Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting close...

Despite my lack of house updates, we are getting close!  The exterior work was wrapped up a few weeks ago.  Now we are in the last leg of final details now that the painting is done, all the doors & trim work is done & the majority of the flooring is in.  We now have full house heat, lights & electricity, water (to toilets & showers... sinks aren't in yet).... we are getting close!!!

Stairs after drywall...

& then after paint & stair parts/trim...

Kitchen in progress... waiting for island, counters & hardware to be added

Master bath
Right now we are waiting on the counters/vanity tops (delayed from manufacturer due to holiday) so that those areas can be finished up.  The remainder of the carpeting for living room & stairs is on hold until the fireplace surround is finished, which should be next week as well.  That isn't stopping us from getting moved in!  At the beginning of the month, we got all our stuff moved out of storage & into the basement.
Moving boxes from storage

 Then just this past week, Mike & his dad filled the garage with all our furniture from the barn.  So now we can get the rooms that are ready slowly moved & set up... 
Mike's office was first... he has been working from his new office since Monday!!!
Last night we started getting beds set up in the kids' rooms... & tonight we hope to spend our first night in the house!  We'll be "roughing it" a bit until the counters/sinks are in & the living room is wrapped up, but it will be great to be in regardless!!  I'm most excited about cooking in my new kitchen as soon as it is up & running in about 1 week!! In the meantime, I'll be continuing wiping down walls & wood work, filling nail holes & getting rooms set up!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hello Kitty!

Grandma's cat Buttons died 2 years ago.  Although she was a "farm" cat & only came into the mudroom, she had a good life & our kids enjoyed getting to see her.   
Melanie & Buttons Oct. 2007
Grandma has talked about getting another cat but said she'd wait until we were living down here & could help take care of it if they were out of town.  Then last fall, a stray came on the scene who won Grandma's heart.  He was a little "scuffy" looking, so he became known to us as Scuffy.
He is sweet & friendly & we have all enjoyed having Scuffy around.  He occasionally goes away for a day or two, but so far he has always come back... & after some consistent food, deworming & a little loving, he is less "scuffy" than when he first came on the scene.

As our move to the farm became more of a reality, the kids were eager to remind us all that Grandma was going to get a cat.  Somewhere in there... CAT became CATS & each kid would get to help Grandma pick one.  They talked about it all summer & as soon as we moved down here, they couldn't wait for Grandma & Grandpa to get back from their trip because "Grandma says we're getting the cats when they get back."  In their mind, they literally thought the day they got back, we'd go out & get them!  Grandpa kept his eye on the ads in the paper for kittens & eventually we made a trip to the humane society to check out their group of kitties as well as stopping at one house to see some kittens advertised.  It was a tough decision... but eventually the choice was made & the kitties were picked!  While we waited out the humane society's red tape, the kids eagerly made up their list of names.  Finally we got to bring the kitties home...
Pearly May
 (named by the humane society & after mulling over her extensive list of names, Melanie kept it)

(named after Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi)
Pearly May LOVES being outside & exploring Grandma's gardens.  She is super friendly & loves attention.

Wicket was a little more skittish at first, but still friendly & lovable... it just needed to be on his terms.  He has an instant purr that the kids all his little motor.  He's getting braver about exploring outside.  His favorite game is to dart out of the mudroom door & make a run for it in the house.  Most of the time he runs to the same spot, stops & lets you pick him right up... other times he darts around as if to extend the game longer.

 Pearly May likes to be around people, so often she'll follow us outside to different spots.  One day she followed the kids up to the new house & followed them right upstairs!

Both cats get along with Scuffy & he seems to be fine with the new additions to the farm!  We have had a lot of fun having the cats around... it will certainly be different when we are in our house as the kids enjoy getting to say good morning & good night to them... & NO, we won't be getting any of our own!

Wicket's favorite nap spot... not sure how much longer he'll fit!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I don't remember being as jazzed up about Hallo- ween when I was a kid but our kids were counting down the days until the big event!!  They were about as excited as they get for Christmas!

In the midst of all our painting & house stuff, Halloween was more of an annoyance than anything... but thankfully the Grandparents were there to help with the fun since we were up to our eyeballs in paint as well as Halloween fun they had at school!

The kids & Mike did hit the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago to pick pumpkins & Grandpa has carved a pumpkin ever since they were babies.  They were very excited to design their own faces & Grandpa did a GREAT job of bringing those to life!
Grandpa with "Jango Fett" & "Ariel"..  the pumpkins!

There were all sorts of little parties & celebrations around the area & Grandma & Grandpa took them to a couple & even arranged her own little Halloween party for them with games & prizes... it was Halloween fun indeed!

Pin the nose on the Jack-o-Lantern (with prizes)
Then on Halloween afternoon, we hung up our painting stuff, tried to wipe the paint off ourselves & hooked up with the neighbors & their friends for some Halloween fun of our own.  First we hit a "Trunk or Treat" event at a local church...

... where even ran into one of Melanie's preschool friends. She was thrilled!

Then we headed back to a friend's house for a quick supper, some playtime & then some trick-or-treating around their neighborhood!  It was a mild Halloween, for Minnesota that is, but layers were still needed!  It was a fun Halloween!!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wonderful Walls!

With the insulation problem resolved... the sheet rockers were finally able to go to town on our house.  The upstairs was tackled first & they blazed through it...

... and then the taping/mudding guy went to town!

 As soon as he was done, I was in painting... 

The kids were EAGER to help paint their rooms... they did a good job too!

Melanie's room is PINKALICIOUS!

 Nothing like having to paint up in the tops of stairwells on scaffolding...

Shortly after I was done, the doors & trim went up!
Knotty Alder doors
Windows with trim
Upstairs hallway
Guest room... after the gas fireplace was installed
All that is left upstairs is the carpeting, final electrical & plumbing!  Downstairs is coming along & we'll have an update to post soon... we are getting close!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Field Trip Fun!

Nothing says fall in school like a field trip to the apple orchard!  I was lucky enough to get to be a chaperone with both Brandon & Melanie's classes when they got to go on their fun fall field trip!

First up was Melanie's trip with her preschool class & we had a BEAUTIFUL & warm fall day for it!
Melanie was excited to ride the big yellow bus!

Farmer Tom is great at giving the kids a good lesson on how apples grow, how to pick them, shine them & then take the essential bite test that should result in a nice, crisp CRUNCH...

Melanie found her apple she wanted to pick... the variety of the day was a Golden Delicious called a Smoothie.

Queen of the hill!
After the wagon ride through the orchard, the kids got to play for a bit on the big haystack, check out the animals in the petting area, peddle little tractors & RUN!

A few weeks later... I got to go back with Brandon's 1st grade class.  It was a cool fall day but thankfully the drizzle they predicted held off for us!  Back we went across the river to Ferguson's Morningside Orchard (same one as Melanie's class). 

My little group consisted of Brandon, Marcus & Christian... they were fun boys to have!

We took a different route through the orchard this time as we had to head to different trees.  The apple harvest was a few weeks ahead of schedule this year due to our early spring, so Farmer Tom had to try & keep a few trees still with apples on them for their remaining field trip groups.  This time we headed to a cluster of Haralson trees.

The boys all picked some nice apples... Brandon waited to eat his until he got home so I could cut it up since his loose tooth was making it difficult to bite it!

King of the Hill... not hard with no competition!

We had a great time & it was a great bunch of kids!!