I think what Karen was trying to say was, "I really like doing handy household projects and serving others" as you will soon find out. Anyway, I got home and the thought struck me that maybe some of those men who like doing these things might want to come out and help Steve during our project week. I sent Karen an email about our projects and just said we weren't asking for help, but if anyone wanted to help, I was sure Steve would appreciate it. As it turns out, Karen came to help three days and was a working machine! Another gentleman from church came who is retired and was so kind and helped lay that sticky tile in the basement by the back door (which I forgot to take a picture of) and he helped Steve put together the bunkbeds and a host of other things, and another lady came on Wednesday and helped me paint all the trim and beadboard in the boys room. It was just amazing to have these people coming over to help us with our own household projects! I just kept thinking about God showing us his goodness....we have some pretty significant trials going on right now and it was like he was saying, "your not alone".
We pretty much worked everyday starting last Saturday until today, so a full week, except Sunday. We went to church and then to Burts Pumpkin Farm (our annual tradition for the past 15 years!) on Sunday. I did finish painting the shelves for our mudroom on Sunday though and Steve hung them that evening. So here are some pictures of some of our helpers and our accomplishments!
Here's Karen! She took care of this whole bathroom single-handedly. We weren't even planning to do the boys bathroom but when Steve bought 2 gallons of paint for the boys room when we only needed one and also overbought on bead board, we decided to tack it on to the list and Karen just took care of it----the whole project! And then cleaned the bathroom, including scouring the bathtub with bleach (which I'm sure hasn't been done in years because the boys do the cleaning!). The bathroom came out so beautifully!
Here is our other helper, Janet. She was so sweet with the boys in the morning, helping by playing with them, and then she came up and helped me paint all the trim and bead board in the boys room. It was such a big job! It was fun to paint and chat and get to know her. What a blessing!
Steve repaired some significant damage to the drywall in the garage with the help of a handyman we met at Home Depot, David. If you live in the area and need a handyman, he is your guy! He did all the mudding which Steve does not do. Once that was all repaired Steve painted the wall and then hung these shelves for all the shoes. That way they don't have to be stored on the shelves in the mudroom. I love this!
We had a cheap black bookcase here that just didn't utlilize the space well. I had been dreaming of some shelves from floor to ceiling for a while. Steve and I schemed to think of the most functional shelves that weren't too expensive. We ended up buying a large sheet of nice plywood, David at Home Depot cut it up into the size we needed for the shelves, we bought "L" brackets that wouldn't take up the storage space of the shelf below that were grey and I painted them black. I also painted the shelves black. The "L" brackets that were black metal already were 8 dollars a piece! These cheaper grey brackets that I bought and painted were only 2 dollars a piece! Saved us a lot of money by painting them. They aren't beautiful, but they work perfectly fine. I LOVE these shelves. They are right near the kitchen and I'm able to keep a lot of the little boys "table" activities on them, like puzzles, coloring, etc.
When we finished the big playroom in the basement for the boys we intended to build a "reading knook" for the boys in the recessed part of the wall that is intended for a fireplace. David helped us to accomplish this! I wanted Steve to build the boys a slide but we needed sheet metal that was large enough to tack onto the wood slide and Home Depot doesn't carry it big enough and so Steve very gladly bought this big ugly green plastic slide and crossed building a slide off his list. It is ugly, but it works, and the boys can't get enough of this thing. They literally fly down it! I don't know how much reading they will do up there! It's more like a jungle gym! They all crawl up there and after envisioning Samuel being flung off we built the safety fence to keep him from falling off.
The slide to the far left we bought a while back. The slide to the far right Steve made this week and got that hung. Swinging is very popular, something about swinging inside I guess, so having another one made sense. The only problem is the first time Andrew used it Steve and I simultaneously said, as Andrew got higher and higher, "watch out! You'll hit the ceiling fan" We didn't realize that the swing was in the path of the ceiling fan. They'll just have to not swing as high. This should be interesting.
Karen also helped us spackle a TON of wall damage down here. There must have been 100's of little dents in the walls. She got most of them and then she touched up the paint from the boys doing crazy stuff that is now forbidden like launching legos at each other. There were also several 5 X 5 inch squares cut out of the drywall that had to be done for the electrical work for the heating and air system because we forgot to have that stuff done before the drywall was put up. David helped us get these repaired properly. So nice not to see those holes anymore in the wall!
We didn't do much in our bedroom but did move up the black bookshelf from the mudroom and put that with another one that was already in our bedroom, which gives Steve some shelf space (not on this small bookcase in the picture but a taller one) since my books take up so much of the 4 bookcases that are in our bedroom and we moved the last remaining cherry colored bookcase down to the basement where it now sits with the other 3 just like it along the wall to hold the boys toys.
The boys room: It was impossible to capture their room in it's entirety for a picture. Previous to the changes, their room was a darker blue color with lots of wall damage. We decided to not just repaint it but also put up bead board to help cut down on the nicks and holes they make so easily in drywall. I love the way it turned out! As far as beds go, we had a bright red loft bed in there that Steve had built years ago when Isaac was little, and had converted into a bunk bed by putting a twin bed frame underneath it. There was also a boxspring and mattress on the floor for Benjamin. Our original plan was for Steve to rework the loft bed so that the ladder didn't extend out into the room taking up needed space and built a trundle bed for Benjamin and Samuel. When we couldn't come up with any good trundle bed plans, I decided to see if there were any affordable bunk beds that we could just buy, and buy two of them, getting rid of the bright red loft bed (I love the structure of it and that Steve made it but I couldn't imagine repainting it-which it really needed!). Wal-mart has these bunk beds that are made from solid wood and had really good reviews for 180.00 each. Not bad! So we went ahead and ordered them. I love how it turned out! Each boy has a ledge to put their books on and a reading light from Ikea.
We hung there nice pictures and took down a lot of the random posters and things we had tacked up in the room before. It looks so nice and clean now!
Here are some pictures of the bathroom! It turned out so awesome!
To top it all off, today Steve cleaned up the garage which was a disaster and I, with the boys help, got the whole inside of the house cleaned. We clean our house about every 4 (realistically 6) weeks on a Saturday, all of us pitching in to get it done. It was more than time. We had planned to do it next Saturday, but I realized, since Karen had cleaned the upstairs bathroom, all the boys sheets had been changed, and my sheets I had gotten changed during the week...with these things already done, we could probably accomplish getting the house cleaned today. We just finished a little bit ago. It is 8 o'clock Saturday night. We're all bone tired, but it's done! Tons of projects completed and a clean house to boot! Phew! What a week! We got so much done and I know it is because I prayed at the start of the week and committed the week to God and asked his help and his blessing and he answered! He cares about all of our burdens, even the things that don't seem to matter that much. I'm so thankful for all the help he provided through Karen, Janet, Wesley and David. We couldn't have done all of this without them!