Monday, February 27, 2017


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Here we are: POST MOVE IN ....... or alternate title: FIRST WEEK IN THE TREE HOUSE.

First, let me start by clearing up any confusion--our wonderful Tree House is now livable and safe for the children (for the most part), but it is most definitely not finished (probably will take us a couple of years to get to that point). However, we are thrilled with the progress and so grateful for all of the help along the way.

Second, we must say:
Thank you to all of you who have so wonderfully followed along on our journey to make the Tree House into a home. Thank you for your encouragement and help and interest and cheering-on from near and afar. You have helped to make this journey fun and exciting and, most importantly, doable. We appreciate you all!

 During this first week in the house, we kept busy!
  • Set up a bookcase in the eat-in area to use as an interim pantry
  • Worked to clean out and organize the garage (Bryce is still working on this one...)
  • Frosted the front side-light windows
  • Started unpacking a little bit
  • Installed a utility sink in the laundry room
  • Hung curtains in the kids rooms and the fireplace room
  • Finished touching-up paint on the cabinets and installed the microwave
  • Called to get the second dumpster taken away
  • Installed a new light in the dining room (since the old one kept dropping shards of glass on my head)
  • Finished the kitchen backsplash (the pieces around the rest of the counters) and sealed them 
We also spent lots of time outside enjoying the unseasonably-warm February weather.

Let's end this Phase 1 of the Tree House Reno with photos of current life on the main level of the house. It's real life around here--messy and busy and unfinished.  Here's a picture of the current state of the spare bedroom. And since the master bedroom has no closets (Bryce needs to build shelving and hang rods), there's stuff everywhere. And the kids rooms are currently just explosions of toys and clothes since I haven't got everything situated yet.  Therefore: no other pictures of the upstairs for now.

The spare bedroom (i.e. random box storage)

Entry, Living Room

Dining Room

Kitchen, Eat-in


(still project messes? oh yes indeed)

Laundry Room 

Using shelves in random places until storage systems are built

Half Bath

Fireplace Room 

Boxes. And lots of kids everywhere. That's a good note to end on.

We're very much in the midst of a Project, but so happy to be in our home together! Thanks for joining us on this journey! (If you have specific questions about anything, we're always happy to chat. And we love giving tours--hint, hint! ;-)

(Click Here for a list of all of the Tree House Renovation posts.)

Friday, February 24, 2017


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WEEK 18+ // FEBRUARY 6 - 15

Here it is....the second-to-last post of our get-the-house-ready-to-live-in journey. A lot was accomplished in the week and a half leading up to our move in day, so I think a bullet list is best for the run-down:

  • Finished laying the laminate floors on the main level (thank you, Jesse, for the help!)
  • Finished sealing the kitchen concrete counters
  • Plumbing for the sink, garbage disposal and dishwasher
  • Refrigerator, dishwasher and oven/stove installed and working properly
  • Installed the barn wood backsplash and brushed on two coats of sealer (thanks for helping, Chris!)
  • Finished the second coat of green paint in the kitchen around the countertops 
  • Touched-up paint on the cabinets (we color-matched the cabinets paint color at Sherwin Williams) 

Bryce laying the last piece of laminate

Flooring complete in the living room and dining room, also old paneling and chair rail removed

Dining room (we haven't seen this room in 4 months!)

Touching up the green paint
Kitchen wall - BEFORE
Kitchen wall - DURING
Yes, I did use the nail gun. And yes, it was fun. :-)
Last piece of barn wood going in

Lamentations 4 written on the wall beneath the barn wood
Kitchen wall - AFTER

Gas stove is working!

And the list continues...
  • Organized the upstairs (this involved me + my dad and brother for almost an entire day--thanks Bruce and Jordan!)--they put together the vanity doors and drawers (also, thanks to Tom!), re-stretched the carpet in the master bedroom, installed the HVAC covers and put on the outlet/switch covers, put together 2 queen beds, 2 bunk beds and a crib, and they moved a bunch of attic boxes to the basement
  • Deep cleaned all of the bathrooms, the kitchen cabinets, the floors and washed the windows (thank you, Wendy and Katelyn)
  • Got the carpet cleaned in the upstairs hallway, the stairs and also the couch (all of the stains came out!)
  • Organized the downstairs (again, lots of moving boxes around and arranging furniture--thanks, Tom!)
  • Set-up the dining room table--so happy to see our table again
  • Fixed the hole in the deck (i.e. making the place safe for children to play--thank you, Tom and Clay!)
  • Painted the dining room--the ceiling and the top half of the walls, the bottom half is waiting for beadboard and a chair rail
  • Completed a few more water tests and our water passed!
  • Installed an exterior door between the house and garage, with dead-bolt lock
  • Installed smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers (yes, I live with a fireman, also they are requirements for foster homes)
  • Beds made and shower curtain hung

Painted dining room

Stretching carpet in the master bedroom

Master bedroom looking actually livable!

Hinges and pulls are on!

Boys room--bed is put together and furniture arranged somewhat

Spare bedroom

Working on the girls' bunk bed

Girls room set up (no, we didn't stand around drinking coffee all day)

We finally MOVED IN on February 15! Four months and 10 days to the day.

Two truckloads + a van load of stuff to move over. We left our wonderful parents' home, Tom & Wendy, packed up the dog + 5 kids and drove to our "new house," to live, to stay. It was such a surreal feeling. We had a dinner of leftovers on paper plates (thank you, Wendy), put the kids to bed . . . and then started to unpack and paint and clean the garage and move more boxes around. The fun never ends!

We plopped the kids on the couch with cartoons while we hurried to make beds, etc.

Our first dinner as a family in the house!

Everything still looked a little....shall we say.....scattered/undone/crazy after we moved in.

One more post to come of current life at the Tree House!

(See all of the Tree House Renovation posts HERE!)