What a crazy 1st week!

We have been in the new house a week now and things have just been crazy! Besides the normal unpacking involved in a move, We have had all kinds of exciting fun!

We discovered that every opening in the custom hand built kitchen is either to big for the appliance it is meant for or to small.  The fridge can’t go back the last 6 inches so is sitting somewhat in the middle of the room, the dishwasher can’t be attached to the kitchen counter because the counter is 4 inches to tall, the stove has a 3 inch gap on the side between the cupboards and itself, and these are all standard sized appliances!  I also am able to literally crawl through the bottom cabinets and have to sit in them to reach the stuff in the back, and Kitty has free reign of all upper cabinets because the Open cabinet above the fridge goes through all the rest.  We found out the hard way that they wired the outlets for the fridge and the counter tops wrong and had to have someone come and redo them if a) we ever wanted to use our fridge and microwave at the same time or any counter top appliances in the actual kitchen, and b) didn’t want to risk lighting our 1890’s home on fire from the inside of the walls.

The pipes froze in all the bathrooms 3 times last week with the subzero weather we were receiving, and once they were thawed enough to give us more than a dribble we discovered the kids bath drains slightly into the dining room ( slightly means a drop a second) which just won’t do…  So now we are demoing the room out and getting ready to completely redo it 3 months ahead of schedule!

I had the gas guys come give me an estimate to run a line to the dryer and today bought an electric dryer for 1/2 what it would have cost me to run the gas line.

On the upside, we now have most of the furniture we needed, especially for the kids rooms, by repurposing, hitting our local auction house, raiding the Tall man’s parents garage, and a few internet items the kids fell in love with.  The water hydrant for the cows works perfectly, and we are all finally warm for the first time in years where-ever we are in the house ( our old house had 1 warm room, 3 sweltering ones, and 3 frigid ones – it was lot’s of fun!)

Hopefully we can get walls and closets installed soon, and then on to flooring and getting the kids bath functional again!

I have lot’s of little updates on the kids rooms and all the other little stuff that’s been going on to!  And hopefully now that the house is 95% unpacked ( well, if you don’t count my office, which is still sitting completely in boxes) I’ll have time to hop online more!!!


And yes we did have a property inspection, so I have no idea how so many things are going wrong with the house except that well, that happens.  When you buy a new house, something always goes wrong!!!




All Moved in!

On the coldest day of the year we finally got to do what we had been waiting to do for months!  Move in to our new house!  Yay!  The Lumberjack got to see the new digs, the movers made 2 trips and the cows didn’t get moved till after dark in -9 degrees, but everything is now here and ready to be un-boxed and put away in it’s new home.

The list of things I need to do just keeps growing!  The list on unpacking and settling in, as well as the list of repairs and upgrades.  I have already done a little sprucing in the main bath, and can’t wait to show you pictures, unfortunately I don’t have the time for that right now as I”ve got to get back to unpacking, but I will show you soon!

I can’t wait for all the excitement ahead now that we are finally, finally in a new home for the the Handful!

Girls Rooms

My 3 girls #2, #4, and #5 all currently share the same room.  It is a tiny l shaped thing, but it does have a closet which is rare in an old farmhouse.   The problem in that room is that their is no way to fit 3 twin sized beds ( even bunks) in the room  because of the placement of the slanted/angled ceilings,  the window, closet and door.  So 2 of the girls ( ages 3 and 6) are still sleeping on crib mattresses.  Their also is no room for dressers so those are in the upstairs hall which means little girl clothes are everywhere.

When we first discussed moving all the kids and I agreed that #2 and #5 should share a room still because #2 is her little mommy and takes care of #5 when they go to their fathers.  but what was almost 2 years ago when the little one was 1 and #2 was 7, now as a big 9 year old she wants her own room.      At the new home I could give everyone their own room,but then I wouldn’t have an office ( and I work from home) and 1 child would not be near anyone else, so 2 of them will have to share, and I’ve decided it will be the littlest 2, yes I could add a wall and make 2 smaller rooms, or put up a wall and turn the open loft toyroom into a proper room, but that did not seem like the best option to me either ( especially since one of the rooms is HUGE!)  so that’s how it’s going to be.


She currently has a twin mattress and a gold leaf topped dresser.

This little girl asked for a fairy bedroom,   and pink.  I was a bit worried that she would outgrow this theme very quickly and started asking questions.   She    wants everything painted pink light pink, dark pink, sparkly pink, etc. Oh yeah and a gymnastic mat for a floor ( which is not going to happen).

Somehow I ended up with a free evening when she was the only one home so the 2 of us went window shopping.  And I got a TON of new info!   She wants fairies but not Disney Tinkerbell.  She wants pink, but out of the 500 paint samples she picked up at Lowe’s in her final  pile everything was very pale very true pinks.   At Lowe’s she also picked out a pink flowered ceiling fan at first, but then conceded she would be happy with a crystal chandelier.      We then headed over to Walmart to look at the linens and fabrics.   She found a Zebra print pillow she loved (she had never even mentioned zebra before!)   and then perused the fabrics, I had her point out all the ones she liked.  I found out she likes everything pink and floral, that polka dots make her dizzy, and she loves the colors in several paisley patterns, but hates the look of paisley.  She wants breezy see through sparkly curtains, and won’t mind little pops of yellow, green and blue in the room.

So the plan.   #2 is actually going to be moved from her twin bed to a full sized bed with a wrought iron bed frame that we already have.  A closet will be added into her room, as well as a crystal chandelier, and we will be  putting in a vanity with a chair for this very girly girl, some shelves to hold her teapot collection, and a 2nd dresser with a nightstand.  The walls will be a light pink most likely with a chair rail and a darker color below, a faux window looking out into a fairy woodland scene will go up on one of the walls, and breezy pink curtains with embroidered sequin details and something mirrored somewhere in the room.



The little girls new room is HUGE!  And they will be taking in it with them, umm, nothing.  It is way past time for both of them to get off of crib mattresses and into twin beds.  and the dresser they currently share is broken and been repaired so many times I don’t think it can be repaired sufficiently again ( but I’ll try!).

The request from #4 was purple, her favorite color and little #5?  Owls she loves owls.  I will also be adding Monkeys for #4.    I have looked everywhere for owl and monkey bedding and curtains that would work.  The problem I am running into again and again is that all Owls are in forest themes with forest animals and all monkeys are in jungle themes with jungle animals which doesn’t really bother me, as long as I could find colors that coordinated or crossed over to tie the room together.  But that does not seem to exist.   I will find owls with pink and monkeys with green, or I will find owls with the colors of fall ( deep yellows, oranges and brown) and monkeys with bright summer colors ( blues and green and bright yellows) that don’t even remotely go together.   So I have come up with a solution  Vinyl wall art.  I can take 2 or 3 different scenes and peice

them together to create one that will work well for both girls.

So they will each be getting a twin bed with some kind of headboard and maybe a canopy, a huge wall mural and a dresser for each of them.

Boys rooms

When I can’t do I plan. And plan and plan.

january 008

We are all eagerly awaiting moving into our new home.  The little ones especially are all super excited about their new rooms.  My 2 boys currently share a room with an angled ceiling, no closets, and a footprint of a mere 7 feet x 9 feet (63 square feet) which is smaller than many closets!!!  I had to literally build custom furniture into the room piece by piece in order to give them a place to sleep, a place to hold their clothes and room to walk in and shut the door.  I did the best that I could, but the reality is that it is a super tight space for one child let alone 2 especially a  a tweener (#1) and a crazy rambunctious 8 year old(#3).  Not to mention that I think they have the smallest wardrobes of any boy in the county and it’s still hard to find a spot to put it all.  So we have been planning their new rooms.

This will be the first time since #2 came along that #1 will have his own space and #3 has never ever had his own space before.  They are both excited but the thing that I find amusing is that when #3 describes his new room to everyone the first thing out of his mouth is that he will have “the smallest room”.  Yeah, he’s right but the fact of the matter is that his new room, the smallest room is over twice the size of his current shared room and bigger than the master here at the farm!

I have decided to give each child a say in their rooms to a point, and based on their age.  The littlest one the least amount of say and the oldest the most.

The Plans:  ( and we all know plans change! ) Nothing, and I mean nothing will be purchased until we move in and then I fear my credit card will melt from the amount of stuff I will have to buy simply because they don’t have anything!

Both boys will be taking with them their mattresses and plastic totes with their clothes, that is all that is removable from his room.

#1’s room:

Source: r.ebay.com via Robin on Pinterest


I have decided to give him quite a bit of say in his room, and knowing him he is going to want to do a lot of it himself ( this one is a real hands on kinda guy) he would paint his own room, sew his own curtains and built furniture if I would let him!  The only thing is he is not so good at watching details and taking time and care and gets super frustrated when things don’t come out perfect so I won’t actually be allowing him to do all that.  He also has HUGE ideas and I have a tiny budget!

He will need: a desk, a chair, a bed frame, a dresser or two, and shelves and bookcases galore!  Oh, yeah and a closet

He is going for a rustic, woodsy, log cabin, camping type theme.  I have shown him how to pin things on the internet and set up a board on my pinterest for him to add things to and given him budgets for certain items.  $200 for a bed, $100 for a complete bed set (bedskirt, comforter/quilt, and pillow sham) or $60 for just a comforter/quilt.

I will be giving him certain items that have been sitting around in farm storage that I inherited for his room as well, a claw foot desk, and my father and grandfathers decoy duck collection.

He has requested hardwood floors in his room.  And has found the bed of his dreams on ebay, a rustic timber framed number. ( Okay I found it he described it to me and I found 5 options and one of them he fell in love with.

For his bedding he didn’t like anything I found, but once he started looking he picked things I never would have based on what he told me he wanted, so once he narrows that down, we can figure out wall colors ( he has asked for blue walls… but we will have to see after his bedding selections are complete).

I am thinking of putting a high shelf around the room for his decoys and some well placed floating shelves for his trophys, art pieces, and ever growing collection of books.

Because so much $$ will be going towards his dream bed and new bedding, and hardwood floors, everything else in his room will be sourced used, at auction, on the internet or from the Tall Man’s belongings that are gathering dust at his parents house.

I am hoping that this room will last him till college with minimal changes ( possibly a new bedspread at some point or change of wall decor)

#3’s room:

Source: target.com via Robin on Pinterest


This room despite his complaint’s that it is the smallest I think is going to be AWESOME!   He has already said he wants to keep his current comforter (which is only 2 years old and has been rarely used in his postage stamp room) and full of bright vibrant colors motion and movement which is just like him!  Plus he is so easy going and never gets anything new or just for him almost anything I do he would be overjoyed with.  ( I guess that’s the problem with being the younger boy in a their fathers family in which the oldest boy and 1st borns are kings, and the exact middle child 0 you aren’t a bog kid nor a little kid…)

He will need a bedframe, a dresser, a closet, and some where to read and draw.  And a closet.

He has requested carpet and his current bedding which is a vibrant sports theme.  I am thinking that  I am going to go with black wooden furniture in this room to not add any more color and paint the walls the light green  accent color from the bedding.   That will allow me to put up some great artwork or wall vinyls with out getting to busy and to keep it clean as well as childish and easy to adapt as he grows older and his tastes change.  I am assuming that this room will be needing an update in around 4 – 6 years as he outgrows his childhood and becomes a teenager.

Still at the old farmhouse

Well, we all get busy at the holidays right?  Add to that normal craziness a house full of kids off of school for 2 weeks where everything is boxed up waiting for a move that has been dragging on forever, a very busy grandmother from the other coast who has flown in and all her stuff, my insane thought that I could get all the boys stockings done before Santa came (more on that later) , and trying to figure out how to involve the Tall Man and his family in our holidays and us into them.  So when I say it’s been busy I mean it!  Oh yeah and 2 feet of snow got dumped on us too!

So since we are still here and January is my super slow month, (I basically have the month off from 1 of my jobs) I have started planning.  Planning the kids rooms, planning the master room, thinking that I need new dishes, watching youtube how to videos, an ungodly amount of HGTV fix it shows and visiting stores both online and in person just to see what they have when the time comes to get things done, since most likely by then I will be super busy again with everyday life stuff.

Why are we still at the old farmhouse?  It’s a loooooooong story, one I will be happy to fill you in once we are moved, but I just can’t before then because to many things are still up in the air and my future (home) depends on it.





Anyone know how to make a 3 year old go to sleep and not mess around for hours every night after lights out?

How NOT to make your Thanksgiving pies

The plan, to make a pumpkin and an apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, today.

step 1 – Procrastinate: Wake up intend to make pies at lunch time.  At lunch time be so busy working and keeping the peace with the handful decide to wait till the afternoon, in the afternoon decide it is to hot from cooking all day and decide to wait till the kids go to bed, play on Facebook and not actually get started on any pie sort of prep till after 8 (when all the stores closed till Friday).  Try to convince Grandma she wants to make the pies, she does not.  Sigh, and get started.

Step 2 – Hardware:  Discover that you only have 1 pie pan that is accessible and the other 4 are all packed away in a box somewhere or other…  So you can only make 1 pie, unless of course you would use a bread or cake pan to make a pie – this idea is vetoed by Grandmother repeatedly.  So decide that you will make a pumpkin pie and serve sliced cinnamon apples  as a side instead of in an apple pie for dessert.  Also decide you will make an apple pie next week for #1 who is going to wake up very disappointed to find no apple pie!

Step 3 – Filling Ingredients: Pull out the can of pumpkin pie mix and read instructions, look for the can of evaporated milk that the can says you need only to discover that you don’t have any, but you do have not 1 but 3 cans of condensed milk.  Consult the internet, no they are not  the same and can not be substituted for one another.  Consult the internet and look for evaporated milk substitutions find buttermilk (which will give finished pie a tangy flavor), half and half (for a rich pie) and all sorts of options using other items you don’t have – powdered milk, soy milk, almond milk, decide to just mix whipping cream and milk and see how it goes.  Realize you have no idea where the mixing bowls are and use a cooking pot instead.

Step 4 – Pie crust recipe: Remember that all the cook books are packed.  Also remember that Tall Man is picky with pie crusts and the only one you have ever made that he truly liked was your great-grandmothers recipe. Ask Grandma for the recipe – shocker she did not bring a copy of it cross-country with her for her visit.  Search email for recipe, finally find it under pie dough (really Grandma?  Dough?  Not crust?).  

Step 5 – Pie crust assembly:  I have all the ingredients, woo hoo!  While opening the can of shorting Tall Man rubs some of it on your nose,  go to retaliate and get scolded by Grandma for bothering him when he’s not feeling well…  Again use a pot to mix the “dough” in.  Realize the pastry cutter is also packed and grab a fork.  Pull out the cutting board to roll out the crust and realize you also have no rolling pin and grab a McDonalds  Shrek drinking glass for the job.  It looks a mess, but it will have to do!!!

Step 6 – Baking: Put the misshapen pie crust in the lone pie pan, dump the filling on the crust – making sure to splash it all down your shirt in the process, and throw it in the oven praying that in 55 minutes you will have a pumpkin pie that looks good enough to eat and tastes good to boot!  (at least you know that the pie crust passes Tall Mans taste test!)

Great Grandmothers pie crust recipe


On the bright side..

Well this has been a really horrible week, I was supposed to close on the farm on Tuesday and got a call as I was walking out the door that my loan for the new place wasn’t going to close on time – or at all…

I took my car into the shop from the Halloween deer indecent and was told it was a very good chance that it would be totalled out and I wouldn’t get it back…

I spent 8 hours driving what should have been 2…

And everything is a HUGE mess…

The whole house was packed I have no idea when or if the lender will fund my loan, and how I am going to come up with the cash for a new car and a new house at the same time!

But on the bright side the grown isn’t covered with snow yet, I get to drive a brand new 2013 this weekend while we await the fate of the car and my Mom will be here Monday morning for the thanksgiving holidays!


Always looking for the positive in life, yep that’s me!