Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dining Table Reveal

 Izzie showing off a Latin drawing.

 Table finished! I got this table way back in October. I bleached it, sanded it, striped it and painstakingly stained it and sealed it. I taped off each section and stained different colors to make it look like it was built with old salvaged wood.  I finished the table and two of the chairs and then took a couple months off to finally finish the last two chairs. But I love how it turned out!

 When I bought it, it was moldy and had big water spots on it. It took a lot of TLC!

Maddie and Izzie's first attempt at a sleepover. But right at bedtime I got the call to come pick them up. Hanukkah was reading to them until I arrived. Sad it didn't work out, hopefully soon!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Take Your Kids to Work Day 2016

 The annual Take Your Kids to Work Day. Maddie, Daddy and Izzie. They wanted to all wear Superman shirts just because. There supposedly is more photos of the day but since I wasn't there, I don't have them, and dear husband hasn't emailed them to me. If I get them, I'll update the post...

So, what's a mom to do that has a rare day off at home. A mom that is lovingly with her kids a LOT? Rest you say? Bwhahaha! Not this mom! Just kidding. Jake forced a bit of relaxation on me by literally crawling on my lap on the couch, so I watched some tv to accommodate him. It was all for the cat.

 That being said, I'm not one to just sit around all day, so while the kids were gone I made a window ledge for the backyard. I'd like to add some shutters to the sides, but this was a good start. I made it out of leftover deck pieces. I used a power saw. It was fun.

 The girls made these plastic hands at John's work. In the materials lab. They are very life like. Cool, but a bit creepy all at once.

 Girl Scouts. Here's Debra teaching some art project.

 Veronica with the older girls.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Backyard Remodel

This spring we decided to redo our backyard space. A big chunk of our backyard was unusable. At one point it was a lovely coy pond, I'm sure, but it became an over grown swampy mess. There was a big portion of deck that was awkwardly shaped and didn't really get used either. Here are the before's and afters.
 Our backyard BEFORE.

 This used to be a waterfall that ended in a coy pond. Then it became an overgrown mess and we could never get the water feature to work.

 We had a long skinny deck that wasn't useful for much. And while I actually kind of liked the railing, it also divided the yard in two.

 Big decision number one, get rid of the skinny deck part!! yikes! Also, not in our original plans, but we decided to tear down the fence and rebuild it up. It apparently was being held up with two ropes tied to trees that were behind the fence. No posts! We decided to replace it because it'll help keep the English Ivy in the neighbors yard (English Ivy is a non-native highly invasive plant here in the PNW.)

 Filling in the pond. Now we've got a big muddy yard!

 There was a rickety fence behind the other rickety fence. Weird.

 Using mostly the old fence boards, and pieces of the railing, we rebuilt (and by "we" I mean my landscaper) the fence and added a trellis. It looks 100x better!

 Using the contours of the backyard that were already existing saved a lot of money. We also decided to have a stone bench built into one of the contours. It'll give some cool seating around the firepit.

 And then it was DONE!

 The entire yard was made possible by the money Nanny left us. We wanted to dedicate the yard to her memory. Every fire we have we will be thinking of her. She would have loved the space.

 Everything grows so fast here we bought baby plants to save money. They'll fill in fast!

 We uncovered the original water feature, beefed it up, but removed the "water" feature part and now it's a dry creekbed and a main focal point.

 We picked boulders that doubled as seats too.

And I got a comfy bench from Ikea so I can sit out here, read a book and enjoy.  There is also plenty of deck space left for a six seater table, two grills and a big table we use as a buffet. The backyard is 100% more useable and we've spent more time out here in the past month than in the past two years! Remodel success! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Horse Lessons

 Maddie on Ellie
 Learning how to control the trot.

 Izzie on Willow

 Wisteria. Not as many blooms this year, because we did a hard prune on it, but next year there should be lots more!

 Another friend's birthday party. Madeline, from Girl Scouts.

 PJ math. Best kind.

Daydreaming or thinking about math??? hum....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring has Sprung and outdoor play is here!

 Maddie and Izzie walking into a friends birthday party together. I just thought it was sweet that they still want to match occasionally and that they like to hold hands. As a side note, I also remember when these shirts were tunics and went halfway down their thighs.

 Maddie and Izzie at a friends bounce house birthday party.

 Singing Happy Birthday to the birthday girls.

 Maddie blowing bubbles.
 Showing off her pretty inside out french braid.

 The Beast (aka, the Wisteria) is blooming early this year!

 Backyard is almost done in this photo!

 Izzie playing in the new gravel.

Maddie and Izzie. 

 Maddie and Izzie

 Maddie and Izzie picnic on the front porch. Izzie's wearing a tanktop and a winter hat. Sure, why not?

 Music practice. Izzie

 Maddie (frustrated that I interrupted her for a photo...)