Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Current State of Things

Something I didn't mention last time about our weekend activities is that my visiting teachers came to help paint the exterior of our house and garage. Not only did they come, but they also rounded up some other ladies to help. They accomplished quite a bit, and it really helped ease the load on me! There is still more to be done because we ran out of paint, but we are much closer now.

Here are some before pictures of the porch.

And after. Ah! Much nicer! (just don't look above the porch roof quite yet.)

Terral and I rearranged our living room a bit last night. It was one of those times where you measure to make sure it will work and then still have to move the heavy things back and forth. So things actually aren't that far from where they started in general, but it made a huge difference to us. Part of it is that I took care of some of the post-move clutter that was still hanging around. Anyway, here's the new layout with our new stairs.

You can see the outline of the old stairs. Now we don't have to duck to miss the beam, the stairs are a little wider, and the landing goes all the way to the opposite wall instead of leaving a gap.

I finished a bit of decorating for Halloween today. I really like how the top of the piano turned out. It doesn't look quite as awesome in the pictures as it does in real life, so I guess you'll have to take my word for it. 
The books I used are The Secret Spring, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I just found out that my dad took a big fall today. I don't know many details yet, but I was able to talk to my mom briefly as they were on their way home from the hospital. She said that he cracked three ribs clear through, but they aren't poking into his lungs or anything (thank goodness!) and that his ankle is badly sprained. He's hurting, and I'm sure bruised all over.

I hurt inside for him. And for my mom.

But I'm so grateful it wasn't worse. I don't know how long it will take him to recover. I love my daddy so much. He is a hard working, caring, righteous man, and I'm so lucky he's my father.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stairs In Progress

As I was going through the pictures I took over the weekend, I realized I don't have any of the current state of things. So I'll have to take some more pictures tomorrow to finish documenting what was done.

One last look at our stairs in their "pre" state, minus the temporary railing up top.
 A look at the landing, since it was going to be a big change.
 Ethan helping his daddy dismantle the old railing.
 Gotta love hammering!
 T is for Terral
 This is one of the things that prompted a whole staircase redo instead of just putting in new railing. some of the steps had been cut out for the old posts.
 Hooray for removing yucky carpet!
 Matt tearing out the wall beneath the stairs.
 Ethan was fascinated by all the destruction. And he loved hanging out with Karalee too. :)
 And the crow bar becomes a gun. Bang!
 Sorry for all the dust particles. The flash had to go off and it really highlighted all the junk in the air. It was pretty amazing to watch Dad tear down the drywall under the stairs and see pounds of dirt fall to the ground. Um, gross. Did they never vacuum?
 Matt and dad cutting into the old floor to make room for the new landing.
 Mom and Karalee did lots of sanding and staining. Terral and I jumped back and forth doing lots of things, but we spent quite a bit of time doing this too.
 And here are the beginnings of our new stairs! Dad and Matt really figured things out well. All our needs were addressed without making the stairs too obtrusive into the narrow family room. As Matt said, I really did hit the family jackpot. We really are so grateful for their willingness to share their time and talents with us!

A couple funnies from this weekend:

1) Mom was trying to complement Terral, but she made us all laugh because she kept saying that he is very easily entertained. She meant that he has a creative mind, and was surprised that most people mean that someone is simple minded when they use that phrase.

2) Ethan has a little tape measure he got at a white elephant party last year. It's a tape measure for dumb blonds and has pictures of feet instead of numbers. Matt needed to measure something, and mom apparently hadn't woken up completely yet that morning because she brought him Ethan's tape measure instead of a real one. She didn't even realize it until she saw Dad laughing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not Quite as Short

I know I'm pushing it, but I feel like doing a quick post again tonight. Today was really great, but it took it out of mee too. Things went well with our talks and my singing. It's not often you get to see results from talking in church, but we went to choir afterward and they had a bigger turnout than they've had in years! At least three times as many people as sang with the choir last time. It was rather exciting. (In case I didn't mention it before, our talks were on singing and the role music can and should play in our lives.)

I also did my first real visiting teaching today, and my parents stopped by really quickly on their way home from Kanab. It's my mom's birthday today (Happy Birthday Mom!), so we made a card with Ethan for her. He was excited to paint some more, and Mom seemed pleased with the result.

We also spent some time outside today because it was such beautiful weather. We went on a walk, and Ethan ran nearly the whole way! He sure loves to run. He and Terral played outside while I was at my VT meeting, and he didn't get a nap today, so he should sleep well tonight!

This evening I did some catching up on the budget (really need to stop putting that off) and Terral and I watched an episode of Call the Midwife. Man, that show really takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. Birth is a beautiful, wonderful thing, but there are many circumstances that were/are just so sad. It certainly makes me grateful for my life and especially the gospel knowledge I have that protects me from dangerous situations and has the power to comfort in tragedy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another Short One

As I mentioned before, I get to talk and sing in church tomorrow. I'm feeling pretty good about the song at this point since I finally opened up a bit today. The talk on the other hand. . .well, I've gotten as far as reading the topic scriptures. So as much as I just want to go to bed after all the activity we had here today, I guess the night is still young. I'll fill you in on house progress soon, but I'm checking out for now!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stair Demo Started

Today Terral finished all the caulking and the last bits of paint removal. He also did some demo on our stairs. This evening my parents and Matt and Karalee came and some more demo was done, but they left enough up that we could still get up to our rooms tonight. :)

Tomorrow's a big day, so wish us luck!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Speeding Time

I can't believe how fast this week has flown by. I've gotten a good amount of things done, but there are still a few things left on my To Do list. Like write a talk. Yup, lucky me—I get to sing and talk on Sunday. The singing has been scheduled for quite a while, but Terral and I were just asked to talk last Sunday. I really kind of wish it wasn't this week, since it's been so busy, and we have a lot more going on in the next couple days. So, wish me luck!

In the mean time, I'd best go to bed. We're tackling the stairs this weekend, and it's going to be a big project!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Carnival

This evening we went to our ward's Halloween Carnival.

Here is Ethan in his engineer costume (tractors ever present.)
 A glimpse of the number of people that came. There were quite a few!
 All three (four) of us in costume: The engineer and his two passengers, one of which probably didn't pay. ;)
 Our webelos den was in charge of a booth, and the boys had picked out a game that was a favorite in my family for parties. It's called Mouse Trap, and it can really get your heart going sometimes. The kids loved it. :) We made a couple modifications to the way we usually play it. We used little wooden pieces for tokens to trade instead of candy, and we rolled the dice in a clear plastic tub to make sure everyone could see. It worked out well to do it that way.

 After a while, I took Ethan to try some of the games. He had been content to just people watch for quite a while, but he was excited to get in on the action!
 (Just so you know, the ghost board says BOO! I just didn't get a very good angle of it.) Ethan absolutely loved the bean bag toss, and he even made his first throw! He's got a good little arm.
 He had a hard time throwing the ball up to the hoop. The direction was good, but the height was problematic. The brother manning this booth helped him fix that problem though. :) And the prize Ethan got was yellow, which was so exciting for him. He really started liking yellow about two days ago.
 And one more of the games that he played. They were really good to just let him do it the way he was able to.

We really appreciated that there was very little candy at the carnival. Most of the booths had prizes like pencils or little toys, so we didn't have to worry about Ethan participating.

It was a very fun evening, and we felt like it was a success!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Engineer Cap

As promised, I finished Ethan's hat today. It was a challenging project for me because there were a number of fiddly parts to it. But it's done now, and I love how it looks! Of course there are a number of imperfections, but I'm proud of it all the same. I used this tutorial to make it.

 Ethan, say "happy!"
The unfortunate thing is that Ethan seemed to like the hat so much more while I was making it than now that it's done. I think he doesn't care for the brim. Or maybe it's because I told him not to touch it too many times while it had pins in it.

Later in the day I worked on some other Halloween prep. Ethan woke up from his nap while I was doing a little painting, and of course he was very interested. So I let him do a little painting with water, and then I added some food coloring to make it even more fun. He thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

He was a little reluctant to let me take off his shirt since it was a little chilly, so I turned on the heater for him. This is him telling me it feels nice.
 Hard at work
 Having fun!

It feels so good to be creating a bit again. It's been too long! And it's nice to feel more prepared for Halloween too. :)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Blustery Day

Today was (and still is) a very blustery day indeed. I didn't even go outside because Terral offered to take care of the chickens so I wouldn't have to see the carnage that was Chris cutting up his deer. (We let him hang it in our garage since it's cooler up here.)  I thought today would be a good day to work on Ethan's costume since the weather wasn't conducive to painting, and I ended up just doing inside chores all day.

Terral met with a guy today who teaches MovNat, which is something he's been interested in for a while. He spent quite a while in the park having fun and learning some new things. Heather has become interested in it too, so she came to watch, but ended up talking quite a bit to the instructor's wife. Terral says I would have enjoyed talking with her, but alas, I had opted for costume work instead.

Speaking of which, I did get a good amount done on it. Ethan is going to be a train engineer for Halloween, and today I worked on his cap. I'm really excited with the way it's turning out! Tomorrow I'll try it on him and finish putting it together.

Today was the first day I've used my new craft table. It was given to me by a friend recently. It's really nice for laying things out and cutting. :) And if I need to, I can pull out another leaf and make it nearly twice as long.

And just for cutness/random's sake, here's a picture of Ethan from a walk we took the other day. His toy tractors are pretty much extensions of his arms these days. And it isn't infrequent that he has to have his tractor, wrecking ball, and backhoe all together (and he does know the names of them all). You can't tell right away, but he is carrying all three in this picture.

In other Ethan news, I've been meaning to write for a while a couple of things about the way he is currently. He definitely knows his mind and will tell you "no" if he doesn't want something, but most of the time he will answer any question with "yeah!" in a variety of inflections. It's pretty amazing how he will match his affirmative answer to the occasion. 

He is also rather particular sometimes about things being just so. He'll straighten the rug, close doors, put toys away on his own (when it strikes his fancy), and is usually very eager to help me clean things up. Apparently Terral was the same way when he was little.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2012 Family Pictures

A couple weeks ago we had some family pictures taken in our yard. For the first time, we actually had another photographer do it for us. We got a really good deal though. She's a friend of Terral's in her very last class before graduation, and she needed some models for a project. As a thank you, she offered to take our pictures for free.

We just took them in our yard, and I was really pleased at the background our house could provide. It was a fun and different experience to have another photographer there.

I of course had a hard time choosing between pictures, so I've loaded quite a few of them. One of the nice things about having someone else take pictures instead of doing it ourselves is that it's a lot easier to get a variety of shots.