November 23, 2017

We all Dream of a Backyard Oasis (+$25 Gift Card Giveaway)


Our home is nestled amongst twelve acres of wooded beauty, complete with our neighbor’s horse that comes and visits us like clock work every single morning.

So many days, I’ve sat on our back deck with my morning coffee and feel so blessed that this is my view.

Fortunately for us, gorgeous natural elements have been our backyard oasis for many years when finances didn’t afford us the luxury of creating the dream backdrop that we desired. But now that our period of unemployment has passed, we are slowly incorporating key pieces that really make a difference for our family.

With five children, we want our home to be the spot where everyone wants to hang out. Since the ages range from 9 – 18, believe it or not, we’ve been through two trampolines and they are worth every penny.

This picture symbolizes the wonderment of childhood summers. Special cousins from 9 – 15 are enjoying a spontaneous slumber party outside.

And to think that I almost instinctively said, “No.” Fortunately, I did an attitude check and said, “Of course you can sleep out there. That’s what summers are all about.” I admit though that sometimes I miss out on those moments. And then I remember that I really want to be a “Yes Mom” when I can.

We decided to invest in a true blue beach sand volleyball court. Our motto was, “If we build it, they will come,” and by adding some night lights, we have had some fabulous fun..

For years, I have dreamed of outdoor living space. Since we have such a large immediate and extended family, gatherings at our home can easily have 50 people.

(Southern Living)

I dream of gazebos and waterfalls. No, honestly, I just dream of matching deck furniture.


For my husband’s 40th birthday, I had a surprise “deck building” party. Sweet family and friends all came and we did an old fashion “barn” raising, although it was really our deck. So many of them knew that we had gone 8 years without anything off the back of our house. It was one of those projects that never seemed like it would get done, so I took matters into my own hands, and they truly gave the gift of servant hood to our family.

The deck is 15×30, so we have lots of room for parties, but it has a hodge podge of pieced furniture which I am ready to upgrade.

It has served us incredibly well, and the wonderful thing about hospitality is that people just want to be together – to gather with friends and share life together.

This table that I purchased at a yard sale over a decade ago whispers memories of baby showers, birthday parties, anniversaries and lastly, a high school graduation, but now I want to put it out by the volleyball court and welcome in something more like this.

I’m ready for a more grown up look, and I have been saving so now the decision making process is a fun reality,

Last year, we purchased our first big deck piece and it was a hard cover gazebo worth every penny. We had a builder give us a quote for a covered roof, but we ended up purchasing this at the end of the summer season for 1/4 of his estimate.

With that, we can also considered fabric pieces.

Now that I have shared what turns my backyard into my perfect summer oasis, I want to know what you’ve done to transform your backyard into your oasis.

Share what you think of in a backyard oasis and be entered to win a $25 Sears gift card right here!

Follow me on Pinterest as I start planning my Dream Oasis.

Need help finding your own pieces for your backyard? Sears is bringing the ease of searching for those perfect pieces with their recently launched iPad digital catalog. On your computer? Don’t fear, Sears has an amazing digital catalog built just for you.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sears. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.


  1. Carmen Erickson says:

    I definitely think of shade for our back yard. Our house is new with ‘baby’ trees, so investing in some shade over the patio would be nice. 🙂 Also, beautiful flowers, comfy chairs…sigh- I love back yards. 🙂


  2. Kimberly says:

    I really like your hard covered gazebo. Where did you get it?


  3. Shade and a hammock! The perfect way to read a book or take a nap!


  4. Today, I just wish I had that space that you have I miss it.

    When I moved to Ohio 14 years ago, the house I moved to had been remodeled inside but the outside still looked like it was from the turn of the century when it was pieced together by a gentleman who worked on and got the materials from the Cleveland shipyard docks.

    He & his wife immagrated here from Hungary or one the neighboring countries and built themselves a little shack in the back yard. It was a one room plus a shed/carport type place. They lived there until they built their (my) house.

    When I moved here, the shed house was still there, although slanting and weeds would hide it somewhat along with the mud porch that was just off the house. It looked like something you’d see out in the country just waiting for gravity to take its final toll.

    We wound up doing a lot of work, getting the house in good shape outside, since the structure of the house is still amazing . They used some awesome wood back in the day and its so hard that sometimes nails get bent trying to hammer into it. The interior was already in great shape since m’honey had gutted the entire interior when he bought it 25 years previously.

    First, we tore down the old structure and built a new garage and resided the entire house & installed new house windows too. Then, M’honey & his buddy George built a 14X16 foot deck off the back of the house after getting rid of the mud porch, and later they built a poured concrete patio in the center of the tiny back yard where I have my chiminea and where I can do Tai Chi or meditate.

    This is under a large Ash tree so the area is amost completely under shade, so I planted all sorts of shade loving plants surrounding the patio, added a water fountain, and a rose & clematis covered trellis that you have to go under as you walk into my “sanctuary”.

    The place has a hallowed feeling about it as well. When we have parties and someone new is introduced, they ask ” Is this the doorway to Narnia?” or some other reference about going into another dimention.

    Its always been the plan for it to be my sanctuary since I need nature to nurture my soul and this does indeed do that. 🙂


  5. Shirley C says:

    I would love an outdoor “living room” with comfortable chairs to enjoy nature and listen to the birds. So restful!


  6. Sherri Y. says:

    A beautiful table/chairs set!


  7. Jennifer D. says:

    I would love a back porch like some of your pictures posted but unfortunately can’t afford it right now. We did just get a trampoline for our kids. I would just live an outside place to gather with friends and family.


  8. I’d like lots of trees and a hammock and don’t forget that family picnic table.


  9. christina says:

    A hot tub with nice lighting and trees and flowers.


  10. Fire pit, Slip N Slide, Sprinklers, Mosquito Repellent for the entire yard… that’s about it!


  11. I really want a waterfall of some sort. I love the sound of water flowing over rocks.


  12. A good book, a hot tub, tons of flowers, and my family!


  13. A perfect backyard oasis needs comfy chairs, trees and flowers, good food and great friends and family!


  14. I’ve also been thinking of a retreat out there. I’ve saved pictures also or gazebos and covored areas. some are way more than I want or need but still nice to look at. Some are what I want, but just out of price for me. I went to a mountain years ago and we dug out flat stones to make walls around the drop in pond I bought. It took many days here and there to dig these out. I made nice gardens with these stones, We still didn’t put the fountain in the pond. My Husband works out of State so much so I am stuck here with no one to do this, unless I pay some one. I found out that if My husband does the work it is about 1/5 of the price. So I wait for him. And wait, and wait, and wait even longer, lol.
    Your covered roof is a nice idea. It will enable you to have fabric furniture, and to still enjoy the outdoors even in slight rain.


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