Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DIY Free Pallet Project!

Here is a project I completed today.

It was totally free!!
It's a wall hanging made from pallets.

Here is where I got my inspiration.
I don't remember where I found it, but somewhere online. I print or clip things out and have a file of ideas when I see them. :)

I found some pallets in a alley and scooped them up one day when I didn't have a carload of kids with me. I asked Dylan if he wanted to help out and he was super excited about it, he loves working with tools. On the 2nd pallet, I told him that I would pay him $2 for each pallet he took apart and removed all the nails. This defiantly motivated him even more!

Step 1: Tear apart the pallet and remove all the nails. Step 2: Decide how big you want the wall hanging to be and arrange the wood in a pattern that you like. You'll want to lay the wood with the good side down (side you want to show when hanging on wall, face down).
Step 3: I didn't take a picture of this but once you have it all laid out in the pattern you like, measure and mark where you need to cut the side edges. I took a long level and laid it down on wood and took a pencil line up all the wood pieces.

Step 4: Again, no picture (wasn't planning to write all this out :)) Cut each side piece off at line you just marked, I used electric saw. Put each piece back where you took it from after each cut.

Step 5: Fasten (screw) wood pieces together with scrap pieces of wood from pallet. (The picture is from my 1st try at doing this...then I realized I needed to cut side pieces off first and then attach all together.) I also had a few random areas where I did little pieces of wood to reinforce the slats. Step 6: I brushed some white paint around randomly on some of the wood slats, I like the rustic natural look but you could easily paint the whole thing one color also. Then sand all the edges and rough wood, I also sanded over some of the area I painted to make it look more blended. I used really course sandpaper with electric sander. It only took a few minutes.

Step 7: I attached 2 heavy duty hanging hooks to back wood pieces.

And also used hooks in wall that were strong enough for the's pretty heavy.

Here it is without frames attached

I had the frames already hanging on my wall, so I just used what I had but you can easily make a wood frame or just buy what you like. I put little nails in and hung them up.

I love it!!

I love that it is natural and not perfect.

I guess in the end, it cost me $6.50. $2.50 for the hooks for hanging and $4.00 to pay Dylan for helping me!

I hope someone else makes one...or is just inspired. :)

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Feats of Strength

Michelle and Mark ran a 10 mile Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving day.

It was Mark's first race!
He did great.
I'm really proud of him and am always so impressed with how he can push his body and mind.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is tradition that Mark carves the turkey. I'm not sure how that started but it is now a reserved job for him. :)
My side of the family always comes over to my in-laws house for Thanksgiving.
It was a very nice meal!

The kids had their own table. Isabelle's plate was set up next to my spot at the adult table but when she saw where she was sitting she was not having it and started to move her stuff over to the kids table. :)

Another tradition that my mom does with the kids (since I was a kid) is have them say what they are thankful for one at a time and they get to pick out a prize/treat. It's always fun to hear what they say. I think this is my favorite part of Thanksgiving day.

Thanks mom for taking the time to make something special for the kids and teaching them to be thankful!

Thanksgiving at Cadence School

Cadence had a Thanksgiving feast at her school on Wednesday. The kids had to try a bite of everything was the rule from their teacher. :) Cadence actually ate everything and asked for 2nd's of stuffing and mashed potatoes.

After the feast was done they still had some school time left so they sang a song about turkey feathers and they all took turns putting the felt colored feathers on the turkey. Isabelle wanted to be apart of class...she was still holding her hand up from the earlier question. :)

They also did a turkey hand craft project. Cadence of course loved it because she likes any crafts! She is going to be a little artist. :)

Zoo Trip

Sister love!

For Grandma day this last week we went to the zoo. I still have a membership until the end of December so I figured I would try to get in a few more visits before it expires. I don't plan to renew for this next we'll see if I miss it or not. :)
This is as close as she would get to the baboons, and this took some talking into for her to get this close. :)

It was a beautiful!

Squaw Peak Mountain Cook Out

Last weekend we went to Squaw Peak Mountain for a cookout. Mark had hiked the mountain with some people from work, so me and the kids met him there when he was done with dinner supplies.
Israel, Maggie & Eli met up with us also. We decided to go on a little "hike" with the kids. It was really just a little walk on a trail but the kids loved it! I love how much the kids all love each other. :)

We cooked hot dogs on the grill and had chips. The kids were excited about the chips and I honestly think that is really all they ate...oh well, every once in awhile is ok I guess. :)

We also brought Smores making supplies.

They had fun roasting over the coals from the hot dog grilling.

Both Cadence and Isabelle didn't like the Smores, well actually just the marshmallows so they stuck with just chocolate & graham crackers. But Dylan on the other hand loved them...and ended up eating 4 Smores! He started in on his 5th and took one bite and said, "my belly is telling me to stop now". :)

It was such a fun and different thing to do. It was also a beautiful night out, we hope to do it again soon!

Happy Birthday to my Father-in-law

I'm catching up on my blogging...we celebrated John's 65th birthday earlier in the month. The evening was complete with a ice cream cake which the kids are always excited about. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

5:55 am - Dylan comes to my room.

Me: "It's too early, go back to bed." (I walk him back to his bed)

6:05 am - Dylan comes to my room.

Dylan: "Mom, I can hear the birds chirping and they are awake. Why can't I wake up if the birds are awake?"

Me: "Ok, but play quietly in your room." was my response as I laid in bed with a big smile on my face. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life lessons through trash can

Say hello to my new compost trash can. I picked it up at the dump at the City of Phoenix. They have a recycling program where they take broken or graffitied cans and drill holes in and cut off bottom for composting. When I arrived I was bummed that the only one they had available was one covered in graffiti. I was thinking that maybe I could paint the whole can or something to make it look more pretty.

But...leave it to Mark to teach me a great life lesson from it. When he saw it he thought it was so great that it had graffiti all over! That something that was messed up and no one wanted any longer has now been created to be something of new use. That not only is it to be used for a new purpose but that the thing that happens inside the can which is smelly, gross & messy when put in is one day transformed into a rich soil that will be used to sustain growth and life.

I printed the above picture and taped it to my bathroom mirror. To remind me constantly that the things that happen to me in life aren't always pretty...and that I'm not always pretty. But I have been created with the beautiful gift and ability of not allowing what others say or what my circumstances are to define who I am on the inside.

I'm thankful for the transforming power of grace.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Care free!

Last night was a carnival at Dylan's school. We had a great time! There were all kinds of little games to play and bouncy houses but all Cadence really kept asking to do was to dance (they had a little area set up with music and chairs around for a dance recital earlier in the evening). She was the only one in our group who was brave enough to go on the stage area and dance by herself. For being the shy one of the kids, she had no thought or care of anyone else. I loved it! I enjoyed watching her so much!! I hope her care free attitude stays with her as she gets older.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

For "Grandma B day" this week we went to the little carnival at Maggie's school.
The girls got their faces cute!

They had some craft tables set up, so they made bracelets & sticker picture frames.

Cadence & Maggie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reward in Gardening

Today while my mom and sister were over we dug a bit in my sweet potato garden bed to see what we could find. I was a bit disappointed at first because I kept pulling the vines up and wasn't finding anything. Finally I dug down a little and found all kinds of potatoes! It was so fun to keep finding them!!

This is what I pulled up for them to take home (along with some banana peppers). They took home about 6 or 7. I could see a bunch more while I was digging but I wanted Dylan to be able to pull them up, so I covered them back up and waiting for him to be done with school.

When he got home he got to digging and was so excited about it. :) Cadence helped out also, we kept finding potato after potato and earth worm after earth worm in the soil. He thought about feeding them to the chickens as a "treat" but decided they were better for the soil. I love what he learns by us having a garden & chickens!

This is the biggest one we pulled up.

You can see the area that we dug up...still have lots more to go. :)

This is how much we pulled up (plus what I gave to my family) today!
By far, my most rewarding gardening experience so far!! :)

Radio Play Time!

It doesn't sound the greatest (because of my camera & car stereo :)) but Israel's band, The Alchemy Heart, had his song "Ghost" play on the radio yesterday morning. Super excited for him and his band! :)

Congratulations Israel!

Monday, November 7, 2011

She would swing all day if I would let her :)