Monday, August 8, 2016

Fixer Upper

My children are obsessed with the TV show, Fixer Upper. Last weekend they had the opportunity to do a little "fixer upper" themselves.
 Clint owns this turn of the century investment property (we're talking 1900, not 2000), after almost 10 years of renting it out, he's selling it.
 The good news is, we have a buyer, the bad news is, there are a few "fixer uppers" that need to be done in order for the buyer's loan to go through.
 These repairs included re-stuccoing, ripping down the old rotted wooden trim, and repainting it all.
We hired a handyman to make all the repairs. He came to the house, took notes, gave us a bid, and said he would start Monday. Monday came, no handyman. Tuesday came, no handyman. When Saturday rolled around and there was still no handyman, with the closing this week, we couldn't wait any longer.
 We gathered our little Fixer Upper enthusiasts, and let them play out the show.
We had all hands on deck- sanding, demoing old wood, painting, stuccoing, nailing, etc.
At the end of the day, the children were tired, dirty, and sweaty, but they were also happy and proud of their little "fixer upper".

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Semi "Vacation"

 Last month, we went on a semi-family vacation.
I say semi because my two oldest boys stayed home to work. 
 And when I say vacation, I mean a USU college orientation for #2 that we turned into a vacation.
 We began our "vacation" by spending a few hours playing at Bear Lake.
 It was windy, but the water was surprisingly warm.
 Speaking of the water, it was really high. You can see we didn't have very much beach to play on.
 The wind and lack of beach didn't deter us from having a blast!
The next day, while Clint and #2 attended orientation at USU, I was in charge of entertaining the rest of the children. This was harder than I thought.
We started out swimming as long as we possibly could in the hotel pool. Then we did a little shopping. #5 bought herself a shirt.
 Next we drove to a park to play and eat lunch, but the children were quickly bored.
I tried to talk them into going to the zoo (-who knew Logan had a zoo?). No takers. 
We did however visit the library, and we drove by the student housing I grew up in as a youngster while my dad was completing his doctoral degree.
 Finally after hours of driving around, we headed to campus, where we just happened to arrive during free ice cream time. What Luck! Aggie's Mint was just what we needed.
 After our ice cream we met up with Clint who helped me entertain the kids for another hour while we waited for #2 to finish up. (Thank goodness)

This might have been a fast, non-exciting vacation, but I've learned that it doesn't really matter where you go, what you do, or for how long you go. What really matters is spending time with your family creating memories, and strengthening relationships.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Love Note

There is nothing better than getting a "love note". #6 is the queen of love notes. She is really good at letting you know you are loved and appreciated.
 She leaves them everywhere -
 On your scriptures
the bathroom soap
even in your shoes.
Her love notes make me happy!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Class of 2016

Well, she did it! We officially have a graduate.
On May 25th, #2 graduated from high school with high honors and we couldn't be more proud of her.
Here is her Announcement.

And out of the 1,677,00 pictures I took of that day, here are just a "few" of my favorites:


After the ceremony, we came back to our house to PAR-TAY!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

20 Years

Last month was Clint and I's 20th Wedding Anniversary.
Last weekend, we were finally able to carve out some time to celebrate.
(It's been a crazy busy summer full of camps, college orientations, and yard work!)
Friday and Saturday, we took off on a little overnighter to Park City while #2 held the fort down back at home.
We attended the symphony, ate, shopped, and just enjoyed each other's company sans kids while #2 took everyone swimming at the pond, scootering along the river trail, and for a picnic. She's pretty awesome.

I think the saying "Choose your love, love your choice" couldn't be any truer. I definitely love my choice. I'm so grateful for this man and how our life has turned out. Here's to another 20+ years.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It Finally Happened

 As you may or may not know, three years ago, Clint and I bought a two-year old house. Here in Utah, when most people build a house, they move in first, and then put in their yard. The original owners of our house never got around to that part, so when we moved in, there was no yard, just a lot of dirt, and rocks. 
-Well, no more.-
I'm happy to report that as of last Friday, July 15th, we finally have grass!
 Putting in a yard with minimal hired help is a long tiring process. We tried to do as much as we could by ourselves.
Clint and my dad started in April moving rocks and installing the sprinkler system.
After doing as much as we could on our own, we had to hire out the rest. Someone to pour cement, build a couple of rock walls, bring in topsoil and grade the yard, and finally, someone to curb around the flowerbeds.
Here in Utah, the housing market is booming. We called 100's of landscapers who never called us back, and those that we were able to get a hold of were booked out for weeks/months. I'm an impatient person. When I'm ready for something, I want it right now. This was a hard wait for me. Finally, bit by bit, over the course of three months, we were able to get everything done.
 After months of waiting, once things got started, everything seemed to happen all at once, and almost too quickly.
On Monday the topsoil people finished. Tuesday the "Curber" came. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we (and when I say we, I mean Clint) installed 1,567,899 sprinkler heads.
In fact, we were up until 3 am most nights trying to get everything done and ready for sod.
Our neighbors were awesome and also helped.
We had one neighbor that came over every night to help. Our other neighbor stayed up late combing the dirt to make it smooth and remove any rocks.
Speaking of sod, it was scheduled to be delivered Friday night, and we would install it Saturday just in time for the return of our three older children who were attending a church youth conference.
The sod trucks pulled up a little after 5:30 am Friday morning (Who needs sleep?)!
There was no way we could keep the sod outside in the heat and sun all day long, so after going back to bed for a couple of hours, Clint and I began laying sod.

We had some awesome helpers. The first to arrive was a sweet neighbor lady, no bigger than me, who came with her two children. Together we carried the large HEAVY (who knew grass could weigh so much) pieces of sod over to Clint who then put them in place. We worked for over two hours and finally finished the smallest section of the entire yard before muscle fatigue set in and lifting another piece of sod was impossible.
 When I was wondering how we were possibly going to lay 20 more pallets of sod, more neighbors showed up to help -This time men! 
 They kept coming and coming and before I knew it, there were 10 men out there taking time away from their family to help us lay sod.  Each came on their own without being asked.
We were so grateful.
 When we began laying the sod, we noticed that there were a lot of unusable dry crumbly pieces that fell apart when you went to pick them up. This was not good. We knew we had ordered a little bit extra (a little cushion), but with all this bad sod, we wouldn't be able to finish the entire yard, and would have to wait (ugh! that waiting game I "love" so much) for more to be delivered. 
Somehow, even with several pallets-ful of unusable sod, we had just enough -just enough- to complete the yard. It was a miracle!
At the end of the day, as we sat on the patio looking out over our new yard eating Cafe Rio (that a thoughtful friend brought us), we were dirty and exhausted, but happy and very very grateful.