Archive - January 2018

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» DIY: $100 Modern Farmhouse Table
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» Lead me to the Rock
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Double Digits: Lola’s 10th Birthday

» DIY: $100 Modern Farmhouse Table

I confess, I’ve had 3 dining sets over the course of the last year. It started with the sturdy, classic farmhouse set I acquired from World Market. It was a display sale model and I got a great price. I paired it with chairs I had on hand and we enjoyed it immensely. When it came time to move last Fall I didn’t feel like the table had the right vibe for the new house and we were attempting to move as little furniture as possible. I sold the table to a dear friend and once we were moved in I scored a great deal on a mid-century set. It was in great condition but not the sturdiest, and once I realized that I could turn it for a profit I listed it on craigslist and said goodbye to it the next day. And here we are today with our $100 table! This is a Saturday afternoon project start to finish! Just make sure you order your Ikea trestle legs beforehand! It takes about a week and a half to ship and arrive, I missed the timing on that and had to stare at my pretty tabletop for days as I waited on Fedex to arrive. Let’s get started on the how-to!

This project is so easy, it’s a great way to get the kids involved measuring, sawing and drilling. Elliott helped me out with this while the rest of the family was out for the day. He still had a fever from the flu but was ready to get moving a bit.

Step 1:

Acquire the needed supplies and determine how long the table will be. I feel that you could safely take this table up to 7 feet long. We chose to go for 6 feet after planning the space in our dining area. Luckily Lowes offers several good choices for wood already cut at 6 feet long. I carefully selected four 6 foot by 9 inch pieces that had tons of character and then two more pieces of cheaper wood to serve as cross sections.

Supplies needed:

  • Four 6 foot long, by 9(or 10) in wide boards
  • Three Slats or boards wide enough to cover the width of the tabletop
  • 8×1 1/4 inch screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Stain or Danish Oil in Medium Walnut
  • Cloth or sponge to apply
  • Ikea trestle legs ($15 each, plus $9 shipping… I added a few other items and ship was still $9!)

Step 2:

Lay out the tabletop as shown, applying beads of wood glue between the boards. I am impatient, and did not see the need for clamping etc. Instead, Elliott helped me quickly hold the boards tight and screw in the cross pieces to complete the tabletop. We then allowed everything to dry and an hour later moved the tabletop outside for the sanding and staining process.

Step 3:

Sand the surface and round out the corners of the table, be sure to sand well on the underside as well. Once the sanding is complete go forth with the staining process! I opted to use Danish Wood oil for this project. My hope was to keep it as natural as possible and the Danish wood oil warmed up the tone of the wood and sealed it nicely. I did two coats and then finished it all out with sealing wax for an extra measure of protection. I was incredibly happy with the results!

Step 4:

Assemble the IKEA trestle legs. This is actually the most annoying part because… IKEA. We all know their stuff is awesome but sometimes cumbersome to put together when the holes don’t line up. We persevered and after 30 minutes had the two legs put together. I chose the trestle leg route because I wanted the table to be as sleek as possible with the focus on the tabletop and simplicity rather than bulky wooden legs. And… $15 ya’ll. Can’t beat it.

Step 5:

Stand trestle legs up in the designated area of the room. Place the tabletop on the legs. Then, using two pieces of extra wood, as shown, create a sandwich to hold the trestle legs in place. This will keep the table from shifting, but still give you the freedom to lift off the tabletop and move it easily if you want to temporarily use the space for another purpose or move the table easily.

Step 6:

Enjoy the table! We chose to order simple metal chairs from Amazon. I ordered a set of four for around $100. And then miraculously as I was browsing through boxed furniture at our local Bargain Hunt I found 2 more for the amazing price of $13 for the set of two. I mean… what!?! It always pays to go digging at local bargain places.

Here’s my budget run down on the entire table swap scenario. I sold my table set for $250 and purchased the mid-century set for $220. I then sold the mid-century set for $350. The table cost $100 in materials and I spent $115 on chairs. This put me at changing out our table, simplifying things and ending up $165 positive in the end!

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments below! If you build a table please share a picture! There are so many creative ways to make this design your own!

» Lead me to the Rock

I do not claim to be dealing with active grief in my life at the present time. Sadness at times, worry at times and a constant urge to control my situation… always. My husband can attest to my “take control of the situation” personality. I’m great in a crisis and I’m annoying when it comes to vitamins and greens consumption. We recently discovered the world of MTHFR gene mutation and how that affects our family, we all have some variation of it. You can get a crash course here and consider adding it to your next blood draw at your yearly check up. Thankfully this knowledge is helping our family make better choices about foods and supplements but I do see its ability to take too much space in daily thoughts and actions.

Worry, sadness and fear for the future. There are constant openings for these enemies to creep in. For me personally my energy is spent less on actual fear and more on consistent, aggressive steps to control the thing that threatens me. Action becomes a place to stumble when I fail to root my anchor in the One who already knows the number of my days.

In the past few weeks I’ve noted several internal struggles that I had to make an internal, spiritual effort to redirect: sadness over my community that I’ve moved farther from, efforts to redirect my family’s health and a natural inclination to cynicism about the condition of our world. As I reflected on how much I had allowed these things to take space in my mind and heart an old hymn came to mind.

Then near to the Rock let me keep
If blessings or sorrows prevail,
Or climbing the mountain way steep,
Or walking the shadowy vale.

Near to the Rock let me keep. Friends, my bones cry out this phrase! I’m desperate to keep my eyes on Jesus. Anything else just drives me batty. B12 vitamins might help my body function better but Jesus healed my heart for good.

Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
 from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever!

    Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Psalm 61: 1-5

My heart is often faint. I’ve seen the hurt of our country and the world. I’ve lost those close to me and I’ve witnessed the aftermath of tragedy but I can still stand and say God is good. He offers a safe place, a shelter and He is unchanging in a world that shakes. He knows the story from beginning to end and with knowledge of that, I can rest.

Double Digits: Lola’s 10th Birthday

Today we celebrate ten whole years of Lola. That’s a lot of life when you’re less than four feet tall. I’ve been Lola’s mom for four years now and it almost seems unfair to celebrate ten when I’m missing six of them.

Four years ago, in January, she was a picture on a screen. I saw her just before her 5th birthday. A beautiful little girl with eyes the color of the sea. Our paperwork was approved for a child no more than four and so we set about the task of completing more training and more addendums because of all the children in the whole wide world God spoke her name into my heart. It would be awhile before she would come home to us, approaching six years old and carrying an entire life we didn’t know or understand.

The first couple of years were more than our hands and hearts could carry and our family stretched and grew and even crumbled at times. Thankfully there are greater and bigger hands that held us and continue to hold us as we learn day by day to say goodbye to “normal” and yes to being the family God created us to be.

As we suspected, blindness, although unfamiliar to us, was not a disability but rather a different way of doing life. Lola has accomplished a tremendous amount in the time she’s been home. She is on-grade level in her third grade studies and has mastered braille and is working steadily on grade level Nemeth, which is the code she uses for math. Her social skills are growing daily and she’s becoming more self-aware. She delights in sharing the scripture passages she’s memorized and listens at least 75% of the time when we have family Bible time.

  • Lola celebrating her 5th birthday in China. We were able to send a cake and a new outfit.
  • Daddy and Lola meeting for the first time.
  • Finalizing in China.
  • Lola dominating.
  • Lola taking on a massive, high level ropes course.
  • Lola's 9th birthday.

Taking a step back is immensely important in our journey with Lola. In the thick of it there are times I despair over difficult days but with a bird’s eye view I see the flower blossoming. On paper, when we look at Lola’s background and experiences, there is a lot to fear for the future. But our hope for Lola isn’t in scientific or psychiatric journals and studies… our hope is in the Lord and in his word that says:

Psalm 103:2-5

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Lola,
Daughter of my heart… we have loss between us. At times that loss seeks to divide us and turn our hearts against each other. But we also have promises that tell us nothing is beyond the hand of God. I promise to seek him even more in this 10th year of your life. I promise to look beyond your actions and watch for motivations behind them so that I can bind up your wounds. I promise to watch for your successes so that I can give you praise and remind you of your triumphs. May this be the year we call the year of fastening… the year of connection… and a time we rejoice over because it was the year our hearts were entwined in deep commitment to walk as mother and daughter.

I loved you before I knew you,

Mommy

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal