Hit the Floor

Hit the Floor

It turned out I was not as wiped out from yesterday’s ceiling fan install as I thought I would be, so I decided to tackle changing the flooring in my closet. I had leftover laminate from when I put down new flooring in Daniel’s room, and I decided to make the most of the materials at hand and replace the last bit of carpeting left in this house.

To say the carpet in my closet was nasty is an understatement. I know carpets can be comfortable, but given I am pretty sure this was the original carpeting from when this house what built in 1992, it was completely gross.


Still, there is something liberating about ripping up and throwing out old carpeting. It comes apart rather easily (assuming, of course, you have a good box cutter or blade), and with the exception of removing the tack strips, taking out carpet is a fairly simple process.

The not-so-clean slate.

Laying down laminate is also pretty simple. The toughest part is making sure your cuts are correct. With this space bring mostly a rectangle, it was fairly easy. However, there were some corner cuts for the spaces at the entrance of the closet that required vertical and horizontal cuts. I lost about 30 minutes on one piece going back and forth, shaving off about 1/16 of an inch at a time, making sure I got it to fit just right while not cutting too much from either side.

In the end, I think it came out great. But just like yesterday’s fan, I am pretty bummed I will only get to enjoy it for a couple of weeks.


Not A Fan

Not A Fan

When we met with our Realtor, we came up with a list of four items that definitely needed to be completed before we can list the house. He referred me to his dry-wall guy, and that handyman and his crew came by today and knocked it all out. The side wall that was covered with vines that had died and took the paint with them now looks like new.

I was very happy with work they did and I decided to use that momentum to finally install the new ceiling fan in the master bedroom. Although Lee and I will only enjoy it for a couple of weeks, I know it won’t hurt to have it installed. Besides, I bought it months ago so the least I could do is put it up.

I now remember why I don’t enjoy working with ceiling fans. Mechanically, they’re quite simple to install. Physically, however, they’re a pain (literally and figuratively). Having to balance yourself on a ladder with arms up and extended while you try to negotiate with tiny screws …. ugh!

My arms feel like Jell-O, my calves are still on fire, and I’m sure my back is going to be very angry with me in the morning. But hey, the fan looks great!

That’s The Spirit

This past week, Lee and I were very blessed to have been able to volunteer as part of this year’s home rehab project through Relevant Church. The overall effort was seven days of sweat-producing, muscle pain inducing, rain soaking work. Lee and I were able to pitch in four days last week, and it started with Day 1: the demo day.

Immediately following the second service at church on April 27, a team of volunteers headed over to the project site. Before we left, however, our Pastor Paul Wirth gave us a pep talk and high-level instructions about the effort. Included in his collection of Do’s and Don’ts were the words, “We’re even going to need someone to be our dumpster diver and make sure all the trash and debris remains manageable.”

That is where is got funny.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to win a ……. discussion ….. with the Holy Spirit. As soon as Paul mentioned the thing about managing the dumpsters, the Holy Spirit spoke to me.

“He’s talking about you, dude.”

“What? Umm….no.”

“Yep. He needs you in the trash.”

“But I don’t want to be in the trash.”

“That’s nice, but that’s where you’re going.”

“No. Why? Why me? Someone else can do it.”

“That may be so, but you know you’re the best suited for it.”

“Why? Because my dad was a janitor?”

“Partly. But also because you can organize. Because you’re creative. Because you can effectively maximize the available space. And because that is where He wants you to be.”

“So you’re saying all those hours in college I spent playing Tetris were preparing me for this moment?”

“Why do you think He provided you a Gameboy while you were at school.”


There may have been some creative liberties in my retelling of the dialogue between myself and the Holy Ghost, but you get the idea. Some people call it hunches. Others, gut feeling. The band NEEDTOBREATHE refer to it lyrically as, “the little voice I heard, it’s just a whisper that sounded like a scream.”

To me, God’s message comes as an instantaneous thought and then develops into a conversation. Sometimes they’re very easy to understand and obey. Other times, I wrestle with them. I forget my own humanity and think I can barter and negotiate with God. In the end, He never steers me wrong and He always provides.

So the next time you find yourself in a dilemma, awkward situation, or just being asked to do something you wouldn’t normally want to do, take a second to hear what He is telling you. For me, I found the treasure of giving on top of that big pile of trash.

Trash Man


“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” -James 2:17 NLT

Project Baffroom

This past 4th of July, Lee and I undertook a home improvement project. The mission: Completely renovate the main guest bathroom in our house. Thus, Project Baffroom was born.

First, some background is in order. We are very fortunate to live in a house with four bathrooms. There’s one in the master bedroom, one that is just outside my mother-in-law’s room (it would normally be the guest bathroom), one in my daughter’s room (she’s a teenager, so her bathroom is mostly off limits), and the one in the hall outside my son’s room and our home office. We affectionately refer to it as ‘The Baffroom‘, mostly since it’s the one I use when the kids aren’t here.

The urge to re-do the ‘Baffroom‘ came from me just being tired of the plain, boring, and kiddish looking bathroom. It was unequivocally unimpressive. And since I spent so much quality time in there anyway, I figured it should be a room I enjoy being in. So Lee and I circled the dates on our calendar, scheduled some time off from work, and took to it.

Below are a couple of pictures that document the transformation. I am very happy with the final result, and I am also surprised with how well it came out. I owe a world of thanks to my wife and mother-in-law for the sweat they poured into the project, to my good friend Leigh Stevens for his guidance and expertise whenever I got into a jam, and to all of you on Pinterest that helped with drops of inspiration here and there (specifically with what we did to replace the medicine cabinet).

This goes to show that if you can visualize it, you can do it. I am ‘somewhat’ handy, but by no means am I a handyman. Still, we stepped outside our comfort zone and tackled the project head on. I hope it serves as a reminder to Lee and myself that as we look at the many challenging goals we have in 2014, no matter how unsure we may feel now, we are more than capable of achieving them. We just need to be resolved to do so.

Project Baffroom
A plain kid’s bathroom with a surfer motif.
Project Baffroom
Nothing exciting about this bathroom.


Project Baffroom
I was terrified when I took out the flooring …..
Project Baffroom
… but I have to admit ripping out the sinkand cabinet was kinda’ fun.
Project Baffroom
New paint ….
Project Baffroom
…. new flooring ….
Project Baffroom
…. and new wainscoting.


Project Baffroom
Replaced the commode and added the little touches to bring the room altogether.
I love the modern vanity and the ‘manly’ faucet I got to go with it.
Project Baffroom
But what really makes the room is the wonderful tiled alcove Lee made where the medicine cabinet used to be.