From Mudhole to Rocky Masterpiece

While I was away in New York, hubby got to work on one of his top outdoor projects.  Along one side of our house we have a mud pit.  There are several trees along the fence line and over the years, less and less grass – and all the rain drains that direction.  So, when it’s wet that side is virtually useless, which is too bad because that is the side with the air conditioner, and the door to the garage.  So, hubby did this:

Here it is before he started to work.  

Ya, it’s also where we store all of our junk…

We have toyed with the idea of filling in the area with some kind of gravel and maybe some stepping stones.  So, step one was clearing out and somewhat leveling the area.
Then hubby outlined the area with some landscape edging, to hold in the rocks.  We chose this edging for the ease of installation, and because it was one of the most pliable.  Just laying down along your area and driving some stakes in the edge.  
We wanted to make sure the rocks wouldn’t creep under the fence or into the yard.  Hubby also decided to take care of a problem area on the other side of that gate – and a new place for the trash cans.
Then came the rocks – a whole truckload.

There’s that ornery puppy that I mentioned yesterday…and a cute little helper spreading rocks. 🙂

Here’s the before and after again of the two spots.  

I am still thinking of placing some stepping stones amongst the pebbles to make a path.  Walking on these barefoot is not super comfortable.  But, I love the result – no mud, and now the trash cans are tucked away rather than being up front by the driveway.  Great job Honey!!

Linking up with Traci at Beneath My Heart here 
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and here
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Outdoor Update

As I was walking around watering flowers and trees this morning, I realized that I had never updated you on my “landscaping” progress.

I showed you the before pics here so today I’ll show you some pretty after pics, and some of where we are now. 

I’m trying my hand at plants in pots again this year – I have never had much success with that cuz I am lazy – that’s all.  

Here is the front flower bed today.  We were blessed with a lot of rain while I was on my trip to New York.

The other thing that happened while I was in New York was not so happy.  I was joyfully anticipating the pots on my back porch to be overflowing with beautiful color, just like the one in the front but instead I found this.

Yes, all four planters looked just like this…the culprit…our puppy…

he decided they looked like a good snack.  Ugh!!  I guess I will try again next year!!

Oh well, moving on.  I also transplanted a climbing rose bush which completely overtook a flower bed that is in front of our master bedroom window.  This is what it looked like in full glory before I moved it – see a little unruly, and crowding out the other regular rose bushes in that bed (please ignore all the grass growing in there).

Here it is after I chopped pruned it down to size and moved it to a sad little flower bed on the side of our house around the corner from the front of our house.  You can see this one from the street and gets good morning sun.  I also planted some daylillys in this bed.  I have wanted some of these for a long time.  
Next, if you follow me on instagram, you know we scored some really good sized burch trees @$50 each!!  Here’s a little fun collage of them going in.  {my hard-working man decided to strike a pose, while I sipped on my sweet tea in the shade ;)}
And the after.
and my hard-workin man after 😉 – oh and our puppy

My hubby was awesome and knocked out another yard project that was pretty high on his list while I was in New York.  I’m saving that for another post though since this one is already pretty long :).  Tune in tomorrow for that one – it involves, mud and rocks.

Blessings!!

Linking up today with Kim at Sand and Sisal for her Fun in The Sun Linky Party
and with Kathy here
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Odds and Ends Storage

Well the garage project is creeping along like a snail.  But, I am surprisingly ok with that.  Not sure my hubby appreciates the huge mess that is sitting in the garage during the project, but I think he sees the big picture (maybe).  Anyway, as I am waiting for paint to dry I decided to search out some things that might need some better storage.  Things that we don’t use very often tend to get covered in Oklahoma dirt, or cat hair from our 13 year old kitty.  So….I tend to cover things in black trash bags – which means I have several black bags with who knows what in them.  Not.  Good.  So, I started with a couple of things and measured and went to walmart for some storage tubs.  First up, the camping stuff – we have camped once outside the backyard but hey, we have this huge tent and a couple of air mattresses the kids need from time to time.  But, again, they just collect dust and hair.  So, they went in this nice sized tub.

I bought this long (longest I could find) flat under-the-bed tub for our boogie boards.  

Which, since we live in a land-locked state, we hardly ever use, but still, we have them.  

However they wouldn’t fit – tub not long enough – 🙁 bummer, I was hopeful.  So I moved on to the life jackets.  

We go to the lake more often then we camp or boogie board, but still not often enough for us to need these super accessible.  And they were a perfect fit with room for at least one more, which is good because we need one more – silly kids keep growing.  

Now they will stack and with the CLEAR TUBS I can see what is in them!!
This in my #1 recommendation – always CLEAR TUBS.  No point if you can’t see what’s in the tub.  Yes you can label it, but for me, the label always seems to be un-visible (is that a word??), and I am a very visual person, so I like to be able to find things at first glance.  Donate all your non-clear tubs. 🙂

Today I am working on going through my collection of paint.  Paring down and possibly finding a better storage solution.  Thinking of something like what I found here from Jen at iheart organizing, and here from Cassie at Hi Sugarplum.  Hoping to get at least a little bit done this weekend and report back on Monday 🙂
Have a blessing-filled weekend friends!!

Linking up with Aimee here
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Garage of Doom

Okay weird title I know, but seriously.  My garage….

I have organized, piled things, stacked, things, and stashed things for so long that the walls are beginning to close in.  Also, our garage is peach….that’s how we inherited it and to be honest I’ve just been too lazy to care.  But, man does it show dirt easily!!

Okay so Friday I got a crazy notion to work on the space again – much to my husband’s excitement.  This is where it began:

Not bad I know – you can see the floor, you can get one car in there.  But do you see how tall all the piles are and how many piles there are.  There is not one empty corner.

So, here is what happened next….

Then, we decided to take it a step further….

See, there were a couple of particle board shelved that were done for.  They had gotten wet once and had rotted from the inside out.  So, those needed to come out and be replaced.  Which led to – well, then we are going to have to paint (bye-bye peach), and so then we will need to unload ALL the shelves.

Since I have no desire to spend a lot of (or any) money on a garage re-do, we searched through some paint we already had and settled on this color for the shelves, and handed the kids paint brushes :).  They did a pretty good job, so I said go ahead and paint the wall.  Well….since then mama has decided that might be a little too much blue.

So, I am working on plan B for the rest of the walls, but I am rather liking the brightness of the shelves.  This project is going to take a while, and this time I am taking my time so maybe I can get it right (whatever that means).  Wish me luck.  I have a whole board on my pinterest page dedicated to garage organization.  Check it out – there are some great ideas out there!!

Working on some regular household stuff today.  Hope to be back in a couple of days with another progress report.

Linking up here with Ruth at Living Well Spending Less
Thrifty Thursday Linky Party at LivingWellSpendingLess.com!

and with Jen at tatertots&jello

{On another note – after many hours – this non-computer-savvy blogger added some cute new buttons to her side-bar – some new ways to keep up with what’s going on in our world :)}

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Home Blessed Home

I am home from my 13 day trip in a bus with 41 teenagers and 9 other sponsors.  Can I just say that I have 50 new best friends!!  I knew several of these people before we embarked on this journey, but some I did not.  I fell in love with each and everyone of them over these 13 days!!

We had lots of fun amidst watching God move through us in the hearts of so many young people.  All along our journey to and from New York City we stopped in various juvenile detention center to share the message of the gospel through song.  (And when I say “we” I mean our amazingly talented kids.)  Then the simple truth of the gospel was shared by our fearless leader, and we watched time after time as God changed lives.

Let me just say that it is amazing to FEEL the Holy Spirit come down in these places of darkness and despair.

We were not able to take pictures in the detention centers, so the photos I have are of the fun things 🙂

I have A. Lot. Of. Photos.  So, rather than make this a super long post of too many pictures, I have decided to just share those I posted on Instagram (plus a couple extra of me and my biggens :)).

Enjoy!!  I am hoping that my head will clear up and the cloud of exhaustion will lift soon.  I’m getting old, and that many days of busyness can really wear on a girl.
First site of Lady Liberty.
This is as close as we could get to Carlo’s Bake Shop – wait too long, schedule to keep.
Nighttime in New York – picture from the Staten Island Ferry.
Times Square!!
My first New York hot dog – YUM!!
Grand Central Station (aren’t they cute:) – my heart)
Rockefeller Plaza.
Phantom of The Opera on BROADWAY!!
Central Park – it’s impossible to take a bad picture in this place.
Coney Island!  I LOVE the beach – it is my happy place!!  (I dislike selfies very much.)
Niagara Falls – again, impossible to take a bad picture.
Me and my big boy – we got a little wet near The Falls 🙂
The road home was long….this was just the end of the journey – the light at the end of the tunnel. 
 So blessed to share this journey with these two!!

The travel fog is starting to lift, hoping to see some sort of routine next week.
Blessings to you!!
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