Archive for the ‘Roots Ranch Renovation’ Category


Landon (with Tater’s help) made this amazing table for us.

We were offered my parents scrap marble piece as it was the cutout sink part from their kitchen countertop. Tater is always resourceful and know he can use things to create something new. Here is how it was made.


Reclaimed horse stall wood, Marble Top, Screws, and Biscuits


Air compressor and blower attachment, Power washer, Table saw (regular blade and dado blade), Compound miter saw, Palm sander, 4 – square, Pencil, Drill, Drill bits, Biscuit joiner, One-hand ratcheting band clamp, Tape measure, rubber mallet, and glue.



  1. Blow off dust from reclaimed horse stall wood


2. Power wash off remaining dirt


3. Measure and rough cut the edge pieces of the table.



4. Using a Dado blade, he cut the dado. This was because the marble was rough on the edges, and we wanted to hide that.


5. Cut 45 degree angles on the top edge pieces


6. Secure the top edge pieces with biscuit joints.



7. Insert the marble top into the dado


8. Clamp them together using a clamp and let glue dry


9. Measure and cut table legs

10. Sand legs with palm sander.


11. Predrill holes and attach the legs to the table top with screws


12. Sand table top edges

13. Cute and sand the supports for the legs


14. Mark the spot to pre-drill pocket holes


15. Pre-drill pocket holes


16. Screw on the 3 supports at 7 1/2 ” from the floor. We kept the front open to allow our craft cart to fit under this occasional table.


Ready to use!!!




Landon qualified to take it to the IL State Fair.


It was a fun experience. It was our daughter’s birthday, and we made a day of it! Donut party on the way down.


We had to check out the horse barn for the birthday girl!!



Here he is getting judged and explaining how he made the table.



It was a highlight checking out the new baby piggies that were just born.



Tailgating supper stop on the way home. It was a good day for a good day!

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Getting a light for this bathroom was a challenge. The electrical box going into the wall is not centered over the sink and mirror. So we got creative. We used pipes so that the arms of this fixture can be different lengths to center it.

Landon and Tater made this for a 4-H project so you can follow along on the how to guide if you wish to create one yourself. We had a light bulb hanging out from the wall for several years, so it’s a fun change to actually have a fixture! We have since painted white the wood circle attached to the wall and are enjoying our new light on a dimmer switch!









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Grime, dirt, and scum had built up around our place, and I spent the summer pressure washing it away – until I wore the pressure washer out so much that it broke. That was probably a good thing because I could have probably gone all the way out to the street and started working on that.




Playing around and making art was fun too. 😉




I found a few helpers. I may have offered payment.



It was a very satisfying job as you could see where you had been!


A few random projects:

Adding rock behind the barn to put the trailers on so I would ‘t have to move them in the pasture to mow every week. 🙂


Getting 1,000 gallons of water and adding it to our pool with a firehose is a weekly task for us, but it makes it super fun for the kids!


More and more wood chips being added to level out the ground behind our pasture and to keep the weeds down. Below is the mess of wood chips on the driveway.


Continuing to clear and clean up the ground.


Shortly after the patio had been poured we began having issues with our pool cover again. It wouldn’t open completely and it hadn’t even been a season since we had it fixed last. Come to find out they had put the new pool cover reel into too small of a box, so the pulley would get jammed and pushed back when trying to open. The only real solution was making the box bigger. It was hard to do because we felt like we had spent hours not too long ago making a pool reel box and cover after they had fixed it last time.


Getting serious and ready to tackle the challenge…

Don’t let this pic fool you. Tater did most of it. We are just his support and assisting team.


Cutting the concrete to make it bigger.



Cut nicely and ready to add wood.


LOOK E THERE! Box is done and pulley is AWAY from the cover. Thankfully the pool company covered the cost but the time and effort put into it was a lot. 


Next step was to create another cover to hide the box hole. We had to figure out how to hide it, have it be supportive, and yet still be able to easily access the reel. After coming up with something, we cut, fastened, and painted the new cover.



DONE!! I hope this one holds up!

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Stamped concrete that looks like wood planks – I’ll take it. Getting our patio poured was a great start to our summer, and not having to come out from the pool and hopping over mud to get into the house…  We are loving that!



Here it was ready to be poured.







This is such an amazing group of hard workers. We would highly recommend Schmidgall Construction.


Dry and waiting to be sealed.





We added a little pad out by our hydrant too. Memories Tater had of growing up.


Making memories already.





These last few weeks, we attempted to get our septic lid off. We carefully planned and measured and it paid off.


At first we we weren’t so sure… it took awhile…


Success!! 🙂


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Patio Prep:

Spring 2017 & the beginning of Summer 2017.

This project got pushed back a year when we had pool troubles. So we were anxious to get rid of the mud going into 3 doors of our home. We started out leveling the ground as best as we could.



Finding our 3 septic openings. One was under concrete, and we had to have the concrete cut away.



Found them!


The biggest part of this project was reworking our downspouts. As they were, they were laying on top of the ground. We didn’t want them to be on top of the newly poured concrete patio, so we reworked them to go under and have a drainage system in place.



Continuing to level the ground.


The girls were using it as a pretend horse arena.


Leading up to the pour, Tater took a week off work to prepare. We started the week with a Subway lunch tailgating date.


Another biggie was replacing 2 basement windows. The current ones were sealed completely shut and yet, old and leaking air. We got it ready for the new window well. It was fun to see light. If you can remember, this window was underneath the deck before we removed it.


Taking the window out –

I was the freaked out wife that asked him if he was going to replace it in one day to prevent it from having to keep open throughout the night. 😉


Caulking and cleaning off the frame to be able to give it a fresh coat of paint



Our patio in some areas was going to go onto our siding due to matching it up with our existing pool patio. Tater added a board around the perimeter to get ready for this.



Working on more downspouts and another drain.




It took awhile to make sure the pipes were angled at just the right angle, so the water would drain away from the house properly.


We moved it out away from the house as much as we could as water liked to gather in this area before.



Picture break 😉



We had to dig a tunnel under the sidewalk.



Filling in the trench


Our pea gravel mound made for a fun playground.



Tater got the new windows in!


Family meal break


While we were at it with all our supplies on hand, we got rid of the additional downspouts around the rest of the house and buried them also. This one was in the front of the yard was a complete eyesore.


Getting ready to bring that baby under the ground with nice, new stuff.


Dirt filled in


Ready for patio pouring! We couldn’t wait!





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A little look back to our continued projects this past spring…

I think we were getting signals from Mars with this HUGE satellite. It’s been bothering me since day 1 of moving in. It took 3 1/2 years for us to remove this beast from our property, and I’m so thankful it is gone!





The tricky part was making sure he moved away before the circle piece rolled away from the pole. With his cat-like reflexes, he missed it by a hair. This video cracks me up… Here it is in slow motion, but it went down fast.


Goodbye Galactic Dish from Roots on Vimeo.


Breaking it down into smaller pieces.


Spring was also when we got our dog named Henry. It was a trip up to Chicago. Let’s just say we made memories with him in the van on the way back home.





He feels like a part of the family now.


If you follow our adventures, you know how many trees we have cut down these past few years. That of course left many stumps on our property.



We got serenaded to and had excellent help when removing them!


We bought a light at the Midwest Food Bank Gala and added that to our barn. Here is Tater braiding rope to hide the chain.



A few other random tasks were finding the water back-up in our yard once again. After days of Tater digging his hand in dark, murky, freezing cold water, he finally found and uncovered the drain!


I tried my hand with the tractor. We added wood chips around the trees.


With the warmer weather arriving, we decided to make a bigger garden spot.








It definitely keeps us busy, but man, there is nothing like going out to your yard for fresh fruits and veggies!

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We were getting close to carpet installation. We just had to fix a few of our stairs. Some step heights were bigger than others.



We also had a section at the bottom that had hard raised glue from the tile that was placed there before. Tater used a concrete sander to remove it. It created a nice layer of dust all over the house, but we were thankful we wouldn’t feel any bumps under the new carpet.


New electrical plugs were switched out. Floor ready for carpet.



Carpet in!



Kids already enjoying it…


That night, it stormed creating a perfect reason for a family slumber party in the basement.


Shortly after the carpet was laid, one of the girls came up from the basement with wet socks. We had water coming from somewhere. After 3 events of finding water and trying to dry the carpet back out, we finally found that it was a leak coming from a cracked iron filter tank. Although it was a pain and something that was not ideal for new carpet, it could have been worse. However, I may have squeezed a stress ball a little too hard one day and this is what happened. Oops! Life is not perfect and over and over again we have said… this world is not our home.


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And the 2017 projects continue…

For 3 years of living here we have lived with seeing unfinished wood steps as you walk into our front door. We tried to make them pretty for the time being by painting them gray. This year… we decided to give this first room of our basement a little more attention. Our house has a lot of tile and wood floors. We wanted a place for the kids to wrestle, tickle, roll around, and play. So the long awaited plans for carpet began!

Some before pics. Wood steps. No railing.


Definitely not kid friendly.


Here is an unfinished bathroom right when you walk down the basement. We tore this down to studs and plan to leave it unfinished for now. That will be another project in years to come. Possibly when we add another bedroom in the future??


We had painted the walls and added baseboards in previous years, so this is what it looked like when we started this year.


We wanted to add some character in this room since we do not plan to put any furniture in it for now. Just a space for the kids to run around, be crazy, and play. So we decided to add a wood wall. Here we are letting the kids color and write on the wall that will be covered in wood.



Added trim and a door to our crawl space opening.

Fun place for the kids to play while we work on the wall.


Wood wall is up


Added bigger trim around the doors since we had it leftover from our upstairs. One of those things we didn’t want to do at the time, but we knew it would have never gotten done if we didn’t do it now. Love the bigger trim.


We had to come up with a railing that would help protect kids as they came down the stairs but also not block furniture from being moved up and down the stairs. Came up with this last minute. 


Filling nail holes, sanding, priming and painting.



Upstairs we decided to change out our railing before carpet came. This post was wobbly, and we wanted a more industrial look.




This is what it looked like in the the process..



Rods and old white railing top inserted into wood posts.


Cleaning the pipes with steel wool. Making them nice and shiny!


4 rods down. 2 more to go.


At this point we were getting closer to the carpet install. More to come!

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Thank you to all who came to our Shopping Event! Soon after that, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the wonderful ladies of The H & H Hour. If you have never listened to their podcast, it’s a must listen to! VERY ENCOURAGING! I was honored when they asked me to be a guest and share my life stories. I share some joys and trials and look back on the goodness of God!

Guest Haley Kieser – Episode 35
Released Oct 17, 2017
Our long time friend, Haley Kieser is our guest on this 35th episode of The H & H Hour. We just loved our chat with her as she shared an incredible story of waiting and trusting God for the love of her life. Haley is so full of faith and we know you will be encouraged by her story.

If you want to listen in, you can check the podcast out HERE!




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We are to our 2017 projects! This year began by giving our counter and house some added reinforcements. We noticed that the lower portion of our cabinets were cracking, and I did not want to fret over the safety of the kids leaning on the counter. We added this post (an old post from my parents front porch). Tater and Landon also used some jacks gifted to us from Mom and Dad Kieser to support underneath the counter in the crawl space. Better to be safe than sorry!



Post added


Beefing up the floor.


When we added the post, it scratched the white painted floor.


So that was next on the list… getting ready to paint the post and floor.


Shiny and new (for now) 😉


The post has been a great addition and my peace of mind is all worth it. ☺️



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