Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grace. . .

Last night as I was driving home from work at 11:30, I did as I often do, and thought about my precious baby boy the whole way home. He makes me smile and makes the class I just taught seem less frustrating (not one student brought their supplies to class, despite being told every day for the last 3 weeks that they would need fabric to cut out their jacket on the 13th. . . ).

As I neared home my thoughts suddenly went from happy, to painfully terrifying. I find the best thing to do when you start crying because you've just imagined your child dying in your arms is to pray. So I prayed, and put a little more pressure on the gas pedal. Then I realized that there is really precious little that I can do to protect my son. Yes, there are the obvious things, I can sweep the floor, feed him good food, watch him closely and make sure he gets plenty of rest. But there is nothing that I can do to keep Gods plan, whatever it may be, from happening. I can't understand those plans either.

So I slowed down and trusted that God was going to keep my family safe, and believed that His will, whatever it is, is perfect.

When I got home Jonathan was fine. He and Kyle were in his room getting ready for bed - they had just got done eating some peas and brown rice (which, is disgusting by the way). I went over to look at him on the changing table. I saw something that was not right, and reached into his mouth. I pulled out a piece of plastic wrapping, that if it had been swallowed would probably have ended his life, or caused me to die of a heart attack. The plastic was clear and very hard to see, it looked more like spit bubbles inside his mouth than anything else.

We have no idea how the plastic got in his mouth. He'd gone from being in his highchair to Kyle holding him. So he must have had it in his mouth the entire time he was eating dinner - so, lots of swallowing, it just never went down.

I'm so glad that it's not just Kyle and I looking out for our family, God knows we'd fail - which is why I believe He stepped in.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wooden Garden Planters

We are in the process of moving out of our home. We are doing a short sale, which means we have really no idea when we are moving. We are planning on moving into a two (maybe three if we find a deal) bedroom apartment. We currently have 3 bedrooms and a den. So, we are going to downsize - which I am completely fine with. I've been studying the rooms in my house lately. The biggest rooms are the rooms we spend the least amount of time in - our living room for example, followed by our family room/eating spot in the kitchen. These spaces would be great for something like a workroom, but who wants a work room to be the focal point of their home? The two rooms that I spend the most time in (or what seems to be the most time) are the laundry room (smallest room in the house) and my studio (second smallest room in the house, sans the bathrooms). I also spend a lot of time in the kitchen and the size of that space is perfect. Ideally, my home would have a huge walkout basement with a very open floor plan - there would be office, bathroom and studio, also a place for Jonathan's toys. The floors would be heated, dyed, cement with drains in them. The other structure in the space besides the bathroom, would be tons of closets. Actually, in an ideal situation all of that would be separate from my home, would have an apartment space upstairs, a garage and a greenhouse off to the side. . . That kind of ideal is a really long ways off though, so I'll just try to convince myself that the first option is my ideal.

I'm not sure what the point of all of this is, except to say that I'm not a fan of the traditional living room that people have to show off their nice furniture, television and decorative objects. I like spaces that can be lived in. . . and lived in hard. In an ideal world I would not sit on the sofa and watch television and the type of people I would entertain are the type who like the get their hands dirty and get glue on their clothes.

But, that is not happening anytime soon. . . and I can't have everything I want, and if I did have everything I wanted, I'm sure I would be very miserable. So we are downsizing and I am saying goodbye to my backyard. I love my backyard and I will miss it. I wanted to take part of it with me and had planned on digging up all my trees and putting them in gigantic containers. . . but gigantic containers are muy muy expensive. As it turns out, planters of any type are quite expensive, especially if you want something other than plastic. Pot are also generally round, which on the small rectangular shaped patio that I am likely to get in an apartment, are just not going to work very well. So, I made my own.

Each of these planters cost about $10 . Perfect. Here's what you need and  how I did it. . .
(For one planter)

Circular saw
3 - 2x6x8 pine boards
2 - 12 x 12 ceramic tiles
~ 40 wood screws
Wood putty
Roofing paper
Cheap roller brush

Mark line 1" from edge of board.

Use circular saw (or router if you have one) to cut along line. Make sure you adjust the height of the blade so that it only cuts about 1/2" into the board.

After you make one cut the length of the board, make another right next to it.

Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the wood between the two cuts.

Cut the boards. You will cut all three boards, but only one board will have the cutout for the tiles. I don't remember exactly what they measured. The important thing is that they are cut so that your tiles can snugly inside of your cut out. Approx 27" and 11 3/4".

Pre-drill and counter sink your screws. 3 on each side of board.

Join board together at corners, making sure that you cut out lines up.

Complete three sides of container and slide tile down into grove.

Put the other tile in. They don't have to lay in there perfectly, they just need to be snug so they don't fall out.

 Close off end by inserting the final board.

Build two more boxes (without grove for tiles), and stack one on top of the other. Screw some wood screws in at an angle so that the box is nice and sturdy.

Optional: Paint the inside with tar.

Optional: Cover tar with roofing paper.

Use putty to fill screw holes. Sand entire box.

Put on some gloves and apply stain with a rag. Let the box dry overnight.

 Then fill with dirt and your favorite flowers. I salvaged what flowers did not die in the freeze over Christmas, but had to buy some new ones too. . . :)

I think my favorite thing about these boxes is that there are so many different ways to arrange them and they take up minimal space in a corner. When we move I will form them into an "L" shape