Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's been awhile...

Oh my!  I have been bad about posting on our blog.  We got really busy after that last post!

Here's a synopsis of what the rest of last year consisted of:

Alex played softball and had a great time.  She really liked getting people out.  We continued to work on the yard and put in a good sized garden.  We ended up cutting down around 10 dead trees in the yard and had a nice firewood pile for the winter.  We stayed busy cleaning up pine needles and weeds and planting new trees and flowers around the yard.  Our garden did really well, we had tons of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, beans, and cantaloupe and we had 7 good sized pumpkins.  We let the fruit trees go and didn't spray them, we wanted them to have a year to recover, but we ended up with a lot of nice pears.  I ended up canning salsa, spaghetti sauce, pickles and made jam with the pears.  We went on a couple of small vacations to visit family and Tyson went fishing and bird hunting quite a few times.  Logan started Kindergarten in the fall and really likes school.  He also played soccer for the first time.  He didn't get to into it, but I think he had fun.  Alex played winter basketball and really enjoyed it.  Tyson coached her team and had a fun time too.  We went to Utah for Thanksgiving and spent Christmas at home with my parents.

So far this year, not a lot has happened.  It's been pretty cold and snowy.  The kids are enjoying school and doing well.  Tyson went to Argentina for a week and a half and had a great time.  He went dove hunting and got to relax on the beach.

Here's a few pictures from the last 10 months:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Yard...

Ty told me the other day that he was reading our last blog post and it sounded like a disaster and we needed to do an update. We haven't had any plumbing or other major issues since then, cross our fingers, knock on wood, etc., etc.

We have been working on the yard when we get time and when the weather cooperates. Last weekend we got one really nice day and we worked for almost 6 hours weed eating, trimming trees and pulling weeds. We managed to make two huge burn piles and I told Ty to set them off when I wasn't around. I don't particularly like fire and am always worried about it setting something else on fire. A portion of our yard is weeds and grass that was not taken care of and therefore is about 2-3 feet high in places. Some of the grass is laying down and is not easy to clean up. We did some research and bought a nice gas weed eater and we bought a brush clearing attachment that is three metal serrated blades. We jokingly call it the "blades of death," mainly because if that attachment comes off somehow while the weed eater is running, it wouldn't be a pretty sight. Ty took to weed eating and I was in charge of raking all the grass and weeds into piles. Here are a couple of pictures of another part of the yard so you can get a feeling of what it looked like before:

And here is the after picture:

It looks so much better now and you can actually tell that there is grass there.

We have also been working on our garden. On one of our walks through the weeds we found an area the previous owners had already set up as a garden. All we had to do was clear the weeds and grass. They had started to put up a chicken wire fence and had posts and the fencing right there. We started to dig up the dirt and realized that about a shovel length down, they put down landscape fabric. I guess to keep out weeds, but your plants won't grow too good. So we are digging the dirt out down to the fabric and taking it out. The soil looks good and I planted strawberries in one of the beds already. We put up the chicken wire fence because Winnie ran right through the middle of my strawberries. Plus she eats anything and we have rabbits around the yard.

Winnie, our 8 month old Brittany, loves the yard. She runs all around the yard and loves to chase the birds, and cats (if they are dumb enough to leave the deck). She has found many treasures in the yard already. We have found her chewing on dead animals, mostly mice, probably ones the cats caught and left on the ground. She has also found old dog toys and she loves to find sticks and chew on them. She isn't too happy about us cleaning up the weeds and grass though. She loves to go into them and roll around and hide. Here she is looking for some birds in a tree:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Joys of Home Ownership

We have been living in our "new" house for a week now. Man has it been a week! First we got the water turned on and the next day noticed the water was lukewarm. We had to reset one of the water heaters, but the next day it was hot.

Onto the toilets...toilet #1 in our master bedroom worked fine, toilet #2 in the hall bathroom squirted water out between the tank and bowl anytime you flushed and toilet #3 didn't have a handle on the water supply valve. So we only had one working toilet for a few days until Ty could get a wrench on toilet #3 and then it worked. So we go to the store and buy a ring thing to fix toilet #2, too small, go back (and forget to take the old ring) and get a bigger one, too small. Then I am downstairs in the laundry and hear running water above me. I go into our master bath and toilet #1 has a broken flapper in the tank. Finally I go to a plumbing store and they have to go in the back to get the right size ring for Toilet #2 and a flapper for toilet #1. We fix the toilets and now have 3 working toilets.

When Ty tried to hook up the washer and dryer, he opened the water valves and they were leaking like crazy. We thought we might have to replace the valves, but once he got them fully opened, they stopped leaking. I wasn't able to do laundry for a few days, but now we are up and running with no problems.

Our next adventure is underneath our kitchen sink. As you read in a previous post, someone took out the garbage disposal and didn't replace it or any pipes and we had them replace the pipes. All good and well until we realized they didn't put in a pipe that would connect the dishwasher to drain. So we got the right pipe, reconfigured the pipes. They were dripping a little, but no biggie. So I turn on the dishwasher and it starts making this horrible noise and I open it and it smells burnt and there is no water. I look under the sink and sure enough when they installed the dishwasher, they didn't connect it to the water supply. Luckily I didn't burn out the motor and we can wash dishes. Stay tuned for more under the sink details as the counter is rotting and there is mold on the drywall.

Then to cap off our week, we noticed a small leak in the water heater that we had to reset. Well we thought, it's a small leak we will get to that in a couple days. Well on Friday Ty went down there to get something and guess what, it was no longer a small leak. Water all over the floor. We found the source of the leak and as soon as we took the plug out water was pouring out the water heater. So we are frantically trying to get the water dumped, the drain in there isn't draining. Ty manages to get the plug back in, I thought I was turning the water supply off, but I turned it on, so when Ty took the plug out again the water shot with a ton of force straight out. Anyway come to find out the water heater element had almost completely corroded, which is odd because these water heaters are only 2 years old. Now back when we did the inspection, the other water heater was leaking from the same spot, so I called the realtor and asked if they replaced any parts. She said no they didn't. So we are planning to replace the other element here very soon as to avoid another fiasco. We learned two very important lessons on this... 1. a small water leak from your water heater needs to be fixed right away and 2. I learned that a water valve that is across the pipe is off, the other way is on. Oh and to cap my Friday off, I was washing my hands in our bathroom sink and the drain pipe fell off the sink!

Today (Saturday), we ran the invisible fence all around our property so Winnie can run and we don't have to worry about her getting out. We had to pull a lot of weeds to get to the fence and trim trees, but we got it done. We burned the weeds and it was amazing how fast and hot they burned. It made us realize we really need to get the weeds and grass taken care of before lightning strikes and sets our property ablaze.

So we are going into next week with the hopes of no plumbing problems and hopefully getting everything situated and put away.

Friday, March 2, 2012

More on the house

Ty and I decided the kitchen needed one more splash of color, so we added a red around the top to break up the orange.

We also painted Logan's room, it's a nice buttery cream. I don't know how else to describe it. It's hard to see with the pictures, his room only has one working light bulb. A lot of the fixtures in the house are the kind that use those tiny expensive bulbs. So rather than spend a fortune on bulbs, we will probably change out the fixtures.

We haven't painted anything else yet, we have mainly been moving stuff and unpacking. The weekend is supposed to be really nice so we are moving the last of the stuff we can move ourselves then on Tuesday some friends are helping us move all the heavy stuff.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

House update

I have been busy moving boxes that were sitting in the garage of our rental house for 4 weeks over to the new house this week. I got a few put away, but most are sitting in the room they belong right now. My legs are covered with bruises from carrying boxes and bumping into things. But it's all worth it!

Today we tackled painting the kitchen. We normally choose simple earth tones when we paint. Not this time! We bought the house from Fannie Mae. For those of you who don't know, when Fannie Mae takes possession of a home, they paint it ALL white and put in brand new appliances. So our entire house is white. The kitchen has white walls, white cabinets, and white trim. Too much white! So we picked some nice bright colors to liven it up. Here are some before and after pictures:

Also this week Alex had her 1st grade concert called "Made in America." They sang some traditional American songs and also some old commercial jingles. I always wondered why she would come home singing the Almond Joy/Mounds jingle. It was really cute and she had fun. We drove by a house the other day and she said "Mom, that house is really lucky, you know why?" I said "Why?" She said "Because it has a United States of America flag and they can say the pledge of allegiance every day if they want." It's so fun to see her proud of her country at such a young age. Here's a mediocre picture of her class at the concert:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We are moving...again...

Here's the count, since Ty and I got married in 2001, we have lived in 9 houses/apartments in 6 states. So our next move will be place number 10. So far the process of buying this house has been less than easy and kept us wondering if the universe was giving us a hint, or testing us. We first looked at our new house back in December. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be hard to resist. It is fully fenced on 2.5 acres with mature landscaping. There is a HUGE shop with an apartment in it. The house itself is a split level but more open than a traditional split level.

We did all the negotiating, etc. and set a closing date of January 31st. So we went along with the whole process of getting the paperwork, etc. It was all going fine until we went to do the inspection. Well when we opened the door to the apartment, we heard water running. Now the house had been previously winterized, but they had to turn the water on to do a water test. Well somehow the turnoff valve to the refrigerator line was on and they didn't come into the apartment after they turned the water back on. So water was flowing unrestricted out the refrigerator line and all over the floors, luckily the floors are tile, and we got the damage fixed. Then the lender was bugging us to prove one other minor repair was fixed, which was never even mentioned in the final paperwork signed by both parties, it was verbally agreed upon. Next the appraiser took 11 days to get the appraisal report to the lender and then the lender sat on the appraisal for 3 days. By that time, it was our closing date and we needed an extension. So we got an extension, things going good, then after the lender had everything they needed, they added more conditions to the loan which would make it impossible for us to close on the extension date. On to lender #2, and another extension. Luckily the seller agreed to the new extension and things went smoothly from then on. We got into our new house today and started moving stuff over. It is nice to be able to get excited and dream about what we are going to do with the house after all the ups and downs.

P.S. I will post pictures later.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Summer/Fall Update

The last time I posted, it was June, I can't believe it's mid-November now. We successfully moved to Idaho and are currently renting a home here. It's got a nice big backyard and plenty of room for us. The summer was fun, we played a lot outside in the little pool and the water table.

Before we moved here, Ty and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a short trip to Vancouver, BC. We walked in some of the downtown neighborhoods and relaxed, but the funnest thing we did was drive up to Whistler and go ziplining. It was so much fun! At first I was a little freaked out, but it was so pretty and such an amazing experience. You have a birds eye view of the mountains and the river beneath you.
We also walked around the Olympic plaza and saw the luge track.

When we got home, we celebrated Alex's 6th birthday. She picked out a cake and ice cream and we had a fun little party and barbecue with my parents. When it got a little bit dark we all went outside and set off fireworks.

In September we took a trip to Henry's Lake. While Ty and his dad were fishing on the lake, the kids and I drove to Yellowstone and had some fun. We walked through the mud pots and geysers, saw Old Faithful, although it was so cold, all we saw was steam not the water coming out of the geyser. Then on our way back we saw a bunch of people stopped on the road, so we stopped to see what it was. It was a mom and baby elk eating grass along the river. The kids thought it was so cool to be that close to the elk.

Alex started 1st grade this year. It was a bit of an adjustment and she had a little bit of a hard time the first few weeks. But now she is doing great and loving school.

For Halloween Alex was a butterfly fairy and Logan was a frog. We went to a party with our playgroup and then went trunk or treating at the local park.

For the most part the last few months have been good, and of course with the good, there is always the bad. For us the bad came last weekend. We had to go over to Oregon to get the boat and some last things we left at the house. Our dog was acting like she had a tummy ache, but it's nothing new with dogs. So we left her with family and went to Oregon. We get to our house and someone had been fooling with our hot tub, the cover was halfway on and upside down. Then someone had cut the screen to one of the windows in our shop in an attempt to get in I'm sure. They must have decided it was too hard or got interrupted. Then on Saturday we get a call and it's the vet in Idaho, Bailey hadn't eaten, and by this time it was the 4th day of not eating, so Ty's dad thought she should be looked at. They opened her up and she had a uterine infection and her intestines were all bunched up. The vet was going to have to take out some of her insides and we decided that even if she did survive the surgery, there could be more complications from losing that much intestine and we had her put down. While we are glad she is no longer in pain, we all really miss her. It's hard when you lose a sweet dog that is only two years old. We wish we could have been there with her to say goodbye, but she will always be in our hearts.