Ready, Set, Go

For several years, we had an above ground pool.  The pool was used often while the boys were growing up, but when we brought Lili home, the pool use decreased dramatically.  During Naomi’s adoption, we decided to take the pool down.  We knew it wasn’t going to get used enough to make it worth the upkeep, so down it came. 

Around the pool was a 4 foot deck.  We couldn’t leave a deck up with a hole in the middle where the pool used to be, so we began dismantling the deck with the plans to rebuild a new deck.

We were making good progress on our deck demolition when our son died and everything came to a stand still.  The sand that sat under the pool became a big sand pit for the girls to play in and the new deck remained a plan with no progress being made.  About the only thing that happened on the deck project was removing deck railing and replacing some of it to keep dogs and kids from jumping off the side of the deck.  Then the deck became a place to sit things like concrete pieces from the deck posts that had been pulled out of the ground and coolers that were outside to dry.  Sadly, the deck we spent so much time enjoying was nothing more than a walkway from the back door to the yard.   

Our partially demolished deck
Our partially demolished deck


Our deck from the side
Our deck from the side


A couple weekends ago we decided to get to work on the sand pit area.  We repurposed some landscape blocks and put in a fire pit.  As I looked at the fire pit surrounded by all the sand, I thought it might be nice to see a patio around the pit.  Hubby wasn’t too fond of the idea.  Not that he didn’t like the idea of a patio around the fire pit, but it didn’t want a bit slab of concrete.  Instead, he wanted a paver patio.   

Our fire pit that needs a patio
Our fire pit that needs a patio

Now we had a patio and deck project to complete.  We also needed to replace a sliding patio door on the back of the house and it was way past time to get busy and get things done.  So off we went to order supplies and those supplies were delivered yesterday.

Wood for a new deck
Wood for a new deck


Pavers for a new patio around our fire pit
Pavers and patio supplies for the new patio around our fire pit

The deck project is primarily replacing deck boards, stairs and railing and will be smaller than our previous deck.  The space we lose on the deck will be replaced by space on the new patio though. 

Other than the door, none of these projects will be completed over a weekend and we know what we’ll be doing for the next several weekends as well as some evenings during the week.  So let’s begin. 

Ready, set, go!!!

DSC_0797 DSC_0799 DSC_0801 DSC_0803 

Notice how I’m behind the camera and not out there working 🙂  For good reason though.  I had to take the pictures and was working on canning tomatoes.

We are very excited about getting these projects completed so we can enjoy our new outdoor living space.  I will be posting updates here as progress is made and hopefully we can have everything done before it’s too cold to enjoy.  Although with a fire pit, some cooler weather would certainly be nice.



Home Sweet Home Part II

Shortly after we began discussing our plans to homestead,  my hubby made the suggestion that we build a small Yurt on our homestead property to live in while we were building our larger home. Not being overly familiar with Yurts I began my research and became very intrigued. My concern, however, was the fact that we were talking about putting up a Yurt in the Central U.S. where summers can get very hot and humid with winters potentially getting very cold and snowy. How would a wood structure with a fabric walls hold up? According to the websites I found, it appeared they would hold up quite well, but what would it cost us to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter? So we moved on to looking at more conventional homes. Still, there were many things I liked about the Yurt.  When discarded home plans for the home we thought we would one day build on our homestead, I again began thinking of a Yurt home.

Then one day I was introduced to this website.  This company builds pre-fab Yurt-like round houses.  Instead of fabric walls, this would have solid built walls.  Then I found this floor plan on the website . . . . .

Upper Level
Lower level

I love the look, the style, and the lay-out of this house.  The only thing missing on the plan is a deck, but that can be added, no problem!!!

I imagine myself sitting on the deck of my round house sipping hot tea on a cool spring morning as I prepare to go out and milk and feed he goats, collect eggs, feed the chickens and rabbits.  I can see myself homeschooling the girls in this house.  I can envision myself preparing meals in the kitchen and entertaining friends and family who come to visit.  I imagine pure joy every time I look up from my garden or drive up and see our round house on our homestead.

Building a round house is pretty much just a dream at this point, but until someone wakes me up, I’m going to keep the dream alive.

A Week Has Passed

I’m not quite sure where the time has gone, but it’s already been a week since my last post.

Nothing very exciting is happening on the adoption front.  We are going through some training required by our agency, learning more about Uganda as a country and the adoption program in Uganda.  Until we receive our official referral (which should happen shortly after Labor Day), we won’t have any other forward movement.  So while we wait, we stay busy with other things.

One thing we are doing is downsizing the ‘stuff’ that we’ve collected over the last 15 years of living in this house.  It seems like a good time to rid ourselves of the things that have been sitting and collecting dust, so a couple of weeks ago we had an impromptu garage sale.  Where was a small festival in our little village and we decided that since there would be more traffic by our house we would put some things out in hopes of getting rid of ‘stuff.’  We did get rid of some things, but very little.  That tends to occur when you haven’t advertised your garage sale.  We left everything on the tables and moved “our junk” (which is someone else’s treasure) back into our garage with the plan of having another advertised garage sale.  That sale is occurring this weekend.  Today was Day 1 and let me just say that advertisement is a wonderful thing.  We had a lot of people come to the sale during the first hour which trickled to a few here and there over the next 4 hours, but in 5 hours we sold 5 or 6 x’s more than we sold the entire weekend during our impromptu sale.  Tomorrow we hope to move out even more junk treasures so wish us luck.

Now it’s time for some Q&A.

Why the push to downsize you ask?

Adding another child to the family means we’ll be collecting even more stuff.  Our Ugandan Prince will have clothing, toys, books, etc., etc. and it seems like a great opportunity to get ready for him while clearing out things that have been sitting unused for way too long.

The other reason we want to downsize is that we will be putting our house on the market and moving in the not too distant future.  (If anyone is interested of knows of anyone who would like a 5 bedroom house in Central IL, have them contact me.)  We really have no desire to pack up and move things that we aren’t and will not be using. 

Lastly, it feels good to get rid of clutter.  And why is clutter much easier to collect than to dispose of? 

Now, back to our future move. 

Do we know where Dave’s next career move will take us? 

Although we don’t know with 100% certainty, we are about 90% certain we know where he will land in his next position.

Can I share that information with my readers?

Sorry, but I can’t share that information yet.


There are a couple of reasons why we need to hold off sharing that information at this time.

1.  There is still a 10% chance that we will either stay where we are a bit longer or end up moving to a location other than the one we feel is the most likely choice.  We feel it would be best to wait until we see a brighter light at the end of the tunnel.

2.  We also have several people in our lives that will likely be disappointed if we share one location and then later tell them, “Sorry, it’s not happening now.”  Of course we also have several people in our lives that will likely be disappointed if we don’t stay here and others disappointed to find out we’re not moving closer to them.  Someone is going to be disappointed, but we’d rather wait until we are 100% certain of Dave’s next career move before we make any big announcements.  Until that announcement, I think everyone needs to be prepared because the Weeks’ Family just may be moving to your neck of the woods.  🙂

The other excitement in our lives right now is a trip we’re taking over Labor Day weekend.  Dave’s nephew is getting married, so next week we’ll be packing up the van and heading south to Florida.  Naomi is flower girl in the wedding and I find myself feeling excited and a bit nervous about it.  She is going to be a beautiful flower girl, but 2 year olds are just unpredictable.  Will she drop the flower petals?  Will she walk down the aisle?  Will she run down the aisle?  Will she eat the flower petals? Will she trip and fall?  Will she have a temper tantrum in the middle of all this?  Will she simply walk down the aisle, dropping petals, looking lovely causing the wedding guests to oo and ah over her?  So many questions with know real predictable answers right now. 

That’s all I have to report from the World of Weeks at this time.  Stay tuned for updates on the success of our garage sale, our future move, our trip, the wedding and most of all, our adoption.  I promise I will also share photos next time.