Monday, June 30, 2008

Anna's 3

On Saturday Anna turned three-years-old. She was so very excited. Anna was not excited in the least for her first two parties so this one was definitely fun for everyone.

On Friday Matthew's folks, Oma & Opa, came up from the southwest part of Wisconsin. It was nice to have them up for the weekend. They did a lot of little jobs to help get ready for the party.

Oma and Anna made some cupcakes for the party and Opa helped Matthew hang Anna's birthday banner. Matthew makes a banner for the kids' birthdays every year. Anna stated that she wanted a tractor on her banner so that's what she got. Anna also mentioned how she wanted a hot dog party so that's what we ate.

We had my folks and sister over and some other friends and family over for a hot dog party at lunch time. Anna enjoyed playing with the SIX other little girls that came over. I was very thankful that the weather held out all day for the outside party we intended to have.

We had a super fun weekend and it was just such a thrill to see Anna's pure excitement over everything. She called it her "3 party".

Happy Birthday Tootsie, we sure love ya bunches and bunches.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Spider Wars

Isaiah is doing a super job hanging out downstairs and playing quietly while Anna naps.

He just came upstairs and asked me a question.

While doing a crane pose like Daniel in the Karate Kid movies he asked, "Mama, do poisonous spiders do this?"

I said, "No not necessarily, why?"

"'Cause I saw one do that."

In a very calm yet terrified of spiders voice I said, "Downstairs?!?"


Then in my most responsible parental voice I said, "Did you GET IT?"


Then realizing I was talking to MY son who is not the least bit interested in entomology, I said, "How?"

"With my Light Saber, he's dead."

Thank you George Lucas. Whew!

Method to the Madness

I may have posted on this before, not sure, but for those readers with children under the age of 20 it has to be said again.
We are having company this weekend for Anna's birthday. Although her party is tomorrow Matthew's folks are coming up today for a weekend visit and to be here for Anna's day.
When having company one usually cleans their home. Not unusual. In fact at this house we have two different levels of cleanliness, "Company Clean" and "Eh, it's livable". This week requires the big guns. Company Clean.
Does anyone else out there banish their family from using different rooms in the house? I don't mean the old-fashion living rooms where you only go in if company is visiting, no, I mean like let's say... a bathroom?
The downstairs bathroom is the bathroom Isaiah uses since he sleeps downstairs. I cleaned the downstairs on Wednesday and Isaiah and everyone else in this house has not been allowed in there until Opa and Oma arrive. The poor kid had to even bring his toothbrush and toothpaste upstairs.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guest Room

When my mom helped with Anna's room she also helped with the guest room downstairs. The ceilings got a fresh coat of white paint and I picked out a very dark sage color, Dried Thyme is the name.

Northridge Ranch's guest room is now taking reservations.

The color never really shows up accurately. I know for Anna's room a couple folks commented on her "lavender" colored bed. In actuality the bed is painted a blue color, like a dark cornflower blue, if that makes sense.

Anyhow, this room is done and after Anna's 3rd birthday party on Saturday I'll contemplate the next room.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Say Thanks - Gratitude Campaign

My mom sent me this video in an email and I thought it was a good way for my fellow introverts to speak up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For Laura

Thank you Laura for thinking of me. How nice are you? I went to the Tractor Supply Company today and used the gift cards I received for Mother's Day. (I requested the gift cards, my sister thinks I'm nuts to have asked for gift cards to the Tractor Supply Company but, I'm a farm girl now)

I not only got some shorts and T-shirts that were on sale but snagged up some of their summer decorations that were on sale as well. Although these were in their seasonal decoration end cap I figured they'd look cute on my new shelf. I put Matthew's cowboy hat on one of the hooks and voila, entryway finished.

Thanks again for thinking of me Laura but, this was actually pretty simple. Yee-haw!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The entryway is mostly finished. I still have to clean up the woodwork and the floors and touch up some white paint on the ceiling. The walls, however, are done.

I ended up fixing the walls as best I could with spackle and sanding the rough spots. I primed the walls as it was bare drywall and one needs to do such a thing. The paint store tinted the primer for me so Matthew and I looked at the walls with a very close match to the color of primer to decide if we wanted to add the grit to the paint.

We opted for the grit so the walls are rather rough in some spots but it does mask the damage that was done to the drywall and the messed up wall that the previous owners ruined while putting in an electrical socket.

I think I'll finally be able to sleep tonight now that the majority of the work is finished regarding the walls themselves. As I said I do need to clean up the woodwork and touch up the walls. I did this project by myself and I'm nowhere near as good at cutting-in as my mom. I'll have some fixing to do but I'm done for today.

I'm excited to get some more decorations for the entryway. I went to a craft sale a few weeks ago and was able to find this shelf with hooks and the welcome sign. The shelf and sign are those Americana red and blue colors. I've never used that color scheme before and am excited to go hunting for some accessories.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A maze in'

Anna's new favorite word seems to be amazin'.

Mama look at this, it's amazin'.
Wow, EE-ah that's amazin'.
Papa, watch my trick it's amazin'.

Everything is amazin' these days.

For lunch today we had some BLTs. Our tomato plants are no where near producing fruit so Matthew purchased safe tomatoes at the store. Anna may have thought the sliced tomatoes on the counter were from our garden, however. I had some leftover bacon from making baked beans and I picked some lettuce from the garden.

Anna saw me washing the lettuce and knew I picked it from outside. She asked what I was doing and I told her I was washing lettuce and frying some bacon for our sandwiches. She looked at me, looked at the tomato slices, looked at the lettuce and looked at the bacon in the pan.

With wide eyes and unbelief in her voice she said, "You mean we planted bacon in the garden too?!?"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One Project...Done

My mom took the day off and helped me immensely. She helped me paint Anna's room and our guest room. She's a great painter and we had a system.

I painted the ceilings and the walls while my mom cut-in around the trim and the ceilings. She doesn't even need painter's tape!

Anna's room is a green, Little Leaf, to be exact. It feels so very good to have both rooms done. The entryway is still an "in progress" project.

When I get the guest room put back together I'll post pictures of that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Paper is down. I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats. You must be if Amanda is dreaming about this goofy project, right?

From sun-up til sun-down on Saturday Matthew and I worked on steaming the paper. This was pretty frustrating and as more and more of the drywall paper tore off with the wallpaper itself I became more concerned.

I've sanded the bottom half of the walls and judging by texture I think all will be well.

We'll stop at Home Depot today and get some primer that will hopefully fill in some of the spots where the drywall died. With the Spackle, primer and textured paint I'm very optimistic that my walls are not irreparable.

All other "painting" projects, I'm sure, will be exponentially more fun then this job has been. I'll post the prettier pictures as I progress.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

At Last

In a desperate attempt to encourage Isaiah to learn to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels I promised Isaiah we'd get him a brand new bike when he learned the skill.

Up until now he's had hand-me downs. Not that that's bad but, as I said, it was a desperate attempt.

I actually made this promise TWO SUMMERS AGO! When Isaiah was five I really started the encouraging talks regarding the fun that one has on a two-wheeler. My dad and I desperately tried to encourage the boy.

Isaiah was just too timid and didn't feel comfortable. I thought last year was his year and we again encouraged him to do this fun thing. No such luck.

This year, I had had enough. I really wanted to go on a family bike ride and I didn't think the trails here would be very kind to a bike with training wheels. Also, Isaiah is the type of kiddo that, when not wanting to do something, will never attempt a scary thing. He needed to just bite the bullet and go. I had to actually push the boy to do this.

I shall spare all of the gory details. I will say, however, that at one point in the training session Isaiah accused me of trying to kill him. .....sigh. It was not pretty. He finally got it. He now never gets off his bike and as promised finally received a brand new 20'' bike.


Matthew rented a steamer yesterday. We have for one day only. The steamer is working to take of the first layer. The adhesive half of the paper is still on the drywall. I know that Dif, a product used to remove wallpaper, is taking off the adhesive layer.

Due to the fact that the paper was hung without using a primer on the wall the drywall is still coming off in places. I will deal with that obstacle once the paper is gone.

I'm thankful that Matthew got the steamer as the paper is coming down faster. I don't know if this makes sense but, it isn't coming down any easier. I had visions of the paper coming off in sheets, backing and all. It's not. We still are only taking little pieces of at a time but they are coming off faster due to the steam. Faster but not easier. Whatever.

The paper will be off this weekend and then I can figure out what to regarding the damaged parts of the wall.

I'm hoping the spackle I have helps for the majority of the problem area. Also, I'm considering using textured paint to hid the imperfections that will be on the wall. I've had a few suggestions of textured wallpaper that is meant to be painted. I am NOT wanting to go the wallpaper route ever, ever again.

Do any you have any thoughts on the textured paint? Love to hear if you've had any experience with that type of thing. Do you like how it turned out. Did it hide any imperfections on your walls?

Thanks for being interested in the entryway fiasco.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Last Resort

The wallpaper removal project of 2008 is turning out to be my very least project I've ever done. This is including the wallpaper removal project of 1998 that my mom and I tackled in the rental house Matthew and I first lived in. In that project we removed four layers of wallpaper and had to teach ourselves how to hang, mud and tape drywall. Matthew was working on his senior project and was unable to join us in the fun we had with that fiasco.

I've really not progressed any. I've tried everything and have reached my last option. I'm begging my dear husband to surprise me with a steamer. I was not originally going to use this idea as I wanted to be as kind to the drywall as possible. Ha! If you could see the the state the drywall is now in you'd understand that, at this point, I DON'T CARE. I just want the stinking wallpaper down and gone forever.

In the meantime I've chosen the paint color for the entryway. Sherwin Williams' Camelback. Also, I've finally chosen the green color for Anna's walls, Crayola's kid room paint in Little Leaf. I was going to wait to choose colors as a treat for getting the entryway paint ready, however, I needed a little pick me up.

I'm hoping Matthew picked up on the hint I gave him.... I was completely subtle.

I simply said, "Matthew, you'd score big time points if you bought, rented or ripped-off a wall steamer so I can take the ridiculous mess off the entryway walls."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Whistle While We Work

This is Isaiah's first week of summer vacation and in order to have fun the rest of the summer we needed to get a few projects done this week. It'll make the pending chore list a little easier.

On Tuesday we tossed or readied for Goodwill clothing that was too small and toys that were not used anymore. Wednesday, we did the same thing for Anna's room. Today I rearranged and made less cluttered the playroom downstairs. Tomorrow we'll make a run to Goodwill and drop off what we do not need anymore. Such a good feeling.

Yesterday I also started my list of my fixer-upper items. I want to paint the entryway a darker color but before I can do that I must strip the painted over wallpaper. This is so un-fun that in an email to my husband I stated that I may work on our new budget plan as a break from the wallpaper picking. It was at that point I realized what a cruddy job I have taken on.

Matthew asked why I just don't repaint the painted over wallpaper. I said it was not the correct way to do things. Initially I thought the
paper would come off more in strips, unlike the "specs" I'm taking off now. When Matthew mentioned his idea I was 4 hours into a painfully
slow job, however, I was far enough into the job that I had no option but to muddle on through. I actually would love to just paint over the already painted paper now that my initial thoughts are proven incorrect. Oh well, at least it's a small room, right?

The first photo shows the color of the paint. It's showing up much darker in the photo than it does in real life. Because the entryway faces the south the sun just brightens the shade too much for my taste. It appears off white rather than tan.

The second photo shows the paper. They previous owners had a coat hook that I took down and voila there's the paper pattern in all it's 1993 glory.

The third photo shows the wall I've been working at for. hours. and. hours! That is only the top 1/4 of the wall.

I believe the trouble is caused by the lack of size that was put on the wall. Typically one would size a wall before applying the wallpaper. It works like a primer for the wallpaper and also makes the removal much easier. This wall was not sized. Besides the difficult removal some of the drywall paper is coming up as well. Not much but enough that I'll have to Spackle more than just nail holes before I paint.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fun Time

Matthew's folks came up for a visit on Friday and spent the weekend. We had tons of fun. Opa and Oma arrived Friday afternoon and made it here in time to see Isaiah get off the bus as a first grader for the last time.

For supper we had to go get a Fish Fry. We took Opa and Oma to Meister's on Cedar Lake. Yum, they have the best sweet potato fries ever.

Saturday we had a big ol' breakfast and took Opa and Oma go-carting. Can you believe they've never been? Ever. I let everyone know they should be prepared to get smoked. I lapped everyone and could not, could NOT pass Opa and Isaiah. They were in a double cart and I just couldn't do it. Now, honestly, if it had just been Opa I'd have taken a few more chances. Being that Isaiah was in the go-cart as well I wasn't as daring. Next time, Opa rides alone. The boys wanted to check out a flea-market that was near by so we headed there after the race at Talladega. Oma and I survived the flea market adventure, barely. I had never been to one of those before. All I can say is, "wow!".

After we got home our little Anna took a snooze and the rest of the day was spent playing outside. Oma gave endless pushes on the swing set. Opa watched Isaiah ride his bike all afternoon. He never got off the thing. Opa mentioned he thought Isaiah's tires were flat but he could never get a good enough look at them because Isaiah never hopped off.

Sunday we headed back outside all morning until Opa and Oma had to head back home. We all had lots of fun and were happy to spend some fun times