Friday, February 18, 2011


With our week of 40-50 degree temps, our wintry wonderland is quickly melting away.  Amazing how fast a winter's worth of accumulated snow (several feet worth) can melt & what a mucky mess it can make, especially in the country!  But I have to admit, a little sunshine & warm temps (especially when the wind would let up), did feel kind of good & made me yearn for spring... & made it hard to believe that just a week prior we were out playing in the snow! 

Our friend Angie passed along some snow boards from her son's youth... & boy have our kids had a BALL with them...

& to quote Melanie, "cowLAbunga dude!"  Not sure where she came up with that!

Brandon does pretty good... but does take the occasionaly spill!  Normally he's good about brushing it off, heading up hill & trying it again...

... & this time he made it!

Of course, the bigger Butenhoff has to give it a whirl too...
 ... with much of the same results as the boy!  I missed his really good spill where he was covered head to toe with snow!

The boys are fun to watch... but the little pink marshmallow is hard to compete with on the cuteness factor... & she's getting good as staying on her feet now too!

With the recent change in our snow, I am glad I braved very cold temps one day for a snowshoe back in the other valley & up our Rollingstone bluff... I was wanting to get a winter view from up there.  Despite the 5 degree day (with windchill sending that sub-zero), I was plenty warm hoofing it up the bluff in the deep snow... was well worth the view!!

Who knows... this could be our last snow-fun adventures for this winter... but then again that might just be wishful thinking as this is Minnesota & it is ONLY Februrary!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I know our posts have been little lacking lately & many of you have been asking for some "finished" house shots.  So now that we've finally had a chance to wrap up little details with the house & have had a chance to settled in & actually ENJOY our house, there are finally some pictures to follow!  Aside from LOVING our house, here is a top ten of our favorite things about it:

10.  Garage...
What a treat (for us) to have a garage that can fit more than 1 car... technically 3 if we really want... & have room for stuff! We haven't even begun to organize it but come spring, we'll really love it. The stairs that go from the garage to the basement have been a hit too... especially contractors when needed to do stuff in the basement! That was our house design guy's idea & we love it!

9.  Kids rooms! 
They both love having their own room & space.  They love that they both got to pick colors & help paint it too!  We love that they have room to actually play in their rooms too!

8.  Mudroom with lockers & mail center...

It is so nice having an area right off the garage for a quick, yet organized drop off of coats & shoes... not to mention with laundry, 1/2 bath & coat closet right there too.  It has been really nice after sledding for a place to drop off all our wet & snowy clothes & an easy place to dry them too!  The mailcenter is awesome because it keeps the kitchen from becoming the mail/clutter drop off!

7.  Main floor laundry...
I love having my laundry on the main floor (rather than the basement).  It is much easier for me to keep track of it & I'm not running up & down stairs all the time.  With our bedroom on the main level, it will continue to be convenient!  Plus I love my new machines... Cinderella may have had birds & mice to sing to her but I have my washer & dryer that sing happy little songs when turned on or they finish a cycle.  Yes, it is the little things that bring a smile to one's face... I've always said I'm easily amused!

6.  Master bath... ok, for me it is the tub! 
Gotta love a big soaking tub & the fact that it is in a bathroom that isn't shared with the kids anymore! 

5. Bonus room (aka guest room, craft room, exercise room)...
This is by far, a favorite room of all.  It is such a fun room with great views & a cozy feel!  We stayed here for the first month while a few things downstairs were being wrapped up... I finally had to kick Mike out or he'd still be there!  This one will move up on my list even more once my craft area is up & running!  In the meantime, we can't wait for guests to enjoy it too!!

4. Our living room...
We have been enjoying our fireplace almost nightly & LOVE our big window back to the valley where we can keep an eye on the wildlife in the valley!  We love how open it is to the kitchen & dining area... & it certainly is a place where we relax & enjoy time together as a family... guess we really should call it a FAMILY room!

3. The Farm House...
Our design guy did a fabulous job designing a "farm house look" for our home that would look like it fit in back on the old farm.  We can't wait for warmer weather to use our covered porch as well as the screen porch off to the side!

2. The Kitchen! 

Ok, this may not be as high on Mike's list... but on mine it is certainly one of my favorite things!!!! To say I LOVE my kitchen is an understatement. Those who know me well, know how much I enjoy cooking as well as entertaining... and it certainly is conducive to both! We found this kitchen in a parade of homes we toured back in the fall of 2008 & I knew instantly that it was "my" kitchen. I added my big pantry (like I had at my old house), which just rounded it out to be perfect! I have a great view from my sink window & it is open with the dining & living room.

What more can we say... we are truly blessed to have been able to move to a place we love.  Our new house is nice but what makes it amazing (for us) is truly about where it is located.  It is still a little surreal as we look out of various windows into the valleys on the farm that we actually live here now. 

This farm has been in the family for over 100 years & so when we look out, we can't help but think about the people who have lived, worked & enjoyed the beauty of this farm.  This winter, the kids have enjoyed having places to sled & play in the snow within walking distance of the house & it is fun to be able to strap on the
snowshoes any time..., it came with some pretty great neighbors too!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Right out our door...

It is still surreal that we can literally head out our door & into our own outdoor oasis.  As a friend said "you have your own little state park!"

Since Brandon got snowshoes for Christmas (& Melanie has his old, smaller pair), we now can all go snowshoeing together... the kids love it!

Melanie is equally happy to stop & just play in the snow...
 ...our little snow angel!!

We went way back in the valley... & even walked over the pond that is both frozen & covered with snow.  Melanie kept digging down to see if we were really on ice!

A view from back in the valley out towards our house.

It was a nice day for a walk!

On another day... I took advantage of Brandon being at school & Melanie napping with Mike home working & headed out for an afternoon snowshoe on my own.
This time I headed up our new hill road that is behind our house...

 ... it angles up the bluff behind us & has been a great hiking & snowshoeing trail!

I made it all the way up & then bush-whacked back down & walked back through the valley, keeping an eye on a flock of turkeys who weren't quite sure what to make of me as I popped out of the woods!