Blog Archives for category Projects

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Time for a panic attack: Purge Treasures

So, we just completed the pre-move walkthrough with the moving company guy. Consensus? We have too much shit. I know this comes as no surprise to people who know us… We NEED to purge but it’s SOOOO hard. So I decided today was the day to clean out the bulk of the four-drawer file cabinet. We just keep stuffing crap in there and never use any of it—and it’s about 200 pounds we can easily get rid of. Of course, I have to quickly sort through everything because there’s stuff I know I’ll want to keep, but I came across so much old junk that made me laugh or cringe that I posted some to Facebook.

CMU line dancing class coursebook. Because you know I still need a list of 60 line dances. #purgetreasures #recyclebin

A whole folder of song lyrics. Notice the year? #purgetreasures #recyclebin

A real stock certificate, circa 1995. #purgetreasures #keep


A friend’s senior picture. #purgetreasures #recyclebin

#purgetreasures #keep (But I’m sending it to Dana to keep!)

How many of my Grayling peeps remember these report card folders?! #purgetreasures #keep


From September 11, 1995 Central Michigan Lumber ad. #purgetreasures #recyclebin

Isn’t the limit for keeping taxes 25 years? :lol: #purgetreasures #shredder

#purgetreasures #recycle #roommatefromhell (I had quite a few roommate from hell pages!)

I’ve definitely needed to move this from Michigan to North Carolina to Michigan to North Carolina to Virgina. #purgetreasures #recyclebin

#purgetreasures #recyclebin

#purgetreasures #keep #nolongerexists #weddingreception

From the first time I saw it with my mom, circa 1992? #purgetreasures #unsure

Ahh. Taking out a $2500 loan to pay for uniforms. #purgetreasures #keep #usmc

Santa & Grinch



I reached my limit today.

The amount of toys they have that they don’t play with is insane. I dumped out all the bins from the shelving unit and I’m making them pick out their favorite things and the rest is going away. (And this is just upstairs. Ugh.) Happy Thanksgiving?!


Early Sparkle: Stage 2, complete.


This Year I’m Decorating For Christmas Early, Because The World Needs Some Sparkle (Subtitled “Stage 1, complete.”)

After reading this article—This Year I’m Decorating For Christmas Early, Because The World Needs Some Sparkle—I decided I really wanted to put up our Christmas stuff just a bit early…and since Tom loves me, it actually happened. :heart:


Our new landscaping.

We’ve hated the front bushes ever since we moved in and we finally got rid of them! Everything else was old and overgrown, too, so we convinced our landlord to buy the new stuff if we removed the old and planted the new stuff. He was game…and especially thrilled about the end-of-season prices…so we now have a full front yard of sod and way too many trees and grasses (but we don’t care because we’ll be long gone by the time they get overgrown).


We’ve been wanting to do this for two years.

Be gone, huge overgrown tree and nasty cedar bushes!

Now we have to get the landlord to purchase the agreed upon replacement stuff so we can get it planted!

Painting 11 years ago…

Anyone recognize where this is? Yep, the two-story foyer in North Carolina. 


Tom’s third morning project.

But now we get to take birch pieces home!! (His first two projects were getting the wifi extender and the cell booster installed and running!)

We had been talking about looking for fallen birch pieces to take home (birch trees are rare in Virginia) and my dad said he had a small birch he actually wanted taken down. Say no more. :) Two birds, one chainsaw. :)




Happy Shenny!



A bit of a crafty fail. 

I had done ornament wreaths before with no issues…but today was a fail.

The ball size didn’t seem to work well with the wreath size and it kept growing in thickness and it just looked weird. And then with just a few balls to go, I broke an already-glued ball, obviously realizing at that moment I wasn’t using shatterproof ornaments.

I had a good run prior to this one, but I think my wreath-making days are over. This is likely going in the trash and I’m out about $20.

Living large on a Friday night. 

An exciting Friday night…labeling shoe boxes with photos so I know what’s in each one. These are obviously the ones I don’t wear very often or are off-season. 


My hard workers!

Tom planted the new bushes today as well as put out new mulch! It looks a lot different but I love it and think it’s awesome!


A sewing machine lesson!

Grandma Jean attempted to teach me how to use Tom’s mom’s sewing machine that we inherited…by hemming some pants, sewing Tom’s name tapes, and altering some bras. It looks easy enough while I’m watching, but I’m not sure what will happen when it’s actually my turn!


Look at me getting all Pinteresty.

A friend shared a video on Facebook showing how to make a no-sew bag from a T-shirt. I normally bookmark these types of things with grand plans to do them but then never actually go back and do them. Amiright? But since I happen to have an abundance of T-shirts and 10 minutes to spare, I decided to make me a bag. :) I actually think no-sew was the key term for me. 

I used a really big tee (3X) and consequently had a really big bag:

Unfortunately I don’t think it came out looking quite as cute as I had hoped. (It will still work, of course, but just doesn’t look as cute.) It’s also hard to find a tee without graphics on the front/back that will most likely get cut into and ruined. I thought this one was low enough down but it looks funny. Again, it will work…it’s just not exactly right. So I’d suggest plain tees.

It was also very confusing when tying the second layer together—it was hard to tell which strips were supposed to be tied. Maybe it was because it was all black or maybe it was just my old eyes. Or maybe it would have been easier if I had cut the strips longer. (Yes, probably that one.) But it was a valiant first effort and only took maybe 10 minutes so I’ll likely try again.

The video originally posted was in Japanese and didn’t give full instructions so I searched YouTube and found this one which is a bit better.

My weekend project: How many parenting points do I win?


We donated a new Box Tops collection container!

At the last PTO meeting I went to, the principal mentioned that the current Box Tops display was getting a little ragged and needed to be fixed again. The Box Tops coordinator said she had tried to find a replacement but the company no longer offers them for sale. I immediately got the idea to see if we (me and Tom) could fix it—like maybe Tom could build the same thing but out of wood to make it more sturdy…

But once I got home and dove into Pinterest, I had better ideas! Once I got the okay from the principal and we actually decided what we were doing, it didn’t take too long. We ordered a mailbox from Amazon and Tom used wood that we already had…and this was born.

Once Tom got it painted and I got done designing the sticker and logo placements (a chore in itself considering how anal I am about this stuff and how perfect I wanted it to be), it looked damn good if I do say so myself.

So this morning I delivered it to the school. 

And here it is right when you walk in the school. :)

(Jamey Chianetta is the principal.)

So now there will be a small part of our family at Halley for many years to come, even after we’re gone. :)

Our snowflake ornaments up close!

These are the snowflake ornaments we all painted at Owen’s school before Christmas.

This is about as close as I get to Pinteresty things.

I volunteered to do the posterboard table signs for Owen’s school’s Fall Festival this coming Friday (these are for tables with games and activities). I may have gone a tiny bit overboard (EVERYTHING was designed and printed then cut and glued!), but it felt great to do something creative for once!












Sorting Stones

I finally got around to sorting the bucket of stones from our beach trip…

Unfortunately…not all the stones were legit. I blame Tom, who was grabbing lots of random fossils, LOL. (They’re neat and all, but they’re no Petoskey stones!)

Only the bottommost piles were actual Petoskey stones (broken up into partial Petoskeys, good Petoskeys, and excellent Petoskeys). :)