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Sunday, October 31, 2010


Woopie asked to be driven around in the golf cart when she Trick or Treated down International Boulevard.
Holmes on Homes was the chauffeur and Flo (from the Progressive commercials) was a co-trick or treator.
Then we went to a friend's house for a Monster Mash and played Just Dance on the Wii till we could no longer move our arms. I hope to have more pictures of that soon!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Backyard Update

All of our hard work is now buried underneath 3 loads of dirt. But it does seem to make the back yard look much larger. The Pool Guys came out to draw an outline of the future pool so that we can make sure it will end up where we'd like for it to go.
The lines along the side of the "pool" show where the steps and sun bays will go. Needless to say the girls cannot wait for them to start digging next week!
They are already trying to talk us into letting them swim as soon as it is finished. Even though it is still 80 degrees now, I don't think they realize how cold it will be in 6 weeks. (maybe?)

Diva's Birthday Week

Monday was Diva's birthday!! She is officially 15...and since she declined to have her birthday picture posted I'll just have to show you how she looked 15 years ago.
Husband is still in denial that we have a fifteen year old and declares that "There's no way she can be 15 if I'm only 29." (PS-he has a mile marker birthday coming up shortly and its not 30!!!)

Diva's bedroom door is decorated for Birthday Week with Stop Signs, Caution Signs, and this birthday ribbon.
During birthday week, the birthday girl gets to select our menus. We went to a local Japanese restaurant on the actual birthday night for chicken fried rice and sushi. We also had a delicious ice cream cake that almost melted under the heat of all those candles!
We did make a trip to the DMV on Wednesday so she could take her permit test. Unfortunately we did not have an original birth certificate, so they sent her away empty handed and terribly disappointed. 
She learned that the first sentence in the driver's manual should read:
It is the duty for all DMV personnel hate their jobs, take it out on you, and do their best to make you cry. Amen.
So, instead of getting a permit, we went to request an original Birth Certificate. Next time, she'll be ready!

House Update

Will I ever not be behind? Most likely here's a quick house update. Captions only this time.
We now have columns on the outside of the house!

...and a base for where they will go on the inside!

Interior door units are in. Those are 'dummy doors' so the frames will keep their shapes.
Did you really think that we picked out all those random doors? Please!

Hello molding. Love to see you up there!

Closet doors are propped in the rooms to which they belong.

Other molding is stacked neatly in the foyer awaiting installation.

Columns on the back porch.

Trim work has finally begun!

Laundry room door and trim.

Stamped concrete floor in the outdoor living.
Step one: make the diagonal cuts 

Step two: apply dye

Unfortunately the stain did not work on part of our concrete slab, so we had to scratch the whole plan.
Step Three: cry when it doesn't work

This was very upsetting news because we love the way it looks and would love to have it in our home.
The concrete guys tried very hard to make it work for us, but in the end it just wasn't meant to be.
You should check them out because they really do some amazing work.

The End

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two Words and Paint Samples

During the construction process, there are two words that you don't want to hear: Retaining Wall. Especially when you're not planning to have one so it becomes a surprise retaining wall.

The worker bees came in, dug up the back yard, poured the footers, laid the block, and then filled the block with cement so that the wall will be nice and sturdy. You're looking at about 5 feet of block wall in the corner.

When I heard that we had to get this wall, I imagined it to just be in the back corner of the house.... Well, I should have imagined it to go all around the back yard!!!

We'll have a terrace to separate the pool-side of the yard from the grass-side of the yard.
And the fence will sit on top of the block, which will eventually be ground level. Are you following me? I know it will make more sense when you can see it. We're getting there!
Those guys were busy! Now before they back fill this entire area, we needed to put in drainage pipes, sprinkler pipes and run electricity to the other side of the yard.
I drug a million 6-inch pipes across the yard to Husband who was on the other side of the wall, in our neighbor's back yard and then I took a break and gave a tour to a friend who happened to drop by. Husband single handedly (is that a word?) ran the pipes down this trench to that wooded gully area. We are going to have the BEST back yard neighbors. I really hate to put up a fence between us...we'll have to make a gate for them :)
Not too much is happening on the inside. I've learned that, when building a house, there can be a lot of 'hurry up and wait.' So, while we're waiting on the interior doors and trim to start...we tried out a few paint samples. Tiki Hut for our bedroom:
Frolic for Diva's room:
Grounded for G's room: (we feel this color's name could be a slight foreshadowing of her teenage years)
Beach House for the foyer, living room, and connecting areas:
Lemon grass for the office:
These two awful colors have been rejected and their names stricken from memory!
This is one we're trying out for the kitchen...and its name escapes me. If we decide to go with it, I'll find out the name, promise.
Oh, this is Lemon Grass again. We think it will also go in the laundry room and the guest room. It looks greener in this light.
We have the granite and tile samples for the kitchen propped in the kitchen window for now. (slowly but surly our current home is becoming less and less of a showroom as we're moving samples to the new house)
Okay, back to the retaining wall. After my break was over, I had to help install the rest of the drainage system.
...which goes all around the house! It was quite the process, and I can assure you that I do not have a future in plumbing.
I mean, look at all of that! Husband didn't complain about doing all of that by himself.
But I sure did about helping with all of this! Despite all my whining, I really did learn a lot. I learned that pipe cement smells terrible, each piece of pipe is at least 20 lbs. heavier than Husband said it would be, and I'm not going to be a plumber when I grow up!!! Amen.
See the thin gray pipe? I did single handedly tackle that! It is the conduit for the sound wires.
...and it stretches across the whole backyard. Impressed, aren't cha!?
Check out my 'working in the dirt' boots.
Also, check out the 1992 extension cord holder...
Seriously? A closer look confirms....early 90s for sure!
So, I put in my bump-it, rolled up my t-shirt sleeves a couple of inches, and changed into stone-washed denim shorts before I rolled the cords back up.

Although we're planning to move to a new neighborhood, our current spot on the end of International Boulevard will always have a special place in our hearts.
 Each year, one of our sweet neighbors organizes a street party for everyone on our quiet, little, dead end street. Unfortunately, each year we are usually out of town and miss the opportunity to mix and mingle with our culturally diverse neighbors. This was my lucky year! We were in town and I participated in full force! Our neighbors are from at least 5 different countries and those that are from the United States are from all over the country! Each family brought an appetizer to share and we circled our chairs in the cul de sac and spent a beautiful afternoon spending time with our neighbors.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Trunk or Treat

Each year the families of our church get together in the church parking lot for Trunk or Treat. The kids dress in their Halloween costumes and go Trick-or-Treating to the decorated trunks. Mimi and Grandpa came back from their month-long art show in Gatlinburg just in time to participate.

"Miley Cyrus" paused to take a picture in front of Mimi's trunk.
Did I say Mimi? I meant, Little Red Riding Hood!
I dressed as a 'night owl.'
Meet my oldest nephew AKA Billy the Exterminator.
My youngest nephew, Indiana Jones, had to be tackled to have his picture made.
If you don't have a trunk, feel free to decorate your tail gate...
...or the hatch of your SUV. How cute are these pumpkin heads!?!?
As I was walking into the Fellowship Hall for dinner, I heard something. A little squeak. I thought someone was playing a prank on me, but it kept getting louder and closer. I looked up and I saw a TINY white kitten in the middle of the street. When I ran over to kitty, she ran back down into a drainage hole in the side of the road. I was finally able to convince her that I was just trying to be helpful and she came out and started purring. The kids decided that we should keep her and give her a Halloween name. Indiana Jones decided her name should be Boo like a ghost. So, Boo she shall be.
Thankfully, Boo was adopted that night (by someone other than myself) and I feel certain she'll be very happy living somewhere other than the town's drainage system.
The grand kids are very proud to announce that Little Red Riding Hood's trunk won first place in the trunk decorating contest! We all had the best time and a sugar high.