Family Favorite Book for November

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Here is a quick little hello, and a little book recommendation.

As I am sure you may have guessed, our family reads a lot. We each have our own books we read independently and we have books we read-out-loud together. From this month family read-out-louds collection we have a number one favorite; The School Story by Andrew Clements. It was a book my kids begged me to read just one more chapter. They absolutely LOVED the idea of two sixth graders scheming to get Natalie’s first story published as a book under the pen name Cassandra Day. What an adventure it was for them. So if you have any 8 to 12 year olds and have not read this book I highly recommend it. My kids had a blast listening to this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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DIY: Staircase Makeover

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Here is a little project my husband and I tackled during our Christmas break. With all the rain and busy weekdays, it ended up taking a lot longer that we had hoped. But,that’s the case with DIY projects right?!

So like a lot of homes built 20 years ago, you have those wonderful orange color stained cabinets and staircase. We, like many people who adore this orange color so much, decided to update our look. So we took one of our weekend days to sand our orange color banisters down.

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Sanding alone made a huge improvement on the look of the banister. But you will notice we didn’t get to sand in all the little crevasses.

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Not to worry, we are using a stain gel for the hand rail. Since it is not a penetrating stain, we don’t need to put in so much elbow grease. Which makes me so happy.

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Next I take the time to tape all the spindles and the base of of the spindles. Painting the spindles all the way up to the hand rail will be hard enough.

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We will eventually replace the carpet. So we took advantage of this time and decided to do the staircase now.

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Now we get ready to stain!

We used General Finishes Java Gel Stain, and it was super easy to use. First, my husband put on latex gloves. Then he put an old clean sock over it. Then he dipped his hand in the stain gel and started spreading it on the wood.

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Here goes our first coat!

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It is actually pretty easy to spread.

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First coat done! Now to wait at least 24 hours to spread the next coat.

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We ended up doing 3 coats to get good coverage and a deep rich color.

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Now we are ready for polyurethane! We decided to use Minwax brand Polyurethane and cautiously brushed on 1 coat. No sanding! It will make it cloudy. You want to have the gloss finish.

After this, we took off the tape on the top of the spindles and got ready to paint them white. That too took 3 coats to get a nice bright white.

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Here is our first coat of white paint. Notice how we kept the tape at the base of the spindles. (sorry for the poor phone picture)

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Here she is complete!

Not bad for a couple DIY project!

I hope this inspires you to start a home improvement project. I know it takes time and energy, but there is something to be said about the bonding of husband and wife on a project like this.

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“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”Colossians 3:23

Guest Bath DIY: My Current Crazy

Let me introduce you to the current crazy in my life. It started 2 weeks ago when I went to Costco after church. I noticed before I left home that my husband laid some tools on the downstairs bathroom floor by the shower stall. I know he was curious to see how much water damage had occurred from the previous owners. It was obviously soft to the touch in the left corner. So, I went shopping.

After a couple hours of being gone, I came home and unloaded a ton of massive quantities of food and pulled out my Tetris skills to put the food away. Then, I turned to my husband with hands on my hips and asked, “Okay, so what did you do?” “Nothing!” came his simple reply. So I walked over to the downstairs bathroom and opened the door. Yup, he was busy while I was gone.

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Well, I guess we have a new project underway. The entire shower was gone. I was surprised how “clean” it looked since it was a stock tile shower. He told me it just came off easily on the hardibacker. Which was great.

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Over the next few days he has worked on removing the toilet and the sink that could not be described other than hidious.

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     He also worked the following weekend removing the door and door frame.

     Since our laundry room is directly across the downstairs bathroom we decided we needed to rip the floor out of there so we can have seamless new flooring. So that happend next.

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So once the washer and dryer were out, we discovered that the builders did a cheap job of venting the dryer. So the 2 1/2 years we have been living in the house our dryer has been venting into the insulation and making the sheetrock soft and moist. We also discovered mold under the baseboards. Yuck!

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Since we really didn’t like having the washer and dryer in the house, we decided to put the washer and dryer into the garage and remove this cabinet. This room will now become a mud room! I am super excited about that!

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Here is the back of the laundry room in our garage. It was a simple task of emptying my kids craft cabinet and tearing it down. Then switching the electrical and plumbing to go out through the fire wall. So after a week of not being able to do any laundry. Our washer and dryer were hooked up yesterday evening and we are washing insurmountable piles of laundry.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our current home improvement project. I will post better pictures when it is all done!

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“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3

I Have Returned

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It has been a great while since I have taken the time to sit and share myself, my family, recipes, homeschool adventures, home DIY projects, and just life itself. And I must admit, I have missed it. I have missed sharing my thoughts and ideas with you. But most of all I miss journaling my families journey for myself.

This not only has been a great vehicle for my friends to tour my ideas. But I find it soothing to sit and type. I hope my thoughts and ideas inspire or encourage others. So, here I am to say, “I am back!” Yes, my life is crazy busy right now, but honestly, it will always be busy. I will joyfully take the time to catch you up on all that is going on. To share the books that have moved me.  The ideas that have brought joy and enlightenment to my life. I hope you are glad to know I am back.

                                                     Blessings,

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