Monday, July 30, 2012

Cousins Campout- July 2012

If you read my last post, you would understand that it's been a pretty lame summer for my kids.  Besides Sunriver, they have spent the past few weekends being farmed out to relatives so we could work on our house in Oregon (not that our relatives are lame!) On top of that my blood pressure has been high (hmmm, wonder why?) and i've been told to rest, rest, rest.  Which is hard to do with 4 kids that want to go out and do stuff everyday.  This first picture I just had to include...i'm not sure what they were doing, I just love how imaginative kids are.
So Friday night we invited all of the cousins over for a campout/sleepover.  We started the night with squirt gun fights and sprinklers under the trampoline.  Followed by a dinner or hot dogs, watermelon and chips.  Brent got out the go-kart and the kids took turns riding around the block.  He set up a projector at our campsite and the kids stayed up way too late roasting s'mores and watching The Incredibles. Half of them slept in the tent and half of them came inside to sleep.  The kids had a great time and i think we started a new tradition!

Our rental Nightmare...July 2012

When we moved two years ago we signed a lease to own agreement with a family.  They put down some money, with the intention to buy in two years.  Their were a few red flags that came up, but we were desperate and we justified those red flags.  They raved about how clean they were, how they regularly shampooed the carpets and cleaned.  They moved in and were on time every month with there payments.  So I stopped worrying.  The renter would occasionally post pics on facebook so I felt okay about the house, I didn't see any obvious damage or have any major concerns.  We did "drive-by's" every time we were in Oregon, but never did a walk-through.  Until the weekend before Sunriver.  Our renters were separating and it was looking like they were not going to buy or even continue to rent, so we decided to stop by and see what would need to be fixed up before we rented or put the house up for sale.  Now...have you ever seen one of those episodes of Hoarders, where you shudder and how dirty and cluttered a house can be and you think, who lives like this?  I felt like we had walked into an episode of that show.  My heart literally dropped as I walked around.  And when I walked outside..I thought maybe I would just throw up right then and there. The yard was a disaster.  Boards rotting out on the deck, garbage everywhere, no upkeep of the yard, screen doors and windows ripped by the dog, carpet torn and stained, extensive water damage on floor in kitchen, water damage behind backsplash, dog had chewed banister on stairs, smelled like dog pee, horrible paint job was overwhelming.
We wrote up a list of what they needed to fix and headed to Sunriver.  When we got home from Sunriver I got a text from a neighbor asking if our renters had moved out.  There had been a moving van in the driveway all weekend.  "not that I know of" I said.  She texted me back three days later to say she had done some investigating and found out that the renters had packed up and left, they left the keys with a neighbor and told them that we were aware of the situation and would be in contact with them.  (we were not aware and we had no contact information for this neighbor and they had no contact information for us)  Thank goodness for our neighbor who let us know.  We packed up our stuff and headed to Oregon that weekend.  We worked our tails off and planned to come back the following weekend.  During the week my mom and Dad came up to help out around the house.  Honestly, we could not have finished without the help of my family. I don't even know how I did what I did at 36/37 weeks pregnant.  We worked 13-14 hour days with no breaks.  I came back with a case of carpal tunnel (i'm sure from gripping a paint brush for so long) and a case of tendonitis in my foot that seems to have flared up pretty badly.  We worked SO hard and managed to get 99% of the house finished.  I am posting some before and after pics.  The before pics don't even begin to show the reality of how bad it was. 1st.  The backyard/deck before and after.  We pressure washed, sanded and repainted the deck, replaced rotting boards, cut down dying curly willow in back, weeded, trimmed and laid barkdust...

After: good as we could get it in two weekends.

The stove top before.  I assumed that we would have to purchase a whole new stovetop.  Seriously people, it's called a brillo pad...use it!

after, between my mom, my sister and myself we probably spent 2-3 hours just scrubbing this.  I am still on a search for new knobs...
The living room carpet before.  This picture doesn't really do it justice...the nastiness of it all

After, new carpet throughout house (except master)
Carpet up stairs was stained and had large burn mark, supposedly from a curling iron.  I know that I often curl my hair while standing on the stairs.

Before picture of the back yard.  They had all sorts of contraptions put up, I guess to keep the dog in the yard (although it's fully fenced)  ugh...our poor neighbors

Another before picture of the yard.  SOOOOOO sad

 after, we did the best we could, and it's Oregon so the grass should be easy to replant.  I guess they had put a swimming pool in the middle of the yard and left it there all winter.  Not the best idea....
An after picture of the kitchen.  Blinds were all closed, so it's dark, but it's clean. We learned some very important lessons about being landlords.  DO WALK-THROUGHS regularly!!  On a postive note, we have some friends in our Keizer ward who are planning on renting for a month or two and then purchasing the home.  They are moving in the end of August.  They are replacing the master bdrm carpet, and doing the yard work for us this month.  It's all a long story, but we feel like this is such an amazing blessing, how it all came about and how it's all working out.  So now we are back home, i'm trying to rest and recover from the craziest month of July EVER!   

Claire learns to ride a bike

Sunriver 2012

Another great year at Sunriver, what can I say? Yes it would have been more fun if I hadn't been hugely pregnant. But we still managed to have a good time. This first picture was taken at Great grandpa's house before we drove to Sunriver. We spent half a day helping him around his house and yard. The kids were having fun playing in the small pond by his house. When we were done and had climbed in the car to head to Sunriver, we drove past the pond and noticed that several of the boys had spent there afternoon throwing plastic cups in the pond. So Brent got out and helped Kaysha and Dustin try to fish them out. They couldn't reach the middle of the pond so there was some very clever techniques used...involving large logs...
Swimming at the new aquatic center in Sunriver
Bumper cars
Claire loved going to the toy store in the sunriver village. During one trip her cousin Braden spent his own money to buy her a stuffed dog that she named "slushy." She was in love with that dog and it was her constant companion the whole trip. So sweet of Braden!
Some of the family got up early to run a 5 mile 4th of July fun run. They went into it thinking it was a 5k, so were a little surprised when they had to run longer than they had planned.
Kaysha brought a pinata, which was a highlight for the kids. Who doesn't love candy falling from the sky...
Dawn and Jon planned a "crazy" dinner. There were three courses and what you got depended on how you numbered your menu. I ended up with the main course and no silverware. The kids loved it!
We had a fun talent show that Malia organized. After a lot of complaining that "we have no talents...blah, blah..." It turned out to be really fun and I think will become a new tradition
Kids playing in the sand at the pool
What I did most of the time. Sat...I did attempt to ride a bike a few times, yeah...not so comfy.


Brent was able to go to Paris for work a few months ago. I will let him get on here and write about the trip...for now some pictures. :) And yes I was a little jealous.

Cole turns 8

Cole turned the great age of 8 on June 25th. The weeks before his birthday, we kept asking him what he wanted and what he wanted to DO for his birthday. His plan changed daily, as well as what he wanted. So our last minute birthday plans involved picking up his two cousins George and Addison and heading to the pool. It was only about 68 degrees outside, but that didn't stop the kids from wanting to swim. After swimming we went to chuck-e-cheese, where a kid can be a kid, for some games and pizza. We then headed to his cousins house for cake, ice cream and opening presents. Cole was in heaven, he received legos, a pogo stick, a bubble blower, and other fun stuff. He is looking forward to his baptism, which will happen in September due to vacations and babies being born. We love this kid! I would describe Cole as quiet and mischeivous. Most of the time I am not sure what he is thinking. For example, a few months ago I caught him taking a chisel to the driveway. He was looking for diamonds in the rock. We now have lots of divets in our driveway as a reminder of his curious mind. He is such a loving boy and is our only child who will not go to bed without a hug and a kiss from both Brent and I. We love him!