Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Illumnifest 2014 - PRINCESS galore!!!

Last weekend we headed out to West Des Moines for their annual Illumnifest celebration. This year, they had a princess pomerade and for $10 in advance you could get a book with each princess's picture and have them sign it and post a picture of your little princess with the big princess in it! The girls were soooo excited!! Jon was up in Ames at the football for work so my mom went and helped with the 4 kids. We had a fun time and the girls were in heaven! 

{Jossy & Princess Sophia}
{Jewels and Princess Sophia}
 {Joss and Princess Aurora}
 {Jewels and Princess Aurora} 

 {Jocelyn & Princess Jasmine}

 {Julianne & Princess Jasmine}
 {The girls with Queen Elsa}

 {Julianne and Belle}
 {Jocelyn & Belle}
 {Julianne with Princess Anna}
 {Jocelyn with Princess Anna}
 {While I was waiting in line for the long ones, Elsa, Belle and Anna, my mom took the kids to make lanterns and to explore!}
 A fun evening had by all.,...and well worth it for the boys because they got a light up sword out of the deal!! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

1st Day of 3 year old Preschool!!

Taking a break from decor/house posts as I didn't ever post about the girls' first day of 3 year old preschool! 

I was in Las Vegas on their first day with girlfriends but Jon did a great job getting them all ready and taking pictures for me so I could see it!! The girls are going to preschool in Ankeny at Bright Beginnings at the Methodist Church on Tuesday and Thursday for 2.5 hours. They LOVE it!! We were hoping the preschool in Collins would be taking 3 year olds, but they were full with 4 and 5 year olds. So next year they will do 4 year old preschool in Collins where the boys went last year. While in town for those 2 days I spend my free time running errands, visiting my Gram once a week, getting my nails done, a massage or working on photo editing. 

{Jocelyn Jo on her first day, September 3, 2014}
 {Julianne Jane on her 1st day September 3, 2014}
 {my mini-me, Jewels!}
 {Jossy and Jewels}

 {the lover of ALL stuffed animals...Julianne!}

 {At Bright Beginnings Preschool in Ankeny for their 1st day!}
 {Julianne, finding her hook and hanging up her backpack!}
 {Jocelyn hanging up her Spiderman backpack!}

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's scary around our house!!

Well now that we're into October I thought I would show off the fall decor we have up inside the house. The kids LOVE all the decorations and so do I. We got everything out in September (love the fall smells in the house my favorites are Bath and Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin and the Scentsy Pumpkin Roll...yuuummm!!!)

My fall pillow covers all from etsy, Look Here Jane or ThePillowPeople are a burnt orange and black (for Halloween) then brown (for Thanksgiving) and I got this cute mummy pillow this year at Pottery Barn (online). 
The top of our mantle. The boo sign came from Etsy last year, the spider from Pottery Barn online, my talented friend Dani made the pumpkin in the right of the picture out of an air filter 
Another cute accent pillow I got from Pier1  
My entertainment center is very fall/Halloween like!! Again the white pumpkin in the middle top and the on the 2nd small shelf on the right side came from my friend Dani, the other stuff is a mix from Pier1, craft shows and a cute little store in Ames called Julianne's. 
My black pillow cover and another Peir1 accent pillow
This creepy/cute owl I got from Younkers last year on yellow dot clearance. He is different look. All my outlet/wallflower covers are from Bath and Body Works I've gotten years ago and all house the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin scent! 
The centerpiece on my kitchen table....it came from Pier1 and so did the candles that are in it. The table runner came from either Look Here Jane or ThePillowPeople a few years ago. 
Haha...these giant spiders I got from Target about 3 or 4 years ago, the kids LOVE these things!! There is one there, one hanging over our kitchen table (you can kinda see his leg in the above picture) and one out on the mirror in the mud room. 
I got this sign from some website on Etsy. Very fitting!! 
There is our 3rd spider climbing on the mirror in the mudroom. The little pumpkin came from Pier1 and the wood pumpkin face came from Julianne's in Ames last year. 
This cute creature came from Pier1 and the candle wraps came from Bath and Body Works a few years ago. 
This is right next to the little wall by the washer and dryer in the mud room. I got these light up pumpkins at Target a few years ago. Such a pain, last year I had to replace all the brown sting white lights and all new brown zipties (all bought off Amazon for more than probably the pumpkins were) such a pain but I love these light up things! The cat I think came from Bath and Body Works years ago. 
This wreath was new when we moved in last year...he came from Etsy from someone's shop. 
This cute little tree use to light up he no longer works, he came from Avon about 7 years ago and the little sign I got off Etsy last year. 
So that's a little view of the "scariness" around the house! Just this last weekend we did our outside decorating...I'll have to do another post on that soon! Hope everyone else has gotten into the Halloween/Fall spirit too!! My kids BEG for deocrations each season and I love decorating!! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A house tour....Outside View!!

Yesterday you got a view of the inside now here is the outside! 

When we moved in there this place was SOOO overgrown!! Weeds in all of the flower beds, trees were untrimmed and out of control and the yard was not well kept as no one had lived here for over a year. So we spent a lot of this summer doing outside work, we've had countless bonfires burning anything and everything and burning ditches, and cleaning out the pond area so you can get down close to the water. We still have a ways to go but it's at least "presentable" now! 

Standing in the driveway/garage looking toward the kids' play set/trampoline going back up the lane.  You'll notice in the top of the picture the big "scary tree" as the kids call it. This large dead oak is coming down in the next week or so (when we have a few dry days in a row to dry up the ground) and will be our fire wood for this winter! We moved our playset from Ankeny here and it is perfect over in that open space! 
Standing at the end of the driveway looking up toward the front door and to the front yard. On the project list for next summer is new gutters and sofets (the underneath part and can lights will go in all around the outside of the house for better lighting as it is SOOO dark out here!) 
Looking at the front of the house - as you can see there isn't much here as far as landscaping/flower beds. There were these ugly shrubs that Jon pulled out right before we moved in and left a big open spot with some hostas and that's about it. There was also a metal pole looking "ugly" trellis that went on the cement slab right in front of the front door that nothing was growing over (it was all dead stuff) and we took that out as well. The front steps need some work as they are covered in a turf type material but as I mentioned yesterday this won't be the "front" door entrance after the new addition goes on to the left side (east) of the house. 
Standing in the front door looking out toward the road.  Our wonderful tree guy brought about 8 loads of mulch and we put that around all of the trees in the yard so we don't have to mow so close. What a life saver that was! And until we get the landscaping around the house redone next summer we put mulch in all the flower beds to keep the weeds down until we put in river rock. 
Standing at the side of the tree line looking at the east side of the house toward the pond. 
Looking toward the front (north) of the house from the east side. 
Looking toward the gazebo from the east tree line
Standing by the pond looking up toward the back (south) side of the house. You can see the patio below off of the walkout, we need to put in more of a patio where we just put the mulch on the ground and get a lot of plants for the flower beds off the deck steps as there wasn't much there but weeds and cactus (which I killed with round-up probably 5 times!) 
Standing by the LP tank looking toward the flower beds in the back of the house
Standing in the garage looking toward the Morton building/shed. This shed was FULL of trash and junk that they left here. Just last weekend and the weekend before we worked our butts of cleaning it out and making shelving and putting up cupboards and countertops to make work benches and get it all cleaned up! We can now store TONS of stuff in there. Next summer (we didn't get around to it this summer) we'll switch out the sliding doors shown for a garage door that rolls up which when the kids have cars can pull right into the shed and the doors on the north side that look like this will be switched out too to new door that slide a lot easier. Also on Jon's project for this winter/spring is to add lighting in the shed. It is VERY dark in there now with ONE light and we saved all the old ceiling fans and lighting from the house (remember those ugly long halogen lights) those will all go up in the shed! 
Looking down the walkway to the back deck (this is the door we have everyone come to) See the small black built-in grill next to the steps on the deck? That doesn't work and needs to be cut off and either replaced with a new grill or just taken down all together. Such random stuff we've had to deal with I tell ya!! 
 In all we have 18 acres, the pond is 3.5 and we mow about 12 acres that takes about 3 solid hours to mow.  This summer we just bought a John Deere zero turn mower that cut our mowing time down by quite a bit! We don't have a lot to weed eat (thankfully to the mulch around the trees) and only have a few spots to push mow (the ditches, under the trampoline and around the play set) that Jon does once a month or every other week. I try and mow on Fridays during the day OR we both have got on a tractor to knock it out quicker (we have the big Kubota that we got in the sale of the house that mows and has a bucket on it for snow removal). 

So that's the outside...we LOVE living here and can't wait to do more projects to make things just the way we want!!