Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Good, Bad and the Ugly

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Having six kids has sure been an adventure all its own. It has made me Crazy, broke, more patient, less anal and less judgmental of people and their kids. When you have kids ranging from 1day old to 15 you learn fast that nothing is set in stone and to be ready for plans to change on a dime. Type A personality can NOT survive in this world! Even now with the youngest being 14 and the oldest being 29, there is always something going on and plans changing all of the time. Yes, we still have bickering and arguments over clothing, cleaning, wash, etc.

Growing up my best friend was from a large family of seven children. I was always very envious of her as there was always something going on at her house. Someone was always baking, making something, or there was some type of activity that was fun was happening. I knew from then that I wanted to have a large family God willing.

The Good:

The day that Kaylee had Jaxson is a day that will forever stick in my mind. All five of the siblings came simultaneously baring gifts for the baby with smiles from ear to ear waiting to meet their first nephew. Kaylee’s face was priceless showing off her little baby to all of her siblings. Although she didn’t have a stable relationship with the babies father, she did have these awesome siblings that loved her and the baby from the second he was born.

Holidays especially are always so much fun. Tons of food, conversation and of course craziness! Savanna’s boyfriend is an only child. When they first started dating over  two years ago, he looked like a deer in headlights at family get together’s. Now, two years later he is used to the chaos and even joins in on it.
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I think a large family has a language all their own. We tend to have names for the bad times. For instance, we have the Christmas cookie baking Fiasco. Long story short. We planned for weeks to get together and bake Christmas cookies. (It was going to be like something you see in the movies.) Well, that didn’t turn out that way. The girls started bickering about something or other, and two stormed out leaving just two of the girls and me. OR the New Jersey ice cream cone incident. Just imagine four girls driving in a car with three ice cream cones. Somehow a fight broke out One ice cream cone ended up in someone’s hair, the other two out the window. I wasn’t there for that one but I can imagine!


Unfortunately, their are some tough times that really effect the sibling relationships. When one of the kids is making bad decisions over and over again their trust is lost. It takes a toll to the point that some of them don't want that one around anymore as they feel like they are enabling the behavior and the other kids are feeling bad for him. Its a super tough situation that there is NO real right or wrong answer for! As a parent it sucks and seems so unrepairable! Praying and hoping is the only thing to do in this situation.

I imagine if I asked each child individually if they liked growing up in a large family, we would get mixed reviews, but I think most would say YES! The action never ends and someday when we are gone they will all have each other to cling to in the good, bad and the ugly times!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dining Room Board and Batten Project

Happy Tuesday! Let me just say this was a failed attempt at a tutorial blog. Reason being, we did this project in the last summer and early fall. As we went along I took pictures step by step but unfortunately I lost every single one of them and only have the ones that I took at the end which makes absolutely NO since. So here is my best effort without all the pictures!

Its been a long holiday weekend for Mitchell and Jim. Jim is back at work today, Mitchell is off till tomorrow. Jim mainly works from home so he is technically back but still here! They are calling for snow so of course Mitchell is praying for a snow...

Last spring we decided to put the house on the market as we wanted a bit smaller house and a little more land. Within a month or two the house didn't sell and we were realizing everything we liked was either, NOT much smaller if any, or just not what we wanted! We decided after much thought to do some upgrades to the house and stay!  I LOVE our house so I was happy! We did get some ideas on what we wanted to do to improve some things.

We loved some of the older homes that had the original moldings and such.  One of the houses had a dining room with the most beautiful board and batten! I would have bought the house for that alone! We decided that was the first project we wanted to tackle in our house.
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First I started researching the different heights, widths, and reasons for the various ones. We wanted a more traditional look. Second, I took a long time looking for the overall "look" we were looking for. Then the color I wanted to paint for the walls that was both light and airy but still had a traditional edge. Jim had decided he wanted to do it himself as he wanted it done right and didn't want to pay someone a fortune to do what he could...such a man! I knew with him working 40+++ hours a week it would take a while! YIKES, I am not one to like to wait for things!

In some of the tutorials they made it out to be a fast cheap project, but to do it right and with the look I wanted it wasn't fast but with Jim doing it was an expensive improvement! So after deciding on what wood we would use, the paint color and overall spacing of the boards we were set to go!

First I started with the painting. I decided to go with a Benjamin Moore Color, Stone White. It is a very light grayish blue but NOT white. I used Sherwin Williams, Emerald Paint, with a Matt finish. This paint is super thick so pretty much no dripping and it covers wonderfully. It is quite pricey per gallon but is worth it! I have tried many other brands of paint but Sherwin Williams is my favorite and he best!
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Looks greenish here but isn't
Once I was done painting the walls it was time to start measuring for the  boards for the board and batten. Its tricky because every board needs to be straight. HAS to be straight and most evenly spread apart. We decided to make it 54 inches tall and the space between each board an average of 12 inches give or take depending on were it was spaced and low big the wall was etc. Jim is a master at this since he is a very detailed oriented person not to mention engineer! The boards we used were a composite type recycled condensed paper. I know it seems weird but that's what it was. Another decision we needed to make was what size boards we would use width wise. Its crazy the possibilities. We went with a larger width on the top 31/2 inches. For the vertical ones we used 21/2 inches and at the bottom running on top the molding we used 11/2.  We played around with the different sizes to see what was the most eye pleasing for us.

We put the bottom boards up first, then the top boards. When they were up, we had to carefully cut, measure and place the vertical boards. This was super time consuming because there areas that don't follow the pattern, then you have to come up with a plan on how to deal with them. Like under the windows, around sockets and air vents, in corners, etc.

When that was all done, it was time to paint the board and batten area. That included the new boards and the wall which was still the original yellowish color. Its important in this step to get a very good paint that is especially for doors and moldings as you want the wall and boards to look the same. Once again I used a Sherwin Williams Paint called Pro Classic. It is a hard enamel paint that comes in Satin, Semi-gloss or gloss. I used semi-gloss and it turned out amazing.
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The entire project including paint, wood, glue cost around $300. I'm sure we saved over $1000 just in labor as it was a time consuming project but so worth the results. I LOVE how the entire room turned out, its exactly how I had pictured it and how the look I wanted.

The next project is to install a new wood floor in the family room. We are hoping to do this within the next month and once again Jim is planning on doing it. Stayed tuned for that project!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Life Lately 

The Since Christmas it has been crazy, or should I say since November 7! Let’s start with November 7 because I think that was when the craziness began at least for me
In September we have decided that we would host Thanksgiving this year. That entails having all of Jim’s family down from New Jersey for the long weekend as well as other family members coming for the day. In a nut shell it’s a big undertaking but we were up for the challenge.

 Fast forward now till October when I found out that I needed to have surgery on my elbow and wrist. They scheduled it for November 7 which meant it was going to be tough for me to have Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, with Jims help and the kids we decided to go ahead and have it.

November 7th came and went. The surgery went well but the recovery was much more painful and longer then I had anticipated. A couple of days before Thanksgiving I started feeling crappy with a bad cough and low-grade fever. I stayed out of the kitchen as much as possible which was hard for me but between my arm and my coughing it wasn’t where I needed to be. By the time the long weekend was over I was not any better so I return to the doctors for the second time to find out and I had developed pneumonia! It took three courses on anabiotic‘s to finally kick it and almost ended up in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Mitchell picked up any and every bug known to man and missed a lot of days of school before and after Christmas. Within a three week period he had four different viruses and or infections! Of course I ended up catching one or two as well. You have to LOVE this time of year!
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I finally just got all the Christmas decorations down which is so depressing to me! The house always seems so cold. Plus, It has been super cold outside with the temperatures some days not getting out of  the teens! I'm not complaining, it is winter in Pa!

Unfortunately, Jan 30, I am having the exact same surgery on my left arm that I had on my right. I am not looking forward to it, but It will be good to have it all over with by the time spring and summer roll around and not be in pain daily from it!

So that's really all that is going on and has been lately here. Same old same old which is totally FINE with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Leggings Leggings Everywhere 

As many of you know I started a business of my own almost exactly a year ago. I sell leggings for the company which is fairly new called Legging Army. I have never sold anything prior as it just never interested me. This has been quite a learning experience but I really am still enjoying it.

What has been a learning experience? Well I guess the biggest thing but I have learned is that nothing is sold until the money is in hand and you were walking away with it and them with their leggings. My father was a car salesman and he would say no sale is final until the car is being driven off the lot.  No matter how many hours days or weeks he spent with someone it just wasn’t a guarantee until then. Needless to say I totally get what he meant now and I am just referring to leggings.

I am surprised how much fun I have had selling and meeting new people along the way. It has certainly gotten me out of my comfort zone and made me a bit more extroverted. 

Will I get rich from this adventure???? NO!!! But it’s fun nevertheless. If you love leggings or just being comfortable check out my VIP page!

Friday, December 29, 2017

The HOT gifts of Christmas 2017(at our house)

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I find that every year there is that one tor two things that most of the kids will ask for. In the past it has been Pogo sticks, razor scooters, nintendo DS’s, IPads, etc. This year it was the Sperry saltwater duck boots, (YES, the same duck shoes I had in the mid 80’s, although these are much cutier and they have lots more to choose from). Three of the four girls asked for them for Christmas and when the fourth one saw them, she ordered a pair for herself the very next day! I even got a pair as a gift because I wanted them also! Here are the ones we got!
Taylor's pair
OMG they are the BEST! Not only are they adorable, but they are super comfortable and warm! (I tested them yesterday because the high was only 18 degrees and my feet stayed warm) Now I want to order another pair but I will have to wait!

The other most asked for gift this year was the Amazon Echo DOT! Three of the girls asked for it and Mitchell already received one for his birthday and the entire house fell in love! For those who don’t know what it is Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to receive stereo sound to the speakers you choose. It connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. It’s the coolest little device ever and the price was very affordable!  
The most popular gift with the boys in the family was a gaming chair. Here’s the one MItchell got from Santa.

This was his big gift, he was surprised and excited!!! I have to brag just for one minute! Mitchell is 14 years old now. He continues to be a super polite, thankful kid of which we are so happy for. Christmas day he must have thanked us 20 times for his gifts and everything. I just love him so much and feel so grateful he is the way he is. We pray he continues this way as I know hormones are flying around a lot these days! LOL

He also asked for beats wireless headphones, which was another popular item amongst many kids his age and older. He did get a pair and loves them. Do your homework and research when purchasing these as you can get a great knock off pair for hundreds$$$$$ less!
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What was the popular gift at your house this year?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas House tour 2017

I know this is a little late, but better late than never I suppose. Life comes at you and time flies by so I thought I should get to this before the new year arrives and it really is too late to post!

If you have been following me since last year, honestly not a lot has changed as far as my decorations.  I’m not one of those people that change my decorations every year. First of all, I couldn’t afford it,second of all I don’t have the energy and third of all, I love The decorations I have now!

This year was the earliest I have ever started decorating. I had an open house here for my leggings business along with handful of other friends and their personal businesses. For me it was not the best time for me to have it,  It was the weekend after Thanksgiving and I was sick as a dog. Nevertheless we had the open house because it had been planned for two months. I’m glad we had it because it gave the family a reason to all pitch in and get the decorations out and put up and with everyone helping, which has never happened before, everything was ready, except for the trees, for the open house Sunday, November 26.

So that concludes the Christmas house tour this year. Now to enjoy it for the next week until it all comes down!