Friday, July 26, 2013

Remolding 101

We have done a lot of remolding over the years both on our own and by hiring someone so I though I would start offering some advice if you are looking to do some yourself.

So we have decided to do some remolding on our new place to make it fit our family better and make some improvements.

So how do we start all this....
1. Figure out what you need to do?
      To do this find the major problems in your house.  Do you have draft windows that are letting cold or warm air in around them?  Do you have any insulation in the walls or attic?  How do the pipes look?  Is there corrosion around them? How is your roof and siding?

These are some areas that should be address first. These are areas that will give the structure of your house the security and support that will allow you to make the cosmetic improvements that you want to make in the future.

2. Figure out what you want to do?
      How can you improve this house and make it your own?  Does the flooring need to be change?  Is the carpet or flooring bad?  Do the rooms need to be remodeled or repainted?  What else do you want to change?  Is there walls you want to remove or add? Is the kitchen or bathroom how you want it?

The second ones are all decisions that can be made to make your house your home.  Once you have the bones of your house secure you can change it and make cosmetic improvements.  This is when you get to play.

3. Once you have figured out what needs and what you want to do it's time to either figure out if you can do it yourself or if you need to hire someone to do it.

4. If you are going to hire someone to do it, it is best to find some people to interview and give you bids on the work that you want done.  When we have someone do work for us we usually get at least 3 different bids so we have a general idea of how much it will cost and what we can do for what price.  Usually we ask friends that have had work done and been happy with it to suggest someone.  Another good way to find someone to do the work for you is to stop by a lumberyard or hardware store and get some suggestions from them.  If they are a good one they will only suggest people that will do a good job and that they would personally use.

A new house and a plan to make it a home.

Now that we have a new house it's my job to make it our home.  I hope that this is something that I am able to do.  I also want to make a this home a nice organized place where things get put back where they belong.
We hope to be moved in soon before school starts.  But because of this I want to try to get my girls room done as much as possible. I think it would be the best thing for them to help them feel secure.  I'm not sure if this is going to be possible however.  We are planning on doing some remolding and I was hoping it was going to be done at least in their room before we got in.  But now it doesn't look like that is going to happen.  It looks like the remolding is going to be starting shortly after we get in.  At least I hope most of it can get done as soon as possible.

Thanks to Pinterest I hope to be able to get this house organized.  This site is a great place to get some really good ideas of organizing ideas that have worked for other people and that can be adapted to work for your family.

Since we hope to start our remolding upstairs first I hope to start my organizing in the kitchen.  This is a great place to start since it's one of the most used rooms in the house.  I hope to set up a launch pad for the family just inside of our door.  This will be a place where all the stuff that comes and goes with us everyday can be held.  A place for everything and everything in it's place right?  Well we'll see.  I'm going to try to take what we have and adapt it to our family.  I'll keep you up to date on how it looks and what is working and not working for us.

So now I ask you...where is your launch pad and how do you keep it organized so you don't lose the daily essentials for each day? Also please feel free to share your best organizing ideas for your kitchen.  As I get the kitchen done I will share what I have done.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A new home

Well on Friday we finally closed on our new house. Unfortunately we have not sold our current house yet. But we have had one showing a week since we released the past offer we had. So hopefully we will have a buyer sooner than later.
So now we need to decided when we are permanently going to move into our new place. Currently we are splitting our time between both houses. I laughingly like to say that I now have a summer home and a winter house. The funny part is our new house is only about 10 miles south west from our current house.
Another decision that we need to decide is if we are going to do any remodeling before we permanently move in. The house is live able but could definitely use some updates. It would be wonderful if we were able to do at least some of the fix ups before we were they full-time. If we are able to do any remodeling my plan would be to start in what will be our girls rooms. I would love to be able to get their new rooms done so that they can settle into their new rooms as soon as possible.
Wish us luck and I will keep you updated as we continue on this journey set before us.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Boot planters.

I love to garden and our potential move has put a damper on my gardening. So I decided to do some planting to spruce up our deck. We had some old boots laying in the woodshed so I decided to take advantage of them and put them to good use. I looked up how to make boots planters and used as a reference point.

To start you need a pair or two or three of old boots.
Old boots from woodshed.
 Next you need to remove the insoles from the boots. After the insoles have been removed you need to take a drill and drill through the soles of the boots to make drain holes. Once that is done start adding dirt to the boots. Make sure you get it all the way down into the toe of the boots.

Adding soil into boot.
Once you have the boot mostly filled insert plant to check the height of the plant in the boot. Water the dirt to help it settle. Check the depth again and place plant in boot. Fill dirt around your plant.  And your boot is done repeat with the other boot.

Below you can see the three pairs of boots that I have made. I added my favorite flowers New Guinea Impatients.
Cowboy boots
Short work boots
Tall work boots

House drama, the good,bad and ugly.

So as you all know we have had our house on the market since about September of 2012, in October we accepted an offer. Well we kept our house on the market and had a few more showings but never received another offer as we hoped we would.
In April we heard from our buyers that they had accepted an offer on their house, so we got pretty excited and started the wheels moving on our end with our new house. We had a contract with them to close on June 28th but they were confident that it would happen sooner as in the end of May.
Well as we made it into the middle of May without hearing from them we knew the end of May was no longer going to happen. So we started packing for the end of June and so did they.  At the beginning of June we started to push to see what this were at. Only to find out that their buyer's bank screwed up and never scheduled an assessment. So they pushed and rushed one done. All this while we both were still planning on closing at the end of June. On June 6th we received some bad news.Their assessment had come in under the asking price and the owners dropped the price 3 grand under the assessed value only to have their buyer's pull out of the deal.
So this left us in a tight spot what we're we going to do? And what we're they going to do? We had them check into a bridge loan or other financing but they were unable to secure anything. Because we have held this contract for almost 9 months and could no longer afford to keep it we told them that the contract will express at the end of the month.
We did give them the option of extending the contract till the end of July with no contingencies. They did not accept it.
So now we on still on the market without any offers. So if anyone you know is interested in a six acres hobby farm north of Milwaukee, Wi let me know.
Now the time comes for us to decide what we are going to do about our new house. Do we purchase it and pay that this house sells sooner than later or do we pass on this huge opportunity? Another option would be to rent this house out month by month till it sells. Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sorry for the Long Break.

Sorry for the long break but let me explain why I have been away and not posted in  while.

So here goes at the beginning of April we heard from the people that they finally had an accepted offer on their house. So that got the ball rolling on the sale of our house. We still are not sure on our closing date, it could be as early as the end of May or as late as the end of June. They also asked if we would let them rent our current house two weeks before the closing date so they can paint. We decided that we would consider it once we had a closing date. I am not real interested in renting our house out but we will see.

Well that was at the end of April. At the middle of May we called our realtor to see what was going on since we hadn't heard from our buyers. They were in the process of getting a loan commitment. Well we finally got that from them only to find out that their buyer's bank screwed up and didn't get an appraisal ordered. So they put a rush on an appraisal and had one done the end of last week and were still pushing for closing at the end of June.

We received a note from our realtor yesterday saying that the appraisal was at the bank and we should hear back yesterday. So we called today only to find out that their appraisal came back a little lower than the offer price so our buyers dropped their price lower than the appraisal and then some. Unfortunately their buyer's decided to walk away.

So now we are waiting till the end of the week to see what our buyers are going to do. They can either get a bridge loan or carry two mortgages till theirs sells. We have already told them that we are not going to extend the contract that we have had with them since October.

Once we hear from them we will have to figure out what we are going to do. It is so frustrating because we could have moved into our new house anytime since August. Since things were moving forward we have really started packing and moved more stuff over. This coming weekend we had planned on moving our hay, tractors, farm stuff and large swing set. Now we once again are in holding.

So please send out a prayer to have this all move in the right direction! I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason but this one is hard to deal with at the moment.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Welcome to spring in WI!

We had a beautiful warm spring weekend here this past weekend it was up into the upper 50's and then there was tonight. I was putting my girls to bed and heard a loud rushing sound, So I ran to the window and peeked out to see a windy blowing snowstorm. What! It didn't last long and didn't drop much other than  temperature. But it did confirm that I am ready for spring. I even saw our first crocus  this afternoon. Someday Spring will come. I well post soon about our St. Patrick's day and Easter fun.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Toy control!

So this is the chaos that my kids have created in my living room. They have this little corner of our living room but it seems to be growing and trying to take over.

So I knew it was time to do something otherwise my children would take over and my living room would be lost in the jumble of toys.  I decided to take action and foil their planned take over. (Insert evil laughter hahaha)

Now to address what to do...I had been considering getting a unit you can put the canvas bins into them. My dilemma comes from whether or not to do all this organizing and redecorating because of having our house on the market. Finally  decided to go ahead and do it. So off I went to buy a new unit. I found one I liked and for a reasonable price at Target. (I love Target by the way.)

So after a couple nights of clearing and reorganizing and getting rid of some stuff here are the final results. What do you think? I will say I am happy with the way it turned out and the kids are doing a good job of keeping it up even have more room to play. :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mother daughter date.

Last Saturday my oldest daughter and I had a morning date. We started out our date out at Home Depot. Why Home Depot you ask, well the first Saturday of every month they offer a Kid's workshop. At these workshops kids get to build a given project for free. They are given a Home Depot smock, a project kit, and a pin for their smock. There are long tables set up with all the tools, safety glasses and paints the kids may need to do their project. This is a great way for the kids to learn building skills. They learn to use hammers, screwdrivers and other tools that are needed to make the projects. These skills are skills that the kids can use later in life when they have their own homes.

So the project this last week was to build a race car. We had to glue pieces together, then nail then together, put the wheels on and then decorate the outside of the car with decals. Our car turned out great and my daughter had a lots of fun. She loves getting the pin at the end and the feeling of being able to have something that she made herself.  I would highly recommend it to any other family.

The second part of our date was to go to Marcus theater's Kid's Dream film series. They offer a movie on Saturday or Sunday morning for a great price. So off we went to the movies. The movie last week was Hotel Transylvania. It was a lot of fun and we both enjoyed the movie and the time we spent together.

Why do I think this was such a fun and great day with my oldest? Because this gave us some time to spend together just her and me apart from the rest of the family. It also shows her that she is important to me and I love . It also gives her quality time with me away from her little sister.

So my advice to all is to take special time with each of your children alone. Show then how much they mean to you.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A whole new Wardrobe!

This weekend I undertook the task of changing out my youngest clothes. It is one of those projects that can take all day especially if you have kids "helping" you. Granted these clothes are mostly hand me downs but they are still new to my girls.

This got me thinking when was the last time you got a whole new wardrobe?  My girls don't know how lucky they are. I wish that I was able to get a whole new dresser and closet full of new clothes every few months to every year.  About the closest I have ever come to getting a new wardrobe was when I was pregnant. Even then it was more of a necessary because I could not fit into my old clothes. Even then these clothes I only got to wear for a few months.

So I think its time for one Mama to go shopping and buy a new outfit! I will do this to celebrate the life that I lead and celebrate bringing two beautiful girls into this crazy world. They are one of the highlights and definitely part of my chaos. I also am going to do this to celebrate myself and make myself feel good.  I will let you when and what  I find for my new outfit. If you would like to join me let me know what you get.

Embrace life and love and celebrate yourself.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Family fun in the woods.

This afternoon we spent a wonderful family afternoon in the woods.  We finished our errands this morning and headed out for a wonderful dinner to fulfill mom's steak craving. It was delicious and my craving was fulfilled.

After lunch we headed over to our friend's farm to head out into the woods with the 4-wheelers.  It was a great day  to go for a ride. This week we received a couple inches of snow but not enough to make it difficult to go for a ride. My oldest and husband headed off on one, while my youngest and I followed on the other one. We started out ride heading down to the dog, the calves and then by the cows. Both girls love to see the animals, so we had to make a pass by them. Then off to the woods we headed.

The woods for me is a bit of a retreat. It is a place that I feel recharges me and a place that can calm and recenter me. It always has been and it has been a long time since I've had a recharge.

We rode all over the different parts of our friends land over fields, creeks and woods.  It was a beautiful day, not too windy or cold and cloudy enough that we weren't blinded by the sun. We saw a couple of birds and lots of other animal tracks but no other animals.  My youngest was really enjoying the ride. She is little enough  that when she ride in front of me she rests her feet on my calves. She was so happy and excited that she kept bouncing during the ride. I will definitely be looking to see if I have bruises in the morning.

It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon enjoying the great outdoors as a family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A year later and a stronger love.

A year ago tonight I was sitting in the ER with my husband who had been thrown off one of our horses. A friend of ours wanted to go for a horseback ride for her birthday. My husband put her and her husband on calm old horse with COPD. He is a gentle boy and was good for them. My husband got on our other horse who is a bit of a handful. He has a history of being trained as a cutter horse, a barrel racer and was roughed up at a place where he was previously boarded. He has made great improvements living with us but he is definitely a handful and can spook easily.  So all in all it was a bad idea.  That said I will move on.

Thankfully our friends husband is an EMT and recognized that my husband showed signs of a concussion. So our friends proceeded to head to the hospital with him. I called my mother in law to let her know what happened, so she came up with my niece to watch our kids while I went to the ER.

I sat there for hours with my husband who couldn't remember what we told him 5 minutes ago. He knew that our daughter had been born but couldn't remember when. He literally, until about 2 o'clock in the morning, asked me the same 5 questions  over and over again. I could hear and almost see the wheels in his head working trying to fill in the missing gaps. I could see how it bothered him and how he couldn't rest until he figured it out.

In the end everything was okay, my husband is back to normal other than missing 8 hours from that day.  But that day reminded me how much I Love him and how thankful I am the family and life we have together.

Always take time to tell the ones you love that you love them because you never know what could happen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Valentine's

Here is a little Valentine's love from my oldest daughter. We made celery roses to send to our family for Valentine's Day. They are very easy to make.

1. Cut the celery stalks off close to the base.

2.  Then simply dip the cut end of the base into paint and stamp it on a piece of paper.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winter wonderland in Wisconsin

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin. The week before last we we're enjoying a nice January thaw and then this last Thursday we enjoyed a snowstorm that dumped about 6inches of wet heavy snow on us.  Once again welcome to Wisconsin, if you don't like the weather wait a little while and it will change.

Since we received a decent amount of snow and actually had a free weekend we decided make a trip to the local sledding hill with a friend who my oldest daughter adores. It was alot of fun but hopefully my youngest isn't old enough to remember it or she probably won't be going sledding again. 
On her first trip down the hill she fell off the tube she was on and went into the snow.  A loud cry was heard. 

A little while later, after she had calmed down, she and I decided to go down together on one of our other sleds. By some force of nature the wet heavy snow that we had gotten on Thursday had changed to light fluffy snow. On our trip down the hill, we managed to get off the paths from previous sleds and ended up looking like two snow men. We were enveloped in a cloud of snow as we sped down the  hill. My little girl got experience her first white wash at the hands of her mama and Mother Nature. When we got to the bottom of the run, I dug out my screaming crying little girl from the pile of snow that surrounded her and my legs. She was covered literally from head to toe in snow. 

Needless  to say that was her last trip for the day. The rest of us enjoyed a few more runs down the hill. Tell me why is it so much fun to fly down the hill but the walk back up seems so much harder and longer as an adult?  It must be the extra baggage of taking kids and a sled back up hill with you. After a wonderful morning of sledding we headed back home to warm up in front of the woodstove with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Below are a few pictures of the farm after the snow storm and the morning before we left for sledding. Enjoy.

A kitty trying to watch us inside.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Resolutions or Goals for 2013

When 2013 started I decided to try set up some goals for myself this year. So I thought I would share you.

1. This year I am going to try to run a more organized and clean house. I know this sounds like a lot but I am getting a like help from and by a close friend.  She is going to try to do the same thing and we are going to each other as our support and motivator. I will motivate her and keep on track and she will do the same to me. Along with it I hope to working organizing all the stuff we have and come up with a way contain all kids toys. Any suggestions are welcome!

2.This one is kind of a continuation of first is to do a better job of planning meals for my family each week. This will have two fold will help to eliminate the question and hurried planning of what is for supper each night, as the kids are whining about food. It well also help to save money by having meals planned out based on the sales and food we have on hand.

3. I wanted to start a blog. This is something that I have been thinking for a while but was hesitant to do for some reason. But I achieved this goal now it's time too keep it up, gain readers and get followers.

4. I want to work on improving my relationship with my husband. Our relationship good and we have a strong marriage but every marriage can always use some improvement. I hope to be able to spend more quality time with my husband and work on learning to appreciate him more than being irrated by the little things that bother me.  Life and love is a work in progress, always growing and changing and growing stronger.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The joy of Selling a House & Moving

So at the end of October we put our house on the market. This was not something that we really had planned on doing this last year but we had an opportunity arise that we couldn't pass up. We currently are living in a story and a half farmhouse on a six acres hobby farm. The opportunity that we were presented with was to move to a two story farmhouse on 20 acres out of a 75 acre farm. Since the owner of the other 55 acres when our 20 is taken out, is a friend of ours that my husband farms for, it will feel like we own the whole 75. It is a beautiful property that contains a woods and has river frontage on the north side of the property.

So because of all this we are currently on the market. Then shortly after we put our house on the market we received an offer that we accepted.  So we have an accepted offer but I am not necessarily excited about it. The hitch is... the offer is contingent on the sale of their house.  Their house has been on the market since March. Because of this we have continued to have our house on the market. We went for two months with not a single person coming through the house and then we took off. In the last month and a half we have had a showing about once a week. So that is good that we have had interest but no offer so far.

So here we sit in a holding pattern and let me tell you with two kids under the age of 5, keeping the house clean and ready to show at anytime can be a challenge. Also being in this holding pattern brings up another problem in my life. This problem is called to pack our not to pack! When we first put the house on the market I packed up a bunch of stuff and we took it over to the new house to store. But since then I don't know whether I should be packing our not.  Part of me feels like I should be packing some but what do I do with it? Do I just push it up against the wall and still show the house with boxes all over, or do we move it to the new house? The problem with moving it to the new house is 1. what about if we can't move to the new house, then we would have to move it all back, 2. once we are in the new house we are planning to do a bunch of remodeling and 3. why is it when I do pack stuff up and move it to the new house that is when I seem to need it. How crazy is that?

So here we sit with people coming through our house off and on and me trying to keep up with everything and keep the house presentable.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Christmas Stocking for Momma

Some where in reading on the web I came across an interesting article or blog was all about how Mom's take the time to make sure that everyone has stuff under the tree and in their stocking for Christmas and how moms tend to end up with nothing in there stocking.  The article told about how two moms who were friends decided that it was unfair and decided that they would switch stocking so that they would not go empty.

Well this year my best friend and I decided to do the same.  So we set a dollar limit and got things together to send to each other.  It was pretty fun finding things that I thought she would like for Christmas.  She is a very sparkly girly girly as I like to call her.  So it was fun to see what creative things I could find for her.  I know her since I was in college so I found some stuff that totally was fitting for her.

As for me below you can see a picture of the gift I received from her.  It included a stocking (handmade  I think), a package of homemade Hot Cocoa, a notebook with a sparkly high heeled shoe on it, a 365 Crock Pot calendar, berry body-spray  a light-up snowman ornament, a travel pack of tissues, and hand & face mini wet wipes, a set of gel pens, a miniature champagne glass with mini beads in it, a party cracker and a snugly pair of socks.   I tried the cocoa the night I received the package and it was delicious    I look forward to using the rest including the snugly socks and the crock pot recipes.

It was a wonderful gift and I look forward to making this a new tradition between us.  I hope she agrees!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Loss of a loved one!

It's hard to explain the loss that I'm feeling right now.  On December 22nd we lost a member of our family.  He was going to be 13 years old in March, and had been a member of our family for the last 10 years.  It was our beloved Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab mix named Norman.  

Norman was a special dog.  We got him when we moved into his house in 2001.  We bought the house that he lived in. Since the family who we bought the house from couldn't take him with them, they had found a home for him but seemed unsure about having him stay with them.  He had taken to us when toured the house, so we offered to taken him.  They accepted and Norman became a member of our family.  So we jokingly like to say that we bought a dog and got a hobby farm for free!

When we moved to our home I was working second shift while my husband was working first shift.  So Norman and I got to spend a lot of time together making our house a home.  He was my first kid.  We spent a lot of time together while I worked second shift for 6 years.  I think I probably spent more time with him than I did with my husband.  He was my constant companion and he was mama's boy.

After 6 years life changed and Norman took a small step down in priority when my 1st daughter was born.  He held an important place in my heart and he gained another person to love him and play with him.  He is one of the reason my daughter can throw a ball so well.  He was a double bred retriever as I liked to call him, so he was all about playing fetch or blue ball (fetch with his racquetballs) .  

A few years later he would once again have another girl to love him.  Unfortunately, my youngest daughter only got to enjoy him for a little over the first year of her life.  I doubt she will remember much about him but I notice her once in a while looking around for him.

Having to put Norman down was pretty sudden.  I knew that he was getting older and we could tell that the arthritis in his hips was getting worse but we never expected to have to put him down when we did.  We headed to my parents for Christmas and took him along since they were going to watch him while we went to visit some other family for Christmas.  When we got to my parents he couldn't get out of the car.  We thought that maybe his legs had fallen asleep so we lifted him out of the car.  But once we got him out he couldn't walk and my husband felt his legs and discovered that the muscles in his legs were atrophied and the nerves weren't working correctly.  He couldn't walk more than a few steps and those steps you could tell were very painful for him, so it was best that we put him down.  We called my parents old vet and schedule an appointment that day to put him down.  

It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do so far in my life.  I loved him so much but I know he is in a better place and no longer in pain.  He was a wonderful dog and I have wonderful memories of him.  This week has been hard for husband had a work trip and so I was home alone with my girls and without my wonderful Norman to keep me company and snuggle with me.  This week I also received the clay paw print that the vet made when they put him down.  I plan to make a shadow box to display some of the fond memories of my beloved boy. 

My Beloved Norman on his last day with us.

So I'll leave you tonight with this quote from Will Rogers:
"If dogs don't go to Heaven, I want to go where they went."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Welcome to my blog.  I'm a full time working mom with two beautiful girls. My oldest is in 4K and my youngest is just over a year old. They keep me on my toes everyday and wear me out.  My question of the day... why do kids have so much energy and why don't moms have the same energy level as they do?

Apart from the kids I live on a Hobby farm.  We have 2 horses, 2 pygmy goats, 2 male geese, a bunch of barn cats and a half dozen chickens.  I enjoy having the animals around and interacting with them.  I am not a farm girl or a show horseman.  I'm a simple country girls that enjoys living in the country and having animals.  

I also enjoy gardening (well not the weed pulling so much) and have made several flowerbeds and enjoy the beautiful flowers and produce .  I also enjoy photography, scrapbooking,  and crafting with the kids.  I  am a person that enjoys cooking when I don't have to.  When it comes to cooking everyday while the kids are whining that they are starving, I would rather have someone else do it for me.  But alas I still am the main cook, maid, doctor, disciplinarian and entertainment in my house.  The life of a Mom!

I hope to use this blog as a place to share advice, be creative, share ideas, and just have fun.  I will share a little piece of my world.  So come on in and  Enjoy!