Saturday, August 31, 2013

Video Updates - Colors, Dancing and Walking

I have more videos to share.

I

I am in love with the above video!! This was taken at church last Sunday. I wish I knew how to download it to save, but embedding it in this post is good enough for me right now.

He's already a performer. I was known to break out into song and dance in my preschool years. I think I even got an award for being the entertainment in class. HA!

Little JCrew had his two-year old doctor appointment. We are rarely early and I was excited to think they might call us back early. Instead, we watched others come in after us and get called back. So, we played a game in the waiting room. After we had been playing a while, I decided to record it. He lasted just a little bit longer before being distracted.


His favorite color is orange. He loves to find everything that is orange in the produce section of the grocery. And at the doctor's office, they asked what color room he wanted to go into... the Orange one!

And I finally got a decent video of Mr. Brigglesworth walking. He is improving everyday.



I feel like time is slipping away. My boys are growing up. I just want to play with my boys all weekend and soak up the innocent age they are right now. Discover along side with them and enjoy their smiles.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Boys ... and Girl!

My little boys are growing up!

Little JCrew turned two and became a big kid all in one day. He is saying so many words, I've stopped keeping track. Up until three weeks ago, I was able to write down his new words in his memory book. Now I don't have space for all the words.



For my birthday, Mr. JCrew surprised me with a new puppy!



Her name is Kates.



Little JCrew can say her name so well and he loves to call her.



It's so different to say "she", "her" and "girl" in this house full of boys!



At last week's party for Little JCrew, I set up the duck pond early to see how hard it would be to get the signs in the yard. Little JCrew loved playing in the duck pond and I couldn't get him away.



Mr. Brigglesworth is a ham! He is on the move. The day after Little JCrew's birthday, he took his first steps!

I haven't caught it on video yet, but he's taking those steps on his own. In the video, you can see how well he can keep his balance.



At the dinner table, we're working on him feeding himself.


He loves food and he makes a mess to show his enjoyment!



And if you ever see something random posted by me on Facebook, the blog or by email, it would be from my assistant, Little JCrew.



Caught him on my Facebook account last night.

I'm very excited realizing Monday is a holiday and football season has started! UCF played Acron last night with a 38-7 WIN! Go Knights!

Happy Friday, y'all!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Drywall Repair - My New Skill

We did so good with getting all the old insulation out before our new insulation was going to be put in. We spent ten days balancing on rafters and made it without an accident… until we were finished and wanted to check on the space over the back porch.


That corner was the most intimidating corner to me. It looked so full. 


But it cleaned up so well.


Mr. JCrew lugged the shop vac over to that area. I then heard a slip and a yelp. I asked the usual, “Are you okay?” No response. I ask again; no response. I said, “Please say something” as I started to walk towards him.

It was dark in that corner and he was down. I saw something dark, getting larger underneath him. I thought something had busted. I asked him if he was bleeding. Nope. There was a pipe close by and I thought I was seeing oil.

Then Mr. JCrew pulled his leg up out of a HOLE!!!


Yep, the kitchen cabinets broke his fall.

He was so lucky he wasn’t hurt; just sore from his leg doing something only flexible people can do.



That night, I watched YouTube videos on how to repair drywall. I woke up and headed to Lowes the minute it opened. We had to repair this hole in 24 hours before the new attic insulation was to be installed. We were lucky we had cleaned out the old insulation. Otherwise, we'd be cleaning insulation out of our kitchen!

I cut out the broken pieces and drew myself a rectangle.



Tip #1: A rectangle/square is the easiest shape to repair. Make sure you have each end screwed into a truss. That way there is no sagging later on.

I had to make my rectangle four inches longer than the damage, so that I could screw the sheetrock into the truss above.


It’s best to use one piece, but I have a small SUV and asked to Lowes guy to cut my boards so they’d fit in the car. I was one inch too shy!


I screwed the drywall into the trusses.


Then I used self-adhesive tape on the joints.


Then a joint compound over the tape.


I was told to do three layers. After two layers, I was nervous about my skills. It didn’t look too hot. Total amateur!


The third layer was so much prettier! Whew!


I then used a sanding sponge, dipped in water and lightly sanded the joints.

I then applied more compound to make things totally smooth and sanded again.

Next up, paint it to match the rest of the ceiling.


I went out and bought a new can of ceiling paint. While I was doing drywall repairs, I went around the house and patched popped screw holes in the ceiling. I would need more than the touch-up paint I had for the kitchen ceiling.


Not too bad for my first time! I can now add that to my resume. My dad is one proud papa!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Attic Insulation

My current goal for projects is to utilize the space we have more efficiently. We have a second floor we barely use because it is uncomfortable without the AC/Heat on. And when the AC/Heat is on, the money in our wallets pours out.

Our upstairs has more than just a loft. It qualifies as a bedroom because it has a closet.


And we also have the bathroom up there. It’s a really nice space, and we love to hang out up there, but we can’t do it in the Summer or Winter.




I had an energy audit done on our house, and the house as a whole is very energy efficient (First floor only). The problem that we wanted fixed was the comfort level on the second floor. We never let the thermostat stay on up there. If we did, it would never shut off because it worked too hard to keep the temperature correct.

Looking in the attic at the insulation that was there, it was not sufficient.

Our home is Tudor style, which means the roof is high-pitched.


There was so much unused space up there.

We are seriously considering adding a room and closet up there.


The majority of insulation was blown-in style. The audit said we had R-28 currently in there. Department of Energy recommends R-30 (minimum) to R60 in our climate zone.


The trey-ceilings, cathedral ceilings and the walls to the second floor have a rolled-out insulation (batt style). This fiberglass does not stop the attic air from pushing through to cause comfort issues.



One option we had was to air seal all ducts, recessed lighting, registers, etc. Then add blown in insulation to get our level up to R-47. To air seal, would cost $650. To put in R-19 worth on blown in insulation would be $1300.

The solution we came up with was to encapsulate the roof. This meant a spray foam  (Icynene) would be sprayed to the underside of the roof. In areas such as the garage and back porch, foam was sprayed on the floor of the unfinished attic space (the ceiling of the finished room below). This eliminates the need to A) Air Seal every ceiling hole, B) add more ceiling insulation and baffles C) no need for duct sealing. All holes and vents currently in the roof and eaves would be patched up and foamed over. The attic would now become part of the ‘envelope.’ Our air handler and ducts would not have to work as hard because they would be inside a conditioned space measuring 85 degrees versus 140-170 degrees in the summertime. This extends the life of the unit because it eliminates stress.



Doing this method required us removing the current blown-in insulation. This type of insulation only works when it trapped in a 6-sided configuration. We wouldn’t need this insulation on the sheetrock to the first floor. The company we used offered to remove the insulation for us, but a $2250 price tag was too much to swallow. He asked a silly question if I was a DIY type of person and if I was, I could do it myself. I set a goal to remove some an hour a night.


This did take some time. We had to remove all the stuff we were storing in the attic and then we started removing the insulation. It felt so intimidating at first! We learned a rhythm and became efficient. We’d start by raking the insulation into bags with our hands and get as much as we could. Then we got the scraps with our shop vacuum.


When we used the vacuum for the majority, it filled up too fast. It felt like we were filling it and bagging it a lot. We could do more in a short time by doing it by hand.



Then we got in a rhythm of one person getting the big handfuls with the other person following behind to get the scraps.


I will say, seeing the clean boards was pretty to me. There was something about it.


We had 27 bags of insulation for the garbage men after one week. This was about half of the insulation.

We put out some the night before and the storm blew some down the street.

I had to go pick them all up before the neighbors noticed.

In hind-sight, I should have offered the insulation to my neighbors to beef up their attics. oops.


In total, it took us ten nights to completely remove all the blown-in insulation.




The next step was for Heating and Cooling specialist to come install the mechanical ventilation. 

Because the attic is being sealed off, the furnace needs fresh air to pull. The mechanical ventilation comes through a hole in the roof and gets the system the fresh air it needs.


Buddy, came early on a Saturday morning. He was great!

We had four fresh air vents installed.


This only added four little doo-dads to our roof.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Little JCrew's Second Birthday

Alright... I missed Family Friday, and I have family waiting for pictures from yesterday, so I am posting on a Sunday.

Little JCrew's second birthday was yesterday. All in one day he decided to grow up. He climbed the stairs like a grown up; using the handrail and not crawling. He is using more words to communicate and it is AWESOME!

 Mr. JCrew and I gave him a harmonica. He loved it!


Nana and Boppa sent a gift, too.


It was perfect that his birthday fell on a Saturday. We turned our backyard into a farm and invited all the kids in his age-group.

The morning started off with my sister sending birthday messages from the cows, pigs and sheep on her farm. They were awesome and repeatedly watched for an hour.

The crowd was a good mix of our family, friends and neighbors.


Little JCrew bounced everywhere! He loved having so many friends to play with.


Birthday boy even convinced his friends to pull him around in the wagon.

Little JCrew loves animals. His favorite is a cow. I almost did a milk and cookies theme for his party, but I didn't want just cows since he likes all animals.

I used Paperless Post to send out his invitations. It's like evite.

Front

Back
The back yard was setup with stations.


We had Wagon Rides, Milk Jug Throw,


the OK Corral.



Hay Bale Toss


Cake Walk, Duck Pond, a Barn, and a Cow Pasture.

We drew arrows on the sidewalk to tell people to come straight to the backyard.


We did the cake walk activity first. We played kid tunes and the kids won "cowcakes" as their prizes.


There was a lot of cake. The cupcakes had toppers that had a front and back side to them.


The duck pond was a last minute idea that was a hit. Little JCrew loved it. We couldn't get him to leave.


Other kids loved it as well.



The "Cow Pasture" was a last minute idea that was a surprise hit. I made onesies for the dogs to wear to dress up like cows. I decided to use the "octagon" that I use when I take the boys to watch soccer games and use it to contain the dogs. I knew there were some kids that didn't like, dogs but I didn't want to cage them in the house either.


It ended up having kids in the pasture with the dogs.


It was such a hot day, the kids were sweating! Wish it had been as cool as it was last week.


There were wagon rides and horses to ride on.

Family was inside keeping cool.


The food was inside and directed by a sign.


I had fun coming up with ideas for the food.


The Oreo's were "Tractor Wheels."


The Chex Mix was "Chicken Feed."


Rice Krispie Treats were "Hay Bales."




My favorite was the "Mud." I made little pink pig cookies to stick in chocolate pudding.


There was also some real food besides just sweets. We had a Chick-Fil-A Nugget trey, veggies and fruit.


For the favors, we put together little goody bags for all the toddlers. They were cow print bags with a pinwheel, stickers, a bookmark/ruler and orange mints.


Little JCrew really did have a blast with all the company.


My dad was in the hospital this week. As of noon Saturday, it did not look like he would be discharged in time and he was a grumpy Poppi knowing he'd miss his grandson's party. At around 3:45, Little JCrew started saying, "Poppa" and looking out the window. Puppy and Poppi sound very much alike, so I didn't know which word he was saying. Sure enough, I see my mom and dad coming around the side of the house. Dad was discharged! He was so excited to be here... we all were.


There was so much cuteness in the backyard with all the kiddos.


The mess afterward was so rewarding.


The kids had fun, and that was the whole goal.


If you follow me on Instagram, the whole week I was using the hastag #WilksTurnsTwo. I'd post a daily picture of Little JCrew with that hashtag. I even used the hashtag as part of party decorations.



I was hoping our technology savvy crowd would have status updates or pictures and use the hashtag. Sure enough, they did!


Pretty cool!

At the end of the day, he was all smiles. That's all I had hoped for. Seeing him really enjoy himself.


Happy birthday, my precious boy! You are very loved.




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