Friday, February 26, 2016

Backyard Overhaul And Pergola

When we moved in our house the previous owners had a big playground that we thought came with the house. As you can tell it pretty much looks like the the Beverly Hillbillies lived here. When we rolled up (I have to add my teenage lingo) the playground was gone on the day we signed the papers. Granted it probably would have not stayed long term but we were left with a horrible BIG empty sand pit with old tires. I am being as serious as a heart attack, old tires!! Mind you these people paid cash for this house and they left tires in the yard, and holes in the walls. Not sure how this makes any logical sense. Last summer I put the trampoline there and it looked horrible, I would even go out and spray the weeds that came up (: We didn't have a plan yet since we were doing other things inside the house. We thought about putting a volleyball net up, maybe a basketball court (Don't tell the kids) that would have been amazing...To much money and not really pretty. I really wanted a flower garden, and Rob suggested a Pergola that he would build. He was very big on buying contractor quality everything and had a plan. We drew up plans and started this was back in November I think.  First we rented a auger, oh my!! Okay it's going down for real!! That thing was a beast and no joke work. They of course only had one left the Big Papas of Auger's. We put it together started it up and  dug the hole through the sand which was basically like drilling through concrete.
Rob made about thirty trips to Home Depot bringing in the lumbar.  He also ordered from a building supply store the big cedar poles. We are Texans now so go big or go home. Once the holes were dug we poured cement to hold them in. Rob build the Pergola from his own plans and ideas. He even ordered special bolts and nuts in black from some special store. Okay sound to good to be true??? All was well until I come home and he comes walking out to me saying he's hurt and he feel off the ladder.
Yeah that happened.... about six stitches later we have a Pergola that he insisted on finishing that day!
After this we stained it and then the real fun began!! We ordered soil/mulch mix and crushed granite. Rob is great at math but for some reason we had way to much mulch mix at the end. This was all for my garden but we had enough to fill in all my flower beds around the whole house. It was a long few days. Rob and I worked non stop moving soil with the wheel barrels from sun up to sun down. It was torturous, pretty much. I believe there is race horse poop mixed in too so you can imagine. The other beds needed the dirt mix so it worked out but my goodness!!
This was just one deliver, once I saw the next load I could not believe it. It was the never ending mound of horse poop dirt. Drew looks thrilled, kids were not much help.
There are just to many steps to post. We filled the dirt on top of all the sandy mess, because there was no way the sand would leave. We used the crushed granite as the path and we made a walk way. Our plan is to get two garden trellis and a bird bath or something in the middle. We made a few trips to the nursery. I really have no clue what I am doing but I followed the tags and hopefully in the next few years everything will grow. I figured that just digging in and trying was my best bet and if I don't like it I can always move stuff. I like the English Garden look so that is what I am hoping for but it will take many years to get there.

 I love my bunnies, no garden is complete without them.
Rob changed all the sprinkler heads so they would reach the new flower garden and we put up my lanterns. These solar lanterns are so cool, I bought them at Target. A lot of work but we are almost done. We have to add another pathway from the main fence to the garden and we are going to replace the old fence from the front of the house with wrought iron but not sure when. So many more projects but little by little.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Walking with my child even during the tough times

I am not the best blogger these days but I wanted to make sure I included this lesson Lauren learned a while back. Before Christmas Lauren really wanted a iPad after the boys each got one for their birthdays. Drew gave his old tablet to Lauren which was really nice of him but apparently the Green Eyed Monster came out and that wasn't good enough for her. I found in a notebook by her bed a drawing of a iPad and $249 written next to it.  I also noticed her counting her money one night several times. The next day I noticed Drew's wallet was in her room but I didn't think much of it. Later that night she happily proclaimed that she had enough money to buy herself a iPad. Of course Drew ran up to see where she got all the money from and he started yelling that she stole his wallet. Oh Gosh!! I knew what happened when I saw all the money sitting next to her stuff. I asked her where she got the $100 bill from and she said she found it. Okay at this point I am raging inside because I hate a thief and a liar and I wanted to explode. After hearing her made up story about the wallet magically appearing in her room with money flying out I probably looked like a monster with glowing evil eyes but somehow I remained calm. I went on to explain that I knew she was lying and the truth did eventually come out. I wanted her to know how serious this was to us in this house. Of course my mind immediately starts going down the bunny trail... if she steals now she will steal later, if she steals from her brother she will steal from her employer and if she does that she will go to jail. Okay back to the moment... I was not happy but I explained to her how serious this was. She has lied to me in the past normally about playing video games or sneaking something she shouldn't have and we have explained over and over how upset this makes our hearts. This was different this was calculated stealing all because she had that temptation and greed come over her for that major want.  After a very long talk and a big punishment I found this note in her room
After reading this I knew that she was sorry and asking God to help her and forgive her brought me to tears thinking how many times I have messed up and God forgives me. I am so happy she can talk to God and has a repenting heart. I decided to write her back to show God does care and because I truly   believe God would say this...
So through these not so fun parenting moments as a mom I was able to show her grace and unconditional love. We still have to work through temptations.. this girl loves her some Mine Craft and her You Tubers (you know the one that goes on and on in a English accent) but we are getting there.
She is my joy not matter what. Was this message more for her or for me, I am not sure. God showed me a way to show grace through Him. It didn't make it go away but it showed that I can still love her in one of the biggest moments of disappointment just like He loves me when I fail Him. Seeing my child go to God showed her child like faith when as a adult we think we can do it all on our own. She went right to the Lord for help. We can all learn a lesson from a child no matter how much we think we know about life. Kids actually are full of wisdom and we have to stop and pay attention.
The incident above was several months ago and she has made lots of improvements. She is also thankful for the tablet she has after we talked about gratitude. She hasn't asked for a iPad again so I consider this a lesson learned. I did catch her playing her tablet at 3:00am last week so that was another punishment but she didn't lie to me this time. Hey, baby steps I never said I was the Super Nanny!! Being a parent is just so hard at times but I am so thankful for my children. They have taught me so much about life. I often wonder what I would have been like if I never would have been a mother. You often hear woman who say they lost themselves when they became a stay at home mom or had babies but I truly feel I found myself through this journey. Not at all easy and I have had many hard days but I would never say I lost who I was. Maybe for a moment or for a time but I always came back to this was my calling and what I was supposed to do with my life.

I love you three with all my heart even when you mess up!!
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Another Table

Over Christmas break this table was on sale. I have had my eye on it for a long time and the price is really great considering the size. It's a very long table. I called my local World Market and they had one in stock. 
With my Magnolia Market wreath, dishes and lamps, I am loving it!!
I love when things come together and you get the look you are looking for. I love this table, check it out it would work in many areas and the color is beautiful! 
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The table that was almost trash.

You are looking at my former kitchen table. I have had this table for about ten years. I really liked it but it was getting beat up. I put it outside until I decided what I wanted to do with it because I thought I could possibly use it outdoors. This is when things got bad...really bad. I noticed a little bit of water damage under the paint but figured I could sand it out once all the stain was removed thinking that it was solid wood.  Little did I know that the inner top slated parts of the table was particle board. Sometimes it hard to tell because the rest of the table is wood. I decided to strip it one day and as the stripper sat the thin pieces of veneer and then particle board pealed. Oh No!! See things don't always go as planned. I started to rip it up thinking I would just replace the inside boards, but It was a mess at this point and I about pitched it but in a last ditch effort I thought I could take a small piece of thin wood and glue it to the top as in a new table top. I also decided to make this table into a sofa table. I love the legs, they are big heavy farmhouse legs and table shape previous was a square so I didn't think that would look great on my patio anyway.
Bad camera pick but you can see the top. The very top picture is the table sawed in half by yours truly by some sort of cutting device I found in the garage. Where there is a will there is a way. I had Rob help me attach the legs from the other side of the table onto the one piece of table to make it half as big. We just used screws to screw them in. Once that was done, I added the top.
I measured and went to Home Depot where they cut me my exact measurement. I placed the new top over the mess with strong adhesive. I left the original edges and sanded the new top into the old table making the edges seamlessly blend with the old table. You would never know two coats of a homemade chalk paint and I have a new usable table.

 For now it is in the craft room but I am so happy how this turned out, a new piece of furniture from trash basically. Before you throw out a old piece of furniture because of a ruined top, think about this first.
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