Sunday, September 30, 2007

The kitchen/dining room/living room Remodel--and it aint pretty

Don't get me wrong. We loved our 1970 appliances. We loved our beautiful brick floor...oh wait, I mean, brick linoleum floor. Seriously, nothing says classy like a linoleum brick floor. We loved the boxiness of our kitchen and our dining room. There seemed to be walls everywhere you looked. We loved our old school oak cabinets and the 2-3 lights that were expected to keep all of the rooms well lit. This was a good kitchen about 20 years ago but we needed to make it our own. Yes, I know it was ours and we did own it, but you know what I mean.

So--we decided to change some things up. Out came the sledgehammers and down came the walls. Remodeling is not much fun. The final results can be enjoyable, but I can think of 13,298 other things that I enjoy more than doing a remodel. It is amazing how much wood, nails, plaster and junk is behind 50 year old walls. There is so much dust everywhere in our house that I still have dust settling in inside my belly button. I have learned to be much more colorful with my language as well. My language would make a sailor blush, but what happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen. I have also become very good friends withe people out at the SL Dump. My truck is working overtime dropping things off. Brodi has informed me that if I die in the next 10 years, it will be because I have inhaled about 13 pounds of plaster. For the most part, I do use a mask. Our fabulous remodeler-do it all-handyman Dave is the guy that does most of the work around here and I am simply his apprentice who cheers him on and picks up the junk after he has knocked it down.

We have now finished the first 2 weeks of the remodel. Cabinets get delivered toward the end of October, so we have to hurry. We still have all the electrical, finishing the ceilings, putting down new wood floors and getting the appliances in. In 3 weeks. Should be fun. I am putting in three sets of pictures now with a before demolition shot of the kitchen, old laundry room, and the dining room/bookcase separation area. Yes, it is looking different. Yes, it is very depressing right now. We live downstairs and it has saved us to have a kitchen down there (even though the kitchen sink does not drain well). And I know you may be asking--yes, I will post some pictures of me shirtless with a sledgehammer.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lava Hot Springs camping trip

We got together with a bunch of friends and headed on up to Lava Hot Springs. Now as many of you know, this would take a lot of courage for us to venture back up to Idaho. See, we lived up in Blackfoot (about 45 minutes away from Lava) and for the past 8 years, we have done our best to stay away from the town of Blackfoot due to some not-so-stellar memories. But, we put aside our fear and still went up.

Lava Hot Springs is trying to make itself more of a resort like town. They have a river running thru it where people can do some rafting, they have hot springs throughout the town and they have some hiking you can do. Our group signed up at one of the camp grounds and as you can see, it was beautiful! Cars as far as the eye can see and campsites that gave you a nice comfortable 8 inches in between tents. I am just happy that our friends still want to hang out with us after spending the weekend with us.

We all had a good time. We spent the evening hanging out and letting the kids run around. But then darkness fell and let me tell you--Beckham was not too thrilled with the idea of sleeping in his crib, in the tent. Carter happily headed to the tent, got in his sleeping bag and promptly fell asleep. Beckham did not. He voiced his displeasure for a while but it became so loud that it was disturbing the neighboring campsites. I took him in the car and tried to reason with my 1.5 year old and he was not impressed with this tactic. We hung out in the car for a while and then back to the tent. He was still not happy. So, back to the car. Are you seeing the trend here? At about 2am, he finally dozed off and I gently picked him up and put him in his crib in the tent and he slept until 6am. At least we made it thru the night even though I think that I got less sleep than he did. Beckham had a great time during the rest of the trip, but the sleeping part was an obstacle.

We then spent the next morning with a fabulous breakfast of eggs, grapes, bacon and fun. We decided to venture out and head up to the hot springs. Let me just say--these springs are hot. I know that I am a wimp, but we could not even get into half of the pools because it was so smokin' hot. But we finally did get in one and had a good time just hanging out. I also learned that there are many people that are not scared to show off their bodies even when their bodies have no need to be shown off. My speedo fit in real well here. We did a little more hanging out but had to head off back to SLC for some work and fun. It was a good trip and we had a lot of fun even with just a few hours of sleep.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Uncle passed away this week

Roger Boden Pinnock

Roger Boden Pinnock "Papa" Roger Boden Pinnock, age 65, passed away peacefully at home September 21, 2007. He was born January 28, 1942 in Salt Lake City to Lawrence Sylvester and Florence Boden Pinnock. He received his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Utah. He married Kathleen Cannon August 26, 1965 in the Salt Lake Temple. Roger was proud to be an accountant. He loved his 30 years as the managing partner of Pinnock, Robbins, Posey and Richins, an accounting firm founded by his father. He served his profession with honor, integrity, and hard work. He served as president of the UACPA, and on the AICPA Joint Trial Board. He was honored as the outstanding CPA by the UACPA. He also served on the University of Utah School of Accounting Advisory Board. Roger was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gave freely of his time and energy to serve others in many callings, including bishop, stake clerk, high council, stake presidency, South Salt Lake Mission presidency, and most recently as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple. In all of these positions, Roger thoroughly enjoyed the people he associated with and the service he was able to render. The accomplishment that Roger was most proud was the family that he and Kathleen raised. Roger loved to be with his children and grandchildren, and he took great interest in all of their activities. He created many rich memories with his family through vacations to Jackson Hole, Disney World, Sedona, and dinners in Park City, but most meaningful were the "fun" times together. He tutored his family with his example of hard work, integrity, generosity, and humility. His lasting legacy is his love of life and eternal optimism. Roger is survived by his best friend, wife, and eternal companion, Kathleen; children, Roger B. (Stacey), Kristina (Roger) Brockbank, and Katie (Erik) Olson; 13 grandchildren; and sister, Kathleen P. Johnson. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at the Big Cottonwood Stake Center, 1750 E. Spring Lane (5195 South). Friends may call Monday evening at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary, 3401 Highland Drive, from 6-8 p.m., and again at the church Tuesday morning from 9:45-10:45 a.m., prior to the services. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the University of Utah IPF Support Group or the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

He was a terrific guy. My mom had two brothers and both of them have passed away from Pulmonry Fibrosis (which is the scarring of the lungs...causes and cures are still unknown). I remember many hours spent with him doing magic trips, water tricks and other fun games that he would play with all of his nieces and nephews. He is loved and he will be missed.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

You can call me Mr. Coach

Now, back in the day, I was a soccer player. I played until I was about 13 and I played on the competition team from Bountiful. On my team back then, I played left forward alongside the future MVP for high school soccer. But, I gave up soccer when I realized that more people would watch me play basketball than they would watch me playing soccer. Just kidding. Kind of. But nearly 20 years have passed since those glory soccer days and my knowledge of the game has gone by the wayside even though I do catch the occasional English Premier League game and even some Real Salt Lake games.

So, we put Carter on a team along with a bunch of boys and girls from the neighborhood on the 5 and under soccer Impact team. Well, my sister in law Erin decided it was my turn to coach the kids and take over this assignment for the upcoming year. She is coaching one of her boys and the parents of the rest of the kids happily volunteered me to take over the coaching duties. As Erin said, 'They are too young for your coaching to ruin them in the future.' Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Carter played last year and had little interest. He loved looking around at the parents. He loved looking at the grass and running around. But, he rarely kicked the ball. This year has been different as he is now trying and he kicks the ball and is actually playing. We are very proud parents.

Right now, my brilliant coaching strategies are paying off. We don't keep 'official' track of the scores or the records, but my team is standing strong with wins of 5-1, 4-2 and just this past Saturday, a tense and hard fought 4-3 victory. But who is keeping track? In fact, Carter scored his first goal. Now, he kicked into his own net, but he still scored! I was about to turn him around, but he worked very hard to get in position to kick it into his own goal. It was funny that the other team's players tried to take the ball away from him, but Carter was strong and he shook off the other players and drilled the ball into the back of the net. The crowd went crazy about it as well, cheering him on.

So, for now, I will continue to yell and scream at my players to get the best out of them. Swearing, yelling and acting crazy have had a great affect on the players and they are very appreciative of my intense coaching style. And just remember, we are not keeping track, but we are 3-0 and my players: Keegan, Alexia, Sam, Max, Carter, Peyton, Dustin and Necie will continue to make me look good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A day with and a day watching the Utes

Right before the season started, our little family went to the Ute fanfest day where you spend time seeing players from all the sports (from mens basketball to women's gymnastics to football players) and playing games, getting treats and just being around the Ute facility. Carter and Beckham love running around on the field as well, so we spent a bunch of time just walking around the field.

I was surprised with how soft the field is but equally surprised with how hot it gets during the hot summer day. Seriously, almost too hot to touch. But since most of the games are late afternoon to night, I don't see it as a problem. But if the Utes play on a day where the temps are in the 90s, man, it would not be much fun to be tackled on that. Overall, it was a fun day to spend with the kids and the Utes.

So, football season is already 25% done and the Utes, with all of those expectations, are continuing to surprise. That is not necessarily a good thing. Two losses to start the season is bad enough. But, add to that bad injuries to your best OLineman (Boone), your starting running back (Asiata), your star wide receiver (Casteel) and a 3-4 week out with injury to QB Brian Johnson and you can see why many Ute fans lost faith. The home game had a great crowd and Brodi and I went to the opening game for the third year in a row (the streak would be much longer if we hadn't lived away out of state for the 4 years prior to that). We went with family and friends.

Then, somehow, someway, the Utes bounced back with a thrashing of #11 UCLA 44-6. Who knows how the season will turn out, but it looks like it will be entertaining.

Monday, September 17, 2007

At least he kept the finger

Well, a nice Sunday evening over at Sam's parents house took a wild turn. Carter and his fellow cousin troublemaker Hope were playing in the kitchen closet. Beckham would shut the door and then Hope and Carter would open it and yell. Beckham thought that this could quite possibly be the funniest thing that he had ever seen. Beckham would howl with laughter and Carter and Hope would get a kick out of his laughing.

They continued to play for a few more minutes and it was fun to watch until Carter decided to put his hand in the door hinge of the door and then Beckham promptly shut the door on it. Nobody saw it, we just heard Carter start screaming/crying and come running out of the door holding his hand up. Blood was coming down it and his finger was sloughing down. We thought he had lost the tip but we put some towls around it and some ice on the outside of the towel. Grandma Kate kept his finger down and his hand down on the table while Brodi called and I was running around with Grandpa Frank to get some more ice and towels. Martha took Beckham out of the room to go play with all of the other cousins.

We met with Dennis (Brodi's dad) at Primary Children's Hospital to look at the finger. He had not cut it all the way off, but it did slice thru about 70% of the finger right below the nail. Dennis said that he could stitch it up so we went to his office in Cottonwood Heights. Carter was very brave thru this all, in fact, he slept on the car ride over. 10 stitches later, the finger was put back together again.

Now, Carter has a bandaged finger and will for another week. But, Dennis says that the finger will heal well and should be fine. It reminded Brodi and myself of a couple of things--we have a great family that stepped up in helping our little boy and supporting us in all we are doing. And, you realize how quickly things can change and how lucky we were that it did not end up worse. Carter is a great kid and he just added to his list of injuries (whether it be all the stitches he has received, broken bones, etc.).

Now, whenever someone asks Carter what happened, he points out that 'I am just fine' and that 'Beckham shut my finger in a door.' I have a feeling that Carter will be reminding Beckham what he did for many years to come.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Housing Market

Since everyone in my work is talking about it, and all of my clients are asking about it, I thought I would share my views on the housing market right now.

The summer started off very slow, and the housing inventory began to build up. I personally think this is just the market correcting, compensating, for its breakneck speed the past few years. But I don't think it is anything to panic about. Realtors who have been in the business for decades say they are witnessing the regular ebb and flow of a very normal market. In my opinion, it is a great time to buy, considering that there are fewer buyers out there (not as many investors, not as many creative loan programs = not as many buyers) and the inventory is abundant. Especially if you don't have a property to sell.

If you are selling, expect to sit on the market for a longer time. The average days on the market for any given property has risen recently. If you expect this, then it will be much less frustrating. The best advice: PRICE RIGHT! Definitely get a few opinions on the price.
Don't go with a certain realtor just because he or she gives you the highest price. Be as realistic as possible- it will save you a lot of time, a lot of headaches, and may in the end help you avoid drastic price reductions.

Also, if you price it right you will be less inclined to accept a lowball offer too early in the game.

Consider how much longer it takes to sell a house in today's market, and plan your new accommodations accordingly. Two mortgages per month is not a situation to perpetuate. (Unless you have money coming out of your ears!)

As for the future, it will be interesting to see what the mortgage market does, interest rates, etc.

As a disclaimer, everything above is purely my opinion, practically uneducated speculation! If you want to further discuss your specific situation, give me a call and I'll help as much as possible! We love to talk housing!

Thanks for reading our blogs!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Carter and the mystery

On Sunday, we are driving home from Park City and Brodi and I were just talking. Carter and Beckham are in the backseat. Carter starting calling out to us from the backseat. We turned our attention to him and Carter looked very concerned. We asked what was wrong and he replied in a very solemn voice 'Something is happening to me.' We were not sure what he meant until he began to point at his stomach. He then went quiet and Brodi turned around to look out the front windshield and Carter screamed out for her to turn around again. 'Something is happening to me' he said again. He then pointed at his stomach, and with a concerned look on his face, he then hiccuped.

After Brodi and I busted out laughing, we realized that this was one of his first hiccups. At least one of the first that he could remember. We told him that it was OK and that he would be fine. After another few seconds of us still laughing, Carter began to laugh as well.