hoped to be able to do the living room and the hallway too.

So I went back today and the price worked out to be within what we were expecting... in fact it was $0.70 under what we were hoping for (how's THAT for planning). Not only that, but after I pulled off the package to go talk to the flooring guy with there were exactly the right number of packages on the pallet in the special display. So they just used the forklift to take it all up front and load up the back of the truck.
It was kind of cool to watch him lift in as far as he could (so as not to hit the camper shell) and then use the prongs of the forklift to push it in.

It feels like progress. It will be a bit before the flooring gets put in because we will do the walls (and ceiling...this is the room we pulled fake beams out of a long time ago) first. Then we will do the other areas when we can clear the furniture back into the dining room.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Echo Room

We have started some major home projects (some that were already in the works). We got the hallway painted (it makes me happy every time I walk down it). We got some other wall prepped for painting.

We also....took out the gold carpet!
I'm sure that it was very nice, very vogue at some point. Now it is on the curb to make way for updating. Before we put in new flooring we are going to do some other work in the room. (Woohoo me and a sander for days and days and days attacking the paneling. I'll keep you posted).

Now that the carpet is gone the room has nothing to absorb the sound and it has a lovely echo to it.

The kids LOVE it.
Josie has christened it the "echo room" and so far there have been battles, dance parties, singing practice, etc. occurring in the room (It's been slightly more than 24 hours since we tore it out).

I'll be interested to see how they feel about it when I tape plastic over the doorways so that sawdust doesn't get everywhere.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Using my resources

I am very glad that as a grad student at a university with a College of Education I have access to kits, books, and other materials in a curriculum library.

That way when your six year old is lobbying to build a physics lab in the backyard with a zip line running between the second story deck and the lab, you can appease him with simple machine kits you have checked out from the curriculum library.

My other six year old requested a grappling hook so that he could swing from room to room in the house...I am not quite sure how I am going to deal with that one.