Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Some of our DIY Home Renovations

The work at our house is amazing. I'm saving the pictures of the work being done by the pro's for later.  This post is about our personal DIY efforts.

We started with finishing the trim work in the girls room. This was the last step in their redo's. Having the carpet replaced (added in Ky's) made a huge difference! Doug did the prep work and I painted.
 

We then moved on and painted the living room and hallway. The problem here is that now the fireplace looks dingy... guess I know what's next.
 

I desperately want to change out the doors.. but that is not in the budget this time around.


Maddie helped out by working on my bedroom painting while I worked on her bathroom. So thankful for her sweet worker spirit!

I've also worked on the laundry room. It was BAD. I looked to see if there was a before picture. Nope. It was that bad.  Here are my in progress pictures.
 

And then I decided to tackle Maddie's bathroom. The floors were being redone and I knew that while I wanted to renovate it, I couldn't afford to right now.. so I painted (am painting) the tile. It is incredibly stinky.

The before.

During.

The paint that I used previously for a tile project was a little different, so it took a while for me to get my groove. I should have started on the wall behind the toilet! Where the inconsistency didn't matter. ugh. Now I have to go back and sand paper the drip marks. But oh well, it looks soooo much better already!!

This is truly stinky stuff.

And here we are after the first few coats.



 I am in love.

I'm hoping that a new counter will just magically appear on Maddie's counter. If not, we will wait till the next round of renovations!

What a difference.

That's pretty much been my mantra these days I have been spending around 8 hours each Saturday and Sunday working on the house. It will be totally worth it. But in the meantime... I'm tired.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

4:22am is a random time to get up, but that is my sweet spot

I get up early.

I used to think 6am was early. I still do, but now, 6am is sleeping in...

Nowadays I get up at 4:22am three or four days a week. Sometimes five days, but I do really try to sleep in at least one work morning a week! 

As with everything, there are seasons where I am more committed to early mornings than other times. But 4:22am seems to be a consistent time for me the last couple of years.

Why do I get up that early? Well, cause I work out early. By 5am I am either in the gym or on the road. I used to just get up and go, but with age comes a cup of coffee before heading out! 4:22am just sort of evolved. 



What is interesting is that even on the mornings that I am not working out, 4:22am is a routine wakeup time for me. It's the sweet spot I guess.  While others would consider the next 2 hours prime sleep time, these are prime morning hours for me.

UGH.

I really do like sleep. Which means I have to go to sleep early.

But, by getting up early, I have the opportunity to see and hear the world while most people are still asleep. The world is quiet at this time of the morning. I get a chance to meditate and process life before most everyone else is even up!

So for all you naysayers and poo poo-ers out there,  try it. Set your alarm for 4:22am, get up, have a cup of coffee and see what you can accomplish before the world wakes up. 

You might be surprised!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We Run For A Reason.. We run for the special 1%

Doug and I have joined TEAM KIDNEY
and are Running for Reason
in the Houston 1/2 Marathon.

You all know our reason.

Maddie.


Maddie's primary diagnoses are IgA Nephropathy, Thin Basement Membrane Disease, Asthma, and severe allergies. However she has a number of other chronic medical issues that greatly impact her life.

She is strong.

She is a fighter.

She is courageous.

She is also an anomaly to the medical field.

As one of her specialists commented at an appointment a few years ago, we can only hope that one day her symptoms and issues will all be brought together and it will have a diagnosis that doesn't bear her name.

So Doug and I RUN FOR A REASON. 

There are so few people that have the combined kidney diseases that Maddie has that very little research is being done on them. It's hard to get any press when only 1% of the population is affected

Sad. 

Very sad, but that is the reality when faced with rare diseases.

So we run for Maddie and others like her... 

the nameless other children and teens whose diseases will never get headlines and research dollars cause there just isn't enough of a them to bring attention to their plight.

We invite you to join us in our efforts.

Cause Maddie deserves a cure.

Your tax deductible donation goes to The National Kidney Foundation. 


We Run For A Reason.. We run for the special 1%

Doug and I have joined TEAM KIDNEY
and are Running for Reason
in the Houston 1/2 Marathon.

You all know our reason.

Maddie.


Maddie's primary diagnoses are IgA Nephropathy, Thin Basement Membrane Disease, Asthma, and severe allergies. However she has a number of other chronic medical issues that greatly impact her life.

She is strong.

She is a fighter.

She is courageous.

She is also an anomaly to the medical field.

As one of her specialists commented at an appointment a few years ago, we can only hope that one day her symptoms and issues will all be brought together and it will have a diagnosis that doesn't bear her name.

So Doug and I RUN FOR A REASON. 

There are so few people that have the combined kidney diseases that Maddie has that very little research is being done on them. It's hard to get any press when only 1% of the population is affected

Sad. 

Very sad, but that is the reality when faced with rare diseases.

So we run for Maddie and others like her... 

the nameless other children and teens whose diseases will never get headlines and research dollars cause there just isn't enough of a them to bring attention to their plight.

We invite you to join us in our efforts.

Cause Maddie deserves a cure.

Your tax deductible donation goes to The National Kidney Foundation. 


Friday, September 9, 2016

The Digital Native MYTH

There is a myth about kids and technology and it is called Digital Natives.


This myth says since students have been using digital devices since they were born, they know more about computers than parents and teachers.

THIS IS CRAP!!

This generation knows all about phones, apps and how to use snapchat. But they do not have BASIC technology and computer skills.


How can I make a blanket statement like this? EASY. I am living this world.

My personal children can create anything on an ipad or a phone. My seven year old has her own You Tube channel for the videos she makes.

But if you ask these "digital natives" to find a file outside of their "my documents" folder they flounder. Ask them to step it up and use a remote location like Google Drive or Dropbox, download it to a computer, edit the file, make a copy and rename the file and then load it back to original location you might as well be speaking a different language.

The cost of the touch technology is that today's students don't know how file directories work. They don't know the importance of a file name or location. If the file that they need isn't found when they touch the photo app icon, then they can't find it.

As a teacher who is desperately trying to get students to use technology in a purposeful way in my classroom, this is beyond frustrating.  With 150 students using Photoshop and working in the Google Classroom, I spend the majority of my day not teaching design skills or even advanced software specific skills, but simple skills like working a task bar, how to save to a specific location and even opening and sending emails!!

So what is my point to my rant?

Well, I think educators and parents have bought into the myth that we are out of touch and that we have to learn something new and fancy to be "cutting edge" and to "keep up!" This myth has caused considerable angst among teachers and has started lots of conversations about retiring because teachers feel overwhelmed by their perceived lack of digital knowledge.

The reality is very different. The reality is that students are distracted by the new and shiny and that being able to create a thousand funny pictures using snapchat is not a job skill!! We as educators and parents are challenged to ground our students and children in foundational skills, even when these skills seem outdated like addition, subtraction and "save as"!