Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Kitchen

It's been a while since I have written a post about the house. Now that I am off for the summer (YAY!), my hopes is to be posting more regularly.

One thing I loved about this kitchen is its original fixtures. The cabinets, the ovens, the stove-top, and the sinks are all original, are in great condition and work!

One feature that stood out to me the most...separate stove and oven, as well as double ovens!! I thought that was so fancy! The stove-top is really neat too because it contains a griddle in the middle. (You can see it in the pictures's silver)

Features I love about our kitchen: 
- double ovens
- amount of cabinets (44 I believe I counted)
- already installed recently done under cabinet lighting
- little prep sink
- original sink
- griddle
- shutters on the window above the sink
- the sink is much deeper
- the character

What I did not like about it: 
             - The HUGE red plastic knobs aka clown noses
             - the flooring
             - Main intercom that did not work

Notice the flooring and the red knobs. 

One great thing about cabinets with handles/knobs is that you 
can easily change the look of the kitchen by swapping them out. 

I found a great deal on Amazon for nickel brushed knobs and I got a pack of 25 for $26. 
At Home Depot and Lowe's each knob costs around $2. 

I spent a whole evening switching them out, but it was SO worth it! 

 After knob change

It is so surprising to me how a simple change can cause the kitchen to look up-to-date, 
even with the scalloped cabinet border. 

Sidenote: In this picture you can see a screen at the end of the bank of cabinets. Since the intercom system did not work, we decided to replace the main intercom with a computer.  We were able to find a cheap touchscreen and build a tiny computer for it (housed in the cabinet below it). On this computer we can browse the internet, watch tv and anything a normal computer can do! I am SO SO glad we did that. It makes the kitchen even more fun to be in when you are waiting on something to cook. If you are interested in our the house tech, visit Joey's blog, he recently posted about it here

Back to the Before/Afters!

We have a cute little prep sink next to the fridge.

Here you can see the red clown noses are gone and you can see our new fridge!
I was a little worried about getting a side-by-side...since I have only ever had the traditional fridges (freezer on top, fridge on bottom). However, I love this fridge! I really like that we were able to get rid of our Brita pitcher and use the in-door water/ice. We use it all the time!

After we received our fridge, the only other major change we were waiting on was the floors. Joey gave me the option of getting new vinyl or to carry the wood laminate into the kitchen. I was worried about wood laminate and water, so I looked up to see how common it was. Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to envision what it would look like.  I am so glad we decided to do that because the cohesiveness is so beautiful.

After the floors were installed

Complete After

This is what our kitchen looks like now (a couple of months ago). 

Changes we did after flooring:
- installed the above cabinet lighting 
- got a new dishwasher (not pictured, it's stainless)
- I'm in the process of replacing the green shutter inserts

Right off of the kitchen is the breakfast area. When we first saw the house, it was very dated with some ugly curtains and very bland. 


Thankfully we were able to see past this and see the potential. 
Those shutters on the windows open and fold and let in so much light! 


We painted the walls "Soulful Blue", had crown molding put up, and the wood laminate installed. 

Complete After

Bonus shot with the shutters open! 

 So there you have it! Our before and afters of our kitchen and breakfast nook! 

I will post another room soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My First Year

Tomorrow is the last day of school!! It is hard to believe that I am just a 1/2 day away from completing my first year of teaching!

How was it? Well....

- It was challenging. Our team leader went on maternity leave in March. I was really afraid that without her being there I would not know what to do or that I would try to rely more on the other teachers instead of rising to the challenge. Thankfully, I became more confident and stepped up to the plate. I am really thankful to have had that happen. It helped me gain confidence in myself and to see my true ability in teaching.  I had times that I felt overwhelmed, but it was always me that did it to myself. Once I calmed down and looked at the issue in a different light, I knew what I needed to do. Even though I have a hard time with it sometimes, God always reminded me to trust in Him and that everything will turn out just fine. 

- It was a learning experience. 
  • I have learned more about myself through the process of my first year. 
    • I need to have lesson plans. There were a few days that we had to deviate off the path or there were a couple of days that I did not have plans for. I still taught. I knew what I wanted to teach and I was prepared with papers. However having that plan in front of me helps me feel so much more "with it". 
    • I have learned that I am an organizer and even more a planner than I thought I was. At the end of this year, I learned that I have to move classrooms and I started planning immediately. I started planning things like: Where is my table going to go, what is going to be on the bookshelf, how are my cabinets going to be organized, etc. In order to try out the layout of my room for next year, I moved my group table in my current room to see if I would like it. (I do! Yeah for solving that!) I like to be prepared when I can.
  • I learned even more that students need more than just curriculum
    • When it comes to the students it is important to teach them more than just the material. This may seem like a no brainer to some and I knew that going in, but everyday I could better understand what they needed to know. Some needed to know that they can be successful, they are important and smart; others that it is okay to take risks and try something new. One thing I heard in an in-service I was in, was a story about a super strict teacher. She did not let her students get away with much, if anything. However, each morning she would start off by greeting her students at the door, she would give them a hug and say that she loved them and told them that they are important. This put things into perspective. In some children's life the only person telling them that they are smart/important/worth-it could be their teacher. So I decided to be that influence for my students, wither they got that at home or not. 
    • My classroom goal this year was for the students to know they are loved, important, and smart. That if they try their best, that is what success is.  
  • I learned that no training, college class, or book can truly prepare you for teaching. Don't get me can get GREAT advice from all of those! However, the best teacher is experience. I learned things this year that I want to implement next year and I also learned what worked or did not work. I already have an idea about next year and what I want to get better at. 
  • Most of all, I learned how much a teacher can love her students. My babies are going to middle school next year. I went to their award ceremony this morning and couldn't stop smiling. I noticed one of my students opening the award packet.She pulled out the award I put in there for her. She smiled so big and showed all the students around her. I am proud of them for what they have taught me and how they have grown.
I enjoyed my first year. Looking back when I first started my job, people would ask me "How do you like it". I would smile and say "I like it" even though inside I was still adjusting to all the new. It's kind of how I would envision  new parents. Among the sleep deprivation, learning how to feed and change the baby, and adjusting to the new schedule, they are happy even if in that moment they feel like they are swimming in the sea inexperience. Once the newness wears off and they get the hang of things they can fully see how great a blessing it is. That's how I felt.  Now I can look back at the year and say that God has blessed me so much with this job! I love the school, the people I work with and the kids I teach. Overall it has been an amazing first year!

I am so blessed