The kids bedrooms

Phew 4 very long days and we are finally done with those bedrooms. That was a lot of work to come home from vacation for. But everything is sorted and put away and the kids are happy in their new rooms.

For Thomas’ room I found 1 gallon of a mistinted grey ($5.00) and a quart of mistinted green ($3.00) at Lowes, which made the cost for his room only $8. We already had the dark green that we used on the trim and on the bookshelf.

Thomas was needing a shelf to store some of his favorite collections on and wouldn’t you know I was walking home from the post-office when I found that green book shelf being thrown away. It was painted yellow so I did a quick sanding and rolled it with 1 coat of green paint. Voila, new storage shelf.


Bethy didn’t have room to take the red looking (but actually dark pink) chair that folds our to a bed. So it was left behind in Thomas’ room. It’s great for sleepovers so Thomas was happy to keep it. He also took a few of her storage containers (hanging in the closet) that she longer had room for. Thomas has all of his clothes hanging up or in those 2 small bins on the floor. He does not like to have too many clothes lying around.


For Beth’s room I also found some mistints. There were 2 gallons of white paint marked as mistints, one can had been dropped and had a big dent so it couldn’t be shaken it was being sold for $10, the other was a white base that still needed to be tinted so I picked the color for my mistint (it was only $5 but the can wasn’t quite full.) I chose what I thought was purple/gray, but looks more like periwinkle. I also bought a gallon of cement floor paint to paint the floor and Oxiclean masonry cleaner (the most non-toxic cleaner I could find.) The floor paint was $25 and the Oxiclean $12. So Beth’s grand total was $52, not too bad!


The floor is looking a little chipped since the big move in. We’re going to paint a second coat on all the exposed floor space (meaning we’re not moving any furniture) then when it dries we’ll wax the floor with bowling alley wax. That should keep it shiny and protected.


That Black cabinet was the culprit in Beth’s huge cut on her leg. When Thomas took it down he left one screw in the back so when Beth walked past it, ouch!


Beth’s scarves have found a new home on the duct work.


Now its time to get the yard all pretty for our party on Friday!

More rooms on the move

We are home for just 2 weeks between our North Carolina trip and our trip to Seattle. And since Dan does still have a job he will be busy working, thus no work will be done on the major renovation. But that doesn’t mean a minor renovation can’t take place.

During Beth’s last trip abroad it occurred to me that maybe it was time for her to give up the big bedroom that is sitting empty for such long stretches and finally let Thomas have the choice bedroom. Being the youngest he has never had the pick of bedrooms. Since he’s the only child still living here full time it only seems fair that the (slightly) bigger bedroom should be his. Surprisingly Beth agreed to this.

So while I have her home for these 2 weeks we are hard at work tearing up the last of the carpet, spackling and painting walls and the cement floor, and completely swapping the 2 bedrooms. I am about at my wits end with the mess my house is in. I only have 9 days to get it all cleaned up before our big 4th of July party, so no time to rest!

It didn’t seem all that long ago that we redid Beth’s bedroom, but it has been almost 2 years. Look how clean and pretty it was. I blogged about the transformation here:


Oh my her hair was short! This was just before our 1st trip to New York. The NY agents had no idea what to do with such layered short hair so they just left it be and grow it did.


It had been a bit longer since we had redone the other bedroom. It was done in June 2008 for Daniel to move into. 3 years may be a record for a bedroom in this house. I still love the glossy black trim and built in shelves so those stayed put for this make over. but the wall color changed and the nasty carpet had to be torn up. Since we have plans on completely redoing the basement once Thomas moves out I didn’t want to spend any more money than necessary on this redo. Thus we went with just painting the cement floor. It looks clean and that was my ultimate goal. I’ve been warned that the paint will probably not last but that’s OK, in 5 or so years it will all be redone yet again.


We’re hard at work on the rooms, the day after we got home from North Carolina Thomas completely emptied his bedroom. In 3 days we managed to finish it up and get Beth moved in. Today we start on Thomas’ new room. I’m hopeful that we will get it all painted today and start moving him in tomorrow. Thankfully we don’t have to do anything with the floors since they were done last time. It will be really nice to get all his bedroom clutter out of the rest of the house! He plans on getting rid of a lot of his things, “anything that hasn’t been used in 6 months is gone.” That’s a good plan, we’ll see how he does with that. As soon as we’re done I’ll post pictures.

Fishing, fishing and more fishing

Every year some grouping of men and (sometimes) kids go on a charter fishing trip during our family vacation. It often has mixed reviews. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, other times no fish are biting. But this time everything was perfect. Dan, his brother Ron, brother-in-law Mike and Dad all went out on the boat and it was a perfect day of catching lots of big fish.

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Here’s Ron bringing in the huge 35 pound Amberjack (the fastest fish in the ocean, according to Dan.) It took him about 40 minutes to get it reeled in. He started tiring out (Ron not the fish) and wanted to pass the pole off to Dan, but according to fishing rules once you start reeling it in you have to see it through. Work through the burn Ron!


Mike caught a King Mackerel, 15 pounds


Ron, Dan and the Amberjack: (I made a fishing faux paux that is sure to bring bad luck to my hubby fisherman, I showed a picture of Dan holding Ron’s giant fish, big No-No! So that picture has been replaced with a picture of Ron holding theAmberjack and his dad cheering him on:


Dan’s holding 4 Spanish Mackerel, they were about 5 pounds each, which is pretty big for that fish. I’m not sure what his Dad is holding in the picture.


What a strange looking shark, its a Mako shark


A smaller Spanish Mackerel caught in the surf, catching a Mackerel in the surf is pretty exciting even if it is smaller than the ones caught off the boat.


Thomas fishing in the surf


Dan cast netting, that’s how they catch some of their bait. They usually get little minnows from cast netting.


The cast net is trickier than it looks.



That’s a pretty big sand shark Dan caught in the surf, right where all the kids are playing! They catch more sharks than anything fishing in the surf. Which is why I don’t go in the water very often.

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Little flounders caught in the surf, not enough meat to eat them so throw them back!


Jordan was sure there was a fish on so she reeled in the line. No fish…


So mommy has to cast it back out

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Dan loves to fish, he would spend every day fishing if he could and when we’re at the beach he does.

Reading on the Beach

Everyone loves to read on the beach, well everyone except my kids, Nina and Dan. You won’t see any pictures of them sitting around reading, they’re always too busy doing something else: fishing, digging, swimming, watching TV, texting anything but reading.

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Here are my non-readers…


Digging away.



I love my zoom lens!

Dan catching a shark


That’s my foot, so far that’s about the only picture of me on the beach.


My niece, Nicole (her brother Joey is working in Alaska for the summer and sister Kelly just got in last night.)


another shot of Nikki


another niece, Maddi


and another niece Jordan being held by nephew, Mark


and there’s more, Daniel holding Emmy


and yet another niece, Nina (her brother Ronnie is stuck at Case Western for the summer, so he didn’t get to join us.)


I’ve almost got them all, here’s Annie with brother Mark


I just can’t resist taking pictures of Daniel

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Emmy playing with her minnows


Dan’s oldest sister, Chris (also mom to Mark and Annie)


Dan’s mom, Marilyn


Dan’s parents strolling on the beach


The neighbor’s umbrella, seemingly ineffective


Daniel building a sandcastle

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Hmm I had to search for a picture of Beth. Here she is with her cousins; Mark, Nina and Annie.


and last but not least, Thomas





Monday, June 13th, 2011

Posted by: Attilio D’Agostino

Bethany Terry (Mother Model Management, Next Models) styled by Jill Manoff. Hair, makeup and photography by Attilio D’Agostino.






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Platform sandals, Gee Wawa; ankle-strap wedges, SENSO Diffusion.

Posted in: Model Tests

Buried in the sand

I’m not sure why this is such a common beach activity, being buried in the sand. Personally I would hate it, but all the kids seem to love being buried. They beg each other to bury them and they even bury themselves. They dig really deep holes so they are actually vertical and not just laying flat in the sand. They bury themselves close to the water so when the tide comes in they have to fight to get out. They never want help escaping from their entombment preferring the challenge of getting out all alone. They bury themselves in the heat of the day so we have to put a hat on them to avoid sunburn. Sometimes they use their sandy hole to avoid getting too much sun, like Beth did on the first day to prevent even a little bit of a tan.

Here are Jordan and Emmy enjoying all the attention from their older cousins:

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The girls weren’t so comfortable being buried together so Emmy had to do it again all by herself.


Nina’s turn:

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Next came Mark, notice the lovely lady figure his cousins gave him in the sand. Mark positioned himself in his hole sitting on his hands (no one knows why) it made his escape even that much more difficult.

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Daniel lucked out with a muscular caricature and 6 pack abs. When you’re buried you never know what type of body your cousins will give you.



More proof of that new sibling bond, a head massage. I did have to tell her you weren’t suppose to injure a person during a massage, a light rubbing will do.


Summer Reading #3

I really should change that to beach reading because there is no way I will keep up this pace the rest of the summer! I loved the last book I finished, Sister’s Choice by Emilie Richards. It was a much bigger (538 pgs) and meatier book than the other two.

It looked at the relationship between 2 sisters (how appropriate considering my last post) being a surrogate, quilting, a relationship with a sexy carpenter and living in a small town on an apple orchard. What’s not to love? Every time I read a book that includes quilting in the story line (and a lot of books do) it makes me want to start quilting this one even made me want to join a quilting bee.

Midway through the book it starts telling the story of Grandma Grace and how she ended up on the apple orchard. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the flashback since it was taking me away from the original story but it hooked me in too and I could wait for the next glimpse into the past.

Some parts were predictable, about 50 pages in I could guess how it was going to end but the journey there was worth the read. I plan on searching out more books by this author. This one was part of the Shenandoah Album series, while I’m not entirely sure what that means, I’m guessing its more books about the town where the story took place.

Brother and sister

My kids are not close, I wish they were. It makes me so sad when I listen to other people’s stories about how their kids spend time together and actually enjoy it. Maybe it came from them being homeschooled and always being together. Or maybe its because they are boy, girl, boy so they don’t have that same sex bonding that can happen with siblings. I keep hoping as they get older some type of relationship will form.

Since Thomas is so much younger than the other two the problem doesn’t really lie with him and his siblings. They each do fine with him on their own. And I know I can count on both Bethany and Daniel to take him places and spend time with him if I ask. They haven’t quite gotten to the point of initiating it themselves but maybe that too will come eventually.

The relationship I’m really waiting to develop is one between Daniel and Beth, up until recently it was hard to even have them be in the same room. They did NOT ever get along. Daniel constantly pestered his sister until she cried and Beth went out of her way to be as annoying as possible to drive her brother crazy. For about 2 years Bethany would not even speak to her brother and he was just fine with that.  I was not fine with that it broke my heart (even though them not speaking was better than the constant fighting.)

But finally this year I think I’m seeing a breakthrough! Daniel is being nicer and Beth has calmed down a bit. They are actually spending time together and both of them are seeming to enjoy it! I even have the pictures to prove it.




Notice how cold the water must be both Daniel and Beth are shivering.


this is Daniel pushing his sister under water. This did not end in her crying and leaving the beach like it might have in years past…


Look they are both smiling!


Here is Beth getting her brother back for his dunking her.

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She succeeded and no one ended up angry at the other!


Of course, the ocean always has the final say in who gets dunked.

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It almost looks like they are reaching for each other, siblings bonded together, looking lovingly at each other. Ok lets not get crazy here, I’m just glad they’re not trying to kill each other!


Summer Reading #2

The next book in my pile, Best Staged Plans, by Claire Cook was a small little wisp of a book that I started before I went to bed one night and finished when I woke up the next morning. It was definitely an easy read but I’m still not sure if I would recommend it. I think what caught my eye, beyond the cover, was that the main character, Sandy, is a home stager, I would love to be a home stager.

One other thing that I liked about the book was sometimes Sandy would tell stories and that sounded just like stories Paulita would tell. That made me laugh. But the strange part to the book was every now and then in the midst of the story Sandy would give the reader real advice on how to handle some type of situation. It seemed strange to me even though the advice was actually something that I wanted to remember (and now, of course can’t.)

Another thing that annoyed me at first but that i came to like was when Sandy spoke about the GPS as if it were another person. It seemed silly in the beginning of the book but by the end I kinda like it.

The story line was common and the ending was predictable but now that I think about it, the book was a fun, little, light summer read.