Monday, November 7, 2011

Cleaning out, and Moving on.

I keep saying that we had been busy last month… but what exactly have we been doing?


At the beginning of October I started cleaning out that other bedroom in the hope of moving around some of its furniture content (ha ha) and also so the my sister Andrea will have somewhere to sleep when she comes to stay with me for a little while in January. That room is quite the task. Just when we start getting a little cleaned out something comes up and more stuff just gets shoved in there. Somehow we manage to keep the bed semi-accessible, but that's not always the case.

A few months ago I cleaned out the "blue cupboard" at my parents house and brought home the various treasures that I had stored in there. Four boxes full. And those boxes got shoved in that other room for later sorting. It got to the point that not only was the bed covered, but the floor was covered too and I could no longer get to my hair dryer. The room needed some help. I walked in there one day after work and I repacked things and shuffled boxes and got a lot of it stacked neatly in the corner. I looked through the boxes I'd brought home and decided what I wanted to keep and what I didn't really need anymore. Which, turns out was a hard thing to do. So much in that cupboard held sentimental value from High School memories and pre-mission frivolities. But I didn't need to keep it all.

Between those boxes and the rest of the room, I came up with three over stuffed paper boxes, three random baskets, and several miscellaneous items that could go to the DI. I think it made a dent… That is until Halloween happened and the decoration box got shoved in there. (Now it's time to clean up those decorations so that problem is solved.)

Now I want to get back in there and see what else can be moved where. There are about eight boxes in the corner that need to be moved up to the storage space we have in the TV room, but that involves the ladder and hauling the boxes across the house… Which means we need to have a Saturday at home to get it done. (Easier said than done.)


We are having an over crowding issues at our house, meaning we have too much stuff and not enough room.


Mid-October I decided to clean out the closet. I have finally gotten rid of everything smaller than a sixe 16 (or XL) I had a lot of clothes in my closet that I had been hanging onto because I WILL be that size again. (I highly doubt it.) I decided that I didn't need them and that if I ever do make it back to 165 that just means I get to buy new clothes. Everything XL or size 16 got hung under garbage bags in the back of the closet for later use. I don't have a whole lot in that size range so I rationalized that it's okay to keep it. (And the fact I have recently lost 10 pounds.) I also organized the closed by dresses, skirts, long sleeve, short sleeves, and T-shirts so that it's easier for John to help put away my laundry.

I think I spent the better part of a day doing this, and when I was done I must have given John a guilt complex because It wasn't an hour after I finished that he got into his side of the closet and cleaned out for the first time in the nearly 10 years we've been sharing a closet. He had a ton of stuff to put in the bags. He still had clothes from his mission when he weighed 115 lbs (maybe less.) He is not that skinny kid anymore. Then he moved from the closet to his chest of drawers and in the end we ended up with two large black garbage bags full of clothes for the DI.


This feels like we've lightened our load a little, but there is still a lot stuffed into our little house that I'm sure we don't need. Like the fact that I'm itching to get rid of the two chairs that are too big for my kitchen, but somehow we always end up needing to use them. So I guess they'll stay for now.


But even with all the stuff I have gotten rid of… I did buy a new rocking chair this month. I was at the DI killing some time, while waiting for a friend, when I walked past it. I looked at it and thought it was a nice chair. Then I realized that the seat was plenty big enough for my wider backside and then I thought it was even better. I looked around for an employee to put my name on it so I could go up front and buy it, but then... I decided that I didn't want to let it out of my sight. So I grabbed the chair and dragged it through the store with me, straight to the registers. And there I was standing in line with this beautiful chair, and, I'm not kidding, like five people walked by and said "Wow, that's a nice chair" and all I could say was "I know." but in my head I was saying "It's all MINE, suckers!!"


This has now been added to the living room, that is already too full. I have my chunky red couch and matching chair, the orange chair I got from the DI for our first apartment, the Dutch-Modern rocking chair I got from my in-laws that once belonged to John's grandpa, four book shelves of various sizes, three CD cases and a small desk. Yes, all that stuff is in my little living room. (Do you see why John and I would love a new house with some extra room.


So… yeah… we have a lot of stuff and no where to put it.


I spent a lot of time out and about looking for new Halloween decorations this October as well. I pulled out my boxes of decorations back at the beginning for the month, and as I looked through the box of past treasures I decided that I hated all of them so it was time to get something new. I went to craft stores, Halloween stores, party stores, and even All-A-Dollar to collect some new bits to add to my collection. Let me just say, now that the month is over… I love my new stuff. My house turned out pretty nice with all it's spooktacular decorations.


What else has been going on?


October 10th was Canadian Thanksgiving. We had dinner with John's parents and Holly at Marie Calendar's in Layton (yes, it's still there, and yes, it's still open.) We were quite disappointed with the super rise in prices since the last time we were there. I don't think the turkey dinners we had were worth $14 a plate. We wont go there next year. However we will celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving because we love it.


October 17th John and I had the opportunity to have my friend Michelle take our pictures. Really, it was Michelle taking pictures of John's parents. Lorraine had mentioned back at the beginning of the year how much she'd like to have a nice picture of her and dad for the kids, and since then John and I had been batting around the idea of getting them a photo session with Michelle that we'd pay for. It took me until July to actually contact Michelle, and it took us until October to actually schedule a time to get them done. And, we figured, while we were at it we'd have our pictures done too. You can see a preview of them HERE, or on Michelle Sally Photography's Facebook page.

The pictures (at least what I have seen of them) turned out beautifully. I'm so impressed with her skills as a photographer to catch just the right moment, and just the right expressions to create beautiful pictures of us average people.

We chose to get the pictures done at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, not because this place holds any significance (beyond the obvious) to me and John, but because this is where his parents were married. We thought it would be nice for them to have some great pictures with the temple for their memory books.

We had a great time with Michelle getting our pictures done. With her being such a good friend it wasn't intimidating at all (or at least not much) to have her giant camera lens in your face. The wind was blowing like crazy, my hair had gone flat, and it was cold, but we had some good laughs and the time just flew by.


October 23rd We got to go to dinner at the Brand's house. Logan and Jenny and their kids are some of our most favorite people in the world. They invited us over, along with John's parents for some Homemade Beer Brauts and quality time. John and I were of course told to come over early so we could see their oldest daughter Sam before she dashed off to Snow College again as she's finishing up her Associates degree there this spring. So we got to spend the greater part of the afternoon with them and somehow got pulled into picking grapes before it was supposed to freeze that night. We got all sticky and purple, but helped clean off the vine all before dinner time. Dinner was really good, I'm finding that I'm not as much as a Braut fan as the people I love are, but these were some really good ones.

Also, a new show premièred on Chanel 4 on Sunday nights at 7:00 PM. It's called "Once Upon A Time" and I am pretty sure that I love it.


October 24th & 25th I got to spend some quality time with my mother-in-law while we made grape juice from the three flats of grapes we got from our friends Sunday night. In the end we ended up with 43 Quarts of grape juice.

My Mother-in-law has one of these steamer things It's 3 layered. You put all the grapes in the top, stems and all, and water in the bottom and the center section is for catching the grape juice. It has a tube that you use to drain the juice out as you go. It's pretty awesome. There is no sugar added to the grape juice, and since it comes out boiling hot you just put on the lids and the bottles seal themselves. It takes about an hour per batch, but that's okay it gives me time to do other things while the grapes are steaming. We didn't let the tailings drain after steaming (using a cheese cloth, colander and another pan) because mother didn't want to, but we probably could have ended up with about 2 or 3 more quarts. I think that if I ever get really ambitious about canning I may buy myself a steamer. Apparently they're quite handy.


October 27th John and Holly and I took the evening to carve some pumpkins. We ended up with five pumpkins this year and decided to do a mostly Doctor Who Theme. I did a lot of internet searches for just the right patterns for the pumpkins. You wouldn't think it would be *that* hard to find something to put on a pumpkin, but it was.

In the end I ended up carving a TARDIS, Holly carved a Cyberman, and John... well, he carved the Legend of Zelda emblem with the Triforce, and the final pumpkin for the day I just hacked out a regular old jack-o-lantern face. (I don't have a picture of that one.) That's why I said it was a "Mostly" Doctor Who theme. The pumpkin carving took a while, but in the end we were all pretty satisfied with our work.

October 29th My oldest brother's in-laws had a Halloween party, and John and I were lucky enough to be invited. There is always a good time to be had at the White House. This year there were games,a scavenger hunt, bobbing for apples, caramel apples, and enough food to keep the masses satisfied. It was fun. Sure, it's mostly for their grand kids and friends, but it caters to us adults too. John won the best costume again this year. He was dressed as the Tenth Doctor. No one really knew who he was, apparently he just looked really great in his suit. (He won the Best Costume prize a few years ago when we went and he had dressed as V from V for Vendetta.) Up until the night before we weren't sure we were going to go this year since we had a million other things going on that weekend, but in the end I got a text from my brother asking if we were going, and if we could help my niece and nephew get there... Well, I had been wanting to see them so I figured this was as good a time as any so I agreed, and ended up leading Geoff and Nicole to West Valley. They told me I drive too fast for following. That's the truth, but I really really did try to slow down and be a better lead car, but I guess I didn't slow down as much as I though I had.

Also, that night, after the White's party we drove all the way from West Valley back to Clinton to hang out with our friends to play games and have some good adult time together. But we were earlier than they were expecting so the John's took a trip to Wal-Mart together, and I got to watch old Tom Baker Doctor Who while Angie finished up bathing their two kids. Once everyone (meaning the kids) were in bed and settled we played some great Zombie themed games and had a nice end to a long and busy day.

October 31st ~Halloween!! There was a Halloween party at my house.. Okay, it wasn't a party per say, but I had cake, food, and candy for anyone who stopped by. I had really just wanted to make a Skull cake that I had bought a pan for this summer, and I needed people to come eat it for me.

The cake turned out really nice. I used a box cake mix, but used apple sauce instead of oil. This made the cake really moist, but didn't change the flavor of it much. I glued the two halves of the skull together with store bought vanilla frosting dyed red and also used that for my crumb coating. I frosted the cake with a #16 Tip and just did white and black stars to cover the skull. Then I used a #2 Tip to outline the teeth. I made the eye with some Cadbury "eyes" chocolates that I happened to have in my fridge. They're just chocolate dots so I added a blob of white frosting to the center and then a blob of black in the center of that. I placed the entire thing on a fancy black platter and surrounded it with gummie worms, and it turned out pretty darn good if you ask me.

We had sugar cookies in the shape of superheroes, and hot cider… John even made a special *Ghosts in the Graveyard* chocolate pudding (all by himself) that was quite tasty. It was a great spread, if you missed it then you really missed out.

We saw a lot of our friends and family and their cute kids in costumes. I even coaxed a few people from the ward in out of the cold for a piece of cake. For those that lingered for the evening we played a few rounds of Zombie Fluxx, and otherwise hung out and had some good friend time with people we love.

Also, Halloween day Holly came over to spend the day with us and carved our fifth and final pumpkin into K-9, Doctor Who's faithful dog. K-9 turned out really well, except we forgot to cut air holes in him so the candles kept going out until we figured out the problem later that evening. That's why the picture I have pretty much sucks. Silly fire, needing air to continue to burn. No light makes it hard to take a photo of a carved pumpkin. You'll just have to believe me at how awesome he really was. :)


There was a lot more to October, but I'm drained of all my memories past this point. We spent a lot of time running around, watching a lot of movies, and having a great time being our wonderful selves. Here's to a new month of fun for us. See ya on the flip side.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

It sounds like you guys had a very busy October! I LOVE the pictures! You look great! I wish we lived closer so we could do something sometime.