Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And So It Begins

This past week has been one of excitement, hard work, frustration, and great change! We were originally suppose to vacation in Oregon with family (which ended up being cancelled due to our finances), so Kenn and I had the week off from work. All that free time was a very good thing because during that time we packed up our whole house to put in a storage unit, and moved into my parents house (the Lalliss'). We also had to dig up our beloved tree and move a massive swingset prior to the demolition of our backyard.

Here we are digging up our tree and making a mess of everything. Even Tazer got into the action (and loved every minute of it).

This swingset came with the house 7 years ago. After much work, bruises, and a little cursing, it now has a new home in my dad's garden.

My parents have welcomed us with open arms, but to put it nicely- they are very much pack rats. In addition to cleaning up our house, we have also been working on dejunking theirs. Kenn and I have our own room, but right now the 4 kids are crammed into one room (and sharing beds). It is not ideal, but hopefully it will only be temporary until more space can be worked out.

That has been the frustrating part, but now to the exciting part- the construction has begun and is already ahead of schedule by almost 2 weeks! Besides our backyard being a total war zone, we now have the hole dug for the new addition, with the basement footings poured. We just got the good news that the foundation is being poured today!

This is Dave destroying our backyard (he was so awesome with the backhoe- Kenn joked that he could probable stack plates with that thing, but I think he really could if he tried).

Kenn is surveying all the destruction. We were very glad that we paid them to rip up all the bushes and cement- it only took the construction crew about an hour, whereas it would have taken us days, if not weeks to finish that project.

This pile of dirt is now our backyard. The kids have a blast playing in it and finding buried "treasures".

Here is the hole for our new addition. Ready and waiting for cement to be poured (luckily we didn't have to wait long)!

This is the machine that delivered the cement for the footings, and later the addition walls. It had a big long pole that piped the cement over the roof and into the forms.

Both the machines were very big and left dents in the lawn (hopefully it didn't affect the sprinkling system). They also broke up the sidewalk on accident due to the shear weight- the company has assured us they will fix the broken sidewalk, after all they know some cement people.

This is the footings for the new addition.

And these pictures are the foundation walls being poured for our new house.

The walls need to sit for the next week to fully dry. Next step is the framing of the new addition, and roofing (which Kenn and I will be doing), and then they will be starting on demolition in the existing house. So far we have been very impressed with our contractor and his crew, and have nothing but rave reviews for his work!

Other changes in our lives include school starting next week. Jacob was accepted into the spectrum program (a program for gifted students), so he will be going to Centerville Elementary instead of Tolman Elementary with Alexa and Luke.

One last change includes my brother Eric moving in with all of us next week into the already overstuffed house. Yup, that means nine people, 2 dogs, and a whole lot of stuff from various family members into one tiny house. I have a feeling it will be like a frat party every night around here. But hey, what doesn't kill us will only makes us stronger. Besides all this togetherness will only make me appreciate my new big house even more (too bad it will be another 4-6 months before I will be back in my own place).
Wish us luck on this journey, and I will keep you posted on all the changes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Garage Destruction!!!

This past week we disassembled our garage (brick by brick). After 5 straight days of scraping shingles, prying boards off, chiseling the bricks apart, and all the clean up- we have a lot of sore muscles that we didn't even know existed!! It was very hot (almost 100 degrees each day), and I sweated more this past week than I ever have in my life (but hey I did lose a couple pounds in the process). My dad (Dee) was the greatest help, and put us all to shame with his work ethics/skills. Even the kids pitched in with the project.

Click to play Garage Destruction
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bear Lake

This past weekend we went to Bear Lake for our annual Hutchison Family reunion (my paternal grandmother's family).
We usually go for 3-4 days, but ended up only camping for Friday and Saturday this year. The kids had such a great time playing in the lake and sand, and we enjoyed visiting with family.
Kenn and I tried not to swear as we crammed our van full of camping supplies to drive for almost 3 hours just to unpack everything with plans to do it all over again in less than 24 hours (actually it wasn't that bad, it just feels like a lot of work to camp for just one night).
I had my first experience with dutch oven cooking (it took a long time to get the charcoal going, but I decided I am sold on the whole dutch oven thing). I made a killer lasagna and garlic bread, while Monique made a to die for dutch oven chocolate lava cake. Super easy delicious meal with minimal preparation required.
Following the dinner was the traditional talent show (which is so bad it is almost funny). It contained a lot wanna be singers, lots of kids performing little skits and jokes, and the one talent our family has- Skylar Hutchison (who happens to be an awesome singer and guitar player). I used that time to take a shower, and clean up, but don't worry- my dad made sure to video tape the whole thing so I wouldn't miss out on anything (Eric, we're saving that tape for your Friday night viewing pleasure- and to answer your question, yes Maria did sing this year: Bette Midler's "From a Distance").
After the talent show, back by popular demand, was the dance. All the traditional dances were done- electric slide, the chicken dance, boot scootin boogy, and yes even the macarena. I know it's pretty dorky, but it was actually really fun!
The stars were amazing that night; we had fun sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows; we played games, and overall had a really good time. Unfortunately our tent was right next to one of the pavilions that all the teenagers flocked to (and stayed at until at least 2 o'clock in the morning). Once the teenagers left (after getting yelled at to go to bed), my nephew Colby decided to cry most of the night. Between all the noise, the cold, and sleeping on the hard ground, lets just say it was a long night and not very restful.
Saturday morning was the family meeting and auction. We had almost 300 people in attendance this year, and the auction ran for over 2 hours. After the meeting we spent more time on the beach, playing in the water, and perfecting our Boccie skills. To top it all off was the great Bear Lake raspberry shakes.
Though half of the Lalliss family wasn't able to make it to the reunion this year, we still were able to find ways to entertain ourselves and had a great time.

I'm having difficulty with the scanner, so no pictures for now of the dutch oven dinner, and I need to apologize for the spots on some of the pictures (I guess the lens was dirty), otherwise enjoy!

Click to play Bear Lake, 2008
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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lagoon Day

Last week was Lagoon Day for Kenn's work (KSL). We were suppose to be at my family reunion at Bear Lake on that day, but decided to postpone our camping trip so we could take in the free rides and food.
The kids favorite rides were the Dinosaur Drop and the Ladybug Launch (both shoot you up high in the air and then quickly drop you down). Kenn and Alexa were partial to the Wicked rollercoaster, and I liked the Rattlesnake Rapids and Cliffhanger because it was so hot (both of those rides get you wet).
Here's a slide show of some of our fun, hope your summer is just as great!

Click to play Lagoon July 2008
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