From the moment I stepped into the one and only bedroom upstairs in the farmhouse, I knew it was meant to be the Claire Bear's.
It had a beautiful eastern view, where the sun would rise every morning for my sweet early-bird.
It had two closet doors with a long closet that met in the middle...a "secret-passageway" as she says.
And it had a little hatch that went into some attic storage that really made the oldest daughter nervous. "Who knows what might come out of there?" Harlee said that first day.
After the room was painted, we started to fit Claire's furniture in.
She knew she wanted BOTH closet doors accessible, so that left ONE place for her bed.
My mom had found an antique bedroom set at an auction that had "Claire" written all over it. There was a full bed and matching vanity. We fit those pieces in first and went from there. We covered the "creepy attic hatch" (as Harlee calls it) with her dresser and saved room for her desk by the window.
Since those pictures were taken back in July of 2017, we've gotten the windows in the farmhouse replaced and Claire Bear has her dream desk with her dream view.
It's not perfect, but it's all Claire!
I really can't wait to watch my sweet girl grow up in this bedroom. ❤️🏡❤️
When I knew I was going to be leaving the classroom at the end of last school year, I discovered that there was lots of work to be done...starting with cleaning out 13 years of teaching supplies from my classroom.
I was moving from a room that housed myself, over twenty children at any given time, and years and years of classroom materials, personal belongings, and random items I had kept "just in case".
As I mentioned in my blog post on Monday...usually, "just in case" never came.
I started the process of getting my room emptied just as soon as school was out.
I boxed up.
And I even sold a few items.
By the end of June, all that was left was a pile of tubs in the middle of the room that needed to be moved down to my new office.
On the afternoon of June 29th, I started the process of transforming my new office into my own.
I started to think of my office in terms of the "zones" I would need to have.
With these goals in mind, I started the process of going through every single drawer and shelf in the office.
After I had been through every piece of paper and book in the office, I started to organize what was there.
Finally, I decided what items I would keep from my tubs and sent the rest home or to the donate pile.
When my systems were clear, I was ready to decorate.
Armed with my clearance finds from Hobby Lobby and Big Lots, the transformation was complete.
So without further ado...here's my farmhouse office.
The new position has been all I had dreamed of and more.
I'm so thankful for God's providence and guidance over the last several years to bring me to the place I am right now.
Happy Sunday night from the farmhouse, friends.
It’s been a year since we left our home of eleven years and moved to the farmhouse.
What seemed like such a long and stressful process to get the old house sold and the new house purchased is just a distant memory now.
We have done a lot to the farmhouse over the last year, including our biggest project of adding a second bathroom upstairs and our most recent addition...the screen door I’ve been dreaming about my whole life.
In some ways, we miss the house on the hill...living on blacktop, having a shop, and having the fence complete so we can have our cows on the property with us.
However, our new shop plans for the farmhouse property are in the works and the fencing supplies have been purchased, so the cows will be back home sooner than later.
I suppose the gravel road is just a trade-off for the four bedrooms and basement we acquired when we purchased the farmhouse.
We have been blessed beyond measure over this last year and look forward to many more years making memories with our girls at the farmhouse.
Just last weekend, we celebrated our first small town Independence Day with family friends at our home.
We grilled out, the kids did the slip & slide, and we watched our town’s fireworks from the farmhouse backyard.
We’re so thankful for the men and women who have sacrificed for us to have freedom in this country.
We’re so thankful to see God’s hand working in all and through all and for the freedom found through Jesus.
Happy 4th of July from the Farmhouse, friends.
When we moved into the farmhouse, the upstairs consisted of one bedroom and an open loft area.
The whole upstairs is in a plus-sign shape, so there was the potential for three smaller "rooms".
We needed one more bedroom to give the girls each their own rooms, so we will finally build a wall in the next few weeks to give Harlee some privacy. We also added a bathroom, so the girls could have their own bathroom up there.
The leftover loft space became our farmhouse playroom.
And now....the moment you've all been waiting for...the Room Reveal for our Farmhouse Playroom.
To be quite honest, this room has already evolved a bit since we moved in last July.
We had originally planned to have the Barbies and doll clothes housed upstairs, but with the older two girls having bedrooms up there and our three-year-old downstairs, that setup just didn't make sense anymore.
So we moved the Barbie house downstairs to Mattie's bedroom and made the playroom a little more functional for the preteens.
For nine years at the old house, we tried to carve out a place for the girls to relax that was "their own".
First, we had a nursery in one bedroom and a playroom in the other.
When we brought Baby #2 home, the playroom got changed into a "big girl bedroom" for Baby #1 and the toys stayed in there.
We put the girls together eventually and moved the playroom to where the nursery had originally been.
When Baby #3 came home, the playroom became a nursery/playroom combo.
Before we moved out here to the farmhouse, we even tried to put all three girls in one room to sleep and have the toys and desks in the other.
It just never worked out quite like we had pictured.
The farmhouse playroom is all I had ever hoped for.
It sits opposite the new bathroom, with the older girls' bedrooms on either side.
When Harlee's wall is complete and the new bathroom has a door, I will do a walk-through of the whole upstairs.
Can't wait to share it with you SOON!
Happy Sunny Saturday from the Farmhouse, friends!
When we first announced to the world (okay, our little world) that we were buying the farmhouse, I posted a picture and a friend of ours tagged Stephanie in it.
She said, "This house looks just like the house I grew up in!"
And at that moment...the story began unfolding.
She and I have been corresponding since we made contact that day about everything from the wells on the property to the way you have to put your hip into the interior doors to get them to close just right.
It has been a joy to have conversation with Stephanie about the home we have come to love and call our own and to get to know her sweet mama through our talks!
We have been saying for the last several months that the next time she was in Adrian, she would have to come visit and this weekend we were able to make that happen!
Stephanie, her brother Keith, and Keith's wife Tracy came out to see the farmhouse this afternoon.
They brought the aerial image you see above of the farm in the 1970's.
Our girls have been looking forward to meeting Stephanie ever since I told them about her several months ago.
Today, it happened.
She and Keith walked them through the house and gave them a tour, sharing details of what the house was like in year's past.
Mattie showed them her bedroom and closet (and offered to show them again at least four or five times). The wallpaper that Stephanie picked out as a young girl is still in the closet!
Claire shared the transformation to her girly bedroom from the one that was Keith's bedroom in high school.
Harlee's bedroom wasn't even a room back then...but instead a loft area that overlooked the stairwell. She enjoyed showing off her basketball room and reminding Mr. Farmhouse once again that he still hasn't built her a wall.
What a beautiful snowy day to introduce the girls to the adults who grew up here.
Thanks for coming out, Highley family.
Mr. Farmhouse has been working tirelessly in all of his spare time to get the girls a second bathroom.
We paid a buddy of ours to do the rough-in work and plumbing (thanks, Brent!), but Mr. Farmhouse decided he could finish the rest out himself.
With lots of help from our dads, we have finished the sheetrock, cement board for the tile, and wiring.
Next up is paint,
then putting in the vanity & sink,
finishing the accent wall with barn wood & metal from the barn that is lying beside our house,
the tile work,
and installing the toilet & plumbing fixtures.
I've really tried to minimize belongings in our home over the last few years by using specific areas in the house for dual purposes.
An example in the old house would have been our kitchen island.
It had the dishwasher on one side and cabinets on two of the other sides.
The top had a rustic-style organizer where bills, event invitations, and important papers landed.
I had mason jars with pens and scissors in them.
It was sort of the hub of the house.
The problem is that it also became the "catch-all" a lot of the time.
One of my goals for the farmhouse was to have locations in the house that would serve dual purposes, while making sure that these places didn't attract clutter.
This is where I got the idea for a coffee bar charging station.
As our girls have gotten older, they have started to spend more and more time engaged in electronics...mostly their iPads.
We have rules for these and to be quite frank, they often end up on the refrigerator for a week at a time because the iPad is a privilege and when little girls make poor choices, privileges are revoked.
I know that as they continue to grow, we will be dealing with other types of technology...cell phones, computers, and who knows what else.
I knew I needed a central charging hub and I knew that this little space in the kitchen could be the perfect location if I would work it out right.
I ended up finding a really well-made console table at a friend's garage sale in mid-June.
I knew it would be perfect SOMEwhere in the farmhouse, so I bought it.
We had several options for using the console table in this little nook by the basement stairs in the kitchen...a mail drop-off location, more counter-space for use in cooking, or just a decorative table.
I knew that any of those three options could turn into clutter-central.
That's when my sister-in-law mentioned putting our Keurig there.
That really got the wheels-a-turning.
I decided that having a coffee bar on top of the charging station would be perfect. And I decided to be very intentional about what I put there.
In the old house, I always tried to hide the K-Cups.
That's when I remembered these little wire baskets I saw at Dollar General a few days ago.
Now, there is an outlet right behind where the wire basket sits.
Of course, there aren't enough plugs to service a charging station for the whole family...so I mounted a power strip on the wall behind the console table.
Nothing fancy...I literally used thumbtacks to hang it (the farmhouse has plaster walls...have I mentioned that???).
The girls picked out their own washi tape to identify their chargers and we fed them up through the drawer on the right.
I plugged in my iPad and FitBit Blaze into the left drawer and we were done!
A functional charging station inside and a beautiful coffee bar outside.
Three days ago, we took early occupancy of the farmhouse.
We almost have a new address.
The farmhouse almost belongs to us.
We will officially close at the end of next week.
Our seller allowed us to come on in and start painting and prepping for the big move.
It's almost time to pack up the last little bit of our belongings from the home we've known for the last eleven years and move them to our new home.
I can't wait until the painter's tape is pulled off and we see the finished product!
Very, very soon, we will sleep for the very first time in Farmhouse 654.
Yesterday, we spent day #2 at the farmhouse.
On the "to do list" was to finish painting the master bedroom and to get the kitchen somewhat put together.
One of my former colleagues is an amazing painter and volunteered to come down and help me knock out the bedroom walls.
She. Was. Amazing.
She filled holes, painted the edges with her favorite fancy Purdy paint brush, filled in the middle with the paint roller, and even painted the whole closet by the time she left late into the evening. And now it looks wonderful!
After the bedroom was painted, Mr. Farmhouse left and took the two younger girls home and Harlee & I decided to tackle the kitchen.
My dad had gone to Lee's Summit to pick up our new refrigerator yesterday afternoon and it was now safely installed in the new kitchen, thanks to Dad, Matthew, & my brother-in-law, Colby.
We had only three tubs of kitchen stuff to go through and put away, so Harlee and I decided to go for it. We went through the tubs and only ended up keeping one tub of kitchen items.
We put those items away and made a plan for where we would put the rest of the goodies we have left in our current kitchen.
I have lots of pictures for the walls, decorative items for above the cabinets, and other countertop accents.
I'm looking forward to putting all of those things out once we get the final appraisal report back (today sometime!!!) and set a final "for-sure 100% happening" closing date.
I can't wait to share the details of the kitchen project with you!
Until then...here's a preview!
As I shared a while back, the thought of leaving our current home is bittersweet. We have so many memories in this home. It's strange to think of passing the keys over to someone else and moving on with our lives in a new home.
We are excited and sad and overjoyed and even mourning a little bit.
As we walked the property yesterday, Matthew and I visited about all the things we could do to the outside of the house. We were planning on new siding and windows right away, but due to the fact that we are wanting to add a second bathroom upstairs and still keeping on the straight and narrow with Dave Ramsey, we might have to put that off for a year or two.
After we discussed the changes we needed to make on the outside of the house, we took his parents through the inside of the house.
This was the first time we had walked through the house since the owners moved out.
It was a blank canvas.
Mr. Farmhouse and my dear teaching partner worked to bring the very first load of our belongings in. We had been filling up an enclosed trailer with stuff ever since we thought we would be closing and moving on June 16th.
While they delivered tubs and boxes, the girls and I worked to scrub the main rooms down.
The men left to go get another load and the kids and I started sorting the tubs into the rooms they will be going into.
Mr. Farmhouse, along with a few of his friends, brought in the Craigslist farmhouse table I had been waiting for and brought a load of outside items.
Our friends left and the five of us shared our first meal at the new table.
It was spectacular.
Harlee prayed for our new journey in the house and for the pizza and for the appraisal results we are still waiting on.
We stayed until 12:30 this morning, working and painting and enjoying each other.
And when the girls get up, we're gonna go do it all again.
After 11 years in one house, it's kind of difficult to think about filling a different house with everything you own.
Difficult and exciting and fun.
It's a blank canvas and we are already working to make it our masterpiece.