Friday, December 23, 2011

You're the Hope That Ends Disaster

Just in case you were wondering, here is an update on the kitchen situation:
We called our insurance company yesterday (Wednesday), and this morning (Thursday) a claims adjuster called us. He said that the insurance wouldn't cover the cost of fixing the refrigerator ($2), but they will cover the cost of restoring the floor and the clean up.  Woo hoo!  I also asked about our roof, and he said they will not be covering that.  They would only cover the cost of repairing it, and one of the quotes we were given was $985.  Our deductible is $1000, and Kurtis and my dad were able to fix it for about $35, so we'll be paying for our new roof in the spring out of pocket.  The house needed it anyway, so it's not a surprise to us.
The agent told me to call a place called Servepro.  They came out after lunch and checked where the water in the walls and floor and ceiling is.  They found several spots in Zachary's room as well as in the computer room downstairs.  They also came in and started ripping up the kitchen floor.  It was a bit shocking.  I knew they had to, but I don't think I was quite ready for it even though our insurance adjuster had warned me they would.  It's a bit weird when someone comes in your home, says, "Hey!  I'm Joe," and then immediately starts destroying your property.  It had to be done, though.  They had to find how bad the damage was.  They also cut a hole in the ceiling in the computer room and made a vent for the industrial strength fans to blow air directly into the ceiling and the wall between Zach's room and the computer room.  The pulled back the carpet and cut out the section of the carpet pad that was still wet and put fans down.  Right now, that's the goal.  Dry the place out.  One of the men told us the good thing about wood is that it takes a long time to soak up water, but the bad thing about wood is that it takes a long time to dry it out.  We'll probably have these fans going all day tomorrow and Christmas eve as well.  All these fans are making it quite loud in my home.  It's not really all that bothersome, but I just want you to know that if you ring my doorbell, and I don't answer, it really isn't because I am hiding in my house waiting for you to go away.  I probably just didn't hear it.
I asked if they could tell how long our fridge had been leaking, and the boss man told me, not too long because there was no mold.  That's a very, very good thing.  Later, he said, "It smells like two days."  Apparently, if it did have mold, that would have meant that it had been leaking for four or more days.  Once we get all dried out, they can assess the cost of the damage and we can pick out a new floor.  I told Kurtis this morning, "This would be fun if it was something I actually wanted to do!"  And something we were financially ready for.  I guess I will just get my dream kitchen piece by piece with long gaps where it's not really very pretty because nothing will match or coordinate yet.

 Here are some of the pictures I took after they left.  They were really great guys, and I'm glad I called them.  That's my pantry.

 The previous owners had a vinyl floor before they put in the laminate.  The boys want me to put in the old vinyl floor.  They really like it.  But it's not to my tastes so much.  So I told Zach that when he buys his own house he can buy whatever kitchen floor he wants.  Kurtis only said that I couldn't pick purple or blue for the floor color.  He's such a dictator!

 My kitchen really isn't that big, and moving the fridge out and away from the wall makes things even tighter.

 Front room.  We had to move two of our bookshelves yesterday.  We might just keep them where we moved them, but now we  need a couple more.  A trip to IKEA may be in order in the future.  What I really want to do is remove the carpet all together and just put the same floor in the kitchen and the front room.  I don't know how much that will cost us yet, though and Kurtis didn't seem to want to pay them any extra money right now.  Maybe later next year we can just do it ourselves.

This setup is actually pretty cool.  That circle in the ceiling is where the light fixture that was dripping was.  My dad took it out Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Letting the Days Go By Water Flowing Under!

Guess what else I didn't want to have to spend my tax return on.  A NEW KITCHEN FLOOR!!!  Last night, Kurtis and I finished up our Christmas shopping and went grocery shopping.  When we got home, I put the groceries away, and as I was putting some cheese in the bottom drawer, I noticed the floorboards were warped.  I stepped on it hard, and water oozed out of the cracks.  Kurtis pulled back the refrigerator to find the hose to the ice maker spraying water.  It was a fine mist.  As we looked under our kitchen sink to find the valve to turn it off, we realized that the hose was not going under the floor and behind the counters to the sink, but under the floor.  End of story.  I ran downstairs to see if there was any water pouring from the ceiling.  Nope.  Not pouring, really.  Just a little drip from the light fixture into my box of cds, and splashing onto the floor.  I got a bucket.  Kurtis turned off the main water to the house, and sat there saying, "I don't know what to do.  I just don't know!"  As tears ran down his face.  He tried to temporarily fix the hole with gorilla glue, and duct tape.  That didn't work.  Don't try it.  After awhile he decided that he should cut the hose near where the hole was and then he tried to put all the universal combo thingy back together, but he had ruined it trying to get it off the other piece of hose.  By this time, it was almost three in the morning, and I was ready to crash and cry.  I didn't.  I held it in until the next morning when I called my mom to tell her not only was there water all over the kitchen floor last night, but the front room of our home had also been flooded.  The wetness of the carpet went about oh, two feet into the room.  Maybe three.  I don't really feel like getting out my yard stick and making exact measurements for you.  Joy.  My parents came and Kurtis and my dad tried to figure out where the hose was going, but couldn't.  I bet you anything we're going to have to cut a hole in my basement ceiling to find it.  I want to literally kick the person who did such a half-assed job on my house in the balls.  I'm not lying at all.  Why would you do that?  Why would you not give yourself access to that valve?  Are you stupid?  That's what I would scream at him as I did it, too.  He would deserve it.  Don't tell me you didn't think it, too. 
When Kurtis got home from the home improvement store, he clamped the hose shut with the cutest little clamp I have ever seen.  We had to wrap it in a wash cloth because the hose was so slippery.  It needed a little traction, but it worked!  And we had water again!  By the time my parents got here, we had pretty much cleaned out the living room and my mom tried to use her shampooer to mop up the excess water in the carpet, but nothing came up.  I hope that is a good sign, but it's still not dry, so only time will tell.  I'm going to be honest.  I'm not having a very good Christmas right now.  I still haven't finished the neighbor gifts and I haven't sent out my Christmas cards either.  The Christmas letter just doesn't have enough snark for my tastes, but my family might just have to deal with it, and I'm really not that concerned that they probably won't get them before Christmas this year.  I'm too freaking busy trying to keep my ceiling in the basement from falling in!  My dad touched it.  He said it was soft.  Which means there's water up there!  Excuse me.  I need to go cry again now.  Wait.  I'm good.  No.  No, yep.  I'm good.  I will just breath and deal with it because I have a friend who is going through something so much worse right now.  I'd like to thank her for the perspective, and for understanding that I canceled scouts today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Your Love Is Better Than Chocolate

Last Tuesday, I woke up and felt my heart stop.  I awoke with the realization that it was in fact Kaleb's birthday the very next day.  What happened to time?  Why is it going so fast?  I need more time to prepare!  I promised myself I would never let myself get so wrapped up in getting ready for Christmas, that I forgot about Kaleb's birthday.  I suck.
At breakfast, I told Kaleb his birthday was tomorrow.  "I'm going to have a party, tomorrow!"  He exclaimed.  I shook my head, and said, "No, you're not.  I didn't send out any invitations.  But you can have a party on Saturday, okay?"  He agreed.  I think he was a little bit disappointed, but oh well.  That's what you get when you have a mom who isn't exactly the most organized person ever.  I had the day off because we had dentist appointments later that day, so I went and ran a few errands.  I picked up an ice cream cake, and some treats for his class too.  So last minute.  I hate that.  At our dentist appointment, we found out he has a cavity.  Happy birthday, Buddy!
On his birthday, I made his invitations and they were stinking cute.  We sang happy birthday to him and ate his ice cream cake.  Then he opened his present:  Minecraft!  He was so excited.
As I was making his birthday party invitations, I came up with the idea for the theme of his party:  Chocolate!  I'm so brilliant.  I borrowed my parents' chocolate fountain and got a bunch of chocolate and things to dip it in.  It was so much fun!  The boys didn't want to eat the chocolate cupcakes I prepared, but they did want the cookie dough ice cream.  I'd say his party was a hit.  Whew.  Now, I get to run around like a chicken with its head cut off until Christmas!  I'm not ready!!!  Gotta love December!

 What?  His favorite color is pink right now!

 He's such a good natured kid.  I love it.

 Seven birthday tickles from Daddy!

 Did I forget to mention he's seven now?  Well, he likes to make faces at the camera.  Like that.

 Woo hoo!  Minecraft!

 The party favors.  Chocolate and bubbles.  Great gift.

 I almost forgot to take pictures.  So this is the aftermath of the chocolate fountain.  Well, we ate chocolate, opened presents and then had ice cream and more chocolate.  So this is the first aftermath. :D


He also got these spinney thingies you battle with.  I forget what the are called.  But the boys stayed after the party was over and played with them for an hour.  No lie.

Ice cream and friends!

Another friend on the other side of the table! :)
Hooray for birthdays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I usually hold Stamp Club on the second Wednesday of the month, but because that was Kaleb's birthday, I asked the ladies if we could do it on the 7th.  They agreed, then I auditioned for a play, and made callbacks.  Callbacks were on the 7th, so I moved it to the 8th.  Shuffling things around is hectic.  No, I did not get cast in the play, but I did have an awesome Stamp Club that way too many of you missed out on!  Here's what we made:

Aren't those Santa Pants the cutest?

Well, you will just have to come next time.  We won't be making Santa Pants, but we will be doing something super cute!  It's January 11th at my house.  Email me if you need directions!

Monday, December 12, 2011

We Can Dodge Debris While We Trim the Tree

So, I think I have caught up on my blogging for November, and now I can finally blog about December 1st.  It was a really crazy, windy day.  I'm sure most of you have heard about how there were 95 mph winds and such.  I won't bore you with all those details.  I-15 was closed, so I told Kurtis he should work from home.  The lady I babysit for is a teacher at the kids' school, and she called to tell me not to send the boys to school.  The kids thought it was the best day ever.  But I just want to show you the pictures I took of my neighbor's roof when I looked out the window!  It was totally wicked!

 I looked out my kitchen window, and those are my neighbor's shingles standing straight up.  I am surprised they didn't fly right off.

 This is the neighbor next door to the above neighbor.

Oh, and that's my roof.  I went back inside.

 The kids pointed this out to me.  The wind blew the attic door open.  Creeped me out quite a bit, but Kurtis just laughed and told me the wind could do that.

 There was a lull in the wind for about fifteen minutes.  This is the biggest piece of damage to our roof.  Kurtis and my dad patched it up on Saturday.  I guess I know what we will be doing with our tax return in 2012.  Not what we wanted, but life isn't always about what you want. :P

Kurtis and I decided to go out to lunch (because the storm had died down to almost nothing), and as we drove past our local Dairy Queen, this is what we saw!  It wasn't like that before the storm.  Many signs like this were blown out.  Traffic lights were out or flashing yellow lights.  It was total chaos.  Fallen trees, and all that stuff.  We never lost power, but the kids' elementary school was out, so they got to stay home Thursday and Friday (Dec. 1st & 2nd).  One school still didn't have power on Monday, so they were out an extra day!  
Sunday, the our church building did not have power (apparently no one on that street did either), and so church was canceled and a stake-wide that soon became city-wide clean up began.  Kurtis went to bed the night before feeling like crap, and woke up not much better, so we didn't participate, and I had to ask my neighbor to come and help me tip over our basketball hoop again.  We were preparing for another wind storm that was predicted.  It never came.  I didn't think it would, but I didn't think our winds would be so high, either.  It was kind of scary while it was happening, but it was amazing to watch as well.  I watched the wind pull down my next door neighbor's backyard fence.  My neighbor across the street's recycling bin went flying down the street, so I made Kurtis go get it for him.  It's still lying on its side in his front yard.  I'll admit it bugs me, but I try not to be too bugged because I'm sure my neighbors often wonder why I don't weed my front yard.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Coming On Christmas

Sometimes I think, "I am going to blog today!"  I get all excited, turn on my computer, and then sit down to write, but I can't remember what I was going to write about.  That happened to me yesterday.  But I remember now!

We made our kids make Christmas lists last month.  We never know what to get them, so we make them write it down.  Zach and Kaleb gave us lists within a couple of days.  But Riley I had do nag a bit.  Finally, this was Riley's first Christmas wish list:

   Another dog
   Minecraft mod of single-player typing mod
   3 cucumbers

No, I am not making this up!  We made him make another list. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Paradox: The Portrait of Abigail Sutherland (Familiar Faces)

So, I was wrong.  After this episode, there are two more.
Which is good because this episode resolves nothing.
It's still really good, though. :)

Now, I really want to know what would have happened if she has seen the diary pages and chosen green instead.  Ugh!  Paradoxes!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Don't Need No Hateration, Holleratin'

So on November 19th, our family did something every family tends to do around this time of year.  We attempted to get our family picture taken.  I say attempted because getting family pictures where all of us look good is a challenge.  Huge.  Challenge.  Painfully so.  Let me start at the beginning.
I called my brother and asked him if he could take our family picture, and he said he would be glad to.  The one in our living room is four years old, so I would really like one that I can blow up to an 11x14'' and stick in the frame we have up.  I like it when we coordinate in our clothing as well.  My bestest friend Nicole found me these awesome Jack Skellington shirts for the boys.  She bought me a super cool Jack Skellington hat for Christmas one year because she and her family went to Disneyland.  I thought perfect!  Now I know what they are going to wear and what I am going to wear and what I want Kurtis to wear!  Woo-hoo!  Half the battle has been won!
Well, picture day came and Michael was supposed to meet us at our house at 11 a.m. so that we could get done before Kaleb had to go to his basketball game at 2 p.m.  That sounds like plenty of time for a family photo shoot to me.  Two hours of shooting should get you at least one decent shot, right?  Well, that would have been amazing, but Michael texts me at 10:30 and says he is going to be a little late.  I guess he and I have different ideas of what a little late is because he was an hour and a half late.  At 12:30, we finally pull out of my driveway and head to the location I picked out.  It's a really beautiful place called the Layton Nature Preserve.  It's basically a bird refuge.  I didn't even know it existed until my friend posted her family pictures on her blog.  I had to have my family pictures taken there!  It was a beautiful sunny day.  The sky was blue and there was snow on the ground.  It was picturesque.  We took some pictures, but at 1:30, we had to leave and take Kaleb to his basketball game.  Michael took some more shots, and we were finally back to our car at 2.  I'm freaking out because he and Riley are just meandering along the boardwalk, taking their time.  I was going to just let Michael take Riley back to our house so we could hurry up, but no.  Michael said he couldn't bring him back.  He had somewhere he had to go.  Oh!  Did I mention Kaleb was supposed to bring the drinks for his team?  No?  Well, yes.  He was, so I didn't want to be late.  I didn't want his coach thinking we had forgotten.  So I turned the car around and went back for him.  I was frustrated.  Ahhhh!  Might have slipped out of my mouth a couple of times.
I was really excited to see our pictures, though!  I mean everything was perfect, so these pictures must be perfect, too, right!?  I finally got to see them the day before Thanksgiving.  Michael had only gotten about 70 pictures taken.  I copied them from his memory card onto my computer and began to browse through them.  As I am flipping through them, my anger and horror begins to swell, and grow and consume me.  I expected my children to have goofy faces and have one kid not smiling, and being uncooperative, but my husband?  My partner?  The love of my life?  No!  How could he betray me like this?!  It's cruel and just plain spiteful!  Every single freaking picture has Kurtis smiling at the camera, but only with one eye open!  I don't want a picture of my husband winking at the camera.  For one thing, he never winks at me, so that doesn't fit with his personality.  His excuse when I furiously Skyped him:  "I have sensitive eyes!  I couldn't help it!"
All I can say is, he ruined my pictures and ruined my Thanksgiving.  I couldn't stop crying.  I told him he should go to Chuck-A-Rama without me.  We talked it out.  I never punched him.  That bruise got there when he hit his eye on a door knob.  I swear.  We're all good now.
So then, we went up to Grandma Day's to hang with my family and Michael promised me a reshoot.  We went downtown to the LDS Conference Center and took a few, but it got too dark before we could really do anything amazing.  This time, though, Riley decided that smiling was just too hard and that he would rather make weird faces.  We got one that was okay, but I have this awesome double chin.  I guess nobody was in the mood after stuffing themselves all day long.
So we will keep trying.  Friday, the kids got to have the day off because of some wicked wind storm that ripped through our town and took out the power to the school and took out all the windows on the buses.  Awesomeness.  I'll blog about that later.  So because they were home all day, I took the opportunity to do a photo shoot of just them.  Sorry folks.  No family picture for your Christmas card this year.  Just another one of my cuties patooties!  They did a great job with me as the photographer.  Maybe I'm just scarier than their uncle.  Who knows?  The trouble with my kids is that they do better when you don't try to pose them.  Or you trick them into thinking they aren't being posed.  It's easier to do that when you aren't behind them choking them into submission.
Do you want to see some terrible family pictures?  I thought you would.  Who doesn't love looking at horrible pictures of others to make themselves feel better?  These really are the worst ones.  We got some that were slightly better, but not enough.

 Oh, my gosh!  I love that sky and that background!  What a gorgeous picture!  But wait.  Those people are kind of ruining my view.

 I love it when everybody in the picture has their eyes closed.  We were supposed to be doing that!

 Riley was mad for some reason.  I can't remember.  But thanks, buddy.  Oh, and Mister.  You have your eyes closed!

 This one probably would have turned out cute if Mr. Jones over there wasn't so concerned about the other kid ruining the picture.

 Silly pictures rock.  Unless one person won't play along.

 I look hot in this one.  I could have used it if the tall guy hadn't been trying to wink the hell out of everyone.

 Thank you for your cooperation, Riley.  It always helps when you close your eyes.


 Double chin, and what kind of smile is that, Zachary?

 I love this picture.  The background is gorgeous.  Look at that sky and the temple behind us and the tree!  But once again.  Huge double chin and Zachary is not doing a very good job of faking it.

Aw!  This one is cute!  Me:  "Honey, we should use this one."
Kurtis:  "No, it doesn't show your beautiful eyes."
I can't remember what I said, but I can think of some choice words right now.

Am I just being too picky?  I don't think so.  All I want is one picture of my family (that I can blow up to an 11x 14) where we all look happy and nobody looks like they are thinking, "How much longer do I have to do this?".  Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Paradox: The Portrait of Abigail Sutherland (First Dates)

This came up last Wednesday.  I hope you like it!
Final episode should go viral tonight!

Yikes.  It doesn't feel like it should be the end, though.