Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Screen Free Week

You won't be seeing any more new post on this blog this week. It's "Screen-Free Week" (check out great resources and ideas here). Since I'm getting ready for our big Power of Moms Retreat this weekend at my parents' house in Park City, I'll be restricting my screen time to what needs to be done to get ready for that event plus a few other necessary Power of Moms tasks.

I'm so excited for the Retreat! Many of our fabulous Power of Moms Board members will be there, I get to present with April and with my wonderful parents (something that just doesn't happen often enough), and I'll get to feel that beautiful electric feeling of love and learning and support that comes with every Retreat.

And I'm excited to be screen-free with the kids this week. We've had a little too much screen time sneaking into our afternoons and evenings and this week's "cleanse" of screen time will be a very good thing. We've got a long list of fun activities kids can choose from when they finish their homework rather than having the 1/2 hour of computer time they're usually allowed each day and we'll be playing some fun board games and reading together in the evenings when we have a little free time. I'll let you know how the week goes when it's over!

At Power of Moms, we're posting a podcast every day instead of our usual daily written posts. This way, we can support moms in being as screen-free as possible while still offering great resources that don't require a screen. Check out some of the great podcasts on our homepage this week! I've loved listening to podcasts while running, cleaning, doing laundry, driving, etc.

Signing off until Sunday!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Saga of our Plumbing Problems

You heard about the beginning of our plumbing saga back here when our pipes initially froze last winter.

It's been almost non-stop fun since then. 

The frozen pipe turned into a broken water main which led to a temporary water main that had to go across the lawn and last until spring when the ground would thaw enough to dig down and install a new water main. We had to take out one of our newly-installed basement windows to install the temporary line and rig up a temporary window there. 

A guy walking down the street in front of our house tripped over the 1/2 inch temporary water main that had to go across the sidewalk (someone had removed the wood we had over the pipe to prevent such things). Luckily the guy didn't get hurt. But later, he decided he did get hurt and that his cell phone had been broken when he fell and he wanted us to pay for it and threatened to sue us and we referred him to our insurance guy eventually (still not sure how that will pan out). 

Then the temporary would freeze on occasion and we had to go out there in the early freezing mornings with heat guns and hairdryers to get it going again so we could take showers. Great way to start your day.

We went back and forth with insurance to try to get installation of a new water main covered and had to get several bids on the installation of a new water main and the digging up the front lawn with heavy equipment. Not exactly cheap stuff. Stressful trying to decide which contractors would work out best. 

We finally got contractors lined up and went through a couple crazy days during spring break when Jared was super crazy busy at work and I was trying to oversee the excavator while coordinating the right time for the plumber to come while trying to make spring break really fun for the kids. I just don't like having to oversee things I really don't understand very well and having people ask me a lot of questions I don't know the answer to and feeling like I'm not really secure on how much everything is going to cost in the end as unexpected things pop up.

But ultimately we got the new water main in. The water pressure isn't quite what it used to be but we have a proper underground unbroken pipe again and someday maybe the front lawn will recover. . .

While the plumber was here, he installed a cap over our sewer clean-out which has always been just an open pipe in our driveway. He said we could get stuff down in there that could be a real problem and he and Jared cleared out some sticks and stones down there before he installed a new cap which sort of stuck up and looked odd but he assured us it was the best option. Turns out that cap somehow came apart and about the same time we noticed that part of the cap was missing, we noticed some nasty stuff coming out of the that pipe. Seems the part that came off fell down into the sewer line, causing back-up.

I called the plumber about the problem and he said it wasn't his fault and I said it wasn't our fault and after a rather long and unpleasant conversation, we left things unresolved. I wasn't trying to point fingers. I was just trying to get his help in resolving a serious issue that was pretty clearly connected to a problematic part he had installed but he kept insisting that we must have driven over the cap or this wouldn't have happened (even though the cap was not in a place where anyone would drive and it was sticking way up so it would be dangerous to your car to drive over it).

Then last night, the plumber showed up and fixed the problem. It didn't take him that long and we were so glad to have things taken care of! No more sewage coming out on the driveway. No further payment necessary. And I was happy that the plumber and I were able to leave things on good terms. Yeah!

We're crossing our fingers that we're done with issues on our house for a while but hardly dare hope that this saga is really at an end. We're so grateful for our home - but sometimes good old Ida gives us a run for our money! (Ida is the name of our house, FYI.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

My amazing mom just had a birthday. She's the kindest, toughest, most accepting and understanding, most interested, most selfless, most hard-working, most faithful, and most beautiful woman I know and I'm so blessed to be her daughter.

Here's a glimpse at my mom as we celebrate all that she's brought to the world in the past 66 years:

engagement photo

my blessing day
mom with me
at our house in Virginia

who cares if you've got baby spit-up all over your dress or your husband is wearing PJ bottoms?

with her dad and newborn Saydi

at our SLC house with baby Saydi
my 6th birthday
Saydi's first birthday
with Saydi and Jonah
with Josh and Shawni
with baby Jonah (#5)

with newborn Talmadge - baby #6

visiting Egypt
Visiting Jerusalem (pregnant with Noah - #7)

With baby Noah (blessing day above, sleeping below)

With Noah (baby #7). Yep, he's a boy but we loved dressing him up like a girl, wanted a little sister so bad!

With me when I was 11 years old.

With baby Eli (#8)
Teton Nat'l Park with Shawni, me, Jonah and Saydi

Colonial Mexico with 8 kids
determined to learn Spanish in Mexico - she carried that book with her everywhere

With Eli:
newborn Charity - #9


Appearing on Oprah (This interview helped take the book she wrote with my dad, Teaching Your Children Values, to the #1 spot on the NYTimes Bestseller List. Shawni and I were on our missions so we weren't on the show.)

With me and Saydi when they came to pick me up on my mission to Bulgaria (meeting some of my dear friends - Maria, Lubka and Rosa) 

Picking up Saydi from her mission in Spain.

The day the twins were born:

A Grammie visit - yeah!

Grammie Camp kids (she takes the kids off in small groups to teach them about their ancestors and have a great time together every summer)

An "MFME" gathering in Park City, UT

Another MFME gathering at Bear Lake

MFME 2013

Eyre Family 2007

Eyre Family 2009

Eyre Family 2010

With all her grandkids in 2011

Eyre family 2012

With her nine children - 2012

Hosting the first big Power of Moms Retreat at her house and serving as keynote speaker (best supporter and helper ever!). So fun to have Saydi, Shawni and Charity there to help speak as well. (another similar retreat coming up May 4th - details HERE.)

Making podcasts for Power of Moms with me, Shawni and Charity.



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