Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Windchime

I just wanted to show you the windchime I mentioned in my last blog. Frank hung it for me tonight while he was putting the finishing touches on our patio. It looked so pretty against the sky last night that I had to take a couple of pictures. I was worried that it would be loud since we keep the fans going while we are outside, but it was actually not moving too much. Aunt Susan - thanks again for the awesome gift! This something I dont think I would have thought to get for myself, but I love it!!

We continued to work on finishing the patio last night, and unfortunately we are still a couple of steps away from completion. We have finished 99% of the painting, and after that we only need to clean up the mess we've made!
I was really hoping that the fans we bought would provide enough wind on the patio to frighten off most bugs - and it has helped - but we are still plagued by the mosquitos. I finally went to CVS yesterday and purchased some Off Insect Repelant. We sprayed it on last night before we got to work, and then a mosquito promptly landed directly between my eyes and bit me. I apparently need to spray my face as well! It swelled up nicely, but was gone by morning. :) While Frank was painting I finished up caulking one final gap that was so large that it had to be a two-step process. Now, I know I called myself a pro in the last blog - and I still hold to that - but I accidentally dropped some while I was on the ladder. Unfortunately, poor Maggie was below me and it landed on her head. I ended up having to cut it out her hair.

After finishing the caulking I drug the ladder out to the end of the backyard to take a better picture of the porch. I felt very brave being in the grass. Since working outside so much, I've noticed a few large spiders scurrying around. I think I'll have to get Frank to take the official "after" shot from the plot behind our house. I'm certainly not that brave!
Here's a picture of Maggie with the caulk in her hair. Poor baby. She didn't really mind it though. She was more interested at getting a better look at my camera.

Friday night Amy and Eric will be coming over to cook out and enjoy some good patio time. Later this weekend we will reconnect with the Dyers and Welchs at dinner, and Monday we have nothing planned! I'm looking forward to this much needed break.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Patio is Done (almost)

It's been a long journey, but we are finally nearing completion. Three weeks ago today construction began. Frank's uncle Randy did most of the legwork for us. He found a great local contractor to do the framing and brickwork for a great price, and we were responsible for all the details. Those details include lining the inside of the roof, spackling, caulking, painting, and running electrical wires. We've had quite a few setbacks, so it's nice to really see the work coming to an end. It seems like every day we say "This is it! We're almost done!" - but then we run out of, time, patience, daylight, or tolerance for bugs! I could tell a lot of stories about the setbacks, but let's focus on the positive: We have a covered patio! Not only that but it WILL be ready in time for us to enjoy it for Labor Day weekend. All we have left now is to do some touch-up painting and clean up. Surely we can handle that tonight! Take a look at the progression and transformation of our backyard. I will post again once I'm happy with a final "after" picture.

Here is one of our "before" pictures.

Frank emailed me this picture at work. It's scary to see this kind of thing when you know nothing about construction. Notice the "scaffolding" they built. OSHA would not approve.

Notice the brick they ripped out of my house to attach the frame. Again, this was scary to me.

Another view of stage one.

Here is the first picture of the frame. I think Frank took this picture from our bedroom window.

Day 1: The frame is complete!

They also finished covering the frame on the first day. Day 2 they put the shingles down. We were looking very official at that point.

More scary scaffolding and a pile of trash in my backyard after day 1. This is actually the best our yard would look for the next two weeks.

More pictures after Day 1

...and some more...

Last one - inside view.

Day 2 Frank and Randy got to work putting up the concrete board. This was probably the hardest part of the job. It took 2 days to custom cut and hang all of the pieces since the workers framed the ceiling joists at 90 degree angles (mas o menos - more or less)!

Here is Randy measuring yet another custom cut. That was a very frustrating day for the boys.

At the end of Day 3, Randy, Frank and Johnny all spackled and painted the inside of the roof.

It took another 10 days for a bricker to come finish the job, so we couldn't do much work. Once it was completed we were able to start caulking. Every night for a week we came home from work and caulked until the sun went down. I never imagined it would take so long or so MUCH caulk to finish the job. I think we used 10+ tubes of caulk. However, I am now a pro. I can even load the caulk gun myself!

Last weekend we finally hung our ceiling fans and the new outside light! Frank had one brief run-in with the electricity, but no one fell off the ladder so we are grateful.

I took these pictures last night while Frank was painting. We are SO CLOSE!

We are almost done! Sorry it took so long to post pictures. I'm sure some of you were starting to think we just made the whole thing up. I'll post the official before and after shots this weekend! I will also be able to show you the A&M windchime that my Aunt Susan got us for Christmas last year. I'm SO excited to hang it. It will feel like the perfect finishing touch. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chigger Bites

Ok, I'm sure no one cares, but I'm writing this out anyway. Since the service project with our church for Impact Week I have noticed little red bumps on my feet. Turns out they are chigger bites. Gross. I counted the bites on each foot. I have upwards of fifty - yes, 5-0, on my left foot and between 40-50 on my right!! I look diseased.

Update on the porch: The only thing we are missing at this point is the brick work. First we were told the brick guy would be coming out Saturday. No show. We assume he is coming Monday. No show. Tuesday we figure he has SURELY come by now. When I get home there is a stack of bricks by my house that is completely the wrong color. Not even close. So today the contractor spends all day tracking down the right color only to find out that it has been discontinued. A few hours of research reveals a stack of the right color left at an Acme company in Garland. So now we are being promised it will be done by Saturday. *sigh* After that we have to wait for the inspector to come on Monday. After THAT we can finally hang our ceiling fans and enjoy our new patio furniture that is in boxes in my garage.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Youth Videos

Part of the reason I've been so busy lately is because the youth group that Frank and I work with has been so busy. I am responsible for all of the highlight videos for the major events in the group, so I have been producing them back to back. So far this month I've made the video for Youth Camp and the mission trip, and I still have two to go. Take a look at what I spend a lot of my time doing, and let me know what you think!

(sorry for the quality - YouTube really strips it down)


Mission Trip

Busy, busy, busy!

Sorry for the silence lately. We have been VERY busy, but no worries - I still have pictures! Since last Tuesday there has been work done our back porch because we had a roof installed to cover our patio. It's very close to being completed, and I will have all the pictures posted as soon as we're done (which should be by Tuesday!). Today we participated in Impact Week with our church. We put on our cute matching t-shirts and headed to a campground by Lake Lavon for a cookout. We served food to all of the people at the lake and got to hang out with some of them. Next Saturday Frank and I will be painting fire hydrants! Woo hoo!
From left to right: Renee, Trisha, Me, Kate, and Ashley. I love my girls.
Our youth band also performed at the event, and they did a great job.
This is my family under the new roof, but I wont show you that just yet. Aren't my babies CUTE!!!?! I love it when they smile for the camera.

Last weekend my Aunt Susan, Grandmother, and Sophie came to visit. We had them over for dinner and also invited Laura and Danny Stiller (see their blog listed to your right) since they are super cool and just moved back to Dallas from South Carolina. Sophie is still as cute as ever. She's getting alot bigger and she loves to give kisses. She also likes to bite, which is a problem. Although, it's really hard to stay mad at a pouncing cotton ball. We had a great time visiting with everyone. I found out that Laura also has a passion for photography and video editiing, so we may be taking some classes together this fall. (fingers crossed).