Our Cabin Gets Color

I picked out our paint colors for the cabin months ago, and I’ve had the paint sitting in the basement ever since. We’ll, I’m excited to say I finally got to pull that paint out of storage and put it to use. Here’s a first peek at my picks:

Painted Front Door

The front door got two coats of Sherwin Willam’s Grays Harbor (SW 6236). I really like the way it contrasts with the weathered oak siding. [Read more…]

Summer Camp Savings Update

A few weeks ago, I told you about the summer camp for gifted kids that my oldest daughter, Emily got into, and the astronomical $3,500 price tag that came with it. Youch! Since it’s a fantastic opportunity, but way more than we can afford, we decided to do the Huffstetler Hustle to see if we could come up with the money.

Our first step was to set up a GoFundMe campaign, and to date that’s raised $520. It’s been awesome to see so many people support her goal, including several of you guys. We really appreciate it, and can’t thank you enough.

Since her tuition has to be paid in full by May 1 (just over three weeks from now, we decided to step up our game with a benefit yard sale. And let me just say, this is going to be a sale for the record books.

When I told my mother-in-law about the yard sale, she got busy decluttering, and sent us home with a car load of stuff. Then, she showed up a few days later with seven trash bags full of clothes. Then, I got a phone call that she had some more stuff for us, and I spent a day and a half helping her clean out her basement and garage, which resulted in another eight car loads of stuff. We’re talking seats down, packed to the ceiling loads, complete with a full car top carrier. Absolute tonnage. Then, I got another phone call from her last night asking if we were still accepting stuff, which led to her dropping off another car load this afternoon.

And since we also sent out an e-mail on our neighborhood listserv, we’ve received donations from a couple of our neighbors, too. Not to mention all the stuff that I already had sitting in the basement awaiting our next sale.

Emily and I have been pricing stuff for days, and we still have lots to go.

Tent Full of Furniture

We have a tent set up in the backyard that’s stacked high with furniture …

Yard Sale Stuff on Front Porch

A giant pile of stuff on the front porch that’s priced and ready to go …

Yard Sale Stuff in the Dining Room

And every inch of our living room, dining room and kitchen is currently covered with stuff that we still need to process. Yeah …

Yard Sale Stuff in the Living Room

I’ve been meaning to do a virtual home tour for you guys for a while now, but it’s safe to say I won’t be doing it this week.

But you know what? Despite all the work and the overwhelming tonnage, this has been a great experience. I’m glad Emily is having to work hard for her goal. Cause money? It just isn’t easy to come by, and kids need to see that.

And I have to say, I consider us pretty lucky to have such great people in our lives. People who were willing to donate money towards her trip. Family and neighbors who’ve donated stuff for her yard sale. Friends who’ve loaned us folding tables for the sale or volunteered to help us set up or work a shift. Just so many people rooting for Emily and her big dream.

So, if the weather will just play nice next week (we’re going to need a solid four or five days of dry weather to sell all this stuff), I think we should make a good dent in the cost of her camp. I’ll keep you posted.

Another Update:

We had our yard sale last weekend, and it was by far the biggest yard sale we’ve ever had. We had so much stuff to sell, we filled up our front yard and our neighbor’s backyard.

Benefit Yard Sale

It was a lot of work, and totally exhausting, but we raised another $1,128.05 for Emily’s summer camp fund. That’s the most that we’ve ever made from a yard sale.

That leaves us with $2,101.95 to raise, and only two and a half weeks to do it in, but we’re still pushing hard, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to make it happen. Stay tuned for more updates.

Spring Break at the Homestead

The kids were out on spring break this week, so we dropped them off at their grandparents for their annual visit, and headed up to our weekend homestead to squeeze in six days of work. I think that’s the longest stretch that we’ve had to work on the cabin since we bought it, and we have lots to show for it. Here’s a look at the progress:

Living Room Floor

When we started working on the cabin back in October, our first order of business was to close in the living room, so we’d have a place to stay while we worked. That meant building a back wall (since there wasn’t one), replacing all of the broken windows, tearing out the subfloor and temporarily closing the room off to the rest of the cabin. We managed to tackle all of that in one weekend, but we ran out of time when it came to laying a new sub floor. So, we just laid some plywood down, and called it good.

On this trip, we finally got a chance to finish the floor. It’s just pressure-treated plywood, nothing fancy, but it should hold up well to heavy foot traffic. I plan to porch paint it, so it’ll be easy to clean. [Read more…]