Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Christmas Season

Amid the chaos of house reconstruction we had a very exciting Christmas Season!!  Please enjoy the menagerie of photographs!

Spaghetti Works and the Airforce Band 
Ruth Ann's treat!  We braved the snowstorm and drove to Omaha despite the scary weather!  It was amazing!

Back to our old stomping grounds to enjoy an afternoon with the Blackburns.
Whitney performed in the Grand River Valley Orchestra and Choir
Amazing performance!!

Our ward Redneck Christmas Party

Our costumes - Cousin Eddie on the left... Me - all I could muster was a holey old camo T, then we have three old farts, compliments of Ruth Ann who raided her husbands closet for the boys... And Gracie Anne - well some sort of princess and patriotic, camo sweat wearing critter.  Avery won 3rd place for his costume!

Our Christmas tree - 8 strands of lights and three trips to the store later!!  I think they are making those 100 light strands a lot shorter than they did 15 years ago when we first bought lights!

We even put up our little tree that we've used for the last 5 Christmases!  We had room!!

Christmas Day
Not many pictures - I fell asleep...
But there was a lot of this:

And a lot of this:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jacob and Susan's Wedding

We were thrilled to be invited to an Amish wedding!  We'd never been to one before so that was exciting.  But more thrilling was that it was little Jacob and little Susan... who somehow have managed to grow up in the last six and a half years!

It was a wonderful experience, even though we didn't understand a single word that was said.  After the church meeting and ceremony we joined everyone over at Joe's for the afternoon meal.  I couldn't believe all of the food!  And it just kept coming!  Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh and canned fruit, home made bread, salads, fresh churned butter, cakes, pies...  It was so good!

The meeting and the meals are segregated, in other words, the men sit and eat with the men and the women with the women.  The wedding party has its place with the tables set for the men.  Gracie Anne and I got to sit with a whole bunch of Joe's older sisters, which could have been lots of fun if there hadn't had been so much food, because I fully intended to learn about all of the trouble Joe managed to get himself into and tease him about it at a later time!  Lucky for Joe that my plate was full and I spent the majority of my meal enjoying the food and light conversation!

After the meal I had a wonderful time visiting with good friends and neighbors and catching up on what everyone has been up to during our hustle and bustle in Nebraska.  It was a great time!  And a good thing we needed to get heading back to Nebraska, because the evening meal, I was told, was even better than the afternoon meal... And I really wasn't sure that if we had stayed, I'd have room to enjoy any of it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

There's a Hole!

There's a hole in the bottom of my floor...

There are actually a whole bunch of holes throughout this holy house, of which I'm wholly excited!
Someday hot air will be blowing through these holes and we will have warmth in the dead of winter!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Lil' Helper

Isn't she great?!

She is also a filthy mess!

Progress in the south bedroom moves slowly!  But at least it moves!  And at least I have some great help!

We are working on taping and mudding the new drywall.  I'm also working on some repairs to an old wooden bed frame I found when I went antique-ing with some good friends!  I picked up this set for $10.00!  The veneer needs a little attention, and I've also stripped the orginal finish off of it since a lot of it was flaking off.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Takin' It Up a Notch!

That's what I'm talkin' about!

These people are my favorite people right now!!  They have something that I desperately need!

My heating unit! 

I think I will be thinking happy thoughts of them come summertime too, when its hotter than hot and I'm kicking back eating a popsicle!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

House Guests in Nebraska!

We were so excited when the Frehners said they were coming to MO and wanted to stop and stay a couple nights with us!!  They were very brave considering the condition of the house and its lack of central heat.  But we did the best we could and plugged in a space heater for the room that they stayed in and tried to keep things as warm as we could!

Once again, I'm shy the photographs from this great visit!  But I did manage to get this cute one of Sam, Gracie Anne and Blaine!

The boys thought Sam was hilarious and had a lot of fun with Jakob, but Gracie Anne was thrilled and was at Blaine's side the whole time!!

The Frehners attended church with us on Sunday and were able to witness our records being read into our new little ward.  This was also Callan's first Sunday to pass the sacrament and he passed like a pro, even though he was nervous!

I was so glad to see Jessica again!  And I was thrilled to finally meet Annabeth for the first time!    The Frehners had a great time back in MO. and signed papers for the sell of their home - just a few days after we signed on papers selling the north 100 acres of our farm! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Callan's Ordination to the Office of a Deacon

I wish we had more pictures from this special weekend!  I think with the chaos of living our 'double life' I some how managed to forget to take pictures of Callan's special day.  I suppose that means that this is one of the extra special time where the images will sweeten through the ages in our memories! 

Papa Jim was able to make it out for the weekend!  It was such a treat to have that time with him!  But like all wonderful things, they soon have to end.  This weekend was one of the shortest weekends of the year!

You know Papa is here when things like this show up in the house!

We took Papa up the road to our favorite IA state park!  He and Callan are looking for Hickory nuts!

I really love the photograph of Tim with his Dad.  It is obvious that they are enjoying the perfectly beautiful day and great conversation!

Probably one of the last times in the water before summer comes  next year.

She loves playing in the sand.

Bedtime and scripture study!  It was fun to have Papa be a part of it all!
I think Gracie Anne enjoyed it most!  She started all cozied up under Papa's arm and before we knew it she managed to wrap herself around his neck!

I'm guessing Papa doesn't really mind at all!

Callan was set apart on the morning of the 9th of Oct.  President Meals had some very nice things to say about him and the choice he has made and the duties he has accepted as a Deacon.  I think Callan was aware of how much his Mom and Dad love him, too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dinner At Our House

In case you wondered what its like these days.

The Making of the Walls

Insulating the exterior walls to keep the NE winter out and the hot air in!

New electrical wires to replace the old knob and tube (look close and you can see the black knob and tube wiring in the middle section of that wall)!

Antique wallpaper removal.

One exterior wall in sheet rock... YAY!

More antique wallpaper to remove from the old plaster walls that we left intact.

A Very Elaborate Dishwasher!

Let There Be Light Already!

Bald is beautiful!!
Especially when you are in the attic and its dark!

Its awful hard to make out what is going on!  But when he finishes with all of those wires he stuck up there in the attic we will all be able to see much better in the dark!

When You Can't Reach It...

Looks innocent enough, right?


No one was harmed in the patching of this roof.  The soon to be fourteen year old had the time of his life under the watchful eye and hand of his father.  His mother lost a few years off her life as she stood by to watch!

The Art Lesson

Among all of the comings and goings and bustings and buildings, we still manage to have school.

This year I've decided to make art more of a priority.  All of the boys have great potential, however, art is one thing that has always ended up on the bottom of the list and isn't usually practiced because of that!

This particular day was absolutely beautiful.  I taught my kids how to do 'blind countour drawings.'  We practiced several times on this day and even little Grace got in on the fun!

She is drawing all of the leaves she sees.  Note that these are not leaves of three, just leaves of one!