Thursday, July 10, 2014


Several of our friends have said they want to see the house.  My inclination is to say I can't do that until I get all unpacked and cleaned up.  But - when will it be done and cleaned up?  So, here it is...

This is what you see when you drive up the driveway.

We've started getting some flowers in, but again, that will take a while.

On the front porch is our porch swing. The kids and friends have had a lot of fun on the porch swing by the front door.

In the front door

And around the corner to the laundry room.  We've put coverings over the window to keep the heat out.  Those windows face east.

Then into the garage.  It's being used as a construction space and staging for the boxes coming in from our storage locker.

Back to the front door, you walk down a short hallway, past the kitchen island, and to the main living space.

For the above photo, my back is to the windows and door that go out to the front porch.  We have the trim done on those windows.  We're really happy with how it looks.

At the end of the living room on the right is the door to our bedroom.

Through our bedroom and into our closet and bathroom.

Off the other corner of the living room is Bob's Office.  This is where we are putting a lot of the stuff we haven't decided what to do with.

Continuing down the hallway on the left is my sewing room.  Again, stuff to figure out where it is to go.

On down on the left is where my quilting machine will be.  The door you see at the end enters into Charley and Jackie's upstairs and the boys' playroom and a guest room.

On the right is our guest room

And the guest bathroom

That's it for the main floor.

You go down the steps into "Bob's workshop.  They are very special steps.  Every single tradesman that came to work on the house said they love my stairs.  The rise is only 6" and the tread is 12".  It makes it possible for me to walk the steps, even with my hands full.

At the bottom of the stairs is Bob's workshop.  He has a lot of good space and it is very cool down there.

On the front of the basement is a large room where I am painting the doors.  The left door goes out to the front yard at the lower level.  The door on the right is a guest room and a bathroom.

On the back is what I plan to be a canning kitchen and mud room.  The right door goes out to the back yard (which is all dirt at this point) and the garden.  The left door goes into the kids' family room.

So, that's how it is. It doesn't look very glamorous, but it "lives" very well.  This is our bit of heaven in the Bluegrass.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Introduction to Joshua

Let me introduce you to our newest grandson, Joshua.  They arrived home from China on May 31 and Joshua had his 5th birthday on June 11.  John had to show him how to open the packages and after the first 2, he said, "No more."  He wanted to stop and play with what he had,  Jackie's cousin Kim sent these things which he LOVES.  Cars and trucks and a boat.

He also loves Thomas the Train and Friends.  Of course, Grandpa and Daddy loved the fact that they "had" to get down on the floor and set up the track.

Then on Saturday we went to the Kentucky Railway Museum where they had a Thomas and Friends event.  It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time.


 Sunday, June 15th was the VBS Program at our church.  They do things so well!

 Wilma came for a few days to help us get settled.  She also taught me to make bread.  I made a batch by myself a few days later and it turned out really well.  I made a batch again this week and it didn't go so well.  I tried to multi-task.  I didn't have the bread ready for the oven until my casserole for supper was in the oven already.  So, I moved my 2 casserole dishes to the bottom rack (we are feeding 7 people now) and put the bread on the top rack.  It didn't bake all the way through, so I had to put it back in which gave it a thick, very dark crust.  Well - I'm learning.  The picture is the first batch.

I am making good progress on my sewing room.  It is 12 x 13.  Keep in mind that I am still sorting and unpacking and don't have all my stuff yet.  Standing in the door and moving counter-clockwise -

My office space

Cutting table, which is a discarded lab table from Wheaton College.  So heavy that it will never move again.

And the other wall which will be my sewing and storage wall.

After supper tonight, the family played on the Slip & Slide in the yard.  Grandpa stopped to watch as he was putting the tractor away.  A perfect ending to a day here in the Bluegrass.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

So much has happened

So much has happened in the last month, I don't know where to begin.

Charley and Jackie got final approval to travel to China to pick up their son, Joshua.  They left on May 15 and returned on May 31.  Joshua is such a sweet little boy.  He will be 5 in a few weeks.  He is doing well, but it was heart-wrenching this morning to have him crying and say he wants to go home to Beijing.  So much going on for such a little person.  Jackie got out the memory book they gave him at Bethel (where he was taken care of for the past year and a half).

 It is also a big adjustment for John.  He is doing excellent, though.

We are now living in our house.  We are really pleased with our design.  It "lives" really well.  We had our first guest.  Wilma came to help us for 3 days to get settled.  She is such a hard worker and we LOVE having her around.

Bryce, our intern from Asbury University moved in and is SUCH a big help.  He helped us move and is working in the garden and did all the animal chores while the kids were gone.  We have enjoyed having him around also.

We are doing the door and window trim ourselves and have not had time to work on it since we got moved in.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  We have made time though to enjoy the beauty in which we live.  We take a few minutes to watch the pasture twinkling with fireflies, or to see how quickly the sun sets in a beautiful sky.  We have time to sit on the porch and enjoy popsicles with the boys - a first for Joshua.

I have enjoyed my time in the greenhouse starting plants, but we haven't gotten them all in the ground yet.  Charley is helping to do that before he goes back to work.

I have been cooking meals for 7 to 10 people each night.  Bryce has invited some friends and Jackie's parents have joined us.  It has been a great time.  Wilma showed me how to make bread and I am trying it for myself for the first time.  The first loaves are in the oven.  They look good.  Wilma has been so patient because I've had to call her twice today to ask her questions.

Our bedroom window faces east and we have no window coverings yet, so we have been wakend by the sun every morning - except the one morning when it was cloudy and then we were wakend by 2 little boys. 

We haven't yet moved anything from our storage locker.  My quilting machine, our 2 freezers, all my fabric, and a whole lot of other stuff.  We have missed our "stuff."

The small garden looks really good.  The potatoes, onions and kohlrabi are there.

The big garden has corn, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes.  We don't yet have our beans planted.  We are really behind, but are setting up a permanent garden.  We have aisles and planting beds.  Once we get to making our own compost, we will start adding to the beds each year.  Today they are putting cardboard down - reusing from our building project - and then mulch which we get from the county.

Bob is kept busy keeping everyone else running.  He is maintaining the big tractor, 2 lawn tractors and everything else we ask him to do.

So, hopefully you can understand why I haven't found time to write here.  We are ready for company, so let us know when you would like to come.  The trim isn't finished, and the boxes aren't yet unpacked, but we would love to see some of our old friends and share our little piece of heaven with you - down here in the Bluegrass.

Monday, May 5, 2014

We are just trying to keep up.

 Here is a view of our house that I don't think I have shown before from the back. 
It looks really big, but let me explain.  The white door on the back to the left on the upper level is our laundry room.  To the left of that is our garage.  From the white door to the right, the main part is our house - plus the upper room in the connecting piece.  The lower part of the connecting piece is the kids' new family room and the right is their house.  We have a basement below our house.

We've started painting trim and interior doors and have installed some of the trim.  There is a PILE of trim to be done.

The first step of the kitchen cabinets  has been installed.  The counter is scheduled to be installed on May 16.  We had a 2-week delay.  I won't go into it, but very frustrating.

The hardwood floors are done, although they will do a 3rd coat of poly just before we move in.  This is the living room and the doors that go out to the back deck.  The door to the left in the back is to Bob's office and the door to the right in the back is our bedroom.  In the front to the left by the chair is the hallway to the guest room and my sewing room.  I'm standing in the dining room.

We brought our dining room light from our house in Wheaton and it looks just as good in Kentucky.

We have an attached garage which we have never had before.  And with a garage door opener!  WE LOVE IT!!!  Right now it is our trim painting room.

We were excited to nail in our first piece of trim.  In our master bedroom.

Things are really popping up in the greenhouse.  I'm out of space so Bob is going to try to fit in another shelf if he can.  I have squash, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, corn.

You see the greenhouse isn't very big.

The big garden has been plowed.  It will be roto-tilled this week.  Our current plan is that this is the last year it will be tilled.  We plan to lay out permanent planting beds about 2 feet wide and aisles 42 inches wide.  We will be able to drive the garden tractor and trailer between the rows.  I'm excited to see how this works for us.

All the calves have been born.  One cow and calf died, but I think there are 8 that lived.  They are growing so fast.

Back to the house progress, the plumber is supposed to come tomorrow (May 6) and do everything except the kitchen - which can't be done until the counters are installed.  Also, the concrete will be poured for the 2 basement entrances and a new sidewalk for Charley & Jackie's front door.

On Wednesday (May 7), the electrician comes to do everything except the kitchen.  Bryce the intern moves in to C & J's guest room on Wednesday.

If only we could be living there ...

So that is the out-of-control life here in the Bluegrass.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

We've just been reminded by 2 different people that it has been a month (4-20-14)

After things moving so slowly all winter, now all of a sudden things are moving so fast we can't keep up.  We fall into bed exhausted at night.  I haven't taken any pictures.  Wilma and Amy have been down almost every weekend helping us and they have taken some pictures, so I asked if they could send them to me.

The upstairs of Charley's house which had never been finished is almost there.  The drywall is all done in their upstairs bathroom and it is painted.  There is vinyl on the floor, carpeting in the rest of the upstairs and a runner down the stairs.  That bedroom is also painted.

In our house, the painting is all done on the main floor except the guest room.  We hired the painting done for our main floor and the guest room was piled full of stuff from Charley's upstairs when she painted, so we couldn't do that room.  The hardwood is down in the main space and there is vinyl in the bathrooms, Bob's office and my sewing room.  Carpet in the 2 bedrooms will be the last thing they do.

We will be gone several days this week.  Tomorrow, Monday, we will pack and then drive up to Marion to Josh's.  They fly out on Wednesday to return to Macedonia.  They were down here for this weekend for Easter and when they left this afternoon, it was easy to say goodbye because it was "see you tomorrow night."  On Wednesday, it will be, "see you in 3 years" and that will be hard.  Then we drive to St Louis to return the car they have been using and then on our way back are going to stop in southern Illinois to see our dear friends, Ken and Dottie.  Back home yet Thursday night and then Friday morning we will see how much the contractor got done while we were gone.

Part of the appliances were delivered on Wednesday.  We bought then from Lowe's on a Thanksgiving weekend sale, and they have been sitting in their store since then.  On Tuesday they were unboxing them for delivery on Wednesday and discovered that the front of the refrigerator had 2 dents.  So they delivered the stove, dishwasher and microwave on Wed and then the refrigerator on Saturday (which they got from a different store.)

On Thursday, the kitchen cabinets were mostly installed.  There is one small thing that needs changed and then they can measure for countertops.  It will take them a couple weeks to make them.

I think the electrician is supposed to come tomorrow, Monday.  We had to take all the light fixtures, fans and dimmer switches and put them around the house so they are ready when he comes.  We had to do the same with the plumbing fixtures.  We had to do a marathon shopping session - 3 1/2 hours -on Wednesday to get all the stuff.  I had to use one of those carts that you drive around because my feet hurt so badly.

They put in the lower columns which support the porch.  Those are concrete block,  We will need to clad those in stone, but that doesn't have to be done before we get occupancy.  They put in the 6x6 posts for the upper porch which will be clad in painted boards, but again it doesn't need to be done before we move in.  The railing will have to be done, though.

Bob and I have been working on trim boards.  We are doing a different style - the same as Dick and Josie have in their house although painted white.  The mdf boards that were delivered all have square corners, but Bob is using the router to round the corners.  Then I am painting them before they are put up.  I need to put on a coat of paint, then sand that rounded edge and then paint the whole thing again.  Then when they are installed, we will only have to touch up the nail holes.

Jackie was gone last weekend so we put on a big push to get her closet done (almost), and got started on the window seat in their new family room.

Anyway, we have made lots of progress.

I do have a few pictures, although not of construction.

Charley, Jackie and John at church this morning.

 Josh, Rachelle, Kayla, Briana and Titus at church this morning.

Uncle Charley holding Titus.

 The kids hunting for Easter eggs on Saturday with Wilma helping Briana.

I have gotten some seeds started, although not nearly what needs to be done.

And Charley got his pigs put out to a new pasture. This is the first time keeping them in with electric fence.

Faye got the riding mower out this afternoon and did some mowing.  In Wheaton we always mowed the last weekend in April.  We are only 1 week ahead of that this year, usually we would be mowing 4 weeks ahead of that in KY.

OK.  That's all for now.

Busy times here in the Bluegrass.