craft: wooden spool table

So, I really wanted to make a clock out of a wooden cable spool. Voila – new construction down the street, and there, stacked on top of a pile of pallets by the dumpster, a wooden spool. Perfect size.

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Brought that guy home.

Then it sat for a few weeks while I decided that our home didn’t actually need any more clocks. But I remembered seeing something like this on a blog one time.

So my little man helped me take it apart, sand it and put it back together.

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Both the big kids helped paint the sides, we attached some wheels, and done!  I love that it was originally constructed with the metal screw rods inside the wooden spool (we removed half of the wooden supports) so we could use the rods for book props underneath.  They love it!  It’s just their size.  We already had the chairs, and I already had the paint, so the whole project was $4.97 for the caster wheels on the bottom.  I love those kinds of projects. :-)

Now I’m realizing that our playroom does need a clock, so I guess I’ll have to go find another spool. 😛

just remember…

My daughter was upset that I wouldn’t let her take her indoor toys (dolls, Barbies, etc) outside to play in the yard with the neighborhood kids.  We had a little timeout for her attitude – one thing we work on constantly is being content with what we have. (Our motto is, “be content with what you have or you lose what you have”.). 

She was upset because she wanted to have a “club” with the neighborhood kids, which really just means playing like they do every day, but with a special hand drawn sign saying “club” taped to the front door.  😛

I offered her a few options – have a club with outdoor toys, make a fun sign or invitations… She balked at those but then eventually ran off to do her thing. 

Then, I see her in the kitchen, cup after cup disappearing out the front door. Then plastic straws, then crayon and paper. And my immediate thought is, “What a mess!” 

Then… I went outside to see what she was doing. 

“I got everyone a drink so they wouldn’t have to run all the way home if they got thirsty. I was thinking of others as more important than myself.” (Another motto) 

Well, melt my heart. 

So, just remember…  We’re not just here to make sure they don’t make a mess.

Remember to cherish it, dwell in it, watch what they’re learning and praise the good things. 

Slow down and take a picture of it so you can remember the sweet times. 

mommy pto

My hubby gave me a Mommy Paid-Time-Off weekend this weekend. He was gone on three separate trips this month and thought I’d enjoy some time away from the little people in our house. :-) 

Yes, please. 

I went to my parents’ house; my brother came up to spend the weekend too. Not sure if many people would say, “Gee, I can do whatever I want this weekend – I think I’ll spend it with my little brother and parents.” 

But I would! 

We barely made it there. It was the big Texas Blizzard of 2015, you know. But, once we were there we were iced in, so the weekend quickly changed from shopping/movie theater/out-to-eat weekend… into stay-home-and-do-nothing weekend. 

Well, maybe not nothing

A quiet drive alone…

We made it! And home cooked dinner was waiting for us…

Saturday morning Skype session to watch my older brother (deployed) be promoted to Lt. Colonel! 

Homemade sleds out of cushions, cardboard and trash bags… 

Yes, we’re in our 30s. But who cares?  It was fun. Even my parents tried it! 

Cookies, coffee and board games… 

And a QT drink for the drive back home. :-)

Thanks, Dusty, for braving the ice with me. Thanks, mom and dad for hosting – and raising a brother that I’d want to spend time with. Thanks, Matt, (and nana and pops) for caring for our kids so I could disappear for a while. I’ve got the best hubby out there. 

our house daily

On a good day, when I have the house picked up before my husband gets home, I suppose it can look like we didn’t do very much during day.  I guess if it looks the same in the morning and evening, then nothing happened in between, right?


Right now, I just have the two boys with me at home during the day, so naturally it becomes “boyish” around here while sister is at school.

Just a snapshot of what happens here on a regular basis…


The orange one that got away.


Friends came over = snack time x 2.


A little extra decoration in daddy’s office…


The vehicle lineup, protecting our fireplace from… something?


And I can assure you that those hand weights are not there because I worked out this morning…

How many times a day do you tidy up?  Do you let it all go until the end of the day?  My husband said that he realized our house is like my office or workplace, and having it be a mess would drive him crazy if it were his “desk.”
(What if your co-workers came and messed up your desk 14 times a day?)

I tidy up every day (several times a day) because it is… it’s my office.

But, it does my heart good to stop every once in a while and notice the imagination and fun and childhood that is going on around me.

It’s their office too.
Play is their work.
And who am I to mess up their work? :-)


antique door farmhouse table

3 years ago, I went to Canton, TX.  If you live nearby and have never been, well, go.

I drove there in my husband’s little green Honda Civic, which I thought would mean that I wouldn’t purchase anything large.


Years before, a friend said, “Someday, I want to make a kitchen table out of an old door.”  That stuck in my mind… so naturally, when I was in Canton and came across a stack of old antique doors, I couldn’t just walk by.  And then I saw it… he was so beautiful, I had to have him.

A dark wood, 5-paneled, old pocket door with an oval brass handle.  I mean, I couldn’t just leave him there.  … And the dream of the kitchen table, right?  So, I made a quick phone call to the husband, “Hey, I want to buy this door… and make a table out of it. It’s only $30.  I could maybe pay for it now, and come back tomorrow to pick it up with a truck?”

To which he answered (like my awesome husband does), “Sure, whatever you want sweetie.”  Followed by, “I just don’t want it to become an unfinished project that sits in our garage forever.” (he knows me too well)

So I bought that little guy.  And rather than come back the next day, I folded down the seat in that little Honda Civic, stuffed my “future table” through the trunk, hanging out the back of the car, tied it down, and took him home like a true East Texas country girl.

And it sat in our garage for 3 years.
Now, to my credit, I didn’t actually start the project, so that means it wasn’t unfinished, right?
It was just a door… that sat in our garage for 3 years.
I tried it in our kitchen – it was rectangular; our space was square.
My husband said, “I think it’s too narrow to have two people sit across from one another.”

I don’t know how many times I set it up in our garage on saw horses over the years, just to see if it would actually work.


He looked pretty, but he just never fit in our house quite right.

Fast forward 3 years, and we moved to a new house.  Is it dumb to say that I considered the size of the kitchenette in our floor plan to see if my door table would fit? :-)

After considering tons of other tables that we could purchase, I knew that this was still the one that would make me happy.  And my husband said, “Do what you want.  Get the table that makes you happy.
Thank you, for giving me the freedom to do something that seemed so silly at the time.  (I even cried about it… sheesh)

I bought the chairs, bench, and table legs at the unfinished furniture store.



We had stain leftover from the cabinets in our new house, so we used that to match the door and the seats.


Isn’t it lovely?



The most exciting step for me – putting the legs on. It started to look like an actual table.


And there you have it.  After 3 years of waiting, and 2 weeks of sanding, staining, painting, sealing, drying, screwing, buying glass inserts… there it is!


I LOVE it.
I’m so glad I decided to go ahead with it.  And that hubby encouraged me to do it.


It has so much character.

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It makes me happy every time we use it.
So, I don’t mind cleaning crumbs out from under the glass, or wiping it 3 times a day, or whatever.
I’d have to say, it’s one of my favorite DIYs that I’ve ever done.  And it’s useful too. :-)

So come on over and enjoy a meal with us, or a game night, or a crayon-coloring session with our kids. We’re saving you a seat!

What about you?  Do you have something that you always wanted to do, and then finally got around to finishing?

my daddy retires

This Friday, my dad will retire. I cannot say enough about how proud I am of the years of hard work he has put in, and how excited I am that he can now direct all of that energy to the things he really loves… and maybe even relax a little bit. :-)

My dad went to West Point, served in the Army, became an Army Ranger, got married, had 4 kids, worked several jobs, and finally landed in his current job.  He has been there for just over 28 years.

Congratulations dad!  You’ve earned a well-deserved break.  And it means that you can come visit whenever you want now. :-)

In view of my dad’s retirement, here are 28 things that I love about my dad.

He is gentle, but firm.
He makes a point to tell me that he’s proud of me – every time I see him.
He does everything with integrity.
He wakes early in the morning to spend time in the Word… And with coffee.
He has been faithful to his wife for over 40 years.
He raised 3 men who know how to treat a lady, and a lady who knows what to look for in a man.
He tells me, “I love you, doll” on a regular basis.
He has worked hard for 35 years to provide for his family, without complaining.
He loves my kids.
He invests in my husband, and loves him too.
He spends time investing in the lives of other men.
He cooks for my mom.
He joins my mom in pouring into young marriages and families.
He has been a “student” of my mom, learning what she loves and what makes her happy.
He has been a faithful servant in their church for 30+ years.
He loves to work with his hands; he taught me how to use a table saw.
He was a daddy to all my little friends growing up, and still invites them to come over and visit even though we’re grown.
He spent Sunday nights at AWANA when we were growing up, teaching my brothers to memorize Scripture.
He built us a sandbox and a fort when we were kids, and built memories with it.
He lived next door to a grumpy neighbor for 20 years and taught us how to be patient with someone.
He and my mom worked hard in jobs, rental properties, and side jobs to provide us with everything we needed.
He is never too old to learn something new.
He taught me how to fill up my car with gas the first time, and even to change my oil. (which I forgot)
He has a good sense of humor.
He and my mom paid for my first car, my college education, and our wedding, and in doing so set us up for a financially successful marriage.
He is patient.
He is a peacemaker.
He loves Jesus.
I love you, daddy.  Thanks for being a great example of all these things, and more.

why I don’t hate football season (anymore)

In writing that, I admit that at one point, I did not like football season. (maybe hate is a strong word)

It goes like this…

First season of marriage (no kids), I loved football season.
Football season meant that every Sunday he watched football and I had a great excuse for a long extended nap on the couch. Quality time together, right?

Then we had a kid. And 3 years later, another kid. And this year, another kid.
And taking a nap during football was no longer an option… but watching football (for him) was still an option… if I would let him.

My husband played football in high school, and it was one of the most formative things in his life.  He loves football.  Watching, listening, playing… anything.  I wanted him to watch the games and enjoy them.  But there was this thing that would creep in every Sunday (and Saturday if you count college football) and steal away his enjoyment of it, and my level of enthusiasm in letting him.

It was called bitterness.

Bitterness at having to entertain the kids while he watched.
Although he would often offer to help, I felt obligated to say, “No, you can watch, go ahead.”   *mumble grumble*
“I’ll watch the kids.”   *mumble grumble*
Bitterness in seeing all that needed to be done around the house and thinking, “Doesn’t he see the laundry and the dishes and the… (whatever)… and he just sits there?”

Again, he would offer to help and I would say no thanks, with a smile on my face and a grumble in my heart.

Then this year, something changed.  I can’t say what spurred it on, except for the small (but HUGE) realization…
He works all day.  He invests in the lives of other people all day.  He provides for his family, and then comes home to a family that needs him and his attention.  He helps get the kids bathed, in bed and tucked. He spends hours on Saturday morning managing our finances.  He spends other free time doing building projects for our home, or hanging Christmas lights, or mowing the grass, or washing cars, or…

Now, he gets to have lunch meetings when he’s at work, which I would consider “fun,” since going out to lunch with 3 small children isn’t exactly fun.  He gets to have adult conversation, which I would consider fun, but he also has to deal with those adults on a regular basis. :-)

However, I get to do things that are fun for me during the day – work on crafts, do some freelance graphic design work, have a play date, take the kids to fun activities (work, but also play), have lunch with a girlfriend (even if there are 6 kids between us)… He doesn’t get to do that.   He very rarely gets (or asks) to go play poker with the guys, or have hobbies, or have time to do something that he really wants to do.  That’s just the nature of life with a busy job, a wife, a house (and rental properties) and 3 small kids.

When I realized that, my whole view on football changed.  I began to view 3 hours of football as something that I could give to him, rather than something that I could use to harbor bitterness.

“Darcie, what if you could give your husband a gift, every week, that you knew he would love, that would refresh and recharge him (unless his team loses), and it wouldn’t cost you anything except a little time and the effort of playing with your own kids?”

So, I started looking up the times when the Dallas Cowboys played on Sundays.  Noon game?  Let’s make it home from church in time so he can watch, and I’ll take the kids outside to play.  7:30pm game?  I’ll tuck the kids in so he can catch kickoff.  Monday night game and we don’t have cable/satellite at home?  Send him to a restaurant to watch.

How much does that cost me?  Not much.  How much is the return value? Worth every minute and snotty nose wiped.

Now, this is not to say that every once in a while, I don’t have a breakdown and say, “I just want help with the kids!  Stop watching for just a minute!”  Or that life doesn’t get in the way – the phone rings, someone stops by, kids have issues… That still happens, but I’d like to think that at least I’m getting better at asking for help instead of harboring bitterness.

So, wives, moms… I don’t write this to toot my own horn, but to ask, “What is your husband’s “football”?” What is it that he enjoys, but doesn’t get a chance to do because of job, kids, home maintenance, making-wife-happy-stuff?  Is it poker, hunting, sports, woodworking, photography, chess, tinkering with an old ’54 Chevy… what is it?

Consider giving it as a gift to your hubby.

It changed my whole attitude and outlook, and I’m a much happier wife too.