Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Fun Times at the Laffans

So many of my friends have moved or are moving.  This makes me so sad.  I hate saying good-bye to close friends that I consider family.  (You know who you are.)  It is great that I can still maintain those friendships though.  Now I have lots of friends all over the country to visit on a road trip someday.

However, Michelle is moving but only 30 minutes away.  I am enjoying helping her get her house ready to move into.  It is so fun to allow the kids complete freedom to play in their huge yard.   My body hurts from working so hard, but my soul is happy to have my friend so close.

All ready for a fun day of painting.

We were so glad that Brittany came up to help.  What an awesome neice I have.

Dan and Michelle

Notice anything funny about the fan?  I'm thinking about getting one just like this.

Max and Judah

Getting those windows clean.

One of the kids rooms was turned into the pantry.

Taking a quick break before working until the sun goes down.

This is the back yard and the trail down to the creek.
The back yard after Dan spent all day weed wacking.

The road on the property leading to the "cave".

This is the beautiful river in the back of their property.

Walking along the creek bed.

Max climbed up the huge rock in about 4 seconds.  He is a little mountain goat.

Check out the wild life.  

Hannah was trying to be like the big kids and was wading in the creek.  She slipped and fell, started crying then fell again.  Paul saved her.  She was not too thrilled about the freezing water.  As she walked back to the house in her undies she talked about how brave she was.

I talked Michelle into painting her kitchen red.  I love it.  Michelle is loving it now but was a little nervous.

Working hard to finish the wall.

Proud momma watching the kids on the new tire swing.

The living room is half painted.  We are getting there slowly.

Judah got a bit of paint in his hair.  Love the new look.

Four people, 10 hours, buckets of paint, Three and a half rooms finished.  Two days later, two people and another eight hours finishes all but the last little room.  

I couldn't help my self.  Had to paint a smiley on the wall.

The living room/dinning room.

This is part of the decoration on the bedroom door.  Love it!

Nap time for little ones.

The guest house.  The kids spend most of the rainy day on this little porch.  So fun to see them enjoying the friendship of each other.

Finishing the last main wall.  I had to talk Michelle into using this paint on the beam and the wall, but we both loved it once it was done.

The house is almost ready to move into!

The finished living room. . . well, the paint is done, now for the floors.

All done painting for today. We have decided that the new look is patriotic, farmhouse chic.  What's not to love.  Now to move in and decorate.

Michelle and I took a 5 minute lunch and a 5 minute dinner.  This was the kids dinner-a bag of cheetos.  Well, it won't kill them and the kids loved their "dinner".

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Helping our Friends

Baby Judah helps clean up.

My dear friends are moving to Cloverdale.  They need a lot of help getting their house livable in a short amount of time.  Our family was able to go up and help for a few hours the other day.  The kids had so much fun exploring the new yard and house, cleaning up the well house and helping "clean" and "fix" the house.  Chris worked on ripping out the carpet and a closet in the guest house.  Michelle and I cleanned the kitchen, dinning room and living room from top to bottom.  It was so much fun hanging out with this sweet family.  
Chris had fun working under the sink.

Of course we put the kids to work.  Keeps them out of trouble and . . . well, it keeps them out of trouble.

Hannah got a cool shot on my camera.

Judah was exhausted and went to take a nap.  No mattress or blankets, no worries.  The floor inside the bed frame is fine.
By Michelle and Judah.  We'll be back soon.

Shaving Cream is not just for Daddys

I saw this on pinterest and had to try it with my kids.  They loved it.  I had some cheap shaving cream I had bought for the kids to play with.  After putting shaving cream in each cup of a muffin tin pan, I added a few drops of food coloring and mixed it up. 

At first ,the girls used the spoons I brought to mix it.  Then they dug their hands into it and started painting the door, each other and their toys.

 This activity kept them happy and playing nicely in the tub for a good 45 minutes.  I love that it washes up so nicely and they get to play with interesting textures and colors.  They keep asking me to do this again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DIY Child's Picnic Table

My sister, Megan, made a beautiful picnic table for her children.  I loved it and so she gave me the instructions on how to make one.  Megan is able to get her lumber marked down in the cull lumber pile.  I could not find such lumber at the hardware store so I had to buy it full price.  The lumber was $60, plus sand paper and stain.  It took my husband (with me helping) 2 hours to make this.

2 2x6’s for table top
3 2x4’s for legs and supports
  1. Cut the table top first. I’d recommend cutting the wood in half so you get a longer table. Should be about 4’ long if you cut it in half. Use four halves to make up the table top. *The seats will be the same length as the table top so you can cut those now too.
  2. Space out your pieces of wood for the top leaving a small crack between each piece. Putting a nail between each board helps the spaces be uniform.  

 Make sure the kids are entertained while you are working on the table for them.

 Measure the width and cut two piece of 2x4 that length. Angle the edges so the kids don’t hit their knees on them.   A 30 degree angle works very nicely.

  1. Place the 2x4’s about 4” in from the ends of the table top of wood. Make sure that the wood is parallel by puting a peice of wood on the end.  It was easiest to put the 2x4 on top of the table peices and counter sink a screw into the angled peice on each end.  Then repeat with the other side.  Turn over the table and reposition the planks on the 2x4s.  
  2. Predrill through the table top and into the braces. Screw in your screws.  We used 8x3 inch screws for the table top.

 It is a bit noisy as you can tell.  My daughter did not like this part.
 Here each of the holes are drilled first and then the screw is counter sunk.

  1. Legs: Using a 2x4, cut legs at a 30 degree angle at 26” long. You need four.

  1. Stand the table top on end, clamp two legs onto the brace. Drill four screws into each leg/brace piece. We had to use 8x2 1/2 inch screws for the legs otherwise it will go through.  The table should be balanced when you stand it on all fours. If not, you may need to fix a leg.

  1. The braces should be about 11-12 inches past the legs on each side. We usually put them about 10-12 inches off the ground.  (on this table we went 11 inches past the legs for the brace and 10 inces off the ground.)  Hold up a 2x4 and see what would work best on your table. Cut each end at an angle. Putting the braces for the seats on is the trickiest part. Put your table on a level surface. Put the brace on the outside of the legs to give the kids more leg room. We found the easiest way to get the brace on was to put a bucket underneath the brace. We then measured each side of the brace to make sure it was even on each side. Clamp down and re-measure. Put the other brace on the other side using the same method. Use a level and make sure both braces are level. Then sit the seat on each side and see if the seat is level. If all looks good, screw braces into legs with four screws each. Screw from the inside to make it look nicer. 

  1. Set seats on top, line up and screw in with 2 screws on each side of the seat.
  2. Sand, stain the wood and enjoy!
The unfinished redwood picnic table.

We (and when I say we I mean Chris) applied an oil based natural stain to protect the wood and bring out the beautiful natural colors of the wood.  

 All finished!  This looks amazing in the sun with the different tones in the wood showing.  I absolutely love it!!!

 This is the perfect size for 3-10 year olds.   My husband and I actually had lunch at the table with my kids and it was pretty comfortable for us.