25 August 2013

Nature Walk

Once a upon a time, when we were going NUTS at the Hilton, we had to get out and find something to do.  We went to a local farmer's market and bought a bunch of fresh food and then found a trail next to a river to walk along and have a picnic.
Yes.  It's really that pretty everywhere.  Everywhere Annette is, that is.
When we got to our destination, we sat the boys down and...
...laid out the food which consisted of plums, blueberries, blackberries, and breadsticks.
We loved all of it, except I (Charles) thought the plums were too tart.

Since Annette is the aquatic one in the family, she waded out into the river and took our picture.
Then she took Charlie.
He wasn't too sure about the whole thing.
Henry played with the grass.
We love the vines that grow up the trees here.

This is an outdoor adventure that happened this week.  We went out again on another voyage to find another place equally cool to the last.  It started at Three Mile Island.  I should have known that starting at a nuclear power plant wasn't a great way to start.
But since there is billions of tributaries feeding the Susquehanna River, it wasn't long before we found one. 
 This one didn't have a hike.  It was just along side the road.
 Charlie loved this water adventure about like he loved the last one.

 Henry actually liked the water this time.  I was shocked.  He splashed around like a fish.
I hung him a little bit too low and he splashed himself something fierce. 

We took pizza for a snack and Charlie ingested more dirt than pizza.  He wanted to throw rocks in the river while eating his pizza and I think on occasion he forgot which hand was holding which. 
This fish was our only friend.  No other fish wanted to play with us.  We would throw rocks at it and he would chase it thinking it was food.  This fish might be a product of the aftermath of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster of 1979.

Acclimating to the Home

Now that Charlie is in the prime of life, he has invented a new sport called foot-tennis-pong.
Charlie wanted to help remove the old nasty carpet so when I was done ripping it out, I let him wear the dust mask around.  I think he wore it longer than I did.
Henry gets a few more free passes from work around the house.  I think one is a good age to start intense physical labor.
We're working on modesty lessons for family home evening.  We hope this is the last time he uses his agency to dance around in a diaper shaking maracas.  
Henry wants to learn how to go down the stairs so badly, but we all know how that would turn out.  
And this is how he reacts when we revoke his agency.
Charlie is honing his cooking skills.  He wanted to cook a pancake so he stuck it in a pot and then got a ladel to try to remove it.  He stirred it with a whisk as well.

Fixing it Up

We have done a lot of little and some big projects around our new home.
Charles changed all of our exterior door handles and deadbolts.
 Here is a before and after photo.  The dead bolt is before and the knob is after.
 The Bishop's wife came over for two days this week for about five hours each day to steam clean the kitchen cabinets and counters.  They had about 20 years worth of grease and grime on them.  It was disgusting.  These photos aren't great before and afters because of the flash and the fact that they are different hinges, but you get the idea.

 Charles spent a lot of time ripping out our old carpet off of the stairs.  We had to leave carpet on the tack strips until right before so that the boys wouldn't hurt themselves.

 We re-did our closet carpets, too.

Here is the finished project for our stairs.  It looks wonderful!
Charles put up a new curtain rod in the shower because the other one was too short and we couldn't move our hooks along it very well at all.
 We got a floor steam cleaner and I love it.  It picked up tons of disgusting-ness.  I'll probably end up using the steam cleaner on all of our walls before we texture and paint them.

New House!

As most of you know we closed on our townhouse in Pennsylvania.  Here are photos of the place without any furniture.
This is our front living room.
I don't love the lace curtains that they left on the windows (left).  I'll try to find another use for the fabric.
Living room closet, and yes the door is really just that dirty.  I don't think the prior owners tried to clean the house too much.
The tile in front of the door is not my favorite.  It may have looked nice with carpet, but not with the fake wood floor that they put in.
Here is the dining room area with more lace curtains.
View into kitchen from the living room.  The red walls are oh-so red.
Yes, this fake wood flooring is different than the living room area.
Our pantry.  It needs a good cleaning for sure.
Here is our main level half bath.
That baby blue paint needs to go, along with most of the other paint in the house.
Here is our back deck off of the main level.
I emptied out the ice maker and Charlie had lots of fun throwing the ice off of the deck.

Here is our shed down below.  You can only get to the back yard from the downstairs back door.
Our backyard is pretty much just a hill.  We want to do something fun with it.
Stairs going up.  This picture makes the old carpet look really dark.
Upstairs bathroom.
Master bedroom.


Second bedroom upstairs.  The paint job is absolutely the worst in this bedroom.

The only carpet in the house is on the stairs and on the landings of the stairs and the master's closets.
The stairs to our basement.
Unfinished room in basement.
The third room in the house is in the basement.  Oh, well I guess that has carpet too, but we probably won't go down here very often since it will probably be the office.
The prior owners really had some interesting ideas about paint in their house.
Laundry area in the basement.  Yea, now I get to walk from the top floor all the way to the basement to do laundry now...  Not my favorite part of the home.

Although the house is definitely not my dream home (we already have that, why would we need two?) there is a lot of potential here for a good rental property.  It is in a great area and the work on the house isn't too major.  We are pretty stoked to have a second home.