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.

countertop-paint

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.

before-and-after-right-side

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.

close-up




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.

20160125_152523

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.

 

 

 




Mighty Man Mudder 2015

For the 3rd year in a row, we were able to host the Mighty Man Mudder on our uncle’s farm.  It is a mud run geared at elementary and middle school aged kids.  The kids were mostly from our CC campus, our church family, and friends.  The first year there were 40 participants, then 50 the next year, and 77 this year.

Quintuple Steps

Devotional

Kids listening to the devotional about being adopted and becoming children of God.

Singing

Singing as people were arriving. My favorite song was “Child of the One True King”.

Lining Up

Lining up at the start.

Start for the 7 year olds

On your marks. Get set. Go!

Before the run, we had a devotional about adoption and how we are children of God.  We also  included a chart about adoption on the back of this year’s completion certificates.

I feel very blessed to be able to organize this event each year.  Many of our friends and family help out during the week leading up to the event.  Each year God has given me the energy and creativity to develop new obstacles.  This year we had 26 obstacles in the 0.75 mile course.

I love seeing the excitement as a child completes an obstacle that they did not think they could do.  After the run was over, most of the kids stayed and kept trying obstacles.  Occasionally I would see a child run to their parents shouting, “Did you see that?  I did it!”

I am continually amazed how the Lord continues to match the activities that I love with ministry opportunities. (Disc golf is my favorite sport, and this year God has connected me with Eagles Wings – a Christian disc golf ministry.)

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Many of the pictures for this post were graciously provided by Beth Watson from Pockets Full Of Rocks.

MMM 2015 024

Rope Climb

MMM 2015 003

Crossing the Tire Swings. This obstacle was very difficult if you lost you momentum.

MMM 2015 009

Climbing through the Cheerios. This was the medium sized one.

Tangled up

Tangled Up. The ropes stretch, but still takes some effort to get through.

 

MMM 2015 005

Balance Beam

MMM 2015 014

The rolling log. Most people found this quite difficult, but one of the moms made it across before the race – while holding her coffee.

MMM 2015 078

Another attempt at the Rolling Log.

MMM 2015 020

The kids swung on the Bag Swing and let go to fly across the finish line.

 

MMM 2015 049

The oldest group going through High Stepping.

Running

Running to the next obstacle

Mud Crawl 2

Entering the Army Crawl. Of course we added some mud.

MMM 2015 067

Some kids really enjoy getting muddy.

Coming out of the mud

Just a little mud.

MMM 2015 094

On the far side is a trampoline. The goal was to jump over the pool, but some kids jumped in on purpose.

Log Hop

The easy side of the Log Hop.

MMM 2015 070

One of 2 walls that the competitors had to climb over.

MMM 2015 071

The Broken Bridge was a simple obstacle, but many kids really liked it.

Climbing Wall

Going up the Climbing Wall.

Climbing Wall Rope

Transferring from the climbing wall to the rope.

Monkey Bar Incline

Monkey Bars.

Monkey Bars

Because of the incline, many competitors found it easier if they used their feet.

Climbing down the rope

Transferring from the Monkey Bars to the rope.

MMM 2015 034

Coming down the rope

Corn Maze

Entering the Corn Maze.

Arial Bridges

Some of the young ones crossing the Aerial Bridges.

Warped Wall 7 foot

The Warped Wall is a favorite for many of the kids. There is a 7 foot section and a 10 foot section.

Running up the Warped Wall

Running up the Warped Wall

MMM 2015 066

Scaling the 10 foot section of the Warped Wall.

.

 




Homeschool Superheroes

You are probably wondering what the title of this post is referring to.  Since you are reading this post you are also probably a homeschool mom, and the title is talking about you!

If you are like my wife, you probably read that first couple of sentences, and after noticing the grammar mistake, thought, “He is not talking about me.  He is talking about those amazing homeschool moms that have it all together.”

But I am talking about you!

Homeschool Superheroes

You have undertaken a task that scares most moms.  I was talking to a mom today whose son is in public school.  When she found out that we homeschool, she exclaimed, “Your wife homeschools all 3 of them!?”  Well, my superhero actually homeschools all 4 of them, but even homeschooling 1 makes you super.  I constantly hear non-homeschoolers say, “I couldn’t do that.” or “My kids would drive me crazy if I tried.”  You deserve a cape just for stepping out on this adventure.

You have decided to sacrifice your peace and quiet, your career, and your clean house in order to give your children the best education.  There are days where you feel like they are not learning, but they are.  Even on the days that they don’t learn their arithmetic, they learn the important lessons: how to get along with family, respect, cooking, cleaning, and yes, some days, they even learn from your mistakes.  No matter how much you feel like you messed up, you accomplished a lot just by being there for your children.

You are the superhero that does not have the luxury of a secret identity.  You are super 24/7.  Superman gets to relax as Clark Kent.  Batman has a butler to take care of him when he takes off the mask.  You, supermom, teach your kids all day, cook, clean, shop, and then take care of your husband when he gets home (except for the single moms who homeschool – who seriously deserve some kind of medal).

The trademark of a superhero is superpowers.  I always liked Batman because he did not have any.  He is the most impressive superhero in comic books because he does it without any special powers, but he does have special cars, planes, and gadgets.  You take this one step farther.  Without superpowers, without super-gadgets.  You take on this insurmountable challenge with nothing.  There would be comic books about you – the super hero with nothing, but no one would read a story so preposterous.

So tie a sheet around your shoulders and stride around the house today knowing that you are a superhero.  Even if it doesn’t make you feel better, your kids will have a good laugh – and then you will feel better.

P.S.  My superhero does not know that I wrote this.  She has taken Isaiah to the doctor for an ear infection.  Becki really is super!




Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today we celebrate the effort, bravery, and accomplishments of a man that paved the way to make my family possible.  Martin Luther King Jr. spoke with determination and eloquence in his peaceful efforts to obtain equality for people with all shades of skin.

Notice I did not say all “races” because we are all one race.  We did not evolve into different races with some being better than others.  We are all descended from Adam and Eve and made in the image of God.

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

Read his “I Have A Dream” speech today (even if you have read it before).

As you read this speech, you can see how he calls on the founding fathers of our country and the Constitution.   He called on reason, logic, and justice.  Justice is not decided by a man’s proclamation or the writing of a new document, but rather justice is when our actions and our attitudes measure up to the standards of the Lord our God.   It is our Creator that has established what justice is, not Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., the men at the Birmingham lunch counter, or Rosa Parks on the bus.  All of these people did great things, not to establish what justice is, but to show us how to meet the standard of justice that God has already set.

The kids at the Birmingham lunch counter (which is now in the American History Museum in D.C.)

The kids at the Birmingham lunch counter (which is now in the American History Museum in D.C.)

 

Because of the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and others, our society is so much better today – not perfect but certainly better.  Nine years ago we adopted our first child.  I love Elijah so much.  If Martin Luther King Jr. had not stood up for his rights and the rights of all people, we would not have been able to adopt Elijah just because he has darker skin that I do.

So celebrate the legacy of this man, who was larger than life and willing to sacrifice so much, by treating everyone as if they were made in the image of God (because they were).