Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas at our house.

This year Christmas was kinda different. We made gingerbread houses like we always do, but had an extra twist of having the Singles ward come over and make houses as well. Then they left. And left their houses for us. So our village was pretty big! (for us anyway)

The required item this year was a peanut. Tara's friend Jake won. He carved it into a turtle shell which you can see in the pond here if you make the picture bigger.
Mark's house. His peanut was eaten before his house was finished. He lost.

Tara's house and Geremy's house. Geremy's peanut was pretty creative. He made a hot tub, and the peanut, in his own words, was a "floaty". Boys!

Tara's house. Her peanut was siding on the root cellar.

This is the whole village, and my house is the one on the bottom left corner. This is the best picture we got of it. I used many peanuts in the walkway, along with pinto beans. A very good effect.

Christmas Eve was a little different spent in the ER with my good friend and neighbor while Mark went to the airport to pick up her son. Her husband fell off a ladder while getting off the roof and broke several bones, and was later flown to a SLC hospital. I was glad we were able to help!
Nickell and Aaron came over for Christmas Eve and spent most of it here alone. It was kind of a bummer for them, and once we got home I'm sure we were not super great company. They left early and we watched Mr. Kruger's Christmas, read the Christmas Story from the New Testament and went to bed. Poor Tara. She is stuck at home with just us two boring parents!
On Christmas morning we awoke to find that Santa did visit our house. He left an extra lot of things for me. But the best part of Christmas was talking to Spencer on video Skype! He looks way too skinny, and he loves his mission.
Then we got to go to Kirstie's house for games and puzzles. Mark's mom and Dad were both there.
On Skype, Spencer showed us his permanent sunburn line, and sent us these pictures on the Monday after Christmas, even though none of us had written to him (his p-day is supposed to be on Tuesday, silly boy). On Christmas Eve, he got to open his present that I picked. Seriously it took these kids until they were about 10 and 11 years old to figure out that it was always and always will be pajamas. His match ours, except we have warm tops that are flannel and he has a t-shirt.

Mostly I wanted you all to see the "Christmas Corner" behind him. Do you recognize the ornaments?

And this is Spencer wearing his pajamas. He is very skinny. Please send him fattening foods.

The beginnings of a backyard ice rink - Again.

Today, Mark decided, was a good day to try the ice rink in the backyard again. Sometime I just think of Mark and laugh. I sure like him! He is filling it even now. He hopes to be able to skate on it on new years day.

Building the frame.
Talking to Dave while it's filling.

The ice rink. Day 1.

The ice rink. Night 1.

My Greenhouse Today

Here is my greenhouse today. Cool icicles, eh? There is ice in the track of hte door, so it's pretty hard to get into. I can only get it opened a few inches, then I have to squeeze my big old body into it.
And here is what is growing in my greenhouse. It's pretty cold so they are growing very slowly, but I have radishes, lettuces, spinach, chard, beets and peas. I decided today that I'm going tostart a small compost in the greenhouse to help keep it warm and have good soil as a bonus. :)

What? No greenhouse pictures?

I just looked back an realised I have not put up any greenhouse pictures. Crazy me! This was a huge project that included moving our 5 ton shed (that may be an exaggeration, but we did need to get 8 young men in our neighborhood to help move it), putting in a concrete slab and pretty much making the shed all over again since most of it was rotten. Here is the process in photos:

The shed is moved. Yes, it did kill the grass. Mark had to go to India before we were able to finish this project so the shed sat here for just about a month.

Digging out the cement pad area. Whew, it makes me tired just thinking about it. On this day, Mark and I finally admitted we are getting old.

I can't find any pictures of the concrete party we had. I wonder if I took any? Anyhow, Marks brothers Lorne and Dave and his nephews Mike and Chev and his great-nephew Michael were here to help. They did a great job and all I had to do was feel them! KFC! I love it!
This is the first day of setting up the greenhouse. It was a Saturday and we got the entire frame up before dark, and I believe we got some panels on. Maybe we put the other panels on it on a Sunday, thereby breaking the sabbath. But it was so much fun, and we had bruised thumbs for about a week as a punishment for breaking the sabbath.

The frame all put together. I got really good at reading chinese american instructions.

And the finished product, although the project was barely half completed.

Part 3 of the project was to repair and reside the shed. Ugh!
We did not have to redo the roof. Yet. Thank goodness! It looks like it would have been easy enough, and it probably should have been easier than it was. But it took us several weekends to complete this chore.

And we still have to put the trim on the shed. That will be done in the spring, since now we are working on making an ice rink in the backyard and there is snow everywhere.
Here is the finished product. Aren't they pretty? (Try to imagine the shed with nice trim aroung the base, the door and anywhere else that is ugly)