Starting Over

New House

We moved! Not far from where we were, about an hour. My husband got a new job so we got a new location, a new house, a new farm, a new baby on the way, and a new dream.

Feeding pigs

We have 17 acres. A lot of woods but relatively flat, with some land cleared. We brought our pigs with us but my father in law is “babysitting” our chickens. Our pigs are slowly helping us till/ clear some land and spread mulch, which we desperately need with all the clay soil.

Our old house had pretty decent soil as soon as we moved in. We still worked it for years and when we moved, it was pure black gold. (We also left our new owners a lot of stuff in the gardens. I hope they enjoyed it.) This clay soil is going to be a new challenge for us to deal with, especially with our new plans.

Our plan this year, lord help us, is to have 2 garden plots 25’x50’ with veggies and flowers. LOTS OF FLOWERS! Also to plant as many berries as we can with our time and budget. Did I mention I’m pregnant? So we’ll see, I’m not sure if I’m nesting with unrealistic garden dreams or if we can get it all situated before the baby comes. (Fingers crossed)

Our weekly Tractor Supply run
screened in porch

How to Screen in Your Porch


Have you ever tried to finish a project with a toddler and a baby? It’s hard! We’ve been working on our porch for 2-3 months. It should not take that long, but we have tried to include our 2 year old in the process. He loves to help but he makes more of a mess than actually helps right now. I love that he loves to help. I want to encourage him to stay that way and hopefully set him on the track of loving to learn new things. So with that said, I am trying my best to let him help do whatever we are doing, as much as I can. It has been fun trying to see our projects through his curious eyes and to take our time and not rush, even though it takes us forever. Patients is something I never had until I had kids. Now I’m a work in progress. I’m trying. 

Screened in porch

Materials 

  1. Pressure wash with soap – this soap is amazing! Leave it on for 10 mins and rinse. It’s like magic!
  2. Remove iron railings- we used a sawzall with metal cutting blades to cut the metal at the concrete. Then unscrewed the mounts from the top. My husband started this part of the project while me and Witten primed the wood before we started building. That was fun. He had paint all over him, the carport, me, the dogs, etc. He would dip the whole brush in the paint and drip it all over the boards then smear it around. So I would have to go back over it and smooth it out the best I could. There were runs everywhere! It took all I had not to sand it down and do it again. He helped and he was proud of it so I left it!  Next I thought the paint sprayer might be better. I was wrong. I’m pretty sure he sprayed my husbands truck at one point. At least it was the farm truck. 
  3. Add support poles – we used the 4x4s for this part. We pulled a chalk line and attached metal beaches to the concrete. my son was eyeing the mallet so we let him help hammer them into place. He got over that very fast. 
  4. Add header and footer boards -we used the 2x4s for this part attaching them with finish nails and concrete screws. we just let him hand the screws to daddy. He’s not quite use to all the loud noises yet. 
  5. Add railing and balusters – we used 2x4s for the railing and 2x2s for the balustrades. We made the hand rail 36” and the balustrades 3” apart (4” is code) a couple pieces of scrap cut to 3” is the easiest way. We used a piece of trim (1/4 x 1 1/2) to nail the balustrades too then attached that to the rail and the footer boards
  6. Frame in door – 2x4s 
  7. Put up the door now to lock the kids in – add door sweep, knob and push pad. I used old squeaky hinges because you have to have a squeaky screen door. 
  8. Caulk -caulk everything! If you can see light through it bugs can definitely get in. Anywhere there was a crack I caulked. I love to caulk so I thought Witten might like it too and boy did he! He was caulking everything, the wood, the dogs, the concrete, daddy’s shoes, even his belly button. 
  9. Paint – we painted before we put the wood up and we painted some extra coats after it went up. Two coats of exterior primer and two coats exterior semi-gloss. Once again, everywhere! We had to sand the concrete to get it all up. Plus he threw his chalk in the paint. Yay!
  10. Staple screen staple like you would stretch a canvas. We did the corners first then the middle of each section then filled in in between each staple. Witten mostly played with his chalk while we did the stapling and Trent napped so this part actually went pretty fast. 
  11. Cut and nail Trim – we ripped down 1x6s to make 1x4s and 1x2s that we tacked up to cover the staples and screen. 
  12. Touch up paint

Check out my friends outdoor projects below for some great summer ideas! Please follow us on instagram and we would love to see your latest outdoor project! Add #diyprojectchallenge to your post and we’ll share our favorites in our stories!

outdoor projects
Kippi at Home@kippiathomeGarden Hose Holderhttps://kippiathome.com/2019/08/05/garden-hose-holder/
Sand Dollar Lane@sanddollarlaneDIY Ladder Ball Sethttps://www.sanddollarlane.com/ladder-golf-diy-how-to-make-your-own-lawn-game/
Southern
Yankee DIY
@southernyankeediyDIY Herb Boxhttps://wp.me/paaOAn-zI
Joyful Derivatives@joyfulderivativesDIY Gable Roof Over a Doorhttps://joyfulderivatives.com/how-to-build-a-gable-roof-over-front-door/
DIY vibes@diyvibingDIY House Number Signhttps://diyvibes.net/diy-house-number-sign/

I am trying out this new form of writing my posts. Normally it’s just HOW TO but this time it’s a little more personal. There’s a dime a dozen HOW TO posts out there and, even though I love HOW TO posts, they are not my strong suite. I love diy projects and I love to include our boys in all our projects. I’m not the best at explaining every little detail. So I’ve decided to write more about my experience with diy projects having my kids involved. I hope everyone gets a good laugh and some encouragement from this new style of posts. Thanks for following our diy journey as a family. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments please leave below and I will get back to you ASAP.