Monday, March 14, 2016

DIY Tea Stain Reclaimed Wood Art

So, the Mrs. has been on me to make some displays for her jewelry.  She has scoured Pinterest for hours and finally came up with something to make!  I've been really excited about making these since our last endeavor to make our jewelry turntables. I"m going to save how this turns out for another post. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment and let me know!!!

I've used fence boards here, cut 22" long.  I've sanded the wood down, removing any loose wood or splinters.

 All I use for the tea stain is some steel wool soaking in white vinegar and some tea. I've read everywhere that the vinegar and steel wool mixture need to sit for 24 hours, I've had this soaking about 6 hours, so we'll see how it turns out!!

Here you can see the wood is a little darker after brushing on the tea stain, more then anything though it just looks wet.

This is about 20 minutes later after the tea stain has dried a bit, darker again.

Here you can see the wood is starting to grey. I've applied the vinegar/steel wool mix and now it's jus time to wait!

Sounds easy right!! It is!!! Put your wood together, paint it with some tea and then some vinegar/steel wool and wait.  No reason to make it difficult!! I'm going to wait until it's nice and dry and I'll go back over it all with some fine grit sand paper.

Let me know what you think!! And be looking for the final piece!!


So I'm finally done with this and it turned out fantastic!!!

My wife is tickled pink with it and cannot wait to hang her jewelry from it!!!

What do you think???

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Planting A Garden and Chopping Wood

So it's been a while, a long while, since my last update. I wanted to take some to tell you all what we've been up to!

The Garden

It's that time of year here in the south. Time to get the seeds in the ground.  We normally will do a square foot garden, Squarefoot Garden but it's on the far side of our yard and late in the season we all lose interest and the box just fills up.  In an attempt to stay focused this year, I decided to dig rows closer tot he house and I wanted to do it the old fashioned way, no tillers, just by hand.  After doing research I discovered that the best method for us was the double digging method. See this video for more information! I measured out the rows and over two days did all the digging needed, I was so proud at how well these looked and I could not wait for the weather to warm up.  My only concern was our dog.  Sugar is notorious for digging the garden and sure enough, the next morning, my light airy soil had been stepped in and dug up and all messed up.  For a moment I caught myself chasing the dog around the back yard with my kid's diamond minecraft sword.  During the chase I was reminded of years earlier when my childhood pet dog Butterfeet chewed up the water hose and my dad chased him around the same back yard with a piece of hose.  I laughed in the kitchen window watching him and thought he looked so silly...I didn't understand his frustrations then, but I completely get it now! So on to plan B. Sugar is scared to death of Walmart bags. So I just knew this new plan was going to work.  I tied string around my bed and attached bags all the way around.  This was most definitely the redneckedess thing I've ever made.  It didn't work. That dog was back in the bed the next day trying to find China! I formulated Plan C and this was it.  60 cinderblocks later there's a great cinderblock wall and now the dog can't get in it. It worked and now my plants are green and looking healthy!!

Chopping Wood

Sooo, as we were driving home the other day we saw a felled tree chopped up into nice rounds on the side of the road.  The Mrs. makes a comment wishing we had an ax to chop up that wood into pieces for our fire pit. Challenge Accepted! This was the first time I've ever handled an ax, I've ever chopped wood, anything! There is something so relaxing and satisfying about swinging a heavy piece of metal and that crack noise the wood makes as it splits. I spent hours chopping wood and huffing and puffing and sweating, I loved it! This led me to watch all kinds of videos on YouTube about chopping wood.  I can literally sit and watch videos for hours about chopping wood, it's so hypnotic! I have learned that seasoning the wood really does matter. In my excitement I decided to burn some of my freshly split pieces and even though it burned there was a lot more smoke and it choked us out.

Love these adventures and I love the kids helping me on these projects. I still have to dig up the blackberry plants and move them. I need to build a trellis for our squash plants and beans. all kinds of fun things going on!

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

After Dark discussion with a 5 yr old

Jonah with a milk mustache
I thought all the kids were asleep last night. Melissa was conversing with a customer on a new Harry Potter inspired bracelet, I was perusing Twitter and discussing Christmas trees.  Jonah, my youngest, snuck up behind me and very sheepishly told me he was hungry.  Well I have to fix that! So I decide that it's time for a father and son PB & J.  My dad taught me a special way of making PB & J's so when it's time for a father and son one, I always make it the same way.  I'm passing this treat on to my kids and I'll share it with you as well.

First, get your PB and put a spoon and a half per sandwich into a bowl. Next, add in a spoon per sandwich of your favorite jelly.  Here's the secret, add in a teaspoon of honey and mix the concoction together as fast as you can for a few seconds.  The whipping action will cause the peanut butter to fluff up and spread easily on the bread. Lather generously and enjoy an amazing sandwich!!

Now back to the point of the post.  So as Jonah and I began to enjoy our sandwiches, the first words out of his mouth are, "Dad...did you know that grizzly bears eat milk to?!" Wow...out of all the things he could say he decided it would be about grizzly bears.  I asked him where he learned that amazing fact at and he explained to me that he had been watching the Old Wild Krats, which my generation will know as Zaboomafu with the Krat Brothers. This kid is like a sponge, he soaks up all kinds of different facts and it never ceases to amaze me when he can pull a fact out when we're talking about someone or something.  And that leads me to my point.

Kids are amazing. Kids are absolutely 100% incredibly amazing! Even when I don't think he's paying attention to me or what Melissa and I are talking about, he is, he cares, and he wants to be a part of it. As Dads, what are we doing to include our kids in life. What are we doing to make sure they feel they are a part of the family.  Those 15 minutes I spent with him were just so special last night, moments like that I will cherish for life.  I need to make a it a point to spend time like that with my wife and all three of my kids.  It's so important that as a Dad we take time out of our day to touch base with our family, individually, to make sure we understand what's going on in their lives.  I know I can get so involved with "life" that I'll miss out on those special moments.

So what do we, as dads, do to make this a priority? Do you have any special tips? I'd love for you to leave me some comments and let me know how you tune the world out and make that special times for your family.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Worry.....Why Do We Worry??

Let me set the stage for you.

You are a husband to the most wonderful wife in the world. Words cannot begin to express how amazing she is. You're a father of three crazy fun kids who are for the most part pretty good. You have a great job, but you are the sole provider for your family.  Your wife's small business makes a good amount of money during Christmas but most of the year she makes enough to keep it going. You have one vehicle and it's running pretty good, minor issues here and there, nothing that needs attention right away.

That was us two weeks ago. Really not much going on, we were just living our lives. Then last week I get ready to leave for work and I notice a nice big puddle of antifreeze under the car.  Because of it's location I can immediately rule out the water pump and can guess it's a couple of things. Either I have a hose leaking, the overflow reservoir is cracked and leaking or I have a crack in the radiator.  I look and look and look and cannot find the source of the leak.  I check the fluid level and decide it's safe enough to get to work in. The whole way there I'm worrying about the vehicle overheating, am I losing fluid as I drive, could something catch fire..just worrying. When I get to work, I notice that the driver side headlight appears to be crying or weeping, antifreeze is pouring out from under it. UGHGHGHGHGHGHGHH.....This is not what I wanted, not now!!

One of the benefits of working at the bank is the opportunity to meet so many people in different lines of work. Luckily, not long after the crying car incident our resident mechanic came in. I explained to him what happened and he offered to take a look at it if I would bring it by the shop after work.  I was on pins and needles as I drove it to the shop.  He hooked up some kind of pump to the radiator and applied some pressure and use his fancy mechanic's light to locate the leak.  I saw it before he did.  There was what appeared to be a green river busting from the dam that is the radiator. A nice crack towards the top was spilling fluid everywhere.  I'm pretty sure that my van and I shared a moment, we both were weeping. I asked how much it would be to replace the radiator and he gave me a ballpark figure of $550 AFTER the bank discount. My feelings were hurt...$600 to replace a radiator????!?!?!!? Well I smiled and thanked him and drove the crippled van home, watching the temp, just waiting for it to overheat.

I don't have $600 to pay for this. We're still reeling from Christmas and now worrying was at a max , I could feel the stress building and it was time to share my burden with my wife.  We talked about the options and she suggested I call my Dad.  Now my dad is a jack-of-all trades. Dad can do anything and I really hope I'm working toward that goal as well.  Dad and I talked for a few minutes and decided to check the internet for a radiator, and once we get it I would make a trek down to him (about an hour away) and he would help me replace.  I began to feel a little better..slightly...but I was still worried about the travel, would the van make it, would there be any damage for driving that far...worry worry worry.

We were able to find a replacement one for $ that means even after gas I would have spent less then $100. Now..where do I get that, we don't even have that!  And like an answer to prayer (which I know it was) my wife sold some more jewelry and it covered the radiator and gas! Praise God! My wife once again reminded me not to worry, that God's got us wherever we are and any trouble we have, He's already seen us through, we just have to rely on Him...F.R.O.G., y'all remember that one right!!  I felt so much better...still a little worried..but relieved!

Fast forward to today.  We were out of eggs so I volunteer as tribute and head to the grocery store (I don't want the Mrs. driving the van if something goes wrong). On my way I notice that the van is now idling VERY ROUGH...and as I accelerate there's so much hesitation, and I felt this terrible feeling in my stomach..oh man no..not now, I really cannot afford another problem..we haven't even fixed the radiator yet!  I'm pretty sure I experienced chest pains from this one..

Thanks to some very friendly help from the great people at Autozone and their handy dandy car computer, we were able to diagnose the problem as either a bad wire, bad plug or a cracked head...I knew which one I didn't want it to be.  I managed to hobble myself back to the mechanic shop and explain to him what was going on.  He took it back, much like a doctor caring for a patient and asked me wait while he did his best.  I waited...and waited.......and waited...the whole time the worry just building in me, making me so tense.  I tried to hide my feelings, to stuff them deep down..maybe if I didn't think about it, they would go away.  That wasn't working. So I decided maybe something funny would take my mind off so I watched a few videos about cats getting scared by cucumbers. Even that didn't cheer me up..and seriously if you haven't watched it you gotta check it out! Take like five minutes and watch this video and then come back and finish reading..don't get sucked down the wormhole that is YouTube...I did while writing this post!!

Anyways after a while they drive the van back around. I'm watching the mechanics emotions as he gets out of the he sad for me?? Was it an easy fix and he's happy??? I just don't know and I'm freaking out.  I'm pretty sure time crawled as he walked from the parking lot back to me. He comes in and has me sit down. I'm preparing for the worse. He's talking slow and choosing his words. My stomach is in knots. I cannot lose this vehicle right now, I just can't. We cannot afford another one, we can't afford to get it fixed...what are we going to do!

And then he just smiles..a very big smile. He's playing games with me.  Turns out it was just a spark plug, a $6 spark plug.  He put one in and had drove it around testing it, no issues and he didn't even ask for payment, and told me to have a good day.

God had to be grinning from ear to ear...just trust me He's yelling! TRUST ME!! LEAN ON ME!! ASK MEE!! He had it all figured out..everything was set that it would happen today so all things would work out for me.  God is good!

But let's take a step back. Why do we worry? Why do we as dads allow the weight of the world to just hang on us. I have to take care of my wife, I have to take care of my kids, provide for them, love them, teach them, show them, be there for them.  If I can't fulfill those tasks, the worry kicks in. I worry they're not going to be taken care of, I worry I can't be the dad they need, I worry I can't be the husband my wife needs. So much worry when I'm reminded that God's got this...God's always got this.  And then today my wife showed me this verse!

I mean even as I'm typing this, I'm choking back tears. I trust in Jesus, I trust in God, I trust that there is a plan for me, my wife, and my children but why do I still worry.  What if the mechanic had come back and said the engine was trash..what then. I'm sure I would have broken down in tears. Some days it's just to heavy..some days it's so difficult to come home after being yelled at all day because people can't take care of their money and choose to yell at me for it. Then knowing that there's work around the house that needs to be done, the car is breaking, our bank account is low do I smile at my kids and tell them it's going to be okay?

And that's where God comes in. Maybe these "storms" or "valleys" are give to us, not to test us, but to remind us that regardless of what we've got going on, He's protecting us and working everything out in our favor.

Thank you God...thank you.

Why do you worry?? Share in the comments or tell me on twitter, I'd love to talk more about it!!


Friday, January 1, 2016

1st Post ---- Can't Believe I'm Doing This!

SO....I'm doing it!

I'm not much one for writing. I really don't feel that my thoughts and expressions come across in a clear manner, however, I love being a father and that's why I'm doing this!

First off, here's my story.

My name is Jacob. I live in small town, MS. I'm 30 as of this post. Christ follower, husband, father. I've been married to Melissa for 10 very eventful years.  During this time, God has blessed me with 3 awesome kids, ages 10, 8, 5. I work for a regional bank during the day and at night I help my wife with her jewelry business... ....check it out! She's amazing at creating one of a kind pieces and she loves creating fan jewelry too.  Good stuff for the Harry Potter, Dr. Who, and Sherlock fans in your life!

Growing up, I had a great example of what it means to be a father. My biological father ran off before I was born. My dad adopted me when I was about 10, he's been the only dad I've ever known.  I met my wife during my sophomore year of college and we quickly hit it off.  I'm not ashamed to say it wasn't long before we were expecting our first child. I will always remember the day I found out Melissa was pregnant and how I felt. Words cannot express the joy and excitement but also the fear that came along with knowing I would be helping to raise a human being.

It was at this point I realized my dad was a great example but I didn't have a clue what I was suppose to do. I honestly had never changed diapers, never been around babies, didn't know how to take care of them..I was worried sick. Nine months later, Hannah was born and my dad senses kicked in. Lots to learn but we figured it out together.

Fast forward 2 more kids and 9 years later. I now volunteer at my local church where I help teach a crazy fun group of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. NEVER would I have imagined my love for kids before getting married and the birth of our baby girl.

And that's why I'm doing this. I've had some fun experiences with my kids. I've had some scary experiences with my kids. I've had some sad experiences, but God has carried my family through every single one and he continues to bless us.  I pray that through this blog I can share what He's done for us and how He teaches me to be a better husband and father.

I want to be a dad blogger, I want to have that title, I would love to go to Dad Blogging conferences and connect with Dad Bloggers around the world. I want to share what I learn from other dads and how to apply these things to your own lives.

Follow me on twitter @Daddysdo and let's continue the conversation.  

Comment and let me know what it means to you to be a dad