You Can Paint Countertops!

We would love to replace our kitchen counters, but it is so expensive.  I hadn’t realized this, but you can paint countertops.


There are solid color paints and there are paints that make your countertop look like granite.

We decided to try to paint our bathroom countertop first to try it out (also the bathroom counter was an ugly pink color).

We bought the Giani Chocolate Brown kit.

I was so pleased with the result that I wanted to share it (since I didn’t even know you could paint countertops).  I am not going to explain the process because there are great videos on Giani’s website for that.  I will say that I am not an experienced painter, but found this very manageable.  The kit comes with everything you need.  I was impressed at how complete and organized the kit was. I feel like I can do even better on the next one.

If you have experience sponge painting, I am sure you can do even better than I did.  But I am pleased with my project.


We bought one $80 kit for the bathroom.  Our kitchen has lots of counters, so we will probably need 2 kits  for it.  We are going to get the Sicilian Sand kit for the kitchen. I am thrilled that we can refresh our kitchen for just $160 (for 2 kits).

If you are looking for a stone look, Giani sells 5 kits: Chocolate Brown, White Diamond, Slate, Sicilian Sand, Bombay Black.

If you want a single color, Rustoleum sells kits. Actually as I typed this, I found that Rustoleum also has kits to make it look like stone.

We are happy with our “new” countertop and hope you will have the same results.


17th Anniversary is the dinosaur one, right?

Seth and I were greeted this morning to a display of plastic dinosaurs “making” an anniversary poster for us and drawings of pictures from our wedding as well as dinosaurs reenacting us canoeing on our honeymoon.  While today isn’t our actual anniversary, the kids knew we were going out on a date tonight to celebrate so they decided to make today their celebration day too.

17th anniversary


Elijah and Ruth were awake before us and cooked us breakfast as well as setting up the dinosaur display.  (We sometimes have the dinosaurs visit – helping the tooth fairy, eating leftover food, getting ready for the Super Bowl to name a few.  This idea isn’t original to us.  We first saw the idea of using dinosaurs from Dinovember.  Our dinosaurs just come year round – not just during November.)

Dinosaur breakfast

A number of our anniversaries have been celebrated with my children doing something special for Seth and me.  Some years stand out to me less than others, but here are a few I remembered.

Our 13th anniversary was the Lego anniversary.  My children had a special brownie decorated for us and made a lego reenactment of our wedding ceremony.  (This was before our house was gluten-free when we could do easy things like buy brownies pre-made at the local grocery store).

lego wedding

On our 16th anniversary, we had early morning chefs who cooked heart-shaped bacon for breakfast before Seth left for work.  These chefs also made heart-shaped gluten-free pizza for dinner.

heart shaped anniversary

I have been blessed with (almost) 17 years of marriage to my best friend as well as precious children who are growing up so quickly.  God has brought our family this far, and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for us in the years to come.

No More Snow In My Boots

Our kids often get snow in their boots.  We just had over 20 inches of snow and every time they go play, they come in with cold, wet, snowy feet.

No More Snow In My BootsThis afternoon we had a bunch of boys over to play tackle football in the snow.  Just before we went out, I had a crazy idea.  It worked so well that I wanted to share it right away to help others.


I had some left over shrink wrap from moving this fall.  I wrapped it around their pants and boot (being careful not to wrap it too tight around their legs).

I am not sure if you can tell in the picture, but I wrapped it under their boot one time too so that it wouldn’t slide up.  This turned out to be an essential step.

Tackle football in the snow was a strenuous test for this idea, and it held up well.

wrap under the boot

After 2 hours of play, all 3 boys had dry feet.

Here are a few affiliate links for the shrink wrap.

Have fun playing in the snow, and keep your feet dry.




Top Posts of 2015

As this year is coming to a close, I thought I would share some of our top posts of the last year.

I don’t know about you, but our family’s year turned out very differently from what I imagined at the beginning of the year.  2015 was certainly a year of change.  With two moves and all the upheaval that goes with it, we were stretched in ways I didn’t see coming.  God certainly brought our family on a journey this year, but we are thankful for His faithfulness through all of this year’s challenges.

Instead of just giving a straight “Top 5” or “Top 10” list, I am going to share our top posts in certain categories.  Some of these posts were not written in 2015, but they still got the most views in that category.

Top Posts of 2015

Top Game Review Posts:

7 Wonders.  We just love this game, and it was particularly fun that it fits in with this year’s memory work.

Timeline.  This is a game that will be loved by anyone who enjoys history.  As Seth says, it seems like it was made for people who do CC.  I’m sure Seth will write a review of Timeline Challenge soon (a board game that uses the Timeline cards in a variety of mini-games.)

Top Classical Conversations Posts:

Cycle 1 History Videos we hope to watch (including Amazon Prime).  We have watched some of these (and enjoyed them), but of course didn’t get to as many as I had hoped.  To me, that’s a good thing.  It means we haven’t had weeks of illness or nothing to do but watch videos.  (We really don’t get to tv watching all that often.)

Simple Memory Work Review for Young Children.  This was written back when I tutored the youngest CC class.  Now that I have an older class, I hope to share a few of my favorite review ideas in the near future.

CC Blog Carnival: August 2015.  This CC Blog Carnival had the most traffic of any of them.  They usually come out on the first of the month.  Since there were very few submissions, there will be a combined January/February one at the beginning of February.

Top Science Posts:

Curling and Newton’s Laws of Motion:  Using the Olympics to Teach Physics.  This post has been viewed regularly – most often from people not in the U.S. and more often than not, in the summer.  It seems to be the post most likely found through internet searches.  Who knew curling was so popular?

Best Bubble Recipe! was a great science project to do in the summer and is tons of fun.  (You can freeze bubbles in the winter if it ever gets cold enough.)

Seth’s Favorite Post:

Homeschool Superheroes.  Seth made me cry when he wrote this one.  I’m pretty sure most of us don’t view ourselves as superheroes.  This might be some much-needed encouragement as you start school back up after break.

My Favorite Post:

How are we doing?  Gauging Success in our Homeschool.  I think it’s important to figure out how to “check” on how I’m doing.  This post is a great reminder to me and one I’ll reference as we gear back up into school work in the next week.


Do you have a favorite post from our blog for 2015?  Is there something you want us to cover in the coming year?  If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Homeschooling While Moving

homeschooling while moving

Moving is a huge task.  So is homeschooling.  How do we accomplish both?

Be real about my expectations.  I can’t be everywhere at once.  Am I planning a reasonable amount of school work for the kids?  Are the tasks doable without me if I am packing boxes?  Am I planning a reasonable packing or unpacking goal?  Am I willing to stop what I am working on to teach my children?

Be portable with the school work.  This year, my kids each have a crate with all their school work in it.  This means that we can take it with us to the library, a different room of the house, or even to the new house.  We’re not spending time looking for school books, and we’re able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.  I make sure the kids have their weekly checklists ready to go, but I also make sure I stop what I am working on if they have questions.

Include the kids when possible in the moving process.  I hope this is our last move while our children live at home.  It’s just as important for them to learn how to sort, clean out, pack boxes, set up a new room, organize, and anything else that has to do with the house buying process as it is for them to practice math or reading.  Our children are amazing helpers, and I am excited to do this move with them.

Use as many audio books and educations movies as possible.  My children have been learning so much through our Cycle 1 Audio choices and a few educational selections from Amazon Prime.  These have been great options when I have needed to make important phone calls, pack fragile items, or take care of the seemingly-endless paperwork involved with being a house.

Start early.  We started our homeschooling very early in the summer (especially math).  We started packing early for the move.  We also start our work early in the day each day.

This time of moving is just a season in our homeschooling but a valuable one for all of us.  It’s been amazing to me to see how much our family has been able to accomplish – in our school work, in our packing, and just in life in general.  I hope the lessons learned during this time continue with us in the future.