The Corner Cabinet

We homeschool.  I’m not sure I’ve ever said that out loud here but it’s what we do. (DIY remember?)    I was homeschooled for many years and my husband for a few so it wasn’t a huge leap for us as we began planning for our kids school years.   Last year we did kindergarten (of sorts).  I was miserable pregnant for the first half and then had a newborn the second half so we were relaxed and loose with it.  I felt like we could be because our oldest was only 4 (her birthday is in Jan.) so we had some flexibility.   It was a good year.  We did Classical Conversations on Tuesdays (which we love), worked on letters and their sounds, numbers, and LOTS and LOTS of crafts art the rest of the week. 

This year however I knew it needed to be different.  Not because last year was bad, but because if there wasn’t a plan we slide back to that too easily.  I knew if I started organized that would carry us when the momentum of ‘bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils’ (name that movie) died out -ya know, 3minuets into our first writing assignment.

Getting organized for me, meant getting everything in it’s place and accessible.   

Enter the cabinet.


Our church had redone it’s small kitchen years ago and this was one of the pieces they pulled out.  They tried selling them but there were no takers so they passed the lot off to us when we moved in, telling us to use them or get rid of them.  

This piece in particular I hoped would fit in the corner of the family room and hold all the homeschool supplies as well as the box of games we had sitting in the corner.   Once I had a good look at it though I knew it was going to take more then a coat of paint.  

I removed all the hardware, sanded the whole thing, and bleached the bottom edges where mold had started to grow.




Then I sanded again. and again. and again. 


I primed the outside but didn’t do the inside.  Mostly because I didn’t want to go buy more Kilz and the inside looked pretty good with no mold issues.


(And yes, this is Kilz spray paint- my budget was small and I really just wanted the stain from where the mold had lived completely covered). 



I also spray-painted the insides of the doors  because I had an idea and didn’t want the wood-grain to show through. 

Then the real painting began.   I would do a coat, then go feed the baby, play with baby, wash laundry, get baby down for nap, run outside and do another coat.   My older two kids were at the Grandparents (thanks Mom!) so this was my window to do a huge messy project without my 3yr olds ‘help’. 


I filled a lot of holes with wood filler but didn’t try to get it perfect.  I didn’t have the time or energy, and I like a slightly lived in look (or I’ve learned that’s what works best when you have 3 kids under 5 that live with you).  

When my mom and sister brought my two older ones home my sister and I expermented with my idea.  We glued fabric into the doors.  I used mod-podge (about 3 layers) and then a poly spray coat at the end.   I LOVE what it did for the whole piece (and for my room). 


I also spray painted all the hardware with brushed nickel metallic paint and just reused it.   I’m on the look out for new door pulls (maybe) but for now these work great and look so much better then before. 


DONE!  It was a fun project, and has kick started my need for a couch cover and new pillows in the family room.   More importantly all our school stuff and games fit in there.  We are 3 weeks in to this new school year and the books still get put away there everyday.  Success!

Now about those pillows…


Headed out of the fog

So baby arrived and is growing like a weed.  Clearly I don’t handle blogging and babyhood very well but as he grows my mind is clearing and I’m once again looking for projects to do so more will be coming soon.   I did get our kids playhouse painted.  Including painting a rug onto the floor.  I also refinished a corner cabinet for our homeschooling supplies.   I’ll post that soon.   Until then here is a picture of Baby E.   He was born at home on Dec. 5th and weighed 9lbs 8 oz.   We all adore him.   Image And here he is now-at almost 8 months.  Wow-time really does fly when you are having fun.


One corner cabinet coming soon!  

Shed Doors

Hi all,

We are gearing up for baby around here with just 2 weeks (or so) left till the due date.   My kiddo’s seem very happy on the inside and have come late (10 and 8 days) so it easily could be another 3 or more weeks but I’m still trying to be ready.    So while I scrub bathtubs and wash itty bitty sleepers I thought I’d back up a bit and give you a glimpse of one of the projects we (and by that I mean my darling husband) got done early this summer-you know when I was laying in the bed gagging and trying to find a way for something other then the TV to raise my kids.

Enter-our beautiful shed.  (and by beautiful I mean, just look at all that storage!)

So one of the things that the previous owners took with them was the shed doors (and exterior lights).   Now we lived with it for quite a few months, only storing in the small side room -behind the brown door, and leaving only what we were willing to part with in the big section.   When my brother and Matt came to build the kitchen they also threw up some lights so that they could build late into the night.

With the arrival of spring and the desire for a garden and a yard that needs lots of ‘tending’ the tools (and toys) started to pile up.   The shed doors needed  to be installed before we went any further.  Enter Uncle Jerry.   Uncle Jerry lives in FL. and has several sheds/barns all filled with the tools/toys a boy/man could dream of.   Included is a working saw mill.   Oh, and did I mention Uncle Jerry lives on a pine farm?  One Sat. bright an early he pulled up with a trailer full of newly milled pine boards.  I didn’t get out there right away with the camera so by the time I did they were already hanging the doors.

They then attached a wood facade to the front so that it would match the rest of the shed.

We talked to lots of people about sliding shed doors vs. hinged doors and while the sliding doors seem to be everyone’s favorite we had several design issues we had to work around.   The electrical would have had to be moved, and to both sides of the doors there are other ‘things’ , the small storage area to the left and the lean-to to the right.  Both which would have been at least partially covered by a sliding door when open.   So we went for the big heavy duty hinges and so far love them.

I had yet to use our brand new nail guns so I got to ‘help’ -still not sure I was doing anything all that useful but I sure do love a good nail gun!

The men also put a inside lock inside the one side door so that you can open just one door at a time and also put the old fashioned swivel lock at the top of the other door so we can have it unlocked but the kids can’t get into it.

It was a fun morning project and the guys did a GREAT job.   Here they are-so proud of their work  (and between us-I can’t wait to paint the hinges so that the off-set top one isn’t so obvious!)  :-)

Speaking of painting, my dad primed the doors the next time he was in town and just last week I found some opps paint in brown to finish up the project.   A black shed with brown doors isn’t the long term plan but it works great for now and will keep those doors protected.

Happy Week-Till-Thanksgiving.   Some gift ideas coming soon!



A recipe

Hi again,   I wrote this post and when I went to upload it…poof, it vanished into the neverland that is is web-space so here it is again but minus all the witty and amazing things I said the first time.

I have about 7 or so weeks left of this pregnancy.   It’s been rough.  I had WEEKS of morning sickness, followed by insomnia, followed by intense hip pain and all wrapped up in a cute bow I like to call reflux.   My hubby told me the other morning when I was bemoaning getting out of bed ‘I know you didn’t sleep well, you tossed and moaned all night’.   Poor man-he isn’t getting any sleep either.

So, I’m sure you are hoping I did not log-in just to tell you how bad my pregnancy is.   I didn’t.   I came to give you a gift.  This wonderful recipe I’m about to share has been around for a long time.  You can find versions of it everywhere.  This however is my version and it (along with my amazing husband and darling kids-of course) is the reason I drag my whale-like body from the bed each morning.

Vanilla Cappuccino Mix

1 cup powdered creamer (I use plain or french vanilla)

1 cup Nestle Quik

1 4oz box Maxwell House International Cafe Beverage Mix (I use decaf. French Vanilla or the Swiss Mocha)

2/3 cup instant coffee (I use decaf.)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 vanilla bean cut into pieces

Toss all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.    Use 3-4Tbs. per mug of hot water.   Feel free to add half n. half, if you, like me, love it uber creamy.

Note:  The vanilla bean is for flavor purposes only and should not be put in your mug.   Pieces can be used for 2-3 recipes (of mix) depending on how quickly you go through it.  Smell them to know if they still have flavor power.  Discard when smell is gone.

Enjoy your mornings (and evenings, and anytime you need a little sweet and creamy pick-me-up)!

Where’d she go?

Hi all,

So I’d love if this post was FILLED with picture after picture of all the hard work I’ve been doing and therefore I could excuse my absence that way but in fact…

I have not done ONE SINGLE THING on this house since almost  finishing the painting in the Family Room (trim is still not finished).  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m pregnant!!!!  # 3 will join us in early December!

Since discovering this exciting fact I have spent HOURS, laying in bed, swearing up and down that this is my last pregnancy EVER!  I’ve gagged, wept, slept and gagged some more.  The TV is raising my children and the house, well lets just say, if we had to put our house on the market today, we’d have to take a lot less for it then we bought if for (and we put in a KITCHEN!).   :-)

It’s bad folks!  I’m completely embarrassed for even the UPS man to knock on the door.   We’ve had family stay twice and both times I’ve managed to drag myself to the vacuum cleaner and push it around a bit, and once I even cleaned the bathrooms (kinda) but in all truthfulness the place is falling apart.   Yikes!

I’m 15 weeks along now and any day now I fully expect to get that second trimester surge and go zipping around making our house a home again.   This pregnancy is a dead ringer for the one I had with my daughter and in that case I should start feeling better in about a week or two.  (I was 16 weeks with my daughter when the light finally dawned).

Until then, we will just keep having popcorn and apple-sauce suppers and praying  extra LONG nap times for everyone.

Be back soon-I hope!


Family Room~Finally

Whew!  Painting large rooms during a 1 1/2 hour nap time in the afternoons means LONG project times!  Finally all the but the crown molding in the trey is done!  I LOVE the way it turned out.   I haven’t hung the family pictures on the tree yet-another project that is tricky with kiddos, and I haven’t ordered the curtains.  Will be doing that as soon as my teaching check comes in.  :-)

The kids were so excited when the pile of stuff was moved out of the middle of the floor and they could ‘wrestle daddy’ on the carpet again.  We are all enjoying our bright happy room.

Here is the ceiling before beginning…


Here is the lightest color…

And then the sides…

I was so excited when I finally had this much done!    Moved all those boxes to the center of the room and got started on the walls… I also had a pretty cute helper!

And then we got to here:

and here…

And then all that was left was the trim and putting it all back together.  Today it looks like this…

And the family tree (in progress)

It’s good-it’s coming along and I’m thrilled to have most of the dark tan/brown look gone.   We are done painting for awhile! (CAN  YOU BELIEVE IT??)   -I mean, the hall and half bath, and laundry room are all pretty desperate but we are taking a painting breather… meanwhile I’ve got the garden in and have LOTS of other projects to finish up.

See you soon!


Quick Update

So I bought the paint for the Family room this week.  I’m so excited.   I’d post pictures but I haven’t started painting yet.  Hoping to do that this week.  I decided to keep it light.  I went with the lightest of grey-blues for the center ceiling then one shade darker for the ‘trey’ part (called Abracadabra!) and then the darkest for the walls.  Meet, Pins and Needles.  I think the navy curtains are going to work well.   Promise to post more as soon as we get going on it.  Also going to have to patch a small hole in the ceiling so it will be exciting.  :-)

In other news we got the last vanity installed this weekend.   I’m planning on doing a whole series of posts on the bathrooms soon but for now we are brushing our teeth in our own Master Bathroom and except for one remaining tub spout (who’s base size restrictions are making finding a match tricky) we have all our bathroom stuff done.   WOOHOO!    Let me tell you, when we moved in that 2 weekend in November I never expected that we’d have SO MUCH done before April!    Kitchen, bathrooms, painting, and all kinds of Misc stuff.  I’ve even started planning a garden.   Yep, it’s been an amazing ride so far.   Thanks for coming along with us.  I promise MUCH more to come.  (Like shed doors made from Pine boards that Hubby’s uncle is milling for us!)

Until Next time!