As an effort to get the boys some fresh air last week, I thought we'd go out and do some eagle watching.  We took a drive to the Lock and Dam north of Burlington (I don't know it's number), and immediately saw our first eagle as we drove up the road to the dam.  It was hanging around a deer corpse on the side of the road, and flew up and over our car as we drove down the road.  It was a great "first sighting" and got the boys very excited about seeing more eagles.
We were the only ones there that day, so the boys were able to run free and stretch their legs a bit.  There weren't huge amounts of eagles, but it was enough for us!  We had so much fun that we went back over the weekend with daddy, and even made a trip to Keokuk to see if we could have some better luck. 
I've been practicing with a new camera, so this was a great opportunity to try out my zoom lens.  Enjoy!

The House's "New Year Update"

A bit later each year, but better late than never, right? A few years ago I made a giant To Do list for our house and I've tried to update it yearly to reflect what we've accomplished.

Here is the key:

Red: Accomplished in 2007

Blue: Accomplished in 2008

Green: Accomplished in 2009

Black: To Do

Jayden's Room - NOW the "Toy Room"

  • Touch up floor paint
  • Install and paint quarter round and floor trim
  • Finish shelving (this is partly done)
  • Install dimmer switch
  • Blank covers for obsolete outlets
  • Install lighting in closet
  • Paint door

Master Bedroom

  • One more coat of paint on walls
  • Edging on ceiling
  • Plate covers
  • Finish Trim
  • Install Door
  • Install closet lights
  • Run cable to our room

Upstairs Hallway

  • Finish patching cracks
  • Sand
  • Primer and paint ceilings and walls
  • Install lighting
  • Switch plate covers
  • Paint woodwork
  • Install shelving

Kid's Bath

  • Finish Floor
  • Plumbing
  • Order faucet for tub
  • Sand walls
  • Primer and Paint walls and ceiling
  • Finish painting bead board
  • Put up trim
  • Put up and finish door
  • Install Lighting
  • Hang medicine cabinet


  • Sand, primer, paint walls and ceiling
  • Sand and varnish woodwork (this is partly done)

Living Room

  • Finish woodwork
  • Finish installing built in media cabinet
  • Finish dresser
  • Finish and install french doors
  • Touch up paint

Family Room - This is now the Dining Room

  • Touch up paint
  • Put up woodwork
  • Finish woodwork
  • Install built in bookshelves

Dining Room - This is now the Family Room

  • One more coat of regular paint
  • Top coat paints
  • Woodwork
  • Switch plate covers
  • Door on closet

Half bath

  • Put in ceiling
  • Plaster, sand, primer, and paint walls and ceiling
  • Paint bead board and woodwork
  • Plate covers (all but the lightswitch)
  • Hang medicine cabinet


  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Drywall walls and ceiling
  • Plaster, Sand, Primer and paint walls and ceiling
  • Install and paint woodwork
  • Sand and varnish floor <--We painted instead
  • Install lighting
  • Install cabinets
  • Install appliances


  • Scrape paint
  • Primer (partial!)
  • Paint (partial!)
  • Begin landscaping
  • Finish Bay Windows
  • Porch Floor (partial!)
  • Straighten Porch (partial!)
Gavin's Room - NOW the "Boy's Bedroom"
  • Burn paint off closet door and bedroom door
  • Primer doors
  • Paint doors
  • Fix floor
  • Install quarter round
  • Touch up wall

Here's to 2010!