Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas was a little different this year, mostly because a lot of our family have moved away. Randy and Courtney came and stayed for a few days, but Randy had to work Christmas day, so we ate Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and even opened presents on Christmas Eve. My kids (especially one of my children) have begged me for years to let them open presents on Christmas Eve, and I wouldn't ever let that happen. But we really didn't have much choice this year! 

We started Christmas Eve morning off with some Monkey Bread

My parents came and opened some presents too, even though my dad really doesn't like to do that on Christmas Eve.

Blake's niece Melinda wrote a children's book about Grandpa Mark Purcell, it was a favorite among everybody!
Courtney reading the book while we all listened. It is a really nice book, written very well with some really nice pictures.
Blake was thrilled with this new tool set.
Courtney was thrilled with her new snowmachine coat! Now she and Blake are really styling because their coats match their helmets.

I wasn't worried about Christmas being ruined because we had already done most of the Christmas activities, because we had something really fun to look forward to! Of course the best part of Christmas when you have a child serving a mission is THE PHONE CALL! It was so wonderful to hear Jared's voice and carry on a conversation with him! We worked it out so that we could hear and talk to Jared on a speaker phone, then he could hear and talk to Cindy in Michigan, and Brian in Texas through skype and speakers! Randy was even able to call from work and could hear and talk to Jared through the speakers on the phones! It was a great Christmas Day!

Forgotten Holiday

I can't believe I did this! I am always upset that Thanksgiving gets overlooked in the media and stores, and now I have done just that! I just realized that I have not posted about our 2011 Thanksgiving! So, better late than never, right?

We did something a lot different this year because Randy and Courtney were the only ones around. We decided to take our thanksgiving fixings and go to a resort in Ogden, Utah, called Wolf Creek. We left on Wednesday and came home on Friday. It was a nice little get away, and we had a good time! I love Thanksgiving because it always reminds me to be more grateful for my blessings, and I am truly blessed!

Blake and Randy played some raquetball.

We cooked our meals in a tiny little kitchen.
We used the coffee table for a serving table.
Here we are, all ready to eat.
We took a drive up a steep hill, then we had to come back down the hill, I think that coming down was the hardest part!

We had a very nice little Thanksgiving vacation, we definitely made some memories! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elk Refuge & Salt Lake City

Last weekend, we did a bit of traveling. It started on Saturday when Blake, Randy, Courtney and I went to Jackson Hole, Wy. to the Elk Refuge. It was a fun little day trip. We took a sleigh ride out in a big open area where there were tons of bull elk.

Here we are, all bundled up.

The elk were really close to the sleigh.
Courtney with Jack and Jill, who pulled our sleigh.

Then we drove in the car to another part of the refuge to see some big horned sheep.

One of the them decided to lick the salt off the car, the others just stood in the road.

Then on Sunday, Blake and I had to take his mother and niece to the Salt Lake Airport, so we decided to make a little vacation of it and stayed the night. After taking them to the airport, we went to Temple Square. We were way impressed with all the Christmas displays and lights!


"Baby, It's cold outside"


Friday, November 25, 2011

6 Months!

Today is Jared's 6 month mark! He is currently serving in the Fulton area, and has been there since October 19th. Fulton is more like Blackfoot, smaller city with a lot of outlying area. 

He sent the memory card from his camera when he was transferred, so here are some pictures I don't think I have posted before.
New mode of transportation for missionaries?

Josh's Baptism

Wonder if he was able to teach this guy while he visited him at the zoo.

This next picture is from Fulton.

Trenton's baptism. He didn't say who the people are, I'm assuming one of them in white is Trenton, and Jared's companion is Elder Banks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Windows are finished, really this time!

I jumped the gun! I would have waited to post about the bedroom windows if I thought the blinds were coming this week, they were scheduled to come next week. They came today! And Blake had time to install them today! Yay! Now everything is finished and looks SO nice!
Master Bedroom

So lovely! (I know, I know the walls and ceiling need a little work in this room, but I'm afraid it will have to wait til next year.)

Sewing/Crib Room


I have wanted blinds like these for a long time and couldn't have them because they wouldn't work with the old windows. I have learned something through all this....there are a lot of shades of white! Who knew, I thought white was white! Oh well, the picture makes it look darker than it really is, but the blinds are a little different white than the casings. I love the new windows and new blinds though!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The last amazing transformation!

The first time my brother, Randy Chambers came over to get some ideas for the renovations we wanted to do in our home, he commented on the sagging roof above the garage. As he finished up the work inside the house, he and Blake decided to see what could be done about the sagging roof. Blake also wanted to sheetrock and paint the garage. They got to investigating the roof and rafters and found that it had sagged at least 7 inches. So they came up with a plan to "raise the roof".
They got a pole and jacks and literally "raised the roof". They thought they could use this red metal pole, but it was not quite long enough, so they devised another plan using a wooden one. 
This time it worked well, and the roof was raised!
Then they got looking at some of the other rafters, they decided that they needed to be reinforced and jacked up some. After lots of hard work up in the rafters, the roof is no longer sagging!

Blake started to clean out the garage, so it could be sheetrocked. Our cat "Baby" was really old and sick, she had not got out of the way and Blake had backed over her, but she was still moving around a bit, but she really didn't like everything being taken out of the garage. Finally after a few days, she became really sick and Blake had to put her down. 
Blake started ripping the sheetrock that was in the ceiling down. It made a huge mess!
What a mess!
Next, Blake insulated the walls, this was kind of a scary place to be!
Then we had professionals come and hang the sheetrock. These guys were little teeny men, and were really strong and funny. After they got the sheetrock up, we had someone come and blow insulation into the attic. Then they had some different people come and perfatape and mud the sheetrock. Then Blake painted the ceiling.

After the ceiling was painted, Randy came back and helped put lights up. Funny story about this picture....Randy is not really fond of working with electricity, and I used a flash to take this picture, after the flash went off, Randy said "what was that?!?" He thought the electricity was going to get him. We all had a good laugh.
They put the garage door openers back into place, and also did all the trim work around the windows and baseboard around the edge.
Then Blake painted the walls.
I even helped paint the trim.
The garage floor was so dirty, covered with the white powder from sanding the sheetrock, so Blake devised a sprayer for the broom, worked really well.
We decided to move the fridge and freezer from the basement and put them in the garage. It was a very hard job! Thanks Randy Purcell for your strong muscles!
Blake wanted to put some cupboards up, so he ordered some from Lowe's. He and Randy spent a whole day putting them together.
Courtney helped by reading the directions to them.
Randy Chambers came back for the final installation of the cupboards. Blake is using the pole in the middle of the garage to lean on to watch Randy do some more magic.
They really have made a good team.

Now for some "before and after" pictures.

Before....The west wall of the garage.
After...the west wall!
Before...the east wall.
After...the east wall.
Before...the south west corner.
After...the south west corner.
Before...in front the of stairs.
After...in front of the stairs.
Before...the garage doors.
After...the garage doors.
Before...the wall by the door.
After...the wall by the door.

It truly is an amazing transformation! Once again, a huge thank you to Randy Chambers! Blake absolutely LOVES his new garage, it's just how he always wanted it!