Monday, July 18, 2011

Dining Table: Before and After!

**I started this post two weeks ago and then we went on vacation. Oops! I'll still post it so you can see, and then I have lots of other posts coming from the last two weeks! :)

The Dining Table!

This may have been the hugest project we've ever done! We did it in eight days, basically. Though I had to do some touch-ups after this beast got moved inside! Our dining room table, ladies and gentlemen.

This table used to be in Carino's. It had lots of gum underneath it, and people had scribbled their phone numbers all over the drawers, etc. It had black tar stuff on the legs, and what looked like boot prints on the top! It looked solid, but not very pretty.

We tried a chemical stripper to take off the old finish. It may have helped, but we still put in somewhere around 20 hours of sanding! A couple friends came and helped at different points, both who had woodworking experience, so that was a huge blessing! You can see in the first picture the difference of the wood that's ready and the wood that's still covered! The top took the longest, but was the easiest because it was just flat. Then we had to do the legs and sides and everything. I kept wanting to cut corners but James reminded me that we have to put in the work to get the results!
When it was time to put the first layer of stain, I was SOOOO nervous! We'd worked so hard to get the table down to bare wood, and it looked so smooth and new, and now I was going to change it drastically. I just didn't want to ruin it after so much work! Thankfully, it looked great!
With the first coat of stain:
Three coats of stain, three coats of polyurethane finish. Everywhere. The drawers are actually not 100% complete. They're painted but we took off the old drawer pulls and want to replace them with something fun. I also plan to line the insides of the drawers, potentially with sheet music. I've always wanted to try that and think it'd look awesome!

The plan now is to collect random mismatched dining chairs and paint and recover them all the same, and use those around the table. I hope it works. This table is so huge it dwarfs everything around it-we're sitting on normal chairs to eat at the table and the chairs feel a little short. Hopefully we can still make it work! We went to so much work on this, we want it to all come together perfectly!!! :)

Quiet Book Update

Quiet Book Update! Here are the pages I've done so far:

(These little hand puppet animals go inside the top of the ark. Elijah LOVES playing with these!)

This page will hold crayons and a pad of paper. Go Cru!

Extra ice cream flavors go in the fridge.
I'm not crazy about how this one turned out.

These little postcards go inside the mailbox.

This one is a little matching game with magnets.

Still need to add the wheels!
A shout-out to our Waco days!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


We've always known Elijah was a genius. :) But lately, it's been especially adorable-he LOVES reading books! He's always loved for us to read to him, and he's been glad to look through books on his own for a while, but lately there's just so much more of that! He will sit and turn the pages of book after book...*sigh* a boy after his mama's own heart! The other day he was actually babbling to himself while he read, and I wished I could record it, but of course he stopped as soon as I even thought about moving towards the video camera! Instead, we'll have to settle for these photos:

EZ's Tia Jen and I are going to recover this chair this fall, so don't worry, it won't be pink for too much longer. But either way, isn't he CUTE?!?!
We drove to a friend's birthday party out of town yesterday. Here was our view in the rearview mirror for a while:
And another sign of his high intelligence: Not only can he do a rubix cube...
...but he enjoys it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chair Fixing

We did a little dumpster diving recently. Actually, this chair was out on the sidewalk to get picked up by the garbage man and James spotted it as we drove by.
It's a beautiful chair! It's broken on one of the rungs...
...but we fixed it.
Now it's part 1 of a new idea we've birthed. We're going to collect a bunch of random wooden chairs, paint and recover them the same, and use them as our dining chairs. They'll be fun and mismatched but still matchy. We weren't crazy about this idea at first, but as we saw how much real chairs cost, we changed our minds. This is a real trendy idea these days, anyway. So we're just jumping on the bandwagon! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Recent Randomness

Elijah actually tried to put my sunglasses on himself this weekend! I put them on him a lot, and he'll sometimes leave them on for a minute or two and do this funny little grin, but it was hilarious to see him doing this himself! He actually did get them on his head (upside-down) at one point, but that was before I got out the camera!

EZ had his first peanut butter last week and he liked it. Jewel is thrilled that he's now eating PB&J because PB is her favorite food. He just hangs his hand off the high chair and she is licking it like crazy-I'm not so thrilled about that! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We went to the playground with Daddy again! I can't really take pictures of Elijah on the play equipment when it's just him and me, but when James comes, we get all kinds of fun pictures!

I love the fun little moments that make up our life! I am so thankful to be James' wife and Elijah's mom! Life is good!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby Steps

Big news, people: Elijah is a WALKER!!!

Today we were having our ATS staff meeting and I stood him up on the floor as we were talking. James reached for him and Elijah took 3 or 4 steps by himself to get to James. We were astounded! Elijah's been holding out on us, apparently, because by the end of the evening-only an hour and a half later-he was walking across the whole living room back and forth between us, and even walking to Jewel a couple times. It's incredible and we're so excited!

I need to pull out the baby book: First walked: July 11, 2011!

Some video for your viewing pleasure: A couple snippets of the ten or so minutes we played this walking game. Mommy and Daddy are just as excited as EZ is here!


Dining Table Project

We bought a HUGE dining table on Craigslist on Friday. It's big and simple-both adjectives we wanted!
We bought it knowing it needed some serious work before it was ready for our home. We put it straight in the backyard and went to Lowe's. I did read an article online about refinishing wood furniture, so that helped us know what to buy.
I had NO idea how long it takes to sand a piece of furniture to be ready to stain. I guess for painting you don't have to remove the old stuff, just scuff it up enough to hold the new paint. Since we're staining it, though, we have to get it down to the clean wood underneath. This photo was after probably five hours of work (more by James than me. Elijah woke up way too early from that nap!).

When using a sander, you must apply significant pressure, move with the wood grain, and try not to get sawdust in your eyes. As if that weren't enough to think about, our sander keeps breaking. I thought maybe it's cuz we used it for so many hours in a row, but online it says it should be 300 hours of use before it needs work. What is it with us and the buying faulty equipment? (yes, we're on our third vacuum in five years of marriage. And that's because we're stubborn and don't vacuum often. We could have hit three in two years.)News flash-an eight foot table takes a long time to sand, just on top. Then there are the legs and the sides and all the other surfaces. I don't want to calculate the surface area of this baby!

We're hoping we can finish the sanding tonight and be ready to start the staining tomorrow. But things keep taking longer than we want them to, so that may not happen. I'm realizing something about myself: I like to see results. The slow little things that get you there, not so much...I want this thing to be finished, but it's not going to look good unless we do it right! :)