Back in Business

After a couple of days of some wonderful tinctures made by my friend Katie at The Garden Fairy Apothecary, I am feeling considerably better.  Last time I started using her tinctures at the first sign of getting sick and didn’t get sick at all.  This time I waited too long, but with hours of taking my first dose of Echinacea and her Cold and Flu tincture, I was starting to feel better.  I know not everyone is convinced herbal remedies work, but I am quite sure they worked for me.

Now that I’m back in business, it’s time to get caught up on some things.

Yesterday, we had a nice spring-like day, so I put on my jacket, grabbed my rake and headed outside.  Part of our yard is fenced off, primarily for the dogs and it was quite a mess from a winter of neglect.  I began raking and cleaning, then decided to spread some grass seed over some bare parts of the yard.  As I was throwing the grass seed, I realized that little to none of it may actually grow.  After all, dogs run and do their business in this yard, but not typically where it’s all dirt or in this case, mud.  It was worth a try and I’m hopeful that some pretty green grass will begin to change all the brown and black bare spots into a pretty green pasture of new grass.  If not, I’ll move on to plan B.

Last night we got a little rain, which I’m sure the grass seed loved.  Today we’ve had clouds and cool temperatures all day, so the girls and I headed to the basement and began tackling that mess.  The basement had become our rec, play and homeschool area, but I discovered that I really didn’t enjoy homeschooling the girls in the basement.  It was great space, but it’s not the bright and cheery area I wanted to create.  Eventually, I began homeschooling the girls in the kitchen and then we made our way to the dining room.  There is a sliding glass door that gives us tons of natural light and the table provides us ample space to do our work.  I have since brought the bookcases upstairs so their books and supplies can be put away instead of taking up space on the table or countertops.  Other bookshelves were put in each of the girls rooms and all their reading books are now at their fingertips.

I still have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do in the basement, but it will go back to being just a rec and playroom, with lots of room to run off energy on snowy, cold and/or rainy days.  It will also be a great place for me to spread out my mat for some yoga.

Apparently, being sick provided me time to focus on all the things I wasn’t getting done.  I have a better picture of what needs to be done and I’m motivated to get moving on things.  Guess something good came out of a couple of days of down time.

 

 

A Round of Applause for Kiwi Crates

For Christmas, we gave each of the girls a monthly subscription to Kiwi Crates. For those who don’t know what Kiwi Crates are, they are kits shipped directly to your child which include everything needed to create multiple craft, science, art and game projects.  Each month there are different projects to complete.

I wasn’t sure how much Naomi would enjoy hers, but knew Lili was going to love Kiwi Crates and Naomi was not going to be happy if she didn’t get one as well.  I’m thrilled to report that both girls love them and so do I.

Their first kits included everything they needed to make their own window clings (seriously, I would have never thought of this project on my own).

Can you see their clings on the window?
Can you see their clings on the window?

They made polar bear mitts out of felt and yarn then added the little Velcro circles to the little ping-pong ball in their kits and have played several fun games of catch.  Each of their kits included a snowflake cookie cutter along with recipe for making sugar cookies.

DSC_1298

 We made the cookies last week.

As a mom, I’m particularly pleased with this company.  Not just because they send all the supplies needed for some fun projects, but because the box everything arrives in is also a project.  There is a picture to be colored and cutouts so they can create their own story and scene.

The project for this month was Special Agent.  They had everything needed to make their own masks and periscope.  They also received a pad of paper and pen that allowed them to draw or write secret messages that could only been seen with the little light at the opposite end of the pen.  They also received instructions on another project using lemon juice to decode message.

DSC_1281

I can certainly understand why Kiwi Crates has received so many awards and am almost as excited when they receive their boxes as they are.

If you would like to give a child the gift of Kiwi Crates and save $10, please click on the link to join.  http://www.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=DebraW5

Project Pictures

As promised, here are the before and after pictures from our big deck and patio project.

 

Our newly built fire pit, sitting all alone in a pit of sand.
Our newly built fire pit, sitting all alone in a pit of sand.

 

The old deck, partially torn down.
The old deck, partially torn down.

 

Supplies for our deck and patio project.
Supplies for our deck and patio project.

After weeks of deck tear down and preparing the ground for the patio, our projects were complete.

Our rebuilt deck leading down to our new patio.  The fire pit is lonely no more!!
Our rebuilt deck leading down to our new patio. The fire pit is lonely no more!!  (Please excuse the bike, bucket, and construction material.  They were picked up and put away shortly after this picture was taken.)

Next, is landscaping around the deck and patio for that “Pièce de résistance.”

More pictures soon!!

 

 

 

 

 

Big Weekend of Projects Completed

A few months ago, hubby, Lili and our son Josh, used some unused landscape blocks and built a fire pit. That little project lead to a bigger project, which was to put in a patio around the fire pit. We also needed to rebuild our deck and since one set of stairs would lead down to the patio, it was almost an all-in-one project.

We finished the deck rebuild a few weekends ago, except for one set of stairs that would lead down to the patio. This weekend, the patio project was completed. The stairs have also been started and should be completed in the next few days.

Next on my backyard to-do list, is landscaping around the patio.  Something simple, but very needed.

Another project completed this weekend was the garden clean up. If we’re still here next fall, I hope to have a fall/winter garden going, but this year is about focusing on getting our house ready to sell.

This week I’m going to tackle some painting projects inside. I’ve had one room prepped and ready to paint for several days. I planned to paint it several times during the last week, but other things got in the way. If all goes well, it will be painted in the next few days. And if things go really well, I may actually get another room prepped and painted.

Overall, it has been a great weekend for finishing projects and I am looking forward to sitting on our new patio with a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire in our fire pit.

**Before and after pics will be posted soon.