Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why me?

I sit here at our business (just celebrated our 4th year as owners) and I look around and still say (sometimes out loud) "Why me?"
  • Why do we own a successful hardware store?
  • Why do we have such a strong marriage - never arguing, totally enjoying being with each other 24/7?
  • Why have I been asked to be on so many boards and committees in town that are influencial and "connected"?
  • Why do our kids get along so well even when they are at the store with us for hours on end?
  • Why are we leaders in our church?
  • Why are John & I often asked to do things much bigger than we see ourselves?

Honestly, you've been there too, asking yourselves the same question. But I've come to this realization: when I finally got the focus off who I am and put the focus on how can I help others and serve and represent God, then we all should be asking ourselves "why not me"?

I just had a neat opportunity last week that I will write more about once I have a little more time - let's just say for now that divine connections is something that every business owner should be praying for.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Central School 6th Grade Spring Concert 4-10-08

OK, here is the latest and greatest from my musician son, Tyler. This past Thursday was the Central School 6th Grade Spring Concert. Tyler was kind of like a ping pong ball, he was "bopping" from one musical group to the next. He was even asked to draw the cover of the program. The only part I didn't record was the 2 songs he didn't play in, which was the Advanced Orchestra. He played trombone, mallets, drum set, percussion and sang a lot. He sure made his mom proud, and a whole lot of other people.

Enjoy the show!
video

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Home Addition Blog - Summer 2007

We decided last year to finally do some major house additions/remodeling. We have a wonderful friend who is also a contractor (good friend to have, eh?). Last winter he rebuilt our front porch. Our house was built in 1912, with some renovations done in the 1950s. That project was supposed to be just replacing our porch flooring, but upon closer inspection, he found the foundation posts rotted completely away. We weren't quite sure what was our next step, since the roof was recently replaced and didn't want to completely trash the entire porch. Our friend came up with a splendid design, which turned a decrepit screened porch into a lovely 3-season porch. (See pictures below)

FRONT OF OUR HOUSE BEFORE


FRONT OF OUR HOUSE AFTER



Not much later after that, we were able to work out the finances to do the most needed work to the house - expand our cramped kitchen. We never lived through a house remodel, and wasn't sure what to expect, or even what questions to ask to get started. Our friend handled everything, from the design to the permits. As we got started and the design of the kitchen was just about done, we decided to add a deck to the construction process. We just installed a wood pellet stove in November and we are really loving the kitchen. We also decided to put in a hot tub when the deck was being designed - what a great thing that is..after a long hard day at the hardware store, it's great to soak our aches in that, even when there was snow on the ground.

BEFORE: BACK OF OUR HOUSE/KITCHEN
The stone back of the house was a small porch that ended up being full of "stuff", but not useable, as the floor was slanted. The picture are almost taken from the same spot inside. We expanded the kitchen to the back of the porch, added the deck - what a difference



It was tough living through a kitchen remodel, but we didnt' even have any plumbing or major appliances done - I don't know how those who completely gut their kitchens do it. But, it's done. We used to hate being in our small dark kitchen. Now, it is bright and spacious - we are always in there, on our deck in warmer weather and always in the hot tub.


First Day of School - August 2007

This is really late in posting, but as I've been saying, it's been one of school years. Tyler & Erin don't only look like they love each other, but they really do :-)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Erin's Ballet Recital - June 23, 2007

I know that this is a little late in posting, but I am finally organizing my videos and pictures from last year (and probably will be posting more "oldies" in the days to come). Erin has been doing ballet for over 4 years now, and this video is her most recent recital THE SNOW QUEEN which she performed in June 2007. She had a part in the first act only, so I have just posted that instead of the entire ballet. She has come such a long way, and I am amazed at what she has learned. She is now with a group of girls older than her (2-4 years older) but she can keep up with them and is getting very serious with ballet. She goes to her classical ballet class 2 nights a week for 1.25 hours each time. Some girls are starting on pointe this summer, but Erin has to wait a little bit more for her body and feet to grow. But she doesn't mind that, she just loves to dance. Her teacher has really pushed her, in a good sense. Can't wait for May of this year to see a much better ballerina performing. Here is the video, it's about 25 minutes long and Erin was on stage for almost the entire part (but I couldn't always get her on the camera - I tried real hard). Hope you enjoy.

video

Central School Select Choir Christmas Concert 12/4/07

This year, Tyler finally found his singing voice, and joined the school's select choir (they have to audition to get in). They had a Christmas concert in early December at a Museum in Hartford, CT - they call it THE FESTIVAL OF THE TREES and schools and groups from all over Connecticut perform for several weeks before Christmas. It was great to see him sing.

video

History & Culture Fair - March 2008


Tyler & Erin did a project for their school's history & culture fair. They did the childhood & accomplishments of Teddy Roosevelt and the history of the teddy bear. Here is their project. I was most proud that they didn't need any help from me this year - only a bit to burn the DVD that was playing on the lower center of silent movies of TR.