Monday, July 23, 2012

Fun Together


We’ve done a whole lot of work since we bought Kenilworth, but we’ve also had a lot of fun.


Playing with the dolls Alix and Kate made ~



toys, toys, toys ~


boys with Tracball ~



Picking flowers for dollies’ hair ~




Thanking God for beautiful sunsets and time spent together…


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Walking Through the Studs


I realize this could be challenging to figure out, since I don’t have a drawing for you to look at, or maybe you are more spatially oriented and it will be a cinch.  Smile  But I’m going to go for it – and try to lead you through the new remodel in the garage area, plus the mudroom.  Here we go!


When you walk  through the doorway of the new mudroom porch, you will be looking at a wall and Lord willing there won’t be a ladder.  We’ve nailed up a few pieces of plywood and drew some lines on them to mark out the spaces for the future armoires which will flank the bench, the bench, and the sink that will be on this wall.  The wall to the right will have floor to ceiling closets for coats, shoes and all the expected accoutrements.




                 Turning to your left, you will see the start of the hallway.




Here we are standing at one end of the hallway, looking at the girls coming out of the door which leads to the rest of the house.



Standing here, the first opening to the right is the laundry room:


in here there will be a washer and dryer -  (hard to imagine a wall here, but see the washer and dryer hookups?  They’re on the wall)



And to your right some space for cabinets over here in the little indentation.  Through that area  you can see the master bathroom – which of course won’t be visible once the walls are put in!



Walk a little further down the hallway and you come to the 2nd opening on the right – the master bedroom.  Standing in the doorway of the MB, you can see one of the windows on the old garage wall, and the opening to the bathroom on the right.




Walk in and stand by that window.  Now turn around and look back to where you were and you see the door going to the main house.  There won’t be a door there, it will just be another opening in the hallway.

To the right you see a small closet with a crawl space access, and a corner of the bedroom.



Looking a little further to the right, you can see the windows which are seen from the front of the house, and the space in between them where our bed will go. Miter saw is not staying.



Now turn your head and look left, and you are looking through the bathroom, and into our future closet.



And that’s it! 


The mudroom will also house our 2nd fridge and 2 large pantry cabinets which will run floor to ceiling.  Lots of people = lots of food.  Two boys = lots of food.  It’s great!  I love to feed them and watch them grow.

So there you have it! 

Clear as mud?

Monday, July 16, 2012

A New Light Fixture


Although most of the decorating will need to come later, I did find a light fixture last week at Lowe’s that was just what I had been looking for!  And it was on Clearance!

We’ve already shared many conversations under its cozy warmth.  When Glenn builds the banquette here, it should be very homey.






As pretty as the fixture is though, it’s light doesn’t hold a candle to these two beauties!



Love them!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Floors Glorious Floors


On Tuesday, Luke and I removed the carpet from the twins’ and Olivia’s room.  It was just disgusting – dirty, dusty, wrinkled and saggy.  A few metaphors come to mind right now, but I’ll restrain myself.

My plan was to check out the particle board underneath it and see if it looked worthy of being sanded and painted.  Our original plan was to replace the carpeting in the 2 upstairs rooms, the only carpeted rooms at Kenilworth, just before we move in. 

Here is what the particle board looked like ~



I ran downstairs to get something very important for our task, I can’t remember what just now, and when I returned, Luke had taken matters into his own hands.  While trying to lift the carpet tack strips, he thought he saw wood.  So he tore back some particle board near the closet to see ~




Sure enough!  It was wood.

I had mixed emotions.  I was excited at the thought of the whole room being what was probably original hardwood, but concerned about what it might look like all the way around, what shape it could be in since it had been covered up…  But Luke had no such concerns and after a hesitant nod from me, began to pull the particle board up (carefully, please!).



I’m sure you can guess the rest of this story.





It was all hardwood and, other than a section in the middle where they obviously cut it to wire for the family room ceiling light fixture below and patched it poorly, it didn’t look horrible.

I’ve noticed a consistent pattern for me with regard to our projects at Kenilworth.  I start out brimming with excitement and urgency.  We start tearing something apart, a floor, a wall, a door, etc.  Within 10 minutes, sometimes less, I panic.  My heart starts racing and I wonder if it’s possible to put everything back the way it was, even though I didn’t like it, because obviously – we’re making it worse!

Thankfully, God has always provided someone at that moment to calm me down, to reassure me gently that everything would be ok. 


So – back to the floors.  I used an orbital hand sander to sand them down.  After shop-vac-ing (my word) I used a little vinegar and water and an old rag and wiped everything down.   Then I primed the floor with Zinsser Oil Based Cover Stain.



Things were looking better.


I sanded it down again.  Shop-vac-ed again.  Wiped it with a damp rag again.

Next I put a coat of Valspar white porch paint over the primer.  Let it dry overnight.  Then a final coat of porch paint and I was ready to finish it.  I used Minwax Polycrylic Gloss polyurethane to seal it because the polycrylic won’t yellow the white paint.  Plus it’s water based, so it’s super easy to clean up my Purdy brush in no time at all.

Ta da!







This close up shows the square (!) headed nails used to put the boards in… many years ago.












I’m happy.

And Luke got a really big hug from his Mama.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Transformation of a Garage


I didn’t post a final picture of the garage last time, because I wanted to wait till we painted the bricks!

Luke worked very, very hard today and painted 2, or maybe it was 3, coats of paint.  I did a little more touch up this evening, and we’ll probably finish off with at least one more coat tomorrow.  Brick is porous!

I thought you would appreciate seeing the transformation ~






















Not a lot of words needed here. 

Just oohs and ahhhhs…

Garage All Gone!


Mr. Edens, our brickmason, was back again this week to work on the garage – which really can’t be called a garage anymore!

They start by cutting out some of the bricks on the perimeter of the area.  They want to create a seamless look between the old edge and the new section.  They weave in the bricks on this edge similar to the way a basket is woven.  The cloud of dust is brick dust from the saw Mr. Edens’ son is using.



They were able to use all the brick Luke had cleaned – which was around 300 bricks!  They work incredibly quickly, using a chalk line to keep the courses straight.  They start at the bottom and work up.

If you look carefully, about 1 1/2 feet above the opening is a row of dots.  These are actually huge bolts to support the bricks above the opening.  Glenn screwed in a large beam on the inside of the wall from one side to the other because Mr. Edens was a little concerned the bricks might begin to fall otherwise.  We thought it was a dandy idea.



They finished about half of it the first day, then ran out of bricks.  So Glenn picked up more on his way home from work.  Mr. Edens had called around a few weeks ago to find the kind we need.  Since we are painting the bricks, they don’t need to match in color, they just need to be the same material.  We used concrete bricks of the same shape as the ones already on the house.  You can see how well they match the old ones – except for the color of course.



They – and we – were a little disappointed that we ran out of bricks again on the second day.   So we called Glenn again, and he brought 100 more bricks home that night, plus one more bag of mortar.  At least the Menards’ people were spared our daily visits for one day.



But something exciting happened that night – well a couple of things – to cheer us up!

First – Glenn cut the windows for our bedroom and bath!  Yippee! 






And then he and Luke put the window units in place!



Garage???!!!  Where??  I don’t see a garage anywhere…


From the inside – we went from this:



                                         to this!




Now if only I could start decorating…

Thursday, July 12, 2012



We’re a tad disappointed that our apples don’t seem to be maturing well this year. 



We have tons of them, but they’re small, and they’re falling to the ground before getting ripe.



It’s not that they aren’t trying!  But we’re thinking the lack of rain this summer has had its way with them…




All the same, the trees couldn’t look sweeter, standing faithfully in a row. 



So this year, we’re just admiring how they look, feeling thankful to have them, and hoping for a bumper crop next year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

4th of July


Although we couldn’t have fireworks this year due to the drought conditions and the burn ban, we did celebrate nonetheless!

There was the Bikes and Stilts Parade, with a few riders, 1 stilts walker, and many anxiously waiting viewers with plastic bags in hand to stash the goodies about to be tossed their way.

Where is the Parade?!



There go the riders!



                                                And the stilts walker!



And now for the candy!



Alix, Kate, and Noah called the Worley Cousins and planned a Fabulous Fair for the backyard.

We had Fingernail (and I think in some cases, toenail) Painting.


Face Painting






We had an Obstacle Course with homemade chocolate no-bake cookies for the prizes plus a refreshing drink of water as you waited, or perhaps after finishing the grueling course.



                                     My favorite was Swabbing the Deck. 


                                                Go Buddy!


                              Happy 4th of July!!