Two Large Families

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We finally had a nice day. Yea! We spent memorial day with my sister and her family who lives two doors away. You would think we see each other often, but really, we rarely get together. Her children and mine see each other more often, after school and on the weekends sometimes. Today is my sister’s anniversary. She has been married for 26 years. (Happy Anniversary!) She is younger than I am and has a bakers dozen and is expecting her 14th baby in August.
Here we are, I am the one on the left. DSC06455

A Kitchen Makeover

This is the kitchen of one of the homes we remodeled. This is not a bad kitchen, but the Corian sink and counter had cracks in them. This is one of the reasons we are not fans of Corian.

Exterior Painting

As we have mentioned before we have a business of renovating and remodeling homes. We will be posting on several of the houses. This is a house we bought fixed up and resold. We also stage the homes before selling them with items form our house, garage sales, estate sales and things our daughter, from House of Grace, picks up for us, also from garage sales.
We saw some potential in this home. It looks kind of spooky!
house front before cropped

Organizing our Toys

We have a LOT of toys, which is understandable because we have a lot of children. We get rid of any toys that are not used often or at all, at our garage sales. The toys that we keep are the kiddies' favorites and we have a lot of each kind. So when they play they could all play and have enough. We store the toys in bins on these storage shelves in an extra room in the basement. The bins make it easy to see what is in them and they stack nicely.

Where to Add Extra Storage Spaces

Storage and organization are extremely important in trying to have a life that is not cluttered, especially with so many children.  Having a lot of children means we have a lot of things. Each person needs a bed, clothes, shoes, toys, and just things.  Every Christmas and birthday everyone is always getting more things. Multiply that by 12 and that is a lot of things. What do we do with all these things? In the past I would keep it all, just incase I needed it someday, but I learned several children and years ago that was not going to work. We have to be constantly rotating stuff. When something comes in, something should go out. I have a  box that I call are “Get Rid of Box”. So when clothes are out grown or I find something that just seems to be no longer needed, used, or wanted, we add it to the box. We have a couple of spots that we store these items until we have our garage sale or are able to donate them. We also have to store Christmas decorations, luggage, and many other things that are not used on a regular basis.  One spot is in the attic and the other is a large shelf above the garage door.
This is the shelf that we use in the garage.

How do we Afford a Dozen Children?

One thing people always ask is, “How do you afford all those children?” Growing up in a family of twelve children myself, I learned how to be very frugal. I think the biggest savings is buying things second hand. I buy just about everything that way. I really like going to garage sales and getting things at a great price. Last week I went to a HUGE area wide garage sale, which had over 250 homes participating. I don’t have time to go as often as I use to, and with the price of gas now, it was nice to have so many in one area.
I keep a list of things we could use, or would like to have, so I know what I am looking for when I am shopping. Of course, there are always some things that I find that are nice and at a great price, that I was not looking for, but could use. 
Here are pictures of the things I bought.


Some ShoesIMG_2921 Pants and Shorts IMG_2919   I got all of this paint, which most of them are full, for only $3.00.IMG_2931 One area rug and one runner rugIMG_2928  A LOT of shirts! Most of them are for my older boys, who hate to shop, and one will be starting a teaching job in the fall. They were the perfect sizes.IMG_2925 I had a great day, bought a lot of things we needed, and didn’t spend a lot of money.

How great is that?

Parents of a Dozen

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Painting an Unfinished Basement

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Working on different houses, we found that even painting a basement can make a huge difference. This is what this basement looked like when we started, grey and dingy.
We recycled our old paint to create the wall color we were looking for.
It turned out to be a tan color.  We mixed them into a 5 gal. tub.
We use 2 old buckets for the project.
We mixed them and poured them back and forth to get an even color.
We used our tank sprayer and filled it with water and Shaklee Basic H.
We applied it to the walls.
We then hooked up a hose to the hot water heater for rinsing.
We sprayed down the walls. Then we let it dry.
We used a one 1 1/2 inch nap roller to get into the crevices.
We then applied a citrus cleaner to the floor because we thought there was a sealer on the floor and we’re afraid the paint wouldn’t stick to the floor.
We used a broom to scrub the cement.
After scrubbing, we rinsed off the entire floor.
Then we squeegee the floor.
And pushed the water down the drain and let the floors dry.
For the floor, we bought a cement floor paint. We started painting the floor by trimming the edges.
And around any poles and fixtures.
Then we rolled the floors, working our way to the stairs.
Here is one section of the basement finished.
Here is another…
…and another.
We took the carpet from the family room directly above this area and trimmed it to fit this section.
Look how nice this turned out.
We added some exercise equipment to stage this section.
Here is the before picture.
We did this entire basement but we have also done this in other houses one section at a time or even just one section.
Do you think it makes a huge difference?
Have you ever tried painting a basement? How did it turn out?
Parents of a Dozen

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