Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkins and candy!

We took Jack and Lily to the pumpkin patch a few weeks back to choose their pumpkins for Halloween

Jack helped me carve his pumpkin into a cat. He spent an hour or so tracing the pattern and poking little holes in it. Then, that same night he knocked the pumpkin right off the table and it broke. We tried to pin it back together with toothpicks, if you look closely you can probably see them
The city we live in had tons of activities leading up to Halloween. One day we went with our friends to the downtown area to trick or treat around the shops. 

We also stopped by another festival nearby for more candy and games

Jack and Lily were mesmerized by their candy stash

On Halloween we met up with some friends for more trick or treating:
Then us four moms and eight kiddos braved the restaurant scene for lunch
That night we went to our church for their big Fall festival (Christianese for Halloween Party)

My dad even stopped by to hang out for a while
Then, even later that night we met up with our neighbors and the kids went knocking on doors at our apartment complex
Jacks candy bag got so full that it broke right after this picture
Then we called it a night

On another note, we have discovered that Lily is facsinated and terrified of spiders. One day I brought home some fake spiders and webs to put up in the house and ever since then Lily freaks out when she sees a spider. We even had a book from the library with a picture of a spider in it and she would freak out when she saw it.

And she freaks out every time we walk by a spider decoration

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

House Update #4

Construction has begun on our house! After much debate we finally chose a contractor based on a good reference from the structural engineer who inspected our home and drew up the plans for repairing the fire damage. As it turns out our contractor is not the greatest at keeping us in the loop during the repair phase. We have been trying to work with him to include some upgrades on our house including replacing the back deck with synthetic wood instead of redwood. We also wanted to replace the kitchen counters/floors while they were already tearing everything apart. Unfortunately the contractor was not answering our questions or even letting us know what was going on at the home so we decided to drive down and check in on our house. We were surprised to see the amount of work that had already been done: 

Here is the living room:

Another view of the living room
Living room
Kitchen still intact
All the carpet has been removed throughout the house
Basement where the side framing and first floor framing have been replaced
New deck is almost finished and is not synthetic! Luke was really mad about this because we specifically asked for synthetic wood to be used and they put redwood in.

All in all it was a frustrating visit that subsequently turned into a nightmare. Luke had a concern about a certain beam that we thought needed to be replaced and was not, so he emailed the structural engineer to double check. In talking with the engineer, it was discovered that the engineer had originally recomeneded that our kitchen floors and cabinets be torn out in order to replace the floors as he specified in his drawings. The engineer had even spoke with our insurance agent who was ready to pay for our new kitchen. Well... guess what?? The contractor found a way to replace the floors without having to tear out the kitchen. So no new kitchen for us after all. It was really disappointing. So much so in fact that we wanted to fire our contractor and find someone who was more on our side. It took a while, but everything blew over and now we're focusing on the finishing touches to the house such as the new carpets and and paint. It should look really nice when it is finished...even if we are stuck with the old kitchen.

Since we were in the area, we decided to stop by Garden of the Gods. This is my favorite place in Colorado Springs and I used to walk this trail almost every day when Jack was a baby. It was really fun to visit again with Lily.

Here is a recent video of Lily with the iPad. She has two favorite games to play, a drawing game, and a bug game. She is so excited by the bugs that sometimes she doesn't even play the game!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Happenings

Fall has arrived in Colorado. It's always amazing to me how drastic the temperature changes here. One day it is snowing and the next day it's 70 degrees outside. We had our first snow a few weeks back which was fun for the kids. We had to run out and buy warm weather clothes and boots for everyone and we used them for two days and then the "warm"weather came back. It has been sunny skies and 60-70 degree days for weeks now. I think Colorado must be God's favorite state ;-)

We have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves here at our lakefront apartment. The kids and I take walks daily and Luke and I try to keep up with our running several times per week. I'm really going to miss having this view everyday. 

The sunsets over the lake are nothing short of amazing
There is no playground at the apartment, but that doesn't bother Jack and Lily. Their favorite thing do to here is play in the rocks. They will happily spend hours sitting and playing in the rock beds.
 Of course rocks and snack don't mix together very well
 One day as they were playing in the rocks, Jack found a praying mantis. He wanted to hold it but I didn't want him hurting the little guy so I got a leaf and tried to pick it up to move it to a safe place. Well, as luck would have it that thing climbed on to the leaf and then somehow it managed to get on me. I HATE that didn't go over real well. I started squealing and squirming and the thing climbed right up my belly over my shoulder and started to go right down my back. Thankfully a neighbor was nearby and heard my screams and came and brushed the thing off my back. It landed right on the concrete and Jack ran over an picked it up.

 He was so excited to hold the little fella. He was being really gentle, but it didn't matter. The praying mantis had had quite a fright and I think he just wanted to be left alone so he bit Jack. Poor Jack screamed and threw the thing across the pavement. Jack couldn't believe that the little guy bit him, he was really sad and hurt...but thankfully a bandaid fixed it all.
 I was trying to take a picture of Jack with the praying mantis right as it bit him and I think I captured the actual moment of terror for both Jack and the praying mantis

On quieter days, we hang out around the house and read books and play.
And the kids love to come up with odd little games that they think are hilarious

We also had a visit from my grandparents 
 Jack was thrilled to receive a roll of quarters (and a $10 bill) from Mema. Unlike me, he didn't want to save his money. Instead he spent it right away on a new toy.
 We've also spent a lot of time with our new friends from our apartment. We all went on a local hike one afternoon and the kids were able to keep each other occupied and were able to walk about 2 miles all by themselves.

 At the end of the hike we came to this hole in the rocks with an amazing view of the city below

Day and and day out I am just enjoying my babies. That is not to say that it is easy. There comes a time every day (maybe every hour??) when I am ready to throw in the towel and I wish I was back at work doing something other than picking up mess after mess and feeling my head about to explode from the tantrums and whining. But I try to remind myself every day to be thankful of this time. When the kids are still little and they still love playing with me. They are still cuddly and cute. They are still kissable and sweet. They are still so innocent and eager to learn new things. I just hope that 10, 15, 20 years from now they will still enjoy being around their mama as much as they do now. 

Everyday our house is filled with the sounds of this little girls laughter.