As I went through the pictures from this week I was honestly amazed at what got done this week and I even lived through it. Things are definitely starting to gear up for the final push before winter arrives. It had started to feel like it was heading towards fall but after almost 2.5 inches of rain yesterday I think we're in for a hot and humid week instead! I think I'll give you the run down daily as it happened....
Monday started with our building crew getting some of the steel siding on the south & north sides and the excavators getting the septic line dug out from the Guest House so we could keep working toward getting the patio poured!
And we started the week with a bang at the current farm by selling a record amount of milk in one day for our current herd and facility!
On Tuesday we headed up to have a picnic lunch as a family and check-in on the progress. When we arrived the spray foam insulators were just getting started insulated the ceiling and other truss areas in the Guest House. Our building crew was putting steel on the front side of the barn. It was amazing to watch them work together in the wind getting those BIG panels on!
Wednesday was our busiest day yet with four crews working simultaneously and Dan visiting twice to answer questions and supervise all that was happening! The first time he was so busy answering questions he forgot to take any pictures until he jumped in the car with his Grandpa to head to therapy, which is why the first picture is blurry!
The excavators have been helping all over the place and then working on the manure handling system area the most. The spray foam insulators worked all day and into the evening to finish up that job. The concrete crew poured the area for the transformer and prepared the patio area. And the builders finished up the steel on the front!
And a big Thank You goes out to Dan's grandpa's and those we're working with for picking Dan up and dropping him off at home, the site, or therapy (which thankfully happens right in our little town of Clarksville - so thankful!). It makes our life so much easier since he can't drive quite yet!
Thursday Dan had meetings at the site and then at home and back at the site for most of the day. The builders started putting up walls in the milk house and the concrete crew put in the Guest House patio which is beautiful!
And the local paper came out to interview us and take some pictures Thursday afternoon, so if you get the Clarksville Star, be looking for us! And all week I've still been doing calf chores, which I want to give it's own post if I ever find the time!
Friday was a rain day - it literally rained all day! After dropping Miss Muffet at her first day of Preschool we met with our carpenter who will be finishing out the Guest House starting this next week! The builders spent the day inside working on the walls in the milkhouse.
It's amazing what can get accomplished in a week when everyone is working together and there are a lot of people working! The rest of the barn starts going up this week along with walls in the Guest House, it's going to keep getting more crazy!
Were you surprised by how much got done this week?
Another week down... I'm counting down until I can stop writing Building Updates and can start giving you more farm updates (not that life will be any less crazy but at least we'll have reached our goal!).
This week windows and doors went up as well as the wrap and beginnings of steel siding. Spray foam for the roof & truss wall areas is coming mid-week, which means we can start framing up walls inside next week! And our building crew will be able to get back to building the rest of the barn. The header on the outside that you see if for a porch area that will hopefully be poured this week as well! We had some family visit again on Saturday to check on progress.
The other big event of the week was trenching in the main electric underground to the barn transformer area. That means within 2 weeks we should start to have power inside! Remember you can click on pictures to make them bigger!
I should've mentioned it last week but if you visited the Iowa State Fair last week you may have run into us, well, at least our picture. Our picture was used in one of the promotional banners that was displayed and we had a lot of friends tag us on Facebook or text us that they "saw" us there!
And a BIG thank you goes out to Dan's brother James and his family who came to the farm this weekend to help milk the cows to give both our neighbor who has been milking for Dan, Pam & Dave, and me a little break. He said milking cows was like riding a bike and he got right back into it!
Dan got to start some physical therapy this week too, which will continue for the next few weeks until we visit the doctor again to find out his next steps. He's been doing a good job getting his exercises done each day - he's anxious to get back on both of his feet!
Hope you have a good last week of August... can you believe it? I can't!
20 weeks. Let me say that again, 20 weeks. That seems like so much longer than 19 weeks and it's all gone really fast! We've made a what seems like a reasonable goal to be milking in the new barn by December 1st (and hopefully moving into the apartment before that!). Turns out that's the date I was praying we'd be milking by LAST YEAR... apparently I forgot to add in which year we wanted it to happen to my prayers! But we've learned a lot (like patience!) and in the end will have a better barn and be more prepared.
The progress wasn't as dramatic this week but I'm sure just as important. Plus realistically it's going to be pretty hard to beat last week's dramatic change! Dan got to the site a few times to see the progress and have a meeting. He's doing a great job hanging out with the kids while I do calf chores each morning and night although he is getting a little antsy being around home all the time. We go back on Tuesday to find out what's next in his recovery.
The steel roof went on the south side on Friday which is good since there's rain in the forecast for this week. That way they can work under cover if it's too rainy to be outside. Here's the pictures... remember you can click them to make them bigger and hover to get captions!
We had some four-legged visitors this week who were anxious to see their new diggs! That's right, Tuesday night the "low" cows decided they just couldn't wait to check out their new barn and spent the night camping out in front of the barn on the sand piles. It could be that the alfalfa we made into hay this week was tempting too, since Dan's dad, Dave, said they tromped around all over in that field too!
When Wednesday morning arrived there were only 2 cows still out that Dave had to help get back to their group, the rest had already made their way back into their pasture. Who knows how long they'd been sneaking out at night only to come back just before needing to get milked in the morning! Now their fence is fixed so they can't make late night excursions.
It so happened that our building crew wasn't able to come on Wednesday so no one really noticed that we'd had visitors the night before. When I stopped by for a quick picture on Wednesday late afternoon I didn't even notice all the cow pies strewn about since I just stepped out of the car for a quick picture. It wasn't until Thursday that we all realized how many had visited based on the number of cow pies! But if you look closely at the picture I took on Wednesday you can see all the pies! Soon cows, soon... we're working hard to get it done!
Thanks for joining us on this journey... until next week!
At the end of another week, I feel so silly that last week I thought it had been a crazy week, because the crazy just got more intense this week... Dan was still recovering, dogs attacked some of our calves, we threw in VBS which I & Pam helped with, and I still did calf chores & checked-in at the building site, as well as "normal" life things like tumbling class and a run to Walmart, along with a couple nights early on with interrupted mommy sleep again! Thankfully we have an amazing support system with our parents, grandparents, & friends, thank you!
Now you may be wondering then, why blog if you have so much going on? Well, it's for you and, really, it's for me too. I want you to be able to follow our journey, I want to be able to look back on it and remember, and I want others in the future to be able to experience our process too! So here we go with this crazy week...
Off the big pain pills and feeling better and more antsy, Dan made it up to the building site 2 times on Friday and again on Saturday, when he proceeded to climb a ladder to the loft (yes, I'm not sure that was in his doctor's orders for this week!). Being patient with recovery is only going to get harder now!
The walls in our Guest House space went up quickly and dramatically since we used SIP panels, pre-made insulated panels that you put together like a puzzle. I missed going by on Tuesday (remember, it was a crazy week?) and so it changed a ton from Monday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon.
And this truly is a team effort! When I stopped by on Wednesday I had to solve with the construction crew where to put a piece of equipment that had arrived. Dan's Grandpa Neil was there and had the winning idea, which was good since it was so much simpler and better than what the rest of us thought! Which calls for a shout out to our building crew who has taken on some extra tasks with Dan being laid up and not being available as much to take deliveries at the site, etc. We are so blessed!
We had lots of visitors this weekend! My mom stopped out again before heading home. Dan's brother & sister-in-law were here for the weekend, and his Uncle & Aunt were visiting too, and we didn't get to visit at the same time but his cousin also stopped out with his Grandpa Neil! It's getting more exciting! We love to share it with people, as that's one of our big goals through the whole vision!
The views from the loft are amazing! Iowa is truly beautiful. Right now it's the full green fields finishing our their growing cycle until harvest, when the colors will start turning into reds, yellows, and browns. I took a few pictures of just the views when I climbed up to the loft on Friday but Dan's dad took some when most everyone (including yes, Dan & the kids) climbed up on Saturday and those are more interesting because they have people :)
And as I mentioned above we did have some dogs attack our calves mid week. It hasn't ever happened before and I know my in-laws (and us!) hope it never does again. When I finally showed up to do calf chores, they'd already had a long night of searching for calves and an early, early morning call to the vet. For most of the morning we still had one missing calf but finally about noon Dave found her hiding in some tall grass. I'm pleased to say that the two calves that were injured most are doing much better now and hopefully will have a full recovery!
Hopefully this week will be a little calmer, although without my mom here it'll probably stay a bit crazy because Dan is in charge of the kids while I'm doing chores and although he can help them with a few things he mostly can keep them entertained and alive while I'm gone :) As we look toward our timeline, I would say our goal now is to get in and started before Thanksgiving! We shall see, we shall see... thanks for taking this journey with us!
OH MY. WHAT. A. WEEK. Maybe not for anyone else but I'm pooped, and I've been dealing with a lot more poop!
If you've been following on Facebook or Twitter or have just heard it through the grapevine, Dan had ankle surgery bright and early on Tuesday morning. Thankfully the surgeon said things went well and is hopeful that Dan will be able to use the tendon he severed during a camping prayer retreat back in February. (It just took this long for all the medical hoops and tests and appointments to be gone through to finally get it fixed.)
We only had about a weeks notice to get prepared from when it was scheduled since we wanted it done as soon as possible, as these next 6 weeks are the best 6 weeks for him to recover both from a building project stand point and work at the current farm. A big thanks to Dr. Greg Lantz at Family Foot Health Care who opened up a spot for him to have surgery as soon as possible, knowing this was the window of opportunity. A HUGE thanks goes out to his parents, my mom, and our various neighbors and friends who have been helping (and hopefully will keep helping!) as Dan recovers.
I've been helping with calf chores at the farm for about 2 hours in the morning and evening each day, which will warrant it's own post at the end of my 6 week experience caring for those calves full-time! And since Dan's still on the loopy, drowsy pain meds I've been taking calls, dealing with questions, and trying to keep things moving along at the building site. Another big thanks goes out to all of those who have been gracious and helpful to me as I'm helping get things figured out!
And then of course, I've been Dan's nurse which means making sure he gets his pain meds every 4 hours even in the middle of the night.... and hoping the kids don't wake up in between those 4 hours so I can get 3 hours of solid sleep.... I think it's happened once so far :) Anywho, if this post seems a little off, it's because I'm a tad bit sleep deprived at the moment! Thankfully unlike having a baby who wakes you up multiple times in the middle of the night, I know this should end soon, prayers to for healing, ending of the pain, and sleeping kids would be appreciated!!!
So you probably want to know what actually got done this week... here it goes!
The week started out with more steel going on the front of the barn... it obviously will need to be power washed! The concrete guys finished up a few little things so that the building crew could start putting walls up on the milk house and the guest house! Friday morning the bulk tank arrived, which means they can close the milk house and guest house in and we can start working inside!
Here's what Dan's been up to... Be watching for a 31 days of ice cream wrap up post later this week!
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!