Faith has been living on a cement floor for almost three years. Her room in downstairs on the basement level and it rarely used. I have refused to put carpet down there because I think that carpet is dirty, covered in chemicals, and collects dust (which is terrible for a girl with a dust allergy). For years we have been talking about laying laminate wood flooring in her room, but have never done it. When I bought my new, beautiful, french door refrigerator from Lowe’s a few weeks ago, I decided to open up a Lowe’s credit card so that I could get a 10% discount on the refrigerator and Faith’s flooring. As I do for most of my home repair projects, I asked my mom to come and help me. She is probably the smartest woman I know and she is handier than most men I know.
Of course, my new rule on project is this: “If you are fixing the floors, you might as well fix the ceilings first.” In our house, this means that that the popcorn ceiling MUST go! Tom was out of town that week so I had plenty of time to work on the ceiling. I have gotten pretty cocky when it comes to scraping popcorn off the ceiling. This time I literally brought the garden hose in through the window, turned it on low, and sprayed water on the ceilings. After that I could easily scrape the popcorn off. It only took about an hour to 1.5 hours to scrape the ceiling. Yes, my arms and neck were tired, but it was totally worth it. The next day I spackled the few spots that needed it, sanded a few spots and then just went for it – I painted the ceiling white that night. In all truth, I had a margarita that night and thought to myself at about 10:00pm, “I should just go paint the ceiling.” So I did! It was easy and looks great! I am so glad that I took the time to make her room even better.
Here is the room after I took everything out of it except the bed….
I am somewhat of a “cut corners” kind of gal. While painting the ceiling I literally just put the roller into the giant bucket of ceiling paint that was left over from the last time we painted the ceilings…..
After the ceilings were done, It was time for the floor. Mom brought over three different types of saws and we went to work. Laying laminate floors requires two brains working on the same project. Mom and I laughed so many times because we kept getting confused and reminding each other how to lay the floor. I think I came up with the same bad solution to the same problem numerous times. We had a great time working on the project together. Mom and I both love a good project so doing this together was just pure joy.
Here is the finished product….
It is always hard to know what to get the kids for their birthdays. They love to unwrap things but it isn’t always what they want or what we want sitting around the house. This year tom and I decided to give the kids the gift of time, personal attention, and a fun event. We three bought tickets to Disney on Ice and three tickets to a Charlotte Checkers hockey game. Tom and I would take one child to each event and Miller would get a trip to the ice cream shop with us. It is rare that one child gets to go somewhere with both Tom and I, and with no siblings. This would be a special night for each child.
All three kids’ birthdays are within the next six weeks so now is the time for gifts. Faith’s gift was scheduled first so we had to give them their presents early. I printed out three pictures, put them in three separate envelopes and handed one to each child.
Faith opened up a picture of Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heros. There was also a letter saying the she would be spending a special night with Mommy and Daddy. Wilson opened his tickets to the hockey game along with the same note. Miller opened a picture of an ice cream cone with a note as well. They were all very excited.
The next night was Faith’s Disney on Ice show. It was a cute show. All of the Disney princesses came out, sang a song and danced with her prince. Faith thought it was awesome. I am sure that is was in the eyes of a six year old. It was fun hanging out with faith and doing some thing that she enjoys without the usual interruptions from her brothers. She reveled in the one on one attention that she got from us. I almost cried just knowing that we could give her such joy and help her to experience something new and exciting.
There are two types of necklaces to be earned at the YMCA pool. The first one is the yellow necklace. To earn this the kids have to swim half way across the pool and float for just a few seconds. Both kids earned this necklace last year and were allowed to swim in the shallow water alone. The next necklace is the coveted green necklace. This is a much harder necklace to earn and one that every child wants to have around their neck. This necklace allows you to go anywhere in the pool by yourself and lets you go down the two watersides.
Both of the kids are pretty good swimmers, but they couldn’t tread water for the required minute. Because Tom was an All American swimmer growing up, he is in charge of teaching the kids to swim. They also go to him to learn and then listen to what he has to say. Because we have been going to the pool so much over the last few weeks, Faith has really gotten better. On Saturday morning we went to the pool at 10:00am after Wilson’s sports class. Faith and Tom practiced her treading water for many hours. At 2:00pm she decided to take the swim test. She did amazing! She swam better than I have ever seen her swim. She swam the full length of the pool by herself. She rested for a few minutes and then treaded water for one minute. Her little feet and arms were moving so fast in order to keep her head above water. The life guard that was giving the test told her to slow down or else she was going to be too tired to finish. I don’t think that she could have slowed it down. She is so tiny that she must have needed to move fast in order to stay up. It was actually really cute.
She passed the test. I was so proud of her I almost cried. There aren’t too many goals that six year old have set for themselves yet. However, this was a big one for Faith. She wanted that necklace. I seriously don’t think that she has taken it off since she earned it. It is a bragging right. Here is my little swimmer…
It is time for soccer here in Charlotte, NC. It actually started almost two months ago and is wrapping up this week. The weather is getting hot quickly and therefore I am ready for it to end.
Wilson is taking a soccer clinic at the YMCA and Faith is playing on a team at Calvary Church. Wilson was on a team in the fall but he was more interested in talking and goofing off than he was at playing during the games. The soccer skills clinic is perfect for him because it is only practice. He can improve his skills without having to worry about playing in games.
Faith is playing on a team with her friend Tyler (one of the boys she intends to marry). She enjoys being on a team and runs after the ball well, but isn’t so sure about kicking the ball. As the season has continued she has become more confident and better at the game. I did tell her that she was having her last practice yesterday and she gave me the fist pump and said, “Yes!”. I guess she is ready for it to be over as well.
We have had a good time as a family going to practices and games. Luckily, Faith’s practice field is right next to the baseball field so Wilson and Miller can play while she practices. They found a few aluminum bats on Saturday during the game and tried to sword fight with them. Not a good idea! We had to stop that immediately. For them, a baseball field is a giant sandbox in which they can throw sand and roll around and get dirty. Whatever entertains them and makes them happy!
Here are a few pictures of the kids over the weeks during soccer….
Believe it or not, this post is not about me….it is about Faith. Yes, Faith! She has a boyfriend already and they are passing love letters back and forth. I guess now that they can both read and write these letters are possible. A few months ago she told me about a boy named Stephen that is in her kindergarten class. She said, “Stephen is my boyfriend.” I asked if he called her his girlfriend. She said, “Yes, me and Anna Carmen.” Many months have passed and she continues to call Stephen her boyfriend. I think Anna Carmen, her BFF, is not a part of the couple anymore. I try not to make a big deal about it for two reasons: 1- they are only in kindergarten 2-I don’t want her to be embarrassed and to stop telling me these things. I just act supportive.
Here are two letters that were passed between Faith and Stephen. The first one came from him. A total boy card made from the heart. He drew trucks and a picture of the two of them together. Seriously….so cute!
Here is the card from her. Equally cute. I love the self confidence that Faith has. She isn’t shy to say how she feels and who she likes. I wish we could all be as confident and un-afraid as children.
She asked me if she could marry Stephen. I said “sure!” He comes from a good family and has an easy last name – Donaldson. I approve!
Now that she can write, Faith has been making everyone cards. Most of them say about the same thing and are very sweet and loving. It really shows who she is as a person. Here are a few examples of what I have received lately:
I am going to keep all of these so that I can show them to her when she is sixteen and thinks I don’t know anything and that I am mean because I won’t let her go out with a certain boy. I know that day will come but I will continue to pray that it doesn’t.
Right now, she is all about Mamma. She wants my attention all of the time. Sometimes it is difficult to do or I am tired because it is the end of the day, but I always remind myself that she won’t always want to be with me all of the time and that I need to take advantage of these moments now. The best part of my day is when she and I go downstairs right before bed to read. She reads her books from school and then we talk about our day. It is special because it is just the two of us and I am focused soley on her. She is growing up so fast and says things that make me smile.
I am sure that more cards are to come and I will cherish everyone of them. My daughter loves me and that is something to be proud of.
Faith has been studying the Medieval times in school. They have been learning about castles, princesses, jesters, and what life was like long ago. In conjunction, they have also been learning about fairy tales. Yesterday I was invited to the Fairy Tale Ball in her classroom. The kids all dressed up like knights and princesses and the moms were to dress in their best “Queen” attire. Some moms wore old bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses, gowns and one was even in her wedding dress. I was going to wear a blue cocktail dress that I wear to wedding, but when I showed it to Faith she said, “No. I want you to wear this”…..she chose my tie-dyed sundress and a pair of flats…..a little embarrassing, but much more comfortable than what the other moms had on.
The ball was very special. We were introduced by the teacher, Faith came to greet me, curtsied and then gave me a tissue paper corsage for my wrist. We all sat with our child on our laps while the teacher told us about what they have been learning. Mrs. Townsend said that the kids have been learning about kings, castles and shields, but most importantly they have been learning that God is their true king. He is also their “shield and their fortress in time of need.” The parallels that were made between the Medieval times and their Lord and Savior were astonishing. It made me cry. The teacher also gave each child a crown that had jewels on it that they had earned throughout the year. She then went on to say that these are symbolic of the crowns that they will receive in heaven and how the crowns in heaven we will give right back to Jesus….the true King.
After that, Faith brought me a plate with some snacks on it and then we all danced to a few Cinderella songs. It was precious! The kids also sang a song for us and then read a story that they all wrote. Here are the links for that….
In the end, I was given a sweet book that she had made with Bible verses in it and pictures about what she had learned. In the back was a tear-jerking poem about how we are the queens of their lives. I will take a picture of it for you later. It was a special time for the two of us. Lately, Faith has been all about Mom. She wants me to do everything with her. It is sweet and I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts. I pray that she and I will have a trusting and fun relationship as she grows up. I know that in a few years we will begin to argue more, but I hope not. I want to be her friend and her mother, as I am sure most moms do. Today, she loves being with me and even wants to be just like me. Faith is a beautiful little girl with a beautiful heart. Here is my princess with her book that she was so proud of….