Friday, June 22, 2007


Traditions are priceless. Especially those 'unique-to-ones-own-family' traditions. Over the years we children have started a 'home alone' tradition of our own -- interior design.

You see, whenever Dad and Mom plan a multi-day trip, we scheme, plan and prepare for our own version of 'While You Were Out'. This has made for many delightful surprises -- in addition to teamwork and elbow grease! For example, a couple years ago we sabotaged their room with the following results --



To make a long story short, we've been hoping for months to tackle a kitchen re-make. And without warning, yesterday morning the opportunity arrived -- a 28-hour marathon!

Dad and Mom pulled out around 10:00am and the action commenced with a flurry! Cupboards were quickly emptied and wiped, appliances moved, and the long job of sanding and cleaning began. Around 5:00 we started painting the ceiling and cupboards. Meanwhile a friend showed up with a beautiful ceiling fan to install.

After taking a quick break to silence our hunger pains and tuck the younger ones into bed, we dipped our rollers into the butter-yellow and started the painting routine once again. Ah, the smell of progress!After sending our hardworking painters to bed (so at least some of us would be functioning in the morning -- yeah, Ruth and Elizabeth!!!), Bethany and I brainstormed a last minute project and made a past-midnight run to Wal-mart for extra supplies.

Three hours later we were ready to call it a night. The morning began early, and with a few bites of cornflakes everyone set to work taping and painting the final 'trim coat'. Alaythia, Nathanael and I headed to Lincoln in search of curtain material and a few room details we were missing.

And the clock ticked on...

By noon we were hearing reports that Dad and Mom were en route home -- as in, getting close to headquarters!

And back at headquarters, we were feeling very far away -- the kitchen looked more like a disaster area than a home interior display.

The little ones furiously vacuumed the house...we mopped the kitchen floor and began putting things back in the shelves....decorations were set above the cupboards....the dishes washed...paint shuttled down to storage. Talk about an adrenaline rush!

And as the last rag was being wrung out, the last dish being set 'just right,' new towels on the stove and the rug thrown down, they drove in -- Phew! We made it!

The final 'look' -- minus the curtains, which will be hung just as fast as they can be cut and sewn.

Of course, the best-est reward of all was hearing Dad and Mom's ohhhs and ahhhhs as they walked in the room. They are just so much fun to surprise! We love you!!!

And I guess only time will tell which project our 'tradition' will tackle next... [smile]


Victoria said...

Wow, that was great! I can't imagine doing that! I especially like the before and after room. :D

Goldfish said...

Our tradition is to order Pizza Hut pizza in Harlan. I'm not sure which I like better, pizza or interior design...! [smiles] When did you start this tradition? I love it!!! I love the 'Taste and See' on the wall! WYWO: Wissmann edition! :) What a fun surprise that would be to walk into a re-done kitchen!

I wonder how a room would turn out, if the boys and I tried to do it in 30 hours.....

Kris said...

That is sooooo cool! The kitchen looks great! It is so amazing what you can accomplish with a little team work! That is a really fun tradition, the best one I could think of was ordering pizza on Christmas eve from papa murphy's! haha!!

Well a funny story, I was reading through the papers about out next family reunion, in Mounteagle, Tennesse! and guess what was the first thing I saw on the map... a Piggly Wiggly! I burst out laughing!! and my family thought I was crazy! Oh well, maybe I am...well that is impossible cause a crazy person doesn't know that they are crazy! whoooh! :)


Anonymous said...

Good work, guy's!

Kori said...

How Fun! Ya'll were talking about doing this last summer when I was there! :) I'm so glad you could finally get it done! It looks great, I love the colors! I can't wait to see it!!! See you in a week! YAY!

BrittLeigh said...

You guys are absolutely amazing!!! I love the outcome of your renovation. So much fun!!!! Yeah, you have been scheming your kitchen idea for a long time :) I remember you mentioning it a year ago! ;)

I just love how beautiful it is. You're so creative!

Ben said...

Neat project! I like the ambitious team-work and finished product. Looks like you guys enjoyed it- I have a groove for design and architcture too. Mabey you'd like to read "Home by Design" or "The Not-So-Big House" by Sarah Susanka. I checked them out here at the Omaha PL and they are fabulous!

Tabby said...

wow, great job, I'd be so scared to tear into something like that, we'd probably get 1/2 done and poor mom and dad would come home to a mess. Plus we don't have a wal*mart down the street!! we kinda started a tradition a while back, when mom and dad are gone we do something totally crazy and fun, memory making things like once we ate a picnic with our feet!! (we washed them VERY CLEAN!) we did allot more laughing than eating, which was kinda the whole idea. And one time we did "shadow charades" outside the ten for the ones inside. fun stuff, I love traditions!! Miss you guys!!

~Dustynne Noelle said...

I think traditions are a very vital part of family life and yours is sooooo cool!!!
Right now my "tradition" is thinking about the piano I just got... [smile]

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Happymama said...

This is just the sweetest thing for you kids to do for your parents. God will bless you for that.


rehm family said...

Oh my goodness! Wow! You all did such a spectacular job!!! Makes the itch to get
down there for the 4th all the greater! :) Of course, to see you first...and then the
kitchen! :D

What a blessing it is to see you all pulling together--once again. It is a challenge, and
encouragement! Your thoughtfulness touched our hearts! And you were a refreshment without
even being together. THANK YOU!

With our love,
The Rehm's

PS--Ummmm...that 'friend' with the ceiling fan to install wouldn't happen to be the
famous da-fred would it?!?! :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! that must have been 'fun'

KarenW said...

That is so beautiful! Y'all must have had a lot of fun!

Nicole said...

Oh wow!!! I love it! Great job ya'll! I can't wait to see it! Hopefully soon! :o)
Love ya'll!
~Your 'tousin

Anonymous said...

Wow! You did a GREAT job on your kitchen.

Jackie said...

Wow... thats awsome! I know we have done that to our grandparents a few times, the last time by fixing the whole pool area! It is a big job, but a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

Great job, ya'll! What a great tradition!
Allison B.