It should be so easy….right?

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One would think the simple painting of your house would be so easy, right? I don’t mean the actual task of painting your house, but deciding on the colors for your home. Especially for a creative mind that loves to paint, design, decorate, and coordinate colors. Not so much! My husband and I are both pretty creative minded people and we have no problem looking at a paint card and saying, “wow, those two colors would look great together!” But oddly, the color on the sample card never looks the same as the color on the house or wall. Why is that?

It all started 13 years ago when we built our first home (before children). We selected the colors, the architect approved the colors. Easy enough. Well, actually, the guy was a little stubborn and we did have to try a couple different ideas before we were given the ok.   Anyways, five years later we added a member to our family and decided we needed a little more storage space, so we called up our builder and asked him to build us a house with a basement. During the building process we had to select paint colors for the new house. We drove around our neighborhood of over 1,000 houses, which offered plenty of choices and the best thing…you could see the colors on the houses! So much better than just a paint card! It took a while, but after several weeks, we determined the house we loved most and told the architect what we wanted for our new home. We were amazed when he told us we had picked out the same colors as our last house! Really? You must be kidding! How boring!

Alright, so now the time has come to paint the house again and it will NOT be the same. No matter what!!

We just have one other small problem…the trend in our section of the neighborhood is, “what can brown do for you?” The color of every house in our section is brown. Peanut butter, baby poop, chocolate, khaki, you name it; every possible shade of brown. So we are in search of a color combination that stands out from the norm, but does not look like a pink flamingo in the middle of elephants. Make sense? Therefore, off we went to Sherwin Williams this past weekend. While there we purchased four sample containers…trim, shutters, under the porch and the rest of the house…and painted an area on the rear side of the house to make sure it looked good on the house, not just a paint card. We were feeling so confident! But then, holy cow! The red that was meant to look rather brick red-like looked like bright cranberry. And the dark brown sample for the shutters looked more like a seal skin (hence the name “sealskin” I guess), but it really did look like a dark brown on the card…I swear! Well, as a result, my lunch hour was spent this afternoon going to search for another round of colors. Again, I’m feeling quite confident as of right now, but curious what I will think when the colors are added to the actual side of the house.

Whoever came up with that $5 sample idea was a genius! I wonder how many samples we will go through before we make a final decision? Your guess?

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A Debate With The Husband

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I volunteer at the school a couple hours a week helping my kid’s teachers. Usually, I am sitting in break room stapling, sorting, cutting out laminated items, etc., but every once in a while I spend time helping the teacher in the classroom. So my husband and I recently had a discussion that turned into a debate about parent volunteers in the classes. We are very fortunate to have our children in an excellent public school. The school has an outstanding staff and a great deal of parent involvement. Both things I feel are vital for excellent schools.

The debate began when my husband and I started talking about parents in the classroom. Jonathan (a.k.a. the husband) does not recall parents helping in classrooms when we were younger. His opinion is, since it is a public school, parents should be able to help at the school but not in the classrooms. Why? He feels public schools are meant to be equal for all children. Therefore, it is not fair that one child’s mother can help due to a flexible work schedule and another child’s parent cannot due to a different work schedule. There may be one child that their parent’s inability to help at the school really has an effect on.

His thought is valid in my opinion, but I think the benefit of having additional parents helping in a classroom far exceeds the potential downfalls. Due to struggling budgets in school systems these days, the student/teacher ratio has been raised in many places. As a result, a teacher is expected to teach to 23 children at all different levels, keeping the advanced ones challenged and reaching out to those children that learn a slightly slower rate. Is that possible?

I am extremely lucky to have two children that are very bright and advanced (of course we read and learn new things at home, but I feel we owe a great deal of where my kids are academically to the Primrose environment that they were in from newborn through Pre-K). For example, my 2nd grade child is reading on a 4th grade level. Although wonderful, having an advanced child comes with its own challenges…my child can cause disruptions in class if he gets his work done too quickly. A friend of mine often goes into the class and takes the advanced readers into another room and works with them on things so the teacher can focus on those that need a little more help from the teacher. To me this is a benefit to all the students. Another example is the weekly fluency tests. Every week each child must read a story so the words they read per minute can be measured. A volunteer parent can handle that while the teacher continues teaching, or the teacher can give kids some busy work while she tests each child individually. I feel the parent involvement is beneficial in this situation as well. So my question to you…what is your opinion? Should parents be allowed to help in classrooms?

Colors of Happiness!

Back to the grind we go!  It is Monday again…oh I mean Tuesday.  I must admit, it was a lovely weekend.  And I could definitely get used to the four day work week.  The weather was excellent for the most part.  We got in some pool time.  And this crazy thing happened…due to the overcast morning yesterday, we were really productive around our house.  What in the world???  The kitchen drawer in our house that has never properly worked is now working; my son’s bed has needed a replacement bracket that is now fixed (I think some boys were jumping on the bed!), and my wonderful husband placed my bird feeders on the deck so I can see all the birds that come to visit.  The gold finches have been beautiful! Light bulbs were replaced in all those places like the basement and closets that have been ignored; and I have loaded up many of the paint buckets to take to the store so they can be shaken up again for the numerous touch-ups that are needed around our house.  I never knew walls could look so bad.  When pondering about why these walls look so bad compared to our last house I remembered there was one key factor missing at the last house…kids!  Of course, I’ll take those messy walls any day (but they are certainly at the point where touch-ups are required).

Speaking of paint, color amazes me.  Yes, I am one of those weird creative minds that believes color can be therapeutic.  Why is color so amazing?  Depending on the shade of red it can be a color of passion or aggression.  Yellow is a happy color in my opinion.  Blue skies make me calm.  What about gray?  Gray seems very gloomy to me; an overcast sky can really leave me feeling rather blah.  That is why I am often so curious why offices use it as a color for walls and cubes.  Can we make cube land any more dull and boring? Before my current job I worked at Home Depot’s corporate office which consisted of endless gray cubes and walls. Shouldn’t a place like Home Depot have bright, colorful walls…I mean, come on, they sell paint!  And honestly, I believe it is the color scheme in Walmart that makes my children behave so poorly. We walk into Walmart and within 30 seconds my children are in rare form.  Although their logo is blue, our Walmart has all gray walls.  Now I don’t want you think my kids are angels in Publix or Target (I still bribe them with something from the $1 section if they behave…something I swore I would never do).  But I will go 5 miles out of the way to avoid Walmart just because it is never a pleasant experience.  You can look all over the internet and find varying emotions of color, so who’s to say which one is right and wrong, but I certainly believe the color in a room can affect one’s mood.  What do you think?    

Here is a color chart I found on Pinterest…  

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