"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Things Fall Apart

 So, ironically, at my evening book club Thursday night, we chose Chinua Achebe's Thing Fall Apart for our next month's read.  A few hours later, the main water line to our hydronic heating system burst and flooded our house.  So yes, things really did fall apart.

The leak occurred in the middle of the night.

If these pictures look familiar to you, that's because we had a similar issue over the summer when the water line into our refrigerator burst and gave us the same sort of results.  This was easily twice as much water though.

 Our rental company called in a crew to clean up, and we had to move everything out of two rooms in the basement, and put it all into the school room/library.  Thankfully there was no damage in there.

I thought they were just going to remove the carpet but before I knew what was going on, drywall on the walls and ceiling was removed.

This is what it looked like when I last saw it.

Now all the drywall is off the walls, and they've begun pulling up the floorboards.  Not sure if they're going to remove the floorboards or not.  They're definitely soaked and there is standing water under them.  They are also starting to bubble, so they should.  I'm a little concerned that mold will grow if they don't.  We're starting to wonder if it's time to look for another house.  I love our location, the view, the house... But we pay a crazy high amount of rent to have constant problems (water issues twice now, plus constant septic and heating issues).

For now they've put us up in a nice hotel - two adjoining rooms for the six of us.  Obviously with the problem related to our heater, we have no consistent heat at the house, and the kids all sleep in those downstairs rooms, so until they get that fixed, looks like we'll be camping out.  Nice place to camp :)  Not exactly what I had in mind for Christmas though...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Time to Find a Tree

 Tuesday we had a rare day when all of us were home at once, so we went out to find a Christmas tree.  We always cut our own.  It's part of the fun tradition and we have great memories (like of the time they let me pick it, and we ended up needing to wire on extra branches to fill in the gaps.  Yeah. That's the last time they let me pick it by the way, and it's been at least 4 or 5 years ago.)  Our ten year old noticed the ice crystals on the snow.  It was very cool.

 We went to a different area than we normally do, because our library found their tree up here, and we love the tree they got.  We were hoping for a similar result.  The problem is that there isn't anywhere to pull off the road, so we had to park away from the trees, and when we did find a place to park we weren't near very many - you see the total amount in this picture.

The snow was pretty deep - almost to our knees, and we kept sinking through the crust.  The six year old rode on the sled, but the three year old didn't want to.

So I held his hand while he walked.  He didn't sink.  I did.  Finally I put him up on my shoulders, and he was pretty freaked out by that.  He kept telling me not to drop him in a hole (dad's footprint).

 Then we came to our next challenge.  Barbed wire.

 The six year old was determined to help, so he and his older brother crossed the fence with Dad.

By then, I was ready to let the guys figure it out, so the three year old and I stayed at the fence.

 This is the total distance we made it.  Where the sled tracks end is where we are parked lol.

The six year old found a tree.  He couldn't figure out why I wouldn't let him cut it down.

 I told him it was too small.

So he picked a big one.  Yes, THAT big one.  HA. I told him we had to pick one that would fit on top of our vehicle.  When we gave up on this location and headed back to the truck, he told me he wanted to go to his sister's station (she works at a convenience store). I told him that she wasn't there right now.  He shrugged his shoulders, and said, "Somebody is." - HA.  I thought he wanted to visit her.  Turns out he was only wanting some chocolate milk. :)

So, in the end, there were no trees of the right size in this little stand, and we couldn't find a suitable place to pull off the road for one that was.  I knew this process would probably take longer than I had time for, so I had driven separately from the rest of the crew.  When I needed to head to work (I'm a librarian now) I left the guys to search for the tree.  When I came home, they had an absolutely beautiful, uniform tree ... which they had purchased at Smith's in Jackson Hole (77 miles away) lol.  Oh well.  At least they had a fun day, and we now have a tree.  This will be a fun memory too. :)

I'll post pictures of the tree once we get it decorated.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Superhero

This little man is so creative.  He is always impressing me with his imagination.  Today he was really on a roll.  He put these boxes on his legs and told me he was Ironman.

Then he put them on his arms and jumped on my bed and told me he was a supermodel.  Ha.  I'm  sure he doesn't know what a supermodel really is.  This was more like a bird with flapping wings.  Later he put the boxes back on his legs, and used a pillow for wings (it has one of those covers on it with an opening in the middle of the back, so he put his arms into it and flapped the pillow for wings.  I missed getting a picture of it.

He also created this interesting Lego ... thing.

It was made of castle pieces and one axle with two wheels.

He told me it was a king's car :)  Looks somewhat like the popemobile, eh?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Moon, the Moose, and a Mug

Can you see the big circle around the moon?  I thought it looked pretty neat.  Almost like a wagon wheel.

 We've had several moose hanging around nearby.  These were taken within a mile of our house.  There have been as many as six spotted together, but only three the day I had my camera.

 These two are pretty decent bulls.

 We had our Christmas party for the library tonight.  It was a very nice party catered with all sorts of fancy foods.  We had a white elephant gift exchange, and I actually came home with the item I wanted most :)

Here's the other side.  I just love this mug.  :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MESA Christmas Party

Wednesday night the MESA Therapeutic Horseback Riding program our six year old participates in had a Christmas party.

 Santa was there.  The three year old wasn't sure what to think of him.  (We don't do Santa, so they know he's not real.)

Each of the kids was given a gift - all very nice gifts, purchased and donated by their main volunteer helper.  When his name was called, our son belly crawled up to get it. You can see how cute it was by the look on the faces of everyone else.  It was a huge accomplishment for him to be brave enough to go up alone and get it on his own.  

 He got a Lego set.

 He was very excited about it.  He put it at our table for awhile so we could go to the craft table and make ornaments with his horses on them, and when it was time to go, he told me, "I'm supposed to take the Legos home!" :)  He wasn't about to leave without them.

 Once we got home, the brothers spent over an hour working together on building the cars.

 The ten year old was so good and patient with the 6 year old.

 He found each piece and showed him where to put it.

 And then he backed off and let his brother assemble the whole thing, one piece at a time.

 The set makes a couple of race cars and items to go around the track.  It is also a set that can make several things, so they took the cars apart and will work on the other items another time.

It was the perfect toy.  He had a great time at the party, which I didn't think he would.  Crowds and noise are not his thing.  He also doesn't like sweets, but he scarfed down two cookies and a cupcake (after I scraped the frosting off the top).  It was a great night. :)