House For Six


Memorial Weekend Recap & A Backyard Tour

Deme Crinion6 Comments
I hope you all had a fantastic long weekend and aren't dragging too much today!  Last week was the boys final week of school and the all important preschool graduation added about 3 events (rehearsals, etc) to our calendar.  I think we had something going on every single morning and by the time the weekend hit, we were toast. 

Friends invited us over for dinner on Friday and even though we were tired, it was a perfect summer evening.  We ate outside picnic style...low key and relaxing and just what we needed at the end of a taxing week.  In fact, we shared a meal with friends almost every day this weekend. 

That may not seem like a big deal, but we moved here not knowing a single soul.  Good friends of ours from Albuquerque ended up moving here a few months after we did, and then our boys' Godparents'  family moved here on military orders a couple months ago as well.  Having good friends we consider family in the same city with us has been so incredible.

But God has also been faithful to bless us with new friendships too.  We spent Sunday evening with new friends and were just left feeling so grateful for the relationships that are growing here, both new and old.  When you are far, far from family, those relationships mean everything.  By the end of the weekend we were feeling humbled at how much God has done in the short 6 months we've been here in Ohio. 

Aside from enjoying time with friends, we had our sights set on the backyard.  Specifically, these planter boxes.  (of course, I did not take any pictures while this was happening so these are all after the fact via this morning - just give me the Blogger of The Year Award now).

We had no idea what the previous owners had planted or whether anything was still alive.  Turns out two of three beds were empty/dead and the third must have once held herbs, because we had one bunch of cilantro and one of flat parsley.  I've always wanted to have an herb garden, so we dedicated the rest of that bed to herbs, adding sweet basil, oregano, rosemary, and mint over the weekend.  
In the middle bed we planted jalapenos, cucumbers, and peppers.  The top bed has two new tomato plants.  Right now we just have the plastic tags stuck in the soil to identify everything, but the kids are ready to help make this area a little more personalized.

By the way, those water bottles the boys are holding are the bee's knees.  They let the kids "water" without fire-hosing the plants down with the regular garden hose, and bonus - they're also a great way to increase hand strength.  When Mia first started school, her handwriting was very light and her teacher gave us some exercises that didn't feel like work to increase her grip strength.  Using a spray bottle was one of them.

They're also good for watering down large balls, yard toys, and entire play sets.  Kept them busy for a good long while.

Speaking of play sets....this is supposed to be my "Mama Perch".  You know, the place were I can sit with a glass of deliciousness and watch the chicks play. 

Except for this....
Mr. Ill Positioned Rail causes me to either crane my next to see above it or duck to see below it.  I'm thinking a couple of bar height chairs and a small table will to the trick.

The other side of the deck has a built in bench and our old patio table.  It's looking pretty sad right now, but I'm envisioning strings of lights and fun colors to jazz things up.  Eventually...
The whole deck actually needs to be resealed, but we're not sure if that's a project for this year or next. 

 We also have this incredible balcony off our master bedroom.  I remember seeing it on our house hunting trip and dreaming of coffee on lounge chairs and all sorts of leisure and glamorousness of a life that I do not actually lead. 
In reality, there is a dirty old rug from the previous owners and a screen door from the slider downstairs.  No lounge chairs, no seating.  But still awesome, because hey - it's a balcony!  And one day we could do something really fun out there.

Below it is our designated grill area.  I would love to give James a table or cabinets to be able to better cook out there.  We grill most nights out of the week during the summer months, so this area could benefit from some love!

The far corners of our yard held a few surprises.  In the corner of the wooded area of the yard, we found a little fire pit the old owners left behind.

It needs to be cleaned up but we think this clearing is screaming for someone to plop down a fire pit, some chairs, and all the makings for some smores.

In the opposite corner we have this shed (near the garden beds).  We moved into this home right at the start of winter, so we promptly moved all our patio chairs into the shed (10 total).  We had friends over for lunch on Monday, went to retrieve the chairs and found we could only manhandle the doors open about 18 inches.  The doors expanded in the humidity and the chairs are pretty much stuck in the shed until we can figure out how to get them out.  Humidity veterans, help!!

Behind the shed we discovered the old owners dump zone.  Trash and junk and other randomness that we'll eventually need to go through.  BUT, that black thing.....a compost bin!  Win for us!  

We live in sort of a woodsy area, and the trees are no joke.    
It's such a serene setting and even though there's potential for a lot of projects, we're grateful to have such an awesome outdoor space to enjoy the summer!  However, we will accept any and all volunteers to help us deal with all those leaves come the fall.

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

Out With The Dead & In With...Something Alive

Deme CrinionComment
Once upon a time, we had the bright idea to transplant some of our rose bushes from the backyard to our barren front yard.  Turns out, our green thumbs are more of the brown variety.  Like dead as a dog brown.  And nothing says warm and welcoming as you approach our house like dead spikey skeletons of rose bushes past.

They might be good for some Halloween decorating but I've had the itch to add some color to the front entry for a long time now.  The weather has been gorgeous and fall mums have been calling my name!

It was fairly easy to pull these bad boys back up.  As soon as they were out, this random area already looked a thousand times better.

The boys and I made a trip to Lowe's and as soon as I set our colorful blooms down, I wondered why we waited so long to do this.  A year to be exact.  That's how long those ugly spike sticks were there, greeting our visitors.
 We're working on potting and arranging them today, but I think this picture says it all.  Good riddance!  And hello, Fall!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

The Backyard Lawn: Prepping For Spring

Deme Crinion2 Comments
Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  At the end of last week we had some super exciting stuff going on in our backyard.  Grass, people!  Grass! 

One thing I love about Albuquerque is that although it's desert, you still see a lot of greenery through flowers, trees, etc. in the neighborhoods near the mountains and along the Rio Grande....which ironically, isn't very grand.  Think large stream versus raging river.

Anyhow.  The backyard of this house was definitely a selling feature for us.  It's not huge but with three young bambinos, having a grassy yard that gets shade during the hottest part of the day was a huge improvement over the dirt and desert landscaping of our previous homes.

But since we are in the desert, things like an unnoticed broken sprinkler head and leaving large play toys out overnight, can very quickly lead to dry patches and dead spots in the lawn. 

I think the only post I shared last year that included shots of our backyard was this post on a summer brunch on the patio I had with some girlfriends (and with the Mr. playing chef).  I conveniently cropped out a patch of lawn in front of the brick that looked like it had a severe case of mange.

You can see a bit of it here:
Not only were there several bare patches, but the ground was extremely uneven. 

The rest of the yard was in pretty decent shape.  Just a few spots that needed some attention.

Since we've had some warmer temps and our yard will soon be coming out of it's dormant state, we decided to take care of our balding lawn baby.  We had a great crew come in and lay new sod in the area between the covered patio and brick patio/fountain.  You can see the line where the new sod meets the rest of our lawn.

When they dug up what was left of the old lawn they also leveled the ground.  So much better!  And safer for little running feet!

I'm standing on the patio where all those toys are camped out for this shot.

The rest of the lawn was treated with an aerator and seeded/fertalized.  

We need to water twice a day and stay off the lawn for a week.  Probably could have timed that better since the kids are on spring break this week.  Oops.

You can obviously see that the new sod is still dormant and not yet bright green.  It will come to life with the rest of our yard and after a few days of watering it's already turning green.  Purchasing sod at this point in the season is almost half the price of getting it well into spring/summer.  So, if you're considering it for your own yard, now is the time!  Unless you are lucky enough to be someplace where it's still snowing ;) Then it's best to wait until your mornings are free of frost.

Who else is getting to work in their yard? And who's still donning the hat and gloves?

A Summer Breakfast On The Patio

Deme Crinion1 Comment
On Saturday morning, five lovely ladies came over for breakfast.  It was a beautiful summer morning and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast on the patio sans kiddos!  The Mr. was our cook and served up German pancakes dusted with powdered sugar and a touch of lemon juice (basic recipe from The 36th Avenue) and crispy bacon.  The ladies brought some delicious breads and fresh fruit to share, making it quite the meal! 

I grabbed these pictures before we put out the silverware and some other serving dishes, but you get the idea....and cheerful table for a relaxing summer brunch.  The plates and cups were scored on a Target clearance rack, and they inspired this little shin dig to begin with.

When it comes to dressing a table, quality white linens are a great investment.  They're beautiful on their own or a perfect backdrop for building a fantastic table scape.  Add a colorful/seasonal runner over the top of a white table cloth to immediately change the feel....invest in white napkins instead of different napkins for each holiday, and swap out napkin rings or creative holders to fit your can easily bleach out any stains.....and maybe I'm just a little obsessed with white :)

On Thursday we picked up some food and flowers from Costco.  I let Mia pick the flowers and the girl could not resist her natural inclination (more like an intense magnetic pull) toward pink. Which ended up working out just fine.  I had a little helper setting out flowers in another area of our yard too.

We have a small bricked patio in a corner of our yard just across from the covered patio.  I set up a couple of chairs and covered a small round table from our garage with a colorful piece of fabric from my stash. 

Our patio table seats 6 and we were supposed to have 7, so  I wanted to be sure we had another cozy area to eat and chat. 

These two were happy to test it out

We hung paper lanterns in pink, green and yellow across the top of the awning.  This is the only pic I have of them - bad, bad blogger.

We had a table set up for easy access to drinks...this is just a colorful scarf thrown over a white table. 

I do have a cream set of coffee mugs, but I love when people set out their unique mugs for guests to choose.  The white ceramic jar here holds sugar.

And next to it was a container of sweeteners (Splenda and Pure Via).  It's always a good idea to have something like spoons or stir stick for people to stir their coffee...and more importantly, someplace to lay those drippy spoons when they are done.  This is a small crystal dish from my aunt that we use to make Greek cookies during the holidays.  I keep it next to my coffee maker and it's my daily spot to keep my spoon for my morning coffee.

We also had a glass pitcher full of ice water and the "tub" of ice (a large bowl) held bottles of Mimosa.  I was going to grab a few bottles of orange juice and champagne but spotted these premixed bottles at Costco and decided to give them a try.  Delish! 

It really was a lovely morning...delicious food, good company, and a chance to relax after a really long week. 

James gets the husband of the year award for corralling 3 kids while cooking up fresh food for a bunch of Mama's.  Thanks, Babe.

*Linked up at My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaA Bowl Full Of Lemons, A Glimpse Inside, The Shabby Creek Cottage & The Dedicated House