Tuesday, October 16, 2012

54 Preston's Bedroom Update: Some Before Pics and a Plan

Our oldest, Preston, recently turned 11.  I blinked and he went from giggles and diapers to a seven day a week athlete and superstar big brother.  And I am sure turning my attention to him for a day is a bit embarrassing, but come on, that is my job right?

To amp the embarrassment factor, here are some shots of my little, big buddy now...


Preston is an incredible kid.  I could be that mom that goes overboard on the proud factor and the bajillion-and-one reasons why I adore him.  

However, the organizing gene, he does not have.

Never has.

I always hope to give him the tools and systems he needs to make his life a bit simpler and easier to manage, but there are times where we see that he needs a little extra boost.  Papers forgotten, uniforms forgotten, scheduling snafus, etc.... 

When it comes to being helpful, this kid is just that.  He is always willing to help out with household chores and spending time with his brothers.  He really takes ownership of his daily responsibilities, and does housework without earning an allowance.  We have always explained to our kids that we all work together as a family, and our home is just that, OURS.  So we all do our part in taking care of our home.  By helping out, they earn technology time or time with friends... but I want to do something a little more for my big buddy.

I recently realized when I asked Preston to tidy up his room, that even after a quick pick-up, his room is one of the most neglected and really lacks any organization.  His growing and changing needs should be addressed, and finishing touches need to be put in place to make his room feel like a place he wants to spend time in.  A place to hang out with friends, to do his homework, to practice his guitar and to chill out with a good book or to some tunes.

Looking at the pictures I took today {yes, I hi-jacked his room without telling him and took "as-is" before photos that are very true to life, I didn't even straighten the bed}, I feel a bit awful that his room is so blah.  

I also thought it would be fun to go above and beyond, and do my first ever "before" video tour.  Just to give a good picture of the space, the layout, and why it just isn't working for him.


And for those having trouble viewing the oh so exciting room tour, here are a couple of pictures of his space in its current state:


The good thing, is it is a complete blank slate!  It is always important to focus on the positives right?

So, here is what I am thinking.  Just a quick Style Tile to give us some direction.



  • We really want to DIY as much as possible in the space, so a giant chalkboard calendar to help with tasks and dates will be the primary way we fill up the empty wall.
  • He already has a nightstand, he just needs some better lighting since he reads in bed every evening, so I am thinking of going with an oil rubbed bronze swing arm option.
  • The bed frame and foot board I found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $50.  Looking around online at similar styles, they typically run from $500 - $1500 so I think I scored pretty big!  I like the idea of doing soft gray plaid bedding to balance all of the blue in the room.
  • Above the bed, some over sized letters sprayed in a vibrant red will be a jolt of color the room needs.
  • The light fixture will be a basic drum shade that we purchased for my brother's apartment a few months ago, and never ended up using.  
  • I am determined to learn how to sew.  And Preston's curtains will be the first project I tackle, and they will be done in a navy damask fabric.  His curtain rod will be updated to an oil rubbed bronze finish.
  • Right now his desktop is just a piece of painted MDF that was a bit too thin for the project and now bows if too much weight is applied.  I thought it would be fun to DIY a dark wood stained desktop to make it more sturdy and manly {similar to this tutorial found here}.  The grey chair we already own.
  • The second I saw this dresser makeover, I knew it was the perfect solution for Preston's hand-me-down green goblin.  I can't wait to get started!
  • A few baskets to hold his sports apparel and some tweaks to his desk storage and we will be all set!

Let's chat about the "tweens".  What have you done to help your growing kiddo be more organized through all of the busy schedules and life changes?


54 comments:

  1. I updated a room for an 11-year-old son of a friend two weeks ago. We updated the color scheme from red/navy preppy plaid to navy/green apple colors. He desperately needed different/better organization in his closet so his sports stuff and church clothes are equally easy-to-wear and put away. He also got a new desk for doing homework, complete with good cord management (Container Store cable box, and cable drops). His favorite thing is that he got TWO bungee chairs so Mom or Dad can help him prepare for tests or a friend can come over to work on a school project.

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    1. Sounds like a fun project with a happy outcome! Love the seating idea for friends!

      xo,
      Jen

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  2. Honestly, for an 11 year old boy it looked great already, LOL! But definitely not quite as "done" as the other spaces you've shared. I love the closet/desk area and beefing up the writing surface is a great idea.

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    1. Agree, it's really not all that bad, I just haven't really helped him determine the best place for certain items.

      It will be fun to spruce things up a bit!

      xo,
      Jen

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  3. what a great mama you are to take on making a special room for your son! Can't wait to see the results, your ideas and style tile look AMAZING! I'm sure I won't be the only reader to say this but it was so cute to hear your voice! I was in Milwaukee recently (I live in Toronto, Canada) and I love the regional lilt of Wisconsin folks! You sound just as nice as you come across in your blog! Have fun with the room sprucing!

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  4. As the mom of a 14 year old boy I can tell you that these tween years are hard because they are outgrowing some toys, but not quite there yet. So hard on us hyper organized moms! It gets easier!

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  5. Wow I am excited about this project and will come back to see every little change you make. I don't have a boy and my girl is a lot younger, but probably there'll be enough inspiration again that I can grab from here ...
    Jule {inside9B}

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  6. I am totally with you. I have 3 boys also and my "baby" turned 13 this summer (the other 2 are 14 & 16). I am so ready to re-do his room. We built our house 5 years ago so his room is in desperate need of a makeover! The other 2 I designed for them being older so their rooms are fine. Can't wait to see the after!!

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  7. I have a 10 year old and a 7 yr old. I think the best thing I did to help my older daughter with her organisation is to try and set up systems for how she lives in her space rather than trying to teach her different ways. My son is a more challenging WIP in this regard. ;)

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    1. I completely agree! He and I have been chatting about what is working for him, how he wants to be able to use the space, what he doesn't use any longer, etc... he will be very much involved with the update since I want it to be functional for him. :)

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. This is good to hear. Sometimes the way you word your posts makes it sound like you style/decorate/organize the house to suit your tastes without input from your men (both big and small). I've often wondered how they all feel about your girly (is "feminine" a better word?) style.

      It's nice to know they have input and you listen. You're a good mom.

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    3. Thanks April!

      There are times when they really don't mind what I do, but I always run every last idea past my hubby first {and my kids if it impacts them}.

      xo!
      Jen

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  8. I have an 8 year old daughter and we are in DESPERATE need of help with her. She is very unorganized and her room is always a disaster. I enjoy reading your blog for ideas as we are getting ready to tackle her room.

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  9. First of all, you look like his big sister rather than momma to an 11 year old! (I hope you take that as a compliment) Second, I can't wait to see how this turns out. I have 12 & 10 year old boys who's room I've wanted to update recently. However, we get stuck between what they want (black walls for exaple )& what I want (something not black). It's tough when they start to get opinions =/ Have you gotten any feedback from Preston?

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    1. I will throw it out there, I have seen a lot of really great black walls and rooms lately. But I agree, it is a scary thought to paint a wall black! :) Maybe compromise on a piece of furniture vs. the walls...?

      I have absolutely been working with Preston on ideas for his room. We have actually been chatting about it for a couple of months... just to get a good list of items to tackle and I always be sure to check with him on design ideas first. It is his space after all. Most importantly, I just want to simplify it a bit and ensure that the few things that end up in piles on the dresser, desk and floor are considered in the update.

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. How about one black wall (chalkboard wall?) as a focal point and a compromise?

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  10. I don't have any children yet, but the one major takeaway from your tour that I noticed was: don't give kids a lot of pillows. Especially if they're not a very neat and tidy kind of kid. The pillows will end up on the floor and if they already don't make their bed, the pillows will stay on the floor. This also leads to an increase in dust/dirt/gross things accumulating in/on the floor pillows. I'm a huge fan of yours and I love your organization, but sometimes less is more. Maybe try for some minimalism in his room? That way he has less to think about possibly keeping tidy, and maybe he'll be more prone to actually keeping those little bits neat.

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  11. I'm excited to see how the chalkboard wall turns out. I'm planning on doing the same thing in my office. But..I'm nervous the black is going to make the room look dark and gloomy. I guess I will have to purchase bright colored chalks. :)
    Again I can't wait to see how this turns out!

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  12. I'm with Jasmin on the pillows. Simply not practical. Love your style, creativity, etc. but you CANNOT give that awesome tween boy DAMASK curtains. You just cannot do that to a boy you love that much. They are not tween boy material. Stripes, buffalo plaid, anything but a floral-esque print.

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    1. Awww, I don't know, I thought they were a little bit on the masculine side of damask...? I will just have to wait to see a sample of the fabric in person to be sure... but I appreciate the feedback! Nothing is set in stone, that is for sure!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Your plans are always gorgeous! But I have to agree, the first thing I thought when I saw the mood board was, "Oh no... she can't do damask in a boy's room!" My son is 9 and we're in the process of transitioning from his little kid room filled with cars and trucks, to a big boy room in red/white/blue. The boy wants everything to have an American flag on it. I'm not going to do that, but I will do the color scheme and incorporate cool stuff. I'm doing navy walls, red/white pillows like the chevron pillows you pictured, and have you SEEN the new red ikea stuff?! Hello, a RED Expedit?! Yeah, that's going in for sure. I'm also giving him a loft bed... I just couldn't do a "pretty" bed for him, he's way too rough and tough for that. A loft bed with a sofa underneath is going to be perfect for those transition years, and hopefully well into his teens until he's too tall for the bed! Looking forward to seeing how your son's room turns out! :)

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    3. That sounds fabulous! I am actually contemplating painting the Expedit in Preston's room red... still on the fence since I am not sure about durability, but I love pops of red lately!

      Sounds like you have a lovely plan for your sons room! Love the idea of a loft bed with sofa, he will have the coolest bedroom on the block! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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    4. Yes, those curtains are still quite girly! I thought so immediately, too.

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  13. Oh my! One - how fast they grow up! I don't have children, but I have so many lovely younger cousins and I am so fond of watching them grow, but at the same time it happens so fast! Two - you don't even look like you have an 11 year old! Bravo <3

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  14. Can't wait to see after pics. I have to say that I am glad to see, even in your house, not everything in the kids' rooms is in the proper place. I struggle so much with this and how much mess to allow.

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    1. Although I totally get a kick out of organizing, we are far from perfect over here. :) Preston is responsible for cleaning his room every couple of days, but I can only hold him accountable for the items that we have a home/system for.

      xo!
      Jen

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  15. I have been working hard on my son with organizing for years. He's 13 now. It's constant, daily help but he seems to be doing so much better now. I am constantly challenging him to think of ways that would be easier to organize certains areas -- especially his school binders and books. I try not to nag, but DO make it something that he must do. He makes his bed everyday-- in fact, he makes it as he gets out of bed in the morning {I think it's so it's just DONE}. I try not to make my organizing with him too extreme and just stick to very basic things. I'm flexible in letting him organize it and label stuff himself so I'm not doing it for him, but step in when he's stuck. I have a sweet boy too -- he's slightly more organized than his sister. She's going to be the tough one, totally didn't get the organizing gene, either!

    Becky B.
    www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

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  16. You look like you're his big sister, not mom!

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  17. Could you two look any cuter together? :)

    I personally like the Damask - amidst a bunch of masculine accents and the general messiness of a boys room it would be a nice touch. However I don't have boys so do not hold me to that! ;)

    Is the calendar going to be the whole wall on one of the smaller sides of the wall? That would look amazing. Plus as he moved into his teen years, it would be easy to update and keep 'cool' as he becomes more of a young man. (I think I just showed my age by saying 'cool'!!)

    Looking forward to seeing the results Jen.

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    1. Hahaha, I say "cool" all the time. :) And I haven't quite decided exactly where the calendar will fall, but I am thinking it would be a great way to fill the big blank wall...

      xo!
      Jen

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  18. it's going to look great, just a quick question, where do you store his hanging clothes? It seems a bit empty without a wardrobe?

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    1. Hi Amanda!

      All of his clothes fit in the green dresser. You can see how we organized it here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/06/conquering-clothing-clutter-kids.html

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. ah nice one.. thanks Jen. please come to australia one day xxx

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    3. ps: we have a flip fold for our clothes also and they are the best invention ever. I use it on towels also and they are so neat!

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  19. You two look so gorgeous together <3

    I'm exited to see the Room-Make-Over!

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  20. First, love your blog/site. Fun reading. As a mom of two grown off to college boys--oops, men. I found drawers don't work well for boys, they always just have everything jumbled. I would get rid of the dresser, put a nice large surface desk (Craigs, or Ikea) in that space. Give him back his closet for clothes and use one rod, but the rest bins/baskets. I had one bin allocated for each sport/activity they had going. Baseball- one bin. Track-one bin. Yes, even Band has several random uniforms, tshirts, gloves, socks, etc. I would not like MY schedule on my wall. Who wants to see that before they go to sleep, not very restful.
    I would encourage you to put hooks everywhere, for those coats, etc. I also like plain. Let their trophies and art work be the star! Best of luck. I miss my boys every day.

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    1. Thanks for the advice!

      As far as the drawers go, it must just be a preference thing. Organized clothing isn't much of an issue for Preston, the drawers are easy for him to use and since adding built in dividers, his clothes are divided and simple to find and easy to put away. We do however, plan to add some extra baskets to his storage unit for his uniforms and "special" attire, just to keep better track and be sure it is always ready the night before {and not in the washing machine}.

      xo!
      Jen

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  21. I am considering putting in a study nook in my son's closet but what did you do with the hanging clothes? He doesn't have many but not sure where to go with his "church" and "dress" clothes. Any suggestions?

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  22. Can't wait to see what you do in there! Our eldest will be 11 soon and I am re-doing his (small) bedroom. I've painted an old pine desk red with white drawer pulls so he can have somewhere to do his homework other than the dining table. You can see it here http://tidyawaytoday.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/painted-desk-for-a-pre-teen-room/ There's no room for a wardrobe so I am thinking of an Ikea hanging rail behind a curtain for his few 'smarter' clothes and shelving for storage boxes and books to try and keep the floor clutter free :-)

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  23. I just have to laugh a little. Preston's messy "before" room looks almost exactly like my son's room -- on a good day. Even the colors - although we have grey as the main wall color with a large stripe of blue, and blue in the closet - then red as the accent color. (BTW they are the NY Giants colors from Glidden's NFL paint line - don't know if you want to tell Preston that!)

    I first found your blog from a link to Preston's closet space, and recreated it. My Noah does all his homework there. He's 13, and has his own laptop for homework and research....and yes, games :-) I've got to admit that I'm probably the least organized person who reads your blog. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf....really I am..and trying lots of different ideas for becoming more organized. Some stick. Some don't. Noah did inherit the lack of organization gene from me I'm afraid. I know from both him and myself that the best way to make someone more organized is through trial and error. Keep trying different solutions until one sticks. And just because it's what works for mom doesn't mean it will work for kid at all.

    I love the idea of a huge blackboard to keep organized. Of course it only works as well as the one who updates it. We tried something similar on a smaller scale with a white board, but Noah hated having to erase and redo the dates every month. He also had no place to put down things that were going to happen in the next month. For him having google calendar worked best. And I like it because I can add things to his calendar or check it before I make any plans.

    Can't wait to see what you end up with for Preston. Then you'll have to give us an update a few months in to see whether it helps keep him organized or if you had to tweak.

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  24. I always LUV your ideas! I have a 17 year old son...and I hate to say this...BUT...the damask curtains are not quite right. I'm sorry! I've redone my son's room several times and have always found him wanting minimal fussiness in his room.

    We just moved and are in an apartment temporarily, but his favorite room was in our last house. Plain wooden shades (never got around to the solid military green curtains), plain brown metal 1940's bed, green metal locker type nightstand, metal bins from Ikea, 1940's style modern cd/radio...etc. In fact, the only "decorating" I got to do in there was metal Ikea shelves with his model airplanes and an antique Boy Scout Scoutmaster hat on top of his dresser. I also made him a bulletin board out of homosote board. I wrapped khaki material around it and used military green twill tape to decorate it/create different sections and used some of my husband's old military pins to anchor some of the cross points. He's not one to be organized, so I put up hooks so he could hang up favorite hoodies/hats--this helped a lot.

    Your baby is growing up to be his own man! Go with his passions and ideas...just temper them a bit! BTW, my son did let me hang up a favorite portrait of Lincoln and artfully hang a civil war replica sword with it OUTSIDE his door...a great compromise! ;) I wish you well on this decorating journey!

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  25. Thanks for the mention Jen! Can't wait to see what you do with the dresser :)

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  26. I struggle with keeping my two little ones (and myself!) organized but we try to stay on top of the clutter everyday which helps. My 5-year-old recently asked me to label his dresser drawers with pictures to help him put away his laundry so we must be doing something right! Like you, we also expect our children to do household chores without "earning" anything (such as an allowance) in the process. I've always thought, how will they learn to contribute to their larger community if they don't first learn to contribute at home?

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  27. So - I'm a mom of 2 girls. I live in the land of pink - of course I love everything on your inspiration board because it's not pink!! lol...

    One thing that struck me when I was renovating my 10 year old's bedroom was that she is growing up. She hangs out in her room a lot - when her friends come over, she is in there with them. It was imperative to a: give her a space that is organized and efficient to keep neat and b. give her a space where her friends are just as comfy as she is. To accomplish this, we used bunk beds - the top bunk is for sleeping and the bottom bunk was piled with europillows and twinkle lights to create a "sofa nook". We added a $25 hammock chair hanging from the ceiling in one corner (used a $10 marshalls circle dog bed as the cushion to keep it in a chair shape), and we even gave her a coffee table in front of the "sofa nook". To give her a desk and storage in one, I found an old $20 Secretary on Craigslist that has the flip down desk, but also a ton of storage. We painted it and it's the perfect desk when she needs, folds away when she doesn't.

    Bottom line is my suggestion is to give him seating for his buddies. Bean bags, ottomans, sofas, hammock chairs... anything. He might not be there yet, but in a few years that will be his cave. Cavemen need to be comfortable too. :)

    And fwiw, I like the damask.

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  28. This is a total non-organization question :) but I really like your hair color. I have wanted to go blonder but not sure if I should try an at-home kit or go to a salon. Do you color yours yourself or have a salon do it? As for the room...I love all of your ideas ....perfect for an 11 yr old and what a handsome young boy Preston is!

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  29. I have to say, that once you start sewing you will absolutely LOVE it! My mom gave me a machine in 2007 and last year I opened it... My friend showed me the basics and I took off! In a little over a year I've made curtains, reupholstered a glider, made a dust ruffle foe my youngest, and baby gifts (nursing covers, burp cloths, changing pad covers). You will be obsessed! Love the plan for your son's room and I still can't say enough about how much I am enjoying your blog!
    Amy

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  30. This is off topic, but:
    I like your pink wristlet / wallet in the first pic, do you remember where that was from?

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  31. Oh yes, this is going to be greatness!!! Can't wait to see you change everything...it looks really good now, so I know you'll be taking it to the next level for sure! He's a cutie like his mama!!!

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  32. Hi Jen! Love your blog. Read it everyday! I always liked your desks inside the closet. My 9 year old son's room is just about the same layout as Preston's. Our closet is twice as big and when the door opens, it would cover half of his new desk area. Would you still use that space for a work area if the door would be clocking him in the head?

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  33. The new mood board for Preston's room is awesome! I think hes going to love it!

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  34. it was as if you were taking the words right out of my mouth! we did these beautiful built-ins in my 9 years old room only to be used for lego landing and not once for homework. it's a mess! great kid, not a tidy one though! can't wait to see how it all turns out.

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  35. I am almost finish with a room re-do for my two kiddos. Just got the walls painted, new furniture in there and new blinds & curtains hung just this last weekend. Currently accessorizing it fit their needs and adding some floating shelving to display some of those legos he likes to keep put together. Santa is bringing a new flat screen and blue-ray player to top it all off.

    So far they are loving it. The problem....just this morning the dang cat broke a slat in the brand new blinds!! ARGH!!!

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