It took me years to convince my in-laws to move here to the Kansas City area. They were in Wichita for the first few years of my marriage and with my plans for having children, I really wanted them to be closer. I had/have a very close relationship with my paternal grandparents. I spent more time at their house than at my own. We had horses, chickens, ducks, a cow, pigs, countless litters of puppies and kitties... A playhouse and 4 wheelers... Hot chocolate and sledding on their hill... So many rich memories. I wanted that badly for my own children. Since we live 7 hours away from my family, I knew that my husband's family was my best shot at having this close relationship for my kids...
My husband's brother got married a week after we got married. He and his wife moved to KC from Chicago at the same time. We moved here from Northwest Arkansas. My mother-in-law was itching to move here, too, but my father-in-law was resistant. He'd spent a lot of time planting trees and improving the house they lived in near Wichita...
I was always on the lookout for houses that would suit them. We looked at many and they made offers on a couple that didn't work out. My father-in-law had lots of requirements. He needed a barn or a shop. He wanted a house that didn't face the north. He wanted a roof that had a certain pitch. He wanted a paved road. He wanted some land.
We finally settled on a house that is about 20 minutes from ours. It's 10 minutes from my brother and sister-in-law. There is a very nice shop for my father-in-law to play in. They have about 5 acres and it's on a paved road. He is dissatisfied with the roof and with the fact that it faces the north (makes snow removal more difficult)... but overall, they're happy there.
Besides the nice shop, there's an old barn. It was a dusty mess that I thought they should bulldoze down. I think it was used previously as a chicken coop. But my father-in-law seemed more excited about this old barn than his nice shop. I think he saw potential in it. We call it, "Barn B". After many improvements (doors that lock, reinforcing the loft, patching holes in the roof, coats of paint, etc.), it's looking much better.
The state of Kansas is celebrating their sesquicentennial this year, so they've decided to enter a contest that encourages people to paint quilt blocks on their barn. The contest asks that you incorporate a sunflower and the dates of Kansas' statehood. Here's the finished product:
I think it turned out great! Don't you?