Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to everyone!  We spent a beautiful Christmas Eve skiing new powder under blue skies.  Perfect!  Santa was even there enjoying a few runs with Mrs. Claus.  He knows where it's at.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Band Concert

We attended Hannah's 7th Grade band performance last week.  There is a big jump in quality and listening enjoyment between 5th & 6th Grade and 7th Grade.  I'm amazed at how well the kids performed.  Hannah stuck with percussion this year and had several great parts in the program - including playing the snare drum, tamborine, xylaphone and temple blocks.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

First Day

Yesterday we enjoyed our first ski day of the year.  Soft, new snow.  Lots of smiles and giggles.  Just a few grumbles.  A successful first day of the season!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Snow

We had our first snow this past week.  The kids were out of school and they enjoyed every bit of it.  As you can see, we didn't get a lot.  There was plenty of sledding on the grass, but it worked.

The ski swap, which always puts us in the mood for winter, was Saturday.  Luckily, we didn't need much and got out the door with a $20 pair of ski boots for Maren and some good deals on skis for Hannah and Maren.  We are all getting excited to get on the mountain.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It was a good Halloween in Sandpoint.  No rain and unseasonably warm weather.  We enjoyed lots of trick-or-treating and some fun with friends and neighbors. 
Izzy continued tradition by wearing Paige's Island Princess costume (this might be the 3rd time it's seen Halloween).  Hannah went as a member of the Partridge Family and was quite hip in her go-go boots and velvet dress. Maren was one of a kind in her Tweedle Dee costume and Paige was perfect as Hermione from Harry Potter.
Trick-or-Treating with friends is always fun...

 And, of course, there is the aftermath...

I am not usually an advocate for Pumpkin Carving.  But since we grew so many of them this year on the farm, we couldn't let Halloween pass without making some jack-o-lanterns.  It wasn't as bad as I anticipated.  Maybe because most of the girls are finally old enough and willing enough to pull the gross goo out themselves.  Our fun neighbors, the Bingers, joined us.

Deer Proof

I do most of my gardening at home.  I love to have things close at hand.  But with the farm we have expanded our gardening.  This year we transplanted raspberries and put in a whole bunch of new blueberry plants.  We also planted fun things like pumpkins, potatoes and corn.  Now that we are growing things out at the farm, we are discovering the joys of local wildlife.  Like the deer that eat your newly transplanted raspberries down to the ground. So disappointing!

Because we haven't had enough building, fixing and cleaning up to do this past year, we decided to tackle one more project.  A deer fence.  Actually, it was my idea and I talked Kirk into helping me since it is not a project I could do by myself.  After looking at a lot of different options as well as a close look at our budget (which is minimal), here is what we came up with...

  • 9' Railroad ties spaced every eight feet,
  • 16' cow panels in between the railroad ties,
  • 2 strands of double wire to make up the difference between the 4' of cow panel and the 7' of fencing we need to keep those pesky deer out of the garden.
The cost for all of this...
  • $9 per railroad tie
  • $22 per cow panel
  • $0 for the wire (we used wire that was already on the farm)
  • $0 for labor (Kirk and I did it ourselves)
  • Total = $2.50 per linear foot of fencing

Luckily, we have a tractor with a post hole digger,

And a backhoe for the heavy lifting,

And a few good weather days before winter sets in.

Whew!  Building a fence is a lot of work! Let's hope it works and those deer find alternate food sources.

Monday, October 22, 2012

950 Shingle Mill Road

Finally!  Our year of renovations are complete.  There are still more things to do next year - like roof, cement walkway, cement steps and patio and landscaping.  But those can all wait.  For now, we are really excited to have a finished house.  Here is a preview... but we are really hoping that our friends and family will come up to stay and see it in person.  Skiing in the winter, lake and mountains in the summer - think about it!


I'll start the tour with my favorite fixture... the hanging lights along the walkway.  They lead up to the enclosed porch.  Perfect for muddy boots, jackets and skis.

Directly inside the front door is the living room.  It's not furnished yet, but that's on the list. Picture a nice comfy couch, some chairs and a TV on that big, blank wall.
 Opposite of the living room is the kitchen.

And dining room.

One bathroom. I can't figure out how to take a wide angle shot in a small room, so you get the boring sink and mirror view.

The master bedroom...  I don't have any furniture up in the second bedroom yet, so I didn't include a photo. 

Here is the back of the house.  We will add cement stairs next year as well as a nice patio area directly out of the sliding glass doors.  Good thing we have a tractor, because there is some serious landscaping in our future.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Work on the Farmhouse

Here are some pictures from earlier this summer.  I have been pretty bad about posting along the way, so I thought I'd show you some old photos before I 'reveal' what we've accomplished so far.

The girls helped Kirk prep the toilet for installation.  It was a big day when the toilet was open for use.  I never realized until then how much I take indoor plumbing for granted!

Here are some shots of the walkway leading up to the front porch.  Kirk extended the roof to give more protection and we used cedar tongue and groove to dress it up. . 

 We also did tongue and groove in the enclosed porch.
 Kelly did all of our trim work for us.  I was so happy with the way it came out. 
The windows and doors look so nice with this simple trim design.

We had granite counter tops installed in the kitchen and bathroom.
Daniel laid slate in the main parts of the house as well as the enclosed porch.  It looks great and should be easy to clean and durable.

The final insulation was blown into the attic space.
Daniel spent a day jack hammering out the cement pad that held the former laundry room.  We removed it early on in the project because it was leaning amazingly far away from the house.  Kirk spent a lot of time hauling the cement chunks to the dump.

Daniel also cut a trench in the basement floor, Caleb shoveled it out and Kirk installed a french drain and covered it up with rock and a final coat of cement to match the floor. This should give us a dry storage area downstairs, even in wet years.