Thanksgiving recap and catching up

It's probably time for me to do something about this blog neglect situation. I didn't intend to leave you hanging for—what, nearly two months (gulp!) but I guess life has gotten away from me and I have found it difficult to take the time to write about it. 

Now I'll offer up my excuses. Since I last posted, we (among other things):

-celebrated several more birthdays, including Tom's and Abby's . . . associated sleepovers and cake baking.

-took a family trip to California.

-made Halloween costumes and did the typical Halloween festivities yada yada.

-hosted Thanksgiving at our house.

-and last but mostly to blame, worked on house projects.

What this means is this:

I have lots of material to blog about! :)  Now, if I can just sit down and get that first post written I will be on a roll. It might take a post a day until Christmas to get caught up. No commitments, though. 

Catching up seems daunting, so I will start with the most current events. Auntie Amy knitted new hats for each of the girls (above). Aren't they adorable? And here is Eva enjoying her baby cousin Brandon. She just loves babies.



My whole family was together for Thanksgiving weekend, and we hosted at our house. It was probably a crazy thing to do because we were finishing up projects, moving furniture, and cleaning house until 2:30 AM the night before. But ah, was it ever fun to cook Thanksgiving dinner in our new kitchen! And it is so good to have a deadline to work for, despite the craziness. 

Speaking of kitchens, I have been dying to finish up the last of the projects in ours so I can take some real photos and post before and after pictures of the project. But first I wanted to finish every. last. detail. And we did pretty good.

This is what we accomplished this month on the kitchen:


  • Order a new pantry cabinet and install it (actually, this happened awhile ago, but I don't think I've posted about it.)
  • Build the wood shelves (Dad) and stain and finish them (me). L-O-V-E them. 
  • Caulk and paint all the window trim.
  • Hang the curtains that I finished sewing ages ago.
  • Install, caulk, and paint the crown moulding above the cabinets.
  • Install soft-close hinges on our cupboard doors (we meant to order them this way, but some came without. Love this feature). 
  • Install mug hooks on new shelves.
  • Order and install a light fixture over the island (finally)! An issue of debate finally settled. 
  • Make over the fireplace doors (more on this later).
  • Paint the beam and other touchup.
  • Replace outlets and switches.



Still to do:


  • Tile an area above the window that didn't get done before because we ran out of the adhesive we used. Oops.
  • Makeover firebox.
  • Paint stool
  • Fix the propane leak in the fireplace. We haven't been able to use our fireplace because the valve leaks. We drilled through the mortar to attempt to fix it, but it is still leaking. 
  • Patch mortar
  • Cut the kickbase off of the sideboard/buffet and add feet. (My dad is going to help build some strong feet to bear the weight of this heavy piece. Someday.)


I would like to get the first three things done before I post pictures. The rest might be a while.

We've been busy, right? There's more.

Here is our list for the hallway:


  • Install new vertical windows
  • Install new front door
  • Install new side light windows (they arrive this week!) 
  • Paint front door and side garage door. (I bought the paint.)
  • Install trim (almost there)
  • Caulk and paint trim.
  • Buy new entry rugs that can handle all the ranch dirt that tracks in and out of here.
  • Make shelf and bench for mudroom/coat hook area. 
  • Stencil wall of coat hook area.
  • Hang hooks in coat hook area.
  • Hang artwork in hall.


Still more. Here is the list for the Living Room:


  • Remove wallpaper.
  • Remove those old dusty curtains.
  • Remove carpet. (Yes, we did!)
  • Scrape popcorn ceilings.
  • Retexture ceilings.
  • Paint ceilings.
  • Spackle, sand, and smooth walls.
  • Prime and paint walls.
  • Install hardwood floors (Yes, we did that too! Grin!)
  • Redo light bar (under old cornice/valance). Build, sand, stain, finish, and install. Paint light fixtures.
  • Order and install new sconces.
  • Install new hallway light.
  • Retrim everything.
  • Caulk and paint trim. (almost there)
  • Replace outlets and switches. (almost there)
  • Order new window treatments. Probably solar blinds.
  • Get a light for piano. I'd like a floor lamp that arches over the piano.
  • Get an area rug. We might bind some of the old carpet for now. Maybe. It's hard to put something old back into a new space.
  • Build desk and cupboard for desk niche. 
  • Stencil wall behind desk niche.
  • Replace doors upstairs so they are all white and match the trim. Someday.


Whew. Tired yet? We certainly were after pushing to get all of this done before Thanksgiving. And I'm still trying to catch up on the laundry and house cleaning that gets neglected while I'm working on projects.

One big reason for pushing so hard (besides the fact we were hosting Thanksgiving) was because now we are going to take a break (on our house, anyway). My parents have helped us extensively on house projects, so now we are going to attempt to help them in return with one of their projects. They just purchased a 4-plex in town as an investment, and one unit is going to be gutted and redone. They would like to finish it before the new year. Yes, we are all glutton for punishment! :)

After that, if all goes well, I would like to work on our house again until spring farm work calls. Besides finishing the above list, with any luck we'll tackle the laundry room, guest bathroom, and girls rooms. I'll spare you those lists for now. Until then, I will have plenty to show you with the projects I mentioned above. 

And that's all I have for today. Ha :) It is good to be back.

(P.S. I have an issue with compound words. When I run spell check that is all it picks out. A string of incorrect compound words. Sorry, but I'm leaving them! Forgive me.)