Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And the kids

Well, most of them. Sorry, no pictures.

House pictures

Here are some pictures. Okay, a lot of pictures. And it has changed again, so I need to get some more soon!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Joyous news!

Brad just got his Step 3 results in and HE PASSED! That means he can be a licensed doctor and can write prescriptions and stuff and make more money moonlighting! These are very good things! We are beyond thrilled! We went out to Max and Erma's to celebrate! Yum!

Our yard does not even look the same. I have a ton of pictures to upload. I'll try to do it tomorrow, so check back soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The story

The preface to this story is that I was at Meijer's that morning. I got home and unloaded the van. There were lots of groceries. I started putting stuff away, and noticed I had some messages. One was a debt collector. It drives me insane. They call daily, but it is never a person, always a machine. And when I try to sit on the line to tell them I'm not who they think I am, I end up waiting for 20 minutes before I quit. (They called again today. They are evil.) The second message was from the guys who cut down the trees. I guess he had arranged with Brad to get some estimates on the remaining tree branches. He asked if we could call him back. Well, I hadn't talked to Brad, didn't know what was going on, and I wanted to hurry and get the groceries away before running to get kids. I didn't call him back.

So, I get done getting food put away, run and get the boys, make them lunch, put C down, make my lunch, and start eating it. I had noticed the dirt/ditch guy was working in the front, but I didn't think anything of it. Brad arranged all of it, and I tend to stay out of it. Well, I happen to look out front and there is water spraying everywhere.

****Allow me to digress for a moment to explain why he was digging. We have major flooding issues at our house. Our plan was to put a layer of clay deep down to keep the water from seeping in. Then we are going to bring in a lot of dirt to even out the yard and change the slope. We obviously don't want water sloping into the house. Then we are digging an underground pipe to help divert water to a huge ditch we are putting in the backyard. It will be a "lovely water feature" at some point. At least that is the plan. Okay, on with the story...***

In all fairness to him, the water line was not marked. If you can tell from the pictures, we'd had all of the utilities marked recently. But they apparently only mark the beginning of the line and don't follow it all the way to the house. Everyone assumed the water line went straight to the house. It didn't. It went toward the house, then followed the outline of the house to the basement (right below the porch). They didn't mark any of that. We found it out the hard way.
So, I go out there and the dirt/ditch guy says, and I'm not kidding, "Oh, I didn't know you were home. I already called 911 so they could get a hold of someone to come and fix it." There were many things running through my head at this point. 911?! Seriously?! He hadn't called, hadn't rang the doorbell, hadn't knocked. What made him think we weren't home? Apparently, he had called the guy who had left a message and they assumed that since I hadn't called back, I wasn't home. That or I WAS BUSY WITH 3 CHILDREN!!!!! Or how about, I just didn't want to talk to him yet. I have that right, ya know.

And now I have to ask the question, how does Brad always miss it when we have water issues? He missed the entire flood last year. I called Brad at work, and he said to turn it off at the base by the street. But that his tools are in his car. So, I go to our neighbor, who I love, and he let us borrow one of his wrench thingies. (seriously, I'm so not helpful when it comes to tools) I use my wrench thingie to open the cover to the off nozzle, but I obviously don't have the super long tool they use to reach it. Duh Melisa. Well, dirt/ditch guy uses his borrowed tool to try to "clamp the plastic." Uh huh. Maybe it would have worked. I don't know a thing about tools. The result of his effort is that the pipe collapsed or something and water was now filling the hole instead of spraying outside of it. We could no longer see the pipe. He said he had called the water department an hour ago (through 911?) and didn't know what was taking them so long. I go in and start calling the township and am told they they do sewer only. She asks if it is sewer. Uh, I have no idea. It wasn't marked. She says she'll send some guys out, but to try the water department too. So I do. And she has me go downstairs to the basement and shut off our water. Apparently she underestimated it when I said we had water spraying everywhere. I meant 6 feet into the air outside, and she thought I meant a sink or something. In the mean time, I'm confused because I have no idea how turning off the faucets in the house will help outside. I'm running up and down the two flights of stairs from the front yard to the basement trying to see if I'm turning stuff the right way. She finally realizes it is outside, and sends some guys.

While this is all happening, the boys are gleefully playing in the water. Normally, I'm not a mom that cares about such things, but this was bad for a number of reason. Huge massive hole quickly filling with dirty water that would be hard to see drowning kids in. Large piece of equipment being operated by a guy I'm quickly losing confidence in. Me, running in and out of the house not able to keep an eye on the boys. I tried to tell them they could watch from the porch, but the temptation was too much for them to stay away from the spray, so I sent them into the house and told them to get on the computer. You don't need to tell me I'm a stellar mom. I know. TV and computers can be very effective free babysitters.

The water people get to the house very fast. And then the sewer people came. My d/d guy has the idea that if he digs the hole deeper and wider, the water will move and expose the broken pipe. So he keeps making the hole bigger and deeper. And bigger. And deeper. The big problem with this being: trees. If you didn't know, we have taken down about 20 trees since moving in. And he happened to be digging right next to one of the trunks. Which is actually why he didn't realize he had hit the water line. He thought it was just another root. While he is making this hole bigger and deeper, he blows a hose on this digger attachment. Yeah. Nice.

They end up bringing in a pump to get the water out of the now very large hole. In the meantime, I get to chat with some of the workers. Apparently, one of them had come to look at the house about 6 months before we did. (Did I mention our house is a foreclosure?) He mentioned that it looked really different with all of the trees gone. This is true! They all ask what we got it for, I tell them, and they get really surprised. "That is a really good deal. Especially for this area! This is a great area with wonderful schools. It is in high demand." Nice to hear that.
A lot more time is spent helping the workers find our meter and such. When they started the water again, they had to drain the line in case something got in the pipes. So I take the worker down to the basement and he sees that there is a drain right next to the meter. This thrills him and he asks if he can just run the water into the basement. Sure, why not. Our basement has an awesome water system. I'm not worried.

The water guys inform us that since our d/d guy dug the hole for them, the line wasn't marked, etc. they weren't going to charge us for the fix. Sweet. That is music to my ears.

While D/d guy is switching to an attachment that doesn't have a busted hose, his trailer smashes into the back of his van. I guess he had taken it off the hitch and forgot. It was just a little dent, but it also managed to mess up the bumper pretty bad. Poor guy. And he had a flat tire that morning too. Talk about a bad day.

D/d guy starts to fill in the hole with the clay and then the regular dirt. When he finished, he realizes that he can't find the tool we borrowed. He thinks the water guys took it. I wonder... And just when sanity is restored, Brad gets home. Lucky guy. Missed all the excitement. ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It can indeed be stranger than fiction. I have a forever long story I have to type up, but first I need to do laundry (including switching out winter and summer clothes - FINALLY!), clean the rental, and clean the kitchen. I really hope to type it up tonight, but with my class, it might not happen. But it involves lots of pictures, because these things have to be documented, right? I'm hoping if people know I have this really long post to type, it will motivate me to do it sooner...

Here is a hint:

Monday, April 21, 2008

No, seriously!

If you have girls, or you are looking for cute baby gifts, check out Robyn's giveaway blog. These are so dang cute! For anyone reading this who may be so interested (MOM!), C does not have a massive investment in hair accessories yet, so feel free to add to her wardrobe. She'll get hair someday!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Buzz buzz

It must be warming up here because we are all covered with mosquito bites. Time to bust out the bug spray!

And some pix for fun!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Making choices

I was inspired while catching up on Kari's blog the other day. I thought I'd let you know what D picked out to wear to school the other day.

Red Cars shirt with blue sleeves
Orange OSU windbreaker pants
white and green socks
1 Thomas shoe
1 Cars shoe

I know he loves his orange pants, so I didn't even go there, but I did casually mention that his shoes didn't match. He then informed me, "That's the way I want it." Alrighty then. Wish we weren't running late or I would have grabbed my camera.

D is quite a determined guy, so I try to pick my battles with him. This wasn't a battle I was willing to fight. So, off to school he went.


I spent a couple of hours yesterday looking at an international adoption blog. This lady Jill knows adopted 2 boys, one Ukraine the other Uzbekistan. All I can say is, WHAT A WOMAN! Wow. The things she went through, the hoops she jumped through, the highs and lows. Wow. Speechless. She has nerves of steel. I am embarrassed to admit that my fragile stress level could not endure a tenth of what she dealt with and still deals with. I got stressed just reading about it! Just reading about these beautiful children, struggling and sometimes suffering in an orphanage, broke my heart. I feel so helpless in these situations. While I would love to one day open my home to an adopted child, the bureaucracy of it is mind numbing to me. But I'm not entirely helpless. I really would love to do what I can to help these beautiful children of God. Having said that, Jill and her husband are in the process of adopting adorable twins from the Ukraine. They have the patience and the big hearts it will take to get these children into a stable home and avoid a lifetime of being institutionalized. I may not be at a place in my life where I can make the sacrifices necessary to give these children a permanent home, but I can surely help others to do it. Any financial contribution you can make will greatly be appreciated by the Pierce family. They are so excited to bring home their children and shower them with the love and attention they have been denied. I'm honestly not trying to pressure anyone into something they aren't comfortable with, but if you are looking for a great way to spend some extra money from tax returns or what have you, why not get a warm fuzzy feeling at the same time? It will make such a difference in the lives of these children to have a forever home.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wherefore art thou Spring?

We woke up to snow on the ground. Sick and wrong I tell you. It was a light dusting and it is already melted, but it didn't help my Spring mentality. Thank heavens we made it through Spring Break (that didn't feel very Springy) during one of Brad's busiest weeks to date. It is just too bad that both happened the same week. I am SOOOO excited for school to start tomorrow! Time to get back to a schedule.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I am sad

If you know me well, you know I'm a addicted to the show Monk. I'm a true Monkie Junkie. I was so sad to read that Dr. Kroger (Stanley Kamel) just died. I loved Dr. Kroger. He had the patience of a saint. I hope that Monk's new doctor is just as good. Sniff sniff.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring has sprung!

I am so excited! Brad opened the door to our bedroom's deck last night, and we heard frogs croaking. YEAH! It is lovely weather we are having these days. I just love it. It is about time I might add. : )

C is officially Cherokee now. We got her Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood and her Cherokee Nation card yesterday in the mail. Brad called her his Indian Princess. Awww. Cute.

We got the massive tree stumps ground down yesterday. That was way cool to watch. It looked like lots of hammer heads on this rotating blade, but of course, I didn't get very close. Wood chips were flying everywhere!

Last night at dinner, instead of doing Hi/Low, we got pretty goofy. C was sticking out her tongue and we couldn't believe how long it was. We decided that was a Jones trait as I can touch my nose with my tongue. So can some of my siblings. At least I think some of them can. I know for sure Jeremy can, but the others, I can't really recall. Lovely, huh. And J started doing my trademark alternating eyebrow lift. Brad can't do either trick, not that you would want to. I guess they did get some traits from my side! I tried to get it on video last night before FHE, but as soon as they see a camera, my kids refuse to perform. Also a Jones trait I might add...

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's chili, I mean chilly

It's been a busy day. I listed some free wood on Craigslist and it has been crazy ever since. I can't believe how many people wanted it and how fast they came! I had another pick up today as well. The lady was deaf. She came to the door and said, "Sorry, I'm deaf, I can't talk." I signed to her that it was fine and I knew some sign. She was pretty shocked. That's always fun. Wish you were there to help me though, Kate. I can't believe I've forgotten so much! Will you sign with me so I can hone my skills?

If you have seen my kitchen, you would know that I'm obsessed with chili peppers. Love 'em. I got this sign for my kitchen the other day. hee hee And I got a new keychain too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I am so not ready for Spring Break! It doesn't even feel like Spring yet here. I still have my portable heater near my bed. Tonight is the first night of the break, and the kids are already driving me insane. Not a good start...