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It's time to start improving our home... and that means I'm going to write about it. That picture up top? That's Rock Father HQ. Pretty on the outside... but some evil lurks within...

When my wife and I bought this house five years ago, we knew that there were some issues. On the surface and in the listing, the house looked nice - a somewhat "normal," generally modest 1,300 sq. ft. home in Chicago's Northern suburbs. The two-level (three, if you count the two steps down to the family room) house was built in 1990 as part of the subdivision boom of the era, and like many homes of the time, probably went up quick and with some corners cut. I would've loved "newer" and "bigger" (really wanted a basement), but my wife and I agreed that the house was good, the price was ok and it had the good size yard were hoping for - but most importantly - it had the schools we wanted and we could make it beautiful. As with any home purchase, the inspection found some problems, a few of which we knocked-out right away, and some others that were destined to sit for a bit. Maybe even a bit too long.

As we're experiencing record-highs here in Northern Illinois this week, my daughter and I have been seizing the opportunity to get outside and start working on our garden clean-up. After all, Spring is technically just a few days away. For those of you that are ready to get your Little Gardener ready for 2012, our friends at Melissa & Doug have sent The Rock Father™ word that you can now Save 15% On Any SUNNY PATCH Order At MelissaandDoug.com! through 3/31/12 Code: SUNNY15. They're also running a free shipping promo right now as well!

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