Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our house on October 16, 2012

Our house on October 30, 2012

Taking a closer look: then

And now: 

Oh, yes, and all this was going on the week John was away. Utter chaos, but a great result (both the house and John's eventual return.) Interior shots may be forthcoming, if I ever feel the inside of my house is worthy of public display. (Read: probably never.)

And because my photography skills are suspect, you should note that the before pictures have grey vertical T1-11 siding and a red front door (and rickety wooden storm door that didn't fully latch and often blew open with a bang during storms.)  The after pictures have sand/tan horizontal vinyl siding and a forest green front door with full glass (retractable screen) storm door.

We have wanted to change those front windows since we first looked at this house five years ago (and bought it four years ago.) But other expenses took priority until now. We are VERY happy with the change and loving the natural light in the living room! Now, what's the over/under on how long the "temporary" paper shades will remain in place there before I make a decision about window treatments?

Monday, October 15, 2012

 The boys were quite pleased to welcome John home and wasted no time getting cozy together.
John didn't have much time for couch cuddles though as he had three major work events in five days starting the weekend after his return. All were successful and he was glad to have them behind him so he could focus all his nervous energy on his upcoming overseas trip.

In the meantime, he finally persuaded Edward to let him liberate a tooth so loose that Edward was pushing it through his lips for an impressive pre-Halloween fang. (Oh, so gross! I totally did not know that I was squeamish about loose teeth, but I am.) Although the first front tooth is already starting to come in, he does have that adorable first-grade gap grin for the time being.
With the tooth gone, the only thing in danger of destruction at his weekly soccer games is his glasses. Twice this fall we've had to visit the optical center on a Monday to have them straightened out. He doesn't play quite with quite the same aggression as Daniel, but I guess any time you have eight six-year-olds in a scrum, things are bound to happen. He has been very happy to attend practices and Saturday morning games, so even though his attention to the finer points of the game (kick toward the goal, not toward the white chalk field boundary!) might be a bit lacking, at least he's out there being active with his friends.

In other news this month, I got a new phone, which brings me up to at least 2010 technological standards. It's not a iPhone, actually not even a smart phone (though it could be if I were willing to pay the monthly fee) but it does take better pictures, and more importantly (according to SOME people) allow for quicker writing/sending of text messages. Now, if I could only figure out how to get the photos to download to the computer, I'd have a few more to post here! Baby steps.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Get out your "Way Back Machines," 'cuz we're headed all the way back to the first weekend in October. Yes, I realize I've been absent this month. Let's try to play a bit of catch-up, shall we?

So back in the beginning of the month, John took a long weekend to travel to Cleveland for a writing conference. It's a great opportunity for him to connect with other writers and it really fuels his creative spirit, so the boys and I sent him off dark and early on a Thursday morning. (His flight was at 6:30 a.m. departing from an airport an hour away. He got up at 4 and left by 4:30. Edward actually heard him heading down the stairs and called out for one last kiss good-bye.)

That weekend happened to be the "bye" weekend for the Hawkeye football team. This meant that EVERY single event for the fall was scheduled then. It also happened to be our first blast of cold with high temperatures only in the 40s. (We turned the heat on this weekend.) Daniel and I bundled up in down coats and a blanket to watch Edward's soccer game Saturday morning. Then it was home for some soup for lunch before heading back out to the Northside Oktoberfest, a new tradition in town, which was very fun last year, but definitely felt the chill this year.

 Don't get me wrong--we still had fun. Just not quite as enticing to guzzle root beer when your hands are as frosty as your mug. (This event is held in conjunction with a brew fest and includes a soda fest for the kids.)

From there we headed over to Daniel's school for the annual Harvest Fest--also an outdoor event. I blatantly ignored the food assignment based on last name, making the executive decision that an event running from 2-4 p.m. did not require a main dish. One pan of pumpkin bars could be divided between this event and another party that evening. And besides, who's going to say No to cream cheese frosting? No one at this party, that's for sure! The Willowwind fest had games for the kids and a short music performance from each class. All three pre-school classes kicked things off with a little song and dance. We were then told that the K-6th grades would each have a song and the program would end with a second song from the pre-schoolers. Um. No. Note to school: do not make your shortest-attention-span, least-patient pupils wait the longest. We ditched the program and headed home to warm up a bit.

Then it was off to our friends the Jordans' for another Oktoberfest. We were all a bit worn out from the day and I may or may not have threatened to leave before dinner was served. We made it though and had a great time, including two firsts for the boys: a three-legged race and bobbing for apples. Yes, bobbing in a water bucket, outside in 40-degree weather. Daniel of course soaked his shirt, but they both came up with apples, thanks to some generous stems.

Oh, and Daniel's assessment of the three-legged race: "We tied our legs together and had to run to the fence and back. We fell down a lot."

Sunday was our 12th anniversary, but with John away all weekend, we didn't think it would be right to get a babysitter and head out by ourselves. We planned an evening at home with a delicious lasagna dinner. We were all very happy to welcome John home mid-afternoon. This four-day absence was our trial run for a much bigger trip later in the month.