Monday, March 30, 2009

Before & After


AFTER-Tile being laid tonight as I'm typing this!

Eating Area-BEFORE






Dining Room -BEFORE


Guest Bedroom-AFTER


Girls Room-BEFORE

AFTER-Helping Daddy paint the last wall!

Master Bedroom-AFTER

My formatting got a little messed up, so I hope that everyone could follow. Here's just a portion of the work that we have completed over the last 2 weeks. The house is really starting to come together and look fantastic. We have had so much wonderful help and support from our friends and family. I'm exhausted but still having fun watching each room being transformed into our vision. The appliances, counter tops and carpet are all scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and the official move-in day is slated for Saturday. Not looking forward to that but I guess it's just a necessary evil. Hope everyone enjoys the photos!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am so exhausted from all the work on the new house that I could hardly drag myself out of bed this morning. Who knows how long the kids were up before I was even conscious. I was there at 10:30 yesterday morning and didn't leave until 8:30 pm. Mike worked there until 10:30 pm before he finally had to call it quits.

The girls are starting to get edgy too. All the changes to their routine are starting to have a negative effect on their little systems, and I feel terrible about that. I hate to see them fighting with each other, breaking into tears at the least provocation, or lashing out in other ways that are totally unlike their normal behavior. What to do.....hmmmmm......

I should be over at the house working right now-so much to do and so little time to do it in-but I just can't. I am so tired and need a break. My entire body aches, not so much the muscles, which are getting used to the new activities, but just in general-an overall fatigue that has settled over me. And the headaches....something that I am not used to having and which are becoming more frequent...are terrible. I almost couldn't drive home last night because of the pain. I'm not sure if it's from the constant bending over to paint, the paint fumes, the lack of sleep and fatigue, sinus issues or a combination of the above factors.

I need to find some other source of energy, hidden away somewhere, to get me through the next 2 weeks. I better start looking for it.....or else. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Painting Party Pics!


I'm going to make this brief because there is just too much to do but I can not stop thinking about paint. Yes, paint. I left the new house for a short while yesterday and when I got in the car, I could still smell paint. At dinner, my coffee tasted like paint. In my dreams last night, all I did was paint and paint and paint...I guess that makes it more of a nightmare!

In case anyone is keeping track:
  • The living room is painted, including all the trim. It only needs a few touch ups here and there and we'll be all set.
  • The foyer is also completed.
  • The study is done as well-just a few minor items to touch up and it'll be good to go.
  • The kitchen and back hall are painted and just need their trim work painted still.
  • The formal dining room has the lower wall painted, the upper wall has 2 coats and still needs 1 or 2 more (we are doing a very deep red and knew this would be an issue).
  • The kitchen has 1 wall of cabinets up and they are looking fantastic! (Thanks Uncle Mark!) They should all be installed by Wednesday. Yay!
  • 2 of the upstairs bedrooms are ready for paint and we have helpers coming tonight!
Lots going on-work, work, work...
I'll try to post some photos tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I hate drywall dust!

  • We have all the ceilings secured, screwed and mudded.
  • The living room is washed, taped and ready for paint.
  • The dining room is washed, mudded, sanded, taped and ready for paint.
  • The kitchen has been removed.
  • The water has been turned on so we have all our utilities now.
  • The iron scroll pieces on the front porch have been removed and given to a good home.
  • The girls bedroom has a new ceiling, has been taped and mudded, sanded and is ready for the finishing coat of mud. It's looking great!
  • The basement has had lighting installed and the floors scraped and cleaned.
  • The kitchen cabinets have been ordered and paid for.
  • The new carpet has been ordered and paid for.
  • The new laminate/wood flooring has been purchased and paid for.
  • Paint for the living room, dining room, study and family room has been purchased and paid for.
These are the things that are next on our list:
  • Re-wire the kitchen to work with our new layout.
  • Level out the kitchen floor with plywood where the old cabinets were.
  • Prepare walls for new cabinet installation (new kitchen is being delivered on Friday).
  • Choose tile for front foyer.
  • Continue sanding and taping rooms for paint this weekend.
  • Take measurements of existing bath vanities, sinks and hardware (not sure what we can afford to replace right now and what has to wait)
I'm sure that there is more but these are the major items. We are going to be inviting everyone and anyone who is interested in helping us this weekend out to the new house. We will provide drinks, meals and materials. We truly appreciate all the help! Please contact us if you are interested in lending a hand or two!

...oh, and I fell off the ladder yesterday while sanding the dining room ceiling. That hurt. Mike has already told me that he would prefer if, from now on, I picked only jobs that require me to stand or sit on the ground or in a chair. Poor guy... :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Muscles

That's what I feel like I have! I am so sore from working at the new house all this weekend that I can hardly move right now! I know that all this muscle usage is good therapy for my weakened system but I think I'm going a bit overboard....oh well.

I can honestly say that I have learned a lot of information about our new house in the past few days. First, it's really big, which is good and bad. Good, because we have a lot of room to grow and bad, because of all the extra work that entails. We also learned that we had a burst water pipe in our main floor laundry room when Mike turned on the water to the house for the first time and a waterfall starting gushing from the ceiling. Neat.

We also learned today that the majority of the ceilings in the house were on the verge of collapse. It's not as bad as it sounds. When the house was built, they put up one layer of drywall and screwed it into the joists. Then, to meet fire code, they added another layer of drywall, which also helped with sound deadening. However, this second layer was merely glued on top of the existing surface and finished at the joints. This normally doesn't pose a problem but with the home being empty for 2 years, the temps would have reached 100 in the Summer months and below 0 in the Winter. The glue just was not made to withstand that type of temperature fluctuation and ultimately failed. So, we have been successful in saving all the ceilings so far by finding all the studs and re-screwing the lower level of drywall to re-secure the surface. It's a lot of extra work that we weren't prepared for but we seem to have it under control and with all the awesome help that we had this weekend, we are still ahead of the game....I think...

Wish that I could write more but my body and brain really hurt right now. I'm even having trouble typing and that's not good! I'm going to try to post pics of our progress as we move through all the steps before move-in day. Stay tuned!

P.S. A big THANK YOU to Deane, Jim , Jeanne, Katie, Shawn, Shaun and Dad who did such an awesome job helping us with the new digs! We couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


  • Get wedding ring back from jewelers (prong broke off) -check
  • Get samples of our new carpets so that we can match paint colors -check
  • Contact all utility companies for the new house and schedule them being turned on-check
  • Pick a preschool for the girls for Fall (Endeavor in Kentwood) -check
  • Pack more crap that we don't need -check
  • Have a slight emotional breakdown over the stress of it all -check
  • Recover thyself and enjoy the bright, sunny day today -check
  • Start a new checklist for tomorrow -check

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Preschool Woes

Now that we are moving several miles away from where the twins are currently attending preschool, I have started looking for other nearby programs that would work well for our family. We will be much closer to the Forest Hills Preschool program than where we are now, so I thought that might be a good option.

However, I am finding that living in Cascade is having some draw backs that I hadn't anticipated. Money. All the programs that I have called this week (6 total) basically charge the same amount, per child, with no discounts for twins. Twins are great and neat and cool and everything else, until situations like this come up. Ugh.

We currently pay $144 per month for both girls to go to Messiah Lutheran. I can not find a program in our new area for less than $145 per child, per month! That's double what we are paying now! I have contacted the directors for Christian-based schools, the public school and independent centers as well, such as GYMCO, which offers gymnastics as part of its curriculum. Same basic price at all of them-the only difference being the class times and days of the week. Now, I could stick with what we know and keep them at Messiah, but I would be driving 20min each way, 3 days a week. Cascade Christian Preschool is just down the hill from our new house and would be very convenient for us, but is $150 more per month worth it? Man, I just don't know what to do...and the worst part is that a lot of the programs are already filling up for next Fall...decisions, decisions.

If anyone else knows of a good preschool at a reasonable price, I would love to hear about it!

Monday, March 9, 2009

How many hands?

For those of you not familiar with the Geocaching world, part of the fun involves events where fellow geocachers gather to socialize, meet new people, get information, etc. One such event is called a "Flash Mob" event where dozens (or more) people suddenly descend upon one particular spot, seemingly out of nowhere, and leave the same way shortly thereafter. Funny to watch and participate in!

Now, we have had MANY people suggest to us that we use this type of event to lure other cachers out to help us move, paint, name it. Actually, I think it would be really funny and I believe that my fellow geocachers would totally go along with this! Picture if you will, 25 cars pulling into our neighborhood, people running over to our house, dashing inside, grabbing a box, loading it onto the moving truck and then suddenly all disappearing? I'm sitting here laughing right now just at the thought it!

Too bad Mike and I could never go through with it, but that doesn't mean we won't need help. So, anyone interested in helping paint, clean, install flooring, pack boxes, help move or watch the girls for us from March 14th-April 5th, please let us know! The more hands the merrier! :)

Friday, March 6, 2009


No, it's not a post about another store closing, the slumping economy or more layoffs. We have a closing date! Yay! We will be closing on our new house next Friday (the 13!!!!!) at 11am. Then the work really begins!

We (mostly Mike) have contacted the Gas company, the Electric company and the Water company, which by-the-way let us know that the property still has an outstanding water bill for $144 from when they shut the water off back in 2007! Can you believe it's been unoccupied for that long! We have a dumpster being dropped off on the 13th so we can start hauling out the old carpet, broken drywall from one of the bedrooms and other miscellaneous junk. We also need to replace all the locks and install a thermostat.

The above is step one. Step two involves washing down all the walls and trim, making repairs to the drywall, and fixing up any problem areas. We will also be removing the kitchen cabinetry and relocating it to the garage, where it will serve it's new purpose as both storage and workbench.

Step three involves painting the entire home, every room, top to bottom. Trust me, you might think it sounds excessive, and it is....but it's also necessary. With enough hands, I really think that the job will go pretty quickly-ceilings first, then the walls and finally the trim work. We are talking about a lot of paint and many decisions over color schemes-I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the vision I have in my head will become reality without too many tears and curse words!

Step four is all about flooring. We will need to have the new wood/laminate flooring installed in the kitchen/dining room and the tile laid out in the foyer. Then comes the carpeting, which we have already picked out and the new kitchen cabinets and counter tops. Did I mention appliances? No? Well, we need those too since we are going to be leaving most of our old ones here in the "Galahad" house for the new renters.

I know that's not everything but it's most of the major stuff. The exterior of the home and the yard/gardens will have to wait for a few more months. We would like to have the new home ready by the 1st week of April so we can move into it the weekend of April 3-5th. I hope everyone's free that weekend! Just kidding... ;)

We are going to be doing EVERYTHING ourselves, along with the help of friends and relatives, with the exception of the carpeting. I think it's going to be a ton of fun and I'm getting so excited! I'll be sure to keep this site updated with all the new happenings!

**BTW-if you or anyone you know is looking for a quality, well-maintained home, in a quiet neighborhood, 1700 sq.ft. with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, great floor plan, 4 Season Sun room, big yard and in Forest Hills School District, please let me know! :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blowing out 32 candles!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Is that wrong? :) I guess that I'm just happy to be alive and more than ready to put my heart and soul into my goals, in this, my 32nd year. It started this weekend when our family found over 120 Geocaches, which brought us to over 4,000 finds! It was great fun and I hope that we can do it again in the near (well, maybe not so near) future! We were able to hang out with our buddy, Jim, on Friday, and our good friend, Tim, who gave us the guided tour of Roseville and the Metro Detroit area yesterday. I loved all the history that he showed us, our easy conversation and the great hides that we found along the way. Fun, fun, fun...

Now the work begins...which is good, too! I'm going with Mike tomorrow to pick out our carpet for the new house and we should get a closing date this week as well. We have our cabinet quote for the new kitchen and lots of other activites throughout the week to keep us more than occupied! We are continuing to pack items here and there and think about what needs to happen to our current house before we can put it on the market for rent. So much to do, so little time. I say, "Bring it on!".