The Surprise Ken/Daddy Project

This past week Ken and his Dad went to Washington D.C. to participate in the March on Washington. He left Wednesday after supper and came back Sunday night. While he was gone the kids and I decided to try to fix things up around here to surprise him. It was a fun but super busy (which is why I haven't been posting!) project. I thought it would be fun to share with you all.

We did a little before hand prep by going shopping on Tuesday and buying a new slipcover (I splurged and spent $50 at Target) for our love seat downstairs and we also bought a gallon of brown paint ($34) at Home Depot.


This is the boy's dresser which we picked up at a garage sale. The top was not very desirable but I always figured I could do something with it. However I never got anything done. It was something Ken didn't like to much so I put that on the list.

We got a jump start on this and started working on it on Wednesday while Ken was at work and we figured he wouldn't go in the boy's room while he was home for supper.

I have been working to get the boys' room decorated with geography stuff so we decided to go with that theme for the top of the dresser. I pulled out some old National Geographics and we had fun looking through them and cutting out pictures which we then modge podged on top. I also painted the sides of the dresser top dark blue.

The look is a little unique but we definitely had fun doing it, we used only stuff we had ($0) and when we get tired of it we can paint over it or something like that.

On Thursday we took a little break from home projects to work on gift projects, for a large part gifts for my little sister who turned 18. I will post more about those later.

PROJECT 2 (Friday)

Fixing up the Rocker. (Not a rocking chair but a lawn toy that the kids can sit on and rock- my brother made it several years ago.) This was a well enjoyed toy until one of the handles came off a year or so ago. For some silly reason we didn't get it fixed right away- partly because Ken was busy and I felt intimidated by the drill.
But I decided that it was time to go to work at it. It ended up being pretty easy!
After fixing the handle part the kids went to work at sanding it down and getting it ready for painting. Then they (with much assistance from me) went to work at painting it.

It looks ever so much better now, though I would like to give it another coat of paint! Cost was free as we used up paint we had left over from another project.

PROJECT 3 (Friday and touch ups on Saturday)
We had white doors in a white house and I thought they looked rather dull that way. Also they never actually had been painted, the white was just the primer they came with. So....
I painted them. I did two doors (and the little side thing) inside and out. I have one more door I need to do but didn't have time to tackle it this time. I had thought this would be a quick couple hour project but that was rather optimistic thinking. It ended up taking more like 5 hours for the first coat (and all the taping, etc.) and then the next day an hour or so more to give some main areas another coat and touch up places I missed. After taking the tape of I discovered some more areas I need to touch up but I haven't done that yet.

PROJECTS 4 and 5
This was in our family room. Ken's chair was one we bought second hand in the beginning of our marriage and it was looking terribly old. The love seat was a hand-me-down that still was nice to sit on but I didn't like the looks of very much. It was time to do something about it!

We put a purchased slipcover on the love seat so that was nice and easy but the chair was a bit of another matter. I wanted to recover it but to be honest I found the idea a little overwhelming. It was to the point that something had to be done, either I recover it or we just junk it and buy another one. So I figured if I get it torn apart and then can't recover it, it didn't make that much difference we would just buy a new one but it I could recover it then we would have saved a bunch of money.

So we decided to give it a try. Here Mara is helping to tear the old upholstery off. (All of the kids got to help with it.)

Here it is, in pieces. I had to take about 16 screws out (more practise for me with the drill).

Now the question: Will we get it back together again?

WE DID! Yea! The chair has a very different look now, as does the love seat. I decided to leave the skirt off of the chair as it would save time, take less fabric and just for the fun of a different look. The cost was nothing but time on the chair as the fabric had been given to me. Oh, we also had to use a bunch of staples to I guess they cost something but we had them on hand so I am not sure how much they cost.

The chair project we started on Saturday evening, we also worked on it on Sunday afternoon but after church on Sunday night we still had a lot to do. I decided we probably wouldn't get done before Ken made it back but we would still try. Ken was supposed to get home around 10 pm but he called around 9 and said it would be more like 11. The kids were eager to help get it done, some of them helped on the chair and others cleaned up the house so I could work on the chair. I decided they had better go to bed around 10 however but Jonathan pleaded to be able to help finish the project so I let him stay up until 11pm. At 11 we still weren't done but I sent Jonathan off to bed and then Ken calls and says he was running even later because he had to stop a few times because he was so tired. Anyway I kept working and I had just finished up and put the back on the chair when he pulled in the lane. It was perfect timing!

God really blessed throughout the time Ken was gone. I really don't prefer being a "single mother" (I am amazed by those who do it all the time!), but though we missed Ken we had a wonderful time working together to get the projects done. I had majorly overbooked us with all the projects (plus we had other engagements to go to each day as well) but God supplied us with extra energy and we made it!