Monday, June 21, 2010


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Yup, Kid Approved!

The kids find a new use for Mom's cushions.....

So, the deck project is almost done.  We decided in the planning stages we needed a cement pad at the end as a step, running from the brick to the fence.  We calculated how many cubic feet of cement we would need, Ryan made the forms, and then off to the Co-op to get bags of cement.  My poor van!  Ryan came home with 38 bags of 55lbs a piece.  Anyone care to do the math on that?  Like I said, my poor, poor van.  When I told my dad that we brought home close to 2000lbs of cement for that pad, he said "Oh? how many trips did you make to the store? Two? Three?"  Uh.  No.  One.  Ryan even said he bottomed out once coming home.....oops! Anyways, here's the pics.

Ain't it pretty!?

Oh and in case you wondering, 38 bags at 55 lbs a piece, moved twice (once from the van, once into the wheelbarrow), then mixed by hand, dumped and spread out = two very tired and sore homeowners the next day!!
Whew. Done.

So that's the deck.  We did get gravel and haul it all in, with pails, to the side yard and behind the shed, but that's a post for tomorrow!  Here's one last look at the deck from the front.  A far cry from what was there before!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


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So here's where we left off! With a few kids thrown in :)
Actually if you look closely behind the kids, you can see the deck boards being laid out.

The boards are just the right length to be cut in half and laid on the deck. We opted for the dark brown color of Trex deck boards.  No painting. No slivers. No upkeep. No painting.  Did I say that already?? :) I'm excited to the extreme over our deck boards.

AND, what's a deck without a few new deck chairs??  Ok, well I was supposed to put my BBQ back on here, but I just love the new private place to sit too much!  I love these chairs I found at Jysk, with their apple green cushions.  I bought a cheap plant stand to go between them to hold my bevvies! And look at the beautiful step Ryan built!

I had to go buy myself some lights to go along the lattice!  Just too relaxing!
Now who wants a drink??!

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Idiot Dog

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I rescued this ornament from my Grandma's garage sale.  It was destined for the garbage as his head had come off at some point.  It had always appealed to me and I thought it could hang out in my house for a year or two till I was sick of it.  I keep it empty, just moving it to dust it.  However, yesterday at the Farmer's Market, I bought some chocolate raisins and some chocolate almonds and I thought, "hmm that dish would make a fine candy holder too!" So I dumped the whole bag of almonds and half the bag of raisins in it. I showed the kids we had some treats, in which most of them turned up their noses at, except Blade had one or two raisins.  Ryan had a couple almonds and I had a couple too.  That was it.
This afternoon, I was cleaning up a bit before Family Friday supper and I thought, "oh I should dust under that rooster" (I call it a rooster, who the hell really knows what it is) I picked up the empty dish and swept under it with a dish towel...and noticed that there was one lone raisin in the bottom.  Then I realized, "hey wait a minute, this was FULL yesterday.....where the heck did all the candy go??"  I asked Ryan, I asked the kids.  Nope, none of them ate it.  Where did it go?

Well, the dog was acting incredibly weird last night and wanting to go outside.  I guess a kilogram of chocolate treats will do that to a dog....&%$*.

The Deck continues

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Here we are, back with more deck pictures.  I'm almost reluctant to show you the final project.  It just looks too good! You'll forget how crappy our old deck looked. 

With even more boards ripped off, and temporary placeboards put up to keep the dog in, we FINALLY get a sunny weekend to get this thing done! We are putting up a 6 foot privacy railing to keep peering eyes out.  It's SO nice to sit outside now.  Here is Ryan with the 5 foot section of railing up.  I had painted all the posts the day before so I wouldn't have to worry about missing spots later on.

Yay! The dog can't escape anymore!

I recruited mom and grandma to come over and help paint the railing.  A coat of primer and two coats of paint later, I hope it will last for as long as we intend on living here!

Here we are! Well here the railing is, in almost its complete glory.  And yes, it is a fence package, which we are calling a railing!  It works perfect and was easy enough to assemble as we had the same fence back in Rimbey. 
Ain't it pretty!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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The deck was the major project on the list this year to get done.  Below is the only picture I could find of this boring landing that was here when we bought the place.  It was tiny, only 6X10 and had this weird half railing.  The worst thing was that we were standing 2.5 feet higher than the fence almost.  This encouraged the no-boundaries neighbor to chat at me no matter what I was doing out there.  Since we got a dog, he has also been ripping up and down the narrow strip of lawn leading off the deck to the backyard and wearing down all the mud..a LOT of mud.  The previous owners had put in a small garden beside that same narrow strip of lawn, which was great but I would have just preferred a bigger deck.  So last year, in my great wisdom, we ripped out the garden boards and recycled them to the neighbor across the street so she could have a raised garden in her backyard.  This also just provided more mud for the dog and kids to track in.  Fun times.  Anyways, here are a few pics of the deck reno in progress.

Ryan gets a haircut..or Hunter gets revenge for his???

Below, Ryan gets started on new stringers for the deck as well as new posts for the privacy railing.  We had to fight the weather as well as the dog who would have loved to escape if we had tore the whole thing down.  Plus, this is the only exit to the backyard so we had temporary boards everywhere for somewhere for the kids to step to get down (not to mention the uber wimpy dog who coudn't possibly jump....)

Our dog loves nothing more than to escape so Ryan was forever putting up place boards to cover gaps in the railing or under the deck.  Not the easiest way to build a deck!!

Squeeeze out the door to use the BBQ!

More posts in and more construction waste everywhere! I thought I was never going to get my backyard back.  And then the rain started...and rained and rained and rained.  So although the deck package was delivered by Totem, it just sat for a week.  I'm sure Ryan was just a little glad of the rain! I just ended up painting Blade's room.

Uber wimpy dog on his make-shift decking.

More deck pictures to come!

New painting

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Well, one more painting done. Two or so more to go. Although I may not get them done before vacation, what with Storm wanting to paint herself a Hello Kitty painting now that I am done my current one.

This one is on Blade's wall to go with his Star Wars theme.

Ahsoka Tano

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bland to Beautiful

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When we moved into this house, there was a sad little pipe sticking out of the wall where a laundry sink should have been. Part of the house was unfinished: the basement, the downstairs bathroom and missing ceiling in the laundry room to name a few besides the sad little pipe. We received this lovely sink, below, as a freebie, and while it was OK it lacked a little something.

So we waffled back and forth on what we really wanted to put in that space. I wanted a built in cupboard with a nice deep metal sink like I had seen at IKEA (but didn't buy and was no longer stocked when I did go back!). Ryan was willing to go along with anything. Shocker I know. So we went to Home Depot and bought another cheap plastic tub, this time in brown to match the room and a pretty tap.

Now, it WAS an improvement, but I was never really totally happy with it. Shocker I know. In my defense, it had a tendency to move a bit if you bumped it and the area around it always looked messy. The sink I had wanted was no longer available at IKEA, even if I could have conned Ryan into attempting to build a cupboard for it. So I settled. And I was okay with it, mostly.

But then, strolling Costco randomly, on a mission to grab just ONE thing, we seen this beauty.

Sure I didn't NEED a new sink, but look at it! And it matches my washer and dryer so prettily too.

Can't beat that! :)

Blade's Make-over

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For quite a while, the boys have been sharing a room. Okay, for their whole lives they had been sharing a room. With the basement finished, Hunter moved to his own room and Blade has the original room to himself! Well, let's say separation,after living together their whole lives, just didn't take. They are back to sharing a room, (voluntarily this time!) or rather just sleeping in each other's rooms while keeping their stuff separate. In any event, it was time to fix up Blade's paint and his closet. Here's a before pic of what the closet looked like with two kids in it when we first moved in....

Then we re-vamped the closet and made it look like this,which worked better for two kids with expanding wardrobes.

He also had a 'Cars' theme going on in his room and a rocking blue wall, with a purple closet...

So, in preparation for moving (eventually), Blade got a re-vamp on his closet and a new paint color and 'theme' for his room.

The purple closet..eek!

Brown! After only 6 years of living here!

The "almost' final closet look. Ryan has to put up the upper shelves still.

I also dug out my paints and made Blade a Darth Vader painting. I'm still working on a couple other reverse paintings for him. Let's hope they work out!

That's it :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ginger Cookies anyone??

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So there I was, making the requisite 4 batches of cookies for the kids. I figured I'd make some Ginger cookies. All was fine, until I was pouring in the molasses and I thought to myself "That seems like a LOT of molasses!" I looked over my shoulder at the recipe again, and sure enough, that was supposed to be 1/4cup of molasses NOT the 3/4cup I poured in!!!
Not much to do but make a TRIPLE batch of ginger cookies. And Clayton says when he comes home for lunch "No one really eats those until all the other kinds are gone"....

I made some in the shape of Christmas trees for Blade. They will probably still be here then....