Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting Floored: Part II

On the left is our house with majorly water damaged floors. It doesn't look so bad compared to the picture on the right, which is the same spot after it has been demoed and had all the rotten stuff removed.
What a mess! I have more sympathy for people who complain about the hassles of renovations. I think I'll spare the details of how much of a pain this has all been and just show some pictures of the progress that has been made so far. I will say that we have been pleased as punch with the insurance company (Nationwide) and the company doing the renovations (Restore It). Everyone we've dealt with has been 100% helpful and pleasant and that makes all the difference in a stressful situation like this.

Before demo on left after demo on the right

More of the same in the hallway

Yay for new wood! In these pics it is still unfinished but oooh aahhh. Looks good and no mildew smell! Even though this is all a pain and was an unexpected turn of events, I've always wanted to renovate a home and it is fun to see it all happen and not have to do the work myself.

We've been dining picnic style for a few days now so we can keep from messing up the unprotected wood. It will definitely be nice to be set up in the hotel!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Autumn Coffee Break

 What a wonderful place for a coffee break, and it's right out my front door! Change in seasons always make me happy.

 I absolutely love that this is my front yard! The table is under the biggest old tree and all of the fall colors are coming out across the street. And even better, across the street is really far away!

Our cute little house. The weather has been so beautiful, I'm soaking it all in because I know it will be winter eventually and I'll want to stay all bundled up inside.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

These are my spicy pumpkin seeds I mentioned in yesterday's post. The only time we make these is when we carve our jack-o-lanterns and that just makes them an extra special delicacy at our house. The kids like them too, which always surprises me, and this year even the Little Mister ate some and kept coming back for more. It's a recipe I found a million years ago on the Martha Stewart Living website. Such a simple recipe and so good.

Martha Stewart's Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds
(From the two pumpkins we carved this year we got 3 cups of seeds)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients
 toss to coat 
Spread on a rimmed baking sheet
 bake until puffed and browned, about 10 minutes.

NOTE: I totally disagree with this 10 min thing, it takes me much longer but every 10min I'll give them a stir.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Punkin' Carvin' Day

 Pumpkin Guts

I realized this year that the day we carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns has grown to very closely resemble the pomp of our Christmas Tree Decorating Day. In the beginning...way back when we were newly weds...we simply carved the pumpkins. Now we make and put out decorations, gut the pumpkins, and while the Bohemian helps the boys carve I roast up the seeds into delicious spicy pumpkin seeds. There is generally a seasonally appropriate drink...like hot apple cider. This year we even added haunted ginger bread house assembly. Well, we attempted it, but it was so haunted I couldn't get it to stay glued together and followed Spitfires's wise advice to not be disappointed and just go ahead and eat it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Mums...Must Be Fall!

The Little Mister is happy to hitch a ride at first.

I am having just way too much fun this fall, I hardly know where to start! Really my problem is I don't know where to stop! It's all so much fun I want to show you every bit of it...you can tell by all the photos I've posted! Let's get to it!

Vanzant Farms was wonderful, what a sweet little farm. It was a completely different experience than our trip to Family Farm a few years back, but just as enjoyable...and with the added bonus of honey, peach jelly and the absolute most divine apple butter I've ever tasted, all made right there from things they've grown.

Little Mister and his buddy scoping out pumpkins

This place was small but there was so much to see and it was nice that the big ones could roam freely without me needing to keep such close watch.

Checking out the huge corn stalks

Look, I added a cute little pumpkin to the patch!

Good 'ole fashion fun with a roll down the hill

Mr. Golden Curls hunts diligently for the right pumpkin

Spitfire thinks the perfect pumpkin is the one closest to him so he can get back to rolling down the hill! 

Oh, brothers!

What a crew, tried so hard to get a good pic of them all together but toddlers are so uncooperative...and we had two with us!

Home again, home again jiggety jig...but not for long, it's to the corn maze!

The wonderful thing about going to farms is letting the boys have a chance to learn where food comes from. They were amazed how the corn grew.

Happily lost

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dreams of Chicks and Ducks

Adorable shed coop plans and pics from Ana-White.com. Find coop plans here.

On the way to school our first week here the boys were talking about the big backyard we have now and I was telling them how we might get to have a garden and chickens or ducks etc. Spitfire kept asking questions like "Can we have a cow? What about a sheep, could we have a sheep? Just one sheep?" Then right before drop off Spitfire says: "While I'm at school why don't you just go ahead and get some chickens or ducks for me?" "Why don't we get moved into the house and get it all fixed up first!"

Truth be told, I've been dreaming of chickens and gardens myself. I've been scouring the web for things like making a compost pile, what we can do to prep a veggie garden, and I've scoped out the adorable chicken coop in the picture above...think I should start researching the chickens themselves before I get into adorable coop building! The one above is from an awesome website full of free plans for building, well, pretty much anything you want. You can find the plans and more pics of this coop by clicking here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting Floored

Can you tell which appliance survived?

It's been pretty frustrating since we moved back into our house to see the damage that has been caused by others. This last tenant never paid her rent on time, usually needed harrassed into paying and nearly got evicted twice in the two years she lived there, but she was keeping it clean and tidy. That was our mantra, at least she's taking care of it. Maybe not so much. I guess if you overlook the water heater that leaked unchecked for unknown months and the toilets that are doing the same, then yes, she took great care of it.

The Bohemian and Uncle T assess the damage with the peanut gallery looking on.

In the first week of moving in we had to buy a new refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer. We had all of these things in the house, and had for the 4 years it had been rented. Somehow this one renter single handedly killed them all in the 2 that she lived in it. I have to admit, shopping for brand new appliances, so much fun! As a family of 5 humans and 3 pets living on a youth director's income while I stay at home with the kids, shopping for the big stuff just doesn't happen, ever. My new appliances...gorgeous, the floor around them...ruined by water damage. When the delivery guys moved the old washing machine there was a comically huge bubble of floor underneath it. Not just a bubble in the linoleum, we're talking sub-floor and all!

Now we find ourselves in more new territory, homeowners insurance claims and remodels. Today the flooring people come out to asses the work they're about to do. The insurance adjuster has said it will be new floor covering in the laundry room, boys' bedroom and new wood floors throughout...pretty excited about that! The worry part is that the laundry room and part of the boys' room needs new sub-flooring as well, they laundry room will have its walls cut out from 2ft down, and we'll see what they unearth when they get started...that sounds messy to me!

While all of this should be completely stressing me out, and normally would be throwing me into a complete tizzy, it's not. I'm relaxed, I'm taking it as it comes. I think it's because I just feel like I'm home. I feel like we're finally going to get to stay put for awhile and that all this is an investment in our own house not a house we're fixing up for someone else. Let's see if my zen holds when I start receiving all those credit card bills!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Purple Pepper Eater

When your 6 year old asks "Can I have a snack...a healthy one?" you know it's time to set aside the moving crazies and get back to grocery shopping and cooking like someone who isn't obsessed about which appliance is going to break next and what the next step on a home owners insurance claim is. So Wednesday the Bohemian and I took the Little Mister to the local farmers market. It was our first time for this market. Definitely smaller than the ones we're used to, but beautiful food! Well, just look at those gorgeous peppers, I've never even had a purple pepper before.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Us moving in: here we are in 2008 having breakfast on our brand new kitchen floor on the day we closed on the house in Hot Springs. Those babies sure have grown up in the past 4 years!

It's nice to see you again. I haven't been here in awhile. I feel like I'm meeting up with an old friend that I used to be really close to but have been neglecting and feel guilty and awkward reuniting with. But I really like blogging and I'm starting to miss it. Facebook distracted me for awhile with its ease of use and immediate audience, but I miss composing posts, telling stories, and giving all the details. So I'm just going to jump in from here and pretend nothing ever happened...what problem in our relationship?

Things have certainly been happening, exciting things, and happening fast. So fast that I really couldn't have shared stories along the way anyhow. Things like a big move across the state, out of suburbia, and back into the house we moved out of 4.5 years ago! It went a lot more smoothly coming this way than going that way. No Bohemian living in a storage space above a shop, no 6 months separated. This time it was about 5 weeks of separation and he got to live those weeks in an honest to goodness house with friends.

Us moving out: here we are last week in our almost empty house ready to head back to NWA with an additional little boy in tow!

Ok, I feel I need to back up a bit. The hardest part this go 'round was all that led up to this decision. We knew we wanted to be back in this area, we miss it every time we leave, but leaving Hot Springs became a harder choice than we had anticipated. We had grown a lot by living there, we had met amazing people, our boys were in a phenomenal school...worst of all, we couldn't really share our struggles with a lot of those people we had grown to love. Once the path was set and we could make announcements it was such a weight lifted off of us. Moving forward on the overwhelming tasks of all that went into us moving seemed less burdensome when I could be open about it all.

We weren't planning on such a short separation, the boys and I were staying behind to sell the house, just as we had before. The Bohemian had imposed a "my foot is down" timeline of max. 3 months apart. Our tenant in our old house had other plans and moved out, without notice or paying rent. With the house vacated it was not a tough decision to go ahead and be under one roof as soon as we could manage. Thanks to my whirlwind of a mom-in-law we managed the move in less than 2 weeks!

And that, in a nutshell, brings me to the present. Later on I'll probably elaborate even more, I told you I had lots to say! Life is a wonderful adventure, one big, exciting, messy, loud, wonderful adventure, and I feel like sharing!

Spitfire, age 2, moving us south

Spitfire, age 6, moving us back up north