Monday, June 17, 2013

Best Father's Day Yet

I was a little torn on whether to name the blog post "Best Father's Day Yet."  My reasoning is that I hope each one is better than the year before and I won't be able to use the same name on the next year's post.  Anyways, this Father's Day was great.  I enjoyed time with Kim and Elise.  We spent some time with Kim's family.  And we called my dad and talked to my granny as well (Papa is deaf so I told granny to tell him Happy Father's Day).  Here are some pics.

 This is my gift from Elise.  It's a photo album of the two of us from her birth til now.  I actually knew about the other couple of things I got, but this was a big surprise and I love it.

The back of it

Inside flap

My new Crocs.  I've been wanting a pair of white crocs for a while.  I got some off brand crocs when we were in Myrtle Beach a couple years ago and I loved them.  But, they got dirty over time and I've been wanting another pair. 

I got this tuner too.  I actually have the same one on my other guitar because this guitar has a built in tuner.  But, I like to be able to look down at the head of the guitar while I'm turning the tuners.

We ended the day by going to the Athen's Lowes to get some organizing stuff for the garage.  Not only did Elise drive the #48 cart, but she drove BOTH steering wheels at the same time!  Our kid is going places.

Me and Elise in the front room of the house.  She's my little baby girl and makes being a dad the most amazing thing in the world.

Vacation Bible School

I did games again this year with VBS.  But, Kim took Elise in with the 2-3 year old class and Elise had perfect attendance!  I think she was late a few times, but that's okay.  She spent time with the other kids and even watched games some too.

Here she is on the Friday before when they were setting up everything.  She decided to have a rummage through the tent to make sure she wasn't missing anything.

 She was grabbing a bite of animal crackers and giving her big smile where she squints so hard she can barely see.

 Here is Elise's first certificate from VBS.  We're awful proud of her!

We had a little get together in the gym after the Sunday night service when we gave out certificates.  She's offering mommy a cookie.

Enjoying the Outdoors

She loves her big purple ball from Wal-Mart

Playing in the sandbox

Along with playing in the sandbox, she also loves to play ON the sandbox!  She likes playing the drums on the shell.

She can't quite climb the ladder on the back of the play house so she tries going up the slide.  Then, we help her slide down and she likes it.

I was surprised at how much she enjoyed splashing around in her little pool.  She also likes when we squirt her with the water toys.

I don't know what it is about gravel, but she loves playing in it.  Here she is at Kevin and Alicia's house.

Playing in the rocks at church

Standing pretty good at the tree!

Here she is relaxing in her stroller for a ride around the block.  She likes to bring her doll (Esther) with her though.  It can get pretty wild if we don't have Esther.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New Kitchen Table

This was by far the most time consuming project I've worked on.  I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to complete it.  Last year, Kim and I decided that instead of doing anything for one another for our anniversary, we would get wood instead to build a table.  I got a lot of the work completed in the fall but the weather got cold and stayed cold...and cold...and cold.  During the cold time I couldn't stain or polyurethane because the garage isn't heated or cooled.  Finally, after it warmed up, I finished the project and it's awesome having a table this big!

Here it is after stain

Nice and shiny after the polyurethane.

There it is in the house

Kim had one major request with this project and that was for the benches to have storage.  I won't tell you how long I just stood in the garage staring at these benches like an idiot trying to figure out how to make it work while hiding the hinges and keeping the seat flush.  I finally ended up using my router to trim out an area on the inside of the seat and outside of the bench apron.  Worked like a charm.

It's not the most elegant or extravagant table ever built, but as an amateur wood worker, I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results!  

Elise having her first meal at the new table.  This is the reason we wanted to build it.  It's super easy to get caught up eating on the go and gathering around the tv to eat.  We do it ourselves pretty often.  But, we at least wanted to have a nice big family table to sit at and enjoy some meals together as our kid(s) grow older. It's not that we couldn't have done it with the old table.  But, it was small and this is something that we (Kim and I) made.  Without going into all the details, the table top is poplar wood planks.  I used a Kreg jig to drill pocket holes and Kim helped with that part as well as helping me screw and glue the planks together.  In fact, she was there when I was trimming the table top and accidentally sawed a small divot into it with my skil saw.  I was using an attachment on my saw to make straight cuts and it blocked the guard from automatically coming back down.  I set the saw on the table when I was done thinking the guard was down, but it wasn't.  I was devastated.  Kim told me it was like having my signature in the table.  That it was.  I added putty and it looks like a small imperfection that makes it our own.  And we'll remember things like that over the years as we sit at the table.

New Youth Room!

The youth room upstairs in the gym was in desperate need of a redoing.  We were using an old stand up projector screen that got in the way more than anything.  Our projector never worked.  Our sound system got abused from people coming in and messing with it.  Plus, it just looked cluttered and messy.  So, we did some renovations starting with Mark getting a new projector for us.

Here is the final result.

I hung the projector on a 2x4 mounted between the 5' spaced purlins (which are like the metal version of a stud that I didn't know until this project).  Then, I ran the cables down the ceiling line and down the wall to outlets with HDMI and VGA access.  Our current projector doesn't support HDMI but I didn't want to have to rerun another cable if we ever got a projector that did.

To mount the screen, I had to attach 2x4s on two sections of wall and then attach the screen to those.  It worked out just fine.

I built and mounted shelves to set the speakers in the corners and ran the cables to them.  That way when we need the speakers down, the cables stay and it's easy reconnecting.

This is the sound box I built and equipped it with a latch to lock it.  I also built a shelf on the side for my PC when I'm running powerpoint.  I put a shelf on the bottom for a little extra storage.  And I attached wheels in case we need it to be mobile.

New Decor Upstairs

We recently redecorated the upstairs area and the stairs and the stairwell!  It was a long and intense process, but we got it all done.  Here are some pics.

We started by redoing the floor.  It used to be carpet, but with the dogs, it's hard to keep carpet clean.  so, we got some laminate flooring and laid it.  I pulled up all the carpet on a Thursday evening and Mark came over on Friday and Saturday and helped me lay down the laminate.  That's the first time I had ever done it (and Mark's second) but I'd say we did a pretty good job.

Our next step was Kim painting.  She did it over just a few days but hoofed it and got it done.  She did an awesome job making it a kid friendly room!  She also painted all the trim white which really made it look better.

 Here is a decoration Kim did with Elise's basketball "jersey" from the league this year.  We put it on the wall in her play area.

Kim painted the steps as well and they turned out awesome.  All different colors and numbered 1-10.  Elise loves climbing up them.

She also painted the stairwell which really brightened it up.  It used to be dark brown paneling.  This livens it up.

Here is the new fabric Kim put over the closet doors in the play area.  The doors themselves are pretty ratty.  This gives them a little more pizazz.

I built this shelf and Kim painted the frames white and we added our little family picture and trophy section from the basketball leagues.

Kim used the same fabric from the closet doors to make this valence with stitch witchery.

Elise's 1st Birthday

Having a smackerel at her favorite place to eat!  McDonald's!

Kim set up the classroom in the gym and made it look really nice.

Her high chair all decked out

Owl cake

Her very own cake!

Mommy helping open gifts

She enjoyed the stringy stuff

Interested in a gift

Ready to touch fire!

She doesn't care to have her hands messy so her personal cake didn't go too well.

By far, my favorite picture!  I think this captures her goofy personality

The three of us

We got her this ball pit for her birthday and she loves it