Friday, December 30, 2011

Hello all! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We sure did- Russell's mom came down for Christmas Eve Eve. Then we had a very Berry Christmas Eve dinner (oyster stew and raw fish: you know, typical Christmas stuff. If you're Swedish.) followed by a very relaxed Christmas day, followed by the annual trip to Memphis where we manage to see alllll of Russell's family in about 2 days! It's been fun :)

But all of these relatives reminded me: I need to update the blog! So here's what we're going to do: I'm going to update you, one room at a time, so you can see where we are now in the renovation. Today's room: The dining room.

When we first moved in, the dining room was Apartment 1's (our side) living room. That's what the former owners used it for and we did the same. Here's a picture of the first day we saw the house:

So, as you can see, it's a living room. Here are some pictures once we moved in: as you'll see, I didn't take any shots of the living room without people. are some friends watching a Vols game. Oh, and a gratuitous cat shot.

So, just fyi, below the chair rail, the walls consist of paint, over wallpaper, over wood paneling, over plaster. :) Isn't that fun. On top, it's just plaster, except for the wall behind the couch. It's drywall and also hiding a fireplace. And the couch is hiding a nasty spot on the floor where the hearth for said fireplace used to be before some sweet "remuddler" ripped it out.

So, after we'd relocated all "living room" stuff to our new family room in the back of the house, this room became (drum roll please!) the dining room!

Woohoo! Big difference, eh? So, what we did:
1. Bought a dining table, chairs, and bench off Craigslist. The table and bench are handmade.
2. Painted the lower half of the room with glossy white paint.
3. Used molding to create a "board and batten" look-- p.s. this was reaaaaaalllly easy. And not too expensive- like, under $100 for paint and molding. I highly recommend this project. Also, everyone else in the blogosphere has done it, so here's a link to someone who explains it better then I can :)
4. Took down the ceiling fan and replaced it with an ikea light fixture my mom had sitting in a closet. Gotta love free stuff.

Here are more pictures:

Someday we'll open that drywall wall up again, restore the fireplace and hearth, and add some (hopefully reclaimed) built ins. Someday.

Everyone we see asks the same question: "Are you done with the renovation yet?". Then they seem a bit disconcerted when I burst into maniacal laughter and exclaim "DONE??!! Hahahaha we'll NEVER BE DONE". We've come up with a better answer that's kinda a combination of "Yes, all the major components of the 1st reno are done" and "We still have a "to do" list from here to the moon." But we both know that this whole "owning a hundred (and eight) year old house is a marathon, not a race. There will always be projects! Good thing we're enjoying ourselves!! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Answers from my students: Christmas Edition

This doesn't have anything to do with our house, but it makes me giggle so I thought I'd share.

I teach middle school chorus. Throughout the year, I give my students various written activities and their answers are always.....interesting. Occasionally I pass on the really fantastic ones to my family through email. Here is the latest group. I like to call them "Chorus Answers: Christmas Edition"

The children were assessing their latest concert using a rubric. (Is my evaluator reading this? The word "rubric" alone should be a 3 at least!) On the back, they were supposed to write a brief synopsis of our performance. Here are some of the highlights:

"We should be loweder so they can hear us and try to speit the words out."
"I really like all the songs, but I prefer if we song a song (yes, that's what she wrote) that we all were fermeler (yep....) like Firework by Katy Perry (if you are "fermeler" with this song,you know that this is a HORRIBLE IDEA)
"I did not like "Bless you all" because it was SO STUPID." (thanks!)
"I love the way you teach, Mrs. Mcurrdy!" (Aw.....that's not my name, but whatever). And I love the cloth you wear!!! (Ah yes, my formal "concert" loin cloth. I love it too)
"I think we did great and even my mom said we were perfesionals" (Yes, I'm sure your mom is super qualified to make the call on who is "perfesional")
"I think we did a good job even though I didn't like the last song very well, or the 1st or 2nd songs" (We sang 3 songs total.)
"I love you Mrs. Mikcury. Sorry I cant spell your name" (I miss the days of being a Berry! Everyone could spell that)
"The first concert was pretty good but my cheeks were full of happiness when we sung "Bless you all"' (Uh, what? Drugs are bad. Also, in true middle school fashion, on the back of her paper this kid wrote "I HATE THIS SCHOOL.")
"I think that I did horrible at the conserts. I didn't sing loud or open my mouth. I messed with the people around me." (Why would you admit this to your teacher??? I didn't know any of that until you WROTE IT DOWN AND HANDED IT IN TO ME.)

And my absolute favorites:
1. "I don't see what the song "What you gonna call your pretty little baby" has to do with Christmas."
2. "What you going to call your pritty little baby- I don't know how that would fit in with Christmas unless it was talking about the birth of jesuse."
I see how that could be confusing. Here is the text to this piece "What you gonna call your pretty little baby? Born, born in Bethlehem. Sweet little baby, born in a manger. Born, born in Bethlehem."
Now, help me remember, who was that baby born in Bethlehem? The one in a manger? Shoot, it's on the tip of my tongue....

Also, select spellings of the word "concert" (which, incidentally, was written on this worksheet at LEAST 10 times)


We sang a piece called "Somewhere in my Memory" by John Williams. Here are some unique spellings of "Memory"

And my personal fave.......mammary. Ah, "Somewhere in my Mammary", my favorite Christmas tune.

Merry Christmas!