Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Day

School started back up again last week. This year Wesley is moving into the 5th grade and Greta into 2nd grade. Wesley is kind of sad that this is his last year in the elementary school. Greta is excited to see her friends again.

We had a really fun summer and I'm sad to see that end, but a little happy to get back to sculpting full time again (the orders were backing up!). 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Family Visit

Sean's brother and family came to visit us for a few days, leaving this morning. We don't get to see them very often so it was great getting together and letting the cousins play. Oh and play they did! We were thrilled the loft got finished just in time for their visit because they spent most of the three days up there camped out.

It was supposed to rain the entire time they were here but instead if just remained slightly cloudy and cool which was perfect weather for a visit to the zoo. We have a top notch zoo and try to go every year with the kids. I'm so glad they got to come with us this year, it was really a beautiful day and not crowded at all.

That bird was our tour guide for the rain forest building.

The brothers had a rousing game of Mario Cart while the gals went shopping. Boy do I like having a gal pal to shop with.

My sister-in-law and niece are both gluten free so we decided to make some gluten free vegan cupcakes so we could all enjoy dessert. It can be done! They were very good.

I sure wished they loved closer, we had a great time.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Picture Dump

I have some fun summer pictures that don't seem to fit into any one category so I am dumping them all into this post.

I planted six packets of zinnias up by the house this year and I am in love with them! They are so tall and lovely and make me smile each day. I've been collecting the prettiest flowers and drying them to collect the seeds for next year. I'm going to make next years flower bed at least three times as big. Zinnias are by far my favorite garden flower.

Winston turned one year old last weekend. The kids insisted on a birthday party, complete with hats and presents. He's just the perfect dog for a family with active kids. He can keep up with those kids when I can't.

Not sure why Jessica is holding Winston, this picture makes me laugh.

Greta has become quite the Minecraft player. She builds all sorts of buildings and barns. I don't mind them playing Minecraft and love seeing their creations. I took this picture because she cracked me up sitting there in her unicorn blanket.

Coco the goat only likes the finest hay which lives right in the middle of these older hay bales. I told all of the animals they have to eat all of the 2016 bales before they can have the new hay. They aren't too happy about that.

We discovered the local shaved ice place this summer and have been trying to go weekly. What fun!

I can't not post this. I have been playing this game, Battle Run, on and off for three years now. I'm pretty good (if I do say so myself) and finally made it to the highest rank of Big Boss. Only the top 200 players in the world make it to Big Boss. I was so excited I promptly took a picture. It's the little things in life. :)

I love this picture of Sean. I took it while we were waiting for the firework show on the 4th of July to start. That's my cutie.

Monday, August 7, 2017

If you build it...

When we moved into this house 13 years ago the master bedroom was on the second floor. It had a vaulted ceiling and was hot in the summer. So in 2007 when I was very pregnant with Wesley we decided to move the master bedroom to the main floor and convert a large second living room/family area into our bedroom. Sean had to erect a large wall and in the process created a loft above our bed. Here is a picture taken several years ago when we got carpet so you know what I'm talking about.

Sean did a great job on the loft. He put electrical outlets up there, lighting and laminate flooring. The only thing missing was a way to get up there. Shortly after building it (like two weeks) I had Wesley and then I didn't want to put a ladder up to it....because nobody wants a toddler climbing a ladder all day long. So this is how it's sat for a decade now. But you see, my kids aren't toddlers any longer so we have no excuses. They've been asking for months now to build a ladder so they can play up in the loft. So we built them a ladder.

We researched all sorts of ladders. Wood ladders, bookshelf ladders and pipe ladders. In the end, a pipe ladder seemed the neatest. So plans were drawn and parts ordered. In the mean time we had to do a little sheet rock work to cover up the original plan from ten years ago. We cut out a hole in the sheet rock to build a built-in bookshelf ladder. It was neat in theory but neither of us were quite the carpenters to pull it off. So we filled in the hole, pasted it and painted it.

Then Sean started cutting pipe to the correct lengths. The motor on his metal band saw melted so he had to use a cut off saw.

Then I got to sand the pipe, wipe it down with acetone, prime it and paint it. The pipe had some imperfections (it is a water pipe after all) so we went with a hammered Rustoleum spray paint.

Then after letting the paint cure for five days it was time to assemble it. Turns out we had no idea what we were doing and had to try a few different methods before finding one that worked.

All done!

 The kids love it!