Monday, July 28, 2014

Making room for the future

April and May were so completely crazy for us. We were all running a million different directions. Jake turned 21 at the end of April, and also moved out of our home and in with a couple of friends at the same time. He was nearing the end of three years of school, and looking for his adult job. Jen working full time, at a difficult time in her clinic, and was consumed with her wedding, Grant was interviewing his jobs, Dan was consumed with clearing the land for our home, and well, I was in the center of it all, and trying to do my full time job at the same time.
Dan's co-worker brought a bulldozer down, and any time that Jake and Grant had they went down to help Dan.
I wish I had some more pictures of clearing the land, but I got voted to help with the wedding.

Flowers for Jen's wedding

Looking for items for our new home

Clearing our home site

Jen taking a break to check her phone. 

Hay Hook Dan has plans for 

Trolley Dan pulled out of his parents barn

Me at work working on cataloging a number of different equipment.
I am still not done with this.

Wedding dress fittings

                           Grant modeling his suit for the wedding.

Perhaps I will wear my boots

Saturday, July 26, 2014


In April Dan had found an unusual rock down by the small stream that runs though our place. He took Grant and I down to show us and to get it out. The rock was fairly heavy, and he could not bring it out when he found it as he had to many other things he was carrying. Later he took me down to the creek with Grant. I had not been down into this portion of the property yet, but was amazed at all the rock in the creek.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Moving on

After the holidays my life pretty much consisted of three things.
1. Preparing to move, and building
2. Jennifer's wedding
3. Work

We had been in contact with our builder from time to time, but we became much more diligent about things. Dan's plan was to use reclaimed barn wood for our great room, so that it appeared like the inside of an actual old barn. While he was looking for barn wood he ran across Iowa Barn Savers. IBS was started by a gentleman in northern Iowa who searches out sound barns. He photographs the barns, numbers every piece and then blueprints them to be put back together. We contemplated this for a long while, purchasing an old barn, and just using that for a home. We started talking to builders and architects and engineers about using an old barn. And although it was totally doable, not in our time frame and probably not in our budget. So we moved on. Dan's co-worker Andy does dirt work on the side, and we hired him to help us start taking down trees for the home site. Although taking down trees broke our hearts in some ways. It had to be done.
Jennifer's wedding- Fortunately we had pretty much everything set for the wedding. And although she did change caterers on me just a couple of months before the wedding, the big stuff was done aside from suits for the guys, and dresses for the flower girls. Jen had asked her grandpa to build her a fence to go behind the back drop and her grandma to make some squares of different pastel colors and patterns. Jen wanted her wedding to 1 Feel like you were in a backyard, and 2 Look like she had gone into any of her grandmothers/great grandmothers kitchens and grabbed everything from the cabinets and threw it on the tables. More organized of course. We researched flowers and flower arrangements from Google to Pintrest.
For work- Well, I was gearing up for what is one of my biggest projects of the year. A summer school project for student with education accommodations known as Extended School Year or ESY. This project requires me to build a small program for students and staff it. To accomplish this, I have to communicate with just about every department through out the district and several staff members so that we can meet the needs of students. Thankfully- the putting together of this is now behind me, and I can move on.



Removal of thorns from a thorn tree


Lots of brush 

Pulling out old fence posts 


Waiting on Dad-trying to look cool 



4 wheeler selfie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Times are a changing

Fall is one our our favorite seasons. I love the colors, and the cool air, the fall baking and cooking and of course decorating. I decorated my dining room as I have every other year, but with one difference this time. This would be the last time I would be decorating this dining room. Our thought was that this time next year, this dining room would be Jennifer's to decorate. I took one or two last pictures of the dining room and then packed all my things away one last time so they would be prepared to move when we were ready.

I will miss this window/blank slate. 

I have used plain orange lights on the steps of our house for the past several years. I intertwine the lights with pumpkins, plants and fall mums. It's pretty simple, but I loved the way it looked. 

I forgot to take a picture of it all decorated up for winter. I usually do very little "Christmas" decorating. I put my tree up and a few Christmasie things, but for the most part I decorate with snowmen and snowflakes and winter scenes and I don't take it down until the end of February. I told Jennifer that when I took my winter stuff down I would just let her decorate the dining room with her items, as I was packing most of my things away. So she used what she wanted to of mine and I packed everything else away for the move. When this actually happened Dan came into seeing a giant P (Palmer, as in Grant's last name) A giant Palmer sign and several pictures of Jen and Grant plastered all over the dining room walls. Dan was very taken back with seeing "my" dining room that way. As I explained that I was packing things away he did not seem to understand that we were going to have to start letting go of this little home, this little town, and our life we had built there. Funny, he has complained no stop for 25 years about life in town, and this house, and now that it was going to be gone, he started realizing everything that had happened within these 4 walls was our life. Good and bad they make up your life. 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

Dan and I have talked for years about building a log home. This was more Dan's dream than mine, but I would love about any home that was mine, and that I had a hand in building. Years ago when we we had started looking into building a log home and had even contacted some log home companies and had even drawn up our plans. So when we started talking about building down here we immediately started talking about a log home again. Then we started talking about cost, and started hearing more and more about the amount of maintenance required. We spoke to a former Realtor and he confirmed the amount of maintenance was over whelming. We really started to ask our selves if we wanted to spend the rest our lives maintaining the exterior of this home for the rest of our lives, and the answer was no. We started looking other directions, and started looking into Morton type buildings. Done right, they were absolutely fine and would not have the maintenance. It was about this time that Dan and I saw some of my pins on Pintrest, and noticed several of the barn homes I had pinned. I made the comment that if I had to pick between a log home and a barn, the barn would win hands down. He seemed surprised by this, but I reminded him that the log home was always his dream. We started looking into some barn home websites and Dan started really gravitating toward the barn home. We ran into some friends of ours who had recently put up a cedar sided home, and they talked about the maintenance that was required for their home, and Dan was pretty much settled by then, log home and or cedar sided home was out, and metal siding was in. As we started talking to builders, we also checked with the real estate agent that had helped us, and she recommend a young builder who had experience with both pole barn framed homes and stick framed homes. We met with him in December and discussed with him what we wanted to do, and showed him our preliminary plans we had. We felt like this is the way God was directing us, and had a good amount of peace. So we were building a barn home.In January we went down and mapped out the home site. Here are some pictures from January


I can't tell you how happy Dan was to see the amount of turkey tracks we found.

Home will sit somewhere right to the right. 

Most days I can't get Dan to leave this place.
Deer Trail 1 of a few

We've talked about putting a pond in here someday
Turkey tracks by the road

and yes, more turkey tracks

Walking down to the campsite

Campsite. You can see the campsite much better in pictures during the winter. This is now all canopied in trees.

Looking over the creek. I have taken this shot many other times with the sun shining through