Monday, November 21, 2016

Scouts & Animals & Planes, Oh My!

We found many ways to keep busy this fall, and throw in a little fun too.  Shanna "won" a limo ride for our school's fall fundraiser (thanks to a donation from Lee's business). 
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A very pretty view outside the front of my kids' elementary school.
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I tried to see Shanna off at the school with the limo ride and missed it by about 1 minute.  Ugh.  I drove over to the restaurant they ate lunch at (the limo of course took them there) to say hi.
Nov 4 2016 (2)

I started on some Christmas things early, and let me tell you, I LOVED the results in December.  Yes, I'm that far behind on my blog and it's December 23 as I write this.  December has been more of a "regular" month, of course filled with lots of fun activities.  It did make November kind of crazy, but I realize the craziness of shopping and what not has to happen sometime.  I tried to get presents to extended family out really early.  I covered a box to fill with goodies for my sister's family whom we had for Christmas this year.
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Another house project: install a handrail.  I found some great instructions on iheartorganizing's website. Check it out if you need instructions on putting in a handrail!
Nov 4 2016 (3)

After I stained the handrail and the poly coat was dry, Lee was able to cut it to size and start installing it.
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It looks so good!  Now we need to re-stain the other handrail.  Not excited about the project. 
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It took us awhile to move back into the bedrooms upstairs.  WEEKS.  The mess was overwhelming and the last thing I wanted to do was spend time in there with the girls cleaning it.  So I tried to ignore it for a very long time.
Nov 4 2016 (4)

Not much of a picture, but I installed a new piece of shoe mold at the base of the riser all by myself!  For some reason it was cut weird and I wanted it too look seamless....yes there was a seam in the middle and the seam protruded.  I also repainted all the risers and baseboards in the hallway/stairwell.  They look SOO much better now! I figured that since the upstairs received a redo, the area leading up to it needed a redo too. And I did paint over the shoe mold too.
Nov 4 2016

One other thing that was holding me back from helping the girls move back into their room was a dresser.  I wanted a dresser to move their clothes into.  We found one on Craigslist, even asked for $25 off, and Lee picked it up.  Upon further inspection at home, it was a piece of junk.  Pretty much.  Ugh. I knew it needed re-staining or given a coat of paint, but it was in bad shape structurally.  Now what to do.  I didn't want to redo mine and Lee's old dresser because I thought it was all particle board stuff.  But upon further inspection, quite a bit of the dresser was made out of wood.  Some parts were still particle board, but over all it was an okay dresser--one that I didn't mind sprucing up.  A little while ago Lee and I decided that in general the furniture we bring into our home from now on will be quality furniture.  We still will frequent IKEA every now and then.  Maybe this sounds snobbish or something, but for the first 11 years of marriage our furniture was either free, from thrift stores or purchased very inexpensively.  Either it was cheap or free, or we didn't own it.  Not until we bought a house did we start upgrading furniture and buying nice furniture.  Anyway, with the furniture we have I am not interested in keeping the junky stuff either, hence the desire to not refinish our old dresser.  Which by the way we got for free, and a night stand.  Too bad we didn't keep the night stands.  I think we had the matching pair at one point, but I didn't like how they looked at all, and I am not a creative thinker so we got rid of them. 

After removing the hardware the dresser needed some help. The hardware had gouged out marks on the drawer fronts.  For a complete DIY amateur, what would I do without wood filler and caulk?  They make everything better.
Nov 9 2016 (7)

Even a corner of a drawer front was completely gone, but wood filler made it better.
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Here is the before.  I just don't like it.  And never saw its potential.
Nov 9 2016

Painting.  Kind of obvious, right?  I had enough paint from the other dresser I redid.  I love the color!
Nov 10 2016

And WOW!  What a difference wood filler, new hardware and paint makes!  Thankfully the dresser was free because hardware can get kind of spendy...especially with 8 drawer pulls and 4 knobs on ONE dresser!  I love it SOOOO much now!  And I had a  reason to help the girls with their room! By the way, I bet you can't tell where that huge nick in the left drawer corner is either, right?! Maybe after the holidays, and after we hang more artwork, I'll do a reveal of both bedrooms.
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Moving on.  We helped with scouting for food this fall.  It's a fun service project for the kids.
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I encouraged Clark to go with another scout and his dad to do scouting for food.  They went on a different route.  Clark was pretty happy because afterwards the dad took the boys to McDonald's for some breakfast items.  The dad asked Clark what he wanted.  Clark replied that he didn't know because he doesn't go to McDonald's for breakfast hardly ever.  The dad was kind of surprised.  What was really funny is that when Clark told us about going to McDonald's later Clark said: "Next time I go to McDonald's for breakfast, which will be in about 3 years, I want to get the hashbrowns."  It was so funny.  Yep, 3 years is about right Clark.
Nov 5 2016 (5)

I had a coupon for a free slushie thing at Speeway.  I could get any size so I got the extra large and split it with all the kids.  I came prepared with cups and straws.  But seriously, no human should ever drink this in one sitting.  The beauties of freedom and choosing your own size of drink....
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Little side note, Lee tried out two different shaving clubs this fall.  The Harry's items look super fun with nice packaging.  But Harry's and the Dollar Shave club weren't that great for him.  Back to good ol' Gillette Sensor Excel blades.
Nov 5 2016 (10)

Remember our Christmas kick-off in the fall?  I had the kids write out lists for me also to give me ideas of what they would like for Christmas.  They had to turn them in right after Halloween. 
Nov 6 2016 (2)

Lee made a really yummy dessert his grandma used to make. Basically you put chunks of angel food cake in the bottom of  a 13x9 pan, and cover it with this delicious mousse-like chocolate.  So good.
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Elden gets to sleep on a big queen bed (he is the first one to get kicked out of his room when visitors come.)  Not sure why the floor is more have a "kid" back again though!
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One Sunday I helped out in nursery.  This was my audience.  No one.  I thought about going into Relief Society but decided to stay in case someone needed to drop off their child.  I enjoyed reading my scriptures and the Ensign!
Nov 6 2016

The second weekend of scouting for food was the pick-up.  My kids loved it!  And literally fought over who got to pick up the food....
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We did a little shopping after scouting for food.  I thought it was funny.
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Next adventure, the National Zoo!  It's been over two years since we've visited.  Lois even got us a pass for one year which had FREE parking.  And did we go once that year? Nope.  My friend Brittany invited us to join her, which was really fun.  The kids didn't have school on Monday or "election" Tuesday so this was a fun excursion for that Monday.  Driving around DC was so fun.  I am not sure if I could live in a big city full-time (I do think I would actually like it) but I know for sure that I love visiting big cities!
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I met one of Brittany's roommates from BYU, which was really fun too.  The weather was great that day and the kids loved looking at the different animals and exhibits. 
Nov 7 2016

That night we stayed at Lois'.  These kids always love seeing each other.  I'm so glad we can see cousins several times a year.  I really only saw mine once a year, growing up.
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On Tuesday, election day, Lois and I went to the College Park Aviation Museum with a friend, Mary.  For being a small museum, it was really kid friendly which was fantastic! All of my kids enjoyed it.
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Oh, the night before we had a lesson on being thankful and we each added a feather to a turkey about what we are thankful for.  Jeff can draw quite well!  I LOVE his turkey!
Nov 8 2016

After the aviation museum we headed home, stopping at the mall along the way.  The night before I went shopping with Lois.  We drove all the way out to a mall so I could exchange a shirt for Lee, only to have left the shirt at her house!  Argh.  Hence the extra stop on the way home to the mall.  Thankfully it was a quick, easy trip.

With all the pre-holiday shopping, a stop to Bath & Body was included.  Cal LOVES the Twisted Peppermint scent. 
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Lee and I made it to the polls that day too!
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Wow, the election.  I voted for someone else other than Hilary or Trump.  I get the "make your vote count" and what not, but I just could not bring myself to vote for either candidate.  As much as I dislike Trump, I was so glad Hilary didn't get elected.  (For those of the opposing view, don't send nasty comments...remember, I didn't vote for either person.)

 Not much on the scout end, but they did play a fun mouse trap game.  I think they had to pass around a "set" mouse trap, without it going off.  Lots of team work needed!  Clark and Cal have been working on a couple of merit badges which has been great.  Scouts has been really good for them.  It's a ton of work though!  Which that is good also. I'm probably just a little too involved. 
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One date night I took Haley and Lee took Elden.  We ended up at the community center together.
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One Sunday the kids had a ball playing in the leaves.  It's a novelty since we don' have awesome trees in our yard. 
Nov 13 2016 (2)

For fun, a really yummy pumpkin dessert if you want an alternative to pumpkin pie, or just want more pumpkin dessert!  It's like a crumble cake, of sorts, and is even better after it's cooled for a long while.
Nov 13 2016 (4)

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