Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Do it yourself

Well, this writing challenge has me reading all sorts of blogs. Good grief, I'm surprised the whole world hasn't come to a stand-still while every human sits blogging at a computer. There's a blog for any theme, problem, or hobby out there. The problem with all these blogs is that they don't just let you read what they're thinking, they actually want you to do something. Like join a writing challenge. Or link up a DIY project.

Okay, why not? I'm on a roll. Yesterday, I started the 31 days writing challenge.

Today I link our first 2012 DIY project.

Need: Transform our Not-So-Pretty-In-Pink Bathroom into a gender neutral room; one that two brothers and their sister would be delighted to share. Actually, "delighted" might be too hopeful of a word to describe the bathroom-sharing abilities of brothers and their older sister.

This one was a three-generations undertaking. My dad is a wonderful DIY-er, combining skill with perfectionism, a great combo, if you ask me. And there were two 11 year old boys just waiting to get their hands dirty (and use those muscles). The rest of us did the boring work like paint, take off the toilet, and hang the shower curtain. The only work the three generations didn't do? Put the toilet back on and change the faucet. We've had plumbing nightmares in our DIY past and weren't too keen on repeating them.

The biggest problems were the pink tub and tile. Two summers ago we remodeled a downstairs bathroom, gutting the whole thing from heavy old tub to plaster walls. What a huge mess! We weren't ready for the mess or expense of that endeavor this time around. Instead, we decided to work around the pink.

The other problem was the lack of storage in this bathroom. Not a problem for my dad. He (and his grandsons) just knocked a hole in the wall, built in some cabinets, and voila!

Since pink and chocolate are so popular right now (I can't tell you how many pink and chocolate baby quilts I've made for friends in the past 5 years), I thought this would be a perfect fit.

We also wanted to include an African theme in honor of our adopted son, Shoun, who was born in Kenya. We already had a basket that had been brought from Zambia and a figurine that Shoun's older sister brought back from her recent trip to her home country. My mom purchased the other baskets from Ten Thousand Villages in eastern Pennsylvania. They were made in various African countries. Over Christmas I was visiting another Ten Thousand Villages shop, this one in Ohio, that was going out of business. They had a placemat made in Kenya that was marked down half price off of the already reduced price. I figured that at $8 the woven zebra placemat would look great on the wall of our new bathroom.

A new coat of paint on the old cabinets spruced them up a bit. As did the chocolate zebra shower curtain and the leopard designed floor mats.

My favorite touch would have to be the animal silhouettes on the shelves. I asked the four younger children to each make 3 or 4 African animal outlines. I then chose four of their designs to display. I cut each shape out of contact paper, attached one to each canvas and painted over them, removing the contact paper when finished, revealing the animal silhouette.

I may be decorating-challenged, but we're all pretty pleased with the final result. And so far, not too much fighting over the bathroom!


  1. I was struck by your clear voice and humor at the beginning of this post.

    On another note, your header picture is beautiful. Like yours, my family was built by adoption.

    I'm glad you're writing with us this month,

  2. Thanks, Ruth. Adoption has been such a blessing and a wonderful aspect of our family's story.

  3. What a great story. I know how those DIY projects don't always turn out like we want, but your bathroom project completely fits your needs and decor. Congratulations. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your family & projects.

  4. I love that you are into DIY with help! Your project turned out beautiful...I also love strings...my son plays. I have one daughter that came to live with the 3 of us when she was 17...many ups, many downs...but definitely God in the middle of it all. I look forward to hearing about your amazing family.

  5. Fabulous and fun! That describes your family, your slice, and your lovely finished project. I love the zebra striped shower curtain. I hope you enjoy your writing and blog experiences this month. I look forward to reading more of your entries.

  6. I love the color combination-and the great shower curtain! I'm your newest linky follower-stop by for a visit!

  7. I love the voice that shines through at the beginning of your post. Your bathroom looks great and I hope everyone gets along ok! :-)

  8. Your post/blog is delightful! I love the windows we get into everyone's world throughout blogging. So fun to have found yours!

  9. I love how you incorporated your son's heritage into the bathroom renovation. The header picture for your blog is fabulous!

    Thinking Out Loud