Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

This weekend we took a little break from home renovation.  We spent some time in Kansas City for a softball tournament and did a little outlet mall shopping.  It was nice to get away from the to-do list for a while.  On Sunday, Ryan built a new bench for our back patio as my Mother's Day present.

I found a bench on Pinterest that I like the style of and he ran with it.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

We have a small area on the side of the patio next to the house where the concrete slab is sloped.  Eventually, we'd like to cover the lower slab with a paver patio to even out the area and to expand the patio size.  But, for the time being, we decided a bench would fill the space nicely.  (You'll notice we still have a little work to do on the post and side of the roof.  But I'm done painting the siding!)

After a trip to Lowes and a few hours of working Ryan finished my new bench.  It is mostly made out of cedar 2 x 4's so I won't have to treat it right away.  I'm looking forward to it naturally weathering.  We attached it to the wall slightly higher than a normal bench.  Mainly because there is a power outlet hidden on the wall right below it and moving it lower would block the outlet.  I'm hoping the extra height will discourage the dogs from jumping up on it.  

The new bench got me excited about spending more time on the patio and motivated me to begin working on my next project, refinishing my adirondack chairs.  Ryan built these for me for Mother's Day four years ago. I lovingly refer to my all patio furniture as my Mother's Day Collection now.  :)  These poor chairs have been left exposed to the elements for four years and are in desperate need of refinishing.

I haven't gotten very far, but here is a sneak peak at what I'm up to.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Warrior Dash Oklahoma 2013!

One of my 2013 resolutions was to get out and run more.  In March I ran my first 10K and it really lit a fire in me!  Shortly afterwards I learned about a crazy event called the Warrior Dash.  The Warrior Dash is a 5K obstacle course run that includes climbing over walls, crawling through mud, and jumping through fire, just to name a few things.  So what did I do?  I found a friend crazy enough to join me and we signed up

Jenn, YOU ROCK.  Thanks for being crazy with me.

Why on earth would we subject ourselves to this kind of torture?  For a turkey leg and warrior horns, of course!  

OK, that's not the complete truth.  The thing is, Warrior Dash is a St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital partner.  Warrior Dash events have raised more than $5 million for St. Jude's.  Did you know that no family ever gets a bill for treatments received at St. Judes?  Now that is awesome.  I'm all too aware of the costs of cancer treatment.  My hope is that my little donation and fundraising effort will make a difference in the lives of a family struggling to survive.  

What blows my mind the most is that two kiddos my girls were once in daycare classes with have battled or are battling cancer.  As young children.  Cancer scares the hell out of me.  Jenn and I have joined Team Benjamin in honor of one of these little kiddos.

If you would like to support me in my Warrior Dash adventure please visit my fundraising page:

I promise I'll post all the muddy pictures after the event!  Even if you'd rather not support me financially I'd really appreciate your encouragement on May 18th.  Did you see those obstacles??  Yikes.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sun Room Progress 5/5/2013

Ryan made a lot of progress today! I spent most of the day taking care of normal life chores (laundry, errands, spraying for ants, more laundry). V. and I bought purple pansies to plant next to the porch. The girls did a great job planting them. Brings back memories of helping (or watching?) my mom plant flowers in the big barrel planters at Country Hill Swim Club before opening day eons ago.

Ryan finished hanging drywall in the sun room and began muddying it. It's starting to look like a regular bedroom! To end the day we built a fire in the fire pit using some scrap wood and made s'mores. We used the biggest marshmallows I've ever seen and the kids were all sticky messes. Perfect way to end the weekend. :)

Renovation Realities; Where are the Kids?

I've been posting a lot about our current renovation of the sun room turned bedroom/playroom and new "bird room."  I'm sure a lot of you are wondering though, where are your kids??  They have been home with us the entire time, usually working beside us or playing nearby.  And, I'll admit, there was one night where they were rewarded for all day good behavior with Cherry Berry frozen yogurt for dinner!

We have an awesome swing set, sand box, and club house the kids play in.

R. and L. like to monkey around.  :)

V. found a quiet hiding place to sit and write.

And sometimes even the kids are tired and need a break.

We get the most work done during nap time while the two little kids are sleeping or after bedtime.  

They've also been to Lowes with us about a million times.  Here they are pulling Ryan's Father's Day gift in a rolling basket.  Under the current circumstances I thought it was an appropriate gift to give early.  

Sometimes its a tag team effort, one of us works on projects while the other takes care of the kids.  Also, the kids have their own kid size tools and safety "googles" and enjoy hammering and screwing.  The girls thought it was great fun to help paint the siding and jump on every chance they get to paint.  We try to find safe, age appropriate jobs for the kids, like stacking scrap 2 x 4's in a pile by the {empty} fire pit.  Giving the kids little jobs is important because they feel included in the projects and feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments and contributions.  I want my kids to know they can achieve great things, even when sometimes the journey feels like a marathon, is no fun, and takes a while to get to the finish line.  In the end it's worth it.  :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More Sun Room Renovation Progress!

We have been busy busy busy repairing and rebuilding!  Here are the highlights.

The roof is fixed!

We have a new soffit with ventilation!  No more soggy insulation!

We are almost finished painting the new siding!  (Doesn't the old window look like new with fresh white paint?)

That door and the remainder of the siding on the right side of the wall is GONE!  The doorway has been framed and will get drywall tomorrow.

The birds are in their new home!  The new "bird room" is far from finished, but hey, this is major progress!

Sometimes a hammer and crow bar can make a bad day feel much better.

The gas heater is gone.  The window into my laundry room and the brick wall... now solid sheet rock.  We are almost finished hanging drywall in the whole room, actually.  My ribs were sore for two days after hanging it on the ceiling.  So glad it's done!!

The new closet.

V. screwed on the new door knob with one of her screwdrivers.  She has been a great helper!  I think that's all the updates for tonight!  I need to get some rest before we get back at it tomorrow!

Board and Batten Shutter Reveal!

My new shutters are finished and hung!  Painting them purple (Valspar's "Royal Plum") was a big risk, but I really like the way they look.  They add some personality to our house.  Even though this was a relatively small project, it feels good to cross it off the to-do list!