What I’m tackling today

For the past week or so John has been working on a really neat project. Our house is fairly generous– 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3000 square feet. But with ten kids you can imagine it is FULL these days. We currently have 3 girls sharing one room, and the 3 yr old is (ahem) sleeping in our room. Well, something about the baby turning 3 has got John and me hankering for another bedroom. And so John has been building one. Currently we have 3 bedrooms on the main level and two more upstairs, along with a gargantuan family room and a bathroom up there.

One of the upstairs bedrooms was formed 4 years ago by building walls, adding a dormer, and taking one corner out of our big-ol family room. It has been a small but serviceable bedroom for our teenaged boys– they love their space. Last week we took a chunk out of the opposite corner of the family room for our 9 year old boys. This will free up a bedroom downstairs for our 3 and 5 year old daughters.

The new bedroom is only 98 sq feet, but it is just adorable, complete with a new window and a built-in bunk at each end of the room. The wall-mounted bunks are high enough to slide full-sized Rubbermaids under the bed, so that will allow lots of toy storage.

I am really excited that we were able to add the new room without impacting the functionality of the family room. Yes, the family room has gotten smaller. Shape-wise, it now looks like a fat T instead of a rectangle. Each point of the T has its own function. One corner is the computer room, one is the library, (complete with window seat and a huge wall of books), and the other point of the T houses the piano and the foozball table. I really thought we’d have to get rid of the foozball table to make this work, but it still fits! We did get rid of a couch, a desk and (shhhh) my poor neglected treadmill, but I’m not sad about any of those things being gone.

We also called a plumber and added a new sink in a hidden corner just outside the upstairs bathroom door. Now kids can brush teeth or comb their hair while siblings are in the bathroom- a blessing considering 5 kids are now on one bathroom. The whole project cost — believe it or not– right around $1000 which is awesome considering we added a whole new bedroom and improved the functionality of the bathroom.

Anyway, today my task is to paint the new bedroom. We are hoping to get the boys moved in by Christmas. They are so excited that they have decided to make both breakfast and lunch, to free me up to get more painting done. Siblings of the lucky boys have already asked to trade rooms, but no way are they giving it up! It is an adorable, fun space and I think it will be a great solution. I’ll share pictures when we get the kids moved in.

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  1. I’m fairly new to your blog – but am enjoying the reading! Congrats on your new room! I feel the same way about a recently drywalled laundry room! Now laundry folding is in warm yellow with white trim, instead of studs and concrete! Makes all the difference in the world!

  2. Sounds great, can’t wait to see pics

  3. What a great gift for your boys!

  4. How exciting – another bedroom without loosing a lot of anything else! I remember squeezing three bedrooms into an addition when i was a teenager adn my mother remarried. Home projects are…interesting, aren’t they!

  5. I am so excited I found your blog. My husband and I are two months into our eventual adoption from Ethiopia. Our dossier and homestudy should be done in about three weeks. I was searching for others who have adopted from Ethiopia and found your site. What an awesome family you have. We have three biological boys ages 9 1/2, 5, and 3 1/2 who are treasures to us. About one year ago our hearts were touched by God while listening to a Family Life today broadcast about adoption. We’ve prayed continually for the last year then God led us to Ethiopia. Our adoption agency is All God’s Children. We’re praying for siblings . . .not sure yet whether boys or girls or even ages. We have a natural age span between boy one and two and so we are praying about a boy to fill the gap (at the request of our boys). God knows who he has planned for our family so I’m not worried in the least . . .just excited!! Hopefully by the end of 2008 we’ll be in Ethiopia bringing our children home!!

    I’d love to have any advice or suggestions from you. Please email when you have a chance . . .my husband is the oldest of 10 kids so we understand how crazy your home can be at times.

  6. Yeah!

  7. kelli in the mirror says:

    That is awesome! I can’t wait to see pictures!

  8. A T shape actually sounds perfect for a multi-funtioned room like that. Yes, pictures please! So cute that they wanted to make the meals. Go, Mom!

  9. Neat! Can’t wait to see it. [:-)


  10. Okay. What’s your secret? I’ve only got three kids and I can’t manage to get a room painted, much less built! I’m amazed…

  11. I feel guilty even asking, since you’re so busy, but I’d LOVE a tour of the whole house! It sounds like you made a great space. Good for you!

  12. How fun! You are lucky that John is so handy!

    Dreaming of one more bedroom myself…

  13. oh, please post pictures!


  14. okay mary…once again…i am in awe! are you kidding? love, prez of your fan club.

  15. Do share photos! I’m intrigued as to what your family room looks like now!

  16. Oh, yay! I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to see those pictures, though I understand all too well about not having time to post pictures these days! 🙂

  17. I was going to hire someone to paint my daughter’s room and our garage.
    After reading your post I am encouraged so I will do it my self.

  18. Wow, that sounds great Mary.