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Sunday, July 26, 2009

He Lights Up My Life...

Look at this porch light. Ugh, right? It's tarnished and the plastic surround behind it is cracked and chipped. The back door light looked just as bad, so last Fall we purchased two new fixtures. Greg got the light changed by the back door within a few days of our purchase, but didn't get to the front light before winter. Early in the Spring I asked him when I might look forward to having the front one done. His answer? "Before Autumn." Hmmm, can you get more noncommital? Last week he was off work and got a few projects done, including this one.
Normally I might have just posted a before and after of the lights, but one of my internet friends requested some photos of the process.
First of all, I would have removed the glass panes and the light bulb, but he got right to it, cutting through the caulk and taking out the screws. Oh, of course you should turn off the power to the light, and that he did.
He's pulled the fixture off and is removing the caps from the wiring. Untwist the wires and remove the light.
Now take off the metal bracket that holds the fixture to the electrical box.
Pull out the electrical box, then tuck the wiring back up into the wall until you're ready to connect the new light.
The new surround is much larger than the old one. Center and trace around the new one.
You don't have to worry about it being perfect, since the new one will cover the marks, but don't go crazy. :o)
Use tin-snips to trim the siding along the trace lines. This gives some room to get under the siding to remove the old surround.
The old one was stapled into the wall, so he used the tin-snips and cut through them. Then pull the surround off, being careful of the siding.
Here it is all cleaned out.
He had to trim the siding a bit more before fitting the new surround in under the siding, then it slid in and fit perfectly.
Again, be careful with the siding, but it will pull up so you can get under it.
Pull out the wire and thread through the electrical box. Here he's putting caulk around the opening before putting it back into the wall.
The light fixture we chose does not sit flush against the wall, so there is a cover that goes over the surround. You can see it has a scored template for whichever size/shape of hole you need. Greg cut out the large round one with a utility knife.
He screwed the electrical box back in.
Then he snapped the cover on and screwed the bracket on.
I held the light up while he connected the wires and tucked them into the electrical box. Then he fit the light over the bracket and screwed it on.
Ta-Da! Here's the pretty new light!
Thanks, Honey, for letting me photograph your every move on this project. And thanks for getting it done before Autumn!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Still Singing...

Here is Garett, on the highway of Life, minus the lyrics. :o)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sing, Sing a Song

Remember a few weeks ago when Jess got out her guitar and the kids each took a turn to play?
Here's Wyatt with one of his songs:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Helper Man

Last week on Tuesday I had Wyatt for a few hours. We ran some errands, then picked up a carpet shampoo machine and headed home. Wyatt loves to vacuum, and that was his job before we cleaned the carpets: You can seek how seriously he took his job. He was quite thorough.
While he prepared the rugs, I prepared the shampoo machine. As soon as it was ready to go, he took it from me and got to work.
The machine was pretty heavy when it was full of water, so we took turns using it. Thanks to Wyatt's help, the carpets were shampooed in about an hour and a half.
To his delight, Leslie took the machine home with them and he got to help her clean carpets at home all afternoon. The key word there is "got" - I'm sure the day will come when it's more of an imposition to help us with our chores than it is a privilege, but until that day, I'm happy to have him as my assistant!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Pink Guitar

The kids were very excited that Jessica has moved back to our house and they are able to spend some time with her again. (We're all excited that she's moved back to our house!)
The kids come here on Tuesday mornings while Leslie works, and we try to do something new and fun each week. This particular day found Jessi at home, so she helped entertain them by bringing out her guitar. (You should have seen Grace's face when she saw the guitar was pink!) They sat in a row for a mini-concert,
then each one got to take a turn. Wyatt sang of his love for Spiderman and regaled Ironman as being "awesome"...
Gracie also sang of Ironman...
Garett sang "Life is a Highway" from Cars. He's a Lightening McQueen boy.
Shortly after their performances, Jess inadvertently hit the ceiling fan with the neck of the guitar and broke some strings. That put an end to the music making that day, but I'm sure there will be more. Remember how Tucker loves pink? He'll want his turn...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Patriotic Decoration

This was a "use what you have" craft project I threw together last weekend. I've been looking at a piece of 4x4 in the garage for awhile, thinking about painting it up to be a firecracker for 4th of July. Turns out I already had red, white, and blue spraypaint, so I didn't have to buy anything.
This photo shows the piece I started by painting white. The other piece shows what it started out like.
It took several coats of white to get soaked in enough to cover. You'll notice the wood isn't in great shape, but that's okay. It lends a more "rustic" look to the finished product. The next step was cutting several stars out of adhesive-backed vinyl using my Cricut. I rubbed the edges down really well,
then painted the top section blue. Peel off the stars right away, then leave it to dry awhile. I had a fan running in the garage to help the drying process.

For the stripes, I taped off the blue section, then ran tape down the remaining length of the wood.
Make sure you really rub down the edges of the tape - then spray a couple coats of red.
Remove the tape immediately and let dry.
Here's the finished product sitting on the porch. It really catches your eye when driving past the house.

The best part was not spending any money to make it!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy S'mores Day!

That's what I'm calling today, S'mores Day, since we didn't bbq or have fireworks here, but we did light up the fire pit and toast some marshmallows.
Jessi was kinda crabby about having her photo taken...
Here's Greg, putting marshmallows in the fire. Yeah, I need some longer toasting sticks. These metal skewers from the kitchen were a tad too short.
The fire pit was Greg's birthday gift from last year. We've only used it a couple of times, but I look forward to crisp Autumn nights outside next the fire.
Nick made his s'more with a York Peppermint Patty instead of a Hershey's bar. He said it was "very delicious".
I know my marshmallows were toasted golden brown, crispy on the outside, melted on the inside, and just perfect. Even though it was a cool, cloudy, and sometimes rainy day, both my kids were here, and that's the best way to spend any day for me - the s'mores were just a bonus!