Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Weekend Fun

We took a much needed break from our house this weekend and just had fun. Friday night we went to Wicked. Dave hadn't seen it before but he knows and loves all the songs. It was great fun - he was sort of like a kid at Christmas.  :)

On Saturday we went to the Renaissance Festival. We had to go this weekend because it was buy one get one free entrance and that saved us $21. And really that's the only way to go. You can read my official review for work here. (That's my real reason I had to go. I mean come on, we're giving out prizes for a sweepstakes so those of us running the dealio probably need to try out some of the offerings - you know, to make sure they're fun, right? Right! btw, don't worry about leaving comments there. ;) )

 Twig the Fairy

 Great Balls of Fire show

Dave got to hobnob with the nobility (they liked his shirt!)

And he liked looking at the swords...

and horns 
(so he can call his wife when he needs her.  Hmmm! He thinks we're in the Flintstones or something perhaps?)

The KamiKazi Fireflies had a cool show:

 Waiting for jousting to start...



Mostly the food was expensive (no surprise there) - the corn was delish but the gyro was eh.  

It was fun day - but quite hot.  We were used to all the rain and nice temperatures we've been having and this was the first hot day so it took us a little by surprise.  We needed more water and sunscreen. But we always need more sunscreen. As Justin says - we are the pastiest family ever.  ;) 

And with that we have a serious ton of work to do on the house before the family ice cream party here on Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Estes Park

I just realized that I hadn't ever finished this post and actually posted it!  This is from our last Mountain Day of 2014. We're planning 2015 now and I can't wait to get back up there. 

We took our last mountain trip of the year to Estes Park and this time stayed for the weekend.

We started the trip with a horseback riding adventure.

When the guide was choosing horses for us he asked me if had ridden much.  I said no and he said, "Well, this is gonna scare the [heck] out of you but don't worry - he's a gentle giant."  Giant?  I'll say! I wish I had a picture that shows how tall he was when I was standing next to him.

Dave got to ride Clyde. That's a perfect name for that horse because he just kinda did his own thing at his own pace. Dave, "Clyde, this way. Ok, we can go that way..." Pretty much through the whole ride.

We had fun exploring the town and the riverwalk that runs through it.

The hotel was in a great location but the bed was awful. By the time we were checking out we were both in pain and we couldn't wait to get home to our own bed.

We drove to the top of the world. So pretty up there!

And, of course, saw some elk.  It is Estes Park after all.

And, that my friends, is the last of our mountain trips this year. Boo! Can't wait to start again next year.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cake Time

Dave has been hoping and wishing for a Minion cake for his birthday for a year and this year his wish finally came true!  Becky did an incredible job with the cake - it's awesome!!!  Thanks, Becky!!

Look how excited Dave was:

Tiernan said Becky went a little overboard on the silver. I think maybe that's because it wasn't intended for his eye... Silly T.  

By the way, did you know Minions are lemon? True story.  teehee!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

And Now for the Stove...

Well, let's start with the dishwasher. It's finally been installed - hooray!!! The job was not done without a couple surprises, however. (Surprise! Oh. You aren't surprised by that?)

We took off the tiles - we both relished that job and the installer pulled the old dishwasher out. It was such a happy site to see that nasty thing leaving our house. It was then that we learned that the useless cabinet next to the dishwasher (long and narrow with a shelf in between so you can't even put cookie sheets or anything in there) has no back. Seriously? Yes, seriously. At one point someone stored sippy cups in there - we found a lid under the dishwasher.

But the more exciting surprise was the hole in the floor. See?

It's a little hard to see because it's also filthy under there but the hole is right by the black hose. Not sure how that got there, but then, this is the House of Wonders. But the happy, exciting news that nearly makes me giddy is that we have a nice new dishwasher installed that works well and is even quiet. YAY!!!

Ok, and now for the stove...

I heated the oven up on Sunday evening and got our dinner ready to be cooked. I put the food in the oven and turned the timer on - and everything turned off. Never to turn back on again it would seem. I took the food out while we fiddled with it, you know, just in case something exploded in the oven or something. This is the House of Wonders after all.

I turned the stove burners on high - nothing. I tried to turn the timer on  - nothing. I tried to turn the oven on - nothing. I turned the front, right burner on high then tried to turn the oven on and it worked. Sweet. We put the food in, left the stove burner on high (it wasn't working anyway), put rice in the rice cooker and let it all go to work. Guess what we had for dinner that night? Rice. Yeah, that was the only thing that cooked. Time to call the home warranty peeps. Again.

And change the menu so I can cook everything in the crock pot or electric skillet this week. Thank goodness for those wonderful tools!

Apparently that was not enough entertainment for one evening so it didn't stop there... Dave was doing the dishes and I hear "aaagghhh" and lots of water. I went to the kitchen and asked what happened. Then I looked at the sink and just laughed. There was no faucet on the sink. The dumb thing literally flew off while Dave was washing dishes. Flew off and got water everywhere. I mean, how does that even happen? Well, for starters I think it's the world's cheapest faucet. It looks like it would blow away if a strong wind came through the window (come to think of it, it probably would!). And, let's be honest, I'm sure it was installed wrong. So, cheap + bad install = trouble. But not until the Lunds move in.

Dave has managed to jimmy rig the faucet somehow so that we can use the sink until we get a new faucet on Saturday. The warranty peeps will be here for the stove this morning. I'll be honest, I'm hoping he tells us it's hopeless and they'll just put in a new stove.

And, I'm crossing my fingers that this will be it for awhile from the House of Wonders.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Let's talk about the dishwasher in the House of Wonders. To say it's gross is a HUGE understatement. When I first opened it I was nearly knocked over by the stench. It desperately needed cleaning so I ran the hottest, longest sanitizing cycle it had with a big glass measuring cup of vinegar and tea tree oil. The smell was better (not great but better), however, when I flipped down the little trays on the top I cringed. Again when I looked at the bottom. Well, let me just show you...

See what I mean? That stuff is moldy-nasty-won't-come-off-vileness. And that's AFTER it has been cleaned. I honestly can't even begin to understand what one does to a dishwasher to get to this point. I think I'd rather not know. Clearly we won't be using this thing so we had to buy a new dishwasher.

We waited for 2 1/2 weeks for it to be delivered (apparently we chose the same model that everyone else likes as well). The delivery truck came, the guy looked at our old dishwasher and said it's hardwired and that's against code (this happens a lot in Colorado apparently) so they have to send an electrician back to install it. They put the dishwasher in the box in the garage.

Annoying but whatever, we can deal with it. Yesterday I took half the day off work so I could be here for the install. All the while I was so excited that I'd be able to have super clean dishes in my very own, brand new, clean and working dishwasher. I was practically singing. 

And then it began. "Miss Carrie? Can you come in here?"


"Come stand right here.  You see the tile that's over this dishwasher [the old one]? It's cut to overlap so we can't get this one out very well and we definitely can't get the new one in."

It's that way on both sides. Of course it is. Oh, and it's not cut straight to begin with.

Oh! I don't think I've posted pictures of the kitchen yet. Well, it's covered in tile. Awful, ugly, huge floor tile. There you have a glimpse of it. The best part is that they didn't just stick with the countertop - oh no, they put it all down the sides of the counter and up the wall for a back splash.

But I digress...  You'll get to see all that later.  Back to the dishwasher. 

I said, "Don't you worry - we can just break those tiles right off!"

Electrician, "I can't touch anything but you can break off whatever you like."

Me, with a huge smile, "Let me just grab a hammer!"

In the meantime he kept working....  "Miss Carrie?"


"How are you?  You in a good mood today?"

Uh oh!  That's a portent of bad news for sure.  "Yes.  But I imagine something not so good has happened..."

Electrician, "You need a new shut off valve. I turned the knob to shut the water off under the sink and it popped right off. But the best part is that someone has glued this so it's obviously happened before! Glue! I can't imagine why they would use glue."

Ah, well, welcome to the House of Wonders.  We'll add this to the ever-growing list of things we wonder about. Seriously? They glued the flippin shut off valve back on after it broke????? I don't know if that was the previous owners or the renters but whoever it was is an idiot. (I'm trying to be nice. Is it working?)

Electrician, "I know this stinks but in a way it's better to find out like this than to find out because your house has a major flood in a few days when it broke on it's own."

Excellent point and I agree completely. And yet, what this means is that I don't get my dishwasher today, I don't get to wash dishes in it today and now I have to call a plumber to fix that valve and then call the electrician to come back again and install the dishwasher. Which is now out of the box in the garage. Sad. And so annoying.  

We were silly enough to think it would be simple - take out the old dishwasher and put in a new one - yeah that's easy! Something that will work right and it wasn't such a big deal. Scratch that. It, of course, is a big deal but I have faith that someday we will have a working dishwasher. In this house. This year.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Welcome to The House of Wonders

Dave and I just bought our first home together!  The market in Denver is ridiculous right now for buying or renting so our choices were limited.  I only explain that because once you read the rest of this post you'll be wondering what the heck we were thinking.

We have dubbed this house The House of Wonders!  It won't take long to understand why - you'll see the pictures and wonder what we were thinking.  Everyone who steps foot in this house to repair something wonders who messed it up so badly.  In fact, everywhere you turn you can't help but wonder "what were they thinking??" 

We thought it would be fun to blog our adventure so you can sigh and laugh and cry along with us.  And hopefully, at the end you'll smile with us too!

Welcome to The House of Wonders

The light in the picture isn't great but that's an orange wall.  This upstairs bathroom is probably one of the best rooms in the house.  So we'll start with that and then move on to the rest.  :)

This is the dining room.  You can't see carpet detail in this picture but it's got holes and it stinks and, as an added bonus, it's greasy!  So gross.  The wall (again hard to get the full glory of the place in these pictures) the wall is actually a burnt orange and it goes all the way into the living room.  The rest of the walls are a light brown.  

The previous owners added some curved stairs.  Why, you wonder? Well...we do too.  You'll notice that they covered part of the heat vent when they added the stairs.  That's probably the most competent thing they did in all of their "renovations" here.


The house is a split entry. You'll notice this wall has a piece of tile at the top. Just one random, lonely piece of tile. At the bottom it might have had a tile companion but whatever was there disappeared long ago. Probably about the same time that the dog chewed up the stair (bottom left). The carpet on these stairs has holes and is greasy and filthy.

This is one of our favorite features to point out because it's so unique. This is the Shoe Wonder. Well, it doesn't really fit adult size shoes but it fits kid shoes really well. Along the stud in the middle of it runs a main electrical line. That was painted to blend in. Um, when you cut out this little gem and noticed that there was a main electrical line...did it cause you to pause and rethink? Apparently not. Just paint it and it'll be fine. Right.

I'm sorry to tell you that you're going getting a little peak at the Jail Cell Bathroom because the rest of the pictures seem to have disappeared. I'll keep looking for them because you really must see the whole thing. But, this will at least give you an idea. At the back of this picture you can see wood bars screwed to the wall. This was done to 2 whole walls - thus the name "Jail Cell Bathroom". What were they thinking??? The floor was dark outdoor slate tiles (NOT meant for indoors), the countertop has the same lovely floor tile as the kitchen. Oh yes, you haven't seen the kitchen yet - well it's covered in this same hideous floor tile.

We've gutted this bathroom and redone it from top to bottom and since I can't find the pictures for this post I'll include more in our next post.

Blogger keeps losing everything I add to this post (grrr!) and I can't find all of our pictures at the moment but this will at least give you an idea of our House of Wonders. We'll post more "before" pictures later as well as updates as renovations are finished.

And, even in the midst of all the chaos we're very glad to be here and to have a home to call our own.  It will take lots and lots of work to bring this place up to par but it's an adventure we're up for.  At least we think we are... 

Friday, October 24, 2014

SA Conference 2014

Dave and I committed to help put on the regional Single Adult conference this summer - one last time. Here are some of the decorations we put together with help from Becky and some of our committee members:

Building the jail - we used fencing pieces and secured PVC pipes on as bars. We spray painted the pipes black. And we decided that the fencing wasn't really strong enough so for future reference, if you're going to build a jail don't use fencing. 

We attached plywood boards to the bottom and the sides. Our biggest concern was stability and safety. The little money bags you see at the bottom were filled with sand to help stabilize it.  This worked for one night but we all decided that we could have benefitted from a much better design from the get to. But hey, not bad for a design off the cuff.  :)

We even stapled old fashion looking fabric to the inside of the doors and put wood-look paper on the lower outside. 

We had mustaches and a hat to pose for pictures: 

Next we made a watering hole. I love the way it turned out but this project was my first and last pallet project! I do not see the appeal. Seriously they're a pain in the rear to work with. Just my opinion...

We made a "kissing booth" where people could guess how many kisses were in the jar. Then we decided we could also have them guess lemon drops and root beer barrels.  I think the idea was good but we were out of time and energy to make the booth as well as we did the other things so I didn't love the way this one turned out.

We made big sandwich board signs out of plywood. They were heavy so they wouldn't blow over or get knocked down easily. We stapled our signs and cowboy silhouettes to them - don't they look cool? Love 'em!


Speaking of signs, we also made Wanted signs for each speaker to post by the classroom doors:

We used gold and brown plastic tablecloths (I couldn't face washing cloth ones this time) and put red and blue bandana, mason jars with a burlap & lace warp filled with real babies breath and little gem-like rocks scattered on the bandanas as the table centerpieces.

For the buffet tables we put burlap down the center with some cow print fabric for color and variety. We used the same gem like rocks as well as "gold" nuggets to scatter on the table. Again, mason jars with a burlap & lace wrap and wildflowers. 

Along the walls we did rosettes in two sizes - huge ones and then a big bunch. These took pretty much forever to make. I think we had 4 people spend about 3 or 4 hours making all the rosettes.

For the small ones that were all bunched together we made all the rosettes and then used floral wire to secure them to a sheet of grid wire sort of like chicken wire but with smaller holes.  Gloves were required as it's sharp and it was trick getting them all secured on tightly and close together.

We always forget how BIG those walls are and how much you need to really make an impact. We were glad we had the big rosettes.

We had a torn fabric garland and hung a sign that said Howdy Ya'll at the entrance. (It's hard to read the sign here but it was sure cute!)

We strung lights across the gym (you have to have lights!) Here's a fun story about the lights....  We had bought the lights we needed but moved in the middle of all this. The day before the conference we were house sitting (really, too much going on at once) and came home to make sure everything was together to haul over to the church the next day. This is when we discovered that the lights were missing. They're somewhere in our storage unit (!!) so we had to buy new lights and now we are the proud owners of several boxes of lights. I hope our new house has a pergola or patio or something. If it doesn't maybe Dave will just have to build us one...  ;)

We hung up our moon on the stage for a good background there and hung black paper behind it to camouflage the stage.

And then the fun began...

We couldn't have done it without Becky, our committee and the stakes who signed up to help us set up all the decorations. I was mostly pleased with the way it turned out and I hope the conference attendees enjoyed it.