Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who's the master???

I need a little introductory story before I move on to the main point of this entry. When they were growing up, Chris and his sister Becca had a "game" where Chris would pin Becca down (usually after tickling her) and ask " Who's the master?". He would continue to hold her there until she finally admitted "You are". Apparently they are both still growing up, because they still play this game from time to time. In fact, when Becca first started communicating with us after her surgery and was able to indicate "yes" and "no" with eye blinks, Chris asked her "Becca, is Chris the master?". She blinked "yes" in reply...and we just knew she was going to be okay. onto the point! Yesterday we opened the front door to find a very important package....Chris' diploma for completion of his master's degree!! I know... alot of people get their master's degree, but this one has been a long time in the making. Unfortunately, when you coach basketball, it takes several months out of your calendar - so things like master's degree classes get put on hold from November until March each year. I won't say exactly how long this whole master's process took...but I will tell you that I remember being nervous that he was going to be at one of his master's classes when I went into labor with Jenna. (um...and she is 6 years old!) So...after several years, lots of classes, numerous trips to Dayton and Lima, a "few" dollars, and lots and lots of paperwork, Chris is officially "the master". CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS!! We're proud of you!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to school

It's back to school time! We had teacher days last Monday and Tuesday (although we ended up missing Tuesday b/c of the basement). Jacob's first day of 4th grade was last Wednesday. He really likes his teacher and was excited that one of his very best friends was in his class again this year. The 4th grade classes switch for reading and math, so he will actually have both teachers at some point during the day. Right now he is most excited about the 3 ring binder he gets to use for homework organization. He's pretty proud of it!! I think he's really going to like 4th grade this year!

Jenna's first day of kindergarten was today!! She was so excited. One of her best friends, Gage (a 1st grader...who also happens to be the son of her teacher) walked her to class. They walked all the way down the hall holding hands. I also heard him tell her that he would be waiting for her on the bench at recess. (His mom and I have big plans for their future!) She walked right into the classroom, put her backpack and lunchbox in her locker, and then sat down and got busy! It really helps that she knows her teacher so well. Her teacher, Mrs. Chiles, has been friends with Chris since they were in kindergarten. She has now become one of my best friends and our kids are all really close friends too. Jenna has been practicing calling her "Mrs. Chiles" instead of "Deb".

Jenna did really well until the tornado siren went off at 10:00. (It goes off every Monday at 10:00 as a test). Her class was on the playground and the siren was extra loud. She was a little scared, but quickly calmed down....until lunch. I thought it would be nice to put a litte note in her lunch that said "I Love You". For whatever reason, it really set her off and she spent most of her lunch sobbing because of the note. Her teacher and another teacher friend both tried to calm her down, and eventually her teacher came to get me because she was still crying. I'm still not sure what that was all about though!! Luckily the rest of her day went smoothly and she absolutely LOVES kindergarten!!

These are the "teacher kids" at our school: Nick, Jacob, Cade, Michael, Jenna, and Gage. They hang out every morning before and after school and are great friends! All three moms teach at Franklin, too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


We spent almost all day yesterday dealing with basement cleanup. Yesterday afternoon a water clean up company recommended by our insurance sent 2 guys to our house to start extracting water from the carpet in the basement. They worked for close to 2 hours and extracted more than 200 gallons of water from the carpet. A few hours later 2 different guys came and set up a huge dehumidifier. Around 6:30 last night we got another really hard rain and ended up getting 1.5 inches in less than 45 minutes! We were nervous...but the sump pump kept working and we didn't get any new water in the basement! They returned at 8:00pm last night and put 13 high power fans in our basement to start drying things out. I had made chocolate chip cookies and gave them a whole bag of fresh from the oven cookies....I think I am now their new best friend! :) The fans and dehumidifier have been running for 24 hours and things are still really wet. Now the lovely damp, yucky basement smell has set in and spread throughout our house. YUCK! The guys came back to check and left everything running. They'll be back again tomorrow night (they also complimented me on my cookies) to check again.

While things were drying, I spent most of the day doing loads of laundry from things that had been in the basement - blankets, hand me down clothes, future garage sale clothes, and even a load of Barbie clothes (Yes...I washed the Barbie clothes - the box had been floating in the water and everything was soaked). I also emptied tubs of toys, dried things off, and then put the toys back away. I also threw things away and started making a list of things that are ruined. Kara - my stampin' up catalogs were destroyed, except for my current one. By 10:00 last night we were both in bed and fast asleep! Unfortunately, we got more rain last night, so neither one of us slept well. The reports are that we got at least 7.5 inches of rain on Monday, plus another 1.5 last evening, and more rain over night! Today has been hot and humid, but no more rain - thank goodness!

Now we wait for the basement to dry. Then they will come back and clean everything. The insurance adjustors will also come within the next day or so to see what can be saved and what is a loss.

On a positive note...Jacob's first day of 4th grade went well. He really likes his teacher and was excited about going back and seeing his friends. I took pictures this morning and will try to post them in the next day or so. Jenna starts on Monday. She can't wait!!!

Also, Becca's surgery went well yesterday. We did not get a chance to go see her last night like planned, but Chris went to visit tonite. Thanks to everyone for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When it rains, it pours....

When it pours...and then our basement turns into a swimming pool! Last night it rained hard all night long. At 5:00am Chris woke up and went to check on things outside to make sure the gutters and down spouts were still clear (they had been blocked earlier in the evening). He came back to bed and I asked him if he had checked the basement. He said no...and went off to check. He walked down the steps in the dark because Jacob was sleeping in the basement and he didn't want to turn on a light and wake him. As he stepped off the last step, he stepped into 6 inches of cold water!! Luckily, Jacob didn't wake up in the middle of the night...and the water hadn't gotten high enough to bother him on the couch. So, at 5:00am we were up trying to clean, get things up out of the water, and figure out what the problem was. Luckily 2 neighbors came to our rescue and brought over portable sump pumps so we could begin pumping out water. Another neighbor came to help us carry things up out of our basement and start bailing water.

As of right now (10:45am) we have most of the water out of the basement. A plumber just came to install a new sump pump, so hopefully we'll be okay now. Half our belongings are in the garage and the other half are up on whatever we could find to get them out of the water. We've already talked to insurance and someone is coming in 4 hours to start extracting the water. Our house is a disaster and is starting to smell. The sad thing is that it's not even the first official day of school (it was a teacher day today) and we already had to use a personal day.We'll see what can be saved and what is trash. The carpet is soaked and was actually floating off the floor in most places. I'm sure our treadmill is ruined. Jacob's playstation was floating in 6 inches of water, so I would bet that it's done. A lot of my scrapbooking supplies (mostly paper and all my idea books/magazines) were also destroyed.

I'm off to start doing laundry (I had boxes of garage sale clothes and hand me downs in cardboard boxes in the basement) and then do some more cleaning.Below are photos of what it looked like this morning. Notice the time on the clock in the first photo! Nothing like starting your day with 6 inches of water in your basement!!
I get made fun of a lot because I am SO organized! I keep most of my kids' toys in plastic bins...and it paid off! Although things were damp, most of the toys were okay. There were some stray Barbies and lincoln logs floating around though!
Our entertainment system...luckily most of it was up high enough that it was okay. Jacob's playstation wasn't so was floating in the water in front of here.

A lot of the plastic storage bins were floating in the water!!

The culprits....2 sump pumps...neither one working!
Chris' tools....notice the submerged shop-vac? It actually worked when we tried it out later.
My scrapbook area. I think the floating area rug is a nice touch. I actually had things on the bottom shelves of both units, but they are ruined.
Lego men floating across the basement floor....Jacob had been playing legos yesterday, so we found legos floating everywhere!

Shortly after I took this photo I came back to this spot and discovered cans of pop floating around! The boxes were so soggy that the cans of pop had broken loose!
Proof that I'm not exaggerating....this was taken after we had started pumping out some of the water.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Goodbye summer....

Summer is quickly fading! We had our first teacher day today and have another one tomorrow and then students start on Wednesday (all but kindergarten - they don't start until next Monday.) So, in honor of all the fun in the sun we had this summer, here are some swimming photos. For the past 3 summers we have been fortunate enough to have access to our neighbor's pool during the day. It's so nice to go next door and swim and relax! The photos are from last week on one of our last swimming days before starting back to school.

Jenna has really gotten better at swimming this summer...and much more brave! She still wants to wear her "floaties" in deep water and ALWAYS has to have her goggles on! On this particular day we finally talked her into going off the diving board. After she finally did it, she just kept going back and jumping off again!!
-Looking to Mom for some reassurance before jumping
-Adjusting the goggles one last time before jumping...
-Getting ready to jump....
-And finally jumping in!!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Photo-palooza Part 5

While Brenda and the kids were visiting, we spent several days at my parents. While we were there, we spent a day at my Uncle Sudsy and Aunt Nancy's house on Lake Erie. We love going to their house since they live right on the lake and have their own beach (of course we like visiting with them, too...we don't just love them for their beach!). My Grandma D, Aunt Barb, and cousin Lori also joined us at the beach. We had a great time relaxing on the beach while the kids swam, kayaked, played in the sand, and rode the jet ski (even my 90 year old Grandma rode the jet ski with my Dad! I just hope I can still do that at 90!!) . Later we had a cookout and then headed back down to the beach for a little more swim and sand time before heading back to Stow.

I took a billion beach I'll have to split them up into multiple be sure to check the posts that follow this one to see all our beach fun! THANKS AGAIN to Sudsy and Nancy for letting us invade your house and your beach. We had a GREAT time!!

Beach photos continued.....

Almost more set below!!

Last of the beach photos....