Friday, August 31, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy has been busy this week at our house!  Little Man lost his first tooth Monday and then his second tooth on Wednesday.  Now when he smiles he has a big gap on the bottom row. I don't think he has any more loose teeth, at least at the moment.

Egee was chewing a pineapple Starburst today and said "Uh, oh."  When I asked what's wrong she pulled out a molar.  I was shocked because she had not said anything about a loose tooth.  She was shocked because the tooth had not been that loose. 

Needless to say, the Tooth Fairy will once again visit tonight. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Lost Tooth

Little Man finally lost his first tooth!  All of his friends have lost several teeth over the past year, but not one tooth was loose in his mouth.  It hadn't bothered him too much, at least until the last month.  You see he is six and a half and losing teeth are starting to be a big deal.

About three weeks ago, he noticed a wiggle in one of his lower front teeth.  He was excited.  Finally a loose tooth.  He wiggled it with his tongue and finger daily.  Then he noticed the one next to it would wiggle.  Two loose teeth! 

Questions started to arise about the Tooth Fairy and the monetary value of teeth.  Egee began to fill him in on how the Tooth Fairy works.  At our house, the Tooth Fairy pays five dollars for the first tooth.  Every tooth after receives a dollar.  The wheels began to turn in Little Man's head of what he could purchase with Tooth Fairy money.

Yesterday during his school lessons, he wiggled his tooth as he listened to the story.  I think he was more intent on wiggling the tooth than on the story of Anansi.  Then out came the tooth!  All lessons stopped as we admired his tooth.  He had many questions about his tooth, so we had a mini lesson on teeth.  I just love being able to switch gears and teach in the moment to the children. 

Little Man's tooth

Showing his 'tooth hole' as he puts it.

The tooth was place in a ziplock bag for safe keeping.  He put the bag under his pillow and this morning he found a five dollar bill in the bag.  Now he is asking to go to the store! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Painting - Part One

My sister came over yesterday to help paint.  I had removed all the wall paper border from the hallway and it became the starting point for the remodel.

Border down!  Now I just had to remove the pictures, so we could start painting.
My sister loves to paint.  She was so excited to get to help.  I was excited to have someone help.

I had my paint colors picked out and decided to paint the walls half dark and half light.  I figured having a young boy in the house that loved to run his hands down the wall, it would be smart to have a dark color on the bottom half of the wall.  Hubby was not to keen on my idea.  So, I painted a test strip to show him.

The test strip.  I made sure it was as level as possible using my four foot level.

Spiced Vinegar on top, stoney fields on bottom

Close up!
He still wasn't sold on the idea.  I told him we could put up a chair rail to separate the colors.  However, I was hoping once I had pictures back on the walls everything would fall in place.

We began painting and the walls were a breeze!  The paint rolled on great.  I cut in the top as my sister rolled the walls.  We were done by lunch and planned on doing the trim after.

The trim was a chore!  We taped and painted.  Hunter green was a pain to cover.  We worked on the trim for four hours!  I believe we applied three coats of off white enamel.  Then my sister had to leave.  I worked for another hour before calling it quits for the day.

Working on the trim.  See the blue painters tape.
I put a fourth coat of paint on the trim this afternoon. I then touched up the wall paint.  It was so satisfying to have the hall finished.

Hubby mentioned that the chair rail would look good.  I told him to wait and see what he thought after I put the pictures on the wall.  So, I decided to go ahead and put the pictures up tonight.

The finished product!

After I had the pictures were hung, he agreed, no need for a chair rail.  Now to finish it off, I just have to wait for my new floors!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wall Paper, Ugh!

Oh, how I despise wall paper.  I am trying to get all the walls prepped to paint and this involves the removal of wall paper and wall paper border.  The person that owned the house previously, loved wall paper border.  I think she used super glue in some places to adhere it to the walls in the kitchen and dining area.

I was pleasantly surprised that the hall and living room border was fairly easy to remove.  The ease of removal in this area prompted me to tackle the hall bath.  I was hoping for the same experience in there.

Wall paper border in the hall and living area.

Border coming down.

Border is down!  You can see the maroon wall color that was under the border.

The children wanted to help, so I assigned them the lower walls of the bathroom.  Letting them soak the wall paper with water to loosen the adhesive.  It wouldn't matter if they made a mess in there.  As I worked on the hallway, they 'painted' the walls with water.  Then they tried to remove the paper.  They started to complain that the paper wouldn't come off.  I told them to try harder.  They insisted they needed my scrapper.

Bathroom wall paper

Little Man soaking the wall paper.
 I stopped working on the hallway, I went to check on their progress.  Sure enough, the wall paper was stuck very well to the wall.  I used the scrapper to pry off a piece.  They pulled off the piece and we discovered another type of wall paper underneath!  Great, just what I needed!  Did I mention that I despise wall paper?

I instructed the children to continue to soak the wall and the I would deal with the bathroom later.

Egee trying to scrape the paper.  You can see the original wall paper under this paper.
Yesterday, I built up the courage to tackle the front half of the bathroom.  The paper had been soaked and I thought it would be easier to remove.  I soaked the paper again, peeled off a small section, resoaked,  scrapped, peeled, and repeated over a thousand times!  Four hours later, I had successfully removed almost all the wall paper in the front half of the jack and jill bathroom.

Making progress!

Ta-da!  Wall paper removed from the front half of the bathroom.

Looking at the bare walls was a nice reward.  The bathroom looks larger and brighter.  Little Man told me the room is actually bigger.  Egee argued it was not, it just looked that way.  That is when Little Man grabbed a piece of wall paper and told her that it came off the wall and that the room was that much bigger.  He is right.  The room did grow by a couple of millimeters!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School is in full swing

We have eased our way back into schooling.  The children began their studies the first of August, but we didn't follow a close schedule.  In fact, we really don't follow a strict schedule at all during the year.  We meld life and school into one.  However, I do make sure we focus on the basics (math, language arts, spelling, reading comprehension, and writing) minimum of four days a week.

Little Man working on a math lesson.

Egee concentrating on a spelling lesson.

The remaining subjects of history and science are explored all the time.  History is read about and then seen in many field trips.  The field trips bring it to life for the children and they remember so much more!  Science at this age is all about exploring and discovering.  The 'why' factor is the impromptu lesson.  When they ask 'why does the ______ do _____?', we look it up and read about it.  That usually leads to more discussion and more questions and observations.  Isn't that what science is all about?  The scientific method starts with a question.

The best education is one that can be taken with you where ever you go.  My children are learning that learning doesn't have to take place in a school or even at the kitchen table.  We learn in the car, waiting in line, on vacation trips, the swimming pool, the backyard, at the dojo, etc.  These are some of the best places!  It just reinforces that life is a constant learning experience.

Egee is great at looking up answers to questions she has.  Of course providing she has internet access!  We are a very techie family.

They both get in the mood to 'do school work' at weird times and grab their workbooks and complete a few pages.  Little Man decided one Saturday evening he needed to learn his phonics better.  He snatched up his workbook and a pencil, then came running for me to watch him complete a few pages of lessons.  Learning for him is a now experience.  When he is ready, he is ready and we grab the opportunity and run!

The one thing I have started to notice is how my children problem solve.  Egee is very direct in her method.  She in one way is very one-dimensional.   Little Man on the other hand explores the problem from all angles.  He will work and work to figure out a problem, while his sister gets frustrated if her first attempt did not meet success.  I watch them play video games together.  Egee becomes frustrated at Little Man when he doesn't take her advice to solve the problem.  After the initial, 'you are doing it wrong', phase of frustration, she then starts to watch her brother problem solve.  It may take him many attempts.  He tries out various approaches, but usually figures it out fairly fast.  Egee is then amazed at how he solves the problem.  I am hoping his problem solving skills wear off on her!

Well, here is to a another year of success!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Let the Fun Begin!

We are in a slow process of redoing the interior of our home.  Two years ago, we changed the exterior color of the house.  I didn't mind the slate blue and white exterior, but wanted a change.  Now that I have the outside of my home finished, we are focusing on the interior.

I have never been a fan of the carpeting in our home.  I knew I would have to live with it for a while, and truly didn't mind because our children are young.  It isn't as devastating when they make a mess on an old floor.  Little Man can make a mess like no other!  Is it the Y chromosome that is responsible?  His sister didn't make these messes.  So, yes, I have been thankful we have held off on purchasing new flooring.

I have dreamed of having new flooring.  We have talked about new flooring.  We have looked endlessly at different flooring options.  All in preparation to one day purchase flooring for our home.  Now the day has come to make a decision, because our new flooring dream is coming true!

Panic has set in, for this is a big decision!  I must live with my choice for a very, very long time.  My wants of durability (aka: can withstand Little Man and the pets), easy to care for (unlike the white linoleum that shows everything!), and timeless (no more green carpet in the living area and pink in the bedrooms!).  Oh, how hard it is to pick out the floors I want!

We had previously thought about laminate flooring.  Several friends and family had put this in their homes and liked it.  However, we wondered would it really stand the test of Little Man and the dogs?

Hardwood was too expensive and the dogs would probably scratch it.

Carpet was definitely out for the living areas.  I clean carpets every one to two months in our living room (sometimes more!).   However, I think I am going to put carpet in the bedrooms.

What was left?  I definitely did not want linoleum.

We were then introduced to luxury vinyl planks.  They are extremely durable, easy to care for, looked like wood or slate or anything you could imagine, and cost effective.  Could this be our answer?  I did my research.

We agreed that the luxury vinyl would be for us.  I have waited for Hubby to say we are ready to pick out flooring and the news came last week.  Friday, I went to pick out what I wanted.

Oh, so much to choose from that it made my head swirl.  I spent an hour trying to find the right color for the hardwood look and the stone look to match and make a nice transition.  Not to mention all the help I received from the children.

This will go in the living room and hallway.  Doesn't it look just like hardwood?

My pick for the kitchen, dining, entry, and bathrooms.

I finally decided on the vinyl flooring and then transitioned to the carpeting section.  We had decided that carpet would be best for the bedrooms.  The children wanted to customize their carpet.  Egee wanted a purple or orange color for her room (uh, no!) and Little Man wanted fire truck red for his (yeah, right!).  They both then decided they wanted a thick plush.  There was a beige sample rug on the floor and they 'drew pictures and letters' on the plush with their fingers.  They were quite entertained.

I wanted carpet that was soft underfoot and could easily hide any uh-ohs that come with children and pets.  I like natural colors and patterns.  Again, so many choices and one that I must live with for a long time!

Finally, I narrowed my selection and then compared it with the vinyl planks.  I think it will look good.

Plush carpet in natural tones that picks up the color from the wood and slate.

Not only are we putting in new floors, but we are painting the interior of the house.  Living room, all the crown molding, hallway, master bedroom, hall bathroom, finishing the dining area, and touching up paint in other rooms as needed.  So, I must also select paint colors!

I like natural colors.  The dining area and kitchen are done in a soft, light brown (beige) color.  I want to tie in the light color and transition into a little more color in the living area.  Our house is open concept, so I've got to get this right! 

I also want color in our bedroom!  I am so ready to get rid of the white walls.  Hubby wasn't sure about the green I picked at Lowe's.

The kids were excited about painting their bathroom yellow.  It doesn't have any windows and is dark, so I hope yellow will brighten the room.

This morning, after Hubby left for Aikido, I started painting samples on the walls.  It is amazing how the same color can look so different on several walls! 

When Hubby returned, he was surprised.  He is actually starting to like the green in the bedroom.  He is not too sure about the brown in the living room.  I think I am going to paint a bigger sample section of brown and see if he starts to come around.

The real fun of painting begins next weekend.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mom the Money Tree

The children always have an endless want of things.  When we go into the store it is a constant battering of 'can I have', 'may I get', 'I need', 'I want', etc.  Little Man gets mad every time I tell him no.  Egee wants an allowance.  So, I decided to give them an allowance for the month.  My children have everything they could possibly need and more!  My parents have completely spoiled them and the toys runneth over in the house!

The monthly allowance isn't much.  A ten dollar bill is enough to take care of any little want, yet bigger wants must be saved.  When Little Man has money, it burns a hole in his pocket.  I explained to them that the ten dollars covers all wants for the month (candy, quarters for the trinket machine, ect.) Mom is no longer the bank of free money.

The ten dollar test came upon us at the Thrift Barn.  There is a toy area and Little Man found a useless piece of junk.  He came up with it and wanted to buy it.  I told him that was fine, it comes out of your ten dollars.  He looked at me in puzzlement.  He then looked at the toy and decided he did not need it.  Back to the shelf it went.  He found cleats.  He needed them and once again I told him it was his money to spend.  He put them back.  He pondered over the cleats.  He really wanted the cleats.  As I stood in line to check out, he ran to get the cleats.  I asked him did they fit. He tried them on and they didn't feel right.  He put them back.

Everything he sees at the store costs more than his ten dollars.  He becomes dissapointed that he cannot buy what he wants.  I am happy he is starting to see the value of money.  He wants to know when he will get another ten dollars.  I told him in a month.  He wanted to know days.  I told him and he is now counting the days for his next pay day.

During our camping trip, he decided he had to have a little plastic gun that shot discs.  He forfeited three dollars.  He didn't seem to mind and declared he know has seven dollars.

Egee is more stingy with her money and has great plans to save up for something of value.  I'm not to worried about her.  It is Little Man that must learn the value of the all mighty dollar and that it doesn't just grow in my wallet.

Monday, August 13, 2012

River Creek

We went camping over the weekend.  This time we decided to try a new location - River Creek Campground.

River Creek Campground is a quaint little place.  Located on the Broad River and just 10 miles from Chimney Rock Village, makes it a great spot to just getaway for the weekend.  I first stumbled upon this little jewel when searching for a place to tent camp.  They have wonderful tent sites!  However, we now have our travel trailer and camped at a site just for rv's.  Their rv sites are very nice and most are riverfront.

Nice shaded sites!

Concrete patios and nice picnic tables. 

Our view of the Broad River.

River Creek Campground offers tubing Monday thru Friday.  We didn't arrive in time to tube.  Lake Lure releases water from the dam during the week and the Broad River rises one to three feet during the release.  When we arrived the water was still running high and fast.  Definitely too fast for the children to safely play in the river.  When we awoke on Saturday morning, the water level had dropped and the river was more of a babbling brook.
Another view from our campsite.

We took a short trip into Chimney Rock Village.  The weather was overcast and muggy!  The children had never been to Lake Lure or Chimney Rock and we wanted to let them see it.  The weather was too threatening for a trip to The Beach at Lake Lure or a hike to the top of Chimney Rock, so we drove and looked at the sites.

Heading toward Lake Lure.

Lake Lure

Lake Lure

Lake Lure

Chimney Rock Village
Chimney Rock Village

Chimney Rock - you can see the flag waving.

A view of Hickory Nut Falls.

We at lunch at Laura's House Restaurant.  They have delicious cakes, so we all split a slice after lunch.  Yummy!

We ventured across the street to explore the Rocky Broad River.  This is a nice park for kids to climb on rocks, cross bridges and enjoy nature.

After we spent time exploring, we made our way through a few shops on the way back to the truck.
Little Man wanted an Indian headdress, but decided he didn't want to depart with his cash.

Egee found one to match her shirt!

 We made the trip back to the campground and enjoyed a quiet evening exploring the river and campground.  The children loved the arcade area and tried their hand at billiards.

Another successful camping trip!  We will definitely return later this fall.  Can't wait to take the children up to Chimney Rock and let them see the views. 

Hubby finishing packing the hoses.

Kids in the truck and ready to head home.

Bicycles and grill ready for the return home.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Day Out with MeeMee

The kids and I enjoyed a day out with MeeMee.   Summer is winding down and school is starting back, so MeeMee will be working again. 

We decided to go to Cooley Farms and pick up peaches and blackberries.  The blackberry crop is almost finished for the summer and we had yet to make a trip to get these delicious berries.  MeeMee had never been to Cooley's and today was a perfect day to go. 

The children sampled the different varieties of freestone peaches, of course each had their own favorite!  So, we bought some of each.  The general consensus was for the O'Henry yellow peach.

Egee's favorite - O'Henry yellow peach

Little Man's favorite - White Rose white peach
My favorite - blackberries
After we picked out the sweet tasting fruit, we headed over to the cafe.  Burgers and ice cream was a special treat!

On our way back home, we drove up to Landrum to visit the Hospice Thrift Barn.  I normally find odds and ends to add to our homeschooling collection of games and books.  The children like going to treasure hunt.  A dollar can buy quite a bit there!

A favorite stop when in Landrum.

Today was no exception to finding 'treasures'.  MeeMee even found a few books for her classroom.

I had been looking for star maps at Barnes and Noble, but had not had success within my budgeted amount to spend.  Today, a man at the Thrift Barn was stocking books and asked if I was looking for anything specific.  I told him we homeschool and I just pick up things that I think I can use.  He said he would be right back and brought back a big box of books.  The 'Starfinder' just happened to be in the box! 
Not a bad find for a dollar!

 This game is for beginning readers to advanced learners!  A wonderful addition for both children to use.

Science Stuff!

This kit had never been opened and only cost three dollars!

We ended up with several books to go with the above goodies and spent a grand total of ten dollars.  I just love the Thrift Barn!  I think MeeMee will be asking to go back soon to our treasure spot.

Overall, we had a wonderful outing.  To bad MeeMee has to go back to school next week.