Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Cutting the cord

A few months ago we did a thing....

We ditched cable TV and went back to an old school antenna.

Honestly it wasn't even the cost of the service.  It was all the added fees and rental charges.  It was just getting ridiculous and we barely watched most of the channels. Hundreds of channels that we just surfed through and there was nothing on.  We have Firesticks, Hulu, Prime, and Netflix and never watched live TV.  Ever.  We already have TiVos with lifetime service that record everything for us. Plus, most shows are available online at some point.  Clint did some research and picked out a $30 antenna to mount in the attic.  We hooked the kids TVs up with Firesticks and took the plunge.

We weren't sure just what channels we would catch, but we figured it was worth a try.  Surprisingly, with the antenna, we catch about 36 channels.  We get the local New Orleans stations, CBS, ABC, NBC, and even the CW.

On all 4 TVs. For. Free.

A lot of the shows we watch are on these channels, and the TiVo works with the antenna so we can still record them.

Clint bought our own cable modem for good measure.  He packed up all of Comcast's junk and turned it all back in.  They didn't question a thing.  Our bill dropped from almost $200 a month to $55 for just Internet.

It's been a few months now.  Do we miss cable??  Not really.  Maybe sometimes, like late at night when I'm flipping through channels.  Before there was nothing on, now there's really nothing on.  The kids grumbled a bit about not having Disney or Cartoon Network.  (Mostly Veronica.) Not that they watched much of it, but their TVs are on for background noise 24/7.  But hey...  Disney's streaming service is right around the corner, so that will fix that! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Old is new, again

Valerie has been asking for new bedroom furniture for a while, and I totally agreed.  The set she had was very little-girlish.  She was like 4 when we got it and it was cheap junk from Furniture Mart anyway!

Strangely, she wanted to downgrade from a full sized bed to twin daybed with a trundle.  So we began the Facebook search.  Now I will not buy a used mattress but a used bed frame and dresser - hell yeah!

We got lucky and there was someone selling a brand new daybed and trundle. Still in the box.  He had ordered the bed online, it arrived with a broken piece, so they sent him an entire new bed.  It was an easy fix, so we got an awesome deal on a brand new bed because the guy just wanted it gone.

Next we found someone selling a solid Sprague and Carlton all wood dresser.  It needed some minor repairs/TLC and I planned to  chalk paint it.  Still, it is solid wood and very very heavy.  Nothing like that press board stuff you find everywhere today.

I've never chalk painted anything before but it seemed easy enough.  I did find the places we sanded did better than the parts we didn't.  The paint cracked very badly in quite a few places and I had to re-do some of it.  I sanded down the paint, and primed, then painted again and it came out just fine.  I still have some places that still need to be fixed, but it came out very nice overall.  I would definitely do some sanding and priming before doing another piece of furniture like this.

Now Veronica has the exact same little girl bedroom furniture so we will be re-doing her room hopefully this summer!!  But first, it needs to be decluttered.....  she is a collector and doesn't like to part with anything!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

And the winners are....

Today is the last day of school!!!  Gosh, it seemed like summer would never get here but in hindsight it feels like it flew by.  Weird how that is. 

Anyway, we survived a whirlwind of choir rehearsals, dance rehearsals, dance recital, band concert, choir concert, and awards day.... 

In 8th grade the students vote for the "most likely" awards:

Yes, that says valedictorian.  Wow!  Val also got a band award, student of the year nominee, honor roll (she made a few Bs this year,) and top scholar. 

Then this happened in choir.  Again, the class voted for their favorites.  Look who got voted Star Performer. 

Veronica also got awards Principal's List award (straight As all year!), Top Scholar, All-State Honor Choir,  Sweepstakes for Choir Festival, and she got a SUPERIOR rating on her solo for Solo and Ensemble.

Now it's on to the summer of band... band... high school marching band... and more band.  Valerie got nominated for Louisiana Bandmaster Association Honor Band, which is a little over a week away in North Louisiana.  Last night was Valerie's first rehearsal for next school year.  They practice all summer.  Next week, several times in June, then in July it's all band all month. And 3-5 days a week, every week until November.

Veronica will get to sleep the summer away, mostly.  She is going to 4-H camp for a week in July but other than that, who knows. 

Happy summer....  I just know it will fly by. 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Busy Month of May

The busy month of May is upon us.  There's only a few weeks of school left, so there's lots to do.  The kids have something almost every night of the week from now until school. 

Last night, Wednesday, was one of our only free nights.  I was done for the day and Veronica was planning to work on this big project that is due Friday.  We had nothing to do, no where to go!  Or so I thought.  At 4:21 my phone rings and it's our principal.  He was calling to inform me that somehow lines of communication got crossed and the choir teacher hadn't told us and he hadn't told us but Veronica was getting an award from Lafourche Parish for being selected for All State Honor Choir.  Tonight.  At 6pm. 

So there went our free night.  I was more than a tad bit annoyed, because this wasn't the first time.  Last year we totally missed an award ceremony for perfect LEAP test scores because no one told us about it....   

I hurried up and got dressed, as did Veronica.  Clint was already on his way out the door for another meeting, so he had to miss it. 

Veronica's school and choir awards were given out first.  She was the third person called.  We stuck around for a little while, then we decided to sneak out.  After all, she was in the middle of all this homework.  And no one had told us about this award ceremony, so we weren't prepared to be out for hours.  We weren't the only ones leaving, so I didn't feel so bad. 

This is how May looks:

Veronica now has dancing Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.
After school choir practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Tonight we have a band meeting at the high school for incoming freshmen.
"Rookie camp" for Valerie - basically prep for summer band camp is at the end of the month.
Dancing rehearsal and recital.
Band concert.
Choir concert and awards.
Awards day at school.

And whatever else pops up during the month.

Hoping for some downtime on the weekends!!