Monday, June 25, 2012

Visit from friends and Flight 93

 I have had a these picture on my computer for a while and I'm finally getting to post these.  The above beauties are from my yard. I wish they bloomed all summer ):  Now I have hydrangea's blooming which I love just as much.  I love flowers!! A few weeks ago my best friend Jackie and her kids came to visit us in PA.  Jackie and I became very close friends while we both lived in Columbus.  We both have moved several times and have a love for decorating and mothering. Can't go wrong with this combination in my book.  We have had many talks about everything you could imagine, parenting discussions, crying phone calls, decorating dilemmas, mother meltdowns and the most important tons of laughing. Since we have moved I really miss her. It isn't to often in life you meet people that you feel like are more like family then friends. As time goes on we will always keep in touch and her family will always be special to me no matter how long time lapses. In fact her family just recently moved as well to Atlanta. I will be making a trip solo for a visit. (do you believe it?) I never leave my kids but it is time this mama has a little vacation all to myself.  I am going out in August to visit and have some girl time as in shopping and decorating. 
 Here is our crew minus Isabella in the above picture.  My Drew is looking a bit swollen, poor kid.  He was on steroids for over a month but is looking more Drew like these days. He is doing well and for the most part is back to himself plus more energy. He has gone crazy about baseball the last few months. With him feeling better he has wanted to play baseball non stop.  He is getting really good and seems much more passionate. Of course Rob is in heaven and Drew thinks his dad is the best player ever. Sometimes his medicine makes him have headaches but other then that you would never know.  It is really hard to explain this all to a kid but he is so brave and has a great perspective. I remind him that life is 10% and 90% is how we deal with it. He gets it and we are thankful that even though it stinks it could be way worse. He can play, eat, and pretty much have a normal life and be healthy again. Anyway our kids get along great and her kids besides my own are some of the sweetest well behaved children I know.
 Here we are!!  Sorry about my hair, and covering your pretty eyes friend.  I have learned a lot from this  girl.  If something needs to get done this girl can make it happen.  She is talented, smart and extremely funny.
 Here are our girls. They love each other, they really do. Pretty sweet when little Isabella who is only 3 picks out a African American doll so it can look like her friend Lauren  She is as sweet as they come.  Sad that they won't be together much growing up but they will always remember each other.
It was a great visit. We went to the amusement part and went out to eat.  It happened to be my birthday so it was a great way to spend the day together.  Looking forward to our girls weekend and seeing your new home soon!
 About an hr from our house is where flight 93 went down. Can't believe it has been over ten years ago now but it is still very real and sad to see it all.  My kids are getting to the age where they just love history and learning as much as they can about ever thing in the world. We explained to each of them what happened that dreadful day. Sad that this ever had to happen.
 This is where the plane hit, near or on this rock.  The path is cleared but only family member can walk right up to it. Below you can see where some of the trees are a little more bare that is from the plane crash and fire.

 The memorial is still not complete but they are about half way done.  It is very nice and done well.  Along the journey to the wall of all the fallen heroes you could leave mementos.  It was really sweet to see some of the notes and trinkets people made to leave.

 On the way back we stopped at the neatest little town called Ligonier. There is also a famous fort where George Washington was stationed at during the French And Indian War.  Lots of history in Pennsylvania and lots of old landmarks are still around.
We plan on going back this weekend because my parents will be visiting. Can't wait to see the neat shops.This is probably one of the cutest little towns I have been too.  Lots going on here and we are enjoying our summer and activities. More to come.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stair project re-do

 Hi Friends!!  I just bought a new computer, new editing program and now a new camera.Long story short my Rebel died so I am awaiting the arrival of my new improved BFF. I finally sat down today to figure out how to download picture, how to add them to blogger and how to basically figure out everything new. Apple products are great but it takes so much time to learn a new computer and program.  A few weeks ago I decided to take on the dreaded stair project.  First of all what a difference but second of all I encourage anyone to do this but know that it is lots of work and time.  It really is not hard at all just labor intensive.  I couldn't be happier with the results though.  Here are some before and after pictures and a few instructions.
 1. Remove the carpet, this is the easiest step involved.  After seeing all the nasty, yuck who would ever want carpet on stairs.  I am not a big fan of carpet but living where we live it is really cold in the winters so it does add warmth. That is the only reason we have it.
 2. Let the fun begin.  This is where it starts to get interesting for the first 5 hrs it is not bad but slowly your endurance starts to fail and you start cutting your hands and possible cursing a bit.  There are so many nails and staples.  Carpet installers are nail happy, to many nails!! Love all the dust and dirt, isn't it appetizing.  I used this tool it is some sort of wedge chisel and it worked marvelous for prying up the carpet boards.  You just have to wiggle up a bit here and there and then use a needle nose player to remove staples and a hammer to remove nails.
 3. I just did step by step carefully removing all nails and rough spots.  Make sure you wear shoes,  gloves and safely goggles.
 4. Remove all dust and clean stairs.  Sand stairs with hand sander and clean all dust. Thankfully I had pretty decent steps under the carpet.  Some of it was painted and the wood was real wood and already curved.  I know that some stairs would need a major over hall to make this look right but you might be surprised what is under your carpet.  I have read several blogs that had curved naked wood that was perfect for this project.  I don't think it would matter if the stair were not curved it would be better then carpet in my opinion. If you have plywood then this would probably not work and you would have to add wood steps.
 5. Let the tapping and painting begin.  I read from lots of bloggers to do every other step and start with your staining first. You can use post it notes so the kids and myself ( I stepped on the painted steps I don't know how many times after I told my kids the directions, lol!!) I must have been sleep deprived but the kids did a great job of being careful. I also filled in all nail holes and spots where i pulled up wood by accident.  It was connected so tightly to the carpet boards it pulled up my good floor. I just used stain able wood filler.  Once that dries you sand it and can stain it.  I also had to use it on the white part of the steps.  I taped everything and then stained every other step with MiniWax gel stain in Mahogany.  I used a foam brush to get a deeper dark color. It worked out well because I needed the darker color due to the wood filler which doesn't exactly stain as well as normal wood. Once I did every other stair I removed the tape, reversed it and then painted the white risers.  I choose not to polyurethane my steps at this time.  I didn't want the kids to fall since the poly makes them slick.  So far so good.  I did stain my banisters and used polly.  
 I love it!!  At the landing I had a issue.  There was carpet at one time there, My plan was to buy a good piece of stain able wood and fit it in.  My dear husband cut everything and we got a good fit but the wall is crooked so it never fit in correctly.  Since we don't have all the tools it was pretty much impossible to get the fit, It actually worked out better this way.  I just stained the sub floor dark and it looks great with the little rug I added.  I only had two options and the other one being adding real wood floor the only problem was the transition would have been to high since the stairs were built right into the steps if that makes sense.  There was no room for a step up.  So with the rug it looks great!!

 I like the gray paint with the dark steps I think it looks great. I love this vintage light fixture too! I had my heart set on a lantern or rustic chandelier but my husband is so tall he didn't want to hit his head.  So this thing was actually in our spare bedroom it is real crystal too and it looks perfect!!
Hope you enjoyed my stair project.  If you have any questions please ask away.  It can be done and I think it is totally worth the time and it costs next to nothing to do. Always good in my book.  Major change for only $30!!
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