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No, we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  Believe me we’re quite here, and busy as always.  We did find some time the past few months to enjoy a terrific family reunion and a couple of camping weekends.  Now, school is back in session, the kids are back into their routine, and we are busy trying to get things lined up for the winter.  The biggest, most exciting news is the Extreme Home Makeover that’s currently filming in Fargo.  Nearly every member of the Home Builder’s Association is participating, and its major chaos.  Jay was at the job site Monday and Tuesday, and played a critical role in preparing the basement foundation that the Grommesh’s current home was moved to.   Last night they replaced windows and doors, and that home will be great for another family to move into shortly.  Of course, the main focus is at the build site for the new home, with people working at warp speed to construct, decorate and move the family back into the home in 106 hours.   I can’t wait to watch when the episode is aired later this year.  They have live webcam footage I will try to link to our site for the last few days.  I’ll also add photos from Jay’s camera, since I haven’t done that for 6 months or so.   

On the business end of it, Jay has been all over the place.  New metal roofing for the Madsen farm outbuildings near Wheatland, a new roof for Ms. Leff, and a new garage and patio for Ms. Wegner, plus a few smaller fill in jobs.   Jay is currently doing a commercial job, framing in a room within a warehouse.   It’s quite a specialized project, with lots of learning along the way.  All of these jobs have come to us through referrals or repeat business.  Thank you for those of you that send good jobs our way.  Jay recently attended a full day of training on energy codes and up-dated residential building codes.   Earlier this spring I attended a full day training on the recent EPA regulations demanding that all firms that work around lead paint be educated, tested and certified.   The day was long, but I walked out with my passing test, paid my fees, and we are now certified.  I’ve also attended a 2 day workshop sponsored by HUD, USDA and EPA that focused on sustainable communities.  I chose to attend the city planning sessions and learned a ton about funding sources for projects. 

 Jay and I are still busy with City of Mapleton issues.  The planning and zoning committee has had several issues for Jay and the rest to discuss.  My spot on the City Council has proven itself to be demanding this past summer.  We have 2 or 3 meeting per month.  The good news is that we have pinned down our budget for 2011 and the Meridian Road project is nearing completion, both areas of major discussion on the council.   Jay and I love this town, and after 4 years we have definately planted our roots.  Our kids will be raised here, and we hope to see the town grow and prosper.  We do STILL have our spec home for sale, which breaks our hearts.  We have had an interested family, unfortunately we couldn’t come to an acceptable deal.   That neighborhood is filling in, a couple of houses each summer, so hopefully that will encourage shoppers. 

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers these next few months.  I can’t go into specifics, but it has to do with our foster children that we’ve had for the past 18 months.  

Enjoy the fall weather while it lasts.  I know the kids always look forward to the first snow, but we’d rather not see it until Christmas.

 Carlita and Jay 

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