Tuesday, September 9, 2014

School's In Session

 School year 2014-15 is now in session.  Can it be that I really have a 7th grader, a 4th grader and a Kindergartner???  It just me and Ellie at home and wow, the house can be quiet and wow.....I can get a lot done in one day:).  Our usual large morning breakfast that Nick stays home a little longer to make for the kids.  Then takes pictures and away he goes to work while the kids head off to their first day of school.

 Liam was beyond excited to go.  Entering the school building as a Kindergartner for the first time!!!
 Love you boys like crazy and pray that you can be a light to those around you and a good example.  Here is to a wonderful year at Cornerstone!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Projects!!

So I am usually NOT a DIY girl.  I like seeing others do it, and Im always impressed with the results of others.  I just never think mine will turn out and I won't be happy with the end results.  Well, this spring Nick asked me if I wanted some cheap bookshelves that would need "help".  A bookstore was going out of business and his coworker bought them for cheap and wanted to know if we wanted one??  I figured since we had been looking for a while for some bookshelves for our office that I might as well give it a shot.  If it goes poorly then I'll know to leave the DIY to others!!!

 This is the bookshelf we got.  It was a one piece(back and front shelving unit).  Nick cut it into two bookshelves for us and I set to work on reading up on how to stain and finish.

 I have to admit it wasn't to hard, but we obviously were learning along the way.  The stain we got wasn't dark enough so I think I ended up putting on 4 coats!!  Darker stain perhaps equals less coats??
We also didn't do a good job of sanding and taking off the existing varnish if there even was one???  Hard to know since it came from a bookstore.  The shelves were very smooth and we couldn't get that smooth feel to leave so the shelves took even more patience with the new varnish we used.
 However finally after a good week of me working on it we finally got it into our office space.  We love the shelves for now and they totally were worth the money spent.  (not fond of the office walls though and eventually that will change too)  We have never done anything to this room since we moved into our house 4 yrs ago!!!!
finished project
WELL......since that project didn't go to shabby I decided to read up on how to paint furniture(old furniture for that matter:))  My grandparents sold their lake cottage and thus giving us a FREE kitchen table!!  It was actually made by my grandpa so I was for sure not going to let this slip away:).  It had quite the wear and tear on it, but the table top was definitely intact and looked nice.  We stuck it in our basement and it will be our basement table (once we ever put in the kitchen down there:))

chair before- a worn out brown chair

primed the chairs (will use a foam brush next time on the primer)

primed the table legs
 And once again set to work learning how to paint furniture black and what paint is the best and what top coat to use. Oil based paint?  Latex Paint? Polyurathane? Polycrylic?  So many options and choices.

In the end I LOVE the paint I used.  Yes it is expensive but it is amazing.  I loved the fact that it is a paint that doesn't bubble and leave bubbles once dried, it can be used on laminate for future projects if needed and it doesn't need a top coat if you don't want one.
Am I happy with it??  Yes and No.  I love the color, I love the paint, I loved my primer, but I didn't like the paint brush lines it left in my dried product.  That was because I used a paint brush for the primer and so you can see paint brush lines in it.  Had I known it would show through Id have sanded it all off and started over with the primer, but it was to late.  I had already painted a black coat on it.  So would I do it again??  Absolutely yes....with a foam brush for the primer!!  I did use a foam brush for the paint because that is what I read was best:).

up close chair
For now my garage remains a garage....my van is parked back in the garage:).  Till school starts that is:)
Then I will begin my next DIY project:).  Ellie's bedroom furniture!!!  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer perks!!

Two posts in one day???  Im doing great:)  Actually our computer finally is cooperating with me.  Seems everytime I attempted to blog our computer would just shut off.  Soooo frustrating!!!

Not only does summer bring lots of fun activities, but it brings us lots of yummy treats we enjoy.  This year we decided to try our hand at watermelon and muskmelon. Plants are doing well and we have about 10 watermelon growing currently.  Our biggest one is the size of my palm.  A ways to go before we get to cut it up and enjoy it.
 Had an abundance of green beans at one point so I went ahead and tried my hand (yet again) at freezing them.  Did it last year but left them whole.  We didn't like how much water they retained so I cut them up this year and we are giving it another go.
 Our yearly pick.....this year I invited Kelli, Avery, Alivia and Austin to join us.  Between all of us we picked 50 lbs of blueberries.  YUMMMMM!!  Of course we ate 10 lbs fresh and I froze the rest.  Love having these in our freezer during the winter months.
 As a child one very fond memory I have is heading to Minnesota for christmas eat year to visit my grandparents.  We always ate their canned dill pickles and I have always wanted to know how to make them just like grandma!!  I am SOOOO excited to say that I got the recipe finally from my aunt nancy and this year we planted picklers!!!  Thanks to AJ's going on vacation I was able to go pick some of his picklers and Elijah and I set to work canning pickles.  Some of them were to big so we cut them into hamburger slices and a few of them we made into spears but most of them stayed whole(they are baby dills).

 Ellie wanted to help!!!  She was glad to pose with the canning salt:)
 Wonder what these are for???  Well, you place the jars into coolers and then put boiling water on top of the jars covering completely and leave over night.  In the morning they are sealed.  We have done many batches as the picklers come in.
 Here are just a few of the ones Ive done this year.  And we have obviously eaten some already and yep........it brings back a flood of memories as I munch on them.  OH what a blessing to have my grandma's recipe!!

 And yes, of course we have just now been enjoying sweet corn.  My parents 12 rows are ready to be eaten and "put up".  Need to do that next week sometime.  Want to freeze around 20 quarts or so.

Summer Fun!!

We have done really well at getting the boat out this year.  The kids really enjoy it, and its a fun family event.  Elijah asked Nick if he could try slalom skiing.  Nick told him he wouldn't be able to get up. (I didn't realize Elijah had asked him this).  Then Elijah came to me and asked if he could try slalom skiing.  I immediately said "yes, but its tough, and you get water in your face, and you have to crouch low, and you have to stay balanced".  He was excited to give it a try.  With two coaches from the boat and much to nick's surprise Elijah was up and out of the water within a dozen attempts.  And he has gotten up every time since.  Way to go buddy!!  We are so proud of you.  Great form of exercise and endurance!! (oh and for the record, because he doesn't weigh nearly as much as nick or I his face remains pretty dry when getting up and he doesn't have to stay crouched nearly as long as we do!!:))
 Even Ellie gets into the lake.  Crazy she does this because after our Tennessee vacation I was pretty sure water was NOT her thing!!!

 After seeing the boys go tubing she was pretty sure she wanted to do it.  She LOVES it!!  She bounces around on purpose and we sing songs about monkeys jumping on beds:) while she is jumping around.  She usually does not like it when she has to get out and let someone else have a turn.

 No they didn't all go tubing, but we wanted a picture anyways.
 We also had a fun saturday this summer going to Nick's work picnic at Indiana Beach.  Elijah was unable to go as he was at JR boys camp, but Caden, Liam and Ellie enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tennessee Vacation 2014

We had the honor of going on a Waibel family vacation this year to Tennessee.  Thanks to mom and dad for using points to their timeshare and getting this all together to make it happen.  Such a fun time and many memories made.
Busy watching a movie as we travel.
Morning breakfast.  We stayed with mom and dad in a three bedroom condo.  Kelli's and Aj's stayed together in a different three bedroom condo.
Time to hit the pools!!
Indoor Surfing!!  They loved it.

Our Condo faced this water park area.  We were on the ground floor so it made for easy access to this park.  What a plus!!!

Ellie didn't want much of anything to do with the water, UNTIL the very last day she decided getting wet wasn't so bad.  We even got her to go down a slide by herself (and she did it probably a couple dozen times).  She found grandma's goggles and wanted those on too.

This was the outdoor wave pool and lazy river.  Spent much time here.

One day Dad and Mom treated us all to Go Karts for the day.  We had a wristband so we could come and go as we pleased.  We were there for several hours(4 I think) as we all raced around tracks.  Ellie unfortunently couldn't ride a single ride(which I thought was silly since there were definitely kid friendly rides for her there).

 There was one race track that was for little tikes like Liam and Austin.  They enjoyed getting to drive their own cars.
Ellie and mom just sitting around waiting for others to ride the rides.

Bumper Boats

Mom and Dad had went to the outlet mall for a few hours while the kids swam.  She came back with matching dresses for the girls.  To cute!!!
Vacation was a blast and everyone headed home, except last minute we decided we might as well extend our trip.  We had read in the newspaper that Nashville, TN was one of the top places for fireworks.  Well, since we were 3 hours from Nashville and it was only Friday why not extend our vacation??  So when everyone left on Friday morning at 10am we headed over to the outlet mall for several hours.  Then we drove to Knoxville to meet up with our "old" neighbors whom I miss dearly.  We met them at Brusters ice cream for an hour then drove on to Nashville. 
WOW.....so many people!!  We walked around wondering where on earth was a good place to watch fireworks?  We ended up finding this road and it seemed like it could possibly be a good place??  So we set up "camp" (two blankets from our car) and sat for over 3 hours waiting for the fireworks to begin.  Within those 3 hours hundreds of people started sitting around us and before long the street was unable to be passed thru.  FILLED with people!!!
We got some italian ice for the kids to help pass time.

 Ahhhhh....its finally getting dark!!!  We are very ready for the fireworks to begin at this point.

 And what a show it was.  Over 30,000 shells are released.  We were in PRIME spot where the fireworks went off directly across the river from us (where the stadium is).  The only negative thing about our location was that we could not hear the orchastra playing as it was synced with the fireworks.  Non the less it was the best fireworks we have ALL seen.

 Ellie stayed like this the entire time.  They were loud.  In fact, more than once both nick and I commented on how it was vibrating our own bodies from all the loud booms that went off.  I felt like a few of the fireworks were so close they could land on us.  A great show indeed!!!
It was a 30 minute firework show of NONSTOP fireworks.  It took us less than 30 minutes to get out of the mass of people and cars and back onto the interstate but within 5 minutes this is what Ellie looked like:).  She was exhausted!!  We drove for an hour(1 am) and then spent the night in Bowling Green, KY....then headed home on Saturday.  
   What a wonderful vacation!!  Looking forward to many more!!  Thanks again Dad and Mom.