Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New House!

We've been looking around at the houses for sale in our area for months, trying to see if there is anything out there in our price range that had what we wanted. Everything was either way out of our price range, way far away, the land was good but the house was run down or small, etc... We had almost completely decided that in order to get what we wanted we would need to build something new when this house that I noticed for sale almost a year ago dropped its price to be well within our price range! The more I looked at it, the more it felt perfect for us. It is a newly constructed farmhouse built in 2012 on almost 3 acres. It is only 4 miles from the house we live in now, so not far away from everything! It has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a floorplan that I liked. The land itself is beautiful with a lot of mature trees and it even has a small pond.

We decided to make an offer on it and after a little negotiating we got it for $10,000 less than what they were asking! Which means that our mortgage is going to be just about the same as what we are paying for rent. 

Isn't it beautiful?? I feel like it fits us.

The view from the back porch. Most of the property goes out towards the right on this picture and isn't cleared yet.

This is the aerial view of the property with the pond marked. We have so many plans for this land! Anthony wants to clear all the non-useful plants and replace them with blueberry plants, raspberry bushes, citrus, and avocado trees. We are going to build a nice big area for the tortoise, plant a huge garden and probably get ducks and fish for the pond. One of the trees already has a tree swing, so we are going to add a tire swing to the other side of it. 

The only downside to the house is that it doesn't have a garage, just a metal outbuilding and a carport. Down the road we will probably build a garage and pave the driveway but it has been so fun deciding what projects we want to do. If everything goes according to plan, we are suppose to close right after the new year. We are going to take our time moving since it is so close by and spend some time cleaning up our rental house. Our landlord has been so awesome to us the almost 6 years we have lived here that we want to leave him with a pristine house :)

Beginning of November

got a notification on Facebook that Sea World was releasing a rescued pregnant manatee at the river park down the road from us. So Rett and I went to check it out! There were a lot of people there with cameras, Florida fish and wildlife commission employees, Sea World employees, and reporters.

The truck with the manatee:

The crew lifting the manatee out of the truck. They lifted her down to the ground so that they could get measurements and pictures. It was so fun to watch her lift her nose and move around a little bit.

Then it was finally time to place her in the water! They attached a buoy to her so we were able to see where she was in the water as she swam away. So cool! 

James showing me an extra long french fry he got in his happy meal.

James' school had an open house for their STEAM program (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and they had different stations with different science activities. They had a make your own slingshot, static electricity balloons, and this cool vortex cannon station. They put fog into the boxes so that when you hit the box, you could see the air go across the room and knock down the cups. It was James' favorite station. Currently when he goes to STEAM lab (every 5 days) they are learning how to code so that they can program robots to sing and dance to jingle bells for the Christmas program. So cool!

Toysrus advertised that they were having a special event with giveaways and toy demonstrations for the holidays, so we decided to check it out. It was a total bust! There was one toy display with a girl toy and that was it. But it was super crowded, so we stood in line for at least 15 minutes to buy the little toys I let them pick out. Then at the end they got to ride the little coin operated train, so they deemed it a success :)

James found this witches broom prop in the clearance section of dollar general and got super attached to it. For at least a week he brought it with him everywhere and would walk around "riding" it. I love that he doesn't care what other people think, he just does exactly what he wants to do.

We made our annual trip to the county fair and spent a ridiculous amount of money on the carnival rides. Now that both boys like to ride everything they can it really adds up! But with all the crowds, the noise, the smells, and the waiting in line part of me looks at it like occupational therapy for James. He did so great with all of that, it made it worth it to overpay for all the rides. 

Petting the calves. So cute!

Rett was really upset that he wasn't big enough to ride the bumper cars, he just barely missed the height cut off. Next year!

This is the only ride they went on together in the same car. I thought for sure that they would have to stop the ride in the middle of it because of their fighting. There was a horn button and Rett would NOT STOP PUSHING IT. James even said, "I can't handle it!", so during the ride James kept trying to push Rett's hand off of the button and Rett kept putting it back. Thankfully they didn't start punching each other and made it through the ride without an all out brawl. After that we made sure they had their own car :)

Rett loved this nascar ride soooooo much! He was laughing and giggling the entire time.

James wanted me to take a picture of him pretending to hold this bottle.

It finally started to cool down a little bit, so we got our fire pit out of the shed and roasted some marshmallows. James loves to roast them, but doesn't like to eat cooked marshmallows so he has the job of roasting mine. Rett doesn't like cooked marshmallows either, so he just eats them out of the bag.

Mimi and Papa came to visit and brought the boys a crazy straw building kit. James had so much fun trying out different combinations. 

I saw them on the floor like this and I started telling them to stop fighting and then I heard them laughing. They were actually playing instead of fighting!! So rare these days.

The Stake Primary hosted an 11 year old scout day camp and only 1 boy from the entire stake came! Anthony had to work, so I had to bring the boys with me. James loved the different classes they had and we actually had a good time (I was sort of dreading taking them with me for a 6+ hour event).

They had a nature scavenger hunt and we had such a great time collecting our treasures. We were able to find everything on our list, even a feather at the last minute.

They had an obstacle course that we played on for awhile.

This ramp was James' favorite part of the obstacle course. He would run and jump off it and then go back and do it again.

You were supposed to army crawl underneath these ropes, but there were a lot of sandspurs, so I didn't mind that they cheated a bit :)

The last part of the course was running back to the beginning. James kept yelling, "Run is fun!"

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Halloween Activities

Rett wanted to be Batman for Halloween, but I didn't have any in his size in our dress up clothes, so I bought him a muscle one from Walmart. At first he really didn't want to put it on until I told him he could trick or treat in the pantry and get a candy. Then he was all for it!

James' school had a storybook parade for Halloween, each kid had to choose a book and write a proposal on what character they were going to be from the book and why. James wanted to be a police officer so we found a book that has a police officer in it for him to bring. His favorite part of the costume was the emergency whistle!

All the parents lined up in the parent pick up line while the different classes walked by in their costumes, holding their books. They were all so adorable! Some of the costumes were pretty creative too.

This is the principal at James' school. She was a convincing Alice from Alice in Wonderland and she was taking pictures and oohing and ahhing over everyone's costume.

Rett liked the costumes, but wasn't a fan of waiting for it all to start.

Three of the teachers had such a creative idea to be the fairies from Sleeping Beauty and they used pastel colored plastic tablecloths as their dresses. So cool!

We discovered a new corn maze this year. They had a hay fort, a tiny corn box, a hay ride, and duck races to play with once you were done with the maze. James and Rett loved the duck races so much they played with it before and after the maze.

Heading into the maze. James was the leader and would tell us what direction to go into. He started looking at the ground at the shoe prints for clues on which way to go. Then he would check the "spy drone" on his wrist (imaginary) and see if we were going in the right direction.

I told Rett to smile and he just opened his mouth wide. That works.

When it was time for the ward trunk and treat I asked Rett if he wanted to be Batman or a race car since I found a race car costume in the back of a closet. Rett yelled, "Batman racecar!!" So he went as both.

The hayride was full of kids so James and Rett went on it without us. I walked along for a little while because I wasn't sure if Rett would get too scared, but he was loving it!

After all the Halloween activities it was finally time for actual trick or treating. They both ended up with a lot of candy this year, it seemed like everyone would see them and say how cute they were and then put huge handfuls of candy into their buckets. James had to dump his out into a bag in the stroller several times throughout the night!

Once it got dark, we made our way back to our house and dropped off Rett and my mom. Then James, Anthony, and I got into the truck and drove to the spooky haunted house area of our neighborhood. It was awesome! At this house, once you made it past the decorations and the guy with a chainsaw to ring the doorbell this is who you got candy from:

There were a few houses that had haunted walkways through their front yard and we walked through a couple times. James was nervous, but said he liked it after we got through. Once we finally made it home it was hard to peel the kids away from their candy to get them ready for bed. Having Halloween on a school night is really hard! The next day Rett kept asking about going trick or treating, and he keeps asking every few days. Even now when we go to someone's house and ring the doorbell, Rett says "Candy?". I think he is going to have a hard time waiting until next year :)