The Giving Tree

was one of Dan’s favorite books to read to the kids when they were little. We have our own Giving Tree growing in our front yard. We have been in the process of cutting down this tree for the past 2 years. It was giving the boys quite a bit of enjoyment to slowly cut down the branches. It’s quite an eye sore at this point but someday it will be all the way cut down and replaced with a  new tree.


In the mean time our giving tree contributed to 2 projects this weekend that Daniel was working on. First he wanted to make a coffee table (actually a D and D gaming table) for his new apartment. He picked up a piece of 1/4 in plywood and 4 very thin table legs at the Habitat for Humanity store. His plan was to just screw the legs onto the plywood and be done.

Instead we searched around the garage and the yard and found a table top that I had trash picked and put aside. We then had the idea of building a double decker table using that as the lower level and his plywood as the upper part. The legs he bought were too small so instead he used tree branches from the giving tree and more branches as spacers between the table layers.



The finished table… I think he did an awesome job! This table is so cool. I love how the legs have curves and forks in them. It is very sturdy and quite heavy.


Back to the giving tree for some more branches. I don’t think this is the safest way to cut down a branch!




Daniel also wanted to build a cat scratching post. It was another successful project. As a matter of fact I’m going to have Thomas build me a coat tree for the front porch using tree branches. It was so nice to see the boys busy building things and working together. Much better than sitting around inside the house watching TV!



Daniel still has a little work to do then I’ll post a pic of the finished project.


What is the word for someone that never completes a project? I actually tried to Google that and I didn’t come up with anything. Whatever it is, unfortunately, it describes both Dan and me. Which, I guess, is why over the past 16 years not one single project has been completely, all the way, finished around our house. There is always something left behind, trim around the door upstairs, posts not cut to height on the fence, siding put on the top part of the garage… the list goes on. We literally have never finished any job we’ve started on this house.

Which is pretty scary considering how much finish work is still left in this remodel. So how do we handle that? Do we go room by room finishing things off? No, we head outside and completely destroy the yard in an effort to redo the landscaping, remove the cement walkway, put in a new patio and add an outdoor kitchen area. WHAT? Are you serious? We really have a problem!


This all started because of that damn drywell, that hopefully will help with the flooding the backyard. It really better eliminate the flooding!


Oh my, at one point the back yard was actually a nice space. I don’t think I really appreciated like I should have.


The boys have got to be SO sick of all of these house projects. I suggested to Thomas that we could start flipping house and he vehemently disagreed! He does not want to be part of any more remodeling!


But he did finally get to drive the tractor.


Well that is definitely a clean slate, just waiting for us to do something with it. Dare I say, finish it…


Yes, even the side yard was destroyed in the process.


The metamorphosis of a house

During my 3 month absence from the blogging world our home renovation has made some leaps and bounds. Back in April Dan was just finishing up all the framing to get the house ready for the drywallers.


The drywallers came and over a 4 day period they hung, mudded and sanded all the drywall for 4 rooms of the house. Which meant the house was 1 big dusty mess.

This is the new, smaller office/ back entry. We made it a little narrower so that we can make the bathroom a little bigger (when and if that project ever gets started.) That is also a new back door that will eventually be the only back exit once the kitchen remodel happens.


This is standing in the office looking into the dining room. Turns out I really didn’t like how closed in I felt once the dry wall was put up. It took a little time but I eventually came around.


This is the new dining room, which used to be a bedroom. Now you can walk through to the living room, that wall used to be closed off.


There’s that new window that Dan moved, now we don’t have to look directly into our neighbors kitchen.


And here is 1/2 of the living room, I guess I didn’t take a pic of the whole living room.


The day after the drywallers finished Dan left for a trip to Seattle which left me home alone for 10 days of painting fun.

There were many walls in the house that looked like this:


Every morning I would drive to Lowes by 7am and I would choose several sample colors to bring home and try out. Day after day I did this. Until I finally settled on a beachy color scheme.

And this is where we are now…There’s still quite a bit of finish work that needs to be done, but we have walls. That seems to be the sentiment that everyone shares when I lament on all that is not done.

This is the office/ new back yard exit. I have hopes of finishing our back porch into my art space. This door will enter into that space. Ironically I have hated the color blue for as long as I can remember, I had always used warm colors in the house before, red, yellows, and some greens. But I wanted to go completely different this time and all of a sudden I decided I like blue. I was worried when I painted the office that it was too pastel (I hate pastels) I thought the room looked like a Easter egg, but it really grew on me, especially with the white accents.


This is the dining room (looking into the office) I love the cream and darker bluish/green accent color. That wall goes into the kitchen so that color will also be a part of the kitchen if we ever get to that part of the remodel.


The living room I really struggled with. I love the pale blue on the walls. Then I wanted a accent color that really popped and I just couldn’t make a decision. I don’t love what I chose. I think it would be fine for a bedroom but I don’t love it for the living room.


This was a quick temporary paint job on 1 wall in the kitchen. I do like the look of it but eventually it will be changed since this wall will have cabinets on it.


And here’s the view from the kitchen into the living room. We took down this wall too, which really opened the space up. We’ll eventually have French doors where those red windows are opening onto the side yard.

The chimney is staying, we love the way it looks. But it does need to be cleaned up. I’m just not exactly sure how to go about that.


It has been a really long process and both Dan and I are completely sick of this renovation. It takes over your life, its always hanging over your head. Hopefully some day it will all be done. But in the mean time, at least we have walls!


It has been a very long blogging break, almost 3 months since I have last wrote a post. The summer really got away from me. We had a couple great vacations but besides that it was mostly a lot of chaos surrounded by an unlivable heat.

It has also been a summer of change, lots of changes! We spent the summer planning for Beth to go away to Kent State in the fall. She had been planning on going to Kent for a couple years. Last year she was enrolled and decided to defer for a year while she travelled the world modeling. (I wrote about her acceptance here.)

Beth look so young in this picture from last year.

After a year of modeling she decided she was ready for college, so home she came and we set about getting everything in order for her to leave in Sept. We turned in all the paperwork, paid all the fees, filled out the FAFSA, spent the weekend on campus for orientation. She chose her housing, picked a room mate and scheduled her classes.

We had all our ducks in a row and then life happens and things change. Going away to school was no longer the best thing for Beth and that was a very hard decision for her to make. She struggled but finally decided that she should defer for 1 more semester while she finished up some things at home. Then she decided that she was no longer interested in going into fashion design, her plan since she was 15 years old and the entire reason she chose Kent State. It didn’t take her long after that to decide that she really didn’t want to go away to a 4 year college at all.

So today we went on a tour of the Aveda School of Cosmetology. God knows she’s spent enough time over the past several months dyeing her own hair maybe that was really her calling. She loved the school and felt that this is where she was meant to be. So we filled out the paperwork, put down yet another deposit and she is scheduled to start classes Set. 24.

It’s 1 year of classes Monday-Saturday form 8:30-5. Every day with no breaks, except for 1 day for major holidays. No spring or summer break, no break over Christmas. No time for the 2 week family vacation we have scheduled in North Carolina next summer. She can maybe squeeze out 1 week for the vacation as long as she doesn’t have any sick days over the next year. Also not much time for a job unless she can find something at night. Which means no money for her to move out until after school is done, much to her disappointment.

I’m glad she has a plan and that she’ll be close by so we can keep and eye on her and make sure she’s doing OK. It will be quite an adjustment, hopefully she’ll be up for it.