Friday, November 30, 2012

Grant work...done!

I have to document the finished product of a year of going through the obstacles that has earned us a new exterior.  The grant process began five years ago and we never thought we would end up here.  A year went by and the funding for grants was cut when the economy took a dive.  This past January we sat and looked at our meager pending tax refund and were trying to figure out a cheap way to fix our leaking roof without killing or disabling ourselves in the process.  I decided not to fret about it since it was only January and we had many weeks of snow ahead of us.  Besides,  God has always provided, he would see this through!  The next day in the mail the grant we had totally forgotten about and had given up  on 4 years previously was awarded to us via a letter in the mail.  I quickly gathered our tax forms and required paperwork and was at the city offices the next morning.  We had gotten the money not only for anew roof but also siding, new attic windows, a new bathroom window, a new side door and  a screen door in the front.  Praise God for his abundant care!!

 I would like to say two weeks later all was set the contractors came and bam we had a new roof and new siding and all that other stuff.  But, it did not go that smoothly.  The paperwork and meetings, inspections, all those decisions, took a long time.  We finally had a contractor and moved ahead only for him to take 5 weeks on the roof and to leave the job with it unfinished and leaking!   The city had never had a contractor quit mid-grant and had no idea how to proceed. That took several more weeks while the city conferred with the state and we just sat while WNY received some of the heaviest rains and flooding it had experienced in years.  If you know us you will recall the kids getting their picture in the local news for biking and rafting in the flood waters on our street.  It was a really good thing the roof leaked where the ceilings were still unfinished  or we may have had a lawsuit on our hands.  It is amazing how little damage we sustained knowing know how poorly the initial roofing job was done!  Another sign of God's protection in the midst of this grant!  Knowing he provided it and would finish it allowed for a calm that otherwise would have been difficult. 

Before...ugly! What did we see in this mess?
Finally,  sometime near the start of the school year the state decided it was ready to proceed and the city was able to award the rest of the grant to the next lowest bidder.  It was the best possible outcome we could hope for at that point.  He came and fixed what was wrong with the roof and then proceeded to get the rest of the job done.  There were a couple of hiccups along the way but they were handled professionally and all went along rather nicely.  Our job that was begun in January was finally completed the day before Thanksgiving!!  God is good!

The first crew doing the roof!

The finished product....well almost!!We will still be adding some landscaping and masonry work in the spring when the weather allows but what a difference!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Repurposing our old entertainment center for our new flat screen tv...

We have been in the market for a new tv for a long time but just didn't want to spend the money and just recently decided it was time to upgrade. So, yesterday I had an hour to spare while waiting in the big city for my ds to finish his first flying lesson...yes in a plane...I went to Best Buy. I found a excellent deal on one of their open item tv's and brought that baby home. Well, needless to say it wouldn't fit in our old entertainment center.

So we, freshly out of spending cash, decided to search the house for a good solution. We brought down an old tv stand that just was ugly and not quite large enough so....we decided to do a little surgery on our old unit and make it work.

I had used my husbands new tablet and taken a few pics of the process but I guess I have no idea how to use his tablet and those pics did not get saved...someday I will figure this picture thing out better. So I will try to explain it as best as I can. We removed the top and the doors. Cut off the vertical section 7 inches above the main shelf so we had a place for the dvd player and vcr. Removed the backing sections we didn't need and put the top back on. We also tweaked the shelf on the left side of the unit and made it longer with another shelf we removed. This is the completed project.

Monday, January 30, 2012

new bookshelf.....

So here is a preview of the shelf...I will post again when it has all the finishing touches...and a few books!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coconut Oil

A friend recently inquired where a good place to purchase coconut oil could be found.  I have always wished to have enough money to buy bulk barrel of oil and not worry for a while but alas coconut oil is very expensive and a good quality oil is especially costly.  So,  in an effort to procure the best rate and to try and offset cost with free money I have taken to watching and snagging good deals on Amazon with my swagbuck-earned gift cards.  This month on Amazon you can subscribe and save to Nutiva  brand Coconut oil  and get 15% off and add code NUTIVJAN for an extra 10 percent off...your total on two 15 ounce jars of oil will be $12.15.  The local store sells one jar for $11.99 and you would still have to leave your house and pay for gas.  The awesome thing about subscribe and save is that the shipping is free.  I cannot tell you how happy I am when the sales and subscribe and saves work together!!  The normal price for this 2-pack is $16.20.  Earlier this week the item was out of stock so in a state of panic at missing this deal I e-mailed Amazon customer support and they reassured me that if I missed the sale because it was out of stock, since I contacted them,   I could send them a copy of their reply with my order number and they would give me the discount!!  Happy shopping! 

PS.  I have a link to the said coconut oil in my Amazon Favorites widget and I am an affiliate and will get a small percentage if you click my link and complete your purchase.  Just my little disclaimer!!

I also have a swagbucks widget if you have yet to discover the wondrous world of swagbuck searching and earning free Amazon gift cards.  I will also benefit from you clicking there as swagbucks gives you referral bucks for your referrals.  This month I have done little swagbucking and have earned one $5 gift card.  Hey it takes little effort and it pays.  You should try it.