Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Homemade Chicken Coop

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

We are so excited we finally got our chicken coop done! 

And getting so excited about building a chicken coop means we are 1.  Getting old  2.  Need more friends/hobbies or both  3.  Are a little odd  or 4.  All of the above.

We are proud that we built the entire thing for free, with stuff we had laying around the garage (yes, we do have alot of junk stuff laying around our home).  The base for the coop began its life as a potting table my dad made for me a few years ago that I didn’t use anymore.  The vinyl flooring is for easy cleaning and was leftover from our addition last year.

We’re starting with just three chickens.  Peep Peep the rooster and Golden Star and Golden Splash the girls (Peep, Star and Splash for short in case I’m lonely and need to be out there talking to a bunch of chickens by name).  We figure we’ll hatch a few more in the spring to get the whole egg to chick education.




Festive Fall Jars

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I needed some fall decoration for the table .

I had no time, and even less ambition but lots jars (recycle) and fabric (go figure).

The original plan was to have them on a platter like this….but I like them lined up too.  Now I’m not sure which to do.  Maybe I should put up a shelf somewhere that I could line them up on.

The bonus to this 5 minute decoration was that it cleared some of the bags of dried goods from my pantry.   The jars contain walnuts, red skin peanuts, yellow and dark raisins, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Birthdays and Home Sales

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

It’s a big day today.

My babies turn 4…I mean 8 (how did this happen so quickly?), and our home that we bought when we got married and planned to spend the rest of our lives in is being sold today.

Luckily we’re on vacation, so the twins will have a super fun birthday, and being away will keep my mind off the house being closed on today.  (we signed all the papers before we went out of town…I didn’t know you could do that.)

I must admit that I didn’t expect the house being sold to affect me this much. It’s just a house for goodness sakes. But then I figured that in 41 years, I’ve never had my home sold.  The house I grew up in is the house my parents still live in, and of course now I do again too since we moved in to care for my folks.  And the home I lived in since I got married was one we planned to stay in…so I’m kinda sappy about the whole thing.   I hate that.  Not to mention (ok, I guess I am mentioning it), I worked so hard planting hundreds of trees and berries and flowers to make it almost totally secluded on its 4 acres in addition to all the improvements in the house.  It really is beautiful. 

I am very glad though that the new owners love the place, and they have five kids, so I know they will really enjoy it and appreciate it as much as we did. 

And the up side is that in stressing about the house sale today, I won’t think as much about how our twins are growing up so fast.

Monarch Butterfly Cocoons

Friday, August 21st, 2009

An update on the monarch caterpillars that we introduced you to the other day

We consider these fascinating creatures our babies for a few weeks each summer. 

Five are currently in cocoons.  Six are hanging in their little ‘J’ shape ready to turn into cocoons, and the rest are happily eating all the milkweed I can find.

The two guys pictured at the top were the first two to go into cocoons a few days ago.

It takes them about 10 days to emerge as beautiful monarch butterflies, so these two should be out by late next week. 

We’re so excited.   

We’ll share plenty of pictures when they hatch.

Recycled Door = Desk Top

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but we recycled this ugly old door into a desk for the kids for two whole years.  It was one of those things that we got them their school computers and had to set something up quickly so we just plopped this door on top of two old nightstands. 

And then we moved, and it still stayed the same since it was during the school year and I didn’t have time to paint it and let it dry for a few days.

So yesterday, as we were rearranging the schoolroom and the desk was cleared, it was time for a change.

To keep it a school theme we went with old maps and modge podge instead of plain old paint.   It took a little longer, but dried more quickly and we were using the desk again by that evening.

We added in some ticket stubs of places we’ve gone, and a few photos and stuff to make it intersting.  We could’ve done more, but since the idea was on a whim there wasn’t alot of preparation.

We love how it turned out and figure if we ever decide to change it we can just flip the door over and do something different on the other side!

And seeing the photo made me realize just how bad the front edge looks since it wasn’t covered…so we’ll be painting that today.

Mommy ‘Jobs’

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

So Jarod is playing tree house…. in a tree (I specify this because Makenna plays tree house under a picnic table), and I’m nearby, and he says, “mom, a bird just pooped on one of the branches.”
“Ok,” I said, as if this news required some sort of response.
“Well can you go in the house and get a rag to clean it up for me.”
“Excuse me, why should I have to stop doing my work to clean it up.”
“Because you’re the mommy,” and he laughed, knowing full well that the birdie poop was going to stay right where it was unless he cleaned it himself.
Note to self, add to list of ‘mommy jobs’…cleaning bird poop off tree branches.

Row Markers for the Garden

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

The original plan was to make some cute creative row markers like I saw here.

But after 2 weeks of not finding time to make them I stumbled upon some old wood corner trim that I had for about 10 years.  I finally found a use for it!

I gave the kids some acrylic paint, we wrote the names on in permanent black marker and about an hour later they had come up with these cute markers.

We recycled some old wood, the kids got to do a fun craft project and I got an hour of ‘free time’ (you know, to do laundry and the dishes) while they worked diligently. 

It was a good thing.

Inexpensive Coat Racks

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

These things have to be one of the easiest and most useful things we’ve ever made.

Take a piece of wood, we used 1 x 4’s from another project we had done, a little wood stain, and the hooks of your choice.


You’ll need a hand saw to cut the board to the size you need, then sand the rough edges smooth with a piece of sandpaper.  We bought some unfinished wood pegs at a home improvement store (the kind with a screw on the end) then drilled a small hole and twisted them in for instant functionality.

The silver coat hooks on the this rack were ‘discovered’ in my parents basement (my dad dates them to about 40 years ago) so those were free and put in the same way as the pegs.

That plain board that you see is going to get little metal hooks that I can screw in and then hang pots and pans on them.

Since realizing how inexpensive and easy these are to make we have made them for almost every room in the house.  From short boards with one or two hooks painted in the kids rooms, to five or six pegs to hang towels in the bathroom.  They’re functional, fun and can make a great gift too!

Painting Kids Rooms - Fish

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

This was to be Alexandra’s room in our old house.

I had to take pictures the other day because it was getting painted over before selling the house, as was our special twins room murals.

What was so special was that it was designed and much of it painted by the twins for their baby sister.

I was so disappointed we didn’t get to finish it before deciding to move.

One wall was this underwater scene and then above it was to be a distant mountain range that would tail off to another wall where there would be a scene with palm trees and elephants and tigers.

We all liked it so much that we are painting a fish scene in the kids bathroom this spring.

There’s a bunch of light blue tile and a big, big mirror, so there’s not as much room for fish, but that will make it more manageable.

I’ll post pictures when it’s done.

Cheap Labor

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

So the truth comes out about why I had kids.

Cheap Labor.

They help with painting.


Cooking and Baking.

and cleaning the floors.

 Of course the glitch in this idea is that most of the work they do is work that was created by having them.  More laundry, more messes, more cooking. 

I just can’t wait till they’re old enough to mow the lawn!