Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Day at the Office....BRRR!

Blizzard Conditions at Work......Again! The above picture is the view from my work trailer.
This is the view of the rig from my work trailer.

Blowing Snow

It seems as though Winter is here. The high today was -18 and the low last night was -32 with a windchill of -52. We still drill in these conditions, but things move alot slower. The Rig Hands spend thier day making sure the rig doesn't freeze up. We should see a little bit of a warm up by Thursday, they high then is 5 above. Not exactly a heat wave but we'll take it. I'm not sure how many inches of snow we got here at work but Bismarck got 12.5 inches. I'm sure glad we bought a new snowblower after the last storm. Beth took a few pictures at home and I'm sure she'll get them up within a few days.
Karen, I think our North Dakota Winter Wonderland beats yours. Ha Ha Ha.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today was such a nice day that the kids and I went outside in the front to build a snowman. Thanks to my favorite mother-in-law, she had sent up some snowman kits which was a big help with the carrot for the nose, black eyes, mouth, pipe (if you can see it), buttons, hat, and even the scarf. All we had to do was add snow! Which we have plenty of. It was a lot of fun. Enjoy our snowman from ND.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Our first big Remodeling Job, our Basement Bathroom

The cabinets will go between this shower wall and the bathroom wall.
It was Beth's idea to tie in the color of the floor and the shower by adding a few tiles of the same color as the floor into the shower walls. It turned out Fantastic!

I really wish we would have taken some "Before" pictures of this bathroom. It was dark, dingy and I wouldn't have ever showered in the shower that was in here when we bought the house last year. There was track lighting, old linoleum and the walls were a pastel purple. We had to totally re sheet rock the walls after we fixed a small water leak and we gutted the whole bathroom. Initially we were going to install a simple corner shower stall but after measuring and consulting with my wonderful father-in-law we decided to just build and tile a new shower.
Now my job is great but one of the downsides to my job is I spend lots of time away from home. This left us in somewhat of a pickle, I can do a lot when I'm home but I usually run out of time and I didn't want to rush through anything. So my father-in-law, Dennis Fried, stepped up to bat and basically did everything I didn't or couldn't get done. He moved waterlines for the shower, completely built the shower to the specs Beth wanted, ran the wires for the lights, and fan we installed. He did all this on his own time mostly working late in the evening after putting in a full day at his business. The job he did far surpasses what I imagined it would be and I can't thank him enough for helping us out.
After the bathroom was all reconstructed, my wonderfully, smart, frugal wife picked out the tile for the bathroom floor, shower and grout colors for both. I had such a hard time trying to visualize everything so she took care of all of this and it turned out GREAT!!! Both Beth and Dennis have done a great job on this bathroom and it's turning out great.
We still have to install the sink, we're going with a pedestal style sink to save a little room. We have cabinets that we're struggling with for the space between the shower and the one wall, but I know whatever we go with will look great so long as I leave the choice up to Beth. The last big thing we're adding is glass blocks. We want to install glass blocks on a small portion of two walls to fill in where a window is and then on top of the one shower wall to help keep water in the shower.
It's really coming together and I am so proud of the job that has been done to date. Once we finish this bathroom, we're moving upstairs and will tackle the main bathroom. I'll make sure to get before and after pictures the next time.
Thanks again Dennis and Beth you guys did a great job on this bathroom.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our new "Vacation Home" and snowed in

This is our new "Vacation Home"

I got home just in time to dig Beth and the kids out.

We purchased a gently used camper in early September, and I finally had time to pick it up over the last two weeks. We plan on parking it in Riverdale, ND on Lake Sakakwea next summer. This way Beth and the kids can head up at anytime with groceries and just relax. The location is great as it's only 70 miles from our home in Bismark and about 80 miles from where I'm working. We have several friends that spend thier summers at the same campground and we've had lots of fun spending the day with them so we decided to get a camper and spend more time there. Once it warms up and we can get inside and personalize the interior we'll put more pictures up for now this is all you get.

The second picture is the aftermath of our first true winter storm. I got stuck at the rig an extra night but made it home the next day. The interstate between Bismarck and Dickinson was closed so me and a buddy followed each other on a two lane highway all the way home. It was slow going and somewhat stressful driving on solid ice for 120 + miles but we made it with no problems. When I got home I couldn't even get in my driveway because of all the snow. The drift in front of the garage doesn't look that big, but it was up to my upper thigh. The kids had a great time while Beth and I cleared the driveway and the kids threw snowballs at us. It was fun for them until we started throwing back, then they didn't think it was quite as much fun. One great thing about a big storm is everyone is out and everyone helps eachother out. We have a neighbor with a bigger snowblower on his yard tractor so he helped clear some of our driveway and sidewalk. We also have the nicest neighbors, Wally and Betty. They are a little bit older and I just hate to see him out there shoveling so I helped clear his driveway and he promised to bring a few beers over once it warms back up. After shoveling our driveway and our neighbors we decided we would either pay a snow removal company to take care of it for us or just buy a snow blower. Well we drove around that same afternoon and there were still people that couldn't get out while they were waiting on the snow removal company so our minds were made up that we would buy a snow blower. Two days later we went to Lowe's and purchased a really nice snowblower that Beth will have no problem using while I'm at work. It will make life much easier during the winter.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ice Skating (FINALLY)

Okay, after getting both Megan's and Grant's iceskates sharpened and ready to go off we went to Schumberg arena where they have free iceskating. Grant has to wear a full face mask since he is smaller and his first time on ice. To anyone wondering if they should put their kids in hockey just remember that it is Extremely Expensive (at least that is what my friends say about their kids in hockey)! But they had such a blast and Grant just loves being out on the ice. Megan doesn't use the walker (for balance) anymore but wanted to use it the first day we went out. One of the pictures of Megan is really blurry but her smile tells a thousand words. You will see that Grant biffed it but got up and went some more. By the end of the time period for skating he didn't want anyone helping him, he had to do it by himself. Can you say Mr. Independent?! We get to go on Tues and Thurs since Mondays are so busy already we don't go then. But can't wait until Tuesday to go back.

Buying Ice Skates

Grant was so excited we went to Scheels and bought him hockey skates. He fell asleep in the truck on the way home holding the box the skates came in.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pretty Snow

Okay yes these are all about the snow, next will be the kids on iceskates. Grant loves it already and wants to go back but first, here are some pretty pictures after the blizzard we had..