Alternative Housing Materials

I was watching FOX news this morning and they had a story about people in, I think it was, Florida that are using steel storage containers for housing material. These storage containers have sat at the harbor and were not being used. Builders are finding the steel to be an excellent material to use in these new houses. Very strong. The houses look “normal” on the outside, but inside all the walls are made from the steel. I told Scott, “Look! They are using steel! Our metal house idea is not so weird.” Actually, if you look on the net there are a lot of companies that make metal buildings. Using metal/steel buildings for homes is becoming more and more popular.

Another alternative house was in my December Country Home magazine. A couple bought a 22 acre farm in Wisconsin and instead of living in the house on the property (which was older), they chose to remodel and live in the huge Scandinavian-style barn. Wow! It is absolutely gorgeous. Wide spaces, airy, warm wood everywhere….yet it still looks like a house. I was curious as to how they insulated such a large area. I found out that they insulated with a sprayed-in-place foam from the outside (then residing), which preserved the interior woodwork.

In This Old House magazine a couple remodeled an industrial building that used to be used for making eye glasses. It was interesting because they chose to leave a lot of the industrial/architectural details. It was a lot of work to fix it up, but now they have this really cool loft home.

Scott and I have been looking over house plans for the past few days. We’ve been discussing options. It is exciting to think about building our own house. There are so many interesting products/materials out there.

The Golden Compass

I guess everyone has heard about this movie that is coming out next week. I suppose you’ve probably also heard about the trilogy of books that the movie is based on. The author, a Mr. Phillip Pullman, is not only a self proclaimed atheist, a hater of C.S. Lewis (and his Narnia tales) but in his own words wants to “kill God in the minds of children.” His views are obviously tied up in secular humanism.

I’ve read several articles about this movie and about the author. I looked up Mr. Pullman and found out a lot of interesting information about him. This all got me to thinking. Contemplating. This movie is but one example (be it Hollywood or the books) of how the world wants the hearts, minds and souls of our children. What better way for the Father of Lies to create more darkness in the world then to steal and corrupt our children? Wrapping the sin of the world up in a pretty package is just what he wants. If we as Christians don’t teach our children God’s word, then who do we think will? Putting on the full armor of God is no small thing. Nor is it a small battle that we fight. It is hard core, full out, lives at stake… war. Now, I don’t know about you but I have no plans on sacrificing my children to the gods of this world….and make no mistake about it, this world wants your children too. As Christian parents we are called to talk with our children daily about God and what He says in His Word. It is to become such a part of their lives that they are able to face the world head on with conviction. No matter what. Am I a perfect parent? No. Do I make mistakes? Of course I do. Being a godly example is one of the most difficult jobs there is, but I am not called to give up. Or to give in. I am called to keep running the race.

There is a wonderful book called Praying The Bible for your Children. It is by David and Heather Kopp. Page 148 of this book has the Armor of God Prayer based on 2 Corinthians 10:4. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

They go on to say– Praying Ephesians 6:10-18

Lord, today I pray that You will equip my child for spiritual battles: Help_______ to put on Your full armor so that when the day of evil comes, he may be able to stand his ground, and after he has done all he can do , to keep standing. (v.13) Show my child how to buckle the belt of truth around her waist and how to fasten the breastplate of righteousness in place. (v.14) Fit my child’s feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (v.15) Give my child strength to take up the shield of faith, with which he can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (v.16) Assure my child,_____, that she wears the helmet of salvation, and help her take up the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word (v.17) And after my child is clothed with Your armor, may he continue to stay alert to evil and pray at all times for himself and others. (v.18) Amen.

Hmmm…I Don’t Know About That.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…. a famous line, but is it true? Hmmmm….I don’t know about that.

I got a name book from the library a few weeks ago. It is very interesting. It contains lists of popular names and what years that they were the most popular. It has name trends and meanings of names. That is where it became interesting. I’ve looked up everyone that I know. Then I think to myself, “hmmm…does this name suit this person?” I find in most cases it does. I am a firm believer in people living up to their names. That is why it is my opinion that parents should be very careful in what they name their children. I’ve never understood the silly names that Hollywood stars pick for their children. Apple? Moon Unit? Coco? Satchel? Just strange. I bet they will have strange kids too. When I taught school, boy did I hear some good ones! Precious. Treasure. Princess. Too sugary. Then there are the students with car names like Porshe, Mercedes, and (my fav) one of my former students named ALexus. Not Alexus, but A-Lexus. Named after her mom’s favorite car. Puh-leeze people! These children have to live with these names… least until they are old enough to have them legally changed. haha.

Okay, here is what the book said. You tell me what you think.

Dawn (that’s me!) English for Sunrise, New Beginnings —– I like it. I think I’ll keep it!

Scott English for “from Scotland” That pretty much explains itself. He has ancestors from Scotland so that is neat. Also a familiar English form of Prescott.

Bradley English, meaning broad meadow. He does love running around outside in wide open spaces. So we will go with that.

Kendrick Scottish for royal chieftain. His daddy and mommy’s only son and the only grandson for a long time. At least I didn’t name him Henry V or George VI or something:)

Breanna Irish for strong, virtuous, and honorable. Strong is a good word for Breanna. Stubborn is another. he he he…

Ruth Hebrew for friendship. It fits. She is a great mom and friend.

Dorothy is Greek for gift of God. She is the best aunt ever. She has definitely been a gift to me.

Rebecca Hebrew for tied and bound. Hmmmm…. I would think, like the biblical Rebecca who was bound to her husband. Becky is a good wife so that works. Her husband, Eric, is Scandinavian for ruler of all or English for brave ruler. He is a godly husband and head of his household. Definitely fits. Their girls are Hannah, Hebrew for gracious. Bethany is Aramaic for house of figs. Interesting. She will be fruitful. Lastly there is Abigail, which is Hebrew for father’s joy. That says it all.

Christa is the shortened form of Christina (German) which means Christian, annointed. Wow. That is a great name to live up too. A follower of Christ.

Ernest is English for earnest and sincere. Also a good choice. Two great character traits.

Jessica is Hebrew for wealthy. There are many ways to be rich in this life, and having lots of money has nothing to do with it. Jessica is rich in a lot of things that money can’t buy. Her daughter,Cheyenne, is a tribal name…and her son Kade is Scottish for wetlands or the americanized version meaning a combination of the initials K and D. Her husband Eddie, is English for a familiar form of Edgar, which means successful spear man. Okay, Jessica you figure that one out! His sons are Dusty, form of Dustin which is German for valiant fighter. Wyatt is French for little warrior. Cool.

Brittany, English meaning from Britain. That speaks for itself. Her daughter Natalie is Latin for born on Christmas day. Her husband is Nathan and his name is Hebrew for Nathaniel, who was a biblical prophet. Stephanie is Greek for crowned and her son is Joseph which is Hebrew for God will add, or God will increase.

So after reading this, do you agree? Names are interesting things.

Work That Makes You Happy

I’ve heard it said that if you find something in life that you love to do, it won’t seem like work. (even if it is!) Now, I did enjoy my teaching job. It was always more about my students then the actual teaching, I guess. I enjoy people so it is only natural that I’d like to teach. Though in all my many years of teaching I never felt I was good enough. Whatever “good enough” means. I suppose I always wondered if someone could teach these children better than what I could do? I tried to make learning fun. My personal philosophy is that learning should be fun. It shouldn’t be something that children are “forced” into, but more along the lines of something that they just can’t help themselves from…the love of learning that will last a life time. I think people who stop learning are boring. I really mean that. We’ve all met people like that. The kind of person that you can’t get away from soon enough because they haven’t told you anything new in the past 10 years. On the other hand, don’t you love the kind of people who never stop learning and they are all the time saying things like, ” I read somewhere that …….”, or ” let me show you this cool new thing I found out about….”, or ” what do you think about so and so….tell me your opinion.”

Besides the teaching, another thing I really have fun with is decorating. I’ve always been a very aesthetic person. I love the way things look…be it beautiful architecture, the morning sun streaming through the window, a perfectly placed pillow on the couch, a well prepared meal, or beautiful children in their Sunday best. I’ve always loved to decorate. I like to run my hands over the softness of chenille, or the crispness of fine linens. I love to feel the texture of high thread count sheets, or the creaminess of silk. I’m absolutely terrible when I go to places like Bed, Bath and Beyond because I’m always touching things! Just between you and me, I’ve been tempted on numerous occasions to throw myself head first onto one of those makeshift beds they have there. You know the kind that they display their sheets and comforters on. They always look so fluffy and soft. I just want to try it out. But alas, I’ve managed to contain myself for fear of them calling security on me. I have a ton (probably literally) of decorating books that I can sit for hours and look at. I also subscribe to at least 3 different magazines that teach me how to decorate. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Why is decorating important in the big scheme of life? How is decorating going to make the world a better place?” This is true. Good decorating is not going to bring world peace…but it is still fun and I like it a lot. I enjoy painting. I like to refinish furniture. I think stenciling is fun. I believe organizational strategies for the home are a gift from the Almighty. Yeah, I’ve got it bad. I’d watch HGTV all the time if Scott would let me. I used to subscribe to This Old House and actually managed to get my hands on a copy the other day. I read an interesting article on remodeling a loft in NYC and a good article on engineered wood products. Okay. I admit that might seem a bit strange, but then again I never said that I wasn’t strange. It could be worse, ya know. I could want to be a politician:)

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I’ve seen several people around here that have their lawns decorated for Christmas. Now when I say “decorated” I’m not talking a few lights, maybe a wreath on the door. I’m talking about yards that look like the Las Vegas strip. I’m talking about so much blinking that if I was prone to seizures, all the flashing lights might cause me to have an episode. These people had to have bought every Christmas novelty that is on the market. It seems like every blade of grass has a light on it. Reindeer are flying over the house, and fake snow is blowing in those huge plastic snow globe balls. I wonder how long it took to get all this stuff up? I was working up a sweat just thinking about all the work that it would take to pull off this lighting-blinking extravaganza. I do like to take the kids to look at the lights. Certain subdivisions are better than others when it comes to this sort of display. Of course, I wouldn’t want to be these people when they get their January electric bills!!!!

I Just Can’t Help It

Alright, I admit it. I’ve been having a movie marathon over the past 2 days. I love watching the cheesy Christmas movies on ABC family. I just can’t help it. I know most of the movies have very predictable plots, the guy always gets the girl, and everyone is home for Christmas. Okay. Fine. But I still like them. Hey, we all have to have our guilty pleasures. Scott just smiles and shakes his head at me.

Tonight, White Christmas, is on. That is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies. I also love to watch Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Bishop’s Wife. I prefer the old black and white movies, but the new ones are fun too.

It’s all a part of the plan…

Scott and I have come to a conclusion. The house that we NEED is not any of the houses that we’ve been FINDING while on our house hunting adventure. I have scanned the internet and spoken with at least 4 different realtors. I have looked at houses until my eyes have crossed. We went on our trip to Ohio and looked at several houses. Nice houses but just not what we really need. So…..we got to thinking about building our own house.

Now keep in mind that this is just in the planning stages. We are going to need to buy land first. We have been looking into steel/metal buildings. Steel is strong, durable, and one doesn’t have to worry about rotting or warping wood as the house ages. Metal buildings don’t require painting or a roof that needs re-shingled. On the outside the building would be metal, but on the inside it would look like a “normal” house. We could get A LOT more space in this type of building then in a conventional style house for less money. That sounds like a deal to me.

When Scott first mentioned this idea I was a little unsure. Okay, I was skeptical….but I wasn’t against it. I had a bunch of questions. Would the house look like a warehouse building? Would people driving by, mistake it for a metal barn? Then the idea quickly started to grow on me. Higher ceilings, much more room, larger spaces, storage areas……yet, we could put up walls inside the building and add all the “expected” house things inside and it could still be cozy. So now I’m excited about the possibilities.
We have also talked about making a small cabin for our family to live in for 6-7 months, on our property, while the house is being built. The cabin would be small, but we could do this for a short period of time. (especially, if I know I’ll have a great deal of space in the near future!) After the house is built and we could move in, the cabin would then be used as a guest house. We could have friends and family visit with us in Ohio and yet they could still have their own space (think some privacy) while staying with us. That would be neat, huh?

There is so much to think about, and so much to be done. We realize this. I am sure that Scott and I will have many, many planning sessions over a good cup of coffee. Scott has already called and talked to a man in Clark county Ohio about zoning , just to get an idea. We’ve been to Home Depot to price materials for the cabin. It sure would be nice if we could have all “our ducks in a row” before spring so we could then get started. The dream is to be in our new “industrial-style” house by next Christmas. That would be so great! I’m sure there will be many blogs about all of this in the future. I’ll keep you posted.

I have a theory…

I have a theory that laundry multiplies faster than rabbits on speed. My theory suggests that for every one piece of laundry that must be washed, 2 more take it’s place. If one puts off doing the laundry for a few days than the pile of dirty clothes becomes unmanageable. I found some of Scott’s socks trying to sneak off underneath the bed skirt. I caught them just before they were able to completely sneak off under the bed to multiply. It was a close call. My underwear supply is getting dangerously low. I don’t like that feeling at all. I mean what if I happen to be in an accident? The rule is that one MUST have on clean undies, I wouldn’t want hospital staff laughing at me. I can just hear it now, ” Hey Doc, look at this lady! She has on dirty underwear. Didn’t her mama ever tell her about the clean underwear rule?” Laundry is such a pain. Gather it, sort it, put it in a basket, get it in the machine, dry it, fold it, put it away. Only to start over again. Ugh!! Yes, I get the kids to help with this unrelenting task, and I do appreciate their help, but I’m still the laundry CEO. The buck stops with me…or should I say the stinky sock stops here?!

Oh, just great! I hear the dreaded buzzer on the dryer. I suppose that means I must get up and go get the laundry.

Samson has us trained

Samson is one of our cats. He is a long haired cat with a lopsided ear. He is a blackish-brown color (depending on the light). The thing is this–he is most definitely a cat, but he truly believes he is human. What is really scary is that in the morning I’m the only one up (well, I should count Samson…he’s always up when I’m up) and so I am TALKING to the cat while I fix my breakfast and fix the morning coffee. He looks at me and I believe he understands me. (What does that say about me? Either Samson is a very smart cat or I am so pitiful that I’ve taken to a Dr. Doolittle persona.) He really is a funny cat. He LOVES paper. Anytime there is paper on the floor ( and he is not picky) newspaper, textbooks, a W-mart bag, whatever… He goes and lays down on it. What is his love of paper all about? Just recently he has taken to patting the french doors off the kitchen. He wants out on the deck. I think he likes to watch the birds. Now all he does is sit and stare at one of us until we let him out on the deck. If that doesn’t work he gives us a pitiful meow. Right now he is staring at me. I looked at him. He turned his head. Now he is ignoring me. I’ve been slighted. Fine!! You win. I’ll get the door.