Sunday, November 1, 2015

Silverton Cabin Makeover October 15th-19th

"We can fix it. Make it real nice. All it needs is a woman's touch."
                                                                           Calamity Jane (1953)

Calamity Jane is one of my all time favorite movies. It has the best of everything. It has singing and dancing, not just one, but TWO love stories, a personal makeover and last but not least, a cabin makeover! Yay! 

"With a tack-tack here and a tack-tack there
And a hand around a hammer
With a mop-mop here and a mop-mop there
You can give a cabin glamour

Then gosh-o-mighty, all at once
The cabin that we knew
Becomes a shiny castle built for two
Me and you....
So never underestimate a woman's touch!"

I've always loved the little Gurr family cabin in Silverton Colorado. It's where Adam and I got engaged.  We had a lot of romantic little getaways there before the trio came along.  And family trips there afterwards. It's small, but cozy and warm. 
When Malan built a new, much larger, nicer cabin in Junction Creek, the Silverton cabin got used less and less.  And just like Calamity Janes cabin, got run down and neglected. Adam and I still used the cabin though.  Silverton is always so fun beautiful but the cabin was becoming less and less inviting. So our trips there had become less and less frequent. 
The last time we were there, I made up my mind to ask Malan and Deanna if we could make some changes to the cabin. You know, clean out some of the clutter, and organize it a little better so it would be more comfortable. I told Adam of my plans and he agreed that something needed to be done. So, the next time we saw Adam's parents we asked them about it and they were fine with letting us do what we wanted to it. After all, we were using it more than anyone. 
I started making plans and collecting things for the makeover. Adam and I both agreed that painting the walls white would really brighten the main living space and make it seem larger. I also came up with a plan to take out the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving. I figured this would also make the space seem larger and make the kitchen items more accessible. Adam wanted to put in some flooring so the concrete wouldn't be so cold on our feet and we could get rid of the HUGE, cumbersome roll of carpet that had to be stored on top of the table so mice wouldn't use it for nesting material. Speaking of the table, it was a big, plastic, lifetime picnic table that was just too big for the space. I thought we could bring in a smaller table and chairs, and use the big green table for outdoor dining. There was an old shabby hide-a-bed in the cabin that no-one was brave enough to open for fear of what might be living in it, so we brought in a futon which seats more and is still a sleeper, but has less "mystery" to it. With all of our supplies and plans ready, we just had to find a time when we could go. We were finally able to reserve fall break for the cabin Makeover. 
We loaded everything up Wednesday night and got on our way Thursday morning.
We arrived in Silverton on Thursday afternoon and got right to work. Adam started painting first thing while the kids and I cleaned out and burned old mattresses, the sofa, carpeting, old bedding, and expired food storage and the upper cabinets. It was kind of a gross, tiring hard job because the big fire pit was up a steep hill and a lot of that stuff was really heavy (and stinky). It ended up taking the kids and I over 8 hours to get all the old stuff out and disposed of and to put new cots and mattresses up in the loft.
Adam was done with all of the painting, at around the same time we were done burning everything.
The next morning, we put up a bunch of pallet boards on the wall where the cabinets were. It made a nice accent wall and helped the cabin keep that rustic feel that we almost lost by painting the walls white. I put the rods and shelves and even an old rake head for storage. I was super proud of the end result. It turned out just as I had pictured it would.  Adam began laying the floor while Caleb and I built a shelf out of pallet boards for the wall above the sofa. We also put together the futon that took quite a bit of not-so-easy assembly. Once the flooring was in, we cut a small piece of the carpet to make a nice little area rug, then made another Bon fire with the remaining carpet. We put in the table and chairs that I had refinished. And installed some pallet wood for base boarding. That evening, we put on the final touches like filling the firewood holder that Adam made and hanging new curtains and pictures. By late Friday night we were almost done! Two days ahead of schedule! We were able to go for a buggy ride on Saturday and relax a little and enjoy the "new cabin". Malan and Deanna dropped by on Saturday afternoon and helped with some touch up painting. They loved all of the changes improvements we made (thank goodness). And they were very happy that someone cared about the cabin enough to put effort into making it more comfortable. 
On Sunday we went to Church at the little branch in Silverton, spent a little more time at the cabin and then drove over to junction creek to spend some time with Malan and Deanna. 
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the cabin. The plumbing and electrical work are in desperate need of repairs and Adam wants to level out the land around it a little more around the cabin. I have a feeling that there will always be little (and big) projects that need to be done to keep the little cabin usable. But the time and effort we put into it will always be worth it to me. I've always loved that place, and now thanks to a "woman's touch" I love it even more!

Cabin before:

Cabin during:

Cabin after!

Totally Wicked!!! September 12th

I am so happy, I was able to cross an item off of my bucket list that had been there for several years! I finally got to see the hit Broadway musical "Wicked". And, what made the experience even more special, was that I was able to see it with my favorite girls Eliza and Sarah and Heather and my beautiful nieces. It was playing at the Gammage theatre. Heather and I had purchased the tickets months in advance and we had incredible seats! 
It was everything we hoped it would be and more! 
My girls loved it every bit as much, if not more than I did! They have been listening to the soundtrack everyday since! We will definitely try to see it again some time. 


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Awe Shucks! September 5th

We were playing games with the Solomon's when they Un-excitedly told us they were put in charge of the building a float for Taylor 3rd ward for the Sweet corn festival parade.
I suggested making a float that would pretty much guarantee that they wouldn't have to be put in charge of the float again.  I said the theme for the float could be "Eating too much Sweet Corn will give you the squirts!" I suggested having the kids ride on the float with squirt guns and squirt the crowds as the float went down the road.
They loved the idea and we helped them put the float together. 
They found tons of corn stalks, and we put them all along the edges of the trailer with space inside for the kids to hide in. We made banners for the sides that said "Just don't eat too much or it will give you the..."
We pulled that float down the road with our ranger and everyone got a kick out of the float. 
We ended winning the "Awe Shucks" award. So, it looks like the idea backfired. The Solomon's will likely be put in charge again. And we'll likely help them again. Because when all was done, it was actually a pretty fun project! 

A Gurr-8 Reunion August 13th-15

Adam and I were in charge of the Gurr family reunion this year. I was so happy that I was able to reserve the LoMia orchard camp for our event. 
We arrived at Lomia on Thursday evening. The Anderson's pulled up when we did and Stacy's family was there when we arrived. We settled into our cabins and made a campfire and roasted marshmallows and visited for a bit before going to bed.
On Friday morning, we played on the zip-line for a bit and picked tons of blackberries. Later that day we welcomed mom and dad, and  Travis, Richard, and Ty's families to camp. The kids had water fights, played games explored and had so much fun with their cousins. 
Heather planned and prepared (with help) all of the meals and everything was perfect. 
Stacy had some fun games planned for Friday night. The grown-ups played some fun rook games and did more visiting. 
On Saturday morning we all went over to the LoMia main camp to see a statue that one of the Gurr cousins had set up for his Eagle Scout project. All of the kids ran ahead on the path with the adults that were trying to keep up with them. Those of us adults that were taking our time on the trail noticed a HUGE rattle snake that was right by the path. We couldn't believe that none of the kids noticed it. It was kind of a scary thought.  Tyler killed the snake, but we decided to see if the kids would notice the snake if it were in the middle of the trail. So, on the walk back we placed the snake on the path, and sure enough, almost every child walked right past it, some almost stepped on it!! This lead to a great discussion about being aware of our surroundings and not being in such a hurry in life that we fail to recognize dangers in our path.
After lunch on Saturday the dads took the all the kids back to the Zip-line, while the moms got camp all cleaned up. 
When the camp was clean and the zip-lining was done, we all said our goodbyes and were on our way.
Our family was the last to leave, and on our way out, Adam and I took the kids to the cabin that we worked on with the young single adults when we were dating. We showed them where I scratched our initials into the wall before it set. That was such a fun memory to share with the kids.
On the drive home, we stopped and hiked down to box canyon. We wanted to go swimming but storm clouds were brewing and we did think it would be safe to stay in the canyon very long. So we just hiked back out and headed home. 
We had so much fun at the Gurr Family reunion and are grateful to everyone who came and helped out. 

Family Business

Looks like the trio are learning the family business! They are Gurr-8 workers and enjoyed helping grandpa with the spec. home he's been building. 
I'm so grateful that they have inherited the Gurr work ethic and are happy to help and earn some money for their mission funds. 

First day of Sixth Grade August 5th

The Trio were really excited for school to start again. Or, maybe they were just excited to finally be SIXTH graders! That's right, sixth graders the big man on campus, the top dogs, the upper crust! Finally, sixth grade has arrived. 
The kids have all set some good goals for the year, and I know they will do great things. 

Celebrating 40 Years of Adventure!

The day after we got back to Arizona from Alaska was July 31st. As I mentioned in my previous post, we told my mom we were going home to Taylor, but we lied. You see July 31st is my parent's wedding anniversary and this year marked their 40th anniversary. For the past several months my siblings and I had all been planning and preparing to celebrate their anniversary with a surprise party!
Because camping trips were always a big part of our lives growing up, we decided a camping theme for the party would be appropriate.
My dad was actually in on the surprise. We had to make sure he wouldn't plan anything big for him and my mom that night. So, the party was a surprise for my mom. But, there were a couple of surprises for my dad as well. 
The main surprise for most of us, was that my youngest sister Angela was able to fly home to Arizona and join us at the party. 
Another surprise for my parents was when most of their grandkids sang "If we Hold on Together". It's always been a favorite song of my parents, and several years ago, Lydia and I wrote a special verse for our family. 

With love in our home, we're never alone.
We'll seek the light, and choose the right!
Close together, a family forever, Loving with all of our might.
With our Savior our Elder Brother, together we'll win the fight!

Many family members and friends of my parents came. It was a really fun party! 
My parents loved all of the surprises and we all had a wonderful night.
I loved how we all worked together to make the night a success.
Amanda and Ashley made and mailed wonderful invitations. Lydia and Suzi had amazing refreshments prepared for everyone including a cake In the shape and color of my parents first camping tent. Paul and Beth put together a neat video with family pictures. And they had great music playing during the party.  I provided the decorations and everyone helped me set up. And Angela showed up! 
I'm so thankful for my parents and their great example. I love my family!