Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend projects.

Trimming trees...

Weeding flowerbeds...

Getting fallen tree off the barn roof...

Yep, we got a pretty good windstorm a few weeks ago that resulted in an old rotten maple falling right on the barn where Edith, Nora, and Gibbs (a/k/a the chickens) live. Our friend Chris was kind enough to bring his chainsaw over, and he and Winn and my dad got the tree off the roof. The hens are fine, but their coop has seen better days. We'll just add it to the neverending list of things to fix around here. :) This is the frame that they built to prop the tree up while cutting it to prevent it from falling the rest of the way and crushing the entire wall in the process...

While the guys were working on the tree, Rebecca, Peggy, Jimmy, Jonathan, and I got a bunch of weeding done, holes dug, and brush cleaned up. My dad also got a large part of the haymow cleared out in the big barn. It ended up being kind of rainy that evening, so to finish off the day, I made some chocolate chip cookies and coffee for the workers. Thanks to everyone for your help! It's so much fun to work alongside you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


No more OSB countertops...huge yay! The color is beige olympo, and it has a "leather" finish. Stain-proof, scratch-proof, and scorch-proof. Big fan of that. Now we're waiting on the hinges so we can hang the cabinet doors, and then it's time to do the tile backsplash work. I'm going to try my hand at a mosaic above the sink. Wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy camper.

Jonathan has been begging to go camping lately, so last night we set up the the living room...and he and Sajak "went camping."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sprinkler days.

Lovin' it...

Scared of it...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More vacation pics.

Mini vacation.

We were so flattered to be invited to spend a four-day weekend in a cabin on Lac Courte Oreilles near Hayward, Wisconsin. Here are some highlights of our time there...

* Four solid days with our amazing friends Chris and Rebecca and their adorable one-year-old Ashton

* Chris teaching us to sail

* Watching the boys slalom ski (one ski)

* Eating...a lot...on the four-season porch

* Evening campfires, card games, and boat rides

* Being the first guests of the newly rennovated cabin

* Making new friends

* Hearing Ashton's infectious giggle while his mommy and daddy were getting him ready for bed (you've got to watch this video and hear it for yourself)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We've been out of town for a few days and our internet was down after a big windstorm that came through last week, so the blog has been pretty dormant lately. I'll post some pics of our trip soon. In the meantime, here's Winn in our friends' boat on Lac Courte Oreilles (la-coota-ray) Lake over the weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Overcoming boredom.

Even with a bike, sprinkler, tree house, dog, cats, and chickens, a six-year-old tends to get bored on these long summer days. So we're trying to get creative. Yesterday we got out the Play-Doh, went to the library, learned to fold clothes (to earn some points for a toy he's been wanting), and wrote some thank-you notes to people who gave him a bike and someone else who gave him a snowboard. The snowboard was given to him when there was still snow on the ground, but we're a little late in getting thank-yous out! While at the library I noticed that they have programs for kids every Wednesday, so today we went to see Justin Roberts, a singer/songwriter from Chicago who plays guitar and sings silly songs. He was fun, and the kids seemed enthralled with him. We also have yet to check out the local pools, and someone else told me that they have free kids' movies at the new theater every Wednesday and Thursday. I guess this week they're showing Charlotte's Web, and I thought it would be fun to take Jonathan to that since that's the chapter book we've been reading at bedtime.

In other news, it seems the farm has a new litter of babies...the mice kind. Ugh. I was sitting at my desk the other day when a tiny lil' bugger sauntered right past my toes. Too close for comfort. He seemed to be in no hurry at all, but I wasn't about to catch him. I set up four mousetraps at once, overflowing with peanut butter. The next morning Winn walked past another baby in the hallway, who calmly climbed into the ice cream pail he was holding. He took it out to start teaching the barn cats about their new diet, but it turns out they didn't need any lessons. They got to work on it right away, as if they were old hats at pouncing and preying on baby mice. Later that day when walking up the staircase, I stopped dead in my tracks to another baby staring at me from the top step. Winn rescued me with the ice cream pail and took another meal out to the cats. I then checked the mousetraps, and to my delight, momma fell for the ol' peanut butter trick and has joined her two babes in the bellies of our kittens. Three down, ? to go.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Barn cats.

My sister picked up a couple free kittens for us last week...thank you, Peggy! My niece Caitlyn named them Rocco and Echo.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


My sisters were here visiting from Iowa for several days. I love it when they're here. They're so fun, and we usually solve most of the world's problems during our visits. :) Plus, they bring my niece and nephews with them (except for this time Grayden and Benjamin weren't able to come because of baseball), and they're all so darn cute. And Carrie is expecting their third child early next year!

As is custom when the whole fam is home, we had a big party with the necessary ingredients: lots of snacks (this time I made hot artichoke dip on crackers, fruit pizza, and Boston iced tea; Jess made stuffed mushrooms; and Mom made jalapeno poppers), lots of games, and a few friends thrown in the mix. We also did some shopping, some sewing, and some yard work. On Monday we went to a little cafe in Mantorville and ate our sandwiches and cookies outside. I had their blueberry pomegranate smoothie for dessert, and I have just one thing to say about that...yum. Try it sometime.

From left to right: my mom, nephew Joel,
sister Jessica, niece Cate, and sister Carrie

Jessica helped me with some outside stuff that I've been needing to get done. We got some flowerbeds weeded and most of the debris and straw and whatnot scooped out of the stalls in the smaller barn. We came across lots of treasures while digging through all the straw and dirt and goat poop. It looks like someone used to have a little workshop there at one time because we found several little wooden trinket boxes, plaques, picture frames, and other projects. We also found a few milking stools, a band saw, some old checkbooks, some dishes for Jonathan's tree house, a couple of bedpans, some feeders, and lots more. Oh yeah, and one live mole that about gave me a heart attack when it jumped out of the pile of hay I was shoveling. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lessons in carpentry.

Due to a recent change in events, Jonathan is back in our home as of late last night. It was so good to see him again, and he was giddy with excitement as he greeted Sajak, checked out all the changes around here, including the three new chickens and two new barn kittens. He wasted no time in making sure his bed was still there, and he scowled at me for hanging some of my clothes in his closet. :) Tonight Winn is replacing a tread on our stairway, and Jonathan is offering his help at every turn, intent on learning the skills of the trade.