Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Goodies

There's nothing quite like a stack of brand new cloth diapers to brighten your day.  Especially when your little one has outgrown all but three of your others.  

We use bumGenius, and this time I ordered 5 of the new snap-front version.  Somehow I accidentally ordered one hook-and-loop.  I found the hook-and-loop tabs on my other ones wore out a little too quickly for my liking, so we're giving these a go.  

With temps projected to be 100 and above for the next several days, I think we'll do a lot of staying in and trying out these new colors.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll even put a shirt on him every now and then.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Today: Slowing Down

We've taken a little summer hiatus around here.  With temps already in the upper 90s, all we've felt like doing is sitting around in minimal clothing with the blinds closed being very, very still.  And maybe knitting a little.

Blair's been working little by little on a project for the garden, and when he completes it, I'll see if I can find the energy to drag myself outside to take a picture.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Father's Day Treat

I'm not going to waste words.  After a wonderful morning at church, we went home and took three hour naps.  And then.  Oh, and then.  We made ice cream.  We made brownies.  They were great!  The ice cream was the easiest ice cream recipe we've ever tried, though it probably would be better with real vanilla instead of imitation, but it sure is tasty!

Vanilla Ice Cream (here's the link to the original recipe)

2 c powdered sugar
1 c whipping cream
3 tbsp vanilla
2 qt half and half

Combine powdered sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla; stir until smooth. Add half & half. Pour into freeze can of a 1 gallon hand turned or electric freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Yield: 1 gallon.

Delicious!  And here is where I wrote about the brownies a while back.  Give it a try!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Today: A Little Laziness

Despite the numerous projects we have in the works and all of the activity in the garden, it really doesn't feel like we're accomplishing much these days.  We have four rooms to paint, more bookcases to build, some fun projects here and there, and a garden to tend and yet at the end of the day I find myself asking myself if I've actually done anything at all.  Yesterday, I washed three loads of laundry and hung them out to dry on "the line."  We sold our dryer a year ago because we never used it.  Today, I need to water all of the plants, do more laundry, and answer the all important question of "What's for supper?"  

But there's just something about summer days that makes me want to stay inside and be still and knit.  All day.  I guess those other projects can keep holding off for a while.  It will be autumn enough soon, right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Favorite Things: Sounds of the Farm

Blair:   Moooo
Noah:  Cow

Blair:   Quack quack
Noah:  Duck

Blair:   Snort snort
Noah:  Pig

Blair:   Cluck cluck
Noah:  Chicken

Blair:   Gobble gobble
Noah:  Turkey

Blair:   Baaaa
Noah:  Sheep

Blair:   Peep peep
Noah:  Poppy's tractor

Huh?  Oh, my!  There's been much head scratching around here lately as our little one learns to communicate with and about the world around him.  He speaks in more sentences and answers questions in the funniest manner sometimes.  There is most certainly never a dull moment.

Photo by Dee Chadwick

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Taking Some Sick Leave

Little Man and I have had serious head colds here for the last few days.  He and his daddy took a short trip to the farm to give me a much needed chance to rest, and here's hoping that in a couple of days we'll all be back on our feet.  

I'll leave you with some photos from a trip to my parents' house last week.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Little Man's Built-In::Part Three

Over the last year-and-a-half, Noah's room has experienced several changes, the biggest of which happened this past weekend.  Before I show you the great finale, I thought I'd take you back in time a little first.

When we first moved in...

And after I finally painted...

Now, let's get to the good stuff.  We moved the crib out before we installed the bookcase so the room wouldn't feel so crowded.  It felt really strange in there for a while without the crib.  He hasn't slept in it since December, but it still seemed just a little sad to see it move to another room.  Not to mention empty.

After reading along all week, I'm sure you know the building process by now, so...

 here is our big bookcase reveal!!  Once Blair got the shelf in place, we added trim (quarter round) and painted it all.  At some point, we will be adding crown moulding to every room in the house, so that little space at the top right won't matter. 

And with books.  I'm actually bringing several boxes of books home from my parents' house tomorrow,  so I didn't want to fill the shelves too much just yet.

We're pretty pleased.  Well.  Alright.  We're incredibly pleased!  It's our favorite room in the house now, and Noah seems to love it just as much as we do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Little Man's Built-In::Part 2

Today, I'm happy to tell you that Blair is writing another guest post for me!  He's gracious enough to walk you through his building process of the bookcase we've been working on for Little Man.

...<drum roll>... It's The One... The Legend... The Shop Smith! I love this thing! My father-in-law GAVE it to me, and I am eternally grateful for the gift. I am the third generation to have owned it and used it, and I think that's way cool! It's a table saw, a wood lathe, drill press, jointer, disc sander, and a horizontal borer all in one machine built circa 1947. 

I'm carrying on about this machine because I love it so much, and because I used it to complete every wood cut I needed for this built-in bookcase project. I didn't want to do an interior project completely cold turkey on a machine with which I was not familiar, so I built a sizable cold frame, minus the glass top, to become acquainted with the saw. After I accustomed myself with the saw, I commenced with the built-in bookcase. 
   Now, what you need to know about me is that I loooooove to think about finished projects...the way they're gonna look by they're gonna look in the functional space...the scent of freshly cut lumber and, yes, paint (but not too much paint!)...ahhhh...good times. What I often am naive and unaware of is the process of getting from pieces to painted project, so I figure out building technique as I go. That makes for some entertainment around our house. I had shop class in 9th grade, and, well, it's time for me to face the fact that 9th grade was a fair piece of history ago for me, and it isn't getting closer than it was yesterday, but I have had instruction in power tool technique & shop safety. I have also helped my parents on a small scale (as a 9, 10,  or 11 yr. old boy) build a house. But projects on my own where I design, plan, and build it all...not-so-much beyond a bird feeder I made in the 4th grade with wood scraps from the afore mentioned house building project. So here we go...

I took this project VERY slowly, as I wanted to become more acquainted with the Shop Smith and the process of woodworking/ furniture building. The above picture is a technique I found on the DIY Youtube channel of cutting dado joints with a router...and from the last woodworking project within this blog, you all know how I feel about using the router...I LOVE IT!

To get the shelves to fit in the dado joints I had to file down the edge which was assigned to the dado slot.

Once all filed, voilĂ ! A recognizable bookcase begins to enter the picture.

Things really begin to get exciting when you start the painting.

I decided to use bead board for backing to strengthen the case and it just looks so attractive!

I tore out the moulding...

...received a practical overview of trigonometry by standing the thing up inside Little Man's room (I built the thing exactly the distance from floor to ceiling...a mathematical hardship that I will let the textbooks explain), and applied glue to the backing rails for added support...

...slid the bookcase in place...

...and began adding trim work. 

*Short side-note from Rachel:  The wall and bookcase aren't actually leaning in real life.  Apparently I'm just physically incapable of holding the camera level.*

   Ok...all that sounds easy and fairy-tale like. But in all actuality, this bookcase taught me a whole lot:

1. You can NEVER put too much planning on paper, and you know you haven't put enough on paper when you use words like, "attach" and "install" without any sort of process behind those actions.

2. The jointer is your friend. Use it. I was reluctant to use it because it was unfamiliar territory on the Shop Smith. I have since become more familiar with it and will certainly use it in the creates the COOLEST sawdust ever!

3. Trim work can be tricky. It's worth taking your time. I took my time and made all the right 45-degree angle cuts, but I did a fair amount of second-guessing myself.

All in all, this was a fun project, and I do want to do similar ones in the future. Thank you to my dear wife for putting up with the sawing, the "Grr! Why won't this just work!?" and for the opportunity to write again in her brilliant blog!

*If you all show up again tomorrow, I will have a full before and after feature of the room for you.  I can't WAIT to share the finished product!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Little Man's Built-In::Part 1

Mr. Chadwick and I decided a long time ago that we wanted a built-in bookcase in Little Man's room.  While we have several power tools, we didn't have all of the ones Mr. Chadwick wanted to get the shelves built.  A couple of weeks ago, I went ahead and took measurements and did up a drawing anyway.  

This is why I was not an art major.  

Apparently, a degree program in math wouldn't have been a good academic fit for me either, because not only did I not measure correctly, but all of my calculations were off, too.  

My dad recently gave us my grandfather's 1940s Shop Smith, and we couldn't wait to get started on all of the projects waiting on our list. 

But, before we could do that, we needed to measure and plan.  After Mr. Chadwick did all of that, I told him I had drawn out plans already.  When I pulled my drawing out, though, we noticed that none of our numbers matched.  Someone tall and handsome quickly began erasing, and we had a good, long laugh.

This little one quickly got bored and went on to engineer a lego truck ramp.

Meanwhile, we're still erasing.  

The cardboard ramp is spectacular.


Whew!  Finally ready to start drawing!

Making some modifications.

 Mr. Math actually doubled-checked his calculations, whereas I just rounded up to the nearest whole number and hoped for the best.

The final product.  In drawing form.

Tomorrow, Mr. Chadwick is going to share with you his actual building process.  Yay, teamwork!  Without you, I would have crooked, rickety shelves.