Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No crossing off for me...

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Last weekend we stayed home, in the hopes of nice weather, to get a few projects done.

And although the rain stopped us from finally painting the front door, we Ryan did manage to fix the eavestrough situation.

See, about five years ago we had a lot of rain, and in our great brilliance we left the downspouts up. And the basement flooded. Enough to make me cranky anyways. So we sourced out some downspouts that would put themselves up and down automatically when ever it rained. Which seemed like an awesome idea. No more forgetting! They started out working good, and then, not so much. In fact one of them ended up even looking like this.

Not much water moving away from the foundation there.....

The rest of them were at half mast most of the time. Or just stayed down permanently like this one:

So we headed to Totem, hoping against hope that they would have the same shade of eavestroughing as what was left on the house. And they did! Hurray. Well, it was special order, but we were able to pick it up the same day from the manufactuer which was only a few minutes away.

Ryan replaced all the white ones with new metal matching downspouts.

Too bad I never thought about writing this one down on the list. Ah, well. I sort of miss the white ones, but I won't miss worrying about whether they actually came down or not!

Now if only we could figure out why we have two huge dead spots on the front lawn.....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


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Four years ago, we finally made a decision and planted some trees in the backyard. We picked out some Columnar Swedish Aspens. Something that would fill in, eventually, and make a visual block from the sidewalk into the yard over our measly little five foot fence.

Four years later, I'm slightly in awe at them. This morning I went to go through the last two on the end to get to my bike that was leaning up against the fence, and I literally almost couldn't get through! They are looking amazing!

We planted a row of them along the other fence too, between our nosy neighbor and us. The trees are supposed to get 25-30 feet tall and 3 feet around, so we planted them approximately 3 feet apart. The hope was that eventually she wouldn't be able to see us, and hence, talk to us, from her deck after they filled in. As were planting them, she asked if we were trying to tell her something....

They weren't much to look at, but they were a start! Of course as luck would have it, they haven't gotten as big as the ones near the sidewalk, but they do a decent job of blocking her ever curious eye.

The huge railing we put on the deck I think has maybe driven home the point that I don't really wish for her to comment on every going-ons in my backyard.

Four years ago we also got the cutest little addition as well.

My, how time changes things.

Happy Fourth Birthday Rodeo!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My husband is awesome!

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It's that time of year again, when the kids are assigned some sort of school project and I pass all responsibility onto Ryan. He never fails to impress though!

Storm had to make a musical instrument that changed pitch, volume etc. Ryan made her a harp.

How cute is that! She decorated it all up too.

Hunter's project was to make a self-propelled vehicle that went at least 2m. They made this elastic powered one to begin with, but when it failed to pass the 2m test Ryan was unimpressed with it. Considering he hates working with wood, I think that little car is rocking though! Even if it wouldn't go very far.

Enter Google. This is Hunter's new project! I think it's awesome.

That little baby will go over 15 feet! It consists of: a playing card, two sets of wheels from a dollar store truck, a straw, a balloon, and some duct tape. There are some ingenious people out there!

I had to include this picture I took of them working on the wooden car. Blade's face is hilarious!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How many kids live here again??

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It's getting a little crazy.  This is how many toothbrushes I found in the upstairs bathroom alone.

And why is it all the toothpaste ends up looking like this??

No caps. Twisted like crazy. Half used, and more than half dried up.

I tossed them all. My original thought was to switch to those little travel sized toothpaste, but they don't have any at the local store in kid flavors, so I bought the tiniest bottles with non-removable lids.

I would have saved the toothbrushes for cleaning purposes, but jeez, not even I can use up that many....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Smores

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Last time I made PB Cups, I spread a little of the extra peanut butter mixture onto a graham cracker with some leftover melted chocolate and made a couple of sandwiches for Storm. I really didn't think anyone would like them that much besides her, but the other kids ended up eating all of them!

Yesterday I was baking cookies when I ran out of flour. Gah. Always in the middle of things do you realize you don't have all the ingredients. While I waited for my mom to go downtown and buy me some, (yes I am that lazy, and in my defense she was going downtown anyways!), I ended up making Peanut Butter Cups.

I just realized I never did post that recipe, bad me. I did remember that Storm wanted me to make her some peanut butter crackers though! She had just been camping and was telling me about the smores they made, and although I don't like smores, she really does.

So I made these:

Peanut Butter Cups Smores

Want to make them too? Here's what to do. Send a lot of money my way, and I'll ship some to you. Okay, not really.
  1. Make the peanut butter mixture for PB cups. (I'll put the recipe at the bottom).
  2. Melt some chocolate. I just used chocolate chips, because I bought about a kabillion at Costco.
  3. Spread some PB mixture on one cracker and put 1/2 tsp of melted chocolate right on top of it.
  4. Place another graham cracker on a microwaveable plate. Put 6 mini marshmellows on it, near the center, in a rectangle shape.
  5. Microwave for 10 seconds.
  6. Pull it out of the microwave and smush the PB choc cracker on top.
  7. Done!
I put mine in the fridge to set the chocolate up again, and then stored them in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

Storm approves.

Although if she's not fast enough, some one else may end up ninjaing all the squares!

Caught in the act!

Peanut Butter Mixture

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

The graham crackers are essential for giving it the PB cup crunch. Don't skip! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

These things apparently take time

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When the little kids were little(r), they had those ride on toys. Of course, we had to have three of them. When you have three kids three years apart, it seems to be a must to have at least three of everything. I'm all about avoiding the crying, screaming and fighting. (I think I will just skip the part of the story where I tell you I got rid of those ride on toys at least four years ago...)

Since we have tile in the kitchen and dining area, it was the perfect spot for extreme racing. The sound of those things used to drive us bonkers! And they didn't do the dining room wall any favors either.

If I had to guess, I'd say that any of you who have actually been here, never ever noticed those marks on the wall. It's not a place your eye goes to automatically, but it did look bad. Really bad.

So yesterday I finally dug through the paint that was left downstairs by the previous owners and found the paint I used when I repainted the landing and lower basement a couple of years ago. I was more than a little hesitant to paint. I knew from past experience that although the color is really, really close to the existing paint on the walls, the sheen could be a little off. And after all, I was attempting to avoid having to paint these walls.

This is what happens people, when you have rounded corners everywhere and 20 foot ceilings. There is no place to stop. And if I painted those nicks, and you could seriously tell it wasn't right, there was a good possibility I was going to have to paint that wall, all 20 feet high of it. And the wall beside it. And the kitchen. You see where this is going don't you? Perhaps that will excuse the four year delay in painting.

I decided against mudding and sanding the dented in spot. I was afraid the mud would dry a significantly different shade. So I took a small artist brush and just painted in the white spots and took the magic eraser to the black spots.  Thankfully, it turned out like this.

Yes, you can still see the dent. But the shade is the same and I managed to get 90% of the black marks off. Also, when you come over, the closest anyone ever looks at that spot is about from this far away.

I don't see anything, do you? (hint: the answer is No, Karrie, I don't see a damn thing, now pass me a cookie please)

We may just get this house in listing condition yet...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Going Somewhere Slimmer

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Herein lies the chronicles of my summer fitness quest. If I call it a quest, will it make me want to continue longer than a week? Who knows?! Anyways, I'm going to be calculating how far I can bike, run or walk this summer. Here's the story of this stupid, idiotic, awesome plan.

Monday after biking the kids to school, I had the grand plan to take the longer way home in order to not have to drag my bike over the tracks. Wonderful plan, I even got to coast down a huge hill. Except that as I neared the bottom of the hill, my brain came back awake and reminded my old, tired body that I would now have to bike back uphill to get home. Awesomesauce. After nearly dying (true story), I decided I was out of shape and from now on, would refrain from any more plans that took me further from home than needed. In the afternoon, I stayed the course and took the easy way home with the kids.
Distance: 4.86km   Total: 4.86km

Thursday morning, I biked the kids to school and took a longer way home, despite my protests on Monday that longer was lamer.
Distance: 3.84km    Total: 8.70km

Thursday midmorning, Mom and I walked to the Farmer's Market and took the long way home.
Distance: 2.59km       Total: 11.29km
Thursday afternoon, I biked down to get the kids and then on to the store and back home again.
Distance: 5.93km    Total:17.22km

Friday morning, I biked to Mom's and then we walked downtown the long way and back to her house, and then I biked back home.
Distance: 7.70km   Total: 24.92km

I swear this is the last time I will bore you with this many map pictures. They're really more for me. I'm the sort of person who enjoys/needs the visual. Makes me want to pat myself on the back ya know? Anyways, feel free to skip over these posts or emails, as I walk, bike or run myself through this summer and onto a different body.

I'll be keeping a running total in a different tab, Going Somewhere Slimmer,  at the top of the blog.  To keep me going.

Well that's the plan anyways.

Friday, June 10, 2011


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Proof he leaves his room and the house for more than just work and school!

No, no one died. Nor was he just out of clean clothes and had to resort to wearing his dad's dress clothes....

Actually, he worked the Prom running the sound system and all the tech set up.

He was even nice enough to stand still for a picture for me. After I picked myself up off the floor, I took a few.

Smart kid. He must have remembered his birthday is coming up soon.....

So thankful to cross #9 off the list!!

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What a long three days!

So long in fact, that I'm only writing about it now, 5 days later.

We did it. We survived another garage sale. After scouring our basements, storage rooms, sitting areas, kitchens, kids rooms and closets, we gathered all our junk together. I'm sad to say I only got two pictures of it, and since I didn't even get time to take them until the second day, they don't really do the sale justice. There was tons more stuff than shown.

The garage was packed full as well. I managed to sell almost everything. I did take home a few things to sell on Kijiji (which reminds me, I really should get on listing them!). Mom brought in a few things, plants etc. and in the end, we donated the left over items to the Bowden Museum which runs a thrift store to help raise money to support the museum. So yay for us for not taking very much back in to the house, and yay to them for taking all our leftovers! They came and boxed it up and took it away on the last afternoon even! One of the easiest clean-ups we've ever had after a sale.

I have decided though, that next time, well that it really wouldn't break my heart for there to be no next time.

Garage sales are more fun to go to than to run!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I get to cross things off!

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Sunday was such a nice day.  Hardly any bugs, not a cloud in the sky, and most of all, no wind.  A perfect time to paint the outside doors.

Ryan decided to paint the back door first. It was strange wandering in and out of the house all day, not being able to shut the back door behind me. After borrowing a couple of sawhorses, he taped off the window, removed the handles and the lock and got to it.

He also took this opportunity to spray paint the keypad lock's cover black.

We were a little leery about what color to pick to paint the doors. I didn't want cream. The handles were black, so that color was out. Gloss or matte was also a big question. We ended up picking a basic white gloss metal spray paint. We decided the worst that could happen is we would hate it and have to repaint.  But I have to tell you, it looks SO much better. 

We started off with this:
And then changed the door handles:
And ended up here:

Ryan also taped off the spot outside where Rodeo had been clawing at to say he wanted in.  It started off looking like this:

And now looks like this:

So much better right?  Ha, and I like how that same little red car is still sitting there, a month or two later.

Since Ryan put two coats of spray paint on each side and we wanted to make sure the paint was nice and dry before flipping the door over to paint the other side, we only managed to get the back door painted.  The front door will have to be next weekend's project.  The towels got hung though!

I get to cross off #32 from the list, as well as the "s" on number #31!  This weekend, my mom and I are having a garage sale so I also get to cross off #8, and #9 too!

Let's hope I survive Garage Sale Weekend and all the prep that goes with it!