Monday, October 10, 2011

Tis the Season...

For apple and pumpkin picking!!! For as long as I've known Christian we've gone apple and pumpkin picking for my birthday. This year's birthday tradition was enriched two fold. Not only were we blessed by taking Gracie with us, but we had so much fun that we went twice.
Gracie is totally amazing, and absolutely fearless! The first farm we went to, Alstede Farm, not only had oodles of things to pick, but they had several animals on the farm. We had carrots to feed the horses and Grace LOVED giving them a tasty treat.Let the picking frenzy begin.Grace was the apple supervising manager and made sure all the apples were taken care of.I had to snap a photo of this charming scene that I discovered while peering under some branches to find some delicious apples. What a perfectly romantic home for some sweet little birds.Gracie loves her carrier. She's super chill in it.Gracie was also the quality control center to insure that all our apples were at the peak of ripeness. Apple and Pumpkin picking, round two! For our second trip out west we went to Riamede Farm.Gracie catching a power nap on the way to the farm. She learned from the first picking extravaganza that visiting farms takes a lot of energy.Oh my goodness! How cute is she?!? Christian has become a professional at apple picking. Check out the double hand picking! Nice technique.And now some pumpkins! We picked out three really classic pumpkins this year. Check this bad boy out!Turns out that Grace is a super pumpkin picker. Christian picks out one pumpkin (above), and WHAM! Gracie picks out almost a dozen pumpkins without breaking a sweat! That power nap really gave her a boost of energy! Whew! *wink*So if you need a wonderful apple picking supervisor, apple quality control officer, and a spectacular pumpkin picker, might I suggest bringing along your seven and a half month old baby. And if you don't happen to have a seven and half month old baby, I think I know one that's truly remarkable who might be willing to lend a helping hand... with mommy's and daddy's permission of course. Happy Fall everyone!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gracie and Mommy

Can you tell that Gracie is my daughter or what? On the left is me at nine months, and on the right is Grace at seven and a half months. I think its safe to say there is a tad bit of a resemblance. Don't you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The New Kitchen, Part One

We did it! After dreaming, planning, and preparing, we are actually underway with the construction of our new and improved kitchen. So much has been going on in our lives that I haven't kept everyone up to date in the past few weeks, and perhaps after viewing this entry you'll understand why our little piece of the world has been temporarily turned upside down.

In the collage below you'll see the very first day of construction. Such an exciting day! I honestly have never been so thrilled to see large machinery ripping up the lawn in my back yard, not that I have much experience with things like this.
All the activity turned into this.Which the following day turned into another large piece equipment, a cement truck this time, showing up to give us our footings for the foundation to what will be a new kitchen.The footings then turned into the foundation walls.Which were covered, smoothed, and prepared to have frame work.Our old kitchen was gutted.And when the floor boards came up we ran into a stumbling block. What we thought was a slab foundation for the old kitchen, turned out to be nothing more than boulders and dirt. LOTS of boulders!So we had a small set back, and had to dig where we didn't think we were going to need to. It pushed us back about a week, but the guys knew what to do and went right to work digging a foundation ditch, by hand, to support the kitchen.

No, the circus did not pop up it's big-top tent in my back yard. Isn't that the largest tarp you've ever seen? And after talking with our general contractor, I've been informed that this is not the biggest one. It's still crazy big!!The giant tarp hid what was going on underneath it. So you're getting a sneak peak at what our very curious neighbors never got to see in these next few photos. The contractor took the walls and roof down, finished digging the foundation ditch, lifted all the boulders out and poured concrete for the new foundation, all by hand. A one foot space is all that is left of the original kitchen.The next day the framers showed up, and like a pop-up book, by the end of the day we had the bones of our new kitchen.Here is a photo of just a few of the boulders the workers had to dig out.... need I say it again? BY HAND! (My foot is a reference to show size.)They covered up the frame work and this is where we stand today. I love knowing that Gracie will grow up in this kitchen. Her meals will be prepared here, homework will be done here, and family dinners will be enjoyed here. Not to mention sneaking down stairs for late night snacks. Pretty nice space, don't you think so? This week we get shingles on the roof, plumbing, electric, and once those pass inspection, insulation, then dry wall! It's all coming together. I can't wait till I can post "the new kitchen, part two!" Coming soon to a blog near you!