Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Letter 2007-Remodeling Tips


Most people say that each year goes by a little faster than the one before, but we can’t relate because this was the longest year of our entire lives. Please read on…..

Today I’m drinking a cup of coffee in our new house that we FINALLY moved into 2 wks ago after selling our house that we had been remodeling since the last Christmas letter. Thankfully, our house sold quite quickly despite the market. I’m desperately trying to grasp at writing something interesting so you’ll keep reading. It’s hard though, because all that comes to mind when I think of 07’ is painting, which by the way shapes the arms right up if you do it for extend hours which takes care of the gym membership. The times we weren’t working on projects we were at our second home “Lowe’s”. Maybe it would be fun to give you some “Spears Remodeling Tips” for your next project incase you felt inspired after seeing the 9 months of “joy” it brought to our family while living in our 900 square foot project of bliss!
1. If drywall is going to be installed and you’re afraid the pet guinea pig might inhale dust, don’t put her out in the heat, she’ll die. On top of that DON'T tell your daughter you’ll take good care of the guinea pig while she is away at overnight camp waiting to come home to hug the cute little pig, only to find that it was replaced, by an identical cousin. She’ll cry.
2. Do NOT! leave any doors open from the front to the back. What could happen is… while your painting in the back room and your kids are in the front room a possum could get in the house. If this happens, the mom should lock herself in the bedroom, and yell to the kids “Run for your life”. Have the Dad get him out! When the dad requests shoes so he can run through the house, it is not to smash the giant rodent like a spider, it is so he can run through the house without slipping, which the mom might never quite catch on to. So it might be a good idea to hand him an actual PAIR OF SHOES rather than a flip-flop and a big-heeled dress shoe to avoid a lot of yelling. A broom or other stick-like object will work to shoo the beast out the back door. Be ready, the kids might ask to keep it as a pet, but you know what to say…. say NO! that is part of the rodent family
3. When you decide to get new bed frame to “stage” the house for re-sale you don’t really need to pay for delivery. Just throw the boxes in a pickup and off you go. Be SURE to count the boxes because if you get home and one is missing you’ll realize why the guy on I-5 was frantically waving at you. At that moment you’ll also realize he wasn’t flirting which at any age is a bit of a let down upon what seemed to be a hopeful good hair day. Anyway, once realizing you have dropped the BRAND NEW BEAUTIFUL foot board on the interstate, and are crying, call the department of transportation in your area, ours being ODOT (Oregon Department of transportation 503-222-ODOT) and politely ask “did you happen to pick up a foot board on I-5?” They will think it was a small door and throw it in the dumpster, but you can get a friend or husband in this case, to retrieve it out of the dumpster AND if your blessed to get it back, you might only be missing a bed knob. *It helps if you buy the distressed furniture too, that way all the scratches look like they were supposed to be there.
4. Take a short vacation. Or at least talk about taking the vacation. You can actually save money by planning the whole vacation online, look at the pictures and read about all the restaurants and places to see while there, take yourself all the way to the final page where it calculates the “total of this vacation package” and then hit “CANCEL”. You’ll actually feel like you saw something new and you feel so good when you realize you saved $1500 by not going anywhere which will make you feel rich enough to go get something to eat at a local restaurant. This will also free up the $3 you’ll need to take a picture with a goat. Something that just doesn’t happen every day.
5. Somewhere in the remodel phase you will realize that you can do many things yourself! We decided somewhere along the line that painters charge a lot and we should paint the whole house outside and in. (This will extend the project by 2 months at the least!) Keep in mind the ripped arms you will get, but discourage those thoughts of “hey maybe we should do this full time” because during this process you might come up with a new business idea. For instance, us feeling pressure to get our rental sprayer back in time, we decided to paint the outside of the house in the dark to save time. We were so impressed with the great job we were doing, we came up with a fantastic business idea, were counting the millions in our head, and came up with the catchy tagline “WE CAN PAINT YOUR HOUSE WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING” Imagine waking up to a new color! Ward was the official spray gun aimer and I was the industrial light holder. However, our business idea fizzled, when we went out the next morning and realized how helpful daylight can be when you’re painting a house! Needless to say, the paint sprayer was returned a little late. So back To Real Estate for Ward, and writing a new song for me.
6. When you have completed your project this is the time to get re-acquainted with the other family members. Ours being sweet bay bay , Smiley and Butter. (names are changed for blogger) They’ll look at you crazy thinking “they are paying attention to us?” but this turned into a special time for our family finding out that:
A- likes volleyball, fashion, Hannah Montana, friends and her new guinea pig Reece (Mia, the hamster escaped through an open door last spring, you all know what happened to Brownie, the first guinea pig).
L-loves soccer and legos, is in 1st grade, lost both front teeth this fall.
O-loves star wars toys, soccer, humming instrumental movie theme songs, and started Kindergarten this year.
We made it through the remodel without touching our “remodeling marriage counseling fund”. With that money we decided we would go to IKEA to buy a couch. This time, we even paid for delivery. So here we are, trying to settle into a normal existence and it feels really good. I can’t tell you how grateful we are for the tv shows that have been put on DVD for our enjoyment, we have a lot of catching up to do! Lastly, if you need a good plumber, dry-waller, electrician, tile person, landscaper, molding person, babysitter and a list of good restaurants, or a church, call us. Call us anyway or stop by our new place, we’ll just be on the new couch watching tv. We pray that God will continue to bless you and your family this coming year and that we can all appreciate the little things, through the easy and the hard times of life.

Love The Spears