Sunday, January 16, 2011

Do the hustle, the shuffle, the box step....

Whatever you want to call it, I have been reorganizing! Sometimes it feels like I move a pile of boxes from one end of the room to the other, then back again, and today that's pretty much all I did!
Eddie, covering his ears while Dad loudly assembles the shelves.

After Mr. Ireland finished the second set of storage shelves in the basement (pictured above), I offered to absorb his misplaced plastic shelves and give them a home in my sewing room. Of the three sets of shelves that were holding his tools, I chose the tallest. The other 2 will find homes in my laundry area in the basement. My sewing room is far from perfect, and has been shuffled 3 times now in the 6 months we have lived here! The "after" picture will be posted in a few days but, here is are a couple "before" pictures for your evaluation...

Two views of my sewing room from the doorway...

I am very proud of the progress in the living room! I set out to clear the homeschool area and at least get important materials for the remainder of the year onto a bookshelf. Up until now (yes, I know it is the end of the first semester), I have been digging through boxes for teachers manuals and text books for the boys, yelling and working myself up when I can't find what I know we need. This will really help with both my irritation and school for the year. And now that the walls are not blocked by boxes, I can hang a white board and move our table up! Yay me!

Before; After. Anyone want a TV?

Tomorrow, the boys and I will go shopping for supplies to finish my office, the nursery and if we have time, dye our curtains for the dining room that I found at a thrift shop.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Want to help? Bottle caps for food!

Our second son, Callen, collects bottle caps. For a long time, I tried convincing him that a collection should be only the best bottle caps, free from dents or scratches. He finally explained to me that he was going for quantity, not quality! Three gallons containers later, he has quite the collection going and his father and uncles have started leaving small piles of bottle caps for him to find. His little brother, Brody, has even decided to start his own collection.. of wine corks! He's off to a pretty good start too, with corks from as far away as Israel!

Knowing that at some point this collection would exceed its owner's storage capacity or possibly interest, Callen decided that he would sell his collection and give part of the money to children in poverty. What a sweet boy! A while back I saw an article in Back Home magazine about using bottle caps and wine corks as flooring tile (called the Bone House, click here for pictures of the house) .

I offered to buy the containers from my son when we are ready to remodel the bathroom and use stick tile sheet to create flooring for the bath. Now, our bathroom is not large, but I suspect that it will take a LOT more bottle caps than he has, currently, to tile it. Here is my request:

If you want to help make his little dream come true (and help me tile my bathroom in a unique way) start saving your bottle caps from beer and soda bottles (and corks, if you wish)! Callen would be thrilled to receive them in whatever quantity you send or bring them and I will help him choose which organization to send the money to after I purchase all the caps from him. Start a milk jug or pickle jar, pretzel container, tissue box, whatever, and mail them, drop them by, or ask for a pick up! It will be neat to see what kind of funds he can raise and I think our bathroom will be really cool. I'm going to give this a deadline of June, which I will extend if we don't get around to remodeling the bathroom this spring/summer.

Contact me for an address :) Thanks!

Gotta get up....

Its the new year and its time to start work on the house again. Really, we have had a nearly 2 month break and we are fed up with living out of boxes and working around unfinished projects. January and February are usually slow at work for Mr. Ireland and he can finally spend some time on things at home. We are also expecting another baby, so we are quite motivated to get as much done before he/she arrives in May!

We are setting a fairly easy pace - one major project a month, sprinkled with smaller projects throughout the house. January is devoted to shelving!! Mr. Ireland will finish building storage shelves in the basement, which will go a looooong way toward getting the rest of the house organized, and I will work on smaller shelving projects. The big boys are in desperate need of a new clothing storage system and a couple of large shelves in the closets to help get the toys up off the floor, and the nursery needs 2 shelves in the closet before I can install the closet doors. With another baby on the way, it is time for the nursery to be finished!

This is my plan for the upstairs bedroom closet - a dresser made out of laundry baskets! I love Ana White's site - I've been following her for a long time and now that her blog has transformed into a sponsored site, I am thrilled to have a whole list of building projects for our house that are based on her plans! I will be building 4 of these units, giving 4 baskets for each boy, using the 16x16 square baskets instead of the rectangular ones. This size will be much more manageable for children and the plans are really easy to change out. I'll post pictures when I'm finished.

A plan for the rest of the year is shaping up. The list is long, but if we can get most of it done, we will be pleased. Its not a resolution list, but here is our list for January - September projects (at which point we stop working because Mr. Ireland's schedule is too full for projects!):

Shelves, shelves, shelves
Trim and moulding in all rooms
Upstairs flooring installed
Complete kitchen remodel
Remodel downstairs bath
Refinish/repair floors in dining and kitchen
Paint upstairs bath, replace shower stall and linoleum
Retexture nursery, repaint
Master bedroom flooring installed
Build dining table, install new light fixtures
Finish basement projects - shelves, coat rack, laundry area
Replace heating duct and vents throughout house
Remove chimney and repair ceiling and roof
Repair front porch roof, build dormer over steps
Build chicken coop/barn for goats, install fencing
Get garden prepped for planting
Work on garden wall

That's a long list! Huh. Guess I should get to work!

Happy New Year!