Friday, July 23, 2010

Lost a tooth

Her first one...

One happy girl!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Family visit and trip to Charleston

We had a wonderful visit with Daddy Bill and Nana last weekend. They drove in from Baton Rouge and spent the weekend with us here in Columbia. On Friday, Daniel took the day off and we all drove to Charleston for a boat ride and tour of Fort Sumter. The ferry boat was entertaining for the kids and provided a beautiful view of the harbor and the city of Charleston. While on the ride over to Fort Sumter, we listened to an extensive history lesson over the loud speakers about the area and the beginning of the Civil War. After the tour, we also went into downtown for lunch, browsed the French Market, and walked along the river. The adults rested in the shade while the girls played in the fountain. Thanks to Daddy Bill and Nana for a great idea and for treating us to a wonderful day trip! We miss you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A whole new room

A few months ago, we decided it was time to remove the old carpet from the playroom and replace it with tile. As with any remodel project, it is never as simple as you think it is going to be. We ended up replacing one whole side of wall board and most of the trim in the room, and re-painting the walls and trim.

Here is a before picture of the room on a regular day.
Here it is after cleaning most of the toys out.
Here we have pulled out the carpet and now in the middle of putting in the subfloor. Just in case you are wondering what is involved in the process of installing tile there is one layer of mortar, a layer of concrete backerboard (screwed in with 50 screws for each 3x5 piece), then mortar and tape over all the seams of the backerboard, then another layer of mortar, then the tile, and finally the grout and sealer.
Here the floor is done and we've installed the new wall board on that back wall. That wall had been bothering us since it looked like a previous owner had taken out a window unit (air conditioner) and put a piece of ply wood in the spot. It had been painted to match the rest of the walls but it never looked very good. Daniel tried to replace just that one section, but the big box stores don't carry the exact board that we needed so we had to replace the whole wall to make sure it all matched.
I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I painted the playroom that gold color a couple of years ago. I thought it was going to turn out a little more neutral but I never liked it and always felt like we were surrounded by school bus yellow. So I went back to a very safe color. The girls helped throughout the process. They learned how to rip up carpet, spread a few feet of mortar, and caulk. They also painted a few parts that they could reach.
I have a little experience tiling since I have done 2 small bathrooms, but I'd never attempted a job as big as the playroom (around 250 sq. ft.). Daniel and I spent several years remodeling, renting, and selling houses when we lived in NC so neither one of us are afraid to tackle renovation projects. This project did prove to be challenging in many ways as we ran into a few unexpected delays/problems. It was hard enough to fit all of that work in during our free time. Remember Daniel is still teaching 2 classes a semester during summer school and working on his dissertation, and the girls and I are still homeschooling and dancing--oh, and there's the garden too. Somehow, we managed to find the time to get it done. I am so pleased with the results. It is not complete as we will be adding some more furniture including a couch and tv area and a large desk for our homeschool corner.

As I said, we started the project a few months ago. Besides the fact that we worked on it only on weekends (when not traveling or celebrating a holiday) and in the evenings, Daniel also replaced a toilet in the bathroom and a drain pipe for the washing machine. So, a few plumbing emergencies over the past few months held up the tile process too. Isn't it beautiful now? It feels so fresh, clean, and indestructible.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


This is a collection of pictures taken over a week or so. We have some very generous friends who allow us to use their pool anytime and so we have been over there a lot. We spent July 4th there with our good friends and ended the night with a wonderful vegetarian feast followed by the traditional Kruidenier fireworks spectacular.
Daniel played many games with the kids in the pool. Most of the time it was Marco Polo with Arianna on his back.

We've also had playgroup at the public beach area at nearby Lake Murray. A great group of friends!