Fall Clean Up

Or alternately titled, "Crap! Winter's Coming!!!"

We spent part of the weekend bringing in all the summer things from outside. The patio furniture, kids toys, etc. Organized and cleaned up the garage too. All for the upcoming winter. The garage looks really nice! We needed to have room to work out there during the winter for my building projects and there's a lot of room. Which surprised both of us. :)

Zan left the garage door open all yesterday afternoon and evening. I'm always telling him that you can't leave it open because you'll get a mouse inside. Hello, we live in the country with fields all around us!

Needless to say that when I went to move the car seats around last night there was a little mouse peering at me from under the work bench. I opened the garage door to see if I could get him to just run out, but he didn't want to come out. So I set a trap and fed the mouse peanut butter all night long! So this morning I got out a new trap because the other one must have been defective! I had a mouse in no time flat.

I don't think there are any more, but I'll set another trap tomorrow to make sure. I think the mice are cute and all, but they can make such a mess in the garage!

Zan got me a new computer on Saturday!! I'm sure I don't appreciate how good it is because I don't speak computer, but it's really fast and is working nicely. I also had to get new photo software because I couldn't transfer my old one. I got the Photoshop Elements 9 version and it's very similar to my old Photoshop on my other computer. That makes it a little easier to learn. I'm excited to learn how everything works.

Here's a picture of the completed garden redo:

And close up:

It's going to be so nice next year. The garden will be level and raised up for much needed nice dirt. There's going to be a lot of work needed in the spring. We are going to have to bring in a LOT of dirt to fill, but that will make it so much nicer! We did a little step down in the corner because it was such a drop off. That's where my compost bin will go and maybe something small, I haven't decided yet.

Here's a picture of the playhouse:

Everything is done except the shutters for the front window. We've had a hard time trying to find something that we want there that won't be a hazard for the kids. We think we have it figured out, but just have to get it done. This has definitely been a summer long project, but worth it!

Now that the outside is all done I just need to finish some more organizing on the inside. That never seems to get completely done!


Before/After Blog Hop

I managed to scrap together a photo for the blog hop. This photo is from the summer after a rain storm we had. The sunset was beautiful.

Go check out the other entries at Pixel Perfect.




Sam's 3 Year Check-up

Sam had his 3 year check-up this morning. He did really great and was very funny talking to the doctor. He's quite chatty. He ended up having to get two shots which he was not very happy about. He kept saying, "They hurt me." He was referring to the nurses, not the shots. It was very sad, but now he's better. :)

He weighed in at 33 pounds which is the 55-60th percentile and measured in at 40 inches which is the 95th percentile.

I was looking for his check-up sheet from last year to see how much he's grown. He grew 4 1/2 inches and 5 pounds. The funny thing is I found Ella's check-up sheet from when she was 5 years old. She was 41 1/2 inches at 5 years old. Sam is only 1 1/2 inches shorter than her at 3. It will be interesting to see at what point he catches up to her. He definitely takes after my side of the family.


Before/After Blog Hop

This is a picture from the fair this year. The kids loved the tractors.

Go check out the Before/After Blog Hop at Pixel Perfect!

SOOC shot

After editing:

I just cropped it and black and whited it. Adjusted the lighting and contrast accordingly.



Every time I bake a cake I always get asked where I get my cake pans or how I get the cakes I do. I thought I'd just put a post out there so everyone knows. :)

My cake pans are made by Nordicware. The two that I have I purchased at Williams Sonoma, but I'm sure you could find them elsewhere and on the Nordicware web site. They actually have a Nordicware outlet in the cities here, but I've never gone. I've wanted to go, but I'm concerned with how much I would spend if I did go, so I haven't gone yet.

I was looking on the Nordicware web site and saw the coolest pirate ship cake pan. I may have to look into that one too.

Happy baking!


Pumpkin and Tree Picking

We went on Saturday to pick out our pumpkins and our Christmas tree. There's a place just outside of town that has a little pumpkin patch. It's also the same place that we get out Christmas tree at. Every year we go pick out our pumpkins and then go and select our Christmas tree. After Thanksgiving we go back and take our tractor ride out to cut down our pre-selected tree. It's been a very fun tradition and it's so much easier picking out a tree when it's 80 degrees out.

The pumpkin patch was pretty good this year and we brought home more pumpkins than normal. The kids can't wait to carve them out. We had a difficult time choosing which tree we wanted. There were quite a few that we on the list and after about a half hour we just had to choose one.

Here are some photos from hunting in the pumpkin patch...

Here's the tree we chose.

The kids had a ton of fun running through all the trees. Sam always sticks out his lip when he's thinking or not sure if he wants to smile for the camera.

Hopefully the weather is just as nice when we go to cut down the tree! Wishful thinking I know.


Happy 3rd Birthday Sam!!

Today my baby turns 3. So much fun, but at the same time I can't believe how big he is getting. Yesterday we had just a few people over for cake. Once again I had a fun time playing with the cake. I didn't have as much time to decorate, but I think it turned out nicely.

We're not doing much else today. He's been having fun playing with all his balloons.

He had been looking forward to everyone singing happy birthday to him. He told everyone that they had to sing to him. He gets a really sheepish grin when we all sang. He worked really hard blowing out his candles.

It was a nice, low key afternoon. I keep telling Zan that we need to keep it easier now because it will only get harder the older they get.


Pet of the Month

Romeo is the October pet of the month at our vet. While he has no idea I'm sure he would be very proud. You can check out their website to see him.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Tomorrow we are going to go pick our pumpkins and Christmas tree. (We will go back in December to actually cut the tree down.) Ella also has a birthday party tomorrow. On Sunday we will be celebrating Sam's 3rd birthday!! His actual birthday is on Monday, but we're having just a few people over for cake and play.

Have a great weekend!!


Before and After

I love editing photos. I don't think there's a photo that I put out there that I don't edit in one way or another. Monica over at Pixel Perfect does a before/after Blog hop that I thought I would participate in for some added fun. :)

You take a picture that is right out of the camera and edit it.

Here's my before picture:

And here is my after photo:

I adjusted the color saturation and played with the colors a little bit. I also added just a little bit of texture.

I use my Canon Digital Rebel XT. (I really need a new camera.) My software is Microsoft Digital Image Pro. (I need new software too.)

This picture was taken last weekend when we went apple picking in the orchard.


Back in August I ordered myself a necklace that I've been wanting for a long time. It took about a month to get, but totally worth the wait.

I ordered it from Mommy Tags. I can't remember where I found out about the website, but I had this little bee drawing that Ella made for me and it is my favorite. So when I found a place that would make it into a necklace I put it on my wish list.

They also make a stamp out of your drawing. So I can also stamp a cute little bee wherever I want. :)

It is definitely my favorite piece of jewelry and I wear it every day. It makes me smile whenever I see it. Such a happy bee.


Apple Picking

We have had such fabulous weather all last week and it's supposed to continue all this week too. Perfect apple picking weather! There's an apple orchard just a few minutes from our house that we go to every year and this was the weekend to go. It was a little chilly, but we had a great time!

We were told that they only had 10% of their normal apples because of the early spring and subsequent late frost that we had back in April.

We picked about 30 pounds of apples! I will be making a lot of applesauce and canning it here in the near future. It's so yummy and I don't want to run out!

The colors have been so beautiful!

We took our tractor ride. It was a little shorter this year, but I don't think the kids noticed. They love riding on wagon rides.

I was hoping to have small children helping pick, but they just wanted to eat the apples and run around.

They also had fun playing on the hay piles and checking out the animals.

Can't wait to go again next year! As long as the weather holds into the weekend (which it's supposed to) we're going to go pick pumpkins and pick out our Christmas tree this weekend. I love being able to walk around in warm weather to pick out the tree!!

We were also hard at work on the garden. We're making good progress and should be done after this coming weekend. It's a lot of work and we're both exhausted, but it looks really nice. It's going to take A LOT of dirt come this spring to fill it in. But it will also make it a much nicer garden.


One Year Anniversary

It was one year ago that we signed on the bottom line and bought our house. I can't believe it's been one year already! And on the same note I still don't feel completely moved in yet. There are so many final touches and other things that need/want to be done. It will all come together in time.

We've had a great year in our house though. It's made the winter seem more bearable and the summer was tons of fun! I'm sure next year will be even better!

I decorated our entryway for Halloween.

Sam wanted me to take his picture! He's such a little ham.

Enjoy your weekend!! We'll be outside working with this great weather. We're going to go apple picking too!!