What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Papa Project: The Girls' Room

So around January/February, I start to get ants in my pants about clutter and mess and *stuff*.  I think it has something to do with being cooped up indoors for months at a time.  By March, I am practically going insane.  I start filling and dropping off donation bags like a madwoman.  

And this March, this insanity was a million times worse.  A million.

We finally had saved up almost $1,000 to re-do the girls' room and Matt knew it was either do it now or do it when the weather was gorgeous outside and he wanted to be anywhere OTHER than doing inside house projects.  

So it was time.

Even though it is a very small room, given Matt's ridiculous work schedule and LIFE in general... the project has taken two months and is only now nearing the finish line. 

Which means... my anti-chaos and clutter freak-out has been in overdrive.  

Because the whole upstairs has looked like this (on its' BEST day...)

The hallway- which stored as much furniture from the girls' room as it could plus the clothes rack for three kids- added to my fabric stash and photo albums which was already there.

That little bit of wood between the desk and the edge of the photo is the width of the hallway now- which makes an oversized pregnant woman with a fully loaded laundry basket coming through, a near impossibility.  

Or imPASSability, as it were.

And here is the "Spare Oom" which held the rest of the stuff from the girls' room as well as mattresses for the girls to sleep on.  You literally have to walk on the mattresses to put laundry away.


Eventually, because it was already a mess, things just got messier.  Clothes got dropped instead of hung.  Books found their way around mattresses.  Mess.  Chaos.  CLUTTER!

I've been going a little bit nuts.

But while I have been weeping, wailing and gnashing my teeth, Matt has been a bit more productive with his time.

First- let's take a look at the room BEFORE:

Even though it is CLEARLY in need of a facelift, the object of the re-do was not purely cosmetic.

The wiring was the original stuff put in- totally inadequate and likely dangerous.  (The boys' room had been.)  There was only one outlet for the entire room and no overhead lighting fixture at all.  And- the biggest deal of all- this house has no insulation anywhere.  So we have been trying to take one room at a time and 'get 'er done'.  

Oh yeah- and there were a few obscene holes in the walls too.

Without strategically located furniture:

The floors, too, had cracks so big they swallowed up jewelry, pencils, barrettes and small toys.  

Adele, checking out if they should pull up some floorboards to retrieve anything:

They pulled up a few boards but only found a few small trinkets.  

Nothing like the secret hidden stash of gold I was hoping for.  Ah well.

Step One: Destroy walls.

Whoops.  I was wrong.  I guess there WAS insulation in the walls.  A teeny little patch of it.  

My bad.

Step Two: Lay down plywood flooring

Step Three: Wiring

Just look at all those glorious outlets!

Step Four:  Insulate

Step Five: Hang up Drywall and Spackle.

Super fun.

And maybe do a bit of high-class graffiti on the walls.

This looks like a guilty culprit:

Step Six: repaint the ceiling using texture paint to hide all the imperfections of the old ceiling.  

And then, paint the rest of the walls.

We wound up keeping one of the walls uninsulated because it would have been a major job to undo that one.

The girls' couldn't agree on a color-  I just couldn't seem to figure out a way to make pale pink and lime green and turquoise look good in my mind- so we opted for white.  

White is a great mediator of personalities.  

Step Seven: Lay down the cheapest flooring you could find, no matter what it looked like.

Because anything is better than nothing, right?

Not bad...not bad at all!

Step Eight: Trim work and moulding.  

Matt opted to make the moulding himself to save money.  And then we painted it.  And then he hung it.  

This step feels like it could count for a couple.

Step Nine: Caulk.  Paint touchups.  Hang Light fixture.

Getting sick of all of these steps...

Getting sick of this never-ending project!

The girls' were having a hard time deciding what type of light fixture to put up- one being a girlie girl and one being a bit more of a tomboy.  Meanwhile I was aghast at how much ANY fixture cost as- whatever the style- with our rapidly diminishing envelope of cash for the room.  It was a stressful time.

It was such a wonderful godsend when our pals offered us a duplicate light fixture that they didn't need.  And by godsend, I mean God send, because He cares for these little superfluous details in our lives too and He orchestrated it all just perfectly.  The week I told the girls they NEEDED to just PICK SOMETHING ALREADY (said in a very sweet and endearing tone, a-hem) was the very week it was offered to us.

It was free.  There was NO FIGHTING involved and no ultimate 'winner'.  Bonus points for the girls' having a matching light fixture with their friends.

It also happened to be perfect. Not too low for the already low ceilings.  Awesome shadows on the walls.  And the little ball, when hit just right with light produces rainbows- which, when Ineke was asked what color paint we should use for the walls, was her answer.  


Overhead lighting is a glorious thing.  NEVER take it for granted!

When we emptied the girls' room of all the furniture, Matt couldn't get the bunkbed apart easily and it broke.  

We hated that bed anyway, since it was evil.  

Matt said he would build bunkbeds to replace the broken one but I knew what that meant: 

more TIME.

Praising God for another perfectly timed godsend He sent our way: neighbors who were getting rid of a trundle bed and asked it we would want it.

Why yes, yes we would!

The day we moved the bed and mattresses in was a happy day indeed!

We still haven't moved anything in except the beds yet because we are waiting on the last little detail.  A bookshelf running across the top of the room.  I figure it will be easier to hang that up without maneuvering around stuff.  Then, we can finally move everything back in (!!!!!) and get things settled once again.

And someday, Matt will make amazing bunkbeds- but in the meantime, there are girls!  In a girls' room! Able to sleep in beds!!!

Or able to read in them at the very least.  ;-)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Month that Was: March

I've been quiet here on the blog for almost an entire month!

And it has been a very full month!  Here are some the highlights- started with the brightest and shiniest of all:

Andrew got his braces off!  This poor boy had to deal with teeth getting pulled out of his head, metal twisted into his mouth, plastic fake teeth and retainers, months of pain and frustration and about a gazillion orthodontist appointments.  And that was after having to deal with extremely wonky teeth for several years.  And March marked the end of the torture. (For now, anyway...)

Papa took the day off work to come with us as he got his braces off.  Which was special enough, in and of itself.

before the appt.

after the appt.

His goofy 'before the before'. 

Not only did he have two 'extra teeth' come in at the gums and roof of his mouth- but after having them pulled, the true tooth came in exactly perpendicular to all the other teeth.

In about a year, six months of waiting for teeth to come in and six months in braces, he has a whole new mouth.

Mouths and teeth are kind of amazing.

So is the boy.

Happily for all, the braces coming off coincided with tax return season so Papa and I decided to *really* go hog wild.  We took the kids- brace yourselves- out to a RESTAURANT!

And then...as if THAT weren't enough....BOWLING afterward!

Yes Lady behind Matt's shoulder- I AM taking a picture of my family in a restaurant.  Because this doesn't happen.

Andrew, in disbelief that he is not an ignoramous!

Braceless came close to winning...

but he still had his Mama to contend with.  ;-)
And a few more March things, willy nilly:

~ One day my sister in law asked to take all my children to her house for a bit of a playdate.  It was a week when Matt was away.  She gave me specific orders to do something special with my time.  Something out of the ordinary.  Something luxurious.

It didn't take long to realize that the thing I would find most luxurious would be to have my fingers in flower petals after a long, stark winter of none.  So I headed to Wegmans, bought three of my favorite $4.00 flower packets and came home to touch them, smell them and look at them while listening to Jane Eyre on audiobook.  

I made a bouquet for myself and one for the girl who made it all possible.

Luxurious, yes.  Uplifting?  Absolutely.  Therapeutic?  That too.

Flowers do that to me.

 ~ We had a surprise calf show up in March.  The Mama cow, Acorn, had a butcher date already set because she never seemed to 'take' in breeding.  And then, a few weeks before the butcher date arrived, she started to bag up to everyone's great surprise.

Meet Winston:

Animals seem to gather round to greet the new calf and check things out.  First the cats.

Then the chickens.
 I was at first dreading the calf and milking cow situation because I am ALLERGIC to cows and with Matt away as often as he is, I have always had to do milking chores.  Even shoving tissues up my nose and wearing gloves would not help prevent me from being a swollen, draining, itching, sneezing uncontrollably allergy face for the rest of the day.  But, WONDER OF WONDERS, this time around I have children who are old enough and capable enough to do it for me!  Andrew is quite the milk man and even Corynn has taken over when needed.  Not to mention, Acorn (the mama) is a really good cow- unlike her pesky, ornery sister Ellie.  That helps too.

Needless to say, I am a bit more excited about it than I was in the beginning.

~ Many hands make light work... it also adds just a smidge of chaos.

~ Spotting wildlife is one of Andrew's passions.  Spotting an entire flock of turkeys down the road is pure gold.

~ This monkey has some sort of sheet-changing radar superpower.  I don't know how she knows when it is time but it only takes seconds of my starting the process before she bounds up on the bed and gets herself properly in my way.

In honor of my troll girl.
 I know you probably think this child never gets her hair combed...but I promise she does.  I just kinda love her crazy troll hair and take pictures of it of it to remember when she is vain enough to fix it.

Another major milestone has been in the works since March, but that deserves a post all its' own.

Another day.  

(Hopefully before another month has passed...)