Monday, November 8, 2010

What we did for Halloween

Since Halloween was on Sunday, we figured Trick or Treating would interfere with the Federal Heights kids wanting to come to Sunday School. So we had Tract or Treat in front of the church. We had a table full of tracts, fliers about Sunday School, and cookies to offer any Trick or Treaters passing by. Only one of our regular families came by, but we passed out a lot of fliers about Sunday School to new contacts.
Ben and Titus Reynolds and our family

Jason lookin' like a farmer or a hill billy... He was our token costumed person. :)

Titus Reynolds and me

My husband, Rowen. We celebrated 27 years married in October!

Beth and Marlene Reynolds

Some of the tracts and cookies on the table

Ben greeting one family of Trick or Treaters. We didn't take pictures of the others who came by.

Stacie McVeigh, Steve Cunningham, Ben Reynolds, Kassie Reynolds, and our family. Tonya Sickler was there too, but she was probably in the house, stirring the chili we ate after the Tract or Treat.

We roasted marshmallows when the fire was "just right."

Steve is the expert marshmallow roaster, so he gave us all lessons!

We pray that the tracts and fliers we passed out will have eternal fruit.

Making Apple Butter and Applesauce

In October, we made Apple Butter first and then realized we hadn't gotten enough apples to make applesauce. So we bought more and went through the process again. I love working with my children, and Lincoln was also here one of the days we worked on apples. He likes to help too! Here are a few pictures.

Nothing like a little piano music to entertain during apple days!

I love having a Squeezo and an Electric Roaster Oven to use on apple days! Both were gifts to me from special ladies: Eileen Owen and my mother.

Emily couldn't remember ever being "big enough" to bob for apples, so we humored her...
Jason was the only one who actually got one!

New Quilt started

I have started a new quilt. It was going pretty fast, but I haven't gotten more strips cut yet to proceed. The election last week, and the projects to be completed before Thanksgiving have and are taking my time. This pattern is called Nine Patch Plaid. The pieced part is 2/3 done, and then there will be borders around it.

Jason's piano

Jason has been wanting his own piano for awhile. It seems it is hard to get enough time on mine with several in the family vying for the bench...Also, my piano is a Spinet, and it's hard to get enough volume out of it, without breaking a string or two--which has happened twice now. So we had prayed about it, watched Craig's List, and then heard about a piano needing a good home through our home school group in Greeley. One Saturday, Rowen, Jason, and I went over to see it, and Jason bought it for $100. It had quite a bit of water damage on the top surfaces, and had never been tuned since being purchased over 25 years ago! But it seemed "sound" and we brought it home. This picture is before it was unloaded into the garage.

After the piano took up residence in our garage, Rowen and Jason took it apart and began stripping the damaged finish off.

We had our favorite (and only) piano tuner come by and check it out for us. He said with a tuning, and raising all the notes up 1/2 step, it should be a great piano for Jason, well worth the $100! It is a Wurlitzer Console, which is taller than mine and has direct action, rather than the indirect action mine has. Therefore, Jason should be able to get a lot bigger sound out of it.

(Don't you just love pictures of people's junky garages?) Be sure and notice the ABELAWNS sign (from Randy and Tim's business) and the Albertson painting sign (from Rowen's dad). Also, notice the high-tech laptop and laptop console that Jeffrey is using. He was working on a college class about life purpose and goals. He was outside to get Rowen's input.

Because we had some freezing weather and the main part of the stripping was finished, we decided to move the piano indoors and put off the refinishing until spring time. We got the idea of taking the piano in the house from the back, rather than the front. Using big flat boards and the piano dolly, Rowen, Beth, and Jason got the piano moved to the deck stairs. The plan was to cover the deck stairs with the flat boards and make a ramp.

The ramp boards are screwed down to the stairs.

Then the piano was padded and roped, and a "come-along" was utilized to move the piano up the ramp.

At this point, Beth is passing time playing the piano, while Rowen and Jason figured out an extension on the bracing for the "come-along." She has her apron on because in between taking pictures and helping outside, she was helping fix supper! Emily and Jason also played the piano while it was in this defenseless position, partway up the ramp.

Here is the extension for the "come-along."

We don't have more pictures of getting it up, because I was taking movies. The movies ended up not having sound, which definitely leaves something to be desired. Thank the Lord, we got the piano up on the deck without any catastrophes actually happening, though there were a couple of close calls! We took the piano through the door on the left into the living room and then had a break for supper. Afterwards, we changed the living room around, making room for another piano!

Since the two pianos were a half step different, when they were played together, Jason's piano was played in flats and my piano in sharps! We were fortunate to get our favorite, (and only), piano tuner out within a few days to get Jason's piano raised and tuned. We have known Fred Goheen since January of 1987 when he first tuned my piano and he has been a regular at our house every 1-2 years since then, and more often when we broke strings... He was able to get the new piano sounding WONDERFUL and we are enjoying playing together in our living room.
Fred played for us. Then he wanted to hear Jason play; and Beth and Jason played together for him.

The piano doesn't look as wonderful as it sounds, being partly stripped of finish, but we are thankful for the safe arrival of a special treasure for Jason!

Come by sometime and hear him play!