the home project that never ends: the gameroom.

If you missed the living room makeover, CLICK HERE  to see part one photos and CLICK HERE to see part two photos.

After the living room floor was down, we continued through the opening into – what would be for normal people, the formal dining room – but for us is the game room, (or what the kids used to call the playroom when they were younger).

The game room got its own makeover back in September of 2009. You can CLICK HERE to see those before, during and after photos, but here’s one of the “after” photos that gives a frame of reference with regard to the opening connecting it to the living room.

game room charging station

And after the flooring in the living room was down, that opening looked like this:
(the navy blue curtains you see in the above photo are tied in a knot in the photos below)

game room before

Here’s a full shot of the opening from the game room side.

game room before 2

Ready? Here we go.

All the living room furniture that we had been storing in the family room while we were laying the living room flooring had to be moved OUT of the family room so we could store all the game room furniture in the family room while we laid the game room flooring.

Did you follow that?

Here’s what it looked like. Living room furniture in the in family room:

temporary familyroom living room combo

Game room furniture in the family room.

game room in living room

And a week later. Notice how much messier the family room looks after what at that point was over a month of continued home chaos. That’s paper shredder guts in the middle of the floor, but vacuuming just seemed so…pointless.

game room in the family room 2

In the process, we had to unhook all the electronics and come face to face with the chord chaos we had been ignoring for…a long time.

game room cord chaos

What a mess.

Then I went to EPCOT.
I took PinkGirl to EPCOT and my FavoriteHusband and FavoriteSon tackled the game room floor prep while FavoriteHusband took breaks to hack my facebook and post photos of their progress.

game room floor sand

Take note of that round appliance in the photo above.
It’s an air purifier.
We had three different ones running the entire time.

First the guys pulled up the old carpet and carpet pad. If you click to zoom and look closely, you’ll see some of the glued down carpet padding that FavoriteHusband and FavoriteSon meticulously scraped off the floor. By hand.

game room floor sand 2

After the floor had been scraped, there was a fine layer of white powder EVERYwhere. On the walls, the curtains, the light bulbs…EVERYwhere. The air purifiers definitely helped. I took them apart to vacuum their filters. Here’s one mid-vacuum:

air purifier filter

Then FavHubs ripped off all the old baseboards. They were those standard, boring baseboards and we had long since replaced them in the rest of the downstairs with 4.5 inch baseboards.

game room baseboard removal

After scraping and vacuuming the floor, FavoriteHusband sealed it with Kilz.

game room sealed 4

Another reason I left the house that day. That stuff has a strong odor. Gives me a multi-hour headache.

After the sealer was dry, FavHubs cut and laid the plywood subfloor. (We had to lay a subfloor in the previously carpeted areas to raise the level up to meet the existing kitchen flooring – which we were not going to remove. The new flooring is a floating floor. We installed it right on top of the existing kitchen flooring. But that’s another post.)

game room subfloor 2

Then I got back into the project. These planks have some STRONG adhesive on them, so we learned hard and fast that this job was going to go much more quickly and with less errors if we laid every single plank TOGETHER as a team.

I can’t believe, with as many photos as I took, I can’t find any of the flooring mid-install.
Here’s the end result:

game room new flooring

game room new flooring 3

Then came the new baseboards. You remember that shot above showing the old baseboards mid-rip out? Here’s that same corner.

game room new baseboards 4

FavoriteHusband borrowed a miter saw and a compressor from a friend, watched a few youtube videos to learn how to use a coping saw and look at these beautiful baseboards!

game room new baseboards

Then I needed to mop it.
Or let my irobot Scooba mop it for me.

game room scooba 2

Here’s the nearly-finished room. Still have to finish the dreaded decorating.

game room 2014 after

game room 2014 after 2

game room 2014 after 3

game room 2014 after 4

I’ll post the kitchen photos soon. I hope.

facebook fragments: 03/01/14 – 03/07/14 (chairs, crowns and sarcasm)

Monday, March 3, 2014
1:03am. photos later, but it’s FINALLY down. Not done, but down. Tomorrow we rent the 100 lb. roller for the third and last time. Tuesday, I clean and “polish” the new flooring in the kitchen and eat in kitchen area. And at this moment, we have zero kitchen chairs around our kitchen table. Our comfortable but flooring killer caster tainted rolling chairs are on the back porch, never to be allowed inside again. I NEVER want to lay flooring again. Everything hurts except my ears. and maybe the top of my head. #thehomeprojectthatneverends


Monday, March 3, 2014 (breakfast)
Me, to FirstHusband this morning: “Part of me says I’m going to take my minivan out into the world today and bring home 4 kitchen chairs. Then I think, nah.”
FirstHusband: “You know what I would say if I were you?
Me: “G’night?”
FirstHusband: “yep.”
(we laid flooring till 2:30am Saturday night and till 1am last night. I got up to take PinkGirl to school this morning and let him get an extra hour and a half in the bed. I think we’re both heading back to bed after breakfast. and after ibuprofen. #mycoffeeisbroken #thehomeprojectthatneverends


Monday, March 3, 2014 (afternoon)
There’s some ugly furniture on Craigslist. And calling it “high end” doesn’t make it any less ugly. #ihateshopping


Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Little known fact: My husband is a sucker for old war movies. I swear these ship and submarine scenes were filmed in a bathtub with toys. Does every sub have a red knob somebody has to turn to stop the water spraying in the sub after they’ve been hit? And now I can’t go to bed till I find out what happens. Good thing the music is so good. #ilovemyhusband Torpedo Run on IMDB


Craigslist should filter and disallow certain words. Like “beautiful” and “gorgeous” and “MUST SEE!” These words are completely subjective. and more often than not, flat out WRONG. #ihateshopping


One day, a loooong time ago, somebody looked at these and said, “I’ll take them.”

Ugly Chairs


The house is completely empty. Time to sing. LOUD.


In case facebook decided you didn’t want to read some of my facebook posts last week here they are, all on one page: facebook fragments: 02/22/14 – 02/28/14 (the kitchen, a loveseat & lessons from my daughter)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Getting fitted for a crown this morning, and if you know me, you know I ain’t talking about a tiara – and if you know me, you know what I mean when I say I’d rather go shopping.


This is 99 cents on Kindle right now.
Lent for NonLent People


Thursday, March 6, 2014
The cats were digging around in the root veggie box in my pantry like it was a litter box. Turns out they were after this little guy. In my house? In my pantry?

Frog in Grass


Reading too much on the internet today and keep thinking one thing: Sarcasm is an ineffective persuasive technique. It’s condescending, arrogant, divisive and shuts down dialog. It’s too often used by people in a manner to indicate that an issue is simple and anyone who doesn’t see the simplicity and logic of their side of an argument is an idiot to be ridiculed and dismissed. Seriously. If these issues were simple, they wouldn’t be so controversial. Anyone who uses trite, flippant sarcasm to make a point – especially without even acknowledging any opposing points of view, loses credibility with me – and my interest in any discussion with them about how stupid my point of view is. #seepeople #edify


Social Media Guard. #seepeople


To see more previous facebook update and compilation blog posts, CLICK HERE.

facebook fragments: 02/22/14 – 02/28/14 (the kitchen, a loveseat & lessons from my daughter)

Saturday, February 22, 2014
We are loving our new microwave! Last one didn’t have the express cook feature and this one has it from 30 seconds to 6 minutes. and it is so. quiet. Best of all, it doesn’t continue to beep nag us when the cook time is complete.


You know what I LOVE about reading Philip Yancey? He’s not afraid to barrel headlong into the hard questions even when it could make his readers ask “uhhhh. Is this guy even a CHRISTIAN?!


Only one thing missing from today. A tin roof.


More photos of #thehomeprojectthatneverends: the living room makeover. the library.

The view out my back porch today. It’s raining so hard even a turtle is looking for shelter.

back porch table saw

back porch turtle


CLICK HERE to see the latest photos of the 2014 home makeover project. My very own mini LIBRARY.


FavoriteHusband and Bob have been fighting over this chair all day. FavoriteHusband just left the house.
You got about an hour and a half, Bob.

chair stealing cat


I know. that in a home improvement project, the house will go from bad to terrible to chaos before even coming close to better. But at this very moment, we have so many things happening at the same time, it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel is being carried in the opposite direction.


Sunday, February 23, 2014
Although we are hours behind our hoped for schedule, the game room baseboards are finished, every piece of furniture is back in place with felt on the bottom and the electronics are all hooked back up. Unfortunately, because of all the rain yesterday, we created a dependent task by using wood cutting power tools on the back porch. EVERY. THING. is covered in sawdust, which I have NO intention of cleaning up today. Next up. Laying the new flooring in the kitchen.


My husband just pulled the oven into the middle of the kitchen floor.
that. is. dis. gusting.


The kitchen floor will not be finished by the time we go to bed. At this point, both the fridge and the oven are in the middle of my kitchen. We just broke for dinner. Takeout from Gino’s. We’ve lived here since 1996 and we’ve only eaten there once. Four thumbs up. And the portion sizes are HUGE. Who can eat this much in one sitting? All four of us will be getting two meals out of our orders. Which is good. Because our fridge and stove are in the middle of the kitchen right now.


Monday, February 24, 2014
The fridge, stove and dishwasher are all where they should be. With new flooring under each. The room we thought would be the easiest has turned out to be the hardest. The kitchen is…1/4 – 1/3 finished.
We. are. tired.


You know what people don’t say enough? “dagnabbit.”


dagnabbit. No water comes out of the sink when I turn on hot and no water comes out of the fridge door when I try to get ice water. obviously, we’ve done something to break something. twice. or maybe just once with double consequences. But the floor under the fridge and dishwasher look excellent. Have I mentioned that I HATE dependent tasks? Especially when we actually CREATE them.


And two more dominoes fall in #thehomeprojectthatneverends. Both involving shopping. I hate shopping.
(1) Putting the loveseat back into the living room and we noticed it was actually THREADBARE. Not sure I’ve ever seen threadbare before, but this is definitely it. Found a new one I actually LOVE yesterday on accident when I was returning shelving to Big Lots. and it’s a floor model on clearance! FavoriteHusband is taking his truck this afternoon. REALLY hope it’s still there.
(2) 2nd domino is replacing the rolling office chairs we have around our kitchen table. Floor manufacturer’s instructions warn against the casters. Casters that meet specs are a minimum of $50 a set. $50+ each to make chairs that already have “cosmetic issues” more functional. no. I’ll be shopping for new kitchen chairs. Comfortable. Cheap.
CLICK HERE to see 2009 photos of our chair preference progression AND the threadbare loveseat before it was threadbare and the flooring we will be covering up this weekend.


That lizard Bob the cat presented to me and then set free in the house on Valentine’s Day?
Found him.
And it’s clear that Bob found him first.


FavoriteHusband is picking up my new reading spot right now. Then we need to feed my old reading spot to the Whale POD (charity storage unit.) Hoping to lay more flooring in the kitchen tonight.

new loveseat


FavoriteHusband and I spent the last hour and a half laying only FOUR rows of flooring in the kitchen. He went into the garage to get tools to switch out the water filter on the back of the fridge.
Me, to FavoriteSon: “I tire of this game. I don’t want to play anymore.”
FavoriteSon: “Then quit. Make dad do it.”
Me: “That wouldn’t be very nice.”
FS: “Well, then stop complaining.”
Me: “yeah. That’s not gonna happen.”


Tuesday, February 25, 2014
It is February 25th. Who knows why my daughter is ECSTATICALLY HAPPY it is FINALLY February 25th?
(digital HD release of Disney’s Frozen)


If you know me, you probably already know this. In the context of my everyday interactions with people, I am very open about my faith. Because I’ve learned that if I hide the thing that is most important in my life from the people I interact with in an effort to make them more comfortable, we will never be true friends. They will never know who I really am. I will be a big fake. The hiding would be deceitful. I tell people about my faith in Christ because it is such a integral part of my life that to hide it from people would be to hide myself. It would keep people at a distance.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters


The rest of the flooring is going to go down SLOWLY. The reason? We are working BACKwards. Up until the kitchen, we were working north to south, which meant we were laying flooring on TOP of the last laid row. In order to match up with the connecting room, we have to lay the kitchen south to north, which means that every. single. plank. has to be tucked UNDER the previous row. The adhesive is STRONG. If we let any part of the planks touch before they are positioned, it is a struggle to readjust.


“I’ve found my bliss.” and/or “I need to find my bliss.”


Wednesday, February 26, 2014
To continue from yesterday…Here’s what evangelism looks like in my life: When I interact with people, the first thing I want to do is get to know more about them as an individual. I ask questions. I listen. I ask more questions. and I listen. Sometimes, the other person shares something about their own life or experiences or goals or dreams or obstacles or fears that calls to my mind something in my own life and experience – something which relates in some way to what they’ve shared with me. Since Christ is such an integral part of my life, it’s only natural that those experiences would be saturated by His presence and influence.

I don’t filter God out of my life stories to make other people more comfortable.

What about you? Do you filter out what Christ has done and is doing in your life in an effort to make people more comfortable? To make yourself easier to like? Are you hiding the most important part of yourself and in the process, sabotaging the potential for authentic friendships? Are you keeping people at a distance? Settling for another acquaintance when you could have a true friend? What happens if you give the other person more credit than that? What happens if you trust them accept you for who you are even if they are different than you?
(this is an excerpt from one of my February 2013 blog posts – CLICK HERE to read the full post)


Would this count as a Rick Roll?


PinkGirl, on the ride home from school: “Mom! Did you know there’s a gorilla that can communicate using sign language?”
Me: “Yes.”
PinkGirl: “Her name is Koko.”
Me: “I know.”
PinkGirl: “I want a gor…”
Me: “Noooooo.”
PinkGirl: “But she’s so swe…”
Me: “No. You may NOT have a gorilla.”


PinkGirl, trying to pack her lunch in our construction zone kitchen: (spoken wistfully): “Mom. Do you remember…when we used to have a counter?”
Me: “yes. smart alec kid.”
PinkGirl, point waving at all the painting and flooring supplies: “and I didn’t make this mess.”


LONG overdue catharsis. no holds barred. (my latest blog post): The lying tempter would persuade.
(click the link above or the Jim Carrey photos below to read the full post)

Ace Ventura Recognizing the Voice of Truth

Thursday, February 27, 2014
We put the game room back together last weekend.
FavoriteSon: “It’s not really a man cave.”
Me: “You use this room more than anyone else. It’s a man cave.”
FavoriteSon: “There’s a quote by Henry David Thoreau on the wall. It’s not a man cave.”


Me, to FavoriteSon: “Part of me says (excited voice) ‘Your Dad is coming home today!!’ and part of me says (depressed voice) ‘Your Dad is coming home today.'”
FavoriteSon: “Because you have to get back to work on the house?”
yes. I did miss him. But it was a wonderful two days off.


Seriously affirmed in my reasoning to create and publish facebook compilation blog posts. Working on one now and there’s so much stuff I flat out can NOT find on facebook that I know I posted less than a week ago. It’s like it disappeared. If you think facebook is a great way to chronicle your everyday life, it’s not. I’m going to try and do these compilation posts from here on out – and post on my own blog. Where I have control of content.


I LOVE my daughter’s school and the middle school teachers. She just called me in uncontrollable happy tears to tell me how much she loves me because she just came out of drama class where her classmates (PinkGirl included) just “poured their hearts out about everything they were all going through and how we’re all so thankful and blessed that we have Christ in our lives to help us and…” Her next class was Bible and she asked to go to the office to call me and ask me to come up to school so she could hug me. I’m outta here. #ilovemydaughter


Just got back from going to PinkGirl’s school to give her a requested mid-day bear hug. One of the kids involved in that heart-wrenching discussion was sharing really, really hard things and everyone was telling him it would be okay. PinkGirl said: “I can’t promise you everything will be okay. At least not the way we see our life. But it will be okay the way God sees it. I think God is using the things in our lives to mold us into the people we’re going to be. It’s like a blacksmith. Sometimes, a blacksmith has to heat stuff up and hit it really hard with a hammer to mold it into something beautiful. The blacksmith knows what he’s making.”
#ilovemydaughter #seepeople #reachout


EVERY day matters. EVERY conversation matters. Don’t settle for conversations about nothing. Platitudes can be lies. Ask questions that let your friends and family KNOW you care about them and talk about things really that matter, even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if it makes them back away. Even if people think you’re too serious. It doesn’t mean you are wrong. It means they aren’t ready. #lessonsfrommydaughter


HOW have I never seen this? I LOVE smart fast funny! so. good.


I add “read books” to my to-do list every day so I know I’ll get at least one thing done.

Add read book to my to do list


Here’s another facebook compilation blog post. Everything I posted on facebook between February 15th thru 21st, all on one page. Because sometimes stuff on facebook doesn’t show up in my newsfeed. or disappears.

facebook fragments: 02/15/14 – 02/21/14 (EPCOT, fb hacks & a dead microwave)


Whenever I see something arrogantly or sarcastically hateful on facebook, I can’t help but wonder what is going on in that person’s life that would prompt them to take time and effort out of their probably otherwise demanding day to be openly and intentionally hurtful to strangers. or friends. #seepeople #edify



To see more previous facebook update and compilation blog posts, CLICK HERE.

the living room makeover. the library.

If you missed Part I and Part II of this living room makeover, CLICK HERE and HERE to see those photos.

This weekend, we’re installing baseboard in the game room, and hopefully we’ll reload all the furniture in that room and finish laying the new flooring in the kitchen. But this is what we did LAST night!


Check out my very own LIBRARY wall!

and yes, those shelves block off an opening between two rooms, but we LIKE it that way. The other side is what the floor plan called the formal dining room, but we’ve used it as a play room/game room for over 10 years. The books on these shelves will provide a sound barrier between the two rooms that I’ve wanted for a very long time!

There’s plenty of time to have a formal dining room. After my kids grow up. maybe. (more likely it will turn into a workout room.)

We have SO much to do this weekend. But FirstHusband is using power tools and doing math with a protractor to calculate baseboard angles, so I’m rearranging books in my new library! Here’s a WIP shot:


Check back. More photos to come.

the living room makeover. during and after

If you missed Part I of this living room makeover, CLICK HERE to see those photos.

Here’s the last photo from the first post:

(the grey is the moisture barrier)
the living room makeover - moisture barrier2

While I waited for the flooring to ship (delayed due to the snow and ice), I did some painting and we made few small changes:



We’re changing ALL of the beige toggles to white rockers. ALL of them. (and of course, the beige outlets to white)

Painting most of the downstairs Behr “Pecan Sandie” in Satin.
We painted the original boring beige back in 1996.
and (to the left of the window) the “big red wall” is GONE.


In my defense, I am short and this valance was WAY over my head. Taking it down to paint put it in vacuum reach.



And FINALLY, the flooring was delivered!



And the fun began…

Four hours later… (it was a hard learning curve)
flooring after four hours

The next day went MUCH faster.

When we got to the last row, we said a little prayer:
Lord, we are so tired. please. please let it be a perfect fit.


God is merciful. And we are so. grateful.

We only had to fill in a graduated triangular section in the very. last. corner.
Can you see it? Go ahead. Click the photo to zoom in. My husband is SO good.

and the FLOOR is finished. In this room.
The green towels are covering the transition into the NEXT room.
And we have yet to get the rest of the furniture into place.

Bob the Cat approves. #lazycat #sunbeam

Next up? Finish painting and put some furniture in here. And of course, the adjoining rooms.

Check back. More photos to come.

the living room makeover. before and during.

[First things first. FirstHusband’s name has been officially changed to “FAVORITEHusband” for the next few weeks. probably longer. This post would not exist if it weren’t for his tireless and good natured hard work. and his math skills and his freakishly (and sometimes frustrating) attention to detail.]

I forgot to take a picture of the before, so this mid deconstruct will have to do. I’ll look for an old shot to compare with the “after” when we’re finished.

living room makeover before

living room makeover before2

If you know me, you know there were full bookcases in this room.
Below are mid-relocation stacks for one of them.
(alphabetized by author’s last name of course)
mid bookcase relocation

This antique armoire already weighs a ton when it’s empty.
It had to be emptied.
the giant armoire that has to be moved

I ran out of flat surfaces. And some of it went into a charity box instead of back in the armoire.
I do not need a giant platter with a turkey on it when I have two plain giant platters.
and I do not need four glass beer steins with my graduate school logo on them.
and I do not need…so much STUFF.

armoire contents mid relocation

This picture doesn’t show the family room furniture,
but we don’t normally have a love seat in front of the fireplace.
or a piano in front of the sliding doors.
There’ll be plenty of seating in the family room for the next few weeks.
Although, no room to walk. (notice the glass wear lining the piano).
temporary familyroom living room combo

Of course, what is a home renovation without a time-sucking distraction?
We took the sliding doors off the track so the dining table could fit through to live on the porch for a few weeks.
and this picture was mid-scrub. It was BLACK before. guuh. ross.
(why and how did I never notice this before?)
the distraction - sliding door rails before

After some steel brush, Mr. Clean grease cutting, shop vacuuming, this door opens and closes like buttah.
the distraction -sliding door rails after

And back to the real job.
Scraping and sanding and sealing, oh my.
the living room makeover - carpet is up.2

the living room makeover - floor sanded and sealed

We needed a subfloor to raise the floor level to the same height as the current flooring.
the living room makeover - subfloor in progress

the living room makeover - subfloor complete

And a moisture barrier.
Finally found a use for all that roofing material left over from Hurricane Charley.
the living room makeover - moisture barrier2

And then, FINALLY, we put together a sample of the flooring we picked to see if we really like it.

we do.

new flooring sample

So now, we order the rest of it.
and wait for it to ship.
and then finish laying it in the living room.
and then we get to empty the game room.
and do this all over again. yay.

game room charging station

game room seating