Archive for November, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

Pictures compliments of Gamma, via his kindergarten work.

child's drawing of a turkey

child's drawing of a turkey

child's drawing of mom and child

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2

Going Viral

inspiration poster about how you need to stop watching your phone and start doing things

You know what video is not going viral right now?

The one of you sitting around, watching videos on your phone.

Get out and do something.

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Proverbs 10:4

Kitchen Plans

No, I haven’t drawn up any kitchen plans. There are too many variables and we don’t have a house to remodel so I don’t know the dimensions of the room.

But here are some things that I would like in a new kitchen:

  • A pot filler. This is a spigot at the stove. Rather than lug a pot – heavy with water – from the sink to the stovetop, this feature lets you fill the pot while it’s on the burner. The fancier pot-fillers extend in order to reach all the burners, then retract or fold out of the way when not needed.
  • A rinsing sink. In other words, separate sinks for dishes and food. The normal sink is the dishes sink. It can stay near the dishwasher. But near the food-prep area, a smaller sink can be used for rinsing food, filling pitchers, and other things that are hard to do when your only sink is piled high with dirty dishes.
  • A double oven. This is on my wife’s wish list. More ovens = more options.
  • A convection oven. One of the double ovens is to be a convection oven. With the capability to be used in normal-oven mode if desired.
  • An induction range. See this chart as to why.
                             | Gas  | Electric | Induction |
    Fast operation           | Yes  |  No      |  Yes      |
    Safe Surface		 | No   |  No      |  Yes      |
    Safe Exhaust		 | No   |  Yes     |  Yes      |
    Work during power outage | Yes  |  No      |  No       |

    So the best stovetop type is induction. The only category it failed was that you can’t cook on it during a power outage. But that’s what the firepit on the patio is for.

  • Appliance garages. The problem with larger small appliances is that they are cumbersome to move. A large mixer, for example. Or popcorn maker. Or crock pot. I want the back of one countertop not to be the wall, but doors. Open a door, slide the appliance out on its own roller tray, use it, clean it, slide it back in. No wondering where to set it up. No struggle to fit it back on its shelf. Just simple.
  • Herb garden. Indoors. That’s a big deal for the Midwest, where the cold kills a lot of things. It’s like houseplants, but useful.

And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.

1 Chronicles 12:39

How to Speak Australian

Say the following phrase out loud in your normal voice:

Nuythah weend noh snaow noh dahk of noight.

If someone overheard you, did they guess what accent you were trying to imitate?


They just laughed?

Oh well. Thanks for playing along.

In case you have a need to sound Australian (going to interview at a certain restaurant chain?) or just want to waste a few minutes, go try to speak with an Australian accent.

The site works like the game Mad Gab, for those who are familiar with that. If you’re not familiar with it, just type in a phrase, click the button, and read the result without thinking about it.

Just read it.

Out loud.

In your normal voice.

If you can’t think of a phrase, try entering some of these into the generator:

  • I ate at the steakhouse.
  • Don't yell near the crocodile.
  • Throw some more shrimp on the BBQ.

That’s probably good enough for now.

You readers of this blog are the beta testers. Leave a comment and let me know how well (or not) it works.

In case you missed the link, go to and click the Aussie button.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

Genesis 11:7

Bath Plans

So far, all the discussion of a clothes room has involved the children. How could it apply to the parents?

Lucky for you, I drew up some plans for that too.

The idea here was to move the dressers and closets out of the bedroom. But rather than make another clothes/laundry room, I chose to move them into the master bathroom.

Picture his and hers walk-in closets. Very large closets. Now take the dividing wall between them and add bathroom stuff. That’s the basic concept here.

Note, the shaded floor indicates carpeting. The rest would be tile, with radiant-floor heat.

This was the first idea. The shower is the least used item in the bathroom, so it didn’t make much sense to have duplicate showers. In this one, the common shower is the only passageway between the two sides.

image of a floor plan for a his-and-hers master bathroom with walk-in closets

(In case you couldn’t tell, hers is on the left and mine is on the right.)

The next idea was to make the bathroom less divisive. The toilet becomes common, but it gets its own door for privacy. In order to have room for that, the wife loses her long countertop. We compensate by giving her an extra counter dedicated to makeup, or whatever it is females need countertop space for.

image of a floor plan for a his-and-hers master bathroom with walk-in closets

The last plan, for now at least, is a compromise between the first two. It is less divisive with one entrance door, but the guy gets his own half toilet. With the shower between the sinks instead of after them, this design is slightly more compact than the others.

image of a floor plan for a his-and-hers master bathroom with walk-in closets

With the clothes clutter out of the way, the bedroom design can be more minimal – just a bed and a desk and a chair. And some nightstands too.

He made ten basins of bronze, one basin held forty baths; each basin was four cubits, and on each of the ten stands was one basin.

1 Kings 7:38

House Plans

Somehow, the change from bedroom to clothes room in our current house combined itself with our hope to move into a new house soon, and I got to drawing up house plans.

Here are some ideas if we either built or could significantly remodel an existing house.

This was the first idea. The dashed line between the two smaller bedrooms indicates a passageway of some sort (tunnel, rope bridge, etc.) If you’re going to put all 4 boys near each other, might as well make it fun.

image of a house plan for a 2100-sq-ft ranch with 3 bedrooms


Clothes Room

One of our parents gave my wife a book by the Duggars (20 and Counting) and she read it and she was inspired.

No, not to have more kids.

She was inspired by the Duggar’s laundry.

To rearrange our furniture.

You see, the Duggar kids don’t have dressers in their bedrooms. The bedrooms are just for beds. So they have a couple large bedrooms, and then a dresserroom.

It simplifies laundry.

We have 80% fewer children than they do, but ours are all boys so consolidating makes sense.

Before, we had beds and dressers mixed in a couple of bedrooms.

Now, we have 4 beds in one bedroom, and 4 dressers in one dresserroom. Or clothesroom.

The bedroom closet has linens and pajamas. Things used for a bed.

The clothes room closet has 4 sets of hanging clothes. The hanging clothes for a 5- and 3- year old are short enough that they fit under the older kids’ clothes. I put a thick dowel about 2 feet off the floor, and that works for them. The other clothes rod is about 5.5 feet off the floor.

We are still getting used to the new system, but I think it will work.

So Ebed-melech took the men under his authority and went into the king’s palace to a place beneath the storeroom and took from there worn-out clothes and worn-out rags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 38:11