Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Happy Halloween 2019

For Halloween we drove down to Ga-Ga & Pa's as usual. Michael got off work early so we could try to beat traffic. It was a nice idea and I'm sure we did get there faster than it would have taken had we left at 5pm, but it still took us an hour and a half to get to their house. We all agree that Ga-Ga & Pa should move closer! 

We always wait until we've had at least one trick or treater show up at Ga-Ga & Pa's house before we venture out. After that it's Game On!!! 

I love how serious they are! 

This mask was finally what really put Owen's costume over the top. Once he saw this he was okay with wearing it. He did choose not to wear it to our church's Fall Festival since he didn't want to scare the little kids. 

Master Ninja! 

Jack's costume was only $20, but it came with so many pieces. I was really surprised by the quality too. Of course Ga-Ga did go ahead and buy him some new katana swords to complete the look. 

Ella's costume was my favorite. Her top is actually the top to a boys costume. It came with pants, the shirt, sash and headband. It was only $4.95 at Walmart. I knew she wouldn't want to wear pants though so I found this fun black fluffy skirt with the other costumes it was under $10. To finish off her look I bought these red and black tights for $4. She also got to borrow Daddy's pirate sword. She's pretty fierce! 

Captain America to the rescue! 

We lost the mask to this costume, but thankfully Kim's boys have a similar one so we just borrow the mask portion. Both Jack and Zeke have borrowed it at one point in time. 

Here's the front of Ga-Ga & Pa's house. 

I love there light up pumpkins! 

We went around the neighborhood and down more streets than we ever have before. The kids did great and we thankfully didn't get stuck behind any big groups of kids or have big groups join up with us. 

As if they needed anymore candy!!! 

Like every year the boys were so sweet to trade their chocolate with Ella for all her dye candy. 

The next day they put their candy in gallon size Ziploc bags...Owen had 3 bags! I'm pretty sure we'll still have Halloween candy until 4th of July!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Riverview Fall Festival 2019

In years past we've volunteered for our church's Fall Festival in different ways. Sometimes I'll help out with registration, Michael's been a parking attendant or ran a carnival game. The last 3 years we've ran a truck or treat car. The first year it ended up just being a parking spot space with a game since Michael had to drop us off at church to go home and deal with an electrical issue at the house. The next year Michael ran a game out of the back of the trunk. This year Michael wanted to make our truck have a pirate theme. But whats a good pirate theme without a pirate! After he told me his idea I went on Amazon and bought him a really nice looking pirate costume, but then I noticed that the delivery date was showing as October 20th - March 2020! Yeah that wasn't going to work. After canceling that order I found a different pirate costume that wasn't as authentic looking, but still was pretty amazing! 

Oh my word this costume has brought so much joy to my life. I think I laughed for a solid 5 minutes after Michael put this on! He was such a good sport! 

He looks amazing really! 

Since I was volunteering at the popcorn table and Michael was handing out candy from our truck Ga-Ga & Pa brought the kids and took them around. The weather was gorgeous which was a welcome change from last year when it poured down rain. 

This year Jack got a new costume...a ninja, Zeke wore Jack's old Captain America costume, Ella wanted to be a pirate like Daddy....which I had to basically create her costume from a bunch of different pieces because girl pirate costumes are completely inappropriate. As for Owen I found this skeleton pajama onesie at Target and I thought he'd love it. It did take some convincing, but he ended up wearing it. He's in this weird preteen phase right now where it's really hard to read him. 

The kids had fun going around playing games and getting candy. 

Zeke taking aim! 

Trying to shoot out the bad guys! 

I think April is telling Ella she can have 2 candies. 

Follow the yellow brick road! 

The sad part was we were so busy we didn't actually get a really nice shot of our trunk. Michael did such a great job with burlap and netting. He also had a treasure chest that he he filled with gems, chocolate gold coins. There was a shovel and even a bottled filled with Rum...aka iced tea! Since we spent all this money on this particular theme we are going to do the same one next year and just add to it. We wanted to make a walk the plank game, but we ran out of time so we'll do something like that next year. I have also promised that I will buy a costume for myself...I plan on being a church wench....whatever that will look like I don't know. Definitely decent though! 

Ella got her face painted with hearts and she got a paw print on the inside of her wrist. 

An hour after the Fall Festival started Reptile Man had a show for the kids in the Auditorium. I was outside making popcorn and Michael was manning the van so we didn't get to see the show. I head someone got peed on though. 

Who doesn't want a baby alligator on their head! 

She freaks out when she sees a mouse, but she'll touch a snake! 

Towards the end I was relieved from my shift of popping popcorn so I was able to go in and check out the critters. I got to hold the baby alligator just like I would put a baby on my shoulder. She was so sweet! I also got to hold the snake, but she or he...don't know kept trying to slither away! 

These kids made out like bandits!

 So much candy!!! 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

House Updated / Putting Away The Trailer!

The last place I left off with the update on the house was the garage doors and house #'s. I hadn't been able to take a nice picture because the trailer was covering up half of the garage. Once we got it put away I was finally able to get a good shot of our basically completely new house!! 

I love it! 

And for a fun comparison....here's what the house looked like on the flyer when it was for sale in 2005! 

Crazy right!!! 

Here's a closer look at the front of the house. Black, white and red brick!  

Here's almost the exact same shot as the new picture. The house is SO dark...especially with that huge tree in the front yard. 

Here's after we had built the fence and painted the house, but before we had the tree taken out. 

And just for fun....let's look at these side by side! 

Night and day! 

And for more fun...here's a picture of the old deck vs. the new deck.

Since we bought this house back in 2005 the following things have been done to the outside of the house / yard. 

- Put curbing around the driveway and front yard
- Built a fence
- Had the tree removed in the front yard
- Had new gutters installed twice
- Installed two new front doors
- Painted the house twice
- Had trees removed from the backyard
- Built a retaining wall in the backyard 
- Leveled out the backyard
- Built a new deck
- Built faux covers for the front pillars 
- Installed new garage doors

Insurance paid to have...

- New sheeting
- Earthquake proofing
- New windows
- New siding

That's just the outside! The inside has also been completely redone. The only original items still left inside the house are...the light in the stairway (which I hope to replace this year), the railing at the top of the stairs and the two upstairs toilets. That's it! Everything else has been changed or completely renovated at some point. Totally crazy!!! 

The only reason I was able to get that first picture was because we were able to get the trailer in the garage. Hallelujah! It had been parked in the front of the house for SO long I was so ready to put it away! 

It is most definitely a tight fit, but it does work better now that we rearranged how the garage was set up. The best thing was we were also able to fit my van in the garage!! I did not think we were going to be able to do this so it was a total plus!!! 

Here's how close the trailer is to the back wall. On the left is our big deep freeze. We can't completely open the door all the way, but we can get into it just fine.

One reason we didn't think we'd be able to get the van in is because of my Elliptical. That thing is huge! 

But I was able to figure out how to basically nestle it under the front tongue of the trailer. It was not easy and it's not going to be easy to get it out, but the benefit outweighs the hassle. :) 

When I'm on the Elliptical I have to make sure to keep my feet closer to the front of the pedals so I don't scrap my right heel on the tongue. 

While I'm working out I now get a nice view out the little windows in the garage doors. 

Yep...it's a pretty tight fit!

Even at this point we weren't settled up with the insurance company. We were still waiting for them to deliver all the screens for the windows. That finally happened in mid-November! After 1 year and 9 months we were able to close the wind claim on the house. It felt so nice to be finished and we feel so blessed that God looked out for us in a way that at the time we didn't even know we needed looking after. He is so good!