Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Thank You Soldiers"

When I was 18, I went to the Pearl Harbor Memorial with my Dad in Hawaii. I remember watching a black and white video of boys who were my age, soldiers who lost their lives fighting for mine. The movie was unarguably impactful, but seeing that movie wasn’t what taught me the most about veterans. It was watching my dad watch the movie. Tears streamed down his cheeks at that time and again later when he stood reverently at the memorial. His respect taught me their sacrifice.

I ...had the opportunity this Veterans Day to attend Valley View Elementary School’s play titled, “The Candy Bomber.” The play centers around Gail Halvorson, the American soldier who dropped candy, tied to parachutes, from his airplane to the children of West Berlin during World War II.
I was not prepared for the emotion the play brought to my heart as it did to all those in attendance. The story of Gail Halvorsen is wonderful, but this was more than that. It was seeing children under the age of 11 understanding, watching and acting out what it means to be free and what one person can do to change the course of history.

There were veterans in attendance at the play. At one point the cast sang the song, “Thank you soldiers” to those veterans. One was a 95-year-old man and one of six brothers to serve during World War II. Four of his brothers returned; one did not. Neither I nor others could stop the tears rolling down our cheeks when during the chorus of that particular song, the entire student body of grade school children joined in singing with the cast.

I am so grateful to those who take the time to teach my children the importance of Veterans Day and other holidays that honor our soldiers.

It was the perfect way to celebrate Veterans Day with the best yet to come. At the close of school, Valley View Elementary had a mock fire drill. The children went outside to the upper field where they lined up. Suddenly, the sound of a helicopter was heard and the children looked to the sky. It hovered just above the field. The children’s confused faces changed to huge grins as parachutes started to fall from the sky. Shouts and laughter erupted as the children spontaneously ran to the center of the field, their hands held high above their heads. Some of them sang the words “drop it here, drop it here” from one of their play’s songs “Dear Chocolate Pilot.” Once again the emotion welled inside me as I imagined this same scene playing out some 70 years previously to the very children these kids had just portrayed.

And like my own father had once done while I stood by his side watching, I stood holding the hand of my son with a smile on my face, tears in my eyes and a reverence in my heart for those veterans whose selflessness and kindness ended a war and bought our freedom.

Thank you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

This is an article I was privileged to write about my cousin's sweet wife and his son. 
My latest article

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Updates on our house updates.

 I bought this light from the D.I for $15.00. I debated about it for a long time. I'm not sure why. I saw that a girl had painted a similar one to this black, so I decided to try it.

It took a while to tape it so that I could spray paint it.

We had a hole in the ceiling above the dining room table. I bought the round disc from Lowes and we hung the light. Turned out to be a great idea. Not bad for a 15 dollar light. 
Here is a couple other D.I finds. I wanted two chairs for my boys rooms. They were 6 dollars a piece. I let them pick out some fabric. I let my older boy paint his too.

 I stressed a bit letting him paint it, but figured it was about a ten dollar chair for all the supplies. It turned out cute and I'm glad I let him do it. He helped me staple on the fabric too.
 This is the two-year -olds chair. I used spray paint which looks a lot better than the regular paint we used on the blue chair, but since I already had that paint leftover, we used it.

Super easy, super cheap, super cute. I love projects like that.

 This is my two-year-old -Edisons room. It was used as a dining room before we bought the house. I took the wallpaper down and added some wood work to the lower half of the wall.

 The wall with the closet to the door-we added to make it a bedroom.

 My sister-in-law and I did the wood work on the bottom. I was so grateful to have her help. It's easier with two and always a good idea to have someone check my math.
 Mostly finished project. I will still do some more decorating, but it's great for now. Those cute old car pictures, were pictures we found in my Mother in law's basement. They were given to her husband as a gift. Since my Father in law has passed on, it's neat to have something of his to display in our son's room. The lamp was D.I for $3. I made the curtains and the dresser we got off of KSL for $40. My sister gave me the rug for doing some work for her and the airplane boy picture I got for under $20. This room ended up being a great value! This room was fun to finish. It took me awhile to get to it and my son was so excited when he learned it was his room. He kept jumping up and down and pointing at items and saying. Dat's Eddies?!!! Dat's mine??!! It was cute.

You can look back at my other remodel post to see what this basement looked like before it was an apartment. The apartment was our biggest project and we are beyond thrilled that it is done and we have a darling couple renting it!
This is their front door. I painted it black and it added a lot.
 The bathroom is on the right. We didn't have to do much in here. I painted the walls white and the cabinets grey. I found some great tile remnants on KSL for $40.00 so we did the floor.
 We had to build a kitchen from scratch. That was crazy! My husband was amazing. I bought these cupboards on KSL for 100 dollars. We used what we could and then my he built boxes to make them work. My oldest son loved tiling with me and did a great job.

We added a great laminate grey floor that we got for only $1.37 a square foot! It turned out darling. We loved it so much we decided to do it upstairs in our portion of the house. I painted the cupboards and for $120 we had cabinets and a back splash. Not bad at all.

This is the dining room area. I painted the existing cupboards white and spray painted the existing hardware.

This is their master bedroom. 

The other room they are using as a closet. So glad it's done and they are here!!

 This is the upstairs living room. It is still a work in progress. But here is the progress. :)

 I'll paint the front door black eventually and we will finish that grid wall eventually too, but it's getting there.
The kitchen will eventually be re-done, but for now we just painted and added the new floor. That's the old light that you can see hanging. The light that I replaced with the D.I. find.

Our kitchen dining room before the floor.

I need to take some more updated pictures of this room ,but for now this is what I had on the camera. This room we decided to use as a playroom/office area. We added that same grey floor as the kitchen and downstairs.

I painted the entire room white in place of the yellow and it brightened it right up!

 I found these "benches" at downeast home outlet. They are actually the drawer/dresser things that go under king sized beds. They didn't have the drawers in them so the guy gave them to me for 65 dollars for both. I made cushions for the tops of them and called them bench seats. They are the perfect size for my kids. The underneath area I am using for kids storage (toys, legos, books, activities).
My favorite thing about this room is the door. I need to find a before picture. It was a cream colored door. The black paint added a ton! I love this room. The shelves I made from a piece of barn wood that the previous owners used as paneling in the basement. I bought the hardware for $4 bucks a piece and had instant shelves. 

I will get the other pictures loaded on here, hopefully soon. It's getting there. We are so lucky to have a home. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My reading for LTYM

Listen To Your Mother

Sunday, June 22, 2014


So I haven't posted any updates lately, but we never stopped working. So I am now going to post a huge post with most of the updates we have done so far.


 This is my brother in law tearing out the workshop that the previous owner had built. This is only some of the wood that was on the wall. There is barnwood paneling on the back wall above the wood shelves.
 He was about one hundred times faster and stronger than me, so I just took pictures and let him do the tear out.
 After he had torn it all out, we discovered a fireplace! This room is what we will be using as the master bedroom in out new rental apartment.

 More of Travis' family came to help! My brothers framed in a new wall and changed the door from the left to the right so that we could use the room in front of the master for the kitchen.

 We then hung drywall.

 And the smartest thing we did and the only thing that we hired out on this house was the mud and tapping. Thank goodness for that! We also had the guy cover the ceiling tiles that were up before. Travis wired above the fireplace for a future TV. He also installed new wiring for switches and outlets.


I wish I had a better picture. This is after we painted, hung moldings, did a bit of wood work over the fireplace and got new carpet. Quite a change!

 This room was also used as the previous owner's workshop. The two rooms are connected by this large opening.
 My brother's slid all of the utility closet things over to one side of the room and then framed in a new wall. Consequently we gained another room!
 Sorry this picture is sideways. This is after all of the wood was cleaned out and it had been drywalled, mud and taped. The little door leads to a cold storage room and also to all of the plumbing for the hot tub that sadly used to be there and we wish was still there.
 I couldn't get a good picture of this room, but it's a weird angle. Anyway this is after.
This is a picture with the two rooms together. Very different.

So I let Cameron paint before I painted his room. This isn't a great before and I wish I had taken more pics. but this is it.

 We are growing to love the couple more and more that we bought the house from. We never got to know them as they both had passed on, but we love all the little and big things that they did to their home. We wanted to have a little bit of them still in the house as we feel like it's truly their home and we just lucked out big time in getting to live here. We decided to use some of the barnwood from his workshop to make Cameron a headboard. I cut the wood and stained it a bit and then Cameron put it together and put the finishing coat on it. It turned out so cute. We also used some for shutters for the outside of the house.

This room is very basic, it will be decorated later, but it feels great to have rooms mostly completed.
 More of Cameron's room. This is one of the elements that we love that the previous owner added. The desk area and shelves. We only had to add paint and make a new lamp shade.

Again this isn't a great picture, but is all I got for some reason. Those are toll painted birds around the room at the top. Meg was sad to see them go. I promised her that we would incorporate birds into her room somehow.

My brother Jeff after a text from me and came and put up trim with me. I painted all of the walls grey and then did a metallic stencil in pewter over the top. The stencil was a huge amount of work, but so worth it. I kept the wall around the window white and that's where we did the picture frame moldings.

AFTER: I have to say that her room is my favorite room so far. It turned out so cute. We made the bird pictures above her bed and I made the curtains. We also painted the little night stand. I need to get bedding eventually, but for now we love it.
 My sister gave us the dresser. She bought it from D.I. and painted it and added knobs. I love this room, because most of it is homemade and done very inexpensively. For all of the wood and paint I think we paid under $75. The rug I had bought years ago and never got to use. My favorite feature is the darling door. It was already here and we love it!!

 This is what our room looked like after we removed the mauve carpet. It had half original wood in it and then plywood on the other half since it was an addition. We decided to add wood on the top as it was way easier. This room I am very proud of because I did 80% of it. It felt awesome to do it myself. so here is the Before.
 I made a headboard because I have always wanted one. It cost $70 and was super easy. Only took a couple hours.
 We went with super complicated on the wood design for this room. It turned out awesome, but took me about 12 hours just to caulk and paint it. I had already painted it blue on top. I was very hesitant with blue, but am thrilled with the results. Travis' loves blue so it was his idea and I'm so glad I listened!
 I even made my kids paint!
 Here is what the squares look like once they are caulked and painted. I cut the wood and put them up. It looks harder than it is. Luckily they are all the same cut so it's pretty basic. Travis had to do around the outlets though and he did a great job!
 AFTER: I still need to decorate and make pillows and things, but I am thrilled to be done with the painting and woodwork. My niece and nephews were awesome-they came and helped me lay the wood floor.
 This room is huge, so it's kind of fun to have a place for me to write as well. The chair I got from D.I for 20 bucks and I will eventually cover it. The pear I painted so I could have art work. The desk was free as was the dresser. The picture on top is one of two from my mission in Italy. I think I am most proud of this room because most of it is homemade or very cheap and redone. There is something awesome and satisfying about doing it yourself! Our favorite feature about this room is that it leads out to it's own private deck! I feel like I am sleeping in a cabana each night. So fun.
 Closer look at the squares.
 Desk area.

So that is it for now. I thought getting a lot done would help me to relax, but it's only made me want to keep going!!