Walter was here

I love finding evidence of Walter's play around the house, so I've decided to start a little collection of things I find that make me smile. I'll share them as I find them.
Ducks in a row
Kitchen circus


All aboard!

After stuffing ourselves with turkey on Thanksgiving, (Thanks, Mom. It was really yummy!) we headed up to Green Bay to take a ride on The Polar Express. The National Railroad Museum hosts the event, which is a reading of the story and a train ride to the North Pole (wink, wink) to see Santa. Walter had been waiting for this for weeks and he was not disappointed. He got to talk to conductors and drink hot chocolate. He squirmed through the story, waiting to hear the "All aboard!" that would let him on the train. Then he snuggled into his grandparents' laps for the ride to the North Pole. The conductors passed out chocolates and bells to all the kids. The story tells us that if you can hear the bell, that means you believe in Santa. Every one of us heard that bell ring. 
Polar Express
Polar Express
Polar Express
Polar Express



We've reached the why phase. Everything we say to Walter gets the response, "Why?" It's cute - for a while. I quickly resort to, "Because." And sometimes even, "Because I said so." But I think we might be able to put this why phase to work for us. For instance, the next time we are on the phone with a certain home improvement store's customer service department and they are telling us they forgot to order our bathroom cabinets, I think we'll put Walter on the phone to ask them, "Why?" Over, and over, and over again. 


Mission impossible?

The goal: to paint the entire interior of our house in two days.
An ambitious goal, but I was optimistic. We had assembled a team of painters and a pile of supplies. We were ready! And I'm confident we could have done it! But, the house wasn't quite ready for us. There were a few rooms that needed some work before we could paint, and tracking down the people we needed to do that work was a challenge. We did what we could and we got most of the interior of the house painted. What we got done looks great and there's only a small amount left to do. Mission almost accomplished!
Thanks, team, for all your help. We could not have done it without you! 
Jim paints
Erin paints
Rick paints


On a roll

We've been at this for 2 days. 
Soft denim
Full report by the end of the weekend. Maybe...


That soup

On a night that's filled with grocery shopping, picking out paint colors, and a Badger basketball game, this soup is perfect for dinner. It's fast, it's easy, it's thick and hearty, and it warms you up for the cold walk to the Kohl Center. I pulled this recipe from a magazine a couple of years ago, quickly committed it to memory and tossed it away. I have no idea what it's called, so I'm going to call it "That Soup."
That Soup
1 lb bulk sausage, any variety
1 package frozen squash, thawed
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar salsa, any variety
Cook sausage until brown and crumbly. Add squash, beans and salsa. Heat through.
You can play with the flavors of sausage and salsa to suit your tastes.
See? It's that easy. It even leaves you enough time to write a blog post.


Windows, walls and work

Just a quick house update today. Is there anything else? It seems as though all we talk about or think about is the house. But we're getting closer to finished and moving in is only a month away!
We now have windows and walls. We'll be painting by the end of the week. Here are two photos – the same two views you've seen before
During - the walls are up!
During - the walls are up!
Now I can really imagine what the finished house will look like. I can't wait to get some paint on those walls. Nate and I spent today installing tile in Walter's bathroom. I'm exhausted, but it felt great for me to finally be able to get in and do some work – and add a little decoration to the dusty construction mess. One step closer to finished! And now I'm going to collapse into bed.


Bucky's house

We had a nice little break from house stuff tonight. We took Walter to a Badger men's basketball game at the Kohl Center – or "Bucky's house," as Walter appropriately calls it. We only stayed for the first half, since we were already cutting into bedtime, but we got to see plenty of Bucky, cheerleaders, the dance team, the band... Oh, and there were basketball players too. The Badgers had a huge lead when we left. I think it's safe to say they won. And I'm happy to report that Walter still thinks the giant W stands for Walter


Our new outside

The visits to the new house are getting more frequent. And so are the visits to the home improvement stores. (We should get some sort of prize for the most trips to Menards ever!) We are all looking forward to the end of this project and to settling in to our new home. We're already getting more familiar with the outdoor spaces. Walter loves to walk on the paths through the woods – "patheses," he calls them. Molly is even more excited about all the new places to explore. Every visit makes me fall more in love with the place. All the hassle of these couple of months will be so worth it!
Midmorning frost
Molly likes the new house too


That was fast!

Just a few days ago the outbuilding was torn down. And now, from an impossibly tiny pile of materials, this new outbuilding is already built!
New outbuilding
I'm completely shocked at how fast that happened. Who knew an entire building could be built so quickly? This building will be used as a workshop and as storage. The part I'm excited about is this:
Garden plans
We will be taking parts of the kitchen we tore out of the house and using them for a canning kitchen right there next to the garden! It will keep all that dirt and canning mess out of the house. I can't wait to use it. 
And, since photos of a building really aren't very exciting, here are a few more shots from my last visit to the property.
Walter and Grampa
Front gate


Halloween recap

Oh wow! Trick-or-treating is the most fun thing ever! This was Walter's first year collecting candy and we had a blast. Our first stops were at the grandparents' houses for treats and photos. We bumped into Walter's fairy-princess cousins who kindly posed for pictures. 
Halloween 2010
Then it was off to the Lee's neighborhood. Kyla is a pro at trick-or-treating and was happy to show Walter and Finn how it was done.
Halloween 2010
Halloween 2010
It was so fun seeing Walter's cow ears flopping in the wind as he ran from house to house. We were all exhausted by the end of the night and Walter's bucket was too heavy for him to carry. How are we ever going to get through all that candy? I'm sure we'll find a way...
Halloween 2010
Click on any photo to see a few more on Flickr.