Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Evie has been wanting a pumpkin for weeks... probably since she first spotted them at grocery stores way back mid-Spetember. We told her to be patient and that we would take her to the pumpkin patch so she could pick out her very own pumpkin. But that she would have to wait until we got back from Colorado. Well, the little bit waited so very patiently...and finally all that waiting paid off. We went to the patch on Saturday. The twins had PSAT testing that morning, so took Corynn (and Corynn's friend, Grace) and Evie.

Evie had a blast. She LOVED the animals! I can't wait to move to an acreage so she can have a pasture full of animals! We also took her through her first haunted house! She's fearless...either that or she's not old enough to find ghosts and skeletons scary. OR perhaps we've numbed her with The Walking Dead...who knows. She had a lot of fun and that's what really matters.

I tried to get cute photos of Evie, but she is the stage of forced smiles and silly faces. So getting an adorable photo is pretty much out of the question. 

I didn't get many photos of Corynn- she was busy with her friend. But I did manage to get the quintessential "Here's my pumpkin!" photo! 

We spent a few hours out there and I was flooded with memories of my mother in law. Last year almost to the day, we went to the same patch with John's parents. It was such a fun day. We had no idea that three days later she would be getting a MRI which found a tumor in her liver. Or that one week later she would be in the hospital diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. We cautiously asked Jeff if would like to go with us today, but he couldn't. Partially because he had plans this afternoon and partially because it would be too hard to go back. We completely understood.

{We miss Nancy terribly. I'm conflicted with going places that remind me of her like the pumpkin patch or Davey or Stuhr...but I think would rather go and have those memories, flashbacks and moments to reminisce, than not. I don't want to forget her, or her funny stories or things she said. I don't want them to get packed away inside my head and forgotten. I want to keep her with us. All around us. Our children have lost three grandmas in three years. Wonderful, strong amazing women whom I admired and adored. I want them to remember them and be like them. I think that's why I force myself to remember even when my heart is breaking from missing them so much. }

Monday, October 20, 2014

Colorado 2014

We took a very short trip up to a mountain top cabin (10,000ft+) for fall break. The kiddos only have two additional days off for the break so it limits our get aways. John found this little cabin on VRBO which is a pretty handy little sight. We plan on booking another one when we go to California this winter.

Anyway- back to our mini vacation. I didn't take many pictures. I was busy with the family. Which is truly a sign of a great vacation! The cabin sat on 5 acres, so the first day up there we explored and checked everything out. It was about 40 degrees and in the shady areas there was snow. The were several creeks and pools on the property that had fish, mostly trout. Evie had a blast...until she got cold. :)

Kwynn tried hiking with us...didn't make it 10 feet from the cabin before she wiped out! 

Evie loving the bits of snow left hiding in the shade. 

View from the stream back at the cabin. 

On day two it snowed and snowed. Probably about 4 inches of blowing snow once it was all said and done. We didn't leave the cabin at all. Some of us I don't think even changed out of our pjs. John started a fire about 10am and kept it stoked and toasty through the day into the evening. We played board games, talked and napped. And that evening we roasted marshmallows. It was a fun day. The kids put electronic devises away (for the most part) while we were there. It warmed my heart to see us all getting along and having fun. Because there some days that it would take a miracle for that to happen.
Evie loving the snow

She wore her sissy's socks for gloves, because we couldn't find hers. :)

Snow angels on the patio...sure why not! 

On Monday, our last full day there, we visited a couple of the surrounding mountain towns. Bought a few trinkets and window shopped. I love old historic downtowns. They have so much character and life to them. We attempted trout fishing, but that lasted less than an hour because it was only 30 degrees and the fish were toying with us. Only a few bites. Which made it frustrating because the pool and streams were super shallow and not very wide. You could see the fish...and had we brought our net...well then we could have scooped up a bunch! 

We left first thing Tuesday. The kids had school on Wednesday and we needed to get back home. So it was definitely a short trip...but fun and appreciated! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

My version of 'spring' cleaning

It seems that this year it will be 'fall' cleaning. I've gone through all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, dining room, library and most of the bedrooms. I also went through most of the holiday decor (except Christmas...hoping to tackle that beast this weekend). I still need to go through closets as well, thinking maybe next week. Hoping to get the twins' stuff organized. Like going through their keepsake boxes and adding some stuff to them. Deciding what all they want to store and what they want to get rid of. Corynn and Evie are pretty well organized- surprise surprise!

Cleared out all of our baby stuff. Kind of sad to see it go, but totally ready to be done with that part of our life.

We had a garage sale a few weeks ago which really kind of spear headed the whole 'cleaning and organizing' whim I've been on lately. Between the sale and listing things on local Facebook consignment groups- I have some moo-la to show for it to, which is always nice. I had the garage sale at my home- I really haven't had one in over 6 years. They are a lot of work! A few friends brought some stuff over to sell too. We ran it Friday and Saturday. And basically this is what I learned.

  • Always mark your item up 20% from what you really want for it. I would say 80% of the people who came bargained down the price. Which for the most part I didn't mind- I really did want to just purge and get rid of stuff. But on the other hand I feel I marked things well. So when people kept offering less- it bugged me. I finally had to take John's advice and remarked things a little higher. 
  • Bundling is a popular tactic. Not only are they trying to get a deal on something, but multiple somethings. So they pick three or four items and offer a low price to take all of them. Like I said- I was wanting to get rid of stuff. But it was still annoying. Partly because I feel liked I marked things fairly and if I wanted to give things away I would have just donated them, got a receipt and filed it with my taxes. 
  • Listing your sale on Craigslist is a great way to go! and it's free! I also listed it in the paper (which is freaking expensive by the way!), but I think most of the traffic came by way of craigslist. Good signage is also important...so the people can actually make it your sale and buy your stuff. I didn't really learn this at my sale but the next weekend my mom came down and we went rummaging. People had really crappy signs! Couldn't find half of them. 
  • Be proactive in your selling. List things on your local Facebook selling group. We have several here in our town. When the sale started slowing down, I started listing things on these pages. I sold probably a $100 worth of items this way. Just stipulate in your post that you want them picked up that day during your sale hours. It worked great! 
And finally, I learned that THAT was most likely my last garage sale. I am not a people person and a great majority of the people who came to the sale annoyed me. It was a lot of work and in the end I decided that 1) I'm done buying 'stuff' and 2) donating to a worthy non-profit is more awesome! 

Now onto those closets! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Junk Jaunt

The twins went Junk Jaunting with my mom a few weeks ago. They came home with several great finds!

Kwynn scored some super cute vintage flannel shirts, a dress and shoes. McKynna picked up a WWI print, ammo can, flannels, kinetic puzzle and a jacket. They also came home with a lovely lead glass window, wooden crates and a wire basket. My favorite picks- the cattle skull and an antique lock (Kynna wants to take it apart and learn how it works). 

They picked out really great things and had a lot of fun! 

Hopefully I'll be able to make it next year. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Country life

Last weekend Corynn asked if she could take a few friends and stay the night at Camp Davey. Of course!!!

Corynn and three of her friends had a blast frogging, running around the pasture and playing on the hay bales. I got a kick out watching the city girls roughing it...of course it only lasted so long. By night's end they were all showered up, hair done, make overs and giggling as they danced to songs on an iPod.

Evie tagged along. The older girls were great about including her. Wish we could have stayed a few more days. Until next time!