Friday, August 30, 2013

DIY tile~ cooling the storage room

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We have a small cool storage room under my stairs but it was time to fix a couple of issues.
I store the produce I bottle from our garden in there so it needs to be cold and dark.
It was also a bit of a squeeze through the doorway.
I thought if I took the insulation off the outside walls it would cool off more and I wanted to cover the floor in something. We had used the sticky tiles in our other house and they worked great! This was definitely a project that needed to be done before canning gets going full swing.
I found some nice (but cheap inexpensive) vinyl tile at Home Depot. I didn't have room to empty the storage out completely so I enlisted my boys help and did the job in 3 sections.
 First I started under the stairs. My boys were great helpers at taking out all the empty bottles. Once the tiles were laid they went to work moving the bottles back in place. 
Now for section 2. We had to move my homemade shelves, no easy task mind you. Those babies are He-avy!
Most of the tiles went down nicely. We have to do a bit of cutting but not much. I am not good at that part so thankfully dear hubby indulged me after he got home from work.
Then we finished off with the last little bit, working my way out the door.
The insulation I took off the walls gave me 8 inches more space. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but it was perfect. Now the shelves fit better and my lunch bins easily slid in between the shelf and wall. Remember that tight fit~ yep, no more.
Ahh, that is wonderful! So much better. It's amazing how little things can make big differences.
Now my bottles are no longer right on the cement. Did you know that water bottles can leach the taste of  cement into it. Uck! This is better. I plan on putting my water on pallets as well.
I don't mind the cement walls. They are outside walls and will help to keep the room cooler.
Now for a door and light switch of it's own....
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bike Helmet Rack

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 I found this large but narrow piece of peg board in Home Depot's cull lumber area. They have a cart that they discount various pieces of lumber on. It is usually only $0.60. Sometimes they have great pieces on the cart. I always check it out. I wasn't sure what I would use it for but knew this peg board would come in handy. The price was literally pocket change.
I already has a 1x2 to frame the back. It turned out to be a great project for my boys to learn to use the power tools with. Simple cuts. No big deal if you cut wrong. They did a fantastic job.
 Just frame the back to give a space between the wall and the peg board. This allows the hoods to slide into place. I think the pegs were less than $5 so for around $5 I have all the helmets within easy reach.
An just above the helmets are the fishing poles. After returning from camping I set a pole up on this tool wrack and realized it was perfect for holding all the rods. Sure enough, a perfect fit. Now the rods won't get tangled with other camping gear. 
What do you think? Are you bikers in the fall? This might work for you.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Horray! School is back in....

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My boys went back to school last week. We all couldn't be happier. Mr. Matthew starts kindergarten this week so he has less than thrilled to not have his buddies to play with. He will join in the celebration this week.
As I watched FB I wondered if I was an enigma.
Unlike my friends who were missing their kiddos within the first hour, I was thrilled to have the quiet at home.
I had a reason to get up earlier. (Quite the deal when you work nights.)
Chores were done first thing.
I didn't have to field video game questions all day.
My house stayed clean (until 3:30).
I got my own chores done.
I even had time to myself to craft.
Uh, yeah, I was wondering if I was missing something. But I must say my boys were thrilled to get back as well. They enjoyed seeing their friends and new teachers. My oldest (nearly 14) enjoyed the added independence of being away from home. In fact, I still haven't gotten the "first day of school" photo. Gonna add that to my list for morning.
So with my celebration comes time for organization. I love structure. I love clean lines and spaces. I love organization.
Last year I shared how I fix lunches for my brood of 4 boys plus dad. I thought I would share a couple of other ways to have lunch made in a sec.
I work full time nights. It's tough going without sleep but it works for my family. I am able to be there for my boys when they need me. It does mean that I need to have be organized. Some mornings are better than others. I have a wonderful 13 nearly 14 year old who enjoys cooking and actually prefers to make his own lunch. (I know you're all jealous, don't hate me) He is wonderfully helpful with little brother lunches too. I try to plan things out to make those rough mornings simpler.
Several years ago this is what I used. I bought several stackable bins. I had a bin for sides such as fruit cups, desserts such as pudding, and drinks such as Capri Sun.
 The morning of school I would proceed to make the sandwich or whatever while the boys ran downstairs to pick out the rest of their lunch. It worked great. They got the choice but I had a bit of control over it. They knew they had to pick one from each bin. During the summer they could also pick their snack out of the bin. It worked great. 

Here is a link to Amazon to the bins I used. They are perfect.
This is an easy system to put together and the kids have fun being involved. The downside is things have to be prepackaged. I can't cut my own vegi's or have my divide up my own jars of fruit. The dessert is easy to fill but I have to be a bit more creative for the "sides". You can put crackers etc in snack size ziplock bags and toss in the bins. Even do this with crackers.
Check back tomorrow for another option. Then let me know which system you are using.

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My Liebster Award

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A while back Britney from The Princess and Her Cowboys nominated me for the Liebster Award. It was so wonderful of her...

The Liebster Award is an award for blogs with under 200 followers. Liebster is German for dearest, or beloved and a blog nominated for the Liebster Award is said to be worth watching. 

There are a few things to follow once you have been nominated:
  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you with a post.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself.
  • Then answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List up to 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition.
  • Post 11 new questions for them to answer.
  • Notify all the bloggers you've selected that they've been nominated.
  • Do not nominate the blog who nominated you.
So for the 11 facts about me.
  1. I love to garden. It is hard work but getting to stand back and see the plants bloom and grow is truely rewarding. 
  2. I love to travel, by air or ground, I love seeing the land and sights. 
  3. I would love to learn to fly.
  4. I am very type A. I have to have things just right much to my boys and hubby's dismay.
  5. I have a son with Aspergers. Read a little about it here.
  6. I work full time nights as an RN in our local ICU.
  7. I enjoy working out.
  8. Idaho is the greatest state in the nation. You won't understand until you have lived there.
  9. I have been married for 17 years and am still madly in love with my sweetheart.
  10. I think Grandparents teach lessons parents never can.
  11. I am addicted to creating. I think I go into withdrawals if I haven't done anything for a while.

1. Where would you travel if money were no object? Europe, always wanted to see the classic sights.
2. What language would you like to learn if given the chance? Spanish for the practicality but really Russian, I just think it is a fascinating language.
3. What do you like to do as a hobby besides blogging? Crafting, card making, gardening. I kinda do it all. 
4. Who is your hero and why? If may be cliche but my Dad! He has the greatest work ethic of anyone I know. He doesn't complain. He has always been the calm steady in the storm of life for me.
5. What is your favorite childhood memory? More funny than favorite: Dad taking me to the park when I was 3 for a spanking. I was throwing a mega fit (kicking on the floor of the pickup). He wasn't happy with himself for loosing his temper but I only needed to be reminded of that the rest of my life and I would straighten up. Dad seldom loses his temper but oooh boy!!
6. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why? Idaho. I miss it. The cool nights, hot days....I have visited 35 states but Idaho is still my fav. There is just something in the air. You feel it but can't explain it.
7. What makes you unique? I am completely transparent. I have never been able to hide my feelings. Turns out to be a good thing. I am genuine. Don't worry about what I think, you can read it all over me, the good as well as the bad. Truest true!
8. How did you come up with the name for your blog? I wanted something unique and memorable. Something that defined me. Few families have only boys. I kinda feel part of a unique club. With talk of 4 boys inevitably you will talk about how they grow. 4growingboys fit.
9. What is your favorite part about the summer? Not having to shuttle kids back and forth to school. I hate that there are no buses where we live. Such a waste of resources to have so many cars going back and forth. (yes we do carpool) but it gets tough when we buy cars to fit our family, not the neighborhood.
10. Favorite food? Currently- salmon.
11. What blog has helped you out the most as you've started? I'm not sure but I have been inspired to do more word art from Bethany at Elegant wordart.

Check out these blogs!
Cheri @ DJ's Sundries 
Michelle @ Greene Acres Hobby Farm (love this name!)
Maria @ Krafty Cards etc.

I searched through my other favorite blogs but they are doing so well they don't fit the less than 200 followers criteria. I will keep watching and add any newbies I fall in love with.
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back 2 School wordart freebie

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Summer seems to be quickly winding down. I have been spending more and more time canning jams and vegi's. We will love that later this year. I even pulled a nice big carrot up today while weeding. Each week I am able to do another batch of fresh strawberry jam.Fall is my favorite season and I am thrilled that it is just around the corner. The cool nights and warm days are perfect for me. The pumpkin spice, harvest baking and changing colors is wonderful. Plus it means Christmas, the BEST time of the year, is drawing close. After school gets started then I get to start focusing on Christmas shopping. We don't go all out on gifts but I prefer to break it up over several months. It makes it a tad bit easier on the budget. 
PTA is picking up too so I will be busy with that. Which also means I will be posting fun PTA ideas and boards. 
We might get in one or two more camping trips. With that I will be sharing more fantastic tips to keep your trip running smoothly. 
And last but not least my fabulous mother in law is putting together a post of ways to use everyday supplies in paper crafting. You won't want to miss it. She is amazing!
So lots of changes right along with the season. Exciting times!
Are you ready? Ready for back to school? Better get ready, it's coming....
Enjoy another freebie!
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Elementary wordart freebie

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This is the first year I have really looked forward to school starting- really! I usually love having my boys home but they have been quite rambunctious lately. Time for more structure. My youngest starts school this year too. We will see how that goes. I think I am excited for that. He has been in preschool the last couple of years so he has been gone several hours 3 days a week already. I have lots of plans to spend my quiet time although running back and forth to the school several times each day will put a damper on those plans. I really wish they bussed here but alas they don't. It won't be too bad until winter sets in and they can't ride their bikes or scooters...which reminds me we need to get going on bike lessons. The big boys have taught him how to ride a scooter but he still needs to work on his bike. 

I am also getting ready for PTA projects. I am PTA VP. It's not as bad as it sounds but I still am kept plenty busy. I have some meetings, help the teachers, and do monthly bulletin boards. It is fun but keeps me on my toes. Everything has to be written down or it just doesn't happen. 

This week we will be laying tile in our storage room. Not a bad project for the hot summer days. Just working in the cool basement. It actually excites me. I love to walk in and see clean organization. We won't finish the room entirely but I wanted to add insulation and cover the cement floor. I just picked up the sticky laminate. Nothing fancy but it adds a nice touch. I will post pictures when we get it all done. The trick has been moving the stuff out. My boys did a fantastic job of that. Heck, there's 4 of them and only 1 of me. They should be able to get it done 4 times as fast right?! ;-)

Enjoy my latest back 2 school wordart. I seriously need to get to my own photos. My goal this year is to finish 2013 with the year in print. Let's see if I can do it!
You should be able to just click on the picture. Enjoy!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

2+2=4 wordart freebie while reminiscing

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One of the fun things about blogging is it becomes a sort of journal. Just looking back at previous posts is a walk down memory lane. How quickly life changes. Just when we think things will never get to what we want it changes in the blink of an eye. We have lived in our new home for 3 years now and A LOT has changed. We have 3 rooms finished in the basement and our yard is landscaped with beautiful trees and berries growing. We have made new friends and enjoy our new jobs. We have truely been blessed. I still wonder what the lessons are that we need to learn but I am thankful to be together as a family on this grand adventure. My heart will forever be in Idaho, (there is just something intangible about it that I am drawn to) but this is becoming our home too. 
Isn't it amazing how far a bit of trust and hard work can take you. 
Watching how my boys grow is perhaps the most amazing. That is what I love about scrapbooking. I do simple pages. It's about the pictures and the people in the pictures more than the page layout or embellishments. When we moved my Tyler was getting ready to start kindergarten. He was thrilled. He had looked forward to school from the moment I pushed him in the stroller to the bus stop with his big brother. Now my sweet baby is heading off to kindergarten. And my oldest in taller than both me and his dad. (And I am not short mind you!) Ahhh, the joys of parenthood. Can't wait for them to get older then wish they were still little. 
I guess the lesson learned in it all is to live in the moment; to enjoy every single second. Yep, that's what I am going to do this week. Refocus and recommit to enjoy each moment of each day. I hope you do too.
Enjoy your day. Hug your little ones a second longer. Be slow to yell and quick to smile and laugh!

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