Lakers win the 2010 championship

Two days in a row of me blogging. What is going on? Don’t call it a streak 🙂

Time for a new mower

First of all I want to talk about my darn mower. It is now working correctly. This was a hand me down mower given to us when we moved from Pekin to Morton. We used to own a Craftsman riding lawn mower, but when we moved to Morton, our new yard didn’t warrant the rider anymore. So we sold this mower and Sarah’s dad gave us this extra mower that belonged to her mom (Sarah’s Grandma). Anyways, thats the mower we’ve used for a couple years since moving in. Fairly decent but used mower. So lately, I’ll mow until it runs out of gas. Then fill it with gas, fire it back up, and it’s good to go. BUT, if I dare wait 5 minutes in between filling it up and starting it back up – the mower doesn’t start. Doesn’t even want to attempt to start. Almost like it’s overheated or something. The last couple times I’ve waited 2-3 hours, tried it again, and it worked. But flaky! What’s going on mower people?

So this got me thinking it might be time for a new mower. Wednesday, I borrowed my neighbor Craig’s mower (thanks Craig) and it was AWESOME. A great mowing experience. So I’m thinking for Father’s Day, I need a new mower. What kind? Where from? Any features I have to have? Time to start shopping.

Lakers World Champs

The Los Angeles Lakers successfully went back two back last night and won the 2010 NBA Championship. I scheduled a “guy meetup” at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the games. Unfortunately, BWW was jam packed with no seats in the house about a half hour til gametime. So, myself, Rodney (my bro), Greg, Seth and Aaron all went to Old Chicago down by the river to watch the game. Great game. I was soooo cheering for the Celtics but the Lakers pulled it out.

Kobe Bryant won his 5th NBA Championship ring in 2010.

Kobe Bryant won his 5th NBA Championship ring in 2010.

Why was I cheering for the Celtics? I’m not a Boston fan and I’m not really a bandwagon jumper. The reason was simple. I logged into one of my online sportsbooks I bet at the other day. Randomly, I noticed I had one pending bet. Took a look and apparantly I had made a $10 future bet like 5 months ago for the Boston Celtics to win the World Championship. The bet was at 20/1 so my $10 returned $210. WOW! This was way enough reason for me to cheer for the Celtics. They couldn’t do it for me though. I’m cool with it cause I woulda lost the money on the USA Soccer or on Baseball betting anyways.

As for the game. Kobe didn’t play well. Artest saved them in this game. He came up huge and hit some big shots. Ray Allen looked horrible for the Celtics. The Celtics controlled the whole game but I still had that sense that the Lakers would pull it out in the end.

That’s enough for tonight. Hope you all have a great weekend! It’s FRIDAY!!!!!!!!

Playground Mulch

In what had to be the 2 hottest days of the year, I was stuck outside spreading mulch around our playground set! I had committed to having this done by Alyssa’s party, yet procrastinated too much! Now her party was one day away and I had yet to get the mulch. The grass had been killed though 🙂

So I borrowed Steve’s truck on Friday and went to Lowes to get my brick. Came home and laid all the brick out. That night I went out to Old Heritage to buy 2 yards of mulch. Came back home and started spreading it with Steve/Sarah’s help. It was only like 97 degrees outside! Saturday morning I went back and got 2 more yards and spread it again. The end product looks very nice. I’ll add a picture here soon!

Fence Project

It’s time for us to get a fence for our backyard. Drew is running around nowadays, so it is time! We decided on a white vinyl fence from Menards. We got the standard 4 foot fence with the arched top. With the help of family, I’m planning on installing the entire thing on my own. I’ll keep updating this article with the latest updates on how the project is going.

  • 5/10/2005 Update: I now have all the fence panels, gates, and posts picked up. Just the concrete left to get!
  • 5/14/2005 Update: Today we started the fence project. My dad and I went out to Menards early on to get the concrete. 74 bags! Whoa! Steve, Sarah’s dad, and I then marked out where the fence should go and measured every 8 foot for where the posts will go. We marked these spots with spray paint. Then we went to National Rental and rented a post hole digger for $35 a half day. That was a savior. We dug 30-40 holes in a matter of an hour or two. The ground was very hard to I was thankful we didn’t have to hand dig very many holes. We did hand dig about 5 poles because of the wires being so close. We then finished the day out by setting our corner posts.
  • 5/15/2005 Update: We have now started setting the fence panels. Terrain issues were the biggest obstacle. Our back yard runs down a small hill/slope so that made it a little tougher to get things level, but we did it. Steve and Chad (sarah’s brother) came and helped most of the day. We got one full side of the yard done. We did one panel at a time, leveled it, set the post in concrete, bracketed in the panel. Pretty easy process once we got going.
  • 5/17/2005 Update: We are now done with 2 full sides of the fence. The back line was the easiest as the ground was fairly level.
  • 5/20/2005 Update: After 5 straight days of working on this project after work, we are finally pretty much done. We have panelled all sides and put in our single gate on the one side of our house. We had to dig out underneath the gate so it would swing correctly. Only things left are the double gate on the other side of the house, small caps/screws, and some landscaping in the corners to make it look nice!
  • 5/21/2005 Update: I got all the caps on the posts and the screws in the panels. Pretty easy day!
  • 5/27/2005 Update: This fence project is finally complete. We put on the double gate and secured it with two drop rods. They work wonderfully. I finished all final touches and washed the fence down. It was a long project, but is definately worth it in the long run!

Playground Project

We got Drew’s early birthday present the other day. But, that means lots of work for me! We got one of those playground DIY kits from Menards. They give you the entire list of wood, screws, tools and accessories along with detailed instructions on creating this beast.

  • 4/22/2005 Update: We picked up all the lumber, screws, accessories and got everything layed out.
  • 4/23/2005 Update: The first step was to cut all the wood to the right length. The instructions are VERY nice and they leave very little wood to scrap. So, we got our sawhorses and saw ready, and Steve and I started cutting the wood and piled it under my deck.
  • 4/26/2005 Update: We have no assemble the tower portion of the playground. It is a 25 sq. ft. deck and about 5 feet off the ground.
  • 4/30/2005 Update: We completed the swing portion of the playground today. We attached all the swings/toddler swings and got everything leveled and steady. This sucker is solid as a rock.
  • 4/31/2005 Update: I attached the remaining accessories today. I put on the large Giant Slide, the steps and the rock climbing wall. It is now ready for use!

Basement Project

We finally decided that the basement needs to be finished before our 2nd kid comes along. Our current upstairs office is going to turn into a baby room. And since Sarah uses the office a lot for Creative Memories work, we need more livable space downstairs. I’ve had the plans drawn up for quite a while, now it’s time to act on this!

  • 2/28/2005 Update: I bought all the wood for this project when it was on sale this week. Save tons of money doing it this way. Now I just have to pick the wood up at some point. 100 here, 100 there, we’ll have it all!
  • 5/13/2005 Update: Today I picked up the last of the 2X4’s that I bought. Nearly 300 of them in total. I also started framing the walls this weekend. I completed the half wall and a portion of the office end wall. I did a lot of research on soffits to figure out how to build around my pipes. I also had an issue with framing parallel to the floor joists. I had nothing to attach to. But with the help of Steve/Chad/My dad, we figured out a couple options that would work. I decided to just bump my wall out an inch or so, so it would bump up with the joist and give me something to attach it too. This also is nice because I’ll have some room to run the wiring behind the wall instead of through the wall.
  • 6/4/2005 Update: Well, I finally got moving on this project again. I moved ALL of our boxes and junk from the basement to the garage. This will definately help me get going, since I have room to move now! The garage is PACKED full of junk though. Oh well, garage sale in a few weeks will get rid of some of it. I also switched my plan around a bit. Instead of putting 2 bedrooms in the back, I am just going to put 1 larger bedroom. I printed out new floor plans that night! Time to finish up the framing!
  • 10/3/2005 Update: It’s a good feeling to come home from work and see that stuff is done in the basement. Today, Chad and Steve worked on the storage room in my basement. They framed out the room and built in our storage shelves for our blue bins. I moved all of it out of the garage and into the storage room where it belongs. Great work guys and thanks.
  • 10/15/2005 Update: We made some progress!!! My father in law and two brothers in law (Steve, Josh and Chad) came over this past Saturday and we pounded out some more framing. We finished up the kids playroom and the storage room. We only worked for about 6 hours but a lot was done. One more BIG framing day and that task will be complete.
  • 11/26/2005 Update: The framing is about 95% complete. The crew worked again and put all the walls up! Now we just need to finish out a few areas of the framing and then attach everything to the floor using bolts.
  • 12/15/2005 Update: We got the walls attached to the floor and some final framing completed. Ready to begin wiring! I’ve been working on my wiring plan in hopes to have a sweet automated basement!

Deck Project

When we bought our house, it had two decks. A medium sized deck off of the dining area, and a small deck off of our master bedroom. There was about a 10 foot space in between these two decks. We decided that to make the decks more functional, we should combine the two decks into one large deck. We didn’t figure we’d use the bedroom deck much, and the dining room deck wasn’t quite big enough for extended family gatherings. I’ll try to keep this article updated as deck items get done.

  • 6/1/2004 Update: We bought all the wood and sketched out a plan for connecting the two decks.
  • 6/10/2004 Update: We put all the support posts, beams and frameworks in place. It’s coming together nicely.
  • 6/17/2004 Update: We are now finished with the deck. We put the actual floor deck boards down and screwed them all in. It looks nice and will just need stained next summer. Since you are supposed to wait a full year before staining treated lumber.