Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Braden!

Braden is 8.  8!  On one hand I feel like I have been present every moment of his life and on the other I'm boggled at where the time has!  What an amazing package of gifts and blessings God has put together in the form of Braden.  It is truly an honor to walk with him in his life.  I thank the Lord for putting him in our family.  For giving him to us first.  It was on purpose and is for a purpose still.:)

Every birthday boy or girl gets a special birthday breakfast and gets to choose what we have for breakfast.  Braden asked for Malt-o-Meal and cinnamon toast.  It was even more special than usual because Memaw and Pepaw were here to celebrate with us!  Yay!

Braden, may your walk with your God be focused and real and wonderful.  May you hide yourself in Him and include Him in every aspect and moment of your life.  May you be a willing and powerful instrument for Him.  May you stay freed of all worldly restraints and may you allow the Holy Spirit to continually transform you and to work in and through you.  May you walk boldly in the power, authority and position that God has imparted to you.  May you grow in favor with Him and with man.  May you have eyes to see and ears to hear and heavenly perspective.  May your heart be the Lord's heart and may His compassion consume you!  We love you so much!  Happy Birthday, Braden-boy-o!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recent Projects

I've been busy as usual, but I haven't really been putting my projects on here, so I will do that now.  I have other posts in progress, but there's a bum-load of pictures involved so it just takes a while for those. ;)

Today, I finished pillow mattress #2.  I saw the tutorial on them here at Southern Disposition's blog and was pretty excited when I saw her materials list.  She got 1 twin duvet cover and four 99 cent pillows from Ikea.  Well, I just had to go ahead and pick that up while I was there about a week or so ago. ;)  Her cover was cheaper than the one I found, but for less than 20 bucks, I got two out of 1 cover and 8 pillows.  I still can't get over the 99 cent pillows.  99 CENTS! I am in total like with Ikea. :) Anyway, here are the ones I made:

I also had to make up some hair bows for a little girls birthday a couple of weekends ago.  I hadn't made any in quite a long time, so I had to get back on youtube to have a refresher course.  I must say that these turned out waaaay better than the first set I made a year or so ago. :)  I also like that they are more over the top than the others, too.  Big honkin' bows on little girls heads just = cuteness to me.  Here they are:

I got some super cheap sheets at Ikea while I was there because I had seen this Super Hero Fort Kit on Meg + Andy blog and knew I needed to do that for the boys...well, at least part of it.  They kept taking the sheets off of their beds to build forts and it was getting really old trying to put it all back together all the time. :(  Anyway, at first we used clothespins to hook it to the bunk beds, but between Brea's and Ailey's efforts, it kept getting pulled down.  I had just bought some rope for use at our homeschool group field day and wrapped it "strategically" around the bed and just draped the sheets over the ropes.  Aaaahhh...much better.  That solved the problem of having to go in a bazillion times at bed time to fix the fort.  Here's what the kids have done with it so far:

Braden used the excess rope end to make a divider inside, too....

After making that, Ailey wanted one for her bed, so I set out on Google to see what others had come up with.  I was looking for something that didn't require sewing and used stuff I already had.  I came across this idea here at The Better Nester.  I didn't do it exactly, just used it to stimulate ideas to use with what I had.  I may or may not do more to just fine the way it is.  Here is what I came up with so far:

Our yard was in VERY sad shape after the drought last year, so I went to work taking dominion over that thang! Its finally starting to make a comeback, but it will need more time.  Also, the garden is in process, as usual....I think I'm going to have to start it in November for it to produce anything in the spring. ;)  Anyway, here is all of that in progress:

The front porch had that icky green fake grass outdoor carpet covering it and I decided it just needed to get taken off.  It had it on the back porch, too, and after just letting the weather do it thang to it, all the gunky glue came mostly off of it after a while.  I figure by the time I get ready to clean it off really good and stain it, I won't have much scraping to do. ;)

This is the front right flower bed.  I took out all the bulbs that were in it, took out the fluted brick edging that didn't match and looked dated and then attempted to restore some order there.  There's a rose bush taken from a random spot in the front yard as well as some type of flowering plants taken from the back yard.  I had gotten that honey suckle last year and just planted it there in the hopes that it would survive and it did.  Yay!  It is now being trained up the railing.   The border plants next to the bricks I got from one of the other flower beds and I have no idea what they are, but they make a nice bushy border. :)  The bricks were free from a friend.  I also put a soaker hose we already had and lava rocks in.   All the beds were in chaos.  Lots of overgrown and not taken care of going on in them.  Slowly, but surely I am going through each of them and rearranging and adding a bit.  

 This flower bed is to the left of the front porch and it had some really sad looking hawthorn bushes in it.  There are still two left that are giving me a run for my money, but they WILL come out!  Also, where the drain spout it was all loaded with dirt from many years of build up and when I got a hold of it, I found all kinds of buried bricks and stone.  I just dug them out and put them back on top in an orderly manner.  Much better.  I put stepping stones all the way around so I can get to the other beds without tramping on the grass trying to come back in.  I aim to bury one per day until they are all mostly level with the top of the ground to make mowing easier.  I've got them going out to the mailbox, too.

 That pile of bricks there came from our neighbor behind us.  They were free, too. :)  They will be going in as the border for the other front flower beds.

There are some of the bare spots with new grass coming up.  It looks kinda pitiful now, but it was worse. 

 This bed is going to be a challenge...There are lots of bulbs in it, mostly tiger lilies.  I have to dig them out and try to dig out that wandering jew, too.  I don't want it in there, it just takes right over. :(  I have some irises and amaryllis in the back yard and will rearrange this bed to accommodate them all, but much more organized.  There are also some chrysanthemums on the side of the house that will find a new home here. :)  That black bowl thing is my place marker for a bird bath.  I am on the lookout for one...preferably a cast off that won't cost a thing. ;p

This bed has a rose bush and jasmine.  I would like to get some sort of wrought iron gate thing or some sort of large trellis to create a bit of privacy there.  We shall see what comes my way. :)

Ailey had to be in most of the pics...:)  This is the back yard in all of its skeeriness.  The kids have really done a number on it.  That HUGE bare spot is being worked upon now.  Gonna see if I can coax some grass back in there.  Eventually, the plan is to make a semicircular patio with a pergola over it off of the small back porch there.  We'll see. 

 The garden.

 Herbs are up at the front there and there is some lettuce and kale in the middle and garlic at the other end with the rest being tomatoes.  The big huge bush there is oregano and it likes to take over.

The pot has Sam's habanero plant from last year.  He hasn't given up on it.  It has lots of blooms, but something keeps eating the little peppers on it. ;)  Poor Sam!  The bed has strawberries, okra, more habaneros and zucchini.  There was more planted, but it hasn't shown up as of yet.  I'm probably going to have to start those inside and see if I can get them to grow.  I may not, though....depends on whether I feel like it or not. ;)

We've also got a lot of remodeling going on inside the house, but most of it is in mid process.  I still have to finish getting the wallpaper backing off the walls in the bathroom and then I will texture and paint.  I have to sand and repaint the cabinetry, too.  I am considering putting in an exhaust fan, so before the texturing and painting, I will have to cut into the wall to run the wires and also cut a hole in the ceiling.  Then, I would have to patch the wall.  It would be a good thing because there is no ventilation in the bathroom if the window if closed.  

Sam is venturing into building a bigger pantry out of the one that is in the front part of the kitchen already and the little inset prep area right next to it.  He's going to frame it out and then build some shelves in there and then he will install bifold doors there.  We are also going to get bifold doors for the other closet/pantry/craft room at the back of the kitchen.  We will replace the hot water heater door with a new door that matches the bifold doors, too.  Then, there will be texturing and painting going on for a while after that.  He also plans to cut out the subfloor and replace the terrible particle board with plyboard and then we will paint that and lay linoleum tile down.

In the meantime, I have been slowly refinishing the cabinet doors. Ugh.  Such a big, time-consuming job!  I am painting them an off white and replacing all the hardware.  I finished two doors and put a poly coat on them and I don't like it at all!  It has yellowed and the polycoat is streaked making it look even worse.  I'm gonna have to sand it and repaint without the poly.  I might put the poly around the edge of the back of the doors so that it won't stick when they are closed.  Again....big job.  In addition to that, I aim to refinish the countertops and backsplash.  I'm gonna kind of cheat a bit, if I can.  They are covered in formica, but it is stuck on solidly, so I am just going to sand and score it and lay granite tile right over it.  Should be interesting!  The backsplash will just have to come out and backer board and glass tile installed.

Once all that is done, we have the rest of the rooms to paint.  They just need it.  We are also wanting to paint the outside of the house a lighter taupe color that will complement the bricks and freshen things up a bit.  It sounds like a lot, but we just putter through it as we have time and money to get it done.

There are more ideas scrambling around my brain, but I will just wait and see if they come to fruition first......

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Creation Appreciation Sunday

We decided to go to Colorado State Bend Non-denominational Church yesterday. ;)  It was LOVELY.  We were relaxed the whole time.  We took our time getting packed and ready to go, driving and enjoying ourselves there.  We loved every minute of it and had a good drive home.  We enjoyed our time with each other, the Lord and His creation.  Yay!  Of course, I took a ton of pics:

 Zekey discovered a vine they could swing from...

 Brea didn't see anything wrong with rescuing a hot dog off of the ground and then devouring it.

 Ailey had to have a turn on the vine and sported an almost plumber's crack in the process, ;p

 Brea in one of the cutest swimsuits ever!

 Trying to tame the plumber's crack!

 Sam at his post roastin' wieners.

 That's a studly man right there!

 Exploration time

 Had to ford the river to get where we were going....the wagon floats!  Who knew?

 Brea stuck with me....

 more exploration..

 Boys at out!

 Ler wasn't too keen on the rocks.  They kept shifting under her feet making it difficult for her to maneuver...

 Hoh yeah!

 Rocks are fun.

 Here I am! :D

 What is it with boys and the need to throw really big rocks?!

 Voyage of the afternoon treaders.

 Brea decided she needed to be in my lap.

 See my rock?

 My posse rejoined me...

 While I was sitting there...these juvenile fish, prolly trout or some such, kept coming up and nipping at my, ahem, rather longish leg hairs.  Very interesting sensation. :/

 Braden was pretending to be battling the current... ;)

 The trek back to the van was a bit chilly...bbbrrrrrr!

The girls caught a ride with Daddy. :)