Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rolling, rolling, rolling.... Keep that paint rolling.....

When I was sending the weekly email, Hurricane looked out the front window and said hesitantly, "Jilly." He then began to repeat more and more excitedly, "Jilly, Jilly, Jilly!" He ran outside and saw Kirky too and was stopped in his tracks. He waved shyly and said, "Hi." My parents came on Sunday evening. Originally Jilly was going to come solo and arrive Monday afternoon. While they were driving here, my Dad called and asked if I'd heard from my Mom on her trip. He asked if we had enough supper and if he join us. They changed their plan, and both came. They then proceeded to make a miracle happen.

Monday for Labor Day the miracle began. With rollers in hand, we started to paint every room in the house except the Master bedroom and laundry room. In addition, my Dad pruned the tree in the front yard, and Sweetheart put together the shelves in the basement. They would only stop for food. Scott, my brother, sent his girls to pick us corn and apples.

We loved to eat that manna. Mike, my cousin, was very generous and made us root beer and cider.
I feel so lucky to have many people who shared their love with us.

Tuesday the boys went to school and Sweetheart to work. My parents rolled some more. My Mom became a circus performer by climbing a ladder to get a really tough spot in our stairwell. Tuesday evening around 11 pm the house was painted- rolled and edged.
"Shaving" Hurricane with a "Safety Razor"
What an incredible feat of work.
Wednesday morning they returned home. We are still amazed at what a mountain of work they did.

I continued throughout the week to do touch up work and paint trim. We were told that the tile work would begin on Tuesday. On Monday night we disconnected the washer and dryer and moved them into the loft area. On Tuesday we learned that the person who was going to start the tile work decided to move to Wisconsin, and the tile instillation was pushed off until Thursday.

The man who is doing the tile work is taking his time. He's been here on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and has finished the laundry room.
We are grateful for his efforts, but wish he worked a little bit faster!

Carpet will come this coming week, and we will be able to move into the house. We are currently using 2 rooms.

We attended the Fort Collins Temple Open House on Friday evening.
The temple is beautiful. The Eckert family met us there. It is always good to go with friends.

Be Well.


 Underfoot and Hurricane at Fort Collins Temple

 Fort Collins Temple

Welcome Fall!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

School Starts and Painting

Boys started school last Monday. After dropping the boys off, Wendy returned home. Shortly thereafter, the Sheriff showed up. He was serving divorce court papers to the former owner of the house.
After school, Wendy took them for ice cream for their first day.
We have painted and continue to clean the house. On Wednesday, the Boy Scouts (Sweetheart is one of the leaders...) came an kilzed and washed blinds. Tuesday members of the Relief Society, the women's organization in our congregation, washed walls they were amazed by how many buckets of dirty water we went through. We have gone through 3 bottles of ammonia, 1 gallon bleach, and 2 gallons of vinegar so far.
The laundry room had a wallpaper banner of puppies in it. They were removed.
Underfoot is attending the local Elementary School; Hurricane is attending a charter school. The charter school is a little bit father away but has a better middle school than the public alternative. Because Hurricane is already in the charter school, Underfoot is on a sibling waiting list. He is second in line to get into the charter school. Hurricane is sad that Underfoot is not at his school. We hope that Underfoot will be able to switch to the charter school in the near future.
We got library cards this week. Wendy misses the Library Bus.
The Eckerts invited us to the CU/CSU game at Mile High Stadium (where the Broncos play.)
It was a lot of fun.
We took the train. CU killed CSU. The video is of Ralphy the Buffalo.

We have a lot more work to do before the tile goes in on Tuesday. We are looking forward to Wendy's mother coming to help us paint.
On Monday Sweetheart sliced his toe open before getting in the shower. He drove himself to the Insta-Care where he got three stitches. His toe is healing nicely. The pictures are below for those who are too queasy too look now.
Hurricane lost a tooth this morning during church. 
We are exhausted with more work tomorrow.
We are living in the master bedroom and kitchen. All four of us are in the master bedroom.
All of our clothes fit into the master bedroom closet, which is extremely large. The rest of the furniture and our belongings are in the garage, waiting for carpet and tile. 
You're welcome to come visit. Bring your paint brush. We have kilzed most of the house and painted the master bedroom and the formal living room. We still have some touch up painting and holes to patch in the formal living room.
After applying lots of kilz, we've pretty much knocked out the smells. Now we just need to finish painting and get everything ready for the flooring.

Hurricane says, "Nothing"

Underfoot says:
We started school last week. We got ice cream again after school. I went to cub scouts. I found a basketball at school. We played a card game called Dominion. I thought it was called Damnation. I mowed the lawn. It was hard. I listened to a book called "The best school year ever." It is by the same author who wrote "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever". We made cookies.

Be Well!

Toes pictures below:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cleaning, cleaning, and living

We have been working really, really hard. After Sunday, we returned to the house to continue cleaning it. We have been cleaning since we took possession of the house.

Once a room is cleaned with the walls wiped down, we try to kilz it. We have kilzed 1 room and most of the floors upstairs. The air ducts in the house have been cleaned as well.

The kitchen is unpacked and being used. The oven took us 3 days to clean the black out of it.
The bathrooms are cleaned. The master shower has a lot of mildew and mold between the tile and the silicone. The silicone will need to be removed and re-caulked before we can start to use it. Sweetheart has made improvements to the house to make it more efficient with motion sensor lights, buying a NEST thermostat, smoke detectors with carbon monoxide sensor included, and a myriad of other tasks.

Sweetheart's employer told him to take the time and to help his family get settled after he went to work the first day. Sweetheart was home the rest of the week helping with the cleaning, painting, and unpacking.
Tuesday evening we met with our Bishop. He interviewed and spoke with our family for about an 1 1/2 hours. Thursday we enrolled the boys in school. Their start date is today Monday. Hurricane will be attending a charter school called Challenge to Excellence. Underfoot will attend our local neighborhood school until an opening is available at the charter school. They are bummed they don't get to attend together. We are hopeful that Underfoot will be able to attend soon with his brother
Underfoot mowed the lawn the first time. He is going to build muscles, patience, and some new skills! We are proud of his hard work!
On Friday, the double oven was fixed. The repairman asked for his check (that was at the Title Company) which sent us on a goose chase to find the check. When Sweetheart called our agent, Jay, to find the check, Jay asked how things were going. Sweetheart told him we had not yet slept in the house. Jay offered to send a professional cleaning company or to have a room painted. I was hesitant. Jay said he would pay for the service. We chose to have the Master bedroom painted.
The painter who came also pulled out our carpets. He told us that the pad was still wet with urine when he pulled the carpet. We have to kilz the main floor still.
The colors on the left are the main colors. The others are accent.
Friday night was the first night we spent in house! We pulled our mattress inside the formal living room and the boys slept in sleeping bags! We have been staying at the Eckert's home. They have fed us, housed us, and provided entertainment for us. We are VERY GRATEFUL for their hospitality and support.
Saturday we loaded our closet with our clothes.
The closet is the bigger than our old laundry room. We now are officially living in our house.
On Sunday Sweetheart was asked to be the Assistant Scoutmaster at church to work with the 12-13 year old young men.
Sweetheart is taking Youth Protection Training with Hurricane on his lap.
Later that day we had the Eckert's over for supper and Dominion. Later we were invited for dessert at our Bishop's family's home. During the evening, where people served an LDS mission came up. Another man in the room served his mission in Panama like I did. He was there 4 years after I was.  That was really exciting to me.
Be Well.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Welcome to Colorado!

Greetings from Parker, CO. On Monday of this past week we signed papers for the sale of our Tucson home. On Tuesday we signed on the papers for our Parker home. Early on Wednesday morning we packed up the last of our belongings and headed to Colorado. Many hands helped us clean the house, pack the car, and helped us emotionally. We are grateful for people's time, energy, and love.

Craig and Grace Earls opened Hotel Earls and were kind enough to let us stay at their home for a couple nights prior to our departure. We were able to sleep in a bed rather than on an air mattress. I must admit that I am very grateful for their hospitality.

The boys finished school at Sycamore Elementary. Mrs. Stone and Mrs. Middendorf, the boys' classroom teachers, have been wonderful as the boys have been moving. The boys celebrated by bringing a white t-shirt to have their classmates sign it and shared a treat on their last day. We have been blessed to be at Sycamore.

The drive to Colorado was long. The Scout did just fine pulling the Prius, and Wendy pulled the trailer behind the Pilot. We averaged about 60 MPH for the whole trip. We stayed at a Worldmark in Santa Fe, NM. It was the tiniest Worldmark we've every been too. They had no pool, no club house, and very little parking. Fortunately we were able to make arrangements with the Japanese restaurant across the street to park the Scout for the night. The manager let us park the Pilot and the trailer in an 'off limits' part of the parking lot because we agreed to leave before the workmen showed up at 6 a.m. I just moved the Pilot across the street and went back to bed. 

I found that the Scout has some carburetor problems. Someday I hope to put fuel injection on it, to make it easier to start. It should also improve the mileage. 10-11 MPG is all we got on our trip. I also had to put a quart of oil in every 150 miles (which is about how often we filled up with gas, too!) The changes in elevation in Colorado are such that fuel injection is a really good idea. I just have to get all the other house projects finished first....

On Thursday night we made it to the new house. The carpet guys were just finishing up the removal of the old carpet. We discovered large animal pee stains all over the sub-floor, which confirmed our decision to have the carpet replaced. The boys ran through the house and immediately discovered the joy of the slide in the basement. My friend Brandon, and his wife Moriah, who also live in Parker, were gracious enough to let us sleep at their house. (We've been camping out at their house ever since- Thank you Brandon and Moriah!)

On Friday we unloaded the truck. Brandon and Moriah came by to help us unload. We had some help from the freight company. The unload took us three hours instead of the two hours that I had originally thought, but we are glad we got the help. The bulk of our possessions are in the garage, with a few items in the basement. The rest of the house is 'naked' because there is no carpet. 

On Saturday I returned the tow dolly to Uhaul and we started working on the house. Wendy and Moriah did a lot of cleaning in the kitchen. (The new house has been neglected quite a bit!) Wendy mowed the front lawn and we took turns mowing the back yard lawn. I somehow managed to misplace the box that had all the painting materials (rollers and paint trays) so I took the boys to Lowes to pick up more rollers. We began painting the subfloor with Kilz primer. Underfoot and Hurricane did a great job painting. Hurricane and I also began removing all the face plates from all the light switches and outlets. We returned home to Brandon and Moriah's house exhausted. Underfoot said his back hurt from bending over so much to do the painting.

Today we attended church at our new congregation. During the second hour, we attended a special sunday school class were members of the congregation leadership introduced themselves. We were also given a chance to introduce ourselves and ask questions. It was the first time Wendy or I had every attended such a class, but it was really nice to get acquainted with a few people. Underfoot and Hurricane were both nervous to attend church, but I believe they have already made some new friends and will be just fine here in Colorado. 

We have not yet decided if we will enroll the boys in school tomorrow or wait a week to give them a little break. They've already been in school this year for 5 weeks, the local school system is only on week 2. Underfoot wants to start school tomorrowHurricane wants to wait a week.

Be Well.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Moving and A Wake

We have packed the house, loaded it into the trailer, had a wonderful wake, and will sign on two houses this week.
We have been very busy and couldn't have done it without the help of many, many people.

Sweetheart played games with his friends. He has enjoyed playing Conflict of Heroes. While he played games, Underfoot, Hurricane, and I saw the LDS Tucson Temple construction,
used a birthday gift card for Legos at Toys R Us, used another birthday gift card at Bookmans and played Pokemon there, and shopped for the last few items of food.

Our family birthday was celebrated by packing the attic, garage, and unloading the storage unit we got for showing the house.
Sweetheart had an allergic reaction in the middle and had to stop. We were invited for supper at the Carpenter home and enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs. On Monday, we enjoyed homemade fondue.

Sunday we hosted the last Young Single Adult supper for members of our congregation. We extended the table to its full length, and everyone had a place at the table.
Underfoot and G took a picture at the YSA dinner. They are really great friends.
We really love our table and the memories that have been made around it.

Many hands came to our rescue and aid as we finalized the packing and loading of the semi-trailer. The miracle is everything fit in the trailer. We packed rooms during the day with help. Sweetheart packed the garage by night or worked on the International Harverster Scout.
On Thursday and Saturday, men came to help Sweetheart load the trailer. Because of their help we accomplished a mountain of work. The men were helpful to Sweetheart make sure that the load fit tightly and safely. We are grateful for the many hands and hearts that helped us.

On Saturday, we attended the nicest wake ever. Many people came through to share memories and to wish us well.
R. N., Baby M, and I took at picture at the wake.
We were overwhelmed by the love that was shared.

Underfoot finished his Cub Scout Bear Rank and was awarded the rank this last Tuesday at Pack meeting.
He was given the microphone and shared how he earned some of his awards. I have also been working on the Young Women Personal Progress program. The program is designed for youth ages 12-18 to bring them closer to Christ. Adult women who are interested may do the program as well. I finished this on Sunday, had an interview with my Bishop, and was given the award during our church services.
I was really surprised to be presented in front of the congregation.

The best part of living here is Hurricane! He is our gem from the desert.
We have much to accomplish this week. We hope for a smooth week. Prayers would be graciously accepted.
Be Well.
 Wonder Woman Smoothie from a library cookbook

 A sunbeam from heaven

Meridale Cider that I took from Pocatello at Thanksgiving

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

First Day Action

School has started. We came home from Havasupai on Saturday and started school on Monday.

They were happy to start and said that the walk to school wasn't that long after hiking from the bottom on the hill at Havasupai.
At the end of the school day, we went on our traditional getting ice cream.

We invited our friends who are attending the new elementary school. The reunion was a sweet one. Pun intended.

Lance gave his 2 weeks notice at Raytheon the day we got back. He was really nervous to tell, but it went better than he thought it would. He finished his 2 weeks. His co-workers took him to lunch. He started his new job on Monday.
You know on the 1st day of school parents take pictures of their children. Here is Lance on his first day - nerd pack and all.

The boys finished their summer reading program. We decided that they would read as many pages as the Mormon Battalion walked in miles.
Underfoot read all the pages, and Hurricane's job to was listen to and read pages. They both completed their goal.

The sunflowers have been beautiful.

The monsoon has come in full force.
The rain is very welcome and helps keep our house clean outside.

 Both houses have had the inspections and the appraisals. We have started to pack our house. Last Saturday, we packed the canning materials in our outdoor shed. We cut the lids off 2 barrels and filled them then 2 boxes. We didn't realize how many jars we have. We will need to fill every single jar in Colorado.

 Saying goodbye to friends is going to be the hardest thing. On Sunday, we went to supper at a friend's house. Their son thought it was the last night we would see each other.
The Earls family has offered to have a wake for us before we leave. It is August 13 if you'd like to come. Let us know to give you the details. Two weeks from today we will be moving. Hard to image our time is short here.

Be Well!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 4th, Denver, Mission Report, and Havasupai

Two weeks ago I got on a plane bound for Pocatello. My brother-in-law picked me up in the sweet Mustang from the airport with Wendy and the boys. We had fun with Kirkham cousins.

We spent the morning of the 4th of July with Wendy's brother, Scott, and his family. Scott is a dealer in heavy equipment, and he knows lots of people. We went to the Inkom 4th of July parade. We got set up to watch the parade and along came a Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicle on a flat bed truck. It stopped right in front of us, and Scott told us to climb on.
Scott had made arrangements with a buddy for us to ride on the IFV during the parade. It was a lot of fun.

On a whim we decided to head down to SLC to watch 4th of July fireworks with my brother, Beck, and his family.
On Tuesday we headed to Denver for a quick house hunting trip. The boys were cared for by my brother and his family.
My high school friend, Brandon, lives in Parker, CO. While Brandon and his family were on a family trip to Mexico, we stayed in their house. They were kind to host us at their place and eat their food. In exchange we watered the house plants and fed the geckos and fish. Over the course of two days we looked at ~30 houses. On Thursday night we had narrowed the list down to 8 houses. On Friday morning we put an offer in on a house.
We drove back to SLC arriving late on Friday night. On Saturday morning, we spent time with my brother and his family and returned to Pocatello to link up with the Kirkham family.
On Sunday Wendy's parents gave their mission report at church, which was the whole reason for the trip. They spoke about desire and knowing individually that each is a child of God. After church we traveled south to Orderville, Utah and spent the night at my brother's cottage.

On Monday morning we repacked the car to go to Supai, AZ. To get to Supai, we had to hike and wanted to make sure we weren't forgetting anything. The launching point is the Havasupai Falls Campground parking lot. Along the way to Havasupai, we got word from the seller of the Colorado house. One of the contingencies was to have the carpets and ducts cleaned because they have a cat, and Wendy had a reaction to the cat while we were at the house. Unbeknownst to us, our agent had offered them 10k less than the listing price. They countered at 5k under the list price and agreed to the carpet and duct cleaning. We countered again with a full price offer, but we asked for 6k to have the carpets replaced rather than cleaned. Our agent met his carpet guy at the house and happened to meet the owner. The owner started to cry as she talked to our agent. (He told us it was the first time that had ever happened to him, and it was a little uncomfortable for him - he's an ex-marine.) The owner said she felt a great connection to our family. Later that night the seller agent contacted our agent to tell him about wanted to give us an additional $1,500 to put in new carpet in the house. Our agent said that in 17 years of real estate he's never had a situation where the seller came back and offered more than what the buyer had asked for like this. Needless to say, we are very grateful. We signed the contract. 

On Monday night we made it to the Havasupai Falls Hilltop parking lot.
My sister, Merris, was kind enough to let us spend the night in their motor home. They hiked in on Monday morning. This was a huge blessing because we arrived after dark and likely would not have slept well on the ground. We finally got to sleep around 10.
We got up at 4:30 Tuesday morning and were on the trail to Havasupai Campground by 5:15.
Seven hours and ten miles later, we arrived at the campground.
We were grateful to finally arrive. 
On Wednesday we hiked down to Mooney Falls and played in the water. The trail to get there near gave Wendy a heartache. You hold onto chains all the way down.
It reminded Wendy of the Lost Boys from Peter Pan.
The boys especially liked the rope swing.
Wendy took lots of pictures.
While there I noticed that a squirrel was helping himself to another hiker's lunch. The squirrels will eat right through anything to get at your food! Hurricane noticed that another hiker was playing in the water with a large inflatable slice of pizza.
Being the bold Locey that he is, Hurricane approached the man (after he'd finished using the slice) to ask if Hurricane could float on it for a while. The man said that he was leaving the next day and didn't want to pack it up the hill, so he gave the water toy to Hurricane! What a blessing.
 On Thursday we went cliff jumping with Merris and Yvette's families.

The waterfalls were very private, and we had to wade up river to get to them.
Yvette chose to stay in Flagstaff with her daughter, Ariana, who had been throwing up for 5 days over the previous week. Yvette didn't think it wise to have Ariana walk the two miles from the helicopter landing pad down to the camp ground. After the cliff jumping, we chose to visit Havasupai Falls.
Who did we run into? Yvette and Ariana. The two helicoptered in on Thursday morning. We were so glad to see them.
On Thursday night we packed up our gear and got ready to head back up to the parking lot. We were grateful for the help we received from our friends, the Earls, who also came with us to Havasupai Falls. The Earls helped us take down our tent and get our gear taken care of. This is the second vacation we've taken with the Earls. We will miss them dearly!
Wendy and I got up at 2:30 on Friday morning with the goal to be on the trail by 3 a.m. We finally got started at 3:45. It was a long 10 mile hike. Underfoot and Hurricane did exceptionally well for such a difficult hike. By 8 a.m. the sun was up and the heat was on. Along the way a kind couple gave Hurricane one of their sun umbrellas. I carried it for him, keeping him out of the sun for the better part of the morning.
The Earls Family arrived much earlier than we did.
We finally arrived at the parking lot at about 11:10 - 7 hours after leaving the camp ground. Each of us had a 'carrot' to help us get to the top - Wendy's carrot was a cold soda, mine was a phone call to our Tucson realtor, Underfoot and Hurricane wanted to get a Mini Mighty Micro Lego set. Along the way up the trail, Hurricane began negotiating for cold hard cash. Hurricane negotiated hard. He wanted $1 for each mile he hiked.
Wendy and I relented around mile 16. His logic was sound. My nephew, Grant, chose to hike out with us. He hiked in with Merris' family on Monday.

The mules arrived with our gear about the same time we did. We loaded the car and headed out. On the road back to civilization we got word that we had an offer on our house in Tucson! We chose to eat lunch at Westside Lilo's cafe in Selgiman, AZ. While there we got word that the offer on our house in Tucson had been withdrawn. The week prior we got two offers on the house, but there were problems with both of them. This third offer looked promising. The offer was withdrawn because the couple had put in offers on multiple houses and one of the other sellers had accepted their offer. The good news was that our agent had been told two other couples were preparing offers, so if they wanted the house they needed to put together a strong offer.

Passing through Phoenix we got word that the two other offers had arrived, and they were good. Late Friday night we signed on our Tucson house. We are under contract to sell our house on August 17th and purchase our new house on August 18th. Saturday we spent the day doing laundry, unpacking, and taking care of logistics for our upcoming move. It is hard to believe that we have just one month left in Tucson!

Be Well!