Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Expander, Retainer, Braces

We now join the millions of other parents who have children in braces.  My oldest got her top braces put on today.  She started out with an expander to widen her pallet, then wore a retainer for 4 years.  Now it's on to braces.  She's excited about them.  In about two weeks, my boys will start their orthodontist journey. 

All I see right now is $$$$$$$$$$!

Friday, March 19, 2010


I'm sure my husband dreads that word by now.  Reason why?  Because every time I start a project it ends up taking longer and costing more than originally planned. 

Project -  Repaint the girls room during Spring Break.  That's easy enough - right?!  Wrong.  I then decided that we might as well take out the carpet (since I hate carpet).  The floors look awful so the project just got bigger. 

Step 1 - Buy paint and supplies - $75

Step 2 - Let's pull out the carpet. After all, I hate carpet because it's so hard to keep clean.

Step 3 - Look at floor - it looks terrible.  And a good cleaning isn't going to do it.

Step 4 - Try sanding it with my little corner sander (to save money on the drum sander)  - Wrong move.

Step 5 - Call hubby and request that he pick up a drum sander on the way home
              Drum Sander rental - $43.
              Sand Paper for sander - $16 (bought 2 different grades)

Step 6 - Sand the floors - uh oh, not enough sandpaper

Step 7 - Go back to Home Depot for more sandpaper
              Sandpaper for sander - $16 (two more)
              Polyurthane for floor - $20

Step 8 - I only have about 3 hours until I'll be charged for another day, so I'm trying to finish what can be
             done with that sander.

Step 9 - Return drum sander. Just made it to store with about 5 minutes to spare!

Step 10 - Look at orbital sander and decide this is what we need (very glad now)
               Orbital Sander $39.97
               Sandpaper for sander - $8.00

Step 11 - Sand some more.  So glad that I purchased the sander - it's making my job alot easier.

Step 12 - Run out of sandpaper (should have bought more, but wasn't sure how the sander would work)
                so it's back to Home Depot.

Step 13 - Finish the sanding.  It looks great.  Have spent at least 12 hours sanding. 

Step 14 - Now for the cleanup.  Wipe all the walls, baseboards and floors clean of dust. 

Step 15 - Put first coat of polyurthane.  Let dry for 10-12 hours

Step 16 - Lightly sand the floor.

Step 17 - Put second coat of polyurthane on floor.  Let dry 10-12 hours more.

Step 18 - Put final coat of polyurthane on floor.  Let dry and keep off for 14 days.

Step 19 - Clean walls again and patch cracks.

Step 20 - Paint walls. (probably 2 coats)

Step 21 - Paint window seals and baseboards.

Step 22 - Move furniture back into the girls room

Step 23 - Find a new rug for room -  will probably cost about $50 for the one I want.

There you go!  We are about to start step 15.  The boys decided they want their carpet out.  I tell them I'll do it in about 10 years!  It's still cheaper to do it ourselves.  To have it done for us would cost well over $1000.  That's motivation enough to do it ourselves.

Pictures will be forthcoming once I finish.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Boyscout Fun

This past weekend, my boys and hubby went to a Webelo Woods Campout.  This was a chance for my boys to see what the Boy Scouts do.  Andrew will get his "Arrow of Light this month" and will become an official Boy Scout.   

While I don't have pictures of every activity, here are some that we do have.  The boys were able to make their own bow and arrows and brought them home. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God's Ways are Mysterious...

Last evening was rather eventful.  Our normal Wednesday evening consists of doing homework, eating supper and getting ready for church.  But last evening was a little different.

I received a phone call from my neighbor asking if we could come get her from her doctor's office.  She is the same neighbor that lost her husband back in October.  So, we all piled in the van so I could drive her car home.  She has not been sleeping well due to many situations all relating to the care of her mother-in-law and the death of her husband and her doctor wouldn't allow her to drive home. So we picked her up and brought her home.  At this point, we knew there would be no way we could make it to church on time. 

About 8:00, our oldest boy noticed that his night light was melting.  One of his blankets was against the nightlight and no one had really paid attention to that.  Had we not been there, we might not have a home right now. 

God is so good to us.  The situation that kept us at home protected us from a major disaster.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Madness

I feel like the hands of the clock are in fast forward.  It's already March and I'm just getting used to saying 2010.    And of course with March it means that much closer to TAKS testing.  This is a BIG thorn in my flesh. 

My dislike for the TAKS actually started about 5 years ago when my oldest daughter was in third grade.  She did pass it all the way through elementary, but not without a lot of stress.  Last year, my oldest son made all A's in math but failed the TAKS - tell me how that happened? 

So much stress is put on the children during the TAKS testing.   And if they miss school, there is no retake.   
To me the TAKS testing is a very political movement.  And now, I find out that starting in the 2011/2012 school year, TAKS is going bye-bye.  I should be excited and happy about it, right?  Wrong.  According to the TEA's website http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=7874, the new test, called STAAR will be even tougher. 

Do I want my children to excell and do their very best and be challenged?  ABSOLUTELY!  But this testing is all about numbers.  The schools are graded according to how well children did on the TAKS.  One very big burr under my saddle has been the fact that this test has nothing to do with their report card.  Yet, unless they pass, they could be held back.  There again, if my child is really struggling, maybe holding him/her back would be the best thing.   But if they are doing well on their report card, why would he/she be held back?

You might wonder if we test our oldest daughter since she is homeschooled.  The answer is yes.  She will have three days of testing in April.  But we aren't stressing over it.  I know when she's struggling in an area by her grades.  We can then work on that area until it is resolved.  That's the nice thing about homeschooling.  I know exactly what area to work a little harder on.  Unfortunately with public school, we don't get that.  The teachers have too many children in their classroom to focus on any problems one might be having. 

In conclusion, my first reaction is to just pull them from school and homeschool all of them right now, but that isn't possible just yet so in the mean time, I'll just keep venting!  Venting helps - right?!