Friday, April 29, 2016

Bathroom Remodel: Progress

This project started in January with planning and purchasing most of what we needed. We had already done one bathroom and even added a shower so 2 bathrooms should be a breeze right?

Oh so wrong, It has been a struggle keeping up with the unexpected with the remodel but also life. Of course we started out strong, demo took less than a week...Fixing what we found took much longer. When they built this house they cut holes in joists and beams without caring about the support. Well we care and want to do what is right. If you have been following me on Instagram you have seen the slow progress.



Week 3-4 we all started to come down with bronchitis, that took a month to run through each of us. We kept working though and installed the concrete backer board on the floors and around the tub/showers.


Ok so we also spent a lot of time with our "3rd" son/brother fishing and such knowing that he would be soon moving we wanted to spend time with him.


Two weeks ago we started drywalling the rest of the rooms and finished last weekend.




Ceiling and walls have all been primed and have their first coat of paint!



Lights have been hung with temporary bulbs so we can work into the night.

Tile has been installed in the boys bathroom! We did diamond pattern to match the main floor bathroom. Looking forward to grouting tomorrow.


Our bathroom tile has been cut, we are doing a herringbone pattern so we wanted to make as many of the cuts ahead of time. Our goal is to install tonight!

If everything goes right we hope to have at least one bathroom functional by the end of the weekend and perhaps completed by next weekend!  Pictures to come later :)



Monday, April 4, 2016

Minecraft Birthday Party

If you have kids between the ages of 5-12 you have probably heard of Minecraft. My hadn't until my 3rd "kid" was playing it and they fell in LOVE.

It is a game where they can be very creative building their environments and surviving while fighting creepers and other creatures. For the last year this has been a major topic of conversation. After our 3rd kid moved out and took his X-Box One they went through withdrawals...not that they played it often but they loved watching and begging to play. They even put their money together so they could each buy a license to play on the computer together.

They discovered Youtube a little before this watching videos of how to play other video games. We have always tried to keep a close eye on what they are watching and what is being said but finding videos about Minecraft was not easy to do for kids until they came across Stampy Longhead. He is a kid friendly Youtuber. They constantly ask if they can send him something and while you can (and he will post them)...I just haven't looked into how, maybe this summer.

Playing on the computer was a bit of a struggle since it is not always so simple for the younger to use. He frequently exits out by accident requiring help to get back on. In mid December they finally released minecraft for the Wii U! It was their big gift this year so now they can play without occupying our computers and up to 4 of us can do it together. This was a perfect timing as Christmas is also their birthdays!

Sorry for such a long intro to the actual party ;) Of course I put it off on preparing for it. I mean I pinned ideas on pinterest and came up with a plan in my head but execution is always where I don't meet my expectations. I also don't want to spend a ton for something that lasts less than 24 hours, but I try, that counts right?

The cake was the center of my idea. I found this cool looking cake on pinterest but they actually cut 9x13 cake into squares. I had the idea why not use square cupcake pan? We had chocolate cake for dirt, white cake tinted gray for stone, and rice crispy treats for sand.

In a few of the "stone" cakes I sprinkled different colors, yellow for gold, red - redstone, blue - diamond, and green for emerald.


 The only thing I had to cut off was the tops...mmm muffin tops... Those I save for later.


I'm a stickler for reusing so I put some saran wrap on a blue foam board to use for the base hoping to protect the board, it also helped when the Jell-O was added.

This was really a simple cake to construct. We started with stone and added the sand on each side to create our island.


Sprinkles were added to the top of the coordinating cupcake so we didn't have disappointment when a kid asked for particular kind. It worked.


Filled in the gaps with icing before adding the chocolate later...I mean dirt layer.


The hardest part was our grass icing consistency became a little too soft so when adding Steve to the cake he kept falling over because it was taking to long to dry. Nothing a stick pretzel couldn't fix.


We opted for toys instead making the figures. The boys play with them so it was a win win. I sprinkled some sugar sprinkles on the rice crispies although I think more ended up on the board than the intended target.

Last minute details were ready for the table. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of our breezeway area where they kids decorated Minecraft masks and ate. I did manage to get a picture of the spider clinging to the wall after the party though.


I found some simple printables that helped finish off the area above the cake.



We served Beef (hamburgers), Bread (buns), Potatoes (twice baked potatoes), Mac and Cheese which didn't have a special Minecraft designation. Topping for the burgers included Cheese, Tomatoes, Pork (bacon).


Near the cake was gold (cubed cheese) carrots, sticks (pretzels), apples, wool (cotton candy), melons, and slime balls (grapes).




My birthday boys now 5 and 8, probably should have had them switch sides to be next to their ages. It makes me happy to be able to do something special for them.



These are the memories they will have, not the cake or decorations but the friends and fun they had sharing their love for Minecraft.



What are some creations your kids have built in Minecraft?


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Field Trips

Here I am still playing catch up. Luckily for you I am sick so I am able to write up a few posts while watching Amazing Race season 1. I will apologize in advance if I get distracted.

The boys have had several field trips this year which has been great. One of our first was a trip to Hy-Vee. Unfortunately I can't find the pictures I took. It was a lot of fun though. They had it set up so we toured each department and gathered an item for our lunch. It started in the restaurant section with the kids getting to help make a pizza, produce for some fruit, dairy for cheese, bakery for cookies, natural section for fruit chews, and a balloon from the flower department. During each section we toured the fridges or how they decorate cakes ect. At the end we went up to their meeting rooms and had a delightful lunch and getting to know a few other homeschoolers.

The next field trip we headed to the fire station! They showed us the kitchen and how they separate the food depending on your shift, their exercise room and sleeping quarters, along with the fire trucks!

Dining Room

Learning not to be scared when they are in their gear


Skeetball


In January we headed to the Police Station. The kids learned how evidence is processed, booking a suspect, and sat in the back of a police car and SUV. Hopefully the only they time they will be in the back of one.

Holding Cell - playing their part of sad suspect

Taking turns into the SUV

Spacious but hard seats

Police Car - very tight yet seats are soft.
In March we toured the Boone County Courthouse although they typically do not allow cameras they allowed us to take a few pictures. There were a few jury trials going on so we didn't get to see the larger courtrooms but the kids had fun talking to the Marshals and Judge.

Our Group 
Mock Trial 

Verdict of Not Guilty Cleaning His Room
 Tuesday we head to the airport for our next field trip. I am excited for this one since I have never been in one let alone fly. Maybe one day I can fly to Hawaii.

Until next time, keep smiling.