Monday, July 30, 2012

On Dreading August and Enjoying What is Left of Summer

There isn't much July left, guys.  Who even knows where summer went?  And yes, technically there is still the month of August, but August and I don't get along too well.  August is a tease.  August is summer but brings panicky thoughts of back to school, the end of care-free days, the end of life without a schedule.  August is hot and feels like summer but life begins to get busy again, and who can even enjoy it?  Not this girl.  My Henry begins school for the first time in a couple of weeks and to say that I am dreading it would be the understatement of the year.  I don't care for you, August.  Not one little bit.

However, despite this downer of an introduction, we really have been having a wonderful summer.  We have been enjoying our fair city and love living in Milwaukee!  We made a list of things we wanted to do this summer and have had fun checking them off the list, slowly but surely.  One of those things was visiting a local brewery and taking a tour there.  The brewery holds a Friday night fish fry that we tried after our tour.  Local polka bands play and everyone sits together at long tables that span the room.  This was our second time going and each time Jason and I say we would like to bring our parents there someday.  Hear that, Mom?

We bought a canoe for our anniversary and took up camping.  Having never really envisioned myself as a camper, I am enjoying it.  How can I not when my three boys love it so?  Also, there really is nothing like being on the water in our canoe.  One of our most favorite dates early in our relationship was when we went canoeing down the Mecan River.  We've wanted one ever since!

Our garden is coming along nicely.  We've been enjoying tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, green peppers, onions, cucumbers, and carrots as well as our herbs.   

The boys have been enjoying the Olympics and have been having fun trying to participate in as many events as they can in our backyard.  I'm quite thankful we don't have cable and can't view any boxing or we would be in trouble.  They've memorized the Olympics songs and hum them constantly.  Go USA!

Finally, my Mom, sisters, and I have been busy prepping and planning for a baby shower for our youngest sister Amelia.  She is expecting a baby boy in October.  We're so excited and continue to pray for a healthy mama and baby boy.

I'm debating joining in on the fun for Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day Challenge for the month of August.  Have any of you participated in that?  I am wondering if it is exciting at first but becomes a hassle after awhile?  I'd probably start off strong but end up failing miserably like most things in life (ahem- piano, card making, running...).  I'll let you know what I decide!

Thanks for sticking with me despite my lack of presence here lately.  Honestly, you're the best readers.  I'll be back soon.  In the meantime, fill me in on what you've been doing lately.  I'd love to hear!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Denim Picnic Blanket

In my continuing effort to learn more about my sewing machine and sewing in general, I decided to make a picnic blanket.  It seemed like another easy project that would come in handy during these summer months.  I had pinned a denim one on Pinterest awhile back that I couldn't stop thinking about.  The finished product actually looks nothing like the one I pinned, probably because I was making things up as I went along.  I guess you could say I was sewing by the seat of my pants.

This is what I did, should you desire to make one of your own.  I will warn you though, I am still learning!  In other words, I have no idea what I'm doing.  Let's move on, shall we?  

I purchased two different colors of denim fabric:  gray and blue.  Both were cut to the same length, about 2 1/2 yards.  I began by putting both wrong sides of my fabric together.  I then folded them over about a half inch and pinned and sewed them together.

To create a blue border around the gray fabric, I folded the fabric over again, about an inch this time.  I pinned and sewed this together as well.  To create four neat corners, I trimmed the excess fabric.  This prevented the corners from being too thick to run through the sewing machine.  I then folded the remaining fabric over and sewed it together.

After fixing a few messy stitches and trimming the excess thread, the picnic blanket was done.

Who's ready for a picnic?  Maybe if this heat and humidity ever go away...

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Seven Years

Tomorrow will mark seven years with this guy
We had a lovely wedding.  It was hot, full of happy, sun-shiny yellow, and the best day of my life.

The day went pretty smoothly with only one exception.
Our cake melted on the way to the reception.  Our pretty pale yellow frosting was turned into a cheddar cheese color when someone tried to "fix" the problem.

The picture below captures our faces when we saw our ugly cake.


I love you, Jason.
You're the perfect guy for me and I'm thankful to God for you!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

God bless our native land!
Firm may she ever stand
Through storm and night!
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do thou our country save
By thy great might.

For her our prayers shall rise
To God above the skies;
On him we wait.
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,
To thee aloud we cry,
God save the state!


With a thankful heart for my country, I wish you all a Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our New Patio Coffee Table

One of the first home improvement projects Jason and I took on at our house was our patio.  The two of us put it in together and it is still one of our favorite parts about our home.  You see, we were anxious for some space outdoors to relax after living in an apartment, where we had no yard or deck to call our own.  Over the past six years, we've slowly purchased some outdoor furniture to fill our patio, shopping end of the summer sales and clearance sections.  This latest project is probably the last piece of furniture we'll need, since our patio isn't that large because of our small, city lot.  We snagged this metal base from our neighbor Helen when she was throwing it out three years ago.  Apparently it used to hold her boiler in her basement back in the day.  It sat in our garage attic until a couple of weeks ago when we decided to clean it up a little and turn it into a coffee table for our patio.  Here's how we did it.

To begin, I set to work sanding the rust and old paint off and gave it a couple of coats of spray paint, taking proper safety precautions, of course.

In the meantime, Jason cut three pieces of cedar decking to length.  We used cedar decking because we liked the rounded edge it already had on it.  Cedar also stands up well to outdoor elements and weathers beautifully.  He also cut four pieces of 3/4'' treated lumber slightly less than the width of the frame to secure the cedar to and hold everything together.

Then he screwed the cedar to the four pieces of treated lumber with 1 1/4'' coated outdoor screws to make the tabletop. The treated lumber underneath will also help keep the tabletop from moving around too much, since we aren't attaching the cedar to the base.

Here is the completed table.  It is a nice little spot to place some extra flower pots and a drink or two.

Here are some other shots of our patio, just for fun.

Thanks for reading!

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