Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day out in K.C.

We needed a day off before beginning the rush of August so we dropped of the boys with their aunt and uncle and headed out to Kansas City. We did some classic K.C. activities: we wallked the Plaza (ho-hum), and went to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is great if you haven't watched the Ken Burns Baseball series he did for PBS. The true highlights of the day were Andre's and Architectural Salvage. Andre's is a Swiss restaurant south of the Plaza. It has a cozy atmosphere with a touch of class. The cost of your meal includes dessert, as our waitress said, "We force you to eat sweets." You've already paid for it, it would be a shame to let those luscious desserts go to waste. We had paprika pork with penne pasta for our main course and it was delightful. You must go to Andre's the next time you're in town.

Architectural Salvage is a huge warehouse of items saved from old houses: everything from chandelier crystals to doors and mantels. It was just fun to walk around and see all the beauty and quirkiness.

It was a good day out and we are now ready to face the challenges ahead (I think). We did decide that we need more little days out. There are nice museums here in town that we've never been to and that's just pathetic. We'll keep you updated.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Birthday Time

Joe was very excited to give mom her present this year. Maybe even more excited than last year when he gave her a Bob the Builder playdoh set. Below they are playing with the fire-rescue-helicopter set. Who knows what she'll get next year!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Budding Gardener

We picked and ate the first harvest from Joe's first garden. Green beans and summer squash pan-steamed/sauteed in butter and garlic. A great side dish (and cold snack if there are leftovers).

There are more beans to pick and soon we will be eating fresh tomatoes!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Family Time in the Mountains

We just returned from an amazing time at Kirk's family reunion at Snow Mountain Ranch in Colorado. Family came in from California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Florida. It was good to get to know his family better.

I was amazed to discover that, even upon closer inspection, Kirk has a family of really nice people. Some highlights for me:
  • Uncle Harold reminiscing about camping when they were kids. Orva brought Grandma's scrapbooks from the trips.
  • Aunt Elaine blowing bubbles, surrounded by happy children.
  • Boys spending hours playing in the dirt with trucks and tractors.
  • Eating Alaskan Halibut caught and prepared by Andy.
  • Hearing Nora and Uncle Merl's story of tipping their canoe!
  • Enjoying the beautiful Colorado scenery. The air smelled of pine and I swear I heard a Mountain Lion one night.
The only unfortunate things about our trip were that not everyone was able to come, the really cold nights, and the dead and dying trees. Apparently the area has been ravaged by the Pine Beetle, so parts of the campground were really barren. The mountainsides were covered with brown trees. But, all things considered, it was a good trip.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Homework: Almost Done

Here are the (almost) final before and after pictures.

Everything is done except for a few touch-up items and the gutters! Those are on order and should be done next week. We are thrilled with our cute little back porch and the lovely crisp paint. Kirk will probably paint the trim bit by bit over time. I think we'll go back to the navy blue, although we've also tossed around orange (rust?). Any opinions? Overall, we are very pleased with what they've done with our cute little house. Now if we could only make the inside look that good! We're also enthused about finally having central air. No more loud, cold air blasting on us while we eat. No more nasty dirty window that we can't clean without hiring a crew to come over to help us move the AC. If you know anyone that needs a huge window unit that works quite well, let us know. We would be thrilled to get rid of it!