Welcome to the World Little One!

Yesterday was a very special day for my niece.  Yesterday she became a big sister and she couldn’t have been more excited!

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Our nephew was born 20 inches long and weighed in at 7 lbs, 7.7oz.  To say we have fallen in love with him is a huge understatement.  The first day we went to visit him, he was just a few hours and very “grunty”.  My mom likened it to a squeaky rocker.  

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We are so in love with our newest addition.  

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ImageWhat have you been “shakin'” up to lately?  🙂

Burning the Home Fires; LITERALLY

On Monday, many people saw a post Adam wrote about a grass fire at our house.  Ruth, you wanted my side of the story?   This one’s for you!  🙂

Having looked at Monday’s forecast over the weekend, both Adam and I decided that Monday would be the perfect day to burn the prairie grass by the road.  We also thought it would be good to burn the pampas grass and our burn pile while we were lighting matches.  It had been a few years since this area had been burned:

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The wind was perfect, the temp was great, and the burn was under control.

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 We were left with a nice, clean burn.  Great.  Wonderful.

While we were burning the front, our burn pile by our chicken coop was smoldering.  After we were happy with how the front patch of grass burned, we went back to our small burn pile and pampas grass to check on how it was doing.  This is what we saw:

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Again, great.  Nothing to worry about.

Being the generous people we are, we headed down to my in-laws south pasture to see if they needed help burning.  Once we arrived, we found my father and brother -in law overseeing their fire.  Everything was in control and they didn’t really need another eye.  What was needed was for an aunt and uncle to pick up a cute nephew from daycare before it closed.  Adam and I headed back into town, picked up the little cutie and came back to the farm.  Normally, we would drive by our house to go to my in-laws, but instead we just headed south out of town, going no where near our house.  Adam dropped me and our nephew off at the farm house, while he went back to the south pasture to drop off a sprayer.  My mother-in-law and I played with our nephew for a bit.  After a while I decided it was time for me to head home.  Wanting to enjoy the wonderful evening, I decided to walk home.  I had plenty of daylight and, while I had a few school things to do, I wasn’t in that big of a hurry to get a few things done.

As I was getting closer to our house I noticed there appeared to be a truck parked on the road in front of our house.  While I was alarmed, I didn’t think too much of it.  We live in a pretty rural part of town and trucks are common.  Really common.  What did get my attention and my heart racing was when I saw another truck pull around the front of the other truck  parked on the road.  This truck had lights.  Not just headlights, but emergency lights.  And they were on.

“What the &$%?” , I thought.  At this point I was pretty sure what type of trucks these were.  Five years ago (almost to the day), we had a grass fire that got away from us and we ended up having our local fire department come out.  That in itself is another story.

I walked a little faster, my eyes peeled to the road ahead of me to see if I could find out anymore answers.  Was the truck really in front of our house or did it just look like it was?  Maybe they’re parked in front of our house and they’re really there for one of our neighbors?

It felt like forever until I could get to our house.

Just as I was walking across the bridge, I could see the trucks leaving.

When I walked up to our house, this is what I saw:

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Our initial burn didn’t come out this far.  This burn was a lot closer to our south tree row.  WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?!  (ok, ok, that’s not exactly what I said, but I think you get the point…)Then as I walked further up the hill, I saw a lot more of the damage.

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This is the view from our front door.

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See how close it got to our cedar tree?  If the flames were any higher, I’m sure it would not have been a good thing.

 We later learned that our neighbors (our dear, dear neighbors) came over once they saw the flames.  They tried to stamp out the flames and were even seen using sticks to try to put out the fire.  As soon as they realized they wouldn’t be able to do it themselves, they had called the fire department.  We are so unbelievably thankful for our neighbors.

We are so INCREDIBLY thankful nothing was damaged besides our crappy Bermuda grass.  INCREDIBLY thankful.  We spent the rest of the night going of the “what ifs” in our minds.  But really, I’m not sure there was much we could have done to prevent it.  What we figured happened was that an ember from the burn pile reignited and a bit of wind carried it across the yard.  So, even if we would have been home, we more than likely would have been inside unaware of the new spark.

All I have to say is, we were very fortunate.  Are very fortunate.

Hanging Memories

A few years ago Adam and I were given a very special gift from a family friend.  

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This was a quilt made by his family when he was little.  Maybe it’s because I know I will never be able to make something of this caliber, but I really admire the work that has gone into this piece.  It’s amazing to me to think that someone had enough patience to complete a piece of art like this.  So when it came time to hang the quilt in our spare room, I wanted to make sure it was place where everyone could see it.  The only problem was there was no quilt hanger to use.  

I was hoping I would get a quilt hanger as gift for Christmas.  But Christmas came and went and while I received some really neat gifts, there was no quilt hanger.  Then I looked around for a few months in craft stores thinking they might have a quilt hanger…nope.  Nothing.  Then a few weeks ago I was in our utility room putting a few things away and came across these:

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The two pieces come from a towel rod set I bought at discount a few years ago.  I initially thought I would use them for scarf organizing.  I didn’t share it because, well, it didn’t work.  At all.  So down it went in the utility room.  Never to be thrown away.  But when I came across them a few weeks ago I thought I would give them another life.  Towel rod turned quilt hanger.  Boom.  First world problems solved.  

I did a “dry” hang of the quilt to see where I wanted to place it on the wall.  

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I knew it would probably look best if it was centered on the wall and would probably look best if it the quilt was high enough to not touch the paneling.  That meant the quilt hanger needed to be hung fairly high on the wall and I needed to enlist the help of my non-vertically challenged partner.  

It was a good thing I enlisted his help due to other reasons one being his hand strength.  I’ll get to that one here in a bit.  Before we could hang it, I laid the quilt out to see how wide it would be.  The towel rod that originally came with the kit wasn’t near the length I needed.  So I headed to our local lumber yard to pick a dowel rod that I thought was the same width.  Folks, there are many reasons why I was (and still am!) attracted to my husband.  First there are his eyes and personality, his caring disposition.  But in this case, it’s his hand strength.  You see, the dowel rod was a bit wider than the original rod.  Which meant I either sand it down a bit or it needed to be pushed into the holders.  

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On a side note, I did prime and repaint the holders.  The “HEY I’M RED!” red wasn’t going to do it for me.  

So, Adam did what any caring guy would do.  He impressed his wife by pushing the dowel rod into the holders with nothing but his hands and a bit of help from a rubber mallet.  

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Attractive, no? 😉

Once the rod was in, it was time to attach it to the wall.  Adam went out on a limb and chose some heavy duty nails for the project.

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Our plan is to have the quilt hanging there for a while.  We don’t want it going anywhere…

A few hits of the hammer and then measuring and leveling, the quilt was hung.

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One of our favorite views is from the living room:

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Thank you, dear friend, for sharing such invaluable gift with our family.  

Keepin’ the Home Fires Lit

When we stepped into our house the first time, I knew this was our home because of the room downstairs.  I fell in love.  With the room, that is.  I was already in love with someone else. 😉  It was large and I could envision us creating it into a room that we would share with family.  

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As you can tell, this room needed lots of love.  And it still does.  Even though we’re closer to making this room the family room of our dreams, there are still have a few things to do to accomplish this goal.  

But a few weeks ago, we were able to put a few finishing touches of the fireplace to make it what we have been envisioning.  A few years ago, I painted the brick white to give it a new look.  There was no way I wanted to take the time stripping the paint off of the brick.  Oh, you thought the bricks were that bright red?  I thought so to until I got closer and saw the bricks were painted.  And what I thought was really clean mortar was in fact painted white lines.  Once I painted the brick, it sat like this for 2 1/2 years.

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Better, but not only could the fireplace use a bit of ‘styling’, it just needed a bit more love.  I had pinned a few fireplaces inspiration on Pintrest that had horizontal paneling.  The look was really neat, but knowing our paneling wasn’t that bad, I didn’t really want to add extra cost to the project.  We had the primer, paint, and the brushes.  All we needed was the time.

After our spring parent/teacher conferences, I went downstairs and cleared off the mantel and hearth.  When Adam got home from his conferences, he put a coat of primer on before we went to bed.  The next morning the fireplace was ready for another coat of primer before we could put the paint on.

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For someone who hates painting, Adam was a great help.

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So after two coats of primer and two coats of paint, we have a better looking fireplace.

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Before I say the fire place is done, I still have a little list to accomplish:

*add trim around the top and bottom of the fireplace

*clean out the fireplace.  Right now it’s pretty sooty.  

*take out the candle holders and replace it with the log holder (the log holder is currently outside being covered in snow)

*style the mantel

*do something with the conduit.  

So family and friends, hopefully this time next year we’ll be spending time in this room.  Keepin’ those home fires lit!