Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog-ality Home Makeover 3

It's been a slow week. And I mean S  L  O  W. The workers came Monday morning to clean and patch up drywall and then they left at about 11 (leaving all the doors wide open mind you). And then nothing for the rest of the week.

They were supposed to start installing the brand new hardwood floors on Monday as well, but a certain kerfluffle involving warped boards sent our original order back to the warehouse. And sent us scrambling to locate a back up plan. NO one had what we were looking for. Lumber Liquidators has absolutely no stock on anything we tried. There latest TV commercials about the BIG SALE with tons of inventory? Lies. Bold outright lies. Well, if you want laminate flooring you are set for life. You want something real? Fah-ged-about-it!

We finally located a company in Tampa that had an engineered version of what we needed. We asked them to send us a sample so we could see what the top layer of flooring would look like. There was a brief moment when we almost ordered 65 boxes of a type that had a top layer so small I could break pieces off with my fingernail. We waited and waited for this sample to arrive. Even had a tracking number. When we saw that it was delivered to the wrong place...let's not go there.

Once we saw the sample and felt the layer was thick enough to not wear down pretty easily, we asked when they could ship it. This was last Thursday. They said it wouldn't go out until Monday. Which meant delivery on Friday of the following week. Umm, no. That would push our remodel completion date too far back. There was talk of flying me down to Tampa to rent a UHaul and drive this stuff back home BAH MAH self! The company suddenly decides it doesn't release product to the public, they only ship. So we wait, again.

It finally arrived on Thursday around noon.

And it's gorgeous! So  much variation in color between the boards that it will have a nice movement throughout the house. YAY! Oh wait, now it has to sit for five days and 'acclimatize' to our house.

The only other thing that happened to move this process further was the mantle for the fireplace showing up around 2 on Friday afternoon. We saw this neat design on line and the cabinet guy offered to make it for us. That was nice.

In the mean time. We paint. And paint. And paint. 2 hours each weekday. 4.5 on Saturday and a whopping 7 hours yesterday. Have I mentioned I don't like to paint?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog-Ality Home Makeover 2

Whew! First week of the renovation process is complete. That first day was a big change with everything being demoed. After that it sort of slowed down with little projects each day being started or finished.

Then began the agonizingly slow process of getting the tile grout up from the cement. They tried chipping it, they tried sanding it, then they decided to grind it down. Each taking a day at least. It's all off now. But everything is covered in a fine layer of dust despite the plastic seal they are using.

The next project was what will be forever known as the "Firewall." We have 17 foot cathedral ceilings with oversized windows on either side of the fireplace. Decided that would be a cool accent wall and bought some stacked stone:

They needed scaffolding to reach the top most peak. Little did I know how much I would come to hate that scaffolding. But the wall turned out amazing. It absolutely defines the space {HGTV speak for WOW Factor}.

We asked them to leave the {dreaded} scaffolding to save us the cost of renting our own so that we could paint the sloping ceiling and the support beam ourselves. Boy, oh boy. That not a day of fun.

Five hours with a 12 foot extender pole and a roller. I was completely covered in 'parmesan' paint. Then another four hours to paint the beam to mimic an exposed beam.

What a week!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Blog-ality Home Makeover

How do you like my made up word for the day? Blog-ality is fusing a little bit of that reality TV show craze I've been binging on for the last week and some blogging to share it all with you!

I think it would be so cool to appear on one of those Home Fix It shows that I love: Flip or Flop, Love it or List it, Elbow Room, Yard Crashers. But sadly, no matter how many times I've been in Home Depot no one has approached me with a surprise backyard. Pooh.

That's not going to stop me though! G and I have lived in our current home for the past 14 years. When we bought it the countertops and cabinets were already there. We decided to overlook that and choose flooring and lighting. Since we were transplanted from California and had two dogs we choose some terra cotta tiles and berber carpeting. After the dogs passed we realized just how dirty the carpeting had become. Ugh. It was time to upgrade {or move}. Since the housing market hasn't woken up completely, it was stay here.

We contacted a few designers for a quote. After visiting with them for a few weekends we opted for RCD Designs. They really responded to our needs and were extremely prompt in returning all questions and requests. Many weekends of gazing at granite and touching floor samples ensued.

Now, five months later, the fated day had arrived. It was time to start. I won't go on about how long it took me to pack everything up and move it to other side of the house. I'm just happy the waiting has stopped. Three men came in and immediately started ripping old plywood cabinets off the walls. YAY!

I've been snapping away as they moved through the house. As they do their thing we've been redoing some other projects as well. Including ripping off wallpaper that had been applied directly to the dry wall. SPOILER ALERT: This is not fun! It took four days to complete and repaint a nice medium brown.

Here are some shots of the demo so far. They completely gutted the cabinets, appliances {going to Habitat for Humanity}, and a small island. The mantle came off the fireplace and will be replaced with stacked stone all the way to the ceiling.

Now they are pulling all of the 1300 sq. ft. of tile off the floor. It's a bit noise. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Meet Up - June 30

Wow! Teaching Tribune is ROCKING it with the linky's this year. Monday's are all about meeting up with some new faces and checking in on the old ones you haven't seen since last summer.

Here are three things that I am thankful for right now.

No more back pain! I've just had my tenth 'adjustment' and I no longer have that broken rib feeling and my lower back isn't so tight. Love it!

Summer. These lazy hazy days are such a great way to recharge before the chaos that is school begins again (in 28 days mind you).

 A creative mind. I am one week away from a total kitchen remodel and my brain just won't quit with ideas. I'm knee deep in paint samples and thinking about creating floating shelves and maybe a chalkboard menu board for the dining room.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tried and True - Saving Fred

Teaching Tribune is at it again with some really fun linky's!. Thursdays are about connecting with other bloggers to highlight those really great lessons that always work in your room.

It made me think of a lesson I have been doing for about three years now. Saving Fred is always a big hit with the kids. I did a whole write up on it from last year. So I'm going to do what I {heart} Recess is doing and combining this linky with the Throwback Thursday linky.

Check out what Fred is all about at here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Worksheet Wednesday -Summer Verbs in Action!

Sitting on the couch watching really bad SyFy movies (Blast Vegas) and scrolling through Bloglovin, I come across a fun little Linky Party happening over at Teaching Tribune.

The theme was Summer so I put together a sheet that will eventually make it into a larger pack on Verbs. This one is using Irregular Verbs and includes some sentence writing at the end. Just for y'all I made it completely FREE! Click on the picture below to download it from my TpT store.

Hope you enjoy it.

Summer Verbs

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tried it Tuesday - Comprehension & Technology

For my Tried it Tuesday, I'm jumping the gun and delving into a teaching manual.

Kristin Ziemke was recently a keynote speaker at a staff development I attended. She's a first grade teacher in Chicago and teamed up with another favorite author, Stephanie Harvey, to create the Connecting Comprehension and Technology teacher manual.

From the Heinemann website:
“Technology does not make teaching better, only teachers do that. However, technology can challenge us to reflect on and enrich our instruction in a variety of meaningful ways. We collaborated on this book to support teachers in active literacy environments to envision and reimagine how technology can enhance children’s learning.”—Stephanie Harvey, Anne Goudvis, Katie Muhtaris, and Kristin Ziemke

She made such a great presentation about using technology in her classroom. Now granted her school has a set of tablets that they share so at times she can have a whole class set to do these things with. I can see how it would work with a few tablets or a small group set. These first graders in an inner city school were blasting away my fourth graders in their insights and comprehension skills. It was amazing.

Just watching her students comment LIVE as she is reading a text on things they notice thrilled me to the core. I think technology has a place in the classroom and the way that Kristin was showing us struck the right cord with me! Her students had Twitter accounts where they corresponded with NASA or oceanographers on boats off of Hawaii. One of her students became a impromptu weather forecaster when he was stranded during Hurricane Sandy. He took videos of damage and posted it online with his running commentary. It was awesome.

I quickly bought the book and am reading it to see how I can start it off with my new class in August. One of the quotes really sticks out:

"It's essential to ground your technology use in authentic and essential skills that students need."

The book is broken up into four lessons for each strand. The first two are for primary elementary and the latter are intermediate. Then the first lesson in each level is a basic skill while the second delves into a higher thinking skill. Each is a complete scripted teacher dialogue with student interactions.

The strategies offered raise the comprehension standards throughout the book. They include monitoring comprehension, activating and connecting to text, asking questions, inferring and visualizing, determining importance, and summarizing and synthesizing.

What I like is they have tons of technological ideas but they don't expect you to do EVERY single one of them. They want you to use your professional intelligence (imagine) to decide which your students actually need and become proficient in their use. That's sometimes my problem. I want to do it all. Maybe this will get me to slow down and really delve into one idea so that students can use them without having to think.

I'll keep you posted on how the reading is going. Happy Tuesday!