Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 11-26

So November has been cold. We were able to sneak a few days in above freezing during the day, and rarely at night. About a week ago they finished putting the siding up on the outside. We are now waiting for garage doors, three windows in the basement that came in wrong. (We've been waiting for about 3 weeks on those) septic, and drywall. When I left home this day before Thanksgiving this morning our drywall crew had showed up finally. Dan has been working for the past few days to install our fireplace, and we got more snow. We are both getting just a little weary of delays. 

 The morning after they completed the front of our house, the sun was just coming up and I snapped this picture. I then grew just a little concerned at how bright the red was. You will see by the pictures below that it's not quite as bright, and I love it. the end is in sight of camper living, but a few very big steps need to happen, so continued prayers are requested.

 For these shots of the house, I actually walked around the entire house to capture several different views.

The fireplace looks so small in this space, but it is a beast of a fireplace. Can't wait to get a fire started, and come home to the smell of a wood burning fire. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Home Sweet Camper

We purchased our first travel trailer camper a number of years ago, when our children were still young. Some of my family already had campers and wanted us to go on adventures with them. We saw it as a way to take cheaper vacations as a family. We also knew that we would be needing to redo our only bathroom in our house and this could serve as temporary facilities.  So we took off on adventures with family. My cousin Jeff and his family, and my cousin Rhonda and her family and my brother Curt and his family. Several of our kids were around the same age, but even if they were not, they all got along wonderfully. While we were able to be out on our adventures, our kids had the freedom of enjoying their childhood, but they also were able to develop relationships with cousins that still last to this day. Their is a safety that comes from being able to develop these relationships, an unconditional love that is there. The ability to be 10-11 again when they get together. Not a care in the world and no lofty airs to put on. Just let your hair down and be yourself. I should know, I had this when I was a child. Some of my greatest memories occurred while on vacation with the family of these very same cousins. One of the first vacations we took in our travel trailer was to Colorado. We took our one 4 wheeler with us, and set off for adventure. On our travels out there we visited lots of old gold mining sites, mining museums, we set off on hikes into the wilderness. We went on a river rafting trip down the Arkansas river that runs through Colorado.
A few years later we traded in our travel trailer for a fifth wheel trailer just in time to go to Branson, and then the next year we went back to Colorado for the last time.
This was our first time down the Arkansas, and we took my nephew Travis down with us on this trip. 

This trip was taken a few years later. This year we took my cousin Jeff's son along for the ride. When we started the trip the water was quite low, and it was fairly warm. After we started down this river storm clouds started forming, then a tornado warning went off, and the temperature dropped dramatically. It started to rain, then it stared to hail. This picture was taken during the storm, Midway down we were forced to the side of the river to try to get out temporarily to seek some shelter. By the time we got back to the river and got down and all the boats were in from the trip down we were absolutely freezing. But we had fun and made great memories.

                                                                          This was taken looking over Twin Lakes in Colorado

This picture was taken at the Continental Divide in Colorado

Jake in Tin Cup 

The last time we wen to Colorado and this time Jake had his own 4 wheeler, and Dan had a trail 4 wheeler. That freed Jen and I to have the Honda. 


One day when we were driving we noticed this trail, we took the boys back with us and spent a few hours jumping the large hills 

Look out, yes this is me. 

Nuff said

Travis, Curt, Dan, Jen and Jake

Curt. Jordan, Dan and off to the side Travis

Our camper has not been used for the past couple of years. Jen and Jake had been busy working and going to school, and we have been busy working on other things. We have actually put the camper on Craigslist, praying that the right buyer would come along and love it for their family. But that did not happen, and last year it became apparent that we were probably going to need to stay in it for a while during the build, which was really fine with me, as I really do love my camper. So in June, I packed up my summer clothes and Dan's summer clothes, and we headed for my in laws front yard. Yep, that's where we were for June, July, August AND most of September. Count that folks 4 months, in about 300 square feet, just me, my hubby and our kitty. Usually in the summer I can kind of dress down a bit, but once school starts back up, I try to look a little more professional. So, I headed back to the house to get some of my more professional clothing. Then it started getting a little chilly and well, I think I might need a couple of jackets. Oh and then yes, I NEED my boots, I cannot survive fall without my boots, in brown and black and heal and no heal and yes the brown bootie's, and I might need the black booties too. Did I mention the camper is not that big?????? Colder yet, I need my pants, and maybe some gloves, and a hat. And Dan needs some colder weather gear and some additional sweatshirts. Oh yah, it's October, and now I need a whole array of camo for him plus his boots. (Mine are cuter) Warmer PJ's and a few more blankets. Oh, it's going to be below freezing? Now, I need sweaters, and coats. So, I think you get the picture. 
So, I did some figuring and then I somewhat got very cranky. In two weeks, December 4, it will be exactly 6 months I have spent in my lovely tin can on wheels. GRRRR- Not what I had anticipated. And where on past years, I would have had fall leaves and decorations galore, I have clothing, and lots of it, and holes where windows should be. No septic, Grrr. Dry wall was coming? Oh well, they are on hold for a few days. Grr, Have I mentioned that when we moved the camper down to the new place, I made a deal with Dan. One less thing for him to worry about would be to not have solid waste in the septic tanks of the camper. I think we all know what I am talking about, and although I was happy at first, as the last several months and weeks down at the property, if I heard nature's call, I would have to go use......well nature. Yuck. So to the portta potty I went, except if it was raining or in the middle of the night, then I could put toilet paper in the tank. Sure. Till, it was 24 degrees on morning.......hello!! Then 5? You know it's bad when you are excited to go to work to use their facilities.
So with the hope that I would be in soon, I went to my old stomping grounds, the southside of Des Moines to grab a few things from Menards and Home Depot, and I stopped by Hobby Lobby. I love Hobby Lobby, so many fun things to do in your.........home, which I don't have, and won't be done, till way after Christmas. AND, even if I found something I LOVED, where would I put it? I went to look at the Christmas decorations, this usually inspires me, and today it depressed me. I haven't had a home to love for quite sometime now, and everything about building makes you want to get in there and make it home, especially now, and I can't. I had hit a low, and I was getting harder and harder to live with. It was getting harder and harder to focus on what was to come, but what was not. THEN, I saw a man with his family. He was hold a sign about being out work and needing money. Now when I say family, I mean a woman holding a young child, like 1 or 2. Last Saturday was COLD, not above freezing and it was snowing, and God convicted me. I have so, so much, and here is a man begging. No, I did not stop to help them, everything me knew that he was probably just using them as a tactic to pull at heartstrings and get money. What father would actually really take their family (baby) out to sit in the snowy cold while he begs?  But God did convict me that I have so much to be thankful for. Then my friend Sarah, who was undergoing surgery this week, and so many others of you, out there, hurting. Worrying about sending your kids to school this week, and the news has so many stories about so many needs and hurts, and I was grumbling  about not being able to decorate for holidays? and for holiday's that I know the true meaning to and celebrate that with passion. So, God has convicted me, and I have tried to have a better outlook this past week. Bear with me out there folks, it's not easy right now, but God is in control, and my hands are off the wheel. 
We met with the drywall crew last night, they should be starting anytime. Time to get ready to paint. :) Could you all please pray for the septic crew? Next week, please, and three windows that seem to be lost. Pray!!! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 10-14

So we were told that on the 17th the Amish would be siding the house, the insulators would be done, the septic would be going in, and the drywall would start. I began being hopeful that possibly by the week of Thanksgiving we might be in the basement. If this was possible, I had a lot to get figured out. So, I made some appointments to look at some finishing for the basement and other areas, so that when my builder said "Go" I would be ready to paint and tile the basement bedroom and bathroom.
Friday, Jen and I went to Junk and Jingle at the Fair Grounds, and met Dan's aunt Joy. I was hoping to find some fixtures for my home, but came out with a lantern and an ash bucket. Not that I could not have bought up several things I saw, but the priority right now is the staples of my home unfortunately, as I really have no place to put items. I did catch a picture of this amazing sled at the show.

The insulators had been busy working since Wednesday. It looks so different with the insulation in. 
Dan had taken part of the week off to hunt, turns out it was one of the coldest, windiest, weeks we seen so far this fall. He was disappointed. But the Amish were also working all week on putting on our metal gray roof and starting on the wall color, so he was glad he could be there to watch that. 

View of fireplace framing from loft

My kitchen will sit under the loft

Fireplace framing

View from greatroom down the back entry hall and towards the powder room



Dan's tractor 

First glimpse of the red that will go on the barn with the gray steel roof

The cold has set in, and we are now suffering through one of the longest cold spells for a November in weather history. I must admit, I am getting a bit crabby. More on that to come.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 1-9

A few years ago I was invited to go on a bus trip to the Mall of America and IKEA in Minnesota. Since then I have gone almost every year. Pennie Graber Carroll puts the trip on each year. For the past couple of years, I have taken my daughter. This year we took one of her sister in law's, Sarah. We had a great time, but I admit, a trip to IKEA would have been better if we were a little bit further along in the build. I came a way with LOTS of ideas, but no place to put them with the build still at this stage.

Rain forest Cafe at the Mega Mall
Anxiously waiting to be let off the bus

My last picture I posted of my house was from October 31st. The Amish were back to start on our deck and porch. In just a couple of days, they added windows, and the roof to our porch. 
I must say, I am in love with my porch. 

View from my deck. 

One day, I went to leave a little early for work, and noticed the huge full moon over my house. It was a gorgeous view.

There were a lot of things that happened this week that pictures cannot capture. We had electricians, plumbers, HVAC, and our Propane company in. We also had a visit from the lady doing our kitchen, Missy. It is a flurry of people trying to just get me in the basement before the snow.