Monday, October 11, 2010

Summer Project

So Dennis, Emily's dad, decided the kids, and not just our kids but all his grand kids, needed a big fort to play in when at their house in IDY. Em and I found a used one in Temecula on craigslist and my grampa, dad, and I went to pick it up and disassemble. Then Dennis and I were put to the task of reassembling it with no only took 4 hours to disassemble, and 2 days to reassemble. First we have the spot, cleared of weeds, semi-level, and ready to go.

Next is the base and some posts for the second floor.
Then we had to call in the big guns to lug the fort up on to the posts. Money well spent.
OK, forget all the in between pix, here it is all put together with Seth as the model. Our kids love it and can't wait to show their cousins the next time they are down.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Abbey's 2nd Birthday!!

We had a little party to celebrate Abbey turning 2. Here she is with the wonderful cake her mommy made.
She really got in to opening the presents this year. Her brothers were also great helpers.
This was one of her favorite gifts. She loves anything related to babies and pushing them is just tops. She sometimes straps herself in and we frequently have arguments over the stroller when other little girls come over to play.
Here's Abbey playing with her favorite Great-Grampa.
Abbey also got a sleeping bag and immediately knew what it was for. We had trouble getting her to open the rest of her presents, she must have been tired.

Back to the Kids...LEGOLAND!

OK, so now back to reporting on our summer activities and what the kids were up to. Next is celebrating Seth & Abbey's birthdays at Legoland with Papa & Nani D. Here are the boys and Em with some large Lego guy.
While the boys were on a ride that Abbey couldn't go on, she decided to befriend this dude trying to push a donkey. At one point she was trying to help him, but I couldn't get that on camera.
The great thing about Legoland is that it is really geared towards kids aged 4-10. Joel was able to ride a whole bunch of stuff, several he just didn't want to go on because they looked too much like a roller-coaster, but he did go on one called "The Dragon" because it was all inside and he couldn't see what it looked like until too late. Seth was able to do a lot of rides but was too short for some. Abbey just enjoyed what she could, they did have one area that was just for kids her size.
The boys really liked all the miniature Lego buildings and stuff, the adults did too. Here they are in front of the White House. I liked the Lego rendition of Daytona Speedway...but they had a whole bunch of miniatures that were pretty amazing, like the mini Las Vegas.
The highlight of the day was this area where it was all water play stuff, like slides, fountains, all kinds of stuff. We had to go there twice. Here's an awesome shot of Abbey.
At the end of the day the kids were toast, but they loved it. Seth was a little confused though because he started asking when we were coming back for his birthday. We told him that this was for his birthday, he replied that this was for Abbey's birthday. We had to explain to him that it was for both of their birthdays. He finally got it, then promptly fell asleep.

Bat Update

OK, quick update. Tracy, the Wildlife guy hasn't come by yet because of all the thunder and lightening we've been having since he doesn't do ladders in this kind of weather. I don't blame him. So I decided to hop up in the attic and check things out for myself. I never enjoy going up there because it's so darn hot and I always sneeze for days after. But at least I was able to discover that there are currently no bats living in the attic. There was definitely evidence that they had been there but they are not currently there and hopefully Tracy will be able to help me do some things to make sure they don't ever get in again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Batman...Pt 2

...we're laying in bed for a while, trying to relax, reading our Bibles, when Millie (our dog) starts running around the bedroom. I look up and sure enough there is another bat and this one is doing laps around our bedroom. Em dives under the covers and I start to get out of bed while the bat takes off down our stairwell. I run over and close the bedroom door so it will stay downstairs. It's about 10:30.

I know I've got to go downstairs and get this thing but I left my gloves and pillowcase down stairs with it. I head down the stairs in to total darkness and flip on the first light in our living room. I can hear the bat flying in to the windows down by the kitchen so I decide to run over to the dining room, flip on every light in the dining/kitchen area and grab my gloves and pillowcase. While I'm doing this the bat decides to start making huge circles through the kitchen, dining room, and living room. So while I'm running around just envision the movie "The Great Outdoors" and the scene with John Candy and Dan Akroyd trying to catch the bat in the cabin. Minus the outfit, this is essentially what I was attempting to do.

Finally the bat decides to hang himself up on the wall in the kitchen. Unfortunately he is too high for me to reach, even while standing on our kitchen counter.

I get the thing from our laundry room that we use to Swiffer the floor and I rig the pillowcase on it so that I can try to snag this guy. I jump up on the kitchen counter again and head towards the bat. His ears are like little radars twitching this way and that. I get right underneath him and then pin him against the wall with the Swiffer rig. I'm thinking at best he's stunned, at worst he's dead. I try sliding my rig down the wall so that I can wrap him up in the pillowcase. Just as I reach up to slide the pillowcase over the top of him he takes off. I jump off the counter, hit the floor, and head back to the stair well.

The bat continues doing laps around the whole living area and I decide to open the doors to see if he will just fly out. Twice the little idiot flies out the front door and then right back in, what a punk. He again decides to hang himself up on the wall, this time up above our desk in the corner. I have to get on top of the desk to reach him and when I lunge for him it's a total miss and he takes off AGAIN! I in turn fall off the desk sending a few things to the floor, the desk slams shut, and I fortunately don't break anything.

Now the bat is doing the circles again and I'm sitting there thinking, where's my baseball bat? This guy has got to go. He doesn't fly long this time and hangs himself on the wall above the desk again. I run back over to the desk, jump up on it and smash him against the wall with the pillowcase over my hand. I'VE GOT HIM!

Em was upstairs the whole time and so I had to take this picture myself. This one didn't move so much so I'm thinking he's dead. I head outside and dump out the pillowcase assuming I'm going to have to dig a hole. Fortunately he flies off, or maybe that wasn't so fortunate. It's now 11:10 and I am totally wired from all this action. I do another sweep of the entire house, to no avail, and head to bed. I'm tired but wired and suffice it to say that we did not sleep well that night. It also didn't help that it was the first night Seth decided to sleep without a pullup and he showed up at my bedside around 3am to tell me that he wet his bed.

Tracy did come the next morning and after examining the poop told us that the bats had probably been in our house for several days, maybe even as long as a week. We're thinking, how could we not notice 2 bats living in our house for days? But apparently he has a client who has 200-400 bats living in her house so I guess we're not too bad off. We also showed him, what we thought was mouse poop, that falls from the attic in to a corner of our bedroom. Sorry dad, but all that poop you thought was from mice in the's bats. Now Tracy is supposed to come over today and we're going to venture in to the attic to scope out the joint and see what the situation is exactly. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Batman...Pt 1

OK, so I know I'm jumping ahead in the summer here since I haven't even finished posting about all the other stuff we've been up to but this just has to get done. Besides I told Jared and some other people I would get it up tonight.

Yesterday I come home from work and Em tells me to check out the random mouse poop in the living room...over by the big front window, on our little magazine table, some by the fireplace. I'm like, ah crap, we have a mouse in the house, what's the deal with that. I decide to put a trap down stairs. Later that evening, Em tells me there is a whole bunch more upstairs in our bedroom, especially in the dormer. I'm totally bummed, decide to go put a trap upstairs. I also decide that I'm going to start looking around because usually mice get active in the evening and I want to find this sucker. I get a flashlight and start snooping around upstairs...I find a nice little grouping of poop behind our bedroom door and then when I look up...oh crap, a BAT!

This dude is just chillin hanging on the door hinge so I tell Em and she starts freakin and quite frankly my heart starts racing. Bats are the number one carrier of rabies and they also carry a host of other diseases. This thing has got to GO! I run out to my truck and grab the biggest pair of gloves I've got, then snag a pillowcase and head back to get rid of this guy. Fortunately I am able to just one-shot grab him in the pillowcase, he starts squeakin and I talk Em in to taking my victory photo.

I toss the bat outside and he flies off. Em convinces me to call our local Wildlife Control guy, Traci. He's incredibly smart and deserves his own show on the Discovery Channel or something. The only bummer is that it's 9:30 at night but Em wants to know what we should do. I call Tracy and fill him in on what went down, he's like...
"Cool, leave the poop."
"What!? Leave the poop, it's all over?"
"Yeah, leave the poop, I'll come by in the morning and tell you what the bat is up to, if there are more, and how long he has been there."
"You can tell all that from poop?"
"Yeah, leave the poop."
So we leave the poop and decide to go to bed...

Monday, July 26, 2010

CAMP...but this time in a Cabin!

Now it's late June and time for our annual trip to Family Camp at Redwood Christian Park up by Santa Cruz (Boulder Creek to be exact). This year was as good as ever as the kids just enjoy it so much, we enjoy it so much, and it's just so enjoyable.

One night each year they show a movie out on the lawn. This year to go with the theme of Route 66 the movie was Cars. I love Cars and so do the boys so we stayed up late and watched it with our friends the Barnts.
Every morning Dennis & Carol, or Nani & Papa, come by and grab the kids for breakfast. Em and I get a little more time to wake up before we head down and the kids love the time they get with Nani & Papa by themselves.
Josh was able to play in the annual volleyball tournament and actually ended up on the winning team this year. Dennis and Josh are also the reigning Double's Horseshoes champs 3 years running.
Almost every day we were able to spend some time at the swimming pool. This year Joel & Seth thought they were the stuff and decided they were ready for the diving board. Joel, who can keep himself from drowning, and Seth, who would drown without the life vest, both gave it a good go with dad, and sometimes papa, right there to make sure they survived.
Each year during camp there is Beach Day in the middle of the week...and this year was the best one ever. Typically beach day is cool and overcast but this year it was sunny and warm and awesome. Here are the kids before they got all wet and sandy.
Here is our family with our sand castle that we built for the competition. Unfortunately we didn't win the free ice cream but we gave it a good go sticking with the theme and building the Route 66 Cafe.
This is what happens after beach day...too bad mom and dad couldn't do the same.
Here we have supermodel Abbey!
Last but not least, a classic shot of grumpy Abbey. This is one of those photos where you can't wait to stick it in her slide show when she gets married.