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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our Pumpkins Through the Years

Happy Halloween! Hope yours is a SPOOKY one. Mwahaha! Oh...who am I kidding. I will be working today, then handing out candy for the little kiddies tonight. So scary, I know. On another note, I cannot believe this will be Trent and I's 6th Halloween together. Seriously, I had to recount like 3 times. So I thought it would be fun to go back and reminisce a little, and show our pumpkins throughout the years.

I don't think we carved pumpkins together in 2008. This is the only picture I have from that year, and it is the pumpkin Trent carved. It's a special one, because it was for his Mom. I remember him sending me the picture message. She was extremely sick at that time, and unfortunately passed the day after Halloween - November 1 of that year. Janice loved Mickey Mouse, so this pumpkin was Trent's small gesture to make her smile. I'm sure she loved it.

In 2009 we carved pumpkins at my house at college. Cubbies themed, of course! Mine is the top one (I still remember screwing up on that letter B), and Trent's is on the bottom.

In 2010, we carved pumpkins in "our house." I hadn't officially moved in yet, but we had already fully gutted the living room and were rebuilding it, and were just about to start on the bedroom. We carved them in the empty bedroom. I had a cold and my nose wouldn't stop running. My pumpkin is of course the cat, Trent's is the headless horseman. Check out the picture of the porch - the green door, the new posts that hadn't been painted yet, the absence of the porch railing, the old motion censor much has changed!

By 2011 we had been living in the house together for almost a year. We had a little Halloween photo shoot with our pumpkins in the living room. We used the camera timer and everything. No big deal.

Last year I got a little creative with my pumpkin and went with the spider theme. It turned out pretty awesome, and creepy. The things you can do with just a few plastic spiders and a hot glue gun...

And of course this year we went a different route, and instead of carving our pumpkins, we drilled them! I got to use a hand drill for the first time EVER, and it was actually pretty fun. I think they turned out awesome. You can see the play-by-play of how we did them here.

All in all, it's safe to say we've had some pretty fun and memorable pumpkin carving sessions together over the years. So which pumpkins do you like the best? I have to say this year's might be my favorite, just because they're so different, and I didn't have to try and perfect my knife carving skills (which kind of suck).

Happy HOWLoween everyone!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Fun

A couple of weeks ago, we visited Country Corner, the local pumpkin patch and farmers market. This place is really huge! They really pull out all the stops - They have a corn maze, a pumpkin cannon, hayrack rides, and of course a bunch of stuff for kids, like face painting and even a cow train that moos (yep I was pretty jealous I didn't get to ride that thing). We went here a few years ago and picked out some pumpkins, but I've been wanting to go back, since we didn't really explore too much the first time. I regret not taking more pictures, but all I had on me was my cell phone. Trent took a couple of good ones on his iPhone, though. 

It was a little chilly that day due to the wind, and the pumpkin patch area was pretty dried up and picked over, but it was fun walking around and taking in all of the lovely sights of fall. I admit it felt a little weird going there without any kids. I told Trent we should've borrowed one of his nieces or nephews for the day just so we could look like we came there to take pictures of our kids with the pumpkins. :p

Here's a photo of Trent from the first time we visited a couple of years back:

Back then we thought we would pick out the biggest and best pumpkins we could find. Little did we know they are priced by the pound! We've learned a little since then...Best to get the free ones from Grandpa and Grandma's patch. :)

Thus, this year, I just decided to buy a few little mini pumpkins and a couple of gourds. Total money spent was less than $5. Much better! Here's me hauling my loot:

Hey, it was a heavy load! ;)

And finally, here is one Trent snapped of me when I wasn't ready (of course!):

Luckily, though, I think it turned out pretty cool. We officially discovered photo filters on the iPhone. And speaking of iPhones...I have one of the few cellular companies that doesn't sell them (hint- US Cellular) - however, November 8th the iPhone is finally coming! Picture me standing in line and pacing back and forth ready to trample anyone ahead of me to get me a new phone! I've been waiting for this moment for what seems like years. Get ready to help me choose a cover!! I'm already debating between a few different ones....this will be hard. :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Drilled Pumpkins

Well, after snowing earlier last week, I'm happy to say that this weekend has been really nice for fall! Sunny and almost 60 degrees. Very nice compared to the freezing temps and snow (yuck!) we got last week. With the nice weather, Trent and I decided to carve drill pumpkins outside on the porch yesterday. They turned out pretty awesome, I'd say!

This is the first time I've ever used a drill on a pumpkin (or at all, really), but I've seen so many cool ones on Pinterest that I had to try it myself! It was actually pretty easy! Here's how it went down:

I started with my pumpkin - we got all of our pumpkins from Grandma and Grandpa's pumpkin patch this year.

Then I used Trent's drill bit set, which had a scale like this, to mark where I wanted all of the holes to be. I just used the scale as kind of a "stencil" to draw on all the holes with a black washable marker. The sizes of drill bits I used to make my design, from smallest to largest, were: 3/16, 19/64, and 3/8.

I went in kind of a zig-zag pattern, alternating between large and small...after I started drilling I added 1 more row of really small holes that I just freehanded for an extra "pop."

Trent showed me how to use the drill (I've never really used one before). At first it was weird but I got used to it quickly. I'm sure it's much easier to drill through a pumpkin then a wall or a board or something!
I did the biggest holes first, then went to the smaller ones. It is pretty messy, so I recommend doing this outside on newspapers! The pumpkin guts kind of splash out a little with each hole. I didn't wipe them off until the end, though, because the wetness will wash the marker off.

I was pretty proud of myself for using the drill all by myself!

After drilling all of the holes, we gutted the pumpkin like usual. (Not my favorite part!) And here's the finished product....

Isn't it cute?

Now to Trent's pumpkin. Here he is with his pumpkin before he drilled - you can kind of see the outline he drew on with a marker. He drew an outline of flames, then filled in the flame with drilled holes.

Unlike me, he had of course used a drill before. You can see the pro in action...

And here's how they both turned out...


 They look pretty cool at night on our porch, too!

Has anyone else carved pumpkins with a drill? I would love to see how yours turned out!

Linked to: Suburbs Mama, Tatertots and Jello, The Pin Junkie, Domestic Superhero, Liz Marie Blog, Twelve O Eight.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Basement

I did something very brave yesterday. I went down in our basement for the first time since I moved into this house 3 years ago! It was scary. But I made it through. I went with Trent, of course. I don't think I would be brave enough to go down here alone. Have you ever been into the basement of a 100+ year old house? To my surprise, dirt floor and almost looked like it had potential. There's a nice big area that could be used as storage space once it's cleaned up and a cement floor is poured, etc.

I even got to see the new foundation wall from the inside. You can see it in the photo below. It's almost fully built now. We want them to try to raise the kitchen area before they put in the final blocks. The communication has really been tricky throughout this project. We've been really unsure about if they're going to raise the kitchen, like it needs to be. It almost seems as though they just wanted to build the wall and that's it. But the whole point of this project was to fix our sinking kitchen! And let me tell you, it has not moved..if anything, it has sinked further. Yesterday we measured about 2-4 inches away from level in the kitchen. As in, there is a big slope! Scary.

They're waiting until next Friday to finish, so that it will be completely dry. This photo shows the crawl space area below the kitchen. You can definitely tell the jacks need repositioned! The kitchen is the oldest space and has the least support out of the entire house. We are hoping before the crew is done they can make sure that it's raised up and level with the rest of the house. All I can say is it's been an interesting week!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Foundation Work: Day 2

Well, it's Wednesday. Yesterday was Day 2 of the foundation work on the house. And as you saw in my last post here, it snowed. Trent and I were both at work for the majority of the time the work was done yesterday. They were able to make progress by covering the whole area to protect it from the rain/snow. 

Here's a photo Trent took from underneath the house, through the crawl space/basement area:

They dug the old foundation wall out, then poured a new footing (the cement part), which the new foundation wall will sit on. The old footing was apparently pretty much gone, so they had to start fresh. The sill plate, which is what goes on the top of the foundation wall, also had to be replaced. These replacements cost us an additional $1500. Ouch. We were under the impression that those would be included in the original quote they gave us, but I guess they didn't account for those things. A little setback, but I'm trying to stay optimistic!

Here you can see the sill plate (on the top) a little better:

On the right is the temporary covering they built to shield the space from the rain and snow. The kitchen is above this photo. It is currently just being supported by a few jacks. We've seen a couple of cracks appearing in the walls, which is a little scary. But it's also kind of expected. I'm hoping they are able to raise the kitchen a bit and make it more level, but that is also a little scary! We'll see what happens today and in the next couple of days!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mother Nature's Cruel Joke

This was my view at work today:

Yes, it's October. Yes, it snowed ALL DAY! And it was freezing. No one could believe it. Is this a joke? Wasn't it like 70 degrees last week?

Only in Illinois I guess. It would figure that the week our foundation is being done would be the week that it snows in October.

Here are the photos Trent took at his work:

Luckily the snow didn't stop the work crew from making progress on our foundation. They had the area all covered and were able to pour the footing for the foundation wall today. We're running the heat to help it dry quicker (plus, it's really cold in the house without it....)

I'm hoping tomorrow we have better weather. Or else I'm officially moving to Florida!

Foundation Work: Day 1

Yesterday was Day 1 of the Foundation work. It was a small crew of about 3 guys. They started at 10:00 while I was at work (and Trent was home), and left around 5:00 when I got home. 

Here's the side of the house Before they got here yesterday morning:

And here it is once the digging was underway:

They had equipment lined up all alongside the road. 

One good thing is they were apparently nice enough to let Trent take pictures of them working. Ha. I'm sure Trent looked like a creeper.

When I got home today, this was the scene:

So far I'm happy to report that after the first day of work our house is still standing. It hasn't collapsed from under me quite yet, so I'll take that as a good sign. Of's only the first day.

We'll see what today brings. We were supposed to get some rain and/or snow, so that should be interesting. I hope they are still able to work a little!

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