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I know, I know, it's been forever since you've heard from us. We were in full-on farm improvement mode for the entire month of June. Then we had a family reunion. Combine that with lots of visitors and out-of-town trips for both of us and we've had what amounts to an insanely busy summer. I haven't quite worked out how to get it all done. I'll let you know if I can ever figure that out, but don't hold your breath. Here are some of the things we've worked on so far this summer. I guess I could sum it up in a few words - we attempted to clean everything and paint everything. But that's boring, so here are some pictures. We cleaned some of the barns. And we had help, thank goodness.

We painted. So many things, but not all of the things. I'm trying to get motivated again to finish up some of the painting projects. The angel on my shoulder keeps pushing me to keep painting and crossing projects off the list - we only have so many sunny days left to get it done. The devil on my shoulder is telling me to relax, lay by the pool and enjoy the rest of the summer. Right now the devil is winning. Anthony finished painting the exterior of the coop.

The pool house, diving board and deck got painted.

The master bedroom got painted.


And after

We got some new barn doors, and yes, they also got painted. Are you getting the picture?

I planted a vegetable garden.

And a sunflower garden.

And an herb garden.

And lots of flowers.

The reunion went off without a hitch. It was somewhat surreal to see so many of my family members in my kitchen, sitting on my front deck and hanging out at our place. We had a weekend filled with laughs and love and I'm not even making that up to sound good for this post. It really was everything I hoped it would be, and more.

My giant/little brother knocked the Y on the sign with his head. I think that makes this photo perfect.

Lots of Minute to Win It Games = intense competition + fun

Anthony created a big paint by number painting that all the kids painted together, with his direction, of course.

My brother and sister-in-law watching the cows

More games

Everyone looked adorable in their Fourth of July gear

Anthony was complimenting me one day shortly after the reunion - telling one of his friends that I did such a great job and that I could write a book. I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point, until I heard him say that the book could be titled "How to make your husband do a ton of work in a short period of time." So much for my moment of glory. We were also able to fit some fun time in here and there. Anthony and my godson Owen caught a Cubs game. My cousin Lindsey and I visited Chicago for her first time.

The best part of all of this is that we still have one more month of summer to go! I'm thinking the devil on my shoulder is going to win out and I'm going to do my best to enjoy the rest of our summer, doing as few projects as possible.

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