Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vi Hart Costume

For Halloween Kate decided to be Vi Hart, mathemusician and maker of cool videos.  We're familiar with Vi's voice (and hands) from her videos, but I had to go through some online photos to find that definitive Vi Hart look--sleeveless top and arm warmers, hair pulled back with a feather in it.  We added snakes and a hexaflexagon for video-reference accessories. 

The morning of Wear-Your-Costume-to-School day, Friday the 25th.

When Halloween came and I put Andy in his dragon costume, Kate wanted to wear hers too. So we had two little dragons trick-or-treating again.

Heading to Trunk-or-Treat at the church.

We hit a couple of streets over by a friend's house, and then headed back home where we caught the tail end of the trick-or-treaters on our street (mostly teenagers by that point). The kids had a good time.  Maybe next year we'll have things together enough to do some pumpkins and decorations. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thinking Inside the Box (Fort)

The first thing that we had delivered to our new address was a package of Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets--a great little invention for all your box fort needs!  Moving means lots of boxes. Unexpectedly having to replace the washing machine means a super great-big box. (Bonus!)  Our living room is now full of box fort, courtesy of Mr. McGroovy's rivets and my mad x-acto knife skills.

Kate had some friends over to see the fort and help decorate.

The Sistine Chapel treatment.

Gotta have a flower box under the window.

This little birdie is nesting under the eaves.

The rivets work really well--though we ended up using an awl of Doug's that's almost the right size, so after poking the hole it still requires a bit of pushing and wiggling to get the rivet through. Next time I'll try to find something that's a little bigger.

Friday, October 18, 2013

What is this "yard work" of which you speak?

 We've lived in apartments for 17 years of marriage.  Now suddenly we have a yard.  And we have to figure out what to do with it.  This morning (after I got Andy on his bus for preschool) I went out and started whacking things. I was on the shrub pruning crew at BYU (best job ever), so I've done my share of lopper-wielding, but I don't know that I really learned much that is coming in handy here, so far. 

The previous owner seemed to have a fondness for invasive species (which are, admittedly, easy to grow). There's this huge pile of ivy along the street that's big enough to hide a Volkswagen, threatening to envelope the mailbox and strangle the two hawthorn trees.  We're hoping to get this all removed.

We also have these huge banks of Shasta daisies in front of the house. I've been hearing about how aggressively invasive they are, but I've also had several people tell me how pretty the house looks in the summer with all the daisies in bloom. I think we'll let them do their thing next year and then decide whether we want to try to take them out or not. Right now the dead stalks need to be cleared out.

In progress!

I found several of these little guys.

We also have moles. These were not there when we looked at the house. They seem to have moved in right before we did.

This is our yard waste bin. It only gets picked up every two weeks. I guess we'll have to pace ourselves. (I filled it up a lot more after taking this picture!)

After denuding the daisy beds I started poking at the ivy. I didn't have much more room in the bin, but I was curious about what it was going to take to get it out, and what it looked like underneath. Found some mushrooms and some very happy pillbugs. When I started clearing it away from around the mailbox, this is what I found:

The ivy is wrapped around very tightly, and the post is completely rusted through. I haven't uncovered the back post yet, but it's entirely possible that the ivy is the only thing holding the mailbox up.We'll have to have a back-up plan (or even a back-up mailbox) in place before we tackle that.  It looks like the ivy was planted right at the base of the post on purpose.  I imagine it seemed like a nice idea at the time--lovely little ivy tendrils twining romantically up the mailbox.  Yeah, not so nice now. 

The backyard is gorgeous but intimidating.  It's going to take us a while to figure out how to deal with it. I have no idea what I'm doing, but hey, I can rip stuff out!  It was therapeutic. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chasing Sunset

I have a couple of friends who are always posting pictures of gorgeous sunsets. We can't see see the sunset from our new house, because of the trees, but we're about five minutes away from the great view at Chambers Bay. It was a beautiful day with spotty clouds, and I figured sunset conditions were pretty good. We had an early dinner and then I took the kids down to the playground.

Got there just in time for a beautiful sky!

The kids were more interested in playing, but Kate agreed the view was impressive.

I love watching the changing light--the fiery gold fading to a warm rosy glow. 

The kids enjoyed having a little evening out. It's getting chilly this time of year, but the sun sets early so it doesn't interfere with bedtime. We'll have to do this again! 

Monday, October 07, 2013

At the new house

Lots of firsts over the past couple of days....

First night sleeping in the new house. 
First breakfast. 
First shower. 
First major appliance breakdown (this happened before we'd even really started moving stuff in, when I tried to wash the slipcover on the couch that the sellers left, and burned out the motor on the washing machine).

First school morning trying to prod Kate out of bed.  We're a lot closer to the school now, but still managed to get there just barely on time. 

We're still figuring out the quirks of the place, and things are very much in shambles, but it's starting to feel like we're actually going to be living here.