sniff, sniff

The hardest part of moving is leaving behind good friends.  Those old friends are never replaced.  They are really really missed!!!
Sam and Parker
Sara made a new friend when she started kindergarten.  We carpooled with Rylan and those two just really hit it off.  They were BFFs from the start!
Rylan and Sara
Rylie and Kaeli had a great group of friends from church.  The "activity day girls" had a going away party for them.
Activity Day Girls
These two have been together since preschool!
Claire and Rylie
Lilly, Lauren, Kaeli, and Rylie
Rylie, Shaylie and Sophia
Lauren, Rylie, Shaylie, Kaeli, McKenzie
And there are so many more that we love and miss.  We also really miss the school the kids went to and their teachers.  Rylie still gets letters from her classmates and we both cry when we read them.  Aaron and I also cherish those friendships we made while in Utah.  I've tried to adapt the motto "bloom where you are planted" during this move.  But there are days when it's hard not to focus on what and who we left behind.  I'm sure we'll love Ohio in time, but boy am I homesick for Utah today! 




This Thanksgiving was a bit of a whirlwind for us.  I think it was a little crazy of us to have company so close to our move, but we knew it would be so much harder to see family once we were in Ohio so it was worth it.  My brother and his boys came up from California and my parents came down from Idaho.  It was fun to have them.

We had ourselves a little Turkey Bowl:
game on!
coop and sara


photo shoot with a SIX year old!


Oh my sweet Sara!  

This year's photo shoot was taken a few days after her birthday in the backyard of our Utah house.  We had so much fun taking these pictures!  She just has those amazing blue eyes and sweet smile.  

If you don't mind a little bragging from her momma...Sara is super smart, incredible sweet, spunky as ever, the bestest big sis (in the words of Violet), and has the biggest heart!  She truly cares about the happiness of those around her.  Sara loves the color orange, gymnastics, coloring, and reading.  I just love this girl!  





Ever since we've been in Utah we've gone to the same pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins and take pictures!  (We love Mabeys!)
my pumpkins :)
The BEST thing that happens in October is Sara's birthday!  Our little ghoul turned SIX this year!  (More on that later...)
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!  This year I wasn't as prepared for it as I would have liked to be...something about trying to sell the house and move across the country got in the way.  But here are the kids all done up!

Sam was a grave digger:   
Kaeli was a skeleton:
Rylie was a rag doll...kind of like the la la loopsie dolls.  Very few people actually knew what she was supposed to be, but I thought she was cute any way:

 Sara was a vampire:

And Violet was a monkey:
Here are the silly trick-or-treaters, minus Sam.  He left early to trick-or-treat with friends:
Here's more pics of the MONSTERS!
It was a lot of fun to take Violet out.  It was the first time she understood the concept of trick-or-treating, and it was so cute!  The weather was unseasonably warm so a lot of our neighbors were sitting out on their porches handing out candy.  It was bitter-sweet for Aaron and me to visit with friends we've had for the past 5 years, knowing that we would be moving soon.  Overall, it was a memorable night!


Slightly delusional???

So we put an offer on this little house in Ohio, and it was accepted!  I love it, and at the same time I'm terrified of it!  It was built in 1838!  Holy cow, that's before Abraham Lincoln was president!  That's before the Civil War!  Sometimes the reality of how old this home truly is sinks in and I wonder what the heck we're doing!  Are we crazy or what!

The house has some cool history.  The property was once a pony express stop.  The home was built as a stage coach stop later on.  It housed guests in the front part of the home and the family lived in the back of the home.  Abraham Lincoln and Johnny Appleseed have stayed here!  And there are two giant apples trees in the back yard that are rumored to be planted by Johnny Appleseed...well, that's how the story goes any way :) 

I'm excited to make this home our own.  I'm sure there will be lots of pictures and updates as soon as it becomes officially ours!  Now we just need to sell our Utah house...any takers???


Fireplace Mantle

This summer I re-did our fireplace mantle!  It was super easy too!
I'm not sure why, but the builders of this home never put in a for-real mantle.  Instead it was just a slab of sheet rock, textured and painted just like all the other walls.  Soooo boring!

So I went to Home Depot and purchased two trim pieces.  One is a header piece like you would put above a door.  And the other is a much thinner piece.  I didn't put anything in the middle, it's just the bare wall.  I measured and cut at a 45 degree angle with a chop saw, and nailed them in place with a nail gun.
After filling in holes and gaps, I painted the trim pieces and the wall in the middle with the same paint I have on my trim.  I was hoping to fool the eye and make it look like one giant piece.
 It's certainly not perfect, but I like how it turned out :)


Basement Bathroom

So of course the bathroom has been done for awhile now, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.

If you want a "before" just imagine a concrete wall and and concrete floor and nothing else :)

The green sheet rock is a special kind for bathrooms...and humidity.

The hubbs did the plumbing and installing of it all and I did the trim and caulking
It's a very long and narrow bathroom.  Most people would have put in two sinks, but since we have so many girls I knew counter space would be more important.  I obviously didn't know we'd be moving when I designed the bathroom...oh well.  

We bought the cabinets from Home Depot.  They were just the pine-looking cheapo ones.  I must've put at least five coats of paint on them though!  Come to think about it, I think everything for this bathroom came from Home Depot.  

It has been so nice to have a separate bathroom for the older kids, especially when it comes to getting ready for school in the mornings!!!


ThE hApPiEsT pLaCe On EaRtH

During the kids' Fall break this year we decided to do... 


Our kids had never been so this was a BIG DEAL for us!  We wanted to go before our move eastLuckily, we have some super awesome siblings that let us crash with them.  We stayed with Aaron's sister and her family for two nights and then my brother and his family for two nights.

We had heard so much about "Carsland" so we knew we needed to visit California Adventure for a day.  And for anyone out there who may be like me and not know...California Adventure is not Disneyland, but still Disney.  It's right next door...in a separate park.  Now you know :)
In line for our very first ride at California Adventure:
The scariest ride there by far was the Tower of Terror.  You're taken up in an elevator super high and then go through several jerky free falls...FREAKY!  Kaeli is our thrill seeker and loved it.  She went twice! 
 Bumper cars!
Carousel!  I really couldn't tell if she was excited or not...what do you think?

The Littles hung out with me quite a bit as the taller ones rode the rides that they couldn't.  We did our best to ride just as much but on the smaller rides.  Still we ended up waiting for them every once in awhile.
 Violet was being naughty in this picture, but it's still cute:
The next day was the day we had all been waiting for...DISNEYLAND!  Truth be told, I loved Disneyland so much more than California Adventure!
And going around Halloween time was a lot of fun.  I want to decorate my house like this!
Sammy gave Violet a lift every once in awhile :)
 Driving at 11...impressive!
Lots of standing in line, but we got really good at the fast passes so our waits weren't too bad.
The parade was so much fun.  We got to see a lot of characters.  Violet LOVES Mickey Mouse, so seeing him was a highlight for her!
And yes, those silly girls HAD to wear their princess dresses both days :)
The second day at Disneyland my brother and his two boys joined us!
 All the little rowdies!
Violet and I snuck off to Toon Town because the older kids thought it would be boring.  We loved it :)
Each day we arrived at the park as early as we could and stayed until closing.  We were so tired by the end of the third day, and still had to drive back home in one shot.  We were so glad we took the whirl-wind trip despite the last minute planning.


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