Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Breakfast, Lunch.... and Maybe Kinda Sorta Dinner

In my attempt to become more organized I have decided to schedule the menu. Now I know this isn't a fantastic revelation - many, many families do this. Steven's grandma did it - she had pancakes every Saturday, sticky buns on Sunday, etc. I know Steven's mom can still name off her mom's breakfast menu. When I first heard that she did this I thought, "hmmm. that's really clever, but not something for me probably. I don't like breakfast, and I eat whatever I'm in the mood for."

You guessed it - those thoughts were pre-children. When Isaiah entered the picture I could still handle things, 'cause heck, it's one kid. But as we have added children to the brood I realize what a valuable tool this menu schedule is. (Guess how many children Steven's grandma had... that's right... 4)

I know over the years as the number of children have increased I have found myself more and more prone to doing the easy unhealthy choices of foods on the days that are really crazy - and even on some days that are not. The healthy eating style I had when it was just Isaiah has dissolved into whatever is fast and filling - if it ends up being healthy too, well that's an added bonus.

This summer I am going to be watching a few elementary-aged kids. Their parents needed a good safe place for their children to go and I needed some extra income - plus since they are older they can totally help me keep track of the younger ones - especially after we move out onto the plantation. I know that I will not want to think about what to feed all of these children each day, and I also decided that if it's good for breakfast, then it also has to be good for lunch! So we will now have 2 standard eating schedules for the week (specifically M-F, 'cause we never know what we are up to when the weekend comes). A lot of the things on the menu are very easy and simple and a few of them are recipes I've gotten from other moms of other blogs.

Breakfast - Eggs and toast
Lunch - Mac & cheese (not the boxed kind!)

Breakfast - granola and fruit
Lunch - pizza (will try to make this homemade more often than not...)

Breakfast - pancakes (hope to eventually make it to the whole wheat level, but right now... no)
Lunch - sandwiches

Breakfast - english muffins and yogurt
Lunch - chicken nuggets

Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - tacos

So if you come to visit us on any of these days, you now know what you're going to be eating! What about dinner? Well, I'm getting better at thinking of the week as a whole and then planning out what we will have each evening, but I can't do a set schedule for it yet - I guess I have to leave some room for my flighty nature somewhere, ya know?

Caught in the Act...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Funny and Frustrating...

I've had quite a few random things happen in our lives the past few days - so I thought I would tell you about them all in one long post....

Steven does our laundry - he loves to line dry every item from a pair of socks to the queen-sized sheets. He wants things stiff, scratchy and thoroughly dry. And I don't care, 'cause I don't have to do it. Most of our clothes are knit/ready-to-wear type stuff that holds up under the line drying process without accruing too many wrinkles... at least not enough to worry about.

I remember when we were first married I did a load of laundry and Steven had taken it out of the dryer for me and he crammed as many pieces of clothing into the laundry basket as he could - mashing them down to make more room for others so he only had to make one trip. Said laundry basket then sat on the floor for a few days - the clothes never folded - just crammed together getting more and more wrinkled. By that time even the T-shirts were accordion style.

He pulled out a shirt from the wad one morning and I asked him, "need me to iron that for you?"

"Iron? What?! I don't need anything ironed."

And that is when I knew we would get along just fine in the laundry dept. because I don't iron. I mean I know how to, I could, I just would rather not.

So this morning that will help you understand the following scene. I had a shirt that needed ironed - one of the few that I own that will not survive the laundry process. I have ironed in the past, but I guess it's usually after the kids are asleep because this was Huston's reaction:

Me standing in front of the ironing board...

Huston: Wow! What is that!!??
Me: confused look on my face... Ummm. It's an ironing board.
H: Isaiah come see, mom has an ironing board!! Avery, look! Ironing! He and Avery then stands there watching every move I make - like it is the latest invention and he wants to see how the thing works... it's like they're viewing history in the making I tell ya!

I'm sure their wives will thank me someday because no matter what their philosophy is in the ironing department is it is sure to surpass mine... and it obviously takes very little to impress Huston.

The Avery potty training saga continues. I had a brilliant idea. Remember a few months past I had attempted to spur Avery on in the potty training dept. and pretty much crashed and burned?? I have thought about it since and determined that what Avery needed was tangible prizes and instant gratification. You see for me to tell him, "Avery if you go in the potty you will get a *fill in blank*" - if Avery couldn't see his goal he wasn't interested and candy just wasn't cutting it either - there were other times he knew he would get candy (from grandma, etc) and so that just had no pull.

So enter brilliant plan. I decided to go to the $1 store and gather up a whole bunch of cheap prizes. I wrapped the prizes up as presents and put them in a basket to sit by the toilet. Every time Avery would use the toilet he could grab a present. Yep, it didn't work. He is so stubborn. He pooped so many times the other day (in a diaper) that his little bottom was raw. I told him it was definitely time to use the potty and he refused it all. day. long. I'm pretty much to the point of disciplining him for these incidents because at this point I am quite fully convinced it's a total power struggle. Stubborn, stubborn diaper wearing boy!!

Funny & Frustrating:
So yesterday I met the flooring guy at our new house to let him take a look around and tell us what his plan of action would be in getting the ball rolling on that project. The water guy also came and went that morning and it turns out we had a toilet that was constantly running - the water guy advised us to turn off the water valve at the base of the toilet until we could get it fixed so that it wouldn't run up our water bill. After I got things squared away with the water guy I went back to finish off business with the flooring guy and he mentioned in passing that I probably should check for slow leaks in the piping just to be safe (a pipe did break in the place over the winter) because that would certainly cause a lot of damage. I thought, "Oooo, yeah, better do that." Then I got sidetracked and forgot to check. When we parted ways I shut and locked the door and we left.

All night last night I kept thinking about the house. Maybe it was the passing check the pipe suggestion that I hadn't followed up on, maybe it was the weight of the endless projects ahead of us, for whatever reason I just couldn't shake the house from my mind. I was supposed to meet the painting guy at the house today, but he never called. I determined that in order to be at ease tonight I had better go check on the house. I loaded all the kids up into the Ford Focus I am borrowing from my grandma (our van is in the shop) and we took a trip out to the country. As we pulled in Isaiah said, "Look the door is wide open!" And sure enough our front door was standing wide open. I obviously didn't lock it like I had thought!

I went to the door and first closed it to figure out why it might be opened. I determined that the front door doesn't really latch very well unless it's locked - so if you close it while it's still unlocked it is easily pushed open. So I am sure I closed the door (I mean the flooring guy wouldn't have let me leave the front door wide open!) but because I didn't lock it (like I thought I had) I bet a strong wind easily pushed it open.

So after that was determined I carefully entered the house. Do you know how creepy it is to enter a house that you know has been standing wide open overnight - a rainy overnight no less? I yelled a couple of times and very cautiously walked from room to room. As I got closer to the kitchen I heard a chirp. There was a bird in our kitchen! And another one in our master bedroom. It took me what felt like hours (but probably actually only 15 minutes or so) to shoo those birds out of open windows. It was quite humorous by the end of it all. I am just so thankful that I didn't stumble upon a possum, raccoon or skunk!

And to tell you the truth I couldn't bring myself to go downstairs to check the basement (the door to the basement staircase was open - so there could potentially be something down there) but I just couldn't go see. I had enough of an adventure. Steven can go check the lower level... *shiver*

So the moral of the stories are: iron often enough to acclimate your children to the common laundry tools of the trade, send your stubborn children to potty training schools (why don't these exist?? I would pay the money!), and always make sure the doors to a house in the country are closed tightly before you leave or you'll be sharing living quarters with varmints.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Under the Magnifying Glass

This weekend Steven trapped a mole - and I don't mean he unloaded a stricken one from some sort of aperatice - I mean he saw one moving in the dirt and shoveled it out of the ground. Well, being in a house of 3 small boys, before we took the creature to a better home (other than our already mole trenched yard) he had to put it in a box with some leaves and grass at first so that our boys could check it out.

I like it when the kids get opportunities to look at creatures up close - but I always feel bad for the critter we're looking at. They have to be scared, confused and stressed out. Avery LOVES living creatures. He crouched down at that box for such a long time, poking sticks at it (don't worry he wasn't hurting it, well at least not physically), watching how it would react to things, smiling and cooing at it and doing things that he thought was "helping" it - like throwing leaves into the box and giving him grass to "eat." Truth is, my boy knew nothing about moles... didn't know what it needed or what made it tick. His helpfulness was, I'm sure, just adding to it's confusion and stress.

This situation got me to thinkin' - there are some relationships within our lives that make us feel like that mole in the box. Like we're under a magnifying glass, being watched and observed and the observer in turn making random conclusions about what we need, why we act the way we do, why we say the things we say - when really they have no clue what we're like and what we need... They think they know... they've studied a book, or they sit and think about us, analyzing our actions and draw what they feel are logical conclusions, but they haven't taken the time to get to know us. Us moles are basically just trying to be moles. For the most part we are just staying in our element, doing what we know we need to do - not thinking about the folks who might be out there watching us and trying to figure us out. The observer at times think they are helping, or that they are in fact learning more about the creature they are observing - when in truth their efforts are truly minimal, superficial and their perspective all wrong.

This weekend I got myself out of a box. I'm sure I am still in some that I'm not even aware of, but I knew about this one and by golly I stopped trying to make the observer happy and I made the choice to just be a mole... but a freed mole. Which just means that I am no longer going to sit still and let the observer watch what I do, where I go and how I act in order to try to figure me out. I'm instead going to move on and do my thing - not worrying about how they react to it. The heat of that magnifying glass is gone and if any observer ever wants to join me in my element to get to know me better that is so much nicer. *sigh* RELIEF.

So are you in a box? Or are you maybe an observer and don't even realize it? Either way, stop playing the game. Let the mole go and if you want to see what makes them tick get down there with them and get a little dirty - the mole will be more comfortable (it may take awhile, I'm sure that one we caught is still having nightmares about Avery!) but if you lay low for a bit and get into their element everyone involved will be sooooooo much happier!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Sorry

I am going to be talking about house stuff way too much in the next couple of months I'm afraid. 'Cause really, that's what is consuming our life right now - in a good way.

We have started the process of getting the list of to-dos figured out. The windows guy came out last week and measured and tallied and that estimate should come in a couple of days. I met with the flooring guy Friday and quickly and easily determined that his stuff is out of our league - but he gave us good info. We took a quick trip to the St. Louis area today and hopped into the Lumber Liquidators and found some stuff we really like that is 1/2 the cost of what I found here in Columbia. We made a call to a handyman friend to see what things we needed to think about when ordering flooring and he said to hold up cause he thinks he can get it wholesale for us even cheaper. Score! And he will install it for us as well, I think...we will talk on Monday.

Our current house was officially listed on Thursday afternoon. It was shown for the first time on Friday afternoon. We have another showing tomorrow. Steven is busy fixing little things here and there. Today happened to be free mulch day from the city - so his dad was kind enough to go get a load for us in his pick-up and the boys spent the morning mulching and raking and beautifying the yard.

Here are some picks of our "slave labor" - this is why we had kids - so they could do the yard work :0)

Isaiah of course was the best, most reliable helper - he even mulched his dad a few times!

But as you can see even Avery got in on the action. This isn't the best picture to capture Avery's contribution...he later donned the garden gloves and grabbed a shovel that was taller than him.

And you can tell that Huston enjoyed every minute of it!

So if you are reading this before 2:45pm on Sunday afternoon say a little prayer that the people viewing the house are totally taken by what they see. I would love for it to sell quickly but they not need to have it for a month or two - like until school is out or something so that will give us some time to work on the other house without living in it but will alleviate the stress of keeping a house show worthy while 4 small children live in it. That's not too much to ask, right!?? (yes I want cake and I want to eat it too thank you.)

And in between all of this we are still trying to do all the rest of our day to day, week to week type stuff. Like school and work and normalcy. So it's an adventure alright, but just a season we are in and hopefully we will soon be enjoying the slower pace of the country.... *sigh*

Friday, April 24, 2009


Before you look at the "before" pictures of the inside of our new house, take a deep breath - there are a lot of pictures... there is a lot of work to do... and it's all going to be so fun!

***pictures I didn't get - but will - are the pictures of the bathrooms. The upstairs is not too bad, the downstairs needs a lot more work. So the bathroom downstairs is the worst room in the house probably - it will be gutted because of the effects of a broken pipe over the winter (and because it's hideously ugly).

The entry way - needs paint and in the future maybe different flooring - right now what's in there is something I could totally live with for awhile. It's rather new looking linoleum.

The living room.... paint and flooring, picture window needs reset - especially notice the wood burning fireplace, the goo-gob hugeness of the room, and my favorite - the beams on the ceiling.

The book nook - a cute, yet odd little corner that is right off of the living room - perfect size for some shelves, books, lounging furniture and it screams coziness... needs paint and flooring...

The school room - you guessed it... paint and flooring

and it has beamed ceilings too! I really don't know what this room originally was or what it's true purpose is to be, but we can totally do school right here in the lovely room with natural light and it's such a nice size!

The eat-in kitchen - definitely needs a fridge, then the paint and maybe flooring as well... maybe keeping the linoleum that's in the kitchen area already, but must, must, MUST take the carpeting out of the eating area - I mean good grief we have 4 children!!! On the "hope to" list is converting the stove to gas (which would mean a new stove...) and then new cabinets too. I love the look of the ones in there, but they are narrow and awkward the more I look at them - could definitely live with it, but if we can afford to change it then presto chango!

Moving on to the downstairs... this is the "sun room" - it's a beautiful room - it's kind of half octagonal (is that a word?? it is now) and the windows look out to the pond - we are thinking of walling in one of the outside doors (it has two and they aren't pictured) and insulating it and making it into a guest bedroom (so come on over!)... and yes, paint and flooring is a must as well, plus fixing the broken windows.

The downstairs family room - yes that's fireplace #2 you see... and yes, it has shelving on each side of the fireplace... paint and flooring.

The downstairs kitchen - I didn't get a good shot inside of it 'cause, well, I don't know why - just visualize dirty, old, yucky. If I get my changes in the upstairs kitchen, the cabinets and stove from upstairs will come down here - and yep, paint and flooring.

Now back outside - remember the pond? Well this is what is beyond the pond. More woods and a ravine that I believe is our property line and it fills with water after rain and has frogs and lots of adventure to the delight of my boys. The first shots are taken rather close to the pond and then I moved in to give you a closer look at the ravine - you really can't see the forest for all the trees - sorry just couldn't resist saying that.

I know the work here all hinges upon your perspective... it's a lot to us because we don't do home improvement projects - we just never had a reason to learn... until now! So it's a matter of finding what we want, where we want what we want where and when. Luckily we have some smart construction guys in our church family - already had the "church" window guy come out for estimates. Will meet with a flooring guy from church tomorrow. I even know a paint salesmen. I just need to gather my research, ask around for good home improvement instructors, learn how to take out my aggressions on a downstairs bathroom demo project and hopefully not have to spend too much $$. I can paint, I can be reasonable with purchases and I am willing to learn how to do stuff on my own if someone is patient enough to teach me and help us out. So we'll see how it all works out.

The great news? The structural engineer says that the foundation is solid - it's just settled... and settling happens with every house - so if we can live with a few cracks and sloping corners he says there is no need to pour money into the foundation (like that, pour money...into the foundation... hahahaha, ok, I'll stop.) So we are hoping that good news continues and what it will take to make this house a comfortable home is a lot less than we anticipate!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Week?! Really, It's Been a Week?

Man, I have not been very good about keeping this thing up this past week. I have sat down and tried to put together a new post and it's still sitting in the draft box - can't sit down long enough and/or think clearly enough to get it done. So maybe we'll just stick with pictures.

This time Lillie. I need to post stuff on all the kids - they are all doing something and I'm proud of each one of them. But Lillie is the one that grows the fastest around here right now, and I haven't posted pictures of her for awhile.

She's such a paradox: she's sweet, yet sassy; she's quiet, yet so verbal; she's laid back, yet into everything; she's timid and shy, yet such a show-off. I love it! She could walk, she just doesn't want to. She could communicate more clearly, but why? Her point gets across just fine right now, why throw words in there?

She is becoming a little more open to the idea of walking - a little - she would rather just tease you into thinking she might try. She will stand and grin and then wait for you to coax and encourage her to come forward. She will then look straight at you with a smile and a steady stance and purposely fall straight to her bottom. Yeah, she's a stinker.

She loves to eat - will out eat some of her brothers at times - and other than a little bout with fever and roseola a couple of weekends ago she has been a very healthy little gal. And you can see it in her sweet rosy cheeks and chubby little legs.

And it's finally getting warm enough to break out some of those summer sun dresses. Yay! I love those dresses! She has a favorite blankie that she at times carries around or rubs into her face when she's tired. Which is really one of the sweetest things to see her stick that thumb into her mouth and snuggle into her blanket - I know, give me a year or two and I will no longer think it's sweet. But she's the baby of the family and I am soaking up all the baby moments as long as I can. If she doesn't have her blankie handy when she's sucking her thumb, she's been know to play with her feet instead - it's so funny.

So here are some pictures and a little video montage of her standing and not walking and climbing and jabbering...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Officially Official

We now have two houses. The new house has been signed for and purchased and now it's time to start to work - work on getting this "old" house ready for the market - don't have tons more to do, but enough. And work to getting the new house fixed up and ready to live in - lots to do there.

We are so excited. Last night I was feeling really crumby about it all though. We had to tell our neighbor across the street what was about to unfold. I hated doing that. Ms. Nelda is a first-class neighbor and she just lost her husband of over 50 years a few months ago. I'm sure she is feeling like everyone is abandoning her to some extent. We are the 3rd neighbors to leave within this past year. She left rather soon after we told her, I think she was pretty shaken. She loves watching our kids play in the yard. She watched 3 of them come home from the hospital. I wish you could take neighbors with you.

I know we aren't putting tons of miles between us, but I also know that I will have to consciously make the effort to keep up with her too - because we all know how we get busy with life and forget.

Anyway, I got to give the first tour of our new house to the ladies in the church office today (my mom included) and it was also the first time for the boys to see their new place. I think everyone liked what they saw...but in the excitement of it all I forgot to pull out the camera and take pictures! I know, I'm terrible. I will have them soon enough though. Can't wait to do the before and after comparisons and I'm really hoping that the after will come soon.

So anyway now its on to scheduling and hiring and contracting and cleaning and painting and fixing - fun, fun! Come on over anytime! We've got PLENTY of room!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Mommy Recommendation

I don't do these very often, but I think I need to start - not because I think I know the best of everything out there - but because I always love it when seasoned moms tell about something that works for them. It prevents me from having to reinvent the wheel, or just spend (waste, however you look at it) a lot of time finding that resource that will help with a particular need.

Our household is in the very beginning stages of teaching and learning social graces and manners. Raising 3 boys especially makes this task a sometimes difficult one. I am tired of sleeves of shirts being used as napkins or kleenexes - and while encouraging my boys to be all the boy they can be, I would also like them to be able to not stick out like a sore thumb when out in public.

So here is one thing that I am using that I really like so far and this book has become my absolute favorite read aloud for the kids. It is called Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners, a compilation of stories by Karen Santorum.

I found this book at a conference I attended a month or so ago and while it was rather pricey (not terribly so, though) I rationalized the purchase because A.) I desperately needed something to help us and B.) it was celebrity endorsed by Bono from U2 - and I know that my purchase would be justified to my husband right there because he loves U2 just as much as every other person that lives in the western world.

Seriously though, this book is a collection of chapters and snippets from classical works of literature - everything from Robinson Crusoe to Greek Mythology to poems to Biblical verses - all heralding the importance of key virtues such as responsibility to manners, to obedience and contentment. You get the picture. Our favorite story so far is called, "Pansies" by J. F. Willing. It involves an issue that I have tried and tried to get across to my boys for what seems like years with very little success. This story illustrated it perfectly and it clicked with Isaiah so very well. So now I will tell him "be a pansy" and he will know exactly what I'm talking about and it causes him to stop and correct his behavior. Oh thank you Lord!

Now you're curious aren't you! Go out and get the book! Believe me it's worth it - and even Bono says so.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh Dear.

I'm gonna have to get organized. I've thought about getting organized in the past, but have never really had anything push me toward that goal... long term anyway. I will often have looming projects ahead that will cause me to hunker down and put things in order and get a list of things done in a timely manner. But I have a feeling, forget the feeling, I absolutely know that I am entering a season of life that will call me to a higher standard of organization.

I've known it to be coming for quite a while. Really before this house adventure even entered into the picture. I think the addition of the 4th child really showed me that I need to think (dare I even say plan) ahead a little more than just waking up in the morning and determining what I am going to fix for supper (and actually follow through and lay something out!).

I've never really been much of a planner. I have strong inclinations to move a certain direction, but I don't sit down and think out each detail of what I need to do and when it needs to be done. I've never had long term career goals, I don't make new year resolutions. I simply go through life, see what is thrown into my path and tackle it as it comes. I never planned to have 4 kids, to work part-time while being a wife and mother and be in the middle of a new house project by the time I was 32 -- I'm more the type that sits down and looks behind me and says "man, look at that I've got 4 kids, a part-time job and a new house project - how did I get here?"

I've always been fearful of becoming a "rubber stamper" - the type that sits down and gets my life figured out on paper and then prays that God blesses my ideas (or rubber stamps my plans). I don't think that's what God calls His followers to be. But I do think that I now often times become so unorganized with life that I am missing out on God's bigger picture of things and need to find a happy middle ground. I often look up and hear my child's disrespectful tone, or realize my negative attitude, or lose my mind with all the stuff caving in on me and realize I wouldn't get into these messes if I had planned just a little bit better. It's become especially hard to stay on course since I have reached the season of life where sufficient time for good Bible study seems non-existent.

So my new favorite word is moderation - it seems to be a term that has been lost in the American vocabulary. I'm going to have to find the balance between an ultra organized planner/micromanager and the fly by the seat of your pants, spontaneous knee jerk reactor.

This new house adventure along with some upcoming events at work, a new school year (home-school years start officially in July) for now 2 kids, among other things are going to force me to become a moderately organized individual, especially since we will soon be living a good 20-30 minutes from the convenience of "town." Which even a little bit will be hard for me because it seems like every new "schedule" I compile or create falls by the wayside in a week or two - you know after life happens.

So wish me luck - really is that hard for an old dog to learn new tricks? I will soon find out.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Huston!

Here are 5 pictures kinda documenting the 5 years of my new 5 year old...

the newborn --

the cute toddler --

the preschooler --

the too-often-seen pouty face --

the sweet Huston --
And we love him very much.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our New Adventure

So remember quite awhile back, when I was talking about all these upcoming events that were kinda stressing me out...and I said one thing that was going on was something I couldn't talk about until I was told that I could talk about it. (and NO I'M NOT PREGNANT)...

Well, while things are still not officially official, Steven said that we could divulge our sneaky plan. Ta-Dah - We are moving to a new house (technically not in the same town, but very close to the same town) with some acreage and some more space. It is about 30 minutes from where we are currently living.

Do you know how very hard it has been to not discuss this!? I did pretty good, but must admit I clued in a few close friends just so I didn't explode from the anticipation. (It helps that our real estate agent was a great friend's husband) The house is due to close and become official in 12 days, but who's counting, and my smart, often correct husband seems to think it will hit a delay. Why? Why so long? (it's been a 3 1/2 month process so far!) Because the house we fell in love with was a foreclosure and belongs to Fannie Mae - and Fannie Mae doesn't move her, umm, fanny very fast. Paperwork and offering and counter-offering has been so.very.stinkin'.slow!!!

Ok, details now - the house is on almost 8 acres of has a pond, is mostly wooded, but also has a nice manageable strip of pastureland just in case Isaiah wants to raise a goat for 4-H or we want to eventually grow into a fun, little, farm type place. (Like maybe some chickens eventually since I can already very easily use half a dozen eggs for one breakfast.) And we need to start learning how to become master gardeners so that we can afford to feed these boys as they hit teenage years.

The house has 5 bedrooms (we could conceivably let everyone have their own room now if we so desire), it has 2 kitchens (so when Steven and I - or our parents - get too old to do stairs we can contain ourselves to one floor), like 3 family rooms - I mean good grief the person that designed this place either really wanted many opportunities for large family get-togethers or just plain got carried away, and a neat little sunroom that I think could be made into an awesome guest bedroom. One of the family rooms will become the school room.

Ok enough jabbering, here are some pictures - the pond - we LOVE the pond (ask me if I still love it when mosquito season is upon us)...

the "pasture"...

the house...

the boy's physical hope for a family out-building with a fenced in yard of it's own.

I will post pictures of the inside as soon as I have a key to get in and take them. It needs a lot of work - remember, foreclosure? and foreclosure = trashed. We are going to take it a day at a time, a dollar a time and try to get it looking the way we like...(which right now consists of a list of 15 things). So busy times ahead for sure - we still need to get our house on the market, we need to get the closing closed and we need to start searching for people that work well and work cheap! :0) (Do they exist?? Please tell me they do!)