Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen! Celebrating Easter Weekend

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a great day. It was a beautiful day to celebrate Jesus' resurrection! I love that Easter (unlike Christmas) has been relatively unpolluted by commercialization and materialism. It is a true celebration of the reason Jesus came to this Earth. Our sermon this morning was related to how the Old Testament prophesies were fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." -John 3:16-17

My parents came into town for the Easter weekend. My mom and I went and saw the NYCB at the Kennedy Center, which was awesome. My dad helped me fix the little toilet problem that I had talked about last time. I had bought the wrong gasket (needed the American Standard gasket), which was causing the tank not to seat correctly. So, that is all fixed (pictures that include the toilet are shown a little later). We also fixed the exhaust fan problem in the last post. Turns out that stupid thing was nailed into the frame and we had to go into the attic to pry it off. The dirt-like stuff is actually insulation that is made from old newspapers.

After we finally got the box out (a crowbar was necessary).

And done. We screwed the new box in essentially the same place.

The good news is that the fan now works!

We also decided to tackle the backyard. I haven't even taken pictures of that area because it had been so embarrassing. As a result, I don't actually have a "before" shot for you. However, here is one taken from the patio last fall when the leaves had completely covered the area.

Notice the ivy on the left of the picture. We ended up filling 11 bags this weekend. We trimmed back the trees, cleared up leaves and flower petals, pulled up all the ivy, pulled out cable/Direct TV/Dish wires, got rid of broken lawn decorations, pulled up broken lights, etc. The backyard area now looks like this.

We actually get sunlight back there after we trimmed the tree! And we can entertain! It's amazing. I would still like to plant something else back there as well as mulch and make the area generally prettier, but it was a great start! And a huge thank you to mom and dad for the help! It was hard work.

In the front, my mom brought some new flowers to plant. And they're perennials, so they should look good from year to year as long as I can manage to keep them alive.

And my dad did a little trimming for us. :)

Now, I am totally going to blow your mind... see the picture of the front yard as it is now? Take a look at what it was shortly after we bought the house last year.

Are you stunned about how much progress we've made? J and I were too.

Between all our activities, I refinished a frame this weekend for the guest bath. Remember this? I had it in the half bath I recently destroyed? Yea, that one.

Well, I decided to give the frame some spray paint to match the new guest bath. For the frame, I chose white and for the mat, I went with gray. Frames can always be re-purposed. They are super easy to paint with spray paint. Rustoleum (Home Depot) is probably the best brand to use. Basically the trick is to use multiple thin coats and to keep your arm constantly moving as you spray. The coats should be done within an hour from each other (per can instructions). I then waited 48 hours for the paint to set before re-assembling. My frame came completely apart, which made it easier. If you are planning on putting something in the frame that is precious to you, I would recommend buying a new (acid free) mat. I was just diy-ing some artwork, so spray paint worked for me!



Here is my DIY artwork. I used a ruler to trace out the Chevron pattern onto some yellow construction paper and cut it out, while we were watching a movie last night. I then glued the pieces onto white construction paper. And voila!

I cut the artwork to fit in my frame and reassembled my pieces.

And hung the completed work in the guest bath! Ignore that the rest of the bathroom isn't all put together. You get the idea. And see: working toilet!

My mom and I also dyed some easter eggs using vinegar, water and food coloring.

And J's folks came over this afternoon for an early Easter dinner. Yum!

All-in-all, a great Easter weekend. We also had some fun times with my parents. We went to a nearby park and had a picnic and went on a walk yesterday. Now, for me, it is back to work. My two weeks off have flown by! I'm nervous, excited, and need to get to bed.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

He is risen... indeed!

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