Ranch House; Exterior Phase 1

As we near the finish line of this exciting yet massively daunting home building project, I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane and see how far we've come. It's a good reminder of how close we really are to finishing. And most of our friends and family haven't seen these, so you might enjoy a step-by-step look. Unfortunately we don't have the best photos...just a bunch of rough snapshots. But they'll do for now.

This was kicked off in the spring of 2007, about a month before Thane and I got married. Which means it's been almost exactly four years since then.

Our front driveway. The house is around the bend and up the hill. Thane's parents nick-named this area the "Enchanted Forest", because it's a deep forest with perfect rows of trees. Thane took me for a walk through it the first time I came to the ranch, the summer before we started college. And now we're building a house there. I like to think it's romantic.

This is what's "around the bend". A large section of trees were cleared out to make room for our house and yard.

Step #1: The basement. The guys hauled wet concrete all day and poured the flooring. I wasn't around to witness any of this or to have any say in the floor plan, I was still working full time in Virginia, boo!

Ah, the trusty circular saw

Once the basement was complete, Thane and his dad got right to work on the main level. This is the first thing I saw in person after we were married and moved out there together to keep building. Thankfully, Karl and Andrea (Thane's parents) let us crash in their place for those five months. Living in our house at that point would have been more like camping, ha!

Karl was a huge help! Without his building expertise I don't know how we would have done it. Notice that nail gun lying on the ground; he put a nail through his finger one day- ouch! Talk about putting your sweat and blood into something.

Look at that He-Man!

 Sitting and dining room

Hallway leading from the front entryway to the kitchen

The second story is up!

 Garage door openings

Master bedroom


Back of the house

So, if memory serves me right, this is about where we left off when Thane and I moved back to the east coast in the fall of 2007. Our blissful summer months on the ranch had drawn to a close and it was time to get on with his army career. He headed to Fort Benning, GA for a couple of months to complete a course, and I moved back to Virginia.

Construction didn't wane for long though...phase 2 photos coming soon!

And the Army Keeps Rolling (Us) Along

Congratulations to Thane on taking command! This little wifey is proud indeed, even if somewhat inconvenienced by the temporary move to Fort Knox. This wasn't what we were expecting after Thane submitted his paperwork to resign his commission (to get out of the army, for you non-army geeks). But lo and behold, here we are.

The changing of the flag.

Thane and Charlie company.

The outgoing commander and his wife were so much fun! It's sad that they're moving away...

Our family, + one little addition (no, not the baby, the Blackberry work cell that demands to be answered at all times of the day and night, including dinner out and 4am...very similar to a baby! You can't see it because it's attached to Thane's hip with a handy dandy "dad" clip that's exactly like one my dad has. I couldn't help but call Thane an old man when I saw it.)

So there you have it. This puts a tiny bit of a kink in our ranch plans, but probably for the better. Thane will most likely complete the full year of command time, which pushes our getting-out date back a few months. But we won't complain about some extra time of predictable income in Georgia, a place that's been such a blessing to us.

Asher was welcomed into the new unit with his own uniform. But this Junior Red Knight Tanker is quite unhappy...he had his heart set on the Infant-try.

Ha! Until next time...Hi ho hi hay!


Howdy y'all-

Welcome to the new family blog. For those of you who don't know us, we're an army family of three. Our location changes quite frequently, but we're currently living at Fort Knox, Kentucky. We are; Thane (dad, breadwinner, cookie fiend), Sarah (stay at home mom, military wife, chocolate, coffee, & art lover), and Asher (8 week old monkey baby, milk enthusiast). But most important of all, we love Jesus and seek to live lives that are obediant and pleasing to Him. He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:16), our faithful God and Redeemer, and our greatest joy!

So, what does an army family living on a military base in Kentucky have to do with a "Modern Ranch"?


Our dream home and final destination, God willing, is waiting for us on an 1000 acre cattle ranch located on the border of Nebraska and South Dakota. (The ranch lies on the south side of the border, in Nebraska, while our mailbox and hence our address and official residency lies on the north, in South Dakota- it's complicated.) We're in the process of building our home, a project we took on a month before our marriage in June of 2007. It's not finished yet, but we're getting there! Although we're both originally from Virginia, Thane's parents have owned the land and lived there for a number of years now. And this massive home building project has only been possible due to their extremely generous support. Without them, we woudn't be anywhere close to having a completed house!

A view of the North pasture...recognize it?

Thane and I are both from the metropolitan of Northern Virginia-city folk- so most find it odd that we're choosing to settle in (literally) the middle of nowhere. And that's no exaggeration, the ranch is thirty minutes down unmarked dirt roads from the nearest small town, and three and half hours away from the closest "big" town (Sioux Falls, South Dakota). Even GoogleMaps can't pinpoint it. And we absolutely love it! It's 1000 acres of beautiful, peaceful, quiet land where we can enjoy a simple, slow life. "God's country", we like to call it. And the perfect place to raise Asher and any other little monkeys that are added to the pack.

I've wanted to start a blog to record the details of our experience on the ranch for years. I always assumed we needed to actually get there first, but there's so much involved in preparing to go that it's quite an experience even now! We've been so blessed to be able to build our dream home in such a beautiful place, praise God for His constant provision. But it's not over yet...our home has been quite the "Do it Yourself" project, and we hope to share it here with all with our family and friends.

So, here we go- saddle up, partner! (Last corny cowboy phrase, I promise.)

Nicki's Diapers: Nicki's Weekly Giveaway: Best Bottom Diaper

Nicki's Diapers: Nicki's Weekly Giveaway: Best Bottom Diaper: "Ready for your chance to win a Best Bottom Diaper ! Your choice of Snap OR Hook & Loop Closure. Nicki's Diapers will choose the color base..."

Breaking the Baby News to Hubby

I wanted this exciting time to be really special and memorable, so here's what I did; I made personalized clue cards and set up a scavenger hunt. I set out champagne glasses and sparkling cider (our favorite!), along with the first clue card of the hunt. Once he finished the hunt and found the news, we celebrated with the cider.

Clue Card 1: "I may be really small...and attached to a wall."
Just like an embryo, get it?
This card led him to the second card, that was literally "taped to a wall"....

Clue Card 2: "I may be knit with yarn...next to the sofa's arm."
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13
This card led to the third clue, hidden in my knitting basket next to our couch.

Clue Card 3: "I may be cute and sweet...where can you find a treat?"
Just like a little baby!
This card led to the fridge, where there was a piece of chocolate candy with another clue attached to it.

Clue Card 4: "I may be a gift...give the blue pillow lift!"
The news was certainly a gift!
This led to the last card and gift, hidden under the blue sofa pillow on our zebra chair.

Card 5: "Today I'm just a line...but you'll see more of me in time! You found me Daddy!"
Now all we can see is a line on a stick, but before too long we'll have a real, live baby!


This was so fun and easy, and we'll never forget it :)

Nursery Reveal

After months of shopping, sewing, painting, crafting, organizing, and then redoing it a zillion times, I can finally say that the nursery is complete! For now at least...haha. I never imagined having so much fun with this! 


Fell in love with Joel Dewberry's "Sparrows in Almond" collection, and so that became the theme! Made the bumper cover, crib skirt, decorative pillows, and valence. Thane's Grandma crocheted the little bunny :)



Wanted to incorporate some extra color in the room, so I painted the bird plaques and a added a few other blue accents. I made the little wreaths as well, they were fun :)



Framed the Sparrow washcloths that came from Etsy (they're too nice to use!), spray painted a $1 thrift shop shelf orange, and picked up some wooden crates to use for storage. Also painted the little bird houses and made the pillow. There are just too many fun and cheap project possibilities.



Some details...used wooden CD crates as decorative shelves to match the larger storage crates, and hung a fruit holder to go with the crate theme. Again, those hand-made burp cloths from Etsy are just too nice to use. I also painted the little sparrow plaque to match the fabric. Found the little hanging picture of two birds at a thrift store for $1.50, and painted it to match the room.

Love the Woodland Animals print! Hopefully the baby likes it...


There it is! Now we just need our baby to go in it :)

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