Seven Quick Takes: Friday, August 8

Our rainbow…

 1. So, the reason that I did not write quick takes last week was that we have been extremely busy since the last time I wrote them. I finished my last ones talking about how we decided to repaint the exterior of our house. Minutes after I published it, M found rotten, disintegrating wood around four of our windows. The wood was under a metal cover that was put on when the windows were last replaced. We did some Google searches of rotten wood and stucco houses and saw some pretty awful scenarios. We were envisioning two whole sides of our house having rotten wood underneath the stucco, and then having to spend all of our money and more to fix the house. As it turns out, we found a really nice carpenter to come out assure us that it was just the wood around the windows that was bad, make a good offer to fix it that same week. So, we took him up on it, and while he did the work he told us that the stuff (I don’t know what it is called) behind our stucco is made of some indestructible material they used to make back in the day and even if water did get back to it, it would never rot out. And the day that we learned that the wood was not rotten beyond the windows, a rainbow appeared in the sky.

2. We went ahead with the painting, but first there was power-washing. Our awesome friends T and F own a power washer, which they lent to us in exchange for garden lettuce (well that is not exactly how it happened, but T sure likes our lettuce). Here are some post power washing photos (the paint was not this bad before:

Back of the house

South side of the house

Up close

3. We started painting Tuesday afternoon, doing the first coat on one side. Then we did all three other sides on Wednesday. M worked on the second coat and the windows yesterday. Tomorrow M, my sister S, and my brother-in-law are going to finish the second coat and the house will be repainted! Hooray!

The South side with one coat.
The back all finished up!

I did not realize how bad it looked until we did the painting. We have been getting comments from neighbors that we have not even met yet on how good it looks. So, of all the good things to come out of our repainting, besides maintaining our house, is that our neighbors really like the way it looks and our house will blend in really well with all of our snow.

 4. Remember my best squash friend, good old mother blue hubbard?

I was inordinately excited two weeks ago to discover female flowers on my squash plant. And now we have three baby blue hubbards. I am so excited for grotesque looking squash to grow in my garden and to make delicious pies, breads, and soups.

Tiny squash!
This one is trying to get out of the yard.

The biggest so far. And my does my plant need some water….

5. In addition to painting this last week, I have been getting ready for our summer visit from the W’s (my sister M, her husband J, and their four lovely kids) and my sister S. It is a lot of work to get a whole house ready for guests with a broken toe (which still needs the funny shoe but not hurting anymore). We had a birthday cake for three year old B yesterday and went to the zoo today. Mostly, the kids are just happy to be with each other. And the weather it absolutely lovely outside in the shade. We are going to try for a sisters’ outing one of these evenings. Hooray!

6. I think I can handle home schooling this year, and I am determined to follow a schedule. People tell me again and again that I do not need to do much for kindergarten, but the thing is, my kids do better with a little structure in their lives. And I am pretty sure and hour of structured school time for a five year old will not ruin her experience of childhood. Not that anyone is saying that it is, but it seems that a lot of seasoned home schooling moms think that kindergarten should be really laid back. We are going to stick with simple science, math, and catechism, and solidify reading and printing. I think that this kindergarten year is largely for me to realize that I can do it. I can teach and help my children learn. It is very intimidating to take home schooling on, and I have been trying to get a mental handle on it for over five years.

7. Finally, I have to confess that I had writer’s block. The piece I wrote for Truth and Charity yesterday took a lot of mental energy and I think it was met with a lot of spiritual resistance. But I persevered, and if you did not get a chance to read it and you care about traditional prayer or charismatic prayer, I hope that you will.

Linking up with Jen! Head on over to find more Quick Takes!