Goodbye 2009

     Farewell 2009.  I spent my last day with you stuck at home looking down the road you buried in ice covered with snow.  Not my idea of closing out the year but at least the electricity was restored.  You brought us joy this year with the birth of our Princess, Marlee, which lessened the sorrow of the passing of beloved uncles.  Thank you for delivering Drew, Ethan and Chandler safely into our corner of the world. Thank you for surprising us with a mild spring and enjoyable summer and filling our house many times over with the laughter and love of family and friends.  Thank you, 2009, for the blessings bestowed.


Boy Oh Boy!

Boy oh boy will I be gettin' my Martha on now!  Santa Glen gave me this Tomboy Tools set for Christmas! Nice, heavy duty GIRL tools!  I am just giddy with excitement.... my very own hammer, level, utility knife, screwdriver with changeable heads, pliers and needle nose pliers, hack saw, tape measure, safety glasses, pry bar, knee pads and the tool box is a nice and sturdy step stool/storage bin!

I was pleased with the tools, but look, there's more!  My very own garden tools too!  Bucket, digger, claw, gloves and a pruner!  


Frugal Christmas Gift

Seriously, another window?  I'll bet you think that's all I can do.  WRONG.  Soon as I get my laundry room put back together, I'll surprise you with something different.  ( I promise)

Here's what my boss is getting for Christmas.  Luckily, he is computer challenged  :  )  so he won't see it.

An old window, newspaper clippings about his big project of building a new hospital (he's the Board President) and a few foo-foos to make it interesting and, of course, vinyl lettering from my new Silhouette QuicKutz vinyl cutter.


Mr. Chair - the Cats' Affair

     Shame, shame on me.  Captain Chair, the oldest and most regal of my chairs was found in the basement when we moved in.  Back then I obviously had no imagination because I set him outside every summer and used him for a potted plant perch.  Poor thing.  He got uglier every year - and it's all my fault!
     After confessing to him the error of my ways, he forgave me and loved the resurgence of attention.  He was most appreciative of the wood putty - it was like elbow replacement surgery for him : )
    The cats, of course had to be in on everything and they were sure surprised (not to mention a bit snooty) when I took Captain back into the house, promising to never, ever abuse him again.



Happy Fall!

By far my most favorite time of the year because nature makes decorating so easy!  Pumpkins and Mums, a must, of course and a few "weeds" from the roadsides.  A trip to the shed yielded the old chair (who is most happy with a new coat of white paint and an old tractor seat), a metal bucket and that most awesome old cart!
Sarah's window...
     It's a picture frame.  No, wait, it's a coat hanger.  No, wait, it's a picture frame/coat hanger.  Heck.  I don't know what to call it, but it turned out cooler than I thought it would!  I found this adorable brown with aqua polka dots ribbon at Wal-Mart and it just reminded me of Sarah, so I bought it and decided to create something around that ribbon.  Didn't use much of it though - just glued a strip on Marlee's picture mat and that was enough.   Some brown spray paint for the window frame, aqua craft paint for the wooden knobs and it was shaping up nicely.  A couple buttons here and there and coordinating striped ribbon for Nolan's mat (polka dots just don't work for boys!) and it was good, but something was still missing.  Hmmm.  Walked around Wal-Mart for an hour trying to find something... lo an behold.  There it was.  Aqua piping and brown dotted ribbon to adorn.  It was just perfect! 


Happy Birthday Sarah!  Sorry.  Not posting the picture of your most awesome present until AFTER you see it - lol : )


     Glen stars with "G"
     So do "G"ripe and "G"rumble!
     And Glen Griped and Grumbled when I said, "You know that pile of old tires out back?"
     But he's a real trooper - which makes him a keeper - because he not only followed me out to the pile and harvested this nice old truck tire, he also drilled holes in the bottom of it to drain out the water that had collected in it all summer; cut blocks of wood to hold the tire open so the plant would fit inside; AND hung this heavy devil for me!  Today Mr. Tire (who thanked me profusely for saving him from the landfill) holds a potted Mum.  Next spring I will put potting soil in him and a nice viny plant because Mr. Gripe and Grumble drilled those nice drain holes  : )
This little project (which took less time to complete than all the griping and grumbling) was snagged from that nice lady in Canada at
     Because we were unable to center Mr. Tire on the shed due to the location of the sturdiest stud we could find to hold the weight, I must put something next to him - but I'll wait a bitToo may G & G (gripe & grumble) projects in a row make Glen a grumpy old man!

I love no-brainer projects!  However, I hate to admit how long this lovely chair has been sitting in an obscure corner of my home adorned with a really ugly silk flower arrangement in a basket to hide the fact it had no seat.  El-yucko!  Seven dollars later (for the wicker hanging basket) I have a very happy old chair who is proud to be the center of attention!  My new mantra?  "Think outside of the box, Coleen"!


I've found the Martha in Me!

I could hardly wait to get my hands on the OLD windows because I had big ideas! Fortunately for the crew, I didn't purchase my new Black and Decker Random Orbital Sander until AFTER they were finished with the windows on the south side of the house. But it wasn't long before I transformed these babies....

...the old windows on the left into birthday presents!

Happy Birthday to Mardi! 9-9-09. Old window becomes new chalkboard and it turned out even better than I imagined because I had Glen trim the sides down and the remnant had this perfect groove in it that made a perfect chalk holder to attach to the front. An old piece of pressed board was found out in the machine shed and the chalkboard spray paint worked like a charm on it. I don't think Mardi was too impressed with the whole thing until I told her I made it from one of the old windows - lol.

Seven days later, 9-16-09, it's HAPPY BIRTHDAY DREW!
This project had to be a little different because guys just aren't into chalkboards (even if they're made by Mom), so I decided to go with a Hawkeyes color scheme for his manly new duplex apartment. He needed something for his walls and this little idea just popped into my head! I left the glass in this window and with my brand new Quickutz Silhouette vinyl cutting machine... Happy Birthday to me from Glen : ) I cut and transferred PERRIEN onto the window pane all by myself!

Next Wednesday, 9-23-09, it's "HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH"! Hmmmmmmmmmm. Wonder what she'll get??


I have been itching to create things... definitely have enough "junk" out here to keep my creative juices flowing and I can hardly wait until they replace the windows because I have ideas for the old ones. I have always loved making things, but I was truly "re-inspired" by Ethan and Chandler's Aunt Ashley in North Carolina - you must visit her site that I'm following: She has some really neat things on there. There is also another site with totally amazing things: In my dreams will I ever be able to keep up!

Anyway, I'm hoping to be able to share my creations - but I see I have a looooooooong way to go because taking decent pictures has a lot to do with how to share one's inspirations. My little garden sink/salad bar/basket rack is my favorite project so far. We are having a family reunion out here the end of September, so I'll have to remember to take pictures of the transformation from basket rack to salad bar.
After spending almost a year living in a chicken coop with Miss Lucy (our only female goose) we decided to let poor Mr. peacock out into the wide open world! To our surprise, he was very tame and didn't fly away or run away from us when we approached. He wandered around until he found his parents and sisters who live in the wire corn crib that we call a bird cage. Alas, he looked so lonely circling his caged family that we decided to release one of his sisters so he would have someone to play with. (We really have no idea what peacocks do for fun). He didn't seem to think it was such a great idea as after a bit of wandering around with her, he flew up into a tree on the far side of the farm while his sister perched atop the big bird cage. It's kind of like buying expensive toys for your kids only to have them prefer empty boxes and milk cartons to play with. : )



Drew and Chandler watching Caine hobble to the locker room after the game. Caine got hit in the back in the fourth quarter and wasn't feeling too hot. Too bad because he was really hittin' 'em hard the whole game and I heard a couple of girls in the stands say "that Caine is a Monster!" He busted through the line several times for some yardage and had a fantastic kick-off for the team. All in all it was a good first high school football game for Caine.

This picture is deceiving... from the appearance of the Harlan Cyclone player on the bench and the semi-tough grimace on Caine's face, one would be led to believe the Monarchs won the game. Not so, they fell to Harlan by two touchdowns - I think. The scoreboard wasn't working. Hey, maybe that Harlan kid thought they lost.

Now if I knew anything about football positions I would be able to tell you Caine's position and you'd be able to spot him right away. However, I am football position challenged, so I will tell you that Caine is the third person from the left in the center of the field. He's squattin' and all ready to do whatever it is that position player does!

Caine practicing his intimidation stance the day before the big game.


Today I celebrated the 22nd anniversary of my 30th birthday by going to Indulge for a pedicure.... aahhhhh Happy Feet! Trista really does a good job on old, tired feet.
Today was definitely unique. Drew's divorce was finalized, and we went to the funeral home after work to pay our respects to Uncle Merlin who will be buried tomorrow. Two farewells that will lead to new paths for members of our family. In many respects divorce and death are similar as far as our emotions are concerned. Sadness for the loss of that to which we were accustomed, relief in the knowledge that the hardship is past and hope that the days to follow will be better for those concerned. Above all, the sweet sorrows allow us to grow in faith that the future holds goodness once again, and it always does.


Rain doesn't stop the fun at our place - they just go "muddin'"

Fun with the Barngrovers 8-16-09

Glen is headed for Menard's today to pick up the new siding. Sure will make a big difference in the appearance of our place once the windows and siding are replaced. The anticipation mounts! Caine and Cole spent the night with their step-dad last night. Drew, Ethan, Chandler and I went to their new duplex in town and set up the boys' new bed. After lunch we will head back in and start putting the rest of their new home together. Sure will be different inside the house once they are settled in town. Change, always something changing out here.


Sometimes I think my life is boring because all I ever seem to accomplish is working, cooking and cleaning. My social life consists of trips to the grocery store, Wal-Mart and Indulge, a trendy salon where the girls keep my hair and toes happy. When I get to feeling this way, all I have to do is look out the window and realize that not everyone has a llama or peacocks - or the peace and quiet of a rural setting where there is plenty of fresh air and a sprawling yard for children to grow and play. Whenever I want to feel good about my life, all I have to do is invite people over and watch them marvel at what I have.