Monday, September 27, 2010

Smurf House No More!

Haven't blogged on the house much lately, but work does continue!  We've had a little delay to our sheet rocking due to an insulation delay... but hopefully that will all be back on track here soon. In the meantime, exterior work has been the focus of recent weeks.
We knew we never wanted a blue house, but after looking at a blue house all summer, we were more convinced than ever... so it was fun to see our siding go up & the house change colors!

Since the sheet rock was delayed, it also gave Mike more of a chance to think of wiring he wanted to add, so he spent some time adding additional wiring for things he's not even sure how he'll use it... but it is in the wall in case!!

And the kids had fun with their scooter & tricycles zipping around the basement while we were working!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Preschool Fun!

This past Tuesday, Melanie started her new preschool in Winona.  To say she was excited would be an understatement! 

She goes T/TH afternoons and is only about 10 minutes away.  It is different for us going in the afternoon, but since that is when they offer their pre-K program, we thought we'd give afternoons a try & so far it is going well!

There are lots of toys to play with & she had fun exploring the many fun areas in her new preschool.
She loves her new preschool & her teachers are super nice!  There are lots of new friends to make too!  It looks like it will be a great year of preschool for Melanie!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Settling in...

We are officially moved down to the farm, just not into our house yet.  We will be staying with Mike's folks for the duration of our building process, provided they can put up with our little brood for the next month!  We got moved down Labor Day weekend in time for Brandon to start school that week.  I am constantly amazed with our kids & how well they have adjusted to our topsy-turvy world of the past few months.  Between getting our house sold, packed up & moving out, staying with our friend Don during our transitions between abodes, moving to our temporary location in the cities for the summer to moving to our temporary housing down on the farm, they have just taken it all in stride.  Their "stuff" is largely packed away but depsite it all they have slept great & just continued with things as if it were all normal.  Even now as they both start new schools, it just doesn't seem to even phase them a bit.
Hanging around Friday night... Mike reading the paper, Melanie drawing faces on the people in the paper & Brandon playing Lego Star Wars... totally at home in Grandma's living room!

Since Melanie was asleep when Brandon went off to school in the morning, she was excited to head out to meet his bus on his first day home from school! 

It is very exciting waiting for the bus to come over our little gravel hill!

On non-school days, Brandon likes riding out to the mailbox to check the mail...

We have always spent so much time on the farm that it has been like a home away from home so it doesn't quite feel real that we have actually moved down here... seems more like an extended weekend.  But we are getting settled into the groove & it feels pretty normal... now we just look forward to finally getting settled into our own place in about a month or so... and FINALLY having our "stuff" all under one roof rather than scattered between barns, storage places & countless boxes!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In the blink of an eye...

August (aka the end of summer) seemed to go by in a flash!

The kids did swim class this summer & made a lot of progress once again!  They did a great job!!

Melanie's teacher had them swimming on their own right from the start...
... & she even started breaking down the free-style & backstroke pieces since the girls had already covered all the stuff in their level!

Brandon worked on honing his different strokes & continues to be a great swimmer!
Although there were 4 in his class, generally there were often just 1 other who showed up & several times he has solo lessons!

All summer, we ran across the "Nice Ride" bikes that are available for rent all around Minneapolis.  The kids loved being on the look-out for GREEN BIKES!


We had snuck in a few fun playdates with friends Lauren & Lexie before leaving the cities...
... and we also got together with Erin Kelly & Kris for a fun day!  We are sure going to miss all our friends in the cities!

We took in one last movie in the park... "UP".  We picked up a pizza from Galactic Pizza in uptown that we had been wanting to try.  It was delish!
We also had pre-movie entertainment done by the Fire Dance Group of Minneapolis.  It was pretty cool.    They had flaming hoops, flaming helmets, flaming torches & many other flaming things & did all sorts of things with them... one of the coolest were the guys on stilts with flaming balls at the ends of chains. (below)

On a whim, we bought a boat off Craig's List for getting out & exploring the Mississippi since we are just minutes from it on the farm.  We got a great deal (on this older boat) & got it out on the river for a test spin when we were down at the farm... it runs great & is lots of fun... perfect for us amateur boaters!

This year marks Mike's folks' 45th wedding anniversary, so the whole family went up north for a long weekend at the cabin.
We had a great time hanging out, boating, playing at the beach & celebrating together!

Then it was time to get packed up & moved out of our summer place...
... and say goodbye to our house neighbors!  We were lucky to have some great neighbors & enjoyed getting to know them (though not all are pictured here)!  It was most definitely a FUN summer in the city!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Grade!

This week is back to school week for us.  Tuesday was Open House/Orientation at Brandon's school, so he & I got to go meet his teacher, drop off school supplies & get all sorts of information from his new school in Winona.
Brandon's classroom
& his teacher, Ms. Wantock

Despite the early morning wake up (6am), he got up easily, ate a good breakfast & was dressed & ready for his first day!
He was excited!
The whole gang was ready at 6:30 (except Melanie, who was still sleeping) to walk out to bus stop with him...
These 3 generations have all gone to school from the farm!

Mike remembers standing in the same spot waiting for the bus...

...little did he know then his own kids would be waiting in the same spot for the bus to come over the hill!

Brandon is the first one on his bus & he has a friendly bus driver!

And there is the big 1st grader ready to start the day at Jefferson Elementary!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Front Porch & More...

It's been a few weeks since our last house progress post... but it is coming along!  After the porch footings were put in, the work could really begin on the front porch...

The porch really changes the look of the outside, too!

In the meantime, work continued on the inside... more plumbing, heating, electrical rough-in, window installation & outside, they got the septic & drainfilled (below) installed... 

 We had to get our pre-finished windows covered prior to the spray-in insulation & sheetrocking to make the post-cleanup a little easier & hopefully keep the woodwork on the windows preserved...
... & I took a moment to check out my tub!
We also spied some "critter" mousing around our basement...
... cutest little mouse we've ever seen!

Finally the wrapped roof is complete around the house!  We are going to love this porch!