Sunday, July 31, 2011

31 days in July

What a busy, busy month! I may be too tired to think in complete sentences... but somehow I can still count.

1 red-white-and-blue Independence Day parade
4 forts in Nana's living room

1 inspiring local homeschooling conference
6 fun afternoons at the park with friends

5 long-anticipated tickets to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” (We took my dad and left Littlest with his Nana.)
1 lesson in leverage

3 parties to celebrate friends' birthdays
At least 20 games of chess, checkers, Battleship and Dinopoly

4 weekly cello and violin lessons
3 days (for the professional) to hang and finish the drywall

Lots and lots of 100-degree days
A dozen evenings at the pool

1 day to move our living and dining furniture into...
2 Uboxes while Scott refinishes the floors
1 teary farewell to dear friends moving to North Carolina

4 rooms to paint (including ceilings)
11 days of prepping and painting
3 cans of Behr satin Cornsilk
2 cans of Behr satin Rainwashed

2 cousins visiting from New York
3 delicious dinner invitations 
1 visit with friends to a children's museum

1 lesson in using a table saw for Eldest
3 days to lay the new tongue-and-groove floor in the kitchen and laundry room

14 days until Daddy goes back to work his easier paid job as a teacher

Saturday, July 30, 2011

La Habra Children's Museum

This week we spent a day with friends who moved to Orange County in April. We met them at a darling children's museum in the city of La Habra.

It's not a huge museum, but every room was thoughtfully designed and organized, and geared for touch and interaction.


The science and art exhibits were full of great things to explore, but the highlight was definitely the theater room.

Abundant costumes, a real piano, kid-adjustable stage lights, a microphone, and audience seating for parents (ahem) kept us entertained until it was time to go home.

Friday, July 29, 2011

{this moment} big helpers

{this moment} A Friday ritual. A photo (or two?) - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Kitchen: Slowly, but surely

I don't suppose you don't want to hear all about the details of our first building inspection and how Scott had to climb into the attic again to reinforce ceiling joists...?

Let's just say it's been a lot of hurry-up-and-wait this week. BUT, we finally passed initial inspection, the drywaller is hard at work finishing the new walls, and my part in the job effort is about to get much bigger.

Did I mention that we decided to continue the hardwood floors we have in the front rooms straight into the kitchen? We've had leftover flooring sitting in our garage for seven years, waiting for us to decide where to use it. (We considered using it in our bedroom, which has some water damage.)

Obviously it's much friendlier to the budget to use what we already have -- and I think it will be beautiful. (We originally thought we'd install Marmoleum in a dark blue and butter yellow checkerboard. The price tag was a reality check.)

So, since the wood flooring is unfinished, and we want it to flow seamlessly between the rooms, Scott will need to refinish the final coat on the floors in the living and dining rooms at the same time.

AND, since we have to take out all the furniture to do that, and the new drywall has to be painted in the kitchen and dining room... I'll be repainting all three rooms (including ceilings and moldings) starting next week!

Yes, this project just grew significantly, and we're already four weeks behind my initial unrealistic schedule, I'm afraid there's no point in getting anxious to see final pictures just yet. *wink*

But I'll give you some peeks at colors and decorating details in my next post... will that do?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Kitchen: Progress!

It's hard to believe it's been a full month since we started remodeling our kitchen.

It has been an arduous, tedious process. And since the chimney removal, it's also been mostly a one-man show -- definitely a labor of love by my Love, who has graciously refrained from reminding me repeatedly that this was not his idea.

In the last three weeks, Scott took out all the soffits...

He tore out the studs between the dining room, kitchen and pantry, making it one giant open room (temporarily)...

He removed the vinyl flooring and particle board subfloor. (It took 8 hours just to chisel the particle board out of the laundry room because of the way the last remodel was done!)

And then, while the boys and I were off at the beach, he got strep throat.

Between the 105-degree weather outside, the giant hole in the ceiling letting in the heat, and the constant dust, he definitely needed a break to rest. (This project makes teaching geometry to teenagers feel almost like a vacation.)

This weekend, after four weeks of peeling back layer after layer of old remodel and original structures, he finally crossed from demolition to construction!

He put in the first new wood to repair the old floor and subfloor, and he built the new wall above and below the new peninsula!!

This was a seriously momentous occasion! A turning point! A cause for celebration!

I've seen Scott get a new surge of energy and motivation for the project in the last few days, working longer hours after school, spurred on by the visual evidence of his efforts.

Both the subfloor and the old pine flooring need more repairing and levelling before the new flooring can go on top. He has to finish framing the new broom closet before the drywall can be done -- but, oh! Won't that be amazing to see?!

Monday, July 04, 2011

The right to play with fire... a cherished American freedom. I think it's that bit about pursuing happiness...

The Fourth of July Parade

This morning we joined old friends and new ones to celebrate Independence Day with a little old-fashioned Americana.

I grew up in a classic bungalow cottage in a friendly neighborhood full of old houses and people who value tradition and community.

When I was about 10, a few families on our street started the "20th street Fourth of July Parade."

Every summer we expressed our patriotism in red, white and blue -- on our clothes, our fences, our bikes, strollers and wagons, and -- as the parade grew and grew -- on our Jeeps, tractors and fire trucks.

Though we don't live in the same neighborhood anymore, we're not very far away, and we still have lots of friends who attend the parade.

My friend Catherine and I grew up a block apart from each other on 20th Street from age 2. Here she is with her four adorable kiddos...

I love that I get to bring my own kids now. It's pretty amazing to see this tradition still going strong 26 years later.

Nearly 200 people came out this year, gratefully using our freedom to assemble to make some memories with friends, family and neighbors.

Go see my mom's post for some great pics and her own perspective on the parade!

Happy 4th of July! Are you celebrating today?
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