Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Crafts!

Two weeks ago, I was diligently working on making some more doll items with my serger & sewing machine.  I have a crafting room located in a sunroom/porch right off of our living room.  The weather has been too cold to sew in there, so I moved the table, chair, and machines into the living room for an entire week.  The little sewing heaven I created somehow managed to put a cramp in the entire house.  Over a week later, I finally cleaned it all up and got the house back into working order.  It's amazing how quickly stuff falls apart around here!

(Remember back in October when I blogged about working on Christmas crafts?  Well I don't either. . . ha!  While I was busy sewing in Lima, my sister assembled all the desks & chairs back home in Indiana.  I had completely forgotten all about this project.  Good thing I blog to help me remember!)

(Each of the 3 Adams nieces has a bitty baby  -- and after this Christmas, they'll each have an American Girl, too!  My sister found a real Bitty Baby diaper bag -- all the way on the right-- but wasn't able to find one for each girl.  I found a pattern online to recreate the bag and made 2 more!  I debated on just making 3, but it didn't happen.  The oldest niece will get the original, she can choose if she wants a "Zee made" bag in the future.)

(Since Emily, the oldest niece, doesn't get a handmade bag, I decided to make her a couple of dresses for her dolls.  These dresses were tricky because I didn't have a pattern.  I just made it up based on dresses I have for my dolls.  Not too bad!)

(Another dress whipped up out of thin air.  I had a pattern for a shirt and just extended the bottom to make it a dress.  Ironically, this little dress was made from a bad bridesmaid dress. )

(For the littlest niece -- my brother's daughter -- I made her a little apron and chef's hat to go along with her kitchen playset.  Her mom is quite the chef and really into cooking, so I figured her little helper needs to look official!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'm not sure why, but for some reason, I'm on a blogging fail.  One of my New Year goals will be to blog more consistently.  You can chalk the absence up to Christmas gift making, errands, and house care.  It won't get any better during Christmas break, so you'll just have to wait for me to go back to sharing all our boring stories and updates.  

Christmas this year will be different for us.  We aren't flying out to New Jersey to see Steve's family like we usually do.  Instead, we'll be staying local, visiting his siblings in Cincinnati  and spending some time with my family in Indiana.  Christmas is our favorite time of year, not just because of seeing family and the break from work for Steve, but we love all that goes with Christmas -- lights, music, cookies, hot cocoa. . . Mmmmm

We started early this year on the Christmas music/movies.  I am not ashamed to admit I watched White Christmas at the end of October -- this snow from Sandy should count!  Christmas music has been listened to since the beginning of November.  By the middle of November, I had all my Christmas decorations up and the lights up outside; although, we didn't turn on our lights until after Thanksgiving!

Since we have been enjoying all our decorations, we wanted to share them, for you to enjoy, too!

(It is really hard to try to capture a picture of our Christmas lights & the house now that it gets dark so early! You will just have to trust me that our lights are way prettier than this picture.  We've even gotten several compliments on our lights!)

(What do you do with a little tree??  Put it inside an old fireplace!  I went crazy this year and made the fireplace in our room very festive.)

(Fireplace in the Living Room -- Look how nice that tv looks on the wall!  So glad we, well Scott, mounted it :-)!)

(Christmas tree in the living room.  Notice all my nutcrackers hidden throughout the pictures.  I now have 17 nutcrackers and hoping that number just keeps climbing!)

(It's really hard to tell in the previous picture, but there are bows above each of the windows.  They blend right into the wall, which makes them perfect Christmas accents.  My mom is an awesome bow maker & made these for me while visiting back in November.  Thanks mom!)

(No Christmas decorations are complete without a nativity.  I have 3 set-up throughout the house.)

(How better to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas than with 12 nutcrackers each showcasing 1 day of Christmas!  My grandma used to collect (not by choice) nutcrackers and I was given this set after she passed away.  What a great way to remember Grandma!)

(The windows in the kitchen are decorated with window clings.  Now the windowsill is full of Christmas pictures and cards, but I didn't take a new picture.  Washing dishes now is a much pretty process.)

(Even Ramses is in the Christmas spirit!)

(We've been having lots of issues with Ramses drinking bottle.  The blue one -- in previous picture-- would just drip out all the water and make his bedding all wet.  He doesn't like wet bedding -- we'd find him all the way on the opposite side of the cage hiding under the dry food dish.  So we bought a new bottle.  The wire is too small and wouldn't stay attached.  So we gave Ramses a new friend -- The Viking Nutcracker to hold up his water bottle.

 (Last but not least, I have to brag on my husband.  A few weeks ago, he came home with this beautiful winter mix.  These flowers were absolutely beautiful for almost 2 weeks!  No he wasn't in the doghouse, he just simply got them "just because"; and yes, he did score big brownie points for these flowers!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mischief Managed

Thanks to my favorite brother & husband, the "picture storage full" conundrum has been solved.  I don't really understand the solution other than that some how the pictures are shared between google+ and picasa. I don't know.  I'll have to go back through the 901 photos already on the blog and upload them the new way to empty out the storage.  So that's kind of ridiculous. . .

Also, in solving the issue, we discovered there's new storage available on my picasa account, so we're hoping we aren't being charged for that :-/.

Here are the pictures from Gabbie's visit last week!

(Ha ha, she loves taking pictures with my camera.  Most of the pictures are of random things like sippy cups and fingers.  This was the best picture with us in it -- thanks to front facing phone cameras!)

(She begged to take baths just so she could play with some McDonald's toy Chipmunks.  She played with them for over an hour in the tub one day!  Her poor little knees aren't used to playing on a ceramic tub & she came out with some burns & bruises :-/)

(Whenever a niece comes to visit, I'll let them chose some little special craft.  She chose to paint your own tea set, only she painted about 3 pieces.  I think I'll save the rest and have the other nieces paint the left items.)

Friday, December 7, 2012

I know, I know

I know. . it's been waaaaaaay too long for a real blog update.  Part of the hiatus has been because I've been busy and the other part is that not much is going on that is blog worthy - ha!

All last week I was knee deep in a new house project.  I was going to just repaint a spare bedroom, when I discovered that it there was wallpaper underneath the current paint.  I wasn't going to take the wallpaper down, but I noticed a spot that was peeling up.  Before I knew it, half the top layer was off; however, there was at least 2 more layers stuck on the wall.  So all last week I worked on soaking and peeling off layers of wall paper.  You will have to wait for pictures in a later blog post.

Last Friday, Steve and I got all dressed up and went to a P&G Lima Plant Christmas Party at the Inn at Ohio Northern University (Steve's parents' Alma Mater!).  We were not thrilled about the party in the beginning because it started at 8pm and Ada is 30 minutes away.  By the end of the week, Steve is burnt out and the last thing he wanted to do was dress up and go schmooze at a party.

When we first got there, none of his close co-workers were there.  So we did the awkward chat with some people until people started to show up.  The theme was Casino Night and there were lots of games set up.  We hadn't planned on staying long, but we jumped in with some friends to learn how to play Craps.  Steve was a great roller and we both got in on the action.  Soon, we found ourselves up (we had play money to gamble with) at the Craps table, so we headed off to Black Jack.  The dealer at the Black Jack table was pretty funny and we had a good time, but we started to lose quite a bit there.  We were debating on leaving halfway through, but more people got into the games and pretty soon it was 11:30pm, the tables were shutting down and we were bidding on prizes with our earnings (which by the way, on the last black jack hand, we both put all our money down and the dealer had Black Jack and we lost everything.  The dealer quickly changed his hand and gave us a bunch of money instead of following the rules -- ha!).  At the prize auction, we one The Shawshank Redemption DVD!  What a fun night with work friends!!

We spent this week with a little visitor from IN -- Gabbie!!  While she was here, we took her to see Christmas Lights in Bluffton, saw our Owl friend, went shopping, colored, played Nintendo  and much more!  I have pictures from her visit, but I'm having issues with the blog.

Who knew that you were only allotted so many photos to put on the blog for free?!  I definitely didn't know and am now out of photo space.  Hmmmm, what to do, what to do.  I could go back and delete photos from previous posts, but what's the fun in that?!  The whole point of the blog is to document our lives, and taking off photos doesn't achieve that purpose!

Apparently all the photos on the blog are stored in my picasa albums which are maxed out, so we have to figure out how to resize those photos without screwing everything up.  Steve is doing some research to see if there's a loophole, so if anyone has advice we'd appreciate it!

So for now, you're stuck with words and no photos :-/

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve and I have a lot to be thankful for this year!  From a new house to new friends, and even a couple trips to Europe.  But, we are mostly thankful for a loving God and Christ's pure sacrifice.  God has been good to us!

Things have been a little crazy in our household, hence the long blog hiatus.  I was sick and out of commission for a couple of weeks and have finally bounced back and pulled the house back together (for some reason the status of the house is directly correlated with my status).

My mom even came for a few days to be with me after being down.  I'm extremely blessed with an awesome mother who drops everything to spend time with her kids (and grandkids!).  Thanks mom!  While she was here, she helped me get up all our Christmas decorations -- yeah that's right, our Christmas decorations were up 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  That's how we roll!

Thanksgiving crept up on us quickly!  We had a total of 4 thanksgivings this year -- whew!  My tummy is a pretty happy camper right now.  We celebrated Thanksgiving at a church dinner, friend (Steve's coworkers) dinner, and 2 dinners with my family.  This year, we changed things up and spent our break visiting my family. Usually, we spend the holiday in CO with Steve's family and celebrate with my family on a different weekend.  We spent Thursday at an aunt's thanksgiving (just Steve & I, my parents, & 1 sister) and Saturday my mom hosted a Thanksgiving with the rest of my siblings and family.

We returned from our long weekend listening to Christmas music to a house decked out with Christmas (see now why I decorated so early??)!    We are so ready for Christmas, even though we haven't finalized all our Christmas plans yet.  Now to finalize our Christmas lists, purchase gifts, and enjoy the Christmas season!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Who knew that Steve was so into birds?  We live in a perfect area for him, as there are all sorts of little birds flying around.  Over the summer, he put out a suet block, but the squirrels ate it right away.  After some research, he bought a window bird feeder that squirrels are unable to reach.

All summer long, we were convinced that the birds were too scared to eat out of it because of the reflection in the window.  Steve switched out the food a couple times, but we never saw any birds.  In early fall, I was sitting in the living room and heard a noise and discovered a little bird in it!  I tried to take a picture, but I had to move to get the camera, which scared the bird and resulted in a very fuzzy picture.  Steve just had to take my word that there was a bird in the feeder.

Since then, Steve has seen birds in it, but we've never been able to take a picture.  As soon as we move in the house, the bird jumps ship and doesn't return.  Until yesterday --- I caught a bird in the act!

(Not the best picture, but you can totally see the bird in the feeder!  I watched either the same bird, or multiple birds, come in and out of the feeder for awhile.  Steve claims that the feeder being at an angle has intrigued the birds to come into it -- sure dear!)

Ever since we've lived here, we've heard owls hoot randomly.  We've talked to the neighbors and were told that a big owl lives in one of our trees, but we've never been able to see him.  I've even had the neighbor came over and tell me that we missed it!  

Last Friday night, we were headed to meet friends at the movies.  We had just gotten out of the driveway when Steve parks the car in the road and jumps out of the car saying "THE OWL!".  Ha ha, he had seen it swoop across the street and land in the tree across the street from our house.  It was too dark to take a picture but it was neat to finally see an owl!

Yesterday, when Steve came home, he came straight in and said -- "The Owl's outside!  I have to take a picture!!"  He ran out and soon brought back some pretty neat shots of the owl in our tree.  I don't understand his fascination with all birds, but I definitely understand his fascination with owls!

(There's something about the eyes that just fascinate me.)

(Steve's doing research to see if we can figure out what kind of owl this is.  So if you know -- let us know!)

(So pretty!)

We're not sure if the owl we saw Friday night is the same as the one we got the pictures.  We'll have to keep our eyes and ears open and see if we can find another and document it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Refrigerator Repairman

I have now added a new skill onto my resume -- refrigerator repairman.

We've been noticing some temperature issues in our fridge over the past week.  At first I was just noticing that items in the drawers were freezing -- like the carrots and lunch meat.  So at first we thought the fridge temperature control was up to high, so we turned it down.  Stuff in the drawer was still frozen while items on the shelves were warmer than they should be.  So we turned the temperature back up and discovered there's a control knob for just the drawers.  We put it on the warmer setting, but didn't notice any change.

We didn't think much of it until a few days later when I went to get chocolate chips out of the freezer door.  Everything in the door had thawed!!  I immediately checked the meat on the shelves, but they were still frozen.  Weird.  I decided there was just an issue in the door and though I'd deal with it later.  That night, I went to get ice cream from out of the freezer, and the ice cream was all soft!  Ahhhhh!

So obviously, there were major issues going on.  I called up my parents -- I remember them having issues with their fridge before.  My dad gave me some advice and said I'd need to take the back panel off the inside of the freezer and see what was going on with the coils & fan.

I put all my freezer items into cooler bags, turned the freezer on the warmest setting, and started to dissassemble the freezer.  There was a layer of frost on the panel that I had to get rid of first.  Then once the panel was off, i discovered that the entire coil system was frozen over -- yikes!

(The entire coil system frozen over -- not a good sign!)

With hair dryer in hand, I began to melt all the ice.  I'd take breaks and just let the ice melt on its own.  After a couple of hours, all the ice was melted and I got the freezer all dried up.  My next task was to locate the fan and make sure it was working.  My dad said that generally, just taking off the one panel would reveal the coils and fan; however, that's not how our model worked.  After looking up the model number online (thanks dad!), I found a diagram and figured out I had to take out the ice bucket motor and another panel.  Eventually we found the fan (Steve jumped in and helped), and discovered it was working fan.  It's possible that it was frozen up too, but I don't know.  It was fine when we got to it.  

With the freezer all defrosted and dried, I began to put it back together.  I got all the screws and bolts in the right place and was almost done when I realized I had a random plastic piece left over.  I remember taking it out of the freezer, because it was just taped in, but I couldn't remember where it went.  So we made up a spot for it (the diagram I found online didn't explain its location well).  I put the ice maker back in and turned it on, then all this water started pouring through the system and got the freezer all wet.  Ugh.  This happened a few times until I gave up and turned the ice maker off. I cleaned up all the water, again.  

I got the freezer all assembled and turned back on.  Within an hour, it was back in business and cold again.  I restocked the freezer and made sure to not block the fan vent (highly likely that this was the issue).  I put a towel in the ice maker and turned it on.  If it overfilled with water as I thought it was doing, I would notice it frozen on the towel in the morning.  When I got up the next day, the towel was just cold and there was ice int he machine.  I'm guessing the system was too warm when I first turned it on.  Whew!

Now we just have to monitor the temperature and make sure it doesn't happen again!  It should also be noticed the the temperature in the fridge seems to be correct -- the stuff in the drawers are no longer frozen! Oh, and I left this out.  When we first moved in, we could get water out of the door, but recently it hasn't been working.  We've also had issues with the ice options not working in the door, but that fixed itself a few months back.  Well now, the water flows through the door again!  We have a fully functioning freezer and fridge -- yay!!  Thanks again dad for talking me through the problem!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Never-ending Leaf Raking

Steve and I spent our entire weekend working in the yard raking leaves.  Our city does a leaf collection starting this week.  They will come around to different areas and collect any piles of leaves at the edge of your yard.  Word on the street is that they come around 2x's, but we're not positive.  So we wanted to at least take advantage of the collection this week by putting as many leaves at the edge as we could.

We had a pretty good system -- I used the leaf blower in the front while Steve raked piles in the back and side yards.  The blower is easy to use and makes it nice that you don't have to bend over to pick the leaves up; however, when you get a lot of leaves blown together, moving them is a long and tedious process.  The verdict is still out on whether it is more efficient to just rake into piles or blow to the edge.

The next day, Steve worked on blowing leaves in our neighbor's yard to help them out while I went around and picked up the piles he had raked.  I have a very secret system of pickup up leaves involving a snow shovel -- so secret that no pictures are allowed.  Only a select few have witnessed the pick-up system.  I put the piles of leaves into our big rolling trash bin.  Once the bin was full, I'd wheel it to the front yard and dump it into piles on the edge.  Steve just wanted me to put it into a bag, but with my pick-up system, it was easier to dump the leaves into the bin. The extra work of dumping the bin was worth it.

We don't know when the city will pick up the leaves, we just know they started in our district today.  As I type up this blog, it seems that our trees have decided to drop the rest of their leaves. At times, it looks like its snowing leaves through the windows.  It looks like Steve and I have a lot more leaf raking to do.  Why can't the trees all decide to dump the leaves at once?!  At least this year, we're being proactive on picking them up; unlike last year where we were raking up soaking wet leaves in the middle of December because the previous owners didn't do it.

(Steve preferred to use the bamboo rake that his parents bought for us.  Unfortunately, Steve's raking is a little more intense than the rake was prepared for, and some of the tines came out.  It should be salvageable, though.)

(Me and my awesome leaf blowing skills.)

(Our pile along the edge of the yard.  I'm pretty sure we could double this pile just be raking the yard again.  Oh the joys of having trees!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sandy in Ohio

Who would have thought that a hurricane on the East Coast would affect us here in Ohio?  Well, it happened.  While the Jersey Shore and other east coast areas were being slammed with water & wind, we experienced our first snow of the year!

It was a shock to wake up Oct 30th with huge snow flakes falling from the sky.  We probably got around a 1/2 inch of standing snow after about 3 hours, but the snow soon turned to a winter mix to rain.  By the end of the day, almost all of the snow was melted :(.

Steve and I are so ready for Christmas.  We had a pact to not listen to Christmas music or watch movies until November, but with the snow on Oct 30th, I caved.  I figured that the first snowfall should count as the beginning of winter!  So as the snow fell, I watched my all time FAVORITE Christmas movie -- White Christmas.  I have the ENTIRE movie memorized and even know random facts like the girl (Vera Ellen) who plays Judy struggled with anorexia and she always wears a turtle neck in the movie to hide her neck.  So I should say, I didn't really watch the movie, more like listened to and sang along as I put plastic up on the windows (which honestly probably does nothing for our house since there's no insulation in the walls).

(This was taking around 8:30 in the morning.  At first it was just a light snow with some rain mixed in.)

(About an hour later the flakes were becoming bigger and everything was getting a nice covering of snow.  It was hard to try to take a picture of the actual flakes, so you will just have to take my word that they were big and beautiful!)

(We had one little fatality -- the tree in the middle of the rose bushes bit the dust.  In the previous picture, you can see it leaning a lot, and finally it snapped -- I heard it from inside!  This tree has always struggled with staying upright in the wind.  We had just finished staking it 2 days before it snapped.  Oh well --- 2 little shoots are intact.  We'll see how it fares through the winter and decide what to do next spring.)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Check it Out!

Go to Trisha's (Steve's mom) blog to see more pictures and a different perspective on their visit!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Around Lima

Steve and I have really gotten involved with our new home city.  We've found a church that we are planning on joining and have already begun to make deep relationships with people in our Sunday school class and plan on attending a Bible study in the next couple of weeks.  I am also joining a woman's Bible study through a friend from the class.

We've also been a kick learning about Lima and its history.  Earlier in the year, we visited the Lima City Museum and got to see key pieces from Lima's history (like a locomotive and the jail cell Dillinger broke out of).  Just a few weeks ago, we went on a "Spooky Lantern Tour" and got to walk around downtown Lima with a tour guide that shared a lot of history from the city (most of the stories tended to focus on mysterious deaths and supposed hauntings -- hence the "spooky").

While on the tour, we got to go into some old buildings in the downtown area and here about their history.  One building used to be an old bowling alley and now has legal offices.  Our favorite building was the Lima Trust building.  It was built back in the 20s and used to be a busy bank.  Now, the building is pretty much condemned and undergoing slow reconstruction.

(Inside the Lima Trust building. You can see all the teller windows around the room.  The stain glass in the background shows the foundations of lima -- agriculture, oil, ect.)

(Here's a close up of the teller window, above each one had specific titles, like this one says "Per Loans".  And through the teller window you can see the old bank vault.  We actually got to walk around and go inside it -- kind of creepy!)

It was pretty cold when we went on the tour.  We knew it would be and I had even brought hot apple cider and coca with us!  It was neat to get to hear the stories and try to imagine downtown Lima back during its bustling days.  

Halloween in Lima was quite different than what I am used to.  The NW Ohio area had structured days when trick-or-treating was allowed.  So we had the pleasure of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters the Thursday before Halloween -- kind of bizarre.  And the week before that, we went to a Halloween party!

(Can you guess who we are???  There was some confusion on Steve's character which became very comical.  People would sing the theme song for the character he was mistaken for.  At the end of the night, when we left Steve went on a rant about how he in no way looked like the other character -- it was funny!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ackerman Visit Part 2

Ever since the garage roof was damaged, Steve has been researching slate roofs, gathering tools, and scheming how he was going to get it accomplished.  But before the roof could be fixed, we had to find some slate.  After months of researching on Craigslist and contacting people to get measurements, we finally found some slate that was the right size for our roof.  So one day, Steve and I went on an adventure and drove to a farm on the outskirts of Columbus to get the slate.  As we approached the farm, it was a complete set-up for one of those horror movies where the couple is never heard of again (roaming chickens included), but luckily this was a legit place and we survived with 50 pieces of slate in hand.

So a few months ago, Steve was able to replace some of the lower slate on the roof.  He would just stand on the ladder and could fix the places he could reach.  However, he could only fix about 3 pieces and had about 4 left but were too high to reach.

These next pictures are from over the summer.  I thought I'd posted about this part earlier, but didn't so for the completion to make sense, I had to add in this section out of date:

(The slate that we got from Columubus was bigger than the tiles on our roof.   So Steve had to buy a slate cutter in order to cut the pieces to the right size.)

(Here is an upclose shot of the damage.  You can see some of the wood poking through from under the damaged section.  Steve had to cut pieces of flashing to cover the wood before he laid slate over it.)

(Steve working on the rows he could reach by the ladder.)

(Here you can see the 2 pieces he replaced on rows 4&5 via a ladder.  The slate was lighter than the others, which drove me crazy.  The color of the slate is dependent on the area it was mined.)

(So we came up with a solution to the lighter tiles -- spray paint them!  This is how our garage looked for the majority of the summer up until this past weekend.  You can now see the tiles towards the bottom that were darkened with the paint (the dark patch up to the left was done by previous owners).  We tried several different was to extend the ladder for Steve to fix the upper tiles, but nothing worked.)

He did some research and decided his best option was to by hooks that would attach to a ladder and then hang the ladder over the top of the garage.  I hated this option but made a compromise -- as long as someone else was here to help him (and take him to the ER when things went wrong), he could by the hooks and attempt the process. With his parents coming for the weekend, and a great weather forecast, Steve seized the opportunity and convinced his dad to help out.

(Getting the "hook ladder" on the roof was quite the challenge.  There are wheels on one side of the ladder, that help you push it up to the top of the roof.  Then you have to flip the ladder so the hooks catch.  The ladder was pretty heavy and it didn't just roll straight up like we planned, and it ended up being over the damaged section.  Then Doug & Steve had to shimmy the ladder over.  A couple of tiles up at the top got cracked, but hopefully they won't break all the way off :-/.)

(Steve first wanted to test the strength of the hooks by climbing all the way to the top.  I think I was the most panicked during the process, but even Doug declared Steve shouldn't go all the way to the top.  The sun was about to go down, so we just left the ladder attached to the roof overnight.)

(Even though the rule was that someone else was supposed to help him out, I did end up being his spotter and handing him tools as he needed them.  Once he was up there, he realized that there was more damage than he thought, and that a lot more wood was exposed.  He did a pretty great job of covering all the wood and putting in the new tiles.)

(Our garage roof is finally fixed!!  What a HUGE check mark off that list!  Steve agrees that the extra help was needed in getting the ladder on and off the roof.  He now thinks he can fix some tiles on the top of our 3 story house, but Doug had my back and put a ca-bosh on that idea -- thanks Doug!)

In Steve's words -- roofers have a very dangerous and tiring job.  He definitely underestimated the job, but is thrilled that it was a success.  We also learned a lot from the whole process and know how to do it easier the next time.  (Hopefully there won't be a next time anytime soon!)

Ackerman Visit Part 1

Over this past weekend, Steve's parents came to visit.  They were hoping that there would be leaves to rake while they were here; however, the weather and our trees didn't cooperate, so we came up with other around the house projects to work on.

We had quite the list, but didn't expect much of it, or really any of it, done.  But his parents went to work and plowed through the list.  We are still amazed all that we got done in one weekend!  While they were here they  accomplished tearing all the ivy off the garage, cleaning out the weeds behind the garage, tearing out all the plywood on the inside of the garage, washed all the downstairs windows, scraped and painted some outside areas of the house (where bare wood was showing), raked a section of the side yard, trimmed lots of bushes and small trees in the landscaping, and completed the slate roof project!

(All the plywood -- on the right -- was torn out and bagged up.  Steve has big dreams of insulating, dry walling, and creating a better tool system inside the garage.)

(The back of the garage was left alone for now.  The wood paneling will need to be torn out, but we saved it for a later date.)

(Trisha worked diligently getting the plywood out form behind the wood base.  The plywood was pretty dusty and who knows what was in it, so we wore masks while tearing it out. . . well, most of us wore masks ;-).  )

(After the plywood was torn off, we can see what was behind it.  2 different kinds of "bricks".  The middle section of the wall (on both sides) is done in the original brick that matches the outside.  We can't figure out if there used to be a door there or why they chose different bricks on the inside.  Weird.)

Don't think that we're slave drivers, their visit wasn't just all work.  We also managed to squeeze in a library adventure with Trisha, the Ohio State v. Purdue game with Doug, and took them to our new church.  I still can't believe how much we crammed in with them over the weekend with all that got done.  By the end of the weekend, I'm not sure who was more tired -- them or us.  Regardless, we had a great time with them!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Favorites

Fall is by far my FAVORITE time of year.  The air is turning cooler, I get to snuggle under blankets, light candles, bake pumpkiny and appley items.  Although, I do love winter -- Christmas music, Christmas lights, snow, warm furry boots, scarves, more snow, hmmm. . . okay maybe fall isn't my FAVORITE, but for the sake of this post, we'll say it is.  

October snuck up on us, and November is just around the corner.  Here are some random pictures for the fall this far:

(Our door is still very blue, but we're pretty used to it.  The decorations really help it out, too!  We bought the pumpkin at Menards, but apparently the squirrels really like it because they've taken a chunk out of the top.)

(I made this wreath on a challenge from Steve.  He didn't think I could make one for cheaper than what you could buy one for -- I proved him wrong :).  I'm not happy that I proved him wrong (okay, I do like being right!), but I'm happy that it was cheap & made all by myself.  I only inquired 1 burn from the glue gun in the process.  And thanks mom for my bow-making skills.)

(Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzards -- I'm more of a ChocoCherry Love kind of girl, but Steve loves PPB's.  With a BOGO deal, we got these two beauties for under $4.  I only ate about a 1/3 of mine, leaving Steve to indulge in this October only special.)

(MMMmmm, probably one of the BEST pies I've ever had -- and probably the BEST apple pie I've ever had.  Thanks to Sarah Cardinal, I now own a family recipe that is amazing.  I have also made a couple of pumpkin pies so far this year, but they weren't picture worthy (I just follow the recipe on the back of the can).  But this pie, I made the crust, sliced the apples, and assembled all by myself.  I was pretty proud of it.)