Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The end of the Bell Street Renovation Blog

No pictures or fancy stuff. Just a note to say we are home. We are not nearly as "complete" as we would like to be, but we are in our house.

Please try to come by in the coming months as we try to finish the work that must be done. Sophie is DYING for her bathroom!

Be in touch with us. Think good thoughts. We are thankful for all of your good wishes and positive vibes. We needed it and we love you for it.

So many people want pictures...well, we can't provide them now, but hopefully, we can shoot an email one day to show the finished product. We'd rather you see it in person...

Take care. I will pull the plug on the blog very soon.


Laura, Lynn, and Sophie

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The school year is over...for Laura!

This weekend we celebrated Sophie's 11th birthday! She had a wonderful birthday with our family and friends. We had movies, red beans and rice, a day of cooking with Stiliani, a day of fun with Annie and Rosie, and fun with cousins. We are very lucky! 11!!! Whew!
Today I "celebrated" the worst year of my 24 years teaching. No details, it was just the worst ever. The good news is, it's over.
The house is coming along great! Stacy and Rodney are killing themselves so we can move in this weekend. No pictures...still, but lots to tell. Kitchen cabinets are in, the bathrooms are almost done, and floors are being refinished this week.
On Saturday, we hope to open the POD and get the two bedrooms set up. There will still be things to do, but nothing to keep us out of the house.
Pictures to follow! Look to the blog for pics in the coming weeks!
Also, sometime near the END OF JULY when all our summer fun is waning, we will have a party! You will get invited by email, not blog!
Hope all is well! We want everyone that reads this to be so grateful for all that you have. Love, love, love your pain in the neck kids, husbands, wives, friends, is precious. Always be grateful and cherish every moment---even the not-so-fun ones.
Lynn and I feel so blessed to have a house to renovate---to have a daughter to fuss at about not doing homework---a partner that drives us crazy (OK, that's just Lynn). And I am so grateful for all of it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lights!! Cabinets!!! Toilets!!!!

Stacy and Rodney have been working very hard to get us back home. We had excitement today with KITCHEN CABINETS BEING INSTALLED!!!

We've also had toilets, sinks, light fixtures, and many other exciting things being done!

We are not including pictures (sorry), but we do not want to ruin the surprise of the finished product!

We are all having stress for different reasons and we are lucky because we have a home to renovate, a family to aggravate and impose upon, friends to vent to, and a job to complain about!!!

Serenity now!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Every hour counts!

Just three more weeks. After 6 1/2 months, three weeks shouldn't seem like a lifetime, but actually, every hour feels like a month.

Not hopefully, definitely, we will be home soon.

FInal touches are being worked on. Kitchen cabinets will be installed on the 18th and counter-tops to follow.

The bathrooms are getting finished and the floors are in the works.

We are ready!


Monday, May 4, 2009

May is move in month!

This month we will be moving back home!

Sophie is having her 11th birthday and all she wants is to move into her "new" old house! She is also leaving for away summer camp for 2 weeks. Most of what she needs is packed away in the POD at Bell St. It's so hard for her to understand how March has turned into May.

I begin 2 summer jobs the first week in June and all of my stuff is in the POD! And Lynn has been paying hundreds of dollars for equipment that was due to be sent back to the rehab place in Mid-March.

Our twice-extended lease on the guest house is up.

We are homesick, that's the only way to say it. Stacy and Rodney are working very hard to help us get home.

The next blog post will be to announce that we are back in our house with pictures...

We need you to pray, light candles, howl at the moon-whatever you do to have godspeed in our way back home!


Monday, April 27, 2009

We're alive!!!!!!

We are still in the Guest House. Some days it has been difficult to keep up with the blog. However, work on Bell St. has continued. Let's go for the quick April update in 60 words or less.

We have new walls and closet doors....

....bathroom colors... ....and a shower floor....
....big "penis plant" has been! there is a yard??? . ....a shower soon to be....
Easter fun had by all....

.....New uses for old things - made by Travis

.....Stacy works on new hall walls....

.....while Rodney labors over shower walls....

....a new front hall color.... Add Image

....and Rodney continues to shower!....

New garden spaces were made
And we seek serenity ......
....while refinishing begins on floors!

See, April has indeed been busy. Keep watching....


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Lynnz new car!
Haiden at 9!

Sophie and Tala
Computer is internet...will post more later!

Jennifer's beautiful Patron gift!
Haiden's Birthday Wedding Cake The girls-growing up!
Thanks so much for all the encouragement to get back on the blog! I've missed it!

Three weeks of jury duty and fridge art are real blogging killers!
The jury duty was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my adult life. I still can't really talk about it without being sad and very upset, but it is what it is and I have to somehow accept it and grow from it.
Fridge Art was awesome! ISL is the greatest school in the world for our family and I just hope that our little bit of work goes a long way to helping the school. It is fast becoming quite the social event...there were many local artists there, a few who's who among NOLA "Cultcha" and tons and tons of beautiful people. The best part of my third and final year as chair is extremely symbolic to me. It is ISL's third year on Camp and back from the storm, our Patron Artist, Jennifer Schumacher's third year at the school, and Jennifer's patron gift was a series of 3 refrigerators! So cool! My family was wonderful neighbors were there, my artist friends that were donors, my work friends, my best was so so so special to me. Thank each of you from the bottom of my heart! If I did not feel so loved and supported there, I would have been more weepy than I was! I will dearly miss that work! It is food for the soul.

Thanks to our WONDERFUL ISL FAMILY of FRIENDS! We love you, love you, love you and no matter where we all roam, may we always hold on to the ISL diaspora spirit! We love ISL and all the richness it has brought into our lives and all it has given Sophie as a person! Her life and ours are forever changed by our experiences there! Thanks especially to my dear, dear friends that support me no matter what, you know who you are (XOXO)! I love you!
Enough about Fridge Art! I could talk about it for a long time! I want to give a blow-by-blow of the past three weeks besides my civic duty (jury duty) and my passion (Fridge Art)...everything else!!!!!!! Enough self-indulgence...maybe not!
My friend, Erin's baby is a MONTH old and I haven't see him in person!
Sophie got straight hair and glasses! Haiden turned 9! I made my first WEDDING CAKE...and Sophie helped! We have walls and a painted room on Bell Street! Sophie is going to sleep-away camp for 2 weeks this Summer in Rockville, Illinois! Jean and Becky have been so patient with us! I've picked up 2 new kids and am administering LEAP to 2 4th graders this week...a far cry from last year when I had a 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grader!!! My 5 LAA-1 (LEAP alternative test) students finished testing a few weeks ago! And...we got a new car! It is a used Saturn Vue, black with a working A/C!
I've attached a ton of pics that reflect everything I've just told you about!
Enjoy them, be in touch, and know that we love you! The house-re-warming is around the corner!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

...and WE'RE BACK!!!

I bet that got your attention...

I mean, we're back to blogging!

Fridge Art is over and it was great!

Lynn is giving Stacy (OMG!!!) paint colors today!!!

We are plugging along! It's been 2 weeks since my last blog. Sophie has straight hair and glasses!!! Pics to follow!

Love you guys!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bell Street is alive and well! :)

Hello, Everyone!
We are all alive and well, despite the neglected blog!
I have been burdened with two weeks of jury duty! It was my last day today, but I was chosen for another will end one day!
The house is coming along! Stacy and Rodney are ready to be done! They are working day and night to make it so!
Fridge Art is two weeks away! (shameless plug)!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Patience is a wise and wonderful teacher!

We are getting very smart! We are learning that we are happy absolutely anywhere we are together! We love our family! We love our friends! We are so lucky to have the opportunity to go through this journey! We think of all of our loved ones that went through similar exercises in patience...not by choice. We are not in a FEMA trailer...we are not in a strange place...we've had no contractor headaches, and no loss heartaches...we are blessed and blissful.
Stacy and Rodney have told us that in order to complete the job in the right way-to be proud of what they are doing and to really finish the great job they have been doing, we should be finished in 6 weeks. That is about the middle of April? We don't have a firm date, but there is still much to be done.

We are OK. Lynn talked with our dear sisters that have opened their home to us for these months. They are OK with us extending our stay until mid-April when lots of house guests start coming down from all over the place. Hopefully we'll be able to move out and clean-up before they turn the place over to another group of homeless family members.

I feel like Stacy and Rodney are our heroes. We are all warriors in this process---even Sophie. I keep thinking that this time away from our home will only make our return sweeter.

Can't wait for the party!!!

Hope to have pictures soon! The boys are working very hard!



Monday, March 2, 2009

Jury Duty, anyone?

I am serving jury duty this month from March 2-16.

Life is such an adventure!

I feel stressed not seeing my kids and with Fridge Art AROUND THE CORNER...Oy!

Progress on the house is going well! Hopefully we'll be home in no time!



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Steady progress and updates all around!

Mardi Gras has come and gone. Our girl can't get enough of it! I think she definitely has a Laura, Sr. (Maw Maw) gene for the Carnival fever! Her favorite was Muses because she had some very special attention from our friends, Liz (riding) and Gwynne (running). She even got a coveted SHOE!

She also LOVED the 2 days of fun with her cousins and marching in Les Enfants as a ninja (thanks, Ms. Andree) with Lainey!
Speaking of Ms. she is with Lucy. Many of you that are faithful Bell Street bloggers note that Lucy is now almost 7 months old and has a tooth!!!

And finally...our dear Erin...the most persistent blogger...on Mardi Gras Day as a Zulu coconut...and yesterday this is what came out of that coconut:

Frederick Charles, III

Oh, yeah! About the house...we are plugging along. Stacy and Rodney are still doing a stellar job...we hope to be be home SOON!
Love you guys!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Colors of Bell Street revisited


The real colors of Bell Street are of neighborhood scents and smiles that we miss. The colors are flowers that continue to bloom despite neglect and inattention. The colors are Mardi Gras beads on a fence. They are a daisy that refuses to not bloom after a freeze. The colors are people and pets that we miss. The colors are what we remember and what we know of the place that we love.

The colors make us happy and sad at the same time. Hopefully, as we prepare to get back home, the new colors we add to Bell Street will be as beautiful as the ones that are already there.