Friday, September 20, 2013

Backyard Makeover

Before my husband, Robert,  had his accident, he had been working on the backyard.  He had planted shrubs and trees and was planning on painting the shed next.  During the next five months, it was hard for him to see the things he hadn't accomplished yet, and not being able to do anything about it.  I had talked to my niece about it and she came up with the idea of us having a backyard work day.  We were excited to see friends and family come to help.  This was also the day before Robert's second surgery.  Since he was feeling better and wasn't concerned about getting an infection, he was out there too.  I was worried, but I could tell he was having a good time.

There was plenty for everyone to do!

The rose bushes in the front yard needed to be trimmed and the shed needed to be painted.

We had to tear down part of the fence to bring dirt into the yard.  We had holes all over the yard that needed to be filled.

My son, Justus, and Chris.  

I had been wanting a flower bed next to the patio for a long time.  With so many people helping, it went in pretty quickly.  The garden area was tilled up and black screen was laid down.  The post were put in place and had to be leveled out.  Next, holes were drilled into them and iron stakes were placed. The stakes were pounded into the ground. Next, they brought the dirt in.

Robert was helping too!

We did lots of painting!  We chose red as the accent color for the backyard.  We painted the lawn chairs, trellis and birdbath bath.  Next time, I will spray paint the chairs.  It wouldn't have taken as long as using a brush.

Cassie painting the birdbath. We removed the garden fence and all the pots that were in the yard.

The fort needed the screws tightened and it also needed painted. We brought in base to put under the fort and swings.  The back of the fence had fallen down, so it needed to be fixed too.

We were fortunate to have barbeque as well.  Nothing like a good meal after a day of hard work!

It was amazing how much we were able to accomplish that day, with so many helping hands.  We were so pleased to see the difference!

Here are some before and after pictures:










After everyone left, I went and bought flowers on sale.  I stayed up till midnight planting them.

We didn't expect to have so much done in one day!  There may be more to do, but much was accomplished because of family and friends and I couldn't feel more blessed!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Robert's Accident

My husband was burned on both of his arms from a kitchen fire 3 years ago, July, 2010.  He was out of work for 5 months.  I took off of work for 3 months, to take care of him.  It was a trying time for us both, but we made it.  When he first came home from the hospital, it would take us 4 hours to get him bathed and wrapped up.  We had to have a chair in the bathtub, since he couldn't stand up that easily.  He lived in our room for 4 months, before he was able to go downstairs.  He was able to join us for Thanksgiving.   I am so thankful it wasn't worse than it was and that he is ok today.  He has complete movement in his arms, hands, and fingers.  Here's just a couple pictures of  him bandaged up.

Things like this will make you really appreciate what you have.  I was fearful to drive for awhile and much more careful about things.  That part is behind us and I am just thankful to have him with me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our First Backsplash

I was wanting to add a backsplash in my kitchen for years, but since we had never done it before, we thought it would be really difficult.  Surprisingly, it wasn't.  I got the tile as a Christmas gift and my husband and I stayed up all night after everyone left and installed it.  I think we did a pretty good job of it too.  Here's a picture of how it looked on Christmas Eve, before we tiled.

First, was getting the area ready.  We laid cardboard down over the counters (we are messy people).   We got all the tools we needed for the job.  We bought a premixed thin set.  Since then, I have been told you should not use a premix on glass tiles, since it could scratch them; however, I didn't notice any of them scratched.  We spread the thin set in a small area.  You need to put it on in one direction and then go over it in the other direction with a notched trowel.  You don't want it too thick, with glass tiles especially.  In some areas, we had it too thick and you could see it through the tiles.  Once you have it on, you can start putting the tiles on.  You are suppose to move them around a little, to even out the thin set.  You need to use spacers between the sheets, the same size as the space on the sheets.  We started at the bottom, putting in full sheets.  When you get to the top, you will need to cut them to fit.  We bought a tile cutter and it was very easy to use.  You need to also cut around the outlets.

  After all the tiles were on, we used a grout float to firmly press the tiles in place.   

We waited till the next day to grout.  You need to wait at least 12 hours before applying the grout.  It needs to be put on in several directions, with a grout float, to make sure you are filling in the spaces evenly.  Wait about 10 minutes, and then use a large damp sponge to wipe off excess grout.  Once the grout has dried (read the directions for drying time) wipe the tiles with a dry cloth.

And that's that!  It really isn't hard.  If you are wondering if you can do it or not, I say, go for it! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Chandelier, To Me Anyways

I love going to thrift stores and seeing what I can find at a low price to fix up our home with.  I ran across this chandelier for only $8.00. 
My living room and dining room had red accents, so I wanted the chandelier to match. Thank goodness I have a husband who is able to help with the electric part of it. We removed the chain and I spray painted it red.

I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

First Day On My Blog

I have thought about starting a blog for over a year now and have decided to just do it. I have been posting many pictures of before and afters on my Facebook, but want to be able to share it with more people, maybe to help inspire someone else.

I will soon be posting many of our projects from the past and moving forward.  I am looking forward to sharing these with you.