Monday, December 31, 2012

The Last Painted Doors in the House!

I’ve painted a lot of doors here at Kenilworth over the last several months.  Yesterday I finished painting the only ones left untouched.

Here are the bi-fold doors in the school room.  We’re not sure we’ll keep these in the long run – after we build some new bookshelves and storage inside the closets – but for now they’re good at hiding the boxes.  So I just had to paint them.

Here is a look at them – I took it right after I started priming them on Saturday.


2 coats of primer and 2 coats of semi-gloss paint later… and I was finished!


The school room wasn’t the only room with doors that needed painting.  The main bath has a 6 panel door that was dark, dark, dark.  We have plans to replace this door with a horizontal paneled door (like all the rest of the doors in the house) at some far in the future date, but it’s not at the top of the priority list.  Of course I could just leave it as is… but why would I do that when I have the paint here already? 

Here it is before – although you can’t quite see the door itself (to the right), you can see the trim surround and it shows how dark the whole thing made the hallway (not to mention the bathroom).


And now the after..


The before shot also includes the trim that used to surround the doorway to the garage.  The threshold piece was a real nuisance, we kept stubbing our feet on it, so Glenn removed it a while back.  We will trim out the opening, but for now I just painted the edges to help it blend better.  And we are no longer stubbing our feet!

Here’s a look back the other direction, so you can actually see the painted door.



It makes such a difference in the hallway and the bathroom.  They are both lighter.  Which of course makes me happy. 

We’re getting there! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Entry to the Boys’ Room

I’ve looked and looked, and I can’t find any “before” shots of this area.  I’m not sure why I didn’t take one before I started on it, except that I guess I was just too excited and in a hurry to get going.

The stairway to the boys’ room, formerly known as the basement, was a big mess.  Well, the steps themselves were fine – Glenn just built them a few months ago and I painted them a pretty gray.  It was the area to the right of the steps that I’m referring to – the little “storage area” under the stairs.  It was dark and dirty, and full of tools with power cords trailing everywhere, stray screws, light bulbs, paint cans, etc.  It had become our catch-all for all the stuff we wanted nearby while we were renovating the other areas, but didn’t have any way to arrange.  (not to mention the time to care about arranging it).

Finally, I could stand it no more!  The boys didn’t seem to mind much, but I did.  Every time I went to their room, I had to go by all of it and look at it.  And it wasn’t pretty – or even rustically-appealing.  It was just junky.

There are two huge hand-hewn beams that are the support for the house, that are visible as you go downstairs.  I knew the boys didn’t want me to paint those – actually, I think they are kind of neat as is, myself.  But everything else was fair game.

I brought everything – everything – out of the storage area and put it all on the floor in the coat hallway for Glenn to look over.  Then I vacuumed, and washed, and primed, and painted the whole area.  I found 2 long ex-closet shelves and painted those as well, intending to have a double wide shelf.  Unfortunately, when Glenn was drilling the support wood in for the shelf, he discovered that the storage area didn’t have any 2x4’s behind the drywall.  He found this out because he drilled right through our electric line.  I saw a puff of smoke on the upstairs landing and we lost power in the family room and entry.  Glenn was fine!  But he had to cut out a niche of drywall and reattach the wiring. 

Did I mention how handy he is?

Finally we got it all configured – power was restored and we used a few of the storage bins to support the double wide shelf on one end.  Problem solved.

Here is a look at things now down the stairs from the boys’ doorway.


If you’ve been here, you know this is a drastic difference!

I found a spare tension rod in the schoolroom closet, and made a little curtain out of my drop cloth.  I am whittling away at that drop cloth, piece by piece, but I still have 2 large sections left for some other project!  This view is from the boys’ room, looking up toward the storage area.  Because the wall is angled just to the right of the stud, I could only curtain off that one section.  But it was enough for me – I’m happy.


The area without the curtain looks better too, thanks to these apple bushel baskets I found at Hobby Lobby.  The 2 big ones were about half the cost of woven baskets!  The little one was just cute.  It has a wooden handle.


The light fixture over the landing was just a bare twisty bulb, with drywall plaster sticking out all around the base.  It was raw and ugly.  But Glenn and I were at Lowe’s just a few days before, and I found the perfect light fixture!  It was at the end of an aisle with a lot of other miscellaneous clearance items and was marked half off!  Isn’t it neat?!  It looks old-fashioned to me.


I hemmed and hawed over what to put on the wall for decoration after all that.  Finally, I went down to the boys’ room and there was this really neat framed map that Luke had been holding onto for some time, leaning against the wall.  I had tried to get rid of it a few times, because it didn’t seem to go anywhere.  Good thing, he had resisted my de-cluttering attempts!  It went perfectly on the wall – and Luke was really pleased that I finally put it up somewhere that he could enjoy it.



We still have some trim to do on the stairs and landing, but overall things are much improved!  I know it has to feel more welcoming to the boys.  And I think it has a cleaner look – and more like it’s all been put there on purpose, as opposed to being tossed in a hole.

You might find this next part hard to believe… then again, maybe you won’t if you know me at all.  I even washed the hand-hewn wood beams with soapy water to clean the dust off them.  Smile  Ahhh…feels so good.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I’m not sure it really qualifies as an actual blizzard – but we don’t care!!  We’ve been having fun in the snow anyway!




The little girls spent long hours digging a tunnel through this drift – and Olivia couldn’t wait to demonstrate how it works..


I’m not sure whether she was going in, or coming out… but she made it, either way!


We are thankful for the snow during our first winter here at Kenilworth!

I’ve been painting again…  I’ll share soon!

Friday, December 28, 2012

From All of Us to All of You..

A very Merry Christmas!!
Lots of cousins = Lots of pictures!! 
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All the Kids!!
Plus their parents and Grandparents!



Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Birthday Girls!

December is a month filled with fun events for us!  Kate isn’t the only one with a birthday this month; Isabella and Sophia turned 9 this year, just 3 days before Christmas.

They were thrilled to celebrate their birthday and sooo happy to open gifts right after breakfast.


A few gifts were for both of them to open together – like these “talky-walkies”, as Isabella called them.


And a few of the gifts are the same type of gift, but slightly different, depending on their taste and personality, or in the case of the ones they are opening here, different sizes!  They each received a pair of boots – but Sophia’s are one size bigger than Isabella’s. 


It’s hard to believe it has been 9 years!  Here’s a lovely shot of me a short time before they arrived – trying to find a comfy spot on the couch!


(notice how I didn’t enlarge this picture quite so much as the others… there’s obviously just no need to do that….)


These pictures show how tiny they were at almost 6 weeks old!  Skinny little legs!

I’m holding Izzy (as she is spitting up!) … and Glenn is holding Sophia..  Any pictures from those days were few and far between – and usually very unprofessional…  who had time to take pictures!?




                        Here’s a shot of them together – in the very willing arms of Grandma!


Thought you might enjoy a look at how they’ve grown…

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                              Happy Birthday Isabella and Sophia!  We love you!