Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Repurposed Basement Day 2..

This is a slow process for a family with small children, a pregnant wife, and the real world spinning quickly around us, but we are trucking on! 

Last night I thought I would jump ahead of schedule and start knocking down a wall while Brent did a little waterproofing (more about that in a minute) but...  I guess I chose the wrong board to mess with and the top part of the wall came crashing down on my face and gave me a pretty bright red gash across my nose and cheekbone!  Really it wasn't that big of a deal, but Brent thought it might be best if I put down the hammer and took my pregnant behind back upstairs and made cookies or something!  

Well today is another story... my face HURTS!  (insert joke here) 

The final step that we finished last night after I posted was to use a waterproofing material that was recommended to us by a friend who owns a construction company.  Once again we have some water issues in our basement, so we are trying to fix the problem without having to do the full dig-out around the house or an indoor drainage system or spend $10,000+!  Our DIY'er approach to waterproofing is also a major reason for the scaled back re-model, we want to be able to watch our waterproofing work for the next year or so before we invest $1000's and $1000's in a full remodel.  

The basement at "440" is approximately 70 years old and as you can see by the pictures is a poured concrete and cement block foundation.  Overall our basement is in great shape and has been used as an unbelievable amount of storage over the many years!  When my Grandparent's were living, this basement was so full of interesting pieces of vintage furniture stacked as high as it could be... It was a place to find anything you could ever want....  oh the memories!  

With all that being said, our water issues basically consist of the following problems:

  • Seepage from the wall joints
  • Water is not coming through the walls
  • Water never covers the entire floor, usually only certain corners
  • Water to our knowledge has never exceeded 3/4 inch
  • Water never remains standing, it usually dries out within 24-48 hours
  • We have a floor drain that works well
  • We do not have a sump pump
  • We have a very small dehumidifier
Here's what we plan to do to fix our problems:

  • Use Pro Flex 900 XLV around the joints and in the hairline cracks in the floor
  • Use Thoro Seal on the lower half of the walls, over the joints, and about a foot out on the floor.
  • Install a sump pump
  • Purchase a commercial size dehumidifier

Pro Flex 900 XLV inserted into the floor joints

Brent has step one of our waterproof fixes completed

Pro Flex 900 XLV Information

Brent also was able to remove the shelving systems that were used for storage.  I am going to recycle them into useful components:

Shelves Before

Where the shelves use to be

This area will hopeful be our entertainment/media area!

Down came the wall that use to separate the "coal room" from the rest of the basement!  This corner of the basement is going to be used for storage due the fact that this is the central location for all of the utilities, electric panels, and mechanical structures of the home...   We thought it would be easier to utilize the area if there wasn't a wall to work around.

Coal Room Before

Coal Room Before

Coal Room After

The next step was to try be as resourceful as we could by preparing the "OLD" wood from the previous walls into usable boards for future projects and scrap lumber needs!  With the recent interest in "Old Barnwood" the value of these boards are worth pulling nails and doing what we could do to save it!  This was a family affair, moments like this with your kiddos are priceless, even if they don't feel the same.

The cost of Day 2 = $? for Pro Flex 900 XLV
(we are still waiting for the bill)
Amount of time for Day 2 = 6 solid hours
The running total of the project = $0 / 14 hours

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm BACK>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Just when you thought you could delete this blog off your list of things you never look at, I have decided to put my world back into yours!  

I haven't posted since June and here is a list of some of the reasons why:

Gulf Shores  Beach, Gulf Shores, AL 2012

1.  We traveled all over the place this summer in our travel trailer... our crazy family rocked out Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama .... email me or leave a comment if you need any ideas on traveling in these states I have tons of info to pass on!  

2.  We found out that we were going to be a family of 6!  Our new addition is due on March 18th, 2013 and we recently found out that God knew what he was doing and is giving me another BOY!  We will be welcoming Axel Remington Snyder into our world before we know it!

3.  We didn't think we could wait until March to become a family of 6, so we opened our doors to a new family member in August, his name is Lukas, he is 15 and from Dusseldorf, Germany!  He is here on a foreign exchange program with the local high school and will be staying with us until June.  He is a true blessing and a great fit for our insane crazy family! 

But now to the real reason for me to start blogging again...

It is time for us to REPURPOSE our world again!  This time we are going for the challenge of repurposing our BASEMENT!  I have decided with a minimum of 4 boys + Brent in the house it is time for some much needed recreational space.  I am going to share over the next weeks and hopefully not months the crazy processes that the PROFESSIONAL SNYDER DIY'ER TEAM go through, invent, imagine, and actually can do!  I will share budget, supplies, and processes...   (this should be fun!)  

Our basement is poured concrete that is almost 70 years old!
Our basement is close to 1800 sq feet, we will be focusing on finishing approximately 1200 sq feet of this space during this round of home improvements.
Our basement has water issues
We don't have very much $$$$
This isn't meant to look like a professional job, but meant as a space for some rowdiness, play, and informal hanging out!

This is not intended to be a perfectly finished product that would meet "high living" standards, but it is meant to be a space that is able to be used by our children as they grow up... the nice stuff will come when we decide later in our lives as empty nesters if we want a properly done complete basement finish or an income suite to supplement our income as we travel around the US in our Motor Coach!  LOL

Step 1 is in process as I speak:
Clean out the space!  Remember this house is almost 70 years old... we have some CLEANING to do!  

As I sit here typing (unknown to Brent) he is downstairs with all of the boys carrying everything out and stashing it where ever he can find a place!   

Once we have everything out we will use the shop vac to clean the floors and all of the creepy stuff out of the dark corners, we will be breaking down some of the shelving units that have been put up over the years to make sure that we can reach every nook and cranny with our waterproofing plans.

The cost of Step 1 = $0   Amount of time for Step 1 = 8 solid hours 
The running total of the project = $0 / 8 hours

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Bucket List

Live for the moment!

The BUCKET LIST, everyone talks about it, some have given it deep thought, others might have gone the extra step and put it on paper, but usually it is only in fun....

As I have progressed through the last couple busy weeks of my life, I have gone about my business like I have all the time in the world.  But as I sit on the front porch in my swing today and reflect I realize that I have shed a  few tears the last couple of weeks and it hasn't been because of PMS!  It seems that everywhere I look, everything I listen to, everyone around me has been touch with a loss of some sort in their lives.  The news is full of car crashes, Facebook is full of prayer request, and the stupid talk shows that I have on in the background while I am cleaning the house are telling stories of families losing the ones they love, children being left without parents, and diseases that we can't cure!  WOW - it has really started getting too me!  

First thing I am going to do is tune out for awhile!  No need to fill my head with sadness, instead I am going to take these reminders to make sure that I live for the day and know that God will heal those in need... they say "he doesn't ever gives us more than we can handle"...  

Second thing I am going to do is focus on that stupid bucket list idea that everyone is talking about!  I have often made comments of the things I want to do, but I am going to make the commitment to get started, if I finish before my time, well I'll just start another one!

Laurie's Bucket List 

I am going to learn a second language!
I am going to live in another country for at least a year!
I am going to run a Marathon with my husband!
I am going to visit all 50 states!
I am going to renew my wedding vows on a beautiful tropical island!
I am going to become a snowbird and live in Florida or Arizona during the winter!
I am going to stop biting my nails!
I am going to know that I was the best Mom I could be!
I am going to kiss my husband on top of the Eiffel Tower!
I am going to eat sushi in Japan!
I am going to take a gondola ride in Venice!
I am going to try to get on The Price Is Right!
I am going to become a Yoga instructor!
I am going to dance in the audience of the Ellen Degeneres Show!
I am going to take Salsa dance lessons with my husband and dance the night away in Brazil!
I am going to send a message in a bottle!
I am going to travel Route 66 from start to finish and see all the stupid stuff in the travel guide!
I am going to do missionary work in another country!
I am going to be a host mom for a foreign exchange student!
I am going to see all three of my children baptized!
I am going to live a happy life!
The End... for now!

What do you want to do with your life?  
If you need ideas to get started on your own Bucket List here are a couple of sites I found that inspired me. 

Get to swinging and write you Bucket List... it is really something that makes you think!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

Sometimes I am just weird...

  • There are 17 different species of penguins... who knew!
  • If I can kill ants with Windex, I wonder what straight ammonia would do?
  • The bottom of my fridge is nasty!
  • I love my Pastor!
  • They should have toilet paper rolls on display at the store so you can try it before you buy it!
  • My arms are flappy.
  • It was really mean of me to call one of my kids lazy the other day...shame on me!
  • I wonder if I would look like an idiot if I put my pink flamingos in the front yard?
  • Crackin up cause the boys thought that the frozen lasagna that I made they other night was the best thing I had ever cooked!
  • I am overwhelmed by to dos
  • I love my Dyson
  • My house is loud
  • My Grandma is such a Lady!
  • My husband is really smart
  • What is it with  my kids messing with their straws?
  • I am going to start recycling today!
  • I wonder what I can do with this roll of bright pink duct tape?
  • Crap,  I have to buy Easter candy...
  • SpongeBob is a good friend!
  • I hope this load of socks is one of the last ones I do this season.
  • I wonder if I should have a bail fund instead of a college fund - Just in case?
  • I think that Damon on the Vampire Diaries is HOT!
  • Lovin me some Johnny and June!
  • Why does my neighbor like to use pure cow crap on his garden... please let the wind blow another direction!
  • Band-aids heal everything immediately
  • Boys are born with a built in motor......BRUMMMMMMM BRUMMMMMMM
  • I hate automatic updates!
  • Seriously... I have to UNLOAD this dishwasher again?
  • What did I do to get stuck between two houses that don't know how to mow their lawns!  
  • I am happy for my Dad today!
  • I wish my brothers lived closer!
  • I can hardly wait to give my parent's their birthday gift... I might have to do it early!  I am such a bad gift giver... I never can wait!
  • I am glad my boys aren't too old to be dressed alike!
  • I am excited to spend the summer with Brent!
  • WoW - the bushes in front of my house are BEAUTIFUL!
  • I wish the stupid tire on my Vette would stop going flat!  Shame on who ever keeps stealing my valve stems!
  • I need to read my Bible more!
  • Remember to FORGIVE
  • Someone told me that if you chew gum while you cut your onions you won't cry... I wonder if that is true???
  • I think I am going to have to see Titanic in 3D.
  • Easter Sunday will be a fun day to see all of the fam!
  • Is gas really going to be $6.00/gallon?
  • Politics suck - and so do our choices!
This is just a few thoughts that went through my head between 8AM and Noon....  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fear This!

How scared are you today?   How scared were you yesterday?  

As adults, we like to refer to ourselves as having anxiety - not fear!  Do you remember when you were a kid and those few moments in your life when you were truly scared!  The first roller-coaster, the first water-slide, the first sleepover, the first scary movie, the thought of be separated from your parent's, the first time you learned about hell?  Well, we experienced a moment with Drake, our middle child, this week where he had to deal with true fear!  LEARNING TO RIDE A BIKE!

Some might say, learning to ride a bike isn't that big of a deal...  I thought I agreed!  But, Drake's level of fear rivaled that of falling into a black hole!  You have to remember - everyone says that once you learn to ride a bike you never forget - so this was history and a life skill that we were getting ready to embark on - BIG DEAL!

1st trip down the hill

Finally after many tears, begging, bribing, and telling him to do it "because I said so"... we finally made it down the hill in the grass!  There is something about going downhill in the grass that makes a kiddo proud...  and a Daddy too!

Bottom of 1st trip down the hill

And just like that, his fear was put to rest... mind you that it still creeps up now and then, but overall the big part is gone!

As an adult, I have learned to deal with those silly kiddo fears, I fear BIG things now, car crashes, childhood diseases in my children, losing my children, dying while my children are young, losing Brent in death or illness... pretty heavy stuff huh?  If only, I could just cry, be bribed, deal with it "just because someone told me too", and just get on my bike and ride down a beautiful green hill to make all my fear go away - I WOULD SO DO IT!!!!   Would you?

This last week we were out on the road, many miles of highway, car full of not so quiet children, heavy rain, and 7800 lbs of camper behind us, an overall stressful situation.  As we were driving down the road, I realized that I never fear or worry when Brent is driving - I trust him and believe in him completely, even in scary situations!  I feel in my heart that there isn't anywhere he can't go or anything he can't do when driving, I feel 100% safe!  Then I thought a little deeper, I trust him the same way about our marriage, then I thought further and realized that I should really put God in the drivers seat the same way I put my husband there! THEN WE HAD A BLOWOUT!

Weird?  Odd?  Kinda Creepy?  You betcha!   I think God just gave me the answer to my question!  

long rainy highway

Our fears are serious, they come in different shapes and sizes, they are big and small, some are temporary and some are lifelong, but all are controllable with the right heart.  Most of us keep our fears to ourselves or at the most to those very close to us. Some of us are strong willed and deal with our fears face first and some, like my husband, deal with fears by ignoring them and hoping they go away or fix themselves!  Regardless of how you deal with yours or how you deal with those around you that have fear, find peace in the Lord and know that it is within your own heart to control your fear.  You can't control the world and you can't control God's will, so enjoy your day with a fresh mind free of fear and worry and know that there is a plan!  Sometimes it seems like a really bad plan, but you don't know what that really bad plan might be saving you from! 


I want to extend a challange to everyone, to remember a simple key to life... the world isn't just the 100 mile radius that you live in!  There is so much out there that didn't even cross you mind today - you go about your life only fearing for yourself!  Your biggest problem today was that there was a slow driver in the fast lane! Why don't you knock it up a notch and share some of the fears of others like our orphans and our abused children, if you feel that your day can't be complete without worrying about something, worry about the greater good and bettering life for everyone around you!  This is the type of fear that God wants us to have - the fear of urgency!  The fear of running out of time to help those who need the help the most, those with empty hearts and broken spirits!  

Don't swing through life being self absorbed and fearful of what you can't change, be fearful of what you can do and how little time we have to do it... share the word, share your heart!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away!

It is officially day 4 of  8 of Spring Break and I am about to jump ship and abandon the rest of my family!  They are on my LAST NERVE!

If you would like for me to write a blog that sounds politically correct, I would say how much I was enjoying our time together and that it was moments like this that I would treasure forever, but I am sorry to say that isn't reality in MY world, and for those of you that think it is REAL in your world - please email me your secrets!

We are out on the "open road" in our 33' Travel Trailer, a Keystone Sprinter Bunkhouse complete with all the bells and whistles!  We had big plans, we were going to hit "uncharted" territory and embrace all of God's beautiful wonders within the Midwest!  We even scrapped up our change from the bottom of the dump box for gas money.... Well, my friends, here we are less then 100 miles from home in Branson, MO, a place we visit more than 6-8 times a year - not quite the "uncharted" territory we were hoping for!

Why, you might ask... STORMS.... BIG STORMS... and when you have over 7500 lbs strapped to your a** in pouring rain - you don't make it far!

We are at Table Rock Lake and it is beautiful, don't get me wrong, and we are grateful for our time here, don't misunderstand that either!  But, we would love the opportunity to hike, bike, and grill over the fire - not brace ourselves for "high winds"! Contrary to popular belief, it isn't ALWAYS fun when the trailer starts rockin!  (lol)

I know that I have sounded very negative about our trip so far, but maybe it is just that it isn't exactly what this "type A" personality had planned for vacation.  It wasn't smart for us to plan to park next to the playground with a almost two-year old that doesn't understand that it is pouring rain and he can't go outside, or he doesn't understand that you can't scream over and over at bedtime - right when quiet hours begin!  Does he not understand how much stress this puts on the Snyder's to keep up with the Jones's next door???

I don't want you to think that our trip has been a total loss or that we haven't enjoyed anything about the other members of our family - because, NO MATTER WHAT we love each other - but liking each other might be a different story!  We have watched a ton of movies, eaten a lot of marshmallows (unroasted), went to Silver Dollar City, and spent a whole day THRIFT STORE shopping! - Now that is what I am talking about!  I was able to score a new crock pot, dish rack, trash can, and TWO PINK FLAMINGOS for the RV!  Thank you Lord for the small blessings you provide!

I do love them- it is a true test of a family to spend multiple days in a 33' x 12' space. I am proud of my parenting skills and the fact that I have my children and husband with me in such a small space and it doesn't feel "WEIRD" to be sooooo close to each other!  We are a true family - despite our crazy moments were we can't stand each other, my boys will remember this forever and if they don't I WILL REMIND THEM when they have kids of their own!

I am hoping to swing into a new campground tomorrow - stay with me to see if we all come out alive LOL!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Girlfriends Spring Evening Get-Together

Holy Crap, I will just die if anyone sees my house looking like this! 

Have you ever had this thought? I do about every time I see someone walking down the sidewalk in front of my house. I have a horrible pit in my stomach that shouts...PICK UP THE DIRTY UNDERWEAR - FAST! Well, here is the solution to that problem - schedule frequent gatherings at your home! This is the method to my madness, PRESSURE! 

When keeping a home, it is important to remember a few important tips:

 ***Lady's Rule #? - always have towels hanging in your bathroom, and not the ones you just showered with! Keep some towels in the house that are for guest use only... hide your daily towels behind the shower curtain - it usually takes a nosy or a long term guest to look behind the "curtain"! 

 ***Lady's Rule #? - stash your dirty dishes in the stove or under the sink! I learned this trick from my Great Aunt Ora. I didn't really catch on to her wisdom, until many years after she was gone - God Bless Her! 

***Lady's Rule #? - Always make sure your house smells good... if it doesn't - get rid of the husband and kids and it will smell pretty again (that is one of those "just kidding" moments) The SMELL, that brings me to my next point, tonight I scheduled a gathering at my house, because I felt like it was getting a little stale and I needed a little pressure to get it up and running for spring! 

Windows open, trees blooming, sun shining - OOHHH WHAT IS THAT SMELL? 

That's what it was - a scentsy party! I wanted to make sure that I had time to enjoy my evening with my girlfriends, but I also wanted to make sure that didn't stink up my house with cooking smells, so I had to think outside the box and think about ways to provide a lite dinner without having to prepare right before my guest arrived or while they were here. I came up with an idea of spring baskets and picnics... when you have a picnic you 1.) prepare ahead, 2.) use disposable items, and 3.) it is already divided into individual servings.

Here is what I came up with:

Ladies Picnic Lunch/Dinner Idea

I searched the Internet for ideas and found that I needed to gather a little from there and a little from there to meet my expectations!

First, I hit the Dollar Tree and it is the month before Easter, so baskets galore and cheap!  I bought what they had and a variety of colors, then added tissue paper as a liner. I picked up clear plastic serving cups to fill with an individual salad and a "pre-bought" mini cupcake from one of the gourmet cupcake shops that seem to be everywhere nowadays!  (It was easier for me to purchase then to make - I am not a successful baker, so the sweets are better left to the professionals) I then picked up cheap plastic forks and a variety of napkins, and some wax paper!  Now I was ready to assemble the meal.

Item #1: Chicken Pita Sandwich

Item #2 Strawberry Spinach Salad

Cupcake from Star Cakes

Bottle of Soda;
I served a variety of Grape, Orange, and Strawberry - all in bottles!

Last, but most important;
A personal item that you make for your girlfriends to let them know that the quick dinner didn't mean you didn't put any time in on them:   HOMEMADE LIPGLOSS!

Yum - Smile

The great thing about tonight's festivities are: 
  • Clean House
  • It gave me a reason to have more fresh flowers in the house
  • Dinner was ready by 2PM today - therefore there weren't any dishes to do tonight
  • Awesome time with the Girlfriends for me and Awesome time with the kiddos for Brent
  • Everyone enjoyed the meal and thought it was an adorable awesome idea
  • My friend Shannon hosted her 1st Scentsy Party and totally rocked it out!
Daisies make me smile!

I am NOW enjoying a glass of wine with NO REGRETS!  My home is PEACEFUL!

Getting ready to swing into the weekend!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Antique Books and Flowers Table

One of my favorite things to do is decorate my dining table.  Somewhere in my adult life I made up a "Lady's Rule #?...  Never have an undressed Dining Table... always be ready to host anyone who walks through your door"  

Homer's Odyssey 

So today, I updated my Wintry mix of candles, gold, greenery, etc... to a fresh upbeat Spring look.  The first a foremost rule is to never spend any money that day on the table.  I always keep my eyes open for unique off the wall items that might turn into a very eclectic table setting in the future when I am out thrift shopping.  Part of the fun that I have is searching the house for a theme or treasures that would bring an interesting conversation to the table, today it was Old Books.

I had some old books that were left on a bookshelf after my Grandfather passed away and I had displayed them on a shelf, but it was time for others to see them up close and personal.  Today, I have REPURPOSED the old into something new!  

Here is a picture of the whole table

I started with a table runner and added some dimension to it by adding lacy place-mats under it.  Then I stood back to take a look, then I started to add a little of this and a little of that.  I usually plan a good couple of hours of fidgeting with it and I usually come back to it over the course of a couple of days until I have it just right!
Some of the items that I used:

Random candlesticks
Bird Music Figurines
Fresh Flowers from the Neighbors Yard
(please secure this part of the table after dark and make sure they aren't invited to dinner)
Green Napkins with Wooden Rings
Lenox Dishes
Old and I mean Really Old Books!
I never make one place-setting look like another - I usually just place items in different arrangements

Thank you neighbor on the left

Thank you neighbor on the right

I am sure that this won't be the way it looks in the end, if I have time and the boys are running crazy around the house, I would like to add bows to my vases, maybe some kind of bow or lace tied around the chairs and I would like to add a couple individual stems of flowers to each place-setting... 

Now I have to swing on in to the kitchen and cook something to serve!